Monthly Archives August 2009


I’m just totally psyched to announce that Nikon Professional Services (NPS) will be officially sponsoring the Live Concert Shoot workshop at the upcoming Photoshop World in Las Vegas.

The Instructor for the class, Nikon shooter Alan Hess, will be joined by Nikon’s own Scott Diussa (remember when I linked to Scott’s great article on shooting concerts earlier this year?) will be together giving you a concert shooting learning experience you just can’t find anywhere else.

The workshop is already more than half full, so if you’re going to Photoshop World, and want an amazing experience at the pre-conference workshop (held Sept 30th—the day before the conference kicks off), then sign up fast, because this one will be sold out soon!

Thanks to our friends at Nikon for their support of this very cool, very unique educational experience. You guys rock!


Yesterday I found out that over 500 people are already signed up for “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks” one-day workshop in Orlando, Florida (held next Friday—one week from today), but somebody’s missing. You!

It’s not too late to register—follow this link, where you’ll find out the full class schedule, and how to reserve your seat (It’s only $99, or $79 if you’re a NAPP member) for a day of nothing but the latest Photoshop special effects (these are real commercial effects—the same ones you see in print, on the Web, in ads, on TV, and in Hollywood—-techniques you can really use in your own everyday work).

Hope I’ll see you there next Friday—we’re going to have a blast!

Just a reminder—today’s the deadline for entering the “Shoot on the sidelines contest with Scott & Mike” contest (where we fly you to a Florida State Seminoles game, wine you and dine you, then you shoot on the sides with me and sports photographers Mike Olivella). Get your entries uploaded by midnight tonight, because we’re announcing the winner on Monday!!!

Here’s the link to the video describing the contest, and here’s a link to the flickr group and more details. Hope I’ll be shooting with you on the sidelines in just a few short weeks!!!!

Good luck everybody! :)


I got an email yesterday from a reader of one of my books, and it’s an email I’ve gotten dozens of times before, and it always puts me in an uneasy position. Uneasy enough, and yet common enough, that I wanted to share it with you guys.

He had read something in my book “The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers” where I said to do something a particular way, but then he found someone on a Web site somewhere who said to do it differently (in fact, they said to do it the exact opposite of what I said in my book). So, basically, he was emailing me to ask me to defend what I written in my book. Ugh.

As I’ve done dozens of times in the past, I set out to write a lengthy explanation of why what I had stated in the book was correct, and give even more detail and background than was already provided in the book, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized (from previous exchanges exactly like this over the years) that this was just going to start a long back and forth, and that in the end, because he had doubts (based on what he read on some Web site) he was going to believe what he wanted to believe anyway.

So instead, without being a smart-alec in any way, I politely let him know that what I wrote in the book is actually how I feel on the topic, so he already knows that’s what I believe, but I also told him (I’m paraphrasing here):

On the Web you’ll find conflicting information on every topic; whether it’s medical advice or how to hang a picture frame; from how to play the Blues on guitar, to how to cook spaghetti bolognese. It really comes down to you making a decision about which advice to follow. You have to choose which person’s explanation, theory, or technique sounds more “right” or makes more sense to you, and try that and see what you think. :)

In the end, I’ve realized how important it is to find sources that I can trust on a wide variety of topics. I usually look for experts on the topic, and once I find someone who makes sense to me, and then (this is important), I take their advice and try it for myself and it works for me, then that becomes my go-to person for that topic.

That doesn’t mean I ignore the rest of the world, but if I read something conflicting, I take it with a grain of salt. For example, if Joe McNally tells me something about off-camera flash—I know he’s speaking from experience, and I take his advice and run with it. If I read in a forum, or even in a book something that flies in the face of what Joe says, that doesn’t mean Joe is necessarily wrong; it just means somebody else does it differently, and that may work for them.

In Photoshop, it’s the same thing. There are so many different ways to do things, and so many of us teaching how to use Photoshop, that you’re going hear and see different techniques that we found work for us, and we pass those on to our students. For example, there are a dozen (probably more) books written on color correction in Photoshop. Which one is right? They all work (you don’t ever see a color correction book where the correction looks worse than the original), but again, you have to choose which experts techniques makes the most sense to you (for me, it’s Dan Margulis; to me he’s the bottom line on color, but you’ll find others who disagree). That’s OK, what I’ve learned from Dan works for me.

But finding an expert who makes sense to you, whether its about Photoshop or how to drive a race car, is only one part of this. It’s perhaps even more important to try this person’s techniques yourself and see if it actually translates to what you were looking for. Does it actually work the way you were hoping?

The person who wrote me that email could have tested both theories (the one outlined in my book, and the one he read somewhere on the Web) in less time than it took to find my email address and compose that email. He would have known right then and there if what I said was right, or what he read on the Web was right. That’s what’s so great about Photoshop. Testing is nearly instant. It’s not like medicine (where you have to wait to see if you got it right, and a lot more is riding on the line).

I guess the point of all this is that at some point, you’re going to have to trust somebody, but beyond that once you do find somebody whose opinions you trust; if at all possible, try them out yourself. See if their techniques/advice/theory works for you, and if you’re getting the results you hoped you would. Oh yeah, that, and don’t write an author asking if what they wrote in the book is what they really meant. I doubt they’ll say, “Oh that….oh, I was just making up stuff for the book. I really think something completely different.” ;-)

First, a big thanks to Kelly for his great Guest Blog yesterday. It created a somewhat lively debate, but for the most part it stayed pretty civil, and got a lot of people talking and thinking, which was good. Thanks Kelly.

A Tough Portrait Nicely Done
Each week NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker choose an image posted in the NAPP member portfolios to feature as “Image of the Week” and this week Larry choose a very cool portrait by photographer Adam Daniels as this week’s winner. Without giving it away; it’s just pretty darn cool (it’s a tough subject, very well executed). Here’s the link to check it out.

Countdown To The Photoshop World Early Bird Deadline
If you want to save a full $100 on registration to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo (coming up Oct. 1-3 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas), the Early Bird deadline is fast approaching (it’s next Friday, the 28th of August). Hope you’ll be joining us there! (here’s the link for more info).

Corey Comes Up An Award-Winner (once again)
Our in-house video crew at Kelby Training participated in the 48-hour Film challenge just a few weeks ago (they have 48 hours to write, film, and edit a project from scratch), and their entry “Bedlam” wound up being nominated in two separate categories. At the award ceremony last week, they won the award for Best Graphics, and to accept the award—-the guy who designed them—-our own graphics guru, Corey Barker. Congrats to Corey, and to our entire video team of kick-$#@ editors, camera operators, and creative video sharks. Way to go guys! (Here’s the link to the challenge site).

Another review posted of  “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3”
This one’s over at the Blog Here’s the link.

Your Logo Makes Me Barf
My buddy Jim Workman sent me this one, and if you’ve got a quick minute check out this hilarious site which features the worst looking, real corporate logos you’ve ever seen. It’s so funny because it’s true. :) Here’s the link.

Just Two Days Left To Enter the “Shoot On the Sidelines With Scott & Mike” Contest
Don’t forget—-we’re just two days away from the deadline to enter the sport shooter’s dream contest. Here’s where you’ll find all the details.

That’s it for today folks. Hope you guys have a great Thursday! :)