Posts By Scott Kelby

Why yes I am! Whoo Hoo!!! It’s “lame out city!” ’till next year!

Hope you all are enjoying your Holidays (and I hope Santa brought you lots of fun gearâ¦I meanâ¦gifts. Yeah, that’s it. Gifts. ;-)

Anyway, I am still in “full holiday lame-out mode” until around Jan 2nd (though I think I’m shooting a bowl game that day, so I’ll only be 50% lame that day), but until then I thought I’d just drop in with this holiday reminder that I’m still in full lame-out mode (though I do miss you all a bunch!)

Hope you all have a great week, and a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!


Southeast Director of Holiday Laming Out and Relaxation

To kick off this Christmas week, please join in and sing the following to the tune of “I’ll be home for Christmas” by Bing Crosby.

“I’m laming out for the Holidays
You can count on it.
There won’t be posts, or anything newâ¦
It’s a present just for me.

Christmas Eve will find me
Far away from this blog
But I’ll be back again next week
I’m off to watch TV”

That’s right folks, I am totally “laming out” (laming rhymes with flaming) and kicking back and relaxing with the family. I’m not working, blogging, breathing, eating, posting, no Grid episode, no guest blog Wednesday; just joyous rest, relaxation, the sounds of distorted guitars and explosions as I play Call of Duty between football games. So, take a brief moment to soak in all the wonder and magic that is the stock image with text I added in Photoshop, and  then let’s not think about any of this until next week? Deal? Deal!

Here’s wishing you and your family a safe, happy, healthy holiday and all the joy His season can bring. :)

Merry Christmas!

-Scott, Braddo, and the entire crew here at KelbyOne


Morning gang (it’s still morning, right?)
Sorry for the late post (putting this together took way longer than expected).

Those of you who follow me regularly here on the blog have seen the photographic stories I’ve posted over on my account, which I think is an absolutely marvelous way to tell a story with both pictures and words (here’s a link to my exposure page and you can see what I mean). Far better than any blog post.

Meet Project Luca
A buddy turned me onto this new iPad-based free photo storytelling app called Project Luca (it’s still in Beta at this point, but you can request to try it out at and it has some very interesting features â” including some doesn’t offer yet, so I wanted to at least give it a try, and I chose to do it with the 2-1/4 shoots I got to do while visiting London back in October.

Here’s what’s different about Project Luca:

  1. You actually build your project right on the iPad itself (but when you’re done, anyone with a web browser on any device, from desktop to laptop to mobile device, can view it).
  2. It has lots of professionally designed templates to choose from (rather than exposure’s one standard layout).
  3. Your project can have motion (meaning, the text can kind of “float over your images” with a window shade effect).
  4. You can choose your fonts and there’s a decent level of customization.
  5. You can have your images dissolve between frames, so it can be kind of like a slideshow.
  6. It allows captions under the photos, which is awesome (and something has yet to do, though they do now offer a caption feature but it can only appear over the image itself, and only at the top of the image).

Here’s how it works:

Once you install the app on your iPad and launch it, it shows you a few example projects so you get the idea of how Luca’s look  and then if you want to create a “Luca” of your own hit the text at the top (I didn’t really have to say that last part now, did I?). ;)

It brings you to this starting screen where you can start entering text and adding pictures from all over, including Lightroom Mobile, your Adobe Creative Cloud account, Dropbox, etc.

What threw me was you don’t pick your template first â” you just start creating. It took me about an hour (literally) until I realized that the “Color Palette” icon at the top (which you would assume is where you go to pick your colors) is actually where they hid the templates. Ugh. Anyway, now that you know, you can pick a template now if you’d like (and I recommend that you do, because this app is all about the layout. Or the bass [no treble]).

Above: That list of fonts on the right side of the screen, is actually the list of template choices. I would prefer to see thumbnails, rather than fonts, but it’s kind of a preview of how the opening screen text will look and layout, sans images. 

The rest is easy â” you add photos, add your text, you just keep scrolling down and adding more stuff. At this point, it’s just the creative process of choosing which photos, at what size (you can choose from full width of the screen to smaller size images with white space on all sides) and entering your text.

When you’re done adding text, you hit the upload button and the screen you see above appears. You can choose to make your Luca public or private, and share it about everywhere if you choose. It also copies the URL to your Luca to the clipboard automatically so you can share the link manually if you want to.

One more thing: you can add credits to the bottom of your photo story, but you add it here in the upload window, rather than in the project itself. The placement of that one had me scratching my head. I’m telling you now so you won’t drive yourself crazy looking for it (like I did).

