A Look Back at 2007 in Photoshop, Photography, Adobe, and More


For my last post of the year, I thought I’d take a quick look back at what has just been an amazing year of change, innovation, and growth for our industry. I’m going to focus on what’s happened in the Photoshop arena, in photography, what’s happened here in my Photoshop Insider blog, and how it’s impacted our lives (and my own work), throughout this year (which seems like it literally just flew by).

First, the “over achiever” award for 2007 has to go to Adobe Systems. I don’t think anyone there has slept all year. Here’s why:

  • In February of 2007, after four groundbreaking public Beta versions had been released, Adobe released Lightroom 1.0, and for many of us this changed the way we work with our digital photos forever. (Side note: I’m still amazed at how many people, after all this time, still think Lightroom is just a replacement for the Bridge).
  • At the end of February, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen blew everybody’s mind by announcing that Adobe was developing a web-based online version of Photoshop. Also in February, Adobe relaunched Adobe magazine as a downloadable PDF, free from Adobe.
  • In March of 2007, Adobe announced that for the first time in history, there will be two versions of Photoshop: Adobe Standard and Photoshop Extended. I didn’t see that one coming. Also, Adobe announced in March that over half-a-million people had downloaded the free public Beta version of Photoshop CS3.
  • Then at the end of the month, Adobe had the biggest new product launch in the history of the company, with the launch of the CS3 Creative Suite, and a total of 25 new or updated applications being announced that day in New York City.
  • By May of 2007, Adobe had announced that a major new update to Camera Raw (version 4.1) was coming, and it would have many of the same raw processing features as Lightroom’s Develop Module. This is bigger than it sounds.
  • Also in May, Adobe announced the end of the road for Macromedia Freehand, and started the migration to Adobe Illustrator. This one I actually saw coming.
  • By June of 2007, Adobe had released Lightroom 1.1 (a free update), adding significant new features, and answering the prayers of many Lightroom users around the world. Also in June, Adobe announces record revenues.
  • In July, Adobe continues it’s record-breaking year of new product announcements by shipping the CS3 Production Premium Suite, and Cold Fusion 8, and they announce Captivate 3 (I’m not even sure what that does). By this time they also have a number of “Public Beta” programs running on a variety of new and soon to ship products.
  • In August, Popular Photography names Lightroom as “Imaging Software of the Year”
  • In September, during the Photoshop World keynote, Adobe’s John Loiacono gives a quick sneak peek at the online version of Photoshop, now dubbed “Photoshop Express.”
  • Also in September, Adobe releases Lightroom 1.2 (free update), and Camera Raw 4.2, and they revealed the first ever “Photoshop Logo” and the tagline “See what’s possible.” I like the tagline, but to me, the logo looks like a cartoon bubble. Hey, that’s just me.
  • September was a busy month, as Adobe also shipped Photoshop Elements 6, with an entirely new interface (which is great, by the way), and new features.
  • With all these new products, and CS3 kicking butt, it’s no wonder Adobe announced record financial results in September.
  • In October, Adobe was buying up more companies (like Virtual Ubiquity), and launching more products (like Flash Lite 3).
  • In November, after years of leading Adobe to new heights, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen hands the reigns over to current President and COO Shantanu Narayen (A great choice for CEO by the way, and way to go Bruce on an amazing career!)
  • In December Camera Raw and Lightroom both get free updates, and Adobe continues sneaking in new little improvements in their Lightroom updates. This I love.
  • Adobe ends the year reporting record quarterly and fiscal year revenue. It’s all good, baby! An amazing year all the way around. My hats off to Adobe for not resting on their laurels for even one minute.

It was a wild year in the photography business as the two major forces in digital photography, Nikon and Canon, both refreshed their high-end lines, and brought us the best digital SLR cameras ever made.

  • Nikon’s D3 raised the bar by lowering noise, increasing its speed, going Full-frame, and adding amazing new features. Their D200 got a huge makeover and became the bigger, badder D300 (with a larger LCD screen, and lots of juicy features, including some from the D3 itself).
  • Canon had big intros this year as well, with their amazing EOS 1D Mark III and 21-megapixel 1DS Mark III, and they took their popular 30D up a notch with their 40D, with new features and a larger LCD. Canon also intro’d the G9, which is probably best described as a point-and-shoot with features like a DSLR.
  • Sony started to make some big noise in the high-end DSLR market this year, and the Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot cameras won lots of fans this year as well.

NAPP (The National Association of Photoshop Professionals)

