I had a great day yesterday at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. As usual, I had photo gear and photo print overload! Below are 14 booths that really impressed me (there were many more, and I will share more in the upcoming days). I want to get these out quickly for those who are visiting the show on Saturday, so I will add more web links in about a day. For now, I’ve listed the company name and their booth number. If you won’t be there for the last day of the show, you can visit other trade shows where these companies are exhibiting or you can visit the show next year if the companies return to exhibit at the show. You may also want to refer to my previous articles here and here on ImagingBuffet.com for more booth suggestions and tips for getting the most from the show.
There are also a number of photo exhibitions on the show floor that should not be missed. Two that are in the same location (near booth #176) are: “My Favorite People and Places,” sponsored by Canon, and another show sponsored by Sony and printed by Bay Photo that showcases many stunning glossy metal prints related to the Space Shuttle and NASA.
1. American Photography/Pro Photo Daily/DART (Booth #266)
I’ve been reading DART and Pro Photo Daily for as long as both have been available. They are outstanding resources with a lot of news and insight from people who have a very long history in the photo and art world. The company also publishes books of Illustration and Photography from contests that they run each year. If you can visit their booth, you can see many of their booths, and I promise that you won’t be disappointed! The range of work and print/binding quality of the books are truly spectacular.
The site to subscribe to their free publications is http://www.ai-ap.com/register/.
2. AcrylicPress.com (Booth #176)
I was extremely impressed by this company’s face-mounted plexi prints. If you know anything about the process, it is very difficult to do right, and the print quality (prints are made with Canon pigment printers) and edges are outstanding. I highly recommend taking a look. They also have 1″ thick plexi products available which are pretty amazing. They are giving away cards at the show with a 50% off special offer code.
3. Black River Imaging (Booth #443)
Black River Imaging has many interesting products, but three that stood out in my mind were their LOFT line of cards and ornaments (these are printed or mounted to a super-thick board materialâ€¦think paper coaster (and they make those too)), their books, and their new “Folio Collection” of print boxes and mounted prints. The cover options they have for their boxes and books are absolutely beautiful.
4. Canson (Booth #437)
The print samples on the walls of Canson’s booth are truly stunning. As with most companies who make photo papers, the primarily reason to stop by Canson’s booth is to see their fine-art papers on the walls of their booth to better help you decide which paper might be right for your work.
5. Datacolor (Booth #162)
If you are interested in learning more about color management (it can be a bit complicated if you don’t “see it in action”), or if you’d like to see some powerful tools for color balancing your camera, I recommend stopping by the Datacolor booth. One of my favorite products for getting the right color balance in any light is a simple but ingenious item called the Datacolor SpyderCUBE. They also have a product called the Datacolor SpyderLENSCAL that helps you to determine if your camera/lens autofocus is accurate at different focal lengths (some cameras have a micro adjustment capability built in). If you see a real problem with your autofocus and if your camera does not have the micro adjustment, you can speak with your camera/lens manufacturer about possibly fixing the issue. The folks at Datacolor can also give you more advice about this at the booth.
6. Epson (Booth #701)
As usual, Epson has a great booth with many prints on the walls, and a display rack filled with papers that really helps to compare different prints without glass or other glazing in front of them. What I really like is how they’ve displayed groups of the same image, printed on different papers in a few different areas of the show floor. They also just introduced a new paper called Exhibition Watercolor Paper that has a strong texture and a very nice overall look and feel. It’s Mould Made and contains no OBAs (Optical Brighteners).
7. FLORIcolor USA (Booth #1169)
The quality of this company’s boxes and albums are absolutely amazing. They have cards on the display tables with a 50% off studio sample special if you’d like to produce some samples for your studio, or do testing for a fine art project.
8. Fotodiox Pro (Booth #345)
Fotodiox Pro has many products at the show, but their LED products impressed me most. Some are really innovative because they contain white and amber LEDs for good color balance in different lighting conditions. Two products that blew me away were their LED studio lights (Fotodiox Pro LED100WA-56 Daylight Studio LED and the Fotodiox Pro LED100WA-32 Tungsten Studio LED). At full power, the Daylight model appeared to me to be brighter than the sun 🙂 (I’m kidding, but it had a lot of intensity)! Truly incredible. Just ask them to turn up the brightness to full power to see what I experienced. As I indicated, there is a daylight and tungsten-balanced model available. If I were going to purchase one, I’d get the daylight version and use gels to correct for other color temperatures.
9. Innova Art (Booth #1149)
Innova Art always has impressive paper samples (they make a range of fine-art papers), and this year they had a few items worth mentioning. First, they have a beautiful new fiber inkjet paper called FibaPrintÂ® Warm Cotton Gloss 335gsm. The thickness of this paper is truly impressive, and the overall look and feel of the ink on paper is beautiful. They also have a new easy to use system that allows you to easily mount any print on either a 5×7, 8×10 or 11×14 thick block with a series of holes on the back for easy hanging or display on a table. Their inkjet-printable cards are also worth a look.
10. Josephine Herrick Project (Booth #1067)
This organization has been helping others through photography for over 70 years. They are also featuring a new Benefit Photo Contest that’s running on Phoozl.com, and that’s juried by acclaimed photographer and author Robert Farber. The contest will help raise money for the organization, and you can read about the contest on their site here: http://jhproject.org/2013/10/phoozl-announces-photo-contest-benefiting-the-josephine-herrick-project/
11. Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd. (Booth #1127)
Kenko Tokina has a wide range of products that you can try out on the camera bodies that they provide, or on your own camera. I was very impressed by the look and feel of their two newest wide angle autofocus lenses, the Tokina 11â€‘16mm F/2.8 ATX Pro DX, and the Tokina AT-X 12-28 PRO DX (available for a number of different camera bodies). If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a teleconverter, they have some nice ones under the Kenko brand name. The Kenko-brand variable NDX Neutral Density Filters are also impressive. Their ZÃ©ta brand filters are also very interesting, and they claim to have “zero reflection,” which can be an issue with filters, especially when shooting at longer focal lengths.
12. Red River Paper (Booth #255)
Red River Paper has many impressive paper samples at their booth, and what really stood out in my mind were three new surfaces: San Gabriel SemiGloss Fiber paper (300 gsm), 80lb. Polar Pearl Metallic, and Blanco Matte Inkjet Printable Canvas. They also have many inkjet-printable cards on display that helps to compare the different options. They are participating in a free print program with Canon, and they have cards at the show to learn more about how you can get a free print of your image printed on one of their papers.
13. ShootProof (Booth #443)
ShootProof provides websites geared primarily toward the wedding/portrait/event markets. I was very impressed by the look and feel of the sites (the bottom left of the galleries allows you to switch views easily), and I like their pricing model. Since they charge based on the number of images that are “live” at any time, you can save by “archiving” previously posted galleries for a very small fee per gigabyte.
14. White House Custom Color (WHCC) (Booth #147)
White House Custom Color had a number of books and some small accordion books on display that are really spectacular. I especially liked their press printed books with hinged bindings. They are very elegant and sturdy. I also liked going through the 30+ printed samples on the table at their booth. They also have a very useful print sample pack with many examples of their prints (photo, inkjet and press printed).