Category Archives Books

Milestones for 2012
Besides the most popular and most commented-upon posts (which I posted here in Part 1 on Friday), we were pretty busy here on blog during 2012. Here’s some highlights of what we shared:

1. A fresh new look for the blog (and my new logo)
We started the year with a new blog look and a new logo (by our own Felix Nelson) which incorporates my book authoring and photography into one design (See top left). link

2. “Connecting with Cuba” my free online talk
After my trip to Havana, Cuba, I posted the images here on blog and I had so many questions that I decided to do a free Webinar about the trip, the people, the country, the post processing and the photography. You can watch it right here.

3. You spoke. Adobe listened
After my Open Letter to Adobe (link) you spoke (over 700 comments here) and Adobe listened and changed their policy in a very fair way.  link

4. Lightroom 4 Public Beta Launch
At the launch, we had Adobe’s Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty live in our studios for live Q&A sessions, broadcast free every two hours all day, plus we released our Lightroom Launch Center that same day.

5. Adobe launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad
When we announced it here on blog, we had LIVE broadcasts that same day with lots of info and demos on a product that went on to become one of Apple’s “Apps of the Year for 2012.” (link)

6. #1 for the second straight year!
I found out that for the second year running (according to data from Nielsen Bookscan) that I was the #1 bestselling photography book author once again. Whoo Hoo!! (and a BIG thanks to all my readers). (link)

7. I shot my first hockey game
It wasn’t pretty (link) but it didn’t stop me and thankfully before too long, it got better (link). And better (link). Still a long way to go to be where I want to be, but hey — the NHL strike just ended this week. As my buddy Scott Audette would say: Drop the puck already!

8. I received the American Socieity of Photographers International Award
What a great way to start the year. I was truly honored (still am)link

9. Adobe released a Public Beta of Photoshop CS6
Of course, we were all over it, and I launched our CS6 Learning Center here, along with live CS6 broadcasts all day. (link)

9. We broke the news that Adobe lowered Lightroom’s 4 official price to just $149
This was huge! We did live broadcasts and the whole nine yards. (link)

10. I did probably my most in-depth interview ever
It was one-on-one with Glyn Dewis and it got more positive feedback than most any I’ve ever done. A very different kind of interview. (link)

11. Adobe announced the Creative Cloud and I tried to help clear up the confusion
Lots of people had lots of questions so I tried to jump in and help. (link)

12. A new series of photos emerges from my trip to Paris to tape my travel class
I tried something new, and I like it. It’s not for everybody, but nothing is. (link)

13. One-on-One with the Photoshop Product Managers
We had Bryan O’neal Hughes and Zorana Gee live in the studio taking your questions on the just released Photoshop CS6. Here’s the link — you can watch it right here on the blog).

14. I did a quick little video about Photoshop CS6 features nobody was talking about
And of course, I launched it here on the blog. You can still watch it right here.

15. We launched my 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk
And we broke every record, with over 1,300 cities participating around the world; more than 32,000 walkers, and more than $12,000 donated to the Springs of Hope Orphanage. (link)

16. I switched my photography portfolio over to SmugMug
I took a 14-day free trial and I was hooked. (link) You can see the latest version right here. 

17. A lot of folks in the Industry, and even at Adobe were shocked…
When they saw how much we really do to help people learn Lightroom. It’s all right here.  

18. I posted four short videos that show you exactly what you missed at Photoshop World Vegas
These are the same videos we show at the closing seminars to recap an amazing week. (link)

19. I finally licked my struggle with my Sports Photography Workflow
With some blood, sweat, tears and help from a fellow sports shooter. (link)

20. I posted group photos from all over the world from my Worldwide Photo Walk
Look at their faces. This is why I do it, and seeing these is the icing on the cake! (link)

22. I did a post on “Why we limit Photo Walks to just 50 people.”
There’s a reason why this is so important.  (link)

22. A lot of folks called this post, written by Bill Fortney, the best post about photography of the year
Bill post called “Why bother” really struck a chord with folks and got reviews like nothing I’ve read this year. (link)

23. I launched a FREE class on creating Photo Books in Lightroom 4
You can watch it free, right now (lots of folks already have). (link)

Teaching Live
1. In 2012 I wrapped up my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour
I hit every big city in USA, plus three stops in Canada, plus Swingin’ London Baby and Amsterdam, Holland and Cologne, Germany.

