Monthly Archives July 2009

You guys have heard me talk about the Honl Flash Modifiers again and again here on the blog, in my Digital Photography Book Vol. 2, and in my annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide, and now you can see them in action. Commercial Photographer David Maynard stopped by the Kelby Training Studios, and I asked him if he’d do a live demo for my blog, so he took five minutes with my buddy Dave Cross to show us how the system works.

If you’re at all into off-camera flash, this will definitely be worth your time.


It’s not easy for American’s to get to Cuba (don’t get me started), but somehow Rick Sammon figured out a way to get down there, and he’s getting some amazing shots, and he’s blogging about it as well.

Here’s the link to Rick’s blog—-he’s already started posting images (including some cool HDR stuff), and he’s going to be posting images from his trip for the next week or so, and since we in the USA get so few glimpses of Cuba, I find it really captivating (plus the color, the people, and the way parts of it are stuck in time just make it one of the most amazing places to shoot in this part of the world).

Rick invited me to sneak down there next year as he’s leading a group of photographers on a trip to Cuba—I’ve always, always wanted to visit Cuba, and well…I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I can go. Thanks Rick, for sharing this with us. :)

Nikon introduced two new cameras today and some lenses:


(1) The Nikon D300s
As expected, it has lots of video features, including built-in HD video capabilities (720p), a stereo mic input, in-camera video editing features, auto-focus, and it has a dual card slot so you can shoot stills to a Compact Flash card, and send your video to an SD card. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

On the still side: it shoots more frames per second (7 fps, or 8 with the battery grip); it has dedicated buttons for Live View (great for switching to video quickly) and the Info Screen (like some of the Nikon’s recently released models), and a “Quiet Drive” mode for shooting in situations where you want the camera to make as little noise as possible (weddings, wildlife, etc.). Also, the D300s got the same Multi-Selector wheel as the D3/D700, which is a step up, and it includes the Virtual Horizon feature from the D3/D700 as well.

You can resize and process Raw images from within the camera (it comes with four built-in presets), it has built-in sensor cleaning, and a few other bells and whistles.

I don’t know if the noise is reduced yet, but will report as soon as I call my contacts at Nikon (and no—Nikon did not call me with a heads up, or early info on the camera. I read about it this morning along with everybody else).

The Street Price should be around $1,799.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


(2) The Nikon D3000
At seems like this is a Nikon D5000 but without the video capabilities, and I believe it looks to be a replacement for the D60, but I haven’t heard anything official on it. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

The street price will be around $599.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


They also introduced two new lenses as well:


The 70-200mm VR II f/2.8
A newly redesigned version of the lens I probably use more than any other. The new VR II is supposed to give you an additional 4-stops of low light hand holding, and it’s supposed to be sharper, particularly at the edges on FX (full frame) Nikon cameras. The lens is a little shorter than the original, and a tiny bit heavier. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

It’s set to ship in November at a street price of $2,399 [ed note; Yikes!]

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


The 18-200mm VR II f/3.5 – f.5.6
Another redesigned version of the lens I probably most for travel photography, when I want one lens and don’t want to switch at all. It’s got the new VR II as well, and it addresses the big complaint of the original, which was that the zoom barrel would sometimes start sliding if you were aiming up or down by adding a zoom lock switch on the lens. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

The street price will be around $850. It’s set to ship in September.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


Hi gang: Here’s what up:

I love Bill Fortney
If you read the comments posted about Bill Fortney’s Guest Blog yesterday, it’s clear to see that people love Bill Fortney (shown above with me at a workshop we taught together in the Great Smoky Mountains). They love his photography (which is amazing—you really need to see his portrfolio to appreciate it), but they love the man behind the camera just as much, and it really comes through in your comments. Thanks Bill—we love you!

My MPIX Pro Journey
OK, so last week I signed up for MPIX Pro (see the link here for details on why), and one part of the process is to upload five images to the MPIX Pro web site, then they print them as 8x10s and send you back printed proofs, so you can compare them with your monitor (and your monitor calibration) and see if any adjustments need to be made (for the record; the color was spot on, but the prints came out a bit darker than my MacBook Pro’s monitor, but I usually keep my brightness turned all the way up, so I know to dim it down about three or four notches—not exactly sure which yet, but I will after my first print job. I’m going to start with three steps down and see from there).

The quality of the printing, as expected, was excellent, but what I was most impressed with was (and this might sound silly), was the quality of their welcome kit. It was very smartly designed, and put together like you’d hope it would be, complete with a calibration test print, and access to an online course for how to calibrate your monitor to work with MPIXpro. I’ll be placing my first order this weekend, and I’ll let you know more when it comes in, but so far—I’m very impressed.

Corey’s New Online Class Breaks New Ground in 3D
This week we released a new online class on Kelby Training on working with 3D from Photoshop wizard Corey Barker called “Outrageous 3D with Photoshop CS4 Extended.” The stuff Corey has figured out to do with 3D in Photoshop is just absolutely mind-boggling (stuff I haven’t seen anybody doing anywhere), and if you’re into 3D–you’ve got to see this! Here’s the link to the lesssons he covers.

Tomorrow’s the last day to get your Photo Walk t-shirt
Well, it’s not technically the last day; it’s just the last day to make your purchase worth $10 a shirt to the Spring of Hope Kenya Orphanage. Do it now—it’ll make you feel better than anything else you’ll do all day. Here’s the link.

The Photo Nomads review Down & Dirty Tricks
I just ran across a review of my Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks book over at the Photo Nomads blog. Here’s the link (By the way; although it’s called the “Photoshop CS4 book” about 95% of the techniques work on Photoshop CS3 as well. Here’s the link to the book on and Barnes &, ya know…just in case).

That’s it for today, folks
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you guys have your best Thursday ever!


Photography for the Joy of It!

I’m coming up on my 40th anniversary as a photographer! What does that mean? Well you could say I was close, personal friends with George Eastman, but that was little further back! What it means is that for the past 40 years I’ve supported my family, made lots of friends and acquaintances, and seen many great things… And I’m even more excited to be a photographer than I was at the beginning! Let me share with you how to have a childlike enthusiasm about being a shooter, even at my advanced age! How old am I? Well let’s just say my social security number is 1! No I’m 63, but my doctor said, “With a body like your’s you should donate it to science fiction!”

Photography has brought me three great things, people, places and, well photography itself!

Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

People. The greatest gifts that photography has given me are all the great people it has brought into my life. Great friends like Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, (and the rest of his merry gang), John Shaw, David Muench, Mark Kettenhofen, Art Wolfe, Jim Brandenburg, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson the late Galen Rowell and John Netherton. I could go on and on forever about the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to teach, shoot in the field with and become great friends. Photography led me to a deep friendship with Charles Stanley, and Ricky Skaggs just to name a few more. Dear friends like Chuck Summers and Don Nelson. Wow, I better stop now before this gets out of hand! I’m not bragging or dropping names, I’m just blessed beyond belief. I think the point I’m feebly trying to make is that people enrich our lives and they help us to be better than we would have ever been on our own. They help us grow and add great joy to our lives, many, many people have given me that gift by just letting me be their friend!

Ricky Skaggs plays at the Grand Ole Opry

Places. In the past 40 years I’ve been a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer (official photographer for the Washington Redskins), a medical photographer, nature photographer and teacher, and now I’m a tech rep for Nikon. Guess you could say I couldn’t keep a job!

Peaks in Glacier National Park

I’ve seen shuttle launches, Super Bowls, and every major national park at least 25 times! Years ago I did a magazine for an energy company, and in the process interviewed and photographed over 60 celebrities, including, Red Skelton, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Unitas, Paul “Bear” Bryant and many others. When I ran the Great American Photography Weekends, a company my wife Sherelene and I formed over 16 years ago, I drove 70,000 miles per year for ten years going to all the most beautiful places across America, plus Africa and the Galapagos Islands. No, I didn’t drive there! Did I say something earlier about being blessed!!??

