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10-27-2019, 12:34 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Photoplus NYC , reflections

Hi everyone,

I just came back from 2 days at Photoplus at NYC. I had a wonderful time and spent 2 whole days. In short, I think 2 days was plenty and if I come back again I would probably only come back for one. Of course, no surprise to any of us, Ricoh/Pentax had no presence. I wasn't expecting it and of course I knew the answer anytime I would walk up to any third party vendor and they said, "try it" and I would ask do you have a Pentax mount?" and the answer was a 10/10 "no". No problem, I was there to experience the show and to catch a few great photographers talk about and demonstrate their work. Also I wanted to try to get a plus on what is going on in the industry. Well, I have to give credit to Canon and Nikon presenters, they subtly mentioned the new gear they were using, but really talked about photography. Some others were too pushy in trying to sell there product and some had their ambassadors talk too much about the gear. Honestly, if that is what they want to do they should present it as such. They really sounded a little foolish compared to the other presenters.

Now I have a few Westcott modifiers for flash and went by their booth to see what new things they might have on display. It wasn't a very impressive display and were marketing their new lights. Surprise, surprise they are compatible with everybody but us. Now that is not a deal breaker for me as I have shot manual for so long that I don't really have too much need for the compatibility issues. However, I walk by a presenter and about 3 people are listening to him. I do a double-take because this presenter is none other than Joel Grimes. So I am no fool and I jump in. It was amazing to be a hands distance from Joel himself and he showing us how he went through the process of creating his signature lighting setups. It was great. I also got to see quite a number of world renowned photographers show their stuff. To be honest, the first day it was cool, but by the second day, I just really wanted to shoot and practice a few of their ideas.

Interestingly, they got rid of the educational workshops, but that was ok, because the vendors stepped up to the plate and had top notch photographers presenting their craft. Olympus was there and really made a big push. You could borrow their lenses or cameras for about 2 hours. I tried their OM-D E-1MX. The camera had a nice feel, but there was no magic. Once I returned it I took some real lame pictures of a stack of books with my K-3 and it just felt so much better. The EV really does not do it for me. I like the pluses about it but they tend to strain my eyes. So I really didn't try much of anything else. I did put my hands on all the Canon and Nikon DSLRs but that was really it. I was impressed with the Nikon AF on one of the cameras but that's about all.

I bought nothing at Photoplus. The main take away is I am really happy with my K-3 and I am planning on getting a K-1 next not because I dislike the K-3 just that one of my K-3's are giving me a little trouble and I want to see what all this fuss is about the K-1. I want to see if the image quality is what I am searching for. I also would like that additional stop of light since I shoot a lot of performing arts images. Trust me, one extra stop is gold in a jazz club. Funny, walking around I did see an amazing photographer that shot with Pentax and has some amazing work. He shot with the 645Z. Another camera I would love to have. I saw that he was leading a photowalk with Fuji. So I look around for him, introduce myself and tell him how his tutorials had made a major impact on my work. I asked him when did he move to Fujifilm. He told me about 5 or 6 months. He told me he really loved his 645Z however Ricoh/Pentax just was not giving him the support he needed and if I heard him right basically said they dropped him. What a shame. All these manufacturers are making sure they are flying their ambassadors to numerous conferences and trade shows and it looks like Pentax, is not able to do the same, if even on a smaller scale. It kind of hurts. I love my Pentax gear, but I am afraid if no one knows about us, in a few years we'll be at the bar reminiscing about those good old Pentax days. Or if it still exist, only buying our gear online from Japan. Earlier I talked about how Canon and Nikon, plugged their new gear by presenting master photographers that use their gear. Pentax, I think is missing the boat with this one. More importantly, if they don't have a big budget they really need to step up their social media presence. Have their master photographers present tutorials online and post on Facebook and Instagram.

Other thoughts. I found it kind of funny how all these models were hired to stand behind a ton of constant lights and pose for photographers practically all day. I hardly shot of any of these because I had no control of the lighting and thus, it really was not my shot. Also, their were a million of other photographers taking the same shot in the same lighting. I really didn't find any value in this, but to each their own. I shoot portraits and headshots and without building a relationship with the subject I really felt there was no connection. The model simply went on autopilot and that was not what I wanted to capture. We weren't really collaborating. Also since I couldn't change the lighting setups it was a drag thinking everyone around me was practically making the same photo. That's my 2 cents on that.

