It’s nearly time for Britain’s biggest photography show, the imaginatively named, The Photography Show. At this year’s event there is going to be a “Mega Analogue Photography Meetup” which I’m assuming will be something of a film users self-help group session.
The meetup (meetup seems to be a word now), has been setup (geddit?) by that popular beat combo, Hamish Gill and The Sunbeams, and promises to be one of the largest gatherings of film minded people in the UK this year. Throngs of analoguers (new word) are being drawn to meet their heroines and heroes to moan about Fujifilm.
The big question that’s on my mind and I suspect many more, is what camera gear should be worn to the event? Traditionally, men have it easy when going out to be seen by one’s peers, just dial in the correct level of shirt, trousers and shoes and be done with it. Women have a much tougher job. Visiting a photography show is different and visiting a show where people will be making judgements upon the gear that is worn, is fraught with difficulties.
What is the correct level of camera (and lens if applicable)?
What film to use? Stephen Dowling of Kosmo Foto will be there!
Pick out the most expensive well-known German camera and lens combo, that’s sure to get attention assuming that your most expensive gear option is actually expensive. (Don’t take the Nikon & 500mm f/4 that’s just being stupid).
Pick out the most expensive but obscure camera and lens combo, that’s sure to get attention assuming that your most expensive obscure gear option is actually expensive. (Risky if camera and lens do not look expensive).
Go ultra-rare and just wait for the inevitable, “what’s that you’ve got questions?”.
Be controversial and take a digital camera and slap on a film era lens.
Take the “look at me I’m wacky” route and go large format. (Steve Lloyd has a good excuse).
Take the “look at me I’m wacky” route and take a pinhole camera.
Take the “look at me I’m wacky” route and *add inappropriate choice of camera here*
Dress down and take a cheap compact.
Pseudo dress down and take an expensive compact.
All of the above options carry perception risks;
Trying to (and succeeding) to look rich. (Not the done thing in the UK).
Trying to be too clever.
Looking for an argument.
Trying to look like you just picked up the first camera that came to hand.
Using gear to imbue a fake a personality…
The list goes on and on, and every choice you make says something about you whether you like it or not.
My tip is to take the camera that will do the best job in the circumstances, whatever that may be.
There is also the cop-out option:
Don’t take a camera as the light is going to be hopeless and nobody ever gets good photos at these events anyway.
I hope this guide has been of use and I look forward to meeting as many of you at the show, and I’ll be bringing whatever camera just happens to at hand on the morning…
Simon Forster is a host of The Classic Lenses Podcast – https://classiclensespodcast.podbean.com/
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