Category Archives Fun

I had just gotten back from the CS6 launch in San Francisco, and just hours later I was on already on a plane headed to London, and my internal clock is so messed up, I’m not sure which day it is.

I had hopde to post a Q&A on the Creative Cloud launch today, but I got so far behind on everything that it just got away from me. Please drop back here on Monday, as my plan is to post it then. Sorry for the delay.

Nothing like high tea with two proper English gentleman. Sadly, all I could find were these two blokes. ;-)

What a great way to start my London trip; Met up yesterday with two of my good buddies, Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis, see above. (by the way — Glyn is joining me on-stage Saturday in the afternoon to do a guest retouch. He’s got some seriously mad skills).

We made our traditional trip to Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Convent Gardens, then a quick visit to The Flash Center, a nice cappuccino at ‘Pret A Manger’ and then back to my hotel for a serious nap. Two great guys (top dollar, both of ’em) and a wonderful start to my London trip! However, there is more to this story..

I broke the cardinal rule of street photography yesterday

It’s true. Dave Clayton told me (as everyone from London had already warned me before I even left home), that it was going to rain every day I was here in London. Dave said on TV they said to expect “One month’s of rain in just this one week.” So, I didn’t bring my camera to lunch today (usually we grab a bite and then do a mini-photowalk with Glyn).

Well, here’s an iPhone photo of the view from my hotel room today. I deserve it — I broke the age old rule — if you think the weather will be bad, so you don’t’ bring your camera, the weather will immediately clear —  The sun will shine. The birds will sing. Shooting opportunities will abound! I had it coming.

(Above: Here’s an iPhone shot of the three of us at Pret A Manger. Hey, what’s that stuff outside? Oh,yeah. Sunshine! LOL!)

Two weeks ago, on the “The Grid” we talked about Social Media for photographers, and we talked about Twitter, and Google+, and the new kid on the block (which is now reportedly the third largest social media site), Pinterest.

I asked my wife Kalebra to join us on the show, (she’s hooked on Google+ and has a really dedicated, fun, fully engaged group over there — link), and she loves Pinterest as well, so we talked quite a bit about both (I mostly griped about Twitter and their 140 character limit. Don’t get me started).

Anyway, last night she did a cute post about Pinterest over on Google+, and one of the people who follow her there wrote this comment:

“I’m reluctant to sign up for yet another social venue given my trouble keeping up with the four accounts I now have (fb, twit, linked,g+) but have been hearing enough about Pinterest that I’m intrigued. Can you clue me in to how Pinterest fits into the general mix? please and thank you!”

OK, now I get it
My wife wrote back a comment to him that I thought was the best description of what Pinterest is all about I had ever heard. I asked her if I could share it here with you today, because I think it will help a lot of folks understand what Pinterest is all about. She wrote…

I’d be happy to —- just remember it’s only how I see it. ;)


Have you ever torn a travel picture or recipe out of a magazine and stuck it in a folder? How about a photo for inspiration for your next shoot? Well because we view so many of these things on the web now Pinterest is a way to do the same thing we did with magazines but online.


For instance, I love to travel! So, I have a folder (Pinterest calls them “boards”) I named “Places” (link) and it’s full of photos of places I’ve been, and places I want to go. I am also a pilot so I have a board named “Of Flight and Fancy (link) and I LOVE chocolate so I have a board for that too (link).


You could have boards like these for any of your own interests – it’s lots of fun to manage (and have instant access to) all of the things that interest and inspire you.


Another thing I’ve heard people say they like about it is that interaction is not really required–you can–but it’s not expected. I hope this helps. Happy Pinning! :)

Thanks Sweetie (er, I mean…Kalebra) for letting me share that with my readers. I haven’t done a lot on Pinterest yet, but every time I see Kalebra’s boards I sure want to. Maybe when I get back from London.

Here’s wishing you all a really fun weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. Oh, in the meantime, here’s a taste of Kalebra’s Chocolate board. ;-)

 

A few months back, my buddy (and recent Guest Blog hero) Glyn Dewis invited me to do an interview for his blog, and I was tickled that Glyn took a big departure from most of the standard interview questions, and I think the interview I did with him is perhaps the most in-depth one I’ve ever done.

It’s fun answering questions that aren’t the same “What’s your favorite plug-in” and “What’s your favorite Lens” type of questions and he delved into everything from my parents to how we started our business, to the secret of our success (and I think it is one particular thing, which I talk about in the interview) and everything in-between. If you’ve got a few minutes, you can read it right here (or just look at the pictures). :)

My thanks to Glyn for the honor of being interviewed on his blog today, and for asking such great questions that it really made it a lot of fun.

(Above: You might be wondering “Scott, why the static no-action shot?” That’s because I’ve found that when the players aren’t moving, it’s somewhat easier to get a shot in focus, and that “in-focus” thing was eluding me most of the night, so I posted this shot to prove to myself I can shoot a sharp still life. Maybe next time pears in a bowl).

