The highlight of the afternoon was for me, as it turned about, PhotoCamp. That’s the session on photography led by Kris Krug, President of Bryght. I’ve been to this session in past years, but this year Kris had a slightly different format (although he had done PhotoCamp this way at other venues like BarCamp): A group of different experts in a variety of photographic techniques and topics followed. Tim Bray talked about what ideal small camera to get, even if you already have a larger Digital SLR (and I was glad to see that he promoted the site DPReview, a site that Steven had recommended many times when I was shopping for a camera.) Local art photographer Rachael Ashe showed some stunningly psychedelic effects you can get by using long exposures in a dark room along with various kinds of coloured lights; a kind of light painting. You can see an example done today here. I’ve seen other examples of this online, but the ones she did had an almost iconic (in the religious sense) quality. Novak Rogic of Microsoft showed how you could make elegant and almost picturesque little planets from stiched together panoramas, Duane Storey (who I am hoping to purchase one of his stunning photomurals of the Vancouver skyline from) talked about how to set up a store to sell your photos on SmugMug.com and Miranda Lievers, a local portrait and wedding photographer, gave a superb show of how to make the best pictures from available light. It was that last presentation that particularly impressed me, and I hope I’ll be able to use some of what I learned in future photos.
After Photocamp, I went to the session on WordPress (partly as a prelude to tomorrow’s keynote by Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress, one of the most successful blogging software packages today, and the software I use to publish all of my blogs.) While that was mainly a breakout session where we all had the opportunity to avail ourselves of local experts, it was followed by a terrific presentation called ‘More than Cat Blogs’, which was how WordPress can be used to build web sites that are either not blogs at all, or don’t look anything like blogs. (unfortunately I didn’t get the presenters name and he hasn’t posted any links to his session or himself on the Northern Voice Wiki).
After all of these presentations, I went with several others to the nearby Mahoney’s bar, where Voxant Newsroom, a digital news video hosting service, was offering free drinks and t‑shirts in return for filling out a short survey regarding blogs and other demographic information. It was nice to be able to get drinks (and eventually dinner) so close the the conference, and I was home at a decent hour, ready for a full second day of Northern Voice tomorrow. It starts early (at 8:30 AM), so hopefully I’ll be up and ready.