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The Latest from MPB

  • 2014-09-30 12:00:00

    Brighton Photo Biennial kicks off this Saturday 4th Oct with an eclectic mix of exhibitions workshops and screenings running until 2nd Nov. This year the event works under the theme Communities, Collectives and Collaboration with key shows from Jan von Holleben and Judy Harrison.



    The Amazing Analogue: How we Play Photography - Jan von Holleben 

    Where: Hove Museum and Art Gallery

    When: 4th October - 3rd March

    Website: http://www.janvonholleben.com/


    Launching in tandem with the Biennial but running throughout the winter months, The Amazing Analogue is a collaboration between young people from Brighton and Hove and German photographer Jan von Holleben.

    Curiosity and playfulness take centre stage as Jan and his team built unusual machines to try and analyse a mysterious archive of slides and negatives. Visitors to the show are also asked to participate by sharing their own images inspired by what they see with the hashtag #playphoto.



    Brighton Photo Fringe

    Where: City wide

    When: 4th October - 2nd November

    Website: http://www.photofringe.org/


    Peter Watkins - 'Self Portrait'

    Showing at The Regency Town House, Hove - 4th October - 2nd November


    A regular portion of the Biennial since 2003, the Brighton Photo Fringe fits neatly with this years theme. With over 60 exhibitions hosted across the city for this years Fringe, this is a chance for local photographers and collectives to showcase their work in self organised exhibitions.

    Always popular among photographers in the earlier stages of their careers’, this is the best source of up and coming talent at the Biennial and promises to be a true mixture of styles. It could form a whole article of it’s own so a glance at the full programme is highly advised.



    Bookmaking Workshop 

    Where: Circus Street Market, Brighton

    When: Sat 18th Oct, 11am - 1pm & 2 - 4PM

    Website: http://bpb.org.uk/2014/event/bookmaking-workshop/


    Hosted by William Sadowski, co-director of the Photobookshow, this workshop looks to give a solid introduction to the art of bookbinding. Exploring examples from history alongside a chance to try some of the principal techniques, there is also the chance to discuss editing and sequencing techniques.

    A free workshop, this is ideal for those looking to present their own work, whether that be photography or just about anything else.



    The Photocopy Club

    Where: Jubilee Library, Brighton

    When: 11am - 5pm daily, 4th October - 2nd November

    Website: http://thephotocopyclub.com/


    With an aim “to get photography off the internet and get printed matter back into the hands of the public”, Photocopy Club are using the power of the Xerox to make photography affordable and accessible to the largest range of people possible.

    Engaging a community of international and local photographers through an open call, it is a project which is true to this years theme from start to finish. 


    Are you going to the Brighton Photo Biennial? What will you be seeing? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook and Twitter.


    Autumn Exhibition Rundown - Brighton Photo Biennial Special

    Autumn Exhibition Rundown - Brighton Photo Biennial Special

    So many events & only a months to see them! Our pick from this year's Biennial... Read More

  • 2014-09-23 12:00:00

    Every two years the industry’s leading show comes to Cologne, bringing together manufacturers, traders and enthusiasts of all levels. A platform for new releases and innovations, Photokina has always been seen as a measure of the industry and where it is headed. As the Exhibition Center closes its doors on an extremely well attended show, what can be said of the photographic industry in 2014 and of its future?




    Following a period of rapid change and uncertainty, a huge takeaway from Photokina 2014 has to be the general feeling of positivity surrounding the photographic industry as a whole. Whilst we are amid reports of falling market share and decreased sales projections in some areas, there is still a real sense of enthusiasm among traders and consumers overall.

    This year’s show was incredibly varied with showcases from industry mainstays such as Canon, Nikon, Leica, Zeiss and Fuji to name but a small few. Notably, however, there has been a huge increase in the presence of brands and companies producing kit which may previously have been considered peripheral or separate to the photographic sector.

