As I have said before, this year Focus was a special one for me, by the fact that I was actually there with the Manfrotto School of Excellence. I was there along with Phil Coates, Drew Gardner and Michael Freeman (who actually got stuck in a Columbian airport so was unable to attend). We were also joined by Justin Sutcliffe on Tuesday who filled in for Drew’s last few seminars due to some extenuating circumstances.
On the whole the Seminars, One to Ones and Portfolio reviews seemed to be a huge success with all the seminars being fulling booked (and many more people standing). I was actually lucky enough to get some time on Sunday to sit in on Phil’s and Drew’s seminars. If you have seen either of their work you would have known beforehand how captivating their talks would be.
Phil talked mainly about how he works capturing both stills and broadcast video in extreme conditions ranging from Antarctica to the Qatar desert. His work has been featured by pretty much everyone in the broadcast world such as the BBC, discovery channel and National Geographic! He also discussed how he often documents extreme sportsmen and women such as ultra-marathon runners and keeps up! I’m not going to deny it, Phil has the BEST job in the world in my opinion and I am VERY jealous! If you are interested in finding more about his work visit his website philcoates.tv. Phil is also running a workshop titled: film making for photographers in collaboration with Light and Land at the end of this month. If you get the chance to go I highly recommend this workshop. Having had the amazing opportunity to speak with Phil individually over the course of the show, I can vouch for his passion for everything he does and for his personality. He is one of the most down to earth guys I have met and I’m sure his workshop will be worth every penny. Here are some images from his seminars:
As mentioned above, I also had the opportunity to listen in on one of Drew Gardner’s seminars. Drew is one of the UK’s top advertising and commercial photographers and you only have to see a few of his images to realise this. If you haven’t had chance to see his ‘The Forest’ it is highly recommended you do! The way he controls every single element in his work means that the final product is out of this world. I literally sat in awe for the majority of his seminar as he showed image after image of sheer incredibleness. Drew’s work is at the complete opposite spectrum of the work I shoot, however just seeing and hearing his creativity, attention to detail and knowledge, you can’t help but be inspired to pick up the camera and shoot.
Drew was also promoting his amazing new exhibition called Golden Greats. This is a two year collaboration with Lucinda Marland photographing Britain’s gold medalists from years gone by. This is a celebration of our sporting heritage and the images are fantastic, an excellent tribute to run alongside the Olympics in London this year. If you do get the chance to visit the exhibition I am sure you will not be disappointed.
I personally spent a lot of time between holding one on one sessions, portfolio reviews and also helping to promote Manfrotto’s range of LED lights (which by the way are excellent, review to follow shortly). I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and speaking to fellow photographers and seeing many different ways of working compared to my approach. Hopefully the people who took part in my sessions enjoyed it as much as I did!
Below are a few images from the show that I shot whilst wandering around on Sunday. Sunday and Monday were extremely busy with many people excited to get their hands on the Nikon D4, D800, Canon 1Dx, 5D MkIII and the Fuji X-Pro 1. The images aren’t any thing special by any means as they were an afterthought. However I hope they give you a little idea of what Focus 2012 was about. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody on the Manfrotto team for their amazing hospitality and for helping me feel like one of the team! I genuinely had one of the best weekends in a very long time and hope to have the chance to do it again some time.