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Interview with Jason Scoppa and Micah Otano of The Sayers Club

This was one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done, I had to share.  Meet Jason Scoppa, creator of The Sayers Club LA and Las Vegas (at SLS Las Vegas) and Micah Otano, the technical ninja that makes Jason’s work all happen!  Check it out!

Also, make sure to check out The Sayers Club Las Vegas, and The Sayers Club LA if you’re gonna be on the road and in those locations.  Definitely worth the trip, they are two chill clubs.  Leather couches everywhere!!

The Official Post-LDI-2014 Post

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LDI 2014 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada took place this year, as it does every year.  Lots of lights, lasers, video wall, consoles, and people!  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re all doing the last month hop to finish up everything before Christmas break.  Well, I mean “break” as in the 25th and 26th probably, most of us will be working during that time anyway.

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A little Vegas sun shining through the LDI haze

This was a bittersweet LDI for me.  Some drama, lots of friends, a little more drama, SO much light, more friends, and hopefully lots of great stuff on the horizon.  One thing I noticed this year was the massive amount of moving heads that break the mold of a “professional” moving head — lots of stuff with split heads, heads that rotate and tilt on their own, heads that have multiple light sources on them, all that kind of stuff.  It’s interesting to see how the industry innovates itself…  or rather how the industry *thinks* it’s going to innovate itself.

Lots of stuff to see, lots of booths to visit, and tons of beautiful photos!  Check them, out, I’ve tried to break them into company names.  None of this is in any particular order, and I didn’t have much time to roam so I didn’t see lots of stuff.  I never got to the EDM arena, for example, which looked pretty awesome!  I also never got to D3 to see BlackTrax’ progress, I’ve been really looking forward to that.

What I’ve learned over the years at trade shows is that you have to measure your experience by what you did see and who you did hug; if you spend your time counting the things you didn’t get to see and the people you missed, your experience will be less rich.

Here’s the list of companies I was able to shoot a few photos of, not in order:

PRG, High End Systems/BARCOAesonEpsilonSGMChristieNewstarElation ProfessionalAmerican DJX-LaserDuratrussTMBPhilipsTheatrixxDTSGLPAyrtonVERLEXFroggy’s FogAbsen, CHAUVET Professional (obviously, haha), ETCCooluxMartin LightingBarbizonModTrussAOTOAirStar, Applied Technologies, AvolitesCity TheatricalClay PakyDazianICDRobert Juliat, and MA Lighting.


 PRG’s Booth at LDI 2014

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High End Systems/BARCO

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Aeson’s Booth

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Epsilon’s Booth

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SGM

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Christie’s Booth

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Newstar’s Booth

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Elation Professional’s Booth

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American DJ’s Booth

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X-Laser’s Booth

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Duratruss’ Booth

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TMB’s Booth

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Philips’ Booths

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Theatrixx’s Booth

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DTS’s Booth

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GLP’s Booth

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Ayrton’s Booth

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VER’s Booth

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LEX Products’ Booth

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Froggy’s Fog

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Absen’s Booth

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ETC’s Booth

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Coolux’s Booth

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Martin Lighting’s Booth

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Barbizon’s Booth

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ModTruss’ Booth

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AOTO’s Booth

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AirStar’s Booth

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Applied Technologies’ Booth

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Avolites/Group One’s Booth

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City Theatrical’s Booth

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Clay Paky’s Booth

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Dazian’s Booth

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Inner Circle Distribution’s Booth

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Robert Juliat’s Booth

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MA Lighting’s Booth

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LDI 2014 – some general shots

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Wanna check out the 2013 LDI Show photos?  Click here!

How about a 2012 LDI Walkthrough?  Click here!

InfoComm 2014 – The JimOnLight Tour!

I just combed through photos from the last six months, and I found a ton of photos from InfoComm 2014 as I walked the floor.  Check these out, we had a lot of fun at that show!  Well, except for the heat exhaustion/upper GI thing during that trip, but I guess that’s just the way she goes, as Ray would say.

Check out the virtual JimOnLight InfoComm 2014 photo tour below!
Click on any individual photo below to get the full-size David Fox badass lightbox!

