Today was the first day of APPA for 2015, and as the first time I've been able to see the live judging process, I must definitely have to say WOW.
Wrapping up, or WR(APPA)'ing up, I've had an absolute blast experiencing all that has happened today, from talking to the brands and their reps, to the company directors and passionate team members, I'm most definitely feeling the great vibe we have in Australian photography.
I got to sit and absorb the judging process, watching the careful deliberations of judges so intent on delivering the best feedback to entrants, such attention to detail and craft, and all in a positive vibe, not a single negative emotion in the room, very uplifting indeed. I got to run into the inspiring creators of Dynamic Range magazine of whom I have been writing for, and I got to meet faces to monikers of whom I had only seen online.
I sat in on a few hours of Science, Wildlife and Wild Places, a few in Travel, some in Birth and eavesdropped a few in Portrait (Non Commissioned). The mastery of the images presented made it clear that they were all a cut above the rest. Every single person that puts themselves forward for APPA should be proud of themselves, regardless of the outcome, it's a process that can either build you up or break you down so easily, and I believe that you're stronger for entering in the first place. I was particularly curious about science and wild places, having considered many of my own images for this category, before deciding to play it safe and enter Landscape as this would not draw questions about the category I had chosen.
I learnt that an image is as much, or as not as much as what category you enter it into, and found myself watching categories being judged that are well out of my comfort zone (such as Birth) because it gave me a greater appreciation for imagery created at all levels, not just what I was familiar with. It is also the importance of what you include in the frame, as much as what you don't include in that same frame, that the vast variety of choice we have is all about what we do and don't do. I learnt about narratives on the wider scale, I learnt about how the process isn't really complete until you have been here and been open to whatever feedback you receive on your day of judging (judgement).
I was like a kid in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Cameras. Lenses. Tripods. Filters. Accessories. People who knew what they were talking about! Educational sessions. Free Coffee. Freebies (thanks Nikon!).
Nikon by far have the best stand. There's cool freebies to win, they're so interactive, and if you offer your mug up to being instagrammed by them, you get a free coffee. Woohoo! I won a lens mug, some lanyards and a really cool little D800 pin. The sales staff were great and I got to put a face to DL!
Surprisingly, Canon were nowhere to be seen?! I would have thought they'd have a big stand promoting their new gear, but they seem to be late to the party and have missed out?! Anyway, there was plenty more Olympus, Sigma and Fujifilm to go around.
I"m really looking forward to day 2 of the show. To see more familiar faces and mingle with more of the crowd.
Here's some phone snaps from Day 1!
^ Part of the show floor
^ Posing for a photo with ISO100 Photography and fellow OOAK Team chicky Sarah Hatton
^Nikon's dominance in the land is well known! Love you long time Nikon!
^ Canon AIPP APPA Silver award wall (one of several)
^The Hallowed Gold-Award wall! The wall we all strive for!