The Photography Show/AIPAD Is Back IN PERSON!!

After a hiatus for in person, AIPAD, also know as The Photography Show is back in NYC for 2022!
I think there will be a lot of events getting that opening line!

This year’s show has brought back so many of the best galleries in the world for a 2 floor showing of some of the best of the photographic arts. Here is a link to all of the exhibitors, and their sites.

From the old school opulence of the Park Ave Armory, to the cavernous open space of the Piers, this space is a more intimate way to view the images up for sale. Plus you are back in the middle of the city for all you need after the visit: food, drink, shopping, transportation.

There is a good mix of the classic, iconic photographs, coupled with some of the new artists in the realm.

With photographs from the very beginning of photography, with this image form a glass negative, circa 1856 at the Hans P. Kraus gallery

to mid-century classics, like this Avedon image of Dovima with the elephants, at Staley-Wise galley

with a decent sprinkling of au current offerings, it is a show that can be covered with an attention to detail, without an overwhelming space to intimidate or cause you to breeze through. Below is a photo by Ansel Adams. Did you know he made portraits?

Yes, it feels like there is a layout that allows for a more detailed look at the work, and as a collector, prompted me to note images to purchase, instead of simply appreciating on the galleries wall. Some good buys to be had, for sure!

On the first floor is a very intense exhibit of Joel Peter-Witkin work, which include not only finished images, but contact sheets as well, showing his process of selection. If you are familiar with his work, you will see a collection of some of his most iconic photographs. Not for the faint of heart, these images will stay with you.

Moving through the galleries, you are greeted with incredible world press images, detailing a world you may only see in the media, elevated to a proper size and import, being singular in the messaging.

As a bit of an old school aficionado, I was pleased to see some of the classic images from the likes of Avedon, Erwitt, Sid Avery, Max Yavno, and Steichen.


More current favorites, like Julie Blackmon, a great storyteller were on display at the Robert Mann booth. Portraiture imagery was liberally sprinkled throughout as well.

Overall, I’d say the show captured vintage classics, portraits, and fashion, for the majority of the show. The newer artists were in shorter supply, although the entire show felt just right for size and content,

One thing that was not here this year, was the massive book section of the show, where if you wanted to purchase a bound version of an artist’s work, new or old, instead of a print purchase, or even as a precursor to a print purchase, you were hard pressed to find a good selection.

Instead, AIPAD/The Photography Show partnered with ICP with a book fest on Saturday, to see a huge range of photobooks. Admission is only $5. or use your receipt for the AIPAD event to get in for free!

There are some book signings on site at The Photography Show this weekend, so you will have an opportunity to get some new treasures. Galleries did have some books on their tables, but few.

Perhaps that was meant to have you concentrate on the prints, maybe it was a bit of a shlep to ship quantities of books.
Or simply that in these past 2 years, not many new books were created.
2 books that I was drawn to was the Power of Photography, a collection of important images in photography, treated with respect in a beautifully printed, and single image, single page format. Created by gallerist, collector, lover of photography, Peter Fetterman, this is one you should pick up for sure.

Another was a very unique collection of Daido polaroid images, produced as actual sized stickers, with a cloth bound photo album allowing you to place the photos as you wish in the album.

On the opening night, Jeffery Rosenheim, curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum. received The AIPAD Award. It recognizes and celebrates visionaries who have spent their lives at the forefront of the field of photography.

I first met him at the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Met. This guy has a massive passion for photography, that spills over to anyone who meets him! Never a knowledge snob, quite the opposite, as he will engage almost anyone will to talk photography! No, not gear, but the language of the medium.

Overall, this is a show you have to attend. for a rich photographic gathering, with a great variety of work, we have missed this, and you won’t be disappointed.

The Mindful Photographer by David Ulrich – Awake In The World With A Camera

You don’t know everything.

Seriously, if you do not stay curious, and constantly exploring, you will become stagnant.
So much to learn.

David Ulrich is a photographer, and more importantly, a teacher who shares lessons in this book, The Mindful Photographer, that should make you examine your methods, consider the options, and overall think about how you are living a creative life.

Yeah, I know. Sounds heavy.
His voice as a teacher comes through strong, and while reading many of the chapters, It felt like I was back in school.
In a good way.
Sometimes you need a refresher. Sometimes you need a nudge. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt.
This book seems to cover all of those things.

He opens with a very revealing note about one of his mentors, Minor White. Obviously wanting to share an experience, it did set a tone of honestly throughout the book.

What does a photographer do when their vision becomes impaired?
They continue to shoot. And in David’s case, also teach.
Let’s be honest though: Albert Watson, whose most famous photo book is called Cyclops, also has the use of only one eye.
David presents a deep dive into so many questions that a photographer may have:
Spiritual, technical, and the ever present question of “ why do I do this?”

The ability to jump around the book via short chapters was a plus, yet I found myself going through the chapters one after another.
Chapters titled as : “When to put the Camera Down”, and “Art Is A Lie That Tells The Truth (credited to Picasso)” to “Sift, Edit, Refine” give you an idea of what you can expect.
It seemed like a lesson plan that should be inherently followed.
So I did.

