Monthly Archives March 2009


I know a lot of people have been after me to test the Jobo photoGPS unit, so when I did the shoot of Tiger Woods at Tavistock a couple of weeks ago, I took the photoGPS along to give it a real world in-field test. After testing it for a while, I called my assistant Brad Moore, who was back at the office, and I said, “Brad, you can’t imagine how much I hate this thing.”

Three Strikes is Not Enough!
Usually, if a product has three strikes against it, that’s enough for me, but this one already had two strike against it before I even left my office so I thought I’d go ahead and give it extra room for a few more strikes just in case it turned out to be worth it in the end. I really wanted to have an open mind give it a fair shake, but here’s how it played out:

Strike One: The GPS unit doesn’t draw it’s power from the camera—instead you have to charge it separately before you use it. It takes two-hours for a full charge.

Strike Two: It doesn’t come with a power adapter to charge it. Instead, you connect it to the USB port on your computer to charge it. What this means is that at some point, when your battery runs down (though it supposedly has a crazy-long battery life), you’d better have your computer nearby or your GPS accessory is done until you can get back to your computer. I didn’t have my laptop with me at the golf tournament, but I didn’t use the GPS long enough for it to run out of battery (you’ll see why soon). Note: there are third-party USB chargers, like Griffin’s which let you charge USB devices right from your car, but of course, you’d have to buy this separately.

Strike Three: The Jobo photoGPS fits sits atop your camera by sliding into your camera’s flash hot shoe mount. I slid mine into the slot, then started to head out to the course. After a few minutes I heard the sound of my photoGPS hitting the concrete sidewalk. I looked down and it was in pieces. I snapped it back together, and to its credit, it still worked. A few minutes later, it fell off again. And again. And again. And then I put it in my camera bag for the rest of the day.

Strike Four: The Jobo photoGPS requires a separate software package for it to do it’s thing (this isn’t that uncommon when geotagging). When you’re finished with your shoot, you have to connect the Jobo photoGPS to the computer where you downloaded the files, using the same included USB cable that you use to charge the unit.

Strike Five: Now, you launch the software and it tries to match the photos with the GPS information that is now downloaded from the GPS unit itself, but you also need a live Internet connection while you’re doing this, so it can ping the main photoGPS server. The software is pretty easy to use—it’s just that you shouldn’t need a software application for something as simple as this. Note: There is another software app for GPS/File matching that’s pretty popular called “HoudaGeo” but it’s an extra $30.

Strike Six: The GPS information is not embedded into the Raw file. Instead it appears in a separate sidecar file, and if the sidecar file and the image file get separated—the GPS information will no longer be with the file. Also, if you’re shooting Raw, and you already have an XMP sidecar file, it won’t write into that XMP file—it has to make it’s own XMP file. (If you shoot JPEG, once it matches everything up, it overwrites your JPEG with a new file that has the GPS info inside it). Worse yet; if you don’t have an Internet connection, don’t even consider working on your raw files (keywording, adding metadata, etc.), because once you match up the GPS info, it will overwrite your XMP files and all your keywords and metadata are gone.

Strike Seven: Since you can only use this on your camera’s Hot Shot flash mount—-you can’t use a flash (pop-up or otherwise).

Up to this point, the only GPS I’ve really spent much time with is the di-GPS mini from Dawn Technology (now for Nikons and Canons), which I love (more than ever, now) because:

(a) it draws it’s power from the camera itself [no charging beforehand].

(b) It stays in the hotshoe (and if it did fall off the hotshoe, the cable connected to your camera’s 10-pin shot would keep it from falling to the ground and breaking,

(c) it doesn’t require any software to work

(d) it embeds the GPS info directly info the file

(e) It doesn’t have to sit in your flash hot shoe, so you can actually use your flash. Instead, you can connect it your camera strap, leaving your flash (and/or hot shoe) still usable.

(f) Unlike the Jobo photoGPS, the di-GPS is nearly invisible to the user. You connect it and it does its thing without any input from you whatsoever.

Pros: The only “Pro” I can come up with is that it will work with digital cameras (including point and shoots) that don’t have a 10-pin connector.

Cons: Seven Strikes! If I had to go through all this to get GPS data into my files, I simply wouldn’t do it (unless it was absolutely required by my line of work).

The Bottomline
In some ways, the idea is great, and offers those who don’t have the necessary 10-pin port (the same one where you’d plug-in a cable release on your camera) required by GPS units like di-GPS a way to have access to GPS data for their images. However, in my opinion, the Jobo photoGPS is a poor choice for anyone that can use just about anything else. It’s a hassle to use, it falls off easily (which makes it prone to break), and has too many disadvantages to make it a viable choice, especially for working pros.

I just got Nikon’s new GP-1 GPS in-house, and I’m curious to see how this compares to the di-GPS, because sadly the Jobo photoGPS won’t even be in contention. The unit sells for around $170.

…..the world famous travel photographer, Canon Explorer of Light, talented musician, prolific author, and Photoshop World instructor, Rick Sammon.

At NAPP HQ we just love Rick. He’s one of the most positive, hard working, charming, and fun guys to be around, and he just happens to be one heck of a photographer (you might recognize his name from me raving about his photography book, Flying Flowers-here’s the link). Rick always brings a unique perspective and sense of fun to everything he does, and I can’t wait to see what he’s bringing for us tomorrow, so make sure you check back then!


I mentioned last week about sitting in on one of RC Concepcion’s sessions at Photoshop World in Boston, and how incredibly impressed I was with his content and delivery (believe me, I knew he was good—that’s why we hired him in the first place, but he’s really taken it up a notch).

Anyway, he’s got some really cool things coming up, and I wanted to share them here, so you can get a chance to learn from him in a live class setting.

You Can Do It, Too!
Moose Peterson and RC have been teaching an intimate workshop called “You Can Do It, Too!” Here’s how they describe it: “We take pictures, we talk about the business of photography revolving around the editorial marketplace (where it all begins) and how to exploit the web in your business plan.” It’s been a huge hit, selling out in advance (it’s limited to just six people), and their next one is coming up April 16-19, 2009 at Mammoth Lakes, CA.  There’s a great quote from one of the past participants that’s well worth reading (here’s the link).

The Voices That Matter Web DesignConference
RC has become the “go-to guy” for anything to do with Web design, especially for photographers, and he’s going to be one of the instructors at the upcoming Voices That Matter Web Design Conference in San Francisco, CA on April 27-30th, where he’s teaching a pre-conference workshop, along with regular conference sessions on everything from Flash to Photoshop, Dreamweaver to video on the Web. Here’s where you can learn more.

New Online Web Design Classes
RC just wrapped up four new courses for Kelby Training Online, including his upcoming “Dreamweaver CS4 Basics” online class, along with ”Building a Website in Photoshop CS4 and Dreamweaver CS4” as well as a “Lightroom 2 & Dreamweaver CS4 Portfolio design class,” and a “Flash CS4 Basics” online class on Kelby Training. Here’s the link for more details.

All RC all the Time!
You can also catch RC each week on Layers TV, and he writes the daily blog over at, which pretty much ensures that he never sleeps (well, that and that the fact that he’s got a six month old baby girl—–just as adorable as she can be!).

Anyway, I’m really tickled to see so many cool things coming RC’s way, and if you get a chance to see him live—jump on it. He’s a really gifted, engaging, funny, and passionate presenter who really knows his stuff, and knows how to make it stick. Way to go RC!!! :)


What an amazing week! I think Joe McNally (shown above during one of his lighting sessions) said it best during the closing ceremony when he talked about how much energy there was at the event, and he was right—it was one of the best, most energetic Photoshop World’s ever. The crowd was so into it; so responsive, and so much fun—it was absolutely contagious.

