Category Archives: Monitors

BenQ Launch Instagram Competition

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To celebrate the recent launch of their Instagram page @inspiration_by_benq, BenQ are giving away one of their award-winning monitors, worth over £590!

The SW2700PT monitor is designed to effortlessly and accurately showcase the creative vision of professional photographers, enhancing and empowering the visual stories they communicate. The monitor is user-friendly and has unprecedented colour accuracy and attention to precise detail.

Designed for visual perfection in professional photo editing, the SW2700PT is packed full of image enhancing features such as a 2560 x 1440 resolution display, 99% Adobe RGB space and IPS technology.

Its hardware calibration software allows you to save your calibration profiles directly to the monitor, and the OSD controller gives you the power to preview your image in Adobe RGB, sRGB or B&W with just one click. It also comes complete with a made to measure shading hood!

The monitor was announced ‘Best Photo Monitor’ in the 2016 TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) Awards. The TIPA Awards are recognised as the most coveted photo and imaging awards worldwide.

The SW2700PT was also named ‘Best Monitor’ in the Photography News 2015 Gear of the Year Awards.

To enter the competition, all you need to do is follow BenQ’s Instagram page @inspiration_by_benq by Monday 31st July 2017. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on 7th August 2017. Make sure to keep an eye on their Instagram to see if you’re the lucky winner!

For terms and conditions, go to https://goo.gl/DXQyx4 

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Three of our key vendors win Photography News Awards!

Congratulations to BenQ, ExpoImaging and X-Rite for winning Photography News 2016 awards. The awards ceremony took place at The Photography Show last month.

The products and categories are as follows:

BenQ PV270 – Best Monitor

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Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Jason Lee and Fanny Wang from BenQ

PV270_AwardThe BenQ PV270 is a 27” monitor that meets the demanding needs of photographers that edit both stills and video. Uncompromising colour performance and powerful calibration tools make the PV270 the ideal monitor for professionals that require reliable colour throughout their workflow.

The BenQ PV270 is the epitome of ‘Still meeting motion’, giving professional photographers the best of both worlds. The Adobe RGB coverage encompasses most of the colours producible for photography, whereas the Rec. 709 coverage and the DCI-P3 colour gamut is crucial for video post-production work.

The monitor is priced at just £849.60 incl. VAT.

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Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System – Best Studio /Lighting Accessory

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Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with John Baker from ExpoImaging

XL Pro Lighting System_awardThe Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System contains the largest FlashBender, creating a much larger light source whilst still being portable enough to take anywhere. The FlashBender 2 XL Pro is quick and easy to set up and can be folded flat for storage or transportation. It has its own travel bag and is sized to fit in a 15” laptop compartment or laid flat in a gear bag so it doesn’t take up any valuable space needed for lenses or other essential equipment.

The XL Pro is designed to fit most standard sized flash models from Canon, Nikon, Sony and Nissin, and is priced at just £89.95 incl. VAT.

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X-Rite ColorMunki Display – Best Colour Management Device

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Inset L-R: Will Cheung, Photography News Editor with Liz Quinlisk and Matt Chilton from X-Rite

ColorMunkiDisplay_Award2The X-Rite ColorMunki Display is an ideal solution for those looking for quick and easy monitor calibration for one or multiple monitors, or a projector. It gives you the option to utilise more advanced features if required, such as optimising profiles based on your ambient lighting conditions, as well as adjusting to glossy screen types using a Flare Correct feature.

The X-Rite ColorMunki Display offers advanced display calibration, that quickly and easily allows you to deliver consistently accurate on-screen colour.

The ColorMunki Display is priced at just £148.50 incl. VAT.

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BenQ launches dynamic new 27” photo and video editing monitor

En_XPE_PV270BenQ has launched an exciting new 27” monitor that meets the demanding needs of photographers that edit both stills and video. Uncompromising colour performance and powerful calibration tools make the PV270 the ideal monitor for professionals that require reliable colour throughout their workflow.

The BenQ PV270 is the epitome of ‘Still meeting motion’, giving professional photographers the best of both worlds. The Adobe RGB coverage encompasses most of the colours producible for photography, whereas the Rec. 709 coverage and the DCI-P3 colour gamut is crucial for video post-production work.

The PV270 is ideal for professional photographers that currently edit video, or for those thinking about moving into video.

The display includes brightness uniformity, which offers a more authentic and consistent viewing experience. The 2560 x 1440 (QHD) resolution delivers the crisp picture quality expected for close reviews and detailed editing, and the spacious 27″ wide-screen view provides greater comfort and productivity.