2. We launched our first downloadable full-day seminar tour
When my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it tour was done, we recorded the final stop on the tour and for the first time ever made the entire seminar, complete with digital workbook, available as a download so if we didn’t make it to your city, you could still see the tour live as it happened. (link)

3. I launched a new tour, my “Photoshop CS6 Tour for Digital Photographers”
Between RC Concepcion and me, we hit just about every big city in the USA in 2012. I met lots of really great, passionate photographers. (link)

4. We brought Photoshop World to Washington DC
It was our biggest East Coast Photoshop World ever, and we posted lots of Pics and reports from the event. (link)

5. We launched “The Google+ Conference for Photographers”
It turned out to be a really ground-breaking event — a mix of photography training and social media (check out the stop-motion video clip above by Petra Cross to get a great idea of what it was like) . Probably the best thing we ever produced, and our first conference just for photographers. (link)

6. Nikon had me speak at the ISAP Conference
This is the third time I’ve spoken at this amazing conference for Aviation Photographers, and it’s always a blast. They truly offer probably the best value in a conference anywhere. I’m hoping to go this year just as an attendee (and I joined the ISAP this year as well. Wonderful organization). (link)

7. We put “Big Joe” out on tour with just one flash. OK, maybe two.
Any time Joe takes the stage, it’s magic, and his year we went all over the US and Canada with a Kelby Training produced tour and he absolutely rocked it!!! He wanted to show what could be done with a lean-and-mean one or two flash set-up and it really resonated with a lot of folks (as expected). (link)

8. I launched my “Travel Photography Online Class”
It turned out to be one of my most well-received classes ever, and it was shot on location in Paris, France (I know, rough life). It’s a two part class; the first part is on the actual shooting, then the 2nd part I show all the post-processing. (link)

9. I did a short video about why the DSLR Video editing features in CS6 are so awesome
This is a game changer. So much so, that I had to do a video about why: (link)

10. I launched a new class and for the first-time ever, we let folks “Rent it.”
Yup, in fact we launched a bunch of classes that are now available from Kelby Training Online for a three-day rental for just $9.99. My new class “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it for Hot Shoe Flash on a Budget” was the launch class, and one of my best-received classes yet.  (link)

11. I did a video “photo talk” about my vacation to Paris 
It was called “A walk in Paris” and I talked about the photography and post processing, and you can watch the rebroadcast right here (well, above).

Here are the books and Apps we published and launched here on the blog in 2012:

1. My Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers
I love Lightroom so this book is a labor of love. The most challenging part is filling 500 pages with new images nobody’s seen before, but the good news is: you get to shoot about 500 pages of photos! Also, Adobe added a Book Module in Lightroom 4 and I’m such a photo book freak that it really made this update a lot of fun.

2. My Photoshop CS6 for Digital Photographers
When Adobe released CS6 and Lightroom 4 within a month of each other, it kept me crazy busy!!! I don’t think I saw daylight for months and when both were done I took a big break from writing for a while. My favorite part of this book was the new chapter for photographers on editing DSLR Video in Photoshop. Adobe nailed it!

3. The Digital Photography Book, Part 4
This book was released over a year late because I didn’t want to write it until I really had something significant to share. It takes about 200 new tips to create one of the books in this series, and I didn’t want any repeats of stuff in previous volumes (even if the topics were similar, like sports or weddings) and back in 2011 I had to tell my publisher I just wasn’t ready, which I’m sure didn’t thrill them but they were very supportive nonetheless. In 2012 I finally had enough really meaty content that I was able to Part 4 and it was a big success which just convinced me even more that waiting until I had really great stuff was the right way to go (you never go wrong by doing the right thing). link

4. My Photoshop Elements 11 Book for Digital Photographers book (co authored with Matt Kloskowski)
Adobe doesn't add a ton of new features to Elements in each rev, so what Matt and I do instead is add the new things that we have learned during the year, and we take the techniques we use in CS6 and try to convert them into techniques that work in Elements, and that has worked wonderfully well so far (based on feedback from readers). We added some really great stuff in this update, so the book continues to grow and evolve (and Matt gets a lot of the credit).

5. The iPhone 5 Book (co authored with my buddy and iPhone freak, Terry White)
This is the “Sixth” edition of this book Terry and I have written (we split the book in half: I write the easy chapters and Terry writes the hard ones) but I actually think this is the best version of the book yet. We really tried to simplify it, make it more to the point, and just make it better and more useful all around and that’s a good thing.

6. I launched a book I never though I would write
I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s not about photography or photography. It’s more important than that. (link)


1. My "Lighting Recipes" App
It’s a totally free App (for iPads), and in it I break down all sorts of portrait lighting set-ups with behind-the-scene shots, layouts, and the whole nine yards. It was a huge hit (it even got a mention and some love from the New York Times  — link) and if you haven’t downloaded it, remember…it’s free! :) (link)

2. Light It Magazine goes on the iPad’s Newsstand
This App originally launched near the end of 2011, but once we got it out there we needed to get it into Apple’s “Newsstand” App, which was a surprisingly monumental task, but it also allowed us to start selling subscriptions. We had hoped to have an Android version of it last year as well, but the development of an Android version has been harder than getting it in Newsstand (we have to reconfigure the whole thing for non-newsstand for Android, which apparently is much harder than it sounds). Anyway, it’s there now, and you can download the premiere issue free and a best-of sampler also free. Issues are $2.99 each. Cheap.

