Monthly Archives April 2011

Hey gang, Brad here with a few things for you.

Landscape Photography Workshops in Iceland
Sean Duggan (who took the photo at the beginning of this post) is teaching two upcoming landscape photography workshops in Iceland. The first one is True North: Photographing the Interpretive Landscape in Iceland from June 26 – July 2.  And if you sign up before April 30, you get a 10% discount!

The second workshop is Icelandic Visions, along with Mike Shipman, from August 17-26. Head on over to Blue Planet Photo for all the info!

Scott + Scott = Photofocus
Scott Kelby recently joined Scott Bourne for the latest episode of Photofocus, where they talked about everything from press passes to lenses, memory cards, and much more! Head on over to to download Episode 73.

Kelby Training Online
Head on over to Kelby Training Online to check out the latest class from
RC Concepcion, Website Walkthrough Using WordPress: From Start to Finish. RC literally wrote the book on this topic, and this class is a great companion to that book!

Kelby Training Live
Ben Willmore is bringing the Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished tour to
Livonia, MI on April 28! This one has been rescheduled from April 27. Then he’ll be in Columbus, OH the very next day, April 29! Head on over to Kelby Training Live to register and get all the details.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Have a great Thursday!

Thank you, Scott, for the invitation to write a guest blog. I’m truly honored. I hope that I can hang with the rest of the amazing talent that have graced these pages. Also, a big thanks to Brad for helping me get my story to you.

When I was 17, I never imagined where I’d be today. I was young, naïve, energetic and optimistic about my future. I enlisted in the US Air Force as a basic still photographer. I went to basic training, also known as boot camp, and then to the Defense Information School. The brief photography course taught me how to process film of all types, black and white, C-41 and E-6. I learned to read light using a hand-held meter and make a manual exposure with my Nikon camera. After learning the basics of camera operations, I learned the concepts of composition, content and storytelling. The classes lasted six months in total, which also included a brief course on how to process U-2 reconnaissance aircraft large-format camera film. I loved the photography classes, but the film processing – not so much. As luck would have it, the Air Force sent me the Joint Intelligence Center to process thousands of feet of infrared spy plane film. If that torture wasn’t enough, I had a follow-on assignment to the Joint Analysis Center for more darkroom shenanigans. Needless to say, I spent four years tucked away in a vault, within a vault, within another vault.

I had to get out of the darkroom, so I plotted and planned my escape. During my research and scheming, I came upon one of the best-kept secrets, Combat Camera. I had not touched a camera outside of my own personal projects, since that wasn’t part of my duty description. I scrounged together some pictures that resembled a portfolio and submitted them along with my military evaluation reports and full-length photo of me in uniform. Combat Camera was made up primarily of very talented male photographers with years of experience. Furthermore, someone in that unit had to die or retire for a position to come available – they were coveted. At the time, I was 21 with moderately acceptable quality images and no technical background at all. The odds were stacked against me – or so I thought. After the tragic events of September 11th, I received word that I had been accepted into the premier Combat Camera unit.

Weeks later, as I was prepared to move from England to Charleston, S.C., I watched troops make their way into Afghanistan. My first few months at “COMCAM” were the most challenging both personally and technically. I learned how to ingest digital files from the camera and transmit them via satellite all over the world, how to take images from the open ramp of a C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft at 14,000 feet, how to fire a weapon on a target while moving, how to tactically drive armored vehicles and how to navigate terrain using only a topographical map and a compass. I felt the pressure to perform without error, because I had the critical eyes of my male peers watching me closely – ever ready for me to make a mistake. Whether that was reality or perhaps my perception of reality, it drove me to work harder and harder.

BAQUBAH, IRAQ – Images by Stacy Pearsall

By the time I was considered to be combat ready, I was aerial qualified and had attended ground survival and evasion courses, prisoner of war training, water survival school and close quarters combat training. I was hammered with photography training and techniques as well as workflow and accessioning. I was certified on multiple weapons and knew just about everything there was to know about war… without the real war experience. Before sending me off to document the real thing, I was sent to South America and Southeast Asia. I also ran re-supply missions to the combat zone with a senior photographer. Basically, I had to prove that I could not only take pictures but also perform under fire when it really mattered.

