Category Archives News

A New Week

Hi Folks:
I’m back in the saddle this week, after an almost entirely relaxing week (see the post above), and here’s what’s goin’ on so far:

  • Something I Missed Last Week
    In my first-look review of the XT-Explorer on-location battery pack last week, I kind of dinged the looks of the XT a bit, but Larry Becker pointed out something I hadn’t realized, and that is that the Explorer XT actually comes with a fairly nice black nylon fitted “glove” that goes over the unit, along with a substantial shoulder strap. This would make a big difference in the overall look, and thus remove the ding. Sorry I missed that first time around.
  • Corey Sells Out Toronto and Calgary in Advance
    The kid is hot!!! Our own boy wonder Corey Barker is taking our Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Tour to Canada, and Toronto has already sold out in advance (with nearly 600 attendees), and his Calgary stop looks like it will be sold out by today—tomorrow at the latest. Congratulations to Corey, and to everyone who snagged a ticket—you’re going to have an amazing day! To check to see if one of our seminars is coming to your city this summer, click right here.
  • >>> The Ultimate iPhone 3G S Review is Now Live!
    My buddy Terry White has done what I think is the ultimate iPhone 3Gs review, complete with videos, comparisons, features you didn’t know about, etc., and if you’re a longtime Mac user, you’ll love the video clip where Terry demonstrates the voice dialing by calling, and chatting with none other than Apple co-founder Steve “The Woz” Wozniak. Anyway, if you want the full scoop, check out Terry’s in-depth review right here.
  • Got Two Minutes? This Video For Olympus is Very Clever!
    Our buddy Michael Tapes over at sent this my way, and it’s one of those, “must watch” videos. It’s actually a very clever promo for Olympus’ latest camera, and they used the “Will it Blend” guy and well…you just gotta see it. It’s only two minutes, and you can watch it over at Michael’s site (here’s the link).
  • New Canon Training Classes Over at Kelby Training Online
    It has taken us way too long, but at least I can finally announce that our online classes on how to use your Canon gear will finally (finally!) be going live later this week. We were lucky enough to get Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon to do the training for us, and Rick did an outstanding job, so check the Kelby Training Online site later this week to catch Rick’s new classes. Also, we released a special online class from Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost on how to use Adobe’s Configurator Utility with CS4 to create your own custom panels inside Photoshop CS4. Here’s the link with details on her class.
  • Worldwide Photo Walk Update
    On Friday we capped the number of cities to have walks, and I’m thrilled to announce that we’ll have over 1,025 walks around the world on July 18th. I had hoped we get more than last year’s 236 walks, but I never thought it would get here. We have nearly 17,000 walkers signed up so far, and now that our cities are all locked down, we’ll focus on supporting our walk leaders and walkers as we gear up for the event.I’m also thrilled to announce that Nikon has come on as an official sponsor, and has REALLY sweetened the deal by adding an incredible prize to our grand prize collection—-a Nikon D-700 camera!!!! Whoo Hoo!!!!!! We’re honored to have Nikon supporting this worldwide event, and thanks for giving us such a cool prize!!!

    Don’t forget to order your Official Worldwide PhotoWalk T-shirt, which supports the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage (hundreds of you have already ordered shirts—thanks a bunch!). Here’s the link.

Well, that’s it for today. Have a great Monday everybody, and act like it’s Friday! :)


Hi Everybody. It’s Thursday and that spells trouble, as I unveil my most embarrassing photo ever. This was me, just three years ago, tipping the scales at 315 lbs. The shot was taken in Paris where I was accepting an award for being the world’s largest, I mean, best-selling author of computer books that year.

Below is a shot of me now (taken at this past Boston Photoshop World, where I’m posed with my friends Corey Barker, Terry White, and RC Concepcion), after losing over 100 lbs. on a strict diet (I tell people it was a low calorie, low carb, low taste, low fun diet).


Anyway, it took a long while, but I’ve kept it off for nearly two years now, and I feel dramatically better, and after having my yearly physical this past week, I was in such great health that I told my staff that if I suddenly show up dead, they better start a murder investigation, because it won’t be from natural causes. ;-)

Anyway, the diet thing is on-going and I plan to lose a little more (I’ve actually lost 8 more pounds since the photo above was taken), but I’m glad my “Jabba The Hutt” stage is behind me, and now it’s time for some news:

Thanks to Jon-Paul Douglas
Just a quick word of thanks to Jon-Paul for his excellent blog post yesterday. Having such a varied line-up of guest bloggers really expands the range of this blog, and I’m very grateful to have artists like Jon-Paul sharing their thoughts, ideas, and images with my readers.

More on Lenses on D-Town TV
Part 2 of our 4-part series on lenses will go live today on D-Town TV (Episode 17) and we pick up right where we left off last week. Here’s the link to watch it online.

My Take on the New Wacom Intuos 4 Tablets
My buddy, famous Landscape photographer Bill Fortney says that he’s gotten to a point in his career where the quality of light is so important, that he’ll look for great light first, and then once he finds it, then he’ll find something to shoot. I’ve gotten to a similar point in my photo retouching, but I just realized it the other day when I had to retouch a photo, and I was working at a machine that didn’t have a Wacom tablet attached. I really needed to have the image retouched right then, but I would rather wait until I could get to a machine with one of the new tablets, then even attempt to retouch it with a mouse. I now have the new Intuos 4 Tablet at my office, at my secondary office at our photo studio, and one at my house, and if I’m not at one of those three places—I’m not retouching anything. I’ve had a tablet for years, and I used to pull it out for serious retouching tasks, but since the Intous 4 tablet came out, I now use them all the time, and yes—the 4 made that big a difference. Also, I now carry the tablet with me on the road (Note to any camera bag manufacturer: I’ve got some great ideas on how to design a camera bag that would accomodate a laptop, an Intous 4 tablet, and all your camera gear. I’d totally endorse it, so give me a shout if you’re interested).


Great Book on Black & White in Photoshop & Lightroom
Last week I came across a book I hadn’t seen before on creating Black & White images in Photoshop and Lightroom, and so I took the book home for a quick look, and I really liked it (I’m a sucker for black and white—especially black t-shirts–wink, wink). Anyway, what first caught my eye were the great images in the book, and while I was admiring the images and flipping through the book, it finally dawned on me that one of the co-authors of the book was none other than Adobe’s own Senior Photoshop product manager, Bryan O’Neil Hughes. I don’t know how I missed that (and I later found out that the book isn’t brand new, even though it was new to me). Anyway, Bryan is a really great guy, a great photographer, and now he’s got a really great book (co-authored with photographer Leslie Alsheimer). The book is called “Black & White in Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom” and here’s the link to it on Barnes &, and

That’s it for today folks. Check back tomorrow for a first-look at some new technology for taking your existing studio gear out on location. Have a great Thursday everybody!

Hi folks. It’s Tuesday, and time for some news:


  • The Best of Photoshop User TV, Volume 2 now on DVD
    We released Volume 2 of “The Best of Photoshop User TV” on DVD (shown above) and it’s packed with the best tutorials and tips from the last couple of years on the air, and it features “The Photoshop Guys” (Me, Matt Kloskowski and Dave Cross). Besides the tons of tutorials, there’s also a hilarious blooper reel (read as humiliating) and that alone is worth the price of the DVD (not really). However, it is filled with more than two hours of nothing but our best tutorials from the show, and you can order yours right here.
  • Worldwide Photo Walk “Add Your City” Deadline This Thursday
    The deadline for applying to have a walk in your city is coming up this Thursday, June 18th, so if you’ve been thinking of leading a walk—better apply for one now (here’s the link).
  • Photo Walk Update
    1. First, big news: We’ve added yet another sponsor to my Worldwide Photo Walk and they (like the rest of the sponsors) have added some sweet prizes to the photo contest part of the walk. Please join me in welcoming X-Rite (link) as a sponsor, who has graciously sweetened the Grand Prize by adding a ColorMunki Photo, and now each of the 10 finalists will get an X-rite mini color checker as well. Sweet!
    2. We have now passed 14,000 walkers, and we have nearly 870 walks scheduled around the world. I hope you can join us (it’s free!). Here’s the link to join a walk in your city.
    3. We have a number of countries that have multiple walks in different cities, including: Canada, India, Australia, Mexico, Thailand, The UK, Spain, The Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden and The Philippines.
  • New iPhone Remote App for Nikon Cameras In The Works over at OnOne
    We talked with our buddy Mike Wong over at OnOne Software yesterday, and he let us know they’re developing an iPhone-based wireless camera release for Nikon cameras, similar to what they did last month for Canon cameras (here’s the link). I’ll let you know as soon as its available (and a big hats-off to OnOne and Mike for taking the initiative to create more cool tools for photographers).
  • Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage Update
    I heard from Molly Bail, the woman behind the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage (link) with an update on the building progress. Although they hoped to open on June 1st, apparently building projects don’t move as quickly in Kenya as they’d hoped. They still have some electrical and painting to do and lots of finishing work, but Molly seems very hopeful that everything will be done by August. They are still feeding and caring for the children in the meantime, but by August they’ll finally have a roof over their head (thanks to the efforts of so many people from this blog. In fact, another $500 check came in from a reader just this week). I’ll keep you guys updated on the progress as I hear from Molly.
  • New “Illustrator CS4 for Beginners” Online Class from Dave Cross
    We released a new online class over at Kelby Training Online from our own Dave Cross, and if you’ve ever wanted to really learn Adobe Illustrator, this is your chance because Dave does an amazing job of getting you up and running fast. Here’s the link with class descriptions.
  • Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…..
    ….Orlando, Florida-based portrait photographer Jon-Paul Douglas. My assistant/digitaltechguy/photowalkblogger/DTownTVtecheditor Brad Moore first turned me onto to Jon-Paul’s work (here’s the link) and his blog (here’s that link) earlier this year and he’s incredibly creative in both pursuits. If you’ve got a minute, make sure you check out his portfolio (I particularly like the way his images fill the entire window. What a great way to show your work!), and then make sure you’re back here tomorrow to check out his special guest blog.

That’s it for this Tuesday, folks. I’ll see you back here on Thursday for my most embarrassing photo yet. Yikes! Have a great day everybody. :)


Hi everybody. It was a late night at the studio tonight (just getting home at 1:00 am. Ugh!), so I’m gonna make this one short and sweet. Here goes:

  • McNally’s New Site Rocks!
    Joe McNally just intro’d a whole new look for his portfolio site (link) and his very popular blog (link) and I think the site designer did a fantastic job on both (and an especially tidy job in tying all of Joe’s many projects together in one central place). One thing I particuarly like about his new site (besides the amazing images of course), is that his new site doesn’t hijack your screen by expanding to full screen size (resizing my browser window without asking is a pet peeve of mine, which almost bugs me as much as a site that plays music without asking first). Anyway, love the new look of both the blog and his main site (shown above). Big kudos to his design team.
  • Catch my photography interview over at
    I did an in-depth interview about my photography with Scott Bourne over at, and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable written interviews I’ve done, because he posed some questions that really made me think and reflect on where I’ve been, what I’m doing, and where I’m going with photography, and I’ve gotten a lot of really nice feedback on the interview so far. Here’s the link to check out out.
  • Part 1 of our Special Series on Digital Camera Lenses
    Matt and I launched the first of a four-part series on lenses yesterday on D-Town TV (the weekly show for Nikon DSLR shooters), and we are so psyched about the great feedback we’re getting from our viewers (especially about our explanation of full frame versus cropped frame camera bodies and which lenses work best with which). If you haven’t caught this week’s show yet, here’s the link (you can watch it right online).
  • We Blew Past 12,000 Photo Walkers!
    First, I want to welcome the great folks at LensBaby as official Worldwide Photo Walk sponsors (thanks you guys!). Now the news: back on Wednesday night we blew past 12,000 walkers for my 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. Get on board right here.
  • Great Photo Retouching Before/Afters
    RC Concepcion is running a commentary on photo retouching today over at Layers magazine, so I thought I’d feature the top notch retouching of Richard Ray Ruiz. Very nice stuff, and not overdone. WARNING: Just so ya know, there is some fashion-style nudity in a few of the images. Here’s the link.

That’s it for this Friday folks. I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend, and I hope to see you back here next week—-I’ve got some reviews on some pretty cool new stuff that I want to share. Take care. –Scott


Happy Thursday everybody!

First, it’s Thursday, and it’s time for an embarrassing photo or two from my massive archive of embarrassing imagery. I debated about posting this one, not because I apparently had only one single “look” back in the mid-80s (the thrift store sports coat with the sleeves rolled up, a white shirt with a skinny tie, jeans and sneakers), but because it was taken on top of New York City’s World Trade Center. The Trade Center is a very emotional symbol for us Americans (it was even emotional for me when I saw it again), but this photo, taken by my brother Jeff, is also a part of the visual history of my life, and  so I thought I would run it in memory of a wonderful day spent in one of my favorite cities, and as a tribute to 9/11 and to New Yorkers everywhere (my folks were raised in NYC).

If you look at the photo, you’ll notice I’m sporting a very cool ‘film shooters” accessory—a camera strap that holds film canisters, whose contents eventually made their way into my Pentax SLR. You can also see my shopping back with goodies from the NBC Studios tour we took earlier that day.


This 2nd photo (above) was taken later that same day, also by Jeff, in front of One Liberty Plaza; the headquarters of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (I was working for Merrill at the time as a Financial Consultant). I’ve really got to come up with a new look; it’s been 20-something years and all that’s changed is I don’t roll my sleeves up, I’ve lost the tie and traded my white shirt for a black one.

Before we get to the news: let’s throw up our “rock hands” for Scott Diussa’s kick-butt blog post yesterday. I was going to give him the award for the longest special guest blog post, but instead I’m going to give him the award for the “Longest special guest post that I couldn’t stop reading” award. What an amazing life Scott has led, and the range of what he’s done in the world of photography is inspirational just on its own. Thanks Scott for a really wonderful read, and some classic images (plus, I’m a sucker for the dueling guitars). ;-)  Now, onto the news:

  • RC’s Got Everybody Talking (Arguing) about HDR
    RC Concepcion did an excellent post over at Layers Magazine, called “Why does HDR bring out the best/worst in you as a photographer” and it’s getting more and more people talking about it every day (even though he wrote the post a few weeks ago). As you might expect, people are on both sides of the HDR fence, and it has started some pretty lively debate (and that’s being kind). Here’s the link to join in the fun.
  • Photoshop Curves vs. Levels Use
  • Matt, Dave and I had lunch together today (yes, we do everything together), and we somehow started talking about a topic I discussed here back on March 6th (here’s that link) about The Diminishing use of Curves in Photoshop for color correction (thanks to Camera Raw). I ran a reader poll then asking how your use of Curves has changed, and 60% of you indicated that you either use Curves somewhat less to a lot less and 21% said you don’t use Curves at all (that means 81% either use it less, or not at all).

    None of the three of us were surprised at those results, but what did surprise us was that all three of us are now using Levels more and more when we need a quick contrast tweek. Why Levels and not Curves? We all agreed—it’s just so quick and easy. So, I’m curious; do you find yourself using Levels more today than you did two years ago, or are you using Curves to create contrast instead?

  • Topaz offers NAPP members a 25% discount on any plug-ins
    Larry Becker saw my review of Topaz Adjust last week, and he comes by my desk today to tell me that NAPP members now get a 25% discount on any plug-ins they order from Topaz (not just Adjust). If you’re a NAPP member, click here to get the discount code.
  • McNally’s One-Day Lighting Seminar is going to sell out!
    I just saw the figures today on the sign-ups for Joe McNally’s new one-day location lighting workshop that we’re producing (at Kelby Training), and although it’s more than a month and a half away (July 31st in San Francisco), it’s already outpacing our upcoming Lightroom and Photoshop seminars in New York, Chicago and a half dozen other cities we’re going to. In short; it looks like it’s going to sell out in advance, so if you want to go, I’d go sign up right now (here’s the link).
  • Quote of the week
    “I’m lucky if I get to spend more than 20% of my work-time actually photographing.

    (here’s the link to read the story).
  • Some Thursday Photographic Inspiration
    I ran across the site of photographer Greg Sims, and I have to say; I love this guy’s look. He does have a very HDR-style look that he goes in and out of, so there’s a lot of post in his shots and although not everybody digs that, I think he’s got a nice marriage of great photography and great post production. Got a minute? Check him out right here. I also found architectural photographer Melissa Castro, and she had some images I was really drawn to (I particularly love her intro page shot, but she’s got some other real gems in her portfolio as well). I love her clean graphic style, and if you’ve got a minute, give her stuff a quick look, too.

That’s it for today folks. Have a really great day, and I’ll see ya tomorrow! :)

Hi folks. Here’s what’s goin’ on.

  • Jay Maisel, a true living legend of photography, is hosting a week-long workshop this fall, and I’m telling you this early because like all his others, it will probably sell out months in advance. It kicks off Monday, September 14 at Jay’s studio in NYC and runs through Friday, September 18. For more details click here.
  • I did something special yesterday for the folks following me on Twitter. If you’re following me, go check it out (here’s the link).
  • We now have well over 11,000 photographers registered to be a part of my Worldwide Photo Walk on July 18th, and we have over 760 walks. We are totally psyched! :)
  • A big thanks to the blog “Inkd” for naming Layers Magazine to their list of “The 15 Best Magazines for Print Designers.” We are truly honored.
  • Our friends at Barnes & Noble are running a special 30% off promotion this month (in stores and online) on a bunch of Peachpit Press books (including some of my own, along with Jeff Revell’s new book and David DuChemin’s, among others), Here’s the link for more details (the promotion ends at the end of this month).
  • Our buddy and friend of the blog, Dwayne Tucker did a behind-the-scenes article on a recent on location lifestyle photo shoot on his blog. If you’ve got a quick sec, you can check it out right here.

That’s all I’ve got for today. We’ll see ya back here on Thursday after a very special Guest Blog tomorrow. Have a kick-butt Tuesday!