Monthly Archives May 2009

….the man who came up with the whole Guest Blog idea himself, the one and only Vincent Versace.

That’s right—it was one year ago this week that Vinny convinced me to switch from “No Blog Wednesday” to “Special Guest Blog Wednesday” and I still haven’t stopped thanking him. It was a brilliant idea which has brought so many wonderful ideas, images, inspiration, and techniques to my readers, and I am truly indebted to them, and to Vincent for seeing the potential of what it could be.

It’s such an honor to have Vinny back here tomorrow as we celebrate the 1 year guest blog anniversary and there’s truly no more fitting person to feature on this day (by the way; I read Vinny’s post last night—you MUST come back tomorrow and give it a read. Amazing!).


Today’s it’s official, as we announce the date for Scott Kelby’s 2nd Annual Worldwide PhotoWalk™ to celebrate the upcoming release of “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3,” and you’re invited to be a part of this global, social photography event.

Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details.

Q. When is the official PhotoWalk day?
A. It’s Saturday, July 18th.

Q. What exactly is a PhotoWalk?
A. Watch the short video clip on the home page over at the official Worldwide PhotoWalk Website (here’s the link).

Q. Is there a fee to participate this year?
A. Once again it’s free—there is no fee to join this year’s walk—just come and have a ball!

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with PhotoWalks yet?
A. We already have 183 cities around the world which have scheduled PhotoWalks.

Q. How did those cities gets walks already?
A. We gave last year’s PhotoWalk leaders the first opportunity to lead a walk this year.

Q. How many cities participated last year, and how many photographers did the PhotoWalk that day?
A. We had:

  1. 8.324 photographers register for local walks
  2. 47 Countries had participating cities
  3. 44 States in the US had PhotoWalks
  4. We had a total of 236 cities worldwide
  5. More than 1,017,125 photos were taken on walks that day

Q. How can I lead a PhotoWalk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide PhotoWalk website: ( and click on the “Lead Your Own PhotoWalk” link.

Q. Does everyone get accepted as a PhotoWalk leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead PhotoWalks in your area before, etc., you’re more likely to get accepted to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for. Last year, we had some people put, “Well, nobody else signed up from our city, so I guess I’ll do it.” That’s doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in you as a leader. So, in short, I read every application myself. If you convinced me you’d make a good leader, I approved you.

Q. What if my city already has a PhotoWalk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Some big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd city walk if we have a leader apply. Or, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (Cities like Paris, New York, London, Tokyo all can have multiple walks and draw from totally different population groups)

Q. What do I get for being a PhotoWalk leader?
A. You get a free copy of my upcoming book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3” as soon as it’s released, and you get to pick the best shot from your group and award them with a free copy as well. Plus, that person is entered into the grand prize competition.

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don’t want to enter your images, you absolutely don’t have to (it’s just to make the experience more fun). Some people freaked out last year thinking they were required to enter, but just know—you absolutely don’t have to enter your image—you can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private “secret” photos.

Q. So are you going to choose the Grand Prize winner from all the city winners?
A. You betcha!

Q. Did you get any complaints last year about how the winners were chosen?
A. Absolutely. People get pretty cranked if they think their image deserved to be the winner and wasn’t chosen, but after being one of the Guru Awards judges for 10 years, along with judging other competitions over the years, I’m kind of used to that response. Surprisingly, I didn’t get one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners.

Q. So are you going to try and work some angle so that Orphanage in Kenya gets something out of this?
A. Ahh, you know me too well. I had been trying to come up with a good tie-in, but luckily one of my readers, Rob from Towner Jones Photography, came up with a great idea—we’re going to create an official Worldwide PhotoWalk T-shirt, and 100% of the profits from the sale of any of these t-shirts will go to feeding the kids at the Springs of Hope, Kenya Orphanage. I think it’s a great idea, and I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help in this way (I finally met Rob at my DC seminar—a really great guy!). As soon as we’ve finalized the design, we’ll put a link on the Web site.

Q. How come the people following you on Twitter got advance notice about the day, and early access to the Website?
A. That’s part of my deal with them. This is just the beginning.

Q. So are you leading a PhotoWalk again this year?
A. You betcha! I love PhotoWalks, and I’m planning mine for Ybor City (just outside Downtown Tampa, near where Dave Cross led his walk last year).

Q. What about Jeff Revell of
A. You know Jeff’s in, but I doubt he’ll lead two walks in the same day this time around. (That really kicked his butt). Also, I just saw where David duChemin is leading a walk in Vancouver, Canada. Sweet! Of course, Matt, Dave, and RC will be leading walks too (and if I can weasel Corey into one, he’ll have one as well). Moose Peterson will be up in Alaska and he might lead a walk up there (everybody loves PhotoWalks).

Q. What was the best thing that came out of last year’s walk?
A. I think it was the fact that so many photographers not only made new friends, but then went on to form their own photo walks during the year. This is totally a social event, and that’s why makes it so much fun. Most of the people on my walk had never done a Photo Walk before, but everybody had so much fun, they all wanted to do one again right away. Photo Walks are infectious, because when you get that many creative people together, who all have the love of photography in common, you can’t help but have a great time.

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. It’s full.

Q. How many is full?
A. PhotoWalks are limited to 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Hey Scott, this isn’t exactly PhotoWalk related, but you’re in Denver tomorrow for your Lightroom seminar on Wednesday—are you looking for a great place to shoot tomorrow at sunset around the Denver area?
A. Wow, you read my mind (and you snuck this in my Photowalk Q&A. Pretty clever). Yeah, if you know of a great place to shoot, let me know or I’ll just stay holed up in my hotel room with a big bag of chips. I mean, with “rice cakes and bottled water.”


Q. Hey is that you on your walk from last year?
A. Yup, that was taken right when we headed out (photo by RC). It was raining at first, but right at 10:00 am, when my walk was scheduled to start, the rain stopped and we didn’t get a drop again until we were in the restaurant having ricecakes and bottled water.

Q. I want to know more about this PhotoWalk thing; what’s involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
A. There’s a detailed FAQ on the Website (here’s the link), but we’re still tweaking the site a bit (adding new features and a master list of all the cities), but we’re lightyears ahead of where we were last year at this same time, and I’m pretty psyched to have more than 180 cities on announce day. I hope we have a lot more to come, and I hope you’ll be a part of it this year, too!


….if you’re looking for tweets from me like, “I just dropped my son off at soccer practice” or “Listening to “Precious” by Depeche Mode while retouching pictures.” (Sorry RC—I couldn’t help myself).

I want to use my Twitter account for something different.

  1. Sometimes I have something I want to share, but it’s a day or two before I can blog about it (for example, one day Larry Becker called me to let me know about a site that was selling 8GB San Disk Extreme memory cards for $89, but they were offering an $89 mail-in rebate. Basically, they were free! We bought a bunch). I was dying to tell everyone, but by the time I could blog it the next day—they were gone.
  2. Sometimes I need input on an idea and I need it really quickly.
  3. Sometimes I need your opinion on a training class I’m thinking of doing, or something I want to add to a seminar or workshop, or something I’m thinking of adding to Photoshop World, and I need a direct connection for feedback.
  4. Sometimes I need to get the word out about something and I need your help spreading the word.
  5. Sometimes I want to find out how you feel about a particular topic I’m thinking about blogging about, or writing an article about it. Sometimes I want to gauge the general feeling about a controversial topic I might be tackling, and want to hear what you think before I make it public.

But for this to work, it has to be a two-way street, right? So, for your help and input, here’s my end of the deal:

  1. I’ll give you advance notice on all sorts of things I’m working on, including new seminars or online classes I’m developing; when books are hitting stores, or which books I’m working on, or when we’re considering a city for a seminar, or anything cool coming down the road.
  2. I’ll give you the inside early notice on anything where I wouldn’t be violating an embargo or an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
  3. I’ll keep an eye out for cool deals, great photography, special deals, or anything else that I think you’d want to check out, and I’ll share those with you.
  4. You’ll learn things on Twitter before it goes live on my blog, and I’ll discuss things that aren’t necessarily right for the blog.
  5. I’ll respect your time and won’t abuse this pipeline between us. My tweets will be short and sweet, and to the point.

I also won’t be tweeting every day, or on any regular schedule at all. When I’ve got something to share, or need your input, that’s when you’ll hear from me, so I won’t become a high-maintenance twitter nuisance.

One more thing: I won’t be able to answer Photoshop questions, or photography gear questions, or stuff like that on Twitter (so, I’m not starting a help desk, Q&A line, or anything like that), but I will do my best to make sure if you do follow me, I’ll make it worth your while.

Now you know the scoop, and if that all sounds like something you’d be in to, I invite you to follow me by clicking here.

Hey, by the way; at lunch today, I had a really great whole grain bread (just kidding—-that was a “Stunt Tweet,” just to see if you were really paying attention). ;-)

During this past week, while finishing up my Volume 3 of “The Digital Photography Book,” I was able to finally go through the entire list of your suggestions for topics to include in the book (nearly 300) and not surprisingly, I found even more great ideas.

Well, ya know that means—-some more of you are going to get a free signed copy of my book, because your idea wound up getting covered in the new book. Here’s the names of the other readers who’ll be getting a free signed copy:

  • Alex Kess
  • Mark Celvin
  • Daniel Laflor
  • Rosario Mannino
  • Dwight Atterhol
  • MivillePhoto
  • Jeff Grandon
  • Lee Johansen
  • Mark Roberg

Thanks you guys—-you really made a difference, and the book is better because of your suggestions.

One interesting thing about this exercise: I was surprised at how many people listed that they wanted me to cover Photoshop or Elements or Lightroom workflow stuff in the book. Here’s the thing: I actually already have written books that do exactly that (here’s the Photoshop one, the Elements one, and the Lightroom one).

My “Digital Photography Book” series is really about the photography itself—about taking better photos—about how to use your camera—how to work with studio lighting, and off camera flash—stuff like that; not the post-processing that happens after the fact, so Photoshop or Lightroom editing workflows really aren’t appropriate and haven’t been covered in Vols. 1, Vol. 2, or in the upoming Vol. 3. But hey, at least I know books on post-processing workflow still have an eager audience.

