Wow, what a week. I anticipated it for so long, and it is hard to believe that the week flew by that quickly! Doesn't it always?
I had the honor to be able to blog for Kelby One for the event - which was a ton of fun because I got to work with Stephen Bell and Ajna Adams at Kelby Media Group, and had the fortune of blogging with Kevin Stohlmeyer, who had some great insight and photos throughout the conference.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put this event together. This was a great conference and is a huge amount of work to be able to coordinate attendees, instructors, classes, conference apps, signups and vendors. Running the classes in a timely manner and setting up for the instructors is always a huge task, but everything went smoothly to the attendees' eyes.
When I look back at the week, there are so many highlights, it's hard to choose one. So here are my top 10 moments:
- My absolute favorite part of every PSW is being able to share the conference with my dad. As I have mentioned before, he was always supportive of my photography learning as a kid, and once I got into it as an adult, it turned into something we were able to do together. Because of him, I was introduced to the world of Photoshop, Lightroom, Scott Kelby and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP- now Kelby One), through him, and it makes me happy to be able to share this with him. Why we rarely seem to get a picture together at this event, I'll never know.
- Before the week even really started, I was walking down the hall of rooms at the Mandalay Bay (the host hotel) and ran into than none other than Bert Monroy (who I had also admired before I knew about Photoshop all of those years ago because of my dad). He was so very nice and humble- just a great guy. Later that evening at the Photoshop World kickoff party hosted by the Las Vegas Adober User Group , Bert celebrated his birthday with all of us there. It was just cool and really set the tone for the week to come.
- I felt a sense of pride when my very talented friend Patrick LaMontagne won the Guru Award for Best in Show with his digital painting "One in Every Family". I became familiar with his work before PSW a few years ago, and befriended him during the conference one year. Since then, I have enjoyed watching his work, and seeing Patrick get recognized with the highest honor was a pretty cool moment.
- Seeing my friends Scott Valentine, Kevin Stohlmeyer, Patrick LaMontagne and Jake Peterson present on the Expo floor. I have talented friends and it is so great to see crowds of people (myself included) learning tips and tricks from them. I even won Scott Valentine's book (and had it autographed) at the PSW kickoff party. No- it wasn't fixed! I won it fair and square!
- Learning from and meeting some of the best in the photography industry was a pretty great experience. Being able to sit in a room with Moose Peterson, Julieanne Kost, Peter Hurley, Matt Kloskowski and Joe McNally (just to name a few) makes this conference well worth it.
- Making new friends, just by happening to stand or sit next to them is pretty fun. Everyone at Photoshop world has at least one thing in common: passion for creating images. Two friends that I made this week were Guru Award finalists and/or winners: Rocky Montez-Carr and Christine Pentecost It is a huge honor to even be a finalist, so I am proud to call such talented people friends. I was also able to meet social media friends in person - which was so fun! I think I shocked the daylights out of James Gordon Patterson during Moose Peterson's class - but it was such a fun experience!
- Catching up with old friends that I only see each year at Photoshop World. Because of social media, I am able to keep up with them on a regular basis, but being able to chat with them in person is much more fun.
- It is just impossible to attend PSW and not run into inspiration around every corner. Whether it's learning from instructors, seeing amazing images during presentations, learning new tips or just meeting other talented people, you leave with creative ideas bouncing around in your head.
- The Art of Photography panel is a huge highlight every year. Being in the room with such creative and inspirational individuals as they show images from their career is a pretty great experience. You can read my recap of it here.
- Looking forward to the next Photoshop World. By the end of PSW, my brain is fried, my feet hurt, and a good rest in my own bed is needed. But I look back on the week and all of these amazing moments, and I look forward to next year!
Thank you all for reading my posts here and on social media throughout the week. I look forward to Photoshop World in August 2015!
The third day of Photoshop World is always bittersweet. It's the last day and your body is over being abused by the running around from your room to the conference, running to classes that are at opposite ends, scouring the huge conference Expo, and standing/sitting for hours at a time. Your brain is overloaded with things you have learned, ideas for your personal creative expression, and the names of the new friends you have made and will run into again. Thank goodness there isn't a test at the end of this thing.
