Category Archives News

skmic

Somehow, I actually forgot that yesterday was “Embarrassing Photo Thursday” so just consider this “The Day After What Would Have Been Embarrassing Photo Thursday.”

But before we discuss the photo above (and sadly, we will), just a quick thanks to Matt Bailey for being my first actual Vendor guest blogger, and my hat’s off to him for providing some great insights and ideas without turning the whole thing into a big plug for his company. And, since he didn’t do that, I’ll do it for him. Here’s the link to LiveBooks (the company he co-founded), which builds “…customized photography websites to help you get more work.” Thanks Matt. Ya done good! :)

Now, about the photo above. This one was from a little later in my musical career, around 1984 or 85. If a song I was singing didn’t have keyboards, I’m come up front and do my best Eddie Money impression. This shot was taken when I was in my “retro sports coat phase” where I bought old style sportcoats from Goodwill for about $6 each, and rolled up the sleeves because (say it with me now,) “That’s was we did back then.” The skinny tie was from Chess King in the mall. The name of the band was “Park Avenue,” and we played Top-40 Dance Music and Rock.

At the time, I had a bunch of promo bumper stickers made up for our fans which read, “Darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue.” Of course, this was so long ago that people actually got that Green Acres reference. One last thing; that shadow on my face isn’t facial hair; it’s a shadow from the mic. Now that that’s behind me, onto the news:

As Usual, You Guys Had Some Great Ideas!
The post was up hardly an hour, and I had already found some great new ideas for my Vol. 3 book. I honestly haven’t had a chance to go though even half the ideas, but these folks already definitely have a free book coming:

  1. Jim Godo
  2. Kat Clark
  3. Anita
  4. Alexandre
  5. Marcin Grzybek
  6. Tyler Green

There will be more when I look through the entire list (over 200 suggestions), later today, but I wanted to at least let you guys know how much help you were. Your input will make a big difference in the book.

Workshop Updates
Here’s a heads-up on four upcoming workshops that are all filling up extremely fast

  1. Jay Maisel’s weeklong workshop in New York City (May 18-22) has only one space left at this point. If you want to grab it, here’s where you can go for info. (Note: his June workshop is already sold out in advance).
  2. Mary DuPrie’s “Photographing Models” workshop in Pontiac, Michigan has only two spots left in her May 9-10th workshop (her July workshop is already sold out, too!). If you want to snag one of those last two seats (and I highly recommend you do), here’s the link with details.
  3. My Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Tour in Washington DC is nearly at capacity and will sell out sometime later today, so if you want to join me in DC next Friday, grab one of those last seats right now (here’s the link).
  4. It was just announced last week, and there are already just a few spots left for Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Workshop on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Here’s the link with details. Hope I’ll see you in St. Lucia.

Terry’s Lightroom Workflow
My buddy Terry White did an Adobe Connect session featuring his Lightroom 2 workflow and I saw comments from some of the attendees and it was a big hit. If you’d like to see the entire presentation, Terry recorded it and you can watch it for free (it’s called “An Evening With Terry White”), by clicking right here. Thanks Terry for sharing this with my readers.

Good News From Kenya
I just had to thank you guys once again, because you always come though. I heard from Molly at the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya (which is due to open next month), and in just one day you guys donated nearly three thousand dollars to the Springs of Hope, Kenya Orphanage to go toward the furnishings, kitchen supplies, and playground equipment for the kids. No matter what else you do or don’t do today, one thing you did today is help build an Orphanage from the ground up—-one that’s half way around the world. One where you’ll probably never meet the kids whose lives will be changed by your donations. These are children on the other side of the world who’ll never know you helped put a roof over their head. And the fact that they won’t, makes it that much more special that you did it. Stuff like this is what it’s really all about.

The Votes are in!
I didn’t get a chance to thank everyone who participated in my “Guess which one of these three shots was shot with a small off-camera flash” poll last week (the other two images were shot with a studio strobe). Literally thousands of you voted, and the fact that most of us got it wrong (56% chose either 1 or 2) just reinforces the fact that as far as “quality of light goes,” the difference is now very, very subtle (so subtle, most people aren’t able to tell the difference).

Want to See some Great Photography?
Time for a little Friday inspiration. If you’ve got two minutes, check out the black and white work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. It’s just different in an interesting way, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s the link.

I wish you all a really fantastic Friday, and I hope you make some amazing photos this weekend. Have a great time, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!

I know a lot of you already watch Larry Becker’s weekly NAPP news report, but for those of you who haven’t caught his show yet, one thing I like about it is that he always covers different stuff from one week to the next.

He just did a great interview with Corey Barker about the new Intuos4 tablet, and he’s always got some new deal or discount cooking, usually along with what’s going on in the industry. Anyway, the reason I’m bring this up is today; this week one of his stories is about where to get less expensive photography gear and studio lighting for advanced amateurs who can’t drop $500 or $600 right now on something like a Westcott TD5 Spiderlight, but want something similar.