One more thing: I’m expecting our in-house shipment of my new Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Book any day now, and as soon as they arrive, I’ll be signing and sending out copies to those folks who helped me out with ideas for that book.


Just a reminder; I’ll be in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday with my “Lightroom 2 Live!” tour, then I’ll be in Portland, Oregon (for my first time ever), on Friday with the tour, so I hope I’ll see you in one of those cities for a day that will change the way you sort, edit, show, and print your work.

Here’s the link with all the details. If you’re coming and you read the blog, make sure you come up and say “hi.” (I met all kinds of great readers when I was in DC—-I love it!).


OK, before we get started—are we so lovin’ David duChemin today or what? He totally rocked it yesterday with his inspirational, and eye-opening guest blog (just read all the comments and you’ll see what I mean), and I’m both honored and excited that he was my guest blogger here on the Photoshop Insider. Thanks so much David.

Why Yes, That Photo is Embarrassing
Yet another blast from the past has snuck its way onto my blog today, and the one above (circa 1983) is a self-portrait where I’m posing with an old Minolta SLR that my brother handed down to me when he upgraded to a Nikon F3. It was shot with my Pentax SLR using the self timer, and this was taken in a small studio another photographer and I rented, and it was shot on white seamless using a Sunpak flash unit set to bounce off the ceiling. How high tech! ;-)

Of course, the shot below is even more embarrassing (that’s right, a bonus embarrassing shot), which was taken one night when I was in the band “The Edge” around 1986. I played keyboards mostly, but if the song didn’t have keyboards, I’d play rhythm guitar, and I sang lead on a dozen or so songs (as seen below). And yes—I am wearing sweat bands (they were all the rage back then. Well, if you were in a band anyway). Behind me is “Big Electric Cat” drummer Scott Stahley. He was all of 18-years-old at the time. The photo was taken at a club called “The Landing” in Haines City, Florida. Yeah, I really played the choice gigs, didn’t I? ;-)


Now, onto the news:

Something Big is Coming Here on Monday
I wanted to give you guys a heads up that on Monday I have some mondo big news, so make sure you stop by to check it out. If you wait until Tuesday….well…it just might be too late (you’ll see what I mean).

Mike Wong Gets a Face Lift
OK, that’s not exactly what happened; it’s actually just a face lift for Mike’s excellent 1 on 1 blog that he writes on behalf of Photoshop plug-in maker OnOne Software, but I just couldn’t let a headline like that go to waste. Here’s the link to his younger, healthier-looking blog. ;-)

Jeff Revell’s New Canon 50D Book Now in Bookstores
When I was at my seminar in DC last week, Jeff Revell (of PhotoWalkPro) came out to the seminar and brought me a copy of his new book, “The Canon 50D: From Snapshots to Great Shots,” and I have to say; it is, hands-down, the best “how to use your camera” book I’ve seen, because it goes way beyond a “how to use your camera book.” When Jeff was writing the book, he told me that the last thing the world needs is another author rewriting the manual, but saying in four pages what the manual said in two pages. Instead, Jeff said “The reason people buy a book on how to use their camera is because they want to make better photos, but all they wind up doing is learning how to use the menus and buttons,” which is why he set out to rewrite how this genre of books is done, and by golly he did just that. It doesn’t just teach you the camera’s buttons and menus—it teaches Canon 50D users how to take better photos with their camera and that is what’s going to set this book apart (This book is going to be huge!) Here’s the link to it on Barnes & and Congrats Jeff on totally delivering on your vision (and for including such great looking photography to boot!).

Don’t Miss David Ziser’s Digital Wake-up Tour!
David Ziser’s “” blog has won legions of devoted fans because of the amazing amount of info David shares daily—-not just about photography technique, but about the business of photography as well. As great as that blog is (and it truly is among the best out there), there is absolutely nothing that compares with learning from David live (I’ve done it myself—-it’s an eye-opening, career-changing experience). David is out on tour right now with this acclaimed “Digital Wake-Up Tour,” and if he’s coming anywhere near you—you absolutely, positively just have to go (you’ll thank me later). His next stops are:

  • Los Angeles, CA, May 18th
  • Ontario, CA, May 19th
  • Irvine, CA, May 20
  • San Diego, CA, May 21st
  • New Orleans, LA, May 26th
  • Houston, Texas, June 1st
  • Dallas, Texas, June 2nd
  • Ft. Worth, Texas, June 3rd
  • Oklahoma City, OK, June 4th
  • Louisville, Kentucky, June 8th
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, June 9th

For details and/or to reserve your seat, here’s the link.

Video Review of Wacom’s New Intuos 4 Tablet
Terry White, over at Terry White’s Tech Blog, did an excellent video review of Wacom’s latest tablet (the same one you’ve heard me raving about—the same one I have both at home, and on my desk at work and now can’t live without), and if you’ve got a quick minute and you’re wondering, “Well, what makes this particular tablet so much better?” then just watch Terry’s review and it will all make sense. Here’s the link.


That’s it for today folks. I’ve got some other cool news tomorrow, so make sure you check back here then, and of course on Monday. Could be really big! :)