Saturday, February 4, 2012

PPA Imaging in New Orleans

Lots of you already know that Joe and I are recently back from a trip that was a combination conference and vacation. We are both fearful fliers so it takes a lot to get us on a plane, but I really wanted to attend the Professional Photographers of America's Imaging conference in New Orleans. We went two years ago to PPA Imaging in Nashville and, while I am a dedicated and enthusiastic supporter of our state organization (PPNC), my first trip to a national conference really blew my socks off. The New Orleans conference was just as fun and educational as Nashville. The wealth of information at classes from some of the best photographers in the world -- simply overwhelming. And a trade show of exhibitors with all of the newest products. WOW! I'm back with a bag full of goodies and a brain full of ideas so I'm ready to go for whatever comes along.

Of course, we also enjoyed New Orleans as a city. We arrived a couple of days early so we could see the sights before the conference began. Loved the architecture of the city, enjoyed the food and was encouraged to see some of the rebuilding efforts following Katrina. Joe was in "hog heaven" with all the live music. He's someone who actually does hit the bars for the music, not the drinks, and he found plenty in New Orleans.

Since we were braving ourselves to fly anyway, we decided to go to Memphis while we were traveling -- a city we had both wanted to visit for years. This part was strictly vacation so we hit all the sights together. You can't go to Memphis without having a touch of Elvis-mania so we definitely visited Graceland and my music-loving husband had to be pulled kicking and screaming at closing time from the Sun Records studio, the Museum of Rock and Soul and, most especially the Stax Music Museum. I was really surprised by the depth of emotion that our visit to the National Civil Rights Museum brought out in me. It is built into the old Lorraine Motel which was the site of Dr. King's assassination and it actually left me speechless for a few seconds to walk around the corner and find myself looking up at that hotel balcony which was the scene of that famous photograph we've all seen a thousand times. A very emotional and sobering visit.

I took lots of photos, of course, but won't bore you with all of them. I'm sharing a sample which include a a little New Orleans architecture and above-ground cemetery, the house at Chalmette Battlefied (the Battle of New Orleans), the exterior of Graceland and the famous pink Cadillac Elvis bought his mother, and a happy husband on both Beale Street and at the microphone in Sun Studios.

We obviously survived the flights so maybe we'll brave ourselves to do this again. It will be easier for PPA Imaging next year; it's in Atlanta so we can drive if we want to.

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