Anyway, you can watch the show right here today (above), or if you’re a NAPP member, each weekly NAPP News episode appears on the NAPP member home page, but you can always subscribe to NAPP News free through iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. Here’s the link (clicking it launches iTunes):

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=300445403

That’s it. I thought you guys might dig this since it’s a pretty cool lighting thingy.

7th-ave

Happy Thursday everybody. I’m back from three-days in the Florida Keys as chaperone for my son’s school trip to “Sea Camp.” It was three solid days without my laptop, without meetings, without working. It was awesome!

OK, about this Thursday’s Embarrassing Photo: I really can’t explain it. I can’t explain our hair. Why we were dressed that way. Or how we got gigs, or dates, or paid our bills, etc. but somehow, we did. Hey, it was an 80s disco band. Not much was expected of us.

The band was called “7th Avenue,” named after Ybor City’s main drag–7th Ave. (From L to R: Drummer Randy Wheat, Bass Player Mark Southwick, Lead singer Chris Denham, Me [yes, I’m actually wearing a square-ended, knit tie from “Chess King.”], lead guitarist Tony Llanes [of Big Electric Cat fame], and lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Jose Herrera). Now, once you stop giggling, we can move onto the news:

  • Tom Rocks The House!
    First, a big thanks to Tom Opasinski for his thought-provoking blog post yesterday, that had everybody talking. I thought his message was really insightful, and from reading your comments, you guys got a lot out of his article as well. Thanks for making him feel so at home here on the blog.
  • New Online Class from RC
    Kelby Training Online just released another online class from Web Guru RC Concepcion. This one’s called, “Dreamweaver CS4 for Beginners” and if you ever wanted to finally get up to speed with building Web sites from scratch, you definitely want to check out RC’s class. Here’s the link.

    Which Monitor Do You Use To Tether?
  • I have a question for you guys. You’ve probably heard about me shooting tethered directly into Lightroom on my laptop, but my question to you isn’t about shooting to a computer. Instead, this is for people who use a large TV or computer monitor in place of the LCD monitor on the back of their camera (so you’re taking a cable out of your camera, and going straight into the monitor itself—-not into a computer).
    My questions are:

    (a) Which monitor have you found works best
    (b)
    How are you connecting your camera (RCA jack? HDMI cable? etc.) to the monitor.
    I want to try a different set-up for a change, and any advice you guys could share would be greatly appreciated.

  • Is it a photo, or a fake?
    AutoDesk (maker’s of 3D CAD software) has a very cool promo-site where they show you different images, and they have a little poll where they ask you to choose which images shown are real photos, and which are 3D computer generated (and both are really there—it’s not a trick). It’s kind of fun, and kind of amazing at the same time. Here’s the link.
  • Only Four-Spots Left For My Landscape Workshop in Savannah
    Remember the landscape workshop I mentioned on Friday, coming up in Savannah, Georgia? I just learned that there are only four-seats left, so if you were planning on being a part of it, I’d grab one of those seats today. Here’s the link to my post with the details. Hope I’ll see you in one of those four remaining spots.

That’s it for today, gang. I’m really beat (it was a nine hour bus-ride home last night), so I’m keepin’ it short today, but I’ll be back in full swing tomorrow! Have a kick-butt Thursday everybody (and stop snickering).

pinhole

Here’s what’s up this beautiful Tuesday in April:

  • Pinhole Photo Gear
    One of my readers, Holly Tarquinio, turned me onto a very cool “Pinhole Camera” kit called the Hole-OnEx (shown above), that you can pick up for around $20. It’s made of cardboard (hey, it’s under $20), and you have to assemble it yourself (you’ll need some glue, and it doesn’t hurt if you’re crafty), but it’s amazing the images you can take with it. I found a couple of links to the camera here and here (though I haven’t done business with either of these companies). This got me digging around a bit, and I also found some slightly more expensive alternatives that don’t require assembly, like the Hole-OnEx Pin Camera Kit” (for $22 on Amazon.com—here’s the link), and the “Pinholga” with its own cable release for $62. I’m going to have to get at least one of these, so if you’ve got any experience with one or the others, let me know—I can’t wait to try it myself. Thanks Holly for the tip!
  • Rick Sammon Releases New Wedding Photography Book
    rickweddingOur buddy Rick Sammon just came out with a Wedding photography book which features the work of a host of different pro wedding photographers, with insights into their creativity, workflow, and there is even a Photoshop tips section with 40 pages of Photoshop tips for wedding photographers. I just got the book on Friday, so I haven’t had a chance to go through it yet, but if Rick is involved, it’s gotta be a great book. Here’s the link to it on Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com
  • Just How Strong is a Pelican Camera Case
    Steven Frischling over at the photography travel site, “Flying with Fish” really wanted to test the strength of a Pelican camera case, so he drove a really big truck right over the Pelican 1514. Here’s the link to find out how it fared after having a few tons cruising over it.
  • D-Town TV Download Problems On The Mend
    Man, did we have a mess of D-Town TV download problems last week. It’s a long story why, but it was one of those “Perfect Storm” kind of things that brought things to a screeching halt. Some folks had no problems; so folks were totally stuck. The good news is: the number of downloads is phenomenal, and continues to grow. The bad news is: the number of downloads is phenomenal, and that brings about bandwidth and delivery problems of its own, but you’ll be happy to know that we’re working on a fix, and hopefully by this Thursday, most of the problems will be behind us. Plus, we’re working on the iTunes issues as well. Thanks so much for your patience while we get this worked out. Luckily, the previous episodes will still be right there online, so you can watch last-week’s show without it hiccuping so much.
  • Asking Brad Update
    Our first “Ask Brad” post went up last week (along with another one yesterday) over at the D-Town TV website, but I wanted to clarify what the Ask Brad weekly feature is about. “Ask Brad” is for you to get help with Nikon technical questions, or more detail or follow-up questions about something we mentioned on the show. If you have ideas for the show, or suggestions (except for “don’t wear black shirts,” don’t waste your time with that one), you can just post those as comments right on the D-Town site. Matt and I read each of those daily.
  • GridIron’s “Flow” Beta Version Now Available for Free Download
    If you watch Photoshop User TV, you saw Steve Forde (from GridIron Software), showing their incredible software app “Flow” a few episodes back. Well, they made the beta version of it available for free download, and the number of downloads they are getting is insane!!!  We’re running the Flow beta at NAPP HQ, and I have to say; it’s absolutely amazing technology (watch the demo video on their site), and what I like best is that it’s nearly invisible until you need it. Here’s the link to download the beta.

That’s it for today, folks. I hope you’ll check out my guest blogger tomorrow, and then  join me back here on Thursday, for another startling episode of “Embarrassing Photo Thursday.” Have a great Tuesday!!!

second-wind-band-photo

Before we discuss the photo above (and sadly yes, we will discuss), first: Come on; did that post from Ree yesterday just absolutely make you fall in love with her or what? She has such a warm, genuine realness to her writing that I just love (and by looking at the comments, you guys did too–posting 134 comments). I just loved her post, and the totally different outlook and perspective she brought to us yesterday, and I’m so delighted she agreed to be my special guest. Thank you Ree, and please consider me one of your biggest fans! :)  Now, onto the stuff:

I’m your Boogie Man…
….That’s what I am. Yes folks, that’s me, in the dark brown three-piece suit, big open collar, gold chains, and sunglasses posing for a promo photo (circa 1982) for the band I was in at the time; “Second Wind.” (We didn’t keep that name for long. Once we heard us referred to as “Sucking Wind” we decided a name change was imminent). The musicians, (from L to R) where: Drummer Mike Schnitt, Yours Truly on keyboards, Vocalist Betts Johnston, Brian Ashley on Sax, and Mark Southwick on bass. Despite how we looked, we were actually a pretty decent band (well, as good as you can be for a disco lounge band, so ‘decent’ is a relative term); however we did manage play a collection of songs each night that, while today they would make you spit out your coffee, at the time, people seemed to enjoy immensely and would occasionally shout (with their hands in the air, mind you), “Yo baby, yo baby, yo!” These people were really, really drunk.

Free Wedding Photography “Webinar” tomorrow!
Tomorrow (Friday) the folks at Bogen Imaging are hosting a free online seminar: “Fashionable Wedding Photography: Roundtable with Claudio Basso” and you’re invited. According to Bogen: “Seasoned fashion photographer Claudio Basso and David Fisher, Bogen Imaging’s Metz and Gossen Product Manager, will discuss new techniques and what photographers need to know when it comes to capturing stunning and fashionable wedding photographs.” This Webinbar, (which is part of Bogen’s “Bogen Café series”), is from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT, and you can find out all the details and sign-up right here.

A Bunch of New Online Classes Are Up Live
I have fallen so far behind on letting you know which new online course have launched, here are some of the latest ones:

  1. RC Concepcion did a fantastic class on how to create “Online Photo Portfolios with Lightroom 2 and Dreamweaver CS4.” (link).
  2. Photoshop Hall-of-Famer Bert Monroy has a new Photoshop digital painting class called, “The Making of Times Square: Part 1″ (based on how the techniques he used in his amazing Time Square pano) (link)
  3. Corey Barker has a new class on how to Get Up To Speed with the Wacom Intuos 4 tablets (incredible tablet, by the way!) (link)
  4. We have Part 2 of Jack Davis’s Lightroom 2: A Creative Approach now online (link)
  5. David Ziser has a new online class called: Wedding Portraits – Getting the Perfect Shot at Tricky Locations (link)

McNally Sighting
Joe McNally is in town this week taping four new online classes for Kelby Training Online, and you can see Joe roaming the halls with a hand full of SB-800s at any given time. Yesterday he shot a full corporate on-location “Board of Directors” shoot; the day before he did a shoot at a trashy motel (I won’t spoil it for you), tonight he’s at the beach doing a shoot, and tomorrow I think he’s shooting an all-girl band promo photo (I doubt anyone will yell “Yo baby, yo baby, yo!, though). I can’t wait to see these!

Episode #8 of D-Town TV is On The Air!
The new episode went up this morning, and in it Matt and I cover:

  • D40/D60 Menu Setting tips
  • Focus Point Wrap settings
  • A Tip on how to make sure all of your wireless flashes are firing
  • An on-Location tip from our show’s Technical Adviser: Moose Peterson
  • Quick specs on the NEW Nikon D-5000 and the new 10-24mm ED Lens
  • Getting a handle on your Picture Control settings
  • A quick review the UPstrap Shoulder Strap

Here’s the link to watch the show free online.

That’s it for today folks. I hope to see you back here tomorrow!  :)

westcottcat

Happy Friday Everybody. Here’s what’s up:

  • My Images in The New 2009 Westcott Catalog
    First a big thank you to the FJ Westcott company—they featured two of my images (shown above) taken with their Spiderlite TD-5’s in their new 2009 lighting catalog (you can download a PDF version of their new catalog right here). As a side note: I actually got to meet photographer Michael Green (the other photographer featured on the same “Pros” page in the catalog); at Photoshop World, and we got to hang out for a while. A really great guy! Anyway, thanks again to Westcott—it’s truly an honor!
  • Dave’s Fix-It Challenge
    Dave Cross has launched a brand new feature on his blog, “Dave Cross Online” called “Dave’s Thursday Fix-It Challenge,” where he posts a “messed up” photo (for lack of a better term) and he lets you download the image and then fix-it in Photoshop. The best fix wins! (and Dave post’s each week’s winner). First, here’s a link to the challenge itself, then this link lets you check out this week’s fixer-upper winner. Very cool idea, Dave!
  • Beginner’s Digital Photography Workshop in New York City
    Photographer (and radio personality) Shawn King, along with Photoshop World instructor (and author of the book, “Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual), Lesa Snider, are teaching a Beginner’s Digital Photography Workshop in New York City coming up on April 24th at Tekserve (119 West 23rd Street). They’ll also be covering some editing in Photoshop Elements as well. Best of all; it’s only $25 per person! Here’s a link with all the details.
  • dtownep7
  • Episode #7 of D-Town TV is Now Available
    We had some technical issues pretty much all day long yesterday (sorry ’bout that), but we finally got the latest episode up and running yesterday afternoon. This new episode features a special guest tip from Nikon’s manager of Nikon Professional Services, Scott Diussa, along with a bunch of other tips (and a great look at the Think Tank belt system I talked about earlier this week). We packed an awful lot of tips into this show, and I hope you’ll check it out right here.
  • New “Ask Brad” Segment Debuts on DTownTV.com
    The Amazing Brad Moore is the Technical Editor for D-Town TV, and this week we launched a new online segment called “Ask Brad.” This is where you can ask your Nikon DSLR-related questions, and every Monday Brad will pick one (or more) of the best questions to answer right there on the site. To ask your question, go to the DTownTV.com site, and click on the “Ask Brad” button at the top.
  • Upcoming Workshop from Landscape Legend Stephen Johnson
    Famous digital landscape photographer Stephen Johnson is hosting a very unique workshop just outside Carmel, California, in some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere. Here’s how Stephen describes it: “We have a very special workshop coming up at Pt. Lobos State Reserve, one of the places I love the best in my home state of California. Just south of Carmel Carmal, this park of beautifully sculpted rocks, misty trails, pounding surf and aqua bays always draws me back, and helped lead me down a path toward an unflinching love of landscape photography.” If you ever get the chance to learn from Stephen, you’ll never forget it—he is amazing! Here’s a link with all the details, and how to sign up.
  • Go Back Up Your Photos. Now!
    I just heard another story last week of a photographer who didn’t have a back-up of their photos, and she lost everything—-every photo she had taken in the last few years, including client work, family shots—everything—gone forever. Take this moment to protect the visual history of your life, and back up your images. Just drag them onto another hard drive. If you don’t have one; run over to Best Buy, pick one up, and back them up. It takes so much less effort than you’d think.

That’s it for this Friday. I hope you all have a wonderful, peace-filled Easter weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)

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