I had an opportunity to go out to Los Angeles and participate in Adobe’s flagship event called MAX. Since I had not been before, I was’t sure what to expect. As a vendor (I was shooting for KelbyOne) I was stationed at the Hands on Camera Experience booth… more on that in a bit.

First off, AdobeMAX is an event in it’s 6th or 7th year. The event is all about learning and bringing creatives together. The classes were top notch and oriented towards design professionals. My colleagues Matt Kloskowski and Corey Barker were featured speakers. This is a very “no pitch” event and even the expo floor did not have any vendors who were selling. The only things one could purchase were from the Adobe store on site.

No selling… in fact, just the opposite was true. Food was provided at the event, as was beer and wine. Adobe provided free social media head shots done by professional photographers. There was also a creative area where attendees could express their creativity with all sorts of media. Everything from Lego racing to giant scrabble to hands-on multimedia collaborations. All in the name of “engagement”. It was a highly interactive happening.

Oh… did I mention the free Microsoft Surface computer given to every attendee? Every paying attendee got a free tablet computer from Microsoft.

I was at the Hands On Camera Experience booth set up by Russell Brown of Adobe. Russell worked with the Stan Winston School Character Arts to get not one, but TWO Kaiju Monsters. Attendees were able to photograph these monsters using cameras supplied by Canon and Panasonic and they could also pose with these monsters and get a shot sent to them (that’s where I came in).

girl_KaijuThe setup included two giant spider lights with umbrellas and daylight balanced fluorescent lights. These constant lights allowed attendees to take good pictures using their iPhones if they wished. My setup included three Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 flash units with 64″ PLM umbrellas (Extreme Silver), each with diffusion bonnets. These were triggered with CyberSync triggers. The Einsteins were graciously supplied by Joel Grimes, one of the best and nicest professional photographers you will ever meet. I had a blast talking to Joel at MAX.

OK, now for the TetherTools setup. I had an Aero Table for my 15″ MacBook Pro (Aero Traveler) and a ProPad. Ideally, I wanted to mount this on a C-Stand but traveling with one of these beasts was not going to happen. Instead, I opted to mount the Aero on a sturdy light stand that would fit into my checked luggage. I wanted to make sure I backed everything up so I used the XDC drive holder holding my USB backup drive.

Connecting my Canon 70D to my MacBook was easy. I used TetherTools’ signature orange TetherPro USB cable and active extension. In the department of “I am sure glad I have this” are the TetherTools JerkStoppers. One went on my camera and one on the computer end of the USB cable

I can’t remember how many times I stepped on the cable only to have the JerkStopper save the day and keep me plugged in. Really a very cool invention!

I shot into Adobe Lightroom and automatically applied a Aged Film look to each picture. Since the background image (World War II fighters over a landscape) was a bit wrinkled, I thought this filter gave the needed “look and feel” as well as show off some Lightroom features. I used Synchronize X Plus to keep a backup of my my folder to the backup drive.

I love the TetherTools line. I’d like to get the iPad Wallee Case and Articulating Arm and position it so I can see the results while the ‘audience’ looks at the laptop display. This would cut down on a lot of me moving around.

I shot over three hundred images at AdobeMAX and got a lot of great feedback from attendees as well as from other photographers. Let me know if you have any questions about this setup.