PhotoshopNews » PSN Editorials The latest news about the top pixel wrangling application on the planet. Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:19:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 On The Road To Boston Mon, 23 Mar 2009 16:15:27 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’m off to Boston and Photoshop World this week. I’ll be hooking up with Martin Evening there as well–we are actually doing a conference session together! Which Download Movies should be fun because I’ll get to make fun of the way Martin pronounces common Photoshop tools’ names. Those Brits…they even misspell the word color!

Andrew Rodney and JP Caponigro and I are doing another mini-Print Academy for Epson. After PSW I’m off to hook up with Seth Resnick and Michael Reichmann in Miami Beach for some tutorial taping….more about that later!

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The ‘Ultimate Workshop’ book shoot Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:36:42 +0000 Martin Evening fan-003983-smsoup-004103-copy

This is a story about how Jeff Schewe and Martin Evening got together in Chicago last year to shoot a set of pictures especially for our new joint book ‘Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop‘.

The title is kind of self-explanatory. This is a brand new book in the Photoshop for Photographers series (published by Focal Press) and forms a masterclass type experience with two leading Photoshop experts. It’s a book aimed at intermediate to advanced-level users and assumes that the reader is already pretty familiar with the Photoshop interface and basic tools and there is therefore no need to have to explain the basics all over again plus color management etc. You can already find all that information in the main Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book. This new title contains 400 pages of Photoshop techniques shown in step-by-step tutorial form.

We like to think that what will set this book apart from most other books is that we both have a lot of professional shooting experience int he studio and on location. Many of the photographs that are used in the tutorials were specially shot with the book in mind and we can sometimes go into more detail about the shooting techniques used with side panel images that also show the lighting setups. Over the next few months we’ll also be publishing a series of Movie tutorials from the DVD. These will feature techniques that are described in the book. So watch out for these coming soon on

Appropriately enough we began with an early morning shoot to photograph the Chicago city skyline at sunrise. We loaded up the car and headed off to a pier on the south side.


For Jeff,  a multi-shot Starbucks coffee is essential to get the day rolling (especially after getting up at the crack of dawn).



Here is a shot of me lining up a series of shots with a view to creating a single  Photomerge panorama of the cityscape view.


We were also joined by a keen photographer who was shooting the traditional way using a 5×4 plate camera with dead cow material to record his pictures.


That’s either a disapproving look or me trying to deal with brand new digital technology that doesn’t always behave itself either (especially when it’s early in the morning).


Here is one of the panorama shots that we ended up producing. We initially thought this might be a good picture to demonstrate the content aware scaling tool with, except the content aware scaling didn’t really suit working with a photo such as this (hey, it had only been available for us to play with for a few weeks at this point – we have to learn too).


Later during that week I made this panorama at night from more or less the same spot. Even this shot didn’t make it into the ‘Ultimate Workshop’ book, but at 10,000 x 4,000 pixels its a useful image to demo the fast GPU scrolling and panning in Photoshop CS4.


A little later that morning we headed into the center of Chicago, where I photographed this building tower that was nearing completion.


This was a useful image with which to demo how to use the Vanishing Point tool in Photoshop. Here is the end result image that appears in the book.


Time to move on to the next location. Boy, it soon get’s hot in July in Chicago.


Jeff thought it would be fun to get a high viewpoint capture of the building seen in the background, seen from the inside lane of the road that passes on the other side. Question was, who’d take the shots and who’d drive the car. Jeff did try to see if he would fit through the roof (I wish I had photos of him trying ME). So  it was down to me to capture the shot.


It really wasn’t such a wise idea in the end and yet again we had to accept that this particular idea wasn’t going to work. Well, at least we tried and you can’t expect every idea to yield results, but the day wasn’t over yet.


Later that day we returned to the center to take a series of photos of the Anish Kapoor sculpture in Millennium park, popularly known as ‘The Bean’ (you’ll see a similar giant sculpture outside the Rockerfeller Center in New York). Now, we did photograph this scene earlier in the morning when there were no people about, but we also wanted to show how you can do this the hard way when there are lots of tourists passing through a busy location like this.


Jeff and I set up a Canon EOS 1Ds MkIII camera on a tripod and between them shot more than 100 exposures over a period of an hour. img_6214

Here is the end result in which we blended the 100+ photos together using the Median Stack blending mode. Interestingly, we were spotted by a young Dutch photographer who was intrigued by our technique. We explained the basic steps and were quite amazed to be emailed a photo later where he had managed to achieve a pretty similar result from no more than a handful of hand-held exposures.


Millennium Park is a great location and we particularly wanted to get a shot of the Pritzker Pavillion. The shot below was used to later demo adding the Lens Flare filter.


And so, back to Jeff’s Studio in West Willow Street. One of the shots Jeff wanted to do was to photograph a complicated subject such as the electric fan shown here and use a silhouette exposure as a simple shortcut for making a mask. You’ll notice that we used a Phase One back for all the following studio shots with Capture One software running on a Mac laptop.


Jeff needed to light the background so that he could fire these lights only to capture the silhouette exposure.


This shows a shot taken without the background lights switched on.


And here is the final image in which Jeff shows how to use the mask created by the silhouette exposure to blend with a completely new backdrop image.


One thing we discovered early on is that medium format digital backs can get awfully dusty. Fortunately, Doug Sperling from ProGear was on hand to clean the sensor for us.


Another shot we wanted to create was one of a glass of water with droplets on it to give the impression that the water was really cold


Fake ice cubes were used in the glass and Jeff then sprayed the glass using a mixture of glycerine and water to add the water droplets.


There is quite an art to getting these to look right



Here is the finished result and in the book you’ll be able to read how to create a combination of a custom brush setting plus layer effect style to add realistic looking water drops to this picture.


Another shot we had on the list was to do a food shot which we would shoot using a normal stopped down exposure, but then show how to apply a selective focus effect to the image using the Lens Blur filter in Photoshop. Here is the lighting setup used.


And a closeup view of the table top setting before we added all the ingredients.


Becky (Jeff’s wife) and I did the shopping and I prepared the noodles and stir fry dish.

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Meanwhile, Jeff made some final adjustments to the lighting setup…


And Becky helped dress the set and apply the finishing touches.


Here is the final image that appears in the book, showing the shallow focus effect.


Jeff did some pretty unmentionable things to the food to get the steam effect you see in this shot. Basically it was inedible by the time he was done. Fortunately there was enough untouched ingredients left over for us to enjoy a well-deserved light lunch.


This next setup was designed so as to capture  a series of bracketed focus shots. Jeff carefully lit the diamond ring you can just about make out in front of the camera lens. Note how the body was positioned on a Sinar monorail mount so that focusing could be done by moving the whole camera backward or forward).


Originally we meant this to be used to demo the ability to Auto blend layers and acheieve maximum depth of field. Indeed that technique was applied successfully here, but in the end Martin used this shot to demo how to create a custom sparkle brush shape and add sparkle reflections to the image.ring-merged

Lastly, we come to the Wine pour shot. This one was Jeff’s baby, as Jeff really wanted to do a photo of wine being poured into a glass and create a composite of the best wine pour exposures. In the set shown here, Jeff had a wine bottle with the bottom removed clamped in position and with a suitable wine glass also clamped below.


The trick here was to use an infrared trigger setup to detect where the wine started to break the beam and then experiment with a few pours of water at first and adjust the time delay to trigger the flash at the correct point to capture the optimum wine splash in the glass. By also varying the delay setting it was possible to accurately capture a good range of wine pour steps from when the wine had just left the bottle to a late-stage pour.


After a few tests Jeff was ready to start shooting. Once real wine was used the wine glass had to be replaced and the dribbles dried off from the neck of the bottle.


Here is a snap taken of the laptop showing one of the individual wine pours that Jeff captured.


And here below is the final image that appears in the book. This is a composite photograph that is a blend of several of the best shots. The wine used in the photography wasn’t the expensive stuff. Jeff consulted with his photographer friend and wine connoisseur Greg Gorman to adjust the wine colour to make it look like a typical Pinot Noir.


That rounds up the story of how we both shot some of the photographs that will appear in the forthcoming Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop, 400 pages, published by Focal Press. The book is due to be released in March and should be on sale very soon in the US and later in other countries. We can say that with some confidence because the books have already been printed and were bound this Monday. You can also find out more about the book by visiting the Photoshop for Photographers website where you can preview more of the content that will be appearing in this book.

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On the Road to Boston Thu, 26 Feb 2009 17:12:27 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’m off to Boston (well, ok, officially it’s Cambridge but that’s close, right?) to do the Epson Print Academy this Saturday. I’m going in a day early to go for a visit to the MIT Digital Imaging labs and meet some geeks :~) If you are in the Boston area, you really should come to the Academy…you could even win a printer!

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I’m Baaaack! Thu, 29 Jan 2009 22:16:55 +0000 Jeff Schewe

2,200+ miles on board the ship and 13,000+ miles on planes and we’re finally back from Antarctica. I shot a little over 12K captures for just under 250 gigs of images. I set a new personal record of 70 gigs in one 24 hour period (which is pretty easy when you have 24 hours of sun!).

And yes, Seth went swimming again…

So, it’ll take a while to do even a first edit. In the meantime I’m on the road again this weekend for the Epson Print Academy in Seattle and then next weekend in San Francisco.

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On the Road to Ann Arbor & Toronto Mon, 18 Aug 2008 19:59:05 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’m off for a short visit with TK in Ann Arbor (I’m going to get to meet Eric Chan) and then off to Toronto to tape some stuff with Michael Reichmann. So, I’ll be off-line till the end of the week.

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I’m Back… Mon, 23 Jun 2008 20:05:43 +0000 Jeff Schewe  

After 5,369 miles on the bike, I’m back…

13 states (although I was only in Montana for a few miles) and a whole bunch of mountain ranges and passes, I’m back with no speeding tickets! (I did see a lot of state troopers along the way but I guess they didn’t see me).

I left at dawn on June 3rd and returned about 8:00PM on June 20th although I didn’t ride the bike for the whole week of my workshop at Greg Gorman’s (good that I didn’t because of the amount of wine consumed).

I’ll have a trip and workshop report at a later date but I’ve got to go through about 5K images that I shot along the way.

