Photoshop World Orlando 2011 Conference – March 31st to April 1st

Photoshop World BannerI attended the Photoshop World Orlando 2011 Conference last week for the first time ever. I had an incredible experience and re-filled my ‘Nerd Juices’ as they call it. I was hesitant at first to attend because I would be the only one going from Socious (mostly because I am our Graphic Design Team) and I didn’t know any former UWSP Students going either. I would be a lone ranger I thought, which wouldn’t be terrible, but it’s always better with friends. I decided to register, I had my hotel reservation, plane ticket, and Photoshop world pass and I was ready to go.

I went to the “First Time Attendee Orientation” with Larry Becker because I didn’t want to get lost or be confused by crowds of people during the conference. It really helped to get a feel for how Photoshop World is run. It’s more casual and fun than other conferences I have attended. Larry encouraged us to talk to speakers, as questions, and meet new people. Take classes out of your comfort zone, you never know what’s out there until you look. I left excited for the sessions to begin and to start learning again.

Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)

On Wednesday I went over to the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) a little early to beat the lines at the registration booth. I sat down and started double checking the sessions I wanted to attend on Wednesday and what rooms they were going to be in. I quickly became friends with two girls sitting by me and throughout the conference we hung out together. I was so glad that I hit it off with them and wasn’t alone anymore. I think that’s one of the great things about Photoshop World, you go in with a positive attitude, talk to people and make great connections with people in the same creative field. Everyone attending and speaking is excited to learn and share with each other.

Photoshop World Keynote

The keynote was wonderful and so much fun! The theme was Project Photoshop, a play on Project Runway, “The Feel. The Fashion. The Filters.” NAPP had Orlando Fashion Students create a batch of Photoshop inspired dresses and displayed them with a large runway show during the opening video. It was hilarious, cheesy at times, and gave everyone a good laugh. Best keynote I’ve ever been to (and will be until the next Photoshop World I’m sure). There was a balloon drop that ended up being more entertaining that it should have. Scott Kelby told us that there were B&H coupons inside and people were to pop the balloons to get them out. This began a 2 minute machine gun sounding tirade. Amusing if nothing else for us in the back who didn’t get a balloon. I’m just glad people held off popping them throughout the rest of the Keynote.

Project Photoshop Dresses

I want to mention the three speakers who stood out most to me over the days: Moose Peterson, Corey barker and Dave Black.

Moose Peterson – I attended “Shooting Landscapes With ACR Finishing” and quickly followed him down to the Exhibit hall where he talked about wildlife photography at the Kelby Live Training Booth. He started out the ACR class with a 4 min slide show of his work, it was epic. My eyes feasted on his beautiful landscape shots, I had to see more. Down in the exhibit hall he showed more photos, this time focusing on wildlife. He has shot pictures of endangered and extinct creatures that I have never heard of. It’s so exciting to see his work and listen to his stories. I plan to attend all his classes at the next convention. The big things I took away from listening to him is that small changes can make a big difference, adjusting the clarity of the RAW image can make big changes. Also, don’t brighten whites, darken blacks to bring out whites. This reminded me of my favorite Mitch Hedberg joke, “I thought of getting my teeth whitened, but instead I got a tan.”

Corey Barker – I attended “Hollywood Effects”, “Photoshop CS5 Type Effects” and “Photoshop Design Effects”. These classes were specifically for work and really helped inspire new ideas and helped me discover shortcuts for what I’m already doing. I like his personality that he brings to his sessions as well as the speed of his process. There are a lot of classes that have a slower pace for beginners, but his classes are great for intermediate to advanced Photoshop skills. He showed us how to take text, turn it into a brush, and have a picture bleed through. A lot of his tutorials were simple effects I knew how to do, but I had never thought to do it that way, or combine those processes together. He made me want to go play in Photoshop right after his sessions ended.

Dave Black – I didn’t attend any of his classes, but I will be sure not to miss one next time. At the Conference wrap up he told an amazing story of how his world changed in one week. He became who he is today because one professor supported him. It was amazing, everyone was in tears. And his work is amazing to boot.

At the conference wrap-up it was bittersweet knowing it was over. Secretly, I was hoping it was an April Fools joke, and they would have another round of classes after, but not so. I had a great time, became inspired, met new friends, and then… Won the Grand Prize of 2 Full Conference Passes to the next Photoshop World! So now I’m not going to miss out on the next one at all :)

I recommend all you designers out there who are either experts or begginers in Photography or Photoshop to attend Photoshop World on September 7–9, 2011 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas NV. It will be well worth it! Also, if you’re not already a member of NAPP you’re missing out on some great tools!

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