NEWS & TOP ARTICLES:
As I write this, the Eastern part of the USA is preparing for its first significant snowstorm of 2016. That got me thinking ahead to spring and summer, and with that, I’d like to share a link to a recent PDF Guide that I wrote entitled: 12 Tips for Getting Great Photos at Balloon Festivals and Related Events
photo © Andrew Darlow
You can download the PDF for free from this link.
If you’ve ever been to a Balloon Festival, feel free to post links to your photos or feel free to suggest one to others who may be reading this.
Some of the photos in the article were taken during the QuickChek NJ Festival of Ballooning. I ran a Meetup at the 2015 show during a special Media Day that they have each year that allows photographers of all levels (and the media) to see the balloons up close for no fee. You can find that Meetup here, and while you’re there, please consider joining our Meetup group of nearly 400 photographers and other artists. I plan to post some upcoming Lightroom and other photo-related workshops and get togethers soon.
I hope you enjoy it and please stay safe out there this weekend if you will be out in the elements.
Is it almost Halloween again? Time has a way of going faster as I get older :). I have fond memories of Halloween over the years. Not just the candy and cavities, but when I was much younger, it was always fun trick-or-treating around our neighborhood with friends. I just wrote a Short Guide for Photzy.com with some of my top tips for photographing pets in costumes. It’s called: DRESSED TO IMPRESS: 5 Tips for Photographing Pets in Costumes. It’s a free PDF download, and you can find it here.
Some similar tips to those found in the guide linked above can be found in my book, Pet Photography 101: Tips for taking better photos of your dog or cat (Focal Press). You can download a few free chapters from the book’s companion site, PhotoPetTips.com.
A few days ago, I posted this pre-show article about the 2015 PhotoPlus Expo, in New York City. I spent the whole day at the expo on Friday, 10/23, and even though I am very tired as I write this, I feel that it would be a shame not to recommend some booths to visit and specific things to see before the show ends on Saturday, 10/24.
There are some things that you can’t easily experience on a website or even in a camera store, so I’ve put together a list of companies in booth order in case you’d like to treat this like a scavenger hunt. I list odd number aisles from low to high numbers, and even number aisles from high to low since that’s how you would normally walk up and down the aisles. If you attend, please consider commenting below about what you found interesting and/or inspiring.
There are many more booths I could mention, but I need to go to sleep sometime! Booth numbers follow each company listed below, and I Highly Recommend Checking Out…
1. Canon (#121) for their compact and impressive PowerShot G3 X digital camera with a 24-600mm effective focal length (35mm equivalent), and the G5 X (24-100 mm), which has a super-sharp EVF (Electronic Viewfinder). I was also impressed by the capabilities of Canon’s new 430EX III-RT Speedlite. The prints in the Canon gallery are also stunning. Thank you to Syl Arena of Pixsylated, and this episode of the TWiP podcast for the tip (I probably would not have known about the new flash had I not listened). On the page I linked to, you can also find a link to Syl Arena’s presentations at the Canon booth, and more information about the new flash.
2. G-Technology (#149) for their many well-made storage options. I learned that all of the enclosures they ship contain HGST hard drives, which have an excellent reputation in the industry.
3. Museo (#169) to see some incredible prints by Les Picker on matte and fiber-gloss papers. Picker’s work has appeared in hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, including National Geographic Society publications.
4. OWC Digital (#170) for their many storage options, and a dock called the Thunderbolt 2 Dock that can turn one Thunderbolt port into a wide array of inputs, including Ethernet, FireWire 800 and three USB fully-powered 3 ports (no external power needed).
5. Digital Silver Imaging (#173) for their true black and white digital silver prints and a new, easy print ordering system via their soon-to-be released iOS app. They are a pro imaging lab based in Massachusetts.
6. Peleman Industries/Unibind (#258) for their instant book binding and print mounting options. If you want to make a book quickly, they have some excellent options.
7. Sigma (#337) to see their many lenses and the impressive exhibition of backlit prints of various “critters” by David FitzSimmons.
8. Moab Paper (#354) for their “wall” featuring the same print made on different papers, as well as a beautiful presentation of face mounted prints on acrylic using their very unique paper, Moab Slickrock Metallic Silver.
9. Polar Pro (#361) for their new product, PowerGrip H20, a innovative tripod/extension arm, as well as a huge collection of GoPro and Drone accessories (GoPro users should definitely see their case with a built-in battery charger for two different GoPro battery types).
10. LensBaby (#372) for their many impressive lens offerings, including the new Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. Definitely bring your camera to get the most from your visit there.
11. MagMod (#562) for some truly innovative magnetic shoe-mount flash accessories.
12. WD (Western Digital) (#573) for their many storage products, including the bus-powered WD My Passport Pro 4TB portable RAID storage with integrated Thunderbolt cable.
13. Peak Design (#669) for a look at their Everyday Messenger bag. The bag, which comes in two styles, was recently launched via a Kickstarter campaign that raised nearly five million dollars. The company has quite a few other new products worth a look as well, including The Field Pouch, three new waterproof camera covers called Shell, new and improved Peak Design anchors (if you know their products, they look like thumbnail-sized round disks with a cord attached), and a new system for changing lenses called CaptureLENS.
14. Hahnemühle (#655) for a look at all of their papers, including their newest Baryta paper called FineArt Baryta Satin. They also have artist signings each day.
15. Miller’s Professional Imaging (#701) for their many offerings, including small wood photo boxes that holds 4×4 inch mounted prints and matching stands. Very simple, yet elegant.
16. Epson (#707) for their amazing print gallery, and for a look at their newest line of fine art papers, called “Epson Legacy Papers.”
17. Blazing Editions (#859) for their truly jaw-dropping print samples. The company is a professional imaging lab based in Rhode Island.
18. Professional Graphics Systems (#933) to take a look at their impressive printed samples on different media and to see a sample of a removable, repositionable fabric material I had never seen before called Photo Tex. This material seems ideal for when you don’t want to use adhesives on walls when hanging prints.
19. LumeCube (#959) for their incredible new super-compact, powerful and waterproof LED external flash and video light (and companion iOS app).
20. WANDRD (#1227) to see their very innovative backpack, the PRVKE Pack. You can check out the company’s Kickstarter campaign here (ends 11/5).
I hope that you enjoy the show if you plan to visit. You can always check the companies’ websites for more info and updates (they are all linked above).
It’s almost here! As I always say, the toy store of all toy stores for photographers and videographers is returning to New York City in the form of the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo. The conference runs from Wed-Sat. 10/21-24 and the Expo runs from Thurs.-Sat. 10/22-24.
One of the best parts of the show is the fact that there is a LOT of free education and many fantastic photo opportunities (for example, amazing still life sets, male and female models, sports-related action, etc.) all around the show floor.
There are also many outstanding fee-based seminars happening, including post production seminars by industry experts including Katrin Eismann, Stephen Johnson, Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski and Julieanne Kost.
And even if you can’t make it to the show this year, you will find a lot of news and info (plus special offers) being mentioned on many of the social media feeds of just about all the companies who are taking part. The official PhotoPlus Expo Twitter feed is @PhotoPlusExpo, and their Facebook page can be found here.
TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM PHOTOPLUS EXPO
Here are some tips for getting the most from the show.
1. Read the Press Releases for the Show: The press releases for the PhotoPlus Expo have a lot of information about what’s happening at the show, including free and fee-based workshops and events. You can find all of the releases from the show organizers here.
2. Download the Free PhotoPlus Expo App: The PhotoPlus Expo app is truly fantastic resource. The app allows you to quickly view dates and times of many events and seminars. It also allows you to view a list of exhibitors with their booth numbers, and you can star (favorite) them and then refer to them later (under “Favorites” on the home page). I can’t tell you how helpful this was to have last year while walking the show floor compared with using a printed list of exhibitors. You can even mark a booth as visited, and you can take notes in the app for each exhibitor. I’m almost sure the app is iOS only, and here’s a link to it on Apple’s App Store.
3. Bring Your Camera to Test Different Lenses and Accessories: There’s nothing like being able to put the latest and greatest lens or flash unit on your camera to put it through its paces. Not every company will allow you to do this, but many will, and it can be very useful when trying to decide between a few different products.
4. Bring Media Cards to Test Different Cameras: By bringing a few smaller capacity and EMPTY SD/CF cards to put in cameras that you really want to test, you will come home with images that you can “pixel peep” to your heart’s content. I write EMPTY and smaller capacity because it is very easy to forget that your card is in a camera, and I’m sure you would not want to leave any important data (or an expensive card) behind.
5. Don’t Miss the Competition Galleries and other Photo Galleries on the Show Floor: Every year there are galleries of prints on the show floor containing absolutely stunning work. I never have enough time to spend there, but I’m always happy that I can enjoy the work.
6. Take Photos of the Booth Event Schedules: Some companies will publish their booth speaker schedules before the show, but many don’t. As you pass by schedules of events and speakers that look interesting to you, you can take a quick photo and refer to it at a later time.
