Archive for April, 2012

What a wonderful weekend in Germany. Old friends, new friends, lots of toys, terrific food and chance to learn from some impressive teachers.

Yasuo Baba from Nikon Professional Services Germany invited Laura and I to come to Dusseldorf to spend five days doing workshops and giving talks at Nikon Solutions in Essen.
I was excited about having a chance to work with some great folks, and spend time interacting with the 11,000 photographers who would be attending the expo.  Plus with plenty of fine German beer for Laura, I knew it could only be a happy environment. Before anything else I need to talk about Yasuo for a moment.  This was a mammoth undertaking. I think it has to be the largest event of it's kind in the world.  With his team at Nikon Germany, he put together not only an impressive group of speakers, but also filled a giant hall with a wide range of corporate friends and provided a brilliant environment for everyone to learn and share.     He had time and kind words for everyone.  Gracious and generous while under so much pressure and stress is a lesson we can all learn from. The last month I've had a chance to work often with my long time friend Joe McNally.  Every time I hear him present it's an education.  He is not only incredibly knowledgeable about photography, he is just flat out fun to listen to. Laura and I were backstage with Anne Cahill right before Joe's first presentation on Saturday -- he was lighting an elephant and a lingerie model with small flash -- and there was a lighting diagram/sketch Joe had drawn on a piece of cardboard lying on one of the shipping cases.   Some of the group--and I am not naming names here,  but it wasn't me, were discussing selling it on Ebay.

I got the chance to make a new friend this weekend who spends significant time with some of my old friends.  Florian Schulz is a contributor to  National Geographic with a world of talent.  Seeing his work on display and meeting his young family was a joy.   I hope to see more of him down the road soon. The guys from Profoto Germany knocked themselves out to help us with various lighting solutions.  They  introduced us to their ProDaylight system for our shoot with the body builder and gymnasts.  These are an extremely powerful continuous light source -- they will be very helpful particularly for video solutions.  These lights allowed us to show the audience exactly what the light would look like, why we placed the lights where we did and -- more important -- allowed the photographers in the audience to join and shoot with me.   At one point I was struggling to make a point so I invited some of the crowd to come and sit on the floor with me to see things from my, literal, point of view.  About 150 flooded out of the seats and surrounded me.  This was really fun for all of us.

Photo by Carsten Bockermann

Nikon Solutions was a 2 day festival.  Each of the days, we did three presentations: one on DSLR video, one on a Love of Photography and a live shooting demonstration with multi remote cameras.

I always learn more than I can teach at this type of conference.  I have shot about 150,000 frames now with the Nikon D4 but every day I get new information that helps me make the images I want to make.  Each of the other presenters opened my eyes to useful solutions.

It's time to take the inspiration and information and get back to work. Tomorrow first thing, we are loading up 20 cases of gear and heading to see another group of old friends at my favorite yearly event, the Kentucky Derby.  The only place to be the first weekend of May, every year.

Check out Bill's latest interview featured in issue 6 of N-Photo Magazine now available. In his interview, Bill discusses his career and provides tips for macro photography.

This week, Laura and I are traveling to Germany for Nikon Deutschland's Nikon Solutions Expo. The Expo, April 27-28, brings together professional photographers, hobby photographers, and photo enthusiasts to showcase some of the latest technology and hold educational workshops and seminars.
Nearly all of my ancestors came to the USA from Germany, and it's always a treat to be back "home." My great great great great grandfather Wilhem came to the States on a boat by himself when he was five years old, with a small suitcase and a note pinned to his chest.  His parents sent him during the European potato famine as they could not take care of him.  This is a guy I would like to have met.  Talk about tough. We're honored to be a part of such an inspiring group of presenters including Joe McNally, Serge Romanov, Jens Brüggemann, Mayk Azzato, Robin Preston, Florian Schulz, Ralph Man, Sebastian Wiegärtner, and Maike Jarsetz.
We will be presenting three times a day at 10:45, 12:45 and 17:15 on D-SLR Video, Sports Photography and the Simple Love of Photography -- if I am not on the stage you'll be able to find me trying to absorb some of the wealth of information being offered.
Wir würden uns freuen Sie dort zu sehen.

NAB is great fun. For gear heads, it just doesn't get any better than this. Every corner you turn there is something exciting and intriguing to play with. Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to help design and test Manfrotto’s new supports range, the SYMPLA. The SYMPLA is the perfect match for the flexibility provided by HDSLR filmmaking. It provides multiple supports for your camera and lens, making it well-balanced and stable. It is easy to adjust, easy to pack, and easy to customize.

Comfortable and convertible, the SYMPLA expands creative potential by allowing you to shoot where you want. In our exclusive behind the scenes video, you can watch many of the different ways we utilized the SYMPLA.

I’m honored to get to introduce the SYMPLA at NAB today, April 17 at 11:30. I’ll be discussing the design and the SYMPLA’s special features.

Yesterday was even better. I got to just roam the floor and visit my friends. Before I entered the hall, I bumped into Tim David from Apple, who really need to watch where he is going, but that turned into the best surprise of the day. While I was talking to Tim, Garrett Rice - also from Apple came by and made me laugh for 30 minutes. A very nice way to start the day. Inside, my first stop was Eileen Healey at Chimera -- if there is a nicer person alive I don't know who it is. Next Dennis Wood at Cinevate. Their new jib is really cool, and I haven't told Laura yet, but we will have one soon. If Dennis only had a little more energy... Then to Chris Kearns from Small HD Monitors. I love their products. The new D7 monitor is sweet. Incredibly lightweight. It's going to be a huge help with handheld cameras. I went by Nikon's booth, but the crowd was too big, and so I'll head back today and visit with all of them. There is never enough time with those guys. Kris Bosworth, Scott Diussa, Mark Kettenhoffen, Sara Moosbrugger, Mark Suban, and if I have enough time I'll talk to Mr. Silverman, but that usually requires a few hours and an instruction manual. A huge bonus for me is the Manfrotto booth where Stacy Pearsall -- check out her new book -- and Andy Dunaway are doing demos and helping explain things. Really fine folks that I am lucky to have as close friends.

The countdown is on for Bill’s upcoming workshop Emotional Motion: Capturing Your Vision sponsored by Adorama and Nikon. This special event is Thursday, April 19 from 5:30 – 8 p.m. (EST) at the Adorama Building in New York. Deadline to sign up is Wednesday, April 18. Registration is $25 and each attendee will receive a $25.00 coupon at the event in exchange for a copy of their registration receipt. The coupon will be valid for 30 days towards the purchase of any merchandise when presented at either Adorama’s retail store at 42 West 18th Street, New York, or for an online purchase at

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