What a week, after Berlin and Hamburg, we drove a few hours down to Dusseldorf then high-tailed it to Amsterdam as the Calumet/California Sunbounce tour continued on through Europe. Out of the nine photography magazines Calumet advertised in, so far I’ve collected three, Photographie, fotoMagazine and the latest, PROFIFOTO, which leaves me one German and five BeNeLux area magazines to find as we continued our travels and the tour begins to wind down. (I’ll be posting photos soon!)

I’m not real worried as yesterday I met the head of Calumet Europe marketing, “Wim,” and he promised he’d get me copies of any magazines I couldn’t find. Yesterday I also picked up a poster from the Calumet store in Antwerp, Belgium, again, Calumet has done some incredible advertising to help promote the workshop series and my name in Europe and I’m very thankful as this was not something I expected–I’m guessing that 18 total full-page ads (2 pages per magazine) costs the company somewhere between $90,000 on up plus with the additional costs of their own in-store posters, fliers, web promotions and even the lunches, chairs, sound system, studio rentals, etc., Calumet seriously went out of their way to may this tour a great success, and so far it’s been fantastic!

I brought my newest book, Rolando Gomez Glamour Photography Techniques up here and they were all sold in the early part of the tour before we ever left Germany, the last 25 books were sold at the workshop in Dusseldorf, thus I was very apologetic to the people of the Netherlands when we arrived in Amsterdam as many asked if I had copies of the new book. That was my mistake as I underestimated the people in Europe wanting to purchase a book written in English by an American photographer–after all Europe is home to many great photographers and other artists. Regardless, the response has been tremendous!

The people in Amsterdam were so nice and it was great to do a workshop were my lecture could flow much easier without the interruption of the translation of English to the local language as most everyone in Amsterdam speaks English fluently. The crowd was our largest so far in the trip, row after row of photographers. The amazing part of this trip, in Germany, the Netherlands and even Belgium, was the amount of women photographers attending, there were at least six women photographers at every location so far and in my conservations with them, they love what I do and they too photograph women.

We had three women out of seven of those attending the Belgium workshop drive in from Holland–not only were they beautiful, they want volunteered as assistants for the an upcoming “one on one” Virgin Islands workshop. Now that workshop is going to rock, seven photographers, seven models and three of the seven assistants are women photographers from Holland! See my workshop pages for more details!

One interesting note while we spent two nights in Amsterdam, we stayed at the famous Lloyds Hotel which until 1998 was a prison. While my room was not a jail cell with bars, it was obviously a prisoner’s room at one time with the floor plan. Many artists and photographers have stayed at this hotel, in fact the World Press Photo winners celebrated their previous winners there a few years back. While the hotel lacks some amenities, it’s a hip hotel for artists, my only regret not having a model to photograph while there, though as exhausting at this trip has been, I’d probably not want do much in the way of photography.

Back to the ranch, from Amsterdam we moved on to Rotterdam were another large crowd attended and I joked with the Calumet folks on how they were making me feel like a rock star as they took my Canon camera into their store, directly across from the studio we used, and while I spoke, they professionally cleaned out the dust off my camera sensor. One of the guys there was excited that I let him use my new Leica M8 rangefinder. Later next week I visit the Lecia factory in Germany on the last day before I return back home as Leica is one of my sponsors and I’ve been dying to visit the factory that invented the 35mm format–many people often think 35mm was invented by Kodak, it was not, Kodak invented film–so it will be nice to the see the roots of one of my favorite formats of film I use in my glamour and photojournalism photography.

Well before I get to Leica, yesterday we finished Antwerp and the people were so nice, after a workshop that lasted almost six hours, we had a few local beers and a few of us had dinner with not only Belgians, but folks from Holland that drove in for the event. Such nice folks!

It’s morning now and shortly we pack our panel tour truck to head to Munich, that’ll be about a seven hour drive for us, but it’s our last stop on the trip as on Monday we tackle the Munich crowd and I’m looking forward to Sunday’s rest before it all happens again. My voice has held out so far, but it was a bit raspy yesterday and that began to worry me, but that’s what happens when you speak for hours four days in a row. From Munich I’ll be taking the train on Monday night to meet with the owner of Hensel Lighting. Tuesday I get to tour the factory of one of the greatest lighting companies in Europe and I can’t wait. And to encore the trip will be when I take the train toward Frankfurt and we head toward Leica’s factory for their visit.

Hopefully I’ll get to report on those two factory/headquarter visits as the trip progresses, but for now I have to close and hopefully get another great Internet connection to write more. Thanks to everyone in Europe and a special thanks to Calumet and California Sunbounce for making this happen. The European community as a whole is just amazing and I seriously thank them from the bottom of my heart and I can’t wait to do it all again. Thanks, rg sends!