I thought I’d kick off the first blog post of the new year with a quick look back at the most popular, and most commented-on posts of 2010, and some of the fun stuff we shared during the past year.

The Top 10 Most Commented-on Posts of 2010
Here are the posts that garnered the most comments from readers during the year, in order:

  1. How US Airways Just Lost Yet Another Customer (link)
    This was the #1 most-commented post with nearly 400 comments. This was just one of those “I have to get this off my chest” type of posts, and I never dreamed it would get that kind of response (but apparently, I wasn’t alone on this one). Here’s the rest in order.
  2. What I’d love to see in Lightroom 4 (link)
  3. HDR Quote of the week (link)
  4. Why is everybody so angry about Apple’s iPad (link)
  5. What they’re not telling you about HDR Images (link)
  6. To Correct or Not To Correct? (link)
  7. When will we finally get frames and mats for digital camera images sizes? (link)
  8. US Airways Responds (link)
    This post was a follow-up to the original post, where I reported that USAir had contacted me and said they would reinstate my miles. Within a few days, they had credited my back miles, and credited my missing miles, and the same day they hit my account I donated all the miles to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
  9. What constitutes an over-the-top HDR shot? (link)
  10. Apple’s iPad and Apple Secret Weapon (link)

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Guest Bloggers
I’m indebted to all the Guest Bloggers who shared their images, ideas and inspiration with my readers each Wednesday. Here are the top commented posts from 2010.

  1. Matt Kloskowski’s “Photoshop is not a bad word!” (link)
  2. Alex Walker’s “Parental Sports Photoshop — My Most Fantastic Voyage” (link)
  3. John McWade‘s “Design for Photographers” (link)
  4. Brad Moore’s “The Shot” (link)
  5. Jeremy Cowart’s “Perception” (link)
  6. Peter Eastway’s “What is Photographic Reality?” (link)
  7. RC Concepcion’s “How HDR saved RC’s Star Wars Celebration” (link)
  8. Andy Locascio’s “I never thought it would happen” (link)
  9. Calvin Hollywood’s “I am addicted to Photoshop” (link)
  10. Jasmine Star’s “Optimal Wedding Timeline” (link)

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My Photo Shoots
When I do a shoot, I usually post the images here within a day or so, and here are the shoots that garnered the most comments from 2010 (in order of popularity):

  1. Back from 16 days in China (link)
  2. NFL Sidelines Shoot: Bucs vs Rams (along with my sports camera settings) (link)
  3. Shooting the NBA Bulls vs. Cavs (link)
  4. NFL Sidelines Shoot: Steelers vs. Jets (link)
  5. A few shots from my week in Maine (link)
  6. Behind the scenes at a major sports shoot (link)
  7. College Football Sidelines Shoot: LSU/North Carolina (link)
  8. Shooting the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (link)
  9. I’m back from 9 days in Barcelona, Spain (link)
  10. It’s Fashion-shoot Monday (link)
  11. My first Soccer shoot (link)

While not technically a “shoot” the post I wrote about my New Online Portfolio Design (link) got more comments any of the shoots.

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Other Milestones
This year we saw seven new books produced by Kelby Training launch here on the blog (four from me and two from some of the best in the business today.  Here they are (in no particular order);

1. David Ziser’s “Captured By The Light” book for wedding photographers.
David wrote the definitive book on the topic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a photography book with a better review rating on Amazon.com: 67 5-star reviews, and one just that just hated it (there’s one in every crowd).

2. My Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers
This one was a lot of work, and I added a new “Lightroom Killer Tips” section to each chapter, but I’m so passionate about Lightroom that it made this major rewrite a lot of fun for me.

3. The iPhone 4 Book (co authored with my good friend Terry White)
There are two things I love about this book: (1) It causes me to really learn my new phone inside and out, and (2) We split the book in two, each writing half the chapters, and I love the fact that Terry takes all the hard chapters.

4. Captured: The journal of a wildlife photographer, by Moose Peterson
Moose did something in this book that I think few people have ever accomplished with their books—he shared his most important techniques for capturing wildlife in a very straightforward way, and he captivated the reader with simply amazing photography, and weaved throughout the book is the story of his life and his career shooting nature. Brilliantly executed, and not surprisingly it’s become one of the most highly acclaimed books of the year.

