Posts By Brad Moore

First off, I would like to say that it is an absolute honor to be asked on as a guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s  site.  A very important thing for me is expressing gratitude for opportunities that have come my way, and understanding how the good things in my life have come to pass.  Scott has been on the giving side for me on more than one occasion, both directly and from happenings through the ripple effect caused by the NAPP, and I just can’t say it enough.  Thank You.

For my few seconds up here on the soapbox, I would like to share with you a quick story and a few ideas that I THINK I know.  I say think with emphasis because I realize that life hasn’t given me all of the pieces yet. I’m here with the rest of you just trying to figure things out while everything around me, as well as myself, continue to change on a day to day basis.  One big thing I know for sure though is that I don’t know everything, and I never will.


Of all of the images that I have had the pleasure of dreaming up, or seeing happen before me, one of my favorite that comes to mind was more than ten years ago.  I wasn’t a professional photographer at the time, much less a professional anything. I was working a 9-5, collecting a paycheck, and living a pretty happy simple life.  That is an “uninspired” simple life. A few months prior I had picked up my first SLR from a pawnshop, a Minolta x-700, with a few lenses, pretty sweet deal. (That’s right all you purists, I was a film guy too back in the day. Let go.  It’s okay. I liked the little red light too, and if you miss the smell of fixer and stop bath that much you can always keep a tray of it next to your monitor. It’ll be ok.  8tracks were a great idea too at the time.  I digress…)   I carried that thing with me everywhere because you just never know right?  There I was, driving down Highway 270 in St. Louis, minding my own business when it hit me.  Nope. Not the car next to me, the image.


Hi gang, and welcome to the online version of my 5th Annual Holiday Gear Guide (the printed version appears in Photoshop User magazine, which is just hitting NAPP members’ mailboxes this week).

If you’ve been a faithful reader of this gear guide for the past four years, you’ve probably noticed a subtle change in the title. That’s right, this is the first year that it’s not my “Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide.” When I put the first one of these together five years ago, I honestly didn’t give the name much thought because it was originally supposed to be just a post here on my blog. But it got so popular, the following year we published both an online and printed version. Eventually, it became the cover story, and well—gonzo just sounds kinda lame at this point. In fact, I really have no idea what gonzo actually means, so while nobody was really looking, I just kind of deleted it, and so far, nobody at NAPP HQ has raised a big stink.


Last year I came up with a self-imposed set of rules for products that would make it into the guide:

(1) They have to be products that I use myself, and that I absolutely love, and now can’t live without. (2) If a product makes the guide, it has to be one I would recommend to a close friend without hesitation. And
(3) Although this is mostly camera gear (which isn’t a cheap hobby), I wanted to include a few items that were under $100, and some under $50 if I could find them (which is harder than it sounds).

To make things easy, we put up direct links to all the products so you don’t have to wonder if you’re getting the exact right one. The links either go directly to the manufacturer (if they only sell direct), or to B&H Photo and Adorama (none of which send me a kickback or commission if you buy something, and I wouldn’t take it if they did).

Remember, the only thing better than actually buying cool gear for someone you love is having someone you love buy you cool gear (kidding—kind of). So, without further ado (that’s right—everything up to this point was “ado”), here’s this year’s collection of really cool, handpicked gift ideas (by the way, it’s perfectly acceptable to buy gifts for yourself if it has lots of buttons or any kind of LCD screen.)



BLOWiT Fan We use this as a hair fan in the studio because it’s so small, lightweight, and best of all, you can attach it to most any light stand and aim it right where you want it. It was designed for drummers, but works great in the studio.

Price: $99.99


IKEA Asker Suspension Rail and Clips for hanging prints

Suspension Rail and Clips Ed Loziuk, one of the readers of my daily blog (, turned me on to this great, very inexpensive way to display your images. You basically hang your unframed prints on a tiny lightweight track using clips that are specially made for it so you can quickly change out prints any time. Looks great, works great, costs just a little.

