Monthly Archives March 2009

Think Globally: Shoot Locally


Photographers these days are especially sick of hearing about the economy on the news over and over again. That’s because when it comes to these types of downturns, we’re like canaries in the coalmines… We feel the effects of a lack of economic oxygen long before the rest of the business world, and this is just so much old news.  Any working pro I know could have told you things were really tough a year and a half ago, when the rest of the country was still in the bubble of economic self delusion.

But now a lot of other industries–publishing, travel, and banking among them — have  caught up and we’re all in the same boat. And this doesn’t bode well for those of us who travel and shoot, for profit, or passion, or both.  Travel magazines today are as thin as as a stockbroker’s wallet, suffering from the anorexia of no advertising dollars, and consequently no editorial pages or assignments.  And optional travel for pleasure is the first thing to go in tight economic times… (more…)

…..acclaimed photographer, author, educator and writer, Bob Krist.

Outdoor Photographer is one of my very favorite magazines, and Bob’s travel photography column in the magazine has always been a must-read for me (you can read one of his recent columns right here).

As much as I enjoy his column, his images are just astounding (which is why he shoots for magazines like National Geographic and Smithsonian). Here’s the link to his site to see some of his amazing images, but of course make sure you check back in tomorrow to catch his guest blog post. It’s truly an honor to have Bob on the blog—-I can’t wait!!!


Hi gang: It’s Tuesdays—here’s what’s up:

  • My Books On The Free Kindle App For iPhone
    I saw a review on Terry’s Tech blog about the new free Amazon Kindle app for the iPhone, so I downloaded it and bought my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 2” from right on my iPhone (Yes, I had to buy it, but luckily the downloadable version was only $9.99). Anyway, I have the full Kindle reader (the original, not version 2), and while this free iPhone app didn’t have all the features (or as large a screen) as the Kindle, it did have one thing even the Kindle 2 doesn’t have—color images! The formatting on the iPhone’s screen even looked pretty decent (as seen above), and I think the advantage is (for iPhone users anyway), that you can look up a tip while you’re out on a shoot, right from your phone. Anyway, it’s worth checking out (here’s the link to it on the iTunes Store). By the way; the iPhone itself up there isn’t a photo. That’s an illustration created from scratch by NAPP’s Creative Director Felix Nelson, and it’s all done in Photoshop. That guy is just sick!
  • I found a Cool Photo Blog with All Unretouched Photos
    This past weekend, I came across a photography site called “Unqualified to Blog” and in their tag line they mention that all the photos are unedits straight from the camera (no Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.). Anyway, the guy has some nice stuff, and I just thought it was kind of different. Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec to check it out.
  • Interviewed By My Publisher
    I did an audio interview with my Publisher Nancy Reunzel, and it’s up live over at the Peachpit site. We talked about everything from photography to what my upcoming books are for the year, to Photoshop World, and about everything else. If you’ve got a couple of minutes, check it out right here.
  • Are You Coming To Boston? Now there are TWO Photo Walks
    If you’re coming up to Boston for Photoshop World (Hey, it’s still not to late to join us up there: Here’s the link with all the details), there are now TWO Photo Walks planned; one from Jeff Revell (of PhotoWalkPro fame), and one being put together by a group of NAPP forum members, so if you’re coming, make sure you bring your camera! (check on the NAPP member forums for details on the NAPP walk).
  • New Photoshop and Illustrator Integration Online Class from Corey Barker
    Photoshop graphics wizard Corey Barker has a brand new online class at Kelby Training about creative ways to use Photoshop and Illustrator together. It just went up and it’s already created quite a buzz. Here’s the link with all the details.

OK gang, that’s it from here. I’ll be back on Thursday with more stuffage! Don’t forget to check out the Guest Blog tomorrow. Have a great one!


I know it’s kind of late to be getting a Christmas present, but there’s a reason. First, about the present. It was from one of my dearest friends, and renowned tech guru Terry White (of Terry White’s Tech Blog fame). That’s Terry pictured above, in a photo taken with my iPhone.

Terry called me a few days before last Christmas and told me something I already knew—I’m an incredibly hard person to buy a gift for, because I’m such a gear junkie. If my wife or brother hasn’t bought it for me, I probably bought it myself. But he also told me that this year he had the perfect gift for me, and that it was a gift he’d never given anyone else ever, and wouldn’t give anyone else. Of course, now I was dying to know what it was.

He said he was giving me a “Terry White Tech Day.” He would fly to my home in Florida, on his own dime, and spend an entire day hooking up, fixing, extending, and just pimping any technology-related thing in my home. He said he would set up computer networks, enhance my wireless networks, add gadgets to my TV-set—-anything I wanted for an entire day. Well, Saturday was the day, and it was one of the best Christmas presents I ever got, hands down. It was amazing!!!

Now, you might be thinking, “Scott, you’re a technology guy! You write books on this stuff! Don’t you have all this stuff hooked up already?” Sadly, no. Here’s the thing: I don’t write books on networking, or wireless gadgets, or any of that techno-stuff. I call other people for this hard stuff (usually Terry, who knows ALL of this type of stuff inside and out). I’m a creative guy, a Photoshop Guy, a photography guy, an educator guy, a business guy, and a musician guy. Guys like me desperately need really smart people to help us do all the hard stuff that falls outside the fun easy stuff we know how to do. In short; we need a Terry White!

