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Photoshop World Orlando

April 7th, 2008


I’ve just returned from a Photoshop World Conference(PSW) in Orlando, Florida. The conference four days of fast-paced Photoshop training. NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) produces two excellent conferences every year; one on the West Coast and one on the East Coast. For those readers who have never attended PSW, I’ll recap my trip to give you an idea of what it’s like.

Day One:
On the plane ride to Orlando I read four chapters of Christian Bloch’s HDRI Handbook. It’s a great book if you’re into the math behind the pixels. I also played with my new Garmin eTrex Vista HCx. I’ll do a full blog on how to use this nifty little GPS to GeoTag photographs later. Once in Orlando, I had lunch with Photographer/Designer Kimberly Teichrow from Oregon. She was on her way to attend a hands-on digital wedding photography class, and I was on my way to the Epson Print Academy. We had a nice conversation about photography and design then split off to go to our workshops. With 4,000 Photoshop users in attendance, random meetings with like-minded Photoshop users are common.

My first workshop was the Epson Print Academy held by John Paul Caponigro, Andrew Rodney, and Jeff Schewe. This was a four hour session that dealt with many aspects of modern printing including: color management, soft proofing, CMYK proofing, B&W conversions, color correction, sharpening, drivers, rips, etc. We made Epson 3800 prints on Exhibition Fiber Paper, which has really amazing blacks. Here are some profiles for the paper from PixelGenius . There is an excellent set of resources available on the web for attendees, but the site is password protected, sorry. Much of the information can be found on the instructors respective websites.

My first evening was fairly uneventful and ended up hitting the sack fairly early. This first night was the only real sleep I got on this trip.

Day Two:
The Keynote featured Photoshop Express which is Adobe’s new online image editing application;
Lightroom 2.0 Beta which is available as 30 day trial or an ongoing beta for Lightroom 1.0 users; and a sneak peek at Photoshop CS4’s new features. There are lot’s of nice under the hood improvements and some nice tool additions. The biggest surprise was that Photoshop CS4 will initially ship a 64 bit version for Windows Vista, but not Mac. Luckily, I’m a bleeding edge Vista 64 bit Photoshop User.

My first Wednesday workshop was Photoshop & Dreamweaver Interface Design, by Rafael “RC” Concepcion. RC is pretty slick at Cascading Style Sheets and he gives a nice energetic lecture. I certainly learned a lot about designing websites using Photoshop to get the look, then slicing it all up and putting it back together for the web using CSS in Dreamweaver.

My second Wednesday workshop was Creative Suite Integration, by Taz Tally. This seminar was all about getting preferences synced across all you Creative Suite applications, so you can jump back and forth from Photoshop to Illustrator to InDesign, etc. I especially liked the Create Indesign Contact Sheet. This is a much more sophisticated tool then Photoshop’s Contact Sheets.

The rest of Wednesday was spent cruising the show floor looking at technology and listening in on some of the Tech Expo presentation. I talked to reps and picked up literature from: Epson, ModBooks, FJ Westcott, Hoodman, Kelby Training, Wacom, YouSendit, Visible Dust, Pictobooks , WHCC, and many more.

Wednesday night was spent with the editors and staff at PeachPit, Safari Books Online, and the fine authors who work with them. There was some tech talk, but mostly just good people having a good time. We heard Scott Kelby’s band, Big Electric Cat, play at a blues club. We danced and stayed out all night.

Day Three:
Thursday morning is a blur!

Thursday afternoon I attended Every File Has 10 Channels, by Dan Margulis. Dan is a master of mixing channel information. His Photoshop Lab Color book is an excellent resource. Dan duplicates the file then converts the duplicate to a new color space and copies channel information over to his original file. For example, uses channel mixer to pull the black channel of a CMYK image onto an RGB image. This can be used for correcting tone, contrast, color, and sharpness of specific areas of an image. What he does is absolutely amazing using RAW processing software which can accomplish some of these tricks in a much more intuitive manner.

The second workshop I attended on Thursday was Working Digitally In a CMYK World by Andrew Rodney. Andrew did a nice job of going through the steps of converting files to CMYK, soft proofing CMYK, and making cross rendered CMYK proofs.

Thursday night I had dinner with colleagues from the Washington DC area. We had a fantastic time discussing all of our Photoshop experiences. We also made plans to see Colin Finlay speak in DC on April 8th. Colin is a renowned documentary photographer who travels the world photographing the human condition. He has a two books out: Testify and <
a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Darfur-Twenty-Years-Genocide-Sudan/dp/157687415X/ref=pd_bbs_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207580203&sr=8-3″ target=”_blank”>Darfur.

Day Four:
Friday Morning I saw Digital Panoramics by Stephen Johnson. Stephen covered the history, composition, and tools and techniques of panoramic photography. I think one of the more interesting technologies was Zoomify which is a way to make zoomable images for the web.

This was my fourth Photoshop World Conference & Expo and it’s always an intense experience. The next Photoshop World will be in the fall on the West Coast. The details havn’t been posted yet, so I’ll update this section. I’ll also be at the PhotoPlus Expo conference in NY October 23-25th. I hope to see you at one of these conferences!

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