Professional lectures, seminars and audio visual presentations are an excellent way of seeing work of the highest calibre. Events can be easily found in most areas of the country by using internet search engines. The majority are based upon the work of a single photographer who has pursued a particular passion over many years. Their enthusiasm is often infectious and may well open the eyes of viewers to entirely new aspects of photography, light, landscape or nature.
Interesting and highly relevant lectures can also be heard at major trade exhibitions such as the annual Focus show held at the NEC in Birmingham. Although these inevitably carry a sales message, the content is often well presented by experts in their field.
The programmes of most photographic societies and camera clubs are packed with illustrated talks and lectures on every aspect of amateur photography. Although most organizations understandably expect regular attendees to be paid-up members, many allow visitors on an occasional or sample basis. Consequently, if a particular speaker or programmed event seems interesting, it is worth asking for admission on a temporary basis.
Lectures of this nature are usually given by people who are enthusiastic about their chosen subject, and the talks are often accompanied by displays of high-quality work. The speakers may be less skilled in their presentation than their professional counterparts, but their work may still be inspirational. Attending such talks is an ideal opportunity to make contact with photographers who share a particular interest. Many are only too pleased to answer questions, talk privately about their subject or exchange email addresses and telephone numbers.