Monthly Archives August 2011

Hey everyone, RC here  back for another Pimpy Thursday! Enjoy!

(update:  By popular demand, I went in and gave you the gist of it, in linkable text form. :) – RC )

Worldwide Photo Walk

The Worldwide Photo Walk has over 500 cities signed up already.  If you want to make sure you take part in this great event in october – Make sure you register for the walk!

Kelby Training App Update

As mentioned a couple of days ago, if you haven’t updated your Kelby Training App – make sure that you download the new version of the app.  With some server changes, and some new features.. this is going to be important for you to get!

Extending the Photoshop World Early Bird discount
The Photoshop World Early Bird discount has been extended!!  Here’s the link with details and/or to sign-up. Jump on it today! If you want to snag a room at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, the same hotel all the instructors stay at , at the special Photoshop World rate of $129, there are only a few rooms left in our block, so go to the Photoshop World travel page and grab your room now. They’re also offering $149 at “The Hotel” at Mandalay Bay (a trendy boutique hotel attached to the Mandalay Bay). See you in Vegas!

Two New Courses  for the iPad and iPhone!
My new App that teaches you how to shoot and process HDR like a pro just hit the App store and right now it’s only $9.95 (sweet!). Here’s the link (or get it from the App store on your IOS device).

Corey Barker also has an app called the Photoshop CS5 3D Crash Course.  If you’ve ever been interested in exploring the world of 3D in Photoshop, Corey Barker is just the guy to take you through it.  Here’s the link!

Matts New Compositing Book

We’re excited that Matt Kloskowski’s book on compositing is here!  The Photoshop Compositing Secrets book is out, and if  judged by the promo video, this is going to be a smash!  Make sure you check it out by clicking on this link

Check out the Kelby Training Tour Dates!

Dave Cross and Scott Kelby have some great tours going out there..  make sure you check them out at the Kelby Training Live page

Scott Kelby’s Light Shoot It, Retouch it Book Available for preorder

Im totally excited about this one.  If you’re into checking out just how to light, shoot, retouch amazing images – you are going to LOVE Scott’s new book!  Make sure you check it out on the Amazon Website!

Ben Wilmore in Africa

Ben’s teaching a workshop in Africa – and it should be an awesome time.  Make sure you check out the tour details over at Ben’s site – Digital Mastery

Rob Sylvan – Lightroomers

Our buddy Rob Sylvan has some great tours and resources on his website.  Make sure you go to Lightroomers to check it all out!
(want to see the video larger? Click on the full screen icon on the right of the video window – RC)

Proof: A Short by RC
Hey gang, Brad here just to share the story behind how today’s guest blog came to be…
(click on the image to see it larger on the 500px website)

One day as I was browsing, I saw that RC Concepcion had posted this photo of his daughter at the piano. The next day, I came into the office and mentioned that I thought it was a nice shot of Sabine. He asked if I knew the full story behind the image, and, though I knew bits and pieces of it, I didn’t know the entirety of it.

Interesting Little Circles
He started to explain the significance of all the elements of the photograph, and that he was going to write a blog post about it over at his website. As he continued on about not only the significance of each element, but how everything was related to one another, I told him, “This isn’t a blog post… This is a video.” Then I asked if he would mind sharing it here, and he graciously agreed.

I think this can remind us of the importance of using photography to preserve the story of our families and heritage. Sometimes we can get caught up in only pulling out our camera when we’re “going out to shoot,” whether it’s a studio portrait, a sporting event, a birthday or holiday, or any other thing that we get excited about. But it’s easy to overlook the everyday moments like this that can end up being the most important and meaningful times that become the stories we tell our children and grandchildren.

So, thanks RC for sharing this on the blog today :)

Hi Gang: I know it’s not “Pimpy Thursday” but a couple of things came up that I need to let you know ASAP:

(1) You need to download the Kelby Training iPad App Free Update
The major overhaul and update to the Kelby Training Website caused a bunch of server issues that caught us by surprise, and part of the fallout included problems with the App—so much so that we had to release a update so it works at all. Shawn did sneak a few new features in (like a favorites feature), but for the App to work at all, you’re going to need to go to the App store and download the free update. Sorry for all the trouble, and thanks so much for your patience—we’re working to make the site iPad/Android friendly, and to deliver a much better player and a better experience all around, but apparently that doesn’t come without growing pains.

(2) We had to extend the Photoshop World Early Bird discount
With our sites bring down unexpectedly for a couple of days last week, we had loads of requests to extend the $100 off Early Bird discount, so we are—-until Friday, August 12th. Here’s the link with details and/or to sign-up. Jump on it today!

(3) Stay where the Instructors Stay
If you want to snag a room at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (the same hotel all the instructor, staff, and I stay at), at the special Photoshop World rate of $129, there are only a few rooms left in our block, so go to the Photoshop World travel page and grab your room now. They’re also offering $149 at “The Hotel” at Mandalay Bay (a trendy boutique hotel attached to the Mandalay Bay). See you in Vegas!

(4) RC’s new “HDR Crash Course” App for iPad and iPhone is here!
That’s right—RC’s new App that teaches you how to shoot and process HDR like a pro just hit the App store and right now it’s only $9.95 (sweet!). Here’s the link (or get it from the App store on your IOS device).

