Posts By Scott Kelby

giftmem

That graphic above pretty well explains it (and it’s a pretty sweet deal, too at $30 off).

Here’s the link to get an Annual KelbyOne Gift Membership for the Lightroom using, Photoshop loving, Photography shooting, Creative person on your Holiday Gift List. :)

Oh, yeah, and then there’s this…

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In case you missed this last week — KelbyOne Annual Members are getting a free awesome gift from us every day just because we super-dig our annual members, and if you get someone a gift certificate, they’ll get all the cool stuff we keep adding to our KelbyOne Creative Toolkit, too!

So far (we’re only a few days in — it runs until Christmas eve), here’s the cool, creative gifts we’ve given our annual members so far:

Dec 13th: Our 2016 Photoshop 100-HotTips Guide
Dec 14th: My Nik ColorEfex Pro Architectural Recipes
Dec 15th: Scott’s Lightroom Print Templates
Dec 16th: Lightroom and Camera Raw Keyboard Shortcut Guide
Dec 17th: Special Bonus Issue: The Best of Photoshop User Magazine 
Dec 18th: Your choice of ANY ebook from Rocky Nook Publishing, FREE! (they’re the folks that publish my “How Do I Do that in Lightroom?” Book, and my “How Do I Do That In Photoshop?” books, but you get to choose any ebook from their entire library).
Today: More cool stuff!
Our “12-days of Christmas” keeps on going until December 24th! Plus, we’ll be adding more goodies to your toolkit all year long (pretty sweet, right?).
OK, lots of fun holiday stuff fer ya – hope you have a great Monday, and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow. :)
Best,
-Scott

jimmydsm

Above: My dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Jim DiVitale in a portrait I made backstage at Photoshop World for a personal project I called “Sessions” — it was a series of portraits of famous photographers who were also musicians (a pair of drum sticks in Jimmy’s hands).

My heart sank when I heard the news that my dear friend and colleague Jim DiVitale had passed away after a long tough battle with cancer. Jim was one of the brightest, most passionate, most helpful photographers on the planet — a working commercial photographer, dedicated educator, and just one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you’d ever want to meet. Respected and admired by his peers, and loved by his students around the world. We have lost one of the greats.

There will be so much written about Jimmy’s career, and his countless contributions to photography, education, and the photography industry as a whole, and what a pioneer he was in leading the transition from film to digital and introducing photographers to Photoshop. But here I want to share some very personal stories of how Jim directly impacted my career, and my life, and how Jim wound up touching so many people without even realizing it. It’s a story of how he planted seeds that grew into mighty oaks in my life, and my company’s history, and it’s a story that gives you some insights into the extraordinary person behind the gifted photographer and educator Jim truly was.

I’ll always remember the day I first met Jim
It was in Atlanta, at the Georgia World Congress Center attending a trade show held by “The Printing Industry of The South.” My business partner Jim Workman and I had flown up there to get some pointers on how we could improve the Photoshop World conference, which had just been launched earlier that year. Jim and I are walking around the show floor, when a man recognizes me; stops me and says,

“You don’t know me. I’m Jim DiVitale, and I was at your Photoshop World conference in Orlando a few months ago, and it was great. Really great! But you only had one class on digital photography. Digital is the next big thing, and it’s so important, and well…your instructor was just terrible. He seems like a really nice guy, but he’s a terrible teacher. I’m sorry, but he was just really, really bad.” 

I didn’t get upset at Jim’s critique of that class, because I knew he was right. I had read every attendee’s evaluation form from the conference, and I knew that particular class was the lowest rated class of all. Then Jim started to pitch to me how next year he should be the guy to teach the class. In fact, he said we really need more than just one class, but he’d help us put together some really solid classes on the topic, and he told me about how he had been teaching for PPA at their conference, and about these workshops he was doing, and it all sounded so great that I looked at my partner Jim, and he smiled and nodded, and I said…

“OK, you’re hired. You’re our digital photography guy for next year’s conference.”

