Wrap-Up: Photoshop World

By Roger (16 August 2015)

Mark and I just finished Photoshop World, and I’m still on the road. This will be a short one.  I’ve left Las Vegas for the east coast and Newport, Rhode Island. The only photos I have with me are from this week’s PSW, so I thought I’d interrupt the learning resources series with a quick wrap-up of the week in Las Vegas.

A couple of weeks ago, in the Conferences and Workshops blog, I may have mentioned PSW, a time or two, but we didn’t do our normal “You-Should-Go” blogs this year because we’ve done them so much in the past. But can I give you the bottom-line, up-front summation of this conference? You should go.

Aside from the craziness of going to the desert in August, we had a great week. Start planning and saving now for next year’s conference, 9-11 August, again, in Las Vegas.

We always try to these events early to explore on our own. This year, that exploration took us to the Neon Sign Museum (link). Mark will have that blog, later. This kind of shoot is Mark’s territory; abstracts have always been tough for me. I’m much more comfortable with people. So, although I made some attempts that were acceptable, one of my favorites was this old sign. It isn’t an abstract, but it definitely caught my eye.

Neon Sign Museum

Neon Sign Museum

Our second “adventure” was spontaneous. While we were having a fine dinner in the Ri Ra Irish Pub (link), we admired the décor. We asked the manager for permission to make some photographs around the bar. He wanted a license to use them for the business and a promise we wouldn’t interfere with the flow of the pub. Easy enough. 

We showed up at 8 a.m., before most folks would be in for breakfast. I only photographed a couple of places in the bar, for a total of 40 photos. It was another opportunity to shoot something I don’t normally shoot.

Ri Ra Bar

Ri Ra Bar

I know some photographers don’t feel comfortable asking for things like this, but think about the worst case scenario: the manager could have refused our request, and we would have continued to eat our dinner. Look for opportunities and try to make them happen.

For me, the model shoots are always the highlight of the conference. Westcott (link) did their usual bang up job, bringing models and sets to demonstrate their fine products. I own many of their products and will, undoubtedly, buy some more, Since they are advertising on the expo floor, there is no fee for this. As you can probably imagine, fees for models, make-up artists, and sets can add up quickly. Here is your chance to try something like that, without spending any money.

Westcott Model Shoot

Westcott Model Shoot

In addition, the PSW folks set up several available-light-only sets, with models and still life subjects. Naturally, I went for the models.

B&W bride

I especially enjoyed the one in the wedding chapel. We had a large window and several light panels around the chapel. No reflectors, no flash. Restrictions can force you to try new things to compensate. Several of the PSW instructors would wander in and offer assistance and critique.

Looking for his bride

Looking for his bride

We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Talk to your models. These models were surrounded by multiple photographers. Too many weren’t saying anything. When there are 30 photographers surrounding them, clicking, without a word spoken, the situation turns awkward. Awkward situations do not usually make for good photographs. Talk to the models; direct them to what you want. I’ll climb off the soapbox.

The conference was loads of fun, and, to tie this blog to the previous two, I talked to many of the authors. Yes, I bought more books.

Time to head out and take some photos of Newport and enjoy the grandchildren.  See you next week.