7. Drink a Lot of Water! It can be tiring walking the show floor, especially with a bag full of whatever you bring, pick up, purchase, etc.
You can find more tips for getting the most from the Expo in this article from the folks at F-stoppers.
If you’d like to attend just the trade show but haven’t requested a free pass yet, you can sign up here. Free “trade show only” tickets are available until the end of day on 10/20. After 10/20, you may still be able to get free trade show only tickets by using an exhibitor’s code or link. Using the following set of keywords in your favorite search engine should bring up some companies offering links to free passes: “photoplusexpo 2015 free tradeshow pass.”
LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY THEATER TALKS ON THE SHOW FLOOR
Here’s a schedule of 30 minute presentations happening on the show floor in the “Photography Theater.”
SOME PHOTOPLUS-RELATED LINKS
• The main website for the PhotoPlus Expo.
• My review of some of the things I found very interesting from Day 1 of PhotoPlus Expo 2014.
• My review of PhotoPlus Expo 2013 (many of the same exhibitors will be attending in 2015.
• My review of PhotoPlus Expo 2012.
• Link to the PhotoPlus Expo iOS app
UPCOMING MASTERING LIGHTROOM 6/CC WORKSHOP IN BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ WITH ANDREW DARLOW
Would you like to supercharge your Lightroom workflow? I’m returning to Berkeley Heights, NJ on Sunday, 11/22 for a full day workshop titled: “Mastering Lightroom Workflow: From File Organization to Effortless Manipulations.” The best way to find out more about the class is to sign up for my free Meetup Group here. Or you can download a PDF describing the workshop here.
I always enjoy sharing events like this one. And even though I’ve shared this event on my Facebook page and Twitter feed, this event offers so much that I wanted to share it here on ImagingBuffet.com as well.
PIX 2015 is a live and online photo trade show and learning event happening 10/6 and 10/7/2015 in Seattle, Washington. Registration for the live sessions ranges from about $10-30 depending on whether you plan to attend just a single session or for a full day. There is no charge to view the streaming sessions.
There are many speakers who are presenting who I respect highly and know well either personally or through the content they’ve been sharing (books, online videos, podcasts, etc.) over the years. Here are just a few, with links to their speaker info pages on the site: C.C. Chapman, Tim Grey, Joe McNally, Ibarionex Perello, Rick Sammon, and Brian Smith.
For more information or to view the sessions live on 10/6 or 10/7, visit www.PIX2015.com.
On Thursday, September 24, 2015, there will be two big photo- and imaging-related events happening in The Big Apple. Both are free to attend, though some seminars at the first event are fee-based (about $12 per session). Below are the details:
FIRST EVENT: The Stand Out! Photographic Forum
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
Time: 9:30am – 7:00pm
Location: Hudson Studios, New York City
Overview: This event is a combination trade show and series of seminars by some incredibly talented photographers and photo industry leaders.
Owners of medium format cameras can have them cleaned for no fee if you register in advance on the website. Mamiya Leaf and Phase One camera system owners can have their equipment both serviced and cleaned for no charge.
For more information or to register for either the trade show (free) or a seminar (about $12 ea), Visit This Page.
On that page, you will also see information about other Stand Out! Photographic Forum events happening in Toronto (9/29/2015) and Los Angeles (10/15/2015).
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
Time: 9:00am – 5:45pm
Location: North end of Times Square between 46th and 47th Street, and Broadway and Seventh Avenue (next to the TKTS ticket booth).
This free event, called “Swimming In Ink,” looks like it will be a great opportunity to experience something rarely seen in the middle of New York City. The U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team, sponsored by Epson and Staples, will perform a series of synchronized swim routines in a 17,000 gallon swim tank...I hope it’s heated :). The swimmers will be performing hourly in swimsuits printed by Epson dye-sub printers. The 2016 Olympic Synchronized Swimming Duet will also be in attendance.
The athletes will also be available for autographs and photos with attendees throughout the day. If you can’t be there in person but if you’d still like to see the event, performances will stream live at www.epson.com/SwimmingInInk. The event is being produced in part to highlight the arrival of Epson’s new family of innovative EcoTank printers.
If you’d like much more information about the event, visit this multimedia news release page.
QUICK TIP FROM ANDREW
I should note that it’s very easy to attend both events. I recommend checking the seminar schedule first (you can find it here), then find some time to see at least one of the performances in Times Square.
I’m very happy to announce a new PDF guide that I recently wrote for a fantastic photo tips website called Photzy.com.
