Monthly Archives May 2009

The Coming Revolution

I believe we’re at a turning point in the way we, as an industry, approach our craft. Thanks to the internet, information moves faster and faster, filling our brains to bustin’ with everything any of us could ever hope to know about off-camera flash, HDR techniques, hyperfocal distances, and the effect of aperture shape on bokeh. We have learned more and more, and if we have not it’s not for lack of information. And at the end of day we’re still hungry; full up on HOW and still wondering WHY.

My first book came out on Monday. After writing it and spinning much of it around the idea that WHY always drives HOW, I am more convinced than ever that we are about to reach critical mass with the the HOW, and that we’re slowly turning, collectively, to see the vaccum that has formed while we weren’t paying attention. That vaccum is passion, vision, and the reason we picked up cameras to begin with – the need to express ourselves. To use a metaphor; it’s as though we’re reaching the pinnacle of typewriter technology and have awoken to find that what we’re really passionate about is the stories, the poems, and the words themselves rather than the keys and ribbons. (more…)


Hey gang: I just this minute checked and my “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” book is now in stock at (here’s the link).

NOTE: Just a reminder—like my live tour of the same name—this is packed cover-to-cover with how to create Photoshop special effects—the same ones you see today in print, on the Web, on TV, and in Hollywood. There’s no sharpening, or color correction, or color management, or any of that stuff that I cover in all my other books. This is “The funk and not the junk, baby!” By the way; although this is titled CS4, almost all the techniques work in CS3 as well.


Think Tank’s Airport Security 2 Gets a “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Award
My recent trips to Birmingham and DLWS in the Other Banks totally cemented it—-the Think Tank Airport Security 2 is the rolling camera bag of my dreams. It has totally replaced my beloved Lowe Pro Pro Roller 1, which served me well for the past two years, but this Think Tank rolling bag is truly that next level of bag, and now there’s no looking back.

I’m still amazed at how that bag holds as much as it does (I load mine with a 200-400mm f/4 lens, a large 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, a large 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, two full-sized camera bodies, an Epson P-7000, two chargers, a monopod, an SB-900, multiple filters, a Di-GPS unit, and loads of little gadgets that wind up in our camera bags). Besides what it holds; it’s very cleverly designed, well-built, and it’s just a smart bag all the way around (from it’s built-it security cable, to it’s built-in emergency backpack conversion, to it’s hidden ‘secret compartment’).

Think Tank really understands photographers, and what we need, and that’s why I’m giving the Airport Security 2 my “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Editor’s Choice award. Here’s the link to their site with all the details. (Note: They have an International version, which conforms to Int’l carry on restrictions, but I only have the US edition. If you travel internationally, here’s that link).


Just got my copy of David DuChemin’s New book, “Within The Frame”
When I got to my office yesterday morning, a copy David DuChemin’s just released new book, “Within the Frame” was sitting on my desk. I took it home last night and just couldn’t put it down! There’s nothing like a photography how-to book with stunning photography to inspire you, but his book goes way beyond just inspiration, and teaches you how to think about creating captivating images, and I think that’s why this book is going to be the next big thing. Hats off to David (who is my guest blogger for tomorrow) for creating a very special book (here’s the link to it on Barnes & and Way go go, man!


Adobe deal: $25 off Lightroom 2 until May 31st.
I saw where Adobe has a $25 off deal on Lightroom 2 running until May 31st. Here’s the link to their online stores (including Int’l) to take advantage of the deal.


Photos From my DC Seminar
Vithaya Photography attended my DC Photoshop Seminar/Audiofest and they were kind enough to send me a link to a gallery of images they took from the day (photo above by Vithaya Photography). Here’s the link to see a gallery of some scenes from the event. My thanks for Vithaya Photography for coming to the seminar, and for being so kind to share these images with my readers.

That’s it for today folks. Don’t forget to check out David’s guest blog tomorrow, and we’ll see you here on Thursday for a photo I’m sure will make me shudder (along with other news bits and stuff).

….an amazing photographer, teacher, and now published author….David duChemin.

You’ve heard me talk about David’s captivating work a dozen times here on the blog, and it’s such an honor to have him here as my guest blogger tomorrow (it’s particularly cool because I’m in the middle of reading his brand new book, “Within the Frame” right now, and as expected—it’s awesome!).

In the meantime, I encourage you to go and spend a couple of minutes looking at David’s amazing portfolio (here’s the link) and check out his personal blog: Pixelated Image. You’ll love it! (Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for his guest blog).


The blurry photo above was taken with my iPhone just a few minutes before the doors opened to my new Photoshop seminar. It shows the calm before the storm.

On Friday, in our nation’s capital, I met some of the most gracious, patient, and downright forgiving people on earth, because for two hours, at the kick-off of my “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks,” at the Washington Convention Center, I had absolutely the worst audio problems I’ve had in the 16 years I’ve been doing live Photoshop seminars.