DEADLY DIYALA – Images by Stacy Pearsall

My first combat deployment was Iraq in 2003 followed by a series of combat deployments, which included Somalia, Lebanon and a couple more trips to Iraq. I spent 280 days a year away from home covering Special Forces operations and humanitarian relief missions. It was a far cry from my think-less and thankless days in the darkroom processing film. My primary goal was getting real-time combat imagery from the battlefield to the Joint Combat Camera Center in Washington DC. The President, Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff used my pictures to make informed decisions on military tactics and maneuvers in the battle space. The photos were also disseminated to news agencies such as the Associated Press and Getty Images and were picked up by several newspapers, magazines and online newsgathering sites. All of the images I took while in the military are considered public domain, so you, the taxpayer, own them. As a sidebar, I’ve seen my pictures sold as posters, mouse pads, mugs and screensavers. I had no control where they end up. Actually, I’ve seen my pictures used by anti-war and anti-military websites – go figure.

As a general rule, combat photographers adhered to the National Press Photographers Associations (NPPA) rules, guidelines regarding the photojournalism’s code of ethics. I did my best to remain unbiased and document what unfolded in front of me without judgment or prejudice. Even though I wore a uniform, I strove to stay objective. As I gained more experience and grew more confident in combat, my outlook of photography began to grow and change. I was taking more risks and pushing myself photographically. During my basic courses, I was taught just that – the basics. I began to realize that there was so much more to understand in order to truly capture artful, colorful and memorable pictures. After losing several friends in combat, I also realized that there was more to my pictures than just news worthiness. In many cases, I was the last person to take their pictures. That was pretty heavy stuff.

BROTHERHOOD – Images by Stacy Pearsall

Once I grasped that concept, my vision as a photographer changed immensely. From the age of 21 to the age of 27, I captured over 500,000 images from over 41 different countries. I was considered the best photographer in the military and was the first woman to have won the Military Photographer of the Year twice. I was giving the boys a run for their money. I was awarded one of the military’s highest honors, the Bronze Star, for saving the life of several soldiers during an enemy ambush in Iraq. However, I was wounded in action and my combat photography career came to a screeching halt. My life had changed in an instant.

I spent around 18 months recovering from my wounds, during which time I could barely lift a camera, let alone take a picture. It was determined I could no longer wear the 80+ pounds of body armor and tactical gear, which meant that I could no longer deploy to the combat zone. The Air Force retired me from service in August 2008 – I was only 28 years old.

Simply because I was disabled did not mean I was unable. I didn’t give up. I figured if I could survive six straight years of combat, then I could survive this transition in my life. I brought my skills as a seasoned combat photographer to my photography assignments stateside. Specializing in the armed forces, I began to shoot commercial and editorial assignments related to police, fireman, soldiers, sailors, airman and marines.

DSM DYNEEMA CAMPAIGN – Images by Stacy Pearsall

I advocate on behalf of veterans and concentrate my personal projects around raising awareness for disabled veteran’s groups. During my rehabilitation, I started a portrait project, which featured veterans from South Carolina. I photographed vets from WWII all the way to Vietnam and the current conflicts. I’m continuing this project all over the U.S.

VETERANS PORTRAIT PROJECT – Images by Stacy Pearsall

My time on the battlefield has provided me an appreciation for life and an infatuation with photography. No matter what happens, I’ll continue to push myself.

You can see more from Stacy over at, keep up with her on her blog, and follow her on Twitter.

Hi Gang: I have been dying for Adobe to come out with a Lightroom App for the iPad, and although this isn’t from Adobe, it’s the next best thing, and I personally am really excited about it.

It’s called “Photosmith for iPad” and it’s designed to work as a mobile companion Lightroom by letting you create Collections, rate, tag, add keywords and metadata to your photos, and then (wait for it, wait for it) sync your Collections to Lightroom on your computer wirelessly. It’s the dream baby!!! The dream!!!!

