11 April, 2008

Connect 08: The Palm Springs Photo Festival

There are many photo-events held in the United States each year, and abroad, and I know because I have attended many of them. Based on my experience, I have to say that the Connect: Palm Springs Photo Festival is one of, if not the best I have seen.
What makes this event so great is that you never lose the sense of being at a real festival. Based at the Korakia Pension, a beautiful and boutique Palm Springs location, you are continually surrounded by white washed walls and incredible flora and fauna. Although there are many attendees, it really feels intimate, the exact opposite of most photo-events. The primary idea being education and photography. You might be saying, "Well, of course photography!" but what I mean is the real thrust of this festival is the image.
So much of what this industry, and many of it's events, have become is about technology, and while many of the leading technological leaders are at the festival, it never becomes what the focus is about.
The mastermind of this event, LA-based photographer Jeff Dunas, each year compiles a list of master photographers who attend to teach, lecture, give advice, look at work,etc. I think you could center an entire event around ONE of these people and yet Jeff manages to get many of the icons of this business.
Bruce Davidson, Sylvia Plachy, Frank Okenfels, Andreas Bitesnich, Antonin Kratochvil, Keith Carter and Stephen Wilkes..to name a few, were all present during this year's event.
Each day is packed with opportunities, from lectures, to symposiums and nightly presentations. Or, if you wish, pool time at the Korakia. I'm not sure how you could go wrong??
I've attached a few images to give a feel for the local. My advice. Sign up now for next year.

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