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Artist Highlight: Julieanne Kost

March 16, 2009 in Inspiration, Photography, Photoshop

Adobe's Julieanne Kost

For this week’s artist/blog highlight I’d like to share with you a truly gifted creative professional, Adobe’s Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost.

I’ve had the pleasure to watch Julieanne work, in person, while at Photoshop World in Boston as she walked us through her creative process and workflow when creating visual representations of what her mind sees. The only way to describe her worn and weathered imaginings is dream-like. Her work is quite remarkable, really. The muted tones, the rough textures, the stories that her images tell draw you in and wisk you away to another world which, to me, is the mark of a true artist.

Not only does Julieanne do a tremendous job with her compositional pieces, she is an inspiring photographer as well. My sister-in-law gave me her book Window Seat this past Christmas and each page is filled with colorful, lively yet serene portraits of our world taken from a plane. It’s really hard to describe how awesome this digital photography is but I can honestly say that her work makes me want to become a better photographer. I can’t give much higher praise than to say that when I see her work, I want to grab my camera and create.

For more information, and to see her work, visit Julieanne Kost’s website. And you can also follow her work via her Adobe blog. Go ahead, give yourself 10 minutes to look at her amazing art!

Good News. Bad News.

March 10, 2009 in Personal, Photoshop

I’m going to start with the bad news so I can get it off my chest and move on to much happier things.

Recently, I saw on the NAPP member site that a new 20% off discount was available for any single purchase through the Adobe.com store until March 2nd. With that, on top of Adobe’s introductory pricing on CS4 ending at the end of February (which has since been extended), I decided that I couldn’t wait to upgrade anymore.

I was talking with my friend and co-worker, Eric, about it and offered to use my discount to help him upgrade to CS4 Design Premium when I placed my order to upgrade to InDesign CS4 and Photoshop CS4. So I placed the order, saving around $200 between us, and waited eagerly for it to arrive.

Two things then happened. First, I got a sinking feeling one day that I had been in the mindset of ordering the PC versions for myself that I inadvertantly ordered Eric, a Mac user, the PC version of CS4 Design Premium. Big OOPS! And then I was expecting to receive the software on Monday but FedEx decided that the correct address I put on the order was not the right one.

All got worked out, though. I called Adobe customer service and spoke with a really nice rep who helped me get the Mac version on its way to replace the one I had mistakenly ordered. To be entirely honest, it was one of the best customer service calls I’ve ever had. He even honored the pricing from the previous order. After driving over to FedEx to pick up the undelievered package and talking to a manager to work out the address issue – since the driver wasn’t back yet – the software finally arrived the next morning.

Then the fun started… I found out, the hard way, that as it turns out it is against Adobe’s upgrade policy to allow customers who own a full version of a program that is part of a bundle to upgrade to a stand-alone version of the same software. Meaning, even though I own CS3 Design Premium, which includes InDesign CS3, I can not upgrade to InDesign CS4. I would either have to upgrade to CS4 Design Premium – which I don’t need – or purchase the full version of InDesign CS4 – which isn’t going to happen either. So I have to send it back.

The up-side is that I can keep the upgrade to Photoshop CS4 since I have copies of Photoshop going back as far as version 6. It’s the more important program for me to have anyway.

I’m not all worked up about it but it really frustrates me that even though I own a full version of InDesign CS3 – albeit as part of a bundle – I am ineligible to upgrade a single product. It was not very clear on the Adobe site and, in the end, they are crediting my card so they’re losing out on the sale. It won’t affect whether or not I will buy from them again, obviously, but I appeal to Adobe to revisit their upgrade policy so it would make more sense and do a better job of serving the customers.

Thus endeth the rant.

On to the good news! Kim and I have been wanting to escape apartment living for a while now and after some searching we are elated to share that we have found a house! Not just “a” house, but an amazing house!

Kim & Jason's New House

Kim & Jason's New House

We’re doing the mortgage paperwork today and we hope to close in the next month and a half or so – give or take. We’re going to be doing another walkthrough on Sunday afternoon so we’ll be able to take some shots of the inside too. It’s in Johnson City, NY, which is only about 15 minutes from where we live now in Endicott, NY. It’s about 25 minutes to Kim’s school and roughly 10 minutes to work for me.