5. My Photoshop CS5 for Digital Photographers
Adobe made my job really easy on this book, as CS5 was almost tailor-made for photographers, but as an author, I had to make some difficult decisions about how to develop this new version, one being my decision to remove the chapters about Adobe Bridge from the printed book and move them online (updated for the minor Bridge tweaks in CS5), and instead focus on the “Mini-Bridge” built- in to Photoshop CS5. This gave me more room to cover new features, and workflow stuff, without overly bloating the book. This decision of what to cut becomes more difficult with each new version, but I’m happy with how it came out.

6. My Photoshop Elements 9 book (co authored with my good buddy and ace Call of Duty: Black Ops teammate Matt Kloskowski)
This book is tough to do for the totally opposite reason of my CS5 book. Adobe doesn’t add a ton of new features to Elements in each rev, so what Matt and I do instead is add the new things that we have learned during the year, and we take the techniques we use in CS5 each day and try to convert them into techniques that work in Elements, and that has worked wonderfully well (based on feedback from readers).

7. My “Photo Recipes Live 2” Book/DVD Combo
This one skated in just under the wire—shipping right before the end of the year. I shot this down in Miami over a two-day period, and tried some new stuff and more ambitious lighting set-ups, along with some fun location lighting shoots, and I think it turned out even better than Photo Recipes 1 (which I guess is always the goal, right?

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Taking Time Off
This year I did a lot of new projects,  books, new classes, I was out on tour for both Lightroom 3 and Photoshop CS5, and I taught at  Photoshop World, and did workshops, and just a lot of training-related stuff this past year. Of course I want to share all my projects with my readers, so every time a book comes out, or I do a seminar, I would mention it here on my blog (after all, I want my readers to come out to my seminars, and read my books, and watch my online classes, and so on).

Well, some weeks I’d have two or three things to mention, and it starts to seem like (to me and you) that that’s all I’m talking about, so I tried to consolidate all my training and book stuff onto just one day a week—Thursday—which we now affectionately call “Pimpy Thursday.”

Thankfully, my photo assistant Brad Moore stepped up to be the person who actually compiles and writes the post each Pimpy Thursday, which gave me a break during the week I so desperately needed (thank you Brad!). This let me focus more on shooting and other fun stuff during the rest of week (though sometimes, because of timing, I still wind up having to find a mid-week pimping in, I try to wait until Thursday if at all possible).

2010 has been a year of huge growth and expansion at Kelby Media Group, and during all that, blogging four days a week was really starting to take a toll on me. I actually missed a few days of blogging during year (I called in “lame” 5 days with essentially nothing to say, or no time to say, including 2 days during Photoshop World), and I had one sick day in Jan of 2010 where I didn’t blog, but outside of that, between Brad, my Guest Bloggers and I, we pretty much kept the ship afloat all year long.

My most surprising fact about me from 2010
I went to my calendar and looked, and believe it or not, I took nearly EIGHT weeks of vacation with my family this year! (Whooo hooo!), and I didn’t work a lick on any of it (which is even better). Yet, I got quite a bit done in 2010 anyway. Maybe I should take more time off in 2011? ;-)

We Did Some Really Important Stuff, Too!
Besides all the fun stuff, and discussions, and controversy (HDR & iPad) we did some really important stuff, as the readers of this blog donated literally tens of thousands of dollars to help feed and cloth the orphans of the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya (the very orphanage my readers helped to build from an empty plot of land in 2009).

You guys bought Photo Walk t-shirts, we raffled off one of my guitars (signed by all the Photoshop guys), and you guys generously gave to some wonderful, deserving kids on the other side of the world. Ya done good gang!

More 2010 highlights to come on Thursday
I’m planning on running my 2nd annual “Best of” awards on Thursday to celebrate the best of all kinds of stuff, so I hope you’ll join me then.

One more thing….
I couldn’t do any of this without wonderful readers like yourselves, who make doing all this so worthwhile. You guys are as forthcoming and helpful and sharing as an blog author could hope for from his readers, and it’s very gratifying to see the wonderful community that has grown here. I consider it a real privilege to be able to get together with you here each week and I hope you’ll continue to check back during 2011—a year that truly hope will be your best yet!