Category Archives Guest Blogger


There is no perfect existence, but being blessed with a beautiful wife and working for Jay Maisel is pretty close – for starters my cubicle is more than TEN times the size of our entire NYC apartment.  At home we “share” the closet, at work I share space with a basketball hoop.  I got engaged at the bank building and we were married there.  (Yes, I’m currently in negotiations about a cemetery plot in the courtyard.)


There is no job description.  (more…)

Just wanted to a add my quick “Thanks” to Bill Simone for his wonderful, in-depth Guest Blog post yesterday.

For those of you who didn’t go through the whole thing; he revealed some closely-guarded Photoshop techniques that are in wide use today by some of the biggest names out there, so this weekend; take some time and really sit down and look at what Bill unveiled here yesterday, because it’s some really meaty stuff!

Thanks Bill, for being so willing to share the techniques you’ve learned the hard way, and keep up the great work!!! :)


When Brad asked me if I would be interested in being a guest blogger on Scott’s site, I immediately said yes. It is one of my frequented sites and It seems I always learn something when I visit.  However, being a visual person, writing does not come easy for me, and a long period of procrastination ensued. So thanks to Scott and Brad for their patience with me! I am thrilled to be here.

I have chosen a piece of work that is a selection from a small series we recently produced. We were asked by a design firm working for a specialty clothing manufacturer to produce a series of photographs for ads and collateral material. As is normal for the process, we had several meetings to discuss the strategy of the campaign, and the proposed look of the photographs. From these meetings were born a number of very rough sketches. The creative director and I have worked together for a long time, and only need a certain level of refinement in the comps before moving to the actual shoot. I wish I had kept some of the sketches to share with the readers, but…no dice, I could not find them. Just imagine your worst sketch on a paper napkin!

I’ve been immersed in compositing for a number of years now, and often go to it for solutions to visuals I am asked to make. This series seemed perfect.

A number of scenarios were proposed to fit the products chosen to be featured.

  • A rough and tumble outdoorsman pulling the winch cable from the front of his old Land Rover pickup truck, hopelessly stuck. (The only one not executed as a composite, shot outdoors as you see it.)
  • A young, pretty, athletic rock climber girl.
  • Another young pretty girl in a snowball fight.
  • A really fun one for a line of SWAT team clothing.
  • Clothing for undercover cops.
  • And finally the subject of my blog…a snowboarder doing something cool.

Here is the final composited shot: (more…)

Photography for the Joy of It!

I’m coming up on my 40th anniversary as a photographer! What does that mean? Well you could say I was close, personal friends with George Eastman, but that was little further back! What it means is that for the past 40 years I’ve supported my family, made lots of friends and acquaintances, and seen many great things… And I’m even more excited to be a photographer than I was at the beginning! Let me share with you how to have a childlike enthusiasm about being a shooter, even at my advanced age! How old am I? Well let’s just say my social security number is 1! No I’m 63, but my doctor said, “With a body like your’s you should donate it to science fiction!”

Photography has brought me three great things, people, places and, well photography itself!

Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky

People. The greatest gifts that photography has given me are all the great people it has brought into my life. Great friends like Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, (and the rest of his merry gang), John Shaw, David Muench, Mark Kettenhofen, Art Wolfe, Jim Brandenburg, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson the late Galen Rowell and John Netherton. I could go on and on forever about the wonderful people I’ve had the opportunity to teach, shoot in the field with and become great friends. Photography led me to a deep friendship with Charles Stanley, and Ricky Skaggs just to name a few more. Dear friends like Chuck Summers and Don Nelson. Wow, I better stop now before this gets out of hand! I’m not bragging or dropping names, I’m just blessed beyond belief. I think the point I’m feebly trying to make is that people enrich our lives and they help us to be better than we would have ever been on our own. They help us grow and add great joy to our lives, many, many people have given me that gift by just letting me be their friend!

Ricky Skaggs plays at the Grand Ole Opry

Places. In the past 40 years I’ve been a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer (official photographer for the Washington Redskins), a medical photographer, nature photographer and teacher, and now I’m a tech rep for Nikon. Guess you could say I couldn’t keep a job!

Peaks in Glacier National Park

I’ve seen shuttle launches, Super Bowls, and every major national park at least 25 times! Years ago I did a magazine for an energy company, and in the process interviewed and photographed over 60 celebrities, including, Red Skelton, Barbara Mandrell, Johnny Unitas, Paul “Bear” Bryant and many others. When I ran the Great American Photography Weekends, a company my wife Sherelene and I formed over 16 years ago, I drove 70,000 miles per year for ten years going to all the most beautiful places across America, plus Africa and the Galapagos Islands. No, I didn’t drive there! Did I say something earlier about being blessed!!??

