Today, physical proximity is both underrated and overrated. The cell phone number for every CI team member is listed on the staff page. We have email, text and video-based chat. We’re knowledgeable and we respond before and after standard business hours (what photographer actually works standard business hours?). If our clients need help, if they need information, we have it for them. But as great as modern communications has become, the personal touch is sometimes missed. Certainly by us! So for that reason, with clients all over the country, we still put together road trips and just get out and see our clients in person. WE LOVE THIS. And so began a 10 day road trip with stops in Detroit, Chicago, St Louis, and Kansas City. And what a long strange trip it was. We left Atlanta, September 21, headed north to Detroit. Normally about an 11 hour drive, for some reason there was a traffic slowdown about every 74 minutes, so the total time to Detroit wound up being 14 + hours. Heading north from Atlanta Thursday morning – at least we knew we were going in the right direction! Nonetheless, we arrived in Detroit late Thursday night and Friday morning set up at JoeBar, a great eatery with a great selection of craft beers owned by Joe Vaughn, a CI client and excellent photographer. The main event was delivering an in-person, hands-on, advanced training on the XF camera, and also to showcase some of the work being done by our clients using 80 and 100 megapixel Phase One capture systems. We partnered with Magna Chrome, an excellent source for printing high quality output. These images were printed on metal substrate and ranged from 72″ to 96″ wide. They were amazing. Why did we feel advanced XF training was necessary? Well, in the past 2 years Phase One has offered (4) Free Firmware Updates with a host of features, below are only most of them: Automatic hyperfocal tool•Bullseye virtual horizon level from camera LCD•Camera focus controlled from Capture One•Vibration delay tool•Automated focus stacking •Custom self timer & bulb•Time lapse tool•One-touch UI•HDR sequence bracketing•HAP-1 auto focus update•Electronic shutter•Flash analysis tool•Customizable rear curtain sync•XF customizable interface•Advanced Profoto Air control built-in•Auto focus and recompose (AFr)•Automatic focus stack calculator•Automated Focus Trim•Post capture vibration analysis•Focus nudge•AFr zoom to focus. Below is a pictorial essay from the second leg of our national tour. Special thanks to: Joe Vaughn (Detroit host) Robert Bullivant (St Louis host) Ben Pieper (Kansas City host) Phase One (for producing amazing cameras) Magna Chrome (for fantastic prints) Capture Integration Staff (for holding down the fort) At our Detroit XF training, we taught Nate Abramowski camera boxing. Nate is about to land a right hook! Jim Haefner’s wonderful Berger Camaro Print. After the show, we hung out with Brad Kaye’s family in Metamora. Brad’s Step-Father Bill has a nice Corvette! Is it wrong to send someone else’s wishes of love home to my wife Rachel? In between cities, we got in some purple fringe testing of bare branches against sky with the IQ3 100 Trichromatic. Brad Kaye distributing XF knowledge at Robert Bullivant Gallery in St Louis. I convinced Brad to eat at Cracker Barrel twice! Some of their quirky decor ….. Reminds me of Phase One! A heart stopping moment at a 5 star hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan! Preserve the Gear Bag! Ben Pieper’s fantastic XF Tour hosting studio in Kansas City, Missouri. We felt that Ben’s parking lot would make a great venue location to set up the Magna Chrome Gallery Prints. We were right!!! The prints were gorgeous and a perfect time of day for viewing. We wrapped up the tour with a friendly evening at ASMP KC BBQ. Brad Kaye trying hard to convince Rachael Jane that the IQ3 100 Trichromatic will out-resolve that Instax print. At the end of a long day, Brad celebrated with the champagne of beers and the champagne of … cameras? As for me, I made sure to set my Phase One IQ3 600am alarm clock for our flight back to Atlanta. Morning at Kansas City International never looked so good. Until next time!