Of course it was another amazing and educational day. With so many sessions to choose from, there were some pretty hard decisions that I had to make.

I started off the day with the man, the myth, the legend- Matt Kloskowski. His “Lightroom and Photoshop for Landscape Photographers” was pretty awesome, and showed some great tools to get the most out of landscape photos. It was also really cool to see that Matt had his dad in the audience of his class. This was really touching, especially since my dad and I always attend Photoshop World together.


I always try to make it a point to get attend a Scott Kelby portrait retouching class. There is something so different (and dare I say magical) about learning from Scott in person. His sessions are always entertaining, and I always learn a ton from him.


The Wrap Up Rally and giveaway session is the final event of every Photoshop World, and is standing room only. Every year, a variety of photographers bring the ideas and emotions of Photoshop World home. This year, Bryan Hughes of Adobe spoke about the many ways that Adobe is listening to its customers — through forums, social media and events in person. Erik Valind spoke about the way that he got into photography, the struggles he faced and the lessons he learned from those struggles. Moose Peterson always has a beautiful presentation of his stunning images, and is something I always look forward to at the closing ceremony.

The closing ends with some pretty cool prize giveaways, which are of course are an awesome bonus…but you have to stay until the end to see if you have won! I always stay to the end and try to catch the instructors and staff to thank them for an amazing Photoshop World.

I cannot believe that this Photoshop World is now officially over, and I am so happy that I was able to participate this year.


Thank you to Kelby Media group and NAPP for putting on yet another amazing Photoshop World, and for allowing me the opportunity to blog about my experiences. I look forward to next year!



The second day of Photoshop World is always jam-packed with awesomeness! From sessions in the morning until Midnight Madness late at night, there is constantly an opportunity to learn and have a blast.

Of course there are so many amazing classes to choose from, sometimes it’s impossible to attend all of them. Luckily Photoshop World provides these huge notebooks with the instructors’ notes and presentations that come along with your registration. Even though you might not be able to make all of the sessions, it’s helpful to have the notes to refer to.

My morning started off with something a little different. Animator Aaron Blaise was recently added to the PSW roster of instructors, and I attended his “Digital Illustration Workflow” class to try something completely different. Now I cannot draw much beyond clouds (puffy ones), but Aaron’s art (both the traditional and the digital mediums) absolutely inspired me. It was also interesting to see how Aaron used light and color to create amazing work.

Moose Peterson’s class “Breaking In and Making it in the Editorial Market” finished up my morning. Through various classes and workshops I have taken in the past with Moose, I have always known him as an awesome photographer, but this class really drives home what a smart businessman he is.

Perhaps the highlight of Day 2 is the Art of Digital Photography panel. This year, the panel consisted of Jim DiVitale, Julieanne Kost, Dave Black, Joe Glyda, Vincent Versace, Jay Maisel, Joe McNally and Moose Peterson. The variety of photographers and the stories they tell with their photographs always amazes me. Vincent Versace called the audience to action to help build a school in Myanmar, and then proceeded to show his amazingly beautiful images from that country.

And then Day 2 wraps up with Midnight Madness. It is, well, sheer madness. And really, you don’t learn a thing about Photoshop. But you do have a ton of fun (it’s guaranteed, in fact).

Tomorrow is unfortunately the last day of Photoshop World. I can’t believe that it has gone by this fast. It has been great to reconnect with old friends, make new ones and learn from some amazing photographers.


And that is how Photoshop World Las Vegas starts!

The keynote kicked off with a hilarious video introducing the Photoshop Guys –I really think this was the bes t and funniest of the videos for a keynote so far. The behind the scenes of shooting that introduction was just priceless. From there the keynote just got more exciting keynote with some pretty amazing announcements from both Wacom and Adobe. Wacom announced a new Intuos tablet that really pushes the envelope for creatives. Adobe previewed new advancements for Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as unbelievable Creative Cloud pricing for both–just $9.99 US per month! This is pretty amazing stuff and is really transforming the way Adobe users utilize these tools.

Once these awesome announcements were made, the Guru and Vincent Versace awards were announced and we were off to our first sessions.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning about copyright from none other than Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki. These two make up an awesome team that stresses the importance of copyright for anything you create, and break it down. This is such an important topic for photographers, and is something that any creative should look into and understand.

I also attended a panel called “Are You Ready to Go Pro”, moderated by the now Adobe Hall of Famer Matt Kloskowski and comprised of Cliff Mautner, Joel Grimes and Erik Valind. Each of the panelists had a unique perspective of starting out in the photography business, but all agreed that it takes hard work to build a body of work and a brand.

The opening of the Expo hall is always exciting. The amount of vendors is enough to make your credit card scared, but many vendors have specific talks and demonstrations that are always entertaining and educational.


This afternoon was also my portfolio review session, and my review was with none other than Vincent Versace–I will dedicate a whole post to this and the importance of the portfolio reviews later in the week. This is a wonderful opportunity that is available to attendees– it is an amazing learning experience! If you weren’t able to do one this year, make sure it’s on your to do list in the future.


For the evening classes, I chose to attend Scott Bourne’s session about attracting an audience to your photography through Twitter. He had a lot of helpful information, and really gave the class a lot to think about.


The highlight of the first day is always the PSW After-Hours party. Scott Kelby’s band performs live at the House of Blues, and they really rock! This is also another opportunity to mingle with other PSW attendees, as well as the instructors and NAPP staff who work so hard to put on an amazing conference.

I am ready for Day 2, and look forward to more amazing sessions, the Art of Digital Photography panel and Midnight Madness!


