Students perform to raise funds for charities in need – Mastana 2015

June 6th, 2015 | No Comments

Earlier this year our resident photographer, Mehul Patel, captured live performance imagery of the Mastana 2015 show in Cambridge, England. The annual event marking it’s 19th year in 2015 is organised by students of Cambridge University to raise money for designated charities.


Bhangra style dancing at Mastana 2015 show - Cambridge, UK

Bhangra style dancing at Mastana 2015 show – Cambridge, UK


The live show, which in recent years has taken place at Cambridge’s premier stage auditorium the Corn Exchange, showcased the talents of the students who produced an eclectic mix of music, dance, drama and comedy for an engaged and supportive audience. Performances ranged from diverse cultural influences flowing from Indian classical music and dance to energetic bhangra and Tamil dancing, to melodic guitarists, banjo players and colourful contemporary ballet.


Contemporary ballet performance finale at Mastana 2015 - Cambridge, UK

Contemporary ballet performance finale at Mastana 2015 – Cambridge, UK


This year Mastana 2015 raised around £10,000 for two charities, Akshaya Patra which provides food for children in schools in India and The Best of Both a charity which aims to help the education of students in Botswana and Ghana by providing facilities, equipment and food.


To view more images captured at Mastana 2015 click on the images or slideshow link below:


The Photography Show 2015: Event Highlights

March 27th, 2015 | No Comments

The 2015 edition of the Photography Show took place at the NEC arena in Birmingham, UK, between 21-24 March with the exhibitors and organisers providing an immersive experience for people working in or interested in photography.


Attendees taking pictures at the Photography Show 2015

Attendees taking pictures at the Photography Show 2015


Exhibitors included all the major camera manufacturers like Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Pentax, Leica and leading publishers, retailers and photography specialists and organisations contributing to the four day fair. The show provided enthusiasts and professionals a wide array of opportunities to get their hands on and try out equipment, meet suppliers in the trade and attend a range of workshops, seminars, tutorials and product demonstrations.


Nikon telephoto lens range on display

Sampling the Nikon telephoto lens range


Reel Monkey attended the show earlier this week and we’ve picked out our main highlights below.


Rise of the Drones

One of the dramatic additions to the world of filming and photography over the past year or two has been the use of ‘Drones’, remote controlled flying rigs with attached camera or cameras, to shoot elevated sequences or imagery in the air.  Drones have been used for covering sporting events, by film and TV productions and are becoming an increasing part of corporate and personal shooting.


Drones on the stand

Drones on the stand


There were plenty of models on display at the NEC from a variety of manufacturers occupying considerable floor space at the event. There were demos galore and speakers outlining on stage to audiences the benefits and the ins and outs of working with and using drones.


Drone demonstration

Drone demonstration


4K video and imaging

The evolution of 4K video or ultra HD as it is also known is gathering further pace in 2015 as the price of TV sets for consumers drop and the expansion of 4K capable cameras increases. At the Photography Show, camera manufacturers such as Sony, Canon, Panasonic and Blackmagic Design showcased their models both aimed at video professionals who shoot stills occasionally and stills professionals who would like to shoot 4K in addition to Full HD.


4K products on the Panasonic stand

4K products on the Panasonic stand


The lines between a video specific and stills specific camera are becoming increasingly blurred though naturally for the video and the stills professional specialist looking for optimal features and quality for their field, they may still look at video and stills specific cameras.


Visitors trying out Blackmagic Design 4K cameras

Visitors trying out Blackmagic Design 4K cameras


Whilst the capture and display of 4K video on TV sets has been around for a while for consumers it is only in the past year that high end 4K computer monitors have arrived for them. Imaging and display specialist Eizo unveiled their new 24 inch 4K model, the ColorEdge CG248-4K,  at the show to add to it’s current portfolio of displays for video and stills post-production. The new model is  offering the highest pixel density of 185 ppi (pixels per inch)  in Eizo’s ColorEdge line up and a built-in sensor to enable self-calibration for monitor maintenance and faithful colour management.


New Eizo 24" 4K monitor

New Eizo 24″ 4K monitor


New cameras for 2015

Several manufacturers displayed their new camera models for 2015 at the show with the recently announced Olympus OM-D EM-5 MkII compact system camera and the Canon 5DS and 5DS R full frame cameras two of the highlights.


New Canon 5DS R full frame 50MP camera

New Canon 5DS R full frame 50MP camera


The Canon 5DS models are a massive pixel popping 50.6 megapixel DSLR aimed at professionals who require high detail and sharpness in their images. The 5DS R is thought to be ideal for landscape and architectural photography.


