New York City PhotoPlus + Photo Walk

My recent visit to New York City (10th time!) was the most memorable of all (as a photographer)! While previous visits were memorable in their own right, this one was filled with several events and circumstances which made me pause, reflect and relish in the moment more than ever before. I will focus here on just one particular area of interest…What made this so memorable as a photographer? Read on…

I was in New York City for 9 days, solo, with a fairly open schedule. I knew that the timing of my visit coincided with the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference and Expo, the largest photography show in North America, attracting over 22,000 professional photographers and enthusiasts. There were over 220 exhibits, thousands of new products on display and for sale, numerous conference seminars, keynote presentations, special events & much more. This was THE PLACE TO BE for photographers! 

While I didn’t register for any of the workshops, I did visit the PhotoPlus Expo several times, where I was able to test and learn about all kinds of gear before making the purchase! And I had quite the shopping list! As a photographer, this was the equivalent of putting a kid in a candy store!

At a pre-conference networking event, an older fella asked me if I knew about the private party that was being held at B&H Superstore (this is truly is THE Photographer’s candy store) that evening after the networking event. No…I didn’t know about this! Was I supposed to have signed up? He didn’t know either. That didn’t stop me from heading over to B&H, where I found a long line of photographers forming around the building for access to the party. I was so hoping that I wouldn’t be turned away when I got to the door (I had my conference badge on, just like everyone else). When my time came, I was welcomed in with the others! I made it in!

I was at a private after-hours party in B&H, surrounded by hundreds of people and every type of photographic equipment imaginable (which we could test out)! Hosts and hostesses were walking around with all kinds of hors d’oeuvres, food and drink stations were set up, including an open bar!

Prizes were being drawn throughout the evening; recognizable faces (photography celebrities- see photo with Matt Kloskowski) were popping up everywhere. Did I mention how exciting this was for me?

Tawna Brown and Matt Kloskowski at PhotoPlus

As I mentioned, I had a shopping list of photography gear, and because I had so much time in the Big Apple, I was able to check out the selection at both B&H and the Expo- I had the widest selection possible to choose from! (That was no easy task for me though! For those of you who really know me, you know I am challenged in the decision-making department!) In the end however, I was very happy with my purchases. There were only a couple of things on my list that I didn’t end up purchasing yet, and those were ND filters for my lenses.

All this aside, what REALLY was the MAIN photography-related highlight of my trip, was getting to meet two of my very favourite travel photographers,  Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky.

I strongly encourage you to check out their websites (click on their names above); they are incredibly talented and I was thrilled to meet and talk with them at the Expo. But it didn’t end there! Read on…

On my very last day in New York, Ken and Elia had organized a Photo Walk with “Walks of New York,” with up to $5000 worth in prizes to be won by participants!  All you needed to do was show up!

Photographers on New York City Photo Walk

For the 8 days previous, I was blessed with beautiful fall weather…but as luck would have it, it was a rainy day for the Photo Walk. I actually contemplated not going, as it was wet, cold and I would be needing to wake up at 3:00am the next day for my long journey home.  

What was I thinking?! How could I let weather get in the way of me going on my very 1st photo walk in my favourite city in the world with two of my  favourite photographers?! Clearly I wasn’t thinking very straight, but that didn’t last for long. I knew I couldn’t let this amazing opportunity slip me by. I wore my warmest clothes, brought a spare pair of socks, zipped up my raincoat and rushed (and panicked) to get to our meeting spot on time! (I even had to text Ken to let him know I was on the train, on my way, and please do not leave yet!)  I’m so glad that I went…. because….

Formatt Hitech Master Filter Kit - Ken Kaminesky Signature Edition

I was a very lucky winner!! Ken drew my name for the brand spankin new Formatt Hitech Master (firecrest) Filter Kit – Ken Kaminesky Signature Edition!  This is a top of the line complete filter kit, valued at $1000 (for the 100mm); and remember, this was the one thing I hadn’t yet purchased on my gear list! I was a lucky duck that rainy day!

Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky

Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky at NYC Photo Walk

For those of you who don’t know what these filters are for, have a read through Ken Kaminesky’s informative blog post here. These filters will allow me to take long-exposure shots of busy streets in daylight and it will appear as if there were no people there; soften and slow down the movement of water (ocean, waterfalls, etc); reduce glare and reflection from non-metallic surfaces (like glass, water, etc); and many other things.  The filters allow for greater control over the exposure (or the amount of light that gets through to camera’s sensor). I haven’t yet received the kit, but am very excited to try out the filters.  (Elia also recently introduced his own Formatt-Hitech Travel Filter Kit, Elia Locardi signature edition).

