Thursday, June 2 & Friday, June 3, 2011
(plus optional events Wednesday, June 1 and Saturday, June 4)

Click Here
The registration form is a PDF document and can be filled out as a form with Adobe Acrobat
or you can print the form, fill it in by hand and fax or mail back to Better Light.

Hotel Information, Map to Better Light, Attendee Roster and Schedule


Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3 (with optional events Wed. June 1 & Sat. June 4)   
(Welcome evening reception planned at Fairfield Inn on Wednesday, June 1)

Better Light Offices, San Carlos, California
(in the center of the San Francisco Peninsula)

$250.00 per person
Includes Wednesday evening reception, coffee breaks, lunches and BBQ dinner Thursday night.
Optional events on Wednesday & Saturday are not included in price; see link below.

PROGRAM:  (click here for summary of speaker topics)
Two full days of presentations, lots of user interaction, demos, Q&A, and roundtable discussions.
Expect lots of new idea stimulation!
   Download tentative schedule here.

Make your trip to the Conference even more valuable with the addition of one or more of our optional one-day classes or informal photography field trips.

Have you been disappointed with your capture results?  Are you spending too much time in Photoshop "fixing" your files?  Do you struggle with lighting unique artwork pieces?  Have you ever wondered if you are really doing things the best way?  Or...are there any new "tricks" that you don't know about?

Don't miss this opportunity...We are offering three half-day classes on Wednesday before the Conference and Mike Collette and Randy Hufford will be teaching full-day classes on Saturday after the Conference.


A block of rooms has been reserved at the FAIRFIELD INN and SUITES   (1.5 miles from Better Light) 
555 Skyway Road, San Carlos CA        phone: 650-631-0777        http://www.marriott.com/sfofs
The hotel will offer a Better Light group rate on Tuesday thru Saturda nights for attendees. Click here for information on making reservations with the group rates and other hotel options in the same area (PDF 120K)

San Francisco Int. Airport is most convenient.  San Carlos is about 15 miles South of SFO.
San Jose Airport is about 25 miles South of San Carlos.
We are about 30 miles from Oakland Airport, which is on the East side of the Bay.

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2011 Better Light Owners Conference


Download tentative schedule here.

PROGRAM – Mike Collette     Better Light, Inc.   San Carlos, CA 
"Advanced Image Masking Techniques"
Each year Mike opens the conference with a technical presentation sharing ideas that can help us all improve our photography with the scanning back. This year he will share some of the ways he isolates specific parts of an image in Photoshop. User-defined selections are used to make adjustments without affecting other areas — similar to darkroom dodging and burning, but with far more precision and subtlety, plus re-adjustment and undo options. One technique might eliminate the need for cross-polarizing certain fine-art scanning setups.     

PROGRAM – Peter Grote     Mountain Architecture Photography   Boston, MA
“Expedition Photography…Taking You to New Heights”
Peter Grote has traveled the world to capture breathtaking, "mountain architecture" with large format cameras for many years; now most of his work is with the Better Light. He believes that such equipment is essential to control perspective of massive vertical structures. A large image format also helps to illustrate the detail, depth, and quality of mountain landscapes. Peter will share some of the preparation, equipment modifications, and anecdotes from his last trip to the Himalayas in Nepal and other excursions to the mountains of the American West.

PROGRAM – Ben Blackwell     Ben Blackwell Photography   Alameda, CA
“The Challenges of Lighting Artwork on Location”
Over the years, Ben’s skills have been tested to photograph paintings, sculptures, and conceptual art installations under difficult conditions in collector’s homes, cramped galleries, artist’s studios, and outdoors. He will share some of the ways he has dealt with the obstacles and maintained quality under the pressure of time constraints and physical limitations. Ben will also hold an optional class on Wednesday covering the principals of light and demonstrating studio lighting of artwork.

PROGRAM – Ethan O’Connor & Shannon Cheng    eocys  Seattle, WA  
“A Sneak Preview of Revolutionary Technology”
Ethan and Shannon created a business to develop a set of unique lighting and imaging effects in a software application that is still quite “hush-hush” due to pending patents. They will demonstrate aspects of Reflectance Transform Imaging, Arbitrary Dynamic Range Scanning, Fluorescence and IR Imaging, Lens-less Imaging, and Continuous Spectrum Imaging…all with an unmodified or minimally modified Better Light scanning back. They want to start a discussion with Better Light owners and their clients about a framework to combine perceptual/photographic techniques with archival formats that are based on radiometric standards rather than perceptual standards, and the implications of the differences between "Color" management and "Spectral/Perceptual" management.

