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FRIDAY - MARCH 17 2006
All About Soup2Nuts 2006 "The Wild Side" Plus Interviews With Ruth Knoll And Thomas Knoll
Photoshop Soup2Nuts is a conference that raises funds for digital imaging education and technical training for those who are economically limited. Proceeds go to help non-profits that support education, technology and the arts. This year's recipients are: Washtenaw Community College, Michigan Center for the Photographic Arts, Michigan Women's Foundation and the Michigan Theater.
Soup2Nuts 2006, which takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan on June 23 and 24, offers sessions and workshops geared toward the professional, the hobbyist, or the beginner, and is produced by volunteers, corporations, and educators passionate about the mission of the event.
This year's Soup2Nuts, going by the name "The Wild Side" has some great presenters lined up, including Ben Willmore, Bruce Fraser, Doug Elbinger, James Partridge, Jeff Schewe, Lynda Angelastro, Renee Pearson, Scott Kelby, Seth Resnick, Terry Abrams, and Thomas Knoll.
A few weeks ago we were contacted by Ruth Knoll, who is closely involved with this project, to see if we would help spread the word. We said of course, that we would be happy to, and we sent Ruth some questions, as well as her husband Thomas Knoll, who, just in case you do not know, is the co-creater/developer of Photoshop itself. So here we go...
Ruth Knoll Q&A
You have worked with Summers Knoll School and Washtenaw Community College in the past for this event - tell me a little about the schools.
I started Summers-Knoll School in late 1994 for bright creative and gifted children. We opened the doors for the first class in the fall of 1995. I spent most of the next 10 years working to develop and build the school to a K-8 program.
Last June I retired from the school and am now devoting my efforts to Soup2Nuts, a small school in Moshono, Tanzania, family and home.
I became involved with WCC the first year of Soup2Nuts - then it was called Knoll Knows. It was an evening presentation on Camera Raw. My mother-in-law was head of the nursing program there for many years. One of her compatriots, Terry Abrams, at WCC was in the Photography Department. Terry and Gladys chatted regularly about kids and family and WCC. The Photography Department was just getting into this new digital photography cutting edge software that Thomas was developing. You can imagine the direction of the chatting when Terry found out that Thomas, Gladys' son, was the Photoshop developer.
A few years later, I taught a student at SK who kept telling me her dad taught Photoshop too. When I found out who dad was, it was Terry! Terry and I teamed up to do the first Knoll Knows at WCC and as they say, the rest is history.
How many people usually attend the conference?
The first year there were about 75 attendees, the second year about 250 for a one full day conference. Last year there were about 130 people each day of a two day conference. This coming year, we are targeting 300 attendees for the sessions and workshops and an additional 1,000 to walk through the trade show floor. End of June is a tough time - graduations, weddings and it is the beginning of the vacation season. Wish us luck with this year of expansion!
Is this a good conference for the beginner in Photoshop and digital photography to attend - or is it more suited for the intermediate?
Both and more. Mike Monahan of Monahan's Seafood Market in Ann Arbor taught me about beginners. He always has the elementary school classes come visit his market. He feeds them the best tasting items he has and makes sure he has a wonderful collection of whole fish to show the kids. Nothing like seeing wiggling eels and lobsters on ice to create excitement in young kids. I asked him why he was feeding them $28.00 a pound smoked salmon - the reply was, he is creating a future market. He had been doing it so long, the kids now were adults coming back to buy from him because of the great adventure they had in a third grade field trip.
So, we have a wonderful beginner track designed based on this same fishy principle - excite them and start them with a good base of photographic knowledge and they will come back.
In addition to that we have a selection of focused sessions on one particular tool from the tool palette in Photoshop. Participants can focus on one specific tool and all the great things that can be done. I find it interesting that one of the tools is the Magic Wand - now I know how professionals do it.
The heart of the conference is our artistic track and the professional and bleeding edge sessions we are presenting. We have four sessions each day devoted to the art of photography. I want to have a place to talk about art rather than the tools to create the art. Then there is the heavy duty technical side of the program - attendees can pixel wrestle with Thomas Knoll and Bruce Fraser. I never knew there was so much information in and about the venerable pixel. I found out that there really is a difference between round and square pixels.
We also have a session with David Story, Marc Pawlinger and Thomas Knoll - this is the direct chain of command at Adobe in charge of Photoshop. The title is "Everything I wanted to know about Photoshop and I'm not afraid to ask" - here is your chance to hear and ask about the bleeding edge of the product. Whether or not you get answers or need to sign an NDA to get in or give up your first born is yet to be determined.
