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A tour of Photoshop World Expo 2010

A tour of Photoshop World Expo 2010

I spent a couple days in Las Vegas last week and during my visit, I checked out the product expo at Photoshop World 2010 at the Expo Hall at the Mandalay Bay Resort. It’s a conference over three days that features classes designed for graphic artists and photographers.  In addition, vendors ply their ware, from tripods to photography software plug-ins.

Certainly the vendor that attracted the biggest crowd was either Western Digital, who had a free drawing for hard drives, and Westcott, which featured attractive models with whom to photograph their lighting products and accessories. Either strategy really seemed to be a hit and created the most excitement around the booths.

Some of the products that grabbed my attention:

Really Right Stuff

This was first on my list of great products. This company features high-quality camera supports including: tripods, ballheads, mounting plates, flash brackets and panorama photography leveling gear.

The first thing I noticed at the booth was a Canon camera with a very long telephoto lens that balanced perfectly by itself atop the tripod. With this kind of balance the heavy lens moved so easily. This is designed for the serious nature photographer, maybe this is why I was attracted to it.  One day, I picture myself as a famous nature photographer spending all my time shooting spectacular environmental scenes and wildlife in their natural setting.

The only problem might be the price, a rig like this might set you back nearly$2,000 for all the camera mounting gear, panning and gimbal head and tripod. And, while their gear is quite light for its size and sturdiness, I may need a sherpa to help carry it.

Maybe I should reconsider my future hobby, this is beginning to seem like a lot of work, maybe there is something to be said for taking photos inside a studio, like air conditioning and heating.

Wacom – It’s hard not to stop by Wacom, makers of tablets that replace a mouse and give you more detailed controls for working on images. I am so sick of using Photoshop with my old school Microsoft mouse; the flat, no-button Apple Magic mouse; or even worse the track pad on my laptop. I hate using my trackpad, which is only good as a convenience  if you’re traveling or stuck in a situation without a table.

While some of the tablets were modestly priced, they were certainly showing off the top of the line equipment. I think I would be fine with one of their simple and less expensive trackpads, but at this show, they had a Cintiq model, which lets you draw on a pad with a 21-inch screen display. This is really the way to go, but of course, the cost for me always seems to be the deterrent.

Westcott – The lighting accessories manufacturer had no problem attracting interest with their multiple booths, including one for live shooting with four setups with their lighting accessories and backdrops and models, as well as a motorcycle.

They displayed strobe lights, Spiderlites (cooler continuous light source lights), a variety of softboxes, reflectors, and backdrops. They were also promoting their upcoming 2010 Top Pro Tour of one-day lighting seminars.

Hoodman – With its goods under a  large yellow balloon like setup was very hard to miss. They manufacture the HoodLoupe, which has become very popular with photographers who need a way to get a close, glare-free peek at the back of LCD screens on cameras, especially with the new DSLRs featuring HD video, since you’re always using the live view screen.

They also featured a product, PhotoFrames, which they billed as “Glasses built for photographers.” It seemed it would be practical but might be a little too geeky for me. Of course, I have my reading glasses on a string around my neck, so who am I to say what geeky is?

The lens can be lifted up for your shooting eye so you don’t have to remove your glass. Great idea, but I don’t see myself using them anytime soon. They are frames only, so you would have your optometrist fit the lenses.

Epson – I walked quickly through the Epson display. The maker of printers, had a beautiful display of prints like a mini-museum wall that only reminded  me how expensive ink, paper, and those high-end printers, are.

I just spent over $50 for ink for my home Canon printer. I’m not sure where the ink goes, but it moves quick through those tiny cartridges. But that’s another story.

It always motivates me to see an array of software, photo manufacturers and camera stores selling their wares at this type of event.  There are so many excellent products, but I wish I had more time to give them a try.

Top Photo: Scott Kelby, president of National Assn. of Photoshop Professionals demonstrates lighting at the Westcott studio booth. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times


  1. September 6, 2010, 12:22 pm

    Hi there, thanks for the nice overview! Liked reading you post. Greetz, Bouke (from the Netherlands)

  2. September 13, 2010, 10:54 am

    […] UPDATE: Westcott caught more than just the attendees attention with their shootout—the LA Times did a write-up on them. Here’s the link. […]

  3. February 23, 2011, 9:05 pm

    […] was a huge hit in Vegas, and I’m sure they’ll take it up a notch in Orlando.  The LA Times even did a write-up about them in […]

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