Posts By Scott Kelby

Today in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving; a national holiday where we give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy (and I truly feel like the most blessed guy on earth). Traditionally this is a day  where families come together to eat a Thanksgiving turkey feast, and then we watch football until we pass out. It's just about a perfect day. :-)

Our offices are closed today for Thanksgiving, but I'll be back here tomorrow with some insane deals on all our stuff in honor of the biggest shopping day of the year.

In the meantime, please enjoy the stock photo above (nothing brings the warmth, togetherness, and joy of Thanksgiving together like a stock photo).

In all seriousness, here's wishing you and your family a joyus, happy, and yummy Thanksgiving. :-)




At my Photoshop seminars last week in Boston and Washington DC, three questions came up again and again from the seminar participants and so I thought I’d address them here:

(1) Photoshop CS6 doesn’t run in your Web browser
The first one is a myth going around that if you get the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop you run it in your Web browser. Good news — it is NOT a web-based application — it’s the same Photoshop that works the same way as if you had bought it in a box at your local computer store —- but now you just download it from the Web (er, the Adobe Cloud) and install it on your computer just like you do with about any software program these days.

I think what throws people off is the word “Cloud” and when we think “Cloud” we think “Web-based”, and while there is a cloud-component and features that come as part of a membership to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, that’s just to extend the power and workflow of Adobe’s applications — they are not Web based applications. So why did Adobe use the word Cloud at all? My guess is, Wall Street loves anything with the word “Cloud” in it (I’m judging by the number of backlit ads I see in airports touting different companies “Cloud integration” or “Cloud Solutions” or “Cloud Cloudiness”).

I think probably the biggest benefit (well, it is for me anyway) of Creative Cloud membership is that you get new Photoshop features as soon as they’re ready — you don’t have to wait 18 months to two years before you get new features — they just release these new features via updates from the cloud as soon as they’re fully baked. I’ve been on the Creative Cloud since it came out (I even told the crowd — the version of Photoshop I’ve been using all day today is the Creative Cloud version, and they seemed relieved).

(2) If you don’t have CS6, you can rent just Photoshop CS6 alone for $20 a month
This shocked a lot of folks (especially folks on Photoshop Elements or who just had Lightroom that thought they’d never be able to afford the full Photoshop). This isn’t a stripped down version, or trial version or any of those other myths — it’s the full-blown Photoshop CS6 (including the new DSLR Video editing features) that we all use everyday.

(3) A whole BUNCH of folks didn’t know Adobe cut Lightroom 4’s price in half!
I was surprised at how many folks didn’t realize that Lightroom 4 isn’t $299 any more. A while back Adobe lowered the price to just $149.99 (which is awesome — yay Adobe), but Lightroom 4 is also now included as part of the full Creative Cloud membership, so if you’re already a full Adobe Creative Cloud member (so you’re not just renting Photoshop by itself) then you can  just go and download the full Lightroom 4 right now. Sweet, right? Oh yeah!

Anyway, that’s just a few of the things that kept coming up in Boston and again in DC last week so I thought I’d share them here. How software is sold and delivered is changing just like everything else in technology these days, and I know it’s hard to keep with it all (it’s a struggle for me, and I have lots of help), so I hope you find these helpful (lot’s more on the whole Creative Cloud thing over on Adobe’s site).

Note:  In re-reading these three points, they sound a little “pluggy” but just so you know, I don’t get a kick-back, commission, or anything else from Adobe if you buy Photoshop, Lightroom or the Creative Cloud, which if you ask me is a doggone shame! LOL!.

I just got mine on Friday and here are my initial thoughts: Take an iPad and make it smaller, thinner and lighter and you’ve got an iPad mini. The experience is really just about identical. OK, 50-sec

onds left:

Q. Is it as light and thin as you thought it would be?
A. Actually, it’s thinner and lighter than I was expecting. If actually feels lighter than my iPhone 5. Once you use it, and then pick up your old iPad, the old one feels like a brick (which it never did to me before, but it sure does now).

Q. What about the lack of Retina display?
A. I thought this would bother me, but you really have to be looking for a difference to notice it at this smaller size. Everybody I’ve shown it to was surprised at how good the screen looked after reading about the lack of Retina display. I guess if you put them side-by-side you’d notice.

Q. How about speed? 
A. Seems really zippy. I’m sure in a bench test it would rate it quite a bit slower, but it doesn’t feel like it.

Q. How do you feel about the price?
A. I think they should have come in at $299 to start, or even $249, but the market will determine if it’s actually too high.

Q. Do books and magazines feel too small on that smaller display?
A. This is one of the first things I checked, and they actually look great, especially paperback books. The size is right on the money.

Q. What are people’s reactions to it?
A. Every single person I’ve shown it to falls instantly in love with the size, thinness and how amazingly light it is. Two said they’re going to sell their larger iPad to get this one. You actually have to see it and hold it to really appreciate it.

Q. What if you already own a different type of small tablet and therefore this review has absolutely nothing to do with you?
A. Then you should take this opportunity to attack Apple, the iPad mini, me, and the other stupid people that buy Apple products.

