You know it has been a great COBA meeting when no one has left the meeting until the very end.
Michael Soo and Eric Cheng gave terrific presentations on photo contests and underwater photography. Michael was recently awarded the Photographer of the Year award by Popular Photography magazine. He stressed the importance of reading the fine print in every contest you enter. If you’re not careful, you might be giving up all rights to your photos to the contest provider, regardless of whether you win or lose!
Once he was selected as a finalist, Soo travelled to New York for several photography assignments with the other competitors. I found it interesting that they allowed the contestants the ability to digitally manipulate the photos they submitted. I do my fair amount of adjusting in the RAW Converter and Photoshop, but I tend not to do too much image manipulation. I must break free from my photojournalist tendencies!
Up till now, I’ve avoided photo contests. It’s mostly because I’m too busy, but a part of it has got to be a fear of failure and success. Whatever the reason, I will probably rethink that stance in 2006!
Eric went through a slideshow of photos from his recent adventures around the world and underwater. With each passing year, his skills are increasing and his photos are getting better. His now-famous screaming turtle photo will soon be displayed in the Smithsonian!
Again, it was great to see that most everyone who came stayed to the end of the meeting. I think people enjoy hearing about photographic experience more than the latest gadget. Looking ahead to next year, I’ll keep this in mind when filling up the COBA agenda.
COBA is going to take the next month off. We’ll return in 2006, either in January or February. You can subscribe to the COBA mailing list to stay informed!