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Scenes from a Pre-Con

Sep 7

In News, Seminars & Workshops at 11:56am

First off, many thanks to the Kelby clan for inviting me to Vegas to teach at PhotoShop World. It was a hoot of a week. I’ve been doing my own “pre-con,” during the last couple of gatherings of the PhotoShop tribes, and they, too, have been fun, and hopefully, informative.

This one was special, in the sense we had several astonishing performers who regularly appear in Cirque du Soleil shows in LV as our subjects. These supremely gifted artists are a magnet for the camera and the imagination. We also had the amazing Drew Moore, a character actor out of LA, who offered his considerable presence and baleful “tough guy” stare to the proceedings.

In the above, I purposely chose a tough backdrop in bright sun, with a blaring Budget Rental truck in the parking lot. In bright sun, at f16, the truck is especially obnoxious, so I showed the class how to minimize that distraction via the technique of high speed sync flash, with one SB-910, a D4 and a fast 28, shot at 1/8000th at f1.4. With that combo, the truck recedes in importance.

Performers flipped, flew and leaped for us all day long. Much of the arranging was thanks to Adam Silversmith, a Vegas based shooter, who works with the Cirque folks a great deal. Kudos to Adam for lining up spectacular subjects!

We also had a huge assist from Jan Lederman, and Jason Friedman of MacGroup USA, who charged down to Vegas with new developments in flash photography to show the class. On a couple of sets, we used Bowens flash units, which have amazing electronics, and we had a steady light set going with Limelight, the Bowens line of constant light sources. Both sets were hugely popular, and the cast and crew had access to the latest innovations in different styles of lights.

The heavy lifting of building all the sets and the light fell to Cali, and Jon Cospito in our studio, ably supported by my friend and fellow photog, MD Welch, the magnificent madman of Reno. He threw a tank of gas in his truck and bombed down out of the desert (“on the roads it was a white line nightmare”) to help us out. The pix in this blog are courtesy of the aforementioned gentlemen.

Add to the mix the great location of Shine Alternative Fitness in LV, and we had an amazing day. Thanks to all the performers, participants and crew! More tk….

17 Responses to “Scenes from a Pre-Con”

kelly borgman says:

on September 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Too cool thanks for sharing, making me regret not being there in person.

Gary says:

on September 7, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Joe, as always, it’s a pleasure to participate in your workshops! I look forward to the next opportunity. Thanks for all you do!!

Ted says:

on September 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed it. Had great fun and learned a lot. Thanks for all the info!

Marc Austin-Zande says:

on September 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

It’s so frustrating to watch these things from the other side of the world… but thanks for the inspiration Joe!

Fadi says:

on September 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Joe, although I was lucky to attend your workshops during the PSW but I really look forward to attend your next Pre-Con in Atlanta! It was an amazing event and best of all great company. Big Thanks to you, Cali, Jon & MD! You guys ROCK!

Paul Duffy says:

on September 8, 2013 at 1:15 am

Hey joe..awesome inspiration for others. ..attended your South Africa work shop and love your style of teaching. ..

Bob Kelly says:

on September 8, 2013 at 1:29 am

Joe, this looks like it was even more exciting, that my friends who were at your workshop, told me about. Kudos to you and your staff, and connections for bringing this all together in a most memorable, instructive, and innovative way. Your blog images surely do help those of who were not there, to visualize more of what transpired.

Tom McKean says:

on September 8, 2013 at 7:13 am

It seemed an amazing event with help of all the people and equipment involved. I’m planning on coming to next year’s PS World and hope to see all these spectacular activities. Especially from your team Joe. Keep up the great work.

Przemek says:

on September 8, 2013 at 11:31 am

very cool workshops had to be :)

Damian Vines says:

on September 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

It’s not surprising to me at all that people will drive miles through the desert to help you out Joe to be a part of your magic. You’re such a great inspiration, teacher, leader and human being. ;-)

Fred Floresca says:

on September 10, 2013 at 8:23 am

Looks like a fantastic time learning and having the privilege to photograph such dynamic subjects! I had an awesome time learning in David’s wedding pre-con, even got to see you as you passed by our group. Wish I was able to attend your pre-con as well. That would have been so incredibly fantastic! Alas, I haven’t been able to replicate myself just yet… I am signed up for your workshop in San Francisco this coming November!! Looking forward to seeing and learning from you then!

Ken Toney says:

on September 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Joe, hate I missed this one, just had cataract surgery 2 weeks befor PSW. I’ll see you and Moose in Hotlanta!

Andrew Moline says:

on September 17, 2013 at 6:35 am

Was so great to shoot with you and all the other folks at this workshop. What a great opportunity we all had! Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Joe McNally says:

on September 17, 2013 at 6:39 am

Sounds good Ken! Stay well!

Gabriel Stenzel says:

on September 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Strength, beauty, grace, and skill. Thank you Joe for working with Adam to develop this fabulous Pre-con. I enjoyed the chance to shoot images of these talented people and learn more visual story telling techniques from you. A bonus was being able to meet and talk with these performers and see them as real people with families and real life stories. I look forward to returning next year and discovering more stories under your expert tutelage. Thanks for a great experience!

Victor says:

on September 23, 2013 at 4:36 am

Its great pleasure to participate in your photograph. Proud to be part of workshop

Deri Dority says:

on September 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Joe, a huge thanks for such a great workshop! I learned a ton and had a great time doing it. I very much enjoyed the format, the ability to work with such awesome talent and meeting some great people in the workshop as well. I am hoping you will be doing a pre con for PSW in Las Vegas 2014.
I also attended one of your lighting workshops in Portland, OR last year. I treated my nephew to the workshop and he was so inspired that he is going back to school and study photography…..I hope you will be making your way back to Portland for some workshops…..
Looking forward to more of your classes.

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