Ten Years Later

This week we observe and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Al-Qaida attack on the United States.  For all Americans it was a watershed event.  For those of us who lost friends or family in any of the incidents, it marks another year they will not see, and it is up to us to keep their memories alive.  I have only shot two photos  of the WTC.  Back in 1985, I was in Newport, Rhode Island for a Navy School and took a trip down to visit my friend David Turner.  David is a professional photographer, now teaching in Mass.  He needed to scout out some locations in a cemetery on Staten Island for an upcoming fashion shoot, so we took the ferry over.  My slides have seen better days, but the sunset on the towers was striking. In 2001, like most of the East Coast, I was at work.  I worked in a government building, right in the flight path for the Dulles airport.  When the news of the attacks came, the building was evacuated because no one was certain if there was another plane out there.  We saw the attacks on the Pentagon and as most of the people I work with are military, government or retired from same, we knew that we would recognize someone on the lists.

It wasn’t until several days later that we realized our team’s administrator, who had just moved back to Long Island with her son, did not make it out of the South Tower.  In a sad postscript, a postcard she sent to our wonderful receptionist, showing the WTC with her office circled in ball point pen, arrived the very next day.

In the days just after 9-11 one of the worlds’ best photographers, Joe McNally, started to take photos of the first responders with a huge Polaroid camera.  His 9’ portraits captured the dust, the exhaustion and the determination of the firemen, construction crew and police working around the clock to find remains and clear the rubble.  He wrote about the project on Scott Kelby’s blog this week.   http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2011/archives/21260   Everyone should read his piece and look at the exhibit on his own site at http://www.joemcnally.com/blog/2011/09/05/a-sense-of-place/   If you are in NYC, go to the free exhibit through the 12th of September.

Now 10 years later we still are fighting against the ideals of the people who launched those attacks.  Here we are still rebuilding.  Some places like the Pentagon were rapidly restored.  Ground Zero in New York is still a work in progress.  But a new building is arising phoenix-like from that deep hole in the ground.  As we think about those days, remember all of those who died there and those who have perished in the fight to root out those who did this. 

Off again to Photoshop World!

This time next week we’ll be off at Photoshop World. http://photoshopworld.com/  This annual pilgrimage provides an incredibly intense three days of professional training and the opportunity to interact with a few thousand of our closest friends we’ve never met before. The National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) hosts this conference twice a year, once on the east coast and once on the west in Las Vegas. For anyone remotely interested in learning how to use Photoshop and/or Lightroom, the expense is well worth it. First of all, you get a workbook the size of the New York City phonebook that contains every single class from every single instructor so that you can see what has been covered even in the classes you are unable to attend. Each day is packed full of classes aligned under various themes or tracks. Tracks such as lighting, creative suite, motion graphics, photography and obviously, Photoshop run from eight o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock at night. Then of course there are the special events. The party at B. B. King’s House of Blues where Scott Kelby plays with his band, the Art of Photography, and the nothing but fun, Midnight Madness. This means you can be involved for fifteen hours a day until your head is ready to just go “pop”!  

The instructors are all industry-leading Photoshop masters, such as Dr. Russell BrownAdobe pioneer or amazing photographers who are carefully selected not only for their artistic talents, but because they can teach. Moose Peterson, for example, is one of the world’s best wildlife photographers. One of my favorite authors, Katrin Eismann, does things to skin that Elizabeth Arden would kill for.http://www.katrineismann.com/ Then of course there is the expo floor, where this year my credit card has been embargoed. All of the major hardware and software vendors use this opportunity to showcase their newest products with amazing discounts. They also conduct demonstrations and live photo shoots on the tradeshow floor. You can spend all day and your entire paycheck going from booth to booth. If you are in Florida and just want to attend the trade show, you can get a free pass online. For more information and the chance to register go to photoshopworld.com. Oh and they shoot episodes of “The Photoshop Guys” from the convention floor. Look for Roger and me in the front row. I’ll be the good-looking one. You should think about taking advantage of this educational opportunity. Hope we see you in Orlando. We’ll be wearing our EF-cubed shirts. Come up and say “Hi!”