Q. Are you really suggesting that?
A. No, but it’s going to happen anyway (sigh).

It’s our biggest issue yet, with lots of awesome lighting tutorials; everything from lighting for weddings; tips for shooting with a beauty dish; lighting home interiors; a very cool location shoot that turns an every day scene into a mystical forest; my Lighting Recipes column, the latest gear news and more.

It’s available now for the iPad on the App store for just $2.99. (By the way: if you download the app (free) you get our launch issue for free as well).

What! Still no Android version?
OK, I got with my team about all this and here’s where it stands. The company that developed our App originally made just a regular ol’ IOS app, but when Apple introduced the Newsstand Concept, so we had to retool the entire magazine for Newsstand. So, we’re now we’re not just converting our ISO app into an Android version; they’re having to reverse-engineer out the Newsstand stuff to get it to work on Android, and so far it’s too buggy to release. So, that’s where it stands right now. When it’s working, we’ll release it on Android, but that will be the only other platform we’re looking at developing for (no desktop versions, no PDF versions, no Web-based versions, etc.).

So, if you have an iPad or iPad mini, go check it out today at the App store (in fact, here’s the link just in case).

My one complaint with my new Retina Display MacBook Pro is that it no longer has a locking hole drilled in the side of the laptop itself, so you can no longer secure your laptop with a Kensington security lock and cable (like you could with other MacBook Pro models). So far, after searching around the only simple solution seems to be this new clear plastic skin from which lets you attached a cable lock.

Here’s how it works:
You remove five screws from the bottom of your MacBook Pro, then (using the supplied screws and screwdriver) you attach this very lightweight clear, plastic “skin” to the bottom of your laptop (it has ventilation slats), and it has special locking mount in the back right corner (seen in the photo below). I tried it at the Bucs/Chargers game on Sunday and it worked well (and the lock and cable come with the unit).

If you look it it, of course, this plastic skin is not unbeatable (you could break it but it would take some doing and likely trash the computer in the process) but unfortunately that might not be obvious to a thief at first (it looks more breakable than I think it is), so while you might still have your computer at the end of the day, if they seriously tried to break it, your MacBook Pro will probably be fairly damaged as well  — so think of it more of a deterrent but certainly not a local version of Fort Knox.

Its Achilles Heel
If the would-be thief has a very small screwdriver, they can just turn your laptop upside down, remove five screws, and just slide the plastic plate off, so when you return you’ll find a still-locked cable attached to a clear plastic plate, and your laptop will be gone. Yikes!

If I could change one thing…
… would be that it has a combination lock rather than a key-lock, because if you lose that key you’re really stuck (you do get one back-up key, but you’d better have it on you). Other than that, it seems well-thought out and so far seems to be the best solution out there in the absense of the old Kensington lock with a hole drilled in the body (like before) and so it makes a less-than-ideal situation workable for folks who need to lock down their laptop when they step away.

Price: $59.95
From: MacLocks (direct link)

On Friday I did a series of promo shots for Performance Compound, a training facility where a lot of pro athletes train, everyone from NFL players to Major League Baseball, and did about 14 portraits that day assisted by Brad Moore and crew (that’s Third Baseman Sean Buckley above) and I thought I’d share a couple of finals here, along with the behind-the-scenes photos and the post-processed and unprocessed images.

This entire process is the same as what I showed on my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it tour, with the addition of one extra back light on the subject (as you’ll see in a moment). Here goes:

1. Above: here’s the shot as it came out of the camera. I used a Grid on the beauty dish above his head to get a quick fall-off on the light. My main concern here is the side lighting from the back, and that part looks good. His face is supposed to be darker.

2. Above: Here’s the shot with some simple, quick adjustments in Lightroom’s Basic Panel (if you don’t have Lightroom, it would be exactly the same settings in Photoshop’s Camera Raw). The settings are below.

3. Above: I wasn’t kidding about simple adjustments: Just increased the Whites a bit, plus lots of Clarity and I lowered the Vibrance a bit to desaturate his skin. I also took the Adjustment Brush, increased the Exposure slider a little bit (dragging to the right) and painted over his face to brighten it (It’s supposed to be a lot darker than the sides, but I thought it was a bit too dark). The white balance was set to Auto in my camera and look fine in this case.

4. Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of the lighting set-up: 17″ beauty dish with a grid: two strip banks in back on the sides with fabric grids. We have a tiny bit of light on the white background to make it a very light gray (if we turned the power up, it would turn solid white). Production photo by Brad Moore.

5. Above: Here’s a composite from the exact shot you see in #4. The two backgrounds (here and at the top) are from an awesome company called “Photo Art Streetscapes” (link). Their stuff costs a bit more, but it’s totally worth it.

As for matching him to his surroundings: I showed the techniques of how to match the overall color and tone of the composited image on my live “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It” tour, and in my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it “ book as well (Amazon or Barnes & Noble), and Matt covers all of this in his Compositing Secrets book, too! (Amazon or Barnes & Noble).

Well, there ya have it —- short and sweet. Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday! :-)