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Launched: Google+ Photographer’s Conference
AFP
May 18, 2012
First Published: 17:55 IST(18/5/2012)
Last Updated: 15:05 IST(19/5/2012)
The Google+ Photographer's Conference homepage. Photo: AFP
A new conference dedicated to helping photographers improve their skills and promote their work on budding social network Google+ (G+) will launch in May.

American photographer, publisher and author Scott Kelby is behind the “history making” Google+ Photographer’s Conference. He spoke with Relaxnews about the rise of photography on social networks and how the Google+ Photographer’s Conference aims to foster Google+’s growing photographic community.

“This conference is about growth. It's about growing [participants’] skills on G+, growing their photography skills, and growing their audience. We wanted to reinvent how people learn at conferences, and the focus at this one is on interaction. They get to shoot a lot. They get to share a lot. They get to make new friends, and network, and there's a lot of stuff designed just for fun, and I think having that focus of growth across so many different planes is what is going to help people the most,” he told Relaxnews via email.

An A-list lineup of conference instructors including Trey Ratcliff, Jeremy Cowart, Lindsay Adler, Alex Koloskov, Peter Hurley, Brian Rose, Catherine Hall, Matt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, Brian Matiash, Colby Brown, Erik Valind, Mike Wiacek and special guest Guy Kawasaki will be on hand to teach photography, social media, branding and networking skills at the inaugural conference. Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Product Management at Google+, will join Scott Kelby for the opening keynote.

The conference will be held in San Francisco, however, people across the globe can watch the event via a live video stream on Google+.

Kelby said the “conference will be broadcast live, as it happens, all over the world as a live OnAir Google+ hangout, which means that thousands of photographers in countries that wouldn't be able to participate can now be a part of this event.”

Google’s social network Google+ has become a place where the world’s top photographers convene to not only showcase their impressive photographic works, but to share the ideas and skills behind them with a community of avid learners.

Famous photographers including Trey Ratcliff, Thomas Hawk, Colby Brown, Jim Goldstein, Scott Jarvie, Victor Bezrukov and Alex Koloskov frequent Google+ and freely share their tips on photo taking and editing with the G+ community.

Photographers have flocked to Google+ because it is a social network that intrinsically promotes photographic creativity through its design.

“When you first look at G+, you can tell that photography wasn't an after-thought” said Kelby. “Google+ was the first to give you large enough image sizes right on your page that you don't have to click to see a larger size to enjoy them. If you look at the other social sites, they're all starting to follow Google+'s lead on this, because they're starting to realize that this stuff matters to us. Not to just photographers, but now that everybody is carrying a decent point-and-shoot camera around in their phone, photos matter more than ever. It's a visual-sharing world now, and G+ embraced that from the start. “

Since the arrival of Google+, Facebook has added larger photo previews, bigger profile pictures and a new layout that is more conducive to photo sharing. Facebook also acquired hugely popular photo sharing app Instagram for a reported $1 billion -- a clear sign that photos are a large part of the social network’s future.

Kelby agrees that Facebook will place more emphasis on photos in the future. He said, “Facebook's timeline is all about photography --- look how they went from tiny thumbnails to G+ size images on the timeline. They've seen the light, but what Facebook doesn't have is the vibrant community of photographers that has popped up on G+. The sharing of content and ideas, and the live hangouts and discussions there make it really unique in the world today.”

While better photo sharing features may help Facebook get a leg up in the photo sharing world, Google+ users say it’s the social network’s strong sense of community that draws them to the site.

The Next Web’s Nancy Messieh claims “The sense of community on Google+ is far more tangible than other photographer-oriented sites like Flickr,” while author and former chief evangelist of Apple Guy Kawasaki wrote in his book What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us, “From my perspective, Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows: Better, but fewer people use it, and the pundits prophesy that it will fail.”

The Google+ Photographer’s Conference runs from May 22-23 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. You can stay up to date with news and watch the event live via the Google+ Photographer’s Conference Google+ page.

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