Thursday, November 2, 2006

PhotoPlus Expo - Day 1 - Chock Full O' Innovation

Day 1 of the show was more than any one person can honestly take in. I mean, really. If you're here for just one day, you're missing out. I'll share with you some cool information and links, but understand that I will spend the remainder of days 2 and 3 trying to get a handle on just what's available.

I enjoy methodically starting at one corner and going through the rows one at a time, collectiing literature, and doing everything I can to not get bogged down in talking to booth staffers on my first pass. I save that for passes two and three, where I can get into the details of the products and services. Yet, I still found myself talking to some of the more interesting people.

Of course, I found myself stopping to talk to the folks at iView MediaPro
  iView MediaPro 3 (Win/Mac) who talked about the evolution of the product, and how the commitment of Microsoft means that the product (and thus, those pitted against them
  Apple Aperture 1.5 - Photographer's Workstation and Adobe Lightroom ) will benefit from healthy competition and financial commitments all around.

Next stop was something I had, at previous shows, walked past without a consideration. Yet a recent article in a magazine with illustrations of it's capabilities meant they were high on my list of companies to see, DxO Optics. The superior ability to re-shape distorted images made by wide-angle lenses is reason enough to seriously consider the product.  Sure, they do their own RAW conversions, and color handling, but it's that image correction that is the "must buy" feature!

Onwards to Kevin Kubota's image enhancement tools -- where Kevin, for some silly reason has himself depicted in a Superman-like cartoon. Yet, his tools are by no means childs play. His Digital Raw Workflow and Production Tools Vol One actions are top notch. Stop by his booth to watch him, sans cape, demo his actions.

The only reason I stopped at the Rololight booth was it was so damn bright I couldn't see without tripping down the aisle. So, I let my eyes adjust, and learned about how compact and efficient the light is. Further, it's called rololight because you roll it up and travel with it.  If you're wondering why someone cut a hole in the wall on the north side of the building and let the sun stream in (hey, wait, there really can't  be northern-sourced light, can there?) it's really just the rololight booth. Check them out on site, or online if you're not able to make the show!

One of the things that frustrates me about some of the online fulfillment services is that once they have your customers email address, the are inundated with up-selling emails. I just don't want that  to happen any more with mine, so I went to learn more from the folks at DigiLabs, who, I have been told by several high level wedding photographers, don't do that to your clients. So, take a minute to consider them for your print needs. I may find myself transitioning to them sooner rather than later.

Something that cannot go without making a note of, is the display by the folks at Woven Art. I can't say why I think this otherwise really corny thing is actually cool, but it just is. Something about a huge woven blanket made from your photo -- and I mean woven, not painted on -- is just really a sight to behold. While I can't think of a single client of mine that would ever accept a blanket of a photo of theirs, I honestly am looking to find the client-type that would dig this product and give me a reason to order one. I know these folks are out there. Somewhere.

And I can't close this post without a somewhat disappointing insight. I had heard that Asuka Books was partherning with Aperture, and I was so excited. yet, a conversation with Asuka's business partnership person in the booth says that there's nothing there. How sad. Perhaps that's just a diversionary tactic, but I didn't get that vibe.

More in the morning. More rows to travel, more things to see!

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