PhotoPlus Expo 2016 – Show Floor Highlights
As usual, I had a great time at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York City. There was so much to see that my head was spinning! It was also nice to reconnect with many familiar faces. And as usual, I have a long list of companies and products that I’m racing to share with you so that you can see what I saw if you are attending the show on Day 2 or 3 (Fri. 10/21/2016 or Sat. 10/22/2016).
Here is a page on the PhotoPlus Expo site with a full list of exhibitors in case you’d like more info about the ones below or any others at the show.
Also, if you’d like to read my other article about the Expo, which includes info on how to get a free Expo only pass, here it is. So without further ado, here are about 25 companies in 20 booths (listed in alphabetical order) that I’d like to highlight.
Booth 361 – This company (according to their website), is the largest manufacturer of acrylic photo decor and full-color personalized acrylic keepsakes in the world, and they truly know how to face-mount to acrylic. Their prints and photo blocks are stunning, and one of the things that sets them apart is that they offer the option of having the edges of their acrylic prints beveled, which gives them a very nice look. The hanging options they offer are also very elegant and strong. They are also giving out cards at the show with discount codes for their services.
Adobe.com (The Adobe Theater)
Rear of the Expo Hall near the PDN Gallery and Booth 170 – I could have stayed here most of the day learning new tips and tricks from experts who really know their stuff. Below is a photo with the full schedule of presentations.
Canon U.S.A.: Power of Print Pavilion
Booth 973 – Canon is making 17×22 inch prints for any attendee who stops by the Pavilion with an image from your phone, flash drive, or memory card. For best results, I recommend that you prepare a file at about 200-300 ppi at about 16×20 inches. Prints will be output on papers from either Moab by Legion Paper or Innova Art. I would try to get there as early as possible to minimize wait times. They are also featuring an impressive group of speakers there on all three days.
Epson America Inc
Booth 707 – Epson’s booth is always impressive, and this year is no exception. Seeing so many prints on so many papers can really help you decide which one might be right for your work. You can also see their newest P-series line of printers.
Booth 437 – Hahnemühle’s booth is another favorite of mine to visit each year, primarily because you can browse printed samples of so many of their papers. They have a new limited edition black portfolio box for the Super A3/Super B size only (also known as 13×19 inches) with three fine-art paper options. You can find out more about it here. The boxes have a notched area that allows for the paper to be easily removed, which is a nice touch that combines stability and convenience.
Booth 1055 – Hoodman is constantly innovating, and in addition to their loupes for DSLRs and video cameras, they were showing quite a few hoods for use when flying drones. They even make a hood for GoPro units called the H-200 (about $20).
Booth 1148: This is another great company who makes inkjet papers. Here is an overview of two new art papers developed in cooperation with Fabriano, as well as information about their new Editions Line of inkjet papers. Their booth also features some stunning large format prints of Marilyn Monroe photographed by Milton H. Greene.
Booth 948 – LumeCube launched with a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and their main lighting product is nothing short of amazing. It’s a small cube that produces super-bright daylight-balanced light. You can even control the LumeCubes with an iOS or Android device, which allows for much more control. They also offer a 5-Pack Colored Cap Kit for about $10 that interfaces with the app so that you can easily tell one LumeCube from another. They were also showing new aluminum “cages” for gels and other light modifiers. And for drone owners who want to light up the sky, they recently released mounts without lights as well as custom lighting kits for specific drones that include two LumeCube units.
Booth 948 – Last year at the show I purchased quite a few MagMod accessories, which are designed to work with just about any shoe-mount flash or continuous light. What makes their system unique is how the accessories connect via a magnetic system to the lights. I highly recommend stopping by to see their innovative products, and you can even bring your own flash to test out their products.
Booth 555 – Manfrotto has so many outstanding products, from tripods and “video monopods” that have small retractable feet, to bags that can carry many light stands and other equipment.
Moab by Legion Paper
Booth 848 – Moab has a very large selection of high quality inkjet papers and the prints they show in their booth are truly stunning, including a panoramic print of a glacier and ship by Joshua Holko which he photographed in Antarctica. It must be seen to be believed! For more of his incredible work, visit this page.
Booth 558 –Photo booths are extremely popular, and this company has a number of affordable solutions that impressed me. They simplify everything and their hardware looks great. You can even test it out and walk away with a print and/or a 4 frame animated GIF!
