Monthly Archives August 2010

Hi Gang: I had so many requests yesterday about how I did the frame around my Maine images, I thought I would include it here today.

I originally did this tutorial for NAPP members, and it ran on the NAPP member Website nearly a year ago, but I’m running it here today, because if you’re a NAPP member—well…’ve already seen it. Anyway, there’s an extra technique in here as well (a matting technique), along with the frame technique. Hope you find it helpful. :)

…these special bonus things on the Expo floor.

30s Glamr 2

1930’s Hollywood Glamor Style Lighting with Mike Kubiesy
Our good friend, and Hollywood pro shooter, Mike Kubiesy is teaching a class on how to get that classic 1930’s Hollywood Lighting look that you don’t want to miss (like Mike’s shots you see above). The class is Friday, September 3rd at 11:45 am on the Expo Floor at the NAPP Expo Theater. Mike’s a great teacher—you’re going to learn a lot. Plus, Mike’s got a class on creating Hollywood Movie Posters (I’m sneaking into this one myself). By the way—these are FREE bonus classes if you’re going to Photoshop World.

Contrast, Details, and Color Manipulations with Calvin Hollywood
OK, totally unrelated to Mike’s Hollywood stuff, is the amazing work of German retoucher, and Photoshop wizard “Calvin Hollywood.” This guy’s stuff is off the hook, and if you want to learn how to do the latest portrait post-processing stuff—this is the guy you want to see! (you might recognize Calvin from his kick-butt Guest Blog post here on my blog). His class is on Thursday, Sept. 2nd, at 2:00 pm in the NAPP Expo Theater. Again—it’s a FREE bonus class.

Studio Lighting: Behind The Scenes With…well…Me!
I’m doing a special presentation at the Manfrotto booth on the show floor about how I use Elinchrom Lighting and Lastolite modifiers in the studio and on location. This was a big hit in Orlando, and they’ve asked me to do it again in Vegas, but I’ve updated my presentation since then with lots of new stuff, so I hope you’ll check it out. It’s on Thursday at 3:15 pm at the Manfrotto booth. Hope I’ll see you there!

There are also Free Bonus Sessions from Cliff Mautner (the wedding photographer that everybody’s been going crazy over on Online), along with a Portrait Lighting Class from the incredible James Schmelzer (ask anybody whose taken his class), and RC Concepcion’s class for photographer’s on how to get your photography blog up and running right now!, plus a whole bunch of other cool classes—here’s the full list of free Expo Floor Bonus classes, times, and locations. Don’t forget, you can still get your free Expo Only pass right here.

Hi Gang: I took last week off and headed up to Kennebunkport, Maine with my family for a week of just doin’ nuthin’. It’s so hot down in Florida, my wife wanted to spend a week someplace where you didn’t break into a sweat just looking out the window, so off to Maine we went.

Although we were there for a week, I only went “shooting” twice (well, technically two and half times, as you’ll read in a moment). Once when we took a one-day trip up to Bar Harbor (about four hours away), and once with my buddies Scott Eccleston and his photography business partner Mark Hensley (both of whom I met on my first trip up there back in July of 2007). Here are a few shots I got along the way (I haven’t gone through all of them—I had a flight to catch).


Above: So there I was—-it was almost sunset, and I’m all alone, paddling down a creek just outside Old Orchard Beach as a came upon this beautiful area of still water. I tried to keep the boat still as not to disturb the still water, I slowly reached for my D3 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Steadying the canoe with one hand, I did my best to keep my heavy camera still with the other, while a huge snake slithered right along side the canoe, and….aw, who am I kidding—this is a totally set-up shot.

Scott and Mark positioned the rental canoe at the water’s edge for me, while I got down on one knee, with my tripod, in the parking lot and composed the shot so you couldn’t tell I was two feet in front of our minivan. Hey, I had ya going for a minute there, though didn’t I? So, it’s all real, but I wasn’t in the boat, which is a good thing, because I would have capsized it for sure.

Maine 3a

Above: This shot above was taken in Bar Harbor one morning. I missed sunrise (which was at 5:45 am), and instead woke up at 7:05 am, got my self together and was out of the room five minutes later while my family was still asleep. Around 7:50 am I drove past this lake and I headed back, pulled off the side of the road, grabbed my gear and headed down to the lake shore. It was kind of a steep climb down through a bunch of slippery rocks and stuff, and sure enough—I fell and slowly tumbled down to the shore. Hit the ground with a thud. Luckily, I was fine (slightly bruised ego, but thankfully no one was around. My camera wedged in between some fallen tree limbs, so it survived too (just a little banged up—like me). At 7:50 am I had long since missed any great light that morning, but I kinda liked the shot anyway (especially since I had to take a fall to get it, so it probably looks a lot better to me than it does to you).

