I was going to entitle this post “PSW – A Rookie’s View” but then I changed it because I decided that PSW was too insider-ish. If there is one thing I am not, it is an insider. I have no idea where the inside is, never been anywhere near it.
The Photoshop World conference (or PSW) is put on by an organization called NAPP – National Association of Photoshop Professionals – people who actually make money using Photoshop. And here’s where things go awry. I’m not a professional, not even close. I don’t even have Photoshop (yet). I have Photoshop Elements and I’m not even proficient at that. But not being skilled or qualified has never stopped me from jumping in with both feet, so why should this be any exception.
First and foremost, the reason I went is because I wanted to spend some time with Dawn whom I met at She Speaks earlier in the year. Dawn writes My Home Sweet Home, does blog design, photography, manages several sites, has 8 children which she home schools and she does it all without breaking a sweat. She inspires me. When I got home from the conference AD asked me if I learned anything from her, you know, like time management. And oh how I laughed at that joke as you might well imagine.
The other reason I went is that I’m a pretty quick study, and I figured I’d pick up something. And I did. I knew enough of the terminology that instead of being completely lost, I was inspired to figure out a way to learn more and learn faster. I left the conference jazzed by the endless possibilities for creativity at my fingertips. At the core of my being is a story teller and I’ve done that through painting and writing and now I see photography and Photoshop as another way for me to tell the stories of my life.
Scott Kelby and all the instructors were amazingly “normal” – they all seemed like maybe someone you might know from your neighborhood, that is if your neighbors are incredibly funny and world class professional photographers. Even the guy teaching gray scale. I especially loved Lesa Snyder-King, not just because she’s wore a Star Trek mini-dress to teach her class, but because her class focused on using Photoshop to turn everyday photographs into works of art. As a studio artist, that kind of floats my boat. Lesa’s got a book coming out soon and I’ll try get one for y’all for a give away because I know you would totally want it, especially you digiscrappers.
The other thing about all the instructors is that they were all so generous and free with their knowledge – they don’t believe in secret recipes and I really like that. They all are genuinely interested in teaching others about what they love, sharing the knowledge and that makes for good teachers.
All in all, even though based on my skill level, I probably had no business being at the conference, I’m glad I went. I learned a lot and came away with a lot of learning material, ideas and inspiration and will probably try to go again next year. Hopefully by then, I’ll understand what a channel is and why there are ten.
And now to reward you for listening to me blather on endlessly about Photoshop, I leave you with this mediocre photograph that I took earlier in the summer. My mother is always growing something beautiful. Her fence is perpetually lined with flowers and vegetables and other delightful things. And that’s the story behind this photo.