    This is an industry which has seen huge shifts and innovations in recent years and which is on the brink of many more new and exciting developments. A fantastic and enthusiastic attendance which matches that of 2012 is indicative that many are ready to face the inevitable challenges that this will bring.



    Growing Influence of Video

    Some are uneasy about the steady march of video into the world of stills photography but there is an increasing sense that the two are inextricably linked. In a telling display, Nikon showcased their D810 rigged for video alongside a remote camera system developed in partnership with Mark Roberts Motion Control. A similar bespoke set up which uses a D800 and D4 is now in use at new TV station London Live.

    There was also a notable presence from the likes of Red, GoPro and Blackmagic who are seeing growing influence in the photographic market, albeit in slightly different ways.

    GoPro have really asserted themselves in the consumer market in recent years, making their brand name synonymous, almost interchangeable, with the term action camera. There was a real buzz around their activities at Photokina this year as they continue to show that there is a vast appetite for quality action video in consumer level cameras.


    At the opposite end of the market sit Red cinema cameras. Ordinarily used to produce Hollywood blockbusters and landmark TV series, their cameras have also produced cover imagery for Vogue, Vanity Fair and Time. This is a company working right at the line where video and stills meet using a workflow they have dubbed ‘Cinephotography’. With Amateur Photographer reproducing this technique with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 for a recent cover photo, it is a process worth noting as it may trickle through into the consumer market as 4K video does too.

    Although these companies don’t deal directly with DSLRs, they represent growing trends at either end of the market which could well influence this sector. Their influence can already be seen as DSLR manufacturers not only work to compete with better and more affordable video gear but see this same gear performing well in their domain of stills production.



    Canon Vs. Nikon

    Perhaps most striking for us, and possibly least expected, was the disparity between Canon and Nikon at this years Photokina.


    Measured by announcements alone, Nikon were already trailing with a single new DSLR camera and pro lens accompanying them to the show. Conversely, Canon entered Photokina having announced three lenses to interest users from amateur to pro and, perhaps the most highly anticipated camera in recent times, the EOS 7D II.

    Both drew in the crowds as users took the opportunity to see each camera on their first public outing and there has been a tussle between the two for top spot on Amazon’s ‘Best Selling DSLR” list. However, it is significant that the 7D II climbed to this position first, only days after being announced.


    There is a real excitement surrounding this camera which we’ve felt both at Photokina and in the upgrade requests we have received since its announcement. It may be contested that this is a result of the sense of anticipation, the byproduct of such a long product cycle. This is arguably no bad thing, however. Particularly given the enduring popularity of the original 7D and the criticism levelled at manufacturers for an almost relentless stream of upgrade options with only incremental improvements. As if to demonstrate this, the D750 is set to join an already chock-a-block lineup of enthusiast/high-end full frame cameras.

    Comparing Canon and Nikon is often an exercise fraught with opinion, brand loyalties and ultimately what happens to be correct for each end user at a particular given time. However, following this year’s Photokina, we are left with the impression that Nikon are left in Canon’s shadow somewhat. The question is, how will they seek to rectify this?



    We had a fantastic Photokina but how was it for you? How do you feel about stills and video merging? How do you think Canon and Nikon compare following their recent announcements? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

    Photokina 2014: Canon Leave Nikon Behind with the 7D II
  • 2014-09-16 12:00:00



    With a flurry of announcements, Photokina is finally upon us. This year, MPB are teaming up with LensCoat to bring the Canon EF 1200mm to the show. So if you missed it in London, now’s your chance to see it in the flesh!


    Rumoured to be one of only 20 in the world, the 1200mm is not to be missed if you’re at the show. We will be with LensCoat on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th, located at stand C008 in hall 0.91.


    If you can’t make it to the show, stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter on Instagram for our take on this year’s Photokina news, including first impressions of the Canon EOS 7D II, the Nikon D750 and other new releases.