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On the Road to Home Mon, 16 Jun 2008 04:58:45 +0000 Jeff Schewe

Well, the workshop is over and I’m in San Francisco Sunday evening planning my route home. I rode down Highway 1 from Mendocino to San Francisco–that’s a heck of a ride. Monday I’m going to visit Peachpit and do a short ride with Lisa Brazieal, the production manager on my book. Then it’s all out riding East. I should be home Friday or maybe Saturday depending on photo ops. And the full story of the ride and workshop will come in a week or so.

K&W ft Million Dan and Ecee K’ala Marka K’s Choise

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On the Road to Mendocino Tue, 03 Jun 2008 00:59:07 +0000 Jeff Schewe

I’m leaving at dawn Tuesday on a motorcycle ride out to Mendocino, Ca. to do a workshop with Greg Gorman. Along the way I’ll be hooking up with George Jardine of Adobe (in Denver) and we’ll ride the back roads of Utah and Nevada and through Northern California to arrive just in time for Greg’s birthday on Saturday.


This is a shot of George and I during our fall ride to check out the aspens.

I’ll try to post updates from the road, but you know how tiring 500-600 miles a day on a bike can be. So posts may be pretty light until my return sometime around June 20th. If ya see a big guy on an R1100 GS BMW bike with aluminum bags, give a honk (and get into the slow lane). This trip should turn the milage on the bike to over 90,000 miles!

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On The Road To Niagara Falls Sun, 18 May 2008 23:37:23 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Niagara Falls?

Yep…I’m hooking up with Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape to shoot material (shots and video) for our upcoming Lightroom 2.0 video tutorial.Now, don’t make too much about the timing of this…this is the only time Michael have to actually get together to shoot stuff photographically before we tape our video.

We wanted to shoot stuff together (something a bit North of Antarctica ya know) in order to have working photo samples to demo our respective workflows. The release of the video tutorial will come after Lightroom 2.0 ships (we really can’t say exactly that will be).

So, stayed tuned for an update, but I’ll be gone for the week starting, well, now! I’ll try to post something while we work. Michael it seems, has booked a suite (not the honeymoon suite I hope) so we can shoot night shots of the falls & the fireworks (assuming they do it in the rain). So, we’ll see what happens…(or doesn’t).

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Scott Kelby’s New Nickname–Scooter Mon, 07 Apr 2008 19:35:29 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Last week at Photoshop World, Scott Kelby was limping along on crutches due to an unfortunate “incident” with what turns out to be a home treadmill. See his admission on his blog. But it seems Scott was able to move around pretty good because of his rented scooter.


We first saw Scott at the instructor’s dinner, Tuesday night.


He was greeting people on crutches as they arrived to the dinner. Later, during dinner he had his handy crutches next to the table.


The next morning at the PSW Keynote, Scott was scooting around in preparation for the luanch of the starting ceremonies.


Later he scooted off towards backstage.


Did I mention that Scott is a fast scooter?


During the start of the Keynote, Scott appeared from a puff of smoke (presumably to allow him time to limp into position).


He explained his “issue” and went on to tell the truth regarding the injury. No, it wasn’t a Swiss sking accident and no it didn’t occur during a kickboxing match. He fell off a treadmill.


Always one to make the best of a bad situation, he pointed out that his walking boot cast sported advertising (hey, why not?).


At the end of the Keynote, he limped off the stage and got ready for the start of the conference.

He was spotted all over the trade show floor and the conference in his scooter. He had an annoying horn (to alert people to get out of the way) and a reverse beep (like a big truck) when backing up. Of course, he didn’t take the escalator like the rest of the attendees–he took an elevator.

In the speakers lounge, he even gave rides.





Here he is giving a ride to his son.


I was going to try to sneak out and give his scooter a test drive but Matt Kloskowski caught me and snapped a picture. I figured I better leave the scooter where I found it.

So, this points out a problem Scott is going to have at the next Photoshop World in Vegas later in the year. I’ve been talking to the other instructors and it seems we all agree–we should ALL get scooters to go to and from the hotel and tradeshow. Can’t you just see us having drag races up and down the halls of the Mandalay Bay Resort? Hum, maybe that isn’t such a good idea after all.

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Back from London, Now Off to San Francisco Mon, 17 Mar 2008 14:00:00 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff I made it back from rainy old London (well, it was sunny for some of the time) and now I’m off to San Francisco for some top secret (tell no one) meetings with people from a large company whose name starts with the letter A (and no it ain’t Apple).


Here’s George Jardine (left) and Martin sitting around the living room on one of the sunny days.


Martin is turning into quite the father (or Dada as Angelica likes to say). Here’s Martin changing nappies (note, we called Seth Resnick who is the proud new father of Luci-born on Lightroom’s birthday- to find out how often Seth changes diapers. That day, Seth had co-changed his FIRST diaper)


George, Martin and myself took a day off to wander around the South Bank of the river Thames. George was shooting video while Martin & I were shooting stills.


Here’s a shot by Martin of me and my cameras–Digital Rebel and 1Ds M3.

This is only a very brief glance at what we shot–I think I came back with about 40 gigs of images (ok, I shoot a lot). But, since I’m off again this week, I wanted to let you know why I am not yet posting to PSN to give you a little “English Taste”.

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On The Road To London Tue, 04 Mar 2008 18:25:41 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’m leaving, on a jet plane…don’t know when I’ll be back again.