Maine 5a

Above: The foggy shot above was taken in downtown Bar Harbor. It was incredibly foggy at 1:00 pm in the afternoon (which is really odd to me, but apparently is very common there), and out of the mist the four mast schooner “The Margaret Todd” came in to the dock, and I snapped this foggy shot (though it was much foggier than it looks here). Just kind of a simple shot, but I like that you don’t see anything else.

Maine 6

Above: There’s a little footbridge near a creek about 15 minutes from downtown Bar Harbor, and I got there right after the sun moved out of the nice cloud cover it had been in all morning. I waited for 45 minutes for it to move back into those clouds, but it never happened so I headed back for breakfast. On our way out of town late that afternoon, I came back, and the sun still wasn’t cooperating, but I snagged this one shot while crossing the bridge, which I thought was kind of interesting.

Maine 4

Above: Toward the end of my stay, I hooked up with Scott and Mark, and they had a connection with a guy who owns an huge abandoned six story old factory, that’s about a hundred years old, and creepy as all get out (Well, only parts were creepy—the parts where we went down in the cobweb covered basement with only my iPhone 4’s flashlight to light the way), but outside of that—it was an amazing place, and I got SO many shots to use as backgrounds. The shot above is a five-shot HDR image toned in Photoshop CS5, and I tried to keep more on the photo realistic side (not totally mind you, but more that way). This place had a ton of old rusty machinery, and old pipes, and it was an HDR love fest. I literally shot more HDR that day than I had all year. It was an awesome place.

Maine 7

Above While we were in the creepy factory, I did a video tip on shooting long exposure HDR shots for Scott’s “” blog  (an excellent blog by the way, which I’ve mentioned here previously—here’s the link—it’s a must visit blog), and the shot above is the image I created during the video tip. I’ll let you guys know when Scott puts the video tip up live). Anyway, when you’re shooting this much HDR you have to push one or two over the limit, right? So, that’s what I did above. I couldn’t help myself. ;-)


Above—here’s the 1/2 shoot part: We were leaving at 12:00 noon on Saturday morning to head to the airport, and it was such a pretty morning that once I was up (around 10:00 am), I thought I would walk into town (about a 15 minute walk from our cottage), and take some shots of the homes along the way. I couldn’t decide whether to take my 14-24mm and capture the entire home, or a 70-200mm and get it tight. I wound up taking the 70-200mm, so my idea of shots of quaint Maine homes, became shots of quaint doorways, and I used Lightroom 3 to put quickly put this 24″ x 10″ multi-photo layout together (it took all of three clicks). It’s far from finished, but I thought I’d give you this “in progress” look in the meantime (click on it for a much larger view).

Once I got back from wandering, it was off to the airport, and we got home by midnight (all, the joys of connecting flights). It was great to get away right before Photoshop World Vegas (since I won’t get much sleep while I’m there), and it was fun reconnecting with Scott and Mark, and enjoying such a wonderful place with my family (the kid’s absolutely loved it!).

Blue genie goes out of the laptop

Hi Gang: I wanted to do a follow-up to last Friday’s post about “What I’d Love to See in Lightroom 4” because you guys came up with so many other great feature requests, ideas and enhancements to what’s already there, I wanted to share some of the ones that really resonated with me.

There is one that would be high on my list, and I totally forgot about it, until I read Bryan’s comment: “Why no Vibrance in the Adjustment Tool?” I second that. You can leave Saturation, but add a Vibrance slider.

Also, I sent my post to Adobe’s Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty, and then Tom and I talked on the phone about all this on Friday (I was just happy we were still talking). ;-)

Anyway, while I can’t go into specifics about what what Tom and I discussed, I can tell you two things: (1) Adobe is listening. Big time. At a level that was unthinkable just a few years ago. The Lightroom team is full of photographers (Tom included), and they use the program themselves, and they want the same things we want, and they’re fully committed to giving us the tools we need. And (2) I was very, very, very happy at what I heard from Tom. That’s all I’m saying.

One more thing: There were a number of features that people are asking for that are already in Lightroom, which is a good thing (and some folks kicked in with their own comments pointing them in the right direction, which is something I love about the people who frequent this blog. They want to help each other out, which is really what it’s all about).

Now, on to highlights from your comments (By the way—-Adobe is reading all your comments. These are just my favorites):

“Relative presets. I don’t want a preset that setss my exposure to 2.0. I want a preset that adds 2.0 to the current value. Most presets are useless unless the original exposure is spot on. If presets could create relative values instead of absolutes, it would be so much easier to browse through lots of different effects until you get the look you want.”

“A healing brush with Content Aware would be #1 on my list.”