    MPB & LensCoat Bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014

    MPB & LensCoat Bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014

    We team up with LensCoat to bring the Canon EF 1200mm to Photokina 2014... Read More

  • 2014-09-05 12:00:00
    The modest 18-55mm kit lens often finds itself on the receiving end of a great deal of criticism and sometimes outright insult. Often condemned for its build quality, comparatively slow autofocus and limited focal range and aperture, there is quite a lot to be said for this unassuming and hardworking mainstay of DSLR photography. Here are our top 5 arguments in praise of the humble kit lens!

    1) Incredibly Affordable

    Manufactured in large number with huge economies of scale, kit lenses are designed to be economical by their very nature, even more so when they are used. We’re often told of the pitfalls of this but hear less regularly about the benefits. In some circumstances, there is huge value to be found in gear which stands up to hard use but which won’t break the bank should it need replacing. The kit lens really shows it’s worth for travel or in the hands of young users, for example. Affordability is also of great advantage if you’re just starting out, not sure of what you need and keen not to buy something you won’t use. Which leads us neatly to our second point.

    2) Perfect for Beginners

    Of all of the reasons the 18-55mm is supplied as standard with many entry level cameras, this is possibly the most important. The focal length is versatile and provides the perfect introduction to DSLR photography. Yes, it is limited, but it’s shortcomings can guide the user to make informed decisions about exactly what they need from their next lens. A valuable lesson in itself, even before you consider the money you could have wasted on kit which turns out not to be appropriate for your needs.

    3) A Great Teacher of Problem Solving

    There is a piece of kit for almost every eventuality but very few of us have kit bags big enough or pockets deep enough to be prepared for everything. Photography is very often about problem solving and photography with a kit lens is no exception. So, whilst those limitations may become frustrating, they have the potential to teach a very useful skill.

    4) Classic Focal Lengths Covered

    28mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm are timeless, industry standard focal lengths which are all covered by the 18-55mm when you consider crop factor. Of course the value of a prime lens is the wide aperture and the beautiful effects this can achieve. However, 4 in 1 isn’t half bad and can still teach you a great deal about classic focal lengths and some of the basic principles of photography.

    5) Versatile

    With those classic focal lengths covered you’re looking at a lens with reasonable wide angle coverage which will reach into the portrait range. Pair this with a small, light build and you have a near perfect all purpose lens which particularly shines as part of a walkabout setup or a basic kit for travel.
    Although we may not be keen to admit it, many of us started out with an 18-55mm and will have been proud of the results we produced. Like almost all other photographic equipment, the kit lens does have its place and even some benefits. So before you reject it or judge it too harshly, try to remember the reasons to commend this hard working little lens.
    Anything we missed? Let us know why you love your kit lens in the comments below or via Facebook and Twitter @mpbcom!


    In Praise of the Humble Kit Lens

    In Praise of the Humble Kit Lens

    Our top 5 reasons to praise the often criticised kit lens!... Read More

The Latest from the Industry

  • 2014-10-22 12:00:00

    The pinnacle of the wildlife and nature photography calendar and an aspiration for many, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Over 42,000 entries were submitted to the competition from 96 countries the world over.

    With all the finalists revealed, last night’s ceremony saw winner of the Black and White category Michael Nicholas take the Grand Prize. Photographed in infrared after months of work alongside a particular group of female lions and their cubs, ‘The last great picture’ aims to capture a time when the animals were under such threat.




    Eight year old Carlos Perez Naval was awarded Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his shot ‘Stinger in the Sun’. A double exposure, the image features a common yellow scorpion brandishing its sting as a warning.




    Along with the usual categories, including Mammals, Birds, Black and White, and a range of prizes for young photographers, this year sees the introduction of a number of new classifications. Perhaps a reaction to shifts in the medium over recent years, one of these is TIMElapse, for work described by the organiser as “A moment or event, otherwise missed in the blink of an eye, but revealed here in a multi-image sequence.”

    Another is the Portfolio award which looks to recognise a photographer’s efforts across an entire body of work. Tim Lamen took the prize for his project to photograph all 39 species of birds-of-paradise, a body of work built over a 10 year period.


