Seeking Photoshop or Lightroom lessons? Need photo retouching or compositing? Need Photoshop help?
Learn Photoshop at your own pace. My creative services include: photo editing, photo retouching, photo restoration, digital imaging, color and tonal correction, photo compositing, graphic design, image production for print and web.
I am available for the Santa Monica, Venice, West LA, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and the greater Los Angeles areas.
Contact Andrew at:  imagebliss@gmail.com or 310-866-9450

Interview with Serge Ramelli – Photographer & Photoshop Instructor

Serge Ramelli - Photographer & Photoshop Instructor
What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
My name is Serge Ramelli and I’m a French photographer living in Paris. I specialize in urban landscapes and interior design photography. I have also written a number instruction books on Photoshop and Lightroom and created a vast library of training videos.

What inspired you most to become a Photoshop artist and trainer?
Since I was a kid I always loved to create images in drawing or with the help of the computer. For a long time I wanted to be a 3D artist but the learning curve was rough. One day as I was on holidays with a friend of my mine who was really good at using Photoshop, and he showed me how to retouch the portrait of girl. It was a very cool result. This was a major moment for me. I decided that I wanted to learn photography and post processing to make cool images.

Years later as I became more competent, I started getting emails from Photographers that wanted to learn how I did some effects. I love to share, so I gradually started doing training videos. I started selling them in French on a website called tuto.com and it became the second best-selling author of the website with over 70,000 videos sold.

As I started speaking English I decided to make my own post processing show on YouTube, mainly on Lightroom and it took off internationally: http://www.youtube.com/cmoeu/

Why did you pursue this as a career?
I love to share and I love receiving emails of people telling me that they know they got their photos to look like the way they wish, or started a career as a professional photographer. I have never experience a better feeling than helping another human being in doing better art.

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
The biggest obstacle is probably making enough money to follow your passion and take care of your family. It took a few years before I got good enough to make a living as a photographer. With today’s market you have to be really good at Photoshop and Lightroom, because your competition most certainly is.

But there is a point when you are getting better and better and you will start pulling clients and that is the point when your photos create a really big emotional impact on yourself and others.

With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
How the quick select tools got better over the years, it makes amazing composite possible and the sky is the limit. Also the whole content aware technology really speeds things up to clean up an image.

What Photoshop artists/creatives do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
Scott Kelby is an amazing teacher and a great man. I follow him for the information he has on the market and his amazing portraits technics. Also Kelbyone.com is the best and most complete resources on photography and post processing. I learned most of the techniques from there.

In my opinion, Erik Almas is the best Photoshop artist in the world, and I love Glyn Dewis’ composites and tutorials.

What social networks do you like most?
YouTube, 500px, Facebook and Google+

Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
500px, Youtube (for diaporamas) Google+ is better for showing your photos, though Facebook has improved a lot.

What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks?
It is the most effective way to promote your art and business. Everybody is there and it is going to be more and more used in the future. People are turning away from old media: Newspaper, TV, Magazine and are jumping onto YouTube, blogs and social networks.

How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
By giving the opportunity for anyone that is good to have his work shared over and over. All the artist has to concentrate on is to create an emotional impact!

One has to be good at business to make it, especially to market yourself and spend enough time on social networks, but first you have to work on creating an emotional impact to your full satisfaction.

What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Photography?
That it is going to be even more creative, especially with the use of composites when we can create worlds only limited by our creation. I think Adobe should create tools to extract even better, and blend colors more easily between elements so that anybody can assemble items taken here and there.

For example I would love a tool where you put an element extracted on a background and it automatically determines the lights and colors of the background and applies to the foreground elements. So we don’t have to go into many levels, curves or selective colors to make it fit. 

Follow Serge here!  www.photoserge.com on YouTube  & on Facebook

Interview with Kelly McCathran – Adobe Certified Instructor

Kelly McCathran - Adobe Certified Instructor
What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
The title I most use is Adobe Certified Instructor (and Adobe Design Master), but I wear many hats. On a day to day basis I’m often in class from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, but rarely 5 days a week (I try to reserve at least 1 or 2 days for email, calls, scheduling, writing and Adobe User Group management). When  I’m not teaching I also work as a “virtual producer” for AMA (American Management Association), helping deliver online classes on a wide range of management topics. I am NOT a subject matter expert on Management (but am an Adobe Certified Expert). In this role, I help management gurus & PhDs to deliver classroom courses in an online environment, using Adobe Connect.

I don’t believe we should be limiting our access to education based on our geographic area (Adobe products, or otherwise). For the last 5 years I’ve also been teaching Creative Cloud applications from home (often in my PJs when there is an East Coast start time of 6 am). I share my screen and students work along with me, from the comfort of their home or office. When they are practicing on their own, they share their screens with me, so I can help if they get stuck.

