Monthly Archives March 2011

Hello Scott and friends of Scott:

Forgive my intrusion today. I feel especially bad taking you away from Scott’s amazing photographs of guys with sculpted abs and veins popping out of their luridly developed biceps. (Good grief, I’ve got to get my comparably itsy-bitsy jiggly-wiggly body into a gym!)

But today, I offer you a body of an entirely different nature.

This body is round. Round as one half of a baby’s bottom. With rings around it. And it has a name that you might have heard of: Saturn.

Aw, don’t you feel better already? No six pack, no gruesome musculature. Heck, you can achieve a body like this just by lying in a tub all day and eating donuts.

But here’s the catch. Saturn is not something you’ll get a chance to photograph. Not in this lifetime, or the next, or the one after that. Perhaps you’re thinking, “You don’t know, I might. Some smart genius person could invent a commercial hydrogen cruise liner and I might buy a few tickets and take the kids and we can all shoot photos out the window of the Lido deck.” In which case, you’re nuts. Saturn is 8.5 times farther away from us than the Sun. You planning on taking the kids to the Sun? What is wrong with you?

And yet this image, it’s the real thing. It’s 100% got-my-geek-on scientifically accurate, with surface texture and ring opacity data straight from NASA, JPL, and Caltech.

And it’s created, not using a camera, but entirely from scratch. In true 3D space. Using Photoshop CS5 Extended.

I’ll say that again: You need Photoshop CS5 Extended, not the standard non-3D version of the program, to follow along. Otherwise I give you everything you need. Including those scientifically accurate data files and a wickedly detailed step-by-step video:

The video lasts roughly 28 minutes. But believe it or not, it goes by fast. And by the end, your mind will be blown. Let me clear: Your skull will fracture, your head will leak blood, and there will be bits of brain all over the walls. Which is actually a good thing, because after some light mopping, your few remaining bits of brain will magically grow into something 8.5% larger than what you had before.

Of course, I mean that figuratively. But keep a mop handy just in case.

And let Scott and me know what you think!


Yesterday I shared which classes I would take if I weren’t teaching. Luckily, there’s hardly anything I love more than teaching, and I’m doin’ a whole bunch of it at Photoshop World (and obviously, I don’t teach grammar). ;-)

Here’s my schedule, in case you have a chance to come back and catch what I’m teaching:

Tuesday 3/29:
2:30 pm       My band is playing a set at the Concert Photography Workshop

Wednesday 3/30:
9:00am        I’m hosting the opening Keynote
12:00pm      I’m teaching my brand new Portrait Retouching class
8:00pm       My band, Big Electric Cat, is playing at the attendee party

Thursday 3/31:
10:45am     My new class: “Photoshop for Travel Photographers”
12:00pm     I’m leading a panel on why photographers should become bloggers
2:45pm       I’m taping an episode of Photoshop User TV on the Expo Floor
4:00pm      I’m taping a live episode of “The Grid” with a very special guest
10:00pm    I’m hosting the incredibly fun “Midnight Madness” event

Friday 4/1:
10:00am    I’m doing a Retouching presentation in the Wacom Booth
10:45am    Book signing for my Portrait Retouching Book at Peachpit Bookstore
11:15am     My “Behind the Scenes Lighting Techniques” at the Manfrotto Booth
2:15pm      My Lightroom Killer Tips class

It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting a lot of sleep that week, but I don’t care—-I love Photoshop World!!!! It’s one of the most fun things I get to do, and I can’t wait for it to get here! :)

If you’re going to Photoshop World next week, I hope you’ll stop by and catch a few of my sessions. If you’re not going…’s not too late (here’s the link). See you in Orlando.

I just got word that Datacolor & Manfrotto Distribution are presenting a free Webinar today: “Datacolor New Product Review – SpyderCheckr, SpyderLensCal and SpyderCube”

When: Today—-Tuesday March 22nd
Time: Between 2pm-3pm EDT
Where: Right here

Here’s how they describe it:

Learn how you can save time and money by calibrating your camera lenses’ on your with the SpyderLensCal. Plus, to help you make sure you’re getting accurate color in your images there is the SpyderCheckr. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get accurate predictable color right from the first shot all the way through to final prints!