I shot another NHL hockey game last night (the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the San Jose Sharks), and while I certainly did some things better, I didn’t do enough of them to actually share the actual shots. My painful dance of learning to shoot through a very small hole in the ice continues. My angle this time was actually worse than in the other game, and I could only shoot the goal directly in front of me, and about 3/4 of the way to the blue line. Anything from the center line to the opposite goal was absolutely impossible to shoot (though I had a great angle on a McDonald’s ad).

(Above: When they come crashing into the boards, all you can do is jump back and try not to get killed. Here’s the view of my little hole in the glass; just large enough to fix a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens through, but not nearly big enough for a 300mm f/2.8 lens. By the way, if you’re wondering if I screamed when this happened—yes—like a Brownie at Halloween Horror Nights!).

Of course, since you can’t shoot the other end of the rink, it always seems like all the action happens down at the other goal. Sigh. Well, there’s only one way to get better, and that’s keep on trying. I shoot the Bolts again on Saturday night. I may even shoot some of the players when they’re moving. Hey, ya never know. ;-)

(Above: It’s like these guys follow me from sport to sport to make certain I have more shots of them, than of the athletes themselves. This just reeks of a carefully orchestrated worldwide conspiracy by a secret cartel of referees).  

P.S. The Lightning beat San Jose 6 – 5 in Overtime. Go Bolts!!! :)

 

Howdy folks. Sorry for the late post, but I took today off to spend with my sweetie (we actually snuck away last night and headed to our favorite getaway place, and now we’re spending the day shopping and just hanging out, which I understand may include a stop at a guitar store). :)  By the way: the photo above, taken at Vegas Photoshop World, is by my buddy Mike “Hollywood” Kubeisy”

Today we’re celebrating our 25th Valentine’s Day together (and this year we’ll be married 23 years!). As all my friends are quick to remind me — I am the luckiest guy in the world (Hey, at least I know it). :)

Make sure you check back tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday, and here’s wishing you a Valentine’s Day to remember! :)

Hi everybody—-it’s time (well, it’s a bit overdue) for my 3rd annual “Best of 2011 Awards” (Well, it’s not actually my 3rd best of 2011; it’s my 3rd “Best of” awards but you know what I mean).

It’s important to note once again that I didn’t say “Best photography gear” or “Best Photoshop stuff” (though both of those are represented). Instead, this is just my favorite “bestest” stuff from 2011, (including things like songs, movies, travel stuff, food, etc.) presented in no particular order.

Hope it starts off your New Year right! (By the way; make sure you read my disclaimers at the end of the list). Here we go:

————–

My Best Switcharoo of 2011:
Switching from Sirius Satellite Radio to XM
Even though they’re owned by the same company, Sirius XM, the station selection on XM is much better, and it has the best stations from Sirius already.

Most-receptive crowd to present to in 2011:
My LSR seminar in Toronto.
Those folks were awesome! Can’t wait to go back!

Best iPad App:
Photo Manager Pro
I’ve tried about every portfolio app for the iPad, but this one is the easiest, and most flexible

Best App for frequent travelers:
GateGuru
It finds which airport you’re at, and tells you what’s there, in every terminal, from restaurants to airport lounges, gift shops to ATMs, and it saves you a ton of time.

Best iPad game:
Temple Run
I could have had at least two more books written if it wasn’t for this addicting game.

Best Photoshop plug-in Update:
Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4
My most-used plug-in of the year 

My pick for best up-and-coming plug-in for 2011:
Topaz Detail
It’s “Freaky Detail” in a plug-in

Best new retouching plug-in:
OnOne’s Perfect Portrait
This one stands alone 

Best iPad Photo Editing App:
Snapseed
Apple chose it as their App of the Year. I’m not surprised.  

Best thing in 2011 for photographers that’s not a camera, lens, or lighting:
Google+
An incredibly vibrant, active community of photographers and it’s growing like a weed.

Best place to show your images online:
500px (link)
Plus, their iPad App is a fantastic place to go for photo inspiration.

Best place to get cool, inexpensive gifts for photographers:
PhotoJojo’s Store  (link)
They have the most clever stuff anywhere!

Best game of 2011:
Call of Duty MW3 for XBox Live
I can’t imagine the cool things I could have accomplished this year had it not been released

Best iPhone App for Photographers:
True HDR
(link)

Best Restaurant Find of 2011:
Max Brenner’s in NYC
(link)
I’m not a chocolate fanatic, but this place could convert me

Best fun new restaurant:
Wagamama
(link)

Best New Blog for Photographers:
blamethemonkey.com
(link)
Great information, including lots of cool HDR stuff, from photographer Elia Locardi

Best Blog for Fashion Photographers:
fashionphotographyblog.com
(link)
Great resource and wonderful photography from Melissa Rodwell

Best New Studio Accessories of 2011
The gear from Tether Tools 
(link)
I’m hooked on their tethering accessories. It’s not cheap, but it’s not cheap!