23.5″ rail: $7.99
47.25″ rail: $9.99
Clips (3): $4.99


Nik Software Color Efex Pro 3 Complete Edition

Nik Color Efex Pro 3 If I had to use just one single plug-in from here on out, this would be the one. I use it for everything from landscapes (try the Brilliance/Warmth effect) to portraits (try Tonal Contrast) and everything in between. The Complete Edition is compatible with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
Complete Edition: $299.95



AluminArte: High Definition Photo Prints on Aluminum from Image Wizards

Prints on Aluminum from Image Wizards I got my first images printed on metal this past year, and everybody pretty much said the same thing: “It looks like the print world’s version of high-def TV.” I don’t know how they get that depth, that look, but it truly looks amazing. Give the photographer on your holiday list a print on metal from Image Wizards and she’ll be hooked!
Prices start around $182 for a 12×20″ print


Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight

Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight If you know a Nikon shooter that has always wanted to make the jump to off-camera flash, now’s the time thanks to this new lower-priced, feature-packed flash. You can buy two of these brand-new flashes for just a little more than one Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight, and it will open up a new world for the photographer who wants to start using off-camera flash.
Price: $329.95



Wacom accessories: Intuos4 Classic Pen (thinner than regular pen) or Case (a lightweight sleeve)

Wacom accessories If the Photoshop user on your holiday list has a Wacom tablet (and my guess is he does), Wacom has a bunch of nice accessories, such as a thinner wireless pen (compared to the Intuos4 Grip Pen) or lightweight travel sleeves for their small, medium, and large Intuos4 tablets.

Classic Pen: $69.95
Small Case: $24.95
Medium Case: $29.95
Large Case: $34.95


A Nikon or Canon tele-extender

Nikon or Canon tele-extender Long lenses are expensive, but by buying a 1.4 tele-extender, it makes current lenses 40% longer, without costing 40% more (they’re relatively inexpensive). Worth every penny.
Canon Extender EF 1.4X III: Approx. $500
Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II: $519.95




iPad Camera Connection Kit and iPad as backup device

iPad Camera Connection Kit If the photographer on your list has an Apple iPad, get him the iPad Camera Connection Kit, which lets him use his iPad as an in-field backup and photo viewing device. It’s very small, lightweight, and does a good job. The kit includes two connectors: one for USB to connect the camera directly to the iPad and one for an SD card. If he doesn’t have an iPad, and you really, really, like this person (or you want him to really, really like you), spring for an iPad. Now he’ll have his portfolio with him everywhere he goes (and a whole lot more).

Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit: $29
iPad: $499–829

Connection Kit – B&H
iPad – B&H


Canvas photographic prints from Artistic Photo Canvas

Artistic Photo Canvas Want to really impress a friend this holiday season? Send her a canvas print. Want to blow her away? Send her one of your panoramic images on canvas. Haven’t shot a pano? Just crop one of your regular landscape images like a pano. What I love about APC is that they’ll do all the work to prepare your image for printing on canvas, and the results are just amazing. Try them once, and you’ll be hooked. (Image: Seattle Summer Night by Jacob Lucas)

Gallery wrapped canvas panos start at $89


Captured: Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer by Moose Peterson

Wildlife Photographer by Moose Peterson I want you to know up front that my company actually produced Moose’s book, but there’s a reason why I asked Moose to write this book—it was because I knew there wasn’t a single book on wildlife photography that was the “go-to” book to learn the craft, and I knew in my heart Moose was the guy to write it. What I didn’t realize was that he would take my expectations and literally blow them away. He wrote a truly groundbreaking book that will help the wildlife photographer on your gift list make better images, and that’s really what it’s all about. Fascinating insights. Amazing images. Intriguing stories. And packed with important tips and techniques that will change the way you capture wildlife. (Way to go, Moose!)
Price: $54.99


Think Tank Photo Airport Check In laptop bag (the best I’ve ever used)

laptop bag I have gone through more laptop bags than I can count in my search for the perfect bag, and earlier this year, I finally found it—it’s Think Tank Photo’s Airport Check In. It’s really thoughtfully designed and holds lots of big and small gear (including up to a 17″ laptop). It’s not cheap, but who wants a cheap Christmas present? Worth every penny.

Price: $149
Adorama (NAPP members get 10% off Think Tank products + free shipping from Adorama)


Westcott 12×36″ Stripbank softbox

Stripbank softbox Stripbanks are tall, thin softboxes that work great for everything from portraits (perfect for a hair light) to lighting products, and they’re gaining popularity. I use the 12×36″ Stripbank from Westcott (you can buy adapters to attach most brands of strobes), and I have stripbanks from Elinchrom as well. You’ll love ’em.

Westcott 12×36″: $165.40


Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash Card

Lexar Professional 600x CompactFlash Card I haven’t met a photographer who wouldn’t love another memory card. If someone on your list loves to shoot sports, then a high-speed card will make his life a lot easier, and this is about as high speed as you get. These cards are super reliable, and are available in three capacities: 8, 16, and 32 GB.