With a 14-bit 3D Look Up Table, professionals are able to display the most accurate colour mixture. It also improves the RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction.

Key features of the BenQ PV270

  • 5 year warranty with zero pixel defect guarantee for the first 6 months
  • 27”W Large Screen 2560 x 1440 QHD Resolution
  • 99% Adobe RGB, 100% Rec. 709, 96% DCI-P3 colour gamut with IPS Technology
  • Hardware calibration with 14bit 3D LUT
  • Palette Master Colour Calibration Software included
  • Backlight sensor
  • Color Display Clone
  • Brightness uniformity
  • Technicolor Color certified
  • Monitor hood included

This is the fourth instalment in BenQ’s professional range of colour critical monitors. Other monitors in the range include the PV3200PT (32”), SW2700PT (27”) and the PG2401PT (24”).

The PV270 monitor is priced at £788.40 incl. VAT (RRP).

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Colour Management Interview with Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence

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Simon Prais, Technical Director at Color Confidence

How many years have you worked in the photo industry? 30 years

What is your current location? Birmingham

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A creative professional

Do you prefer dogs or cats? Neither, but if I had to choose – cats

Can you briefly sum up what Color Confidence offers? Color Confidence is Europe’s leading colour management specialist into the digital imaging markets. We offer the widest range of products and services from the world’s leading manufacturers including X-Rite, DxO, NEC, BenQEIZO and ExpoImaging, amongst many others, together with our own brand range of calibration and colour management essentials for photographers, designers and anyone with an interest in colour.

How important is colour management to photography enthusiasts? Do they really need to engage in the subject, for instance, if they never print but only post pictures on social media websites?

If you spend any time visually adjusting the colour or contrast of a digital image, regardless of its final use, that decision needs to be made on a colour calibrated monitor. Although it’s unlikely that even 1% of viewers on a social media site would have a calibrated monitor, there are at least two factors to consider:

  • If your monitor was too warm, and you adjusted your images based on the assumption that what you see on the screen is correct, anyone with an un-calibrated ‘cool’ monitor viewing the images will see a massive difference to your intended colour balance. Whereas if your monitor is calibrated, you are limiting the range of colour difference across the range of un-calibrated monitors.
  • Your original image may have been perfect, but if you view it on an un-calibrated monitor, you could end up wasting your time whilst also destroying your image.

How difficult is colour management? Do you need good IT skills, for example? It was complicated fifteen years ago, but nowadays it is straightforward and automated.

Where would you recommend someone start if they want to colour manage their workflow? Is it, for example, necessary to start with the camera and work all the way through to the output device?

The most practical point to start from is monitor calibration. A calibrated monitor enables you to determine deficiencies in your camera, printer or viewing conditions.

There seem to be a great many colour management devices on the market. With a limited budget, what is the first item to buy, why, and do you have any specific product recommendations?

To back up my previous answer, it would have to be a monitor calibrator. A properly calibrated monitor is essential for colour critical work such as photography. A profiled screen gives you a trusted source for viewing your images so that you can be confidence in the results. If budget allows, I would recommend the X-Rite i1Display Pro (RRP £216 incl. VAT), which offers the highest standard of on-screen colour accuracy for displays and projectors. Alternatively, I would recommend the X-Rite ColorMunki Display (RRP £150 incl. VAT), which has slightly less features but is still sufficient for achieving consistent colour accuracy. If you can justify a new monitor, high-end monitors are frequently offered with the benefit of a discount off a calibrator, if purchased at the same time.

The monitor is clearly important, but many people stick with what came with their PC bundle? Is that okay or should they consider an upgrade?

They should definitely consider an upgrade. There is a considerable difference between a £100 monitor bundled with a PC and a £500-£900 professional monitor, and it’s not just the price point. Any editing or decisions on how accurate a photo is, depends on what you see on the monitor screen. That is why it is important to pick the right quality of monitor to suit your needs.

Is there such a thing as an ideal monitor? What should we look for when looking to buy one and what sort of budget will we need?

The NEC SpectraView, EIZO CG and BenQ PG colour critical range of monitors include all the key qualities of an ideal monitor. These are available in a number of sizes and resolutions to suit an individual’s requirements.

A quality monitor will have an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel type. IPS panels offer a much larger colour gamut than TN panels, which are frequently used in laptops. A further benefit of IPS panels over both TN and VA panels, used on standard grade monitors, is the colour consistency and viewing angle. Viewing such panels from even a slight angle causes a shift in the display, whereas IPS panel technology provides consistency from increased viewing angles. Professional monitors will also be validated for uniformity across the display.