I am not kidding.

Before the doors opened, we had tested, tweaked, and toned the center’s audio system (I took the photo above during the soundcheck. That’s Corey Barker walking through the ballroom as we were tweaking the audio. Luckily, we were in such a large ballroom that the in-house A/V company had an audio tech right here in the room with us). The sound check went fine, the doors opened, 700+ people poured into the ballroom, and after a few announcements, I was introduced to start the seminar.

I walked to the front of the stage, and said, “Well, good morning everyone,” and that’s when the problems started. During the next sentence, my mic cut out. Then back in. Then out. One of our staff rushed to the stage and quickly swapped out my headset mic’s batteries. It worked. For about a minute. Then it cut out again. And again.

We swapped out headsets. It worked for around two minutes. Then we tried a lav mic. It worked. For about a minute. I could go on and on, but what we wound up doing was moving my laptop over to the podium, rewiring everything, and I did the class standing up from the podium using the podium mic. This is just not how I wanted to start the first stop on my brand new tour. Arrrggghhh!

After the break, they had brought in four new speakers on tall stands; they ran new cables, and brought me yet another mic, and it worked. For about 4 minutes. At one point, the only way we could get the mic to work was to have Corey sit beside me on stage and hold the mic’s wireless receiver up over my head. If he moved, even an inch—it went out. This was the convention center’s in-house system, so it was totally out of our hands—all we could do was complain to the A/V techs troubleshooting the system (which we did. Vigorously!).

During lunch, the A/V company (who now had three techs frantically working on the problem), finally swapped out the mixing console, and it (a bad console) turned out to be the culprit. The audio was great the rest of the day, but let me tell you—that was the longest two-hours of my training career.

It’s not that amazing that we had such a catastrophic audio meltdown; stuff like that can and will happen, and always at the worst possible time. What is amazing is how gracious, patient, good-natured, and forgiving the audience was. They hung right in there with me the entire day—we laughed, we cried, we gritted our teeth the entire morning, but we made it through alive, and at the end of the day, somehow we brought that plane in for a smooth landing (although we did arrive at the gate about 25 minutes late).

Yesterday, I saw the first review of the seminar, from Karen Akerson of Svenska Studios (and yes, she did mention the audio), but you can read it here for yourself (here’s the link). There’s also a photo of me during the day, and I probably looked as blue as the tint she added.

Thanks to all my friends who came out (like Jeff Revell, who brought me a copy of his brand new book, “Canon 50D; From Snapshots to Great Shots!” which looks absolutely outstanding!) Also, right before my flight, I had been handed the first copy off the press of my new “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” book, and I actually gave away that signed first copy as one of the giveaways at the end of the day. Hey, after the audio problems, I nearly gave my laptop away! And my plane ticket. And rental car, and…..

I do want to offer my humble thanks to everyone who endured those audio problems right along with me, and thanks for all your kind words of support during the day while audio grenades were going off all around me. Your attitude and the smiles on your faces out there kept me in the zone and focused on what we came to do—put the rest of the world on hold while we immersed ourselves in creativity and learning some really cool new Photoshop stuff. My hat’s off to you all.

NOTE: Photoshop genius guy Corey Barker (who helped me develop the tour, and helped immeasurably on Friday) is taking the tour to Richmond, Virginia on May 27th, and it is filling up fast. If you want to go—better snag your seat now (here’s the link). My bet is; the audio will be perfect! :)


…which is why it’s 1:24 am, and I’m in my hotel room preparing for my class tomorrow, and as far as the blog goes today…well…I got nuthin’.

Well, I’ve got one thing—that’s right—an embarrassing photo (seen above). This one is more recent; it was taken during the on-location taping of our opening movie for last year’s Photoshop World keynote (we had a Star Trek theme, and I thought with the new movie opening, and well…ya know).

Shown in the photo above (L to R Back row: Corey Barker (as Lt. Smirnoff), Matt Kloskowski (as “Beta”), Photoshop Principal Product Manager John Nack (as “Major Mancandy”), Crewman #1, RC Concepcion (as Warp), Crewman #2, and Felix Nelson (as Jordache). L to R seated: Dave Cross (as First Officier Jim Beam), yours truly (as Captain Morgan), and Terry ‘Tiberius’ White (I can’t remember Terry’s character. Hey, it’s 1:24 in the morning!) [Ed. Note: It was “T-Bones,” which I just figured out after re-watching the opening movie (link added above)].

OK, well, I’ve got to finish up getting everything ready, and I’ve got to get up pretty early, so I’ve gotta get back to work, but I’ll be back in full force (whatever that means), on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend everybody!

Burnin’ the Midnight Oil