Photoshop User is the official magazine of NAPP; National Association for Photoshop Professionals. For those who are not familiar with NAPP, this is the organization that was co-founded by Scott Kelby, and supports Adobe Photoshop users from around the world. While the NAPP idea is supported by Adobe, Adobe has no direct connection to the effort. There are over 60,000 members in 106 countries. It is the largest digital imaging association world wide.
So what is Photoshop User? It is the must-read magazine for graphic designers, photographers and digital-artists. The writers and columnists are a virtual who's-who of Photoshop celebrities. It is published eight times a year and in full color. Scott Kelby is the publisher and editor
Disclaimer: I am a current member of NAPP and have been for several years so yes I have a bias. I pay my own dues, and as such, I do think it is worth it.
That said, lets get on to what is so good about this magazine. First, each issue has a general feature. These are wide-ranging and sometimes contain news about a current Photoshop release. Recently there has been coverage on the new Photoshop CS3 as well as on the release of Photoshop Lightroom. Other topics featured lighting, portraits, color as well as the annual 100 hot tips issue.
• "Down & Dirty Tricks" – Scott Kelby
• "Deke Space" – Deke McCelland
• "Classic Photoshop Effects" – Dave Cross
• "The WOW! Factor" – Linnea Dayton and Cristen Gillespie
• "Makeready" – Dan Margulis
• "Photoshop Mastery" – Ben Willmore
• "Creative Point of View" – Katrin Eismann
• "The Fine Art of Printing" – John Paul Caponigro
This is my most anticipated magazine that I receive. I find that there is always something that I learn from each issue. Here's a complete list of writers.
Now you can get Photoshop User from the magazine rack of any Barnes & Noble, Borders or other national chain bookstore, but my question to you would be: Why not subscribe? This months' issue, July/August 2007 with the feature story "Going With the Flow: Streamline Your Digital Photography Workflow With These Four Easy Steps" has a rack price of $9.95 U.S. dollars. In fact when I first got into Photoshop in 1998, that is exactly how I purchased it – issue by issue, from the magazine stand. But when you do the math, eight issues for $9.95 equals $79.60 USD. For less than twenty dollars more you can have membership to NAPP.
So what do you get with membership in NAPP? Well, first and foremost you get the magazine Photoshop User. Second, you get a members-only online community that features some of the most knowledgeable Photoshop users on the planet. This also includes weekly Photoshop video tutorials, columns, articles, news, and reviews. You also get NAPP-TV, a weekly podcast featuring Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski, "The Photoshop Guys."
You also get discounts on hardware and software for computers, cameras, lenses, printers and seminars as well as online training. There are also discounts for car rentals and hotel stays. The 10-20% I save on these alone in a year pays for my membership. There is also the $100 USD discount on attendance at Photoshop World Conference and Expo.
You get an online portfolio where you can show off your work. Only NAPP members can create portfolios, but anyone can view them. Here is publisher Scott Kelby's Portfolio.
You also get online Photoshop tech support if you are having a problem figuring something out. That includes advice on Photoshop, advice on the purchase of products or services as well as digital photography related questions. These are one-on-one questions and user identities are kept confidential.
If you work with Adobe Photoshop then first and foremost, get Photoshop User. You will find it one of the best magazines that you will read. Then I highly recommend joining NAPP, It really wasn't until I joined NAPP that I realized what I was missing within the Photoshop world. If you want you can check out a back issue of Photoshop User. You can get a subscription to Photoshop User, by joining NAPP for $99 USD.