Knowing all of this, day 3 was just packed. I had planned on sleeping in, as I was already tired, and had a long day that ended with a long drive across the desert home to Los Angeles. However, I was invited to a breakfast for the readers of Photofocus by none other than Robert Vanelli, one of the great personalities of PSW. How could I say no to Vanelli?
Going to this breakfast was great- I was able to chat with other readers, as well as publisher of the site Richard Harrington. Perhaps a highlight of that breakfast was meeting and chatting with photographers Nicole Young and Brian Matiash. I have been following Nicole on her blog and social media for years, and have always missed her at Photoshop Worlds past. Ditto for Brian - I ended up sitting next to them at breakfast and even got a selfie with Nicole, taken by Nicole. Where other than PSW can this happen?
And then of course after a nice leisurely breakfast, it was time to squeeze everything I hadn't done or still needed to do. Between sessions I wanted to see, visiting the Expo floor, demos on the Expo floor, and everything else, there was plenty to keep me busy until the closing ceremony that capped off the event in the afternoon.
My first order of business was to collect my camera that had gone in for a free cleaning by Canon Professional Services. I was also able to get an image printed on a Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer free of cost. These are just two more opportunities provided by PSW to attendees.
After squeezing in all of that, it was time for the final event- the Wrap Up Rally. This is always bittersweet- you know that it's ending, but you are having such a great time and still learning.At this final event, videos of the previous days are shown, instructors take the stage one more time, and prizes are given away.
There were a few new instructors who spoke at the final event this year after Larry Becker opened up the event. Tim Wallace, Roberto Valenzuela (who brought the house down) and Lindsay Adler all spoke about different lessons they have learned in their career. PSW world regular Moose Peterson wow'ed with some of his photography of war birds and the men who flew them, which will be a Kelby One special on September 12 - you can find out more about it here.
Scott Kelby is always last to take the stage to thank everyone for another great Photoshop World. And it was!
Until Photoshop World August 2015!
Day 2 of Photoshop World ends with Midnight Madness, which actually starts at 10. this is a fun event where you learn, well, nothing about Photoshop. Except for how to play tricks with people in the Photoshop menus.
On to the last day of Photoshop World!
One of the big highlights of Photoshop World day 2 is the Art of Photography panel. Hosted by the talented Jim DiVitale, the evening is full of the images and stories of some of the photo industry's best photographers. Jim started out the evening by showing his wonderful images and celebrating 40 (!) years in the photo industry!
Julieanne Kost showed us her first composites (you know that is embarrassing for anyone, let alone showing it to a packed room) to demonstrate that everyone has to start somewhere.
Julieanne ended her presentation with the following words of wisdom:
- If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all
- Praise in public and air any criticism in private
- Never cast disparaging remarks on another person's art- don't let other people change what you have to say
- Your capacity for greatness is immeasurable
Dave Black showed us some of his amazing sports images and told us the background stories behind them. Dave always pulls at the heart strings, and this year he showed us his images of figure skater Michelle Kwan. His relationship with her beginning from her age of 12 was a beautiful thing to see through his images.
Joe Glyda is a huge proponent of the self assignment, and showed us his panel self assignment of the Hoover Dam. He showed us a lot of dam great images!
Bill Fortney started his presentation off with his own personal wake up call that changed his life. Talk about pulling at the heart strings! he followed his story with his beautiful imagery and left all attendees with something to think about.
Joe McNally showed us his imagery over 40 years as a photographer (apparently 40 was the lucky number this evening). His images showed the retrospective of his work- and answered a question that he had post: is the life of a photographer worth it? Joe's images that evoke so many emotions are the definite answer of "Hell yes!".
Always the last presentation is that of Moose Peterson. His stunning images that show the grandeur of nature need no words - it is completely inspiring to sit back, listen to the beautiful music he pairs with his presentation and be amazed.
Where can you see a live Ferrari shoot, learn about the squinch, and see a Guru award winner's techniques all in one day? The answer is Photoshop World Day 2!