Other than that, I was cool to hang out in the city for 2 days. I was around a ton of photographers but we really didn't talk too much to each other. I went to another event sponsored by Space for the Arts. They were recognizing the photographer Sophy Holland. It was great. I met a lot of new people and made some contacts. You should really check out her work and her projects. She also happens to be a stunning woman herself, but I digress. Space for the Arts is a type of AirBnB for photographers looking for studio space to rent.

Something that was also very helpful was I had signed up for a photo critique and had a pro review my work. I really received a ton of tips and found a new photographer to follow.

I am sure there is more but, I can't imagine anyone really wanting to hear more than this

10-27-2019, 01:22 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing this, including the absence of Pentax and why that photographer switched to Fuji. Do you really think that having pros shoot with a certain brand helps that much? I'm not sure, but then again I must confess that I'm not really following any photographers like you are.
10-27-2019, 01:42 PM   #3
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Nice write up. I used to attend PhotoPlus years ago when I was still shooting large format -- I was able to take a class with one of the landscape photographers I really admired (Jack Dykinga) and really learned a lot.

Agree wholeheartedly on the lack of ambassadors. I think Pentax could get a lot of exposure by supporting a few pros to give tutorials, how tos, etc.

I'm surprised B&H or Adorama didn't have a K-1 ii about that you could try out.
10-27-2019, 03:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by travelswsage Quote
Nice write up. I used to attend PhotoPlus years ago when I was still shooting large format -- I was able to take a class with one of the landscape photographers I really admired (Jack Dykinga) and really learned a lot.

Agree wholeheartedly on the lack of ambassadors. I think Pentax could get a lot of exposure by supporting a few pros to give tutorials, how tos, etc.

I'm surprised B&H or Adorama didn't have a K-1 ii about that you could try out.
Thanks for your replies. From what I saw over there companies push there innovations on aspiring photographers who think If I only used the same gear as________________ I too, would have the same pictures. This is very naive but, honestly an important portion of the company's marketing. Now we happen to be part of a company that doesn't put something new every other season because they take their time build something great that easily stands on its own for 4 to 10 years. It's a different philosophy and one that attracts me a lot to this company. I used to also drive a SAAB which had a similar loyal following. Now SAAB was not profitable for years which is not the same position that Ricoh/Pentax is in. However, the market is flooded by pros shooting their gear in the face of millions of youtubers and Instagram followers and I think they are loosing out. The photographer that critiqued me was a landscape photographer on instagram with 140K followers. He gets his money indirectly from Instagram as he has such a large base brands reach out to him to plug their products. Guess who is sponsoring him, Olympus and their m43 cameras. Again, nice little cameras but, I will take our system any day. Now I am sure if we gave him a 645z or even a KP for a week hands down he would fall in love with our beloved camera, but it would be foolish for him to move. Olympus has him flying all over the country and world to talk about his work and how amazing his Olympus with weather seal is. Really, that is so old for us in Pentax, but an innovation they are taking to the bank. Now, if he approached Pentax and inquired about being an ambassador what could Pentax offer?

10-28-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angel Perez Quote
Other thoughts. I found it kind of funny how all these models were hired to stand behind a ton of constant lights and pose for photographers practically all day. I hardly shot of any of these because I had no control of the lighting and thus, it really was not my shot. Also, their were a million of other photographers taking the same shot in the same lighting. I really didn't find any value in this, but to each their own. I shoot portraits and headshots and without building a relationship with the subject I really felt there was no connection. The model simply went on autopilot and that was not what I wanted to capture. We weren't really collaborating. Also since I couldn't change the lighting setups it was a drag thinking everyone around me was practically making the same photo. That's my 2 cents on that.
Thanks for the summary. And I agree on this, I can't stand all photos of both models people take at shows.
10-28-2019, 12:38 PM   #6
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Thank you for your report, much appreciated.
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