Posts By Brad Moore

Outdoor Lifestyle Photography with Erik Valind
I know I mentioned this class last week, but I just saw the trailer for it and thought it would do a better job of showing you what’s in the class than I could! Check it out over at Kelby Training.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
This month, Scott Kelby is heading to NashvillePhiladelphia, and New York City to kick off his brand new Photoshop CS6 for Photographers seminar tour! You can get more info, more tour dates, and register over at

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of the three seminars listed above!

Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers
We just got our first copies of Scott’s brand new Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers in this week! To celebrate, we’re giving away three free copies. Leave a comment for your chance to win!

Intel’s “A Momentary Lapse” Contest – $50,000 in Prizes!
Want to win a Canon 5D MkIII, 35mm f/1.4, Dell Intel Core i5 Ultrabook, CyberLink PowerDirector software, and be featured in an Intel online ad? Check out Intel’s A Momentary Lapse Contest, the contest where you can enter your best time-lapse or slow-motion video for your chance to win these prizes! And even if you’re not into video, you can submit a photo to their weekly photo contest .

All the details and contest entry info is over at

Peachpit Book Club with Roberto Valenzuela
Tuesday night from 8-9pm ET, Roberto Valenzuela will be discussing topics from his book Picture Perfect Practice during the Peachpit Book Club! It’s a free webcast, but space is limited, so make sure you register soon!

Last Week’s Winners
Lightroom 4 Crash Course App
– Robsigur
– Holger
– David Levin

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
– Todd Thompson

You’ve read here about the joy of using multiple flash units to produce stellar photography from the likes of Scott, Joe McNally, David Hobby and other master photographers.

I’d like to discuss here another multiple for video–as in multicam video.

Online videos have come a long way since their humble beginnings of shaky camera movement, poor sound, and minimal editing. With online videos now regularly showing up on TV sets, via Roku, Apple TV and other set-top box hookups, they’re now expected to look as polished as their offline counter-parts. Thanks to the advancements in digital technology and dramatic cost reductions, they now can.

In my new book, Video Nation, a DIY guide to planning, shooting and sharing great videojust out from Peachpit Press, I show how to dramatically improve the static old one-camera shoot. The solution: easily pair up multiple DSLRs–or even iPhones and iPads–and sync them together with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X software for TV quality like results with minimal investment and time.

I write about what I know. For the past 5 years, I have produced over 300 videos at USA TODAY for my Talking Tech and Talking Your Tech video series. All the productions are done on a low  budget (this is journalism, after all) with just two of us–the host and producer, and usually Sean, who assists me with camera, lighting and sound. It’s a rare day when we don’t use at least 3 cameras for the shoot.

The standard set-up: medium, wide and close-up. It’s one camera on the guest, another on me and the third for the wide shot of both of us.

Let’s go back in time a minute to the old one-camera shoot.

Put the video camera on a tripod, place the camera operator behind it, and open with a two-shot of me and my guest. Cut. Start again, and now the camera zooms in on the guest as we continue and it stays there until the end. Cut. To close, we zoom out for a two-shot. Next we do the “reverse” shot–me nodding, and I repeat my questions to cut in later in editing.

The problem with this type of shoot: it’s visually bland, the cut-in from the interviewer usually looks fake (it is) because of the repeated questions, and the whole spontaneity of the conversation is lost.

Three cameras takes care of all this. The conversation is captured the way it really happened.

Thanks to the mammoth size of the image sensor chip in the DSLR–about 20 times larger than that found in a consumer video camera–the DSLR is usually the camera(s) of choice. The depth of field is amazing, you can shoot in low light easily, choose a variety of lenses to use and have small cameras that are easy to tote around.


What we bring to every shoot: Canon 5D Mark III and II and 60D cameras, Canon 70-200mm 2.8, 24-70mm 2.8, 16-35mm 2.8, 85mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8 lenses, GoPro Hero 2 camera, the Zoom H4N audio recorder, Sony lavalier microphones, Lowell Pro and the Lowell Rifa exchange video lights and Manfrotto tripods.

