Monthly Archives December 2009


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been highlighting some of the those little improvements Adobe snuck into Lightroom 3 Public Beta. These aren’t the features that are going to get any big fanfare, but may wind up impacting your daily workflow more than you’d think by either removing frustration or simply making things easier (and I’m all for that).

The first one is a really helpful tweak they made to the Import Image window (which has been completely revamped in Lightroom 3, but it’s not about the redesign—it’s about one particular tweak).


Above: Previously, your only Import choice was lots of thumbnails.


Now you can zoom in for a much larger preview to check sharpness, details, etc.

#1 The first tweak is that you now get some of the same preview functionality in the Import Window before you import the photos, that normally you wouldn’t get until after images are imported into Lightroom. Here’s what I mean: if you double-click on a thumbnail in the Import window, it now zooms into full size. Click again, it zooms in even tighter. Press the letter “G” and you’re back to the thumbnail Grid. This is really handy if you’re trying to find just one or two images you want to import from a shoot, or quickly check the sharpness of a photo to see if you even want to import it at all. Now, back in Lightroom 2, you could get a little larger view by increasing the size of all the thumbnails, but it was el-clunk-a-roonie. This is much better (and more consistent).

#2 The second tweak is actually something that helps new users probably more than anyone else, but it probably will save us all a click or two when we go Export our photos to JPEGs, TIFFs, etc. In the Export window, at the top of the window, is now a clearly visible pop-up menu that lets you choose whether you’re saving your images to disc, or burning them to a CD.


The little menu up top is now so obvious, actual users may find it!

This feature was actually in Lightroom 2, but it was hidden way over on the right side—I know it doesn’t look like a menu, but click and hold on it—and the default was to burn a disc, rather than saving to your computer. Again, it’ll probably help new users a lot (and I’ve gotten a lot of emails over the years about it), so I’m glad they made this feature “More Discoverable” (which is Adobe-speak for “now it’s not hidden”).

By the way—while we’re on the topic of Hiding things; there’s one feature in Photoshop that is so hidden, yet so important, that I can’t believe after all these years they’re still hiding it. It’s the button that Resets your current tool to it’s default settings. I get asked how to do this all the time, because if you didn’t know this feature was hidden there, you’d never find it.


Above: Here’s how you’d imagine this reset button would appear in the Options Bar
(way too easy for users to find).


Above: here’s what you actually have to do in Photoshop to find this hidden Reset button. You have to Ctrl-click (PC: Right-click) on the little down-facing arrow to the right of the Tool Presets pop-up menu in the top left corner of the Toolbar (as shown here).


Above: ….and from the pop-up menu that now appears (shown below), you can choose Reset Tool, or Reset All Tools.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Scott, what’s the big deal about having to right-click on that button? That doesn’t look so complicated.” You’re right—It’s not—as long as you already know to click that button in the first place. That’s the “gotcha!” Most users don’t know that (how would they?).

So, if anybody out there in Adobeland is reading this, and you feel like making life a little better for everybody, but especially for new Photoshop users, I hope you guys consider this little improvement for the next version of Photoshop. :)

[Ed. Note – Some of the imagery within this post contains artistic nudity. If you prefer not to view these images, don’t click the “Read the rest of this entry” link.]

There never is a dull moment, because every moment is meaningful.


Howard Schatz: Photographer, Retinal Specialist M.D.

Howard Schatz is a man not easily described. His interests and passions run deep and broad. His choice of photographic subjects is wide ranging, from pregnancy, to newborns, to athletes and dancers and people with rare talents. He studies and photographs the human body and the way it moves, as well as light, water and fauna. Howard photographs stunning models flaunting their freakish beauty in extraordinary settings one day, and rare flowers exhibiting pure grace the next. Prima ballerinas underwater at his custom designed pool in a dream of weightlessness, and breakdancers on the stage of his versatile New York studio.

He photographs actors famous the world over as well as those not yet known anywhere. He directs them for his lens from no more than two feet away. Prisoners at Sing Sing, the homeless on the streets of San Francisco, club goers in New York, Cirque Du Soleil in the ring, and boxers, both retired and still fighting, the world over all make appearances in his camera. He paints fonts with light and creates other fonts out of nimble and acrobatic dancers. He shoots campaigns for Sprite, Showtime, Ralph Lauren, Epson, Neil LaBute and Macdonalds. He shoots editorials for Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Vanity Fair and Time to name just a few. He does all of this with an exactitude fitting a surgeon. His photographs are exhibited at museums and galleries in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Canada, Argentina, New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Tokyo, Edinburgh, Brussels, Stockholm, Paris, Cannes, Florence, Antwerp, Milan, Lausanne, Lisbon, Kiev and on and on…


Myself: Bart Babinski, Howard’s assistant; Aspiring Photographer

Born in Poland, grown up in Libya, Italy, Germany and northern New Jersey; BFA in photography NJCU; Cinematography student at The New School and the Kieslowski Film Dept. of Silesia University; Passionate about looking, seeing, and making images, plus life, people and the world, in all its color.

We all know what it is, but what is it really? (more…)

Here is the tweaked, and re-tweaked 3rd episode of the new season of  Photoshop User TV! We’ve been really listening to your feedback, and each week we’re trying to massage the show and get the balance and speed just right (among other things), and I think we’re getting closer.

