Focus and things

By , March 10, 2010 1:31 pm

So much to do, so little time.

Went to Focus yesterday. The annual trudge to Birmingham to fight my way through the throngs of hobbyists who insist for reasons best know to them on walking round the show festooned with every camera they own. What the hell they expect to photograph I don’t know. The irony is that they seem to do so in the hope that they will be taken seriously by the exhibitors because they wear their cameras like a badge, when in fact the “serious” photographers are instantly recognisable by virtue of not carrying all their cameras.

Sadly, some years ago the specialist retailers realised that there was money to be extracted from these people, so they started being more proactive in selling at the show. As a result those that go to ask questions of manufacturers and distributors, or make supply deals that could save them tens of thousands of pounds a year, find that they are constantly fighting against the tide of equipment and gadget freaks.

The result? Well, I bumped into a friend, a respected photographer, publisher and writer on photography, and asked him how he was. “I’m at Focus doing my penance. What do you think?” came the reply.

Anyway. A productive show for me. Answered all the questions that I needed to address, has given me food for thought and opened new opportunities, all of which I will write about in good time. One thing I will share with you quickly though is Canson Platine Rag. Got hold of some samples, and just made a test print of this picture on it. Exquisite paper!

Owen Garriott - NASA astronaut.
Owen Garriott – NASA astronaut, Skylab II and STS-9/Space Lab 1. Image © Michael Cockerham 2008

The show finished, I wandered back to the station (went on the train this time – so much easier), got a beer in the bar, and the phone rang. It was an editor with an assignment. So exciting an assignment (for me anyway) that I nearly dropped my beer. Just a couple of days to go, but if it comes off as planned, you can be sure I will be telling you about it!

The threat to our living – update II

By , March 3, 2010 5:53 pm

Busy, busy. Half way through a shoot for a bespoke bed manufacturer, very interesting – never knew how complex making a bed was, at least that is the excuse I gave my mother as a child and my wife now!

Anyway, a little belatedly, I have had a reply from Michael Fallon MP. I assume from the tenor of his reply that he is seeking reelection:

Dear Michael Cockeram (sic),

Thank you for your email of last week about the Digital Economy Bill. My apologies for not replying earlier.

This Bill is in the House of Lords and has yet to reach the Commons but we are already aware of the substantial concerns about authors’ rights and “orphan” works. The Conservative Party wants to ensure that the Bill does not damage the exisiting rights of content creators, not least those of professional photographers, and that it prevents identifying information from being stripped out from a digital image.

Some amendments are due to be made in the Lords next week but we shall want to scrutinise this part of the Bill very carefully when it reaches us, and improve it if necessary.

I am copying your concerns to our Conservative spokesmen here.

With all best wishes,

Michael Fallon

Well, the good news is that he appears to be on the side of professional photographers (I wonder how many reside in his constituency, and if you’re one and you didn’t notice apparently he is Conservative and there is an election?), although I am a little troubled by the “improve if necessary” bit. I think most photographers that have taken an interest would say that it was necessary, so no ifs, just improve, please. I might then even forgive your spelling my name wrong.. poor that, really poor, and there is an election soon too!

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