Jim kept going like I hadn’t said anything, and he continued on with his resumé and what he would do if he had the chance, and I told him again. “Jim. You’re in. You’re hired. You’re the guy. I’m serious!” I don’t think he fully believed me, but I got his card and told him I’d be in touch soon. That was 1999. Jim has taught at every Photoshop World ever since. He was everything he said he would be, and then some.

It was Jim that helped us grow our entire curriculum of photography at Photoshop World, and he brought on guys who have been mainstays at Photoshop World for years, guys like food photographer Joe Glyda (one of the greatest guys ever), and fashion photographer and ace educator Kevin Ames (more on Kevin in a moment), and it was Jim’s idea to create a panel where we didn’t teach at all — instead we would celebrate the art of our incredible group of instructors. Well, “The Art of Digital Photography”panel, moderated by Jim himself, was born, and it soon became an institution at Photoshop World, where Jim shared the stage with celebrated photographers like Jay Maisel, Joe McNally, Jeremy Cowart, John Paul Caponigro, Moose Peterson, Joe Glyda, Dave Black, and many more and he was the host for an evening that often included roars of laughter and tears of joy; standing ovations and gasps of amazement; and a night no one in the crowd would soon forget. He was an incredibly gracious, and humble host, and the crowds loved Jim, and they loved seeing his work presented in this creative atmosphere.

Jim literally built my first studio. In one day, no less.
In Photoshop User magazine, we had been doing product reviews for many years, but we had to rely on contacting companies and getting them to send us product shots to use alongside their reviews. The quality ran from top notch to terrible; from high res to low res, and usually they had to ship them to us via mail or UPS, and that often delayed the magazine from going to press. We finally got to point where we realized we needed to be taking our own product shots for the magazine in-house, but I had never used studio lighting (only flash), and only then for shooting portraits, so I had no idea how to set up a product photography studio, let alone take the shots, but I knew Jim, and that’s who I called.

Jim, and his soon-to-be bride, the wonderful and talented Helene Glassman (a well known, highly respected portrait photographer herself), flew down to Tampa to our headquarters for the day; took me out to buy the materials we needed; came back and set it all up, and in one day literally built a small product photography studio, and then taught me how to light and shoot products for the magazine. This tiny table-top studio was built right on the other side of the wall of my office; using the first studio lights I ever owned. While it didn’t look fancy, or cost a lot, the product photos came out great, and it transformed the quality of our reviews in the magazine overnight, and we wound up doing so much more for the magazine with that tiny little studio; from artwork for feature stories, to shots for ads and for our mailers. After getting the studio up and running, Jim and Helene spent the rest of the day, and into the night, teaching me portrait lighting; Helene teaching me posing techniques, and Jim talking me through all the settings in the camera.

I just couldn’t get over that they would do that for me. All on their own time, all on their own dime, and they never asked for a penny in return. They were so patient, and answered my every question. As I stepped on stage two days ago in Dallas, Texas to teach 250+ photographers how to light and shoot a portrait, just an hour after learning the heartbreaking news that Jimmy had passed away, it wasn’t at all lost on me that I wouldn’t even be able to stand on that stage teaching portrait lighting at all, if it weren’t for Jim, and Helene, and that day. I’ve written bestselling books, taught numerous online courses, and done many live workshops on studio lighting (this was my 2nd year of teaching a Studio Lighting Master Class at Photo Plus Expo in New York, and speaking about studio lighting in Canon’s expo booth), and that’s all from the seeds Jim planted that day.

Looking to Jim for Guidance on my most-important book
After transitioning to digital myself; getting totally immersed in shooting again (I used to shoot film back in the day); and teaching so many photographers how to use Photoshop through my live seminars back then, I finally realized it was time to put all this into a book that would be called “Photoshop for Digital Photographers.” I had learned first-hand from the photographers that came out to my seminars, what the Photoshop challenges they were facing; what they were trying to accomplish, and of course I would include all that in the book. But if I wanted this to really be the book I wanted it to be — one that would help folks moving from film to digital to be able to really use Photoshop, it would have to include the stuff the pros would expect to be in there. I knew I needed to call Jim and get his guidance and input before I wrote the book.

