Photo Plus is hosted by PDN, the top dog of Photography magazines circulating today. According to the Photo Plus website, they say the expo is “...the largest photography and imaging show in North America. Nearly 20,000 professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, videographers, students and educators from around the world attend the conference and expo. PhotoPlus features over 100 educational seminars, Photo Walks, and Master Classes, and over 200 exhibitors and brands displaying thousands of the latest products and services for you to touch, try and compare.” It was certainly a sight to see. With hundreds of exhibitors to see and new product to look at, it created a nice dialogue about gear and what works best for you.
One of the things that I really did enjoy there was the overall massive attention brought to how one can set up a photograph. Seeing attention brought to the lighting world was kind of refreshing to see. As Photography in itself is pretty much measurement of light, it’s important to think about how to light your subject or even just the consideration of the lighting of your environment. Investment into good lighting or even the awareness of how much light is in a space can severely impact the look and tone of your photo.
I also enjoyed the small but yet strong sections about printing. As digital files are more than ever the standard for sharing photographs, where does the meaning of the print stand? Is physical media becoming or arguably has become obsolete in the photographic world? At least at Photo Plus, there were a handful of exhibitors trying to keep the print relevant. Canon and Epson still staying strong with their archival pigment prints. Some exhibitors showing even framing, 3D printing methods, mounting, etc. It was nice and almost comforting to see that the print isn’t quite dead yet, and that actually the household print is still kind of sticking around. The only places I’ve really been seeing photographic prints used now is in fine art for galleries or instant prints. So seeing framing, small format printing and easy use printers with high-quality prints being made for household use is comforting.
One of the things I did particularly notice is the lack of film photography being exhibited. Besides your homies from Lomography exhibiting, I saw maybe a total of 4 exhibitors showcasing film and/or instant photography. It honestly makes me quite sad. I think that film photography still has a place in the contemporary gear world. Photography’s roots are grounded in film and to see that almost being thrown away and overpowered by these larger digital companies makes me think about the respect that some companies may or may not have for film photography. Photography is an art form, it’s supposed to have the subject come first, not the gear. The photographer’s eye is the vision; the camera as an extension of the eye. That’s why we say “Don’t think, just shoot” because your eye sees the composition, it sees the image, and then the camera just captures that as a still image while the mind is still moving.
Photo Plus was 100% a candy store for those who love gear, however somehow along the way, I think the image got lost in there. The result of the gear kind of got lost within the black shiny cameras, pamphlets, and very loud speakers. However, it made me remember that even if you have a ton of gear, you’re still the one holding that camera and shooting that picture at the end of the day.
Shot using the Diana F+ available here.