LGM is a meeting of the minds. It’s a place where creative people enable each other’s creativity. Writers of creativity software extend the toolbox of artists, who in turn stimulate them with ideas for newer features. Together, they leverage the newest and coolest hardware and push the envelope, and they coordinate for their tools to interoperate.
As an example, what is an upgrade to the latest generation of dSLR worth to a VR photographer? Take the Pentax K20D. It can be fitted with an amazing 10-17mm fisheye zoom lens and it has a 5 steps / 8EV bracketing range. Get those images on your desktop, align them with hugin, fuse them with enfuse or tonemap them with qtpfsgui. Revolutionary results with an ease of use that a few months ago was either just a dream or a lot of heavy lifting.
[EDIT: the panorama at the above link was shot last summer for the World Wide Panorama, before all of this technology became available. It was heavy lifting indeed.]
With old software, an hardware upgrade to the K20D or its Samsung equivalent GX-20 (which has a better user interface according to a dpreview brief hands on is of marginal interest, but with the software produced and distributed freely by the people who meet at LGM, the upgrade becomes a serious temptation.
So, if you are, like me, a digital photo user, you should care. This is a great time for us. Gone are the day of blown out windows. Gone are the days of painful manual exposure blending. My camera is now by default in bracketing mode, and so should be yours.
And if you work for a digital photo manufacturer, you should care too. If I bracket, I use 3x, no, 5x more flash memory and hard disk space. And to enjoy these new possibilities I need to upgrade my equipment more frequently.
I participated to LGM 2007. It was a unique opportunity for me to thank personally the developers of the software I use every day, and to talk with them about the features that I am still missing. Louis Desjardins did a great job at organizing LGM 2007, with a list of top notch sponsors. The list for 2008 is still too short, even if features some reputable names.
What shocks me, is that as of today, March 13, 2008, there is no sponsor from one of the industries set to benefit most from this conference. Where are you, digital imaging heavyweights? This is peanuts compared to your typical marketing budget!
If you read this post and have a contact inside a digital imaging company, we’re very interested to get in touch with you.