It’s cute on the outside and down-right beautiful inside. We’re so excited about it and we’re still pinching ourselves because it’s all finally happening!

Photoshop Interview: Mike McHugh

March 9, 2009 in Blogroll, Inspiration, Photoshop, Photoshop Interview

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: www.creativesweettv.com  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!

If you would like to sponsor Photoshop Interviews or any of our other regular series, or if you would like to advertise with us, visit our Become a Sponsor page today!

P&P Weekly: #111

March 5, 2009 in Blogroll, Photography, Photoshop

Jason D. Moore Photography - P&P Weekly Newsletter

My apologies for the long lapse in publishing The P&P Weekly. It’s been a full few weeks here and I wanted to be sure to do it right or not at all.

Since the last issue of “The Weekly” I decided to try a few things that I am implementing this time around. The first is the most visible change, a new interactive version created with InDesign’s option to export directly to SWF Flash files. I really like the look of this new feature and I thought it would be a cool way of presenting this series. I’m still working to get everything dialed in with the settings but I think it works pretty well for now. It is viewed best with a screen resolution of at least 1024×768 and does require Flash Player.

The next change is also visible. With the new change in presentation comes other layout opportunities. So I decided to begin shifting to more of a newsletter format to dress things up a bit and make it easier to read through.

Lastly, one of the things regular readers will notice is that there are only 20 members featured in this edition. The list has been growing, thankfully, which means that I needed to divide up the list a little more and 20 seemed like a good number to go with. It may fluctuate a little here and there as needed but we’re going try keeping it down to around 20 or so each week. And now that I have the template set, it should be easier to get back on track.

Let me know what you think about the new format and if you notice anything that I need to address.

Read The P&P Weekly #111 Now!

Geographic Composition #48: Contrasts

February 27, 2009 in Photography, Photoshop

Jason D. Moore Photography - Geographic Composition

I just got a new toy to play with tool for my craft and thought I would give it a spin to see what I could do with it.

I just downloaded the trial version of Adobe InDesign CS4 - which I then purchased along with Photoshop CS4, set to arrive next week – and one of my main reasons for upgrading was the cool page curl effects that I can do with the new export to SWF option.

So, instead of the usual presentation for Geographic Composition, I thought I would offer up a first pass at a new version using this new technology.

Take a look at the new and improved – but still a work in progress – Geographic Composition #48: Contrasts!

Workflow Friday: Rob Jones

February 20, 2009 in Inspiration, Photography, Workflow

Photoshop Workflows

This week we welcome another exceptional photographer to our Workflow Fridays series, Rob Jones. Rob and his wife Rose run Towner Jones Photography based in Gainesville, VA.

Thanks for sharing with us today, Rob!

First let me say, I feel quite humbled to be in the company of the talented folks that have contributed to this great blog. I also want to say “thanks” to Jason for allowing me to participate and thanks to all of you for sharing your time with me today.

When I first started preparing for my edition of “Workflow Fridays,” I was quite excited. I had, on my schedule, a perfect photo shoot lined up which I thought would provide some excellent shots to put through my workflow. The plan was to hike into Shenandoah National Park, here in Virginia, and capture images of the waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon. However, when I got up the morning of the shoot, there was no hot water in the house. I did get to see a waterfall that day – unfortunately it was coming from the hot water heater in the basement. Oh the life of a great adventurer…

Why am I sharing this story with you, you might ask? I’m sharing it because, I did manage to find a “waterfall” picture in my collection to work over for you, but it’s a tad smaller than the eighty-six footer I had planned on shooting.

Just imagine the splendor of what could have been in your mind’s eye, and we’ll get started.

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Before

So here’s our “waterfall” shot. It was taken early in the morning, also in Shenandoah National Park, back in October. For those of you that are interested in the image specs, it was taken with my Nikon D90 using Nikon’s 18-200mm lens. The exposure is 6 seconds, at f/20 (ISO 100). (On a side note, the D90 has become a beloved addition to my gear for situations when carrying the D3 with its big, heavy glass just won’t do)

Now for all intents and purposes, I think this is a pretty decent shot – though a little underexposed. My goal, however, is to bring back the color, vibrance, and “pop” that the early morning sun cast on this little corner of the park.

