I recently had a chance to see and touch two groundbreaking photo ballheads at Imaging USA 2020 in Nashville, TN called the Platyball Ergo and Platyball Elite. The main reason why I’m excited about them is the way in which they can “lock down” a camera and lens with just a few presses of a button on the front. They also, due to their inverted design, allow you to take panoramic images while keeping the horizon level. The one Platyball prototype that I tested at the show (Platyball Elite) felt very solid when I held it in my hand, and it responded well when I pressed the buttons on the front. I also have to give the manufacturer props for the way they made the Quick Release (QR) work. I’m not a big fan of the way most Arca-type QR systems work, but they’ve designed an elegant turning mechanism that looks to me to be a big improvement.
The best way to truly see how the Platyball works, and why it’s different from all other ballheads, I would highly recommend taking a look at these two videos:
A Note About ALL Kickstarter Campaigns
As Sharky James, host of the PetaPixel podcast always says: “Kickstarter is NOT a store,” so it is possible that you will not receive this product, or anything that you back on Kickstarter. However, based on my experience as a backer of multiple Platypods (another fantastic product which you can find by searching for the word: platypod), I have faith that the company will deliver quality products on time.
Where to Find Out More or Order a Platyball
Because I believe that the Platyball Ergo and Platyball Elite products are worth recommending, I have decided to use the Kickbooster platform to become an affiliate for this campaign, which means that I will receive a small commission if you use my link to visit the campaign site and make a purchase. You can also just search on your favorite search engine for Platyball if you’d prefer not to use my link for any reason. To see the Platyball’s campaign on Kickstarter (Ends Sun. 3/15/2020 at 4:30PM EST) , visit THIS PAGE.
I’m packing my bags for Music City, (a.k.a. Nashville, TN) to attend and speak at Imaging USA 2020. I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to meet some of the 10,000+ photographers who are expected to attend. According to the show’s website, “It’s the longest-running photographic conference, trade show, and exhibit in the USA,” dating back to 1880–I think that was a bit before the first digital camera!
Back to the year 2020, I invite you to join me at Imaging USA 2020, either during my talk in the PRINT for Success Theater (Booth #957) on Sun. 1/19/2020 from 1:00-1:30pm, or at the PhotoFlashDrive.com booth on one of the days and times shown below. I am a customer of PhotoFlashDrive.com and they’ve been very kind to spend some time in their booth to answer questions and also give away one of my absolute FAVORITE products, their PlayBook Video Player.
The title of my talk is: Monitor to Print Matching Made Easy, and I’ll be covering step-by-step workflows as well as secrets that I’ve uncovered in my 25+ year career as a professional photographer and consultant. The first 60 people to arrive will receive a GalleryPouch™ bag, two pre-cut mats, and a full-color calibration print (a $20+ combined retail value). I Hope to See You There! To register, visit the show’s site HERE.
TWO VERY SPECIAL OFFERS FROM FrameDestination.com
As indicated in the image above, Frame Destination (FrameDestination.com), a Dallas and Internet-based supplier of fine-art photography picture frames and framing supplies, is sponsoring my talk at Imaging USA 2020, and I thank them for their support. I’ve been a customer of Frame Destination for many years, and I’m happy to announce that a product idea that I brought to them, called the GalleryPouch™, is Celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary! GalleryPouch™ is a custom bubble bag that acts like a pillow of protection for framed artwork and many other uses. Made of smooth, 3/16-inch thick durable polyethylene bubble (smooth on both sides), GalleryPouch™ was created to help you guard artwork against damage during transport or storage. Each bubble wrap sleeve is sealed on three sides, and its opening is available with either a flap or resealable Velcro® brand closure. Frame Destination can create custom sizes for you from envelope size to 52 x 156 inches.
To mark the anniversary, Frame Destination has created some very special offers, including $10,000 in savings and free products! This is a perfect time to stock up or try out a GalleryPouch™. Below are the active codes:
• TAKE $10 OFF any GalleryPouch™ ORDER* (Use CODE: GP10YEARS), or
• TAKE 20% OFF any GalleryPouch™ ORDER* (Use CODE: GPSAVE20)
NO MINIMUM ORDER IS REQUIRED (expires 2/28/20)
(Excludes shipping. For orders to USA addresses only.)
To see a video overview of me demonstrating the GalleryPouch™ bag (shown above), or to order, visit FrameDestination.com.