Also, we tweaked some lighting and audio stuff as well, but the big news is that later this week (maybe on Friday) we’re releasing a special bonus “Insider’s Guide” to the show that explains what all the inside jokes are about, where they came from, the history, etc. (stuff like “Pointy, Choppy” the “horse references,” and “Jazz hands” the “Steam references” and “Blammo” and all the other stupid stuff that just won’t go away). I’ll let you guys know when the bonus episode (of sorts) goes live (maybe I’ll run it here on Friday).

…the next person in our Assistant Guest Blog series, Bart Babinski!  Bart has been working with Howard Schatz for the past few years.  After reading his blog, I (Brad) can tell you that he’s learned quite a lot about many different types of photography from Howard.  It’s interesting to hear him talk about finding ways to make the impossible possible, because Howard does some crazy experiments!

So check back tomorrow to get some insight into the world of a very innovative photographer and what it’s like to help him break down the walls of impossibility!

Remember last week when I did that post about a better option from IKEA for hanging your unframed prints on the wall, that I got from Ed Loziuk (one of my blog readers)? Well, although I was able to show the actual IKEA parts (the rail and the clips), some people posted comments asking for images of what it actually looks like in use. Well, Ed was nice enough to take a couple of shots, and he let me share them here with you. Thanks once again Ed—you’re a good man! :)

Asker 1rsm

Asker 2rsm

Hi everybody. It’s Monday, here’s what’s up!

Lesson One: Don’t Let McNally Hold Your Camera
This past weekend, my wife and I flew up to New York City to spend a few days with Joe McNally and his wonderful wife Anne, and we just had an absolute blast!!!! They took us to Broadway shows; unbelievable restaurants; we went shopping everywhere, and it seemed like we were laughing or giggling for three straight days—it just rocked! But an odd thing happened along the way. At some point, I had to run into the hotel to grab a jacket and I asked Joe to hold my camera for a minute. It wasn’t until the later that night, after shooting shots of Manhattan from across the Brooklyn Bridge, that I actually started looking through my shots, and that’s when I ran across the images you see above—ones that Joe had taken of himself while supposedly watching my camera for me. I just started cracking up (I also learned a valuable lesson—if you let Joe hold your camera while your back is turned, he’s going to get seriously loopy). Thanks Joe and Annie for a weekend we’ll never forget! (and some really beautiful self portraits). ;-)

Check out this Very Clever Photography Project
I got an email from one of my readers, Dan Francis, about a project he has been working on that is just so darn clever (I wish I had thought of it). He lives in Fargo, North Dakota and has studied old historical photos of the city from the late 1800s, and then took those same shots, from the same perspective and shooting angle as the original photographer. Then, in Photoshop, he has created a split-view to show a side-by-side of what the town originally looked like, and how it looks now. Anyway, it’s a very ingenious idea, and definitely worth checking out. Here’s a link to a video Dan did on YouTube about the project (Thanks Dan for sharing this with us).

Terry White’s Creative Suite Podcast hits it’s 300th Episode!
Congratulations to my buddy Terry White who hit a real milestone today as he releases the 300th episode of his top-rated Creative Suite Podcast. Here’s the link to check it out for yourself! (Way to go T!!!!). :-)

It’s not too late to enter our Westcott Spiderlite TD-5 kit giveaway
To kick off the new season of Photoshop User TV, we are giving away (courtesy of our friends at FJ Westcott), a Westcott Spiderlite TD-5 kit (complete with lightstand, softbox and carrying case). The contest ends next week, so if you want to enter, you can right here.

I loved Eric’s Guest Blog last Wednesday
I don’t know if you got a chance to read Eric Anderson’s Guest Blog last Wednesday, but I’d have to say it was one of my favorite guest posts of the year (and in a Guest Blog Wednesday year like we’re having—that’s saying something). Some of his comments really resonated with me (and with a lot of folks judging by the 50+ comments), and it really made me start thinking about my own photography, and I found it both inspiring, challenging, and very thoughtfully written. Thanks Eric for honoring us with your message and your photographs.

Great New Blog for Digital Photographers
Last week I mentioned Rick Sammon’s and Juan Pons new “Digital Photo Experience” podcast, and now concert photographer (and Photoshop World Instructor) Alan Hess has joined their team as a regular contributor. I just checked out their blog last week, and even though it’s new, it’s already packed with great info. Check it out right here.

Big Daddy Don Page interviewed
OK, his name isn’t really “Big Daddy” (I just borrowed that nickname from drag racer Don Garlits), but he’s a buddy of mine (you may remember me talking about him during my sidelines shoot at Louisiana Tech or while hanging out with him and Matt Lange during Photo Plus Expo in New York). Anyway, there’s a great online interview with Don, and if you’ve got a quick minute, it’s a good read. Here’s the link.

Thanks for Sharing Your Thoughts On My Tiger Woods Photo Situation
When you guys post comments here on stories, I hope you already know that I always read them, because hearing from you is really important to me. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I read each and every one of the more than 220 comments you posted regarding Friday’s Tiger Woods photos story, and I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time, and for keeping everything so civil on a topic that has a lot of emotion behind it.

Syl Arena Kicks Off Flash Workshop for Canon Shooters
Friend of the blog Syl Arena, over at the blog, is kicking off a new 1-day off-camera flash tour designed for Canon shooters, using Canon Speedlights. Syl notes that this is the only independent Canon-specific program out there, so if you’re a Canon shooter and want to get up to speed fast on off-camera flash, this is the ticket! Here’s the link.

That’s it for today, folks.

I sincerely hope every one of you has an absolutely kick-butt Monday, that feels like a Friday. Hope to see you back here tomorrow.