Fun at PhotoPlus 2014

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The enormous PhotoPlus event held at New York’s Javits Center in autumn each year is photographer heaven. Everything photography is there to visit, inspect, try out — it’s energizing just to be there. An amazing variety of seminars is also available, many of them by prominent photographers, but I just enjoy spending a couple of hours walking around the exhibit hall, usually with my map marked out with the booths I definitely don’t want to miss. As usual, this year I visited the Canson Infinity display where friend and fellow Hudson Valley photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr. holds forth; the AdoramaPix display, where you can spin the prize wheel and are guaranteed to win something — perhaps even a $100 gift card (this time I won a free 8 x 10 canvas print; and the LaCie booth, as I’m usually interested in external hard drive storage solutions.

The major manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon always have gorgeous prints on display by the big-name photographers who use their gear, and taking these in is always a “must”; this year I was especially struck by the work of Elizabeth Carmel. And I went by the Sony display because, as often happens, I’m itching for a new high-end point-and-shoot and wanted to check out some of their gear that’s been highly praised. And if you were looking really hard, you would have noticed the little booth occupied by Adventures in Photography. Run by my friends from the Ridgewood Camera Club Martin Joffe, Boris Hardouin-Deleuze, and Jia Han Dong, Adventures in Photography is an offshoot of the Camera Club field trips (now a completely independent venture) that offers everything from photo trips of one or several days to workshops on postprocessing and presentations by prominent pros.

Here are some photos from Friday October 31:

I loved Sony's Halloween-like color.

I loved Sony’s Halloween-like color.

Martin and Boris of Adventures in Photography were on hand to greet people and talk about what they have to offer.

Martin and Boris of Adventures in Photography were on hand to greet people and talk about what they have to offer.

Take your chance at the AdoramaPix prize wheel -- you're guaranteed a prize.

Take your chance at the AdoramaPix prize wheel — you’re guaranteed a prize.

You can see where my loyalties lie. In any case, Nikon's display always provides great material for exploring shapes and angles.

You can see where my loyalties lie. In any case, Nikon’s display always provides great material for exploring shapes and angles.

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Intimate Landscapes by Robert Rodriguez

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Robert Rodriguez, Jr. is one of the greatest landscape photographers working in the Hudson Valley. Robert has that most important gift of all — knowing how and when to capture the beautiful light. But that gift doesn’t come without hard work, work that takes time. In fact, at Sunday’s reception for his new show at the RiverWinds Gallery in his home town of Beacon, Robert emphasized that the most important “tool” in a nature photographer’s kit is time–time to return again and again to a specific place in order to scope out the best compositions and to wait patiently until the lighting conditions are optimum for your vision of a scene. As an example, he pointed to his stunning black-and-white image from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, taken during a vacation with his family, and recounted how it took four visits to that particular site before the light was right and he got the image he wanted. This is food for thought in a day and age when prodigious prolificness seems to be demanded of photographers; Robert shows that one needn’t buy into this.

And a gorgeous image this is. I find it interesting that many nature photographers are turning to black-and-white, not exclusively, but certainly a sufficient number of magnificent black-and-white landscape pictures are turning up that one can speak of a black-and-white renaissance.

My little snapshot at the top of the blog gives you a modest (very modest) idea of Robert’s work through the windows of the RiverWinds Gallery. If you have the opportunity to visit his exhibit, it will be at the gallery through March 4. Visit the gallery’s website for opening hours and directions. It is very easy to get to (if I say that, it’s guaranteed to be true), right off Route 9D from the I-84, and Beacon itself is worth visiting, especially for art aficionados and anyone who would appreciate amazing views of the Hudson River.

PhotoPlus — Heaven for Photographers

Late October may mean Halloween for most folks, but for photographers in the New York Metro area (and beyond) it means the huge three-day PhotoPlus Expo at New York’s Javits Center, the most awaited event of the year.  Photographers flock to PhotoPlus from many miles around (I overheard one couple telling a vendor that they were from the Dominican Republic!) to check out the latest equipment, possibly pick up a good deal at the “show price,” meet other photographers, and attend the talks and keynote addresses. And so yesterday there I was, making a beeline for the Canon exhibit (need I mention that Nikon and Canon have the most humongous exhibits in the entire show?) to check out the recently released Canon Powershot G15. Slightly smaller than its immediate predecessors (I own two G11s, one converted to infrared) and with controls slightly different, no articulated LCD display, but 12 megapixels instead of 10, I decided to spring for it when I found that Unique Photo, that great camera store in New Jersey, was offering a special show price.

Nikon had its usual crowd queuing up for the free goodies, which always includes a calendar with the most stunning photos; this one always finds a place on one of my walls. I also got to handle samples of some upscale models that I’m not likely to be able to afford in this lifetime!  Nikon chose to highlight their Coolpix line, which is produced in an extensive range of sizes and capabilities. Over at Canson Infinity’s display I met fellow Hudson Valley photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr., who uses their exquisite paper to print his pictures. Robert is one of the finest photographers around, and we had an enjoyable chat about places familiar to both of us.

Renowned photographer Rick Sammon gave an informative and inspiring talk.

Another retailer doing a brisk business was Midwest Photo Exchange from Columbus, Ohio. Their staff was unbelievably helpful and good-natured under incredible pressure, and I picked up a LaCie Rugged Mini because I desperately need a new photo storage place to free up space on my computer (I don’t want it to explode when I install Perfectly Clear, the phenomenal editing software that Rick Sammon was plugging). The rep at LaCie was helpful about their products, and I’m going to use their cloud storage, Wuala, as another backup. One does hear horror stories about cloud storage companies going belly-up, taking all the files with them, but this company has been around for 30 years, and so …

Here are more photos from the event.

Showing my true allegiance …

Some exhibitors provide models and dancers that you can photograph.

Another model. Now, why do you suppose only men were photographing this one?