A few days later, Jim and Kevin Ames (mentioned earlier, and a new Photoshop World instructor who really knew his stuff from both the camera side and the Photoshop side), flew to Tampa to help me out. They spent the day with me listing all the techniques I should include. Getting this type of feedback from Jim and Kevin, two working pros, was unbelievably helpful. The outline for the book was really starting to come together, and I think the three of us all realized that this could be that breakout book to really help photographers start using Photoshop for processing their digital images. Then Jim said,

“You know what would really set this book apart? You should include a tear-out gray card in the back of the book! Maybe one that’s perforated so they could tear it out and use it on shoots.”

I looked at Jim and said,

“What’s a gray card?”

After Jim and Kevin stopped giggling, and explained what it was and why it would be important, I was able to convince my Publisher, the wonderful Nancy Ruenzel, to include a gray card in that first edition of the book, published back in March of 2003. It’s been in every edition ever since, including the one that went to press just this month. There’s also a tear out gray card in my Lightroom book, too. Always has been. It’s there because of Jim. That Photoshop book was my biggest hit yet, and it opened a new world of post processing for hundreds of thousands of photographers around the world (it’s been translated into dozens of different languages over the years) and I owe a lot of the thanks to Jim, and to Kevin, who graciously shared their insight and ideas, and without whom the book never would have reached the worldwide audience it did. Jim did so many things like this, behind the scenes, to help our industry, to help his friends, to help his clients, and he had a impact on so many lives and careers — more than he would ever know, or take credit for.

Bestowing an honor well deserved
About three weeks ago I flew to Atlanta to see Jim, and to personally present Jim with a trophy he would have received in person in Orlando next spring, as he was to be inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame for his contributions to the art and education of Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to present it to Jim now, in case he wasn’t feeling up to making the trip down to Orlando. I also wanted to have the chance to let Jim know how much he meant to me, and how I would never forget the things he had done for me, my business, my family. I reminded him of the stories I just shared here with you. Jim was so humble and so gracious, and while of course he remembered all those occasions, from our first meeting, to teaching me studio lighting, to the book ideas, his column in Photoshop User magazine, and the Photoshop World conference all these years, he wouldn’t take credit for any of it. He didn’t see it as the big deal it really was. He’s just such a humble, down-to-earth person. Sharing like he did, helping and teaching other people — that’s just who he was.

He’ll never know how many people he inspired, informed, and helped along the way, and the seeds that were planted through this work will continue to grow for many years, and he leaves behind a legacy to be admired, celebrated and imitated. I will miss Jim, and I know so many of you that looked up to him and thought the world of him, as I did, will miss him, too.

When his wonderful wife Helene takes the stage in Orlando next spring to formally accept the Photoshop Hall of Fame award on Jim’s behalf, I know that hall will be filled with people that have been touched by Jim’s work; his teaching, and his heart for sharing what he had learned over the years, with an industry that meant so much to him.

I consider it a great blessing to have known Jim, and it has been an honor to call him my friend. Our industry and our lives are better because he was in it.

Jim, I shall never forget you. None of us will.

-Scott

2016-12days

If you’re an Annual KelbyOne member, things are going to get seriously awesome for the next 12 days because every day from now until Christmas, as our way of celebrating the Holidays (and celebrating you being our annual member), we are going to give away something very cool every day, starting at 12:00 Noon ET today.

We’re talking presets, templates, plug-ins, even books!

Q. OK, who gets these free gifts?
A. Anyone who has an ‘Annual KelbyOne Membership’ plan.

Q. So annual members get cool free things (like Lightroom presets, and ebooks, and stuff)?
A. Oh, yeah — a whole bunch of fun stuff (some of it is really incredible, thanks to our partners). 

Q. How do we get this stuff?
A. Go to your member Dashboard; click on Toolkit, and new stuff will just appear every single day until Christmas.

Q. Cool! What’s the first thing we get?
A.Well, Timmy, it’s a our new Photoshop 100 Hot Tips Guide!

Q. Really? That is awesome! Do I get another gift tomorrow?
A. Yup. I think tomorrow’s is a set of my own custom Nik Collection Color Efex Pro 4 Recipes.

Q. How about the day after that?
A. Still yes. Every day. For 12 days straight. Cool free stuff for annual members every day. 

Q. Ya know, nobody does stuff like this for 12 straight days, right?
A. It’s a love thing (5 pts. if you recognized that references to a song by The Whispers. Ain’t no school like the old school!). 

Q. I love KelbyOne!
A. We love you right back! (but that’s not a question — more of a statement really)

Q. I love you less since you just publicly corrected me.
A. It doesn’t change the way we feel about you. Love, nothing but love. Well, love and a slight bit of sentence structure correction, but really pretty minimal amounts.

Q. What if I’m not a member? Can I join and get this stuff?
A. Yup, and we have a special new member deal during these 12-days — just $169 (that’s $30 off our regular annual membership, Coupon Code: 12days169 ). Here’s the link. 

Q. That’s more than your CyberWeek deal.
A. It’s not CyberWeek any more. Now it’s just “week.” 

Q. So, I get more for less?
A. That is correct. 

Q. You’re not a cable company are you?
A. Ummm. No. 

Q. Maybe you should buy a Cable Company?
A. It costs a lot to buy a cable company, and then everybody hates you all the time. 

Q. Good point. Just keep doing your thing. 
A. Okay. 

Q. So are you doing this just for these 12-days?
A. Nope. we’re starting it now, but we’ll be adding new gifts to our annual member’s toolkits all year long. 

Q. How cool is that! You guys rock.
A. [blush]

Q. OK, can we get to the “5 Quick Layers Tips” video now?
A. Sure, but I’ve really enjoyed our time together. 

Q. Me, too.
A. I know. You had me at “Q.”

Here ya go:

I’m on my way to Dallas today – hope to meet some of you tomorrow at my seminar in Arlington. :)

Happy Holidays,

-Scott

P.S. Even though I’m out of town, “The Grid” is still on for tomorrow — Larry Becker is hosting and we have the crew from MacPhun plug-ins on showing off their brand new plug-in “Luminar.” 

Larry Becker was my guest this week on The Grid, and he was just awesome with some really great tips throughout. We cover a lot in this episode, and there’s lot of great comments, questions, and I think you’ll really enjoy it (the episode is above – you can play the episode and just listen to the audio in the background).

Hope that starts off your Monday right!

I’m off to Dallas tomorrow for my seminar there in Arlington on Wednesday. If you want to join me, and few other hundred photographers, it’s not too late (here’s the link).

Have a great Monday!

Best,

-Scott

Lot’s of Lightroom stuff to share with you today, but let’s start with Lightroom Magazine news! :)

lrmag

“Lightroom Magazine” has been “a magazine within a magazine” as its own section inside Photoshop User magazine (the official magazine publishing 10-times a year for KelbyOne members), but Lightroom has become such a big thing, that we felt it needed to be its own separate stand-alone magazine, and well…now it is!

This gives us the opportunity to expand our Lightroom coverage going forward (like adding new columns from Lightroom gurus Martin Evening, and Serge Ramelli), and to include photography related articles and features. Both of these magazines are created exclusively for KelbyOne members, if you are one, you’ll now receive both magazinse now as part of your membership (basically, you’ll be getting a new magazine, either Photoshop User or Lightroom Magazine, every few weeks).

Back Issues are here, too!
Also (this is huge!), we are putting an archive of the past year’s Lightroom Magazine on the KelbyOne member site, so you can easily access any issues you’ve missed. We’ve done the same for Photoshop User magazine back issues issues as well — we have back issues now available online going back to January of 2014. You’ll find these on the magazine link on your member dashboard (and if you’re not a member already, why the heck not? Here’s the link to join now!)

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The new issue of Photoshop User is here!
You might have already caught my Holiday Gear Guide here on the blog, but there’s a TON of awesome stuff in the issue (available right now from your KelbyOne members dashboard).

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Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile for IOS Updates
By now you’re probably heard about yesterday’s launch of new updates for Lightroom CC and Lightroom Mobile for IOS (with a whole new editing User Interface for the iPhone version -seen above), but if you missed any of that, I covered them both over at LightroomKillerTips.com

> Here’s what’s new in Lightroom CC

> Here’s what’s new in Lightroom Mobile for iPhone

Sharpening and Noise Reduction in Lightroom Mobile
These were actually released in the last update, but now you can actually find them. Here’s the link to my article today about how to take advantage of these previously kinda hidden features.

hidden

Oh, but there’s more Lightroom love today….

What to learn something seriously awesome in Lightroom this weekend?
Pro retoucher Kristi Sherk’s new course on “Portrait Retouching in Lightroom” is getting such rave reviewers from our members — it’s a big hit! Watch the official trailer above, and then this weekend, make it point to catch her class. You will absolutely LOVE what you learn about Lightroom brushes in this class.  Here’s the link to Kristi’s course.

Let’s wrap up with a tip on dealing with Clipping in Lightroom
This is a video tip (above) I did for my other blog, LightroomKillerTips.com (I post four-days a week there). The tip above is short, sweet, but shows you how to deal with something we have to deal with in our photography, and Lightroom makes it’s easy. :)

OK, that’s a lotta Lightroom Love for one day!
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, full of Lightroom and eggnog, and we’ll catch ya next week. :)

Best,

-Scott

gonzo1

Welcome to another magical collection of awesome gear that’s simply too gonzo to live without for another minute but, at the same time, will give you perfect gift ideas for the gonzo photographer on your Holiday Gift list.

Before we get to the list, just remember: The holidays are about giving (who is giving you what, and how much, so you can post pictures of it on social media). So don’t be shy: Act like a millennial, even if you’re actually old enough to still be a fan of Roosevelt.

NOTE: You can download a PDF version of the gear guide (complete with links to stuff), right here. This is the full version with the layout that appears in the new issue of Photoshop User magazine.

As is my sacred Gonzo tradition, I’m breaking things into three distinct categories:

  1. Stocking Stuffers: But you can use these as actual holiday gifts if you’re not that crazy about the person.
  1. Great Value Gear: Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.
  1. Cha-ching! Stuff you buy for the surgeon/Wall Street banker/rap mogul on your Holiday gift list. This is the stuff that makes them burst into spontaneous tears of joy. Well, at least I would.

Okay, folks, hang on to any loose body parts; here we go!

STOCKING STUFFERS: 

clamper2

The ProMaster Clamper Junior
This is a really clever, very sturdy mini-tripod, but what makes it unique is that it has a clamp built in to two of the legs, so you can clamp it on a railing. It’s small, lightweight, but tough.

$44.95 at Amazon

topaz2

Topaz Adjust (Photoshop and/or Lightroom Plug-in)
Probably Topaz’s most-popular plug-in (for Photoshop or Lightroom), it’s great for creating a wide range of special effects, and it comes with loads of presets, so all your holiday gift receiver has to do is click on presets until he sees one that looks good, and click OK. Of course, he can tweak away to his heart’s content, but by that time, he’ll already be basking in the glow of your generosity for getting this for him in the first place.

Price: $49.99 (at B&H Photo)

blackblaze

A Year of Backblaze Unlimited Backup
There’s more than a reasonable chance that the photographers on your gift list don’t have an offsite backup of their all-important image library, but don’t worry: You can get them one for just $5 a month for unlimited storage. The whole process is automated, and best of all, they can back up external drives. They’ll totally dig this, and one day, if catastrophe strikes and they need to retrieve all their images from this backup, they’ll never forget you! It could be, literally, the ultimate gift.

Price: $5/month; $50/1 year; or $95/2 years (Direct)

diffuser

 

Westcott 30″ 1-Stop Diffuser
Put this diffuser between your subject and the sun, and you’ll turn that harsh nasty light into beautiful gorgeous light and it’s only $14.17, which is a crazy low price to pay for beautiful light. Plus, it’s collapsible and folds down to one- third its size, and the whole thing looks like it cost three times the price. It’s all good.

