Posts By Scott Kelby


During my GAPW Workshop (with famous landscape photographer Bill Fortney) this past week out in Montana’s Glacier National Park, I showed my students how easy it is to shoot and stitch a panorama, thanks to Photoshop CS3’s incredible Photomerge feature (which incorporates the mind-blowing Auto Align and Auto Blend features). I gave my students the assignment of shooting a pano and stitching it in CS3 (only one student in the class had ever shot and stitched a pano before).

Well, after our dawn shoot at Swiftcurrent Lake, we went to breakfast at the “Many Glacier” hotel right on the water. After breakfast, one of my students, John Cureton, shot his first ever pano from the hotel lobby balcony, overlooking the lake. When we got back to the classroom, John used CS3’s Photomerge to stitch it together perfectly and we both were really tickled. John’s success started a “pano frenzy” in the class, and by that evening everybody was shooting and stitching panos. John was kind enough to let me share his wonderful pano above (click for a much larger version). Thanks to John for letting me share this with you.

In a semi-related note: John, and his buddy Wes, were both students in my class, and they were telling me about an Advanced Photoshop Course they’re enrolled in at a local college near their home in Knoxville, Tennessee. They were raving about their instructor, Steve Chastain, and they just couldn’t say enough great things about, noting his true passion for teaching, and genuine care and dedication to his students.

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Steve for his work, and for being such a great teacher that his students would be singing his praises even when they’re thousands of miles away. Way to go Steve–keep up the great work! :-)


Here’s one from last night’s shoot at Glacier (click for a larger version). It was raining pretty steadily last night, so our sunset shoot was out, but when it rains it’s the perfect time to shoot streams (you can get that silky water from long exposures, and the rocks are wet, too). Unfortunately, this is shot at 100 ISO, so it doesn’t take advantage of the D3’s incredibly low noise, but I thought I’d at least throw one up. I’ve learned more cool things about the D3, and I’ll share more next week.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the D300, but unfortunately there’s not one here for me to shoot, so at this point, I have no idea how it compares to the D3, but as soon as I get to field test one; you’ll be the first to know.

I got a couple of shots this morning at our dawn shoot, and I’ve another shoot late this afternoon (it’s still cold, but not as cold, and it’s a bright beautiful day. I’m lovin’ it!). Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see you on Monday.



Here’s a shot from this morning’s dawn shoot (click for a larger version). We only had that light for about 10 minutes (at best), and then the sun tucked behind a cloud bank never to return (it started raining shortly thereafter for the rest of the day. You can’t tell from the photo shown above (taken with a Nikon D200), but it was freezing cold (so cold I could barely concentrate on shooting). But, even as cold as it was, I had a blast shooting alongside my workshop class, and the world class Bill Fortney.

We spent the rest of the day in the classroom, learning Lightroom, and that went really great (almost everyone in the workshop was already using Lightroom to some extent, and two of the students had even been to my Lightroom Live Tour).

Although I didn’t get a chance to shoot with the Nikon D3 during the morning shoot, I spent hours with it tonight at our dusk shoot, and I have to say; not only does it live up to it’s hype, I’d have to say it actually exceeds it. There are a lot of things to love about the D3, but the lack of noise is far beyond what I had ever imagined (and I had heard stories of people raving about the low noise, but you’ve really got to see it in person to believe it).

I haven’t done any lab research on this, just some field shooting yesterday and today, but when I look at images shot at 1600 ISO on the D3, they look like images taken on my D2x at 400 ISO. You just can’t believe what you’re seeing. Bill did a demo for the class last night, and even showed images shot at 6400 ISO and there were literally gasps in the room at the low levels of noise. You’ve gotta understand; this isn’t just an improvement in the noise and detail—this is way beyond that. Without sounding corny (though it still will), this is like a new dawn in the digital camera era, and now I can see where noise will soon be a non-issue. I was fully expecting to be impressed with the D3’s low noise, but I honestly wasn’t prepared for this. I was blown away. We all were.

Some other things I quickly fell in love with was (of course), the huge 3″ LCD panel, which is the crispest and brightest I’ve never seen (even the menus looked great), and the full frame View Finder is just fantastic. During the day I kept uncovering new features, and everybody was ooohh and ahhhing over it, and the more I shot it, the more I fell in love. It’s got more slick, well-thought out features, than you can imagine, and I know I’m gushing, but….I’m just gushing!!! Bravo to Nikon for making a camera that is just a joy to shoot (the feel of the shutter is amazing), that is smart (it holds two memory cards at once; and has a double battery charger as well), and takes some amazingly sharp, crisp, low noise photos.

As for the rest fo the day, really—who cares—I was playing with a D3!!!! :-) Actually, we had a really great day; I’ve met some just wonderful people, and we’ve had a blast getting to know each other, learning, shooting, and sitting around a roaring fire tonight at the Lodge. Life is good. :)

Hopefully I’ll be able to post some D3 images soon (there’s no way to decode the Raw photos yet, since it hasn’t been released yet, so I shot Raw + JPEG and I got a quick glance at a few of my JPEGs, and the quality is just off the charts).


So we land at the tiny airport in Kalispell, Montana, and as we get off the plane there’s a man standing there to greet us, holding the sign you see above. This could only be (and it is), Bill Fortney, from Nikon Professional Services, who’s teaching the workshop with me. So, when I saw the sign I reacted much as I imagine Ansel himself would have—I punched his lights out. (Kidding, totally kidding). Actually, once I stopped laughing my butt off, I did what Ansel himself probably would have done if he were alive today. I pulled out my iPhone and got a shot of crazy Bill holding that sign. It’s going to be a wild week! ;-)

We’re off to our sunrise shoot, so I’ve got to go, BUT….(TEASER ALERT): I got to shoot with the Nikon D3 yesterday, and I’m shooting with it again this morning, and…….. (well, check back later for the scoop).


Congratulations to Corey Barker and “RC” who today released the premiere episode of Layers TV (produced by Layers Magazine, the how-to magazine for everything Adobe). Their new show (which you can watch right on their site, at, is packed (and I mean packed), with tutorials and tips on the Adobe Creative Suite apps, like Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Acrobat.

These guys did just an amazing job in kicking off this new weekly program (with the way cool look and feel courtesy of Jason “The Scriv” Scrivner), so head on over there, check out their great new show, and help them spread the word. Way to go, guys!!!! :-)


I’m coming to Boston for one day only, with my Photoshop CS3 Power Tour seminar, and I hope you can make it, ’cause we’re going to be doing some very cool stuff with Photoshop CS3, Camera Raw 4.1, and the whole ball of wax (whole ball of wax?)

The full day seminar (produced by NAPP, and sponsored by Adobe), is $99 bucks for the day event, or if you’re a NAPP member it’s only $79. In this day, I only focus on the most important, most useful, and the easiest (and most fun) ways to get the most of your time in Photoshop CS3, and you’ll learn lots of timesaving/jobsaving techniques, and we’ll generally have a blast. Here’s the link where you can sign up or get more details. Hope I’ll see you up in Boston! :-)