3. Shortcut Sumo: The Biggest, Baddest Collection of Adobe Keyboard Shortcuts Ever!
We launched this here on blog in October: The App itself is free and comes with the Camera Raw shortcuts, and there are in-app purchases for other Adobe products (like Lightroom or Photoshop). link 

Fun Stuff

1. I played drums for a reunion gig of my first band (back in High School) called “Phoenix”
We played for the high school reunion and it was a lot of fun (and I posted lots of shots taken by my wife, who refers to this gig as “the not-my-reunion” gig, since three of the guys in the band graduated a year before me, and so this was really their reunion (mine would be this year — I graduated in 1978).

2. I got to play two gigs with my current band, Big Electric Cat
That shot of me above is before our after hours party in D.C. What a cool club (and a great crowd!). I’m playing Valentine’s Day present guitar (from my sweetie), a 1987 Ibanez. Love it!

2. I know this is going to sound crazy, but I took a crazy amount of vacation again this year
I have people who email me that they’re concerned about me working too much, and being a workaholic. Don’t worry — I took more than TEN weeks of vacation this year (and I don’t work while I’m on vacation). I went to Hawaii with my family for two weeks and then a couple of days in Disneyland (link); My wife took me to India for an amazing trip (link), I went to London to teach a one-day seminar but stayed and played for a week (link), then we took a family trip for a week in Ireland (link), then my wife took me to France on a romantic vacation and ended the trip by holding my local Photo Walk there (link); plus I took the Christmas Holiday’s off (two weeks straight); I took Thanksgiving week off; my wife and I snuck away for a Valentine’s week trip; my wife and I (and some friends) took a really fun trip to Havana, Cuba (just for fun) and I just got back last night from a week’s vacation in Vail, Colorado, with my family which was an awesome way to start the New Year. People always ask me “When do you sleep?” Apparently, it’s when I’m on vacation. Well, I sleep late, anyway. :)

3. We raised another couple of thousand dollars for the Springs of Hope Orphanage
I raffled away one of my very favorite guitars, but it was worth it. (link)

4. I released a series of posters where you can share my pain
It’s called “Moments of Football Ungreatness.” It’s extremely ungreat! (link)

5. If you have a daughter (like I do), you’ve got to watch this
Sometimes, Disney does some really brilliant stuff. This is one of those. (link)

That’s just some of the highlights of what we covered in 2012 here on the blog. On Friday, we’ll wrap up with Part 3, which will be our top-10 episodes of “The Grid” (our weekly photography talkshow) and I’ll embed the episodes right on the blog so you can watch ’em right there. Have a great week and we’ll see you then!



I just got some copies of my new iPhone 5 book which is co-authored with my buddy Terry White (I take half the chapters and Terry takes the other half, which I affectionally call “the hard chapters.” LOL!).

Anyway, the whole book is just like my book series “The Digital Photography Book” — the same look, feel, layout, the whole one “one topic per page thing” and so if you like learning from that book you’ll feel right at home with our iPhone 5 book. It’s hitting stores any day now but you can win it  today as I’m giving away five copies — just leave a comment here and you’re entered to win. If you don’t win, you can still get your copy from Barnes& or (it’s only around $16 bucks and there’s a Nook and Kindle version of both) and be the first to get it.

Happy Free-Stuff Thursday! :)

My book publisher, Peachpit Press, has been running these “One Week Only Deals” on eBooks and this week they’re featuring the eBook version of my latest Photoshop book, “The Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers” (shown above). It’s just $9.99 and it comes in just about every ebook format you can think of.

ABOVE: The entire book has been redesigned by Peachpit from the ground up to make the most of reading it on a tablet (as shown above and below).

You’re probably wondering why you haven’t heard me talking much (or basically at all) about my eBooks and that for two reasons:

(1) I always absolutely hated the way my print books look as an eBook.
It’s not Peachpits fault — it’s that the ePub format made for formatting ebooks works great for novels but horribly for books like mine. That’s why Peachpit decided to re-layout the entire book to make it really work on a tablet, and now it does (they knew I would never talk about my eBooks even it wasn’t something I was proud of, so I’m delighted that they took the bull by the horns and did a great redesign for tablets. And…

(2) I thought the regular ebook price is a bit too high
I like this $10 price, though. Well, $10 is actually probably a bit too low (it’s 72% off the regular ebook price), but hey â” it’s only for one week, right? :)

Here’s the link to order yours for this insane-o one-week-only (they promised) deal only available direct from Peachpit.