Now, as I’m writing this, I haven’t spent much time with it—I downloaded it last night and started playing with it, and it sync’d beautifully with Lightroom—first time! (you do have to download and install their plug-in for Lightroom first), but after using it for a just an hour or so, I can see I’ll be using this a lot when I travel.

Although it doesn’t do image editing (just sorting and stuff) it does let you share photos from your Collections directly up to Facebook, Drop Box, Flickr (hugs), or you just email them directly from the App, but at this point, the real reason to have it is to make Collections, rate and sort your photos, and have that all go over to Lightroom.

Of course, this is just version 1, and I already have some features I would love to see them add, but one of the things I love about iPad Apps is how quickly developers are able to update and add new features, so although it’s not perfect yet—I imagine it soon will be. It’s $17.99. My hat’s off to the developers; Chris and Jonah—-way to go guys! :-)

Here’s a link to their site,  and here’s the direct iTunes downloads link (or, on your iPad, go to the App Store, and search for Photosmith).

Hi everybody, and happy Monday (I know, that’s an oxymoron). ;-)  I don’t have one big topic this morning, but a lot of little stuff to catch you up on.

Terry White is on In-Studio Guest Today on “The Grid”
Terry’s our in-studio guest, and we have lots to talk about (I’ve been waiting for this show since we started), but we’re going to start with m response to the comments on Friday about my wish for “Photoshop for the iPad.” The show is broadcast live at 12:00 noon EDT at — you can watch live (even on your iPad), or you can watch the free rebroadcast tomorrow (or through iTunes). Also, we have post an audio-only version of the Grid as well. Hope you can watch live and join in the discussion.

Lots of shooting this week!
I’ve got two in-studio portrait shoots this week with professional athletes, one an NFL linebacker, and one a Major League baseball player. On Friday I’m shooting the Rays vs Angels game for Southcreek Global. Besides the shoots, I’ve started working on my next book, and the 3rd draft of another book I’ve been finishing up just got printed yesterday.

My prayers are with David duChemin
Brad pointed me to a blog post from Jeffrey Chapman that details a three-story fall David took while leading a tour in Pisa. The post said “He’s got multiple fractures in his feet, hip, and hand,” and he’s in the hospital now (doctors said he’s lucky to be alive after a fall like that), but the post said he’s doing OK so far (though he is going to have to have some surgery). The post from Jeffrey is right here. We all wish David a very speedy and complete 100% recovery and my prayers are with him.

The Kelby Training iPad App is….
Still not ready (sigh). We are working really, really hard on this. We’ve had to reconvert all our videos (the first time we did it, apparently the format we chose wasn’t right), but I just want you to know that I know you guys are frustrated (ask anybody in my company—notbody is as frustrated as I), and I’m very grateful for your patience. As soon as it’s ready—don’t worry—I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops!

If You Missed my Retouching Book Webcast…
The rebroadcast is now online at right here. Thanks to everybody who watched live (we had over 4,000 photographers signed up). I’ve had people sending me emails, Facebook messages and examples of things they learned from the webcast, and it’s been a lot of fun seeing the great results they’re getting. Hope you can check it out.

The First Two in-depth Reviews of my Retouching book
There’s one right here, and right here. If you guys know of any others, send ’em my way.

Fine Art Wedding Photography
About every week I get sample copies of new photography and Photoshop books from different book publishers and every once in a while a book stands out to me, and the latest one to catch my eye is Fine Art Wedding Photography” by Jose Villa and Jeff Kent (published by Amphoto). The book has beautiful photography, and lots of interesting techniques. I’m taking it home this weekend, but on first look—this is one of the most promising books I’ve seen since David Ziser’s “Captured by the Light.” Here’s the link to it on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. It’s around $18. If you only learned one single thing, it’d still be worth it.

That’s it for today
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you on the Grid today, and here on the blog tomorrow. Here’s wishing you a cool and kick butt day!!!

Last night I was talking with a buddy, and we started talking about what we would really like to see in a Photoshop iPad app. I think all the things that Adobe is doing right now in that space, especially with their introduction of a Software Development Kit (SDK) enabling other people to create apps that interact with Photoshop is incredible. However….

