When George Jardine’s mother dropped him off at the Spring Valley campus and drove away in 1972, he had no idea that his future career would take him to the heights of the tech world in Silicon Valley. He only knew that he wanted to study photography and he was thrilled to be in the mountains of the Western Slope. A native of Denver, Jardine graduated two years later with an associate degree in commercial photography. Armed with his degree, he got an apprenticeship at a photo lab in Denver and grew as a technician. He then worked at a larger photo production company in Chicago, all the while honing his skills as a freelance photographer.
George worked as a professional photographer in Denver and Chicago for over 10 years. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Better Homes and Gardens, Interior Design magazine, and many other national publications. He has photographed food, fashion, architecture and sports, including work for the NFL and NBA, before “going digital.”
He had heard about the innovations being developed on the West Coast and went to work for Adobe Systems.
He thrived at Adobe, initially doing graphics color pre-press work. He was good with computers and began working with the art directors there. He had a pivotal managing role on the original development team for Adobe Lightroom, a digital photo processing and editing program. He was named Adobe’s first Pro Photography Evangelist for Lightroom. Today Lightroom is the gold standard in pro photo workflow software.
Now semi-retired, Jardine has come full circle and is a teacher himself, creating a critically-acclaimed series of tutorials on the use of Lightroom for aspiring photographers worldwide. He also teaches workshops, consults for digital photographers, and is a freelance video producer.
Reflecting on his time at CMC, Jardine cited Professor Bob McGill as being instrumental in his education. “Bob was a superb instructor,” Jardine recalled. “He had a strong commercial background. He saw a lot of kids like me who didn’t have much direction for where we wanted to go with photography. He had a way of slapping us awake to an understanding of the technical demands of commercial photography.”
Jardine has seen huge changes in photography throughout his career, including the advent of digital and the demise of film. “The proliferation of mobile devices has put an incredibly powerful camera into the hands of just about everyone,” he said. “The individual image has lost its power. The look has changed, people manage their images differently and it’s all about the moment.
“The challenge for photographers today is to achieve that spontaneous, candid look while still using the traditional technical disciplines of lighting, color, composition and camera controls.”
For George Jardine, an education at Colorado Mountain College was the foundation which gave him the tools to realize his creative potential.