Category Archives Photography


It’s not easy for American’s to get to Cuba (don’t get me started), but somehow Rick Sammon figured out a way to get down there, and he’s getting some amazing shots, and he’s blogging about it as well.

Here’s the link to Rick’s blog—-he’s already started posting images (including some cool HDR stuff), and he’s going to be posting images from his trip for the next week or so, and since we in the USA get so few glimpses of Cuba, I find it really captivating (plus the color, the people, and the way parts of it are stuck in time just make it one of the most amazing places to shoot in this part of the world).

Rick invited me to sneak down there next year as he’s leading a group of photographers on a trip to Cuba—I’ve always, always wanted to visit Cuba, and well…I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that I can go. Thanks Rick, for sharing this with us. :)

Nikon introduced two new cameras today and some lenses:


(1) The Nikon D300s
As expected, it has lots of video features, including built-in HD video capabilities (720p), a stereo mic input, in-camera video editing features, auto-focus, and it has a dual card slot so you can shoot stills to a Compact Flash card, and send your video to an SD card. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

On the still side: it shoots more frames per second (7 fps, or 8 with the battery grip); it has dedicated buttons for Live View (great for switching to video quickly) and the Info Screen (like some of the Nikon’s recently released models), and a “Quiet Drive” mode for shooting in situations where you want the camera to make as little noise as possible (weddings, wildlife, etc.). Also, the D300s got the same Multi-Selector wheel as the D3/D700, which is a step up, and it includes the Virtual Horizon feature from the D3/D700 as well.

You can resize and process Raw images from within the camera (it comes with four built-in presets), it has built-in sensor cleaning, and a few other bells and whistles.

I don’t know if the noise is reduced yet, but will report as soon as I call my contacts at Nikon (and no—Nikon did not call me with a heads up, or early info on the camera. I read about it this morning along with everybody else).

The Street Price should be around $1,799.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


(2) The Nikon D3000
At seems like this is a Nikon D5000 but without the video capabilities, and I believe it looks to be a replacement for the D60, but I haven’t heard anything official on it. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

The street price will be around $599.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


They also introduced two new lenses as well:


The 70-200mm VR II f/2.8
A newly redesigned version of the lens I probably use more than any other. The new VR II is supposed to give you an additional 4-stops of low light hand holding, and it’s supposed to be sharper, particularly at the edges on FX (full frame) Nikon cameras. The lens is a little shorter than the original, and a tiny bit heavier. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

It’s set to ship in November at a street price of $2,399 [ed note; Yikes!]

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


The 18-200mm VR II f/3.5 – f.5.6
Another redesigned version of the lens I probably most for travel photography, when I want one lens and don’t want to switch at all. It’s got the new VR II as well, and it addresses the big complaint of the original, which was that the zoom barrel would sometimes start sliding if you were aiming up or down by adding a zoom lock switch on the lens. (Image shown above: courtesy of Nikon).

The street price will be around $850. It’s set to ship in September.

Here’s the link with more details from Nikon USA.


After my trip to St. Lucia, I wanted to send the owners of the resort a canvas gallery wrap print of the pano I took from room during the workshop, to thank them for their hospitality.

The full image is over 5-feet long, and MPIX only does Gallery Wraps up to 36″, so I had to find someone to print it as a stretched gallery wrap at over 60 inches wide. RC has a similar-sized pano of the New York Skyline at night hanging on his office wall (he took it the night that Matt and I ran out of memory cards—here’s that story), so I went to ask RC where he had it printed. He told me he had it made by Artistic Photo Canvas, and he raved about their quality and service, so I ordered two of them (one for the resort owners, and one for myself—shown above with RC. Photo by Brad Moore).

I uploaded the image to their site (very simple process), and this is going to sound silly, but one thing I particularly liked is that they will prep the photo to make the image wrap around the canvas without losing any of the image area for you for free.

I actually know how to prep a photo in Photoshop for a canvas wrap, in fact I actually taught the technique in my “How to show your work” class at Photoshop World (I originally learned the technique from Photoshop World instructor Randy Hufford), but since they routinely do this image adjustment for their customers, I thought “what the heck—that’s less that I have to mess with,” and I let them do it for me (sweet!).

