Category Archives News

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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 Amazon.com’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 Amazon.com, (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!

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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!

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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 MPIX.com 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 KelbyTraining.com 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!

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Howdy, folks. First, a few answers from questions posted about yesterday’s FSU sidelines shoot.

  • I shot in Aperture priority because I knew I wanted to shoot “wide open” all day. I had plenty of light, so shutter speed wasn’t really an issue—the challenge was white balance. When a play started in the sun, the white balance looked great, but as soon as a running back or receiver would wind up in the shade, everything turned blue.
  • As for renting a lens; I wish I had time to rent the 200-400mm f/4 (my favorite all-around sports lens) from LensProToGo.com, but I only found out on Thursday night that I’d be shooting on Saturday, and leaving my house at 7:00 am Saturday, so no time to have one overnighted. I’m probably going to have to break down and just buy a 200-400mm, but they are just darn pricey (around $5,000. Yeeeeoch!).
  • I had the question, “Besides white balance, what else would you have done to those shots?” I would have made sure that the players faces where well lit, so you could better see their expressions (I would either use Fill Light or a Screen layer and a Layer Mask). I also probably would have done some dodging and burning, and some spot sharpening as well. Not on every shot—only the best of the bunch.
  • As for tracking the action: I just switched my D3 from Single to Continuous focus (the switch is right below the lens itself on the front of the camera), which I always do for any moving subject. Works great for tracking sports. I also set the camera to the 51-point focus mode (though I normally leave it at 21 point for day-to-day stuff).
  • Here’s another question from yesterday; “…could you recommend a tripod head that lets you switch from horizontal to vertical FAST in a situation like this [shooting sports]?” When you use large lenses, they usually have a collar around them, which attaches to the monopod, which lets you instantly rotate your camera and lens by just loosening a knob. It’s ideal for sports shooting.
  • Lastly, my FSU shooting buddy Mike Olivella posted a very detailed comment yesterday about how to get credentials to shoot a college game. Go check the comments from yesterday post for Mike’s insights. Absolutely invaluable (thanks Mike!). Also, check out Mike’s sports shooting portfolio here.

Hope that answers some of those questions. Now, onto some news quickies:

  • Photoshop World instructor David Ziser did an interview with Donny Hoyle (the guy behind the popular “You Suck at Photoshop” series on YouTube.com. Take a quick moment and check out what David found out. (Here’s the link to it on David’s “Digital Pro Talk” blog).
  • If you read German, check out my interview/tips article in the online version of the popular German magazine Spiegel, called Spiegel Online by clicking right here.
  • My congratulations go out to Susan Hayre Thelwell (who I was lucky enough to have as my lab teaching assistant during my Santa Fe workshop last year), as she won an “Honorable Mention” in the Blurb.com photo book competition, for her photo book, “Mitchell’s Lot.” She’s a terrific photographer (and just a wonderful person), and if you’ve got a minute to take a look at some really great photography, click right here to see some of her beautiful images from the book. Way to go Susan!!!!
  • When I did my “Top Five List for Everyting” list earlier this year (link), in one of the categories I listed my top five photographers I’d love to take a workshop from, and they included Jay Maisel, Karen Kuhen, Nevada Weir, Michael Greco, and Lou Manna. Well, one of my readers sent me this link to an article along those lines that absolutely made my day (here’s the link).

That’s it for today, folks. Have a kick-butt day! :)

First, thanks to everybody who understood about yesterday’s “lame blog” and a special thanks to those who offered to “guest blog” in the future. I’ll definitely be calling on some of you to guest blog for me in the future. :)

Now, onto the news:

  • My friend, and New York photowalk leader, Gabriel Biederman pointed out a pretty amazing statistic about my Worldwide PhotoWalk and the photos it generated. If each participant took an average of only 125 shots during the two-hour walk (which I think it a pretty low average—I took 216 myself), then on that one day, August 23rd, more than one million photos were taken during that walk alone (more precisely, it was 1,017,125 photos). To me, that was just amazing!!!!!
  • At Photoshop World I got a brief chance to see a pre-production model of the new Nikon D90 DSLR, and I learned two interesting things: (1) the built-in video recording capabilities really work, but (2) the video taping feature uses manual focus. I dunno, that just surprised me, but I guess in the case of shooting video through a standard digital camera lens (that doesn’t zoom in/out automatically like a video camera lens does), I guess on some level it makes sense.
  • Here are some blogs that have posted their own coverage and photos of their Photoshop World experience:
  1. Mike Lao’s blog (link)
  2. Pixsylated (link)
  3. Nicolesy blog (link)
  4. Official Photoshop World photographer Josh Bradley’s blog (link)
  5. My Home-Sweet-Home online blog (link)
  6. The Pixel Diaries (link)
  • Jerry Courvoisier (Santa Fe Workshops and Photoshop World Instructor), has released a new book called “Lessons in DSLR photography with Lighroom and Photoshop” and in conjunction, Jerry did a podcast interview with Peachpit Press, and you can hear it right here.
  • Photoshop World video guru Rich Harrington just released a new online class at KelbyTraining.com on Advanced Apple Motion. Click here to view the lessons.

That’s it for today folks. Here’s wishing you a fantastic Thursday!

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