Price: $14.17 (at B&H Photo)

books

Some Cool Books
If they’re into sports, they’ll love You Will Never Get in the Game by Jimmy Cribbs (the story of Atlanta Falcon’s team photographer). Price: $34.95 (direct)

Or how about Photo Adventures for Kids by Anne-Laure Jacquart, which is a really great photo project book to get kids interested in learning about photography. Very well done! Price: $11.57 (from Amazon)

Hey, they just might like my brand-new book, The Adobe Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers (2017 Release). Price: $46.74 (from Amazon)

Or if you want to splurge just a little, get them either of these gorgeous coffee-table style photo books:

AIR by Vincent LaForet (breathtakingly beautiful aerial shots): Price: $59.95 (from Amazon)

Paris by Serge Ramelli: (the city of romance in black and white) Price: $75.00 (from Amazon)


GREAT VALUE GEAR:
Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.

rapid

 

Westcott 26″ RapidBox Octa Softbox for Flash
These pop-up softboxes are just brilliantly designed: They open and close like an umbrella. This particular one is actually a pop-up beauty dish, and it’s awesome! I think it’s the best designed and most durable collapsible I’ve ever seen, and it fits in such a small, lightweight, soft-sided case that you won’t believe it could even fit. I would call this “ultra portable,” to say the least. Designed to work with your off-camera flash, it comes with a well-made hot-shoe bracket, so you’re ready to go in 60 seconds. I’m a big fan of these, and Westcott now also makes 10×24″ strip bank versions. (I have two of them!) They’re worth every penny.

Price: $169.90 (at B&H Photo)

sling

Think Tank Photo TurnStyle 10 Sling Camera Bag
A friend turned me on to this small sling bag and I love it on a level you can’t imagine! I took it with me on my last photo trip, and now it’s my travel companion—perfect for carrying a couple of lenses and accessories. You carry it like a backpack, but then you swivel it around in front of you for easy access. So well designed, super-lightweight, and built like a Think Tank bag (amazing quality). They’ll love this.

Price: $84.75 (at B&H Photo)

haida

Haida 150 Series Filter Holder System
If the photographer on your holiday list shoots landscape, architectural, or travel photography, they’ll love this filter system that lets you take long exposure shots in broad daylight. Really wonderfully designed and built. (I started using these this summer, and I was just so impressed.) And the price (especially for the quality) is really amazing—much lower than the competition’s—plus the case and overall presentation makes them look like you spent way more than you did. Make sure you know which type of lens your photographer friend uses, get the filter holder adapter ring set that fits their landscape lens, then pick up a Haida 150×150 ND 3.0 Optical Glass Filter, which is a 10-stop neutral density filter, to go in the bracket. You’ll feel much love when you give this gift!

Haida 150 Series Filter Holder: Around $150 (at B&H Photo)
Haida 150×150 ND 3.0 Optical Glass Filter: $129 (at B&H Photo)

platy

Platypod Pro and Pro Max
This new model grew out of a huge Kickstarter campaign because photographers are either looking to put cameras where tripods aren’t allowed or into spaces that are too small or tight for a tripod; or they just want to shoot at really low angles. (I use one for shooting remotes at football games or weddings, where I can place it behind the altar.) The Platypod Pro Max is probably the best solution ever! Built with lightweight but crazy-strong commercial aircraft aluminum, this is such a clever design.

Pro Deluxe Kit (for midsize cameras) Price: $49 (at Platypod)
Pro Max (for larger cameras) Price: $99
(at Platypod)

C20i_product_Image_wCable

Lexar 128 GB JumpDrive C20i Lightning to USB 3.0 Cable with Built-in Flash Drive
Okay, that’s a boring name, but this is a really cool, handy device that does more than you might think. Not only can you transfer up to 128 GB of photos, either from your iPhone or iPad to your computer (or vice versa), it also actually acts as an iPhone or iPad charger. So small and lightweight, but backed with power!