Photshop World Day 1 Recap

The day before the start of Photoshop World is the day for pre-conference in-depth workshops and for the Photoshop World Meet-Up.

This meet-up takes place the night before the start of PSW and after pre-conference workshops, and gives attendees the opportunity to meet other PSW attendees and to mingle with the instructors.

Held at the Eye Candy lounge at Mandalay Bay this year, attendees were able to compare notes with other attendees and chat with the week’s instructors.

Personally, I was able to meet people that I had seen at Photoshop Worlds past but never got the chance to talk to, and to introduce myself to instructors whose classes I’d be taking for the first time.

Onto the official start of Photoshop World – the Keynote and Day 1!

Photoshop World Las Vegas is finally here!  I will be blogging and tweeting throughout the week from the conference and the various events.

If you cannot make the conference and would like to watch the Keynote that kicks off Photoshop World, check it out here at 9 am PST on Wednesday September 4.

Stay tuned for updates!



Here is part 2 of my Zoo Keeper for a Day experience at the Santa Barbara Zoo. You can catch up and read Part 1 of my experience here.
After lunch we headed out to the Capybara exhibit with Melanie. These animals are the largest rodents in the world, and are very skittish — we had to move slowly around these guinea pig relatives. Of the three animals in the exhibit,  only one was interested in eating the romaine lettuce from our hands.
Capybara feeding
I even got to pet him—he really enjoyed it.
Petting a capybara

Petting a capybara – Photo by Charlie

After the rodent experience, we got to go into the barnyard with–you guessed it, barnyard animals.

Melanie showed us how she was in the process of training some baby goats, and we even got to feed them out of our hands.
Hand feeding a baby goat

Hand feeding a baby goat

Our last stop of our day was the elephant exhibit. I had sort of added the elephants in because  I thought it would be cool—the penguins and giraffes were definitely my top priority.
We got to interact with these Asian elephants in ways that I couldn’t imagine. Something really cool we got to do was to hose down the elephants. The elephants really loved the water, and it was such a unique experience. I never thought I’d ever get the opportunity to wash an elephant.
Elephant washing

Elephant washing – photo by Charlie

After we washed the elephants we got to feed them. Watching how they use their trunks was just amazing. There are no words to describe being next to these huge, amazing creatures.
Asian elephant eye

Asian elephant portrait


Thank you to the Santa Barbara Zoo for offering this amazing opportunity, and thank you to the awesome keepers and staff for making this a memorable and wonderful day!


My awesome boyfriend gifted me with the experience of being zoo keeper for a day at the Santa Barbara Zoo. I got to pick animals to hang out with—it couldn’t have been a more perfect gift. Except I couldn’t utilize it in March ( when I got it for my birthday) because…the giraffes were pregnant, so we needed to wait until the babies were born and on exhibit. Baby giraffes?!! My perfect gift got even more perfect.

This was such a wonderful day, that I have to post about it in two parts: The morning and the afternoon.

Our day started out with the giraffe shift, which meant getting them from the giraffe barn out to the exhibit area. Something that is awesome about the Santa Barbara Zoo is that they don’t force their animals out to an exhibit area. The animals move at their own pace. For the giraffes, this meant calling them and rattling buckets of treats.
Once the adults got into the area, we were able to feed the giraffes. This was such a cool experience…I can’t even describe how it feels to have a giraffe eat out of your hands. So of course I took pictures and video.
Feeding the giraffes

Feeding the giraffes

Next we got to visit the Humboldt penguin exhibit. We got to get into the penguin exhibit and helped Lacey, their keeper, keep tally of their medication and food 9they love herring, by the way). We were literally surrounded by penguins as they waddled around us.
One penguin that stood out was Lucky. Lucky was born with a deformed foot—so Deckers partnered with the zoo to create a special boot so that Lucky could live a normal life.
Lucky the African black footed penguin

Lucky the Humboldt penguin

We got to feed a brown pelican and then visited these beautiful toucans.
Toucan at the Santa Barbara Zoo

Toucan at the Santa Barbara Zoo

I have never seen toucans in such close proximity–these birds are beautifully vibrant and very smart.
Our morning concluded with lunch with out keepers from the morning. The ladies were so sweet to tell us about their lines and to spend their lunch hour with us. It was  so cool to meet and chat with the keepers that take such great care of these animals.
Check back later this week for Part 2!

That’s right. A dedicated camera. Not a smartphone with a camera. Not a camera smartphone. A camera that is only a camera.

I know — it’s a foreign concept. But I always have my trusty point and shoot with me. It’s small, fitting in every purse I have (and I have some tiny purses).  Since I can’t always carry around my big DSLR, the point and shoot is always there.

The other morning when I found a hitchhiker on my windshield, I first tried to capture him with my smartphone camera. It just wasn’t working at all. It wasn’t focusing that close, wasn’t getting the exposure right, nothing. I needed something with macro capability.

So I pulled out my trusty point and shoot to capture this little guy:




By the way, he stayed with me on the freeway until I got to my destination. He hunkered down as my car gained speed (at one point I thought he was gone as his little leg lifted), but was a total trooper and stuck it out. He looked a little bit discombobulated when the car stopped, but after a survey of his surroundings, he took off.

As the honey bee populations are declining, I’m happy that I was able to aid in transporting this bee to another part of the world.


Summer clouds

Welcome to August! I love summer evenings and summer clouds. While walking around the neighborhood with my camera the other evening, I just had to make an image with these clouds. The gradient of the blue and the pink of the clouds made for a beautiful contrast.

What are some of your favorite things to see on summer evenings?