Category Archives News

Hi gang: My writing load had derailed my plans for the blog this week (hopefully, I’ll get to do it next week, so I’ll still keep it under wraps), but in the meantime, here’s what’s going on this this morning.

  • Don’t know if you saw this, but Dave Cross is continuing his series called “Finish the Sentence” and I think it’s really interesting. Last week he had Photoshop Hall of Famer John Paul Caponigro “Finishing the Sentences” (Here’s the link).
  • If you’re looking for a way to hand-hold your shots for maximum steadiness, check out Joe McNally’s now famous “Da Grip” video, where he shows you a camera holding technique that’s pretty darn slick. The video’s already been watched more than 44,000 times on YouTube. Here’s the link.
  • Surprise of the week for me; a friend bought me as a gift an “Kindle,” which is their wireless ebook reader. I’ve never met an eBook reader I liked, which is why I was so impressed with the Kindle. It’s surprisingly good, much lighter and thinner than it looks, and you could even say it’s, “Very Apple-like” in everything from its packaging to its industrial design. For photography and Photoshop books, it still really needs to have color inline graphics, so it’s not ideal for these types of books (even though my Digital Photography book is available on Kindle), but overall it’s way better than I expected. There’s a video about Kindle right here.
  • My buddy Matt Kloskowski has released his “Lightroom 2 Power Session” DVD, which is designed to get Lightroom 1 users up to speed quick on Lightroom 2. You can find out all the details here (note: NAPP members get $15.00 off).
  • You can catch Bert Monroy’s Photoshop Creativity Tour in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, and Terry White’s InDesign Productivity Tour in Toronto, Canada on Friday the 10th. Here’s the details.

That’s it for this Monday morning. Have a good one!


Just a few quickies to round out the week:

  • First, thanks to Alan Hess, whose Guest Post this week rocked (no pun intended). I loved having such a different angle, and I thought he did a great job taking us “backstage” at a concert shoot. Thanks Alan!
  • Michael Tapes has launched a new blog over at, and he has a follow-up to the Guest Blog post he did last week covering his incredibly handy “Instant JPEG from Raw” free utility. Here’s the link.
  • Earlier this year I did a shot of our in-house Web Programmer Tommy Maloney’s pimped out Volvo, and Tommy entered the photo in a photography contest put on by IPD; a well-known company that sells custom Volvo performance gear and accessories, and son of gun—it won! Here’s the link, but the photo that won is shown above. Congrats Tommy! (P.S. Don’t race Tommy. It’s what you don’t see that matters!)
  • We released another “CS4” online class over at; this one from our own Dave Cross, who did an amazing class on “Creative Suite Integration” between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Here’s the link. Also, we were out in the field filming new sessions with Wedding Master David Ziser this week, and we’re in post-production on some new classes from Joe McNally!
  • If you’re in the Orlando/Tampa, Florida area; I’m bringing my Lightroom 2 Tour one-day workshop to Orlando on Wednesday, Oct. 29th at the Orange County Convention Center, and I’ll hope you join me there. Also, my Dallas seminar is filling up fast (on the 27th), so if you’re planning on going—sign up now! Here’s the link with more details. Hope to see you in Orlando or Dallas! (P.S. I expect to be announcing another city next week!).
  • Speaking of Lightroom; I ran across two reviews of my new Lightroom 2 for Digital Photographers Book this week; one at the Benson Blog (link) and one at the Australian photo blog “Lightly Toasted” (here’s that link).

Have a great weekend everybody. I have something cool planned for next week, if all goes well, so we’ll see you back here on Monday! :)


We’re just days away from the release of the 2nd edition of my award-winning “The iPhone Book” (co-authored with my close friend and total iPhone freak Terry White), and we wanted to do something really fun to celebrate the upcoming launch of the book, so here’s what we came up with:

An Apple “iPhone Photo Contest” for photos you take with your iPhone’s built-in camera (which is a surprisingly good little camera. Just ask my wife, who has nearly 700 photos she’s taken on her iPhone). Anyway, here’s how it works:

