That's right folks, it's time for this year's ultimate holiday guide to the nothing but the coolest photography and Photoshop gear for the photo freak on your holiday list. The online version of my Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide is now available over at LayersMagazine.com. Happy Shopping!
It looks like we're going to have a pretty huge crowd on hand for my December 4th Lightroom 2 Live Tour in Los Angeles, so I've asked Matt Kloskowski (from LightroomKiller Tips.com, and one of the leading Lightroom experts) to come and help me field your one-on-one questions during the day. Matt was there with me in Orlando as well, and that enabled us to answer twice as many questions, and it worked out so well, I wanted him to be there in LA as well. If you haven't registered for the event yet, here's the link (see you there!).
Before we get to the book news, a big thanks to Dano for just an excellent post yesterday, and really inspired a lot of us, informed, and let us enjoy some very cool photography. Thanks Dano! Now, onto the book news: I've finished writing the update to my book, "The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers" and it's in the final stages of production now. My publisher is working to get it out in time for the holidays, so keep your fingers crossed, but we should see it next month. Besides updating it for all the new CS4 stuff (including Camera Raw, the CS4 Bridge, and all the other goodies), I also included an entirely new chapter on processing HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos, in which I included a small section on using Photomatix Pro. You can preorder the book now at Amazon.com or…
Rediscovering My Passion for Photography
By Dan (Dano) Steinhardt
I was 13 and barricaded myself in a small bathroom. A towel was jammed under the door for complete privacy allowing a new and mysterious adult-like red glow to fill the room. The smells were intoxicating as I watched the 5 X 7 inch white sheet of paper slowly turn into an image. It was an amazing moment of alchemy meeting art, combined with something special I had never experienced before. I squinted in pain as the light went on like an electric shock in a Sci-Fi movie and there I saw my first print gently bobbing in the fixer. I was immediately hooked. Not only had I developed my first photograph, what I really began to develop was my passion for photography.
That passion was cultivated by my amazing high school photo instructor Warren King who exposed me to the works of Dorothea Lang, Arnold Newman and W. Eugene Smith who would come to have a profound influence on my style. Warren became my first mentor and an equally important critic. I traveled all around my native Los Angeles shooting everything and discovered photography could capture amazing moments on the streets of LA that most did not see. But whenever I talked about the great pictures I shot over the weekend Warren would point to the sign above his desk which 30 years later continues to resonate, "Don't Tell Me How Good You Are, Show Me".
After graduating from Brooks Institute I was running my own advertising photography business in Chicago. Everything was captured on 8 x 10 film and when it came time to Scheimpflug (for those who remember view cameras) I was world-class. But new opportunities presented themselves and I found myself working in the New York City Photo District for Kodak and soon moved into strategic marketing on a worldwide basis. It was during these years that my focus was business. To paraphrase a song, I was sent away and taught how to be sensible, logical, responsible, practical, intellectual and clinical. I was studying in Executive Programs at leading business schools and advancing in my career. I loved it and I still love business, but I didn't touch a camera from 1987-2000 and hadn't used a 35mm camera since High School. Then I got a call from a relatively new company in the photo world called Epson and was asked to develop and lead its marketing programs for professional photographers and advanced amateurs.
In 2001 digital printing was still relatively new and the market was reaching out for information and education. I developed the Epson Print Academy (shameless plug) as a way to meet this market need (link). We went on the road to videotape leading photographers and fine-art printmakers. My goal was to glean all the technical stuff there from the best of the best. The pre-production notes were a checklist of mission critical items from color spaces, to file formats to advanced color management. But when the video camera was on, these artists talked to how Epson printers reminded them of teenage years, watching their first print develop in a darkroom, fueling their passion for photography. I started to recall the glow of that red safelight, the smell of fixer and the joy I used to experience with the camera. I bought a Nikon D100 in 2002, tapped into my analog experiences from high school and via digital photography became a teenager all over again.
So What Have You Shot For Me Lately?
I travel a lot in my job. I also have the incredible honor to work with the some of the most well-known photographers on the planet. One of those legends is Jay Maisel who has become my new mentor. With all my business travel I took Jay's advice, "Carry the camera because without it, it's really tough to take pictures." In the process I essentially returned to my roots of street photography versus the comfort and control of the studio.
I'm in Las Vegas 3-4 times a year for different trade shows including Photoshop World. I love to shoot in Vegas because there is so much extraordinary to be found in the ordinary like the valet running to retrieve a rental car, the early morning joggers in front of a hotel and the pool chairs stacked in the beautiful light at the end of the day. When I have some free time (and the light is right) I head straight for the tourist traps looking for interesting images of people vs. the actual attraction like the silhouetted person in front of the fountains or the shadow of a person walking in front of a famous hotel.
I also remember Jay Maisel's advice to look 180 degrees in the opposite direction as it
...Photoshop World Instructor, the man behind the Epson Print Academy, Marketing Manager for the Professional Market for Epson USA, and one of my all-time favorite urban/city/people photographers, Dan Steinhardt. Dan (better known as Dano to those who know him), has an amazing advantage, in that in his role at Epson, he's got access to all the coolest new printers even before they're out, and because of that, I don't imagine Dano spends a lot on paper or inks. He also has an amazing disadvantage, and that is because he is so well known as "Dano from Epson" I don't think he gets nearly the attention his work deserves as he is just a flat-out amazing urban/city/people photographer. Here's an example, on the day I spent in New York earlier this year with Jay Maisel, at one point during the day, he started raving to…
Howdy folks, here's what's up: Nancy Masse, (our in-house copywriter and Baroness of Social Web Marketing), sent me the photo above last week, and when I first looked at it, I didn't immediately hit me what it was. Then I was like, "Wow...that is so cool!" As impressed as I was with the very clever idea, I was really blown away once I realized that this isn't something composited together in Photoshop---what you're seeing is a photo of a set built at full size. That took it over the top for me. This image is now popping up all over the web (it's totally going viral), and so I had Nancy track down the original source, and here's what she found: The photo was taken by photographer Anton Ismael, for the Jakarta-based ad agency Bates 141, for their client software-asli.com) and the only thing…