Sunday, March 22, 2009

Workin' It

A couple of days ago, I attended one of the Kelbytraining Seminars held in South San Francisco, this one on Photoshop and led by Bert Monroy, who seems to be one of the leaders in Photoshop painting techniques. One of the things I liked about him was his long ponytail, slyly banded at the nape of the neck and then again several times to keep his very long hair in a flattened layer behind him. My guess is, that despite being the guy who “wrote the book” on Photoshop and clearly a leader with this continually developed robust program, his hair channels an alter ego that is a 21st Century derivative of a hippie. I resonate with that, Bert, so it’s all good.

The training could have been a long day, especially sitting in a hard seat in a dark room on a lovely Spring day, but it whizzed by pretty fast. Not only was the pacing good, but I learned a lot and have already begin apply some of the techniques and the handy-dandy shortcuts to some of my creative work. In fact, knowing what is possible has given me new license to be more creative with some bare bones light-pixel images I have already captured but that really fell short of my standards. Now I know how to evolve them into what I see in my head. I am putting in here one of the images I am working on now--not complete yet, but this thumbnail will give you an glimpse of where my eyes and fingers are focused these days. 

So, do I recommend the Kelby Training? Yes...but only if you have had some experience with Photoshop to begin with (otherwise you will be lost) and as a jump off point for more serious learning. What I especially liked about it is that it opened up new doors for me, such as introducing me to NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) which is a portal to all kinds of information and lessons, and to Bert’s 118 podcasts themselves which will take me only about ten years to get through, not including the time to practice the techniques to really get them down.

But, truthfully, the two things that I appreciate the most about what Bert imparted to us were that:

1.) He taught us to observe real life first in close detail before trying to emulate it in our creative work, and...

 2.) He recommended that the best way to learn Photoshop is to click away and just try stuff. I spent all day today clicking away, and I have to tell ya, it really works.

P.S. I am not writing this a shill for the Kelbytraining--the fact is, I am pretty much in love with Photoshop. What an awesome program. It feels like it has infinite possibilities, but even for someone like me who has worked with it tentatively for only a couple of years, it really defines creative license.


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