Photographers & Designers

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Donald Cook

With an insatiable interest in everything and a desire to learn everything, I spent most of my life in libraries. I even have a library in my home (although the Internet is where I go for instant answers to questions most of the time). Over the years, I have studied digital prepress, page layout and design (using InDesign and/or Pagemaker), illustration (using Illustrator and/or Freehand), typography (using Suitcase Fusion in concert with a huge collection of TrueType, OpenType and PostScript Fonts) , web design (using Dreamweaver and/or GoLive), copy writing and color management. I'm also a Pilot (Single Engine, Land, VFR), an Internationally Certified Scuba Diver, an Electronics Engineer (De Anza College), a CompTIA A+ Certified Professional, an Adobe Certified Expert, a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, a Webmaster (Penn State University), a Certified Web Designer, a Certified Intranet Manager, a Certified Web Developer, a CSS Developer, a Novell Certified Internet Business Strategist, a Graphics Designer, a Digital Artist, an Illustrator, a USAF Master Technician, a Certified Marketing Professional, an IBM Certified SEO Professional, and a Graduate of the Success Motivation Institute (SMI). And, I have an MBA (from Keller University) with a concentration in Internet Marketing. For hardware I use a Mac Pro (the tower of 8 - core power), a Custom PeeCee (that I built myself), a Wacom tablet, and a MacBook Pro connected to studio monitors, as well as a ColorVision Spyder (for color calibration). For software I use the Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4), Aperture 2, Lightroom, Macromedia Studio 8 and other goodies such as the Art Directors Toolkit, the DigitalColor Meter, and countless Plug-Ins, Fonts, Clip Art and Digital Stock Photos. I've been "hooked" on photography every since I took a course in High School (1969). At that time we used Pentax SLRs. Right now, have to admit that I'm hooked on digital photography. I became hooked when I bought what I believe was the first consumer-level digital camera (an Apple QuickTake 100), in 1994 at the MacWorld Conference, and used it to take photos of San Francisco. My studies of Adobe Photoshop CS4 have concentrated on camera "raw" techniques, color correction, masking, layers, retouching, special effects, HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging) and professional sharpening techniques. (Basically, taking my skills to "the next level".) Currently, I am busy building "Don\'s Digital Cafe (a digital darkroom, digital photography studio, digital A/V studio, and digital art and web design studio). To learn more about my Digital Cafe, visit, (our temporary site launched on Veterans Day, 2009, our permanent site is scheduled to launch on Earth Day, 2010). Photography is for you (as it is for me) if: 1) You feel your individual feelings are worth expressing. 2) You would like to give form to your ideas, thoughts, experiences, insights and understandings. 3) You prefer inspiration to information. 4) You would like for others to be able to go where you have been without actually going there. (Huh?) 5) You feel that photography is an adventure the same as life itself. 6) You feel that photography offers a means of creative thought and action (and you feel this intuitively). 7) You feel photography offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation, expression, and communication. Personally, I am proud to be associated with the stock.xchng! They are a tremendous resource for photographers and graphic artists, and I do not hesitate to refer them to anyone I feel can benefit from their exceptional service!

San Diego, CA, at
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