Tell us a little about the photo shoot and dinner at the Toledo Zoo...
Every conference needs professional fun and this is it. We have buses waiting to take us south to the Toledo Zoo on Friday after the sessions. Upon arrival dinner will be waiting for us for our gustatory delight. After that, our illustrious presenters around the African area will be waiting to answer questions, discuss exposure and otherwise challenge you in ways to see the world in a different way.
Dessert buffet following a wild evening of shooting is capped off with a bus ride back to Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor with plans to arrive back by 10:00 PM. The evening is open to any conference participants for $100 and open to the general public for $125.
Your Photoshop widow stories are great. Will you be writing more soon, and will you be developing a web site around this?
Thank you, I must admit I had fun writing them. Yes I plan to write more - the spirit is willing but the clock usually gets in my way. I have all too many things I want to do and am doing. I plan on having two out this spring - My Travels With Thomas and The Great Graphic Make Over...
As far as a web site goes, I like the idea and again the time thing... it's spring and it's time to plant the garden. Jeff Schewe has been kind enough to look after me a bit with gathering up URLs and hosting my first stores, maybe I can work something out with Jeff.
What I would really like is a list of ideas to write about - for me this is just a normal life living with someone who is a brilliant programmer who takes dance instruction at a Masai village in the Odupai Valley of Tanzania. Any chance you can come up with some requests or suggestions?
(you can send story ideas using our contact form and we will forward them to Ruth).
Thanks for the interview Ruth and good luck with Soup2Nuts 2006!
Thomas Knoll Q&A
What drew you to image processing?
I had an interest in photography as a teenager and developed film and made prints in my dad's darkroom.
What motivated you to turn your early projects, such as Display, into a commercial image processing product?
Display was my only project along with some command line utilities that did various imaging processing steps. The question is what motivated me: it was mostly fun to work on.
What was it like working with Adobe to develop Photoshop 1.0?
For 1.0 I was the only programmer on it. It was before the internet days. Every few days I'd drop a floppy disk in Fed Ex to Adobe with the latest build.
I had to talk a lot with the documentation person and the product manager and discuss a bit of marketing strategy. That was it - the whole team. Steve Gutman was the product manager. I don't recall the person who wrote the documentation. I don't remember any QA person - there may not have been any.
Can you tell us how the name Photoshop was chosen?
We went through a series of working names - the first was Display because that is all it did. As it got more powerful, we needed a name that would reflect what it did.
The next working names were Image Pro and then Photo Lab but each of those were shot down in turn by similar products in that market space.
Then we chose Photoshop as the working name fully expecting whomever we sold the product to would do market research and choose a better name. Adobe spent several months doing research on various names and eventually choose to call it Photoshop. The only change they ended up making was to make the "s" in Photoshop lower case. It used to be: PhotoShop, now it is Photoshop.
Did you think it would be a success - or was it unanticipated?
Are there any Easter eggs in Photoshop that were put there by you?
Not in the current version. There was a Knoll Software about box in the first few version that you could get by holding down the command+option keys.
What will you be presenting at Photoshop Soup2Nuts this year?
The last two years I've been working on the Camera Raw technology which is used both in Photoshop and in Lightroom. I'll be talking about that. I'll be teaming up with Bruce Fraser to do the presentations.
Thanks for the interview Thomas and good luck with Soup2Nuts 2006!
Below is a little mini-directory of links to related sites and pages. Make sure to visit the Soup2Nuts website and hopefully register for this event, as volunteer-centered organizations need that extra little support every once in a while.
One more thing, participants to Photoshop Soup2Nuts will have a unique opportunity to question the Adobe experts themselves on Photoshop development. Thomas Knoll, Marc Pawlinger (Manager of the Photoshop Engineers) and David Story will be at a discussion session on Saturday afternoon titled: "Everything you wanted to know about Photoshop and Are Not Afraid To Ask."
Main Soup2Nuts page.
Introduction from Ruth Knoll.
List of Soup2Nuts 2006 Presenters.
List of Soup2Nuts 2006 Sessions.
Ruth Knoll Links
Widow Speech, 2006 at Soup2Nuts.
The Photoshop Widows Club by Ruth Knoll at PhotoshopNews.
Photoshop Widows Club - Parte Due by Ruth Knoll at PhotoshopNews.
Photoshop Widows Club - The Extremist by Ruth Knoll at PhotoshopNews.
Thomas Knoll Links
From Darkroom to Desktop - How Photoshop Came to Light by Derrick Story.
Thomas Knoll & John Knoll bio/story by Jeff Schewe at PhotoshopNews.
Thomas Knoll (Photoshop history) at Wikipedia.
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