Although not strictly a mecca for photographers, there is a decent overlap in the interests of those who pursue outdoor sports and those of many image makers. For this reason The Outdoors Show, which is now in its eleventh year, has added a photography village alongside its traditional range of outdoor pursuits, such as climbing, walking, orienteering and cycling. Gary Wolstenholme visited the first day of the show to highlight some of the exhibitors that may be of interest to those interested in photography.
Photographers, Andy Rouse and Joe Cornish present their first joint exhibition at the show, named 'Outer Visions' in association with Paramo Directional Clothing, which includes a wide range of prints and books for sale. Further talks by Joe, Andy and other outdoors photographers including Colin Prior, Charlie Waite and Tom Mackie will also take place throughout the exibition. A full schedule for the talks can be found on The Outdoors Show
Paramo Directional Clothing, who are presenting at the exhibition have their new range of F-Stop camera bags on show. This range differs to other cameras bags in that it is a modular system designed around the particular needs of outdoor photographers, who may work in extreme conditions. Comfort and lightweight design are the main focus of the F-Stop range, as well as weather resistance and ruggedness backed up by a limited lifetime warranty. The system consists of an outer rucksack, which can be complimented by one of their internal padded enclosures to allow the end user to customise the bag to their needs. Paramo representative, Rob Cook also pointed out that the design of the bags allows room for extra kit that may be required whilst outdoors, such as waterproofs or a shelter, along with more conventional photographic gear such as a tripod. The range starts from around £140 for the smallest pack, with the largest Satori rucksack costing £310 with any one of the padded inserts included. As it is a modular system, the price for each item decreases if many items are purchased together.
Along with their range of bags designed for extreme environments, Paramo have also released a range of more urban-friendly camera bags, made from the same weather resistant materials. The Miller Series includes messenger style bags and rucksacks that are designed to be inconspicuous in appearance, rather than screaming 'I HAVE AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA IN MY BAG!', from the rooftops. This range starts at around £60 for a bag that will take a typical DSLR with one lens, up to £100 for one with more capacity.
More information on the F-Stop range can be found on the Paramo
Capturing extreme sports often requires specialised equipment, which can often be costly. Those wishing to capture their activities on a budget may wish to look towards the range Action Cameras have on offer. Starting from around £150, the GoPro HD Hero and Drift HD camera allow HD video and stills to be taken in a variety of exciting ways. Each camera is ruggedised to withstand abuse and waterproof (to a 60m for the GoPro and 30m for the Drift). A wide range of mounting brackets are also available for each camera to allow the cameras to give a unique perspective on your activity, whether that be mountain biking, snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing or motor sports. Each camera can also take time-lapse sequences and the Drift HD can be triggered via a remote control.
More information on these cameras can be found on the Action Cameras
Those who would rather use their existing camera to photograph underwater or in extreme conditions are also well catered for. Serious underwater photographers can turn to Ocean Leisure Cameras to provide a watertight housing for their compact camera, DSLR or even compact system cameras from Panasonic, Olympus and Sony that is good for depths up to 75 metres. Their representative, Paul Duxfield, is most excited about the latest housing for the Olympus PEN range of cameras, which allow lenses to be changed underwater. These housings aren't cheap at around £600 and neither are the lenses which attach to the front at around £5-600 each, but it does offer an unparalleled level of flexibility for serious underwater photography.
Those with less-demanding underwater photography requirements and fewer pennies in the bank may find the range of underwater cases produced by Aquapac more up their street. Starting at £25 for a slim compact camera, a comprehensive range suitable for most cameras right through to digital SLRs, priced at £95, is available. Although these cases are only suitable for depths of up to five metres, they should be perfect for those who wish to experiment taking their camera under water.
More information on the range of products can be found on the Ocean Leisure Cameras
Getting close enough to your subject when shooting wildlife can be a real struggle, requiring plenty of patience and skill. Good camouflage can help, especially with timid subjects and Country Covers have a unique range of waterproof clothing that might just give you the edge. The Pertex material used is not only tear resistant, wind resistant, lightweight and breathable, but it is also silent, which should ensure you don't spook your subject inadvertently. Coats are priced from £250 upwards and trousers from £50 and all they are all machine washable too.
More details can be found on the Country Covers
Those with a sense of adventure may find the photographic workshops and holidays on offer of particular interest.
The Outdoors Show is on at ExCeL in London until 15th January. Tickets are £16 per adult and children under 16 are admitted free of charge and can be booked on The Outdoors Show