Yeah. I agree, that’s an odd combination of stuff. But that’s what you get when you go to Imaging USA. Do you remember what happened last year? I met Bradford, Ned and Jackson when PPA hosted their annual photography conference in New Orleans. It didn’t take much to convince us to attend this years event which was hosted by that peach of city, Atlanta. Such southern hospitality. Where else would you be allowed to hijack a Hard Rock Cafe? And by hijack, I mean take over an entire room and lose all concern for acceptable public behavior. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
By the first day, our group had grown to eight uber cool, semi connected strangers who’s love of photography had gelled into a posse of awesomeness. Bradford, Ned, Jackson, Robert, Aislinn, Ashley, Ben and myself. The only thing we were missing was a secret handshake. After days of absorbing knowledge from industry greats like Dane Sanders, Joe Buissink, Dave & Quin Cheung and Jerry Ghionis…we were a little excited to explore what we had learned. But first things first – we gotta eat. So, off to the Flying Biscuit in Midtown, where all your carb dreams can come true. Ned brought his trusty little point and shoot Sony camera which circled the table repeatedly like a buzzard waiting to land. At the expo, Canon was passing out little LED flashlights and we nabbed five of them. Score! Nerd alert: this allowed us to take turns lighting up everything on the table.
After dinner, we unanimously decided to have a little more fun in the alley behind the Flying Biscuit. Sure it was cold, but we had flashlights so it was game on. Keep in mind, at this point, we are still stone cold sober. More stone cold than anything else since none of us dressed appropriately for a drastic drop in temperature. But hey, when you’re having fun, who cares! Admittedly, it took us a while to get coordinated since our plan started with six of us converging onto one small landing at the same time. There wasn’t enough physical room for that. It was like a car crash. The end result in the alley was an 8 second exposure at F5.6 with ISO 200. We took turns running up and down two flights of stairs and lighting up one main subject at time. Sadly, this proved that I am not nearly as in shape as I pretend to be. It was here our posse got it’s name, the Flying Biscuit Flash Gordons. It sounded better than Flying Biscuit Frozen Popsicles.
Cold but not ready to end the night, we decided to head back closer to the hotels. We ended up at the Hard Rock Cafe, which lucky for us, was nearly empty. Finally loaded down with libations, we celebrated our kindred photog spirits. When we asked our waiter CJ to take a picture of the whole group, he mistakenly suggested we should go into the next room and jump on stage in front of the sign. Poor CJ. He didn’t realize we couldn’t stop at just one. Before we knew it, Bradford was lying on the bar, boudoir style. This is what happens when photogs have free time.
The room we commandeered was open to the dining room where only two or three tables remained. One of which was full of Imaging USA peeps – including world renowned photographer Tony Corbell. Fricken Tony Corbell was watching us! Screw it. We lost all modesty already, so we asked him to join in. And he did! After that, the manager cranked up the music and it was all hands on deck for an impromptu dance-a-thon. I’m not saying the alcohol didn’t play a part in this, but those flashlights were a weird influence. I thinks it’s fair to say a flashlight changed my life. I learned many valuable lessons that night: My friends are awesome. It’s not your equipment, it’s how you use it. I need more than three hours sleep.
The last day of the Expo culminated at the Georgia Aquarium for an after party of epic proportions. I’ve always wanted to go there and should have spent more time with the fishes, but there was cake pops, brownies and mini pecan pies everywhere, so I was a little distracted. I did meet a grouper approximately the size of my couch, so that was cool. But the highlight of my night was when Marceliano Munoz dipped me in a dance so low to the ground, I could see genuine concern in his eyes. It was close, but wisely, he didn’t drop me. A bunch of us Flash Gordon’s will be in Vegas for WPPI’s expo. I almost feel sorry for Vegas. We have cameras, so what happens there, will defiantly be blogged.
The following images were taken by the Flying Biscuit Flash Gordon’s and were a collaborative effort between us, the Hard Rock and a substantial amount of adult beverages.