The Microsoft Pro Photo Summit starts tomorrow, but tonight there was a small gathering for a social hour and group photo op at the Washington Park Arboreatum, led by John Shaw. John was the leader on a Joe van Os tour to Svalbard that I took in 2001, and it was a nice reunion for both of us.
One thing that was apparent, talking to other people this evening, is how hungry we all are for social contact with other photographers. We don't meet at the lab or the camera store anymore. That used to be how I felt connected to what was going on, and it's an absence I feel in my professional life that isn't replaced by listserv posts or the occasional ASMP meeting. This yearly gathering in Redmond seems to be becoming a kind of replacement for that kind of connection.
I'll be blogging throughout the conference, probably several times a day, so stay tuned.