Were there revelations? If you have been to a photo school, or portfolio reviews, not really.
Still there were lessons that bear repeating in your photographic life, and it was appreciated.

It is, overall, a well presented, deep dive into the photographers mindset. about $35 at Amazon

A solid read, produced with all the quality you could hope for.

BTW, there is another book, out currently, about photography with the same main title! Haven’t read it so can’t give an opinion

Platypod Extreme – The Mother of em all!

When there is a need, there is a solution.
Like most of us, I’m always looking for a simpler and lightweight solution to securing my camera to get that perfect angle for a shot.
It could be for a closeup of a flower, or just attaching a camera where there is no place for a tripod or monopod.
I have what may be a unique use case, and Platypod has solved it in the past.

The new Platypod Extreme, currently on Kickstarter, solves so many use cases for me, however.

(Yes, there will be many photos, videos, and a link to the Kickstarter below, if you choose to back the project)

This is the situation: I keep a Zhiyun tripod connector on my camera at all times.


It’s quick release, not too bulky, and holds my camera steady when added to a ball head, monopod, or while shooting through NYC, on a Platypod.

Above shot is the full rig set-up by a window, where no tripod will go. The Platypod manages those space perfectly..

Because of this combo, I don’t have to break down my camera, change out connectors, or spin it onto a ¼-20 screw. I do bring the ball head in my bag, ready to set up on the Platypod.

Below shows a Fuji X-T4 on a rooftop table, with a 16mm lens, and a wrist strap on the Manfrotto ball head, Zhiyun quick release, all secure on a Platypod Extreme with legs balanced for the load.


Playtpod connecting base has been one item I usually keep in my bag for these additional reasons:

It’s flat, it attaches most anywhere with the straps, or other added items in their kits.( optional, although the Extreme will come with a carabineer)


I have a previous model, which I like and use, but there were a few places for improvement : the spiked legs, used to adjust for diff terrains, were stored in a pouch, or magnetic holder and added another step in setting up the Platypod. Not a deal breaker, but when moving around the park, keeping them on was not the best for my camera bag.

Sure, the base itself, while having plenty of holes to screw in to secure to a drillable, or screwable surface was a nice to have, although not practical for me.

To start, the Extreme base itself is larger, and I feel better about using a bigger, heavier lens, and the balance just feels more secure, although the base is lighter than previous models.

One of the main new features on the Extreme is that the legs are attached, and fold into the unit!

So now they are always on, and click stop into chosen angles to allowing for uneven surface, like here:

Easy to break down and move to another location for setup.

Back to some of the features: there is a 3/8 permanent screw for your tripod head, which is where the ball head is on here, and if you don’t like that location for the head, there are multiple located holes you can set it in for balance, or the shots sake. Below shows the removable 1/4-20, standard tripod screw.

Also you can add things like lights and a mic to the base, if you don’t want to load your camera up. Plenty of appropriately sized holes to screw in accessories.

Choose your own adventure!

You can use their Velcro strapping system, as the previous max model allowed, to attach to a pole or a tree limb. Yep, that’s an extra. OR you can even use a regular belt!

And use one of the legs, repositioned to one of the other holes in the base, to bring some additional pressure and security for the Platypod. As you can see in this shot, the sharp ends of the spikes are revealed to allow for a more secure placement on a tree, when screwed in.

Another note on the carrying case: There is an inside pocket where I keep the rubber spike tips, and the 3/8-1/4 screw adaptor for the head along with the rubber tips for the spikes, when you need to expose them, as above.

As I mentioned, one other way I use it is on my roof. Luckily, we have some tables, so when capturing the skyline, or shooting some natural light items, like these peeps, I use the Platypod to frame up the shot.

Overall this a utility device that checks a lot of boxes.
Pros: Packs small, plays big; versatile, solid. Lighter, more mounting options than in previous models.

Cons: Black paint seems to wear off near where I attach the ball head, but had no affect on the functionality. BTW, that screw you see here is permanently embedded into the Platypod, so that part is taken care of. This was a review unit I’m showing, so things may change.

Do you already own a previous model? Have a look at the comparison:

Have a look at these videos for more info:

and this one for some accessories breakdown:

Sure, it’s on Kickstarter, so you can get a good deal now, and with this company, I would feel secure on backing it, although I always have to add the disclaimer that until it is a done deal, it is not a guarantee. Kickstarter is not a store.

If you back it, you can save about $30. Early backers can get it for about $120.

Real World Review – OWC for the Traveler

Felt so good to be back on a set: 75 crew, 25+ talent, 8 person Stills crew, plus 14 clients and agency folks. (yes, I produce commercials)
Flew across country, and set up in the hotel conference room for wardrobe fittings (remote), meetings and a pre-production meeting. Part remote/part IRL
First thing up – let’s connect to the big screen!
Conf Room had an HDMI cable to connect, although we all had MacBook Airs.
I had packed my OWC travel dock, and had it in my backpack! The perfect tool with its HDMI input!
Worked like a charm!

OK, above, is a cleaner look at my set-up, once I was visiting family. In the conf room it was more like this:

You’ve all been there, I know.

