Remembering Photoshop Heroes

with gratitude

Around the turn of the century, I'd been invited to speak at a Photoshop conference in San Francisco. I was chatting with the organizer (an old friend) in the hotel bar when we were joined by Bruce Fraser. I tried to act cool, but I've never been cool, so that was tough. Bruce wrote the Real World Photoshop series of books with David Blatner, whom I've got to know since. At the time, I knew only that that those books were the go-to resource for anyone who really wanted to know how Photoshop worked. And here I was having Scotch whisky with Bruce Fraser, laughing and grousing about this or that feature or bug. I was in heaven. We were joined by Jeff Schewe and other luminaries who were there to present at the conference. During those few days, I got to meet Thomas Knoll and Mark Hamburg and others who crafted and shaped the application that gave me a career. It felt great.

Mr. Schewe has made some delightful portraits of these Photoshop deities (and others, of course). He made a lovely image of Bruce Fraser not long before Bruce's death in December of 2006. Many deserved tributes followed including a Photoshop "easter egg" which featured one of Jeff Schewe's portraits of Bruce in the secret About screen.

I've been occupied with several projects of late, including a second edition of one of my own Photoshop books. So I was alarmed just the other day when I launched a recent Photoshop beta, which always feature an alternate About screen, and it included a Jeff Schewe photo of another wonderful Photoshop and Lightroom writer and teacher, Martin Evening. I'd been lucky to spend time with him when we both spoke at another conference, this time in Seattle. Like Bruce, Martin was soft-spoken, kind, and was so grateful for the lift I gave him.

When Lightroom had an update that altered advice he'd given in his monumental book on it, he wrote and released a free addendum that was nearly as long as others' whole books. So generous.

Although I missed his passing by months, the news has led me to remember him and Bruce, and the others who'd been so generous with their knowledge and directly or indirectly helped me master this program that gives me such joy. That includes the ones who aren't dead, too. I think I'll write some personal notes to them shortly.

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