Focus On Imaging 2013: 10 trade show photography tips you really have to try

Focus On Imaging 2013: 10 trade show photography tips for more creative pictures

Are you going to Focus On Imaging 2013 in the UK, or perhaps another photography trade show nearer to where you live? You’ll certainly want to bring your camera, and these 10 tips explain how you can get more creative images from your trade show photography.

Focus On Imaging 2013: 10 trade show photography tips for more creative pictures

The Olympus stage, promoting its flagship OM-D camera, at Focus on Imaging 2012.

As many photographers in the UK will know, this coming weekend is the annual Focus On Imaging photography trade show in Birmingham.

Focus On Imaging one of the most anticipated events of the year for UK photographers, much like CES is for American snappers. In fact, most countries have similar events, and anyone who has ever been knows that bringing your camera is essential.

Whether it’s snapping famous photographers during their lectures, capturing the queues to handle the latest Nikon DSLR or photographing the many models on hand at the studio lighting firms’ stands, don’t be surprised if you come back from a photography trade show like Focus On Imaging 2013 with hundreds of images on your card.

It can be a challenge, however, to get good pictures in the odd lighting found in most trade show venues. To help you work around the mixed lighting and tight spaces, we’ve offers some of our best tips for trade show photography.

10 tips for creative trade show photography

01 Early doors

The fewer people there are cluttering the scene, the more freedom you’ll get in composing shots. The best times to shoot trade show photography are just after opening and last thing before closing.

02 Get flash
A good flashgun will provide plenty of illumination, and a diffusion dome, like a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce, will help to soften the flash light.

03 Switch to Manual

Use Manual mode and shoot at about 1/125 sec at f/8. ETTL flash exposure should keep the main subject well lit, submerging the background and any distracting clutter into relative darkness.

04 Available light

When you want to capture a whole scene, flash doesn’t work so well. Turn it off and increase ISO for a faster shutter speed which will help avoid camera shake.

05 White balance

With a mixture of spotlights, fluorescent strips and tungsten lighting, white balance is a tough call. You’re best off sticking to Auto White Balance and shooting in raw format, so you can adjust it at the editing stage.

10 trade show photography tips for Focus on Imaging 2013

Image copyright Focus On Imaging

06 Go slow

If you’re taking a tripod or monopod, try long exposures by using a low ISO setting and small aperture, or even fitting a neutral density (non-graduated) filter. People who are milling about will become invisible – or at least blurred and less distracting.

07 Get an angle
Be adventurous with your shooting angles to get an exciting perspective, even if it means crouching or lying on the floor.

08 Portrait heaven

Many exhibitors hire models to add a touch of glamour to their stands, and they’re usually very willing to have their picture taken. All you have to do is ask nicely, then you can add some portrait shots to your collection.

09 In the detail
From interesting gadgets to iconic logos, there’s plenty to shoot in close-up. Use a longer zoom setting to fill the frame as much as possible, along with a flashgun to brighten images up and to fend off camera-shake.

10 On reflection

With all those shiny surfaces about, beware of bright reflections from your flash. Shoot at an angle rather than head-on to minimize the problem.


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