Later that night Joe encapsulated it to me in a way that I think explained why it was such an incredible show. He said, “The people here, really needed to be here right now.” They were totally immersed in it. They needed to learn. They needed to laugh. They needed to put the rest of their lives on hold, forget the economy and all the bad news, and do something fun, something creative, and something to help them come out the other side. I think he was right on the money.

The attendees were amazing. Their response—incredible, and there was such a buzz, it was all any of us could talk about. Matt, Dave, RC, Corey—everybody felt the same thing. I could go on and on, but I thought I’d let the photos and captions tell the story. (Photos by Brad Moore, Drew Gurian, and RC Concepcion).

My thanks to everyone who made this Photoshop World such wonderful place for sharing, learning, laughing, and cheering. I’ll never forget it!


Above: Shooting the Groom at the reception, during David Ziser’s on-location Wedding Shoot pre-conference workshop.


Above: The model gets prepped during Kevin Ames Fashion-shoot pre-conference workshop.


Above: Waiting for the doors to open for the opening keynote to kick off Photoshop World 2009 Boston!


Above: This year we had a football theme, and above you see Matt, Scott and Dave at the “halftime report” news desk which kicked off the keynote.


Above: Adobe’s graphics evangelist Russell Preston Brown in full football gear (and dreadlocks), lends his support to our football theme, along with Adobe VP, and featured speaker at the keynote, John “Johnny L” Loiacono.


Above: Canon’s Steve Inglima during the keynote as Canon gives away a DSLR kit to the audience-chosen winning image taken during the Canon Live Studio pre-conference workshop.


Above: NAPP’s own RC Concepcion during one of his sessions on the conference tracks.


Above: Adobe Evangelist and Photoshop World instructor, Julieanne Kost does a training session in Adobe’s booth on the Expo floor. Adobe’s theater was standing room only for three solid days!


Above: Photoshop World instructor Frank Cricchio during a one-on-one portfolio review—free for registered full conference attendees.


Above: My band “Big Electric Cat” during our live set at “The Estate” in Boston, as seen from the 2nd floor balcony, during the opening night attendee party. Everybody was dancing all night long!


Above: Here’s a closer shot of the band: That’s (L to R) Tony Llanes on Lead Guitar, Kalebra on lead vocals, Scott Stahley back there on the drums, Felix Nelson on bass, and me on keyboards and rhythm guitar.


Above: Playing in another smokey bar. I thought I had grown out of that. ;-)


Above: Felix sang “Home” by Daughtry and I played acoustic guitar on that one, and electric guitar on Joan Jett’s “I hate myself for lovin’ you.”


Above: Tony rockin’ out with Kalebra singing over his shoulder.


Above: One of the most popular and talented instructors at Photoshop World, Terry White (from Adobe Systems) during one of his Adobe InDesign sessions.


Above: During the taping of our live Expo floor version of “Photoshop User TV.” The show, set to air next week, takes viewers on a quick tour of the floor, mixed with our usual tutorials and tips.


Above: During the taping of the show, I ran into Joe McNally’s new assistant Drew Gurian, and made him stop and say hi for the cameras. Drew was also there as one of the official show photographers, and took some of the very shots you see here.


Above: If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to “Photoshop Midnight Madness,” you get a very cool, limited edition t-shirt.


Above: If you’re unlucky enough to get suckered into participating in one of our crazy Midnight Madness games, you’d better be prepared for anything!


Above: Getting hands-on on the Expo floor.


Above: The amazing photographers from our “Art of Digital Photography” after hours presentation: (From L to R): John Paul Caponigro, Vincent Versace, Joe Glyda, Jay Maisel, Jim DiVitale, Moose Peterson, and Joe McNally.


Above: Having Adobe at our event is always a true honor, and to be able to have our attendees get to meet the real people behind the most amazing software program ever, is a real treat!