InfoComm 2014 – Creative Booth Design for CHAUVET Professional

I am unbelievably lucky to be here where I am right now:

  • I work for a lighting company that is doing awesome stuff
  • I have a supportive boss and team
  • I have an incredible production crew that makes the design happen
  • I have a crew who values the programming time needed to rock and roll

Could I be any luckier?!  Mike Graham, Danilo Oliveira, Lucciano Cabrera, Anthony ChiapponeCarmen Diaz — you guys are my absolute heroes.  Thank you for making this one happen while I was ralfing my guts out.  You truly made this one great for me, it was like a gift showing up and being able to start mashing buttons.  Thank you, team.

Check out the “creative” design video we made for InfoComm 2014!

Check out some photos of the booth — we had a blast!

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LDI 2013 in Photos

A fun show happened this year in Las Vegas — lots of beams, lots of friends, and I met my goal to share hug karma with 20 new people!

I’ve heard a few people now call LDI something like “LED-I.”  After making me giggle like a dumbass like I’m known to do, it’s not like it’s far off the mark — the industry is dominated with LED wash fixtures, LED pixel mappers, LED moving head spot AND wash fixtures, and all kinds of other diode-powered light makers.  Strobes, too — LED strobes are intensely appropriate, but they deliver a different kind of stab than a Xenon strobe.  They’re not better or worse, just different!  The industry still has the gamut of discharge, incandescent, and other non-LED sources as well, but there is less push generally on these types of fixtures.

I find that such an interesting paradigm at the LDI show – lots of companies have non-LED stuff and they show it, but there is  definitely a large LED offering in our industry (as is the case in most industries of light right now).  Sometimes I wonder if there are less non-LED beams bouncing around because that’s what the industry wants or if it’s because of the cost savings of NOT having those non-LED sources en masse.  Power is expensive stuff at these shows, and so is drayage on all of the heavy gack that goes along with larger draw 208 gear and dimming.  Most LEDs anymore allow you greater flexibility with 208V power too, making the power linking possibilities even better.  I only had one 48-way PD for the CHAUVET Professional booth, and that powered everything I had designed into the rig, video panels and all.

I programmed the booth I designed on the Avolites Sapphire Touch, which has become my new favorite desk.  I finally found an interface that was designed the way that my brain wants to program.  This has been a joyous time in my programmer life!  It’s nothing like the old Avolites way, they’ve made the flow so unbelievably amazing that it is literally a joy to program.  I just had it again on the Concert Lighting Master Classes this last week, but I’ll be writing a separate post about that this week.

Check out some photos from the show, and I was glad to see you if I saw you at this year’s show!  If I didn’t see you, I’m sorry — we’ll see each other next go round or soon, you know how this business goes!  I was bummed that I didn’t get to see the Fox family.  This show kept me busy, I barely made it out of the booth except for about an hour to walk the floor.

Click on any photo below for the larger images in an *awesome* light box!

 

The Daily Lamp – OOO Desk Lamp by Vasiliy Butenko

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Today’s Daily Lamp offering is a really oddly beautiful lamp called the OOO Desk Lamp from Ukraine – from designer Vasiliy Butenko‘s website on the OOO Desk Lamp:

1920s of the 20th century were the fundamental years for the modern design history. For me, this period seems to be the most interesting and unique. Events study of that time allows looking at things in absolutely different way. While creating simple things sometimes see for yourself, how difficult it is to achieve an object’s visual expression without providing it with complicated structure and decor’s excessiveness.

Being inspired with an idea to create simple and expressive object, I decided to make a table lamp setting a challenge for myself of three main tasks: fewer parts, ease of assembly and functionality.

In order to swing the lamp directing the illuminant to the desired point, I’ve used two powerful neodymium magnets.The first one of cylindrical shape combined the two top plates, which provided the possibility to manage without additional connecting elements; the second one of spherical shape connected the structure of lamp with a tube together performing the function of rotatory joint.

Thus, to assemble the lamp in whole it took me two magnets and one screw that connected the tube with the bottom plate.Due to the fact that the top plate has a large diameter, it is very easy to swirl the lamp. You just need to press slightly on the edge of the plate to change the lamp’s position.

I have identified three basic positioning points for myself: when the bottom is positioned horizontally, vertically and at an angle.

