I am quite keen on attending conferences as a way of learning new things and getting the chance to talk to other photographers. Unfortunately in 2011 the Central Region conference was a bit of a fizzy so when I saw the programme for the Northern conference I decided that I had to go.

The speakers were excellent and there were some amazing images on display. There was also a number of the major camera outlets in the trade show, and when on the Friday night the Progear rep announced that they had top end gear to borrow for the Saturday fieldtrips I was first in the queue.

So on Saturday afternoon I headed out with a Nikon D3X to give it a whirl. At $10k for the body alone it was way above my budget.

The programme was well organised with the group split into three and sent to three different locations, and then after 45 minutes you rotated between them. There was an old house, a woolshed, and a hay barn.

At each location there were models to shoot.

My afternoon did not start out well when I crashed my head into a overhead door and broke the arm off my glasses. That meant that they did not sit well and so I was limited in vision.

I got some great shots at the woolshed and hay barn but by the time we got to the house the rain had set in, the models and photographers were cold and wet, and the enthusiasm wasn’t there.

I had to admit that at the end of the day I was not as impressed with the camera as I thought I might be. The images that I took did not seem to me any better than what I shoot with my D90 which is 5 times cheaper.

On the Sunday I attended a rim lighting nude workshop. Unfortunately both their original model and the presenter had pulled out and the replacement model didn’t want to appear fully nude. While the two guys running it tried their best it turned out to be just a group shoot under modelling lights.

The images that came out of it were ok but not as stunning as they could have been had I had full control over the lights.