Category Archives Apps

When I was up in New York for Photo Plus Expo, one morning I got a chance to do a shoot at the incredible Morgan Library and Museum an hour before they open the doors to the public. I usually share stuff like this on storytelling site “” but this time I used the just introduced Web-editing feature of “Adobe Slate.”

Here’s the link to my shots (including behind-the-scenes shots and camera settings):


Before I get to this, I want to go on record saying that I absolutely LOVE Periscope. I think it’s one of the most important Apps in years, and it does it in a way that leaves its competitors flat. In fact, last week I recorded a tutorial on how to use this new live streaming App from Twitter (available free from the App store for the iPhone), and the tutorial (above) does two things:

(1) It shows you how easy it is to use the free Periscope App to view broadcasts, and make your own live broadcasts
(2) In this tutorial, I snuck in a full tutorial on lighting a product shoot

I do love Periscope, and it’s one of those things where once you try it once, you’re hooked. However, it’s a 1.0 version of the app and it wouldn’t take much to make this the App of the year, and in that vein, here are a few ideas:

Seven Things Periscope Needs To Fix Now:

(1) You need to be able to shoot horizontal video
Periscope is designed for vertical (portrait mode) shooting, but video on phones is best-suited for horizontal (wide) shooting. YouTube (and all professional video) is designed up the same way â” for a wide horizontal screen, not a tall one. While technically Periscope will let you turn the screen sideways, it also forces the viewers to turn their phone as well, but it keeps the messages coming in sideways, and it cuts them off, and people start yelling at you immediately when you turn your iPhone sideways. They need to fix it so you can shoot either tall or wide, without the viewers having the comments get messed up and the chat text field go away.

(2) They need better, faster, and easier control over bad users
I have seen some absolutely mortifying, disgusting, and downright filthy comments appear on screen while watching a broadcast, particularly if the person broadcasting is female. I’m stunned at some of what I’ve read, and which you can click on their comment, go to their profile and then hit the block button, this takes too much time, and is often impossible to do while trying to record and talk live. My friend Terry White suggested these fixes along those lines:

(a) Let us just triple-tap on a name to block them permanently from your feeds
(b) If you triple-tap someone, it removes all their comments from the rebroadcast

I think these are great ideas, and if Periscope doesn’t do something meaningful to curb this type of very inappropriate comments, it may be its undoing. Also, my buddy Jeff Revell suggested a visible flag of some sort to let viewers know before they click on a stream that it contains “adult” content. Right now, you might click on a stream and then see something you were just not expecting.

(3) Swiping Down to reveal the Stop Broadcast button is a bad idea
I wish I could count the number of times I’ve seen people (myself included) swipe down and instead of stopping the broadcast it brings down their Notifications panel, which covers right over the broadcast. Give us an easy way to stop the broadcast. Make a smaller version of button visible all the time.

(4) Let us choose which camera we want to start broadcasting with
The first thing I usually do when broadcasting is double-tap the screen to switch to the rear-facing camera so I can address the viewers directly. Not everybody will want to do that, which is fine, but when we’re starting a new broadcast, give us a choice of which camera to start with: front-facing or rear facing. While you’re at it â” the double-tap to swap cameras isn’t very responsive â” often times I have to double-tap four or five times before it actually swaps the cameras. How about a button, ya know, right beside that stop broadcast button.

(5) Help us to find a user’s broadcasts
If I find a user on Periscope, I’d love to be able to see a list of all the broadcasts they’ve made in the past 24 hours. Right now, finding them is a bit of the needle in the haystack thing

(6) Give us a way to link to our videos
Once we’ve completed our broadcast, there’s no easy way (from the App) to share a direct link to the rebroadcast. We need an easy way to share our broadcasts and lead people to us on Periscope

(7) Give me the option to see only broadcasts in my language, or just a few languages
I see a lot of broadcasts where the title is written in arabic, or Turkish, or Russian or other languages I can’t read, so I don’t know what the topic is, but it shows up as a featured selection at the top of the TV page. In fact, sometimes two or all three have titles in foreign languages. I might still like to see someone’s morning commute in Paris, or breakfast in Sydney, but I wouldn’t even know that’s a choice unless the titles are in English (luckily a lot of them are). Just give me a choice: show me everything, or hide the broadcasts in languages other than English (or the language I choose in the preferences).

None of those fixes compare with the technological features they’ve already mastered, so addressing these issues (which I’ve heard again and again from users), would go a long way to making Periscope the App of the Year. Just my two cents.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday, and we’ll see you over on Periscope (you can follow me there, I’m [wait for it, wait for it] @scottkelby ;-)



P.S. I’ll be doing a live Periscope broadcast later today. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out (here’s a link to download the free Periscope app).


Greetings from Holland (well, greetings from 33,000 feet above Holland â” I’m on my way back from speaking at the Professional Imaging show in Nijkerk – awesome experience — more on that coming soon).