  1. You can enter up to three photos (total) taken with your iPhone (doesn’t matter if it’s the original model, or the new 3G).
  2. There are five different categories; Friends, Pets, Family, Fine Art, and Office. The winner in each category gets a $100 iTunes Gift card and a copy of “The iPhone Book” 2nd edition.
  3. The Grand prize winner gets a $500 Apple Store Gift Card, and a copy of “The iPhone Book” 2nd edition.
  4. From the photos submitted by the deadline of Oct. 24, 2008, Terry and I will choose three finalists in each category, and then the public gets to vote for the winner in each category (the one getting the most votes wins). Then, from those Winners Terry and I will choose a Grand Prize Winner on November 3, 2008.
  5. This may seem obvious, but of course, the photo has to be taken with your iPhone’s built-in camera.
  6. You can edit your photos using any iPhone application available from the iTunes Apps Store, or any other image editing application, but no other non-iPhoto photos may be included in your entry (so you can’t take your iPhone photo and composite it with a photo taken with your DSLR, point-and-shoot, or a stock photo).
  7. You may not give your iPhone to Jay Maisel, Joe McNally, or Moose Peterson. Not even to make a phone call.
  8. There is no entry fee, and the contest is open to everyone; You do not have to buy “The iPhone Book” to enter, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. ;-)
  9. Whining of any kind, about anything, is strictly prohibited.
  10. You can submit your photos, and learn more about the contest at the official contest site (here’s the link).

So that’s the scoop. I hope you guys will help me spread the word about this very cool contest, and if you have an iPhone, or know someone who has an iPhone, or if you’re just loose with money, I hope you’ll check the book out (By the way; the 1st edition of “The iPhone Book” was named by’s Editors as their “Computer and Technology Book of the Year” last year, and this new updated version is even bigger and better!).

Just in case you want to pick up a copy, here’s the link to the book on, (it’s only $13.59).

Hi everybody. It’s Thursday, and you know what that means. It’s time for “News Stuff!”

  • First off; did Michael Tapes make some friends yesterday or what!!!! If you missed his post, he and the folks at Imagenomic, came up with a free utility that makes a JPEG from any Raw file, and it does it at lightning speed. I installed it yesterday myself, and I gotta tell you—it rocks (just read some of the comments from yesterday—Michael has a whole new fan club). So, my thanks to Michael for doing something so cool, and so useful, for the community, and secondly, for helping people out all day by answering their questions, troubleshooting the installs, and just being incredibly helpful to all who asked. What a great guest blogger!!!
  • Sadly, Michael’s incredibly popular post overshadowed a special day yesterday that just doesn’t get the love it should. That’s right, yesterday was officially “National Punctuation Day” (here’s the link for details), and in honor of NPD, I wanted to recognize Seven people who daily throw themselves over the punctuation grenades I toss liberally into the first drafts of all my books, magazine articles, and even here on the Web.

First, thanks my incredible in-house book editor Kim Doty, to whom my Lightroom 2 book is dedicated. I can’t imagine the punctuation indignities she has suffered on my behalf, yet she soldiers on as if I know an ellipse from a semicolon.

To Cindy Snyder, who works alongside Kim in this battle, which includes me often forgetting entire words, and it’s up to her to figure out what I meant to say. She does not have an easy job.

To Kim Gabriel, who is often the last look before something goes to press, and the gatekeeper who stops many a dangled participle from leaving the grounds.

To Larry Becker, who reads this blog each day, which is often written while I’m half asleep, who probably sits there, shakes his head, and wonders, “What in the world does he mean?”

To Photoshop User Editor Issac Stolzenbach, who while editing my articles, must look over at Kim and Cindy, then they all smile, and just giggle.

To our in-house Web Editor, Aaron Westgate, who reads everything else I write for the Web, which is a job I can only imagine is as rewarding as moving piles of dirt. I feel for him.

To the long suffering Chris Main, Layers Magazine Editor, who has been editing my work the longest of anyone, and knows how badly I can mangle a phrase, yet he rarely mentions it unless our teams are meeting that week in Fantasy Football.

My humble thanks to these people, who each day do their darnedest (sp?) to make me look much smarter and more eloquent than we all I know I really am. Thanks you guys—and I hope you had a great National Punctuation Day! (See, I italicized this for no apparent reason).

  • If you’re up in Chicago, make sure you mark your calendar to catch Dave Cross’s “Maximum Photoshop CS3 Tour” when it comes to town on October 20th (link). Also, tomorrow the aforementioned Ben Willmore will be bringing the “Photoshop for Photographers Tour” to Kansas City, Missouri tomorrow (Friday), and then onto St. Louis on the 29th (there’s the link). Lastly, our own Bert Monroy travels to Sacramento, Califorina with his Photoshop Creativity Tour on October 7. Here’s the link.
  • I have a special video that I’m shooting this morning for posting here on the blog tomorrow, so I hope you’ll check back here then to catch it.

Have a great Thursday everybody!


