(Above: RC took this shot of me standing in front of the Westcott booth with a video of me doing a lighting demo on the wall right behind me).

Hi Gang: As you read this I’m already on my way back from a quick overnight trip to New York to spend the day checking out all the goodies on the Expo floor at Photo Plus Expo. This was a fun trip for me, and since I didn’t have to do any speaking, my wife and two friends came along and after the show we all had dinner at my favorite restaurant (Carmine’s on West 44th) and then we caught the Broadway musical “Memphis” (which was awesome!), plus my big brother Jeff joined us, so it was really a blast.

The Show Floor
Although I wound up having a few meetings while I was there, there were two things I really wanted to do: (1) Check out all the latest gear from the vendors, and (2) watch some demos and presentations at some of the booths.

Westcott was getting a lot of attention
I caught bits and pieces of Jim Schmelzer’s demos over at the Westcott booth, and I’ve gotta tell ya—every time I watch Jim I learn something new, and was no exception. He was demoing and teaching lighting in general, and was showing off Westcott’s giant 7 foot parabolic umbrellas (they only cost around $100) with their Spiderlite TD-6s, and they looked really great. Jim had a huge crowd the entire day and I was peaking over people’s heads just to get a glimpse of what he was showing.

(Above: Mark Astman snapped this iPhone photo of me posing in front of one of my photos on the wall of their booth. It was such a kick to see one of my shots displayed that large).

Manfrotto keeps growing
Manfrotto had a large theater and it was packed all the time. Although I missed seeing Joe McNally present, I caught a little of Bobbi Lane’s presentation, and she had a really informative live lighting demo.

Sony was rocking
Once again, Sony had a huge booth with some really interesting Demos—they had Japanese dancers in traditional costumes out front, and hows of their cameras so you could shoot stills and/or video, and they were doing small demos in the back of the booth, and I watched two really interesting live lighting demos there as well.

Nikon was….well….
Of course, everybody and their brother was expecting Nikon to reveal something big at the show, either a replacement for the D300, or the D3, or both, but it was not to be. The natural disasters in Asia this year have really wreaked havoc on the camera industry, and while nobody at Nikon told me that directly, everybody else I talked with was talking about that being the reason we didn’t have any new Nikon gear this year.

Canon however…
Was showing off its just announced Canon EOS 1-DX and I actually got my hands on one. I have to it, it looked and felt pretty sweet, but just holding one in the booth, and not getting to test drive one pretty much left you with the spec you’ve read about on the Web, which are really impressive. Can’t wait until March to try out the low-noise and speed of that puppy, but until then…..I just got to hold it.

Epson Was Busy As Usual
Their booth was hopping, and they had some amazing prints every where you looked, and a huge backlit wall of photo of boxers that was really interesting.

Miller’s Imaging launched some cool new stuff
Miller’s Imaging (the high-end lab from the same folks who do MPIX), introduced some blind-embossing, and we saw some samples that looked beautiful. Really cool to see, and feel this type of stuff in person.

There was so much more—Peachpit Press was there and I signed a bunch of my books. I ran in to all sorts of folks, from Vincent Versace to Rick Sammon, from Syl Arena to Erik Valind. DJ Brad Moore was there with me at the show, and RC Concepcion was absolutely everywhere (he covered that place like a carpet).

Lots more to share, but I’ve got to hit the sack. It was fun to get away, the show and dinner were great, and it was great to learn some new stuff, to see some old friends, and get to enjoy a little of my favorite city. I love New York!