For a little background, I’m a Lightroom convert. I used to post-process all of my images in Photoshop. Since Lightroom hit the scene, I’d estimate less than 10% actually make the trip out of Lightroom over to Adobe’s flagship application. For me, the decision is all about efficiency, and that’s the name of the game in Lightroom. The steps I’m about to outline, took me a little less than a minute from start to finish. The order of these steps sometimes varies, but these are the “basics” I do to almost all of my “keepers”.

Step 1: Correct White Balance

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 1

I’ve read a great deal of discussion regarding “correct” vs. “incorrect” white balance. For those of you that read my blog, you’ve heard me say that I believe “correct” is always in the eyes of the photographer. For me, finding the right color temperature involves using the WB tool in Lightroom to sample a number of target grays and finding the one that, I feel, reflects the mood that I’m trying to convey in the photograph. In this particular picture, I wanted a little more warmth than what the camera captured, which I found in the gray at the center of the rock in the upper left corner.

Step 2: Exposure Adjustment

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 2

As I mentioned earlier, I felt that this image was a little underexposed from what I remembered, so I bumped up the overall exposure about three-quarters of a stop.

Step 3: Tone Curve – Contrast Adjustment

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 3

In Lightroom, the Tone Curve sliders give quick and easy access to adjusting ranges of tones.  At this point, I wanted to bring the water from the waterfall and the rock on the bottom of the stream up a little relative to the shadows and mossy undersides of the rocks, so I bumped up the “Highlights” and “Lights” a bit. I didn’t, however, want to dramatically change the overall relative contrast too much, so I brought the low-to-mid range “Darks” up a hair as well.

Step 4: More Exposure “Tweaking”

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 4

I often do a little dance back and forth between steps 3 and 4 to get the proper balance of exposure and contrast. Here in step four, using Lightroom’s “Fill Light” and “Blacks” sliders bring out a little more of the detail (particularly in the moss) that I didn’t achieve using the Tone Curve adjustments.

Step 5: Adding Pop

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 5

Consider this step optional, and let me take a slight mental detour. Lightroom offers three “Presence” sliders, which we all know and love… Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. These guys have the power to dramatically affect a photos representation of “reality” – and I, for one, am NOT ashamed to use them. In this step, I’ve added some “pop” to the image by bumping up Clarity and Vibrance. Generally speaking, I use these two to add a little flavor, and Saturation to mellow things down if I go overboard.

Step 6: Fine Tuning Color

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 6

Some of my favorite tools in Lightroom are the Detailed Color Adjustment sliders. Here I’ve continued to “tweak” the image to achieve the vibrancy of colors I remembered from that morning. My other favorite use for these sliders is eliminating color cast that I’ve introduced by pushing other adjustments in Lightroom.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - Step 7

The finishing touches most common for all of my work are Sharpening and Vignetting. Zooming in on the moss, I applied an appropriate boost of sharpening to bring out edge detail while minimizing edge artifacts. When it comes to vignetting, I want to personally thank the folks at Adobe that added “Post-Crop” vignetting in Lightroom 2. I’ve used a slight post-crop vignette to bring the viewers focus in on the waterfall at the center of the scene.

And last but not least… the final shot.

Jason D. Moore Photography Workflow Friday with Rob Jones - After

I’ll note that I’ve left off a number of the other cool things (Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filters, etc.) that Lightroom makes available. Though I love them, I’ve personally found that the amount of time I spend “messing with” my photos goes up exponentially if I’m not careful to use them sparingly. As a result, I follow the basic process I’ve outlined here for most of my pictures, and save the more advanced tools for the shots I want to give some extra attention.

One closing thought about developing your own workflow.  Make sure that the end of your workflow involves sharing your photos with others. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a pro, sharing your photos with others will provide healthy criticism and (if you choose your audience well) positive affirmation – both of which will help you continue to grow as a photographer. And with that, thank you, sincerely, for the opportunity to share my work with you.

All the best, Rob

Thanks Rob!  Check out more from Rob by visiting his blog today!

If you enjoyed this edition of Workflow Fridays, please help keep this and our other great Photoshop & Photography series going by becoming a sponsor today! You can sponsor an individual series or support the blog as a whole with a banner in the sidebar or leaderboard. Find out how!

