Exploring Creativity at Sony Kando

Several years ago Sony began to talk about “kando”, a phrase borrowed from Japanese that is difficult to define but refers to the feeling of connection and creativity that comes when fully engaged in your art, the moment when the tools and the processes come together and the result is a magnification of expression. Sony’s annual Kando event follows in that spirit, and is a multi-day retreat for Sony’s Ambassadors, Collective members and other creatives. With free access to Sony’s gear and numerous shooting opportunities, it’s possible to spend days going from creative event to creative event.


Harbor Seal Has Dinner
Harbor Seal Has Dinner
Sony Kando Trip

Hundreds of photographers, journalist and manufacturers are gathered at the Asilomar Conference center for days of shoots and talks, and our publications are among them. Nestled alongside a state beach, the conference center is a great jumping-off point for a number of photographic opportunities. Workshops have ranged from the obvious surf and landscape shoots to thematic sets like Mad Max, 50’s Noir and more.

One of the most fascinating shoots is the underwater workshop, a setup in the pool with LED lights, housings, and models posing just beneath the surface. Anyone can grab a housing and jump into the pool to shoot.

That’s one of the ideas of Kando, which this year is open to students outside the Sony Artisan and Collective umbrella. Photo enthusiasts will be able to spend several days attending workshops on social media, marketing intermixed with high-production-value shoots.

Editors from all three of our publications are here, and we’ve been taking advantage of the different opportunities. Outdoor Photographer Wes Pitts captured some excellent beach and surfer shots, blogger DL Byron has been attending workshops, including the underwater shoot. I’ve been spending days mixing events and general shooting opportunities, which are plentiful. This morning we took a bike ride from the conference center to downtown Monterey for espresso and a chance to sit and work on our images. The ride is 3.5 miles along a dedicated bike path hugging the coast and passes some of the most beautiful beaches on the California Coast.

You can find some of the images on the various Instagram feeds for Outdoor Photographer, Digital Photo Pro, Digital Photo  and follow the images from all the creatives on Instagram by searching for the hashtag #sonykandotrip


Leave a Reply