The 5D shots look stellar–but the cameras are not cheap–ranging from $2,000 to $3,500.

But we also use the Canon 60D in all of the shoots as well–and that camera can be picked up now for around $800. It has the exact same imaging chip as the even less expensive Canon Rebel T3i, which is around $600, and both match really nicely with the 5D footage.

I’ve also mixed Canon DSLRs with other cameras–most notably the Samsung NX 200, Sony A77, iPhone, iPad and the GoPro Hero cameras. Sure, the footage looks different–but it also spices things up.

Let’s face it: Any good sport telecast will show an extreme array of multiple angles–you know the shot in the race car isn’t the same camera as the one used outside on the track watching it zoom by, and yet the show still goes on. The viewer is understanding.

The clips above, with actor Misha Collins (Supernatural) and talk-show host Carson Daly, were shot on the 3 Canon DSLRs–two 5Ds and a 60D. Below, with magician Penn Jillette, was mix and match–a 60D, the NX200 and a GoPro.

What if you’re on a serious budget? You can’t afford the 2 5Ds and a 60D–or even a Rebel, Nikon SLR like the D3200 or the Sony A55. You want to just use the camera that’s closest to you–like an iPhone or iPad.

It won’t look as good–but then, with proper lighting, a tripod and good microphones, it will probably turn out better than you imagined.

I did just this in a recent Video Nation promo video

with my Peachpit publisher, Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel. I used the Apple devices to show how they can be easily used for quality video if you put your mind to it. My shot is on the iPad, while Nancy is on the iPhone4. For the wide, I added the GoPro Hero2.


The video from DSLRs (and even the iPad or iPhone) looks pretty cool, but sound is always wanting. The internal microphones are as good as worthless. There are several solutions: the easiest is to pick up a cable that connects to your XLR or 1/4 inch microphone jack to plug into the DSLR or Apple device. We like the handy dandy $299 Zoom H4N audio recorder. It has two XLR inputs for microphones, a headphone input to monitor sound, and two internal microphones that are surprisingly excellent. On a recent interview, we put lav microphones on two guests, and stuck the Zoom right in front of me, for my mic, via the internal option. Sean and I were blown away–I sounded just as good as they did.

Pros and cons of working multi cam

Producing videos with one camera takes a lot less time. There’s no question about it.

But think of how many movies or TV shows you’ve watched that were shot on one camera, with one, static image. (Right–it’s not done.)

With my arsenal of gear, you can’t meet someone for a 1 p.m. interview, and expect to be set up in 5 minutes. You need to position the tripods and camera angles properly, so you’re facing each other, get the lighting right, do a sound check, etc. and this takes at least an hour to get it right.

(After the shoot, I take portraits of the subjects to go with the video. Here’s a collection of some of my favorites, all shot on the 5D Mark II or III.)

Former Sonic Solutions CEO Dave Habiger–demonstrating CD burning

YouTube sensation iJustine

Hot in Cleveland’s Valerie Bertinelli–the “muse” of coupon app Veebow

Men in Black director BARRY SONNENFELD

WWE wrestler Zack Ryder

The Annoying Orange creator Dane Boedigheimer


So now, the big question–how do you put it all together on the computer?

In 2011 Apple controversially remade its Final Cut Pro into a more consumer friendly editing program. For my purposes, it also produced an update in early 2012 that turned it into the DSLR shooter and editor’s best friend. Multicam clip editing.

You simply import your multiple takes, click “New Multicam clip” in the File edit menu and let FCP put them together–usually in less than 60 seconds. It uses audio cues, like Singular Software’s Plural Eyes plug-in, the go-to tool with the previous edition of FCP–the new setup with FCPX works quicker and more efficiently.

So now, during editing, you can choose the angles much like a TV director–camera 1, camera 2, camera 3, etc. and put together a more polished production


Now that we know how cool three cameras look for a shoot, Sean and I are starting to get greedy and hunger for even more. We recently dropped in to interview Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, the executive producers of the animated Futurama, and had five cameras facing the duo. To them, it must have looked like a press conference (with only one reporter!), but for us, the end result was way worth it.

Because it was a joint interview, we had one 5D on the two of them, for the two shot, a close-up each on Groening, Cohen and myself, and the fifth for the wide.

I’d like to believe that a year or two from now, we won’t be showing up for these meetings with nine or ten cameras, but who knows? One main shot on the 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm 2.8 lens, and an army of tiny GoPros picking up the rest?

The possibilities are intoxicating.

Lastly, a round of applause to Scott and Brad for the opportunity to talk about my first love–video–here today. The launch party for Video Nation is July 26th at {pages} a book store in Manhattan Beach, California, so if you’re on the west coast, please drop in and say hi. Otherwise, feel free to drop a comment or question here, or reach me at or @jeffersongraham on Twitter.

d1-41Hey gang, Brad Moore here with a quick walk-through of this photo from a recent assignment…

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to cover the opening of D1 Sports Training’s new facility in Orlando. While I was there, I was able to grab a portrait of one of their trainers, Taylor Scott.

This was the one of the last things I did at the event. Throughout the day, while covering everything else, I was trying to formulate a creative portrait in my mind. I finally decided to just use edge lighting, remembering something a wise man once said… “If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.”

I knew going in that I wanted to have a clean black backdrop for this image, but I didn’t have any seamless paper to create said clean black backdrop. What do you do in this situation? Three things…

1) Camera Settings
First, knock out the ambient light in the room.

I know my shutter speed is going to be about 1/160 of a second because I’m using artificial lights, and that’s a good sync speed.

ISO needs to be as low as possible, ISO 200 in this case, so less light registers in the image.

With those two settings in place, the only variable left is f/stop. At f/10, there’s no ambient light registering in the image, and the strobe lights don’t have to be cranked up too much to register in the image. Exactly where I want to be.

2) Lights
Here’s the lighting setup:

That’s an available light shot of Pete Collins standing in while all the settings are getting dialed in and tweaking the lights.

I used the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra set to 4.0 (about 100Ws), a Rotalux 39″ softbox (sans front diffuser) and a Westcott 12×36″ strip bank. They were positioned in front of Pete/Taylor so that they were basically rim lights.

Here’s how it looks with all the correct camera and light settings dialed in:

And then framed up properly:

You can still see some minor clutter in the background, but that’s easy to clean up in post, which brings us to the third step…

3) Separation from the Wall
That little bit of clutter is showing up in the background because it’s getting a hint of the strobe light. If this had been set up near a wall or closer to any other objects, they would be lit up and even more distracting. That’s why separation between your lights and background are important in creating a clean background.

Here’s the final image again:

Since this shot was for D1, I wanted to make sure there was some branding showing as well. I asked Taylor to step forward, a little closer to the lights, allowing some of the light to wrap around his back to show the branding on his shirt.

In Lightroom, I darkened the blacks around Taylor with the adjustment brush to finish cleaning up the background (no cloning necessary) and bumped up the clarity quite a bit on him.

After that, I jumped over to Photoshop to add some grittiness via high pass sharpening and Nik Filters (the soft light layer blend mode is your friend!).

Hopefully this is helpful and can give you some ideas for creating great images in less than ideal situations!

You can find more from me at, and on Google+ and Twitter

[This article originally ran in the May/June issue of Photoshop User Magazine. It got such a great response, we decided to share it here as well!]

Bryan O'Neil Hughes, Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop & Bridge, pictured above, takes us behind the scenes at Adobe to show us the making of the latest version of Photoshop

As I'm writing this, we've just released a free public beta of Photoshop CS6. This is only the second time that we've given the world an opportunity to "kick the tires" before we ship. I could give you some great tutorials and help you understand just how to use the incredible feature-set to its fullestâ”but then so could a lot of people. In fact, immediately following this article, you'll find an entire section dedicated to all the new features in Photoshop CS6. Since you're reading Photoshop User, you already know that NAPP and major conferences like the twice-annual Photoshop World are great places to learn from the best (and even hacks like me), so I wanted to try something different. I figured I'd give you a unique insight into how we came up with Photoshop CS6 and what goes into a release of Photoshop. I feltthought the best way to approach this was in an interview format andto address all the commonmost popular questions I get about how we build a releaseâ”I get these types of questions a lot.

Coming off of Photoshop CS5, our most successful release to date, we were all wondering, "How on earth are we going to top that?" Thankfully, with the 64-bit transition behind us, we had the most precious commodity that a software development team can ask forâ”time.

So, where do you start when it's time to work on the next version of Photoshop?
Planning a release is equal parts doing what you need to do (OS changes, performance tuning, integration with other products, camera support, etc.); what your customers want you to do (both the large requests and the small ones); what the team wants to do (emerging technology from our labs, licensed technology, pet projects, and a bucket of "things we'd really like to fix"); and all of what you started but didn't finish in the prior release. With a very diverse and vocal user base worldwide, ideas are never the problem. The toughest part about scoping a release is choosing where to place our bets and acknowledging that some won't pan out, so prioritizing features ends up being extremely important. For every feature that we green light, there are dozens we'd love toâ”it all comes down to time.

Do you worry that you'll ever run out of ways to improve Photoshop?
Never. When I started on the Photoshop team, digital photography meant drum scans and Photo CDs; the Web was in its infancy; no one brought laptops to meetings because there was no Wi-Fi; and mobile devices were limited to phone calls and weren't yet the norm. Technology changes every day. Every new feature on a camera or in a computing platform is an opportunity for us. I think of Photoshop as an imaging platform; images (any kind: still, video, 2.5D, 3D) can come from anywhere and go to anywhere. Photoshop is what happens on the way. Photoshop no longer means just the desktop either. Our technology can be found on the Web and across platforms on phonessmartphones and tablets. I can honestly say that there has never been a more exciting time for Photoshop. Images are everywhere.

Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen

How many people are on the Photoshop team? What do they all do?
There are roughly 100 on the core Photoshop team (individuals devoted solely to Photoshop and Photoshop Extended), which when you consider that the application appears in every suite and is translated into 25 languages, is pretty impressive. While our headquarters is in San Jose, California, and houses the bulk of the team, we have team members in San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, India, China, and beyond. The core team is broken into several pieces:

Management: Nearly all of us came up through various parts of the organization or played individual roles on other teams at some point.

Engineering: The magicians who write the code. These water-walkers comb through millions of lines of legacy code and push the framework to the absolute limit.

Quality Engineering: The tireless testers who assure that everything works (the new features and the old ones). These talented folks are paid to break Photoshop. Tens of thousands of bugs are logged, tracked, and fixed in a regular cycle.

Automation: These folks straddle coding and testing as they write and run complex scripts that stress-test each fresh build of Photoshopâ”computers testing computers.

Localization Engineering: The core team is made up of people from all over the world, but these team members are experts in multiple languages and assure that foreign builds are translated correctly and take into account any cultural nuances.

Experience Design: Adobe has a large team of experience designers. We have two dedicated entirely to Photoshop. Matthew Bice and Tim Riot are incredibly hard-working, creative guys and are tasked with an incredibly difficult jobâ”touching an application used by everyone in their industry and wanting to leave their mark and push the envelope, but being constrained by a very well-established product and more than two decades of legacy code.

Program Management: Steve Snyder singlehandedly wrangles our schedule, milestones, and various check-ins. Steve jumps from meeting to meeting all day and makes sure that we are where we need to be. Steve has tenacity and an obsession with doing things right (he spent more than a decade in Quality Engineering). Getting more than a dozen suite applications out the door at the same time is a very big juggling act. Steve and others are invaluable here.

Evangelists: Julieanne Kost and Russell Brown are legends in their field:. Julieanne is one of Fast Company's "most creative people," and Russell is an Emmy Award winner, respectively. Both are in the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Julieanne and Russell travel more than not and share an insatiable curiosity and creativity. They excel at inspiring and teaching, and the team learns a great deal from them about what we can improve and how.

Marketing: Jim Heiser and Allison Goffman are dedicated to the Photoshop team and are very passionate about communicating its abilities in a fresh, exciting, and engaging way.

Customer Advocacy: Cari Gushiken and Jeff Tranberry founded this new team to assure that we listen and respond to our user base all over the world. From problem solving to social media, these two cover a tremendous amount of ground. If you've ever found an answer in a forum or seen a video on Facebook or YouTube, one of them was probably involved.

Jim Heiser (marketing), Scott Kelby (NAPP President), Zorana Gee (product management), Bryan O'Neil Hughes, and Matthew Bice (experience design) visit NAPP for an in-depth discussion about what would become Photoshop CS6

The team comes from every corner of the globe and is educated as much in liberal arts as computer science. Many of our team members (like myself) used Photoshop professionally before coming onto the team; others only touch it at work and wouldn't call themselves users. None of us would ever say that we're expertsâ”there's an unwritten rule about that. We all share one common ingredient, passion. That passion created the world standard in digital imaging and it continues to. If you ever find yourself outside of Adobe's headquarters at night, look for the floor with the most lights onâ”that's W10WT10 (the West Tower, 10th floor)â”that's passion.


  • Lines of code: 4.5 Million+
  • Icons replaced for new UI: 1,900
  • Cursors replaced for new UI: 250
  • Menu items removed from CS6: 47
  • Features brought back from CS4: 3 (PDF Presentation, Contact Sheet II, and Lighting Effects)
  • Languages supported in CS5: 23
  • Languages supported in CS6: 26
  • Changes to Crop tool: Around two dozen
  • Increase in feature changes over CS5: +62%
  • JDI features in CS5: 30+
  • JDI features in CS6: 65+

Can you explain product management's role? (more…)

Lightroom 4 Crash Course App
Want to take the Lightroom 4 Crash Course with you wherever you go? Grab the app from the iTunes store and you can have it on your iPad and iPhone! No need to be connected to the internet once you have it installed, and it’s like having Matt Kloskowski right there with you, letting you know about all the cool new features in Lightroom 4.

This and other Kelby Training apps are on sale for $4.99 today until around 3:00pm ET, so grab them now before they go back to their regular price of $9.99!

You can also leave a comment for your chance to win one of three promo codes for a free download!

Outdoor Lifestyle Photography
Join Erik Valind on the coast of Florida for his Outdoor Lifestyle Photography class! He’ll show you how to get amazing lifestyle photos using diffusers, reflectors, and strobes. He’ll also give you great tips on posing, composition, and choosing locations while working through the shoot.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar Tour
This month, Scott Kelby is heading to Nashville, Philadelphia, and New York City to kick off his brand new Photoshop CS6 for Photographers seminar tour! You can get more info, more tour dates, and register over at

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of the three seminars listed above!

Accurate Color from Herb Paynter
The Accurate Color interactive iBook series from Herb Paynter is now on the iBookstore in four editions: Text, Narrated Text, Audio Video Text, and finally, a Full HD videobook. A little something for everyone.

Preparing images for presentation of any sort must address several key issues: the medium’s ability to portray the desired visual message, and the effective adjustment of the image’s tones and colors to best utilize that medium’s spectral qualities.

Here are codes for four lucky people to download this iBook for free!
7NA4R93PKWRM- Accurate Color AudioVideoTextBook
J7TMYXJ343EX- Accurate Color AudioTextBook
JE9PL6H37P4H- Accurate Color VideoTextBook
9JN3FH4HMRMT- Accurate Color Interactive TextBook

Last Week’s Winners
Joe McNally’s One Light, Two Light Seminar
– Rene G

Going Pro DVD with Scott Bourne & Skip Cohen
– Kenny Kinter

For the next 48 (ish1) hours, you can get any and all2 of the iOS apps from Kelby Training for HALF PRICE!!

Not only that, but the Lightroom 4 Crash Course app was just added, and is also available during this time for just $4.99!

Head over to the Apple App Store before 3:00pm1 ET Thursday, July 5, to take advantage of this opportunity.

1 The iOS store may take time to update its prices, so time frame is approximate. In other words, grab it as soon as you see the sale price!
2 Light It Magazine and Photoshop User Magazine are not included in this sale