Trevor King
“Watermark positioning is my other gripe. V. 3.0 limits where watermarks can be positioned through the 0-10% vertical movement limitation. Please allow 25% changes in positioning so that I get my watermarks in my preferred position halfway between centre and the bottom of the image.”


“The ability to export as a file that you can burn straight to DVD would save me hours of work when doing slideshows for clients. Being limited to a compressed file format for the web is only half way there.”

“It’s not a matter of loyalty (for us photographers), it’s a matter of productivity and competitive advantage. Come on, Adobe…blow us away…and SOON, please.”

Eric Cote
“You forgot the most important: a real healing brush instead of the spot healing we have at the moment.”

“Make it easier to create folders and subfolders in the library. How about a right-click, new folder? I know, that’s so 1992.”

Levi Sim
“Clone Stamp. that’s all I want. I would never have to leave LR if it had the clone stamp tool.”

“Identity Plates should snap to guides and grids. Photo boxes will snap to guides, but not to grids.”

“I miss the ability to use more than one song in Slideshow, especially when I have more than three minutes worth of images to watch. Why was that ability changed?”

“Make the “Ad-hoc slideshow” [Impromptu] performance what it should be, in e.g. picasa I can just hit slideshow and it instantly starts showing. In LR 3, I first have to wait minutes while ‘preparing…’ That isn’t ad-hoc slideshow to me…”

Bill Gommel
“How about the ability to search multiple catalogs. My catalog is getting huge because I want to be able to search for a certain class images. It would be nice to have a wedding catalog, a portrait catalog, an every day catalog, but if I want to search for all images with keyword Chicago it would search all three catalogs.”

Robbie R.
“I’d love to see White Balance adjustment added to the adjustment brush tool. It would be great for fixing those shots where we have mixed light sources.”

Piet Van den Eynde
“The ability to fade a preset in Lightroom: just apply a preset, and have ‘preset strenght’ slider to add to the effect or diminish it. Also allow one or two levels of extra hierarchy to store presets in… Right now, there’s only one folder level… People with lots of presets have to scroll through endless lists…”

John Swarce
“Make the updating of watermarks easier. If I create a watermark and I make any later change to it (say…moving it from one side of the picture to the other side because it looks better), I have to save it as a new watermark. I could see if I changed the text or style, but just the positioning? I suppose I could create seperate watermarks as “Left Bottom”, “Right Bottom”, “Top Right, Vertical Orientation”, etc. but this would get messy really quickly.”

“How about a larger navigator window so we can better see presets being applied. Paul adds:
Even better yet, how about an option to preview presets in the original image. The tiny navigator window just doesn’t cut it.”

Michael Tissington
“Stacks need improving … there needs to be a way of selecting the entire stack without expanding it first (and it does not need to expand, just because I have it selected).”

Ian Butterworth
“It would be nice if they could take the “backup” even further and backup all the settings, colour profiles, develop settings, plugins in use, etc. as they are scattered in different directories. In fact I wish Photoshop would do this too. Backup anything I have configured easily so if I did a fresh install I could restore the backup and have everything how it was.”

Waldek Chadzynski
“Please don’t forget about [the] request from Matt Kloskowski about being able to move vignette all around a picture.” [thanks Waldek—-I forgot about that one—Matt’s spot on!].

Matt Timmons
“Please put a patch tool in Lightroom that does the same thing that the Spot Removal tool does, but lets us draw our own selection around an area instead of having to use multiple adjacent circles clone/heal an area (i.e a patch tool just like PS, but allows you to change the opacity/location/size like the spot healing tool- maybe add feathering to it too). Often I have to go into Photoshop just for that one thing and I end up with a copied .psd file that can’t be edited in LR. (2) In the Metadata Module, include something that tells you which mode on the camera the picture was taken in (manual, Av, etc.) like in Bridge.”

“I’d like to see RGB curves in Lightroom 4 both for accurate color correction and color toning in images, or at least the red-cyan slider.”

Dick Kenny
“Please add a vote for making Camera Calibration accessible in Library. To many the choices offered by this function are fundamental when deciding what to keep and what to reject. By the time one gets to Develop, its too late – and switching between both modules before you need to is a bore.”

Chris Newham
“[Add a] Gradient eraser brush.”

William Haun
“Export folders & collections with hierarchy intact. There is a LR/TreeExport plugin available for folders but I’d kill to be able to select a Collection Set and have its contents exported as a folder structure.”

“I would like to have the possebillity to use the lens correction Profiles from CS5 and/or to include new created ones.”

“We would need one think on top of that for video: a way to change the video date after importing! Right now, say you have edited a video, then the date of the modification is used instead of the date of shooting.”