New Olympus OM-D EM-5 MkII compact system camera

New Olympus OM-D EM-5 MkII compact system camera


The Olympus OM-D EM-5 MkII offers a more sedate 16 megapixel sensor by comparison but is capable of capturing a whopping 40 megapixel plus high resolution image using it’s sensor shift technology which provides a detailed composite image from a series of frames, though a tripod must be used and is not suitable for capturing movement or action. The model’s improved on it’s video recording features from the original EM-5, now providing different recording frame rates – 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p at Full HD quality and better quality recording bit rates up 77Mb/s. The MkII version also boasts an improved 5-axis in-body stabilisation system to help shooting hand-held and a flip out and tiltable screen enabling better access to shoot in all types of situations.


For further information about the event visit

Top 5 travel destinations for 2015

March 5th, 2015 | 1 Comment

With 2015 now in full swing and the Easter and Summer holidays soon upon us we’ve compiled our top 5 travel destinations to travel to this year drawing on suggestions from the websites of respected travel publications such as, and No doubt people will have other suggestions too.

1. Málaga, Spain


Malaga - Spain

Malaga – Spain


This spring the renown Pompidou Arts Centre will open it’s first venue outside Paris in the revamped marina of Málaga. The ‘Centro Pompidou de Málaga’ is scheduled to open on 28 March 2015 adding to the city’s impressive range of museum and art attractions. Málaga already houses the Museo Picasso, the Centro de Arte Contemporañeo with the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology also opening in the city later this year.

As well as being a cultural city-break destination, Málaga provides an excellent hub to travel to other cities like Granada, Seville and to the resorts of the Costa del Sol such as Marbella. Flights to and from the sun filled destination are plentiful and transport links are good.


The 'Damas' Tower in the Alhambra - Granada, Spain

The ‘Damas’ Tower in the Alhambra – Granada, Spain


2. Milan, Italy


Canal in Milan

Canal in Milan


Milan, Italy’s second largest city, is hosting the next world fair EXPO Milano 2015 which gets underway on 1 May and takes place until 31 October 2015. The theme for the event is ‘food’ with fair trade, sustainability and ‘feeding the planet’ the key issues. Over 20 million visitors are expected to attend the EXPO to experience the various activities that will be on offer at the fair.

Aside from the gastronomic delights, Milan is a centre for fashion and shopping with the Galleria Vittoro Emanuelle II precinct the place for a stylish shop.


Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle shopping centre - Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle shopping centre – Milan, Italy


3. Cuba


Vintage car in Cuba

Vintage car in Cuba


With diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba underway and with the recent growth in private sector enterprises being allowed by the State the old, nostalgic charm of Cuba may soon be a thing of the past. The capital Havana, with it’s mixture of colourful, grand, colonial and run down appearance provides an idyllic and sultry setting for visitors whilst this year the southern city of Santiago de Cuba celebrates it’s 500th anniversary on 25 July 2015 with a week of carnival style partying.


Old town of Havana - Cuba

Old town of Havana – Cuba


4. The Alps


The Alps in Switzerland

The Alps in Switzerland


Often thought as a winter sking or climbing destination, the Alps, situated across several European countries also provides plenty to do in the summertime too with trekking, mountain walks, cycling and outdoor events in much more agreeable temperatures. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first successful, but tragic, ascent of the highest mountain in the range – Matterhorn.

The towering peak which rises above the Swiss town of Zermatt was summited first on 14 July 1865 but four of the party of 7 climbers perished on the descent after their rope break. Activities are planned to mark the anniversary in Zermatt.


Man checks out the view of the Alps

Man checks out the view of the Alps


5. Toronto, Canada


Canoeing on Lake Ontario by CN Tower - Toronto, Canada

Canoeing on Lake Ontario by CN Tower – Toronto, Canada


Toronto, one of the most multicultural cities in the world is set to be particularly vibrant in 2015 as an estimated 250,000 visitors are set to come to see the Pan American (Pan Am) Games which kick off on 10 July 2015. Apart from the multitude of Pan Am Games events (essentially a mini-Olympics for North, Central and South America member countries) dotted across the region, visitors can experience the diverse culinary delights and vibrant night life.

The CN Tower is probably Toronto’s most notable attraction with an observation deck 356 metres up in the sky, whilst a ferry ride back on ground can whisk you to Toronto Island for leisure activities, some beaches and the best views across the city skyline.


Toronto Island Park - Toronto, Canada

Toronto Island Park – Toronto, Canada