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WPPI 2018

05th March 2018

What’s is WPPI?


Late last momth, I left the bitter cold and snow of Michigan and trekked to a warmer environment for a couple of days. My destination was the Wedding & Portrait Photography International Conference and Expo in a warmer Las Vegas.

Here are some of the photographers lining up to register for WPPI. I was told that attendees numbered about 13,000.


WPPI is an annual event. The audience is the large set of professional photographers and videographers who earn their living shooting weddings, portraits, school and sporting events. The five day conference consist of classes, seminars, photo walks and live demonstrations taught by celebrated professionals and industry educators covering every imaginable photo topic.

In addition to the conference, there is a three day long expo at which several hundred manufacturers of photo equipment, accessories, photo finishing services, frames, albums, software and services present their products for attendees.

The venue for WPPI was the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the south end of the LV Strip


This year the conference consisted or more than 200 different classes covering a wide gamut of subjects: equipment, lenses, posing, lighting, flash, printmaking, pricing, babies, special effects, drone. The list of instructors are among some of the most well-known and successful photographers: Me Rah Koh, Matt Kloskowski, Denis Regge, Terry White, Bob Davis, Lindsay Adler, Miichele Celentano, Bambi Cantrell, Julieanne Kost, Hanson Fong, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela, Tamara Lackey, and Joe McNally to name a few.


While I sat in on a few classes, I spent most of my time at the expo.

Follow me as I take you on a quick walk through of the exhibit hall to show you the types of photographic knowledge that is available at WPPI.


Special Effects Class

Lindsay Adler behind the lens


A Lighting Demo

Posing Babies


Jerry Ghionis at the mic

Portraits Up Close


Single Flash Demo

Group Shots


Hanson Fong Bounce Flash

…and the result


During the couple of days that I spent at WPPI, I talked to several exhibitors about their products.

I’ll have additional articles here describing these products in the next few weeks.

I hope you’ll be back here soon.

Fashion



 

 
Written by: Arnie Lee

 

 

Weddings, Portraits and More

11th February 2018

Upcoming WPPI 2018 Conference & Expo

Having been part of the software, computer and publishing industries since 1980, I’ve been to Las Vegas more times than I care to count.

However the thought of another laborious trip out West isn’t going to keep me away from the Wedding & Portrait Photography International event this year. For the past several years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this meeting where 200+ classes are taught by professionals covering a wide range of photography topics including lighting, posing, drone, video, baby/child, sports, school, printing, retouching, marketing and business. Among the instructors are many recognizable names: Tamara Lackey, Lindsay Adler, Julieanne Kost, Sue Bryce, Jerry Ghionis, Roberto Valenzuela and Joe McNally who will share their skills with the attendees.

In addition to the standard classes, there are smaller and more intensive sessions aimed at a limited number of attendees. And for those who’d rather be in a non-classroom setting there are multiple scheduled Photo Walks that provide hands-on learning.

I’m especially interested in the WPPI Expo. In the large exhibit hall you’ll meet with manufacturers and suppliers of photo equipment, accessories, photofinishing, presentation and framing, software and services. On the expo floor, various manufacturers present live demonstrations of their equipment and techniques. It seems that all of the major brands are on hand to demonstrate their products and answer your questions. I’ve made many purchasing decisions after having met with sales reps at earlier WPPI events..


This audience is taking in a presentation at the Canon booth

If you’re anxious to sharpen your photography skills, take a look at the many classes that are offered at the conference. Last year WPPI hosted about 13,000 professional and advanced photographers.

WPPI will take place February 24 to 28 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. For more information please visit WPPI Conference & Expo.
 
 

By Arnie Lee
 
 


Mylio – Organization +

24th March 2015

Organizing your Collections

The proliferation of high quality mobile devices has given professional and non-professional photographers alike more alternatives for capturing, storing, managing and displaying their images. But at the same time using multiple devices has made it more difficult for them to keep their collections orderly.

At the Mylio booth at the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo I stopped to have a demonstration of their software and service that addresses many of the issues that crop up when using multiple devices.

Mylio bills its product as a rich photo management system to organize, edit, synchronize and safeguard a large collection of images.