Experiences are the basket of riches we salt away to pull out, time and time again, to savor and enjoy. My basket is overflowing!

Canyon edge with light – Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Photography itself. My first camera was a Nikkormat FTN way back in 1968. I was a high school football coach and teacher, but knew I wanted to be a photographer. I still hold a record at the high school where I coached, it will never be broken as the school closed last year! My freshman team not only didn’t win a single game, we never scored in and entire season! As I said, I was destined to be a photographer.

I’ve owned virtually every model of camera ever made by Nikon. I never met a lens I didn’t like! And very few I didn’t buy! Going to work for Nikon saved my life. At least now they loan me the ones I can’t afford! Photography has never been more fun or rewarding, digital has changed everything! To tell the truth, when I joined Nikon, Inc. I was close to being burned out. Been there – done that! Digital started my enthusiasm all over again! Photography also opened up one of the other major dreams of my life, becoming a pilot.

In order to do a book on America, my son Wesley and I learned to fly ultra light airplanes, then drove 73,000 miles across America to do a book, America from 500 Feet. The book came out on September 7th, just four days before the September 11th. People fell in love with America again, and the book, to our shock, became the biggest selling aviation landscape book on America of all time. I’ve now done 5 books, the last of which was with my dear friend Mark Kettenhofen – America From 500 Feet II!

Suwanee River

So if you want to last at this for 40 years and still be having fun, here is the formula; Embrace the People, Enjoy the Places (adventures), and be captivated by our incredible craft!

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website.

And if you would like to come along with me on my journey please visit my blog.

Thank you Scott for sharing your great group of friends with me and for your incredible friendship.

God bless to all,



After my trip to St. Lucia, I wanted to send the owners of the resort a canvas gallery wrap print of the pano I took from room during the workshop, to thank them for their hospitality.

The full image is over 5-feet long, and MPIX only does Gallery Wraps up to 36″, so I had to find someone to print it as a stretched gallery wrap at over 60 inches wide. RC has a similar-sized pano of the New York Skyline at night hanging on his office wall (he took it the night that Matt and I ran out of memory cards—here’s that story), so I went to ask RC where he had it printed. He told me he had it made by Artistic Photo Canvas, and he raved about their quality and service, so I ordered two of them (one for the resort owners, and one for myself—shown above with RC. Photo by Brad Moore).

I uploaded the image to their site (very simple process), and this is going to sound silly, but one thing I particularly liked is that they will prep the photo to make the image wrap around the canvas without losing any of the image area for you for free.

I actually know how to prep a photo in Photoshop for a canvas wrap, in fact I actually taught the technique in my “How to show your work” class at Photoshop World (I originally learned the technique from Photoshop World instructor Randy Hufford), but since they routinely do this image adjustment for their customers, I thought “what the heck—that’s less that I have to mess with,” and I let them do it for me (sweet!).

Anyway, the gallery wrapped pano just came in (about two days turnaround), and I can’t get over what a great job the folks at APC did. I was really impressed with the printing and the fit and finish to the pano, and the protective coating they add to the finished gallery wrap. Everyone that’s come by my office in the last day or so has made a fuss at how great it came out.

The canvas pano was 62″ x 16″ and runs $185, including the protective coating which (according to APC) “….not only protects the canvas from fading caused by UV, it also repels moisture and offers some abrasion resistance as well.”

This was my first time using APC, but it certainly won’t be my last, since I’m a pano lovin’ guy (even more so since I learned that Pano shooting/stitching tip I a share on this Thursday’s episode of D-TownTV), but I really haven’t been printing enough of them, because I didn’t have a source (well, I do now!).

My thanks to the folks at APC for your great service and an awesome job on the pano. Here’s the link to their site (highly recommended).