I hope you take advantage of this deal (and thanks to Peachpit for redesigning the book and for this screaming deal). :)

I’ve had a lot of folks asking me for book suggestions for photographers this Holiday season, so I thought I’d share a few here (without including mine since since I included a few in my Holiday Gear Guide a few weeks back). So, here’s we go (by the way, these are in no particular order).

> Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends
by Tim Mantoani
Tim did a masterful job with book, which features his portraits of famous photographers holding a print of their favorite image. It’s powerful, it’s an important work, and the portrait and the image they’re holding tell you so much about them. I promise you, the photographer you buy this for will love it!

[Get it at Amazon]


From Oz to Kansas: Almost every black and white conversion technique known to man
by Vincent Versace
This may be the most accurate book title ever! In this follow-up to his bestselling “Return to Oz” Vincent shows Photoshop users a wide range of methods on how to create beautiful black & white images. Very well done from top to bottom; very current, and very useful techniques from a man who really knows how to create the black and white print.

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]


Shooting in Sh*tty Light: The Top Ten Worst Photography Lighting Situations and How to Conquer Them
by Lindsay Adler and Erik Valind
I just got to see this book in print last week and I am very impressed. This is such real world stuff because in so many cases we don’t get to dictate when we’re going to shoot or where we’re going to shoot, and this book shows you how to shoot in the harshest lighting situations and come out looking like a star. Great info!

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]


> The Accurate Color interactive iBook series
By Herb Paynter
Herb is one of the pioneers of working with color and his book is just about the most in-depth book for actually understanding color that I’ve seen a quite a while. The key word here is “in-depth” and although it’s for beginners to color, if the photographer on your gift list really, really wants to “get” color in detail, they’ll get a lot out of it (it has interactive quizzes and other cool features). It’s not so much about Photoshop — but it’s really about understanding color at a level they never thought they would.

Get it at Apple’s iBook store for IOS devices


APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book
By Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
This book was just released this week and I think this will be an absolute boon to photographers who have always dreamed of publishing their own “Coffee-table” book (or any other kind for that matter). Guy’s a brilliant mega-bestselling business author and Shawn’s a brilliant app/book designer (and a pretty formidable Black Ops II player) and together they show you exactly how its all done, and give you insights you’re not going to find anywhere else.

[Get it at Amazon] — Kindle ebook only


Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash
By Joe McNally
I don’t know a photographer using small flash that wouldn’t absolutely LOVE to get a Joe McNally book. In fact, I don’t know a photographer period that wouldn’t love one! Sketching Light is filled with Joe’s wonderful stories, amazing examples, very cute and to the point diagrams, and they will absolutely love it — it’s a lock! The book has 57 reviews on Amazon (which is a lot!) and an average rating of 5-stars (which is very rare indeed). Guaranteed to make you holiday gift champion.

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]


> All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography
By Alan Hess
There have been lots of books about shooting concert photography, but never anything like this. It is just so straight to the point, pragmatic, no BS, and it really shows you exactly what to do and how to do it. I really think it’s the new bible of shooting concert photography and if the photographer on your Holiday gift list dreams of shooting shows, this book is the ticket. Very well done with loads of great images, ideas, and hard-learned techniques from a pro who is in the photo pit every week walking the walking. This book rocks! (I’m cool with the pun). ;-)

[Get it at Barnes & Noble  or Amazon]


OK gang, there ya have it. Now, if you’re thinking “Aw man, Scott I thought surely some of your books should have been included” (OK, that’s really more wishful thinking on my part), well here’s the link to them all on Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Yesterday I started a whole “12-days of Christmas” giveaway thingy over on my Google+ page ( and I’ll be giving away something new every day (including my books, apps, DVDs, memberships, and more). Hope you’ll check it out (and I hope you win). :)

Every once in a while I write a book on something that’s way outside my usual Photography and Photoshop topics, like a few years back when I wrote a short hardcover book for guys who didn’t want kids (trying to explain why they’re missing out on about the greatest thing ever!). Well, this book is certainly something different for me, and it’s on a topic that I would have ever dreamed that I would write.

I hope you’ll take a moment and watch the short video above about why I wrote it and who it’s for. Also, if you order (or download) a copy, know that 100% of the profits from the book will go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 

NOTE: on the video it says that’s its only available in ebook format at this time (it’s now in the Apple iBooks store — here’s the link), but actually we now have printed copies and you can buy them directly from (here’s the link).

One more thing: I left the commenting turned off for this post, which is unusual for me, but this book is unusual for me too, and this way I can actually go to the office instead of just sitting around all day with my finger on the “Delete comment and block user button.” LOL!  :)

Cheers, and here’s wishing you your best Monday yet!

All my best,


P.S. UPDATE: The book is now sold-out on, but you can still place your order there and as soon as they get the next shipment they’ll send your copy out straight away. Many thanks to every one who ordered a copy! :)

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! :-)