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Sales Manager Paints a Picture of Paradise with Paint Shop Pro.

What's a work week like for Neil Chapel of Ann Arbor, MI? Monday through Thursday might find him lounging by a pool at a Jamaican resort. Friday might involve a quick plane ride to Puerto Vallarta for a look-around. Then back home with a computer full of pictures to make a report.

Life may not be quite that glamorous for Chapel, a Regional Sales Manager for MLT Vacations, but it does involve a fair amount of travel. What goes in the carry-on bag? A book or two, his laptop, and Paint Shop Pro.

"Some of my work involves visiting the various travel agencies around the world that distribute our vacation products and packages," Chapel said. "The other part of the travel is to the destinations that we're selling as part of these packages. We have to go to two destinations per year and stay at least a week. That's where I get the opportunity to bring my camera along."

A photographer by hobby, Chapel's striking images have been used in several of MLT's company brochures and Powerpoint presentations. "When we come back from these vacation destinations, we have educational symposiums to teach travel agents what they need to know about the area to promote it," Chapel said. Several of Chapel's images have made star appearances.

Most of his photos, however, are taken for artistic purposes only. "My wife calls my laptop my coloring book," Chapel said. "It's great to have on the plane, or whenever I get some free time. I can spend hours playing with the images in Paint Shop Pro."

"I bought Paint Shop Pro 8 because of its attractive price, but I'm very impressed with its capabilities. It's the perfect tool for the serious hobbyist"

Neil Chapel
Regional Sales Manager

"The Madonna picture was taken on the big island of Hawaii," Chapel continued. "My wife and I spent a vacation there. There's a chapel painted with murals by a Belgian painter. In the courtyard there was this statue of the Madonna. People had put all those shell leis on her and that brilliant, colorful, metallic red heart. I adjusted the saturation and contrast in this one, and again used the soft focus filter on it to give it a glow."

Travel is not Chapel's only passion. Although he does not perform in public as he used to, he knows his way around a guitar and bass, and is still friends with many musicians in Minneapolis, where Chapel grew up. "This picture, Blue Martini, is of jazz guitarist Larry Carlton," Chapel said. "It's one of the first few I shot after I got my digital camera. I shot it in black and white, although since then I've learned that it's better to take the picture in color and re-image in black and white."

"Larry was promoting his upcoming album, Sapphire Blue," Chapel said. "Someone congratulated him and brought him a Martini, and I snapped this picture. It was one of the first times I experimented with layers. I masked off the Martini area as a selection then filled it with blue. Then I learned how to change the transparency so when I filled it in, the glass and liquid shone through," Chapel said.

A relative newcomer to Paint Shop Pro, Chapel has quickly become a loyal user. "I bought Paint Shop Pro 8 because of its attractive price, but I'm very impressed with its capabilities," Chapel said. "Plus, it doesn't require all of my limited hard drive capacity!" Paint Shop Pro now travels the globe with Chapel, from land, to beach, to backstage. "It's the perfect tool for the serious hobbyist" Chapel said.