Experiences are the basket of riches we salt away to pull out, time and time again, to savor and enjoy. My basket is overflowing!

Canyon edge with light – Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Photography itself. My first camera was a Nikkormat FTN way back in 1968. I was a high school football coach and teacher, but knew I wanted to be a photographer. I still hold a record at the high school where I coached, it will never be broken as the school closed last year! My freshman team not only didn’t win a single game, we never scored in and entire season! As I said, I was destined to be a photographer.

I’ve owned virtually every model of camera ever made by Nikon. I never met a lens I didn’t like! And very few I didn’t buy! Going to work for Nikon saved my life. At least now they loan me the ones I can’t afford! Photography has never been more fun or rewarding, digital has changed everything! To tell the truth, when I joined Nikon, Inc. I was close to being burned out. Been there – done that! Digital started my enthusiasm all over again! Photography also opened up one of the other major dreams of my life, becoming a pilot.

In order to do a book on America, my son Wesley and I learned to fly ultra light airplanes, then drove 73,000 miles across America to do a book, America from 500 Feet. The book came out on September 7th, just four days before the September 11th. People fell in love with America again, and the book, to our shock, became the biggest selling aviation landscape book on America of all time. I’ve now done 5 books, the last of which was with my dear friend Mark Kettenhofen – America From 500 Feet II!

Suwanee River

So if you want to last at this for 40 years and still be having fun, here is the formula; Embrace the People, Enjoy the Places (adventures), and be captivated by our incredible craft!

If you would like to see more of my work please visit my website.

And if you would like to come along with me on my journey please visit my blog.

Thank you Scott for sharing your great group of friends with me and for your incredible friendship.

God bless to all,


Hi gang: here’s what’s up:

Scott Bourne Rocks!
A big thanks to Scott Bourne over at for including my blog in his post called “My Favorite Online Places to Get More Info About Photography.” Here’s the link to check out all this picks (Thanks Scott—it’s a honor to be included in such great company).

Just Four Days Left…..
Don’t forget about Rob Jone’s wonderful offer of a matching donation on the official Photo Walk t-shirts. The deadline is July 31st (at this point with Rob’s matching donation, every shirt you buy creates at $10 donation to the Spring of Hope Kenya Orphanage). Here’s the link.

Matt’s Workflow Video
We’re getting a lot of love from Matt’s Lightroom workflow video that he did for the photo walk participants. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, it’s right here.

A totally kick-butt contest is coming on Monday
On Monday, I’ll be announcing just about the coolest photography contest ever (well, it’s the coolest I’ve heard of recently, anyway). It’s not my idea (it’s actually a friend of mine’s, but you’ll know who he is), and we’re trying to put it together for a Monday launch, so make sure you mark your calendar to be here on Monday for sure.

Tomorrow’s  Special Guest Blogger is…..
….one of the finest landscape photographers in America today; one of the best photography instructors out there, and one of my very dear friends….Bill Fortney.

Bill is the photographer who wrote (and shot) the award-winning book “America from 500 feet” (the best selling aviation photography book ever) and co-author of “American from 500 feet II” (his latest book), and it is such an honor to have him here as my guest. Don’t miss his guest post tomorrow!!!


Before anything else, I’d like to extend a big “thank you!” to Scott for having me back. I really enjoyed my last visit here and was very appreciative of all of your comments. Fresh from leading the Adobe Headquarters Photo Walk in San Jose, I’d also like to call out what Scott and everyone at the NAPP do; not just for education on a wide array of Adobe products, but their celebration for the passion of photography. My favorite part of my job is seeing what people do with our software and the excitement and creativity it brings to them; Saturday’s Photo Walk offered a really nice perspective on what that looks like early on, from behind-the-person-behind-the-lens. Here in San Jose, we enjoyed a full house; had a special guest participant, and I finished with Lightroom 2.0 and Photoshop CS4 demos from our own Park conference room – a great way to spend a Saturday. Thanks to Scott & friends for putting me in touch with some great people and talented shooters!



Although I’ve collaborated with Scott and the staff of the NAPP for many years, last year was my first trip out to NAPP headquarters. My experience there prompted what I’m going to share today. (more…)