Monthly Archives June 2012

Lindsay Adler’s Fashion Flair Photography
Lindsay Adler has been getting rave reviews on her Fashion Flair Photography class…

“One of the best courses on Kelby Training!”

“Fantastic teacher!”

“It’s amazing how effective she was with simple lighting.”

“She makes you want to run to your camera and put into practice what she showed in her course.”

If you haven’t seen this class yet, head over to Kelby Training and see what everyone is loving about Lindsay!

Kelby Media on YouTube
Did you know that we have a YouTube channel? It’s packed with full episodes of our free podcasts, promos for Kelby Training classes, lessons on Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom 4, and sessions from the Google+ Photographer’s Conference are still being added! Find it all at

Lightroom 4 Live
Coming soon to a city near you, Matt Kloskowski and the Lightroom 4 Live Tour! Check out the latest updates and features in Lightroom 4 that will make your images look great, save you time behind the computer, and get you back behind the camera creating more images. You can get all the info and dates at

And… Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to the city of your choice!

The All New
Our friend and Kelby Training instructor Jeremy Cowart just launched his brand new website! It’s a new design, new work, new blog, and lots more info about Jeremy and all of his projects.

Head over to to check it out, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Jeremy’s Lifefinder DVD!

Last Week’s Winners
One-Year NAPP Membership
– David Wilkinson

Lightroom 4 Book
– Jim Diedrich

What’s New In CS6 DVD
– Daisy

Lightroom 4 Live Seminar
– Photomagic247

One Light, Two Light Seminar
– Michael Scott

That’s it for this week. Have a great Thursday!

First off, I want to thank my good friends Scott and Brad for having me back as a guest blogger. It's always fun, and an honor, to here. What's more, I enjoy and learn from the feedback in the Comments section - even when someone disagrees with me.

I’m often asked, “What’s your specialty?” I reply: “”My specialty is not specializing.”

You see, I try to do it all. And, I encourage young photographers not to specialize – because being good at many aspects of photography is often better than being good at just one. Plus, what you learn in one area of photography can often be applied to another.

That said, when it comes down to it, I like travel photography the most. Diving a little deeper into that specialty, I get the most joy from photographing people, especially strangers in strange lands.

I also thrive on the challenge of getting people to accept me and trust me enough to let me into their lives for a few seconds or minutes to make a picture. That's the key when it comes to people photography.

In this guest post I'd like to share some of my favorite people pictures (click the picture for a larger view) from a workshop that I lead to Papua New Guinea. Talk about strange places and strangers in strange lands!

I'll also share my top 10 tips for making people pictures - tips that you can apply to all your people pictures . . . even when you are photographing "strange" friends and family members. ☺

1) Make a portrait and an environmental portrait (a subject in his or her environment)
Above is an example of an environmental portrait. The last picture is this post is a head-and-shoulder portrait.

2) When you think you are close, get closer
The closer you are to the subject, the more intimate the picture becomes. My favorite portrait lens is the Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Here I used that lens set at 45mm.

3) Master fill-flash
My goal when I take a flash picture is not to have it look like a boring flash shot. The key to achieving that goal is to balance the light from the flash to the available light. Here's an article I wrote for Layers magazine on that topic.

4) Compose carefully
Composition is the strongest way of seeing, which is the topic of my newest, and most popular, class on Kelby Training.

A simply and effective composition technique is to place the subject off center. That's a technical composition tip. What's more important is to compose emotionally - and to capture the mood of the scene.

5) Light the eyes
Ya gotta light the eyes. You can do that with a speedlite (as in this case), a reflector (as in photo/tip #8) or by having the subject look up toward the sky (as in photo/tip #4).

6) See eye-to-eye, or not
When you see eye-to-eye and shoot eye-to-eye with your subject, the viewer of your photograph relates most to the subject. Shooting below eye levels gives the subject a sense of power. Shooting down can look boring.

7) Consider depth of field
In travel portraiture, depth of field is important. I shoot all my travel portraits on the Av mode. Here I used a small aperture for good depth of field.

8) Focus carefully
Just because you have an autofocus camera, that does not mean the camera knows where to focus. Usually, it's best to focus on the eye, especially when you are shooting with a telephoto lens and when there are foreground elements in the scene.

9) Enhance your pictures in Lightroom and Photoshop
Use the Vignette feature to draw more attention to the subject by darkening the edges. Also: selectively sharpen the subject; selectively blur the background. Always think selectively.

10) Crop creatively
Cropping (post-capture composing) is often needed to make a good photograph. Sometimes, you simply can't get it right in-camera. That's why the first thing I do when I open an image is to crop it.

