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I’m up in Boston for the kick-off of my new one-day workshop called “Photoshop For Digital Photographers,” but while I’m teaching today, I wanted to give you guys a quick highlights/wrap-up of the Photo Plus Expo which wrapped up on Saturday in New York. (The photo above [click for much larger view]  was taken during my Saturday presentation at Nikon’s main stage—-photo by Rafael “RC” Concepcion).

The Buzz
The big buzz was about digital video on DSLRs, and editing that video. I saw a number of vendors selling different mounts and stedicam-like brackets for getting smooth hand-held HD video from DSLRs, and everybody was talking video (which is weird for a photo tradeshow). Lightroom 3 was getting some buzz, but since Adobe wasn’t exhibiting, a lot of the buzz was “Where’s Adobe?” Nikon’s D3s and Canon’s 7D were both getting a lot of buzz, too. I saw lots of booths from companies offering: (a) online portfolios (b) printed photo and wedding books (c) printing on different mediums (metal, aluminum, etc).

The Attendance
I have no idea what the official attendance number was, but the show seemed very crowded the entire time, and the aisles were always busy. We had a NAPP booth at the show, and had one of our best shows in years, and every vendor I talked with seemed really upbeat and busy, and that’s a good thing.

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Cool Stuff I Saw
JVC had a 3D television (you had to wear 3D glasses), that was really cool. I went by Think Tank Photo’s booth three times to try and finally meet someone from Think Tank in person, but it was so crazy in their booth, you couldn’t move. You’d think they were handing out $20 bills (that’s their booth above–photo by Rafael). Moo.com was there with their photo business cards (where you can get up to 50 cards business cards, each with a different photo), and it seems like I’m the last one on earth to have heard about them, because everybody had Moo.com cards already. Olympus had a pretty cool almost-point-and-shoot camera called the Pen that people were talking about. Nikon had a packed house for their Capture NX 2 theater, and their booth was a mob-scene morning til night. Nik Software had ‘em wall to wall checking out Viveza 2 (totally amazing) in their theater, and I saw quite a few microstock companies there as well.

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Awesome Demos
Matt Kloskowski and I both did demos over at the Elinchrom booth (that’s Matt seen during his demo in the “taken with my iPhone” photo above). Jim Smelzer was pulling a huge crowd for three solid days for his lighting demos in the Westcott booth, and people were eating his stuff up (that’s Jim holding the softbox above).

Also, UK-based fashion photographer Mark Cleghorn was doing live lighting demos at the Lastolite booth and he had ‘em packed in. I just caught the end of a demo at the Asukabook booth, but they had a bride and groom in the booth, with a photographer giving posing tips, and what I saw was really interesting. Saw a great presentation from Tyler Stableford at the Canon booth, who had some incredible adventure sports photography and portraits (here’s his site), and I saw Douglas Kirkland doing a fashion lighting demo for Canon that was very interesting and entertaining. Also saw a great presentation from celebrity photographer Jerry Aveniam at the Lexar media booth. There were so many great presentations all over—I wish I had more time to check them out. (That’s my brother Jeff and Dave Loebig in the NAPP booth in the photo below—-photo by Rafael)

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Conference Sessions
I got to attend three workshops on the conference track; two of which were absolutely fantastic. The first was from wedding photographer Cliff Mautner, and Matt and I both caught his class and we were blown away. This guy is the real deal—incredible photographer and teacher. I learned a bunch (he does live workshops—here’s the link). I also caught a Sport Photography workshop given by Sports Illustrated’s Peter Read Miller and it was just absolutely fantastic!!!! He was very informative; gave very specific information, and I took loads of notes the whole time. He was very gracious and humble, (especially for a living legend of sports photography), and I learned a lot. Really, one of the highlights of the whole trip for me.

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(Above. Softboxes. Mmmm!). There was one workshop Matt and I were really disappointed in, because the instructor didn’t teach anything—he just showed slides and talked about himself (and how much smarter he was than the art directors, and the clients, and well…everybody). Matt and I eventually walked about after about an hour and a half. Outside of that—-it was great!!! I also saw Julieanne Kost teaching Lightroom. I was only in the classroom about 10 minutes and sure enough—I learned something I didn’t know. Dang, she’s good! (That’s Bogen Product Manager Mark Astmann below, showing off my beloved Ranger Quadra. Mmmmm. Quadra. Photo by Rafael).

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Good Friends and Good Fun
One of my favorite parts of PPE is seeing so many friends and making new ones. I saw a lot of my Photoshop World buddies, like Joe McNally, Vincent Versace, Jack Reznicki, Kevin Ames, Steve Inglima, and of course Matty K, and Dave Cross (by the way—Matt few home Friday night to compete in a Martial Arts tournament on Saturday, and he wound up taking 1st place in Sparring and 2nd place in Forms. Congrats Matt!!!). Scott, Ted, and Sara Jane from Peachpit were there, too. My wonderful older brother Jeff was there and we got to hang out a little, which is always awesome.

I also talked sports photographers Matt Lange and Don Page (the guys I shot the Louisiana Tech game with last week), into coming to New York for PPE, and we hung out the whole show and I introduced them to “the gang” who took them in like they were old friends. Both are really great guys, and I think they made a lot of new friends, too (Don, RC, and Brad wound up hanging out one night at Joey L’s house until way late along with Jeremy Cowart, Dustin Snipes, and company—-Matt Lange had to get back to shoot the LSU game on Saturday).

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Kudo’s to Anthony Bourdain!
The night before Photoshop World last month, my buddy Rod Harlan and I stayed up watching the Travel Channel show “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations” and he did a show called “Disappearing Manhattan” based on all these amazing restaurants that have been around “forever” and are one of kind places, with amazing histories and food to match (which is why they’re still around). I had already been to one of the places he profiled on the show (Katz’s Deli), but I got to two more from his list. “Keen’s Chophouse” (just amazing steaks and atmosphere), and Mangenaro’s Italian Foods and Restaurant (which I totally loved), shown in the iPhone photo above.

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Also, my wife told me about a place she read about called “Pop Burger” and RC and I had to check it out after the show closed (that’s RC at Pop-burger above in another “iPhone photo.”).

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Thanks, You Guys!
My humble thanks to everybody who came by to catch my presentations at Nikon’s booth, or at the Elinchrom booth, or who caught my panel appearance in Jack Hollingsworth’s session on Social Media for photographers. Also, thanks to Andrew, Mike & Mike, Ed, Joe, Bill, Scott, Mr. Fortney, Annie, and everybody at Nikon who were just absolutely wonderful to me. It truly was an honor to speak for you guys. (The photo above is something I never thought I’d see—-one of my prints [the football player] hanging in the Nikon booth. For me, that was really a thrill. Photo by Rafael). Also, thanks to the Photo Plus crew for hosting such a great show. Can’t wait till next year!