Monthly Archives May 2011

The Photoshop Guys take a moment during “It’s A SNAPP” to look off to the side of the set and smile at something. Probably just a courtesy smile for something Larry said that he thought was funny ;)

If you weren’t able to catch It’s A SNAPP with The Photoshop Guys last night, you can catch the re-broadcast until 10:00pm Eastern tonight! It’s streaming constantly over at until then, and goes into the NAPP archives after that. If you’re a NAPP member (and we hope that you’ll become one if you watch the webinar), you’ll be able to watch it any time you want.

While you’re over there, make sure you scroll down the page to check out the killer today-only deals we’re offering!

– Become a NAPP member or renew for a year and you can get a FREE membership to gift to someone else.

– And if you buy a full conference pass for Photoshop World Vegas and get another pass for half price.

All the details, discount codes, and phone numbers (these deals are call-in only) are over at Call any time between 8:30am and 7:00pm Eastern to take advantage of these amazing discounts!

Hey gang, Brad here with the latest news from the Kelby world!

Kelby Training Online
Our latest online class comes from German photographer and retouching sensation, Calvin Hollywood! In Quick Composites from Photo to Finish, Calvin shows you how to light and photograph subjects, then put them on a completely different background. The class is getting a lot of love from everyone who’s watched it, so head on over and check it out!

Kelby Training Live
Here are the next few upcoming seminars (click on the links to see ALL the dates we have scheduled)

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! Tour with Scott Kelby
June 2 – New York, NY
July 6 – Toronto, ON
July 21 – Calgary, AB
July 22 – Vancouver, BC

Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished with Ben Willmore
May 25 – Washington, DC
June 20 – Milwaukee, WI
June 22 – Nashville, TN

Photoshop CS5 Power User Tour with Dave Cross
May 27 – S. San Francisco, CA
June 6 – Sacramento, CA

Kelby Training App
Have you downloaded the Kelby Training App for your iPad or iPhone? Make sure you check for the update that was just released to fix a few bugs. And if you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can now (for free) and start out with the new and improved version! ;) And if you have any questions, make sure you check out Scott’s post from earlier this week where he has already answered quite a few.

And our buddy Jeff Revell over at Photo Walk Pro just reviewed the app, so check out what he has to say about it!

The Grid
This week’s episode of The Grid is up over at! This week, Scott at Matt discuss “The Secret to Making Great Portraits” and “Lightroom vs. Bridge,” plus giveaways!

And if they convince you to give Lightroom a try, head over to B&H to get $100 off through June 4!

The HDR Book from RC Concepcion
Hot off the heels of his hit book, Get Your Photography On The Web, Rafael “RC” Concepcion’s The HDR Book is now available for pre-order! You can place your order with Kelby Training, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Photoshop for Shooters with Moose Peterson
Have you seen Moose Peterson’s Romancing The Landscape classes over at Kelby Training Online? If you liked his post processing lessons, you’ll love his new workshop, Photoshop for Shooters! Join Moose in Mammoth Lakes, CA on July 16 & 17 for a weekend of learning his latest photo finishing secrets. You can find out all the info over at

Find Scott on Facebook and Twitter
And, lastly, you can always “Like” Scott on at and follow on Twitter: @scottkelby.

That’s all I have for today! And don’t forget to take advantage of those today-only deals on NAPP membership and Photoshop World Vegas registration :D

Hey Gang, Brad here with a last-minute reminder that tonight is the SNAPP event with The Photoshop Guys! It’s like the NAPP-a-thon we did last year, but with a different name :)

You can register over at over at, then tell all your friends, family, and pets to tune in from 8:00-10:00pm tonight for two hours of tutorials, fun stuff, and even some great giveaways like Lexar memory cards!

The main reason for this is to show non-NAPP members what NAPP is all about, so if you love NAPP and want to share it with your friends, let them know to come check out the webinar!

Shoot Action and Make it Look Exciting!

Hi everyone, and thanks to Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for inviting me to post on the Kelby Blog.  This is truly an honor and I’m proud to have my writing alongside such world-class photographers!

Action sports are extremely exciting.  They are fun to watch, play, and shoot!  But how do you get your images to reflect how exciting the sport actually is?

