March 30, 2010

Brief Thoughts on Photoshop World 2010


I attended Photoshop World 2010 this past week since it was here in Orlando. How could I not go to such a crazy show when it’s hosted right in my backyard? While the tips and techniques were amazing and probably enough to write 100 blog posts about, there was one common theme that almost all of the instructors I went to talked about: blogging and personal projects. If nothing else, the price of admission was worth it just to hammer in those two concepts to me. I know blogs are important, but have I been a good blogger? Not a chance!

That is why I am starting now and making the resolution that I will publish a blog post at least once a week on Mondays. Starting right here, right now. No more of this once a month sporadic posting. Hopefully by setting a time table it will give me a measurable goal to achieve each week.

Second, the common theme I heard more than two or three times was the need for personal projects. While on the one hand I can see this need as a professional fulltime photographer. If you’re shooting models all day 365 days a year, maybe you need to recharge your own batteries and shoot landscapes once in a while. I get that, I really do. However, the deeper projects the instructors were talking about were the unpaid assignments to push your own creative juices. Shooting weddings is a lot of fun, but how could you shoot on your own time to improve your craft? This is what I need to push myself with to improve my lighting technique and other aspects. No more of these unfocused shoots, but have a real reason every time I go out with a camera other than “take interesting pictures.” From the classic shapes assignments (only shoot circles/squares) to the more abstract (photograph happiness), I need to push myself in a more directed manner.

Terry L White Lighting Seminar
Terry L White Lighting Seminar

One last thought on PSW was the closing keynote from Zack Arias (and others). After hearing his talk it makes me wish I took his “What It Takes To Be a Photographer” class instead of the Posing Secrets for Brides (which was still good!). Zack did a shortened version of his class as a presentation during the closing ceremonies and even that was nothing short of inspiring. The crux of the presentation was David DuChemin’s idea that “gear is good, vision is better” – you don’t need the fanciest stuff in the world to make amazing pictures. Zack recommended used gear and 2-3 solid working lenses, along with enough creative vision to make it by doing whatever it takes to support your family.

Joe McNally Workshop
Joe McNally Workshop

So there it is, my quick Photoshop World wrap up post and a public commitment to once-a-week blogging again. 2010 here we come!

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