Conferences, Reenactments, and NVIDIA

In Master Photography Roundtable by Jeff Harmon1 Comment

Jeff Harmon is joined at the roundtable by Brent Bergherm, Brian McGuckin, and Connor Hibbs to talk about the Out of Chicago conference, shooting reenactments, and a crazy new technology coming from NVIDIA that photographers should be excited about.

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Topic 1: Conferences

  • Jeff is super jealous of Brian.  Brian talks about his experience attending the Out of Chicago conference with Nick Page.  Out of Chicago has a pretty similar format to the Create Photography Retreat.  Held in Chicago every year, the format was one where there were several tracks of classes to attend along with rooms setup with different types of shooting opportunities and groups going out into the city to do different types of shoots.
  • Scott Kelby keynoted the conference and did a great job.
  • Check out light painting done by
  • Have any of you attended other conferences?  Nobody else has attended a conference but everyone at the roundtable wants to do so.  
  • The retreat in 2019 is in Las Vegas March 28 through March 30th.  Ticket prices are a ridiculously low $387. Go and check it out at  and we hope to see you there!

Topic 2: Reenactment Photography

  • Connor, as we move on to our second topic, Jeff is also super jealous that you and good friend of the show Mark Morris recently got to do a workshop centered around battle reenactments, right?  Tell us about it.
  • Jeff saw Mark post on Facebook that he learned he really needed the full 10 frames per second of his Canon 7DM2 camera to capture the cannons firing.  Not canon cameras here, like war cannons being used in the reenactment. He had some really cool shots.
  • Attendees of the workshop got a fire hose of lighting technique thrown at them.  At one point after Connor had finished some teaching the participants were provided one of Connor’s photos and they had to re-create it without Connor assisting.  He was very impressed because they were able to replicate the photo without help and did it without needing to do some work in Photoshop that Connor had done.  So fun to see photographers learn and progress towards mastering their photography.
  • The thing Connor learned as he hosted a workshop in a location he wasn’t very familiar with was that no matter how many emails and phone calls were made ahead of time some of the logistics don’t work as expected.  There was a challenge getting tickets to the reenactment where there were told numerous times by an organizer they had to wait to purchase them when they were there and it turned out they could have purchased them ahead of time.

Topic 3: NVIDIA

  • Jeff can’t be on a Master Photography Podcast without geeking out and in this episode talks about some new technology from NVIDIA that made the news while Brian tries to stay awake.
  • Developed by researchers at NVIDIA, MIT, and Aalto University, really different from any other noise-reduction system
  • Research was presented at the International Conference on Machine Learning in Stockholm, Sweden
  • The machine learning here only needs two images with the noise or grain to do a seriously good job at reducing noise and taking off watermarks
  • “Without ever being shown what a noise-free image looks like, this AI can remove artifacts, noise, grain, and automatically enhance your photos.”
  • This is revolutionary because they can get these incredible results WITHOUT needing a clean image, which all of the other machine learning solutions require
  • The most impressive example is a photo of a Koala bear that is just a snowstorm of noise.  So bad I had a hard time telling what the subject of the photo was. It doesn’t get back to what a noise-free photo looks like, lacks sharpness and detail, but it is far superior to ANY noise reduction process I have ever seen
  • There is a two minute video at the link that will be in the show notes that you have to check out to see the examples
  • Now, the real question, how long is it going to take before this is something Brian will care about?  At least a few years. The setup here required a room full of NVIDI GPUs and setting up something called a cuDNN-accelerated TensorFlow deep learning framework.  These things always start out in the lab with it being some very impractical solution just doing whatever it took to make it work. Then they have to get more engineers involved to productize it in a way that is practical for people to use.
  • Here is how Jeff see it possible we could use it.  Adobe is very well positioned to become a tremendous partner here.  This is place where the Creative Cloud could be an important help. Adobe is pretty uniquely positioned to get this NVIDIA tech into their data centers and then offer a new option in Photoshop and/or Lightroom to send a noisy photo up to their cloud for processing and in a few seconds you get back a photo much better for use than the noise reduction built into the software running on your computer.




  1. Hey guys…long time lurker & listener. I enjoy the podcast. If you have your heart set on Williamsburg & reenactors you should consider the military through the ages reenactment in Jamestown. These guys are serious & it runs the gamut from ancient Greece to modern armies. I’ve got a few pics attached if you want to get an idea of what it looks like. I’m pretty sure it’s an annual thing.


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