When starting out, a lot of photographers will take images that don’t showcase how extreme or tough the sport is.  And no, this isn’t another action article that says to blur the athlete or they will look too static, I’ve never really agreed with that…  Frozen motion IS cool and the details retain more sharpness.  Blurred images can be great too but there is no need to blur your images to create a sense of motion.

With all types of photography, your angle and lens choice are some of the most important aspects to creating an exciting image.  More extreme angles and wider or longer lenses will create images that showcase how extreme the sport really is.  Take skateboarding for example.  A standard ollie (popping the board up into the air) will look LAME if shot from eye level with a 35mm lens.  The athlete simply can’t pop the board up high enough, and normal angles like this will lack excitement since it’s a “NORMAL” angle, see what I’m getting at here??

Now take the same shot, of the same ollie, and lower the camera to the ground with a wide-angle lens.  This makes the trick feel BIGGER, and the wide angle adds a certain degree of distortion to the image that will provide a look that you couldn’t see through your own eyes.  This makes the image way more exciting!  Flip through any skate magazine and you’ll see how many images are shot wide or with a fisheye.  They do this for a reason.

My advice?  Go low and wide, go high and wide, go far and zoomed, go far and wide, go far and high, or far and low.  Any combination of angles that are out of the ordinary will boost the image’s appeal.  If you can find higher ground to take the shot, head for it, or bring a ladder!  If you can get right under a feature or right up next to the athlete, get in close and go wide!  Think out of the box.  Frame the shot with trees, or a cool net, do absolutely anything to make your image different from everyone else’s.

Action sports generally take place in cool and unique locations.  Show these locations in your images!  Sure, a photo of a skier going off a big cliff will always be impressive.  But take the same shot at a different angle to show the incredible mountain range in the background, and prepare for an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, heart-pounding image that really shows the lifestyle and just how extreme the athlete is!

With all images it’s important to try and tell the story.  There can be mystery to the image but you’ll want the viewer to at least have an idea of what is happening.  If the sport involves an air-born trick, include the landing, takeoff, or both to show the viewer what’s happening.  “Guy in the Sky” shots went out in the 80’s and aren’t coming back….  This is because the location never applies to a guy in the sky shot and anyone could take the same shot anywhere.  Be different.

Here’s a secret that will make your work even more awesome and different…  Shoot with flash!  And no, I’m not telling you to put a shiny gold grill over your teeth while you shoot along with your favorite gold chain.  I’m talking about the kind of flash that pops more light into the image.  Fill flash will make your images more unique than the majority of photographers.  Flash is the advantage that will take your work to the next level.  It’s also an important component for those low and wide shots since the sun will be above the athlete casting them in shadows.

Try shooting with a remote flash to really spice things up.  This will add more depth and dimension to the image, rendering it even cooler!  And with the new PocketWizard remotes, there’s no reason not to shoot remote since you can now push high sync speeds.  Using HyperSync I’ve been getting 1/1600th to 1/2000th sync speeds making for perfectly sharp and brilliantly lit images.

Strive to find the best angles you can that showcase the environment along with the feature, to create great action images.  Mix in a flash, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a top-notch action sports photographer!  Put that mouse down, get out there, and make incredible images.

Connor Walberg is a 23 year old professional photographer specializing in action photography, including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and skateboarding.  His work has been published in several major publications around the world and is sold through Getty Images.  His sponsors include: Lensbaby, LumiQuest, and Datacolor.

You can learn more about shooting all types of action at, and view Connor’s work at

I can’t tell you how many times during our various live seminars, photographers would come up and tell either Matt or me, “Why should I switch to Lightroom? I already have the Bridge & Camera Raw?” or “I thought Lightroom was just the same as the Bridge and Camera Raw.” Uggh!

It’s particularly frustrating because Lightroom has so many advantages over the Bridge & Camera Raw, that you can’t just explain it in few sentences. In fact, Matt and I were talking about this very problem one day, and just joking around we said, “We ought to make a list called “100 ways Lightroom kicks the Bridge’s A$$!” so we could point them to it, and really illustrate the reasons why, as a photographer, they should be using Lightroom. The next thing you know, we decided not only to make a list, but to create 100 videos that would really showcase the advantages.

