Category Archives Fun


Hi Gang: Between my original post on HDR, and the follow-up post on Tuesday, I had over 304 comments from readers, but two really stood out to me.

The first is from my follow-up post, and is in response to a number of people who wrote that they felt that over-the-top HDR images were no longer actually photographs, but had been so radically transformed that they were now illustrations, art, or a painting—-but certainly no longer a photograph.

I thought this reader made a brilliant analogy (the best I’ve heard on the topic), and I wanted to share it with you in case you missed it. For brevity, I’m going to paraphrase a little, but here’s what he said:

“Turning a Tree into a Chair…
The Tree is there. Someone comes along with his/her tools: Axe, knife, etc.. He whittles a chair out of it. Now the chair is there.

Now once it’s a chair you have the option to leave it like that or you can carve details into it, paint it, and/or add upholstery. It’s still a chair whether you improve upon it or not… It just then becomes a specialized type of chair like Victorian, modern, or such.

That’s what HDR does. It adds details, paint, and upholstery to the Photograph. It’s still a photograph, but now enhanced. If you like the regular old whittled chair then don’t HDR it… But if you think your [chair would look better to you]  in HDR then do it…”

This one, from my original post, is in reference to my applying the HDR effect to my photo of the Star Ferry in Hong Kong. It stood out to me as well:

“I’d like to point out that, I believe, something quite similar could well have been accomplished in a single frame with some selective underexposure and filtered small flash fill.”
— John Fowler


I was talking with a friend this week about Apple’s new iPhone 4, and she said something that absolutely cracked me up (and made me stop and think). She said:

“If Apple added Verizon as an iPhone carrier choice, and added Flash to the iPhone, and I worked for a cell phone company—I’m not kidding—I would go looking for another job immediately.”

Today we officially announce our biggest New York event ever—the Photoshop CS5 Summit (Produced by the Nat’l Assn. of Photoshop Professionals and sponsored by Adobe Systems). The full scoop (and how to snag your tickets) is in the short video below:

Here’s a recap:

Who: Your instructors are “The Photoshop Guys,” Me, Matt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, Corey Barker, and Dave Cross

When: One night only—Friday, June 25th, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm

Where: The Hammerstein theater, at the Manhattan Center, New York City

Cost: Free (if you watched the video above, which explains how to get a free ticket)

Why: ‘Cause Photoshop CS5 is brand spankin’ new and we wanted to do something cool/fun/different in one of the coolest/funnest/differentest places in the world!

More: Go right here.


I am so psyched that I can’t even tell you, because something really amazing happened to me last night. I made the big time! That’s right, I was mentioned on my favorite NFL football blog (one that I visit literally three or four times a day) —– the best football blog anywhere, NBC Sports’s “”.

That’s right, baby PFT!!!! My football reportage hero (and PFT kingpin), Mike Florio, did a post about their new PFT t-shirts, and they saw me on D-Town TV wearing one of their cool new PFT t-shirts (as seen in the image above, taken from this week’s episode of D-Town TV) and well…here’s what he wrote about the new PFT gear:

“We introduced the new line of PFT gear recently.  And while yours truly has yet to obtain one of the new shirts, MDS points out that famed Photoshop guru Scott Kelby is sporting one of the new PFT T-shirts in the latest episode of his popular online show.

You can get your own right here.

And welcome to PFT Planet, Mr. Kelby.  Then again, there’s a chance that he lost a bet.”

When I saw that post—seriously, I almost blacked out. I was at dinner with Matt K, Dave Cross, Corey, RC and Braddo when I read this, and I have to tell you, they had to peel me off the ceiling. For those of you who aren’t football fanatics, this may seem kind of odd, but for those of you who are—well—you totally know what I mean! Yeah baby!!! PFT! PFT!!! PFT!

Anyway, I was so excited, I rushed home to tell my wife, who feigned semi-excitement for me, because I was acting like a 12-year-old who just got the new Resurgence map pack for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (which comes out today by the way).

If you’re a NFL freak like me, and you haven’t checked out Mike Florio (in my opinion, one of the best, most entertaining, and informative football reporters, perhaps even more so now), you gotta go to They have the scoop on everything (and they must like Photoshop, which is just the icing on the cake). Here’s the link. Thanks Mike—you totally made my day (My week, my month, etc.).


P.S. Hey, did I mention that I was mentioned on yesterday? (Giggle, giggle!)

