Monthly Archives August 2009


That’s right folks, I’m bringing the Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks Tour—-a day of nothing but those eye-poppin’, jaw-dropping, Photoshop special effects that you see every day in magazines, at the movies, in print, and on the Web, to Orlando for one day only:

Friday, August 28th
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida

The techniques you are going to learn are real commercial effects that today’s clients are asking for, and you’re going to learn them all step-by-step. We are going to have an absolute blast (plus I’ll probably even have Corey Barker do a quick Cameo appearance with some of his amazing stuff), so I hope you’ll join me there for a day that is 100% guaranteed to totally take your Photoshop skills to the next level!!!!

Seats are limited, and filled on a first-come, first served basis, so if you’re planning on coming, sign up today. Here’s the link with more details and how to reserve your seat. See you in Orlando!

P.S. Don’t miss Corey Barker himself next Monday when the tour comes to Indianpolis, Indiana. Use the same link (above) for details.


Pictured above with me are my fellow Photoshop Guys Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski, (photo by RC) holding a special award we created to honor Rob Jones, (from Towner Jones Photography) who not only came up with the idea to sell World Wide Photo Walk t-shirts to raise money for the Springs of Hope Orphanage (at last count nearly $7,000), but he set-up and managed the entire process, then even matched donations to help raise even more. (We’re shipping Rob the award today!).

It reads:

Presented to Rob Jones in grateful recognition of your contributions to building the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage.

Please take a moment and help us thank Rob personally by saying a few quick words here on the blog.

My humble thanks to Rob, and to everyone around the world who supported the kids at the Orphanage by purchasing one of these shirts.

Just wanted to a add my quick “Thanks” to Bill Simone for his wonderful, in-depth Guest Blog post yesterday.

For those of you who didn’t go through the whole thing; he revealed some closely-guarded Photoshop techniques that are in wide use today by some of the biggest names out there, so this weekend; take some time and really sit down and look at what Bill unveiled here yesterday, because it’s some really meaty stuff!

Thanks Bill, for being so willing to share the techniques you’ve learned the hard way, and keep up the great work!!! :)


When Brad asked me if I would be interested in being a guest blogger on Scott’s site, I immediately said yes. It is one of my frequented sites and It seems I always learn something when I visit.  However, being a visual person, writing does not come easy for me, and a long period of procrastination ensued. So thanks to Scott and Brad for their patience with me! I am thrilled to be here.

I have chosen a piece of work that is a selection from a small series we recently produced. We were asked by a design firm working for a specialty clothing manufacturer to produce a series of photographs for ads and collateral material. As is normal for the process, we had several meetings to discuss the strategy of the campaign, and the proposed look of the photographs. From these meetings were born a number of very rough sketches. The creative director and I have worked together for a long time, and only need a certain level of refinement in the comps before moving to the actual shoot. I wish I had kept some of the sketches to share with the readers, but…no dice, I could not find them. Just imagine your worst sketch on a paper napkin!

I’ve been immersed in compositing for a number of years now, and often go to it for solutions to visuals I am asked to make. This series seemed perfect.

A number of scenarios were proposed to fit the products chosen to be featured.

  • A rough and tumble outdoorsman pulling the winch cable from the front of his old Land Rover pickup truck, hopelessly stuck. (The only one not executed as a composite, shot outdoors as you see it.)
  • A young, pretty, athletic rock climber girl.
  • Another young pretty girl in a snowball fight.
  • A really fun one for a line of SWAT team clothing.
  • Clothing for undercover cops.
  • And finally the subject of my blog…a snowboarder doing something cool.

Here is the final composited shot: (more…)


So I’m in the middle of shooting the third in my new series of classes for Kelby Training Online called “Light It; Shoot It; Retouch It!” (I shot the image you see above during the class), and I go to Twitter while I’m on the set, and write, “Hey, I’m taping this class right now. Anybody got any suggestions?”

By the way, my “Light It; Shoot It; Retouch It” series is a new idea where I start with an empty studio, we (Brad and I) put together the whole lighting rig from scratch, explaining everything,  (I mean everything) as we go, then we do the shoot live (and you see everything explained there, too), and then finally once I get the shots I’m looking for, I take the images first over to Lightroom for editing, then to Photoshop for the final retouch You see the whole thing, every step, from start to finish.