Well, actually I do know. Friday the 14th of March. In the meantime I’ll be in London working with Martin Evening on some stuff. (top secret, tell no one) Well, ok, I’ll spill some of the beans…

I’m going over to London to shoot with Martin for an upcoming book we’ll be working on (can’t tell you the title because it’s yet to be decided) but I can say that it’ll be a pro level book on Photoshop techniques aimed at photographers.

I’ll also be there shooting Martin shooting for his upcoming Lightroom book (don’t read too much into the timing as it relates to an as yet, unannounced new version of Lightroom–other than the fact that the Lightroom engineers ARE working on a new version–DOH). But we’ll also have a special guest along, George Jardine, pro evangelist from Adobe who will be shooting video.

So, I’ll be off-line for about ten days, unless I can steal some bandwidth and make a couple of fun posts! See ya when I return.

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CNET Aperture/Lightroom Poll Skewed? Sat, 23 Feb 2008 00:01:09 +0000 Jeff Schewe PSN posted a story earlier today noting that CNET has posted a poll about Poll: Which is better, Aperture or Lightroom?

Well, so far the poll results as of 5:45PM Central have Apple’s Aperture out ahead by a whopping 63.4% to Lightroom’s 36.6%. Could it be that people are really that more impressed with Aperture than Lightroom?

I suppose it could be…but since this is the season of politics and polls, I though I would look into this a little bit.

While the poll story had been placed at the top of the CNET Top Technology news headlines banner on and off during the day, it seems that Apple’s has had the story about the poll up ALL day.

So, am I saying that Apple has intentionally skewed the results of the poll by placing this poll story on their startpage? Not at all.

But it does make one wonder if the current poll results are really an accurate representation of general CNET viewers or the opinions of a lot of Mac users who found out about the story directly from Apple’s startpage. Could it be that Apple users, who we all know are, shall we say, passionate, may have been inclined to vote along party lines? Since Aperture is not available for Windows (and Lightroom is), could it be that only Apple users would really have an informed opinion?

As a resident of Chicago (you do know that our nickname; “The Windy City” refers to Chicago politics, not our weather, right), I’m pretty sure that “Polls” are really only a representation of the views of those polled and who those people may be can always be “adjusted” by outside factors. Just ask Hillary and the recent Wisconsin polls that showed her much closer to Obama than the election results showed.

So, in the old Chicago political tradition, maybe Lightroom users need to vote early, and vote often!


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Where Were You on 02-19-1990? Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:55:45 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff As with many milestones in history, people tend to remember them in the context of their own life. Since we now know (or at least believe) that Photoshop 1.0 shipped on February 19, 1990 (and Lightroom shipped on the same day of February 2007), Jeff Schewe asked a few friends “where were you”? Here are their answers…

In the order in which they responded:


On 2/14/08 2:02 PM, “Christopher Sanderson” wrote:

Thanks to a FileMaker db, I can tell you with reasonable accuracy that Feb ’90, I was under a table shooting a wind-up mouse being chased by a ferocious but highly-trained Hollywood Attack Cat for a Ralston Purina TV spot for Cat Chow.

While the memory is somewhat dimmed, last year I was in a similar position… but under a saloon table on the Akademik Shokalsky with a video camera held above – assuming wideangle & auto-focus would catch Schewe or Seth doing something memorable before the tape ran out.


On 2/15/08 11:51 AM, “Seth Resnick” wrote:

This was very fun indeed. My first child Paige was born on 2/15/90 and I photographed her on that day and on 2/19/90. Images are attached. Notice that in the images shot on 2/19/90 she is surrounded with wine and ski equipment. Some things never change. As of today no baby yet but Jamie may be induced on the 19th.

This year on the birthday I may very well be in the delivery room with Jamie. Last year I believe I was swimming in 38 degree water hoping to get a satellite signal while you photographed me and made a comment on how I looked something like a martini……


On 2/16/08 4:57 PM, “Thomas Knoll” wrote:

In 1990 I was starting work on version 2.0 of Photoshop, working on a computer in the basement of my 1700 sq ft condo.

In 2007 I was working on finishing up Camera Raw 4.0, working on a computer in my office in my slightly larger house. ; )

Nothing ever changes…


On 2/16/08 5:27 PM, “John Paul Caponigro” wrote:

In 1990 I was writing for regional newspapers on art, directing an art cinema, and illustrating children’s books. Little did I know that the very sketches I made at that time, for my personal work, would ultimately become finished composites made with Photoshop the next year, when I became an artist in residence at Kodak’s Center for Creative Imaging. Some of these were later purchased by Princeton University’s permanent collection by renowned curator Peter Bunnell. Photoshop was a dream come true and a Godfather II moment.

In 2007 I was in Antarctica on deck watching Seth Resnick dive in the water from the shore. I could see Schewe was nearby but I was too far away to hear what either one of them said. I couldn’t spot Michael Reichmann, Stephen Johnson, Bill Atkinson, or Ian Lyons. During those two hours I made two of my signature images from the trip by staying put and watching. They were processed on location moments after exposure with Lightroom. All the work in my Antarctica 2007 gallery was processed solely with Lightroom. You can see the work posted in my online gallery at and find one of the two images above online in PDN’s Focus on Nature awards and in forthcoming museum exhibits at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Curious parallels. Big changes.


