My Week in Review...
Wow... Where do I start?
I just came back from LasVegas where I spent 6 days, making some amazing images and
My trip was planned a year ago when I attended my first
Photoshop World in 2010.
I new from the moment I attended the opening ceremony last year, that I would be back again!
This year, I had the chance to go 2 days before the conferences started and spent time just roaming around, making pictures and hanging out.
Let me start my saying that the day before I flew out, I recieved and email giving me the opportunity to take a day trip with some FB friends that I had never met, (that's another story), to go to Nelson, just outside of Vegas with a bunch of photographers.
The added bonus for me was that Frank Doorhof a photographer from the Netherlands would also be there. I have been a fan of his fashion photography for sometime. To have the opportunity to watch him shoot in such a small group setting was incredible! I went, shot, watched and learned from a master. Yup I was right it was INCREDIBLE!
For me my first day in Vegas was very awesome. I met some of those facebook friends for the first time on the trip to Nelson. My friend Jackie flew in just in time to make it to a meet up at "The House of Blues" that evening . The same Facebook friends I met earlier that day and lots more gathered that night and I don't mean like one or two, I mean like 20 or more.
They were fun and friendly, greeted me with a hug or handshake and even teased me here and there like we were old friends. Starting off my week making so many new friends made the classes and the whole Photoshop World experience all the better.
I had friends to eat with everyday, sit with in classes and explore the expo floor with. It was like that old shampoo commerical the one that says I told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on. That's how the week went from that night on. I met some friends and they shared their friends and I shared my friends and so on and so on and so on.
By the end of the week, it was impossible to be in a room and not know at least 15 or 20 people. Ah the power of social networking! Got to love it.
Headed out to the Valley of Fire first thing in the morning with my friend Jackie. We spent the entire morning rambling through the desert with no goal other than to at some point see the Hoover Dam and take great pictures.
Working as a portrait photographer, it's been a long time since I shot any kind of landscapes. The desert yielded the most beautiful scenery and colors I have ever seen.
I broke out my tripod and did some HDR shots. Loving the warmth of the sun on my face and having no where to be. We sat at some points and just enjoyed the moment. Not even taking a single photograph. At other times we shot tons of the same scene just trying to show the beauty of it.
(Here are some of my favorites)
We did make it to the Hoover Dam that day too! Just the size and height of it was breath- taking. We walked along the top and made sure to cross into Arizona so we could say we did it and entered a different time zone.
It was hokey but it made
This year, I had the added bonus of making it into the finals for the Guru Award in the photography category. It all started when I recieved and email from the Kelby Media group informing me that I was one of 3 photographers vying for the Guru which would be announced at the opening Keynote ceremony. I didn't tell anyone for a few days for fear if I said it out loud it would go away. I finally told friends after reading that email for the 100th time. It was unbelieveable news to me.
In the photography world, I can only equate it to feeling like I made it to the academy awards. Sitting in a special section seeing your image up on the big screens and hearing them say my name and show my entry was unreal. It's true it is an honor to be considered even though the Guru went to someone else. I will never forget the moment.
This is the display outside the expo that showed all the finalists.
Below is the image that I submitted was a 14-1/2 minute long exposure taken in Quebec at the Basillica of Saint Anne DeBeaupre' a place believed to be the site of miracles. It was very simply called "The Blue Basillica". Getting that email was like my mini miracle.
With the Opening Ceremony over, classes began. I sat in on sessions with some of my photographic heros. Learned from some of the best photographers and instructors in the industry. They were fun, engaging and very approachable. They welcomed our thoughts and comments eagerly and encouragingly.
Between classes everyday, the expo floor opened. The highlight was the Westcott lighting booth. The booth was set up with 4 bays to shoot with different models each day. That seemed to be the place where we would gather and hang out with new friends and old, shooting, laughing & just creating chaos when the models left the booth we would jump in and photograph each other it was hysterical. Below are some of my favorite shots of the models and friends.
And so it went for 3 full days. Learning, shooting, laughing and networking. We wrapped up our conferences on Friday afternoon. I said goodbye to my new friends and old. The week was unforgettable more for the friends I made than for the classes I took. Spending a week in the company of my peers has always been what Photoshop World is all about. I learned that my first time there, it was reinforced this year when I spent the week hanging with the "cool kids" and you know who you are!
Late Friday night I flew out on the red-eye first to Boston and then on to home and family in Maine. If you asked how I spent my last few hours from 5 to midnight in Vegas before heading to the airport my answer would be with friends and a camera in my hand.
Here are some of the last shots from Vegas!