P&P Weekly: #110

February 11, 2009 in Blogroll, News, Photography, Photoshop

Welcome to week #110 of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll’s P&P Weekly! 

There are many opportunities available for sponsoring of one of our weekly or monthly series, or if you would like to be a sponsor of the blog as a whole, please take a minute to review our “Become a Sponsor” page.

Monthly Photo Contests

The February Photo Contest is in full-swing with some great shots already in the running for a chance to win a $25 Gift Card to B&H Photo!

Full details can be found on our Monthly Photo Contest post and you can submit your shot(s) to our Monthly Photo Contest Flickr Group.  

Workflow Fridays

Every other Friday, we will welcome a new guest blogger that will share their personal workflow with all of us. They will take one of their own photos and walk us through the how’s and why’s of their post-processing techniques so that we might learn and expand our own workflows.

Next week we will be welcoming photographer Roger Madsen.

If you would like to participate in this new series, please email me or leave a comment!

Photoshop Interviews

In case you missed it, scroll down to read my interview with NAPP Executive Director Larry Becker!

Coming in March, I sit down with Adobe Engineer, host of Creative Sweet TV, and Aussie Mike McHugh.

On the 4th

On the 4th of each month throughout the year I invite you to take a photo and send it in. Join me and other photographers from around the world in documenting a day in the life, of sorts. For full details, take a look at our introductory post. If you shot something on February 4th, be sure to send me your images today for inclusion in this project!

Geographic Composition

Our upcoming themes – and their posting dates – are:

  • Week #47 – Frbruary 13: “Round”
  • Week #48 – February 27: “Contasts”
  • Week #49 – March 13: “Wood”
  • Week #50 - March 27: Contributor’s Favorites

More details about Geographic Composition. 

Monthly Desktop Calendars

I am offering special desktop wallpaper calendars. These desktop calendars will feature my personal photography as well as a listing of holidays and important dates. I offer these wallpaper calendars in a variety of sizes to accommodate a number of screen resolutions.

Get Your Monthly Desktop Calendar Today!

Finally, here are some of my favorites from what’s been happening in the top half (A-J) of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Please be sure to visit the great blogs of our other members found in the sidebar. And if you would like to be considered for The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll, email Jason.

Photoshop Interview: Larry Becker

February 9, 2009 in Inspiration, Photography, Photoshop, Photoshop Interview

Photoshop Interviews

NAPP Executive Director Larry Becker

This month I sit down with NAPP Executive Director Larry Becker to talk about Photoshop, NAPP, and the community of users from around the world that has built up because of this software.

Jason D. Moore Photography: First off, welcome! Thank you for taking the time to sit down with me. Let’s start off with some background. Tell me about yourself – where you come from, a little history about life before NAPP, education, personally, etc. If you would, include what brought you to NAPP and to your current position.

Larry Becker: I’ve been in advertising and marketing as the owner of my own small shop in central Florida, and I’ve been a public speaker since my first post-college job with United Way. It was at United Way that I started down the path to what I’m doing today, though I never would have guessed it back then. I was there for 5 years and my job required speaking in front of groups of 5 to 500 people. The other part of my job was layout and design of all of the printed materials for the local United Way. Ironically, because of my background and early adoption of desktop publishing, I wound up teaching PageMaker and Quark Express after hours to all of the local print shops in the county.

After my stint with United Way, I started my own small ad agency and when the web started to explode commercially, and became a part of business marketing, I was an early adopter and provider. About 2 years into the web marketing thing, I followed another one of my early adopter passions, and made the first ever, Palm Pilot training video. The Palm training thing was just a fun side business and I only intended to post the videos for sale on the web, which I did. But the response was so overwhelming that I sold my web marketing firm and went on the road as a Palm PDA trainer. Luckily for me, Palm thought their devices were so simple nobody needed video training or live seminar training on their devices, so I was cleaning up. I had clients like Pepsi, GE, the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Sony, and eventually even Palm, Inc. hired me to come to their headquarters and teach their own employees how to best use their device!

