Photoshop World–Retrospective

PSW Day 3-3

I never did get to post a proper summary of day three of Photoshop World. Call it creative exhaustion, call it happy fatigue, call it a preference to play around in Lightroom and Photoshop with the >1000 images I took during and after the conference. Smile But, regardless, here is a rundown of the final day, and some thoughts on this Photoshop World.

Let the sunshine in!

After Thursday’s deluge, with tornado warnings, nonstop rain and the constant rumble of thunder, it was most excellent to awaken Friday morning to sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. The morning sessions kicked off bright and early, and I was able to attend illuminating classes with Moose Peterson, RC Concepcion, Rick Sammon, and in particular I found a lot of new inspiration and opportunity from Rod Harlan, in his Photoshop Video for Photographers class. You can bet you’ll be seeing some of that fruit here in the near future!

In between morning classes, there was a last and final chance to attend the expo. As in the previous two days, the Westcott booth simply stole the show! Everyone is posting their shots of the creatively-made-up models on the inventive sets; I thought it would be interesting to post a snapshot made on my iPhone of the other side of the lenses. The crowds were non-stop every day!

PSW Day 3-1

Once classes were done, it was time for the wrap up, and the presentation hall was packed!

PSW Day 3-2

Traditionally during the wrap up, Scott yields the stage to some of the instructors for a few minutes of final inspiration. This year, it was all newcomers, but the presentation and talk by Dave Black was stunning – he moved many (including himself) to tears, bounced back with tremendous excitement and ended by cartwheeling across the stage. We gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. What an amazing man, and a presentation I will remember for a long time!

And then it was over…

Or was it? So much learning, so much inspiration – I’ll be working with the ideas that PSW generated in my head for many months to come! The challenge will be to create a list of projects and ideas, based on my notes, so that I don’t forget about some of the content I saw and learned and experienced.

And, as if four days (including the preconference) wasn’t enough, I joined Robert Vanelli, Jeff Tamagini, some of the Westcott team, and a few other hardcore photographers for yet another day’s photo safari at the Old Town area of Kissimmee. Watch this space for images from that event as well!

In retrospect:

I’ve been to 5 Photoshop World conferences, and I keep coming back – because each time I do, I learn more, do more, and just plain get more out of it. By the end of the week, my brain is bursting with ideas and knowledge! But, this Photoshop World was different in some ways from the past events, in more of an evolutionary way that revolutionary, but here are some things I noticed.

The PSW iPad/iPhone app was just incredible. No more out of date PDF printouts, tattered show guides, or scrambling to figure out where I was going next. The few people at the conference who didn’t have iPhones or iPads (and there weren’t that many!) were visibly envious. The app was a lifesaver, and kudos to the developer, Shawn Welch!!

PSW Day 3-4

In fact, I’ll make a slight plug here – Shawn has a book out on creating iOS apps, and it was available in the Peachpit bookstore at PSW:

PSW Day 3-6

Social media continues to play an increasing role at PSW. From the preconference “Tweetup” by the pool (which was a full-on event in itself) to the nonstop flood of posts on Twitter (hash tag #PSW) throughout the four days, twitter was a great way to keep tabs on the events, the people and the happenings. People back home expressed their envy of we lucky attendees on Facebook, and many people have posted and continue to post some of their best images in the Flickr group for Photoshop World 2011 Orlando.

The Instructors at PSW have always been top notch, and they just keep adding more world-class talent! It seems like there were more tracks, more choices, and more learning to be had throughout the conference. There were several new faces, including Frank Doorhof, Jeremy Cowart, Clint Mautner, and Dave Black, and the new guys really brought their top game! I think the long time PSW instructors were challenged to step up their game too, in order to stay relevant. What a great competition, and the benefits all go to the PSW attendees!

The PSW Alumni have always been recognized by their little badge ribbons, but this year the NAPP folks paid special attention to the multi-year alumni – the folks who keep coming back for more. It was a very nice gesture, and greatly appreciated. Thank you, NAPP!



The Expo Exhibition Floor is always one of the highlights of the conference, but as mentioned before, the FJ Westcott booth just outright stole the show. They had a total of five separate impromptu “studios", complete with full lighting and the most creative models you could want. The Flickr Group will be buzzing for days with images from these shoots, and Westcott is sponsoring a contest, as well – with the winners published in the Westcott catalog!

PSW Day 3-7

Outside of the Westcott booth, though, there was still plenty to see and do. And learn! The education was nonstop, and there were several theaters with full schedules, as well as smaller demo classes at the various booths.

PSW Day 3-8

All in all, Photoshop World is part shenanigans, part education, and, as I believe Dave Black put it, part “summer camp.” The whole is much greater than the sum of its individual parts, and the whole this year was a whole lot, indeed.

PSW Day 3-9

PSW Day 3-10

PSW Day 3-11

PSW Day 3-12

And so, as we head out into the real world, armed with new tools, new ideas, and new ambitions, we also say, “See you in Vegas!

PSW Day 3-13

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mike, I enjoyed the entire PSW experience through your thoroughly enjoyable writing style & your terriffic photos! Thank you so much for sharing the journey!

  2. Great blog post, Michael! Thank you for the links to things I can follow afterwards. Sometimes I just think you can’t get enough PSW! 🙂

  3. Mike, great coverage of PSW. I’m glad you wrote it all down so I didn’t have to. 🙂 I’ll just share your post.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu