I’ve talked a lot about Drink and Click, but some of you probably don’t know what they are. Drink and Click is a social photography group, started in Austin by Juan Gonzalez. Over the years, it’s spread to other cities, with chapters opening up throughout the United States and some internationally.
I’ve only gone to the Austin chapter, but the basic idea is that photographers socialize at a bar and casually take photographs. Some drink more than they shoot and others, like me, tend to shoot more than they drink. The photography generally isn’t too serious. In Austin, we often take portraits and on rare occasions, do photowalks in the surrounding neighborhood. There’s gear talk but they aren’t religious. People of all levels and with cameras of different brands just hang out together.
The most popular events are when camera vendors do demonstrations with loaners of their newest gear. In Austin, we’ve had Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Pentax and Nikon, as I recall. Juan now goes to various cities and help organizes these vendor Drink and Clicks. It’s Olympus, however, and in Austin, that really started the trend and I had a part to play in the introduction.
Back in September 2013, Olympus allowed me to play with a pre-production OM-D E-M1 and the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro. Just after the public announcement, I had one of the few copies of the camera and lens in Texas. I brought the combo to a Drink and Click meeting, which I describe in this blog post, and it was a big hit. Olympus, intrigued by the possibility, decided to do more formal demonstrations. I introduced Charles, the Texas Olympus Tech Rep, to Juan and the rest is history.
For two years in a row, Olympus sponsored a large SXSW Drink and Click. We had a large crowd this year, even on a rainy night, and Olympus brought in several experts from around the country. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the new flagship, was the star of the show, some 3 1/2 years after I showed the first version of the E-M1.
I shot the image above at the 2017 SXSW event in March — two folks having fun, test driving the new E-M1 Mark II. Shot with my E-M5 Mark II and the 17mm f1.8 lens, the dimly lit room at ISO 4000 isn’t the highest technical quality, but I like the expression and mood. It seems to nicely capture the feeling of the event.
Interested in Drink and Clicks? Look here for news and chapter locations.
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