Attended the last day of PIX 2007 and in general was less than impressed with the level of the presentations by the various speakers.
The day started off on the wrong foot as Dominique James who was suppose to speak fell ill. His replacement, kudos to him did a good job under the circumstances coming in early to prep for his presentation and doing a 'live' photo shoot as well. I enjoyed his enthusiasm for his craft and his obvious passion for his work. Overall one of the better presentations (there were few) I attended and I actually learnt something.
The next presenter, Sebastian Tan was half an hour late for his hour presentation on "Managing a Commercial Production". Unforgivable. His presentation then started with a screening of several videos that they had done for major clients. Impressive, but how did you go about managing and arranging it so that everything fell in place? What does your team comprise off? How do you plan for it? How do you prep for it? I don't think these we covered in any depth to be off any use. Minimal knowledge gain on this one.
After lunch I planned on attending the session on "Adding zing to you Photoshop experience". A catchy title so I thought why not attend and see what comes out of it. Turns out the session was swapped with another on "Blending and Layers" and it had been presented earlier at 11am. No mention of this on the Conference Programme Board at all.
OK a waste of time, so I tried that session on "Achieving colour consistency and predictability". Except that was not the full title. The full title of the presentation was "Achiveving color consistency and predictability with HP LFPs". Now that changes things a bit doesn't it. I would like to know how to achieve colour consistency and predictability but I don't necessarily need to do that on large format printers do I. Andre Economou knows his stuff for sure, but he sure took his time getting going and had to rush at the end and session ended past the hour. Also, I don't really need to know how much better HP places a droplet on paper compared to say Epson or Canon. Or that HP's LFPs have a built in spectrophotometer. Wonderful. But how do I get colour consistency and predictability in my workflow. What are the pitfalls? Where does it all go wrong? How close can you get?
I stayed on for "Creative Commercial photography" expecting some cutting edge works. Caught my attention for about 10mins. After the photo on farming equipment on a white background, I was out of there.
I moved to the session on Travel Photography by Alec Ee. A technical glitch caused it to start late. I must say it a well thought out presentation. Clear points with appropriate photos to back his points. I liked it and I actually learnt for it. This is the point of this all isn't it. Good show Alec. Thanks for not making my day a complete waste.
The next session was "Flash photography - ways to make your shooting more creative using one or more flashes" by John Cosgrove. Mate. Who is the target audience in front of you. Professional photographers. Ask yourself, what more can I add to their knowledge. Do I really need to cover pre-flash, rear curtain sync etc. How much more creative can we be with just one flash or multiple flashes. Check out this out John, http://www.flickr.com/photos/31454864@N00/favorites/ that's how much more creative we need to be with lights..
The final session was "Wedding Photography - the right angle". It was more like what lens should I buy for Wedding Photography and what goes into lens production. How this has anything to do with the "right angle", I really have a hard time figuring out. Common on. I know my lens, I know what they can do. How to get more creative with them. OK there aren't any "right angles" but what's new? what's edgy? I left with a headache from his booming voice but with little knowledge gained. Overall the worst presentation for that day. I feel very sorry for the Philippine photog who came all this way to hear this.
The day was not lost. Went up to the Canon exhibition booth as I knew Ken Seet was doing a presentation. I always wanted to know how he post processed his photos. I was not disappointed, Ken shared his knowledge on his post processing technique. Quick and dirty, I know given the time constraints but I learnt a trick or two and it was free. Can't beat that.
Don't get me wrong here. PIX Singapore is a good concept. I'm sure a lot of fellow photogs learnt from it. Let's face it. There are photographers that can shoot a great picture but that does not necessarily translate to a person who can teach and pass on his knowledge. I'm very sure that the people who attended Byran Peterson's sessions went away with much more.
So to the organisers, let's make PIX Singapore 2008 a better event, let's get photographers with more enthusiasm and passion about work and with the ability to communicate. Most importantly they should be open to sharing their knowledge. If they are good, they are going to be a few steps ahead of the rest of us that are in the general pack and should not be afraid of sharing their knowledge. Because by the time we get to where they are, they would have already achieved a high level.
So organisers. There's a whole year ahead to plan for the next one. Spend that time looking for people the likes or Byran Peterson, Alec Ee and lets get a few more good men.