Datacolor Education Manager, Joshua Fischer, and Manfrotto Distribution Product Manager, Will Holowka, discuss these new and exciting products from Datacolor and learn how you can integrate them into your digital workflow.

During this Webinar, you have exclusive advantages:
$#x2022; Interact one on one with our special speakers. Ask questions & get the answers you need!
$#x2022; Automatic Chance to Win one of our three exclusive Prize Giveaways – one Datacolor Spyder3 Elite (DC S3EL100), a value of $249; and two people will each win a SpyderCube (DC SC100) valued at $59 each. The 3 winners will be announced at the end of the Webinar, so you must attend the Webinar in its entirety, from beginning until end to qualify for a chance to win.*
$#x2022; FREE recorded version of the entire webinar. Within 24 hours of the event, you will automatically receive an email with instructions on how to access the webinar.

*In order to be eligible to win a prize, you must have a valid United States address and a valid email address upon registration.

I just wanted to wish my totally awesome wife Kalebra congratulations—on Friday she passed her FAA check-ride exam and got her Private Pilot’s license (that’s her above in an iPhone photo taken by her instructor).

She’s going to take four leisurely days off, and then she’s back to training; working on an endorsement for a plane with a higher performance engine, and afterward she starts her IFR (Instrument Flight Rating) training.

In the meantime I just wanted her to know how proud the kids and I are of her. What an amazing accomplishment, and a wonderful example for our children showing them what hard work and dedication can accomplish. I am SO proud of you sweetheart! Let’s go flyin’! :-)

Matt’s back from wandering around Europe, and we’ll be broadcasting live later today (and sharing your comments live during the show).

When: Today at 12:30 PM EDT
Start Tuesday morning. Same address, or on iTunes
Share Your Comments:
Send comments via by adding the hashtag #thegridlive
Follow us:
on Twitter @thegridlive (we’ll be drawing for prizes)

If you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the rebroadcast of the show starting Tuesday on the site or on your iPad/iPhone/iPodtouch via Apple’s iTunes (and you can subscribe for free, so you don’t miss any episodes). Here’s the iTunes link.

We’ll have some cool giveaways, and a special guest as well, so I hope to see you there! :-)

One of the things I like best about the free Photoshop World iPhone/iPad App, seen above (developed by Shawn Welch) is that you can build your own custom schedule right in the App (you just find the class you want to catch, then click the Plus Sign (+) in the upper right corner and it adds it to “My Schedule”). Here’s the link to download it free from the iTunes App Store

Anyway, yesterday I sat down with the App and picked which classes I would actually attend if I was there as a participant, and didn’t actually have to teach any classes. Here’s which classes I would take:

Tuesday, March 29th
Jim Schmelzer’s “Quality of Light In Depth” Workshop
This is “Pre-Conference” day, so the workshops are optional, and the one I want to take is sold out, but I’m going to pretend it’s not, so I would take Jim Schmelzer’s “Quality of Light In Depth.” Jim is an amazing lighting instructor, and I’ve already learned a lot of from him, and I know this class would rock. Since it is sold out, I’d take the Real World Concert Photography Workshop instead, which is an awesome workshop taught by two serious pros.

Wednesday, March 30th
10:45 – 11:45 am: Why Fake it When You Can Create It? (Frank Doorhof)
I love Frank, and you don’t see hardly anyone teaching the things Frank teaches. Brilliant instructor, and lots to learn from him, so I’d be in this one for sure.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Extracing Hair in Photoshop CS5 (Ben Willmore)
I’m pretty decent at extracting hair, but I know Ben Willmore, and I know I would pick up a few things that would make me that much better. I’ve never been to one of Ben’s classes where I didn’t pick up something.

1:00 to 6:00 pm: Free classes on the show floor.
I’m not just talking about demos—there are a ton of free classes going on in multiple theaters, and I would just stroll around and see who’s teaching where. Then I’d check out vendors, watch a few demos, check my email, buy all my own books in the bookstore, and just meet people.

