As I look at the little countdown clock on my www.photoshopworld.com home page I see that there are 20 Days, 11 Hours and 51 minutes until the Opening Ceremonies begin down in Atlanta. Since this will be my 8th conference, I have to ask myself “is it still worth it?” I can tell you without any reservations or hesitation that if you are at all serious about photography, Photoshop and Lightroom the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Here are the top five reasons why I believe that.
1. The value vs. the cost. Photoshop World is expensive-no question. To purchase the Conference Pass now is $700—I bought mine before I left last year’s and that saved me a bundle, but I’ll assert it is still a good investment. There are over 100 classes divided across six tracks of instruction.
Here is just the listing of classes from the 2nd morning. You will learn more in 3 days here than from a year’s worth of books and online training.
2. The instructors. You get 3 days of access to the top photographers and digital artists in the world and they love being there. These people don’t just know the business; they are the business.
Even though Adobe is not in charge of the conference, they turn out with their leadership and the engineers who actually build the products. Guess what? They can’t get enough of talking with us, the people who use their products. They want to make it better and are amazed at how creative people can be in ways they never imagined.
3. The Expo Floor. In addition to all of the regular classes, there is a display floor where our favorite companies come to show off, sell and often give away their newest products. There are great show specials and in this age where everyone can look online to find prices, the deals really are show specials. Especially on the last day. Plus there are multiple small stages and demonstrations. One of the neatest features is the lighting exhibit with models from FJ Westcott. They bring in models, makeup artists and lights. You get the chance to talk and work with them. If you actually act like a human being, they will pose for you.
4. What am I leaving out? The crazy keynote—this year it’s Pirates; the party, Midnight Madness, Russell Brown doing something amazing and the peak behind the curtains on what is coming next in the Adobe World.
5. Lastly and most importantly are the thousands of crazed people who come for the same reason you are there. They love photography. There are legends like “Vanelli” who is an enormous force of energy. He has been to every single PSW and is the quasi-official bouncer for Midnight Madness.
Just writing this I can see that I am 30 minutes closer to kickoff and I am ready to go. Yep, going on vacation to spend 18 hours a day learning may be a little crazy, but in Atlanta that will be the norm. See you there.