Category Archives Photography

When I first heard about Google+ (Google’s new social media site), I thought, “Great, just what I need—-I can barely keep up with my Facebook and Twitter accounts….” but now that I’ve been using it for a week or so…I’m kind of digging it.

One of my favorite features of it, versus Facebook/Twitter, is how it displays photos you post to Google+. It puts them at a decent enough size, that in most cases you don’t really have to click on them to see a larger size. To me, the whole thing just feels a lot more “photo friendly” than the other social media sites, including flickr, and I’ve been posting some photos there I haven’t posted elsewhere (so, not really my portfolio images, but instead images that have a story attached to them. Sometimes it’s the post processing, or something that happened during the shoot, and stuff like that).

The whole copyright issue
Of course, when it comes to posting photos on any social media site, the discussion always turns to copyright issues, and honestly I don’t personally have any problems with Google+’s terms. I don’t think Google is going to steal all my photos and use them for their own evil purposes (in fact, I’ve never read a single story about some big photo-sharing site misappropriating a photographer’s photos, or anything along those lines, so I just don’t sweat it. I know, I know….I’m totally naive—the big corporations are actually secretly out to get…..[wait for it…wait for it]…free photography).

Here’s what I do know: any time lawyers get involved in stuff like this, you’re going to have a lengthy legalese document that makes it sound like Google+ (or Facebook, or Twitter) is going to grab all your rights for now and eternity, when all they’re actually trying to do is keep their client (Google+ in this case) from getting sued.

We have a similarly scary-sounding contract for photographers that write for the magazine I publish—Photoshop User magazine. Are we trying to do a rights-grab for the photographers that write for us? Of course not. That would just make us a lot of lifelong enemies. However, our attorneys fight with us tooth and nail claiming we have to have those things in place to protect us and keep us from getting sued into oblivion, so we begrudgingly require them to sign it. Believe me, I wish we didn’t have to. The folks at Google+ probably feel the same way, and wish they had one short paragraph of terms, but in this super-litigious age, they almost have to have it. Sigh.

Add me to your circle on Google+
If you’ve got a Google+ account and you follow me here on the blog, I invite you to check out my Google+ page (I think this is the link, but one thing I had a hard time figuring out is what the simple direct link to my page actually is).

Where does that leave Facebook?
Will Google+ ever replace Facebook? Of course my gut reaction is “of course not!” but after we all saw how went from the biggest buzz site on the planet to a ghost town almost overnight, I wouldn’t totally bet against Google+ (the direct link to Google+ is and if you already have a gmail or google account, you’re already most of the way there).

That’s right, we’re bringing my tour to Orlando, Florida in just 10-days from today (Friday, August 5th), and I really hope you can make it.

It’s just $99 for the full day (only $79 if you’re a NAPP member), and it’s 100% money back guaranteed if you’re not absolutely thrilled with the day.

Here’s the link for more details or to sign up. Hope to shake your hand in person in Orlando. :)

Hi Gang: I’m back from Banff, Calgary, Vancouver, and Saturday’s Grand Opening of Adobe’s “Photoshop & You” Pop-up Store in San Francisco. First, what is a “pop-up” store? Basically it’s a temporary store, like when a company takes over a retail space for a short period (think of a costume company who rents a vacant store in a mall a few weeks before Halloween to sell costumes, and when Halloween is over, they pack up the store). Photos by Brad Moore.

(Above: Here’s where you can buy Adobe logo stuff, t-shirts, books, prints, and other fun stuff).

Well, that’s what Adobe did at 550 Sutter Street in San Francisco when they created “Photoshop & You”—a brilliantly creative pop-up store in the heart of downtown. I thought it would be pretty cool because Adobe was doing it, but I gotta tell ya—Adobe did an absolutely amazing job with this store. Hands down one of the most creative, fun, and immersive things Adobe has done (outside of making the software itself, of course). Here’s a link to Adobe’s press release which explains the whole thing, and lists who’s speaking there, too!

Opening Day!
I was truly honored that Adobe asked me to be their presenter on opening day, and I did three sessions; two custom-designed Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It sessions, and then a live audience “Candid Frame” podcast interview with photography author and instructor Ibarionex Perello. I was thrilled to hear all three sessions were sold out in advance, and I had some really fantastic folks attend my sessions which really made it a lot of fun for me. So, today I wanted to share a few pictures and some stories from this exciting opening day:

(Above: We had a bride for our first shoot, complete with wedding gown and bouquet, and we looked at different one-light scenarios for shooting formal portraits using the newWestcott Spiderlite TD-6 continuous light).

Creating a Custom Version of My Tour
When Adobe asked me to do this, I wanted to come up with something special, and because it would be a more intimate setting, with seating for only 80 for each session, I wanted to use Westcott’s new Spiderlite TD-6s, which are continuous lights, which meant after I did my initial teaching, and shooting, I could then reset the lights and let the audience shoot the two live models we had so they could not only try the lights out themselves (without having to worry about tiggering flashes or 80 people trying to share a wireless transmitter), but then they would have the raw images to practice the retouching I was teaching.

(Above: Here we’re doing a profile silhouette and the audience gets a chance to shoot, too!)

Westcott won a lot of new fans that day, as people were totally digging the TD-6s. I had so many questions from people about the lights, which softboxes to get, how many, and so on. They were a huge hit.

(Above: for our second shoot, we did a lifestyle look, then we added a second light to do some compositing onto different backgrounds).

I structured the two-hour sessions so I would start with explaining the lighting, and how to use just one softbox for different looks, then we’d do the shoot, then I’d let the audience shoot, then I do the retouch on two huge LCD screens.

(Above: I reset the lights on a runway in front of the stage so the audience could shoot as well, and everybody did a great job of letting each other shoot from different angles).

Everybody had a ball, and the best part of it was—-Adobe picked up the tab for everybody—-all the sessions were free! Plus, Adobe gave away some truly amazing prizes to the crowd including iPads, copies of CS5, and even a Leica camera.

Interviewed in front of a live audience
Doing a podcast interview in front of a live audience is definitely different, but the host Ibarionex Perello asked really intriguing questions—-much different than the usual, “What’s your favorite lens” or “Which plug-in do you use the most” type of questions, which made the time just fly by. We talked a lot about the business side of things, and I got to talk about topics I normally don’t get to disucss, so it really was a lot of fun (even though my brain hurt when it was done). The Podcast will air in a few weeks, and I’ll be sure to share the link when it goes live).

(Above: They had a wall with these huge video screens showcasing the work of the presenters, and other Photoshop artists. People were mesmerized with this wall—-and with good reason).

The Store Itself
The store is only open for the next two weeks, but if you’re anywhere near San Francisco, you’ve got to make a trip it to see it. You walk in the front door, and you just go “Wow—this is cool!” They had work stations set-up with Lightroom and Photoshop, and they Russell Brown’s Extreme Imaging Lab in the back where you can could create custom t-shirts and other creative fun stuff; plus they had photography (and even a photo gear mini-museum) everywhere so you really felt like it was part gallery, part museum, and part store (they even sold cool Photoshop t-shirts, books, and even Photoshop itself).

(Above: it looks like a pano frame on the wall, but each of those images is displayed on an iPad. You could walk up to the frame, and flick through different images, pinch in to zoom, and so on. Really very clever, and people were loving it).

This really has nothing to do with anything, but afterward our buddy Mike Wiacek and his lovely wife Sarah took Brad and I out to the best pizza I have ever had. A up-scale restaurant called  “Tony’s Pizza Napoletana” in the North Beach area, owned by a friend of Mike’s who is a famous pizza chef, and it was just out-of-this-world. Never had anything like it!

The iPhone photo above is the pizza that Brad ordered (not realizing it was for three or four people), and it was so large I had to have Mike put his head in the shot so I’d have a frame of reference (we already had three other small pizzas before this one arrived). Needless to say, Brad took most of it home in a to-go box which every TSA agent at SFO wanted to confiscate for “further testing.” ;-)

You’ve Gotta Get To The Store
There are free presentations every day at the Photoshop & You Store (here’s the schedule), and they have presentations from people like Photoshop Hall of Famer Bert Monroy (who’s back-lit Photoshop-created illustration of Times Square  is on display there), to our buddy and prolific photography book author Jeff Revell.

(Above: Here’s a shot of Bert’s famous “Time’s Square” backlit illustration. The store was packed all day, and you could always find people looking up close at all the amazing detail in this huge pano).

I hope we see Adobe “popping up” more of these stores in different cities around the world, because I think it connects people with the artistic and photographic side of Photoshop in a very unique and creative way. Plus, I think it’s just a very cool thing for Adobe to do to connect with their users, as they had Photoshop team members, engineers, and product managers there answering questions, doing demos, and just meeting the people they do it all for, and I thought that was particularly cool.

