by Martin Grahame-Dunn Published 01/04/2006
The afternoon featured the scheduled visit by 'SuperMac' to the Agfa processing laboratory in downtown Floriana. Quite a sophisticated business which would put many British labs to shame, including a new book binding facility. In fact they boasted several UK customers who were delighted with their output. Speaks volumes really. In fact Mike's calibration exercise demonstrated that they we pretty darn close to the mark.
Having seen Mike safely ensconced in the lab (I didn't stay as it was rocket science to me and I'm certainly no digital astronaut!) I headed off to visit three of the island's prominent studios on a fact-finding mission for some future articles, to be followed by a meeting with the MIPP's management team to discuss the November spectacular.
Meanwhile, the intrepid Mrs Mac, fully kitted out for all weathers and with the determination and energy of a Tibetan Sherpa, set off to explore the island by foot, yellow bus and sea. The phrase 'I may be gone for some time' sprang to mind. Jill clearly has amazing navigational skills as she actually found her way back to the apartment with great dexterity. If it had been Mike or I on the other hand, we would probably have ended up in Sicily!
Kevin Casha and his team outlined their plans for their celebrations and I had the opportunity to put forward two of the UK's leading photographic partnerships as the training offering on behalf of the SWPP & BPPA to complement their 'home-grown' talent, in what promises to be an exciting joint initiative. The SWPP & BPPA master plan is to take a sizeable contingent of enthusiastic members to share in a long weekend of education, culture and celebration. Further details will be available from Head Office and on the website in due course. I believe it will be an opportunity not to be missed.
Saturday morning, another glorious day and it's off to the palatial 'Victoria' Hotel in Sliema for Mike's illuminating seminar programme presented to an information-hungry crowd of photographers who had 'to a man' taken the digital plunge. I rarely have the opportunity to sit and listen to seminars as I spend most of my time on the other side of the fence but I really wouldn't have missed this one for all the tea in China. I suppose as a self-confessed ignoramus who would love a 'Function 1, do it all and make it fly' key, I felt myself hanging on virtually every word. My colleagues and I found ourselves captivated by his 'plain English' presentation and laudable explanations. I am all too aware that there are those who know little but shout loud, who turn all the tech bits of digital imaging into some kind of mystic cult, shrouded in mystery and illustrated by shortcuts. Not Mike, just the 'KISS' principal of 'Keep it simple...Stupid!' that's my kind of teacher! And just for the record, it's RAW or nothing. Long live the digi king!
Sunday morning and it's showdown time. The plan was to arrive early at M'dina, scout locations, have a coffee and catch a few morning rays before the onslaught. What is it that they say about the best-laid plans? I hadn't accounted for 'Malta time'. And I thought the Spanish could be 'mañana'. Just a few hundred metres short of the city we were greeted by a horrendous traffic jam and couldn't immediately ascertain the cause.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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