Monthly Archives February 2009


Lessons I Didn’t Learn In Photo School

1. If you can’t be remarkable, be memorable.
If you know of PixSylated, it’s probably because I… Pimped My McNally, Shot Ben Willmore In Broad Daylight, and then Smashed Pumpkins With High-Speed Sync. Is there really anything remarkable about coil-binding a book, constructing a DIY ringlight, or batting some vegetables around? I think not. Yet, I’ve met people all over the country who’ve said “You’re the guy who did that?” (Which I always choose to take as a compliment – regardless of how they really meant it.) Running with the pack won’t get you any attention these days. Create ways for people to remember you (and yes, crazy red is my natural hair color).

2. You are NOT defined by your photo gear or your computer’s operating system.
Nikon vs. Canon, Mac vs. PC. Truth be told… none of this matters to anybody other than the people who sell this stuff. Nobody will look at your photographs and shout “Yep, that guy’s a Nikon shooter on a PC. It just shows.” If you’re a hardcore Nikonian or Canonite, loosen up, trade cameras with a colleague, and go make some great photographs with another brand. Come to understand that your images are reflections of you as a human and not the machines you used to create them.


3. Powerful photographs touch people at a depth they don’t anticipate.
If you want to be a strong photographer… (more…)

Last week, my buddy (and Photoshop Web guru) RC Concepcion was the guest on Dave Cross’ blog’s popular “Finish the Sentence” feature (here’s the link). Anyway, in his response to the question, “I hate the fact that Photoshop…” RC had a really great answer (you’ll have to check out Dave’s blog to read his entire answer), but at the end of his answer, he had what I think was the quote of the week:

“As much as I love the program… It’s Photoshop. School will be open on its birthday!”

Well said RC. Make sure you read the whole thing (link above) and it will make more sense, but that quote kinda stands on its own.

cs4rawclassJust wanted to let you know that my new “Photoshop CS4 Mastering Camera Raw” class is now up live on Kelby Training Online. I tried something totally different in the way I teach Camera Raw for this online course, and I’m really excited about how it came out

I’m putting together a short video clip on how the class is structured, and if all goes well, I’ll post that clip here later this week.

In the meantime, here’s the link to my new class.

…..a good friend of the blog, the man behind the blog, Syl Arena himself!

I’ve been following Syl’s blog for the past year (by the way, Syl’s name is pronounced “Sil”), and he’s posted comments numerous times here on this blog, and it’s really a kick having him as a guest blogger here tomorrow. Check back then and see what Syl has in store! :-)


I am thrilled beyond thrilled to announce that there’s a feature article about my photography in the new issue of Nikon World magazine (the spreads are seen above).

Here’s how it came about. I got a call from the Editor of Nikon World a few months back, and he told me he wanted to do a story about my photography. He said he was particularly drawn to my use of color, and wanted to build the story around that. He didn’t want to talk about Photoshop or image editing, just my photography. Of course I was tickled pink, but in our conversation I asked how they came to choose me, and he unknowingly gave me one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten about my photography.

He said he kept hearing about me, or seeing me here and there, but it was always about Photoshop, but then he heard me talking about photography and lighting, and writing books on digital photography, and one day he said to himself, “This guy is Mr. Photoshop, but I wonder if he can actually take a photo?” So he told me he went to my blog, found my portfolio, and said, “Son of a gun—this guy can shoot!” (If you didn’t think “Son of a gun—this guy can shoot” was that great a compliment, you have to hear it from an Editor of a photography magazine. That changes everything!). So, after seeing my photos, he pitched Nikon with the idea of a feature story on my photography, and now here it is (I just got my copy this week!)

I remember a while back seeing a feature story in Nikon World on the work of Landscape Photographer Bill Fortney, with images from his amazing “America From 500 Feet II” project, and thinking, “Wow, Bill’s in Nikon World! How cool is that!” I never dreamed the next year I’d be featured in there, and I am just so honored, and humbled by it. Thanks Barry, and everyone at Nikon World for giving me such a wonderful opportunity (and for making a photographer’s dream come true).

Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski and I put together a quick little video for people who are going to Photoshop World next month in Boston to help them get the most from their experience. If you’re going—definitely check out this clip.

Also, I learned on Friday that they’re extending the Early Bird $100 off registration until next Friday, so if you missed your chance last week, you’ve now got ’till Friday (here’s the link).