Some more photos from the Photo Walk (you can click on an image to open up individually) 

This was such an exciting experience for me! If you can help it, don’t ever let weather get in the way of doing something you really want to do, especially if it is your passion! Just do it! Seize the day, you never know if that opportunity will come your way again. Thank you Ken and Elia! It was a thrill to meet you both and hang out during (and after) the Photo Walk!  I look forward to joining you on one of your photography expeditions one day…possibly during my upcoming year off!

Ken Kaminesky, Tawna Brown, and Elia Locardi - happy photographers enjoying a pint after a successful Photo Walk!

Ken Kaminesky, Tawna Brown, and Elia Locardi – happy photographers enjoying a pint after a successful Photo Walk!


This entry was posted in Events, New York, Travel and tagged , , , , .


  1. Aimee December 22, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Great recap of your trip! Sounds amazing! When do you start your year off? What is the first stop?

    • tawnabrown December 23, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      Hi Aimee…I’m not quite ready to announce my travel plans yet… still a work in progress. This will certainly be the subject of another post:) Officially I begin March 16, and I wasn’t planning to leave for the long haul until mid-May, except for a particular opportunity/vent/trip that came up in April, but I won’t disclose that right now. Time is flying! Stay tuned! Merry Christmas!

  2. Karen December 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    I envy you. I love NYC also. We have relatives that we stay with there. Haven’t been there for a few years now but hopefully 2015 will find us back for a visit.

  3. arthur December 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Absolutely unbelievable Tawna……incredible images!!

    Very, very professional – exceptional!!

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:51 am #

      You’re a sweetheart Arthur! Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it; I do this to share with others, and it means so much more to me when others get enjoyment out of my work!

  4. Rita Brown December 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    So incredible and what an interesting story! Congrats on winning an item on your “wanted” list! It seems like every road you take has some great experience and reward waiting for you at the end of it! So proud of your journey….can’t wait to see what your year of travelling brings for you! Those that work hard at their passion, succeed!

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:53 am #

      Thank you Rita (aka MOM!); I realize I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to have a year off and am able to travel the world; I want to make the most of this and will share as much of it as I can with those who are with me on my journey!

  5. Paula Wheeler December 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    What an exciting time you had. I’m glad you dealt with the weather, otherwise you would’ve had major regrets. Congrat’s on being the lucky winner 🙂

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:48 am #

      Happy New Year Paula! Yes, that was the lesson I learned, to do something I love – when it’s right there in front of me, regardless of what the weather was like or what else was going on. This was one of those things that doesn’t come around everyday and I’m so happy with my decisions… so the point is, to JUST DO IT!

  6. Judy December 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Amazing, Incredible photos. One can tell you are very passionate about photography. I will be looking forward to your postings on your world travels. Keep having fun.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:49 am #

      Thank you Auntie Judy! I’m so glad you’ve decided to come along with me on my journey!

  7. Chris December 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Hi Tawna, really enjoyed your post and the pictures where great. Looks like you had a great time. Congratulations.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Hi Chris! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It was a fabulous time… I will never tire of New York… if you really love a place, it never grows old:) I have so many more stories to tell, but I might jump around and regress a bit, and post a story or two from my travels in 2014. 2015 is going to be a big year for travel, and I intend to write more often! Cheers!

  8. Tara December 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    I always enjoy looking at these exciting moments for you through the photo lens.
    I am glad you decided to go…you were a winner in more than one way. Great photos
    Can’t wait to read about your next journey! Merry Christmas.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Thank you Tara:) I enjoy sharing the photos and stories with others, to inspire them to visit these places someday, or to share a lesson with them, or to just give them a vicarious journey! Happy New Year! Lots to look forward to this year:)

  9. Numa Pass December 30, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Maybe the rain was a good thing. A wet, chilly New York is still New York after all. Your photos are great as usual. Really liked the Times Square crosswalk with the two pedestrians.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Thank you John! I’m always interested in which images speak to the viewer…I almost didn’t include that one! And yes, the rain was a good thing… it gave a good punch of colour to everything!

  10. Mary December 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Loved your photos and the stories that went with them. Hope to do the same in the near future.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Thank you Mary! Glad you enjoyed. More to come in the future!

  11. Mary Ann December 31, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Is this held every year? Wish I had known about it.

    • tawnabrown January 2, 2015 at 10:38 am #

      Yes it is Mary Ann, I included the links in the post (the different coloured text in the post indicates a hyperlink), here is the main site: PhotoPlusExpo. Another amazing event is PhotoShop World, (held annually in Las Vegas and in another location), it has all kinds of Photoshop, Lightroom and photography training and events (software and photography). I LOVED IT! You won’t regret attending either of these events!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *