Back to Atlanta for IUSA 2016

It was my pleasure to kick off the education year at PPA’s Imaging USA by teaching the 2-day Business Basics course in Atlanta last week. I was fortunate to have an extremely attentive class, many of whom were starting in photography as a second career, just as Jim and I did many years ago. I was delighted that Scott Kurkian, PPA’s Chief Financial Officer, found time to present a segment on legal and business structure requirements that was much appreciated. Special thanks go to Tiffany Kim, PPA’s new Education Coordinator, who was so helpful in organizing the class and making sure that everything ran smoothly. This groups was not only attentive, they were fun!

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Business Basics was the first class I have taught since PPA released the final version of the PPA 2014 Benchmark Survey Analysis that I authored. If you are a PPA member, you can find the document at this link. On the same page there are several other helpful resources that were made possible over the past ten years by the compilation and publication of four separate Benchmark Surveys. Pay special attention to PPA’s Benchmark Guide.

The Atlanta weather was unseasonably cold and just a bit weird. I shot the image below through a glass window in the Omni North Tower, a bit after dusk, using the “Hand Held Night Shot” (HHNS) feature of the Lumix FZ1000, which I carry with everywhere. This feature fires a 6-frame burst, then fuses them in the camera. I love what it does to skies at dusk and even after dark. I also use it indoors when I’m in a low-light situation and don’t want to use flash or a high ISO. Unlike the Auto Pano feature that is also found in the camera’s “Scene” Menu, you can turn off the shutter sound of the HHNS so you can shoot with it silently in a meeting, concert or any event where you don’t want to be noticed.

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One of my favorite annual events at IUSA is the past-presidents’ luncheon, which brings together a very special group of friends who have devoted years of service to PPA. They are: (row 1) Bert Behnke, myself, Dennis Craft, Louis Tonsmeire, Helen Yancy, Bob Lloyd; (row 2) Don Dickson, Tim Walden, Susan Michal, Ron Nichols, Ralph Romaguera, Bill Stevenson, Michael Timmons, Michael Taylor.

I didn’t get as much time as I wished to view the International Print Competition Exhibition, and I never did find my own prints. I was thrilled to have all four selected, with three awarded Loan Collection status, allowing me to achieve Platinum Photographer of the Year Status for the first time. This was quite a thrill for me, as I’ve been using PPA Print Competition to challenge myself to improve my skills in the field of landscape photography. Years ago, Jim and I entered prints as a way to improve our skills as portrait photographers, which is how we earned a living. These days, I do landscape photography for the pure joy of it, so it was quite special to have such a good outcome this year. All of the images were photographed in 2014 in County Donegal, Ireland, using my Lumix FZ1000 . . . my favorite travel camera ever!

North Atlantic Beacon — Loan Collection

Low Tide on the Marsh — Loan Collection

Hardscrabble Farm — Loan Collection

Tranquil Hillside — General Collection

Another great IUSA event was the International Reception, which I attended with my Irish friend Tanya Crosbie, who has a wonderful baby, children, and family portrait business, Giggles and Smiles Photography, in the greater Dublin area. It was lovely catching up with Tanya and having the opportunity to meet other international photographers. Tanya is shown 8th from the left in row 2 of the photo above.

Mark your calendar now for IUSA 2017, which will take place in San Antonio on January 8-10.
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