PROGRAM – Bruce Ashley     Bruce Ashley Photography   Santa Cruz, CA
“Studio Workflow with CameraRaw and DNG Profile Editor”
Bruce got a bootlegged copy of Photoshop in 1989 and has been delivering digital images for almost 20 years; starting with his own drum scanner and now with the Betterlight. He does all his own shooting and retouching, and has worked for Apple Computer, NEC, Plantronics and Amazon. Lighting primarily with daylight fluorescent fixtures he photographs an assortment of products, most smaller than a breadbox -- some much smaller. Recently he’s been experimenting with a DNG/CameraRaw workflow and will show a Betterlight Profile utilizing the Adobe DNG Profile Editor.

PROGRAM – Grant Kernan     AK Photos   Cowichan Bay, BC Canada  
“Engineering Custom Solutions to Common Obstacles”
If there are alternate ways to improve quality, Grant will always be searching, and this program will share several of these quests for perfection. Grant loves lenses and he has always respected the Bronica medium format optics, so he used some spare parts to mount his Bronica lenses on his 4x5 to take advantage of the lens speed, depth-of-field, and sharpness of this glass. The same steps can be used to mount other medium format lenses on your view camera. Especially useful for panoramic applications.

Panoramic artwork?  Why not use the same Bronica lens. Inspired by Mark VanderSys’ presentation last year on “drag-outs” Grant thought why not move art past the lens instead of the train…that led to further engineering to have the Pano/WideView motor pull the art smoothly across the fixed sensor in the camera to optimize the lens resolution and lighting for all most any size art but especially old panoramas.

What can you do with your old printer?  Consider dedicating it as a B&W Grayscale printer using carbon-based inks and controlled by Roy Harrington’s QuadTone RIP (shareware). Grant will discuss some of his recent experimentation with this process and how he makes his own dilutions of ink…making the ink costs a fraction of manufactured color ink cartridges. He has more control over the printer and the ability to create a unique depth and extended tonality.

Thursday Evening PROGRAM – Randy Hufford     Limited Editions   Kula, Maui, HI
“It’s Alive… Bringing Your Creative Dreams into Reality”
A behind-the-scenes look at the creative stimuli, problem solving, and Photoshop techniques used to enhance photographs and accomplish unique imagery to give you a competitive edge. Randy will use examples from a jewelry shoot that requires accurate masking to replace the background; a scenic photograph transformed to fine art with HDR techniques; and solving some problems in art reproduction through multiple scans and stitching. Plus many more ideas to prove that if you can dream it, you can do it, and how you can create images with drama, impact, and a WOW factor.

PROGRAM – Larry Guyer     Archetype Digital Imaging   Foster City, CA
“Steps to a Successful Camera Profile”
From recent Owners’ Forum posts it is obvious that there is much confusion and misinformation about the best way to make an ICC camera profile for the scanning back. Larry will outline the step-by-step procedures used at the Better Light studio to create reliable profiles, and also provide an explanation of factors that can improve the quality of your profiles to optimize color reproduction and cut your time making selective color corrections.

PROGRAM – John Paulson     John Paulson Photography   San Jose, CA
“Niche Marketing to Build Sales in a Slow Economy”
Regardless of our individual photographic specialties, we all share the common challenge of finding ways to get customers in the door and money into the bank. John will share some new ideas he has tried to attract the attention of prospective buyers and encourage them to spend some money in today’s tight economy. His niche marketing concepts can be applied to your fine art image sales, to build your art copy volume, or to find new commercial clients.

PROGRAM – Mark VanderSys     Pixel Light Digital Imaging   Boise, ID
“Drag-Outs…Extreme Linear Scans”
Mark has truly become addicted to the Pano/WideView™ motor assembly and has taken it to new lengths. Last year he shared a photograph done for HP to demonstrate their large printers at trade shows — he captured a 3.5 GB file of a large “G”-scale model train with a single unstitched scan. We asked him back to elaborate on the process and share some of the additional experimentation and retrofitting he has done to make his “drag-outs” more accurate, efficient, and profitable.

PROGRAM – John Csongradi, John Csongradi Photography   Hillsborough, CA
“Thank God for Prescans…Abstract Still Life Rollouts”
John loves to create abstract images that make people wonder “what the heck is that!”. From sea shells to glass paperweights…countless objects have twirled on John’s Pano/WideView™ turntable and become works of art. He breaks the rules to achieve his unique results, experimenting with speed of rotation, lenses, perspective, and lighting. This presentation will reveal how he got started with these still life rollouts, where he finds his subjects, and what contributes to the uniqueness of the results.

PROGRAM – Tim Fleming     Tim Fleming Photography   Clovis, CA
“Art is All Around You”
E-cre8.com is his website (pronounced "E-create"); a word Tim invented to describe his processes of using cameras and computers as tools to create images and art. He uses any and all digital processes to invent and “cre8” images, and now has utilized the social media to share his art.  The scanning back remains a favorite tool in his arsenal, but it is best used when a project is pre-planned. Tim will discuss his hardware choices, preparation routine, and the challenges (and rewards) of working with the scanning back. Another very important element is POV skills…how to look at a location to find photographs or identify an opportunity to create a body work.