(Above: A look into the Amazing Dr. Brown’s world. Russell always comes up with such creative ways to use Photoshop, and his lab continues that tradition in a big way. I also got to meet Russell’s 16-year-old son, who was working in the lab, and he was a truly delightful young man, and Russell has every reason to be as proud a dad as he is). :)

Where to Next?
Thanks to Adobe for having me there—it truly was a blast, and thanks to everyone who came out for my first “hands-on”Light it, Shoot It, Retouching It, mini-workshop. I’ll be doing the full-day version of this workshop this Friday at Dave Cross’s studio in Tampa (here’s the link if you want one of the last few seats), and I’ll be in San Francisco live doing my full “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” Tour on Monday, November 14th (you can sign up for that right here).

P.S. My Video of the Store
I shot a short video walk-through of the store with my iPhone, but I need to add some narration, so I’ll run that tomorrow here on the blog, so check back then to give it a look. Have a great Monday everybody!

(Above: This is what greeted us at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Too windy/choppy/raining for canoe rentals. It really inhibited our possibility of recreating Matt’s famous shot).

Hi Gang: Greetings from Vancouver (it’s really late here—our flight was delayed more than 3 hours), and at some point I should probably go to bed seeing as I have a seminar in the morning for 500+ photographers, but I can’t hit the sack without sharing some of the photos and stories from my first trip to Banff.

(Above: 5:15 am at Lake Louise–the only time the water was still there, and it was only still for about 30 minutes. Of course, there was really no sunrise with all the clouds. It was just kinda dark, then after a while it was kinda bright. Then we went for some breakfast. Click on the photo for a MUCH larger view).

First, Banff is a truly amazing place—even in the socked-in, rainy, gray, kinda crappy weather we had, it was still just breathtaking. Brad and I only had one day in Banff (we stayed right near Lake Louise), and we did a sunrise shoot (5:15 am), and I took the advice on where to shoot from some folks on my blog, and a lot of great help from Neil Silverman, who has led many photo workshops there.

(Above: This was a two minute exposure taken in daylight using a 10-stop ND filter. That’s why the clouds and water are so silky. This was taken late in the day when tiny spots of blue sky were fighting to break through. They almost did for a moment).

Invisible Sunrise and Sunset
We came in the night before, but it was so cloudy there wasn’t really a sunset to shoot at all. It just eventually got dark, so we did some scouting for the next morning. It was at that point, that we learned the weather forecast would be more of what it had been for the past three days: rainy and gray. But worse that than…

I forgot my tripod
That’s right! I unpacked from my Maine trip on Monday, then repacked Tuesday morning, and I took my tripod and ballhead and set them right on my office desk at home. They’re still sitting there, so our first stop was a Future Shop (like BestBuy) to pick up a $29.95 tripod and ball head. It made me long for a my real tripod, but at least I had one.

(Above: Matt told me when we got to Moraine Lake we would need to hike up to the top of his nearby hill to get to the shooting position you see here. Brad absolutely loved hiking up there lugging my Think Tank bag with all our gear. He’s still talking about it).

Dealing with Yucky Skies
The skies were so socked in with clouds (see above) that it was really a struggle, especially since all the classic shots of Banff are shot with a clear blue sky, so I could only do two things:

(1) Compose to avoid as much of the sky as possible
(2) When I did have to include the sky, I increased the Recovery Slider in Lightroom (or Camera Raw) all the way to 100, which actually brings back detail in the clouds, and in many cases, like in the photo above), I then went to Photoshop’s Shadows/Highlights and set the Shadows to zero, but increased the Highlights and Highlight Radius to bring back even more detail.

There was a couple of times where the clouds actually looked kinda cool, but then the light was so incredibly flat, there was nothing to shoot. This happened to us at Castle Junction. We drove 45 minutes to get there, but the light was so flat, we didn’t even take out our camera gear.

The Still Water was gone
After lunch we headed back to Lake Louise to see if the sky looked any better, and it actually did (as seen above), but then the water was all choppy, so it was definitely a tradeoff. The sky didn’t look quite as good in person as it does here, but I have the program called Photoshop….

(Above: Here’s another from Lake Louise at dawn. In this case, I didn’t correct the blueish morning light. I like the way half of that canoe is resting in the water, and two are already in the water just sitting there, behind the dock).

