So this mostly starts with yesterday (Thursday night) and my utter inability to concentrate on anything… As a consequence, I didn’t get home until near midnight and needed to do some laundry for my trip. Long story short, I didn’t get to sleep until 2:30am and promptly awoke at 5:30am.

At this point, I realized that I had utterly failed to secure a ride to the airport, so I had no idea how I was going to get there and my dad wasn’t able to answer his cellular device. Fortunately, Pete would have been able to give me a ride, but fortunately for him my dad got home as I was leaving.

But before all that, I decided I would copy all my pictures from my external hard drive down to my internal so I could pimp my pixels around the conference. This is where my second stroke of genius occurred. [geekspeak] In Windows, when you copy one folder with the same name and the computer asks to overwrite, it typically syncs the data between the folders, adding what is not in one folder in. So I thought, before I copy everything down to my internal, I would do a quick update and put any new pictures onto my external since I hadn’t in over a month. Well, in OS X when it asks to overwrite, it means it is going to remove all the data from the old folder and only copy what is in the source. Thus, I in effect deleted all my pictures from 2008. Baller. I did have a small flash of brilliance and realized that this was probably not doing what I wanted it to and cancelled after only a few images were copied. Fortunately, this should be reasonably easy to recover the images lost, but the software costs in excess of $50-80. [/geekspeak]

So after that lovely start to the day, I managed to get everything packed and get to the airport and checked in just fine and plenty early. Sweet, now I could listen to some music or watch Frost/Nixon or something. But then I happened to look at my boarding pass. When I searched for tickets, I only searched to have my flight land at Dallas-Ft Worth Airport but apparently the flight I chose landed at Love Field, another 20 minutes east of my destination and my ride at DFW.

I talked to someone at the ticket counter and she suggested I hustle over to another gate on the other side of Terminal 3. Now, if you know O’Hare, you will understand my pain, literally.

So after walking a marathon, they told me the flight was already way over booked and the standby list was long. So much for that. It eventually boiled down to me needing to rent a car for the weekend and the rental companies don’t think of me as 26, so I had to pay a lot more for the rental. I do have a pretty nicely decked out Chevy Cobalt, which honestly has been a pleasure to drive so far.

Well, I got back to gate G11 to wait for my flight and needed to get my phone charged up for the flight. After all, I still had Frost/Nixon to watch. And who would be sitting next to the only power outlets but another photographer. Now, you may be asking, “how does one know another is a photographer?” and that is a valid and sometimes difficult question to answer. Fortunately for me, it was easy because he had a Canon 1D Mark II with a 16-35 f2.8L in front of him. Score. We got to talking and I found out he worked for the Chicago Tribune and also knows Scott Strazzante, one of the speakers at the conference. Cool! We had about an hour and a half before the flight and I had a stack of my portfolio CDs so we popped one in his laptop and he gave me some slick feedback on my portfolio! He also worked for the Daily Herald and the Elgin-based Courier News for a few years back a ways. Was a pretty neat encounter. See though, had I been able to switch flights and get to DFW, I wouldn’t have met John. Is that worth $168 for the rental? I think so. Its all about networking baby! Maybe $168 for a rental is way excessive, but I didn’t much have a choice.

Well, now that I am here safely, things are going pretty good! I got to place with a wide range of Canon’s glass since they have a table at the conference. Got to hold a 1D Mark III and a 1Ds Mark III, as well as the new 5D Mark II. I will post some pictures form the 5DII tomorrow. I recorded a bunch of short video clips too, can’t wait to see how gorgeous they are!

I got a chance to sit down with Scott from the Tribune and had him go through my portfolio and some other random images here and there. Was really cool and he has a different perspective on pictures than most PJs I have talked to so far. He is pretty amazing, so he has that license. Overall, I think he liked what I had, but of course said that my portfolio would get a whole lot better with the internship. He offered too to keep in touch over the summer for my internship and give me feedback on my pictures! I hope I can get 2-5 people like that that I can just get all the professional feedback I can from people I have met.

I guess that about wraps up most of today’s insanity. Here’s to hoping that tomorrow goes much smoother. I’m excited to meet more people tomorrow and getting rid of all the portfolio CDs I made and give a way a lot of business cards! Have a good night and thanks for reading my 1000 word essay.

– KS