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July 24, 2011

NYSS Member Sheldon Aronowitz reports on NSA Convention 2011

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I have attended the past 29 NSA Conventions and every year, after the convention, I think the same thing: "Next year's convention will have a tough time surpassing this one!" Funny thing, every year I am wrong! The conventions keep getting better and better and this one was no exception - absolutely SUPER!

This convention in Loveland, Colorado kicked off on Monday with room hopping and ended the following Monday with a full day trip to the Rocky Mountains.

The Convention Hotel was magnificent, a perfect hotel for the NSA convention, an Atrium hotel allowing the attendees, at a glance, to look around the inner circumference and immediately see which doors were open for room hopping. In addition, every room was a suite allowing extra room for the dealers to display their goods or allowing 3 to a room to reduce costs - or both.

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View larger image of Peter Sinclair's 15 camera rig

The New York Stereoscopic Society was represented by Ronald Gold and Carol Super, the NSA VPs for Development, Mark Golebiowski, whose show "A Photo-Optical Record of Physical Phenomena Related to Time, Decay, and Death, Part 2" was very well received and myself, repeating the requested "Ellis Island - Island of Hope - Island of Tears" which I produced with Gary Schacker. Gary recently revised and enhanced the show.

Carol Gold won one of the more than 15 Fuji W3 cameras which were given away at every sitting of the Stereo Theatre, at the Awards Banquet, on bus trips, etc. The Fuji Representative was most generous in this regard and most appreciative of the NSA members contribution to the success of this camera. He was very optimistic for the future of Fuji's 3D products but was not allowed to elaborate on new plans or developments.

The Stereo Theatre was the largest ever - with over 130 3D shows in Cinematography, Stills, CGI, Special Effects, Historical, Screenplays, and even a full length film "Dark Country 3D." The shows ranged from a few minutes or less to 20-25 minutes - both amateur and professional.

A little juggling of one's schedule had to be done in order not to miss any films, and I was able to see most but not all. "Dark Country" was an amazing "noir" type film and Ray Zone was the 3D supervisor. Ray had a presentation after the showing of the film where he showed 3D clips and explained how the 3D effects were accomplished, the 3D challenges of making the film, etc. - super enlightening and interesting and a first for the NSA Stereo Theatre.

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View larger image


The winner of the Paul Wing Award for best overall show was "Diary of a Fridge" - which had its USA Premiere at the BeFilm Film Festival in New York City - where NYSS member Dimitri Athos serves as Program Director.

There were workshops covering every aspect of 3D photography, including topics such as Stereo Photo Maker, Fuji W3 adaptors, 2D to 3D conversions, 3D video editing, Phantograms, turning your PC into a 3D PC, 3D Macros, Hypers, Anaglyphs, Exhibition of 3D work, ProShow, HDRI, projection, etc. There were 2 workshops in every time slot, so you had to choose the ones which interested you most. There was no way around this with the amount of workshops and other events - unless the convention days were extended.

The trade show provided the opportunity to look at and/or purchase vintage 3D collectibles, modern 3D collectibles, new 3D digital products, 3D books, 3D cameras, anaglyphs and phantograms, rare stereo cards, the last of the stereojets, etc.

There was an array of "Special Interest Groups" meetings such as a roundtable meeting for lenticular enthusiasts, Vintage Stereo Slide Group, Medium Format group, View Master Collectors group where Peter Sinclair projected images from his 4 new artistic conversion Viewmaster sets of Norman Rockwell, Renoir, Homer, Vintage Nudes, etc.

Susan Pinsky and David Starkman were honored at the Awards Banquet as the keynote speakers. I am sure Susan and David are long-time members and supports of the New York Stereo Society. Other notable speakers were Rob Engle of Sony Pictures. Mr. Engle was the supervisor of the 3D adaption of "Polar Express" and some of his other projects include "Beowulf", "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", "G-Force", The Green Hornet, "Pirates of the Caribbean", as well as numerous other 3D films. His speech was very informative.

Most entertaining was Charles Phoenix presenting his "3rd Dimension Show". Mr. Phoenix is a professional entertainer and his appearance at the convention was sponsored by Fuji Film. His performance is a one of a kind comedy 3D slide show. He is a frequent entertainer in Las Vegas and was recently on the Conan O'Brian show. If you are not familiar with Charles Phoenix, author, tour guide, and pop-culture humorist, his show consists of slide projection of vintage slides (3D slides in this presentation - mostly from the collection of Susan Pinsky and David Starkman) and he comments on the images in a highly original and humorous take on American life and style.

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The trips this year were first rate, including tours of bronze art castings gardens, Sculpture Gardens, Greely Freight Station Museum, New Belgium and Anheusur Busch Breweries, Lakeside Amusement Park hosted by Charles Phoenix, this ArtDeco park is celebrating its 103rd year and all the rides are a throwback to your childhood - no photography ever allowed - except for the exception given the NSA members on the tour, and, of course, Rocky Mountain National Park.

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There were many more events and activities which you will be reading about in the upcoming issues of Stereo World magazine. Now is the time to join the NSA if you are not already a member. Plans are already underway for next year's convention in Costa Mesa, California July 25-30th, 2012.

My only disappointment was that so few New York Stereo Society members were at the convention. Let's change this and have a good showing in Costa Mesa.

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– Sheldon Aronowitz

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View larger image of our correspondent in a bear coat


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