On 2/16/08 6:04 PM, “Ian Lyons” wrote:

Schewe had one eye on Seth and the other on the penguins (I think he was worried that one would bite ). I was about 20 feet from Schewe and had Seth’s precious 1DsMKII and 300F2.8 slung round my neck. As for what they were saying, well, Chris decided it wasn’t for public consumption and inserted the penguin squawk into the video. Stephen and Bill were tucked round the corner snapping the Glacier in Neko Harbour. Chris kept real close to the defibrillator unit (he was due to take a dip right after Seth and probably wanted to make sure the battery was fully charged ). I don’t recall where Michael was, but like me he had no intention of wetting his feet .

Like JP all of my images were processed in Lightroom. You can see some of the them on the linked page (includes a Lr Flash Gallery)

The picture of the marching penguins was where Seth went for his swim


On 2/17/08 10:24 AM, “John Nack” wrote:

In 1990 I was a freshman in high school in Dubuque, IA (oh, the humanity!), fooling with an Apple IIgs and wishing my folks would someday buy a Mac. Probably the less said about that time, the better. :-)

In 2007 I was just back from a whirlwind European press tour in support of the upcoming Photoshop CS3. I found myself going nuts with the new panorama-stitching features, then exporting the high-res results via Zoomify, then (of course) blogging the results (


On 2/17/08 10:51 AM, “Michael Reichmann” wrote:

In 1990 I was traveling in Asia working to build a new type of telecom business based on voice over IP. As I write this I am once again in Asia, though this time on a speaking tour about photography.

In 2007 I was leading an Antarctic photographic expedition and using Lightroom of course.


On 2/17/08 11:34 AM, “Andrew Rodney” wrote:

In 1990, I was an advertising and annual report photographer in LA. I recall, walking into an Egghead computer store and saw a Mac II with a 13″ color display and fell in love. I wanted one but my wife wanted to know why the Mac SE-30 I had wasn’t good enough. Since I had just seen a demo of Photoshop, that became my excuse to buy a new system: Mac IIci, I think 8mb of ram and that lovely 13″ display. Of course, Photoshop 1.0.7. I didn’t at the time buy ColorStudio thankfully! But I recall the rivalry.

In 2007, I was not on a trip in the Antarctica but home in beautiful Santa Fe. I really don’t recall what I did on Lightroom’s Birthday although I see a note in my calendar that I had a new garbage disposal installed. Seriously, could I make that up? There was a pretty good possibility that I was working in Lightroom that day.


On 2/17/08 2:11 PM, “Sean McCormack” wrote:

1990? I would’ve been studying for my 2nd year Michaelmas exams in Engineering in Trinity College Dublin. 2nd year had different courses in each semester, so the exams were the full marks for the term in 4 courses. With 45 hour lecture weeks and 13 courses, it was a tough year. Computer wise I had nothing but the college computer systems available to me. I actually can’t remember the model of Mac, but it was the tiny B&W screen all in one! VAX, Gmac and Unix systems were the order of the day. I used Quark for society flyers, and that was the most I did with Mac, besides games! My first computer was actually an Atari 1040STE (shhh!) in 91 or 92..

2007, when Lightroom was released, I was in bed! Well it would’ve been 7am or so here! I had loads of blog posts around then, including a video on updating the Library from the Betas… It was both an exciting and a tough time on the users forums. Definitely an exciting time after all the pushing testing and suggesting. LR1.0 was quite mature for a V1.0 product, but not without flaws. It is going from strength to strength though. I try other workflows from time to time, but nothing really touches it.


On 2/17/08 2:42 PM, “Scott Kelby” wrote:

Here’s a little “Where I was when it launched” thingy:

The day Lightroom shipped, I was teaching at a landscape photography workshop in Yosemite National Park (as a guest instructor at the Digital Landscape Workshop Series), and the class I was teaching was (you guessed it)—-Lightroom. It was still in Beta at the time (well, it was in Beta for one day after my class), and I filmed a little video segment from the Yosemite Workshop the night before the release, and I uploaded the video to Adobe that night—just in time to be aired during the Lightroom Launch Party.

At the end of the video clip, I turned to my class said (on camera), “So, what do you guys think of Lightroom?” and the class went crazy, cheering like the Rolling Stones had just walked in the room (which gives you some idea of how old we all are).


On 2/18/08 9:13 AM, “Tom Hogarty” wrote:

In 1990 I was a high school freshman in Hopewell Junction, NY. I was still three years away from purchasing my first ‘real’ camera and my computer experience was limited to Basic programming on a DOS machine. (Still just toying with the blue screen of WordPerfect and the lovely UI of Lotus 123)

In 2007, I was up late on February 18th monitoring the release of Lightroom 1.0 at 9:01pm from home in San Mateo, CA. After ensuring that the release was successfully out the door it was time to move on to Lightroom 1.1 efforts.


On 2/18/08 10:55 AM, “Troy Gaul” wrote:

February 19, 1990 — The Soviet Union had recently collapsed, Best Picture Academy award-winner Driving Miss Daisy was leading the box office, and Paula Abdul was at the top of the Billboard charts with Opposites Attract…


In 1990 I was a freshman at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa (Nack makes me feel old). I wouldn’t start working on Color It! at MicroFrontier, my first real Mac programming job, until a year later.

