My First Trip to Photoshop World

This year I had a chance to go to Photoshop World for the first time. The 2009 Photoshop World Conference was held from 10/1/2009 to 10/3/2009 in Las Vegas. This is my review of PSW and some photos that I took while I was there.

I flew out of Burbank on Wed night at about 7:30 PM. I always have a habit of taking a photo out the airplane window:


After a quick 1 hour and 5 minute flight I landed in Las Vegas at 8:30PM. You can see Mandalay Bay in the background, where the conference was held:

The conference started on Thursday and I was only able to go for Thursday and Friday since I had to be back to shoot another event on Saturday and Sunday. This was my first conference and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. A couple of days prior I used the Photoshop World planner to pick the classes I wanted to go to. So I had some idea of what I wanted to attend.


First stop of the day was the keynote:

I saw some interesting things here in the keynote like the hinges in Photoshop that let you pivot an item. The Scott Kelby and Joe Mcnally video was hilarious. It was also amazing to see the winners of the Photoshop Guru awards.

After the keynote was the first session. I planned on mainly doing the Lightroom track since that is where I spend almost all my work flow in these days. Surprisingly, I have never taken a Lightroom class, so I started with Lightroom Basic Training with Matt Kloskowski. This was a good class that did exactly what it was titled, taught the basics of Lightroom. Many of these things I already knew however I did learn some things. It seems that everyone converts their RAW files to DNG’s I had no idea why anyone would do this. I learned than when you do this Lightroom burns the changes onto the DNG file if you keep the RAW file then there are two separate files. That was good to know, which means I find myself importing and converting everything to DNG now.


The second session i attended was Portrait Retouching Techniques – Part 1 by Scott Kelby. This class showed how to do portrait retouching in Photoshop. Much of it was pretty basic but I wanted to attend a class that Kelby was teaching. I was amazed at the speed in which he could retouch a photo, guess that’s what happens when you have so much experience with it.

After this there was a break in the sessions so I went to check out the expo. Mpix posted on Twitter first person to take a photo of their booth wins a $25 credit. Well I can’t believe that I was actually the first one to get a photo and I actually won a Twitter contest.



I enjoyed the expo, there where many vendors showcasing their products. Also throughout the expo demonstrations on lighting were given. There were also many small sessions going on. I got to see the making of the Kelby and Mcnally video which was an interesting session.

My favorite booth was the mimrobot booth, even purchased one to bring back as a gift for a certain Star Wars fan..

The next session I attended was Organizing Strategies Using Photoshop Lightroom with Andrew Rodney. This was probably my least favorite class, it pretty much was the same thing I learned in basic Lightroom. However I did learn about the advantages and disadvantages of multiple Lightroom Catalogs. Looks like I will be sticking to one large Lightroom catalog, something I did not do previously.

Now it was off to the Photoshop World After-Hours Party at the House of Blues. Here are my photos from that, all shot with my iPhone or Canon SD780






Day 2
The great thing about this conference was that it was in Las Vegas so there was plenty to do. This was also a bad thing.. which meant I was out till 4am the previous night. I missed the first session of the day and wanted to attend Lightroom for Wedding Photographers. Guess I will have to check out the workbook for that class.

The first session I went to for that day was the Top 10 Things You know in Photoshop by Rafael Concepcion. This was a good class learned a couple of new things like holding alt on a PC in Photoshop will turn any Cancel button into a Reset. There was also a PC and MAC debate when a portion of the demo didn’t work. Concepcion was a pretty funny instructor and kept me laughing through the class.

The next session I attended was Concert Photography From Capture to Client by Alan Hess. This class was awesome, Alan talked about everything you need to shoot a concert. It went from securing credentials, equipment needed, work flow etc. This class was very useful since I shot a lot of concerts this summer. This was also the first class that Alan Hess had ever taught at Photoshop World and he did a great job. I loved his photo of Death Cab for Cutie from above the stage. When I left the session I thought, this is my favorite session so far. Until I went to my next session.

The next session was Tips for the Working Photographer by Joe McNally. This session was amazing, I had no idea what to expect. Joe talked about his career as a photographer, the ups the downs. Just hearing him talk about his photography career was well worth going to this conference. I was blown away by the images he showed and the care he took in each of them. One my favorite quotes from Joe Mcnally was this, “You never know where the next frame might be that’s the life of a photographer.” That statement was so true and meaningful. Joe also talked about risk, don’t be afraid to take risks as a photographer was his main statement. I was truly inspired by this session. Here is one of the photos that he showed of him dangling from a helicopter:


My second favorite session of the conference was Light, Gesture, and Color with Jay Maisel. This class was also very moving and touching. Maisel showed many different photos that he had taken. He also talked about moving around the subject how much a photo can change because of the lighting.

My final session of Photoshop World was One Light for Real People with Jack Reznicki. Jack showed off a bunch of different lighting setups using just one light and a softbox. I didn’t get to stay for the entire session because I had to catch my flight back home. I did learn a couple of interesting light setups, like how to create a white background by placing the subject against the softbox. I also learned to angle the background which was an interesting technique. Apparently I should also check out the EOS utility for importing photos directly into the computer.

Overall Photoshop World was a wonderful experience for my first time. I wish I could have stayed another day out there to go to the Saturday sessions and the panels. I also missed Midnight Madness and didn’t have any time to go on any of the Photowalks. I can’t wait to go again next year. I also finally joined NAPP.

On my way back home:


1 comment so far

  1. Alan on

    Glad you liked the class.
    It was a lot of fun to teach and that shot of Death Cab is one of my personal favorites as well.

    I have no problem that you found Jay Maisel and Joe McNally’s classes to be your top picks over mine. I went to Jays class and it blew me away. Those guys are just plain amazing.


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