8 GB: $199.99
16 GB: $299.99
32 GB: $499.99



The Camera Lens Mug

The Camera Lens Mug These are just so clever—they’re lens mugs that are pretty much exact replicas of a real 24–105mm zoom lens. They’re pretty inexpensive, and they’ll definitely put a smile on her face (once she gets over her disappointment that you didn’t buy her a real lens. Just kidding—she’ll know it’s not real by the weight before she ever opens it).

Price: $24


Rogue FlashBender

Rogue FlashBender If you have an off-camera flash freak on your list, get him a Rogue FlashBender or two. It’s a shapeable light modifier that easily attaches to the flash head to let him control the light as it leaves the flash. Of all the ones I’ve seen out there, I think these are the best designed and easiest to use.

Small Reflector: $34.95
Large Reflector: $39.95
Bounce Card/Flag: $29.95
Three-Piece Kit: $104.85





OP/TECH RAINSLEEVE This may be the cheapest gift in this year’s guide, so maybe consider it a stocking stuffer. If it starts raining during a shoot, the photographer on your list can simply grab one of these small, lightweight covers and protect her gear while letting her keep on shooting. You’ll be a hero. The original version fits a camera, and the flash version accommodates a camera and external flash.

Original Two Pack: $6.95
Flash Two Pack: $8.95



The Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS Rebel T2i

The Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS Rebel T2i These two are arguably the best values out there for someone wanting to jump from a point-and-shoot to a real DSLR. They both take great photos, have full built-in HD video features, and they have enough bells and whistles to keep the photographer on your wish list happy for quite a while (well, at least until next holiday season).
Canon EOS Rebel T2i (body only): $799.99

Nikon D7000 (body only): $1,199.95


Magnetic Polaroid Frames

Magnetic Polaroid Frames This is a cleverly designed set of picture frames that look like old Polaroid images, and they even have the little bend in them that makes them look like they’ve been tacked up to the wall for a while. I have a set of these right outside my office door, and I always get comments on them. Very cute, easy to use, and very affordable.

Six frames: $15


A Nikon or Canon backup battery

The Nikon D7000 or Canon EOS Rebel T2i This is one of those things photographers hate to buy, but love to have, and if you’re like me, and think sometimes the best gifts are the ones you know you should have, but never buy—then this will definitely make him smile. By the way, if he already has a backup battery, a third never hurts.

Check B&H Photo to find batteries and pricing: Approx. $48–115



Wacom Intuos4 Small for travel

Wacom Intuos4 Small If you really want to get him a tablet, but can’t spring for one of the medium-size Intuos4 tablets (which are amazing), get him the Intuos4 Small. The price is right, and he’ll love the small size—I carry one in my laptop bag everywhere I go, and I totally love it! By the way: she’ll love one, too!

Price: $229




That’s it for this year’s Holiday Gear Guide. Have a Happy Holiday Season and I hope Santa brings you everything you want! (and I hope it’s not just the Op-Tech Rainsleeve) :-)

Hey everyone, Brad here with the latest news:

The latest issue of Costco Connection, the magazine for Costco members, features an article called “May All Your Pixels Be Bright” with easy tips for getting better holiday photos written by Scott. You can jump straight to the article to see how to make the most of those holiday family photo ops.  And if you’re a Costco member, keep an eye out for Scott’s Digital Photography Book Books, Volumes 1, 2 & 3 next time you’re in the store.

Dave Cross is bringing his Maximum Photoshop Seminar to the South San Francisco Conference Center this Monday, November 15.  You wouldn’t believe the amount of amazing feedback we’ve been getting about this seminar, so sign up now to see the Canadian Boss in action!

Photoshop World instructor Chris Orwig will be featured on Peachpit’s Photo Club webcast Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.  Chris is an amazing instructor who has a knack for inspiring your creative side, so I can’t wait to hear what he has to say. You can register for the webcast here, and watch previous ones you may have missed. has launched their new and improved website. You can now rent gear for any number of days you want (minimum of 4) instead of weekly, the site is easier to navigate, and, most importantly, they’re continuing to add more products to their inventory! They’re also having their annual gear sale starting Monday, so head on over and take a look.

Scott Kelby's Lightroom 3 Book for Photographers

Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers is now available in a very limited spiral-bound edition! All the details, including a coupon code for NAPP members to receive the book for free when they renew their membership for two years, are over on the store.