Such monitors generally include hardware calibration software. This communicates directly with the monitor for optimised colour accuracy.

Budget constraints are often a factor, and although quality to achieve good colour accuracy over size is a good generalisation, there are some instances when some of the quality features need to be trimmed back, when a larger panel size is crucial. If you can’t justify both quality and the required size, is to worth consider retaining your old monitor for general use and using a second monitor for colour critical work.

With many people buying 4K televisions, is it feasible to use one of these as their editing monitor?

Although the latest 4K televisions offer a much higher resolution than standard HD TV’s, and look a tempting option as a computer screen, they are not suitable as an image-editing monitor. The 4K TV’s are designed to give high contrast, punchy images for primarily displaying TV, films and video, so will display images with increased contrast and saturation even when profiled. We recommend using an accurate colour manageable monitor, and with 4K monitors recently introduced, they should be considered for editing in 4K whereas 4K televisions should be avoided.

The final link in the chain is output. The photographic printer market is dominated by Canon and Epson, what advice do you have for people looking for a high quality photo printer?

Stick to the main photo market manufacturers, Epson and Canon and check that the model is categorised as a photo printer (avoid ‘all in one’ devices as they generally don’t have the colour quality required for photo printing).

When researching a printer, download the manual and look at the key features, especially the print driver colour management options, as this will indicate if the printer will be easily colour managed, and if you want to use third party paper, such as Tecco PHOTO and colour profiles, or create your own.

Printers range from having just 4 colour cartridges (CMYK), to 12 colours. A minimum of 7 or 8 colours that include Light Cyan, Light Magenta and Light Black/Grey provides higher quality prints without visually apparent dots in the light tones. Whereas the addition of Orange and Green increases the colour range with increased colour saturation.

Many people complain of the final print not looking anything like the image they saw on-screen. What advice do you have to get colour correct prints?

I would recommend they purchase an X-Rite ColorMunki Photo (RRP £487.27 incl. VAT) – an all in one entry-level calibration process that delivers fast, accurate matching from capture to display and print. However, even with that, such complaints still arise because the thing people overlook is the viewing light. If the illumination of your monitor isn’t matched to the illumination of your print, one will look lighter or darker than the other. If one can’t justify a viewing booth for standardised viewing conditions, a GrafiLite (£61.27 incl. VAT) will give you a daylight balanced consistent temperature and brightness level to be matched against your monitor.

Most people will have their computer and printer in a domestic environment. Have you any tips to help them get the best possible set-up?

Yes, ideally they should use a monitor hood and a viewing light or GrafiLite. Most professional monitors come with an option of a hood, if not, the PChOOD Pro (RRP £71.44 incl. VAT) is an adaptable hood, which will fit anything from a 15” to a 26” monitor size.

If you had to give just one piece of colour management advice, what would that be?

Ensure that you regularly calibrate your monitor. Your monitor will be gradually changing with time so without monthly calibration, it’s a constant moving target.

What are the most important features that a film editor should be looking for when choosing a 4K monitor?

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After the launch of the new BenQ PV3200PT monitor, we ask BenQ Product Manager at Color Confidence, Steve Peachey ‘What are the most important features that a film editor should be looking for when choosing a 4K monitor?’

One of the key things to consider is whether you need a 4K or 4K UHD monitor. True 4K resolution is a cinema and professional production standard and 4K UHD is a consumer display and broadcast standard.

Budget is also an important factor – these things don’t tend to be cheap!

Ensuring the monitor reaches a desired minimum standard (REC 709) is the first pre-requisite. Colour consistency is also highly desirable to ensure intermediate and transition tones are accurately reproduced.

Hardware colour calibration will ensure that the monitor is kept in the optimum condition for a moving image assessment; you may require an additional calibration device but these are relatively inexpensive and can be used elsewhere within the workflow. Brightness uniformity is another useful feature as this keeps the monitor even across its entire surface reducing ‘hot spots’.

IPS (In Plane Switching) LED backlit panel technology will ensure there is minimal colour shift and a 14-bit 3D Look-Up-Table will improve your RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction.

Finally connectivity is key. The ability to connect the latest hardware to the monitor is a must. DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI connections from computers are a given; the ability to take a feed from a HD-SDI box (either internal or external) adds functionality to the monitor.

The great thing about the modern 4K and 4K UHD monitors is that despite their size (sizes currently run from 61cm / 24” upwards) they have a small footprint, which means there is lots of room for the coffee cups for those late night editing sessions!