The day started off and running early- and there were plenty of sessions to attend in classes and on the Expo floor.
Classes were in full swing, with Tim Wallace bringing in a red Ferrari to do a live car photo shoot. Peter Hurley had a great portraiture session for headshots. moose Peterson inspired as always about shooting landscape with passion, and showed his own spectacular images.
On the Expo floor, the Wacom booth was abuzz with demos by Patrick LaMontagne, Scott Valentine and Bert Monroy.
The afternoon sessions had even more great lighting and retouching sessions. Overall it was a great Day 2 - and the evening is full with the Art of Photography panel and Midnight Madness!
Photoshop World gives attendees the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by some of the best photographers in the industry. This is a fantastic opportunity to get out of your comfort zone (trust me - it's uncomfortable) and get honest and open critiques of your work. The sessions last about 20 minutes, and are full of helpful information. I have participated in the reviews for the past few years and have learned so much each time. It is scary and uncomfortable to do, but you are glad you did it once it's over. Personally, I have learned so much about myself and my photography in those short sessions.
However, this year I was an observer and less of a participant. Here are some pictures from the sessions:
A highlight of the keynote is the recognition of those that use Adobe in amazing ways. The awards start off with the induction into the Photoshop Hall of Fame - this year welcomed Russell Williams, principal scientist at Adobe, and Felix Nelson, creative director at Kelby Media Group.
The Guru Awards recognize the creative work of individual users - and it is a treat to see how other people use Adobe. Here is the list of winners and their respective categories:
Artistic – James Wesley Taylor “Fly Away”
Artistic – James Wesley Taylor “Fly Away”
Illustration – Brooke Figer “Reflection to Perception”
Photo Montage – Dominik Kokocinski “Apocalypse Berlin”
Photography – Kobi Gulianni “Wild with Elephants”
Restoration – Sheri Harvey “Sweet’s & Gee’s Wedding”
Retouching – Rocky Montez-Carr “Fall Day”
Vincent Versace – Deb Uscilka “Winter Branches”
Best of Show – Patrick LaMontagne “One in Every Family”
For pictures of all of the winners, checkout Kevin's post here.
Congratulations to all!
The day before the start of Photoshop World is the day for pre-conference in-depth workshops the evening of the Photoshop World Meet Up. This meet-up takes place the night before the start of PSW and after pre-conference workshops, and gives attendees the opportunity to meet other PSW attendees and to mingle with the instructors.
Held at the Eye Candy lounge - an indoor lounge to avoid the Vegas temperatures - at Mandalay Bay for the past few years, attendees were able to compare notes with other attendees and chat with the week's instructors.
I love that I am always able to meet people that I have seen at Photoshop Worlds past but never got the chance to talk to, and to chat with the instructors whose classes I'll be taking during the week.
On to the official start of Photoshop World - the Keynote and Day 1!
One of the many great things about Photoshop World is the opportunity to learn something around every corner. While pre-conference workshops were in session this afternoon, other vendors hosted free workshops and classes. One such vendor was Squarespace, a company that makes it super easy to host and build a website for us non-developers - which is a major reason I use them currently to host my own site. They held two workshops: one for starting a website, and a more in depth class to delve a little deeper into tweaking sites. I chose to take the latter class, which was really great. I was able to learn more about utilizing Squarespace to make my site a better user experience for myself and my visitors. I look forward to utilizing the tools that I learned this afternoon.
I loved sitting in a classroom of other users, and uncovering a nugget that made all of us say, "Ah ha!".
Thank you to Squarespace for offering this class and for providing free transportation from the Mandalay Bay!
The Expo Hall at PSW is also a great place for free classes. If you didn't get a conference pass this year, you can get a free expo pass for Thursday and Friday and still learn something from vendors that host demos.
Photoshop World week has kicked off with a reception hosted by Adobe and the Las Vegas Adobe User Group. This was a fun event to mingle with other Photoshop users, instructors, and even the opportunity to win great prizes. I was lucky enough to win a book The Hidden Power of Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop by the talented Scott Valentine.
Here are a pictures from the evening.