Note: this photo was published in a Mar 24, 2011 Nice Best Laptop Deals photos blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page. It was also published in an Aug 22, 2011 iTechNews blog, also with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.
Note: with rare exceptions, I don't know the names of any of the individuals photographed in this set. If you know of them, please feel free to add a "tag" on the Flickr page; or if you know anyone who attended Pop!Tech this year, please tell them where they can find the Flickr set, so they can see whether they're included among all the photos...
For approximately the sixth time since 2001, I attended the annual Pop!Tech conference in Camden, Maine; it's always held in October, and this year, it took place on Oct 22-24. People often ask me what Pop!Tech is all about, and the simple answer is that it deals with the interaction between technology and society -- most often in the form of lectures and presentations about the innovative ways that people around the world are using today's technology to make a positive impact on a wide range of social problems. But rather than depending on my summary of what it's all about, I recommend that you visit the Pop!Tech web site for more information.
Unlike previous years, I photographed almost every Powerpoint slide presented by each of the speakers throughout the conference. Combined with the photos that I took of conference attendees, that resulted in some 600 images on the first day -- which I whittled down to 450 on this Flickr set, but that's an overwhelming collection for anyone to look at.
For the second and third day of the conference, I decided to separate the photos of attendees from the straightforward photos of speakers and their Powerpoint slides. This set contains about three dozen images of attendees, and it will give you a good sense of the kind of people who invest their time and money to trek all the way to Camden, Maine to sit on uncomfortable seats for three days indulging in a sensory overload of materials from dozens of impassioned speakers. The attendees are from all over the U.S., and from several other countries too; they include both young and old; men and women; students and professors; academics and practitioners.
Aside from the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to social change (with or without technology), the other thing that is obviously shared among all of these attendees is the gadgetry they use to stay in touch with the world. You'll see a predominance of Mac laptops in these photos; and you'll also see a lot of iPhones and other "smart phones." Keep in mind that people were not chatting on their phones during these presentations; instead, they were using their smart-phones to email, Twitter, chat, and browse the Web.
Conference attendees from the third day of the conference will appear in a separate Flickr set, as soon as I can get them organized; and the speaker/presentation slides from the second and third day of the conference will also appear in separate Flickr sets.
A couple of technical notes: I used a Nikon D700 for all of these photos, mostly with a 70-300mm zoom lens. I sat in the balcony section of the Camden Opera House, where the conference took place, so I was primarily photographing other people in the balcony section. An equally large number of attendees were seated on the main floor of the building, but I didn't see much point in photographing the tops of their heads. Because I could increase the ISO setting on the camera all the way up to 6400, I was able to get reasonably good images without a flash. The lights were turned on while I was photographing, but it was fairly dim in some areas; I did my best to compensate with an appropriate "white balance" setting on the camera.