Anyway, the gallery wrapped pano just came in (about two days turnaround), and I can’t get over what a great job the folks at APC did. I was really impressed with the printing and the fit and finish to the pano, and the protective coating they add to the finished gallery wrap. Everyone that’s come by my office in the last day or so has made a fuss at how great it came out.

The canvas pano was 62″ x 16″ and runs $185, including the protective coating which (according to APC) “….not only protects the canvas from fading caused by UV, it also repels moisture and offers some abrasion resistance as well.”

This was my first time using APC, but it certainly won’t be my last, since I’m a pano lovin’ guy (even more so since I learned that Pano shooting/stitching tip I a share on this Thursday’s episode of D-TownTV), but I really haven’t been printing enough of them, because I didn’t have a source (well, I do now!).

My thanks to the folks at APC for your great service and an awesome job on the pano. Here’s the link to their site (highly recommended).


I just took a look, and sure enough, it’s there (early)—my new book, “The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 3” is in stock at (well, at least it was last night when I wrote this). Plus, it’s only $16.50. (Cheap!) >> Update: it’s now only $14.99!

If you want to see what the book is all about, I did a video about what’s in this volume (which is all new, from the ground up), over at the World Wide Photo Walk site (here’s the link; watch the video on the home page called “A Message From Scott.”).

I got my first copy late last week, and I was really excited. A big thanks to my amazing in-house production staff (including my in-house Editor Kim Doty to whom the book is dedicated); a hugh high-five to my awesome assistant and digital tech Brad Moore who helped with so many of the production and product shots, and thanks to everyone at Peachpit Press, including Ted Waitt, Scott Cowlin, Sara Jane Todd, and Nancy Ruenzel.


You guys know (at least I hope you know) that I read every comment you guys post on blog. I answer as many as a I can; I fix problems that you guys point out, and I really value your input and advice.

When I did my post about my guest instructor gig at Joe McNally’s Workshop in St. Lucia, I saw a comment posted that really made me stop and sit up. It was a criticism, but he did it in such a kind, respectful way, that I really had to give it its due. He said that my photos didn’t look nearly as sharp as the photos on Joe McNally’s blog, and he thought I must be doing something wrong.

He was right
I scrolled down the post, looked at the photos, and I thought the same exact thing. They do look soft. I called Matt’s extension; read him the comment, and he pulled up the post on St. Lucia, and he agreed, but he pointed out something important: he told me to look at the shot of the Garvey, the fireman on the red wall. Then he told me to click on it to see the larger version of the image. The larger image was tack sharp. He asked me to compare that to the smaller image embedded in the story, and sure enough; it was really soft in comparison. (Here’s the link to the story so you can compare the two images).

That’s when it hit me
I used to make two separate sizes of photos that get uploaded to my blog: one at 516 pixels wide, and one that’s 12″ wide which appears when you click on the smaller image. But for the past year or so, I’ve been letting WordPress (the software that runs my blog), automatically resize my larger image to make the smaller 516 pixel image that appears embedded in the story (as seen above). I know—what was I thinking? It sounds so stupid now, and that’s exactly how I feel.

A Lesson Learned
So I asked my assistant and digital tech Brad about it, and he told me he always resizes the images separately when he posts the Guest Blog images on Wednesday, and he built Photoshop actions (and Mac Automator scripts) to do all the work for him. I feel even dumber now, if that’s even possible. Anyway, Brad was kind enough to share those actions and Automator scripts with me, and from here out I’ll be sure to resize the images separately, so even the smaller images look sharp.

Anyway, I appreciate the “heads up” on this soft-image thing very much, and every time you guys let me know about a broken link, a misspelled word, or some other thing I’ve messed up on the blog, it’s very much appreciated.


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We’ve never done anything like this before, but we wanted to do something special for you guys, and we thought with all the photos you’ll have to process after the walk, having access to all this online training (accessible any where in the world), might really be helpful.

Thanks again to everyone walking, to our sponsors, and to our leaders. You guys rock! :)