Melissa was a freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa (which happens to be 20 miles from the Iowa town where I grew up).

On the 19th, Melissa had just returned to Decorah from a trip she took to Des Moines with her friend Debbie for the weekend. During this trip Melissa and I met for the first time. She and Debbie came over to my dorm room, accompanying my friend Chris, who was Debbie’s boyfriend at the time (and is her husband now). We talked for a few hours that evening, and I made a special trip over to Chris’ dorm the next morning hoping to see her again, where I was able to say goodbye as they left for the bus. We started dating that summer.

In 2007, Melissa was taking a well-deserved week off from work. I was at work as usual. It was a fairly light day as I only sent three e-mails and made two check-ins, including a little work on a database optimizer for Lightroom (which was not shipped — instead we put the feature into the Catalog Info window for 1.1).


On 2/18/08 12:44 PM, “Kevin Connor” wrote:

In February of 1990 I was actually doing administrative temp work while trying to figure out how to translate my recently acquired liberal arts degree into a meaningful career. If only I had discovered Photoshop upon its initial launch, perhaps I would have gotten on track a bit sooner!

As for February 19, 2007, I don’t recall my specific activities for the day, but I do remember that I was incredibly excited about finally shipping Lightroom, née Shadowland, as a 1.0 product. I simply can’t overstate how much better February 19, 2007 was for me, compared to February 19, 1990.


On 2/18/08 12:59 PM, “Peter Merrill” wrote:

In 02-19-90 I was working on the Windows version of Harvard graphics for Software Publishing. Skills and techniques I developed allowed me to jump start the Windows version of Photoshop.

On 02-19-07 I was kicking myself for not joining the LR team after Mark Hamburg asked me to help Seetha with the Windows version when Aperture shipped. I felt I couldn’t leave Acrobat given what was at stake with it meeting the schedule.


On 2/18/08 11:42 PM, “Stephen Johnson” wrote:

On Feb 19, 1990 I was working at home trading off between a book project and caring for my new two month old daughter Sara, now 18. Part of the photo play before and after her birth was my Kodak XL-6500 Dye-sub printer with its video frame capture and a new photo program, BarneyScan XP, I had been using on my Great Central Valley book project. Of course, that same program was also licensed to Adobe and renamed Photoshop for its February 1990 shipping.

Zoom forward to February 2007 and I was in Antarctica, moving slowly through coastal waterways, watching gentle sunsets amid graying skies, humpback whales playing with our ship and penguins swimming everywhere. We visited the most amazing array of ice form, well beyond imagination in a place called Pleneau Bay, but commonly referred to as the Iceberg Graveyard. I preferred to think it as a wonderland of spires, cathedrals and shrines. Lightroom was my means our seeing what I had photographed, quickly access success, and heading back out on deck to take in yet more.


On 2/19/08 1:26 AM, “Zalman Stern” wrote:

February 19th, 1990 I was in Pittsburgh, PA working for a research lab at Carnegie Mellon on a port of the Mach operating system to IBM’s RISCSystem/6000 POWER architecture hardware. While largely unremarkable in the history of computing, this was the qualification that led me to working on Photoshop when Apple chose PowerPC as the CPU architecture after the 68k. (The boot screen featured a graphic of the little green guy from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with the cover text “Don’t Panic.” Today of course I would use a lolcat photo.)

February 19th, 2007, I was en route back from South Lake Tahoe where I’d gotten in some quick practice skiing before taking off for Big Sky, Montana for an annual triathlon like contest comprised of the Moose Slalom, Lightning Camera Raw bug fixing, and creative badgering of Photoshop engineering managers. (

On 2/19/08 9:41 AM, “Mark Hamburg” wrote:

02-19-1990: I was at Ashton*Tate working on FullWrite Professional. Ashton*Tate had been in meltdown for a while and I had already started interviewing other places including Adobe where the interview reportedly went well, but they could not figure out what to do with me and hence didn’t follow up.

02-19-2003: The Shadowland (AKA Lightroom) project was slowly ramping up at this point. We were migrating into a more workflow oriented view of things, but still had a lot of emphasis in the discussions on providing a new raster editing environment.

02-19-2007: I was organizing a celebratory lunch at the Poor House Bistro in San Jose, responding to questions from John Nack about why one would want to convert from JPEG to DNG (generally one wouldn’t but it is a way to slip things through some raw processors), and discussing how people should decide between Bridge and Lightroom.

On 2/19/08 10:05 AM, “John Paul Caponigro” wrote:

So … (The “so” is an inside joke.)

Your metadata forces me to rewrite my version of reality. Is history made of metadata, memory, or consensus?
The answer is yes.