Peter  [These are so well thought out, I have to imagine this is Peter Krogh, but I could be wrong].
“(1) There is no way to create custom metadata fields without developing a plug-in, and even then, the custom fields only live in the catalog. (2) – Add a shortcut to the straighten tool already, (3) Add an “offline” mode where I can edit image settings/metadata and then batch-apply them when my images are online again (that would be with the export metadata to XMP option active). You know, not the “metadata changed” icons in the library grid. Unlock the develop settings that would be previewed based on the low-res image anyway. (4) Add a “use last” button to the keywords field of the new import dialog box.”

“Also Pano stitching would be very nice to have in Lr itself.”

Zack Jones
“Custom File Naming on Import – Allow us to use all meta data for filenaming. For example {YYYYMMDD}_{Camera_Name}_{####} would yield 20100813_7D_0001 for my 7D and 20100813_T2i_0001 for my T2i.”

My thanks to everybody who took the time to comment on Friday. Even if you didn’t wind up as one of my favorites listed here, more importantly your idea may have wound up as one of Adobe’s favorites. :)


If you’re coming to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo next month; make sure you bring your camera, because we’re doing something really cool with the folks at Westcott that will totally make it worth your while.

Besides Westcott’s regular booth on the show floor, NAPP has partnered with Westcott to create a special “Photo Shootout” area. Here’s what Westcott has planned:

Four uniquely themed shootout bays will feature professional models, renowned instructors, commercial product set ups and more. Each day we will begin with four custom designed scenes all professionally lit utilizing the award-winning Spiderlite TD5 constant lighting system along with high-end modifiers, props and backgrounds.  Professional models with be styled by Candace Corey who has worked with such talent as Lady Antebellum, Danny Glover, Olympic Winner Shawn Johnson, comedian Chelsea Handler and more.   Her work can also be found in Rolling Stone, People, Self and Maxim. Stop by the Westcott booth and meet Candace in person as she provides instruction on the importance of styling for photography.

To help guide you through the shootout will be two amazing photographers who have both designed and created past Westcott catalog covers. Eric Eggly is a commercial, international and award winning photographer with more than 20 years experience. Michael Green is an artist, professional and award-winning photographer with the distinguished recognition of being a NAPP Guru Award winner as well as a current Westcott Top Pro. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn how these guys both became so successful.

Plus, while you’re there you can enter to win one of two complete displays used at the show valued at well over $8,000 each including lights, modifiers and backgrounds.

This is something we’ve always wanted to offer on the show floor, and I want to thank Kelly, Dave, and everyone at Westcott for helping to make this happen.

Westcott has a really great presence on Facebook, and they’re always posting images, tutorials, and articles about lighting. If you’re into studio gear, friend them on Facebook (here’s the link).

Picture 4

Hey gang, Brad here with the first weekly installation of Pimpy Thursday! Lots of goodness to pimp, so let’s get started –

  • Jeff Revell did a great post and tutorial on using the Photoshop World for iPad/iPhone App over at If you’re coming to Photoshop World you’ve gotta check this out!
  • In other Photoshop World news, John Loiacono (Johnny L) from Adobe will once again be the featured keynote presenter! Johnny and his team always wow the crowd with great previews of things to come from Adobe, and with CS5 just shipping (as well as Lightroom 3) it’s an exciting time to hear from Adobe! Sign up now to join Johnny, Scott, and all your favorite instructors in Las Vegas September 1-3.
  • If you’re in the Las Vegas area and just want to drop by the Photoshop World Expo, you can do so for free on September 2 & 3. Visit this page to register for your free Expo Pass.
  • Check out Jason Moore’s review of Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers right here.
  • Scott is bringing his Photoshop for Digital Photographers Tour to London on Friday, October 15 for a jolly good day of training and fun. Get all the details and register right here.
  • If you pre-ordered Scott’s Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers, you should be getting your copy in the mail any day now. (I was just back in our shipping department a little bit ago, and they were getting them packaged as quickly as they could :) )
  • Have you checked out the latest Kelby Training Online classes lately? We just recently posted four killer classes – RC Concepcion’s Configurator 2.0: Customize Your Photoshop CS5 Experience, Joe McNally’s Lighting for Environmental Portraits, Janine Warner’s Dreamweaver CS5 Crash Course, Part 2, and another RC Concepcion class on Portfolio Power!
  • Check out AdoramaTV for all sorts of great, informative videos on photography, from gear reviews to photo tips and more. (My favorite part is the “How’d They Do That?” series in which photographers walk through their setup for photos they’ve taken. Check out this one featuring Nashville-based celebrity photographer David Bean talking about his setup for photographing LeAnn Rimes.)
  • And a big thanks to yesterday’s guest blogger, Ryan Booth! I really enjoyed his take on vision, voice, and creativity. He has some great projects going on, but I’ll particularly be paying close attention to this one.

That’s it for Pimpy Thursday! Drop by again tomorrow and tell Scott how much you missed him today ;)