madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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Photo Con Report

Friday saw a mildly later start than original plans called for, not to be confused with a late start. Originally, based on potential meetings with a couple people, I'd figured to be on the road around 08:30 - 09:00 on Friday. Meetings fell through and I helped out with several things on the Ranch (small things, nothing big). Hit the road around 11:30 - 11:45. Six hours later, arrived in Naples.

That provides quite a skip-over of things, though. First up, I drove down the 19, more the coast road rather than the Interstate. Slower pace, still quick, and mostly relaxed until getting nearer to the big metropolitan build-up around the West Coast Bay. My plan there involved jogging over on another road and picking up the Interstate Bypass to cross the mouth of the Bay on the Sunshine Skyway. Mostly this worked fine. One traffic bobble shortly before my turn, all to a standstill due to a pedestrian (I think, as I didn't see any wrecked autos only this body on the road with the EMT's and cops about). Past that though and pace picked up. Through the toll-booth and across the bridge, with a pause (first stop) in the rest area on the south end causeway. Relief of intra-cystic hydrostatic pressure, lunch, and a few photos of the bridge. Then back onto the road, and Interstate the rest of the way to my exit, close onto the La Quinta.

Asked about a nearby grocery store and the reference was to a Super Wally World. OK - still provided enough groceries to serve dinner, and lunch. Checked in with home, got the groceries, settled in for the evening.

Up the next morning, enjoyed the Complimentary Continental Breakfast and down the road to the site, Edison State College. There early. Expected Registration per the brochure. Not so much. People there, yes, calling off for those who'd signed on to the various photographic field trips. Workshops to start in another hour and a half. So I signed on for an afternoon Photo Walk, then walked about the campus a bit and photographed an interesting landscaping feature. More later. Not revealing until you can see it, for the wonderful pun value in the title.

Back to the non-registration area in time for call to class. I'd signed up for a Photoshop class, not sure what to expect for the extra fee, hoped for maybe a computer lab. While no computer lab, the class proved worth the fee for sure. Extra insights into layer masks and a few other aspects I've been puzzling over (albeit not desperately, from the two texts I've got which suit my needs). Three hours later, with notes, and I'm going to be playing with this stretch in knowledge later this evening and this week. Class over, back to the La Quinta for the previously purchased lunch materials, and then off to Downtown Naples for the Photo Walk.

Mind you, that notorious Otterz Mob photography Phil 'Popper' Aussie stowed away and mooched along as much as he could for free. So he came with us on the Photo Walk. Friendly otterz that he is, some folk liked him, some didn't, and he joined in with the overall pursuit of photo ops. Street scenes, other photographers catching light, Popper himself taking a dive while trying for a vantage point, and a big pond with some birds. Started the Photo Walk at 15:00, called it a wrap around 18:00. I'd debated heading over to the Pier for sunset photos until I learned that location is pay parking. I'd opted for minimal expenses this trip. Headed back to the La Quinta, stopped for dinner makings at a preferred grocery store (not the SWW previously mentioned), and read through my notes, comparing them to one of those texts I mentioned while eating dinner. Watched some mindless tube for a bit, and sleep came early.

Daylight Stupid Time Change came into play during the night.

Found Registration on Sunday morning (after another Complimentary Continental Breakfast and check-out)! Certain materials in the registration packet would of proved quite handy on the previous day. Probably the only down side to the entire weekend. Got registered, sorted through the packet, and specifically marked the sessions I planned to attend. Skipped the (abbreviated) repeat of the Photoshop this day, hit the Lighting and Coffee Table Books sessions. Following those, went to see the Vendors.

My mind kept wanting to say 'Trade Show' (AORN Con Reference). 'Dealer's Room' would work as well (Other Con Reference). Did spend a wee bit of money here. Picked up another lighting stand with boom arm, bit heftier than current pieces on hand. Partially this is to help me in planning some more 'Do It Yourself' pieces. Good to work from an example.

Lunch provided for pre-registered attendees was a 'Traditional Pig Roast Luau.' Don't know about the luau part even though I did wear one of my Hawaiian shirts. I mean, didn't look like a luau. I do suspect piggie had been pit-roasted though, based on being a whole pig tender and moist, with crackly skin (for those as wanted). Barbecue chicken, sausage and onions, along with potatoes and carrots and salad. Didn't walk away hungry, for sure.

