Several members of HDP made the effort to attend this year’s conference and we were NOT disappointed. Unfortunately, Phil N. had a previous commitment and had to bail out at the last minute and Bob’s mobility was challenged so that he cut his conference short. Still Jim, Bernie, Jeremie, Joe and HDP Attendee, Judy managed to join in the activities.
Jim’s Conference Thoughts
The last couple of years I have thought to myself that I might not attend the conference. The programs didn’t seem to offer a lot of what I thought, “I already know that”. I was also feeling in a rut with my photography. But, there were a couple of things I did want to see and try. One of the workshops was on the Wacom tablet. It was a pre-conference workshop at an extra fee. But I had been toying with getting one. After the workshop I decided that the tablet wasn’t going to do that much for me at this time but, it may be in the future.
The other thing I find very helpful is the opportunity to try gear before making large, or small, investments. I have had my eye on a 180mm macro lens. At the conference you can try out any of the equipment made by Canon, Nikon, Sigma, and Tamron for an hour of two, and some times over night. After an hour or so I decided I had to have it. (A couple of samples included.) When I got home I started checking prices of the major retailers, i.e. B&H, Adorama, Levine, Amazon, etc. I went to see Bruce at Benner’s in Brockton and he matched and in one case, even beat the price.
As far as my “rut” went, it went away. Even if you think, “you know that stuff” I guarantee there is something to be learned. The motivation was back. The presenters are for the most part very good. Of the 10 sessions I attended there was only one that was a sleeper.
Saturday night at the conference has for the many years I have attended been one of the highlights. This year’s was probably the best ever! It alone was worth the price of admission. For over an hour the audience of nearly 1,000 was spellbound with Ron Magill’s presentation. He was magnificent as a storyteller and photographer.
So, I will soon be making my hotel reservation for next July. Hope you will also.
Jim’s images were shot with the borrowed macro lens:
Joe’s Take on NECCC Amherst 2015
NECCC 2015 was my eighth conference and, if memory serves me right, the best yet! I felt the workshop offerings were quite varied for my photographic expertise.
I was more than thrilled to see a return to the one-hour time frames. However, two Friday evening presentations were bumped by the Greater Lynn International slideshow. Even with this minor bump in the road, I was able to see about eleven programs. I was very pleased with the choices I made as to which I would attend.
One of the extra highlights is the opportunity to sit and talk photography with others. I managed to have conversations with photo enthusiasts from Hockomock, Stony Brook, Plymouth Meet-up, and even a few from Whaling City. Purchasing the meal plan gave me the opportunity to compare notes on the various presenters as we broke bread.
For the past four years, the Saturday evening special guest photographer has been the highlight of the weekend. And, this year’s presenter, Ron Magill, did not disappoint! In fact, I think he was the best yet! His images weren’t the best (as he mentioned several times) but he was in the right place at the right time because of his knowledge of his subjects. Ron’s talk was entertaining – a great storyteller with an exceptional sense of humor. No time to doze off on this night!
For what it offered – educational presentations, photo ops, meet and greet opportunities, lodging in an A/C dorm, and very healthy meals (or, not, if you choose) – you couldn’t have gone wrong with planning for the NECCC Conference at UMASS Amherst!
NECCC #2 for Bernie!
This was my second NECCC and, once again my expectations were exceeded!
I went to nine presentations, and all were informative. One of features I like is the accessibility of the speakers. Since the talks are relatively small, you can approach a speaker after a talk to ask a question. One talk convinced me to buy a set of Macro extension tubes. The on-site Hunts Shop had a set for $75 normally they are $99. So far, I’m happy with the results.
As for the keynote address, I thought last year was pretty terrific, and couldn’t imagine this year being better. Boy was I wrong!
Ron Magill, from the Miami Zoo, was easily the most dynamic speaker I have ever seen, on any topic. His energy, enthusiasm, and humor had everyone smiling non-stop for almost an hour and a half.
I even found time to do some birdwatching!
Taken at the Sunday AM Re-enactment
Judy, HDP’s Complimentary Attendee
Overall, I thought the conference was very informative and I am looking forward to going next year. The selection of presentations varied from technical subjects to ideas of things to photograph to presentations of people’s work. The sessions were scheduled for an appropriate length of time and there was enough time for a break in between sessions. Some of the sessions that I attended included sessions on how to do better portraiture work, ideas for creative photography, macro photography and focus stacking. Most of the presenters were professional photographers, so it was interesting to hear how they started, how their experience progressed and what they do to stay current with their skills as well as the subject matter that they were presenting.
There was also a wide variety of opportunities to practice – model shoots, still life display, animals, motion and photographing in the dark. People were helpful in the ‘hands on’ work areas and gave tips on how to take better photos.
It was nice to see about nine hundred people in attendance – all looking to enhance their photography skills.
“Roy Marshall’s Timed Set-up”