6:15 pm – 7:15 pm: The Art of the Perfect Print (Jeff Schewe)
When it comes to printing, Jeff really knows his stuff. Of course, if he starts spending a bunch of time on Soft Proofing, I can always sneak out and go to Kevin Ames “Digital Retoucher’s Guide to Photoshop.” I’ve learned a lot of from Kevin over the years, and I know there’s no way he’ll be doing any soft proofing. ;-)

7:00 pm: Party at B.B.Kings
I always go the party to meet people and network, so that’s a lot of fun. Plus, I love the live band. (wink).

Thursday, March 31st
8:15 – 9:15 am: Quality of Light (Jim Schmelzer)
I don’t want to sound like a Jim Schmelzer fan boy, but I’m a Jim Schmelzer fan boy. Now, if I did the pre-conference workshop, I would skip this class and catch Julieanne Kost’s “The Creative Composite.” She has direct access to the Adobe engineer’s and she always uncovers some feature or tip I had no idea even existed, or she shows a way to use something I’ve overlooked in a new way that makes it really cool. Either way, I can’t lose.

9:30 – 10:30 am: Hot Sun, Cool Images (Cliff Mautner)
Cliff is the master of shooting outdoors in natural light, and what he’s able to create, in light all of us generally avoid, is nothing short of stunning. This would be a can’t miss class for me.

10:45 – 11:45 am: One-Light Lighting (Jack Reznicki)
I caught part of this when he did it last year, and I have to say, what he gets out of just one single flash is just amazing. People were raving about this class last year, and I’m sure I would be one of them this year.

12:00 – 1:00 pm. Creative Interactive Portfolios with InDesign CS5
This is a class I would love to take, because I think this is where a lot of Web-based design is going, and the interactivity thing is going to be huge. It’s been coming for years, and I think now it’s about here.

1:00 – 4:00 pm: Expo time! More classes, lighting demos, and fun stuff. I want to see it all!!!!

4:45 pm to 5:45 pm: Light, Gesture & Color, Part I (Perception): (Jay Maisel)
It’s Jay Maisel. What else can I say—-I have to be there. He is a living legend. Period.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Speaking of Sports: A Guide to Sport Action Photography
You know I have to be at this session, and Dave Black is a hero of mine. I saw Dave speak a few years back at a conference where we were both speaking, and he was just incredible. A must-see session for me.

7:15 – 9:15 pm: The Art of Digital Photography
This is a panel discussion where each photographer gets 15 minutes to show, and talk about their work. It’s Maisel, McNally, Moose, and some of the most amazing photographers anywhere. People walk away amazed. I’ll be too!

Friday, April 1st
8:15 – 9:15 am: Shooting Landscapes with ACR Finishing (Moose Peterson)
Where else would I be? OK, in bed, but besides that—-as the guy behind the Digital Landscape Workshop Series (DLWS) Moose is the master of finishing landscape photos, and I want to see what his current Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) workflow is, because whatever he’s doing—-it’s workin’.

9:30 – 10:30 am: How Did They Do That? (Joe Glyda)
Joe is one of the most engaging, fun, informative, and hilarious instructors out there today. He could teach a class on tax accounting and it will be a blast. I’d have to be in this one.

10:45 – 11:45 am: Get Inspired – And Get the Shot (Frank Doorhof)
Frank’s the man, and if he’s teaching a class on lighting—-I want to be there, especially since this class is about being creative using simple concepts.

2:15 – 3:15 pm. Actions & Intermediates (Ben Willmore)
OK, it doesn’t sound like the most exciting class title ever, but it’s Ben. Doing Actions and other stuff. Hard stuff. What’s not to like?

3:45 – 4:45 pm: Conference Wrap Up
This is a really fun way to end the conference. The video team puts together a look at each day of the conference via some really fun, short video clips and you relive an amazing expereience, and see things you might have missed. Plus, we have some of the stars of the show, give you a peek at what you might have missed, and it’s a huge hit that puts a smile on everybody’s face. Well, that and the tons of giveaways.


Well gang, that’s what I’d do. Now, remember—-I took all of my classes out of this lineup, so please—don’t forget to stop by and catch at least one or two of my classes. ;-)  I’ve got a packed-full schedule this year, and I’ll post that tomorrow so you can see—I actually am there, teaching. A lot. A bunch.  :-)