Why 100 videos?
Now, we intentionally did 100 very short (30 to 60 seconds each) videos rather than one long 60-minute plus video, so people could go directly to the topics that interested them most (since I doubt anyone would watch all 100, or would be willing to sit through 100 when they only needed a few to change their mind). NOTE: There is a little forward button at the top right corner of each video, which you can click to take you to the next video, in case you want to watch all 100.

So, the site is live, and if you’re one of those photographers still using the Bridge & Camera Raw, take a few minutes and swing over to the site and check a few of the reasons out (and at the very least, watch the short intro that Matt and I put together to get you started).

Here’s the link.

I hope it helps you at least want to download the free 30-day full-working trial version from Adobe, and give it a whirl (download link for Mac & Windows). It’ll speed and transform your workflow forever, and I cannot tell you how many emails we’ve gotten from people who thanked us for turning them on to Lightroom. You will love it!

P.S. We actually came up with around 121 reasons, but 121 reasons sounded kind of weenie, so we whittled it down to just 100.

First, thanks to everyone who downloaded the long-awaited (and incredibly way overdue) Kelby Training App for the iPad and iPhone (nearly 10,000 of you already since it’s release on the iTunes Store on Friday). If you haven’t downloaded it yet (and you’re a Kelby Training Online subscriber), here’s the link.

It was so exciting to get this puppy out the door, and even more so to see such great comments from people who downloaded it and were totally loving it! (I watched two classes on it myself this weekend, from Frank Doorhof and Jack Reznicki). Of course, with something new like this, there were lots of questions, so I thought I’d tackle a few here today.

Q. Have you fixed that bug where the screen goes black if you change apps and then relaunch?
A. Yup. In fact, we’ve already submitted a fix to the iTunes store, and as soon as they approve the updated version, it’ll be available for download. Thanks to everyone who let us know about the problem, which primarily happened if you were watching videos at full screen size, then you left the app to do something else, then came back to the app and the screen was just black.

In the meantime (until Apple approves the update), you can do either of these two things:

(1) try to avoid switching apps while in full screen mode (I know, lame, but hey…it’s only a bandaid until the fix is approved), or

(2) you can force quit the app by holding down the Power Button and when the Red slider appears, just hold the “Home” button down for a few seconds until the app force quits and you return to the Home Screen. Now you can relaunch the app and it works. Unfortunately it doesn’t remember where you left off, so you have to manually go back to the video you were at last. I know, that stinks, but at least a fix is already on the way (thanks to the amazing Shawn for getting on this so quickly).

Q. Are you planning to offer offline viewing?
A. It wasn’t in the initial plan, but it’s certainly something we’ll be talking about in the coming weeks. I can totally see the benefits of this for people who are on the move, and I’m going to do some research and find out what’s involved, and what it would take (I always think these things are going to be easy, and then I find out shortly thereafter when it comes to engineering, I have a fantasy world timeline) but at this point, I’ll give it a qualified “maybe.”

Q. How come it won’t work on a Verizon iPhone? (in other words, why does it requires IOS 4.3?)
A. Here’s what Shawn told me about this:

“We had to make a decision between allowing AirPlay to an Apple TV or supporting Verizon iPhones. Up until about 3 weeks ago, the App was planned as “iPad only” (so the Verizon thing wasn’t an issue). We decided to go with requiring iOS 4.3 so that AirPlay would work. [Note; we’re getting lots of love for including the Airplay feature]. However, Apple’s big developer conference [WWDC] is June 5th, and I suspect you will see new iOS versions announced there.”

So, in short; we were just making an iPad App, but at the last minute we were able to expand it so most iPhone users can use it, too. Hopefully, shortly, this won’t be an issue as Apple releases the next ISO update.

Q. Will there be an Android version?
A. We had to release a specialized App for iPad users because iPad’s don’t support Adobe Flash (the format our videos at Kelby Training are currently served up in). However, the Android platform does support Flash so Android users can already watch these videos right on their Browsers. So, at this point, we’re not planning to create an App for Android that just duplicates what their web browser already does.

