#theEPICinstameet - Manhattan, Kansas

Laura and I decided to spend the our Saturday at an Instagram meet up here in Manhattan  The event was sponsored by Discover Kansas (@discoverkansas) with the help of several local businesses.  We started the day at Arrow Coffee (@arrowcoffeeco).  I was impressed with the group of people that attended the meet up.  The group included smart phone photographers, DSLR photographers, and even Polaroid photographers.   

This was the first time that either one of us had done a meet up like this, and we did not know any of the other attendees before the meetup.  It was great to get to know more people who have a similar interest in photography as we have.  As I mentioned, we started at Arrow Coffee, were we enjoyed some great coffee and snapped some pictures of whatever inspired us.  

The second location was The Beach Museum of Art at Kansas State University.  This museum was some cool exhibits that are worth checking out.  We again snapped pictures of whatever inspired us.  There is also a neat garden next to the museum that made for some great photos.

For lunch we ventured to Aggieville, which was the location for our third stop.  Well it was actually more than a stop.  Varsity Donuts donated a couple donuts for the group to shoot with.  The group divided into smaller groups for this part of the adventure.  The group that we were in received the always tasty and tastefully designed Cookie Monster donut.  The location that we chose to shot was the Varsity Donuts Truck.  This truck is open late at night to cater to the late night crowd, but was closed while we where shooting.  It made for a great backdrop for our photos.  We also ventured into Varsity Donuts store, and captured some images of the greatness that is Varsity Donuts.  

The final location for the day was a private pond just outside of town.  This pond was a great location to finish out a wonderful day.  The location included hammocks, a picnic table, a fire pit, a canoe, a kayak,  and some wonderful plant life.  We enjoyed shooting as we walked around the area.  Someone brought some smoke bombs, which made for some interesting shots.

Several of the sponsors donated some cool items as prizes for# theEPICinstameet.  The winners were chose at random from the uploads to Instagram with the hashtag for the event.  One of the prizes was a Varsity Donuts Frisbee, which became a popular item to play with as the evening continued.

I challenged myself to shoot with my Nikon 35 mm 1.8 lens for the majority of the day.  It was a challenge at times, but there was always a shot to take.  I did end up switching to my Tamron 18-270 lens while we were at the pond, but most of my images were from the 35 mm.  Laura used the Lensbaby all day.