For those unaware, Photoshop Top 40 is my countdown of the most essential features in Photoshop, starting with Feature #40: Reset & Purge and working my way up to #1. And lest you think it sounds like a trivial concept (“hey gang, Feature #38 is Vector Type cuz type in Photoshop is scalable, ain’t that just the swellest?”), I go into detail and share tips and tricks on every topic. For free, because my name starts with a G for Giver (not Geek, although I embrace that too).
Now that I’m poised to unveil the Final 10 Features, I thought I’d ratchet things up a notch with a contest. And not just any contest either. The best contest possible. One with a winner every week with gobs of prizes from a host of sponsors.
You’ll need to be a member to see what’s in store. Which is a lot.
First, let me show you the sponsors. And by sponsors, I mean unbelievably generous purveyors of gifts. More than $14,000 worth in all.
My goodness. Doesn’t just looking at those colorful logos (all clickable) make you feel like a kid in a candy shop? Only you don’t have to buy the candy. You have to win it.
How to Play
Now that you know more or less what’s at stake, here’s how it works:
- Guess a feature. The idea is to guess what next week’s feature—just that one feature—will be. For example, this week you’ll guess Feature #10.
- Respond to the newsletter. Each week (assuming you’re a member of the site), I’ll email you a newsletter announcement. Respond to that newsletter (not here on the site, although I always welcome your comments) in order to submit your guess.
- One entry per person per feature. Feel free to make a guess every week, but please don’t shower me with entries; I’ll only count the first one. You can win just once. And employees of the sponsors are ineligible.
- Fill out the survey. Nothing horrible. Just name, contact info, and a few questions about who you are. After that, you’re green-lighted for the length of the contest.
- I will select a winner at random from the correct entries. In the interest of fairness, I’ve changed this rule. Starting with Feature #7, I will select an answer at random from all correct entires, regardless of time stamp (provided, of course, that I receive the entry before the contest ends).
- I’ll announce a winner after the feature posts. So for example, Feature #10 goes live the morning of Tuesday, February 9. You’ll know if you won soon after that.
- Guess the next feature. After Feature #10 goes live, I’ll invite you to submit your guess for Feature #9. And so on.
- The prizes start great and get better. The person who first nails Feature #10 will make out like a bandit. The person who first nails Feature #1 will be showered with a gift from each and every sponsor.
I’ll let you know what the gifts are on a week-by-week basis. But suffice it to say, the Feature #10 winner receives lots of gifts and the Feature #1 winner receives lots more, including Adobe’s full Creative Suite 4 Design Premium package. Check out the video at the outset of this post for more info.
Feature # 1 Winner’s Prize Package: Over $6 in Value
Just so’s you know, here are this week’s prizes:
- John Knoll’s Light Factory Pro 2.5 from Red Giant Software—valued at $399.00
- Focal Point 2 from onOne Software—valued at $119.95
- An annual subscription to Print magazine—$116.85
- $5 in Credtis for images, vector art, and videos from the Fotolia library
- An autographed copy of Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One—$49.99
- A free month of online video training at lynda.com—$37.50
- One black dekePod T-Shirt—priceless collector’s item!
How is it possible to guess what I think is one of Photoshop’s best features? After all, my choices so far have ranged from the literal (Feature #29: Liquify) to the conceptual (Feature #25: Selection Calculations), not to mention from the obvious (Feature #12: Camera Raw) to the obscure (Feature #19: Luminance Blending). Here’s my advice for reading my mind:
- Think basic, not sexy. These are not Photoshop’s coolest features, they’re the program’s most essential. Imagine the tools, commands, and functions you could not possibly live without.
- Watch what I’ve recorded so far. You can find every one of the existing movies at deke.com/dekepod. Or subscribe to the Photoshop Top 40 podcast feed at iTunes. That’ll give you a sense for the rhythm of the series, and help you check features off your list.
- Watch the live-action introduction. It’s called Introducing Photoshop Top 40, and in it, I mention a handful of features that did not make the list.
- Assemble your own list. Dream up your own Final 10 list and slip me a feature each week. If your Feature #3 ends up being my Feature #8, then you know to mark that item off and switch things around.
- Observe the hints. Each week, I’ll provide a small hint. For example, Feature #10 affects every image that you create and edit in Photoshop.
- Think outside the box. The Final 10 includes at least one command, tool, and palette, as well as a few groups of related functions. By way of example, Feature #11: Opacity and Blend Modes touched upon more than a dozen functions, but I still called it one feature.
- Be specific. If you had guessed that Feature #11 was “Blending,” you’d be right. But if someone had come up with “Opacity and Blend Modes,” that person would be even more right. The entry closest to the exact name wins.
- Be persistent. If you submit an entry for Feature #7 and it’s wrong, it might be my Feature #6. You can only submit one entry per week, but you can try it as many times as you like.
- But don’t be stubborn. If you guess the quick selection tool (which would be wrong) and keep trying it every week because you’re sure it’s on the list somewhere (which it isn’t), then you’ll never win.
- Enter early. Remember, the first right answer wins. Then again, if you have a glimmer of insight late in the week, no harm in giving it a shot.
- Don’t guess the Print command. You know how you make a Photoshop Top 40 list, and then when you’re all done it occurs to you that you forgot something really obvious? Well, that happened to me once . . .
Well, that about wraps it up. I don’t know about you, but I’m plenty excited. Honestly, if you have half as much fun watching these last ten videos as I had recording them, then our Cumulative Fun Factor will be somewhere in The Stratospheric Fun Zone. (That may be the stupidest sentence I’ve ever written. I love having a blog!) Now don’t just sit there. Make a guess.
ALL CONTEST PARTICIPANTS MUST BE 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER ON THE DATE THIS CONTEST BEGAN (FEBRUARY 2, 21) TO BE ELIGIBLE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.