Friday, June 19, 2009

Finish the Sentence...with Peter Bauer

"It's time once again to ask a well-known photographer, instructor or otherwise interesting person the same 10 questions and ask them to Finish the Sentence! This week the sentences are finished by.... Peter Bauer.

Pete, please Finish the Sentence..."

My favorite photography accessory (lights, modifier, bag, tripod) is
my monopod. Combined with a couple of big, industrial-strength strips of Velcro, it's as steady as a tripod and can be used in much tighter spaces. Strap it to a fence post or a stop sign, use it in a museum or a church, voila! a stable shooting platform that's easy to carry and requires just inches of floor space.

I’ve learned the most from..
the membership of NAPP. As the Help Desk director for NAPP, I've answered questions from people all over the world, working with Photoshop in a variety of ways to do some pretty incredible things. From the police forensic photographers to the astronomers, from the portrait studios to the research labs, from the photojournalists to the reconstructive surgeons, there's a huge spectrum of Photoshop users with questions about "how" and "why" and even "when." And Jeanne and Rob and I get to help them find the answers that work best for them. It's those questions that help me explore the deepest, darkest corners of this magnificent jungle we call "Photoshop."

If I could go anywhere in the world it would be_____ because….
the archives of the Vatican because there's more to life than photography and Photoshop. Those archives contain documents and artwork spanning thousands of years, with information that brings history to life. Not only grand secrets, but also the minutia of daily life over that past centuries, the details of lives and events long past, could be explored. And those explorations can help put into perspective not only the present, but the future. By studying our past, we better prepare ourselves for what is to come.

My most-used Photoshop add-on, plugin, action set (etc) is
a set of Actions I recorded for my own use years ago. Because of my work with the Help Desk, where most NAPP members don't have all of the plug-ins available to me, my daily work is pretty much Photoshop-native. My writing and production work is streamlined by my Actions, which not only save me time, they ensure accuracy. When I'm producing my own art, however, I also enjoy working with a variety of plug-ins from Nik Multimedia and OnOne Software and, of course, Genuine Fractals.

I love the fact that Photoshop
enables me to isolated and work with specific groups of pixel, chosen by location in an image or by color throughout an image. By creating selections and masks, I can work with each element within an image to finesse that part of the image to meet my artistic vision. For example, in my award-winning glacier photo "A Contrast of Matters," the land mass to the right and the glacier to the left required different amounts of sharpening in order to create the proper visual balance between the elements. By duplicating the original image layer and using layer masks, I was able to reach my artistic goal using Photoshop in a way that would be virtually impossible with a program that doesn't support selections and masks.

I hate the fact that Photoshop
um, sorry, Dave and readers, I can't think of anything about Photoshop that I "hate." I'm not being a homer, it's just that "hate" is such a strong word. There are some things I'd like to see different in Photoshop, such as being able to re-name or annotate the names of steps in an Action and Smart Filters applied to a Smart Object, but "hate" is too strong a word for me to use with computer software.

If I could turn back the clock 10 years
I would resist the temptation. The past 10 years have been incredibly good to me and I wouldn't want to take the chance of screwing up something tht would make today any less beautiful than it is.

In 10 years
hopefully I'll be getting ready to write Photoshop CS10 for Dummies and will be unpacking from an 11th teaching assignment at the Texas School of Professional Photography.

If I could give one piece of advice it would be
to always remember that experience is not what we have done in our lives, experience is what we have learned from what we have done in our lives.

Your readers can find out more about me
at (when I finally finish the re-build).

Ladies & Gentlemen, let's hear it for Peter Bauer!!
Pete Bauer is an award-winning photographer and the author or co-author of a dozen major titles on Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and digital photography. His newest Photoshop book is an update to the must-have Photoshop for Dummies. As the Help Desk Director for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), he personally answers thousands of e-mail questions annually about Photoshop, photography, and computer graphics. In his role as NAPP Help Desk Director, Pete has contributed to and assisted on such projects as feature film special effects, major book and magazine publications, award-winning Web sites, and fine-art exhibitions. Pete received the NAPP Pioneer of Photoshop award in September 2005, and is a seven-time Photoshop Hall of Fame nominee. An Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), he is a regular contributor to Photoshop User and Layers magazines, hosts video training titles for, and produces on-line tutorials for both and He has taught computer graphics at the university level and serves as a computer graphics efficiency consultant for a select corporate clientele. Pete appears regularly as a member of the Photoshop World Instructor Dream Team and has been a featured speaker at Professional Photographers' and Photoshop conventions in both the US and Canada. Pete and his wife, Prof. Mary Ellen O’Connell of the Notre Dame Law School, live along the St. Joseph River in South Bend, Indiana.

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