On February 19th, 2007 I wasn’t in Neko Harbor. I was in a zodiac most of the day with Seth Resnick, Jeff Schewe, Stephen Johnson, Bill Atkinson, Ian Lyons, Michael Reichmann, Chris Sanderson, Kevin Raber, and Bob (our driver, a glaciologist). This was the only time we were all in a zodiac together. Chris Sanderson was filming for the Luminous Landscape video journal and to celebrate the birth of Lightroom, which we followed up on at the end of the day on board the Professor Multanovskiy. In Plenneau Bay, the “iceberg graveyard”, we saw icebergs that looked like viking ships and greco-roman temples. We floated inside an ice canyon barely large enough to fit our boat and into a pool of water barely deep enough to float our boat. We saw a lot of leopard seals. Later that day, on the edge of the open ocean, we had a close encounter with a leopard seal. Bob cautioned us not to put our hands over the edge of the boat, as the last thing any of us wanted was to see one of us get bitten or dragged off the boat by a 1200 predator with a mouth full of razors. Seth had to get the shot. And he did! He put his camera at the waterline a second before the seal bit our boat. (The image has delighted many, including my six year old son and his class mates.) The boat wasn’t punctured, but large bite marks were found on its surface when we returned. Our driver turned the boat around immediately. That was the day I knew that Bob knew exactly where the line was. I’m still not convinced that Seth does. I suspect he doesn’t, but he rarely gets hurt. Nevermind the shots he gets, he has amazing experiences. And he laughs all the way!

Have an amazing experience today!


As for Jeff Schewe, he can’t be absolutely sure what he was doing but the shot below was done about the 17 or 18th of February, 1990 (we suppose it could have been delivered on that Monday).


And no, no Photoshop was involved (Jeff wouldn’t get Photoshop until after August 16th, 1992–read this article to see his first Photoshop job–it was garbage, really!).

No, this shot was a straight multiple exposure, one for the food and one to burn in the “spot lights”. And yes, it would have been A LOT EASIER to have done in Photoshop!

To see what Jeff was doing on February 19th, 2007 check this web page.

So, do you remember what you were doing on the day that Photoshop 1.0 or Lightroom 1.0 shipped? If you do, post a comment and tell us your story…

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Most Important Date in Digital Imaging History? Tue, 19 Feb 2008 15:44:01 +0000 Jeff Schewe birthdays.png

In the grand scheme of human history, February 19th may not go down as a momentous occasion, but it’s recently come to light that at least in the world of digital imaging, today signifies a more important date than most anybody realized. And that folks, is the delicious irony.

I’ve been noted as somewhat of a historian when it comes to Photoshop lore. I wrote an article for the now defunct publication Photo Electric Imaging (PEI). Elmo Sapwater, the senior editor at the time, had known that at one point in time, I was going to do a Photoshop book (ironically still listed here by Amazon) and one chapter was going to be a History of Photoshop. Due to a lot of factors, the book was never produced, but I had gathered a lot of info (and portraits of a lot of engineers) so Elmo thought it would make for a great story for the Feb, 2000 issue-Photoshop’s 10th birthday.


The image above was the cover (click here to read the story behind making the cover image). The article is still available in PDF form from my website here.


Photoshop 1.0 box shot (by Jeff Schewe)

So, okay, I knew that Photoshop shipped in February of 1990. But recently, Kevin Connor of Adobe was asked by PC World magazine EXACTLY when Photoshop 1.0 “officially” shipped. Kevin didn’t know, so he sent out an email to Russell Brown (because Russell was actually at Adobe then) as well as Thomas Knoll (since he was the co-author) and myself (since I had written the “History”).

Neither Russell nor I knew…but Thomas sent this along in an email:

On 1/3/08 7:49 AM, “Thomas Knoll” wrote:
> I’m about 80% sure it was Feb 19, 1990.

Well, if Thomas is 80% sure about anything, that’s good enough for me…so from that point on, I considered Photoshop’s “birthday” to be February 19th, 1990. Even Adobe finally woke up to the birthday occasion, it seems Adobe Germany wanted to celebrate Photoshop’s 18th birthday because in Germany, it denotes an official coming of age. I got phone calls and emails from Adobe marketing about making stuff available, such as the History article and box shots, which I did. I even filled out an email questionnaire for the Addison-Wesly blog about the birthday (my part is in English). So did Katrin Eismann (most of hers is in English but some in German, which Katrin speaks fluently).

But, something about February 19th stuck with me. I remembered that last year on 02-19-2007, I was down in Antarctica with Michael Reichmann on our 2nd photo expedition along with Bill Atkinson, JP Caponigro, Stephen Johnson, Ian Lyons and Seth Resnick. Read Michael’s article Antarctica 2007 – What Worked? What Didn’t. I specifically remember that on the 19th, we organized an instructors only Zodiak cruise to shoot material for the Lightroom 1.0 on-line launch party that was due to happen after we returned. I even did a story about the party on called Backstage at The Lightroom Launch Party.

I had posted both the video we shot while in Antarctica as well as a slideshow of images shot on February 19th, 2007. You can find the videos and slideshow here. In addition to the video (which is, in itself very funny) there’s also a video of Seth going swimming with the icebergs (well, bergy bits) which is worth the view.


One of the shots I took on 02-19-2007.

I thought it was pretty interesting to find out that Lighroom and Photoshop both shipped on the same day, thus sharing “birthdays”. It’s also interesting that the original co-author of Photoshop, Thomas Knoll, was also involved in Lightroom (Lighroom uses the Camera Raw pipeline) and that the #2 engineer on Photoshop, Mark Hamburg, was also the founder of Lightroom.

Photoshop turns 18 (old enough to vote) while Lightroom is only one year old–still in diapers.

What are the odds?