Our latest BenQ monitor, the PV3200PT, has taken these considerations on board. The 32” 4K UHD monitor comes with an array of impressive features such as a choice of REC709, SMPTE-C or EBU colour spaces. It offers videographers precise colour accuracy and a crisp and clear viewing quality.

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BenQ SW2700PT announced ‘Best Photo Monitor’ in the 2016 TIPA Awards

SW2700PT_hood_regular_frontBenQ’s SW2700PT monitor has been announced as the ‘Best Photo Monitor’ in the 2016 TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) Awards. The TIPA Awards are recognised as the most coveted photo and imaging awards worldwide.

A statement from the TIPA panel of judges reads:

“BenQ’s SW2700PT 27-inch monitor is aimed specifically at photographers who want IPS technology and 99% Adobe RGB colour space coverage, as well as a brightness level that exceeds 380 lux and high contrast for rendering deep blacks with uniformity across the panel.

The monitor’s other remarkable assets include inputs and outputs such as Display Port, DVI and HDMI, with USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader and a unique OSD controller. BenQ SW2700PT can be hardware colour calibrated which is essential for serious photo retouchers and graphic designers alike. Last but not least, a detachable hood underlines the professional attributes of this affordable but in essence high-end monitor.”

Every year, TIPA editors vote for the best photo & imaging products introduced to the market during the previous 12 months. TIPA editors take into account innovation, the use of leading-edge technology, design and ergonomics, ease-of-use, as well as the price/performance ratio.

BenQ’s range of colour critical monitors also includes the PG2401PT (24”) and the 4K UHD PV3200PT (32”). The range is distributed by XP Distribution in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Poland and the Nordics.

View the full list list of 2016 TIPA Award winners:

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BenQ launches a new 32” 4K UHD video-editing monitor

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BenQ has launched a new 32” 4K UHD video-editing monitor that offers film-makers precise colour accuracy and a crisp and clear viewing quality.

The PV3200PT is a high quality monitor that comes with an array of impressive features that are ideal for those working in professional video post-production. It has 100% Rec.709 and sRGB for optimal colour precision, hardware calibration, brightness uniformity and Palette Master Elements colour calibration software.

The PV3200PT is designed specifically for the video market but will also be an asset to all creative professionals that require accurate colour reproduction.

Key features of the BenQ PV3200PT include:

  • 5 year warranty
  • The 4K UHD screen has 4 times the resolution of full HD
  • Brightness uniformity for a more authentic and consistent viewing experience
  • 14-bit 3D Look-Up-Table improves RGB colour blending accuracy, resulting in impeccable colour and grey tone reproduction
  • An OSD controller allows ease of switching between Rec.709, EBU and SMPTE-C, so there is no need to hunt through menus and sub-menus
  • The monitor comes with BenQ’s Palette Master Elements software for hardware calibration (LUT) with a compatible device
  • Built in SD card reader and USB 3 ports for ease of access
  • The monitor achieves an average Delta E value of 2 and below in sRGB colour space to give you the truest and most representative view of the original image
  • Each monitor has been rigorously factory tested for brightness uniformity, Delta-E and Gamma curve to achieve the highest colour reproduction quality and accuracy.
This is the third instalment in BenQ’s professional range of colour critical monitors following the launch of the SW2700PT (27”) and the PG2401PT (24”) last year.The PV3200PT monitor is priced at £1,099 incl. VAT (RRP) and is available to purchase through Color Confidence and leading video retailers.Expo_button

February Photo Competition Winner Announced

Thank you to everyone that took part in the ‪’Inspired by Colour’ photo competition last month. We are pleased to reveal that our February winner is Nandan from London with his captivating image entitled ‘Loving Life, Together Always…

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Nandan’s winning image ‘Loving Life Together Always…’

Nandan is now the proud owner of an NEC MultiSync® EA193Mi monitor.

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Nandan with his new NEC MultiSync® EA193Mi

This image was taken on my trip to Barcelona. After exploring the city during the day, I ended up at the Boulevard to capture some sunset shots. I have always enjoyed taking pictures of benches and luckily got a lovely couple enjoying the sunset and the beautiful view. It was a perfect scene and I just had to press the shutter on my camera and capture the moment.

Camera Used: Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm lens

The post processing was limited to adjusting contrast and cropping/straightening the image using Adobe Lightroom on a Macbook Pro.

I started photography as a hobby, but in a few years I was crazily addicted to it. I love taking pictures of landscapes and cityscapes at night.

To upgrade my knowledge and skills, I am currently enrolled for a National Certificate Level 2 Photography Course at Westminster College. I have also started taking up some paid photography projects for small companies, which helps me to challenge myself and work as per the customer’s direction.

