Canon has a scheme known as ‘CPS+’ where they organise varying events that challenge practising professional photographers to experiment with areas of photography outside their own specific areas of expertise to both expand their horizons, meet with other photographers and often invited photographic product suppliers in an informal atmosphere that allows the delegates to handle lenses and bodies with knowledgable and helpful Canon staff.
Canon invite the ‘plus 1’s who need not even be Canon devotees as the subsequent publicity and goodwill promotes their products to a wider audience. I have personally benefitted from the knowledge imparted and been more than willing to promote Canon and its products by whatever means available, most notably by expressing my gratitude via this blog and conversations with colleagues. The Canon staffers have always been impeccably well-organised and the Canon staff have been attentive and genuinely pleased to ensure everyone is able to get the most out of the day.
This Parkour Day started with refreshments and registration at the Frontline Club just a short distance from St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington; Frankie Jim from Canon set the scene followed by two speakers, Samo Vidic and Scott Bass who respectively spoke about working with Red Bull and shooting Parkour illustrated with a few photographs on screen.
How come I was there at all?
At the very last moment, having earlier been informed I had not been lucky enough to be invited, my luck changed! Canon phoned me up to say would I like to come, and bring along a guest ‘plus 1’ – originally that was to have been Geoff Dann, but once he had learned we had been unlucky, when a photoshoot came along for that day, naturally he had booked it in, so in haste I contacted several others from my circle of friends, and Julian MacDonald was not on holiday and was fortunately delighted to take up my offer, and it would give him the ideal opportunity to handle a lens he had been considering to purchase.
Originally there was talk of a twenty minute walk to the venue, however Canon had thoughtfully provided a series of taxis which meant the walk came at the end of the day. The venue was next door to a large Studio complex in a secure fenced off area where Canon had set up a table with their comprehensive assortment of lenses and camera bodies if anyone wished to sample the toys on offer. I did take a quick image on one of their lenses, but when it came to shooting the athletes, I was going to stick with my own 5D MkIII and 24-105mm.
I soon lost track of time as I settled into trying to capture the three participants as they went through their repertoire, and understand what they were hoping to see from our efforts, when I thought I had succeeded I asked each for their judgement on whether I had got what they were looking for in a particular action. Although I definitely added considerably to my shutter actuation count, the vast majority of images may well end on the ‘cutting room floor”!
Both Julian and I had thoroughly enjoyed our day, and now comes the hard part of turning raw captures into finished images on the blog, then judge whether I had achieved some success. I do not see any masterpieces appearing, but what I can say with sincerity is a big thank you to Canon for giving us both a great afternoon.