Greetings! Today marked the official start to Photoshop World Atlanta 2014 and it was a busy and fun filled day! Let's recap some of the highlights.....
The show opens with an opening ceremony where Adobe announced the new Lightroom Mobile, but before we talk about that.....
..... Let's talk Vinnie!
As I mentioned last week, I was selected as a finalist for one of the Photoshop World Guru Awards for my photo of Elakala Falls. The winners were going to be announced at the opening ceremony, so I have been waiting with baited breath to find out if I won all week. The Guru Awards are presented at the end of the ceremony, so it was a long hour of fidgeting with anticipation to find out the results...... One of the last presentations in the opening ceremony is the Vincent Versace Award for Photographic Excellence - it's the "big prize" at the show and the winner gets lots of cool photo equipment. Vincent Versace, for whom this award is named, came in person to present it, so I sat eagerly hoping he'd call my name as the winner. Sure enough, he did!
This was a very humbling experience - Vincent is an extremely well know photographer - to have him select my photograph was a huge honor. Being selected as a finalist for any of the awards was a great acknowledgment of my hard work, but actually winning the "Vinnie" - the big award at the show - was more than I could have ever hoped for. As part of winning this award, I was given a TON of photographic equipment, for which I am very grateful. Photography isn't a cheap hobby - I've always purchased all of my equipment at retail prices and have spent a significant amount of money on taking the photos you see on my website. Winning all this new equipment will open alot of new doors for me - it will give me opportunities to expand my photograph vision to entirely new levels. Winning this award not only represents an acknowledgment of the work I've put in to date, but also serves as a launching pad for me to continue to expand my photography and take it to places that yesterday, I could only dream about.
So you're asking, what photo did I win for? It was this photograph of Elakala Falls, West Virginia. If you missed it before, be sure to read the whole story behind this image.....
Detour over - back to the show! Adobe kicked off the conference with a bang when they announced the new Lightroom Mobile app. Although they only spent a few minutes on the demo, it looks to be some really powerful software and will create more integration between mobile and desktop computers for users of the Adobe Creative Cloud. For instance, you can take a picture, edit it on your iPad, and then have that edited version automatically sync through the cloud with Lightroom on your Macbook. Sweet! If you already subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, then you've got Lightroom Mobile now - so go check it out!
With the opening ceremony complete, it was time to get my learning on! I started with a great light painting workshop by David Black, but the highlight of the day was the back-to-back flash workshops with Joe McNally. You might not know Joe by name, but I promise you've seen his work in National Geographic, Time Magazine, etc - he's the king of flash and lighting. In his workshops, he grabs someone from the audience and will light them in front of you. What's great is that you see everything as it happens - even the mistakes. It can be hard to deconstruct a finished photograph to figure out how the photographer took that photograph, but in these sessions, you watch Joe from start to finish as he selects his model and trouble shoots his way to getting that magazine shot.
After lunch, the convention expo center opens and I spent the next few hours exploring the latest equipment and technology. Let's review some of my favorites from the day:
- Tamron was there with the new Tamron 150-600mm lens that wildlife photographers have been eyeing. They only had it in the Canon mount (no delivery ETA on the Nikon one - I asked!) but I played around with it to get a sense of how well it was going to work. Initial thoughts were very positive - it was pretty smooth to focus at 600mm and didn't search for the focus. The weight wasn't too bad and the construction looked pretty sturdy. The lens did get confused sometimes with the focus because I was shooting in an expo center and there were LOTS of people walking around, but this isn't an easy environment for any lens to track a subject, so I won't hold that against the lens.
- Epson has some groovy new canvas paper! I actually don't know how "new" it is, but is't new to me, so we'll go with it! The paper has a canvas feel and is available in matte, satin and glossy finishes. I was very impressed with how this looked and I think it'll be a great addition to my print offerings because of the durability and unique look. From a distance you can't tell it's canvas, but when you get close, the texture is great. I took a quick iPhone snap of the glossy version, which can be seen below. Best yet, Epson claims it doesn't use any more ink that normal papers!
- The Westcott model shoot..... every year Westcott comes out with some different lights and brings some models for show attendees to photograph. I only took one photo today, and it was an el basic iPhone shot of the whole scene. Tomorrow I'll actually work on shooting the model - today I was busy drooling!
- Other cool things that I saw, but haven't explored enough to speak to with any authority.... some cool quad copters and dSLR video stabilizer rigs, the Promote Control dSLR camera controller, new software called Flixel Cinemagraph Pro, and some new options in metal prints.
The day concluded with an inspiring talk on aviation photography from Moose Peterson, who has been one of the most influential pro photographers on my career to date. Moose could put on a class about almost anything and I'd attend it - his passion is truly contagious.
After almost 10 hours, day 1 of Photoshop World Atlanta has concluded, but it was an AWESOME day. I cannot wait for another busy day tomorrow!
Once again, my thanks to Vincent Versace for the award and thank you to all of you who have sent me a note on Facebook or Twitter today about the award! I'm very humbled!
Until tomorrow.... happy shooting from Atlanta!