Harry Wendt gave me a quick demo


Henry showed me that changes to an image on a laptop are immediately synchronized to a second computer, a tablet and a smartphone. You can choose to backup images to the cloud for additional security.

Mylio has three levels of service for $50/year, $100/year and $250/year that let you synchronize up to three, five or twelve devices respectively. The two higher levels integrate with Lightroom and let you edit RAW images as well.

As I was unable to spend more time at the demo, I plan to do a more lengthy review of this service as it seems to include many useful features.


For more information about this service, please visit Mylio.

 
 
 
Written by Arnie Lee
 
 


Epson SureColor P600

21st March 2015

Professional Quality Prints

One of the stops at this month’s Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Expo was the Epson booth.

For several years I’ve used the Epson R2880 to print mid-size photographs. I wanted to see the new Epson P600 which is the successor to the R2880. The two are similar in many respects: 9 ink cartridges; 3 levels of black for b&w images; accommodates paper sizes to 13″ x 19″; 13″ roll paper handling for 13″ wide panoramas.

The P600 uses Epson’s latest UltraChrome HD ink. The ink is packaged in higher capacity cartridges. According to the Epson representative, the black inks have been improved for richer b&w prints.



In addition to the excellent quality of the P2880, the print speed was relatively fast – 2 minutes for an 8″x10″. I watched several iterations at the Epson booth and the P600 produced equally high quality prints at about the same speed.

The paper tray can accommodate 30 sheets of photo paper. For printing on fine art paper, there is a separate single sheet feeder.



Epson has a variety of excellent photo papers. Using roll paper, you can print panoramas 13″ high by 10 feet wide.

I’m a fan of many of Epson’s photo and fine art papers to creatively match your images. They include glossy, matte, metallic, textured, canvas, more. The P600 is on my short list of equipment to buy.

The suggested price is $799 and is available immediately. For more information about the P600, please visit Epson.

 
 
 
Written by Arnie Lee
 
 


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Corning’s Gorilla Glass Photos

As I was browsing the aisles, I came across a booth with a display of many brilliant photos. I learned that all of these photos were printed directly on glass.

Most people recognize the Corning brand. What they may not know is that Corning is the maker of Gorilla Glass. It’s the strong, scratch-resistant surface has made it the standard fare for an overwhelming number of mobile phones.

Corning rep Katie Greene showed me this photo (of a gorilla, no less) and explained the multi-step process of turning an image into a Masterpix photo.

First a primer is printed on the back of the glass. Next the image is printed using a UV-based ink. Then a white ink is overprinted to provide the proper opacity. Finally, a thin protective film is applied to prevent scratches and hold the glass together.

While these samples are displayed in stands, they can just as easily be mounted on a wall.

These Masterpix photos were displayed unframed. However they can also be put into conventional frames if desired.

Price for an 5″x7″ Masterpix with tabletop stand is $35. The images can be either portrait or landscape. Delivery time is about a week.

 
 
Currently you can order photos online, directly from Corning’s Masterpix website. They are available in these sizes: 5×7, 6×6, 8×10, 11×14, 16×16 and 16×24. The ordering process is simple, choose the size, upload your image and enter your delivery and payment information.

For details on these glass presentation frames, visit Corning’s Masterpix website for full details.

Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 

High Quality Desktop Printer

I’m an ardent believer that it’s better to get your photographs off of your hard drive and into print.

About ten years ago, we had a 13″ wide printer to handle some of our smaller photographs. However, after it died following a long and generous life, we chose not to replace it. Since then we’ve been using a variety of photofinishers to reproduce our photographs.

After strolling by the Epson booth and seeing some of their impressive photograph displays, I talked to one of their customer representatives and am now considering their new Surecolor P600.

The P600 is a replacement for their previous R3000 model. It connects to your computer setup via an Ethernet connection or via WiFi. You’ll need a desktop area of 24″x36″ for the printer.

The top loader automatically feeds 13″x19″ paper for borderless printing. There’s a front loader for feeding single sheets of specialty fine art papers up to 1.3mm thickness. For panoramic prints up to 10 feet long, the P600 accepts the included roll feeder.

The P600 uses nine high capacity ink cartridges including three types of black ink for smooth toned black and white photographs.