Best Point-and-Shoot Camera of 2011
The iPhone 4s 
(link)
I love it because it’s always with me. 8-megapixels; I can edit and process “in camera” and upload to the Web directly from my “camera” or send the photo I just took as an email.  

> Best new tech blog:
The Verge
(link)
Great reporting with a fantastic layout 

> Best gadget of 2011:
Cordies
Brilliantly simple desktop cord management from Quirky.com

Best Photoshop Book of 2011
Matt Kloskowski’s “Compositing Secrets” (link)
I wish I had written it, but if I had, it wouldn’t have been as good 

> Best book every serious photography should own:
“The Photographer’s Survival Guide,” by Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki (link)
Don’t let the name through you off; it’s about model releases, copyright, and stuff you really need to know

> Best Prime Rib of 2011:
Keen’s Steakhouse on West 36th in New York City
(link)
When they serve it, it looks like something you’d see on the Flintstone’s

> Best burger of 2011:
Hands down it was Plan B in Hartford Connecticut
(link)

> Best burger in NYC:
Shake Shack
(link)
There’s a reason you have to wait 30 minutes in line to get in.

> Best Live Show I Saw in 2011:
Rock of Ages
(link)

Best Live Concert I Saw in 2011:
Rod Stewart at Caesar’s Palace
Some guys have all the luck :)

Best thing I added to my Mac in 2011:
Mac OS X Lion
Much better than I thought. Lots of great little improvements, and iCloud integration rocks!

Best business book of 2011:
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
(link)

Another that comes close:
“Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk
(link)

Best really handy accessory for hot shoe flash:
Rogue Gels
(link)
I never mind paying for things that make my job easier 

Best romantic comedy I saw in 2011:
Crazy Stupid Love

Best romantic movie to watch again during the holidays:
Love Actually

Best movie that wanted to be good, but really wasn’t:
Columbiana
Massive holes in the plot sunk this one for me

Best movie that was so bad it was kinda good:
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
We wound up seeing this as part of my wife’s new “Date Night Movie Roulette” where you’re not allowed to even look at what’s playing until after dinner. Then you go to the movies, and see whatever’s playing at that time. H&K was all that was on. It was so bad, it was good.

Best list I was surprised (yet thrilled) to be included in:
Top 10 Best Portrait Photographers Today
(link) Toby

Best Old School Style Song I bought in 2011:
Diverse City by Mac
(iTunes Link)
“It’s like a freak show, in your neighborhood”

Best Golden Oldie I added to my iPod:
Duke of Earl by Gene Chandler (iTunes Link)
“As I walk through this world, nothing can stop….the Duke of Earl”

Best Classic Rock Song From A Band I’d Never Heard Of:
Inside Out by XYZ (iTunes Link)

Best old R&B song I added:
Don’t Stop by Jeffery Osborne
(iTunes Link)

Best classic rock song I added:
Be Good to Yourself by Journey (iTunes Link)

Best new song:
So Help Me God by Fireflight (iTunes Link)

Coolest kinda-jazzy but yet kinda alternative song I bought in 2011:
Hello City by Bare Naked Ladies (iTunes Link)

Best song I bought after hearing it on my son’s iPod:
Dear X: You Don’t Own Me by Disciple (iTunes Link)

Best Country Song I bought in 2011:
That’s What I love About Sunday, by Craig Morgan (iTunes Link)

Best Band I Never Though I’d have on my iPod:
Sixx: A.M.

Best New Song:
Stand, by Lenny Kravitz
(iTunes Link)

Best guitar-related gift I got in 2011:
A Hartke Kickback 12 Bass Amp (link)

Best new reason to love England:
Tim Wallace

He makes we want to grab my camera, and a bucket of water, and shoot!

Best new photographer to learn from:
Cliff Mautner
I can’t believe how much I learned from watching his online class. 

Best Day Trip of 2011:
Flying to Cedar Key, Florida with my wife as the pilot

Best bargain in lighting in 2011:
Westcott’s Giant 7′ Parabolic Shoot Through Umbrellas
The megapixel race is over. Now, it’s whoever dies with the biggest modifier, wins (Link)

Best way to start a fight since mentioning HDR:
Mention that your App is only available for the iPad

————————

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:
(1)
I could be totally wrong about any of these—they’re just my opinions

(2) Some of these things could have actually come out in 2009, or even 2008. I’m old and lose track of time easily.

(3) If you disagree with any of my picks, that’s OK.

(4) If some of my picks make you seething mad, and you want to post mean comments to me, remember—you can start your own blog today, for free, and by this afternoon you can post your own list (don’t worry—everybody will agree with all your picks). Here’s a good place to start (link).

Well, that’s it gang. I’m always on the lookout for great anything (songs, movies photo gear, iPhone/iPad Apps, restaurants, travel tips, etc.), so if you have something I missed on my list, just let me know.

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