In the horizontal position the lamp serves as a night-light; in vertical – as a decorative element, and in angle wise position it can be used for reading and writing. The illuminant for lamp can be one small LED bulb, which is sufficient enough for the listed above activities.

Check this out – it reminds me in a weird un-yellow way of the Fashion Mall in Las Vegas on the strip:

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This lamp is just a big bunch of yellow awesome.  Thanks Vasiliy!

A Fox Family Las Vegas

You know, this last trip to Las Vegas for LDI 2012 makes 77 times to Las Vegas since I started going there in 2003 for shows.  Maybe that’s not a lot of Las Vegas for you, but that is a lot of Las Vegas for me.  A lot.

I always seem to forget to go do things like enjoy the Bellagio Fountains here and there, but I get out there and do it because I know it’s worth the spectacle of enjoying it now and again.  There are a lot of really great restaurants I love to visit when i go to Las Vegas, but there are usually only so many hours in the day.  Fox, who makes JimOnLight.com a nice place to live and not a Vince Flanders contender, took some time back in April for NAB 2012 to show me some of what outside of Las Vegas looks like.  I took a nice road trip back a few years ago to Zion National Park, but other than that, I’ve played a hell of a lot of places in Las Vegas, mostly corporate – so that means I’ve seen a lot of bars, restaurants, venues, bars, bathrooms, theatres, and bars in Las Vegas.  That was a different time though, ooh how I used to party…

Check out what was a really awesome evening with the Fox Family back in April 2012 for NAB!  This is completely not industry related, so sit back and sip the morning coffee and check out mountains!

Click on any image below and open the Gallery view!  This was a fun trip, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

A Short LDI Walkthrough

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone!

I put together this short LDI walkthrough for those who weren’t there – it’s only 3 minutes and it’s not all-inclusive, but I think you’ll dig it anyway.  There’s nothing political, nothing about war, nothing about the Presidential election — it’s just pure light enjoyment!  Check it out!

High End Systems at LDI 2012 – AND HOG 4!

psst… here’s a little secret: click on a photo and it opens up enormous.

the High End Systems booth at LDI 2012

I love High End Systems, this is always going to be true.  I am a Hog man through and through, no matter how many other desks I “become intimately familiar with,” my good ol’ Hog knows I always spec it at the end of the day.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the Hog 4, it’s like having freshly fried bacon in your hands — you know you’re going to be satisfied!  HES fixtures are always lots of fun too, I’ve seen lots of rock over my lifetime that had Studio Spots and Studio Colors driving it.

The boys from High End were pretty busy at LDI 2012 with the release of Hog 4 — I couldn’t even get a demo at LDI, nor did I get to hug the Richard.  Oh well I guess, sometimes people get too busy.

Hog 4 is pretty cool — first and foremost, did you see those big touchscreens?!

GAH!  Sexy!  I need to get myself down to the factory to see these things in action, I did not get the opportunity to get my hands on one at the show.  Big, beautiful screens, encoders with tactile design, and screen shortcut buttons for days.  From the Hog 4 product website at High End:

The Hog 4 is the flagship in our newest range of consoles. Replacing the much loved Wholehog III, it embraces the latest technology, while retaining the Hog’s familiar control surface. Users will be able to walk up to the Hog 4 and start programming without having to learn a whole new interface. The new encoders, jog shuttle wheel, lcd keys, motorized faders and integrated keyboard all serve to enhance this experience, making the Hog 4 completely customizable. You can now have virtually all the most important attributes to hand at any time.

Retaining the sleek look of generations past, the Hog 4 offers the user an advanced programming experience in an established environment. The Hog 4 console, at the top of the Hog line, is designed to handle the largest shows.

The console provides three monitor outputs, MIDI input and output ports, 8 USB ports, 2 Fast Ethernet ports on a rugged Neutrik Ethercon connector allowing you total flexibility. You’re prepared for everything from the smallest industrial job requiring a single console to the largest stadium show, theme park installation or Broadway spectacular requiring a multi console setup with full network backups!

Preserve show data on a solid state hard disk drive as well as with USB drives and CD/DVD-ROM’s, or alternatively connect directly to a network drive to store your show files remotely.