OK, let’s talk about Periscope, a FREE app from Twitter (for IOS only at this point), that lets you broadcast live from anywhere you have a connection to the Internet and people can chat with you live (type questions), and visually experience exactly what you’re seeing. It is one of the most fun social media experiences I’ve had. As my buddy Frank Doorhof says, “It’s addictive!”

Beside the educational uses (which are pretty mind-blowing by themselves), what I love about it is the immediacy â” you decide to share what you’re doing/seeing, etc. and bam â” it’s live, and people who have Periscope (or are following you on it), can see it right now.

For example, while I’ve been at this photography expo in The Netherlands, I’ve been able to give a virtual tour of the show floor, and people could ask me questions to ask to various vendors about their products while I’m standing there right in front of the booth, and the whole thing is live â” as it happens.

Last night I was shooting on location a night shot of Amsterdam (along with Terry White and Frank), and you’re right there with me during the live shoot â” people were asking questions about settings, and lenses, and making comments as we went â” it was just so much fun (and it was really chilly and windy as well). While we’re taping, a couple comes up and says, “Hey, are you using that new Periscope App?”  Small world. :)

To become a part of this new social media revolution (and it’s been a while since somebody’s come out with something as cool as this), here’s all you have to do:

STEP ONE: Download the free App Periscope from the App Store (IOS phones only)

STEP TWO: Log in with your regular Twitter Account, and then you’ll have the option of following your friends on Twitter who are already on Periscope.

STEP THREE: Click the center icon at the bottom of your screen to start a broadcast. Now just say what you’re looking at (Here’s my cat; photo shoot on an abandoned rail road track; here’s a dead tree stump, whateverâ¦) and while you’re doing that, it will establish a video link (you’ll be amazed at the quality of the audio and video – better than FaceTime IMHO). Then, when you’re ready to broadcast, hit the red “Start Broadcast” button and you’re live! Start talking, and watch people from all over the world start watching and sharing your experience live!

To flip from the front camera to the back camera, just double-tap the screen. To end your broadcast, swipe down. You’ll see comments appear on screen while you’re taping, and you’ll see how many are currently watching your broadcast live, and you’ll see little “hearts” float in on the screen when people like what they’re seeing â” they’ll tap the screen to send you love. :)

That’s it. It’s just so simple. Try it once, and you’ll be hooked.
I’m on my flight now, but I’ll be doing a live broadcast when I land in Atlanta near 3:00 pm today, and if you want to come and experience it (you can just watch or chat for this first one, but you’ll surely want to do your own after seeing one â” my wife Kalebra did her first one yesterday called “Coffee with Maggie” the wonderdog, and it was really cute). Also, when you do a broadcast, it can send a tweet right then to your followers on Twitter that says you’re LIVE right now, and inviting them to come and join.

While you’re in the App, I hope you’ll follow meâ¦
and Frank Doorhof, and Glyn Dewis, and Kalebra Kelby, and Terry White, and Brad Moore and RC Concepcion and Ajna Adams (our Duchess of Social Media at Kelby One who turned us all onto Periscope â” she’s runs our KelbyOne periscope account, too!).

The way Twitter has designed this, and it’s hook into regular Twitter is just so clever and so simple, I think it’s going to revolutionize the way we communicate via social media. Once you try it, you’ll see what I mean, and we’re just at the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with Periscope.

Hope to see you live on Periscope once I land in Atlanta (and clear US Customs).


Writing blog posts in a chair in the sky….. 

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. :)



I can’t give you my favorite iPhone 6 features, because mine hasn’t come in yet, but I did makes the leap to IOS 8 this weekend and I absolutely love it! My favorite IOS update in years. So, without further ado (yes, that was ado), here are my Seven Favorite IOS Features (and some of ’em are kinda hidden, but awesome nevertheless):

(1) QuickType Predictive Typing
I read about this one online, and I kind of shrugged, but once I used it, it became my #1 most-favorite, how-did-I-live-without-this feature. It basically predicts with uncanny accuracy what the next word you’re about to type is (based on the word you just typed and it learns the strings of what you commonly type), and it give you three choices you just tap one. OMG it works so much better than I would have imagined. It speeds texting, emailing, and taking notes like you cannot believe. Worth the entire price of the upgrade! (Oh, it’s free. Well, I surely would have paid for just this alone).

#2: The Camera and Phone Apps are way better
You can finally do some decent tweaking right in the photos app, and the camera now lets you adjust brightness before you take the photo by just tapping on the thing you can focus on and then dragging up/down on screen to brighten/darken. To access the Photo edits, click on a photo in the Photos App; tap the Edit button then tap on the Dial icon. You can change the Light, Color or make a B&W. What your’e seeing above is when you click Light then hit the three-line icon on the far right. Now click any setting and you get a slider for that feature and instant on-screen feedback. Kinda feels a little Snapseedish (if that’s even a word). Nicely implemented all the way around â” huge improvement. I hear you can also integrate third-party editors into the camera app — I just haven’t got that far yet.

#3: Now we finally know which apps are eating up all our battery life 
Apparently, now that I know, I can see I’m probably using Jelly Splash, Poptile, and Fruit Splash too often. Ack! It’s found in Settings; under General, under Usage, under Battery Usage. Be prepared to see some unexpected apps chomping battery like nobody’s business.


