Photoshop Interview: Mike McHugh

Photoshop Interviews

Photoshop Interview - Adobe's Mike McHughThis month I sit down with Adobe Creative Systems Engineer, author, trainer, host of the popular Creative Sweet TV video podcast, and all-around good guy, Mike McHugh.

Jason D. Moore Photography:  Hi Mike! First off, thank you for sitting down with me today! I’d like to help give everyone an idea about who you are and what your background is. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is your educational/professional background? That sort of thing….

Mike McHugh: I was a finished artist once upon a time. I started working in Graphic Design in about 1994 and even got to do the artwork on an official Sydney Olympic poster in 2000. Heaps of Photoshop and Illustrator work in those days. I’m based in Melbourne Australia, Ive always been here and Now I work for Adobe.

JDMP: Along similar lines, what is your current job and what does it entail?

MM: I’m a Creative Systems Engineer for Adobe that means I do A LOT of CS4 Presentations, Last week we finished a  5 State roadshow and spoke to over 6000 people, That was fun.

JDMP: In your excellent video podcast, Creative Sweet TV, you touch on individual parts of the Adobe Creative Suite as well as how they can work together. How did Creative Sweet TV get its start?

MM: I used to write for a local Magazine here called Desktop. On one occasion I decided to record the article with Audio instructions and posted it for download, that was really the first episode. It was utter rubbish but got me thinking.

JDMP: You spend a good deal of time with Adobe users and get to learn about their experiences with the software, positive and not so positive. What are some of the favorite new features of Photoshop that you’ve heard from users? What are the biggest gripes?

MM: The content aware Scale blows people away, but my personal favorite is the 3d stuff. I love making anoglphs and viewing them with the 3D glasses. Of course when Adobe changes anything people complain, even if they don’t realise its much better. Things like the application frame and the new Zoom and Pan Features.

JDMP: I know the majority of my readers are from the US and Europe, with a growing audience from other parts of the world. Here in the US Photoshop and the concept of all types of media perceived as being “Photoshopped” has become a regular part of the culture. From your perspective, what effect has Photoshop – or image manipulation in general – had on culture or how people consume media in Australia?

MM: People are now more savvy to that concept. I think its a generational thing. Young people tend to realize that a certain amount of Photoshop work goes on, still not sure if they know the extent. I find that on social network sites like facebook, people tend to want a glamorous looking Profile image, if only they knew about Surface Blur and good layer mask!

JDMP: Conversely, and I imagine you might have a unique perspective on this as an Adobe engineer,  what effect as the creative community had on the development of the various Adobe products?

MM: Certainly other technology has a great effect, like the introduction of Digital Video and Cameras. Something like an economic downturn also has an effect. People want to do more with less. For example we have a customer with a large workforce of print designers can now extend the workforce but introducing InDesign CS4. Now those designers can design for the web and flash with the SWF export. 

JDMP: Regardless of the day job, it’s important to have a means to stretch our creative muscles. Aside from your professional work with Adobe, what are some of your personal creative ventures/outlets?

MM: I love Photography and have recently become interested in Photography for Astrology. (Photographing the stars and Planets) Look out for more on that real soon.

JDMP: Where can our members and readers go to find out more?

MM:  or follow me on twitter mmchugh

JDMP: My last question is always the same, is there anything else that I haven’t given you a chance to say? Any areas that you feel need to be touched on?

MM: Lets all get excited about editing video, there is too much rubbish on youtube and we need to lift our game and do some cool creative stuff.

JDMP: Thanks for sitting down with me, Mike! And keep up the great work with the podcast!

MM: Thanks again!

Towner Jones Photography, LLCPhotoshop Interviews is brought to you in part by Towner Jones Photography, LLC. Check out all of the great things Rob is doing over there!

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