That’s it for now. Don’t forget to read the following post today, so it’s not just Pimpy Tuesday. ;-)

At my seminar in Orlando on Friday, we were talking about adding high contrast effects to portraits, and how sometimes the effect is too harsh to apply to your subject’s skin (it almost makes their skin look bruised) so when I apply the effect to men, I do some masking so reduce the effect where it doesn’t work, and I pretty much avoid it on women’s skin altogether.

So, someone asked if I ever use it on a portrait of woman, and I said—absolutely—I used it on the cover shot for my “Portrait Retouching” book (the shot is shown above), but not on her skin—–I used it to make her necklace and ring really stand out. I also used a little on her eyes and hair (I lowered the opacity of the brush).

When it comes to accessories, I really want them to stand out, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s how important accessories are to making “the look” for a fashion shoot.

On The Job Training
I know women already know this, but the important of accessories really hit me last year when I was doing a fashion shoot in New York City. I hired a wonderful fashion stylist (Sophia Batson, shown below left) and right after she put all the outfits we’d be using on hangers, she laid out an entire work table with nothing but fashion accessories (it looked like a mini-store right on the set).

Once the model was in her outfit (that’s our model Gemmy behind us on the set), Sophia picks the prefect accessory for the look we were going for. For the look at the top of the page (A beauty-style headshot), Sophia choose that one because she knew it was “the one!” and I realized, even before I took the first shot, that it took the image to the next level. In fact, I liked it so much, I wound up using for the cover of the book (seen below).

Where do you find stuff like that?

Since this book came out, I’ve had a number of people ask me where I got that necklace she’s wearing. Of course, since it was Sophia’s, I had no idea, but one of the designers that created the necklace must use Photoshop because they dropped me a line and loved how the cover looked with it (how cool is that!). The designer is Gabriele Frantzen, and you can find her work at and there are links where to buy her designed online.

The particular necklace I used here is the “Sense & Sensibility” necklace in Smoke.  (Note: Gabriele’s creations must be crazy popular with fashion designers, because when you go to her site, she shows the covers of all these major fashion magazines featuring her work).

Post Processing
The post processing was actually very simple because I used a plug-in to do most of the work. I simply opened the image and then in Photoshop I applied the “Tonal Contrast” preset of Nik Software’s “Color Efex Pro 3.0” to the entire image. When you do this, it creates a separate layer with the effect applied to it.

Then, so I could apply the high-contrast effect just where I wanted it, I Option-clicked the Layer Mask button (PC: Alt-click) at the bottom of the Layers panel to put a black mask over the entire high-contrast layer (so now it’s hidden from view).

Then, I set my foreground color to white, got a small soft-edged brush, and starting painting over the necklace at 100% Opacity, and man did it make it just pop! I went to her eyes and hair and painted over those at well, but only at about 25% Brush Opacity, just to give those a little “zing” as well.

Above: here you can see the mask after I painted over it revealing the necklace (at 100% strength in white) and her eyes and hair (at 25% strength).

One for Orlando
I’m glad I got the chance to do this for the folks who attended my Orlando seminar (they were an awesome crowd—-one of my most fun, engaged, and gracious groups of the entire year), and for you guys here on the blog.

Off to Germany and Holland
Brad and I are off to Cologne and Amsterdam, and we’re looking forward to meeting all the great folks over there, and sharing my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It Tour with our first European audience. I’ll be in Cologne when we broadcast “The Grid” this week, so make sure you tune in tomorrow at 4:00 pm to catch Matt Kloskowski and friends live! Have a great Tuesday everybody—–Germany….here I come!!! :-)

Some are calling it “Our best episode ever” and although I can’t swear that it is, it’s definitely our longest show ever (we were on a roll and just couldn’t stop).

On the latest episode of “The Grid” (our free weekly talk show about photography), during our discussion of the Fuji x100 camera (started by my posts on Google+) RC Concepcion (filling in for Matt Kloskowski, who was out shooting college baseball team portraits), and I broke into a spontaneous rendition of “The Fuji x100 Blues” (see above).

We also covered the “Five stages of owning a Fuji x100″ (it’s all in fun. Kinda), and if you want to watch the Fuji “lack of lovefest” part, scrub to about 53:00 minutes into the show (you can start right there, no problem).

The first half of the show was all about why I like Google+ for photographers. Here’s the link to this week’s episode:

NOTE: The Grid airs LIVE each week at it’s new time: Wednesday’s at 4:00 pm EDT. If you miss the live cast, we rebroadcast the show on demand (for free) starting the following afternoon, so you can watch it whenever you’d like.

P.S. I’m off to Cologne, Germany and Amsterdam, Netherlands tonight for our Tour Stops there. I’m really excited about our first tour ever in Europe, and I hope I get to meet some of you in person while I’m there.

While I was on vacation in Maine a few weeks back, I spent a day shooting with my buddies Scott Eccleston of, and Mark Hensley and while we were out shooting near Portland, Maine I recorded this short tutorial for their site on shooting long exposure black & white.

Besides this tip, has lots of great tips on there all the time, so make sure you head over and check out their site. Definitely worth it! Thanks to Scott and Mark for putting up with me, and for letting me share this with you guys. :)