Last week was the Photoshop World Conference and Expo in Orlando Florida and it was amazing. Every year it seems to just get better. It may be that I am getting more comfortable in the role of instructor, it may be that the staff keeps getting better (not even sure that is possible), it may be that the attendees keep getting friendlier and more receptive to learning new stuff, it may be that social media has turned strangers into friends before they have ever met. It may just be a combination of all of the above. What ever the reasons, it was an amazing week for me.

Photoshop World starts a day earlier for me than for most of the instructors and attendees since I teach a pre-conference workshop on concert photography that includes a live band shoot. Scott Diussa and I started teaching this class at the Las Vegas 2009 conference and it is the only place I know to get this kind of class.

I arrived in Orlando on Monday night, got a good nights sleep and woke up Tuesday morning ready to go. I headed over to the convention center (right across the road) early to get the lay of the land and figure out where my classroom was, where we would be shooting the live portion of the class and to pick up my name badge. It was great to walk into the show office and see so many familiar faces. These are people I had not seen since the last Photoshop World in Las Vegas but it really didn’t seem like any time had passed. One of the reasons I believe that conference is so successful is the staff. These are the folks who staff the NAPP info booth, the bookstore, moderate the rooms, collect and deal with the reviews, create the videos and magazines, answer questions, and basically keep the whole machine running. They are up way before any normal person should be awake and work really hard making sure everyone, from the attendees to the instructors are taken care of. It was great to say hello and catch up. Then it was time for my first meeting of the week. It certainly wouldn’t be my last. I won’t bore you with those details.

I was about to go meet up with Scott Diussa and Jose Ramos to get the class room in order, plug-in the computer and run through our presentation when I was stopped by Rick Sammon. He had noticed that more than a few of the instructors had a certain feature in common wanted to make a photograph of the five of us that were around. You can see the photo over HERE and I’m sorry that the contest is over but I really like the photo and I am honored to be standing with some of the great Photoshop World Instructors.

It was now time to get moving, Scott and I set up the class, checked with the band, ran through the presentation quickly to make sure everything was working right and then opened the doors. It was great to see so many people who I had met at past conferences taking the class; Β like Vanelli, Rob Knight and Michelle Hedstrom. I won’t go into all the details of the class, for that you will have to take it yourself but after an hour and 45 minutes we went to shoot the band.

Now Scott and I had travelled to Tampa last year to film a concert training class for Kelby Training and we took some of the format from that class and applied it to the pre conference workshop. This was a really big hit and if we do this workshop again, then we will be doing more of this. After the live shoot portion of the class we headed back to the class classroom to discuss post processing and the contest rules. We were going to give away a brand new Nikon D7000 kit to one lucky shooter in the class. All they had to do was send us a single image by 10pm. Scott and I would then narrow down the submissions to three finalists and the following morning the keynote attendees would vote on their favorite.

I want to really thank the class participants for bringing a great attitude and level of interest that made our job in front of the class really easy. You were a really great group and the images we received later that night showed that you really took our advice and put it to good use.

I made it back to my hotel room, showered and changed and headed out to the instructor dinner. It was great to catch up with old friends and to meet new people. I was lucky enough to end up sitting next to Dave Black, a really nice guy and amazing photographer. More about Dave later. Then I said my goodbyes and made my way back to the hotel where the Official Tweetup was taking place. Right now you might be asking yourself what in the world a tweetup is. Good question.

The tweetup is the meeting where all those folks who use twitter to keep track of the NAPP / Kelby Training happenings get to actually meet each other in real life. What started in 2009 as a small gathering has grown to a very large social event and most if not all of the credit for that goes to one person: Nancy “NAPP_News” Masse. She is the social media Samurai over at NAPP and has grown a small impromptu gathering into a “don’t you dare miss this” event. I have no idea when she sleeps or if she sleeps. Another key part to the success of the Tweetup is Erik Valind and David Rogers. These guys setup a tethered shoot and take photos of anyone and anything… maybe not a great idea really late at night but a whole lot of fun. Add Artistic Photo Canvas into the mix and you have the makings of a great party. The following images are all by Erik and David and if you go HERE you will see what APC is up to.

Scott Diussa and myself. We are very serious

His head is so soft.

The APC crew with Scott Kelby

No comment…….


The 10 pm deadline had arrived for the attendees from the pre-conference and Scott and I sat down and went through each entry using the iPad. The photos were all good but we narrowed it down to three. It’s a lot harder than it sounds. The tweetup started to wind down and I went up to my room to get the three images onto a thumb drive and get some much-needed rest. I needed to make sure the images made it to the keynote team before 7am the next morning.

More to come…..