Above: Once it uploads (it goes very quickly) your story is ready to view on anything with a web browser (here it is on my iPad). You just scroll down the page to see the images and read the story (you can click on the image above for a larger view). 

Above: You can edit, and view your Luca, in either landscape or portrait mode. Here’s an interior shot of London’s famous Royal Albert Hall. If you get a chance to read the story, I posted more images and the story behind it.

I Hope You’ll Check Out My First “Luca”
My “A Little bit of London” Luca is now live online and if you get a moment, I hope you’ll check it out (just seeing it will answer a lot of your questions, including “what does he mean about the text floating over the images?”).

Here’s the link

So, how does it stack up against
It has some advantage and disadvantages, but at this point, Project Luca is still in Beta (it’s not the full final version of the software). While it’s very promising overall, I’m not ready to switch from Exposure to Luca for these reasons: [NOTE: the Luca Team responded to these comments â” when you done, see the bottom of the post]

  1. Writing long text on an iPad is pretty brutal. Most folks don’t use a separate keyboard with their iPad so typing in long paragraphs of text on a touch-screen keyboard can really become tedious. In fact, if I didn’t finally switch to verbally dictating the text (using the iPad’s built-in dictation feature) I think I would have bailed on the whole project.
  2. There are still a lot of user experience things that just don’t make sense. Like not starting by choosing your template. Sure, now I get it, but I was totally thrown off by it at first. Also, the color palette icon for choosing templates is a head scratcher [see response from the Luca Team below]. So is putting the credits on the upload screen. I could go on.
  3. If you want to turn off their window-shade animations (the floating text effect) for a particular template…you can’t. You’re kinda stuck with it, and if it annoys youâ¦you’re stuck with it. [See response from the Luca Team below].
  4. At this point, it appears that you can use bold and italic, but you can’t. You can highlight text; choose bold or italic; it just doesn’t work. Could be a bug (I’m hoping it’s a bug).
  5. You can’t center headlines or subjects or even captions (all of which does beautifully), which is kind of a deal-breaker for me right there. What’s weird is â” you can center or left/right justify the text on the opening cover page of your Luca, so it’s not like they don’t have the technology to do it. [See response from the Luca Team below].
  6. You can’t change the order of your photos once they’re in your Luca, so you have to do a LOT more planning beforehand ( lets you change the order any time).
  7. I couldn’t find the URL to my “Luca” (to share with you in this post), without literally re-uploading my entire project. Ugh. [See response from the Luca Team below].
I’ve communicated all these things directly to the Project Luca team, so this isn’t the first time they’re hearing it from me. In fact, they’re probably really tired of hearing it from me.

The Bottomline:
I generally pick up learning new software fairly quickly, but I was lost in Project Luca a lot.

Your experience may differ, but the Luca creation process just doesn’t seem to be designed in an intuitive way overall. What’s weird is â” there are parts of it that are designed beautifully, and I say to myself “Man, I wish Exposure did it like this!” and then there are other parts where I’m really surprised they totally dropped the ball from an author experience perspective. In fact, if this product has an achilles heel it’s that the user experience of building a Luca seems like it was designed by committee, if that tells you anything.

I so wanted to love Project Luca, because there are still some things (as great as it is) hasn’t added (like captions under the photos for example), but it’s still got a ways to go. To be fair, it’s Beta software and I’m hoping that before they’re finished they’ll address some of the issues, but I think it needs a major rethinking on the author experience part â” the final uploaded Luca’s look really nice, but getting there is more than half the battle.


UPDATE!!!! Right after I released this first-look, I sent an email to the Project Luca team, and I was delighted to see their response (especially since I was kind of scared to initially see their response): They wrote:

    1. Centered captions are in the next build [see example below -ed]
    2. The template icon is changing from a paint icon to a magic wand [I probably would have clicked that just to see what it did -ed]
    3. Ability to turn animations on and off is on the roadmap, but will not be in version one. That falls under the category of theme customizations, and those come a little later.
    4. Bold and Italic are not in the product right now. They are on the roadmap. The bug you described has been fixed.
    5. You will be able to re-order photos in our next build [yay!!! -ed]
    6. We are surfacing the URL for your Luca on the projects screen so you can get it without republishing [perfect! -ed]
    7. You will be able to left or right align floating captions (the ones that fade in/out over your photos) in the next build [awesome -ed]:

Above: Here’s one part of my Luca [from the desktop view] â” notice the centered caption below the photo. Yay!