What inspired you most to become a Graphic artist? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I don’t consider myself a graphic artist. I am a teacher, who is good at explaining the tools that will help a graphic artist create their vision. The more I teach, the more I learn about the creative process (I often feel like my students have taught me as much as I teach them). My skills are directed at streamlining the creative workflow (working smarter, not harder).

I love sharing power user tips & tricks and high-end photo correction techniques. On the other end of the spectrum, I love to show a talented “traditional media” artist (someone who isn’t naturally inclined to design electronically) ways to create using a device or an application (while staying true to their artistic vision).

What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
The first obstacle is experience, the second is pricing, they both go hand-in-hand. There are so many websites that let you “job-out” design work. This is WONDERFUL for people who want to gain experience, but may be damaging to companies who hire the lowest bidder. You get what you pay for. Some of the inexperienced designers who work on these sites may drive prices down for more talented, and more experienced, designers. It’s a catch 22, you need the experience to develop a portfolio and get work, but if you aren’t trained well in the products you are using, you may create nightmares for the client. Designers have to start somewhere and customers need to learn to evaluate based on quality and price (not price alone).

There is a science to logo design, photo-retouching, page layout, etc. Just because you own the software, it doesn’t mean you can do all of the aforementioned things. Just because you are VERY talented artistically, it doesn’t mean you can get work right away.

With all the new versions of Photoshop what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
Maybe it’s just me, but I LIVE for Adobe Camera Raw, the fact that you can run it as a Filter (or, better yet, as a SMART FILTER) blows my mind! The camera shake reduction feature is also fabulous, especially with the proliferation of high-resolution smart phone images (and many GREAT shots taken with shaky hands). Those are just 2, but I could list 20 more…

What Photoshop artists/creatives/ do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I love everything Terry White (of Adobe) and Julieanne Kost (also of Adobe) creates. There is a young lifestyle and sports photographer who is doing some very cool work: Ryan Siu. Gary Peck has also shown me some fascinating images focusing on texture, light and detail (his Photoshop techniques are mind-bogglingly cool). On Behance I seem to gravitate toward photographers in Italy and Brazil (not fully sure why, but those are the countries of most of the photographers I follow there). Of course there are legendary photographers that inspire me: Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe and Annie Leibovitz.

What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Graphic design the best?
The main social network I’m heavily active on is Facebook (I simply don’t have time for exploration on many others). I love the photos shared in the Photoshop & Lightroom group and the feedback given by fellow group members. Outside of the “likes” for fabulous photos, the feedback is often be very specific and constructive (if it’s not, the user is quickly banned). I’m active on LinkedIn & Twitter (but I rarely spend a lot of time on either). I have an Instagram account (with 3 photos shared so far). I belong to Tumblr and all the other top social media networks, but I concentrate my efforts on the network that I find most enjoyable, Facebook (I have 2 children under 5, so time on the computer, or a device, is precious). I’ve just started teaching Social Media Fundamentals, so I have to keep up with the hottest trends and be aware of services each network offers.

What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
Well, I have a bet with a friend that Facebook will STILL be a viable social network in 4 years (a bet made 1 year ago). The winner gets a trip to Hawaii. I do see Instagram gaining huge market share and I think the social network your kids use most, won’t be the focus for businesses for a while (at least until their generation takes over). Behance is a very exciting way to showcase photography and art of all kinds. I check it several times a week, but again, I’m not heavily active there. Flickr seemed to be big a few years ago, but I hear less and less about it today.

Everyone I know who is active in Social Media has a Google+ account, but most of them admit they aren’t active there. I use BufferApp to push updates to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter & Google+, so while I post on many accounts, I’m not really exploring other people’s content.

What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Graphic Design?
Photoshop is a very rich and very deep application. It remains the de facto standard for photo editing. Not much competition has come along and I don’t see Corel Painter or GIMP giving it a run for it’s money. Photoshop Lightroom is an exciting newer application, built by photographers for photographers. There are some Lightroom users that never touch Photoshop, but I couldn’t live without it. I don’t use or teach Lightroom, but I do live in Adobe Camera Raw when I’m editing images in Photoshop or Adobe Bridge. As my image library grows, I know I’ll need to move to Lightroom for the searching, storing and indexing features, but for now Adobe Bridge and my own hard drive management system, does all I need.

Follow Kelly here! Creative Cloud Lovers http://creativecloudlovers.com on Twitter: http://twitter.com/onlineinstruct on LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/kellymccathran on Google+ http://google.com/+roundpegKelly & on Behance https://www.behance.net/onlineinstruct

More Updates →