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10 November 2009
Ben Willmore is homeless.
Well...not exactly homeless, but three years ago he bought a 40 foot touring bus bus, sold 95% of his household possessions and bought camera gear, started traveling around the country, taking photos and using PhotoShop to turn them into really impressive works of art, and teaching classes in PhotoShop.
In his time (thus far) he has taught over 80,000 Photoshop users, authored numerous award-winning books and was inducted into the PhotoShop Hall of Fame.
Today he gave a seminar at the Sacramento Community Center ... and I was there.
Actually, this was the second of Willmore's seminars that I've attended, and my third seminar hosted by NAPP (The National Association of Photoshop Professionals). His seminar three years ago was my first. I remember feeling so jazzed when it was over. He spent an awful lot of time working on "curves," a function of PhotoShop that up to that point I had never understood.
I went home from that seminar understanding Curves for the very first time. Ben made it so easy I couldn't understand why I hadn't seen it before. Then I sat down at my computer and tried putting what I thought I had learned into practice and was right back at square one...but I have since worked with it and while I still don't understand Curves, at least I know better what I'm trying to do!
I really enjoyed last year's seminar too, though it wasn't designed for what I wanted to do with PhotoShop. It was given by a PS artist, who creates photos from scratch using PS. Spectacular pictures with amazing effects all created in PS. I learned a lot from him, finally joined NAPP and looked forward to my whopping discount for this year's seminar, as a NAPP member.
When I saw that this year's seminar was going to focus on photographers rather than artists, I was thrilled and signed right up. Today was the day. As I have in all the other seminars, I came awayso jazzed about everything. I want to go out and do light painting.
There were several things that went on today that made it all worthwhile. For one thing, I was amazed at how much I already knew. There were several techniques that he taught that made people in the audience gasp and go "oooooo" collectively...and I realized that I'd been doing those things for a long time.
But there were other little tricks that he showed that solved two of my biggest frustrations with PhotoShop....if they will work for me when I try them.
I missed Peggy so much today. One of the best things about being with her was that we were both learning PhotoShop and excited about all the new things we'd learned. It was she who taught me about the "healing brush" tool, which significantly changed my work on almost every photo I take in PhotoShop. I wanted to be able to turn to her today and say "did you see THAT?" and have us rush off to our own computers to try out all the new stuff.
But she's not here, and there is nobody I know who is excited about PhotoShop, so I'll just take my workshop book and see if I can remember all the good stuff I learned in the seminar today.
As I believe I posted to Facebook at least three times today--I
just love all this stuff!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Ben Willmore's home