The entire time I had the Palm training business, I was doing my own marketing and stayed up on the latest developments with Photoshop. I attended a 1-day seminar put on by Scott Kelby and his partner, and sponsored by their magazine, Mac Today. I became fast friends with Scott and his partner Jim and, as it turned out, Scott and I grew up a block apart from one another and had lots of friends in common. I helped my buddies with their fledgling magazine by distributing copies to Mac User Groups, by taking time off from my Palm training business to work at their 1-day seminars, and eventually by becoming their web editor for the magazine as it went national and became Mac Design magazine.

During those years their business was growing and they asked me several times to consider leaving my Palm gig and working for them full time. I kept taking time off from my Palm job to help them with their growing Photoshop training business and eventually began to help them with hosting duties at Photoshop World conventions. Even though I wasn’t really working for what is now the Kelby Media Group, I was always at their events and writing for their magazines. Around the time the Palm popularity began to fade and smartphones were taking their place, I was starting the difficult task of exploring totally new markets, because Palm PDA users weren’t automatically smartphone users, so my customer base was changing dramatically. It was then (3 and a half years ago) that Scott and the partners offered me the job of Executive Director of NAPP. As a charter member and unofficial part-time employee, I made the jump to join the group full time and haven’t looked back. I love working with these crazy folks!

JDMP: Though you are known to a wider audience through your weekly NAPP News segments, you are more of a behind the scenes kind of guy making things run smoothly. Tell us about your current position and what your job entails, both the day-to-day and on a larger scale.

LB: Well, essentially I do whatever I can to make the member experience of NAPP better. I do a mix of customer service, arranging discounts, marketing messaging, program development, and in order to stay in touch with members on a user level, I even do occasional training tutorials.

JDMP: As a person who has worked with Photoshop regularly over the years you’ve had a chance to witness tremendous growth and advancement, what have been some of your favorite features/tools/etc. over the lifespan of the software?  Obviously it’s an evolving program, but is there anything you thought was unnecessary or wasn’t done quite right, even if it was updated or will probably change in a future version?

LB: I have been using Photoshop long enough to remember how thrilled I was when they added layers. I remember being excited about the ability to add noise to images or parts of images to help them blend with other images. And it seems like there’s a lot I’m thrilled about in Photoshop every time the software revs. As far as being critical of Photoshop features that weren’t or aren’t exactly what I’d wish, I’ve got to defer to the high-end power users like Scott Kelby and Dave Cross. I love thinking of myself as a power user but because of how I use the software, I don’t really have time to contemplate how Photoshop might be better if only they would… Scott and Dave do that because it’s so directly tied to their job. I try to use my creative thinking for things like, ‘NAPP could be better if we would only…’

JDMP: What effect has Photoshop had on the creative community? How has it helped? And have you seen any ways in which it may even get in the way of our creative process?

LB: There’s no question that Photoshop is the tool of choice for graphics and for photo retouching, so as capabilities are added to the software and as tutorials are developed to show the masses how various ‘hot techniques’ are done, that there has been a solid progression and continuing improvement in the world of visual imagery. Overall it’s a good thing and with clever artists, photographers, and designers constantly creating new effects, as well as Adobe and 3rd parties always enhancing Photoshop’s capabilities, there are bound to be continued improvements. And certainly, when powerful tools of any type become available to a wider audience, there are bound to be big, ugly visual mistakes that assault the viewer. It’s a tradeoff, but the balance sheet is heavily weighted toward more quality from more people and better images for everyone.

JDMP: Speaking of the creative community, I know a large part of your job is to connect with and support the NAPP community. Are there any stories that stick out for you that illustrate the kind of community that has grown up around this piece of software?

LB: Wow! There are hundreds of them and I read about individual success stories every day in our NAPP member forums. It’s a place where people meet in our virtual community and sharing ideas and success. And since they’re NAPP’s forums, I read and contribute ideas and answers there almost daily.

There have been lots of different types of successes at all levels, but one that really stands out is the story of a member named Lisa Sage. She is a gifted, classically trained painter who had to give up her love of painting because of a reaction the chemicals. A friend told her about Photoshop and while she was investigating Photoshop, she discovered the Wacom tablet and was sure she wanted to get back into art in this new medium. I love Lisa’s story (we’ve even run it as a story in our magazine) because she’s a perfect example of a hard-working, gifted artist who has taken full advantage of everything NAPP offers our members.