Front cover of the PDF Guide, available free for download from Photzy.com. Shown on the front of the guide is the Wedding Photographer Vest from TheVestGuy.com. It’s a product I use a lot, and I highly recommend their vests for safely and securely carrying cameras, media cards and a whole lot more.
In the free guide, I cover some of my favorite strategies for managing those amazing (but easy to lose) devices called media cards. If you’ve ever had to lug around large numbers of 35mm or 120mm film canisters (each holding a maximum of about 36 exposures), you will know why I think media cards are so special. However, managing those cards can be tricky, so I tackled the subject in detail.
In the guide, I also mention specific products that I use and recommend to help manage your cards at home and on the go.
QUICK BONUS TIP NOT IN THE GUIDE
After writing the article, I realized that I could clarify the meaning of the words “Full” and “Empty,” which I write on my card holders. So I added the following text to my media card holders (“Ready for Camera” and “Ready for Download”), as you can see in the photo below:
Now, it’s even more clear which case I open when I need a “new” card for my camera (the EMPTY Case), and it’s also more clear now which case I open when I am done with a card and still need to download it to my computer (the FULL case).
Another quick tip: Most photographers know this, but once you are ready to reformat your card, you should do that in the camera (every camera has a procedure for doing that), instead of formatting the card using a computer, and instead of deleting the files on the card.
To download and read the full guide, visit this page: http://photzy.com/free-guide-managing-media-cards/
On photzy.com, you’ll also find many other free and fee-based photo tips guides.
Also, if you are located in the New Jersey/NYC-metro area, or if you’d like to travel there for workshops and other photo events, please visit this page and consider joining our free MEETUP GROUP: The Art of Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom.
The balloons are returning to central NJ! For the 33rd year, the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is happening at Solberg Airport in Readington, NJ from Fri. July 24 to Sunday, July 26, 2015. The number of photo opportunities (especially when about 100 balloons are in the air), are always incredible. I’m personally excited to see the Darth Vader balloon return, joined this year (for the first time) by Yoda.
The weather, based on a quick look at weather.com is looking ideal for all three days of the festival, which is important because if it is too windy, the balloons are not permitted to launch. There are planned morning and afternoon balloon ascensions on Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26 at 6:30am and 6:30pm. There is also a “Balloon Glow” during the Saturday evening concert that is a truly incredible spectacle.
Special Opportunity for Amateur and Professional Photographers
On Friday morning 7/24 at 6:30am the festival organizers allow members of the press as well as amateur and professional photographers/videographers to attend a “Pre-Festival Media Launch” for no charge (parking is also free). I plan to attend once again on Friday morning to take photos with many other pro and amateur photographers and videographers. Experiencing the sun rising with the balloons all gathered in one place is truly breathtaking. Below is a self-portrait from last year’s Media Launch taken with a GoPro camera. I’m sporting one of my favorite ways to carry my gear–using The Wedding Photographer’s Vest from TheVestGuy.com. Another favorite accessory (the Peak Design Capture PRO Camera Clip), allows my camera to hang securely from my chest. For more information, including parking instructions, see the bottom portion of this page on the festival’s website.
I also mentioned the Media Launch on the Meetup Group that I run (it’s called The Art of Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom). Anyone who is passionate about photography is welcome to join for no cost. I will be announcing a few workshops and other events related to photography in the upcoming weeks.
What to Do at the Festival
There are many family-friendly events at the festival, and there are MANY food options, including a multitude of food trucks and a “pop-up” QuickChek store. The bands that they have lined up look fantastic, and there are quite a few musical acts that play both day and at night (see the schedule for exact dates and times). You can either purchase reserved seats if you want to get close to the stage, or you can just enjoy the show from a lawn chair or blanket outside the main show area with your ticket to the festival since all of the concerts are all held outdoors. I was there last year for the Joan Jett concert, and she and her bandmates rocked the house!!
For a good overview of the show, here is an informative interview from CBS News with Executive Producer of the show, Howard Freeman.
Ticket Information and Discounted Tickets Available Until 11:59 pm Thurs. 7/23/2015
Ticket information can be found on this page, including links to information on how to purchase balloon ride tickets. General Admission Tickets are $10 for children (age 4-12, children 3 and under are free) and $24 for adults when ordered by 11:59pm on Thurs. 7/23/2015. After that, they are $15 and $35 respectively. Other ticket options can be found under the “Tickets” section of the website.
Any general admission tickets purchased are valid for one day only. You can also avoid a $3.50 per ticket online ordering fee by purchasing tickets at a QuickCheck store (here is a link to a page where you can search for a QuickChek location).
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