My Case Builder
Booth 1069 – This company does something truly amazing: they custom cut foam inserts similar to the open case that’s in the photo below in the Nanuk booth photo. In fact, the company resells Nanuk cases as well as other cases so you can choose both a case and a custom insert at the same time. They recommend you actually ship your gear to them so that they can properly fit everything, but if you have standard cameras, etc., you can have them create an insert online without having to send any gear in.
Booth 170 – This company makes some super-strong hard cases for a very wide range of devices. Some even have extension handles to make carrying them through airports and other locations much easier. They also have cases that are perfect for light stands.
OWC (Other World Computing)
Booth 462 – If you are not familiar with OWC, you should first take a look at their site, macsales.com. If you need an empty enclosure for any hard drive, a RAID system with drives, a new SSD drive, a dual hard drive “bay” to run bare hard drives/SSD drives in, or if you are looking for a reconditioned Apple laptop, iMac, or other Mac, they are definitely a place to check out.
Booth 661 – Peak Design is a company that I’ve been very impressed by for years. I’ve been using their Capture Clips (Capture and Capture PRO) since their first Kickstarter campaign in May of 2011. Since then, they’ve done a few more hugely successful Kickstarters, and recently, they really hit a home run with over $6 million raised for a number of new camera/gear bags. Here’s a great story about Peter Dering, the company’s founder and CEO. Their booth at the show is very well laid out, with all of the gear at eye level and on tables just in front of the items.
Booth 949 – This company’s booth is truly spectacular! They specialize in custom flash drives as well as boxes and related items that hold prints, USB thumb drives, etc. They also recently introduced slip-in mats that they call “Simply Slip-Ins Archival.” They are also running a “Virtual Trade Show” during the PhotoPlusExpo on their site at PhotoFlashDrive.com.
Photofocus (Featuring Four Exhibitors: Perfectly Clear by Athentech, Platypod Pro, and Plotagraph)
Booth 869 – I give the folks at Photofocus a lot of credit for putting together an awesome booth packed with great hardware, software and friendly people answering questions about photography, Lightroom, etc. I’m honored to have written quite a few articles on Photofocus.com, and I highly recommend the website.
Re: the companies whose products are being featured in their booth, I watched an impressive demo of the Perfectly Clear plug-ins by Levi Sim (see photo below). With just a few presets and slider adjustments, he was able to dramatically improve an environmental portrait.
The Platypod Pro products are so simple, but powerful. They are essentially weighted plates (currently there are three options) that can hold all types of gear, including ballheads, cameras and lights. At the booth there are a number of them set up with different equipment. You can even thread some webbing (a.k.a. strapping) or a tension strap through the Platypod Pros’ belt slots and wrap them around trees, strap them to railings, etc. Levi Sim wrote a great article about how he used the Platypod Pro Max while hiking, and Richard Harrington, also from Photofocus.com, wrote a very good article about the Platypod Pro Max here. This Facebook post from Platypod Pro shows how you can even use cable ties to secure the Platypod Pro (not sure if you can do this with all of them, but you can see how it is done here with a Platypod Pro Base Plate).
Plotagraph is a software that’s truly amazing. Essentially, you can turn a still image into one that has motion. Picture a scene with clouds that can be animated to look as though they are moving. I had a demo with the inventor of the software and CEO of the company, Troy Plota, and I look forward to testing it out for myself soon. Below are Troy Plota’s hands using an iPad Pro to make adjustments to one of my photographs using the software. I learned that fireworks photos take some expertise to animate well!
And for those interested in attending a photo walk Friday evening, 10/21, Photofocus will be meeting in Times Square at 7pm. For details, visit this page. There is no need to sign up to attend, but if you do register (as long as there are still free tickets remaining), you will be eligible for prizes from the three companies listed above who are exhibiting in the Photofocus booth, as well as ThinkTAP Learn.
Booth 519 – Sony’s booth, like usual, is very impressive. They have a number of model photography areas, and the photos on the wall taken with Sony gear also look great. You will also find a café inside the booth serving coffee and other beverages, which was a nice touch!
Booth 124 – I always like visiting the Westcott booth to see their lighting and modifiers, such as their Rapid Box, which is available in a number of sizes. Below is an embedded post from Instagram from their booth:
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