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Adobe Photoshop Seminar Survival Tips

I love Digital Imaging seminars. Photoshop is an intensive and constantly evolving program. There is always something to learn or some clever way to apply what, we thought, we already knew.

We have the opportunity to meet some very fine authors and teachers…..yes, I too, am a Photoshop seminar groupie. These elite members of the digital imaging dream team are entertaining and very good about not recycling the same jokes. They tell us which books to buy (usually theirs), which gadgets to put in our bag (usually the sponsors’ stuff at the back of the conference room) and which technologies are cool (do not underestimate the “cool” factor). By keeping us current, they are keeping us “cool”.

After attending around a bazillion of these, I have come up with a seminar survival list. Seminar junkies will smile and I hope those who have not yet attended will be grateful.

1.Before attending a seminar, ask for the number of participants. If it is a first come first serve basis, be aware that you may be the one who has to stand up the whole time when they try and fit 400 folks into a small hotel room. I always ask if the admission covers seating.

2. Caffeine and sugar work for me. I'm in Texas and its really warm and bright outside. The show takes you from a bright, sunny day and seats you into a cool, dark room with a projector humming.

3. Carefully time your liquid consumption. In a six hour seminar, you will get a morning break, lunch and an afternoon break. Speakers don’t always adhere to this strict schedule, so you may want to seat yourself next to a door or isle if sitting still for two hours is an issue for you. Sitting near a door usually means you are first in line wherever you go next.

4. If you decide to bring your laptop to a seminar, be kind and turn down the brightness of your monitor.Move towards the wall so that you can angle your screen. Bright glare on a monitor will wreak havoc with the dilating pupils sitting behind you. The presenter is usually speaking for entertainment as well as instruction. Trying to keep up with them and type at the same time could cause you to miss something important. Most of the time, they are following procedures they have outlined in their books and you can read it later.

5. Give the presenter your full attention and then follow it up immediately (that night while the info is fresh) with a copy of their book or exercises that utilize the skills presented. Your retention will be much greater if you do this. Recording devices of any kind are not usually permitted (the speakers want you to buy their DVD tutorials).

6. If the presenter should ask the audience a question requiring a show of hands…give only your demographic information. If the question is about your favorite tool or procedure, be prepared to feel foolish if you are suckered into raising your hand. Last year’s shining magic marker is this year’s broken crayon. Whatever tool or technique you have been using lately….admit nothing!

7. Eat lunch across the street or bring your own. Many of the hotels cannot handle 200 folks all showing up at the same time and needing to eat fast. Many of the seminars I attend are on a week day and the look on the waitresses' and busboys' faces, when we break for lunch, makes it worth bringing your camera.

8. At lunch, and there will be many folks to network with, avoid any discussion that involves comparing a Mac to a PC or a Canon to a Nikon or Curves to Levels. There are no winners in these discussions.

9. Last of all…..look for me at any seminar near Dallas. My classes are flexible and we often attend some of these programs as a group.Call me later and we can work together to practice all the cool new stuff you learned.

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