(Above: The hills are alive….with the sound of shutters….). Photo by Brad Braddy Moore

Late in the day, we followed one of Neill’s tips and headed up Mt. Norquway, and that’s where Brad took the shot above. In this shot, the weather doesn’t look too bad, but that’s only because Brad put a cone of clear weather around me (he can only do this once or twice a day, and then he’s wiped).

(Above: I mostly shot my 14-24mm lens throughout this trip, but in this case, I switched to my trusty 28-300mm and zoomed in tight on the Fairmont hotel in downtown Banff).

Matt told us to go to the Vermillion Lakes, and late in the day we went there and I got the shot you see above. There was only one little pond in the very back that didn’t have all choppy water, but this pond was fairly still and you could actually see a reflection of the mountains and clouds in it. It is entirely possible, however, that the sky wasn’t quite as blue as what you see here.

(Above: That’s Brad trying to move the canoes into position on Moraine Lake so we could totally rip off Matt’s wonderful shot (link), but the conditions were so bad we gave up. Plus Brad was threatened by a large bear who was a fan of Matt’s).

(Above: I took this iPhone image a few minutes before we kicked-off my seminar in Calgary yesterday. We had over 400 photographers there—a record for us in Calgary).

Teaching in Calgary
I love Canada. Love it! The people here so darn friendly (nothing like Dave Cross [wink]), and I really had a ball at the seminar today (well, yesterday by the time you read it).  My thanks to everyone who came out—-it was so great to have so much support from the local community. Thanks you guys!

You Know I Had to Shoot At Least One HDR Shot, Right?
And I did (it’s shown above). I know it’s over-the-top, but I still kinda like it (don’t hate me). I wasn’t going to post it at all, but Brad and my friend Ryan who are sitting with me in the lobby of the hotel at 1:40 am made me include it. I blame them. ;-)

OK, now I should to go bed
I’m hitting the sack. I hope if you’re at my Vancouver seminar today, you’ll come up and say hi. Thanks for letting me share a few shots and stories from my first and only day in Banff. One thing I learned from this trip: I definitely want to go back (and we’re going to take a family trip out there this coming year). Have a great Weekend everybody.

Wait…wait…One more thing
Don’t forget—-Tomorrow (Saturday) I’m doing that free Light It/Retouch It Live at the Photoshop Store in Downtown San Francisco for Adobe. They have the registration process set-up, so if you want to catch either of my free sessions, you can sign up free right here. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here.

I’m really looking forward to it—hope I get to shake your hand there on Saturday in San Francisco.

Adobe is doing something very creative and fun; for two solid weeks they’re taking over a store at 550 Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco to create a really unique, immersive, and imaginative Photoshop experience. It’s a place where you interact, create, experiment and learn each day from a collection of authors, artists and instructors, and I’m very honored to be one of ones kicking off the opening weekend.

in the planning stages, the folks at Adobe asked me what I wanted do, and I said I wanted to keep with their theme and do a special custom class based upon (but the not the same as) my “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” seminar. But to take things up a notch, I wanted to use continuous lighting for the class, so that after I set up the shoot, I could have the audience shoot our live models too.

One Call Does it All!
After a call from Adobe to our friends at FJ Westcott (so I could get to use some of their spiffy new SpiderLite TD-6s and a softbox or two), we’ve got my special two-hour class all set-up and best of all—-the classes are FREE!!!! (though of course seating is limited).

Two Lighing/Retouching Sessions This Saturday
I’m doing two identical sessions this coming Saturday:

(1) 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

(2) 3:00 to 5:00 pm

(3) I’m doing a live interview in the Photoshop Store on “The Candid Frame” (a podcast about photography and photographers) with host Ibarionex Perello

I am just super excited to be even a small part of Adobe’s very creative and fun community event.

For more details, visit Adobe’s Photoshop Pop-Up Store page right here (they’re planning a on-going live in-store lab, various Photo Walks, and lots of cool stuff throughout the two week run). I hope we’ll get to learn and shoot together on Saturday in Downtown San Francisco (did I mention it’s free? Well, it is).

Also, if you can’t make my sessions, they’ll be having different presenters for the entire two-weeks, so make sure you check out the full schedule.

