Weekend Away: The Photography Show

I recently headed to Birmingham {UK} for a break away. Now Birmingham may not be at the top of the list for many as somewhere to visit but as The Photography Show was on at the NEC, it was the perfect choice for me. In fact The Photography Show was the main reason I was there, the show ran from Saturday 18th - Tuesday 21st March & we were there for Saturday & Sunday.

I set off on Friday lunchtime with my ever faithful traveling companion, my mum, & after 3 hours or so down the M6, we arrived at our hotel around 5pm. We ordered room service, showered & fell into our beds for not the best nights sleep {neither of us slept great for the entire weekend} I don't sleep great at the best of times but I'm even worse when I'm not in my own bed & the air conditioner bothers my poor mum, so she struggled. But that aside, we had a lovely weekend away!

The good thing about this show is that it's open from 10am - 5pm {A far cry from the person who use to do 6am-midnight 5 days at the Horse of the Year Show!} & MCM Comic Con is on at the same time so there's plenty of great photo ops; I regret not having my camera out as I walked into the NEC on Saturday as there were a number of Stormtroopers wandering around!

Wandering
The first day at the show mainly consisted of a number of talks we wanted to listen to, perhaps too many, as I had to head back to the hotel at 3pm as I felt so unwell, missing most of the pro masterclass I had paid for & missing out on meeting a few photographers I know via Twitter. Despite that, I did tick a couple things off my small shopping list, {I upgraded my Nikon D3200 to the D7200}, listened to the wonderful Andrew Appleton give a talk/demo on Dance Photography & the fascinating talk by Ben Cherry about following the Bewick Swans from Russia to Europe & the roll Expedition Photography played in that.

Saturday was also filled with pride, happiness & excitement as I saw one of my photographs on display as part of Loxley Colour's The People's Gallery. {I may or may not have been fighting back the happy tears when I saw my shot of Jacob the Starling!} It was such a privilege to see my photograph surrounded by so many amazing photographers work, many of whom I know!

"Jacob" on display in The People's Gallery
The extra rest I had Saturday definitely helped get me through Sunday. I also made sure I had my camera out as I approached the NEC & I'm so glad I did, as I managed to get a shot of some Jedi! There wasn't as many talks we wanted to listen to, so I had a good break in the afternoon, which I used to go back to my hotel for lunch. Plus all but one of the talks were at the Nikon School Stage, so I didn't have to rush from one stage to another {like Saturday} The last talk of the day was at the Mobile & Social Media Stage {think that's what it was called} & it was all about iphonography/phone photography Although I'm definitely a DSLR user, it inspired me to start using my iPhone to take photos again.

More Force Needed!
I also picked up a couple more pieces of kit, including a 50mm prime lens & spare battery {which I traded my old nikon camera against, sad but happy times} & a roller travel case {carry-on size} for my camera kit, this was a "not on the list" item but packing for this trip made me realise I needed one! Also being the bookworm I am, I had to stop at the ilex camera book stand & pick up a couple of books. Sunday ended in the same way the other days had; shower, room service & not much sleep.

Monday was our leaving day, we had an incredibly relaxing/quiet breakfast {we were in a dinning room with only 4 other people!} which was just what I needed. Since I had packed pretty much everything the night before, I could rest up longer until we had to checkout at 12pm. I did have a wander down to the Hotel's Costa for a hot chocolate & took a few photographs of the lobby to try out my new camera & lens a bit more. The weather & myself weren't up to going for a wander outside to the nearby Lake, which I did last year. Not long after 12pm our lift home arrived & after 3 or so hours back up the M6, I crawled into my bed & snuggled up with my cats.

hotel Lobby Life

Despite spending all of last week {and parts of this week} dealing with the after effects {PEM} that comes from going away & doing so much, I enjoyed every moment at the show & being away. I'm still not fully recovered from my trip but since last Friday I've attempted a couple of things just to test out what I'm able to do/not do as to where my PEM level is & how long it'll take to ease off completely.

It can be so frustrating paying so severely for the things you want to do, which is why you have to make sure that the things you use your precious energy on are completely worth it to you & don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty for what you spend your energy on!

So to sum up, I had a fabulous time away, a holiday I definitely needed after a rough 6 months health-wise!

I hope you're all doing well & taking care,

L x

{If you want to see more of the photographs I took while away, then head over to my photography Instagram: l.e.sphotography }