Show Floor and NYC (plus my head!) reflected in the glass, PhotoPlus Expo NYC 2019 © Andrew Darlow (click on image to see it larger)
I visited the PhotoPlusExpo 2019 in New York City yesterday, and as usual, it did not disappoint! It was a smaller show than some of the shows in the past, but it was still jam packed with a lot of great gear, and one of my favorite things of all…high-end photo papers! In fact, I think that it’s worth the trip just to see the printed samples in the booths of the companies I’ve listed below.
In addition, for this post, I will list some specials that are happening online and at the show. That’s a “Super Tip”: Whenever there are big trade shows, look for special offers from the companies who are exhibiting. They know most of their existing and new customers are not able to come to the show, so they will often share promo codes and offer other specials while the trade show is live. The show continues until Saturday, 10/26/2019 and Expo-only tickets are now just $25 (free expo passes ended on 10/23). You can purchase passes on-site if you haven’t already, and HERE is the main website for the show.
Also, in case you missed my article with information about the many presentations happening on the show floor (updated 10/25), you can see that article HERE.
PAPERS, PAPERS, AND MORE INKJET PAPERS!
As I mentioned above, one of my favorite things to do at the PhotoPlus Expo (and any photo trade show), is see the wide range of high-end inkjet papers that are on display. Often, different papers are presented (with the same image on each print) in racks like you might see at a store that sells posters. In the case of this year’s show, large, very impressive prints are generally displayed to showcase what’s possible when you pair exceptional images, a high-end printer, and a high-quality paper. Here are some of the booths that I saw and recommend checking out at PhotoPlus Expo 2019 (or you can, of course, check them out online and order sample packs of their papers to do your own testing.)
• Canon USA (Booth #121) – Link to Canon’s Large Format Printer Page
• Canson Infinity (Booth #449) – Link to Canson Infinity’s Site
• Epson (Booth #701) – Link to Epson’s Site
• Hahnemühle USA (Booth #237) – Link to Hahnemühle’s Site
• Moab Paper (Booth #629) – Link to Moab Paper’s Site
And I would be remiss not to mention Blazing Editions (Booth #748), whose dye-sublimation prints on aluminum always amaze me. The prints start out as inkjet prints that are then infused into aluminum panels using heat and pressure. Below is a photo from their booth.
Blazing Editions’ Booth at PhotoPlus Expo 2019 © Andrew Darlow (click on image to see it larger)
There is also a fantastic exhibition of the work of Jay Maisel and Stephen Wilkes at the Icon Gallery located next to the Blazing Editions booth (Booth #737).
B&H Photo (Booth #451) has many show specials, which you can find HERE. As noted on their site, some of the special offers require a promo code, which is PPEBH19.
Hunt’s Photo & Video (Booth #362) has special pricing on many items on the flyers they are distributing at the show. I assume they are the same price on their website, but you could always ask them if you call the store to order. You can find many of their current special offers HERE. One item in particular that caught my eye is the Lowepro Fastpack BP 150 AW II ($59.50).
PhotoflashDrive.com (Booth #861) is offering 20% off all of their products (Expires 10/26/2019). If you are at the show, I highly recommend stopping by to see what they do, and don’t miss seeing their amazing PlayBook Video Player.
Skylum Software is in Booth #149, and they are doing continuous demos during the show, as well as speaker presentations (you can see a Google Doc overview of their talks HERE). They just announced their Luminar 4 software, and it looks extremely impressive. If you don’t use Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw for your editing (or if you want to access some of Luminar’s unique tools as an external editor/plug-in), I think you will love it. Full Disclosure: I have an affiliate partner with Skylum, so I receive a small portion of sales when you use the links I provide. To see all of what Luminar 4 has to offer, including a lot of amazing bonuses when you pre-order, including a free 1 year subscription on Smugmug.com, visit THIS PAGE. (Luminar 4 ships Nov. 18, 2019).
ONE MORE THING!
I have one more thing I’d like to share from the Expo. I was very impressed by a company called My Case Builder. Basically, you choose what case you have, and they will then custom cut foam for your gear that fits perfectly in the case. For more information, visit www.mycasebuilder.com. They had a show special printed on a postcard at the show, but I don’t see it offered on their website, so I don’t think it’s right to share it. However, you can call or email them and ask if they will apply their current show special to your order.
IN-PERSON OFF-CAMERA FLASH WORKSHOP IN PRINCETON, NJ – 11/2/2019
I’m really looking forward to teaching a workshop titled: Mastering Off-Camera Flash at Rising Star Photography Society in Princeton. NJ on Sat. 11/2/2019. For full details, visit THIS PAGE.