Category Archives Guest Blogger

David J. Nightingale © Bobbi Lane

Before I begin I’d like to thank both Scott and Brad for inviting me to be a guest blogger – it’s truly an honour, and I’m delighted to be appearing alongside the many other wonderful photographers that have contributed to Guest Blog Wednesday. So thanks again to Scott and Brad, and hello to everyone else.

Seeing the Light

One of the hardest things I find about writing is starting – not because I procrastinate, which I do – but because there are always so many different and interesting topics that can be discussed in relation to photography. In this case, after spending a couple of weeks trying to narrow it down, I went back and reread (and re-watched) many of the guest blogs that have been posted this year in search of inspiration. After realising that I had a lot to live up to – there have been some really inspiring posts in recent months – I was struck by a point that Eddie Tapp made:

“Learning to ‘see the light’ is perhaps the single, most exciting experience in one’s imaging life.”

Eddie went on to discuss this point in terms of the nature of light – how to recognise different types of light, how to modify and shape the light falling onto a subject, and so on – but his key point was that being able to “see the light” is one of the most significant skills we need to develop. And he’s right.

But exactly which light is it that we need to learn to see?

On the face of it, this sounds like a dumb question – we need to be able to see the light that’s there, and when we can appreciate and understand its nature we can photograph it, modify it, and so on – but there are two things that complicate this process.

The first complication is obvious, and was implied in Eddie’s post: the light that we need to learn to see is the light that our camera sees, not what we see. Whether you’re shooting film or digital you will know that what you see is not always what your camera sees; i.e. the human eye/brain combo can perceive a much larger dynamic range than your camera’s sensor or your film. For example, while a digital sensor is limited to around 6-9 EV, the human eye can perceive a dynamic range of approximately 14 EV without any adaptation, and up to around 24 EV when you take into account the facts that it can also adjust to very dark scenes and that the pupil can change size to accommodate varying levels of brightness.


The net result of this is that we learn to either not shoot scenes with a massively large dynamic range, or we find ways to modify the light within such scenes to decrease the contrast ratio between the darkest and brightest areas, or we shoot a sequence of photographs and convert them to an HDR image. In this instance, the only viable option was to (more…)

……UK-based fine-art and commercial photographer David Nightingale (you may better know him as Chromasia).

Brad turned me on to the work of this award-winning photographer earlier this year, and he’s got some really tasty stuff, including some nice HDR work that’s not at all over the top. Take a few moments and check out his portfolio here, then check out his blog here, and make sure you check back tomorrow to see what he has in store for us. I’m guessing, it’s some pretty cool stuff! :)

Photo by Jacob Cunningham

Hello Scott. And friends of Scott. Not to mention you people who know friends of folks who at one time thought they knew Scott or saw him once. As if in a dream.

My name is Deke. But enough about me. What’s more important is what I have to offer. In celebration of The Day After Scott’s Birthday, I bring you the most special Eighth of July gift ever. A video. A Web-based, streaming video. With a mouse cursor moving around the screen and me talking and everything. (!)

The topic of this video is masking. Over the course of things, we’ll take this girl:

File number: 13312377

With all her hair and rambunctious attitude.

And blend her into this composition:

File number: 13312377

Granted, the end result is over the top. And a bit silly. (Forgive me, I learned design from Mad magazine. Or was it Super Mario Brothers? I forget.) But it’s impeccably executed. And it demonstrates a point: If you can merge that hair and that dress and that girl against that background, you can do anything.

And by “anything,” I mean anything. Turn lead into gold. Climb vertical walls. Fly. With glistening, radioactive abs of steel.

I call my intensive video “The Essential Approach to Masking in Photoshop.” It’s not a step-by-step recipe. It’s not a magic bullet. It’s an overarching roadmap of the tried-and-true approach to masking a complex image. In about 30 minutes (I told you it was intensive!), you and I will create a full-blown mask—from scratch, mind you—and employ said mask to composite a complex foreground against a foreign background. In Photoshop.

This is not an inspirational video. This is a training video. (I’m sorry, but it’s what I do.) It’s carefully crafted and tightly produced. And believe it or not, it moves along at a fairly brisk pace.

Definitely click the full-screen button for every bit of gloriously compressed detail in this 1280 by 800-pixel movie.

Watch. Rinse. Repeat.

Along the way, I mention some links. They are these:
-For the images,
-For the videos,
-For the books,
-For more free masking videos,
-For still more videos,
-For 24/7 love action,

Now stop reading this and watch the video. And have a really awesome day.

…one of my all-time favorite Photoshop instructors and authors, and the only guy named Deke I’ve ever known; Deke McClelland.

I’ve been a fan of Deke’s work since I got totally hooked on his book, The Photoshop Bible, back when I was just a Photoshop cub.

Not only did I learn a tremendous amount from that book, but I loved his irreverent style and would find myself laughing out loud while I was learning, which makes it even more special for me to have him here as my guest on the blog tomorrow.

Deke doesn’t do anything in a small way, so I’m expecting something very cool here tomorrow, so make it a point to stop back by and see what Deke has up his sleeve.

Hi Gang:
I wasn’t able to get the completed post for this week’s guest blogger in time for posting, so unfortunately today will be “Unexpected No-Guest-Blog” Wednesday.

I realized this might be the case yesterday on “The Day Before What Could Well Be Unexpected No-Guest-Blog” Wednesday, so that’s why I didn’t announce the guest blogger in advance, like usual.

Hope you have a great July 1st nonetheless, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for “The Day After Unexpected No Guest Blog” Thursday.


Photo by Scott Kelby

Before I begin I want to thank Scott for including me as one of the weekly guest bloggers on his blog. To say it’s an honor for being one of the 52 guests he has per year is an understatement! You wouldn’t really think that being a guest blogger for Scott is an intimidating task until you are given the opportunity. Only then does the truth of the matter come out! I myself, a man of many words, struggled with what I should talk about and who I should target my post for. Then I remembered the KISS method; Keep It Simple Silly. For the more complex theories and techniques, I will guide you to the experts that I pull my inspiration and knowledge from. Please don’t mistake this for name dropping for shameless plugs for my friends… As they say, “it takes a village to raise a child“. In this case the saying would be “a community of artists draws inspiration!