Creative: Palm Springs Photo Festival, Day One

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It’s not really day one. Yesterday was day one, but the “soft” day one is a slow burn ramp up to the “real” day one, which is today. Confused yet? Last night was also the opening reception which was PACKED, perhaps more so than any other opening reception I can remember. A good sign for photography.

Let me preface this little post by saying this. The Palm Springs Photo Festival is the best photography event in the United States. I don’t mean the best trade show, or the best technology show, or the best “buy this latest widget” show.(There are plenty of vendors here, but the trade show aspect never comes close to dislodging the actual photography aspect.I’ve included some pics below to satisfy those in need of all things gear/equipment.)

This event is about actual photography at the highest level of nearly every genre you can think of. Just to further emphasize. These are real commercial, advertising, editorial, fine-art photographers, many of whom are here to teach, which is a testament to the founder, Jeff Dunas. If I called ANY of these people and said “Hey, I’m starting a festival, wanna come teach?” I would end up alone in the dark. But Jeff gets the best people roaming the Earth. Barbara Davidson, Gary Knight, Stephen Wilkes, Dan Winters, Erwin Olaf, Frank Ockenefels, George Holz, Sandro Miller, Jill Enfield, Todd Hido, etc. JUST TO NAME A FEW. There is also a fantastic “Aperture Foundation Paris Photo Book Prize” installation filled with some of the most mind blowing books you can find.
I’m here to teach as well, but not till later in the week, which means I can ingest as much as possible in the meantime. This is, I think, the 13th year of the this event. I’ve probably attended ten of the thirteen years, and always regretted missing the years I did.(Was teaching in Peru, so regret only went so far.) Photography has changed dramatically in that time, and so has the festival. The event has adapted to the changing face of our industry. If you ever want to learn, be inspired and meet some of the best people working today then this is the place you need to be.
PS: I just picked up the latest version of the Atlas Athlete. Major changes and well worth the look. I might also buy a 1.4 teleconverter for the Fuji. Have a very specific need and can’t get around needing a longer lens.

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