The great and the good of the photographic industry descended on central London yesterday for the annual Amateur Photographer (AP) Awards.

Around 150 people – representing manufacturers, retailers and including AP staff – gathered at the glitzy Café Royal in Regent Street for a presentation ceremony hosted by AP?s Editor Damien Demolder.

Among the guests was long-serving AP forum member David Steel ? aka Lounge Lizard ? who presented a new award for AP Forum Product of the Year, as voted for by AP forum members.

Before he presented the honour Damien told the audience: ?Our website has grown enormously this year, but the forums have been an invaluable source of information, advice, chat and amusement for a long time.?

David Steel pointed out that the Amateur Photographer forum has over 18,000 registered members and attracts several hundred posts each day. ‘It is one of the largest, if not the largest, photography forums in the UK,’ he told guests. ‘Members advise each other and debate the merits of various techniques and – yes – your products and services are openly discussed.’

The afternoon included honours presented for the Power of Photography and Exceptional Achievement in Photography.

This year?s product awards were then presented, with categories for accessory of the year; printer; film-based product; consumer digital compact; enthusiast digital compact; entry-level digital SLR; enthusiast level digital SLR; high-end digital SLR; zoom lens, fixed focal length lens; software package; and technical innovation.

Finally, there was the grand prize of Product of the Year Award 2008.

For full details of this year?s winners see next week?s issue of AP dated 26 January, in shops from Tuesday 22 January and available to subscribers from tomorrow (19 January).

Picture credits: Alan McFaden

AP Awards at Café Royal

Picture (below): AP forum member David Steel ? aka Lounge Lizard (left) ? presents the award for AP Forum Product of the Year to a member of the UK photo industry. Also pictured (right) is AP Editor Damien Demolder who hosted the Amateur Photographer Awards at the Café Royal in central London yesterday

AP Forum Product of the Year awarded to member of the UK photo industry