Features

  • Robust Hog 4 Operating Software
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous crossfades
  • Two internal 17-inch wide screen touchscreens with 10 point multi-touch
  • Three external monitors or touchscreens supported
  • Five encoders for an expanded wheelset
  • Twelve LCD User Keys
  • Tri Axis backlit trackball, with rotary encoder for the third axis and four configurable buttons for cursor and position control
  • Ten motorized playback faders
  • One motorized Grand Master
  • Dedicated Intensity and Rate wheels
  • User assignable Jog Shuttle encoder
  • 48 Soft-Keys for quick toolbar selections
  • Built in DMX Processor 8000
  • Hog-Net Ethernet connector
  • Fixture-Net Ethernet connector
  • Integrated keyboard
  • Internal Hard disk drive
  • Internal CD/DVD drive
  • Eight USB ports for Wholehog wings and external touchscreens
  • Storage space beneath arm rest
  • Desklights, feedback LEDs, and integrated worklight all dimmable
  • Auto-ranging mains input (90-250VAC)
  • Light Converse Visualizer dongle included
  • Dust cover included
  • Custom Road Case included

Connectivity

  • Unlimited number of DMX channels via Ethernet DPs
  • Unlimited number of Art-Net and E1.3.1 (sACN) universes via Ethernet DPs
  • Onboard MIDI Input and Output, MIDI Show Control and MIDI Time Code and LTC Input
  • Multiple LTC inputs via optional multiple SMPTE/ LTC USB Widget
  • Connectivity with many visualizers via Ethernet
  • Wired and wireless networking ability with multiple Wholehog console systems
  • Remote Focus capabilities when networked with a tablet PC running Hog 4PC software
  • Supports USB Playback and Expansion Wings

Dimensions

  • With the Screen down – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 6.49” (164.75mm) high
  • With the Screen up – 40.5” (1028.7mm) wide by 28.49” (723.7mm) deep by 16.43” (417.39mm) high
  • Weight- 75 lbs (34 kg)

Yes.  I cannot wait to drive the Hog 4.  More photos!

Nano Hog 4:

Augh!  I love it!  It’s like the shape of a Whole Hog II with the pizazz of color touchscreens!

…and a beautiful booth design with DLVs, Intellaspots, and TrackSpot Bolts.  Nice work!

 

 

Photos from LDI 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada

JimOnLight with tieline dredlocks.  Oh yeah, and Kung-Fu Action Grip:

I’m back at the helm in Toronto; LDI 2012 has come and gone, I got to see lots of really amazing people, and I got blinded by not one, not seven, but eleventy (yeah, eleventy) freaking LED sources and screens.  It was so refreshing to see a tungsten or an HMI source around the convention center just as a reference to something that has more than one wavelength in a row together.  Holy schmoly!

LDI was full of pretty striking stuff, from lasers and salvo systems to new gobos and moving moving light systems, which was pretty awesome!  Now obviously seeing photos is a lot less ridiculous than reading me talk about photos, so check this out below — a ton of photos from LDI and the show floor!

This is what I made for the BlackTrax guys to go do their magic, which they do very well.  BlackTrax is out and on the market.  If you were at the show, you saw the demo up in N256 at the LVCC:

BlackTrax from CAST Group -- Room N256

The BT guys calibrating the system.  They have it down to about five minutes.

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Ladies and gentlemen:  The HOG 4.

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The High End Systems booth:

stabbing beams at the HES Booth

DMX controlled AirStar balloons!  Awesome!

AirStar at LDI 2012

This was next to us on the show floor — VER’s “upside-down-porno-bedroom-ceiling” thing.  Oh, f*cking hell it was amazing.  I mean absolutely amazing.  I was so proud to be in the view of this booth with my CAST booth, it was absolutely awe inspiring.  I’ll figure out the model of the beautiful equipment being displayed here, but believe me when I say it deserved the award for Best Product Display that it won:

VER at LDI 2012

InLight Gobos!!!  Oh, I have to report that some real winner stole a glass gobo from the InLight Gobos booth, over next to the High End booth.  It was set up on the table, Adri bent down to attend to something in a bag on the floor, and *poof* it was gone.  If you read this blog and you took that gobo, it means that you had an absolute error in judgement.  Mail that thing back to InLight Gobos, 2348 Irving Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 — be a good human.  Write “I’m Sorry” on the back of the package, too.  It sucks they had to deal with that.