Speaking of Scott’s Lightroom 3 Book… After reviewing three different books on the program, new Lightroom user Daniel Bailey chose Scott’s book to help him quickly get up to speed with the software and blogged about it. Thanks Daniel!

This is the latest episode of DTown TV, the free weekly show for dSLR users that helps them get the most from their cameras. In this episode, Scott and Matt share tips for people who’ve just gotten their first dSLR camera…

– Which lenses you’ll want to purchase and why
– Which lens filters will help improve photos (and keep your glass safer) in certain situations
– Larry Becker is back with a Cheap Shots tip on a cheap remote flash
– Matt shows the Lens Pen Pro Kit, which will help you keep your lenses clean
– You’ll also want a memory card holder to keep your cards safe and in order
– An UpStrap will help keep your camera from slipping off your shoulder
– You’ll need a camera bag to keep all this stuff in
– Lastly, you’ll want a decent tripod and ballhead
– Check out the work of fashion photographer Liz Von Hoene!

If you’re not a regular viewer, you can catch every single one of our episodes at and subscribe to automatically download each episode in iTunes.

And if you’re interested in getting better sports photos, you definitely won’t want to miss the next two (or three, or four… we’re not really sure yet) episodes where Scott and Matt cover all sorts of gear and share tips for shooting sports.

If you are a fan of the show, you’re familiar with Larry Becker’s Cheap Shots. Keep an eye on for even more tips on getting the most bang for your buck!

Photo by Frank Rubio

Ready For A Jersey

One of my favorite quotes on this blog is from guest blogger Larry Becker – “Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe in luck and good fortune.  But I don’t believe the ‘Law of Attraction’ works in isolation from preparation and work (usually hard work). You have to get off your butt and do something.  You have to be prepared for ‘luck.’”

November 4th was my 22nd birthday, and I believe that I’m an extremely lucky/blessed person. Hence, I’m a guest blogger today on one of the best blogs, if not the best blog on the internet for photographers.  No pressure at all.  There are many topics to blog about here today.  I can blog about workflow in my pre-production, production or post-production; in fact, when I was invited I was told I’m able to talk about whatever I wanted to today.

First things first, I want to make clear that I’m not a “big shot” photographer, and I’m not claiming to be; I’m in the hustle just like many of you. When I say big shot photographer, I’m referring to the well-established ones in this industry.  The ones with photographs and advertising campaigns that are impacting the market and inspiring the industry.  I don’t have a ton of followers, I don’t have a huge fan base of my work, and my photographs are not in advertising campaigns influencing your thoughts.  But, what I do have as fuel for this mission is a hustler’s spirit, a business-mind, and skill with my camera. My goal here today is to share my story with you.  To inspire you to get your hustle on and work towards your dreams (really doing so).

Even though I’ve appeared on this blog a few times before, many of you don’t know me. So before I share with you how I got into photography and close with the current point of my journey, please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Dwayne D.C. Tucker II and I’m a commercial photographer for lifestyles and sports. I’m from Nassau, Bahamas; now I live in Miami, Florida and I’m in love with photography.  I want to put it out there that nothing would be possible if not for the love and continuous support of my lovely mother and my Godfather.  Mentally and financially they’ve placed me in a better position than most people.

About eight years ago I saved up enough money and bought my first point and shoot camera.  I fell in love with the idea of being able to take a photograph digitally.  A friend got me a copy of Photoshop 7.0 and I used it because it made my images cool.  I photographed my friends at school during lunch breaks at my high school, St Andrews School – The International School of the Bahamas. My senior year I become the president of the yearbook club.  I joined the club because the school banned bringing digital cameras to school; I knew if I joined the club I would be able to photograph.  I took photographs at the school events.

I guess that’s the pre-stage making of my lifestyle and sports title.  After high school I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design for advertising design.  I took a photography class my second year of SCAD with professor Timothy Keating, right before I transferred closer to home, at Miami International University of Art and Design where I continued my advertising degree.  I don’t think he realized how much of an impact his teaching had on me at the time.  His style was different than my other professors. Keep it on the ‘low-low’ but I ‘digged’ his class because he used to let us out really early.  Mainly because it’s hard to truly learn about compositions, f-stops, shutter speeds, ISO etc. If you’re not out and about shooting to train your eye/applying the knowledge.  Even though he used to let us out early, if we wanted to stay and talk to him about our work he would stay and discuss our work with us one on one longer than the session was suppose to be.

From there on I began to make photographs instead of taking pictures. (more…)