Mornin’ everybody. Here’s what’s up:

  • Just in case you missed my “Rare Friday Night Post,” Adobe posted a Lightroom 2.1 “Release Candidate” free update on Adobe Labs on Friday. Scroll down to Friday’s post for all the details (and a description of what a “Release Candidate” is).
  • The Digital Landscape Workshop Series DLWS) (with instructors Moose Peterson, Laurie Excell, and Joe McNally) have posted their workshop location schedule for next year, and I’m telling you now because they’re already starting to selling out for next year. I can’t recommend DLWS enough—-it is an amazing experience (to say the least). Here’s the link to their 2009 schedule, and if you get to go, just know that I am totally jealous!
  • PhotoWalk Leader Update: I found out that if you led a PhotoWalk here in the U.S., your Lightroom 2 shipped mid-week last week, and I’ve already heard from some of you that have already received your copy. If you led an international PhotoWalk, your books shipped last Friday, so depending where you are in the world, you should be receiving yours soon! Once again, my thanks to my publishers Peachpit Press/New Riders Press for making all this possible!
  • Just a reminder: My Lightroom 2 Live! Tour kicks off in Dallas, Texas on October 27, 2008. Here’s the link.
  • If you attended my “Portrait Retouching” session at Photoshop World, Las Vegas, just a reminder; the “bonus” start-to-finish portrait retouch video that I did you for guys, is online at the address that I gave out in class.
  • Lastly, the first reviews of my new “Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers” have started to appear. Here’s a really in-depth review from T. Michael Testi at “TheBlogCritics” (link).
  • Also, the photography blog “NeutralDay” did an in depth review on my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2” and although this book has been out since the beginning of the year, I wanted to point this particular review out, because of all the reviews ever done on this book, I think this reviewer did absolutely the best job of describing exactly what the book was about—who it was written for, and why. Here’s the link.
  • Tomorrow should be a big day, with Adobe’s big CS4 announcement coming. If you’ve haven’t signed up to be a part of free Web broadcast, click here to sign up.

Have a great day, and make sure you check in tomorrow for the big scoops on all the new stuff!


I’ve got a few cool little news things today, but first my thanks to Rod Harlan for his Special Guest blog yesterday, which came at photography and Photoshop from a very different angle. From the comments I read, I think it got a lot of us thinking about new ways to show our work, new techniques to try, and new ideas to consider. I can’t wait to see sample of what you guys come up with using his techniques (don’t forget to send me links). Anyway, way to go, Rod!

Now, onto the news:

  • My in-house Tech Editor Cindy Snyder asked me to donate a print for a charity auction she’s involved with, and so I went to to have a 20″x24″ print sent to her. I was just going to have it mounted on matboard, but when I was on their new site, I saw that they now offer custom framing, so I thought I’d try it out (I thought it might make the auction piece more attractive to potential buyers if it was framed).

    Well, yesterday it arrived and I was just bowled over at how nicely it came out (that’s me holding it above—-photo by “New Daddy” RC). I showed it to Matt, Dave and some other folks and by last night I literally had friends and co-workers emailing me that they had just ordered their own framed prints from MPIX. In case you were wondering, I had then output the 20″x24″ print, had it mounted on matboard, framed with that large flat black frame (which I think look great with photography), including glass, for only $82.84, (plus they shipped it overnight Fed Ex next business day for only $10.75). Anyway, I thought I’d pass that on becuase I know a lot of you use MPIX but may not have tried out their new framing stuff.

  • This week’s new online class at is from photographer Rick Sammon, and it’s called, “Exploring Digital Photography” and it’s an online version of the presentation that Rick does across the country at seminars and workshops, and it’s packed with photography tips, techniques, and some very inspirational images. Here’s the link.
  • I just found out some absolutely wonderful news yesterday—I got a call from the Church handling the donations for “Springs of Hope, Kenya,” and they wanted to let me know that readers from this blog had been sending in their own personal checks directly to them, as donations to help build the orphanage in Kenya. I was just so touched by your generosity, and so grateful to have such wonderful, caring readers. My personal thanks to you guys for making a real difference in stuff that really matters.
  • My buddy Dave Cross has come up with a pretty interesting thing on his blog. It’s called “Finish the Sentence” and it’s a quick interview-style article with different people in our industry, and his first one is with Photoshop Hall of Famer, Eddie Tapp. Here’s the link.
  • Canon announced their long-rumored Canon EOS 5D Mark II yesterday (which sounds like just an amazing camera), and Terry White over at Terry’s Tech Blog, has a really interesting angle on one of its new features—the ability to shoot high def video built right in. Anyway, you’ve got to give it a quick read (here’s the link). Also, if you’re a iPhone freak (like me), make sure you stop by Terry’s site on Fridays, as he posts his “iPhone Application of the Week” pick.

That’s it for today. See you guys tomorrow for the Friday festivities!