Romeo & Juliet : A Love Affair with Great Photography and Design

So one fine early Thursday morning, the 12th of February to be exact, I found myself in Singapore's Central Business District, awed at the towering buildings around me and shooting up a glass lift to Level 7 of the One Marina Boulevard (the NTUC building). Therein awaited the famed Adobe evangelists: Julieanne Kost and Russell Brown. Yes indeed, I was there for the "Romeo & Juliet: A Love Affair with Great Photography and Design" event!

The "show" started with an incredibly cheesy (and dramatic) introduction in which Russell Brown played Romeo and Julieanne Kost took on the role of Juliet, enacting the famous Romeo & Juliet play from Shakespeare. Fortunately though, they soon abandoned the olden English in favour of modern-day lingo.

Throughout the entire event, Julieanne Kost (I refuse to call her Juliet as the event demands; it's just so weird) focused on bringing out the power of Adobe desktop applications, mainly Photoshop and Lightroom. She went through the key features in CC (which of course we all already know), some lesser known new features and illustrated the prowess of photo-processing with Lightroom (and occasionally porting the photo to Photoshop for greater powers with ease). Russell Brown (I refuse to refer to him by his event name of Romeo either) sold the mobile app side of the house, showing us on-the-go editing of photos on tablets/phones with Lightroom Mobile with edits on photos syncing across all devices over the almighty Creative Cloud. So convincing was his presentation that I whipped out my phone during one of the tea breaks and downloaded Lightroom Mobile! Alas, I was aghast to find that it started a 30-day trial immediately.

To be brutally honest though, the event was not exactly what you would call educational; designed in part to promote the Adobe CC Suite, it was a lot more about showing off features in the latest Adobe software rather than teaching advanced skills. Nevertheless, they did show some interesting techniques and methods to improve the photo-processing workflow and if anything, their marketing strategy was rather successful, for I find myself wanting to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud! (still holding back because of the price though, it's not exactly what you would call cheap)

However, to be fair, for most of the part the show was relatively unrehearsed. Apart from the cheesy lines that Brown and Kost (Russell and Julieanne) trade, the rest of the presentations were fresh! When I say fresh, I mean really new. For (almost) all their demonstrations, they used pictures and videos from Singapore to demonstrate, shots they capture the night before the show, shots that they have never really edited before! Such live demos are fun to watch for we see their true capabilities rather than a scripted show; coupled with the fact that they tend to make minor errors while demo-ing, all these make for a good show!

To my pleasant surprise, there was a guest speaker! Michael Shainblum! A photographer I really (really really really really - yes, this guy deserves 5 'really's) respect and admire! He showed us a selection of his awesome photos and 2 of his stunning timelapses. He even shared with us his process for creating timelapses, from the equipment he uses to the technique he uses to shoot and even the editing process. He showed us a brand new timelapse from Singapore that he shot the previous night and wow, it's rather awesome!

Leaving the event, I'm really glad that I took time off to attend it; for it was definitely entertaining, interesting and opened my eyes to many things even if my expectations to learn a lot more about photo processing wasn't met; nevertheless the features, methods and techniques for using Adobe products efficiently made up for that! Of course not forgetting the superb Michael Shainblum! For those contemplating whether to sign on to the Adobe CC framework, the photography plan costs $13/mth and gets you Photoshop CC plus Lightroom (with Lightroom Mobile). It's not expensive but it's not cheap either, while my finger might be itching slightly to click the "Buy Now" button, I'm not desperate to subscribe to the plan and for now I'll stick to Photoshop CS6, back when everything was still a joyful pay-once-get-it-for-lifetime licensing.

Lastly, a big thank you to Adobe for organizing this great event and hugs goes out to Text100 for giving us a place at this event!

I maintain a photo blog at ( and check out my Flickr at (!

- By Fan Jun Wei, Photography Enthusiast and Partner of The Tech Revolutionist.

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