Photoshop World 2009 – Boston

I read a lot of photography blogs lately, and 3 weeks ago they helped me discover a conference called Photoshop World. I lost myself for a day reading about it, and decided it wouldn’t be a bad use of time and money. I could improve my photography skills, take some pictures, meet new people, and brush up on my Photoshop skills.

I managed to get the total price for hotel and admission down to something reasonable, and spent 4 days in Boston attending. I met some interesting people, attended 13 classes, and generally figured out how bad I am at Photoshop.

Now to be clear, I’ve been using Photoshop since the late 90s to design web graphics and do photo touchups. So I’m not exactly unskilled at getting things done with it. That said, in the first hour of classes I learned to do something in 30 seconds that I had spent 30 minutes on just a week ago. And the kicker was it looked better. This theme repeated itself throughout the conference. I saw things done with Photoshop that I’d never even imagined possible, and with such ease and familiarity it made me revise my skill level down a few notches.

If you’re into Photography, and you use software like Photoshop and Lightroom, I just can’t recommend attending this conference enough. Do the portfolio reviews, hook up with attendees for a photowalk, buy a ticket for the After Hours party, get up early for Midnight Madness tickets, and above all just talk to everybody you meet. There are some incredibly skilled people there, and you can pick their brains for any knowledge that isn’t covered in the classes. Compared to programming conferences I’d like to attend, the cost is trivial; I learned enough in those 13 classes to easily justify the cost. Never mind the fact that they hand out a phonebook sized workbook full of notes from all 100+ classes.  I’ll be busy reading that thing for weeks.

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