Hi Gang: I’m back from Banff, Calgary, Vancouver, and Saturday’s Grand Opening of Adobe’s “Photoshop & You” Pop-up Store in San Francisco. First, what is a “pop-up” store? Basically it’s a temporary store, like when a company takes over a retail space for a short period (think of a costume company who rents a vacant store in a mall a few weeks before Halloween to sell costumes, and when Halloween is over, they pack up the store). Photos by Brad Moore.

(Above: Here’s where you can buy Adobe logo stuff, t-shirts, books, prints, and other fun stuff).

Well, that’s what Adobe did at 550 Sutter Street in San Francisco when they created “Photoshop & You”—a brilliantly creative pop-up store in the heart of downtown. I thought it would be pretty cool because Adobe was doing it, but I gotta tell ya—Adobe did an absolutely amazing job with this store. Hands down one of the most creative, fun, and immersive things Adobe has done (outside of making the software itself, of course). Here’s a link to Adobe’s press release which explains the whole thing, and lists who’s speaking there, too!

Opening Day!
I was truly honored that Adobe asked me to be their presenter on opening day, and I did three sessions; two custom-designed Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It sessions, and then a live audience “Candid Frame” podcast interview with photography author and instructor Ibarionex Perello. I was thrilled to hear all three sessions were sold out in advance, and I had some really fantastic folks attend my sessions which really made it a lot of fun for me. So, today I wanted to share a few pictures and some stories from this exciting opening day:

(Above: We had a bride for our first shoot, complete with wedding gown and bouquet, and we looked at different one-light scenarios for shooting formal portraits using the newWestcott Spiderlite TD-6 continuous light).

Creating a Custom Version of My Tour
When Adobe asked me to do this, I wanted to come up with something special, and because it would be a more intimate setting, with seating for only 80 for each session, I wanted to use Westcott’s new Spiderlite TD-6s, which are continuous lights, which meant after I did my initial teaching, and shooting, I could then reset the lights and let the audience shoot the two live models we had so they could not only try the lights out themselves (without having to worry about tiggering flashes or 80 people trying to share a wireless transmitter), but then they would have the raw images to practice the retouching I was teaching.

(Above: Here we’re doing a profile silhouette and the audience gets a chance to shoot, too!)

Westcott won a lot of new fans that day, as people were totally digging the TD-6s. I had so many questions from people about the lights, which softboxes to get, how many, and so on. They were a huge hit.

(Above: for our second shoot, we did a lifestyle look, then we added a second light to do some compositing onto different backgrounds).

I structured the two-hour sessions so I would start with explaining the lighting, and how to use just one softbox for different looks, then we’d do the shoot, then I’d let the audience shoot, then I do the retouch on two huge LCD screens.

(Above: I reset the lights on a runway in front of the stage so the audience could shoot as well, and everybody did a great job of letting each other shoot from different angles).

Everybody had a ball, and the best part of it was—-Adobe picked up the tab for everybody—-all the sessions were free! Plus, Adobe gave away some truly amazing prizes to the crowd including iPads, copies of CS5, and even a Leica camera.

Interviewed in front of a live audience
Doing a podcast interview in front of a live audience is definitely different, but the host Ibarionex Perello asked really intriguing questions—-much different than the usual, “What’s your favorite lens” or “Which plug-in do you use the most” type of questions, which made the time just fly by. We talked a lot about the business side of things, and I got to talk about topics I normally don’t get to disucss, so it really was a lot of fun (even though my brain hurt when it was done). The Podcast will air in a few weeks, and I’ll be sure to share the link when it goes live).

(Above: They had a wall with these huge video screens showcasing the work of the presenters, and other Photoshop artists. People were mesmerized with this wall—-and with good reason).

The Store Itself
The store is only open for the next two weeks, but if you’re anywhere near San Francisco, you’ve got to make a trip it to see it. You walk in the front door, and you just go “Wow—this is cool!” They had work stations set-up with Lightroom and Photoshop, and they Russell Brown’s Extreme Imaging Lab in the back where you can could create custom t-shirts and other creative fun stuff; plus they had photography (and even a photo gear mini-museum) everywhere so you really felt like it was part gallery, part museum, and part store (they even sold cool Photoshop t-shirts, books, and even Photoshop itself).

(Above: it looks like a pano frame on the wall, but each of those images is displayed on an iPad. You could walk up to the frame, and flick through different images, pinch in to zoom, and so on. Really very clever, and people were loving it).

This really has nothing to do with anything, but afterward our buddy Mike Wiacek and his lovely wife Sarah took Brad and I out to the best pizza I have ever had. A up-scale restaurant called  “Tony’s Pizza Napoletana” in the North Beach area, owned by a friend of Mike’s who is a famous pizza chef, and it was just out-of-this-world. Never had anything like it!

The iPhone photo above is the pizza that Brad ordered (not realizing it was for three or four people), and it was so large I had to have Mike put his head in the shot so I’d have a frame of reference (we already had three other small pizzas before this one arrived). Needless to say, Brad took most of it home in a to-go box which every TSA agent at SFO wanted to confiscate for “further testing.” ;-)

You’ve Gotta Get To The Store
There are free presentations every day at the Photoshop & You Store (here’s the schedule), and they have presentations from people like Photoshop Hall of Famer Bert Monroy (who’s back-lit Photoshop-created illustration of Times Square  is on display there), to our buddy and prolific photography book author Jeff Revell.

(Above: Here’s a shot of Bert’s famous “Time’s Square” backlit illustration. The store was packed all day, and you could always find people looking up close at all the amazing detail in this huge pano).

I hope we see Adobe “popping up” more of these stores in different cities around the world, because I think it connects people with the artistic and photographic side of Photoshop in a very unique and creative way. Plus, I think it’s just a very cool thing for Adobe to do to connect with their users, as they had Photoshop team members, engineers, and product managers there answering questions, doing demos, and just meeting the people they do it all for, and I thought that was particularly cool.

(Above: A look into the Amazing Dr. Brown’s world. Russell always comes up with such creative ways to use Photoshop, and his lab continues that tradition in a big way. I also got to meet Russell’s 16-year-old son, who was working in the lab, and he was a truly delightful young man, and Russell has every reason to be as proud a dad as he is). :)

Where to Next?
Thanks to Adobe for having me there—it truly was a blast, and thanks to everyone who came out for my first “hands-on”Light it, Shoot It, Retouching It, mini-workshop. I’ll be doing the full-day version of this workshop this Friday at Dave Cross’s studio in Tampa (here’s the link if you want one of the last few seats), and I’ll be in San Francisco live doing my full “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” Tour on Monday, November 14th (you can sign up for that right here).

P.S. My Video of the Store
I shot a short video walk-through of the store with my iPhone, but I need to add some narration, so I’ll run that tomorrow here on the blog, so check back then to give it a look. Have a great Monday everybody!