I hope these images gave you just a taste of what the Boston experience was like. See you tomorrow! -Scott


Hi gang: This is a quick update because it’s after 3:00 am, and I am just beat. We had an amazing day today—the Expo floor was jammin’ today, and I saw lots of cool stuff, met lots of great people, and had a ball (The shot above is from the opening keynote). Here’s a quick recap:

  • I spent a lot of time with the gang from Wacom today, getting really into their new Intous 4 line of tablets. They had a hands-on lab where any attendee could follow along with a Wacom trainer as they showed you how to make the most of their new tablets, and I sat in on one of the sessions, and I learned a lot of cool new things that I never would have known. A number of vendors are sellling the new tablets on the floor, and people are buying them left and right. It’s one of those things you have to try for yourself, and then you want one SO badly!
  • I sat in for a while on RC’s class called “10 Things you Need To Know in Photoshop” and I was just blown away at the quality of what he was teaching, and how he was teaching it. He really has a gift for training, and it really made me proud that he’s on our team. I literally had to find him after the session and give him a hug. He was that good!
  • I heard great things about Corey Barker’s special effects class, people were still raving about Kevin Ames Live Shoot Pre-con, and the Photoshop & Video classes were so packed people were sitting on the floor.
  • The Expo Floor was packed today, and when I went by the Adobe booth today, I was Photoshop Principle Product Manager John Nack doing a session, and later answering questions at their booth. Grid Iron Software was there showing Flow and it was creating a lot of buzz around the show floor. OnOne had some nice show specials on their Plug-in Suite, as did Hoodman. Westcott had a huge booth doing demos all day, and all the show theaters were packed all day.
  • Today I did Part 2 of my Portrait Retouching class, and after building on the techniques we learned in Part 1, I then did a live photo shoot in class, and then took the images into Photoshop and retouched them live on the fly without any prior knowledge of the subject or what retouches might be necessary, and it really turned out to be a lot fun (it’s kind of cool seeing the techniques you just learned applied in a real world scenario right in front of your eyes).
  • Tonight was our now famous “Photoshop Midnight Madness” late-night session, and it was absolutely wild, hilarious, off-the-hook, insane (insert your own adjective here_____) kind of nite. We tried a bunch of fun new stuff, and it was just a riot!!!! You’ve never heard so much screaming, cheering, and laughing. At one point I thought the hotel would come and throw us out.
  • This conference made a lot of CS4 believers out of people who were on the fence. In the classes, there’s been a lot of focus on maximizing your time, getting quick return on your investment, and working as quickly as efficiently as possible, which are some of the key things Adobe did in this upgrade, and I think people are really starting to see and realize that. The big flashy features are what often grab the headlines, but I think today a lot of people realized that it’s all the little improvements, tweaks, and efficiency enhancements that really pay the bills. Right now that’s what everybody wants to learn—how to work fast, smart, and maximize their time and investment, and they are getting loads of it in every conference track.
  • Macworld magazine did a very nice write-up on the show on their home page. From their article, it appears that they came to the show yesterday and spent the day observing how we do things, the mood of the crowd, the traffic, ect. and then shared their observations in a piece called. “What Photoshop World can teach other trade shows.” Here’s a link to the story.
  • Jeff Revell of PhotoWalk Pro posted some shots of my band, “Big Electric Cat” playing at the nightclub “The Estate” during the attendee party. Here’s the link to check them out.
  • Don’t forget: if you want to come and check out the Expo Floor, today’s the last day (In fact, the show floor’s only open until 1:00 pm today, so this is your last chance), you can get a free Expo Pass by signing up right here.

That’s it for today gang. Have a great Friday and we’ll see you back here on Monday when I return to my regular blogging schedule.

Yesterday in Boston we kicked off the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and here’s a quick look at Day 1:


NAPP Releases New CS4 Watermark Panel
During yesterday’s opening keynote, we released a special CS4 Watermark Panel created just for NAPP members (shown above) that lets you add a custom watermark to your photos automatically, and it even includes a batch processing option that lets you apply a watermark to an entire folder of images automatically.If you’re a NAPP member, you can download this free Member Exclusive panel from the member’s website.

