What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
As a one man shop I’m both CEO and Chief Bottle Washer. That means I’m doing all the retouching, marketing, networking, planning etc.
What inspired you most to become a Retoucher? Why did you pursue this as a career?
Back in the late 80’s there was a big fuss made when National Geographic used a computer to move the moon in their cover photo so it better fit the crop. While everyone else was aghast I was thinking “Cool!”
Shortly after that I started working with a photographer who created complex composite shots in the darkroom using pin registered duping film and litho masks. (This is also how I met my wife.)
The more I heard about the new digital imaging systems the more it compelled me to learn how to do this. At some point it became clear the only way I would really learn how to be a digital retoucher was to buy my own system and jump in with both feet. So in February of 1991 I signed a $50,000 lease for a “Wicked Fast IIfx”.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
Unlike other careers there is no clear path to building a successful career in the creative fields. Everyone’s path is different so it takes a lot of drive and persistence to figure it out.
With all the new versions of Photoshop and Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
As much as some don’t like the subscription model for the Creative Cloud apps I really like the idea we don’t have to wait on their 18 month update cycle to take advantage of the newest features.
As for Photoshop, I keep finding new uses for Smart Objects and the Refine Edge tool saves me huge amounts of time when it comes to masking.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
There are way too many photographers doing work I love to list here. But names like Dean Bradshaw, Hunter Freeman and Roger Hagadone come to mind right away.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop & Photography the best?
Facebook has become my most frequented distraction. But when I want to peruse great photography I’ll check out sites like www.foundfolios.com where they feature great work being done by pro photographers.
There are so many social media venues these days it’s hard to keep up, but I’ve also been getting into checking out Behance lately.
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?
Social networks provide a great way to get to know the work of a wide range of artists. It seems they’ll continue to find new ways of connecting viewers with artists so that every few years we’ll have something new to follow.
That said one interesting aspect of social media is that a lot of new artists can build up a following very quickly, often before they’ve really figured out how to master their art. I’m hearing more and more that ad agencies are returning to hiring proven pros for their campaigns as they really need to be sure the artists they hire can deliver on demand.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
That’s a pretty wide open question. 😉 Adobe has shown a tremendous ability to create industry leading tools while constantly working to keep improving them so I expect we’ll continue to see new features coming along while the apps enable us to achieve the results we need faster and faster