On a lighter note, hey lighting designers — you ever used the rubber band ball gobo from InLight?  That thing is a breakup, an aerial, a wash, and a great atmospheric look maker too.  Every color of the spectrum gives it new characteristics.  Trust me, try it.  You can try it in wysiwyg R29 now too, thanks to Rick and Adri at InLight and Peter Debreceni at CAST for getting the catalogue into the release.  People at LDI who use WYG really seem to dig the InLight lineup — I believe in it, so I figured why not spread the good art word?

InLight Gobos at LDI 2012

There is this guy I know named Peter Kirkup, and he is absolutely one of my favorite people on planet Earth; not because of his ridiculously polite bedside manner, but because he is an industry visionary that has been right since I’ve known him.  I call that a feat in itself; I look to Peter for answers on anything regarding wireless what-have-you, and Peter is now the Vice President of Entertainment for LumenRadio in Sweden.  You might know hime from Cooper Controls and Zero88 fame, when he was just a lowly Product Manager.  Dude, remember — köttbullar i Sverige är inte svenska köttbullar, de är bara köttbullar!

Seriously though, we need to listen to peter’s brain, lighting industry.  He explained something to me that was so amazing, so ingenius as I see it – that I just had to hear him explain it again.  More on that later.  Peter’s a genius.  Ladies, grab him before he’s off the market, Peter’s like the John Holmes of brain power.

Peter Kirkup, VP of Entertainment at LumenRadio

Mac Viper Profile.  I have to say that I am impressed — I spent a lot of my time on shows working with a lot of Martin gear, lots of Mac 2K profiles and washes as you can imagine, Performance versus Profiles was always an argument you had to have in your head when making up a shop order.  “Do I want the FX ribbon, and are framing shutters that important for this one?”  I have no apologies for rocking the living daylights out of Mac 2000 Profiles.  They are absolutely awesome fixtures, despite what your opinions are on it.  I’ve had them apart on the truss while in a basket too, for the bang, they are perfect fixtures.  It looks like the Viper is going to be exactly the same way, and I am so absolutely excited to get my hands on some.  As it was put to me, the Viper is the “Mac 2000 replacement for this decade.”  It is awesome.  Ooh, so is the Mac III AirFX too, just as a side note.

MAC Viper

Oh hey look, another Chinese copy of a Sharpy.

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POINT OF ORDER:  The handles on the VL3515 are very cool.  I yanked around on them quite a bit while I was standing there (perhaps much to the dismay of the guy who I met right there at that point), and they seemed solid and non-conforming.

I LOVE these new handles!

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What a beautiful booth!

Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) at LDI 2012

Me and Susan Rose!  Yes, this Susan Rose.  This guide got me through the teething gigs of the Hog II!

JimOnLight and Susan Rose

Philips Entertainment at LDI 2012

THIS IS EXCELLENT.  The V276 is now available as a piece of gear for sale!  It works on your MAC!  Also, the BAD BOY and BEST BOY are available for SALE!  I think that they are two of the best fixtures built in the last five years, and I really do hope to see them explode in popularity.  They’re solid.  No matter what you think of PRG – whether you’re a fan or a non-fan – Bad Boy and Best Boy rock.  Now there is the V276 on MAC, which allows you the use of the pretty slick V-Series software.  You can run MBOX on this panel, too!  Miguel Ribeiro showed me some amazing things at LDI about MBOX, I am pretty excited to check it out.

the V276 from PRG

The Clay Paky booth at LDI — oh the Sharpys!

Clay Paky, LDI 2012

DTS’s continuously panning beam fixtures.  You have to see these things to believe it, they are poppy and bright, punchy and presentable.  Their booth was one of my faves, designed by a cool LD from Europe, Georg Telos.  Great work, Georg!

DTS/Strong, LDI 2012

The rest of the photos I took at LDI are below in a few different types of Flickr galleries, check out which one works best for you!  Let me know if one or the other floats your boat better than, uh, the other.  Just leave a comment.

Another Flickr show: