CreativePro Conference Speaker Spotlight: Colin Smith, the Drone Master

Welcome to our series of posts called Speaker Spotlight, designed to highlight each of our upcoming CreativePro Conference speakers. We’ve assembled a dream team roster of Photoshop and Illustrator gurus, and thought you’d like get to know what makes them tick, why they’re passionate about what they do, and what you can expect to learn from them at the conference. (Our previous Speaker Spotlight was on Bert Monroy.)

The subject of this Speaker Spotlight is the Colin Smith.

The Colin Smith File

Born in Glasgow Scotland, Colin’s parents emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 5.  With nothing but hopes and passion, Colin Smith eventually moved to Los Angeles in search of his dream, with a full heart and an empty wallet (and pockets).

Colin Smith started off as a designer in the 90’s and was intrigued by effects. So intrigued, that one time he called the design studio responsible for a “brushed metal gold” effect and asked if they bought it on a stock CD or if they created the effect themselves. He was arrogantly told “we do not disclose any of our techniques.” From that day on, Colin swore that he would give back whatever he learned to the design community. And, so the idea of the PhotoshopCAFE was born.


Photograph by Laurie Rubin

Favorite Websites: YouTube (of course!), Google and SkyPixel, the world’s biggest drone and aerial photo and video sharing platform.

Favorite Authors: There are quite a few since I am a huge Audibles fan. A few that come to mind are Keith Ferrazzi, Never Eat Alone, a great book about networking and business relationships, Paulo Coelho who wrote The Alchemist, Og Mandino wrote many books but the one that really sticks out in my mind is titled The Greatest Salesman in the World, and of course Napoleon Hill. I guess I tend to read older literature, mostly business related. I enjoy the real life research over opinions without facts.

Favorite & Least Favorite Foods: Love mushrooms but hate lima beans, absolutely disgusting from the pit of hell. Avocados are gross too!

Something most people wouldn’t know about you: I like to Scuba Dive and I play guitar.

What’s in your pockets right now? Nothing! (Stands up and turns his pockets inside out….and finds a single car key and some lint)

Elvis or Beatles? Beatles.

Math is . . . boring.

Coffee is . . . life!

At 6am I am usually: Sleeping.

What motivates you to do what you do? I love what I do and feel very lucky that I can say that. Every day is a new day. Every project is a new project. So much variety from one project to the next, my days are always interesting.

Current Projects: Immersed in finishing up my latest book, The Photographers Guide to Drones, that will be released in September and be available at rockynook and Amazon. Ill cover some of the technology but the book is really focused on creating art with drones.

What is your favorite Photoshop feature? Layer Mask

What do you like best about being a speaker at conferences like the CreativePro Conference? Being able to pass along the knowledge to the next generation and to help people find the solutions they are searching for. I remember struggling and doing many things the wrong way (or the hard way) and then seeing how someone else tackled the same thing and how much fun it was to find new ways and new techniques. I really enjoy helping people find new, creative ways to tackle their projects and overcome their software frustrations.

The title of your session is The PhotoshopCAFE Designer’s Special can you please give me a sneak peek of something readers can expect to learn from this session? Tons of practical tips and tricks! To be honest, I always loosely plan two sessions, one based more on foundational tips and techniques for speed, another more focused on advanced techniques for visual impact, and then I just blend just the right amount of the two together to create the right mix to match the audiences needs.

Do you have a favorite moment from a previous conference? Wow, I have so many great memories from all the conferences but I would have to say that my favorite was with Chris Georgenes—back in the day. We were at Flash Forward and doing sessions back-to-back, the first memorable part was that he had his daughter ride down the aisle on her tricycle in front of thousands of people—it was so cool! And then, as the session advanced and basically continued into my portion, I took the stage and realized I didn’t have my trusty Wacom tablet. I must have stated this out loud because all of sudden there was this commotion from the back of the room and Chris came running down the center aisle waving his Wacom tablet to literally save the day, well, at least me and that particular presentation. 😉

A Photoshop tip from Colin from PhotoshopCAFE’s YouTube Collection: How to make Tiny Planets in Photoshop using drone photos tutorial

Where can you find Colin on the Web


Social Profiles:

What past conference attendees have to say about the drone master:

“Colin Smith was fantastic. Very informative, very organized and an enjoyable speaker.” ~ 2015 Photoshop Conference attendee

“Loved Colin Smith, could tell how passionate he was about the program and what they did.” ~ 2015 Photoshop Conference attendee


Register today for the CreativePro Conference!

Don’t miss out on a great show! Reserve Your Spot Today!

See you in Minneapolis, July 10-13th!

Posted on: June 2, 2016

1 Comment on CreativePro Conference Speaker Spotlight: Colin Smith, the Drone Master

  1. Hello,

    What an impressive piece of writing enjoyed each post and line..!! Keep writing..!!


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