Monthly Archives October 2009


If you’ve ever wondered what a particular checkbox, or tool, or filter, or option was in Adobe Photoshop, NAPP set out to teach you just that,with thousands of short 60-second (max) videos (and yes, there are literally thousands of these short to-the-point videos).

Called “H.E.L.P.” (the How-To Educational Library for Photoshop), it was unveiled last week during the opening keynote at Photoshop World after input from thousands of Beta testers around the world, so it’s been tweaked, updated, simplified, and expanded to make it truly an amazing resource for learning Photoshop.

If you’re a NAPP member, you can check it out right here. Thanks to all the Beta testers who helped us hone this puppy, because it has really become an incredible resource, and we couldn’t have done it without your help and input. Also, thanks to Matt, Dave, Corey, and RC who created those thousands of videos, and made sure that every little thing was covered, so you’d have a place to find out exactly what every little (and big) thing in Photoshop actually does. You guys rock!


Here are some images from the NPS (Nikon Professional Services) sponsored “Concert Photography Pre-Conference workshop” held last week at Photoshop World.

The sessions were taught by pro concert photographers Alan Hess (who guest blogged about concert photography here on my blog), and Scott Diussa from NPS (I featured a few of Scott’s articles on concert photography here as well), and the images you see here were taken by Alan during the class itself.

The idea was to start in the classroom, and then shoot a live concert, so the day before the opening keynote, we set the stage up like a full concert, and my band, “Big Electric Cat” (Felix Nelson, Tony Llanes, Scott Stahley, and myself played two three-song sets for the photographers who took the workshop (you only get to shoot the first three songs in a real concert setting, and they wanted this to be as realistic as possible). Note: Our lead singer, Kalebra, was coordinating things on the show floor during this workshop, so we did the gig ourselves, playing a bunch of Classic Rock tunes, including songs from The Clash, Korn, Van Halen, Daughtry, and Z.Z. Top).

I talked to a lot of the class participants, and they absolutely loved the class and they said exactly what we were thinking, “Where else are you going to find a class like this, taught by two seasoned pros, and then get to shoot a concert staged just for you!” It was an incredible opportunity, and Scott and Alan really hit one out of the park (they even had real stage photo-passes printed for the participants). Here’s a few shots from the sold-out workshop:









My Thanks to Scott, Alan, and all the participants for making this concert photography workshop such a success, and we look forward to hosting it again next March in Orlando, Florida.


Well, now that Photoshop World Vegas is in the history books, I guess it’s time to get back to “real life” and the ol’ blog-a-roo. In that spirt, here’s what’s up:

Update on the New “Photoshop User TV
We’re just about finished building-out the new studio, with its totally new look, and new way-cool format for the show, and in just a couple of weeks, we’ll be launching our new season of Photoshop User TV, with loads of new Photoshop tutorials and tricks (and more content than ever!). We’re just getting so close now I thought I’d better check in and let you know it’s moving along really well. We’ve been running some “mini-shows” during the construction phases, but we’re almost there. Also, Matt Kloskowski and I are launching a new digital photography show as well (the one that’s taking the place of D-Town), and it’ll be up and running right after we get the new and improved Photoshop User TV on the air. Lots of really cool stuff coming up!

Incredible Sports Portraits from Photographer Paul Aresu
Somehow I came across the site of sports portrait photographer Paul Aresu and OMG this guy’s stuff just rocks! Great photography and great post production all the way around. Even if sports doesn’t interest you on any level, his images will. Just incredible work! (here’s the link).

You’ve got to read this article on ethical cropping
I found this New York Times essay, by photographer David Hume Kennerly absolutely fascinating, and if you’ve ever had an ethical debate about what can be done in Photoshop, then read this article about what can be done with just a simple crop. Here’s the link.

My Lightroom Tour is in the Detroit Area next week
I’ll be in Livonia, Michigan next Friday for my “Lightroom 2 Live Tour” and it’s the first time I’ve brought my Lightroom Workshop to Michigan, and I’m really excited about it (We already have nearly 350 photographers signed up), and I hope you’ll join me for a day that’ll change the way your manage and edit your photos—-guaranteed! Here’s the link with details.

That’s about all for today. We’ve got LOTS of cool stuff in the works, so keep an eye here on the blog. It’s going to be a wild 4th quarter for sure!!!! Have a great one!


Drew Gardner photographed on Polaroid Type 55 by Lucinda Marland

Recently I was commissioned by Suzuki to shoot a print and billboard ad for the Suzuki Swift.

It was based around an incident in a tattoo parlour, which goes horribly wrong, the tattooist misspells the word ‘respect’ writing ‘resplect’ instead.


To unimaginable consequences but very funny.

Now this shoot is the most interesting I have undertaken in a very long time.


Because as well as shooting the ad as a still, my team and I shot it as a short movie for the client too.

A true glimpse into where I believe the industry is heading at breakneck speed.

We shot the still in the morning and decided to retain the same lighting to give the same visual ‘language’ in print and moving images.

It was a lot of fun but there are many differences.

Ok, first the kit………

We used a Canon 5d mk2 on a Zacuto Rig, which puts you in charge of the focus, and a Marshall V-LCD70P monitor, which lets you judge focus so much more acurately than on the LCD.

In my mind the shoot just would not have been possible without these two pieces of kit.

I could bang on about the kit some more but this shoot revealed so much more to me.

For a successful moving image shoot it really is less about one person and more about the team of people around you.

In fact it was like stepping back in time to a pre-Photoshop age for one very simple reason.

Shock horror!

You have to get it right in camera!

Yes folks, if you don’t get it in-camera and have not made provision, it is not there.

I feel this is set to bring back ‘camera’ craftsmanship and will deal a blow to those who use retouching as a crutch for bad photography.

And we all know that there are many of those out there, right?

All of a sudden direction was back in on the shoot, and there was nobody paintively whispering in my ear, “Don’t worry we will fix it in post.”

We either got it or we didn’t.

All of a sudden I felt I had ‘come home.’

Less of the computer stuff and more of the photography.

Which in my mind is what it should be about.

When I’m lecturing I conduct a little question and answer session and I go round the audience and ask…

‘Why did you become a photographer?’

The answers are in the range of…

‘Because I love taking pictures.’

‘I wanted to travel.’

‘To meet people and see the world.’

Many, many others too, but you know what?

Not one person has ever said they became a photographer because they wanted to be a computer operator.

Now I’m not saying I’m against the use of Photoshop, something I use extensively in ‘The Descendants’ series.

But getting it right in the can is way more fun and profitable too.

So enjoy all the post production by all means, but get out there and remember the meaning of the word Photography.

‘To draw or paint with light.’

To see more of Drew’s unique vision and work, visit his website and blog.

World-renown portrait/advertising/fashion photographer Drew Gardner!  I (Brad) have been following Drew’s photography over the past couple of years, and have just been blown away by everything I’ve seen.  It’s difficult to label what kind of photography he does because he’s so diverse in his subject matter.  But no matter what he’s shooting, he has a very unique vision which ranges from epic to eccentric.

Check back tomorrow to see what Drew has to share, but in the meantime you can check out his website to see this crazy Brit’s work :)