With all of the files for the project: pre-pro book (204 mg alone) , documents, storyboards, contracts, shooting boards, storylines, talent auditions, etc. my little MacBook Air hard drive was getting filled up, and a little sluggish.

So, I plugged in the OWC SSD into the hub, and created a set of job folders , and offloaded all of the job docs to that. Back to some usable speed. Plus the added RAM that was freed up.

On every job I produce, I’m usually doing some behind the scenes shots, and these days, some video.
Only available to the agency and client as it’s all NDA’d, but I needed a fast card to work with for vid , especially.
The new OWC line,ATLAS S PRO SDXC UHS-II V90 Media Card did the trick.
You probably don’t need a photo of the SD card.

So the hub has all of the ports I needed for work: HDMI for video transmit, SD reader for my captured content, pass through power USB C port, so I save a USB C on my laptop, and 2 USB ports for anything I needed. Like a way to charge my phone! And as you can see below, the USB-C cable fits neatly into the base.  PLUS, the hub is also bus powered so if you don’t have access to power, you can still connect all the peripherals.

Last feature I want to highlight is the ability to disconnect all of your connected items at once, using the included software. Just saves disconnecting each item (SSD, SD card, Phone, etc.)


Overall, this whole system will be with me from now on.
Small footprint, enough ports, SD reader, super fast SD card, and the ability to hook into a video system convinced me.
Sure, you want to know what all of this costs:
The Travel Hub is about $55.
The SSD Envoy depends on the size. I went for the 1TB, so about $220
The Atlas SD card, also depends on the size. The 256 GB was a great worker for the shoot days. About $250

Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO- Get Back to Some Fun!

I have to say, when I get a new product to review, I like to look around and see what some others may have said.
Well, It was edifying.
When someone starts to compare an Instant camera to a high end phone or interchangeable lens cameras, they are missing the point.
As a historical reference, the Polaroid Swinger in the 60’s came out when high end film cameras were readily available.
When the SX-70 was introduced, we had plenty of those same film cameras in use.
This camera is about fun and sharing a moment in a physical form.
And there are added benefits as well, I’ll mention later.

The newly redesigned Instax mini, or next gen, added to the line up is the Mini Evo
It has reached a great place in design and capabilities.

With a sleek look, and a nod to classic film cameras with its black and silver palette, it fits, and feels great, in the hand.
The ability to adjust exposure and color filtration is a major plus in my mind.
You can adjust the lens ring to add 10 effects, with a mirror imaging option being kinda fun, although I keep it kinda simple.
Film look, and chosen exposure are displayed on an LCD screen so you see what you shot before you decide to print.
There is a lever to print, which on classic film cameras would have been the film advance lever. Fun touch.

AND to be able to shoot, save to a micro-sd card (or internal memory) before deciding to print is a money saver.

The magic happens in the printing.

No matter whom I’ve shown this to, to see eyes lighting up, and a smile arise on the faces, once the process begins, is what it’s all about.
It’s not a digital photo to be seen only on a phone.
It’s not an NFT that shows in a crypto wallet.
It’s a physical photo IN YOUR HAND.
It almost sounds crazy to emphasize this, as this was the basic concept of instant cameras from the beginning.

Instant Gratification.

Now people I have given prints to still like to shake it, assuming this will speed the process. That is a very old concept yet still locked into the general mindset.
It doesn’t affect the processing, yet increases the connection to the image.
Could be just a certain generation, but the song Hey Ya!, brought it back a bit more modern

To that point, I’ve heard of many photographers with younger people in the house love these cameras , because it is an instant physical share.

As we gather in person again, physical proof of an event or just a meeting for friends, is truly valuable. Looking up from screens now and again can be healthy. Plus there is a front polished square so you can line up selfies, by yourself or with a group. The ability to shoot and view before printing comes in handy in this case. Make sure you got everyone in there.

OK, Ok, it does have another sweet feature:
You CAN connect, via Bluetooth, the camera to your smartphone and use the camera as a printer for your phone.Shot this at a film festival.

Maybe you have a photo stored you want to giveaway. Or you made a shot on your phone, and you want to do a simple giveaway on the spot. Helps when perhaps someone would rather not share their contact deets.

Some additional points: is does have a cold shoe so you can add an LED light source

If you are a Fuji user, the menu design on the back will be very familiar. And even if you are not, it’s still super simple.

You can also set up remote shooting wth your smartphone. here is a compressed version of what it could be like. Yes, when Evo in horizontal mode, app details are in the right configuration, but of course you can make your phone horizontal! on this shot I did not make the camera adjustmenst so just showing ow it can be set up.

Yes, I’m a fan of the Fuji line of instant products. From the Wide printers, to the Square cameras, and complete the line of instax minis.
This new design hits so many of the marks for me, I throw it in my camera bag now, when going on a walkabout in the city. It’s good to see peoples faces light up when the picture emerges from the camera

Only thing I wish it did was have the ability to add a QR code like the LiPLay does, or the new Wide printer. Honestly though, the image real estate is a bit limited for the to be added.

Let’s just enjoy this camera for what it’s meant for: fun and sharing

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