What We Learned This Week: PhotoPlus and NAB Shows Cancel Over Covid

By David Schonauer   Friday September 17, 2021

Were you planning to go to PhotoPlus 2021 in NYC?

You can’t.

And you won’t be going to the NAB show in Las Vegas, either. This week we learned that both shows have been canceled due to concerns about covid-19, just as they were last year. The PhotoPlus in-person show was originally scheduled for September 30 to October 2 at the Javits convention center in New York. NAB was scheduled for October 9 to 13 but was canceled after Sony and Canon pulled out, noted DIY Photography.

The PhotoPlus show is part of Emerald Expo’s photo group comprised of Rangefinder, WPPI, The Wedding School, Sue Bryce Education, and The Portrait Masters, noted PetaPixel; the company cited concern related to the COVID-19 virus and its variants that would prevent many attendees and exhibitors from gathering.  After canceling the show last year, the company took it fully online as a virtual experience and this year expanded on the platform, renaming it PhotoPlus Learning Lens. “The company plans to continue to add content to that platform, but it did not say if it will play host to some kind of PhotoPlus virtual replacement this year as it did last year,” noted PP.

The organizers of the NAB show said in a press release that the pandemic and surge of the Delta variant “has presented unexpected and insurmountable challenges for our global community.”

“While we are disappointed that we will not be together again in person next month, we look forward to converging at the 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27, 2022, to reignite our passion for our business and focus on a bright future ahead,” the statement added.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:

1.  Tabitha Soren's "Surface Tensions" Leave a Mark in a New Show and Book

Some images are touching. Tabitha Soren's series "Surface Tension" is about touch, and how we experience the world by swiping the screens of our mobile devices, we noted. Soren photographs tablet screens to reveal the marks left behind — fingerprints, smudges, and oily residue — attesting to our tactile encounters with digital visual information. The work is on view at Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California through December 12. There's also a new book featuring 41 of the photographs.

2. Jamies Hawkesworth Looks at the British Isles

Jamie Hawkesworth is a self-taught photographer. And the way he taught himself, we noted, was by catching trains to different spots in Britain and asking people on the street if they would pose for him. "I came to photography quite late, and I realized that if I just walk the streets and ask people to take their portraits, there are so many people that I'm going to learn how to use my camera really quickly," he said recently. He went on to an acclaimed career, shooting for the likes of Alexander McQueen and Miu Miu. But now his sublime pictures of Britain have been published in the book The British Isles.

3. Chasing Fine-Art Storms with Mitch Dobrowner

For fine-art photographer Mitch Dobrowner, nature is the ultimate muse, noted My Modern Met. Dobrowner crisscrosses the United States chasing down storms and memorable landscapes. By shooting in black and white, he focuses on the powerful shapes that nature creates. “In regards to photographing the storms, it's kind of a hybrid between shooting a quiet landscape and a sporting event,” said Dobrowner. “Compositions are constantly changing, the light is changing, there’s wind, there’s noise, there’s a lot going on.”

4. Cao Fei Wins 2021 Deutsche Borse Photography Prize

Chinese artist Cao Fei has won the 2021 Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation Prize for her 2020 exhibition "Blueprints," her first solo exhibition in the UK. The GBP30,00 (about $41,500) prize "recognizes artists and projects deemed to have made the most significant contribution to photography over the previous 12 months." Can Fei's work "offers a uniquely poetic dystopia that echoes the human condition today," said Anne-Marie Beckmann, director of the Deutsche Borse Photography Foundation. We featured the work.

5. Ansel Adams, Brassai and Bill Brandt On a Bench

In 1976, photographer Paul Joyce was working at The Photographer’s Gallery in London, which was then featuring an exhibition of work by the legendary Hungarian-French photographer Brassaï. When two other photographic legends — Ansel Adams and Bill Brandt — showed up, Joyce corralled them all on a bench and shot a portrait with his Gandolfi plate camera. “I didn’t need to put them at their ease. They just sat down and started to chat,” Joyce recalled for The Guardian’s “My Best Shot” series.
At top: From Tabitha Soren


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