The single most important factor when purchasing an interchangeable lens camera is, as the terminology suggests, its ability to use different lenses. The versatility of such systems provides a photographer with the ability to capture everything from microbes to the stars, depending on where interests lie. Some manufacturers lens systems are vast, addressing most professional and amateur needs. From super wide-angle to long telephoto, there are variants that are weather sealed, fast, tiny, lightweight, stabilised, focus limited, manual…the list goes on. And then there are prime and zoom options.

A well-engineered lens is a thing of beauty – a work of art from which we create art. Looking into a pool of highly polished glass, the depths of which reveal the beauty of multi coated elements, it is difficult not to marvel at each element’s seemingly perfectly refined properties. Some lenses, diminutive in their size, lend an almost jewel like quality to their design. Over the decades, many have acquired legendary status thanks to the unique way they draw an image. Camera bodies come and go, but good lenses become life long partners. Technological changes push back boundaries in their quest for perfection, but sometimes there is little to improve on and a lens manufactured forty years ago can have the same appeal as a new design.

A question that is occasionally put to us is “I am thinking of buying a camera – do you have any recommendations?”. This sounds simple enough, but like most subjects, photography is a little more complicated, requiring some thought before reaching an answer. Cameras are no different to many other items when it comes to diversity; there are models to suit all shooting styles and budgets. The question’s complexity is usually met with questions to establish why a person needs a camera and what is its intended use.

It has been many years since I owned a telephoto zoom lens of any kind. Burned by poor quality third party zooms of the 1980’s, I have consistently ducked getting another and always opted for primes when requiring telephoto focal lengths. This changed when researching a recent trip to the eastern region of Halkidiki in Greece. Part of the itinerary was to visit the town of Ouranoupoli which is close to the border of the Monks Republic of Athos.

Panoramas can be easily created in both Lightroom and Photoshop. The process in Lightroom is simpler and much more autonomous; providing access to a few easy-to-use tools ensuring great results. Unlike Photoshop; Lightroom does not require your images be in JPG format, meaning you can create a single RAW panorama file and then perform your usual post-processing tasks.

2018 marks the fifth year of the Photography Show at Birmingham’s NEC. Born from the ashes of the annual Focus on Imaging event, each year offers the chance to try out all things photographic. From brands that for decades have been cornerstones of the industry to the rise of new and innovative businesses, there is something for everyone. It is not just about kit though; anyone who takes time out from the allure of trying out exotic optics or handling beautifully engineered camera bodies (this means you Hasselblad!) can spend hours attending presentations by some of the best names in the business. One thing is for sure though, whatever you do with your time at the Photography Show, you will leave feeling inspired (and possibly a little lighter in the wallet).

As the years go by it has become apparent to me that Ethan and I take far too many digital pictures. Their stealthy monopolising of our hard disks has meant mandatory expansion not only of drive space in computers, but an equally costly exercise to maintain similar capacity of our backup solutions. Given that we retain three backups of our images (NAS, Cloud and secondary local storage solutions), a rational approach to image storage makes perfect sense.