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My Societies Convention 2017 in a Blog Post

Well its Friday January 20th and I've been home since Monday but this is the first day when I feel alive and well enough to sit for an extended period at my desk. It happens to me every few years after the convention that I succumb to a virus that was likely floating around the air conditioning system. Its been ages since I've been properly ill and had lots on in the weeks leading up to the convention so a part of me figured I was due. Its inevitable when you plan a well deserved break after a busy period that your body thinks, 'this is a good time to be ill'. I'm always thankful though that I completed all my obligations prior to coming down with flu and the diary is empty for another couple of days to allow me to recover before being customer facing once again. In the meantime I'll begin with a review of my week at the convention.
My week began with judging the 20x16 Print Competition. This has been something I've been working towards for years and is the reason earning my Fellowship was so important to me as its the first requirement in being considered. I have helped Licentiate qualification panels for several years now and in June of last year I attended a 2 day course which kick started the qualification process for becoming a judge. Since then I've been observing online judging sessions while receiving additional training.With this all complete I was able to sit amongst several panels of judges as a junior judge. This was a huge honour and great privilege to be a part of and something that I hope will continue for years to come.
(One of the images created in the Superclass)
On Friday I then presented a Superclass on lighting. This I found very enjoyable as the delegates were very keen and receptive to what I was teaching. That can make all the difference, when you can see people learning and appreciating what you have to say. We were using the new XMT lights by Bowens which really are a pleasure to use since they are battery powered with a fantastic remote trigger that lets you control each light individually.
(And another from the Superclass)

For the remaining 2 days I presented Masterclasses on Photoshop for part of the day with the other part spent doing lighting demonstrations on the Bowens stand. I amazed myself at how much I enjoyed being that busy this year. I expected to feel worn out rather than exhilarated which was rather nice. (Although that could be why I am ill now). 

It always amazes both myself and most people I speak with at this event how quickly the convention comes around each year. It feels like an eternity before we can meet up with old friends again but before we know it we're right back there at that hotel again. And in a blink of an eye its all over. Someone said at the start of the week, I can't remember who as much if the week has become a bit of a blur, he said, 'this week will fly by at a snails pace' and he was right. There were moments that seemed to last forever, like those when I nervously awaited my turn to begin my judging career or as I lie awake in bed trying to quiet the voices in my head so I could sleep. Then all of a sudden it was Sunday night and I was having my last meal with friends before we all went our separate ways.
(Our besties for the week, Heather and Adrian, all the way from North Carolina. My husband and I so look forward to seeing these two each year)
(A great friend Panikos and his wife Joanna. I've met some truly wonderful people in this industry. Panikos is definitely one of the best.)
(Some more of my favourite people whom I only see physically this one week each year but who I count on for support and entertainment throughout much of the year)
(A few of the many weirdos I am happy to call friends.)
Like always I wanted to write a blog about the week and include some photographs. This time, now that I own a comfortably sized Fuji X-T2, I carried a camera with me everywhere just as I said I would when I blogged about my experience with this camera a few months ago. And I never felt inconvenienced because I have since bought the little pancake 27mm lens which means this camera now fits into a small handbag. All I had to do was get over the fear of pulling out a proper camera at an event full of highly esteemed professionals, most of whom never pull out a camera. I don't know what it is about professional photographers but events like this usually have us leaving our cameras at home. It probably has something to do with wanting to take a break from it all I suppose.
(Sunrise from my room)
And now as I sit at my computer it seems like ages ago I was sat around the bar chatting with dear friends. The image below is of the bar after the Awards dinner when so many hang out to the wee hours of the morning. With still another day of training I only managed to last til 1:30am. Gone are the days I stayed up til 5am. Probably for the best really but if ever there is a night I could stay up all night it is this one. Maybe next year.
Well its taken me a week to write this blog post. I turns out I wasn't properly well when I began and with a back log of work to catch up on when I did feel better this took a back seat for a while. But I'm back now and the post is written. I had promised myself that this was the year I would write 52 posts, one for each week on average and now I'm already behind on that promise thanks to getting poorly. I must try harder next month so I can catch up. Will this be the year I reach 52 posts? Well I am definitely going to try.

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