Q. OK, now that we have the App, where’s “Another Day With Jay Maisel?”
A. I’ll have an announcement about that possibly by tomorrow (I hope), but the announcement isn’t that his class is going live tomorrow. It’s cooler than that!

Q. Did I see you in New York City on Friday?
A. Yup. I was there, on location, filming “A Day with Joe McNally.”

Q. Really?
A. Really! It was amazing. We started at Joe’s house/studio, and did a behind the scenes tour of his studio, and the cameras were rolling as he chose the equipment for the next day’s assignment (lots of great tips here), he and his assistants loaded up the trucks, and then we drove into the city, to an incredibly cool location for two shoots, using usually just one or two Speedlights, and I gotta tell you—it was amazing.

We even interviewed Joe’s studio manager Lynn, who shared how she finds locations, sets-up shoots, and manages Joe’s crew for success on location. There’s LOTS of behind the scenes stuff, including candid interviews as we’re driving to New York, and honestly it’s the best, most revealing, and most insightful project we’ve done with Joe to date. You will learn an amazing amount about off-camera flash, but also, you’ll learn a lot about the man behind the lens. Seriously, an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Q. So….when will we get to see it?
A. These classes, which are also very much like a documentary in their production values and complexity (a traveling three camera location shoot), take a long time to put together in editing and post production, and a lot of thought and planning goes into them (ask anyone who saw the original “A day with Jay Maisel”), so I imagine it’ll be two months before it’s done (heck, the camera gear isn’t even back from New York yet). I wish it was sooner, because I learned a lot from Joe that day (seeing what Joe can get out of just one SB-900 off camera flash was nothing short of inspirational), and I want to watch the whole thing myself, but I won’t get to watch it a day earlier than you do (well, maybe a day, but not more). I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready, but just remember, after waiting a year for the iPad app to ship, 60 or so days for Joe’s class seems like nuthin’

Q. Scott, why did it take so long for the App to be released?
A. It was our own fault. Totally (and mostly mine for jumping the gun on mentioning it in the first place). It was our first time doing something like this—-we’re fairly new to the App game (my other Apps, like Photo Recipes, were produced by Peachpit Press—not by us), so it was a HUGE learning curve setting up a streaming video app that is along the lines and scope of a Hulu-type App.

The biggest roadblock was that we had to have thousands of individual lessons converted into six different formats (there was no way around this), but after we had converted more than half of them, only then we did learn that we had done them all wrong. Uggh! Back to square one.

It was really one thing after another (none of it Shawn’s fault—he was a champ!), but it was one of those things where we thought we were so close, but then we’d find a major problem, and we’d have to go back to the drawing board. It was way, way, harder and took WAY longer than we ever imagined, but at the end of the day, it came down to us, and our inexperience with something of this complexity (it had to tie into our Web back end, our databases, we had to be able to upload new classes and have them go live, and so on).

The good news is: although we took a lot of bumps and bruises along the way, we’ve learned a lot, and it will help us big time moving forward. In fact, we have some really cool announcements coming soon, but I’m not breathing a word of it, or even hinting when, what, or where about it until I know they are 100% ready and complete.

Q. So this was your fault?
A. Well…yes. I promised something we weren’t ready to deliver, and it made a lot of people really upset who wanted to watch Kelby Training online on their iPads, and I’m truly sorry. It wasn’t intentional—each time I mentioned it was close to being ready, I really thought it was, but nevertheless, I shouldn’t have jumped the gun and said anything until I was certain, and that’s 100% my fault.

I want to offer my humble apologies to everyone who waited so patiently for us to get our “stuff” together (and stuff is not the word I wanted to use), and I want to apologize to Shawn Welch, our App developer, who took lots of slings and arrows too, even though it was totally out of his hands. He did an awesome job, and he’s committed to taking this app to the next level (and I know he will). So, I’m sorry to everyone we let down in getting this App out so late, and my thanks to everyone who wrote on Friday, or emailed me personally, to say “it was worth the wait.”

Q. So what’s the next big thing and when is it coming out?
A. Why, I have no idea. ;-)