I didn’t think we could top Orlando, but thanks to an incredibly energized crowd in Vegas, I think they took it over the top. Amazing energy the whole week, and I couldn’t walk 2 feet without someone stopping me to tell me this was our best show ever.

Sometimes, it’s just a vibe in the air, or the fact that with the economy like it is, everybody needed to get away and get totally immersed in learning and creativity and that’s exactly what they did.

Here’s my take on the show (photos by official PSW photographers Brad Moore, Jim Sykes, and Josh Bradley):

Totally Cracked Me Up
I sat down at the instructor table for my “Photoshop for Travel Photographers” class, and I’m setting up my laptop when I hear a text message alert on my phone. It says “I’m in this class. Make it good.” It was Ken Toney.

Owned the Expo Floor. Again.
Westcott once again ruled the floor, with their creative live shootout booths, complete with live models, full sets, costumes, and lighting. This is a HUGE  hit with the attendees and anytime you went by there, there was a big crowd at every set (they could all shoot simultaniously because the sets were lit with Westcott TD-6 Spiderlites).

He looked like a wounded sloth…

Vanelli. He was very subdued this year. It’s possible he finally got off the crank. (totally kidding. I think he hurt his foot in the tub or something equally less glamorous, but it didn’t slow him down too much, but it did a little).

The “Tweet Up” goes Prime Time

A couple of years ago, it was 30 people. When it was 300 hundred. Now it’s so big that it’s an official part of Photoshop World, and it’s a perfect place to make new friends (and goof off in front of a really big softbox). Brian Matiash from OnOne had loads of giveaways, and that didn’t hurt either. ;-)

Pulling huge crowds on the show floor…
Wacom’s in-booth theater was a big hit. They tried it in Orlando, and people loved it so much that they took it up a notch in Vegas.

Their product announcements were the talk of the Expo floor

Nik Software releasing their major update to their Photoshop (and Lightroom) plug-in  “Color Efex Pro 4” and OnOne Software releasing their “Perfect Photo Suite 6” with lots of big updates. More on both of these coming soon, but everybody that saw either was over-the-top about them.

A first-timer making lots of noise on the floor
Camera filter manufacturer Tiffen. They had a big booth, and it was packed every time I went by.

An honor to have him teaching at Photoshop World:
Gregory Heisler. What a fascinating, witty, and amazing photographer. What a treat to have him at our event.

Coolest “New Kid on the Block:”
Compositing master Joel Grimes taught his first classes at Photoshop World, and he was an instant hit. His students loved him, and we loved him. He’s the real deal.

Got a Standing Ovation…

Joe McNally’s “Faces of Ground Zero” presentation during the after hours “The Art of Digital Photography” panel. His words and images have incredible impact, and the timing was not lost on the crowd. A very emotional, yet somehow uplifting talk.

He was a rockstar!
Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg’s class was such a hit, that he continued the class, for 45 minutes, out in the lobby outside his class. His insights and advice for photographers is absolutely invaluable!

America loves him!

Frank Doorhof. He loves them right back. What a great teacher, and such a nice guy.

The other expo hit:
iStockPhoto’s “Photoshop Wars” booth was rocking, and people loved watching, and joining in on the fun. You could hear people cheering no matter where you were on the Expo floor.

Didn’t sleep for five days straight:

RC Concepcion. He was like a human glow-stick. Everywhere he went, he was lit (kidding). Seriously though, I don’t know who had more fun at Photoshop World, RC or Frank Doorhof, because these two guys did everything, went everywhere, and created new ends for the candle to burn. They’re both probably going to sleep until Thanksgiving.

I was tickled to see

My first copies of my new book in the bookstore. I did a book signing, and during the book signing Thomas Knoll came over and said hi. Couldn’t talk him into buying a book, though. ;-)

Took it easy this time.

Believe it or not…me. I cut nine things out of my Orlando schedule, and I actually had to time to see the Expo floor, visit with friends, have nice dinners with my wife, and generally enjoy myself. It was a very different experience, but I liked it. A lot.

We listened when they said, “We want more Jeremy Cowart!”
And not surprisingly, people loved him. Big time. He was even on the “Art of Digital Photography” panel. I know he had to be nervous, being wedged between Joe McNally and Jay Maisel, but he totally fit right in, and everybody totally dug his work and his message.

Best Booth Design

Adobe takes it again, with this open, airy layout and inviting design. It was more like a coffee house, with Adobe as your host, and people were loving it.

Really cool to see….

Senior Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes get inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. A very humble, classy, and freakin’ smart guy.

Gettin’ “the props” they deserve
Our award-winning video team captured so much of the event, and they were everything covering every thing. They are probably the only people who sleep less than RC, but man do they rock it!!! At the Closing Wrap Up Rally, we showcased their winning entry in the 48-hour film festival and they crowd loved it. It was great seeing this wonderful team getting the recognition they deserve. Really warmed my heart.

Classes that I heard totally rocked it:

I heard numerous mentions for Dave Black’s light painting and sports photography class, Jeremy Cowart’s sessions, Matt Kloskowski’s Compositing class absolutely killed it, the social media for photographers track was a very big hit;  Helene Glassman’s posing class was mobbed, Rich Harrington’s DSLR classes got lots of love, as did Julieanne Kost’s class on Time Lapse photography. Cliff Mautner gets big love, too! Also, heard lots of great comments about Joel Grimes classes. Of course, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, and Jay Maisel all had jaws dropping the entire week.

Lots of Adobe folks at the show

Besides having a big presence on the trade show floor, Adobe was there in full force with Photoshop team members attending the show as well, including Senior Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neal Hughes. I think it’s so cool that our participants get to meet face-to-face, one-on-one with the crew from Adobe.

One last thing…
If you did your own coverage of the show, including posting photos from the event, or blogging about it, or posting videos on YouTube, let me know and I’ll post some links here on the blog. Thanks again to everyone who participated in Photoshop World, from the instructors to the attendees, to the staff. Together you all make it a very special event, and it’s an honor and a blast to be a part of it.

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.