Price: $136.99 (at B&H Photo)

teth

Tether Tools Case Air Wireless Tethering System
Photographers have been dying for an inexpensive, reliable, easy way to shoot directly from their DSLR straight to an iPad or iPhone (also works for Android devices), and Tether Tools totally nailed that with their new Case Air Wireless Tethering System. You can even focus and fire your camera using their app (for iOS or Android). So easy to set up and use, and the price is right. Very cool stuff!

Price: $159.99 (at B&H Photo)

Battery Grip
This is one of those gifts that they’ll love you for forever because it’s so handy and it makes their camera look and feel more like a high-end pro camera, as it gives them a second battery holder and a shutter button for when they’re shooting vertical. The price starts at around $50 for a third-party grip, but if you buy a Nikon brand for a Nikon camera, or Canon brand for Canon, expect to pay at least 2–3 times as much, so give the Vello brand at B&H a serious look. You’ll be a holiday hero for this one!

Starting at $50.00 (at B&H Photo)

mpix

Mpix Premium Panoramic Photo Books
I made my first one of these photo books earlier this year, and I have to say, they scream quality! The thickness of the pages just gives it such an expensive feel (but without an actual expensive price). Your giftees can design their books right on the Mpix site (it’s so simple to create a book; anyone can do it), and they’ll be amazed when their photo book arrives—just beautiful! Either gift them the ability to make one using their images, or make a book of your images and present it as a gift.

Price: Starting at $39.99 (at MPIX)

giftcard2

B&H Photo Gift Cards
Not sure exactly what to get your photographer friends? Yes you are. Get ’em a B&H Photo Gift Card. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want something from the greatest photo store on earth, plus this way they can get whatever they want (within the limit of how much you put on the card, of course). You can order them direct from the B&H site, and they send a card and a catalog, so it looks pretty substantial.

Price: Starting at $25 (link)

lum

Macphun Luminar (plug-in for Photoshop and/or Lightroom)
If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s just because it’s brand new. I think this might be the perfect plug-in for people who are just getting into using plug-ins, because: (a) it has lots of presets; (b) it does tons of stuff; (c) it’s very easy to use; and (d) it’s super affordable at $69. It does everything from photo special effects to editing tasks (even editing RAW images); and again, its big strength is lots of presets that create good looks. It’s pretty full-featured photo-editing software on its own, so you’ll see stuff like Layers, Noise Reduction, Curves, and more, but I just use the special effects—of which there are plenty to keep your giftee busy. The downside is that it’s Mac only at this point, so make sure your photographer giftee uses a Mac.

Price: $69 (at MacPhun)

3leg

3 Legged Thing Equinox Albert Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod and AirHed 360
This has become my go-to tripod for travel, because it really packs up small, it’s fairly lightweight, but sturdy as all get-out, and it comes with a really nice ballhead (and a nice ballhead alone can cost more than this entire rig, so that helps make it a great deal). They make an even smaller, lighter travel tripod called the “Leo,” if size and portability is #1 on your list; otherwise, I’d go with the Albert, even though it’s a little heavier, and a little bigger.

Albert: $489.99 (at B&H Photo)
Leo: $349.99 (at B&H Photo)

phottix

Phottix Mitros Flash (and Odin II Wireless Flash Transmitter)
If you want to get the photographer on your gift list a really good quality flash without spending $600, this is what I’d go with. They’re awesome quality flashes, but I have to say it’s the wireless transmitter—the Phottix Odin II Flash Trigger Transmitter, sold separately for around $199 and used for wirelessly controlling one or more flashes—that made me fall in love with this system. It’s like it was designed by a photographer (rather than an engineer). If you’ve seen me out on the road this year, these are the flashes I’ve been using.

