Posts By Scott Kelby


Last night I read through all 120+ ideas you all came up with from yesterday’s post regarding my upcoming Online Portrait Retouching Class, and they were just spot on!!! There were so many angles I hadn’t thought of, and you guys totally came through for me (once again!). :-)

Here’s what I learned:

(1) A lot of folks posted similar ideas, which is great because it means a lot of folks needed something I would have left out.
(2) A number of things that were posted were already part of my outline (which is cool), and there were others that would have been covered under my existing outline, but that may have been hard to tell with just the short descriptions I provided yesterday.
(3) Many of you are as concerned as I am about “overdoing it” when it comes to retouching. Over the past few years, when it comes to retouching, I’ve been embracing the “less is more” idea, so this class isn’t going to be an “Extreme Makeover,” but rather a collection of subtle retouches that, when they all come together, make your retouches look real (in other words; the goal is that the final photo doesn’t look at all retouched).

So, I’ll be staying away from the “Porcelain skin with super sharp eyes” look or any of that over-the-top retouching you see so often. Instead the class will focus on topics like skin smoothing while maintaining realistic detail and texture, and retouches that look natural and flattering, not fake and plastic. A special signed book goes out to Chris Joyce for her (his?) post called “Don’t lose the reality.” She/he said just what I was thinking.

(4) I also found that you asked for some retouches that I simply don’t know how to do. Well, not yet any way—but I soon will (and soon so will you). :)

(5) I found that you had some ideas that are really outside the confines of this class, but would make a great separate class (a lot of requests about removing, limiting, and editing backgrounds, and group shots, and shadows, lighting, posing, and more.).

The following people had ideas that I loved, and I’ve added them to my class outline. Sadly, not all of them will actually make it into the class because I have to find (in my archives), or shoot, a photo for every single technique I add to the class. And I’m not sure I can find all these people, with all these problems, and shoot them in the next few weeks. Plus, each image has to be model released, because I’m making the images downloadable for every technique, so my students can follow along using the same images.

So….we’ll see how many I can come up with, but of the following list, I’m going to at least attempt to add them all. The winning ideas (and the signed book winners) are:

⢠Removing Tan Lines (Richard Murray)
⢠Fixing gaps between teeth (Bill Chinn)
⢠Crooked or chipped teeth (Edwardson)
⢠Neck one color; makeup on face another color (Tom Vollick)
⢠How to remove a double chin / Five o’clock shadow (Bruno Waes)
⢠Removing hair over your subject’s eyes (Thomas)
⢠Reducing the size of ears (Joe Stone )
⢠Glossy look on women’s lips (Steve)
⢠Touching up Hair Roots (Martin E. Morris)

NOTE: The post popular ones were removing tan lines, double-chins, and reducing ear size. Touching up roots was right behind.

Also Penny gets a signed book because I really wasn’t planning on doing a skin color correction thing, but her post made me change my mind.

My humble thanks to everyone who participated, and took the time to share their ideas. I consider it an honor that I get the help and input of so many talented people like yourselves, and that you give so willingly to help make the course better for everyone. That means a lot, and it says a lot about you all, and about this community we’ve created together. My sincere thanks.

Hey, one last thing: scroll down to catch one more post from me today. :)


RC and Corey Barker were kind enough to have me as a guest on their very slick weekly show, “Layers TV: The how-to show for everything Adobe.” What might surprise you, is that on this week’s episode I’m showing my 10 favorite Adobe InDesign tips. Now, you might be thinking, “Scott, do you even know Adobe InDesign?” Nope. Not really. (I’m kidding, of course. I actually use InDesign every single day—have been for years, and I even co-authored the book InDesign Killer Tips, so I’m a bit of an InDesign freak at heart). Anyway, you can watch the show right online (click here to check it out).

A new episode is posted every Wednesday afternoon and these guys have loads of cool tutorials and tips on Adobe Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash, Acrobat, and all the other Adobe stuff we don’t cover on Photoshop User TV. It’s one of the coolest shows out there, and if you watch it once, you’ll be hooked.

Note: if you want to see how “RC and I roll,” check out the silly little clip the editor, who will almost certainly be fired by the time you read his, put at the very end, right after the credits. It’s funkalicious!


The December 31, 2007 entry deadline for the 2nd Annual Worldwide "Photoshop User Awards" competition, (produced by Photoshop User magazine, and sponsored by Peachpit Press, Imagenomic (developer’s of “Noiseware”), B&H Photo, and Layers Magazine), is right around the corner.

Remember, if you're chosen as this year's "Best of Show" winner, we're sending you and a friend on a trip to beautiful Maui, Hawaii (including round-trip airfare, hotel, and daily expenses) to get you totally inspired to have your work featured as the cover art for an upcoming issue of Photoshop User magazine.

Besides the grand prize, there are also thousands of dollars in other prizes and winners in a variety of different categories. The contest is open to any Photoshop user, anywhere in the world, but you can't win if you don't enter, so for all the details, visit Don’t forget to enter by midnight on December 31, 2007.


I’m working on a new online course called “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques with Adobe Photoshop” and I hope to have it “up live” on in the next two weeks or so. Before I wrap it up, I hoped to get some input from you, to make sure I cover the techniques you think should be included.

First, some background: This is a class on portrait retouching, so it’s not going to cover color correction, or fixing lighting, or anything that’s not directly related to portrait retouching in Photoshop (both head shots and body sculpting). Also, there won’t be any retouching of nudie naked nakedness. In fact, there will be no nudity at all (other than my own, of course, as I usually record these in the nude. I’m kidding. You knew that, right?).

Anyway, here’s the list of individual lessons from the class, but it’s not too late to add a few more. Here we go:

» Eyes (making them larger)
» Eyes (whitening the eyes)
» Eyes (Enhancing eyes, and changing eye color)
» Eyes (Adding or enhancing makeup)
» Eyes (creating longer lashes)
» Eyes (Making them sparkle)
» Eyes (removing dark circles under, method 1)
» Eyes( removing dark circles under, method 2)
» Replacing closed eyes with open eyes
» Fixing reflections in eye glasses
» Teeth (Brightening)
» Teeth (Removing yellowing)
» Turning a frown into a smile
» Making lips fuller
» Removing Blemishes (Method 1)
» Removing Blemishes (Method 2)
» Reducing acne or freckles
» Removing wrinkles
» Reducing nose size (Method 1)
» Reducing nose size (Method 2)
» Reshaping Nose
» Smoothing Skin (basic)
» Smoothing Skin (advanced)
» Removing Hot Spots
» Sharpening skin
» Sharpening Female skin
» Making your subject look thinner overall
» Removing shirt creases and wrinkles in clothes
» Making arms and legs look thinner
» Reducing Jowels
» Adding highlights to hair
» Changing hair color
» Removing stray hair
» Digital tummy tucks
» Removing love handles
» Complete start to finish retouching Workflow 1
» Complete start to finish retouching Workflow 2

So that’s the current lesson list, but your ideas posted here on the blog can certainly have me adding to it. If I wind up using one of your suggestions in the class, you’ll get a signed copy of my upcoming book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2” and my sincere thanks for making the class better for everyone who takes it.

Thanks in advance for your input and advice. It’s most appreciated and it really makes a difference. :)

top5.jpg I’m back, baby! I had a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled Christmas, and although I’m still somewhat in Holiday mode, I’ve got a “lite” post-Christmas update for you.

  • First, I had a wonderful Christmas Eve surprise; I took a look at’s top selling titles for the entire Computers & Internet category, and saw that I had four of the top five bestselling books (see above), which really made me grateful to all my faithful readers who are kind enough to give my books as Holiday gifts. That’s about the best present you can give a writer like me, so my humble thanks go out to all who passed on my books to family and friends. You guys rock!
  • adim.jpgAdobe’s own in-house Photoshop genius, Russell Preston Brown, has announced the location and theme for his 11th annual “ADIM Conference” (Art Directors Invitational Masterclass), held each year in a different location. This coming year it’s being held in sunny San Jose, California on April 30th – May 3rd, and its has a clever “Classic Movie Monsters” theme. It’s really an amazing event (ask anyone who’s been), which includes creative opportunities, events, and classes you simply can’t find anywhere else. Here’s the link to the site (the site design itself is very cool), for all the details.
  • Designorati did an in-depth review of my “Photoshop 7-point-system” book and while I did flinch a bit while reading it (the reviewer Jeremy Schultz was very clear about what he didn’t like about my previous books), it’s still one of the most complete and fair reviews out there (in the end, he said “I almost never give a perfect ten, but Scott Kelby's 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 deserves it.” Click here to feel my pain (or joy, depending on how you look at things).
  • OK, to wrap up this truncated version of the news, how about a little photographic and Photoshop inspiration: check out Motor Image Works site. They specialize in car photography, and putting CGI generated cars into photographic scenes, and they have a section on their site where they show a breakdown of how the images where compositing (showing just the car, just the background, added CGI elements, and the final image. Definitely worth checking out (here’s the link).
  • Santa (in the form of my wife and friends), got me lots of cool photo gear for Christmas, and although I haven’t had a chance to take any of it out for a spin yet, I’m heading out with some of it later today, so hopefully I’ll have some field reviews for you by next week.