Hope I see you there! :)

Hi Gang: As you read this, I’m on my way back home from our annual family vacation to Kennebunkport, Maine (my wife chose Maine a few years back because we live in the scorching Florida heat, and at this time of year Maine is a place that’s easy to get to where it’s nice and cool every day (we actually had to wear sweaters after dusk). So, we came for the weather, and but then fell in love with the people and the place. Maine is awesome).

I’m off tomorrow for my new two tour dates in Canada (Calgary and Vancouver), so I don’t have a lot of time to blog but I thought I’d at least share a few photos from the trip (Including the HDR photo above, taken in the lobby of a boat house where we went for a two-hour harbor tour on the two-masted Schooner The Eleanor. Perfect weather for sailing and the kids absolutely loved it.

The HDR shot was hand-held in low light (I braced myself on a wall, and had to shoot the 5-shot bracketed image four or five times to get one full set fairly in focus). I processed it using Photomatix Pro and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 3.0).

What I didn’t want to do
I’ve been coming to Kennebunkport for years now, so I’ve shot every lighthouse to death, along with every little quaint harbor with row boats on glassy water at sunset (if you want to see those shots, click my Portfolio link on the top left, then go to my Travel category), so I was determined not to shoot that stuff, but unfortunately that stuff is everywhere here, so I didn’t take any “Non-family vacation shots” until about 8 days into the trip (more on that in a moment). I did a lot of nothing. Sitting by the lake, reading books, playing with the kids, playing golf, shopping, and hanging out with the 13 family members that were here with us (you’re never alone when there’s 13 of you), and one night we had a dinner to celebrate my birthday (hey, you want to do it up right—30 years old—-that’s a big one). ;-)

(Above: Photo by my wife Kalebra using her iPhone)

“Borrowing” photos from my wife
The photo you see above, was actually taken by my wife Kalebra using her trusty iPhone (I’m continually amazed at what she gets out of her phone’s camera). That’s our daughter Kira, sound asleep on the boat, on the way back in to port. My wife loved the colors, and that just a little sliver of her face was showing, so I asked her if I could share it here with you on the blog, because it’s my favorite photo from the entire trip.

(Above: Photo by my wife Kalebra using her iPhone)

While I was “borrowing” her iPhone photos, I asked if I could share this one (above) of hers, too because I just particularly liked the color and composition. It was taken on the schooner (I guess that’s pretty obvious) while we were out at sea.

Shooting with my buddies Scott & Mark
Each year that I’ve come up here, I wind up hanging out with two of my buddies Scott Eccleston and his photography business partner Mark Hensley (both of whom I met on my first trip up there back in July of 2007). Totally great guys, and this time around my son Jordan came along with this, and while I didn’t get dink, we all laughed our way around about 200 miles of Maine Coast line in search of some place for me to shoot long exposure Black and White images. Ideally, you’d have a old dock with just pilings, or a old shipwreck, or a pier, or something extending out into a fast moving lake or ocean so you can leave the shutter open for like three or four minutes, and turn the water into an almost silky look.

Well, we tried and while we didn’t really come up with an ideal spot (I like to blame Scott & Mark, because as a photographer, our sworn tenet is to blame others for shots we missed), we did have a yummy dinner at Federal Jack’s Brew House, so the night wasn’t a total bust.

While I was there, I did tape a video tip for Scott’s “Weekly Photo Tips” blog (link), and during the tip taping I took the long exposure black and white photo you see above. Nothing great for sure, but at least I got to show the technique, which includes using a 10-step Neutral Density filter (so you can keep the shutter open that long during the day), and a bunch of little camera techniques and tips (like keeping the viewfinder covered during the exposure so ambient light doesn’t sneak in and ruin your exposure). As soon as Scott posts the tip, I’ll be sure to link to it here.

I went searching another night for a perfect subject for long exposure black and whites but came up empty handed again (it was a tide problem. Again, notice the subtle assignment of blame, this time on mother nature). However, while I was there, I turned around and saw this grassy area with a great sky above, and snagged this simple image (shown above) which for some reason I just really like. It’ll probably never be seen by anyone again, but I figured I’d share it here just the same.

Now, it’s back to work time
Well, I can’t relax for long, because I’m off to Canada tomorrow (glad I had 10 days with my family first), and I’m looking forward to getting back home after this leg of the tour, hanging out again with my wonderful wife and kids, playing fetch with Maggie the Wonder Dog, and sleeping in my own bed (yay!). Have an awesome Monday everybody (even though I’m fully aware that “awesome Monday” is an oxymoron).