Inside the pianosm

Let me get this out of the way right up front. This challenge kicked my butt.

I could give you a half dozen or so excuses why I wasn’t able to get out to shoot some of the people and places I had planned on, and blah, blah, blah….but the fact is, I didn’t, and I wound up having to shoot right around my house, and well…I took 18 shots total—none of them good.

I felt like I should post something, so I’m posting the last shot I took (in desperation mind you), of the inside of a piano (shown above) because I knew as I was taking the other 17 shots that I didn’t have anything. However, even though I didn’t get a decent shot; I still really enjoyed the challenge.

NOTE: Here’s a link to the flickr Group I set up for anyone who participated in the challenge, where you can upload images you took during the weekend (and following the challenge rules). There are already lots of cool images up there from people who clearly did a better job than I.

The “Oh No!” Moment
I hiked over to a large pasture near my house, with these beautiful cypress trees with a perfect glassy mirror-like reflection. I got set-up to shoot (and it didn’t look nearly as good through my viewfinder as it did as I’ve driven by it a hundred times), but I took the first shot, and then immediately looked at the LCD monitor on back of my camera (which of course was turned off), and even though I was all by myself I had to laugh. How I’ve come to rely on that little monitor!

Click: 22¢ Click: 22¢ Click: 22¢
I remember back when I actually did shoot film, and how hesitant I would be to press that shutter button because each time I did I knew it cost me 22¢. I had that same feeling all over again, of making darn sure that before I took the shot, that it was composed properly, that my settings were right, and that I was really holding the camera steady (By the way, none of that helped).

Time won’t let me…..
Of course, it was the wait that got me. If I thought I really had gotten something, it would have killed me, but knowing I had pretty much blown it, it was easier waiting than I thought.

I didn’t get extra credit
Although I did set my ISO before I started (and didn’t change it, though I was highly tempted to on one occasion), I didn’t get extra credit for not post-processing, because I  had to tweak the White Balance as I had been shooting outdoors and had pre-set my White Balance to cloudy, and needless to say, the Piano wasn’t outdoors. The fact that I needed to change the White Balance was just another reminder of how much we rely on the ability to change WB on the fly with digital, any time the light changes, without having to pop in a new roll of film. I also added contrast and an edge vignette in post (Oh the shame!). Anyway, I didn’t get extra credit for no post-processing, but do I get any love for hand-holding the shot at 0.6 of a second? No? Didn’t think so.

Of Course the Real Winner From All This Is….
The children of the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. Just a few hours after I announced the challenge on Friday, I got an email from Molly Bail at the Orphanage, letting me know that she knew something was up, because all of a sudden donations were literally pouring in (she didn’t know we were doing this, so it caught her totally by surprise).

So many people really pitched with donations—-it was just amazing. Even people who couldn’t participate still donated, and that really warmed my heart. There were posts from people who went way above and beyond, and literally donated hundreds of dollars (people like my friend and fellow photographer Janine Smith who has an incredibly big heart, and reader Eric Harmon, who couldn’t shoot this weekend, but gave a big donation anyway).

I am so genuinely thankful to everyone who went that one optional step further, donated the cost of a roll of film, and helped  move the orphanage closer to self sufficiency. Your compassion never ceases to amaze me. I feel very fortunate to have you guys as my readers.

More Challenges to Come
Although we won’t be helping the Orphanage every time, I’m planning a new challenge each month, and the goal will be for us all to try new things photographically and creatively (including some techniques in Photoshop and/or Lightroom that will be new to a lot of us), and I hope you’ll share some of your ideas with me of things you’d like to see in upcoming challenges.

By the way….
Did I mention I have big news tomorrow? :-)

OK, this totally has nothing to do with Photoshop or Photography, but my buddy Scott Diussa sent me a link to the band Rock Sugar, and they are a band of middle-aged rockers who fuse (mash-up) classic rock songs from the 80s with pop songs from the 80s, but the way they do it absolutely kicks butt!

The band is really talented (the lead singer is off the hook), so it’s not just how how cleverly they blended the two songs, but their performance is on the money, and now everybody at NAPP HQ is listening to Rock Sugar all day (a tremendous productivity killer).

I put their video below, which is a mash-up of Metallica’s Enter Sandman mixed with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” which they call “Don’t Stop the Sandman” You just gotta hear it for yourself. Great video, great guitar work, great harmonies, great stuff all around. I promise you’ll be smiling. Here’s the video (the song actually starts 38 seconds in):