That’s it for this “Lite” version of the news. See you all tomorrow! :-)

Before I get to my list, first I have to tell you; I am just so thrilled at the response to our launch yesterday of our subscription-based online training. The first-day’s sign-ups were beyond what any of us had even hoped for, and we’re so excited to have you all on board. It’s going to be an amazing year ahead (with lots more surprises right around the corner). Thanks to everyone who came onboard, posted comments, and showed their support. It means a lot.

Now, if you’re looking for some last-minute Holiday gifts, here’s a list of my six favorite print magazines, and you can give gift subscriptions to any of these online at their Web site (I’ll include the links for each one). Here we go (not listed in any particular order):

outdoor.jpg> Outdoor Photographer
I can’t wait to see this one in my mailbox each month, and I particularly look forward to the monthly columns from people like George Lepp, Bob Krist, Bill Hatcher, William Neill, and Frans Lanting. Great stuff for the nature, landscape, and outdoor photographer on your list. Also, lots of great info on gear for outdoor photographers and they always end each issue with a photo that makes you smile. Here’s the link.

pdn.jpg> PDN (Photo District News)
This is for the pro photographer on your list, but anyone will enjoy the wonderful images and article on industry pros. It has a heavy lean toward advertising and commercial photography, but here’s the thing; it’s amazing photography, the magazine is very well written, beautifully laid out, and is just slick from top to bottom (with a beautiful print job as well). Here’s the link to subscribe.

digpro.jpg> Digital Photo Pro
The newest magazine of the bunch, but it rocks. A great layout, and lots of digital photography focused content (including Photoshop and Lightroom feature stories and tutorials), make this one of my absolute favorites. Good info on gear, on printing, and I really enjoy the Misinformation column on the back page. Lots of great photography and a layout that works beautifully to show it at large sizes that really make it hard to put down. Here’s the link to subscribe.

how.jpg> HOW magazine
This one is for the graphic designer/art director on your holiday list, and nobody covers this market like HOW. As you might expect, the layout is just beautiful, but not the least bit “over the top.” It’s elegant, very readable and engaging. Lots of design-business articles, and one of my favorite columns has always been their “Workspace” column, which shows the interior of some of the coolest ad agencies, design shops, and creative companies in the world. Very inspiring. Also, lots of cool stuff on Type, which I dearly love. Here’s the link to subscribe.

shutter.jpg> Shutterbug
In the last few years, I feel that Shutterbug has really moved to the next level, and it’s one of my favorite to sit down and read as soon as it arrives, because they focus on a lot of new gear, and I just love that. Of course there’s lots of great photography and feature articles, but when it comes to gear, this one has no peer (hey, that rhymes). A great pick for the photographer on your list. Here’s the link to subscribe.

popphoto.jpg> Popular Photography
The grand-daddy of all photography magazines still shows how it got to be that, with great articles, great photography, and perhaps most of all; really great in-depth product reviews. They also have a very nice online site as well. Great writing, a touch of Photoshop training, and lots of info on gear make it one of my favorites. Here’s the link to subscribe.

There you have it; my six picks for my favorite magazines. Now, I’m sure you probably noticed that I excluded the two magazines I publish (Photoshop User and Layers Magazine), because I’m kinda (very) biased about those two, and I figured those were implied. ;-)

Have a great weekend everybody. I’m going to take Monday (Christmas Eve) and Christmas Day off to spend with my family, so it’ll be “No Blog Monday and Tuesday.” I wish you all a wonderful joy-filled Christmas, and I hope Santa brings each of you a D3 or a Mark III (hey, that rhymes, too!).

Merry Christmas!!!!!