Anyway, I did get some great suggestions and because of some of the ideas I got right then and there on Twitter, I was able to address something I hadn’t planned on (which was great). One of the request I got that day was to talk about how we do the make-up for shooting under studio lighting. Well, I was lucky enough to have our favorite local make-up artist there as part of the shoot, the wonderful Shelly Giard, and I was able to get her to do a cameo in the class where she explains her technique, and even shows part of it. It was awesome and it was straight from those suggestions off Twitter (you can follow me on Twitter by clicking right here).

I learned a while back how incredibly helpful it is to have a make-up artist involved for important shoots, and when you’ve found a good one—they are worth their weight in gold (and Shelly certainly is that—-we use her pretty much exclusively for all our Kelby Training classes, including Joe McNally’s classes). I’ve been also fortunate to work with some great Make-Up Artists up the Detroit area for some of my book projects including Lynn Golovich, Tammy Pore, and Renata Stojcevskia, (a fantastic MUA!).

Anyway, I thought you guys would like to know that your ideas make a big difference, and being able to get that type of instant feedback from Twitter makes everything I do that much more timely, and I wind up covering things I often hadn’t thought of.

The Daily News

Joe Killed in San Francisco!
In re-reading that headline, it really doesn’t sound like it good thing, but it actually was (you guys know what I meant, right?). Seriously though—the feedback we’ve gotten from Joe McNally’s standing-room only (700+ photographers) one-day off-camera flash tour in San Francisco last week is just off the charts—-he just absolutely killed! I read some of the emails attendees are sending us, just to tell us what an amazing day they had, and they’re just over the top about Joe and what they learned. Thanks Joe! Ya done us proud, son! (More tour dates to be announced very soon!).

Shoot on the Slidelines with Scott & Mike Update
First, thanks to everybody who has already entered the “Shoot on the Sidelines with Scott and Mike” sports shooting contest. In the first day alone we had hundreds of people register on the flickr group, and many had already started uploading photos. We had a couple of questions I thought I’d address real quickly: (1) It doesn’t matter where you live—you can enter. (2) It doesn’t matter which brand of camera body you have; we’ll order you a lens that works with it. (3) The contest is only open to amateur photographers—not full-time working professional photographers. (4) The thing I used to hang those sports photos behind my desk are little photo ledges (for lack of a better term), from IKEA called “Klang” and they run about $14 each for a three foot length. Then I use those big paper-clip-like clamps to hold them up there. That’s it. Good luck everybody!

Corey’s bringing the Down & Dirty Tour to Indy
Our own in-house Photoshop Wizard, Corey Barker, is taking our incredibly popular “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” one-day seminar to Indianapolis, Indiana next week, on Monday, August 10th, at the Indiana Convention Center. If you haven’t seen Corey live, this is your chance (seating is limited, so if you’re thinking of going—-I’d sign up now). Here’s the link with all the details.

Very Cool Stop-Motion Video Shot with a DSLR
One of my esteemed Guest Bloggers, Andrew Kornylak, has done an incredibly cool video where he put the same stop-motion photography technique he showed here on the blog to use in a commercial shoot for his client. Once you see this video (comprised of around 550 still images), you’re going to want to (a) go back and re-read his Guest Blog post, and then (b) Shoot one of these yourself immediately! Here’s the link to the video. Thanks Andrew for sharing this!!!

I’m Really Excited About Tomorrow’s Guest Blogger….
….because I’ve been following his work for quite a while now, and his photography and post-processing just work so well together, and I’m psyched to have him here on the blog….it’s Pennsylvania-based portrait photographer Bill Simone.

Bill is able to very cleverly blend some HDR, some slick moves in Photoshop, along with some really great photography to create some very captivating images.  Best of all; he’s great about sharing his techniques, which is exactly what he’ll be doing here on the blog tomorrow so absolutely don’t miss it!!!! (In the meantime, check out Bill’s portfolio right here).

Get Your Way-Cool Photoshop World Count-Down Clock
Friend of the blog and FOV (Friend of Vanelli), Terry Reinert did something very cool; he designed a Photoshop World Countdown Clock that you can add to your Web site (which is cool by itself. Well, it is for me, anyway), but beyond that, he did something even more cool. On this site (where he posts the free code for the banner), I saw that he wrote:

No cost to you at all. If you feel the need to contribute money for using the counter, please make a donation to the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage that Scott Kelby raises money for. Read posts about the orphanage on Scott’s blog HERE.

Terry, that just made my day! :)

NOTE: If you guys want to help us spread the word about the upcoming Photoshop World Conference & Expo, go to Terry’s site and grab the free code (here’s the link).

That’s it for this Tuesday
I’ll be here reading Bill’s Guest Blog in the morning. Hope you will, too!