National Photography Symposium 2011


Do you have any plans for the weekend 13-15 May? How about attending the National Photography Symposium in Liverpool? (If I didn’t think that Haje would do something unspeakable to me for cracking a joke about Liverpool – he has a soft-spot for the city – I would. Instead I’ll say that I rather like the word ‘symposium’. If you went to one in Ancient Athens, it was a raucous drinking party.) The organisers have lined up a host of interesting speakers to discuss everything from ‘Photography, Espionage and the State’ to visions for a national centre for photography.

Now, The Financial Times has dubbed this event ‘the most important forum in UK photography’ and whilst I can’t vouch for that, the programme does look quite enticing. I’m quite intrigued by the session led by Sara Jayne Parsons on Gertrude Bell, a photographer (amongst other things) whose work in the region that we now know as Iraq contributed to its formation as a country. But you might prefer to discuss the impact of the Hargreaves report with Andrew Wiard, or perhaps think about how photography can work in conjunction with other creative media to preserve and protect rights.

It’s £100 for a weekend ticket, or £60 for just the Saturday session. There are concessionary rates available, too. For more programme information and ticket details, trundle over to the National Photography Symposium website.

One day, one camera, lots of pictures: Bristol Photomarathon

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For all you lovelies in and around the Bristol area, or perhaps if you fancy a day out taking pictures in one of my favourite cities, a one-day photomarathon is being organised as part of the Bristol Festival of Photography. On Saturday 5 March you’ll have seven hours and one disposable camera to capture a series of images from a specific list. Running is not compulsory.

I have to say, I rather like the idea of providing everyone with a disposable camera for the day. Not only does it level the playing field, but it gives anyone, whatever her or his photographic experience, an opportunity to have a go at photography. And there’s no running involved.

Whether or not you manage to capture all the images on your list, your pictures will still be exhibited online, and the organisers, Second Look, are trying to arrange a giant projector display, too. That sounds rather groovy. If you book your place in advance, it’ll cost £7; turn up on the day and it’s £10.

Interested? More details are available here. And remember, this is Bristol. In March. Take your waterproofs.