  • It was a huge year for NAPP (The Photoshop education organization that I head), as we went over the 70,000 current member mark earlier this year.
  • In September, we unveiled NAPP’s H.E.L.P. system, which features hundreds of online videos, just for members, that go over every feature, every tool, and every command in Photoshop. Each video is just 60-seconds long (maximum), and cover just that one topic, making it easy to get to exactly the information users need. It’s currently in Beta 2.0, and we’ll soon release the final version, with many more videos and incorporating members ideas and suggestions.
  • Photoshop User TV continued to grow in popularity around the world, and we were on location for Adobe’s CS3 launch, and got exclusive interviews with Adobe’s CEO Bruce Chizen, and Adobe’s new VP and all around genius guy John Loiacono. We also helped launched Layers TV, the weekly how-to show for Everything Adobe.
  • In 2007 launched a new magazine called Darkroom (for Adobe Lightroom users) and later wound up rolling that inside Photoshop User magazine, which made Photoshop User even bigger than ever before (which makes sense, because now it’s cover two separate applications).
  • Also in 2007, for the first time in our History, our Photoshop World Conference & Expo sold out in advance. It was really weird to put the “We’re sold out” sign up, but it made for an amazing event, and both our Photoshop World conferences this year (East Coast and West Coast) broke records for attendees, number of exhibitors, number of instructors, and number of sessions.
  • This year we launched a nationwide one-day Lightroom Seminar Tour, that was originally scheduled for only six cities, but was such a huge hit (with as many as 800+ people showing up in some cities), that we expanded it to many more cities around the country.
  • We also launched the hugely popular “Lightroom Killer Tips” weekly video podcast, and blog, hosted by our own Matt Kloskowski. (NOTE: Matt posted a “2007 History of Lightroom” today, and you can check it out right here).
  • We added another way cool Photoshop guru to our in-house crew of Photoshop talent, as we brought on RC Concepcion earlier this year, and he’s already having a big impact on our training and education (he also co-hosts Layers TV with our own Photoshop Laddy, Corey Barker).
  • This year we also inducted two new members into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, as we honored Adobe’s Kevin Conner, and author and trainer Andrew Rodney for their contributions to our industry.
  • Video tutorials played a much bigger role in NAPP member training, and we added new videos every week to the member Web site, from our in house team of gurus, and special guest, and columnists from around our industry, as well as loads of new step-by-step tutorials and articles.
  • 2007 will always be remembered as the year where our product reviews, both in the magazine and on the site, really gained maximum velocity, with more in-depth product review, video product reviews, and more emphasis in giving our members guidance as we’ve become one of the most trusted sources for product and services reviews.
  • NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker started his weekly video NAPP News Reports, which have been a big hit with our members, and in 2007 Larry was able to negotiate more member discounts and deals than in any time in our history, and for our members, that’s big, because taking advantage of just some of these discounts can easily pay for their entire membership. Perhaps most notable was a $100 discount on Adobe Lightroom, (which just that savings alone was enough to pay for NAPP membership), but there were also special savings for upgrading to CS3 exclusively for NAPP members as well.
  • We launched our 3rd annual Photoshop User Awards, with the Best of Show winner going on an all-expense paid vacation to Maui, Hawaii.
  • This year we hired the world’s most highly regarded digital artist and instructor, Bert Monroy, to join NAPP’s staff full time, and since then Bert has been doing some amazing training for our magazines, our Site, and on the road with our Photoshop Creativity Tour.
  • This year, for the first time ever, we were able to offer Equipment Insurance and professional liability insurance to NAPP members, through a special arrangement with insurers Hill & Usher.

The whole year was a year of “more” for NAPP members, with more training, more discounts, more features on the web site, and more communication and community.

2007 was a particularly busy year for me professionally, and here’s a quick recap why:

In 2007 I wrote a number of books, including:

  • The Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers
  • The iPhone Book
  • The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers
  • The iPod Book
  • The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 2
  • The Seven-Point-System for Photoshop CS3

I did Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 seminars in:

  • New York (both Lightroom and CS3 tours)
  • Boston (both)
  • Atlanta
  • Tampa
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington DC (both)
  • Chicago (both)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii

I taught at photo workshops in:

  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • The Great Smokey Mountains
  • Glacier Nat’l Park (In Montana)
  • Cape Cod
  • Yosemite
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Detroit, Michigan

I taught sessions at both Photoshop Worlds (in Vegas and Boston)

I taught a 2-day hands-on Lightroom workshop in Sarasota, Florida

I posted to this blog each weekday (with a few minor lameouts)

I co-hosted more than 40 episodes of Photoshop User TV

I played keyboards for Big Electric Cat, and drums for the band Phoenix

I lost over 100 lbs. on a physician’s weight loss plan of diet and exercise.

I published Photoshop User and Layers magazines

I helped launch “Kelby Training.com” which features an online subscription service for Photoshop training, where I unveiled my Photoshop CS3 for Digital Photographers online class.

I spent a lot of time this year learning from some really great photographers, like Moose Peterson, David Ziser, Joe McNally, Bill Fortney, Vincent Versace, Joe Glyda, and Anne Cahill.

I got to shoot NFL games from the field, National League Baseball from the 1st base dugout, and NASCAR from the pits. I had a ball!

I got to shoot in Monument Valley, The Antelope Canyon Slots, The Grand Canyon, and I hiked for hours in 112 degee desert heat to photograph “The Wave” with two of my very close friends. It rocked!

For the fourth year in a row, I got the honor of teaching the dedicated photographers of the FBI.

I got to see my Tampa Bay Bucs win their division and go to the playoffs, in a year nobody thought they had a chance. Me included.

And somehow or another I managed to take nearly a month off with my family, on vacation, or just doing nothing. I have no idea how, and I’m not sure I remember that month off, but my calendar swears it was so.

I worked a lot, shot a lot, played a lot, traveled too much, and I had just a wonderful year. I made a lot of new friends, and became more thankful for the ones that have stood by me throughout the years. I had an absolute blast with my wife and kids. Life doesn’t get much better.

That wraps up my not-really-quick but rather drawn out look back at 2007.

Thanks to everyone who reads this blogs, who has joined NAPP in the past year, who’s dropped me a line with words of encouragement and support, or just to say hi. I know that I live a very blessed life, and this year just reinforced that once again, so my sincere and humble thanks to you all for an amazing year, and for allowing me to do something I truly love for a living. :)

My best wishes to you all for the coming year, and may it be a year of peace, joy, happiness and prosperity to you and your family!

Happy New Year!!!!


P.S. I’m not blogging tomorrow. That’s right, I’m starting out 2008 with a “No Blog” Tuesday.

Leave a Reply
Previous Post

Your Ideas Have Once Again Changed My Next Project!

Next Post

My First Shoot of 2008