What is your title, and can you explain what your daily responsibilities are?
I am a photographer, a photo-educator, and a Photoshop and Lightroom trainer and consultant. I’m also a video producer, and I spend quite a bit of time with my website, http://mulita.com, creating, maintaining and supporting numerous, comprehensive video training series.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer & Lightroom trainer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I was Product Manager at Adobe Systems for Project Shadowland — essentially Lightroom during the inception and brain-storming years. After we shipped version 1.0, I became Pro Photography Evangelist working with the community to drive adoption of the new Lightroom product. It was during this period of traveling and giving workshops that I saw the need for training that was deeper, better structured, and more esthetically appealing to photographers, than that which was available from the fast-food style video training aggregation sites.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
I tend to not worry very much about “obstacles” in that sense. Anyway, I don’t think obstacles to a career in the creative fields are that huge. There are millions of production and design jobs in advertising agencies and marketing organizations. But reading in between the lines of your question, I think maybe the more relevant question is, ‘what attributes are most needed for a successful and fulfilling career in the visual arts?’ If that is indeed the question then my answer would be persistence and vision. Persistence because in any creative field — by the simple nature of always trying to define and express the new, visually — you are fighting mediocrity. And let’s face it, mediocrity and consensus are the rule. Vision because it isn’t enough to just break the rules. You have to do it in a way that excites people.
With all the new versions of Photoshop & Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
I’m probably not immediately attracted to every new feature around mobile capabilities, for instance. I’m not saying the mobile revolution isn’t important or interesting, just that I feel there is still a lot of room in the traditional desktop model for development of tools for making better images. Such as the distortion controls and lens correction controls that have appeared in the last couple of versions. I’m also very interested in the way raw processing is getting better. The 2012 Process Version brought amazing advancements in control over tone-mapping and highlight recovery. This represents a slower moving revolution in image processing (relative to changes we’re seeing around mobile devices), and so I think has maybe been overshadowed by the hype for mobile. But it’s those types of deeper improvements in real image processing that I feel are exciting and brilliant, because they contribute to our ability to make better pictures. Which I sincerely do not think the so-called mobile revolution does. Quite the contrary, actually.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I’m still deeply impressed by the work of the artists who inspired me in photography 35 years ago: Pete Turner, Eric Meola, Jay Maisel, and Jerry Uelsmann. In film, it’s Errol Morris and Woody Allen. They stand out for me for the reasons I stated above: persistence and vision.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop and Photography the best?
Are there social networks that present good examples of Photoshop and Photography?
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?
I think we are too close to the social network revolution to know how it will evolve. Also, so-called “social networking” has been enabled from the start by technology and devices, and that’s not going to let up. New technologies and devices will most certainly bring us advancements in how we can share, display and experience photography, but at the onset of the revolution I’d say all social networking has brought us has been volume. Which is diluting, rather than empowering.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
The trend for every generation of technology has been greater access to more power, and I don’t see that changing in digital imaging. A current (and perpetual) trend is toward smaller and faster, and while the most obvious result of that trend seems to be the cheapening of imagery, it has also enabled us to make better pictures in the field. Look at the pictures James Balog is bringing back from the Extreme Ice Survey, or the pictures and film coming back from places like Everest. Look at what the BBC is doing with time lapse photography in nature. These things are opening up new worlds to us that are worth seeing, on something larger than an iPhone.