I’m excited to say that I had the esteemed pleasure of attending and speaking at Photokina 2014, the world’s largest bi-annual imaging fair, from Tuesday, September 16th to Sunday, September 21st September in Cologne, Germany.
It was also a week of several firsts—my first time to Photokina, my first visit to Germany, my first time being introduced to an audience by an announcer and my first time presenting on such a large stage at Fujifilm’s booth. From start to finish, it was an incredible experience. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many talented photographers, make a lot of new friends and finally connect with several people in “real life” that I’ve known online for years.
I want to thank both Fujifilm and Wacom for inviting me to speak about travel photography and the things I’m truly passionate about. I enjoyed every moment of it!
The Fujifilm X-Photographers Gallery
Another first was getting to see my New Zealand Church of the Good Shepherd Milky way shot from the X-E2 printed large on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Paper. The print looked so good, that on my first gallery visit I thought it was a light box… It wasn’t until going back a second time to take a photo with my print that I realized it was just so nicely printed and front lit that it gave the illusion of being lit from within.
Presenting on the Fujifilm X-Photographers Stage
It was such an honor to be included among 22 other talented photographers from all over the world, presenting and talking about a wide range of subjects on Fujifilm’s X-Photographer’s stage. Some were very inspirational, others took an educational approach, but all were very interesting and engaging.
Being Welcomed into the Fujifilm X-Photographers Family
The worldwide photography community has been very welcoming over these past few years, but I’ve never had quite the same experience as with the other Fujifilm X-Photographers I met during Photokina. It was pretty much an instant community and Naomi and I truly felt like we were being welcomed into a family.
During the presentations, many of the X-Photographers joined the crowd to show support and learn from one another. The talented group of photographers that choose these cameras and that Fujifilm chose to represent them at this year’s Photokina are truly a credit to Fujifilm and those they bring together.
At one point, Naomi even got pulled up on stage to be photographed by the wonderful and talented Bobbi Lane in her live studio demo.
Dinner out with some great new friends
Photos courtesy of ©Bobbi Lane.
Presenting for Wacom
I’ve been using Wacom devices since 1999, so I have to admit it was more than a little exciting to be presenting at their booth during Photokina. These devices have long been an integral part of my creative process and play an important role in the work that I create.
My topics were in large part inspirational and for these talks I discussed choosing the right moment in your photography, Social Media for Photographers, and how to make your work visually stand out.
Watching as some of the other presenters showed modeling and animation techniques to the audience, it took me back to my former life as a Visual Effects artist. It was a pleasure to be counted among so many talented artists and designers that also rely on the Wacom line of products.
It was also nice to drool over the 24” Cintiq for a little while… one day it shall be mine! Too bad I can’t take that as carry-on or i certainly would. 😉
Spending Time with Good Friends
Speaking of companies that make gear that I consistently rely on, being at Photokina also gave us the opportunity to hang out with some of our closest friends like the incredible team at Formatt-Hitech. Not only are these guys like family to us, they’re also responsible for making the best filters on the planet.
The Cologne Photokina Photo Walk
After an incredible week of presenting and networking, our Photokina Photo Walk sponsored by Fujifilm, G-Technology, Carl Zeiss Lenses and Formatt-Hitech was an awesome way to round it all out and let loose with new friends and old. Of course, there was plenty of photography fun included, followed by a few beers and good times with a few dozen new friends!
We gave out some incredible prizes including 3 Fujifilm Camera Kits (an X-T1, X-E2, and X-30), a G-Technology GDock, two Signature Edition Filter Kits by Formatt-Hitech (one Elia Locardi Travel Kit and one Ken Kaminesky Master Kit), and a $1,000 voucher from Carl Zeiss Lenses.
A great big and special thanks again to my talented friend Felix Inden for all of his help planning and leading this event as well as his beautiful images of Cologne that were used in the promotional materials for the event.
We had a great turn-out, with 213 in attendance as of the Group Photo, even with a not-so-great weather forecast and threat of heavy rain. Thankfully we only had a light rain and the clouds opened up for a nice colorful sunset.
We met at the iconic Dom and then walked as a very large group around the cathedral and then across the river to shoot the sunset from the East bank looking back at the Dom and bridge. The Fujifilm and Zeiss teams were on-hand to loan out X-T1 and lens combinations to anyone who wanted to give them a go.
We were joined by an amazing group of photographers, including our new friends and fellow X-Photographers, Bobbi Lane, Lee Varis, David Nightingale and Ben Von Wong. Also in attendance was our new friend and fellow traveler, Renee Robyn, Mirko and Theo from Train to Create, Richard Terborg, Richard Powazynski, our close friends Rod Clark, James Stamp and Katie Barrish from Formatt-Hitech Filters, several Fujifilm team members from the Japan, US, and UK offices, Patrick Hall and Lee Morris of Fstoppers, our new friend and fellow former S. Floridian, Igor Alvarez, we were also reunited with our friend Andy Bitterer and past photo tour participant, the talented Sebastien Beun, as well as too many other wonderful new friends and members of the online photography community to name here.
A Big Thank You to everyone who came to the event and shared the evening with us!
These seven participants were the lucky winners of the prizes from our sponsors with their names drawn at random:
Gallery of a few Behind the Scenes shots taken by Naomi during the Photo Walk
To see more images taken during the event, check out the Google+ Event page with participants photos.
A Solid Month On The Road Together comes to an end
Before taking a red-eye flight from Reykjavik to Dusseldorf for Photokina on September 13th, Ken, Naomi and I had already been working non-stop on back-to-back projects, scouting trips and photo tours together since the middle of August.
We consider ourselves lucky to get to work with our good friend, Ken Kaminesky, on a regular basis, but online chats and Skype calls can’t really compare to spending actual time together. Throughout the shooting, scouting and business we do on these trips, it’s pretty much non-stop jokes with a generous dose of sarcasm.
From the time we spent scouting in the beautiful Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta with our fantastic guide Jeff Bartlett, to leading the Iceland Photo Tour with Ken and Patrick “Beefcake” Di Fruscia, it’s been an absolutely amazing month spent with good friends. Ken left Malta yesterday, where we’ve spent the last week together catching up on the business side of life, today he hits the road with Patrick to explore the beautiful Croatia.
On Wednesday, Naomi and I also say goodbye to Malta as we begin to make our way towards Montenegro (by way of an overnight in Istanbul) with plans to explore parts of Bosnia and Croatia, hopefully catching up with Ken and Patrick in Dubrovnik for a mini reunion. It’s certainly been an exciting couple of months.