As soon as Terry landed, we headed straight to Best Buy (That’s Terry in the Tampa Best Buy above). I knew I was in trouble when he said, “We’re going to need a shopping cart.” By the time we left the store, I had spent nearly $1,200 on everything from wireless routers, to a wireless Epson printer/copier/fax (for my wife and son), to a half-dozen or so Ethernet cables, wireless telephone repeaters, a wireless keyboard for my Playstation 3, and a bunch of stuff of other stuff that I’m not sure even Terry knows what it does.

However, once we got back to the house, Terry went at it, and by the end of the day, he had added, fixed, extended, reformatted, and he addressed so many things in my house that will make things easier, faster, and less frustrating, that even my wife said, “We have to make this a yearly thing.” It was absolutely awesome!!!!

Now, the reason I just got this present was because the first time Terry was scheduled to come in, I caught a virus the day before and so I had to cancel and this was our first chance to make it happen again. But I’m so glad it happened—-it was amazing to see Terry when he’s “in the zone,” and now I can just about email my coffee maker to have a cup ready when I get up in the morning (OK, not really, but I had to leave something for Terry in case he gives me this again for Christmas this year. Hint, hint!).

Thanks Terry for an amazing day, for fixing all my stuff, for making all my stuff better, and for generally just being a good enough friend that you’d be willing to do something like that. I am lucky to know ya! :)


The other day I’m sitting at my desk between meetings, and I was thinking about something I wanted to do in Photoshop to a photo I had just taken, and something kind of just popped in my head that really surprised me. It was the realization that I hardly use Curves anymore.

Now, I’m not talking about creating contrast using the Tone Curve in Camera Raw, or Lightroom (because I do that all the time)—-I’m talking about actually color correcting your photos using good old-fashioned Curves (as seen above), or a Curves Adjustment Layer in Photoshop (which is essentially the same thing).

This kind of freaked me out, because I used to live in Curves—I was in that dialog 50 times a day for years and years, and I couldn’t imagine doing any kind of color correction in Photoshop without it, and now here I am sitting there wondering when the last time I used Curves to color correct a photo. Of course, I knew why I wasn’t using it—it’s because I now do my color correction in Lightroom or Camera Raw (primarily just by properly setting the white balance), and the only time I really need to bring up Curves within Photoshop itself is if I need to fix the color after I’ve already edited the photo in Lightroom or Camera Raw, and that is pretty rare these days.

I wondered if “it’s just me,” so I walked over to my buddy’s Matt Kloskowski’s office and asked him about his Curves use. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he color corrected a photo using Curves. I think we were both a little stunned. We both still use it when we need it, but clearly its role in both our workflows has significantly diminished.

So, I sent a few emails out to some outside Photoshop’s buddies asking about their Curves use in Photoshop, and I was hearing the same thing from them (one wrote, “…very rarely, but I do use it from time to time”). I don’t think this is a bad thing—I think it’s just an evolution of how we use Photoshop today, and I think it’s a good indicator at how much easier the color correction process has become thanks to Lightroom and Camera Raw, and their ability to process and correct Raw, JPEG, and TIFF images.

Anyway, I’d love to hear about your use of Curves, and whether you’re still using Curves as much as you used to, or if you have modified your workflow to reflect the tools we now have at our disposal. I invite you to take the survey below and share where Curves fits into your current workflow.

DISCLAIMER: I just want to make it clear that I’m not saying anything bad about Curves. I love Curves—always have, probably always will—-it’s a beloved part of Photoshop that absolutely still has it’s place and I would hate to think of Photoshop without it. And please don’t go and write, “Scott says not to use Curves anymore.” I’m not saying that at all—I’m just making an observation of how my use of Curves has changed, and I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on your level of Curves usage.

NOTE: Please only take the survey below if you do, or at one time did, use Curves regularly for color correction in your Photoshop workflow.


Whoo Hooo! It’s Friday!!!

Before we get into the news, I just wanted to thank this week’s Guest Blogger Tim Mantoai for his wonderful post (and images) this week. If you look at the comments readers posted about his story, you see the word “Inspirational” is about every other post, and right now I think a lot of us needed that. Thanks Tim, and my thanks to Brad for his help in bringing Tim’s work and words to the blog this week.

Now, Here’s what’s up:

  • Yesterday, one of my readers let me know that a graphic we created for an email campaign (shown above) was featured on It seems that the top of the logo on the football was cut-off, and that’s pretty messed up (as you can see). Anyway, when I saw it over on, I just totally cracked up! Sadly, that’s the least of what sneaks by us sometimes, but of course, then I had to go and fire the designer who created it (Kidding!). Thanks PhotoshopDisasters for keeping us honest! :-)
  • We finally did get Episode #2 of D-Town TV (The new weekly show for Nikon DSLR users) posted online late yesterday afternoon, and it includes a great tip for setting up your camera for shooting HDR, along with a bonus video from Matt and how to process the HDR file created by your camera using Photomatix (along with our other camera tips). If you haven’t caught the new episode yet, you can watch it right here.
  • A big shout out and thanks to for including “The Photoshop Insider” as #35 in their Top 100 “Best in Photography” list of photo sites. I was pretty psyched! Here’s the link to their top 100 list.
  • Lastly, for some wonderful weekend inspiration, check out the work of photographer Loretta Lux. It’s a very different style, but her stuff rocks!!!! Here’s the link.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.