Lisa learned from our tutorials and constantly contacted our Help Desk to get good at Photoshop. She lurked in the member forums for over a year before posting questions and answers but now she’s a regular there who contributes help, answers and even tutorials. She regularly uploaded her works to our member portfolios so I had seen and been impressed by her work, so when I met her at a Photoshop World convention in Boston a couple years back, I commented how great her imagers were. Up to that point, she hadn’t done anything commercially using Photoshop, but just seven months later she called me and let me know what was going on.

She had a 4’x5’ gallery print hanging in a Boca Raton, Florida gallery (she lives in Maine), she was painting matte paintings for a theater-released motion picture, and she was selected as the still artist for the release of a Spider Man video game’s ad campaign. And while she worked hard and applied for lots of freelance work, she let me know that most of the folks who hired her had originally found out about her because THEY were NAPP forum users too. Heck, Lisa is kind of our NAPP poster-child artist.

JDMP: NAPP has been at the forefront of Photoshop education and has resourced so many of us in unique and entertaining ways. It has also been an advocate for members providing benefits and challenges to help us do what we love to do. What’s next for NAPP? Are there areas that you are exploring for growth? Any new and exciting projects coming down the pike?

LB: Well, we certainly do have some new ideas and we’re working on reaching new markets, but I’ve got to take the Apple corporate approach to this answer and say that we can’t discuss any new programs until they’re officially announced. Still, there are programs that are already out there, which lots of folks don’t know about. For example, we’re always talking about the fact that members get free shipping with B&H photo, and that we have the whole Apple store, but with lower prices for our members… and every single time I go to a 1-day seminar, I meet NAPP members who have never heard about those discounts! It’s amazing to me. And if they don’t know about the discounts, I’m sure they miss things like the fact that we have a whole library of around 1,000 videos, each 30-60 seconds long, that simply explain a single menu item or terminology of Photoshop. It’s an amazing library we call the How to Education Library for Photoshop (H.E.L.P.) and that doesn’t even include our 450+ tutorial videos that are 5 minutes or so each, which teach beginning through advanced Photoshop techniques.

JDMP: Working with Scott, Dave, Matt, Corey, and RC everyday – as well as the tremendous team that we often don’t see – it must be just an awesome work environment. And you must have some great stories to tell! What’s it like working in a place that is filled with such creative individuals?

LB: It’s awesome. I worked for myself for more than a decade before joining this team, and I thought I’d never work for anybody but myself again. But this company/family is so amazing that I like it better than working for myself. Still, there’s a lot more to my answer than just that.

As you know, Scott Kelby has a guest blogger every Wednesday on his amazingly popular Photoshop Insider blog. When I had a chance to write up a story for him, I did a complete behind-the-scenes thing. If you’d like to see it, there’s a link here: http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2008/archives/1912

JDMP: I know you led a photowalk back in August as part of Scott’s Worldwide Photowalk, but I’m not sure many people have seen your photography. Do you get a chance to do any personal shooing in the midst of your schedule? Is there a place we can go to see your work?

LB: Well, the quick answer is that I have a few items in my NAPP portfolio here:
http://www.photoshopuser.com/members/portfolios/view/gallery/67554

Larry Becker

Larry Becker

JDMP: My last question is always the same. What would you like to say that I haven’t given you a chance to say?

LB: First of all, thanks. Obviously I love having a chance to talk about NAPP any time I can, and not because I’ve been here for nearly 4 years. I love NAPP because I’ve been a member for 11 years (since the beginning) and I used the resources NAPP made available to me as an artist, designer, and photographer. It’s one of the easiest $99 I ever spent because it paid me back so many times over with savings, education, and keeping me ahead of my competitors. — It’s like cheating off the smart kid’s paper in Photoshop class, without the guilt. — With the recent economic news, people are watching every penny they spend and I’m thrilled that so many members understand that they need to renew because NAPP helps them make more money or save production time, or both. That’s a strong testament to NAPP’s value.

But the one thing I haven’t mentioned yet that really keeps NAPP on track is our members. They help one another. And they help us by telling us what they want and what they need. It’s a great symbiotic relationship… we need members for NAPP to be successful, and our members tell us what they need from us in order to succeed. The formula has helped us become the largest image-related association in the world and even though we’re 11 years old, it feels like we’re just getting started.

