Monthly Archives June 2011

OK, that headline sounds actually better than what this is going to be—because what’s really going on here is that I have accumulated a bunch of stuff in my camera closet at home, and sadly much of it has never been used, so it’s just been collecting dust. So I thought each day for the next week or so (or until I run out of stuff) I’d give some of this junk (er…cool photography micro-accessories) away to people who follow me on Twitter.

To enter this lame excuse for a giveaway, just stop by my Twitter page (@scottkelby) and if you see something you want that I’m giving away that day, just leave me a Tweet that says something along the lines of “I want Scott’s stuff” (Ok, that actually sounds kind of naughty, but you know what I mean). Anyway, each day I’ll post that day’s camera closet giveaway on my Twitter page, then later in the day I’ll pick somebody at random to get that day’s stuff.

Plus, I’ll ship the gear/gadget/dead squirrel to you free anywhere in the world, as long as it’s in Florida (kidding—I’ll gladly ship it anywhere just to get it out of my house. I mean, I’m happy to ship it wherever you live).

Now, at the top of this post is an intriguing photo taken in my home office on a white piece of paper using available light with my iPhone camera (however, I did have to do a bit of post production to get it to look like decent). That thing at the top, with the Nikon logo on the thin plastic case is actually….

…a very cool set of small screwdrivers that fit perfectly in a zipper pocket in your camera bag! (I never said this stuff was expensive, but this is actually a pretty handy little set, especially if you’re a Nikon shooter, but even if you’re a Canon shooter, too). So, that’s today’ kick-off giveaway.

Lastly, if you’re thinking, “This stuff isn’t that great…” just remember….I told you so. ;-)

I have way too many photo Apps for my iPad. If somebody tells me about a good one—I go download it and give it a shot right away, and that’s how I found some of my favorites, like Photogene, Filterstorm Pro, and Photosmith—all excellent apps—the best of breed. However, although it has only been out a few days, Nik Software’s new Snapseed is already my go-to photo app, and my hands down favorite, for five reasons:

(1) They nailed the iPad experience
The way Nik used the iPad’s touch controls is brilliant. I have to imagine when Apple themselves first saw this they said, “Yeah, this is the type of stuff we hoped developers would tap into.” It feels immersive, intuitive, and more like you’re crafting something, rather than just moving sliders. It sounds silly as I write this, but it feels very organic, like you’re creating the effects on the fly, and using it you feel more like an artist and less like a post-processor. A brilliant interface, and I imagine others will follow their lead.

(2) The quality of their effects are outstanding
A big buzz right now for iPad photo apps are one-click effects, but Nik’s presets are among the very best. Great looking one-click effects, but the ability to tweak those so easily so create your own custom effects takes it up a big notch.

(3) It’s much deeper than it looks
At first glance, it seems like there’s a few filters, a few adjustments, some frames and textures. However, don’t let the simple,  clean interface fool you—this App is like an onion, and you just keep peeling away layers to find more and more depth. I think that’s part of the strengh of the App—-you can just do your thing and keep the power tucked out of site, or dig in and really do some serious editing. The fact that Viveza-type controls are in Snapseed just blows my mind.

(4) The Fun Factor
This App is just plain fun. It’s probably the most fun I’ve had using an iPad photo app yet, and I found myself spending more time experimenting and playing with Snapseed than any other. Plus, it has all the online sharing features any cool photo app would have these days.

(5) The price is too right.
If this were a desktop App, it would cost over $100. Maybe more. And people would buy it. A lot of them. I would buy it as a Photoshop plug-in in a heartbeat, but it’s a standalone App for the iPad, and costs only $5 bucks. That is insane. Seriously.

Anyway, as you can see I’m pretty psyched about Snapseed, but I’m not alone—the buzz it is generating is amazing. For those of you that already have Snapseed, let me know what you think. For everybody else, here’s a link to it on the iTunes Store, and here’s where you can go and watch some videos about it over at Nik’s site.

For those of you who have watched our Kelby Training Online Class “Another Day with Jay Maisel,” (link) you will remember at the end of the class there was a tour of Jay’s gallery and home, including the amazing rooms where Jay has collected all sorts of tools, small objects, and well…just lots of fascinating stuff.

I was really captivated by those rooms, and in particular the objects he had on shelves along the outside windows, and so I spent a few minutes shooting them in between takes. Just available light, but it was soft beautiful light (courtesy of windows that probably hadn’t been cleaned on the outside for 20 years). All shot at 1600 ISO with my Nikon D3s.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite shots taken along “Jay’s window ledges” here on the blog.

Hi gang: Greetings from Seat 34D. :)

As I write this I’m on a red-eye Delta flight back from a trip to Adobe’s headquarters out in San Jose, California. We had a bunch of fantastic meetings while we were out there (I think we met with almost every product team out here—we caught up with some old friends, and made some new ones, too). Totally awesome trip, but I’m absolutely beat and sadly i don’t have much of a post for you tonight, but I will have some stuff on Monday.

Here’s wishing you a great weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)


-Standby Coach Passenger Kelby
Seat 34D

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