The Photography Show

I had a fun, if exhausting, day out yesterday at the Photography Show at the NEC, Birmingham. As a lover of all things photographic I was like a kid in a sweet shop. With hundreds of stands, including all the big names plus loads of companies that I hadn’t heard of. There was of course plenty of stands with cameras, plus albums and printing, drones, bags, tripods, accessories, lighting, training courses, insurance, photography associations, plus books, magazines and more.

I spoke to some very helpful and well informed people (including a very kind lady who gave me some ibuprofen), collected plenty of information, leaflets and magazines (see image above), and thankfully bought very little! Not that I wasn’t tempted, but I restricted myself to a book about photographic locations in London. While most of the locations are well known, the book contains information and some stunning images that should inspire and help me get better photos on future visits. It’s possibly a good job that my legs ache today or I might be tempted to jump on a train and make a start!

The day wasn’t all about stands selling equipment and services though. There was a range of shows to watch, with several stages and a varied timetable. I saw three presentations on the Wedding and Portrait stage which gave me some food for thought. Of course, everywhere you looked going round the hall there were stunning images on display. A real feast for the eyes. I had my camera with me and it would have been so easy to simply take photos of these great artworks. But that would have felt cheap and cheating to me. I did take some photos around the show though, a few of which are below. If you’ve got an interest in photography and have the chance to go, the Photography Show is on until Tuesday 19th March.  As for me, I think I’ve got about a month worth’s of reading to do. Happy days.

International Women’s Day

 

So today is International Women’s Day. I’m feeling a bit guilty that I haven’t done anything about it because while I know women tend to be more recognised and have more rights than in my grandmother’s day I also know things aren’t perfect.

In all the years I have studied and worked in science I’ve been aware of bias and inequality. At school boys made something jazzy in metalwork, and girls bent coathangers to make a baby’s mobile. I did get to do the same metalwork as the men at university but not everything was equal. I studied physics and as you might expect it was very male dominated. Even the little things seemed against us women; we only had toilets on every other floor while the men could just walk along the corridor whichever level of the building they were on. I learned about many more male scientists than women, and found that sometimes women were just not represented accurately. For example, Rosalind Franklin played a major role in the discovery of the DNA double helix, yet James Watson and Francis Crick were the authors on the published paper and received the Nobel Prize.

I’m hopeful that things will be easier for my daughter; that if she continues to be keen on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) it will be considered much more normal then when I was a girl. And in recognition of IWD I’d like to share some photos to honour some great women, who have inspired and supported me.