It's pretty safe to say that if I had not gone to Australia, I would have given up on Photoshop. There were, at the time, lots of photo manipulation programs out there. I had used a few. Photoshop was by far the most complicated, the most difficult to learn, and I tend to give up pretty easily when there is a simpler alternative available.
But I usually woke up a couple of hours before Peggy and so as not to make noise, or get the dogs moving around, I would hide in the office and run her set of Photoshop tutorials. By the end of six weeks, I was comfortable enough with the basics of the program and enthusiastic enough about all the things I had learned that I came home and buried myself in on-line videos and written tutorials. It became the only photo manipulation tool I ever used, and is still the only one I use.
I upgraded a couple of times. In those days, Peggy was able to get pirated copies of the new versions and shared them with me. But there was eventually a crack-down and I don't remember which version it was that didn't work. But about that time, there was a "you can't possibly believe it!" sale of the Photoshop CS3, just before they released the upgrade. I bought the old version and I now own a registered version.
Of course they are now at CS6 and I haven't a clue how much it would cost to upgrade.
About five years ago, I read about a one-day Photoshop seminar coming to Sacramento and I decided to attend. I came home so jazzed about all the things I'd learned that I unhesitatingly registered when the next one came around the following year. I think I had attended four of them, each one filling me with such enthusiasm for the new things I was learning (90% of which I either couldn't do because I had an old version of the program, or forgot within a few days of taking the seminar...but 10% did stick and I continued to use the new skills when working with photos in PhotoShop).
All of the seminars were led by Photoshop professionals, under the auspices of Kelby Training (the leading provider of education for Photoshop). Guys who had worked with the program for years and who knew it inside and out. But until this year the Big Kahuna had eluded me. I had never had the chance to take a class from Scott Kelby, of Kelby Training, author of a gazillion books on all aspects of Photoshop, the guy on all those videos and on-line classes. For me, Scott Kelby has always been Mr. Photoshop.
This year, the Sacramento seminar was led by Scott Kelby. I can't tell you how excited I was to finally attend one of his seminars.
Was it because Scott was giving the seminar that the check-in line stretched down two hallways of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium?
Fortunately it moved quickly. I wasn't concerned because I knew that there really is no bad seat in the house. My preference is to sit at the back anyway.
I won't go into all the things about the seminar that excited me, since I know that there are a lot of people who don't use the program, but I will say that though I always leave these things eager to come home and do some experimenting, I have never felt that I got as much usable information as I did today. Not only did I get usable information, but the whole thing was such a delight. He was funny, informative, and made it all so accessible. Best of all, though sometimes I get lost in some of the technicalities, I understood everything, followed everything and may even be more familiar with how to work with a video timeline than Scott (who is a photo guy and not at all interested in video, though you can make videos with Photoshop, if you want).
I am a happy camper and hope that he comes back again. I will definitely take another Kelby seminar!
But my day didn't end at 5 p.m. when the seminar ended. It was only half over. I had found a book club through the Meet-Up web site and decided to check it out. The meeting started at 7, so I went to dinner at a restaurant across the street from the book store where the meeting was to take place. (I had crab cakes and chocolate mousse and felt very decadent!)
At the appropriate time, I went across the street to the book store and sat down to join the two other people who were seated at the table. Slowly the table began to fill up. I think we had 15 people in all. We were discussing "The Book of Illusions" by Paul Auster, which I had just finished. I loved the book and had lots to say about it, as it turned out. Instead of sitting back and being my usual shy self, I actually had to stop myself from talking too much. The discussion was lively and interesting and it was a really nice group of people (men and women, but mostly women). Next month's book is "Lost in Shangri-La" by Mitchell Zuckoff, which I have already started. I think I'm really going to enjoy getting to know these people.