#4: Quick Reply to Texts Where-ever
This is one I didn’t think I’d need, but now I can’t live without it. Let’s say you’re playing, I dunno, Jelly Splash (I wouldn’t know, I don’t play games. Ahem. Where was I?), Oh, yeah and a text comes in and appears in a small banner at the top of the screen. You used to have to switch to the messages App to reply, but now you can just tap and pull down on the message and a Reply field appears so you can reply without leaving your game. Erâ¦I mean important spread sheet App. NOTE: I didn’t have a graphic for this one. Nobody I know is up at this crazy late hour, so I couldn’t get anybody to text me so I could get a screen capture, so just imagine it looking pretty much like you’d think it would.


#5: Seeing (and being able to Delete) text message attachments
You’ve got every attachment everybody who has ever texted you has ever texted you, all stored on your phone eating up memory like you cannot believe. So, the next time you can get an episode of Smash! to fit on your iPhone, maybe it’s because your Message App is stuffed full! To see (and/or delete) all the message ever sent by someone to you, go the Message App; click on a recent message from them, and then tap the Details link in the top right corner of the screen and scroll down to see every attachment they’ve ever sent. Huge time-saver if you need to find an attachment from a year ago (this is friend Jose’s attachments. He send me jet fighter shots he takes and pictures of his new baby. Both totally worth seeing — but not deleting).


#6. If you hate Mobile Web Sites (like I do), you will love this!
Now in Safari (Apple’s built-in default Web browser), if you hit a web site that forces a mobile version of their site on you (I so hate those), just tap on the URL up top, then drag down and two new fields appear and one of them is called “Request Desktop Site” and it reloads the page with the regular site like you’d see on your computer, rather than a stripped down mobile site. Super Diggin’ It.

#7: Hands-free Siri is finally here!
Last but not least (but it’s still last at least), is when you are in your car (which is primarily where I use Siri), you no longer have to use the Home button to bring up Siri. As long as you’re plugged into to a power outlet (car charger) and you’ve gone to Siri’s Preferences and chosen “Allow Hey Siri” you can just say “Hey Siri” and it wakes and takes your voice request. So I can say “Hey Siri, play Hot Cheri” or “Hey Siri, Who won the Giant’s game last night (I know better than to ask who won the Bucs/Falcons game) or “Hey Siri, is it going to rain today” and she goes right to work. Very well done.

So, that’s my favorites so far, and how to find them/use them. Hope you new IOS 8 users find it helpful.

NOTE: This post is for folks who have iPhones and have, or are considering, downloaded IOS 8. No comparisons to any other phones of any kind were made or implied. If you don’t have an iPhone then this isn’t for you – feel free to completely ignore it. There’s no need to defend your choice of a competing phone or mention how much better your phone choice is; how your phone has had all these features since 1972  and how dumb we all are, and so on. Thanks. 

Hope you all have a fully upgradable Monday, and we’ll see you here tomorrow for something. I’m almost sure of it.



Here’s some cool free stuff from me that you might have missed, so I thought I’d share it here in honor of it being ‘Seis de Mayo’ and all. ;-)

(1) Download My FREE Lighting Recipes iPad App
It’s an App dedicated to teaching different lighting set-ups — The cool thing is, it's not just a couple of lighting setups⦠There are 13 lessons in all, showing you the finished image and production shots, a lighting diagram, and my own audio commentary so you can see how each one is set up. It’s been downloaded about a bazillion times — it’s has nearly 700 reviews on the iTunes Store and it’s rated 4-1/2 stars (Whoo hoo!!!). Anyway, it’s free from the App store (or you can use this link).

(2) Take my FREE online class on creating custom photo books in Lightroom
That’s right â” it’s my full-length class on where I take you through the entire Lightroom photo book-making process from beginning to end and you’ll see exactly how it’s all done (and learn lots of helpful tips and hints along the way.

Here's how it works:
Our online classes are also available as downloadable 3-day rentals (just like you'd download a movie rental), and that's the case here, but you'll notice that instead of there being a $6.99 rental fee, the rental button says FREE (well, technically it says “RENT NOW” but you’ll see that the rental price is actually $0.00, and $0 means F-R-Double-E Free!).

Here's a link to the free online class, and I hope you find it helpful (photo books are easy to get hooked on â” make one and you'll fall in love).

(3) Watch my online class called “Crush The Composition” for Free!
This is the free rebroadcast of my talk at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference about why so many of us struggle learning photo composition and I introduced a new way to teach composition that breaks with the traditional methods and it has just really struck a chord with a lot of people. In fact, I probably get more email from fans about this class than any I’ve ever taught. It’s been viewed over 200,000 times and you can watch the entire class free (I’ve embedded it right above).

Well, there ya have it folks â” three free things from me! :)

Hope you find this stuff helpful and if it moves you even just a few more feet down the road, then I’ll be a happy man. Have a great Tuesday everybody. Hope it’s your best one so far this year! :)