SAN DIEGO – Wow, what a full and interesting weekend. Friday and Saturday we hosted the SPE West conference at City. It went really very well indeed and Dave and I are now the moat envied (and probably most hated) instructors in the western world of photo education at the moment because of our incredible facilities. There were seminars, panel discussions, vendor and educator fairs, portfolio reviews, and a chance for me to meet some really interesting characters who are colleagues in other schools. I finally got to meet Erika Gentry and Dennis Keeley with whom I’ve shared several discussion threads on the “Imaging DNA” forum. He teaches at Art Center (in Pasadena) so is fairly close but we all promised to keep in touch.
Today after the traditional Sunday breakfast with the group I went to the Photo Expo held annually at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Every year it gets a little bigger and a little better. I specifically went there to meet personally with the Canon District Representative, Stacey Foster. We had a nice chat and will get together after the craziness for them of the Christmas Holidays to discuss further how we might work together and perhaps become a venue for their speakers forums which are very popular. I also chatted with Tony Amat about getting on his speakers/presenters list. Obviously there is a game strategy here and that is that the more people who see our instructors as experts the more they will want to come to classes at City. We already get students from around the county because of the panels and presentations I do at the Fair each year. I wish I could get more of our instructors involved. It is a nice stroke to be considered an expert but since /i’m not shooting anymore it really has no major value for me except as it relates to school. But one expert on a faculty does not create the kind of draw we could have if several were seen in the area or even more broadly as experts in their areas of the discipline. Some of the adjuncts certainly qualify but do not want to do it since often the engagements are done for free. But anything to improve their personal standing will have positive consequences both at school and also in their personal photo businesses. Clients like to hire vendors that have been labeled as “experts” so it does have a value for them apart from any remuneration that might get. And there is no degree or certificate conferring “expertise,” it comes when others call you that (whether it is deserved or not). And since the program has an interest in having our faculty seen as experts i need to find a way to get more of them on board with this.
The “handout” I’m working on defining and describing how to apply display techniques for photo prints has grown completely out of hand and is now at about 50 pages with a few diagrams but none of the needed photo illustrations. I will try to do that over the holiday so I can finish it. The initial idea was for a smaller piece of maybe 10 pages just on how to stretch and display photo prints on canvas but that, I felt, needed a little background and then on topic led to another and suddenly there were 30 pages and at that point I figured I was committed (as well as needing to be committed) to make it a thoroughly comprehensive piece.
Alas I did have one major failure over the weekend: I tried, during some down-time while the conference was running, to profile some canvas with the big 44″ printer. But I could not get small letter-sized sheets to load since the canvas was too flexible. I could load the full roll but not the little cut sheets to print the calibration patches. I even tried attaching the canvas to stiffer paper and although it would now feed into the printer it still told me it was not loaded correctly. I emailed some friends with similar and identical printers for help but in the meantime, if anyone knows the secret do please email me or reply here with the solution.
I’ve not been shooting now in several weeks and am feeling a bit “twitchy” so desperately need to find some time for it. The good news is that the week-after-next we will have a full week with no classes so surely there will be some time then. I will also try to get the links straightened out on my main web site to make it cleaner to get right to this news/blog page.
Well, now I have to get to grading projects for several classes; my absolutely least favorite thing to do. Oh well it could be a lot worse. I saw videos of the blizzards going on in the mid-west and one of the instructors I met teaches in Greeley, CO and said he heard it had started to snow there. I can say categorically and without fear of contradiction or error that it is unlikely to snow here today since it is clear skies and in the low 70s. No wonder some of those other instructors were jealous…