The many photographs on display at the Epson booth demonstrated excellent quality on a variety of papers including these panoramas. In the past, I’ve had positive experiences using many fine art papers from Epson’s wide selection.

 
 
I asked the Epson representative about my concern about clogged ink cartridges when the printer is sits unused for a short while and was told that the ink will remain usable for up to six months from installation.

The list price of the Epson Surecolor P600 is $795. For more information, see the Epson P600 webpage for details.

The P600 is now on my short list of equipment purchases. I’m anxious to print several panoramas that I’ve stored on my hard drive – again, the hard drive is not a good place to keep photographs.
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 

Showing Off Your Photographs

Digital gives us the opportunity to take hundreds and hundreds of photos for almost no cost at all. This is an amazing turnaround compared to the price of using film cameras that had a processing charge saddled to each roll of film that we shot.

So what are we doing with all of these “free” photos? Are they sitting on the SD memory card or cell phone? I’m sure that my friends and relatives are impressed as I flick through the tiny screen to show them my recent vacation shot – NOT!

Well, to be frank, my fingers are tired of flicking the screen. And my friends and relatives typically avoid asking to see pictures of my travels. So I decided to print – yes you heard it correctly – print some of the photos.


One afternoon I collected a set of my favorite nature shots and sent them to the photofinisher. A few days later received back a short stack of 8″ x 10″s and 8″ x 12″s

Now the issue is how do I present them?

I didn’t really want to arrange them in a conventional album that would sit on the top of a coffee table. No, I longed for a different way to display them.

I decided that I’d show them off by making a small gallery in an unused room. The room is well suited for this purpose with a large, uncluttered wall painted white.


Rather than “hanging” the photos, I decided to make a very miniature shelf system. I bought a few 10-foot lengths of “J-TRIM” used to install vinyl house siding. These strips are lightweight and inexpensive. Use scissors to cut to desired length.

Use a tape measure to mount the J-TRIM level about 54″ above the floor. I used these ribbed plastic anchors (3/16″ size).

Here I’m drilling a hole through the J-TRIM into the drywall.


Next you push the plastic ribbed anchor into the drilled hole.

Then fasten the J-TRIM to the drywall with one of the screws.


By themselves, the prints are too flimsy to stand on the miniature shelf. I purchased these sheets of mat board precut for the 8″x10″s and 8″x12″s.

Using the 3M spray-on adhesive, I mounted the photos onto the mat board.


I found it necessary to use this Scotch “mounting putty” to keep the photos from falling from the miniature shelf.

The putty is pasted between the photo mat board and the wall to keep the top of the photograph from falling.

Here’s another view of the putty which hold the mat board agains the wall.

Here you can see the photo resting in the channel of the miniature shelf.


When all is said and done, I have a small gallery of my latest travel photographs. As you might guess, when you’re tired of looking at this group of photographs, it’s very easy to change them.


 
Material List:

2 pieces of J-Channel – 10′ Vinyl 1/2″ J_Trim @ $2.40 each (Home Depot)
1 pkg – plastic ribbed anchors #4 – 1″ @ $7.99
1 pkg – 8″ x 10″ or 8″ x 12″ mat board 25 sheets @ $12.50
1 can 3M General Purpose 45 spray mount @ $5.00
 
 
Written by: Arnie Lee
 
 


 
 
 
 

Panoramas the easy way

27th August 2012

Photographically speaking, a panorama is a photograph that encompasses a very wide view. I like panoramas because they reproduce a scene as if I were viewing it live by turning my head from the far left to the far right. I can view the photograph in small ‘chunks’ as I scan the entire image from the left to the right.

In the past, making a panorama was a complicated, multiple step process involving capturing the images and then stitching them together whether it be done chemically in a darkroom or digitally with a computer. I won’t go into details of making panoramas using either of these two “conventional” ways. Instead, I’ll point out the ease with which a feature on certain cameras enables me to easily make panoramas in one step.

For the past two years I’ve been using several Sony Alpha series and NEX series cameras to shoot panoramas. These cameras enjoy a feature called Sweep Panorama. When this feature is chosen, you simultaneously depress the shutter and move the camera in a sweeping fashion to the right. As you do this, the camera captures multiple images of the scene. The camera signals the completion of the sweep by halting the shutter. A few seconds afterward, the panoramic capture appears on the camera’s LCD for your review. Press the PLAY button and the image is displayed from left to right – in video fashion – but is actually a single, still panoramic image.

