Mouldy Plum Cake

Today, I would like to invite you to a journey through the surreal photomontages I create to confuse people…

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Terrace Guilt

Teach Doctors

Behind The Scenes

All the photos I use in my compositions are from my own portfolio (holidays, trips, family, friends, myself), except from a few space images I took from Google (like planet Earth and galaxies). My method of work is quite random; I have all these pictures I took and I try to combine them in a cool, surreal way. I especially love creating images that distort the actual sizes of things, for instance my miniature mum waterskiing in a coffee cup…

Slide To Unlock

…and my cousin skateboarding on a miniature Switzerland (where I’m from).

Circling Anchor

 I also love playing with the materiality of things, i.e. my white towel becomes the foamy waves of a seashore…

Department Of Radiology

The real world appears finite to me, whereas the surreal world is infinite, has so much more potential, is so much more fascinating!

Stale Sheep

Empty The Bins

My ultimate aim is to create the perfect optical illusion. I have to say I would not be able to do it without Adobe Photoshop, which I have been learning how to use throughout the years.

Thumbnail Office

The 8th Extinction

In the process of creating my photomontages, I have absolutely no idea how the final composition will be read. My work is open to all interpretations. Like I said before, I almost randomly juxtapose images; and my aim is to create an illusion, not necessarily a feeling. But I love how people feel something different for each image. I am often asked why I choose such random titles for my artworks; and the answer is to confuse people even more. I believe it doesn’t make sense to give a descriptive title to a surreal artwork, because the latter means something different for every single person.

Irreducible Markov Chain

Customs Regulations

Godfather's Candle

You can see more of Monica’s work at, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Happy Tuesday everybody. I know you probably already know about the Oil Paint filter, but while I use it in this tutorial, this tutorial is really about the 2nd and 3rd things — things that take the effect up a notch, by adding more depth to the paint strokes (using a different filter), and then adding a Canvas texture to the entire image (using yet another filter). Luckily, it’s all easy and quick to do.

I made a quick tutorial for you (below) that shows how easy it is. :)

Hope you found that helpful. :)



P.S. I’m in Nashville next month. Come out and spend the day with me. :)

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I know I say this every time, but it’s because our goal is to make every Photoshop World better than the last one, and I heard it for three-solid days from Alumni — in their words, “This is the best Photoshop World yet!” Of course, I was thrilled to agree!

All the new instructors (joining our ‘dream team’ of existing industry superstars) and the new events and shooting opportunities all brought a ton of energy to the event, and everybody was talking about it. It was also the first Photoshop World ever, where Adobe had their own training track at the conference, and their Adobe Mobile Apps track was another hit from the Vegas conference.

I’ll tell the rest of the story in pictures (and captions) below [photos by Kevin Newsome and Rob Foldy], but it was an awesome conference from start to finish, with a group of attendees totally rev’d up and ready to learn. It’s like we all needed to be there, at that moment, in that place. It was really something to behold, and I’m so grateful to all the attendees from around the world who joined us for an event we’ll all never forget.

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Above: The keynote was absolutely slammed packed, and our theme this year was based on Saturday Night Live (check out the next two images).


Above: That’s Me and Matt, doing our version of “Photoshop Weekend Update” in the opening movie to kick off the keynote. 


Above: Matt rocked his role as SNL News Anchor. We also had our own version of Photoshop Jeopardy, too! 

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Above: The highlight of the keynote is the Adobe presentation, and Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost rocked her demo which covered so many cool things.

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Above: One of my favorite shots from the keynote (this one from Rob Foldy)

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Above: Julieanne was, of course, very informative, but she was just funny as h@!) throughout, and the standing-room-only crowd was right with her the whole thing. 

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Above: Master of Ceremonies, Larry Becker, was so on his game — he was born to host big shows like this. So entertaining and fun. 

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Above: A big highlight for me was seeing my dear friend, and Adobe Worldwide Evangelist for Photography and Design, Terry White get inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Well deserved and long overdue. 

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Above: Hey, that’s me! 

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Above: The crowd gets hyped when you start throwing out t-shirts!


Above: Julieanne getting her Lightroom Thing on!


Above: A little one-on-one Photoshop retouching coaching from me.

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Above: Tim Wallace shooting a car live in class, tethering directly into Lightroom.

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Above: Tim, a yellow sports car and Lightroom. It’s a marriage made in heaven. :)

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Above: Kristina Sherk teaching high-end Photoshop retouching in class.


Above: Corey Barker teaching some Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks


Above: Learning some “Bad A@$ Photoshop Tricks!”

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Above: Another new event at Photoshop World was “An Evening With Gregory Heisler” and man did he just blow everybody away. 

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Above: He had a packed house of photographers and creative souls who came to be inspired by one of the most engaging speakers in our industry. 

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Above: A moment from “An Evening With Gregory Heisler”


Above: Photography icon Gregory Heisler poses for a selfie after his evening presentation

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Above: The awesome Moose Peterson, during one of his many sessions at the conference. 

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Above: The King poses for a shot with the King of Sports Photography.

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Above: Dave Black had “The King” pose for a light-painted portrait done live in his class. 

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Above: The wonderful crew at Hoodman (I love their gear!) answers questions in their booth at our Partner Pavilion. 

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Above: Matt making friends at the Partner Pavilion.

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Above: The all-new Photoshop World App was a big hit this year — available on all the different platforms, and we even had the class and full conference evaluation forms built right in the app. 

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Above: With all those windows, there’s lots of opportunities to grab a quick shot. 

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Above: The one-on-one portfolio reviews are a highlight for many attendees. 

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Above: It was our coolest party ever — at “LIGHT” the super-hip Vegas nightclub. 