But that February 19 date was still bouncing around in my head. Then it hit me, Camera Raw was announced and shipped February 19th, 2003. The announcement was made by Bryan Lamkin at Photoshop World in Los Angeles which ran the 19th, 20th and 21st. I was there because Adobe convinced Thomas Knoll to show up and help promote Camera Raw 1.0 and that it would work in Photoshop 7. Bryan introduced Thomas at the keynote. After the event, we all went over to Greg Gorman’s house for a big party. Greg called it my 50th birthday party (my birthday is the 22nd of February).


Bryan’s Powerpoint presentation slide…


…announcing Camera Raw. It was made available for download for $99.95 starting that day.


This is what Camera Raw 1.0 looked like running in Photoshop 7 (rather primitive when compared to Camera Raw 4). Camera Raw 2 was released later in 2003 when Photoshop CS was shipped the same week as Photo Plus Expo.

So, now we must come to the conclusion that the day, February 19, 2008 does have some real significance. It’s Photoshop’s 18th birthday, Camera Raw’s 5th birthday and Lightroom’s 1st birthday. One might wonder if some elf at Adobe has done this on purpose…well, I’m here to tell you that ain’t so. Adobe is always worried more about the “next version” and rarely, if ever, marks the passing of some distant milestone…even if it does have great significance.

About all I can say is, thanks Thomas (and John) for getting hooked up in the first place to write a little application that Adobe thought would sell a few hundred copies a year (and turned into a pivotal point in the history of the digital imaging industry).

Here are some additional links to Photoshop and Lightroom lore on

Profile of Thomas & John

The Evolution of the Photoshop Splash Screen

The Evolution of the Photoshop Tool Bar

The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story

A Visit to Adobe

A Visit to the Adobe Lightroom Engineers

The Photoshop Widows Club (Photoshop history by Ruth Knoll)

Photoshop Widows Club–Parte Due (Camera Raw history by Ruth Knoll)

Photoshop Widows Club–Rebecca Schewe (Jeff’s history with Photoshop by Becky Schewe)

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On the Road to Vegas for PMA Wed, 30 Jan 2008 06:54:41 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff I’ll be hitting the road to attend PMA in Las Vegas starting Wed (PMA starts Thurs.). But, I won’t be back to Chicago till Tues. of next week because Michael Reichmann and I are going to do a quick trip to Zion National Park on Sun. & Mon.

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On The Road to Long Beach, CA Tue, 08 Jan 2008 17:56:44 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’m off on a little trip out to Long Beach, CA home of Epson USA. Can’t tell ya why…just that I’m going (along with a few friends). The topper of the trip will be dinner at Greg Gorman’s house on Wednesday night. I won’t be back until Friday (although I’ll be coming off the downhill leg of the redeye from LA so don’t expect too much wisdom and wit on Friday).

Next week is also going to be rather busy…Michael Reichmann and his trusty videographer Chris Sanderson will be in town. We’ll be taping an upcoming video tutorial all about Camera Raw. Included in the video will be an interview with the Camera Raw engineering team as well as an appearance by Tom Fors talking about camera calibration and demoing his AcrCalibrator.

Busy, busy…

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On the Road to Ann Arbor Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:56:53 +0000 Jeff Schewe I’ll be on the road to Ann Arbor, MI for a short visit with Thomas Knoll (can’t tell ya what’s going on just yet) and will be back Friday of this week. See ya then…

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I’m Back… Thu, 27 Sep 2007 17:34:09 +0000 Jeff Schewe speedo.jpg

Warning: zero Photoshop content in this story.

Final ending mileage was 88,114. The starting mileage was 84,843 so that makes a total of 3,271 miles in seven days. That works out to an average of 467 miles a day for a solid week! When you put it that way, that’s a lot of time on the bike!


The last day was the longest day. I started from the West side of Oklahoma City at 7:30AM and arrived at the garage at about 9:45PM. 805 miles (according to Google maps) in 14 hours and 15 minutes works out to an average of about 57 miles/hour. Not bad considering I had several phone call stops (talked to Martin in the UK), checked email on the iPhone and had a lot of gas stops.


It was a 5.3 gas stop day with an average of about 150 miles between stops. Typical was about 4.4 gallons for 150 miles for about 34 miles/gallon. It would be higher but I have a large windscreen and tend to go real fast which cuts down on gas mileage.

I’ll have a trip report including photos from George as well as stuff I shot at Andrew’s house later (when my hands aren’t vibrating so much).

But…I’m back.

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Yes, The Aspens are Turning Mon, 24 Sep 2007 05:05:11 +0000 Jeff Schewe aspens.jpg

Just a quick Sunday nite update from the road, yes, the aspens in Colorado are turning. The shot above was taken just after George Jardine and I crossed over Independance Pass coming out of Aspen (the town, not the tree).


Here’s George and I at the pass. Who shot this shot? Both George and I shot it–two separate shots done and then assembled in Photoshop CS3 using Auto-Align followed by Auto-Blend (note, that’s all the Photoshop content in this post).

In the morning, George and I split up. George has to head back to Denver (he has a real job for Adobe) while I head down to Santa Fe to hook up with Andrew Rodney. We’re working on a top secret project that will be announced next month at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC.

I won’t be back to Chicago till at least Wed nite, so I’m still on the road…but George and I had a lot of fun riding and shooting our way all over Colorado so I think there’s a good story brewing! Stay tuned.

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