JDMP: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us!

For more information or to become a member yourself, please visit the NAPP site at photoshopuser.com today!

*****
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!

If you would like to sponsor Photoshop Interviews or any of our other regular series, or if you would like to advertise with us, visit our Become a Sponsor page today!

The Results Are In! January Photo Contest

February 2, 2009 in Contest, Photography

Monthly Photo Contest

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted their photos in the January Photo Contest. In all, we had 38 entries from 16 different photographers, making it really tough to select just one. There were some great shots all around but the prize package including the Adobe “Ps” Logo Long Sleeve Tee, the Adobe Logo Pen, and the Illustrator Logo Stickers is:


“Studebaker Trunk Details” by patrick_chuprina

Congratulations Patrick! However there were a number of photos worth highlighting as Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):


“Beneath Metropolis” by Busta Bubb

“The Cold Pony” by tico24

“out of bounds” by all hell follows

“Pst… Hey Buddy” by goldenwreckedangle

“reflect” by Busta Bubb

“Mornings on the River” by thrphoto

“Men @ Work” by Ananda Niyogi

Check out all of the other entries in the Monthly Photo Contest Flickr Group.

The February Photo Contest is now open. The same rules apply as last month: submit up to 3 photos to the Contest Flickr Group between now and the end of the month, tag your photos with the phrase “2/09 JasonDMoore.com Photo Contest” for your chance to win!

The February Photo Contest Prize is:
A $25 Gift Card to B&H Photo

Send in your shots today!

If you would like to become a sponsor for our monthly photo contest – or if you’re interested in donating a prize for a future contest, visit our “Become a Sponsor” page to learn how!

P&P Weekly: #108

January 29, 2009 in Blogroll, News, Photography, Photoshop

Welcome to week #108 of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll’s P&P Weekly! 

Once again, I would like to welcome Marc Benton of User 40.0, our newest sponsor! There are many opportunities available for sponsoring of one of our weekly or monthly series, or if you would like to be a sponsor of the blog as a whole, please take a minute to review our “Become a Sponsor” post.

Monthly Photo Contests

Time is almost up to enter the January Photo Contest for your change to win the  prize package.

Full details can be found on our Monthly Photo Contest post and you can submit your shot(s) to our Monthly Photo Contest Flickr Group.  

Workflow Fridays

Every other Friday, we will welcome a new guest blogger that will share their personal workflow with all of us. They will take one of their own photos and walk us through the how’s and why’s of their post-processing techniques so that we might learn and expand our own workflows.

Next week we will be having a very cool guest who will surely inspire all of us.

If you would like to participate in this new series, please email me or leave a comment!

Photoshop Interviews

Coming on Monday, February 9 is my interview with NAPP Executive Director Larry Becker!

On the 4th

On the 4th of each month throughout the year I invite you to take a photo and send it in. Join me and other photographers from around the world in documenting a day in the life, of sorts. For full details, take a look at our introductory post. If you shot something on January 4th, be sure to send me your images today for inclusion in this project!

Geographic Composition

Our upcoming themes – and their posting dates – are:

  • Week #46 – January 30: “Shadows”
  • Week #47 – Frbruary 13: “Round”
  • Week #48 – February 27: “Contasts”
  • Week #49 – March 13: “Wood”
  • Week #50 - March 27: Contributor’s Favorites

More details about Geographic Composition. 

Monthly Desktop Calendars

I am offering special desktop wallpaper calendars. These desktop calendars will feature my personal photography as well as a listing of holidays and important dates. I offer these wallpaper calendars in a variety of sizes to accommodate a number of screen resolutions.

Get Your Monthly Desktop Calendar Today!

In the meantime…

Click here to become a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. A great resource for training, tips, and connecting with other creatives.

And as always, take a moment to grab one of the chicklet links to show your support for this blog and, for blogroll members, be sure to pick up your P&P Blogroll Member badge link.

Finally, here are some of my favorites from what’s been happening in the top half (A-J) of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Please be sure to visit the great blogs of our other members found in the sidebar. And if you would like to be considered for The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll, email Jason.