Posts By Brad Moore

Writing the guest post for Scott Kelby’s blog is intimidating. Consider the giants of the industry who have posted here before – masters of lighting, composition and post production – skilled teachers who make complicated techniques simple and practical.

I thought about what I could add and kept coming up blank. I tried to work out the reason behind any success that I’ve ever had apart from blind luck and then it hit me, I’ve always relied on the strengths of someone else.

To have a career in photography requires competency in all sorts of disciplines; art, business, social media, networking – it’s a never ending list and those are just the general strengths needed. Specific fields of photography require specific competencies: consider how all the best wildlife photographers have an intimate knowledge of animal patterns and behavior. To have strengths in all of these disciplines is next to impossible for an individual. At some point it makes sense to outsource your weaknesses to someone else, allowing you to focus on your strengths.


Working in Iceland was one of the highlights of my career. Planning and coordinating shoots from another country required extensive planning and attention to detail, a weakness that I outsourced.

My love affair with photography began at the same time I met Tina, the woman that I would marry. Intuitively, I knew that if I was to spend any time learning photography, I would have to include Tina. She was so surprised when I arrived home with a camera for her (it wasn’t even her birthday). She was even more surprised to find out that I had booked a job involving both of us, leaving her two weeks to learn photography.

Our profile picture is a caricature of us at this point. I was technically competent and knew camera and lighting techniques whilst Tina had a well developed artistic eye. The job involved me setting up the cameras and lighting whilst Tina did the actual shoot – with all of 2 weeks’ worth of experience.  Against all logic, the shoot went well and our photography partnership began. We’ve been working together for six years and in retrospect, most of what we’ve done wouldn’t have been possible as individuals.


Flawless Moves, a London dance group, commissioned us to create promo images for their performance in Street Dance. Whilst Tina worked with multiple lights to create the images for the brief, I noticed beautiful window light highlighting one of the members. I used the light to create a series of black and white portraits completely different from the setup scene. Working as a team enabled us to offer something extra.

Our first commercial opportunity was a dream job. At the time we were living in East London, South Africa. An advertising agency had been contracted to promote the city who, in turn, were looking for a photographer to create the imagery. The advertising agency contacted us after finding our Flickr stream through a Google Image search (this has happened more than once). We were to meet the agency the following day to discuss the possibility of working with them. I was so excited about the job that I spent the entire night going through every possible conversation in my mind.

By the time the meeting began, I was a wreck to say the least. I was over thinking every question and panicking that the conversation wasn’t panning out as it did in mind the night before. As I tried in vain to steer the conversation in that direction, it became painfully awkward and I expected to be dismissed without any further consideration. Fortunately Tina took over, laughing and joking with the client, showing them that we were real people who would be enjoyable to work with. Because of Tina, we were hired to produce imagery covering architecture, landscapes, portraits and in-water surfing. It is still one of the most challenging and exciting jobs we’ve ever done.


One of the images from that first job.

Later, we were contacted by SA Rugby magazine to photograph Butch James. I was delirious with excitement, being a massive rugby supporter and follower of the Springboks. Butch James is a Springbok legend, helping the team win the 2007 World Cup. Rugby is to a South African what football is to an American. When I told Tina about the shoot, she seemed mildly indifferent. As someone with no interest in sports, she didn’t even know who we were photographing.

On the day of the shoot, I was focused on meeting and exceeding the brief hoping to impress the magazine. After taking over 200 images, I passed the camera on to Tina to go and tinker with the lights. She took about 10 images and managed to do something I had completely overlooked – she connected with the subject and created an engaging picture. The editor chose one of her images as the cover of the magazine and I enjoyed the irony.


The image on the right is the cover image of Butch James. A month later, having learnt my lesson, I handed the camera over to Tina who once again shot the cover image on the left.

Now that we’re based in London, the bulk of our commercial work is fashion based.  People who know me find this quite amusing. Whilst I enjoy working with people and love location based portraiture, I have never been called a fashionista. At the first London Fashion Week we attended, one of the fashion personalities did a triple take when he saw me in jeans and a hoodie. He literally needed three looks just to confirm how badly dressed I was. Tina on the other hand gets fashion. She understands that making the clothing look good is just as important as making the model look good. I can’t tell you how many times she has saved me from hours of retouch work, just by being attentive and understanding styling and fashion.


Fashion – an art that I rely on Tina to understand.


Recently we have been doing quite a few dance related shoots, another field where I am completely lost but Tina understands.

I’ve been saved by Tina’s sparkling personality, her ability to engage with people and her keen sense of style. So how have my strengths helped us? Well I can carry a lot of gear and generally take care of post production, but what I bring to the business is that I dream up crazy ideas and put us  into the sort of situation that Tina’s strengths have to get us through.


This is one of those situations I put us in that felt quite scary at the time. We shot this guerilla style, getting the athlete in place than back to safety in under 30 seconds.

The biggest breakthroughs in my photography have not been as a result of a magic piece of equipment, new post production technique or social networking. They’ve resulted from passing off my weakness to someone else and focusing on what I can do well.

Thank you Brad and Scott for the opportunity to write this post. Both of you epitomize teamwork and my own story owes a lot to your example.

You can see more work from Jon and Tina at JonReid.net

OK, they’re not “technically” High-Def prints—-I call them ‘high definition’ because to me they look like the difference between an HD television and a regular television (they are that good!).

These are the prints on metal (aluminum) from Imagewizards (I talked about their prints quite a bit last year—here’s the link), and even though I’ve seen other prints on metal, I’ve never seen metal prints like theirs (don’t confuse these with printing on metallic paper—this isn’t printing on paper at all—your image is printed on Aluminum (they call it AluminArte). The detail is insane!!!).

Since the detail is insane, we asked them for some insane deals. Here they are:

Today through Sunday, ImageWizards is offering a couple of special deals:

FREE Shipping on AluminArte, any size up to 24×36 in a corrugated carton (3 piece max)*

And / OR

20% off any size framed to edge piece of AluminArte, NO LIMIT! *

*Special Does not apply to Recessed Framed AluminArte. Cannot be combined with any other offer.
*Shipping Special limited to the contiguous 48 states. Proof shipping is additional.

To send your files, just go to WeTransfer.com and send your file to info@imagewizards.net. In the comments section, add your order specs and the Kelby promo code SKB1211 along with your contact information. ImageWizards will be available to answer your questions at 1-800-849-3390.  They will review your files first thing Monday and get in touch with you to finalize your order!

Hey guys, Brad Moore here with some exciting news… Scott Bourne over at Photo Focus has named Scott Kelby as the Photographic Educator of the Year for 2011! Scott (Kelby) was super excited, and of course very honored to find out about this. When I saw it, I was really happy for him and wanted to share it with you all as well.

Please join me in congratulating one of the most entertaining, talented, and engaging teachers I know, Mr. Scott Kelby!

Hey gang, Brad here with this week’s pimpy goodness :)

3 Free DVDs with Down & Dirty Tricks Purchase!
Corey Barker’s
new book, Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, is officially sold out on Amazon, but we still have some available here! The elves in Kelby’s Workshop have put together a cool holiday deal…  From now until December 31st, when you buy Corey’s new book, you’ll get 3 free DVDs whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

No codes or special links necessary. Just purchase Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers and our elves (aka shipping team) will select 3 DVDs to include in the box – no catches!  Well, ok, there are a few catches… We get to choose the DVDs, they will be from our sale-priced DVD selection, Santa’s watching so no returns, trade-ins, special requests or whining is allowed. But hey! That’s still a whole lot of extra training. Plus, if you already own one of the DVDs you get, you now have an instant re-gift!

Corey’s also been busy signing books, so if you order his book this month, it will come autographed!

Retouching Week
There are still two more sessions you can check out during Retouching Week! Tonight at 6:00pm EST, The Photoshop Guys will be answering all of your questions. Then tomorrow RC Concepcion will be joined by special guests Calvin Hollywood and Evangeline Cooper to talk about studio photography and retouching “with a European flair.” You can tune in live over at PhotoshopUser.com. If you’re a NAPP member, all of these videos will be available on the NAPP member site :)

Help-Portrait
Just a reminder that this coming Saturday, December 10 is the official day for Help-Portrait all around the world! If you haven’t already made plans to host or be part of one, check out the Help-Portrait Community site to find out where you can help. And if Saturday doesn’t work for you, don’t let that keep you from doing something another day!

Westcott Contest
Our friends over at Westcott are giving away a Bag Of Westcott (BOW) gear right before the holidays! Anyone can enter before December 21, and winners will be announced the next day. All you have to do is go over to the Westcott Blog and fill out an incredibly short/easy survey!

Lastolite Rebates
To help promote Joe McNally’s new book, Sketching Light, Lastolite is running rebates (up to $50 back in Visa gift cards) on his entire line of products. And, later today they’ll be posting more rebates on all of their TriGrip products and all of their Ezybox Hotshoe products (up to $30 back).

B&H Rebates & Promotions
Speaking of rebates, did you know that you can shop the B&H website through their special rebates and promotions page? Pick a category and start browsing to see what kind of deals you can get on gear (you know, like that new camera your significant other totally wants for Christmas that you swear isn’t for you ;) )!

That’s it for today. Have a fantastic Thursday!

In the beginning…

A really long time ago there was a Photoshop book published by an up-and-coming Photoshop trainer, you may know his name; and it was called Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks. I remember I saw the book on a colleagues desk. I was working for a newspaper in Bradenton, FL not too long after I had graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. I was immediately intrigued and started flipping through it and was amazed at how simple this stuff looked; I knew I had to have this book.

I was so excited that I went to the bookstore that day to get my own.  Remember, this was at a time when Photoshop training wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as it is now; especially cool stuff like this. I actually still have my original copy. The point I am trying to make is that this was when my eyes started to open. I was realizing what was possible and eagerly studied through every tutorial, some of them several times. Not because I didn’t get them, but because I would experiment with several different images. I would even mix up tutorials throughout the book into ways I had not thought of before, and that is what made the difference.

I already had a desire to learn Photoshop, but I had never truly been inspired to learn it. In the profession I was headed into, I needed to know the software. There was a lot of training material on learning the nuts and bolts of the program, but nothing out there really gave you that spark to take it to the next level.  I was hooked and hoped that another one would come out soon.

It seems I wasn’t the only one who thought the Down & Dirty book was great! The series went on to become a tremendous success for Scott Kelby, he continued with several installments as newer versions were released up to CS, and they were also available in a Photoshop Elements series. However, with the swift proliferation of digital photography, Scott has begun concentrating his efforts into his deep passion for photography; and I think you all know how that has worked out. That doesn’t mean the popularity of the series waned, because the books had continued success long after newer versions were released. However, fans were left wanting more!

A New Era

In 2006 I was working at a large-format printing company as the lead designer and production manager. Unhappy with my job, I spent my days working there and spent my nights pouring over Photoshop books, experimenting with Photoshop. I was doing everything thing I could to master the program and figure out how to do cool stuff with it. I was even getting consistent freelance work and word was getting around. I had been a NAPP member for years, had already attended at least 6 Photoshop Worlds, and won a couple Guru awards.  Then the opportunity of a lifetime landed on my computer screen. NAPP posted a video on the NAPP member home page of the Photoshop Guys: Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Dave Cross basically posted a casting call for the next Photoshop guru. I knew this would be my chance, but was my work good enough? I hadn’t had the best professional resumé up to that point but felt really good about what I could do with Photoshop. I put together a whole promo kit and sent it in; this got me an interview with Scott himself at Photoshop World in Vegas. Real one-on-one time with the man whose books I had stacked on my desk. Nervous as I was, the interview couldn’t have gone better and a week and a half later I was offered the job.

Now I was in the big leagues! For a lot of designers, this was the big show. Seeing every day the people I had only seen at Photoshop World and at seminars; this was crazy. It took me a while to adjust, but I eventually found my groove and was producing content that people really enjoyed. I did my best to come up with new, fresh stuff because I knew designers were bored with what was out there. I knew, because I was one of them. I knew I wanted people to feel that same energy I get when an idea starts to take shape. Creativity comes in spurts! It’s like when people meet a comedian in public; people always have the urge to ask them to say something funny right then. If you are a creative designer, you know that some days, ideas come together in seemingly magical ways. Other days you just want throw yourself on your Wacom pen. As I got more creative with my content, things started getting noticed, and I was starting to build a modest fan base that were closely following my work.

All the while this is going on; the fans were still craving more from the Down & Dirty book series. It had been quite a few years since the last one. In 2009, Scott Kelby decided to bring the Down & Dirty series out of retirement to write a new version for Photoshop CS4. This time, I was extremely honored to be asked by Scott, to write a special 3D chapter at the end of the book. 3D was a new thing in Photoshop, and he saw how much fun I was having with it. In addition to coming to work for him, this was another dream come true! He was now asking me to contribute to one of his best-selling books. Though on hiatus for a few years, this book proved the series is still loved by fans and they immensely enjoyed this newest edition. It also prompted a reboot of the Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks seminar, which Scott and I both taught on the road throughout 2009 and 2010.

After 5 years, contributing to the CS4 Down & Dirty book, doing the Down & Dirty Tricks section of the Photoshop User magazine with Felix Nelson, and helping to teach the Photoshop Down & Dirty tricks seminar tour, I have been given the opportunity to author my own book. Not just any book, Scott decided to pass the Down & Dirty torch to me and allow me to completely write a reboot of the franchise called Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers. I was beside myself! Here I am, this guy that pretty much got started early in my career with this series, and now it comes full circle. I now get the opportunity to inspire others with the same kind of thing that inspired me. That seems to be the real question: How do you inspire with what inspires you? I hope you will have a look at this new book and see! Even if you are not a designer, you are still a curious human being. Have a look and see how ideas come together and learn how to see things differently.

Here are some examples from this newest edition. I not only wanted to include typical design stuff like text and graphics, but wanted to show you what you can really do with photographs as well. Whether it’s a stock image or my own, as a designer, I see photos as merely components to my overall designs. I often shoot things for Photoshop knowing I am going to do with it later, but rarely actually what I will use it for. An example would be these two images. You can see how they started as simple studio shots and then became fully realized concepts. These are step-by-step in the book!

Here are some other couple examples that include text. The Musketeer image was inspired by the film Three Musketeers that was just in theaters recently. It demonstrates building an image out of several parts to create an overall title effect. The chrome logo was inspired by the logo for the new car from Fiat. It is pretty much created from scratch and the book lays this out step-by-step same as the Musketeer image.

Lastly, I just wanted to share a couple examples from the new 3D chapter. I am really excited about this chapter because it’s jam-packed with cool stuff. Like this first one with the paint splash, looks 3D huh? Well, it is actually a 2D photo and text converted into a couple flat 3D Postcards and positioned to give that illusion.  In the other example, I have a fully realized 3D logo built entirely in Photoshop complete with lights, reflections, and shadows…and the book covers it step-by-step!

Well, there we have it! Just a sampling of the jaw-dropping techniques you will learn in this new edition. Hopefully the Down & Dirty series will continue to live on to inspire a new generation of designers. I think Scott started a phenomenon in this series and I’m so very blessed to be a part of its legacy. Most importantly, it is you that I hope enjoys it most. After all, it is you for whom it was written. Take this road map and find that eureka moment!

You can keep up with Corey over at PlanetPhotoshop.com and order Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers at KelbyTraining.com

Hey gang, Brad Moore here, and I just wanted to let you know about something really awesome…

The team over at Fstoppers have put together a contest in search for the best Behind The Scenes videos out there, and they’re giving away over $21,000 worth of gear to the winners, including cameras, lights, softboxes, camera bags, and more!

Plus, Scott Kelby is one of four judges picking the winners!

They’re looking for videos that are creative and extremely informative, so don’t go thinking you have to put something together that looks like a Hollywood movie or some big production.

Even if you’re not that experienced with shooting videos, use this as motivation to get out there and try it out! It’s becoming more and more important for businesses and promotion every day, so why not let this be your jumping off point? Just grab an iPhone or HDSLR and go shoot!

The deadline for the contest is December 31, 2011, so make sure you get your entry in before then. Good luck!

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