Monthly Archives January 2012

Good morning everybody and a big hello from the Lonestar State. Here’s a quick look at what’s going on:

> Loving Austin!
Yesterday I had a great seminar here in Austin (almost 500 photographers joined me for the day), and met lots of great folks (also accidentally made off with the Wacom’s guy’s pen. Left mine somewhere (probably in a hotel room in India), and he loaned me his to use for the class, but by the time I was done answering questions at the end of the day, he was long gone. Stuart, I have your pen and would love to send it back to you!).

> I Almost Got to Shoot The SuperBowl. Almost. :(
It’s been a dream of mine (and any football photographer) to shoot the SuperBowl, and a friend of mine worked really hard to make my dream come true, and I actually had a photo credential lined up, but yesterday I found out that it wasn’t coming through afterall. I knew it was a long shot, so I made myself not get pumped up about it, but it sure would have been surreal. I’m not complaining—-last year I got to shoot the NFC Champtionship game, so at least I got one game away. Thanks to my buddy for going out of his way to try and make a dream come true. That’s a great friend! :)

> The Late Blog Post
The reason I didn’t get to blog last night was: I was on the panel for a live broadcast of a Google+ hangout, hosted by Trey Ratcliff and broadcast on the Twit network (and YouTube as well). Great panelists, including Jeremy Cowart, RC, Nicole Young, Catherine Hall, Gordan Liang, and Brian Matiash (among others). The topic was: Shoots gone wrong, and everybody shared their horror stories. A great time, and lots of scary stories (Jeremy had a doozy!).

> Light it Issue #5
We are getting lots of wonderful feedback on the current issue, and the magazine is really finding its legs. If you haven’t downloaded the new issue, it’s on the App store.

> Come see me in Dallas and Phoenix
My next stops on my seminar tour are Dallas on Feb 21st, and Phoenix on the 22nd. Hope you can join me (here’s the link). Also, this weekend I’ll be teaching at the ProPhoto Expo in Cincinnati—if you’re going, make sure you stop and say hi! :)

That’s it for today. Sorry for the late post, but after that hangout last night, I was tired I literally fell into bed. Got a decent night’s sleep though. ;-)

Have a great Tuesday everybody! :)

If you’re thinking the ol’ blog here is ready for a fresh coat of paint, I’m with ya on that one, and I’m happy to announce that sometime this week we’re going to flip-the-switch on a new redesigned look and functionality for this blog.

It starts with a logo design (see above) created by my good friend, and Kelby Media Group Creative Director Felix Nelson, who combined my photography with book authoring into one simple logo that covers both.

After that, my in-house Web designer Fred Maya customized a new WordPress template for me, which gives me the ability to post larger sized photos with my posts (which means less having to click to see a larger version), plus a nice large sized-gallery at the top of the blog and a update of my portfolio, too (thanks to RC Concepcion for that piece of the puzzle).

There’s lots of functionality tweaks for me, since we pretty much started over from scratch with this one, but one that I hope you all will like is a new, much-updated and improved Commenting feature (the one I’ve been using is pretty darn old and outdated). The new look isn’t radically different from the existing one, but it definitely has some advantages for me, and hopefully for you, too!

Anyway, look for the new look this week, and my thanks to Felix for the logo, and to Fred who has been working on this update for a while and has tweaked it more times than any of us can count (since I’ve had a hard time making up my mind).

A heartfelt thank you to the American Society of Photographers ( for presenting me with their ASP International Award (below). Here’s a little bit about the award from the ASP:

“Our Society presents this award annually to a firm or person that we feel has contributed in a special or significant way to the ideals of Professional Photography as an art and a science.”

It’s a tremendous honor to receive this award, particularly given the previous recipients, including George Hurrell, Dr. Edwin Land (inventor of the Polaroid), Thomas Knoll, Jay Stock, Graham Nash, and Robert Farber among others.