Wacom Releases New Intous 4 Tablet, and it Rocks!
The big buzz around the show floor yesterday was around Wacom’s release of their new Intuos 4 line of tablets. I’ve had one of the prerelease units for a few weeks  now and I have to tell you—it is absolutely amazing! This will be the tablet that makes everyone who ever wondered if they should be using a tablet finally “get it” and wonder why they waited so long. I used the Intous 4 in my retouching class yesterday and I was swamped with questions and people wanting to see it after my class. Luckily, Wacom had a special hands-on lab here where anybody could sit down and take it for a test drive. I’ll probably tape a short video next week to show you why this is new tablet is so amazing, but in the meantime you can check out Wacom’s site for all the details.

Adobe’s Opening Keynote Scores!
The real star of yesterday’s show was Adobe with their fast-paced keynote, hosted by Adobe VP John Loiacono (better known as Johnny L to Photoshop World attendees), with guest appearance by Photoshop Principal Product Manager John Nack, and Adobe Evangelist Russell Preston Brown. In their presentation they convered a whole different side of Photoshop CS4, and it really blew a lot of people away (they also announced a new “Adobe Marketplace” coming this summer, and a special NAPP-members discount on Photoshop CS4). Adobe always does a great keynote at Photoshop World, but a lot of folk felt this may have been their best, with a great mix of info, laughs, ooohs and ahhhhs. Thanks Adobe for a fantastic start to the conference!

The Live Blogging Continues
I know thousands of people have been following our own Nancy Masse and her daily Photoshop World blog, along with her live coverage of the keynote yesterday, but if you’re not on board yet, here’s the link to her daily blog, the link to the Kyenote Live Blogging (you can replay it right there on the site) and here’s the link to her NAPP_News group on Twitter (they held a “Tweet Up” in the Sheraton Boston Tuesday night, and we all were standing around laughing and Tweeting).

McNally is Everywhere!
At this point, we might as well rename the event “Joe McNallyWorld” because this guy is everywhere! Yesterday Joe was part of the keynote (appearing in a video segment), we was doing sessions in the Peachpit Press Live Theater on the show floor; he was doing one-on-one Porfolio Reviews, then he’s got a session at the Nikon theater; his new book “Hot Shoe Diaries” is selling like wild fire, and the guy can’t walk five feet without being stopped to sign autographs. I’m thrilled to see one of the nicest, most humble guys on the planet, having the time of his life, and it’s all happened because Joe wants to give back and share what he’s learned from a lifetime behind the lens. Way to go big Joe (Not to mention his Kick-$#^ Special Guest Blog Post here yesterday, that if possible, even won him more fans. Thanks Joe, for honoring me with your wonderful post. You seemed to handle the “Pressure” with an awful lot of grace). :-)


There’s More
There’s so much more going on here than I can possibly cover in the short time I have to blog today (Above LtoR: Corey Barker, Me, Terry White, and RC—photo by Jeff Revell). I did a talk at the MPIX booth yesterday and met a lot of great people (and everybody I talked to get a $25.00 credit at on their order); I stopped by the Hoodman booth and they are killing with their new cards (which by the way—they still don’t have a single in-field failure, which is just amazing), Epson had a large booth with an amazing gallery of images and people were all over it. Matt Kloskowski did a free “Shooting for HDR” class over in the Nikon Theater and it was standing room only. I sat in on a class from Nikon’s Sam Garcia that was just fantastic (what an engaging speaker). We’re taping another live “Walk around the Expo Floor” episode of Photoshop User TV today, so that should be fun.

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with more (but it might go up a little late like today’s post). Don’t forget, if you’re in the area, you can stop by the Expo Floor for free (get your free Expo Pass at Have a great day!