Birthday card by Jeff Schewe
Photoshop comes of age
Jeff Schewe is an award-winning advertising photographer in the photographic industry for over 25 years. A pioneer in the digital imaging field, Jeff has worked to advance photographic standards and photography community, including working as a feature consultant and alpha and beta tester for Adobe Photoshop. His first digitally imaged photo assignment was in 1984-the year the Mac was born. Former president of the Advertising Photographers of America (APA), Jeff is one of over 60 photographers worldwide named as a Canon Explorer of Light. He is also a member of Epson’s Stylus Pro program, consults for a variety of companies, regularly speaks at the PDN’s Photo Expo Plus, and teaches at the Santa Fe Workshops. He is a past Apple “Master of the Medium” and has served as a member of Apple’s Customer Advisory Board.
“Schewe has been working digitally since the introduction of the Apple Macintosh, and he has clearly seen many changes, both in computing power and the industry as a whole. All things considered, he’s glad to have joined the workforce when he did. ‘The industry has changed so much from when I entered the biz,’ says Schewe. ‘I’d really hate to just be entering the industry now. The business side sucks while the technology side is enthralling. But that doesn’t make for a real good mix. “- Master Of The Impossible by William Sawalich.
Now, 8 years later, he talks about Photoshops 18th birtday:
AW: Jeff, can you still remember your first contact with Photoshop? Do you remember which version it was?
Schewe: Yep, Aug. 16th, 2002 and the version was Photoshop 2.0.
AW: Was it easy to learn to use it, and what were the most important sources of information about Photoshop at the time?
Schewe: No, not EASY but it was EASIER than the alternatives at the time. At the time I started, there really WASN’T any decent sources of information. There was the manual (written by John Knoll) and a book by David Biedny and Bert Monroy. Later, on AOL I learned a lot from the Photoshop Forum lead by Kai Krause.
AW: How did you hear about Photoshop for the first time?
Schewe: A local computer store…
AW: Were there no alternatives to Photoshop and if there were, why Photoshop?
Schewe: Color Studio but it was more expensive and far more difficult to learn.
AW: Did you start using Photoshop immediately or was your romance with the software slow?
Schewe: Pretty much love at first sight…but it took me 6 months to get to the point where I could rationalize spending the money to actually buy a computer that would run Photoshop well. Prior to that I rented time on an underpowered computer and struggled to do work.
AW: What was your first major project with Photoshop?
Schewe: Garbage, literally. I had to make garbage look “neato” with special effect.
AW: Any anecdotes?
Schewe: See the article of my wife Rebecca about the ‘Photoshop Widows Club’: “Hi, my name is Becky Schewe and I am an unwitting member of the Photoshop Widows Club. I guess it’s the same old story but now that it’s personal, I have a new respect for those who wait and wonder. I should have seen it coming years ago when it was foreshadowed, back in 1992. Jeff got an assignment to photograph a huge machine sucking up garbage. In trying to figure out how to make huge amounts of waste look like it was being sucked into this machine, he came up with the idea of using this new tool he had heard of called Photoshop.”
AW: Now that Photoshop has become an adult after 18 years, what was your experience with the development of the software and its teething problems?
Schewe: Around Photoshop 3, I was added as a beta tester for Photoshop. For Photoshop 4, I was selected to be the first official off-site alpha tester…meaning I got to see very early alpha version and offer feedback and suggestions. See the story above.
AW: Did you update regularly or only once in a blue moon?
Schewe: Well, as a tester, I ALWAYS have the most recent retail build loaded and usually the next version in alpha/beta form as well.
AW: Why did you/didn’t you update every time there was something new?
Schewe: Of course…nothing EVER get removed from Photoshop :~)
AW: Where do you think Photoshop will be in 3 years time, i.e. when Photoshop turns 21?
Schewe: Photoshop CS5?
AW: If you could give beginners one single tip, what would it be?
Schewe: Don’t give up…eventually, the light will turn on.
Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3
by Bruce Fraser & Jeff Schewe, ISBN: 978-0-3215-1867-5