I would like to thank all the talented and gifted photographers who?ve taught me so much over the years: Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Vincent Versace, Bill Fortney, David Ziser, Jim DiVitale, Helene Glassman, Anne Cahill, Kevin Ames, Frank Doorhof, Jack Reznicki and Jay Maisel. I’m greatly indebted to these amazing photographers and I share this award with them.

I found a wonderful place in my office to keep this beautiful award, and each time I look at it I’ll be reminded of the recipients who came before me and how truly humbled and grateful I am to the American Society of Photographers to have presented me with this prestigious award.

I’ve been working with Lightroom 4 Public Beta quite a bit (OK, a bunch), and I can tell you exactly why I think this there is going to be a tidal wave of people upgrading to Lightroom 4 when it comes out, and it’s the most basic reason of all: Your photos look better processed in Lightroom 4. Period.

At the end of the day, that’s what we all want. We just want our photos to look better, and if somebody comes up with something that can make our photos look significantly better, we’re going to be all over it. Lightroom 4 does exactly that.

The improvements in Lightroom’s Development module are so significant, and so much better than what we’ve ever had before, that I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find most anyone still using Lightroom 3 in just a few months from now. In fact, if they didn’t add another feature, it would still be worth the upgrade just to get better looking images. If you haven’t downloaded the beta, here’s the link—see for yourself. :)

I just learned about this week long workshop, taught by night photography expert, Gabe Biderman and Rocky Mountain School of Photography instructor and landscape photographer Tim Cooper, and once I read about what they’re doing, I was dying to go!!!!

You spend your days in the classroom with Gabe and Tim learning about the camera techniques and post processing for night photography (along with image reviews), and then at night you’re on location in some amazing locales in an intense 6-day total immersion into night photography. What I really loved about this (beside the instructors) is the variety of nighttime shooting opportunities—from shooting Vegas at night to the surreal nightscapes of the Valley of Fire and Zion National Park.

What they’re teaching
They’re going to be teaching everything from mastering star trails to pro techniques for capturing celestial skies, and they’re going to work ya hard but you’re going to learn more in that 6-days than you can imagine. Plus, they just announced that one of their nights in Vegas will be spent in the famous NEON BONEYARD!!! (this collection of over 150 neon signs from the 30?s-90?s will be available to workshop students at night for a 3 hour shoot!! They will be teaching workshop participants how to light paint and breath life back into those nostalgic old signs that have never been accessible to shoot at night before!)

While I haven’t gotten to meet Tim in person yet, Gabe is a personal friend of mine and an incredibly talented fine art photographer (I’ve called Gabe many times over the years for advice and gear recommendations, plus he’s led my New York City World Wide Photo Walks), and I wish I could be there with them—-it just sounds like an amazing experience, (and it’s going to be for some very lucky folks).

Here’s the link with all the details, but check it out soon because it’s coming up March 4th – 9th, so if you can, make plans to join them. If you go, make sure you share some of the photos you got during the workshop with me when you get back, because my favorite shot from the workshop is going to win a full conference pass to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in DC (or Vegas—their choice!).

Issue 5 of Light It Magazine is now available! Brad Moore here to tell you a little about it :)

This issue features tips from Jim Schmelzer on the importance of subtractive lighting:

Photo Recipes from Scott Kelby:

My personal favorite, the Gear Watch section ;) :

Plus Tom Bol on sports portraiture, Erik Valind on high-speed sync with small flash, Kevin Ames on reflectance, Jason Groupp on what to do with stage lighting during wedding receptions, an interview with Frank Doorhof, sixty seconds with stock photographer Nicole S. Young, and work from featured photographers Sean Arbabi and Jennifer Wu.

If you don’t already have the free Light It Magazine app, download it from the iTunes store and grab the first issue for free. Each issue after that is only $2.99, a hard deal to beat for valuable info from the people listed above!

And, if you’re an Android user who’s been asking for Light It on your platform, it’s time to rejoice! We’ve started development on this and will be keeping you posted as things progress.

(Also, Scott did a little write-up on the issue over on Google+ if you’d like get his take)