The new NEC monitor will help get my workstation ready and will be a great help while post processing images on a bigger screen.

Thank you once again for the prize :)

More of Nandan’s work can be found here.

THIS MONTH’S PHOTO COMPETITION THEME: Right Place At the Right Time

original_April_Theme2Submit your images that capture the perfect moment for your chance to win a DxO Elite Suite (RRP 229 incl. VAT).

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Color Confidence announces an exclusive prize draw worth over £1,600 at The Photography Show 2016

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We are pleased to announce that we will be running an exclusive prize draw at The Photography Show 2016. Visitors can complete the entry form on Stand C81 for the chance to win over £1,600 worth of photographic equipment.

The package includes:

During the four-day show, the stand will feature live model photo-shoots, product launches, presentations and technical demonstrations. There will also be a Color Confidence Shop where visitors can purchase products from industry leading brands at special show prices.

The guest line up for the show includes:

  • Sanjay Jogia, who is named one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine
  • Mark Wood, Professional Photographer, BenQ Expert and X-Rite Coloratti
  • Mark Lawrence, Professional Photographer and DxO Expert
  • John Clements, Professional Photographer and Trainer.

We will be exhibiting on Stand C81 at the Photography Show in Birmingham, from 19th to 22nd March 2016, to showcase some of the industry’s leading photographic manufacturers, including BenQ, DxO, ExpoImaging, NEC, Tecco PHOTO and X-Rite.

People interested in attending The Photography Show can use Color Confidence discount code COLTPS16 to save 20% off the price of an adult ticket.

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Visit us on stand C81 at The Photography Show 2016

750px_502px_advertWe will be on Stand C81 at The Photography Show with some of the industry’s leading manufacturers including BenQ, DxO, ExpoImaging, NEC, Tecco PHOTO and X-Rite.

Visit us for live model photo-shoots, product demonstrations, presentations, and of course a big exclusive prize draw that just can’t be missed!

Why visit us?

We have a great guest line up that includes:

  • Sanjay Jogia, who is named one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine
  • Mark Wood, Professional Photographer, BenQ Expert and X-Rite Coloratti
  • Mark Lawrence, Professional Photographer and DxO Expert
  • John Clements, Professional Photographer and Trainer

Key vendors include:

BenQ

 

 

 

BenQ

BenQ will be showcasing their colour critical line of monitors specifically designed for photographers and designers that value amazing colour. BenQ will also be launching the PV3200PT – a brand new monitor for video at the show. BenQ evangelist and professional photographer Mark Wood will be on stand C81 throughout the show to demonstrate the BenQ range of monitors and offer help and advice on how to get the most out of your display

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DxO

DxO recently launched the DxO ONE – the world’s smallest 1” sensor camera, which will be demonstrated at the show. The DxO range also includes the award-winning DxO OpticsPro software, FilmPack and ViewPoint. The DxO team will be at the show to demonstrate the complete range of innovative products for photography professionals.

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ExpoImaging

ExpoImaging will be showcasing the latest addition to their award winning FlashBender 2 range at the show. The Rogue FlashBender 2 Mirrorless Soft Box Kit is a versatile and portable new light modifier for photography professionals. Live demonstrations of the ExpoImaging range will be taking place daily throughout the show.

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NEC

 

NEC

NEC will be showcasing their full range of colour critical monitors at the show. Entry and advance level options are available. The state-of-the-art SpectravVew and MultiSync ranges offer you the ultimate colour accurate displays from 23” – 32”.

NEC will also be showcasing the latest 4K UHD (3840×2160) ultra high definition and wide colour gamut displays. Experts will be able to offer you help and advice on choosing the right monitor to suit your individual needs as well as your budget!

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Tecco PHOTO

Tecco PHOTO produces high quality inkjet papers for exquisite digital photo printing. Tecco PHOTO offers you a wide range of paper types, weights and finishes to suit all photography styles, offering superb colour fidelity and fast drying times.

Tecco has recently launched six new papers that will allow you to experiment with new finishes and effects. Come and view the new range at the show!

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X-Rite

Professional photographer Mark Wood will be demonstrating the latest X-Rite products at the show. Sanjay Jogia, who is named as one of the 6 best wedding photographers in the world by Professional Photography Magazine, will be doing live photo-shoots throughout the show.

This will also be the first time the new ColorChecker Video and ColorChecker Passport Video have been showcased in the UK. Visit stand C81 for more information!

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Save 20% on your Photography Show ticket!

Book your ticket to The Photography Show with discount code COLTPS16 to save 20% off your adult ticket. The ticket will then only cost you £10.95!

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