Well, that's it for now. I hope to see you all back here or at Photoshop World someday. Until then, if you'd like more people photography tips, check out my flagship app, Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet.


You can see more of Rick’s work and get daily tips, tricks, and techniques at, keep up with him on Google+, and stay tuned for his reality show, Exposure.

When I take a vacation (or working trip in this case), I always try to make a photo book from the trip, and here’s a look at the one I made from my “Week in Paris with Jay Maisel” online class taping trip. Because I was either interviewing Jay or taping my own class on travel photography, I didn’t get to shoot all that much, but at least I got enough to make a small book. Here are a few of my favorite pages from the book.

I have so much more I want to share about the trip, but I’m on a tight timeline right now, so I hope to have some behind-the-scenes stories and photos on Friday (well, that’s the plan anyway). Hope you enjoyed the layouts here, and I wish you a fantastically French Tuesday. :)


Matt Kloskowski’s new totally-updated live training tour for Lightroom 4 is getting absolutely rave reviews (and playing to huge crowds) around the country, and so I thought I’d give away a couple of tickets for some folks who really need to be there but maybe can’t afford to go right now. Just enter your name and which city you want to attend (the list is below) and I’ll pick some winners by tomorrow.

June 11th

June 12th

June 14th

June 18th

June 27th

June 28th

Here’s the link with details on the day. Remember, just leave a comment here and you’re entered for the ticket drawing.

Good luck everybody, and I hope you an opportunity to catch this really fun, super-helpful day of training. You will love it (Matt is a really gifted trainer, and you’ll be laughing and learning all day).

P.S. Don’t forget to scroll down one more post today for some of my Photoshop CS6 Little Secret Features nobody is talking about video.

Here’s a short video I did to celebrate the launch of the latest edition of my book, ‘The Photoshop CS6 for Digital Photographers” (the book is already written, edited and is getting its final prep before it heads to the printing press).

This video is all about those cool little features, tweaks, and enhancements in Photoshop CS6 that don’t get all the big headlines (like Content Aware Move, and Adaptive Wide Angle), so a lot of folks don’t know about them, but they are pretty darn sweet! Plus, I threw in a tip or two along the way.

By the way, just in case (ya know) you can pre-order my book at, Barnes &, or wherever cool books that have some really cool stuff in them (including a really helpful majorly updated chapter on Photoshop’s built-in HDR, and a brand new chapter on editing video from your DSLR right within Photoshop CS6 itself, which I think for a lot of folks is exactly what we’ve been waiting for), are sold. :-)

Just in case I didn’t, and just in case you haven’t downloaded the free premiere issue, I thought I’d at least let ya know about “Light It’ magazine, and show you some of the covers from our first seven issues.

The magazine is about hot-shoe flash and studio lighting, and I write a column in the magazine called “Photo recipes” where I show the final image, and then the behind-the-scenes shots of exactly how it was all done.

Here’s the short video (below) that launched the magazine and it tells you all about it (why we launched it, how we designed the magazine, and stuff like that). It’s short but totally worth checking out.

You can download the Premiere issue free on your iPad (the Android version is coming soon!), and the other issues are just $2.99 each (cheap!), plus you’ll be learning lighting techniques from some amazing teachers (we’ve featured everybody from Joe McNally to Jeremy Cowart to Joey Wright to James Schmelzer, Erik Valind, Frank Doorhof, Tom Bol, Jason Groupe, Kevin Ames, and lot of cool training (like Lighting for Weddings) from a literal whose who of flash and studio lighting. Plus we’ve got a DIY lighting columns, lot of lighting gear news, lighting Q&As, some amazing work in our gallery, and lots of fun stuff I promise you’ll love.

It’s less than coffee!
Well, it’s less than a latte where we get coffee near our office anyway, and you’ll learn enough to be able to charge coffee-chain prices for your work (OK, that whole thing is a bit of a stretch, but seriously $2.99 is cheaper than a McDonald’s Extra value meal but that doesn’t sound as cheap as the whole coffee analogy).

OK Scott, I want it. Bad! Where do I get it?
Just go to the App Store on iOS and search for “Light it Magazine” or just click this link and it will take you there.

What’s on tap for Monday here on the Blog?
I’ll be showing some pages from my Paris Photo Book. In other news: all day Monday I’ll be in our studios rolling out my new “Photoshop CS6 for Photographers” live tour to a group of invited Kelby Training subscribers for free. Can’t wait to show some of the cool new stuff in CS6 and how I’m using it today. Have a great weekend everybody!