    This year’s exhibition will run at the Natural History Museum from Fri 24th October until 30th April 2015. Whether you plan to visit or not, we would highly recommend taking a little time to see all of the finalists and winners for each category over at the dedicated site.

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Winners Announced!

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 Winners Announced!

    Who took the Grand Prize in this year competition?... Read More

  • 2014-10-17 12:00:00

    Real paper cameras, potentially fake Nikon gear and a hawk v drone face off. Here are our favourite photography stories this week.



    Nikon D400 - Real or Fake?


    Reported by first by Nikon Rumors, it appears that a Nikon D400 has been seen in the wild. But is it the real deal?





    Paper Camera

    Not too dissimilar to a disposable camera but digital. The paper housing even sprouts plan life as it degrades!





    Hawks Don’t Like Drones

    One aerial photographer found out that hawks don’t approve of drone photography and will win in a head to head fight.




    MPB Wildlife Photo Competition

    With over 200 entries, we revealed the photos submitted for our Wildlife Photography Competition. There is still a little time left to vote your favourite through to the next round by liking and sharing!





    Every Camera Trick in One Ad

    Toyota’s new ad packs a huge number of camera trickery into one add. How many tricks can you spot?




    What did we miss? Let us know about your favourite photography stories on Facebook and Twitter!

    Best of the Week!

    Best of the Week!

    Paper cameras, fake cameras and lots of wildlife! Our favourite stories from the week!... Read More

  • 2014-10-10 12:00:00

    Just incase you missed any of this weeks photography news, here’s a selection of our favourite stories!



    A Look Inside Nikon’s Lenses

    Nikon give us a glimpse into how each element of their Nikkor lenses functions in this intriguing video.



    And a Look Inside Fuji’s 

    And Fuji give us an insight into their lens production process.




    Canon EOS 7D II Sample Images

    We’ve spent the week looking at Canon’s official sample images for the 7D II.




    Google’s Camel Cam

    In their quest to photograph every corner of the world, Google mount their camera (usually atop a car) to a camel to roam the Liwa desert.




    PhotoShelter Launches ‘Pinterest for Photographers’

    Allowing photographers, curators and fans to share, collect and admire some of the 200m photos amassed by PhotoShelter over the years, Lattice aims to bring creators and appreciators together in one place.


    What did we miss and what are your favourite stories from the week? Let us know in the commetns or on Facebook and Twitter!

    Best of the Week!

    Best of the Week!

    This week saw an inside look at Nikon and Fuji glass, and a camel mounted camera... Read More

  • 2014-10-03 12:00:00

    What's been happeing in the world of photography this week? Take a look at our pick of this weeks stories.

    Making Nikkor Lenses

    Ever wondered how Nikon make their lenses? In this video we get a brief insight into the process.


    100 Years of Leica

    Leica launch a new ad celebrating their 100 years in photography. There are 35 iconic photographs replicated throughout the video. See how many you can spot!


    Volcano Video

    Eric Cheng gets up close and personal with an erupting volcano in Iceland. He used a drone and now melted GoPro to capture these exceptional shots and explains his efforts in this video.


    Hong Kong Protests

    A huge focus for the world’s media this week have been the protests in Hong Kong. Dubbed the ‘Umbrella Revolution’, Flickr has curated a gallery of its users best shots.


    Flickr user Bizmax - The Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong


    Brighton Photo Biennial Begins 

    This weekend sees the start of the Brighton Photo Biennial with events happening city wide until early November. Here we pick out just a few of the shows and workshops to look forward to.


    MPB Wildlife Photo Competition

    Our Wildlife Photo Competition is now in full swing. Entry closes on Sunday 12th October so get submitting for a chance to win £150 of photography goodies or one of two sets of tickets to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition!


    Best of the Week!

    Best of the Week!

    What's been happeing in the world of photography this week? Take a look at our pick of this weeks stories.... Read More