Photoshop World 2012 RecapAfter missing out on the East Coast event earlier this year in D.C., I managed to make it out to Las Vegas for Photoshop World 2012 last week. Here’s the short version. I had a great time catching up with some old friends, met some new friends, and other than the concert pre-con that I wrote about yesterday, my photography consisted of taking pictures of my hotel toilet paper using my iPhone.
My buddy Michelle Hedstrom hung out with me for most of the week. We get along well, though my neurotic tendencies sometimes make her want to kick me upside the head. Brad Moore spotted me in the taxi line at the airport when I arrived and met me with a smile. Patrick LaMontagne descended from Canada to share his wisdom at the Wacom booth. I always knew those hippies in Washington cold never control the border. Jeff Tamagini was there for our battle of the Timbuk2 bags. His is bigger, but mine has teeth.Theresa Jacksonwon her second Guru award with a wonderful composite illustration. She was up against some tough competition, which I think makes her victory all the more impressive. She also joined the concert photography pre-con and came up with a great composite for her entry. Brian Matiash came with the onOne Software contingent and its always a pleasure to see him. I love his photography and admire the way he’s made it a part of his life. Ana Adamswas there competing in the Guru Awards this year. Stop by her site and check out her portfolio. She does some great work with liquids and splashes, but there’s also a mojito in there that I need to try.
I met Frank Doorhof last year during a group excursion out to Nelson. As soon as I arrived, Michelle called me down to Starbucks and I got to meet with Frank again. What a cool guy. He makes great images and is totally down to Earth. I can’t forget Alan Hess. He’s been a friend since I first met him at the concert pre-con a couple of years ago. He creates some stunning concert and event images and, like Frank, he’s laid back and easy to get along.
Making New Friends
Although I’ve been to Photoshop World about a half dozen times before, this was the first time I got to meet Kalebra Kelby. What a wonderful and gracious person. Scott Kelby married well. Because of Kalebra’s circle of friends, I also got to meet folks like Roni Delmonico, Onnie Hull and Steve Kalman. We’ve all traded messages online for a while, so it was very nice to meet in person and discover these folks are even better than I already suspected. This social aspect is one of the things that I truly enjoy about Photoshop World, and it’s also why I only took a few snapshots with my iPhone instead of hitting the town with my gear. I can always go back and take more photos, but I didn’t want to miss time hanging out with these fine folks.
This was also my first chance to meet up with Pete Collins. I’ve met a few of the Photoshop Guys before and always found them warm and engaging. Pete fits right in with that description. I got to sit in his class on compositing issues and everything he said finally resonated in a way I could understand (no small feat). Pete had a smile whenever I saw him, so I almost named my puppy after him. Almost.
People I Didn’t Meet
I managed to attend a class by Lindsay Adler that I enjoyed very much. She did a wonderful job of sharing how to get inspiration for your photography from other sources, interesting props or other elements to include in your photos, or other things that identify with your subject. More than that, she made a strong case for setting your images apart with impact. Many of those issues were things I’ve considered in the past, but she tied them together by giving real examples of how she made images at very little expense, or perhaps with some barter. I’ve been a bit frustrated with my own portraits lately because there was a gap between what I could envision and what I could get to make it happen. Her examples showed me that it’s not as hard as I thought to get some of these elements to make some very compelling photos. I would have loved to discuss it in depth with her, but I let it go because I figured I’d come across is a stalker. Then again, there were a couple of times I turned around to find Joe McNally standing right behind me, so maybe I’m over-thinking this stalking business.
At any rate, I got a lot out of Lindsay’s class and now I’m looking for some opportunities to put her information to work.
My Theme for Photoshop World 2012
You can probably guess — my attention was on people over everything else this year. The show itself was flawless for me. I didn’t have any complaints or issues. The classes were what I expected and needed. Although I brought a lot of gear to go out and take some shots, it just never felt like a priority over enjoying the wonderful company of the people around me. I’ve had some rough times this year and this was exactly the kind of break from reality that I needed. With that in mind, I’d like to say thank you to my old friends and new ones (including everyone I didn’t mention), and hello to all the folks I’ll meet next time around in Orlando.
All of the folks I mentioned here are wonderful people. Get to know them!