Monroy Seminar Review

Hey Crime Stoppers, I just got back from attending a Photoshop seminar by Bert Monroy{: target=“_blank”} in Ft. Lauderdale. Monroy is an illustrator whose specialty is Photoshop and as he has been doing what he does for about as long as I have been alive, to say he knows his stuff is an understatement. More or less, I would recommend this seminar to most people, but I am not sure I was the target demographic. I would say at a price of $99 for admission, you can easily get your money’s worth. However, if you are very familiar with Photoshop at all, it becomes more of a “you get what you pay for” situation. For the most part, I found myself thinking “If only I had seen this seminar when I was first learning Photoshop.” For me this seminar was a collection of practical tips that should be fundamental. I must admit though, I had already been familiar with many of the “tricks/ tips” that were covered long before I sat in on this seminar. In credit to this seminar, it did take me much time reading magazines, scouring blogs/ forums, and skimming through tutorial links to obtain what was covered in this one day event. If you are new to Photoshop and value your time I would recommend this seminar.

Personally, I would like to take a more advanced or at least more focused seminar (maybe a workshop?) with Mr. Monroy, as he definitely strikes me as a wealth of knowledge. As a professional with nearly four years of work experience (and an insatiable appetite for dabbling), I was not overwhelmed with new stuff I had never seen before. The thing about Monroy is he has the experience and practice to execute these projects very well. In the course of this seminar though, Monroy seemed to want to display too much too quick. During his segment about layer styles, Monroy created a remarkably realistic rendition of a weathered brick wall in a few minutes. Again, it was not that he did things I had never seen before, just that he did it better than I had ever seen before. I only fear that many attendants have seen Monroy pull off these techniques so effortlessly and well they will mistake filters and styles for “make art” buttons. Monroy displays how many aspects of Photoshop that can be type cast as tacky can, in fact, be used to successfully save time and yield excellent results.

Perhaps the target audience Monroy was going after was a little less savvy. For instance, when Monroy spent a considerable amount of time explaining the difference between vector and raster images, I screamed on the inside. Later, there was a half an hour dedicated to using the pen tool (as in adding points and moving handles). And, although I say that I found many of the topics covered to be intuitive (or down right obvious), I eavesdropped on a few conversations of attendees that were blown away with new ideas that they had never encountered before. One gentleman equated trying to consume information at that seminar to trying to sip from a fire hose. And during the seminar one man interjected and asked what the difference is between flatten and merge visible. Obviously these men were getting their money’s worth.

All in all, I would say this is a very nice seminar. Monroy is very knowledgeable and has nice presentation. A few times during the filter section, Monroy seemed a bit more like an illusionist than an illustrator with a very, “for my next trick?” heavy tone. Quite appropriate considering the parlor trick like stigma that oft times surrounds filters. There were many useful gems scattered throughout the seminar and I would honestly say that the hour Monroy spent covering channels made the workshop worth the money for me.