After lunch, played with a Tamron 70 - 200 zoom lens. These folks came by one of the camera club meetings a month or so back, but since didn't have a camera with me at the club meeting (rarely do, actually) couldn't do more than read and heft for weight. Fellow at this booth happily let us play with the lenses. Of course, he kept one of our lenses as collateral, reasonable actually.

Images aren't particularly for public view on these; I didn't go walkabout really. What I did get is a smattering of images to show Herself (also an avid photographer) what these lenses can do for us. She's seen them. May well be one or two in the near future for us.

After swapping back for my lens, wandered past Clyde Butcher's table and bought a book. He'd been called off to help judge the print competition, so he wasn't there to sign oh well. Wandered a bit, making a few crowd photos, then off to find a seat for the Keynote Speaker, who was the same Clyde Butcher. He presented a good talk, going into some of the things that got him started, and his resolution to shoot only black and white film (his son's death due to a drunken driver played a big part in this). For those who don't know about Mr. Butcher, he is often referred to as the Ansel Adams of the Everglades. If you don't know why he's compared to Mr. Adams... go to Google. Or Wikipedia. Then come back. Or if that didn't help enough, stay there and look up Clyde Butcher too. However, I'm going to bet most of you will be familiar with them both.

At any rate, nice discussion about his photographs and making them. He uses view cameras, which means sheet film. His cameras range in size from a 4x5 to a 12 x 20 (inches) with a lot of his work being done with either an 8x10 or 11x14. These are the classic cameras, where the photographer puts the black drape over their head to focus on a ground glass. Big bellows, eh. Being large format means long exposures because those bellows seem to eat light. Long exposures as in six minutes sometimes. One of his first photos using large format, the shutter failed to operate on the lens (old lens). He was able to work on the lens and lock the shutter open, then re-mount the lens, and because of how view cameras work used the 'dark slide', the black cover of the sheet film in the carrier, to make the photo. 'People would ask me what was my exposure time. I'd say Oh about this,' and then he lifted his arm, held it a bit, and dropped it.

Other items in the talk: the larger cameras, one sheet of film (therefor one photograph) $30 US. So. Hey, 35 mm film comes in rolls of 36 frames. So that's $1080 to do 36 photographs. Digital? 900 some photos in a session? OK, that's... right. You do the math. Also, one of those long exposures he mentioned, a particularly important photo to him, and it kept coming out blurred. Took him a bit to figure it out. Camera is on tripod, in mud in the water. He's standing next to tripod, in mud in water. Six minutes. Shifting weight from one foot to the other. Causing the tripod and therefor the camera to shake. Solution? Lay back in the water, trip the shutter, and float for six minutes or so...

It was, really, a great session.

After the Final Panel, a group discussion about Which Is It, Photography or Graphic Art (with the premise being with the advent of digital photography, what is it - ) in which the Panel and Audience appeared to reach an answer ... 'Yes' ... I was able to get my copy of his book signed by Mr. Butcher. I gave him one of my business cards, one with a photo on it made by my local lab (it's a nice way to provide a sample of ones work).

Bootlegger's Moll

Mr. Butcher looked at it, looked back at me with a big smile and said, 'I like that one.'


Mr. Butcher likes my work.

I hit the road shortly after that, basically retracing my course South in the Northern direction. Darkness fell by the time I got to the Sunshine Skyway again, and I still stopped for much the same reasons on the way down, as well as to eat the last of my purchased provisions. These photos... are more Impressionistic I suppose. Chilly, Windy, and I didn't bother to bring out my tripod, trying to brace the camera on some solid objects. Worth the experiment. Back on the road and across the Bay Mouth and on to home. No pauses by pedestrians trying to walk across major US highways without benefit of traffic signals this time.

Got in around 22:15, and got forced to sit on the couch for about a half hour just petting Houdini. He didn't even want to let me up to give Herself a hug.

Good thing she can be understanding sometimes.
Tags: life the universe and everything, photography

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