Photoshop has been the predominant application for most all digital imaging tasks over the past 20 years. Its evolution paces the introduction of and advances made in digital cameras; so rightfully, Photoshop has been the obvious image editor of choice when we want to 'improve' our digital pictures.

Nevertheless, editing digital photographs in Photoshop has always been problematic. First, there is a steep learning curve for those who intend to harness this complex application. And, until recently, it was nearly impossible to affect a digital image without degrading or destroying the original in the process. (Depending upon who you're talking with, there is presumed to be either the loss of quality and/or the potential for corrupting image files each time a digital photo is even saved-as a PSD or TIFF, both 'lossless' file formats!) With the advent of Adobe's Camera Raw plugin some semblance of 'nondestructive' manipulation was introduced to digital photo editing (PS7/2002). At last photographers were able to perform limited image adjustments and have the ability to always revisit the file later for additional tweaks or changes – even after it had been saved with current settings and closed. But ACR only affected Camera Raw files, not TIFF's, JPEG's or even native Photoshop documents.

However, with the release of Adobe's Lightroom application (three years ago) true nondestructive image editing became a reality. What makes Lightroom so profoundly different from its parent application is its breakthrough approach to image processing. Unlike Photoshop, which edits (manipulates) pixels, Lightroom writes instructions to a text file attached to the image. This is extraordinary! So instead of having to 'Save-As' multiple variations of an original (one is utilizing as the root for their work) – potentially hundreds of megabytes worth of pixel data – Lightroom writes kilobytes worth of instructions to display one's variations precisely as saved within this remarkable application. And Lightroom affords the same powerful editing tools to TIFF's, JPEG's and PSD files, making LR the perfect transitional resource for artists currently working with point-and-shoot cameras aspiring to shoot with more professional equipment producing raw files one day in the future.

Lightroom is intuitive and substantially less complicated to understand than is Photoshop. Lightroom provides digital photographers the means to affect their images in ways one would have had to spend years learning, experimenting with and investing in hundreds of dollars worth of third party plugins to achieve with Photoshop. And every subtle change made to an image in Lightroom appears instantaneously as work evolves under the direction of each individual artist's command.

But Lightroom is not merely a consummate photo processing application. It is a suite of interconnected modules; component work-spaces enabling users to organize and archive their work on multiple drives, build impressive web galleries and slideshow presentations.

petroglyph

Over the entirety of my career providing location scouting as a production service to the film industry, I have used Photoshop to edit and enhance my work. I used Photoshop extensively (along with Dreamweaver) to design a more engaging website for the presentation of my photo files to clients and other visitors. But when Adobe released its initial version of Lightroom three years ago it was a game-changer for me. I now only use Photoshop for specific pixel editing tasks. The rest of my work is conducted so much more efficiently in Lightroom!

It is my intention to train others in the practical and artistic application of this groundbreaking software. I have come to the end of twenty-five years in film production services, an endeavor more suited to one obsessed with life burning the candle on both ends. I have recommitted myself to printmaking again replacing the classic manpowered litho press and silkscreen, film and a wet darkroom with digital technology and a high-end archival printer. (Two and a half decades of helping others make their pictures is time-enough as The Sorcerer's Apprentice.)

I am well-into authoring an instructional guide on Adobe's Lightroom application. I have recently completed class outlines for both semester-long instruction and, as well, more-accelerated 3 to 4 week introductory and advanced programs I can talk to you about when I follow-up this letter of introduction with a phone call next week.


Examples of my work can be found in these places:

     - The website I designed and built to showcase a portion of my location files and promote myself as production service to the film industry and photographers assigned to shoot ad campaigns, locationswest.com.

     - As a shortcut I provide you this link to RoundWorld, a sub-site I devised back in 2002 when I began experimenting with Quicktime VR's as an interactive tool for film directors, cinematographers and production designers.

     - This 'artists statement' page I created for a Lightroom workshop I built late last year. It has links to reproductions of silkscreen prints I pulled back in the mid-70's when that was the direction my artwork was going and another link that showcases a series of some of my photographs and photo illustrations.

     - Don Giannatti has an online magazine, 'Lighting Essentials', where he did an interview with me in November of 2008.

     - And this last link is a narrative 'resume' I made for film producers intent on deciding whether my decades-plus experience fit their qualifications for consideration when a resume was required for work on their projects.


References:

     - Kimberley Boege is an Artists Agent representing professional illustrators and photographers and is an Adjunct Professor at Phoenix College: atelierkimbo@earthlink.net

     - Steve Burger is a photographer, printmaker and, in my opinion, the best Photoshop instructor I have had the opportunity to be mentored by. (Really no apple polishing.) I learned comprehensive Photoshop skills from him three years ago through the programs he offers in Phoenix, Pro Digital Image 602-923-4971, e: steve@prodigitalimage.com

     - Suzanne Johnson is a Film Producer, the President and Executive Director of GNOSIS, a local foundation celebrating the creative process as utilized in the arts, humanities and sciences. e: azanne@earthlink.net

     - Mark Olson is Professor of Photography and Videography at the College of Southern Nevada.
702-651-5941; e: mark.olson@csn.edu

     - Joseph Smouse is an Adjunct Professor at Scottsdale Community College: 602-267-1830, e: j.smouse@cox.net