…..what I really want is for Adobe to create Photoshop as an App for the iPad. Real Photoshop. Basically, “Photoshop for the iPad” with the same type of interface, where everything is where we expect it to be—not some reimagined program that really isn’t Photoshop. I don’t want to learn something completely new, or I’ll just stick with the iPad photo apps I have now. I want PHOTOSHOP! Real Photoshop!

We can’t have it all
Now, I know there’s no way possible to have the complete version of Photoshop CS5, which is designed to run on a very powerful computer with literally Gigs of RAM, run on an iPad with just Megs of RAM, and that’s fine because I don’t want everything that Photoshop CS5 can do in “Photoshop for the iPad.”

For example, Photoshop CS5 has 108 filters. I just need six.

Photoshop has more than 80 tools. I just need 19.

There is tons of stuff I don’t use on my full version of Photoshop, so I surely don’t need them in my iPad version. For example, I don’t need the single-pixel Marquee tools or the Art History Brush. I don’t need the Paint Bucket tool, or the Note tool, or the rotate view tool, or the Background Eraser tool. I could go on and on.

I don’t need all this stuff either:
Same thing with Panels (we can’t have them all, right?). I can live without the Animation panel and the Measure Log panel (yes, that’s a real panel), and the Navigator and Tool Presets (among others).

I don’t need all those Image Adjustments either, like Variations and Channel Mixer, and Posterize and Threshold (if any of those made you gasp—NOT THAT ONE!!!! Just remember, you’ll still have Desktop Photoshop—you don’t have to trade it for the iPad version).

So, I went through Photoshop and looked at stripping it down to just the bare essentials that I’d need for editing my photos, retouching my photos, and doing what I need to do daily in Photoshop. I wouldn’t use my “Photoshop for iPad” for magazine production jobs, or building Web sites from scratch, or processing 1,200 images from a Wedding shoot (that’s for “Lightroom for the iPad”). But I don’t want to learn the 3rd party Apps out there, and keep switching every three weeks to the new “Latest & Greatest” photo app. I want one App that I can stick with. I want Photoshop for the iPad.

Here’s what I want in it (and just this stuff, unless of course, I forgot something really useful, which is entirely possible):

The Move Tool
Marque Selection Tools
Lasso tool
History Brush
Crop Tool
Eyedropper Tool
The Healing, Brush
The Clone Stamp Tool
Gradient Tool
Pen Tool and Path Selection Arrows
The Line tool
Type Tool
Mag Glass (Zoom tool)
Grabber Hand
Eraser Tool
Quick Select Tool

Gaussian Blur
Lens Correction
High Pass
Unsharp Mask
Add Noise

Photo Filter

Character Panel
Actions Panel
Brush Panel
Channels Panel
Layers Panel
History Panel
Adjustments Panel

Other stuff
Smart Objects
Free Transform
Transform Selection
Refine Edge (+ remove mattes + Defringe)
Image Processor
Define Brush Preset
Photo Merge (auto-align layers)
Load Selection
Rulers & Guides
Image size & Canvas Size

So that’s the list, but again—it has to look and feel JUST LIKE PHOTOSHOP. If I wanted another program, I’d be using that instead.

What do YOU want to see?
OK, so that’s what I’d like to see included, but to make this what “We” really want, I’d love to hear what you guys would expect in a full-blown Photoshop for the iPad (if Adobe would even consider it?).

What do YOU want to pay?
If you’re thinking $9.99, you can absolutely guarantee that Adobe will never produce this App. They’re not going to take a $700 software application, and make it into a $10 App and stay in business very long. So, would you pay:

(a) $49
(b) $99
(c) $199
(d) $299
(e) $399

If it did all those things, did them all very well, and it was REALLY Photoshop for the iPad?

Let me know what you think on both counts. I really want to see what you guys think of this idea (and I want to Adobe to see, too!).

P.S. I’d like a separate app called simply “Camera Raw for iPad.” :)