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Above: “Old School” dance hits got the dance floor rockin’.

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Above: Some Bruno Mars got even me out there. 

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Above: It was cool to see the work of our attendees up on the screen in “Light”


Above: Photoshop Wizard Corey Barker doin’ his Photoshop thing! 


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Above: Canon was on hand, doing FREE sensor and camera cleanings in their own special lounge area. 

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Above: Roberto Valenzuela rockin’ it in the conference tracks. He’s definitely an attendee favorite!

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Above: Donut Time — a “Midnight Madness Tradition.” (Hey, this guy flew in from Mexico for his first Photoshop World ever. Really fun guy!). 

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Above: Things usually get a bit crazy at Midnight Madness. No exception this time. 

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Above: Lindsay Adler works her lighting magic during one of her sessions. 

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Above: Matt Kloskowski crushing it during one of his Lightroom sessions. 

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Above: How can you not love Glyn Dewis. The guy gives 110% to his students. 


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Above: When one of the top automotive photographers in the world is teaching the class, you just don’t talk about car photography — you bring a Maclaren right into the classroom and show exactly how it’s done. 

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Above: That’s my book Publisher, and super awesome Nancy Davis, who surprised me during the closing ceremony by presenting me with an award for being named the #1 top-selling photography techniques author for the sixth year in a row. 

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Above: I had no idea this was going to happen. I’m sitting backstage with my wife watching the Guru Awards and closing ceremony from the control boards when one of the AV crews runs back and says “You have to get a mic on now!” That’s me and Nancy posing with my award. Thanks to all my readers out there — I never could have done it without you (and thanks to the crew at Peachpit Press — they rock!).


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Above: On location with the “dog photography whisperer” Kaylee Greer. Her pre-conference workshop on photographing dogs was a HUGE hit!

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Above: Here’s “Kaylee’s Crew” group shot, including some really sweet doggies! 


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Above: What a great smile! We love to see attendees, camera in hand, taking shots and having fun.

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Above: The “Natural Light Shoots” were bigger than ever. People were super diggin’ it. 

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Above: Joe Glyda helping out with the food photography Natural Light Shoots.

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Above: Everybody gets involved in the Natural Light Shoots.

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Above: Our Bride for the natural light shoots poses for the students. 

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Above: Looks like our bride found a groom (or vice-versa).

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Above: Bringing the fun (and very cool, creative hair). :)

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Above: The Set for our Live episode of “The Grid” should always look like this. LOL!!

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Above: Honored to have Photoshop World instructor Trey Ratcliff as my guest on our LIVE FROM VEGAS episode of The Grid. 

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Above: The incomparable Joe McNally lights his subject during one of this classes. It’s a thrill to see a real master at work. 

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Above: Checking out the booths and theaters in our Partner Pavilion. 

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Above: Fashion Photographer Lindsay Adler during one of her live shoots. 

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Above: Peter Hurley doin’ his thing during one of his packed sessions!

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Above: Taking a break between sessions to catch up on email and social. 

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Above: The students making their own shots during the pre-conference workshops. 

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Above: Folks who come a day before get a chance to dig in deep with dedicated hands-on workshops. 

That’s a quick look at Photoshop World 2016
We’re working on a short video recap, and I’ll post that as soon as it’s ready. In the meantime, a big word of thanks to our awesome crew who worked their butts off to deliver our best Photoshop World yet. Also, thanks to Rob and Kevin for the awesome photos used in this post. Thanks to all our partners who exhibited in our Partner Pavilion, and a super big thanks and high five to all the attendees who came from around the world to spend a few days learning and laughing with us. We are very grateful to everyone who participated. :)

Have a great Monday and a fantastic week!




Advanced Compositing in Adobe Photoshop CC with Corey Barker
Get ready to take your compositing skills to the next level! Join Corey Barker as he steps you through the creation of a fantasy composite image, from extracting the subject though the final touches. Whether you are using an older version of Photoshop or the latest, you’ll learn how to cleanly extract your subject from the source image, how to build a background environment around your subject, and how to blend all of the elements together using lighting and atmospheric effects to create a believable composite image with impact. Corey will show you ways to use Photoshop that you’ve never thought of before, and he wraps up the class with cool tips for adding text and blending non-human objects into your composite.

In Case You Missed It
Ideally, every photo we take would be perfect: perfect exposure, perfect white balance, no backlighting, no harsh shadows. Of course the reality is that some images need to be fixed, and in this course Dave Cross will look at ways to deal with common problems. In each lesson Dave will fix a problem image, real-time, step-by-step.

Above: Here’s a quick gallery of some shots from our pre-conference workshops held yesterday.  

That’s right – we’re streaming it live – the conference kicks off this morning with a keynote presentation from the crew here at KelbyOne, but of course the star of the keynote is Adobe, who is showing some really cool stuff this morning, so you don’t want to miss it:

When: Today at 10:00 am Pacific Time (1pm EDT)
Where: My Facebook page –

Hope you can join us for the big show!




First, please enjoy this lame iPhone shot, taken through my hotel-room window, 60-somethin’ floors up from the Vegas. LOL!!!

Super-psyched to be here for Photoshop World! The pre-conference workshops kick off today, and I’m so excited to be seeing everybody this week.

I’ll be doing some coverage here on the blog from the event, which kicks off tomorrow, but most of it will be over on my Facebook page (link) where we’ll be posting daily galleries from our photo crew (which includes Rob “DJ EZ-fold” Foldy). Lots of fun stuff to share this week – I’m glad you’re here (on the blog), or here out in Vegas.

This is going to be a great week!!! Whoo Hoo!!!!