phofilmusignerI just came back from Phofilmusigner, the free creativity workshop hosted by Apple, out at Canal Walk.

What did I learn today? – that it’s very very hard to concentrate on technical details when you’re two and a half hours into a talk and have been desperately needing to pee since around the two-hour mark. Oh, and that Aperture is a very cool photo-editing tool indeed.

Good grief – even LOTR had an interval!

It all started out pretty well… people milling about in the lobby area of the Nu Metro cinemas, checking out all the shiny new Apple products (some of them actually drooling a little).

Registration was smooth, though having given them all my details beforehand, it seemed strange to have to spit out telephone numbers and email addresses all over again.

I had a bit of a look around and then wandered into the cinema, which was nice and cool, though rather dark. The place wasn’t packed – probably about half-full, but enough to create a buzz.

Then began a series of demos and talks, supposed to last until lunch time (one o’clock). An introduction to the theme went smoothly enough: photographers, filmmakers, musicians are increasingly working across all three disciplines, earning them the name ‘phofilmusigners’ (ie designers who operate in those spheres).

I have my doubts about that rather awkward name catching on. Firstly, it sticks in the mouth when you (quietly and when no one’s looking) try to pronounce it, secondly it’s just about impossible for anyone to spell correctly (going by the notes on screen at the demos) and thirdly it’s just plain corny.

Anyway, moving swiftly along (rather unlike the workshop), there was then a long and rambling account from some guy who’s head of ‘the photography school’. Didn’t quite catch what that is, or where it’s based (though it sounded like it was up in Joeys), but the man sure loves Nikon.

Slide after slide ensued, with all the awards and accolades earned by the various Nikon cameras over the years (all the way back to WWI). Kind of a ‘we’re better than anyone else’ schpiel. Not what I was there for.

Thankfully, he eventually gave up the microphone to a guy named Norm, who co-created a sweet photo-editing program called Aperture. Being an amateur photographer, I haven’t yet ventured into the world of photo-manipulation (and management) on the scale that pros would, but if (when) I become more serious about photography, I think I’d go for Aperture.

It looks easy to use, has a lot of fantastic features and it’s only for Mac users (muahaha). Besides, Norm is a funny guy and his demo was very entertaining.

If they’d stopped it right there, things would have been all good in my hood. The natives were in any case getting restless, coming in and out of the cinema, and they could easily have announced a quick break. But, they pushed on, cruelly heedless of the weak-bladdered and tar-lunged amongst us.

The impressive new features of the brand-spanking not-yet-officially-released Photoshop program were thus completely lost on me, as I tried my best not to think about enormous plunging waterfalls and swirling ocean currents. As we hit the 2 o’clock mark I lost the battle, and bolted for the door, never to return.

I’d liked to have seen more, and I’m sure for those in the trade, the advanced workshops going on at the same time as the general talks would have been useful and enlightening. But, for my part, I felt the event was more sales drive (‘did you bring a friend?’ – one of the first things they asked me) than an exploration of creativity.

Seeing Aperture in action was a highlight, though, and I will definitely look into that at some later stage.

%d bloggers like this: