In May of 1991, I graduated from RIT with a Bachelors of Science degree in Imaging Technology. During my senior year Kodak donated a DCS 100. During that year’s Photo East in New York, I volunteered to work RIT’s trade show booth. Meeting alumni at the show and at the evening events was a great way to make possible future connections in the industry. One night we were allowed to take the DCS 100 out with us after one of these events. Below is my very first image with a digital camera. It was a 1.3MP beast with a Nikon F3 and a 15lb Digital Storage Unit over the shoulder. It was ugly, heavy, slow,……. and I was hooked in more ways than one. I felt thrilled and honored to have the absolute latest breaking technology in imaging in my hands.  And the concept of eliminating the silver halide chemical process with instantaneous electronic pixels amazed me.   Fast forward 25 years, I now work long hours trying to create an industry-leading company at the forefront of digital capture distribution and that same amazed feeling has not diminished.

My first digital image from 1990 at McSorely's Old Ale House, NYC.

My first digital image from 1990 at McSorely’s Old Ale House, NYC with a table full of Dark!

Phase One has been an important part of my career now for 18 years. My relationship with Phase One began by selling against them while working at Calumet Digital Solutions. We distributed Michael Collete’s Betterlight scanning backs across the US. Honestly, I did very well with the Betterlight product line. I believed in both the product and the man behind it. And it was due to this success that I received a call from Jacob Struckman, current President of Phase One. His has always believed that taking out your biggest competitor is a great way to increase your business. And I was his biggest competitor in the South. I wasn’t looking to change careers.  But Jacob convinced me to have a beer with him and chat. Well, that beer led to many and within a few days I had accepted a new position as Southeast Regional Sales Manager for Phase One US. And thus began a long partnership that only strengthens over time.

Four weeks ago, I received in invitation to a private event in Copenhagen from Phase One CEO and owner Henrik Hakonsson. When new products are ready for announcement, a select group of international partners are invited to secret events around the world.  In years past I have enjoyed product launches in Dubai, Hong Kong, Barcelona, and Koln to name a few.  However, this one was different.  For the first time, we were going to the home of Phase One, to the headquarters, and to meet the entire staff.  While I have met many over the years at these events, there are just as many software and hardware engineers that we never get to meet. These men and women are the backbone of the company. New software revisions to fix Mac OS bugs? New firmware on DF+ bodies?  Yeah, it comes from these hard workers. And it was a privilege to be meeting them for the first time.

Phase One AS

Phase One AS

A small sample of the men and women behind the scenes at Phase One AS.

A small sample of the men and women behind the scenes at Phase One AS.

When I began my career in this industry I never dreamt that I would be where I am today.  I don’t take it for granted. While it has and does take endless hours of hard work personally, It takes just as many hours from the people on your team.  While I sit here and write this blog post now, I know that I also have multiple other employees that are also writing posts, assembling web pages, and making sure our web marketing goes off without a hitch and on time. Success takes dedication and it takes teamwork. And I am extremely fortunate to have both at Capture Integration and with our most important partner Phase One.

Arriving in Copenhagen, my wife and I were warmly received at 39 Roskildevej with the smiling faces that we are so accustomed to. Phase One knows how to throw a party and to make one feel welcome. The opening night’s reception showed us that there was some exciting announcements. We enjoyed a few Carlsbergs and couldn’t wait to see what else they had in store for us.

Ziv Argov, Henrik Hakonsson, and Christine Gallagher

Ziv Argov, Henrik Hakonsson, and Christine Gallagher

Saturday was all business. The new products were announced. We tested, prodded, shot, played, and asked the hard questions. We sat with the engineers. We threw difficult proposals to the software gurus. And in general had the “one on one” contact that most companies wished that they could have directly with the manufacturer. And I can not overstate this value. It is exceptional. Needless to say, this does not happen much in our industry. And when it does, those manufacturers that care to go the extra mile deserve the credit. And I appreciate it more than Phase One knows. Hopefully they see it in our dedication to their strong product line. And I am certain the the customer sees it in a unified team and strong product knowledge behind the imaging product that they purchase.

The very first Phase One XF camera bodies and IQ3 Digital Backs ready for shipment.

The very first Phase One XF camera bodies and IQ3 Digital Backs ready for shipment.

This is not the blog post to go into details about the new Phase One IQ3 series backs, new LS lenses, or exciting XF camera body. You will read this in other posts on our site today. This is about something much more. Products come and go. There will always be something new on the horizon. I have always said that I want Capture Integration to be your business partner.  We want to be a part of your business that you rely on and feel comfortable that we are behind you when you need us. This is what we try to achieve. And this is exactly what Phase One is to us. They are an important strategic partner that we rely on. We are like-minded in ideals and core values. And I look forward to another 18 years creating the worlds best photographic products together.

We picked up the very first IQ3 and XF system from the   production line and were ready to drive it  home.....

On Sunday we picked up the very first IQ3 and XF system from the production line and were ready to drive it home to the US….. : )

 

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