Above: Here’s a template with centered subhead text. Of course, I’d like to be able to center the subhead in any template, but at least this is a start.

I think these are all very positive developments, and my thanks to the Project Luca team for sharing a bit of their roadmap with my readers. :)

Hi gang, meet Julio. He’s a little shy in the video above (after all, it’s just his first day), but he’s an awesome guy (we’ve been working with him for about a year – he helps out on complex shoots and assists the instructors that come here with location shoots and stuff while they’re taping classes for KelbyOne). He’s an event/portrait photographer himself, and he’s joining our team full-time as chief editor, fancy-pants blog specialist, and big kahuna of content on the just-launched KelbyOne blog, where you’ll find him every day bringing’ the love.

Julio’s job is to make the KelbyOne blog incredibly awesome! He’s going to make it packed full of cool content on Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography; he’s going to tell us what’s going on in the biz each day, he’s bringing cool guests, breaking news, reviews, whatever’s going on â” he’s totally going to be on top of it. Plus, he has really awesome hair (rivaling the finely-tuned fro of Jared Polin, which is not an easy thing to do).

If you get a chance, stop by the K1 blog, or just leave him a shout-out here.  Thanks for helping us welcome Julio (you can follow him on Twitter at @julifro) and we look forward to him sharing his hair care secrets his freshly starched ideas with us all.

Have an awesome Tuesday everybody, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.



P.S. Joe McNally is our in-studio guest tomorrow at 4pm live on “The Grid.”  

I really like Twitter a bunch. I do. Super Dig it!
That being  said, I could totally and utterly “love” Twitterâ¦if somehow for Christmas (or maybe just for 2015) Twitter added these four things that I believe would revolutionize, re-engerize, and just do a lot of awful lot of good all around. Here goes:

(1) Stop penalizing me for including a photo with my Tweets
You send me emails telling me how awesome it is to add images to my tweets. You show me stats which show that each tweet with a photo is likely to get so many more retweets and favorites, it’s just crazy. But then if I actually add an image to my tweet, you subtract characters from my 140-character limit per tweet. You basically penalize me for doing the thing you’re asking me to do. Please let me add an image and still have my 140 characters. I promise to add more photos in 2015 if you do. We all will.

(2) Give me one 10 or 12-character hashtag for free
You’re penalizing me again â” I know that using hashtags will expand the number of potential people who read my tweets, but I already added a photo to my tweet, and I could barely say anything cohesive when I had the full 140-characters. Between losing characters for the photo I attached, and being penalized for adding a search term (hashtag), I spend 15-minutes just to get my tweet under the limit with what little is left. I usually don’t even add hashtags â” I just don’t have the room. Plus, I often say lots of inappropriate words during this frustrating pruning process so I have to stay clear of children or small pets during this critical phase of the tweet-shortening process. Could you please give me just one hashtag per tweet “on the house?” â” without subtracting from my 140-charaters? Make it a 10 or 12 character limit, and make it just one hashtag for free per tweet (so things don’t get out of hand) and we promise to use more hashtags in 2015.

(3) Give us a 50% discount on links
I use like a boss. It really helps. It does. But even using, sometimes the link eats up so many precious characters. I looked at a link I created last week and it took 14 character’s out of my allotment. When you see something starting with http:// have your magical unicorn of backend database stuff automatically give us a 50% discount, and only count it as 7 characters instead of 14. Please help me to share more stuff and I promise to share even more stuff in 2015.

(4) Let me buy an extra character or two with the proceeds going to charity
Sometimes I just can’t make my thought or idea fit. I’m two characters away from making it fit, and I’ve cut and cut, but I just can’t make it work. There are times where if I could buy two or three characters for a buck a piece (so $2 or $3 total) that would be the fastest two or three bucks I would spent all week, especially if I knew the proceeds went to charity. Each week you could choose a different charity (might I suggest, for week one, that all the “character buyers” contributions go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. They need the help like you cannot believe. It’s just 33 kids, but it’s 33 kids that matter. Please, let us give a buck for each extra character in 2015 (you could limit the extra characters, so maybe the maximum you could buy would be 10-characters, so a $10 limit per tweet). It could do a lot of good in the bigger picture, and I promise to buy a few extra characters fairly often in 2015. Especially in that first week. ;-)

So there ya have it. This is perhaps not the most photography or Photoshop-related thing that I’ve covered here on the blog, but I’m hoping that somebody at Twitter might be in the Holiday Spirit this year and take the time to give it a read, like you just did. Hey, ya never know, right?

Here’s wishing you all the best Monday you’ve had all year!