Last Sunday I was lucky enough to be invited by Canon to join their first ever Instameet in Birmingham, and what a fun morning it was! The meet was led by amazing Brummie photographer (and fellow Villa fan) Tim Cornbill and took in three different locations in the city - more on that in a mo. The meet was very different to the others I've participated in this year; while it was labelled an Instameet and lots of images have been posted to the #canonbrummeet hashtag, there wasn't much focus on mobile photography. Instead, Canon brought with them a shedload of cameras and lenses for us to try, including a £12,000 beast of a long lens that was amazing. As it happens I didn't actually end up borrowing any of their gear - I'm very fortunate to already have an EOS 5D Mark II, so none of the bodies on offer were an upgrade, while I'd also already hired the amazing Sigma 35mm Art series f/1.4 lens from the lovely guys at Lenses For Hire, so was more than happy playing with that. My fellow attendees borrowed some Canon gear and lvoed it though, so hats off to Canon for that. The purist in me found it a little uncomfortable referring to an Instameet when there was no mention of mobile photography at all, but I don't mind too much - the fact that Canon wanted to come to our city and put on such a cool event was great. The fact that they reached out to me via Instagram and invited me to take part was amazing - THANK YOU!
Our day started off at the Curzon Building, a new building at Birmingham City University. We started on the fifth floor balcony, which has a rather ace view of the city...
We then made our way down through the building, which was an interesting photo subject in itself!
Once outside we hopped on our specially-charted open top bus and hot-footed it to Aston Hall, where got to explore the grounds and got given special access to the stunning Long Room.
Once done with Aston Hall, we were back on the bus and back to Digbeth, in particular to the event space Boxxed, where we had been promised a BMX display. While those guys set up, I had a nosey around the Boxxed space, which was very cool and had excellent shadow game...and dinosaurs.
Then it was time for the show, courtesy of professional BMX rider Ryan Taylor. In a word; amazing!
And how to finish? By jumping over a triceratops of course!
HUGE thanks to Tim and to Canon for putting on such a swish event and also to Lenses For Hire for lending me the beautiful Sigma glass - I was very impressed!