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Today I was in Birmingham to attend Focus, this is an annual trade show for Professional Photographers. It was  a

long day, waking up at 5am to catch the first flight from Dundee to Birmingham. This is a good service but it was only a fraction full which is a pity, I hope they keep the flight going.

I had originally planned to spend 2 days at Focus but as I am pretty busy at the moment I decided one day would do it. With hindsight I should have spent 2 days there, this is the main trade show for Pros every year and it requires more than 1 day. What I did wrong was not to plan, I really should have studied the catalogue and made a plan of what I wanted to see and then get stuck in. I did know that the Flash Centre had a Lastolite Ezybox on special offer and I had planned to buy one for a while so I headed there first to make sure they had one left. I noticed that they had a few seminars running which looked interesting. This is quite a feature of Focus, seminars and thats why I wanted to spend more time.

I bought the ezybox, this is a portable soft box for a speedlight, it creates a great soft light and is ideal for Wedding Photography. The softbox was being sold with a stand and various reflectors as part of a kit, I asked them to bag it up for me to get on the plane easily, when it was taped it resembled a gun.

I watched a few seminars, mainly regarding off camera flash, I looked at various Album suppliers, test drove the new Eos 1d mk2 which I am considering buying – at £4k a big investment but it is a great camera. I also spoke in detail with Adobe about lightroom, some people say this will really speed up my workflow, they convinced me it would so I have bought that too. Hey it’s only money!

It was getting on and I was on the 3.55pm flight, I wanted to get there with enough time to put my package in the hold if they would not let it on the plane. I checked with customer services, they said it was ok to take it on. I got to security and as expected once it had been through the xray there was questions to answer. The problem was that it had been bagged and taped up by the salesman. They asked if they could open it and then I realised that I did not really know exactly what was in it as the bags had all been closed when I bought it. Anyway, they opened the bag and out popped this soft box so all was well. I now appreciate, with hindsight, that it was not wise to tell the security man it was actually a gun. Thankfully the handcuffs came off in time for me to get home!

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