Phottix Mitros+ Transceiver Flash: Around $350 (link)
Phottix Odin II Flash Trigger Transmitter: $194.90 (link)


 

CHA-CHING!
Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.

inpact

Impact Venture TTL 600W/s Battery-Powered Monolight Kit
The hot things in lighting right now are these studio strobes you can take on location and, instead of having a separate battery pack, the battery is built right into the light itself, so it’s just the light, on a stand, and that’s it—no cables whatsoever. Of course, the problem has been that they’ve been crazy expensive, which is why I like this Impact version so much: The light, a 32″ hex softbox, the wireless controller, and a spare battery are available as a kit from B&H Photo for just $1,249.95, which is a pretty screaming deal. It has built-in high-speed sync and LED modeling lights. And did I mention the price? It’s less than one-half the competitor’s. Sweet!

Price: $1249.95 (at B&H Photo)

mark4

Canon EOS 5 Mark IV
If the Canon shooter on your holiday list is looking for a new camera body, the 5D Mark IV is perhaps the best all-around camera Canon has ever made. It’s a big upgrade over the industry workhorse Mark III, and just about every single aspect is improved or enhanced on this bad boy. It has more megapixels, better sensor, built-in wireless, built-in GPS, more frames per second, and I could go on and on, but the bottom line is this: It makes better images. If you buy them this body, they’ll follow you around like a puppy for the rest of their lives.

Price: Body only $3,499 (at B&H Photo)

 

elc

Elinchrom ELC Pro  HD 500s Flash Head
Want something awesome for the studio photographer on your list? These new strobes from Elinchrom are the best I’ve used from them (and they’re known for their quality/value ratio). Great new design, but beyond that, it fires about as fast as you can shoot with virtually no recycling time between shots. And you can do stroboscopic, sequence, and delayed strobe effects easily—these modes are built in. Very consistent, well designed, and a lot of bang for the buck.

Price: $1,049.99 (at B&H Photo)

16-35mm

Canon EF 16–35mmf 2 8L III USM Lens 
This 16–35mm range is one of my all-time favorites for a super-wide-angle lens, and Canon just released a new updated version of this classic lens that’s sharper than ever. If your photographer giftee shoots landscape, travel, architecture or football (I use it for my remote cameras), he’ll lose his mind if you get him one of these. This is the good stuff!

Price: $2,199 (at B&H Photo)


STUFF FROM US
I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least make mention of some of the cool gifts we have over here at KelbyOne.

k1

A One-Year KelbyOne Online Education membership
Wanna give them a gift that they’ll remember all year long? How about world-class, online training on everything from Photoshop to Lightroom to photography. It’s $199 for an entire year (with 24/7 access to literally thousands of lessons), or just $19.95 a month. Not only will they love you for it, so will I.

Monthly: $19.95 (at KelbyOne.com)
Annual: $199 (at KelbyOne.com)

how-do-i

My “How Do I Do That In Photoshop?” and “How Do I Do That In Lightroom?” Book Bundle
I created these two books for people who are already at least somewhat familiar with Photoshop and/or Lightroom and they want reference books they can keep right at their desk, so when they ask themselves, “Isn’t there a way to do that in Lightroom or Photoshop?” they just turn right to the page in the respective book that describes just that one topic. These books have a been a huge hit with readers (the Lightroom book is already in its third printing), and you can get a deal from the publisher on the two-book bundle for only $30.00.

Both eBooks: $20 (from Rocky Nook)
Both Paperbacks: $30 (at Rocky Nook)
Both Print and eBook Bundles: $45 (at Rocky Nook)

psw

Treat them to the Photoshop World 2017 Conference in Orlando next April
Treat them to the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando Okay, do you want to totally blow them away to the extent that they need a spinal tap? Give them a full conference pass to the Photoshop World Conference in April in Orlando, Florida. It’s a three-day Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography love fest, and they’ll be talking about this gift, what they learned, and the overall experience, for years to come.

If you’re a KelbyOne member, if you buy it for them now, you get $100 off for being a member, and another $100 off with the Early Bird discount, so it’s just $599. (at http://photoshopworld.com)

For everybody else, it’s $699 (but if you buy it now, before the early-bird discount cut-off) it’s still $100 off). (at http://photoshopworld.com)  ■


Well, there ya have it folks. Remember, it’s not how many gifts you get. It’s about how many gifts you get me! ;-)

Happy Holidays!

-Scott

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