Above, I explained that the sweeping motion is from left to right. But in fact these Sony cameras let you sweep left to right; right to left; up to down; and down to up. These cameras also capture three dimensional appearing images using 3D Sweep Panorama that can be displayed on certain compatible 3D television sets.

Here’s a few of the panoramas that I’ve taken with various Sony cameras. You can click on each of the images to see a wide view of the panorama.
 


Red Rock Canyon, Nevada


Red Rock Canyon, Nevada

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Jigsaw Puzzles – a do-it-yourself kit

 

On a recent holiday out West, I snapped a lucky group photo of our some of our grandkids. It was a lucky shot in which all of the kids were posed nicely, facing the camera.

When we returned home, my wife remembered that she had stashed away a couple of do-it-yourself photo jigsaw puzzles that would make a nice souvenir of our vacation.


Here’s the do-it-yourself jigsaw puzzle.

This one is called “Make-Your_own Jigsaw Puzzle” from Messisa & Doug, Item # 376.

My wife bought the kit at a large craft store for about $7.


This kit is to be used with a 5″ x 7″ photograph.

I printed a borderless photograph, cropped exactly as I wanted it to appear on the puzzle.

The kit includes an adhesive sheet onto which you place to photograph face up.

Turn the adhesive sheet over and you’ll see the outline of the twelve jigsaw pieces. Using scissors, you cut along the lines which mirror the shape of the wooden jigsaw pieces.


Finally, you remove the second paper backing from the adhesive sheet to reveal more adhesive. Each photo piece is then pressed onto the corresponding wooden puzzle piece.

This all takes about ten minutes and then your photo jig saw puzzle is ready!



My wife ended up making two of these puzzles to send to the grandkids in the photograph. We’re hoping that it will help them remember our visit.

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


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Easy Photo Gifts

07th April 2011

Do It Yourself Kits

 

I get a kick out of sharing my photos with others.

So when birthdays or holidays roll around I find myself looking for ways to turn some of my photos into gifts.

And like most of you, I’m also on the lookout for ways to save money.

For both of these projects, the sets were 50% off making each an inexpensive way to make custom photo gifts.


For one project, I found a lovely coaster set.

While this one is meant for the Christmas Holidays, there sets available for other occasions as well.

These attractive coasters are made of glass.


Customizing the coaster set is simple.

Each coaster has a opening for a 2″ x 3″ photograph.

For this project, I collected photographs of four of our grandchildren and printed them to the 2″ x 3″ size.


Then it’s just a matter of trimming each photo and inserting it into the small photo mount on the back of the coaster.

Here are their happy faces ready to greet someone who needs a coaster for their drink.


This set also includes a handy wooden holder that keeps the coasters organized when they’re not being used.


This coaster kit is made by Melannco. This company makes many other photo-related products including frames and photo storage cases. The original price was $14.95 but I purchased it for only $7.50.


Another popular photo gift item is a mousepad.

Here’s one that’s ready for you to customize.

This mousepad has openings for four different size photographs.


The sizes for each of these photos are indicated on the template (upper left corner) that is shipped with the package.

Again, I collected four photographs of family members that when printed could be sized to fit onto the template.


Here I trimmed each of the photos and attached them to the template.

You can attach the photo with an adhesive, but I chose to use a small piece of scotch tape.


When completed, the template slides into an opening on the back of the mousepad and beneath the clear, protective surface.

And that’s all you need to do to customize this gift.


This mousepad kit is also made by Melannco. The original price was $9.95 but I purchased it for only $5.00.


 


Without a doubt, I’m happy with both the quality and cost of these photo gifts.

I purchased both of these kits at a local Kohls department store. I’ve seen similar kits made by other manufacturers for sale at Target, Michaels and Hobby Lobby. I’ve also seen them for sale online at Amazon.

 

To find out more about their products visit Melannco.

 

Please note that Stay Focused has no connection to Melannco.

 

Written by Arnie Lee

 


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