8 October 2008
By noon today, my head felt like it was going to explode. It didn't get any better throughout the afternoon. It had nothing to do with a headache, it was pure information overload.
I had vacillated back and forth for a few weeks about whether I would register to attend the 2008 Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour in Sacramento. I attended a Photoshop seminar (given by the same guy -- Bert Monroy) a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I looked at this year's schedule and agonized over whether I could justify spending the money--those things don't come cheap. But the topics to be covered really looked interesting and I felt I could get a lot out of it, so I bit the bullet and registered.
The last time I went to the seminar, I got a lot out of it, but also felt kind of in over my head in part of it too. I also got there around 9:30 last time, for sessions that started at 10, and the room was already almost full of people with their computers set up. I sat in the very back and felt bad that I hadn't brought a computer.
This time I decided to be smarter. I still didn't bring my laptop (nor did almost anybody else, I was happy to note), but I got there before registration at 9 a.m. (and, in fact, was the very first person to register). There were a lot of people there, but not as many as last time. I got my choice of seats and so had a great view of the screen, the speaker, and room to stretch my left leg out when it needed to unbend. I sat next to a guy named Jay, older than I am, from Slough House, south of Sacramento and next to him was a woman named Lori, from Yuba City (she had the longest commute). Coincidentally, the two had sat next to each other at last year's seminar and just accidentally happened to find themselves next to each other this year as well. We compared notes and we all seem to be at about the same level of PhotoShop expertise (or not, depending on how good my "expertise" is!)
Monroy is amazing. He has worked on animation projects for Industrial Light and Magic and Pixar Studios and has been working with PhotoShop since it was first developed. He's written several books about PhotoShop and produces a weekly podcast, which includes video tutorials. In short, he knows the program inside and out.
The first session, on Layers and Channels, was worth the price of admission by itself. I learned more about things I thought I knew a lot about than I've learned in five years. And, as I said, by noon, my head was exploding with information -- with three more sessions to go!
By the end of the day, he was creating spectacular graphics and showing us how simple it was. This stream of water started out as a box with blue in it and a grey tube.
The cool thing about watching him creating it was realizing that I know how to use all the tools that he used...what I lack is imagination and practice!
This stormy castle scene started out as a sunny summer day.
and in a matter of minutes he had added the stormy sky and created rain. It was just amazing.
So I came home just bursting with ideas of things to try, his web site to check out, and the CD tutorial that came with the session to play, but of course tonight is another night when the computer is being temperamental and I can't get on the internet on my desktop. And I also have to write an article to be finished tomorrow, so I'm better off not being able to jump right into PhotoShop projects.
But it sure was a really, really fun day. Definitely worth the money!
MILES TO NOWHERE: 76 miles