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!Matt Kloskowski) were popping up everywhere. Did I mention how exciting this was for me?
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.
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!
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….
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!
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!