Category Archives Photoshop

If you’re at Photoshop World in Vegas, the book is being officially launched by Peachpit Press there and we have a limited number for sale at the official bookstore on the Expo floor.

It’s hitting other bookstores next week (Amazon.com already has the Kindle version available now), and you can preorder the print version from Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble.com, or pick it up at your local bookstore in just a few days.

So, yesterday we had four very awesome folks from Adobe’s Photoshop Team down at our headquarters for a visit for a couple of days, and among them was Senior Product Manager for Photoshop, Bryan O’Neil Hughes (you might recognize Bryan from his demos on stage during past Photoshop World Conference keynote presentations, or from his Guest Blog post here on my blog)

Anyway, since Bryan was here, we thought it would be fun to do a special Bonus episode of “The Grid” and have Bryan on live for what we called “Grill the Photoshop Product Manager.” Luckily, Bryan was up for, and grill him we did (in fact, I kinda felt bad a couple of times), but Bryan is such a class act, and such a cool cat under pressure, that he sailed through it all, and provided some really great insights and answers.

(Adove: That’s Bryan on the far left, during the live broadcast yesterday. Photo by Pete Collins).

One of the times I felt bad, was when we were calling Bryan on the carpet for the lame built-in presets in Photoshop CS5’s new HDR Pro. There’s a whole story behind it (which you have to hear, so watch the show), but Bryan turned the tables on me when I told him he should have called us, and we would have made some decent presets for him, and for the next version of Photoshop, he should pick up the phone and ask RC (author of “The HDR Book”), and Matt and me and we’d give them some presets. He basically said, “Why wait until the next version of Photoshop? Why don’t you guys share some presets now?” He got us with that one.

So, here (below) are my settings for my favorite HDR Pro preset (I use this preset to create the 5-image HDR image above. I show this same image on my Google+ page earlier in the week, but I had processed that version with Photomatix Pro 4 instead) RC is making two custom presets for you as well, and so is Matt Kloskowski, but since I already use this one all the time (In fact I talk about in my CS5 book for Digital Photographers—I call it “Scott 5” because it was the 5th preset I saved to my  presets list).

Once you dial those in (just click on the Curve to add points), then you’ll want to save all these settings as a one-click preset. To do that, go to the pop-out menu at the top right corner of the HDR Pro window (to the right of the preset pop-up menu where it says “Custom”), and choose Save Preset (as shown below). Give it a name (you don’t have to name it “Scott 5”—you can call it “Scott 6” ;-)  ), and then this preset will be available to you anytime you make an HDR in CS5’s HDR Pro.

My thanks to Bryan, Zorana (I think she was afraid at some point that we’d yell, “Let’s throw another Product Manger on the Barbie”), Matthew, and Jim for coming all the way to Florida to spend a few days with us. It was a lot of fun, a great exchange, and I hope we get to do it again soon. Also, a special thanks to Bryan for letting us lightly char him on the grill, and for nudging us into sharing some cool HDR presets. Safe travels you all! :)

If you ever wanted some one-on-one time with Adobe’s Principal Product Manager for Photoshop, well…today’s your day. We’re doing a special bonus LIVE episode of ‘The Grid” today and Bryan is our in-studio guest, taking your questions on the air about….well…anything!

Send your questions now (and during the show) via Twitter—just include the hashtag #grillbryan, or you can just post a question here. Hope you’ll join us for a history-making live event, today at 4:00 pm EDT, on “The Grid”

Here’s the link: http://www.kelbytv.com/thegrid

At every seminar we do, at the end of the day we ask the participants to fill out an evaluation form, to let us know how we did, but most importantly what we can do to make the day even better. I know those eval forms are a pain in the butt to fill out, but after the seminar I personally read every single one of them. I want to find out what’s resonating with the participants, what they want more of, what they want less of, and what I can add or take away that would make the day better.

I take this stuff really seriously
In fact, there are four things I changed, tweaked and added in Orlando, Cologne, and Amsterdam that came directly from the eval forms from my seminars in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. In fact, I shot a special on location video for my seminar just to be able to add more about shooting with off-camera hot-shoe flash. I also added a product shoot to the day, and I adjusted the amount of time, and type of retouching I’m doing in the sessions—all based on their feedback.

What I learned in Germany and Holland
As I mentioned yesterday, I know people are struggling with light meters, and I’m going to try to find a way to incorporate enough about using a flash meter in the day to at least clear some of the fog and confusion—even just a bit (including a great tip from Frank Doorhof’s presentation in Amsterdam). I’m also going to post a short demo-video they can watch afterward to help them get up and running from scratch. Hey, it’s a start.

The Whole “Lightroom vs Bridge” thing
Matt Kloskowski and I wound up doing something earlier this year to help our seminar participants with the confusion a lot of them are experiencing because they have the Bridge and Camera Raw, so they figure they don’t need Lightroom. We did this in response to question after question about this at our seminars, and so we create one hundred 60-second or less short video clips called “100 ways Lightroom kicks the Bridge’s A$$!” Even though it was made for our seminar attendees, you can watch it right here.

Overthinking and Making the Hidden Stuff More Discoverable
Yesterday, in Part One, I mentioned how a lot of folks seemed to be overthinking all this lighting and Photoshop stuff, and some stuff they want to do is already there—-in Photoshop and Lightroom—it’s just hidden beneath the surface. To that end, I’m going to step-up my crusade to make all this stuff more accessible, more fun and just plain easier. I want to be the guy that lifts the veil from some of this hidden stuff, and I really want to make learning Photoshop and Lightroom less of a mystery and more of pleasure.

I wasn’t judging—I was just reporting
Yesterday I mentioned that nobody ever asks about Creativity, or Composition, or Art, or any of those types of things at the seminars—it’s all pretty much questions about watt power, sync speeds, Photoshop techniques, and stuff like that. More technical stuff. I wasn’t judging—I was just reporting on that fact.

That being said, I’m working on a new project about Photo Composition
Although I don’t get asked a lot about composition in my live seminars, I know from emails and comments that a lot of photographers out there are struggling with it, and recently I had kind of an epiphany about teaching the art of photographic composition (and why every book on the topic teaches it pretty much the same way it has always been taught—-rule of thirds, leading lines, and so on). However, I think I’ve come up with a brand new way of teaching photo composition that I’ve never seen anyone teach ever, and I think has a chance to help photographers in a really impactful and groundbreaking way.

I’m going to start this project by inviting about 150 photographers to join me one evening, in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater in Tampa, Florida, as I present this one-hour class on composition (which will also be taped for Kelby Training Online). More on this as we lock down a date, but it’s the very next class I want to produce, and I’m really excited about it.

I need your feedback
I’m heading down to Miami with my tour next Monday, and then to Denver, Portland, Los Angeles, and Philly—-all in September. If you come out to join me for any of those days, you’ll benefit from all the people who filled out evaluation forms at all the seminars prior to that. But that’s the great part of doing an on-going tour—you get to tweak and improve it as you go. If you do come out, take an extra minute and let me know what’s working and what you want added, so the tour can continue to evolve and grow.

I don’t have all the answers
I don’t have half of them. But I really want to help, and I’ll do everything I can to help you get the most out of your photography, out of lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom, and just enjoying all of these awesome tools we get to use today. Thanks everybody. Your comments on those eval forms, and here on the blog, truly do make a difference.

…and In Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto..and last year in London….and two weeks ago in Orlando…is that: photographers and Photoshop users everywhere are struggling with the exact same things. The same issues. The same hurdles. The same things that stump photographers in San Francisco, are stumping photographers in Germany.

(Above: Brad took this shot of my seminar in Amsterdam, just hours before his 27th birthday. Happy Birthday Braddo!)

So what is it?
It’s not just one thing—it’s lots of things. Here’s five common themes:

(1) Power They Didn’t Know They Had
A lot of people don’t realize that the things they want to do are actually in Photoshop or already in Lightroom, but since they’re kind of “hidden beneath the surface” (maybe it takes a hidden three-key shortcut, or its buried under a menu they never go under), they think they need to buy some other piece of software to get them where they want to go. I love to be able to show them that shortcut or hidden place. You can see them light up when they realize it’s already there. It’s one of the best parts of my job.

(2) Light Meters Terrify Them
Frank Doorhof (my guest speaker) did a fantastic demo about using light meters during my seminar in Amsterdam, and that’s probably why I’ve never had more comments about them. Apparently a lot of people already have them, but very few are actually using them, and they told me they’re very confused about using meters in general.

(3) Off Camera, Hot-shoe Flash.
A lot of people at my seminars already have an off-camera hot-shoe flash or two, but they are really struggling with getting the results they want. A lot are complaining about triggering problems (with line of sight triggering and TTL), and that their images look too “flashy” and obvious that flash is being used.

(4) Over Thinking Everything
When it comes to lighting, I talked with so many people who are over-thinking everything and they’re just plain overwhelmed. I blame the Internet. They read one person saying one thing, and then at the next site, somebody says something entirely different, and they have no idea which one is right (usually, they both are—because in all of this—there’s not just one way to get to the end result), so basically they’re paralyzed. I think these folks are making a lot of the process of lighting and correcting photos more complicated in their minds than it really is. They’re all tied up in Watt seconds, and the Inverse Square Law, and the physics of lighting, and it has their head already spinning before they even walk thru the door.

(5) They’re Not Sure What To Use
Because so many pros are using so many different tools, they just want some guidance. They don’t want to buy the wrong thing (the wrong softbox, the wrong lights), and they don’t know if they want to continue down the path of hot-shoe flash, or studio strobes, or continuous lights, or a mixture of both or whatever. They want to be smart with their time and their money, and I don’t blame them.

(6) They have business concerns
They’re struggling with either (a) making a living as a photographer, or (b) they’re planing on quitting their current job to become a full-time photographer (I hear that a lot), or (c) they just came out of school trained as a photographer, but they don’t have a job and they’re all looking for some tips to help them make it.

Here’s what nobody ever asks about:

(1) Composition

(2) Creativity

(3) Art

It’s all about sync speeds and settings. I also hear a lot about “Rules” as in “I read your never supposed to do [insert anything about lighting here].”

Oh yeah, more one thing. Most everybody, in every city is already using Lightroom (at least at my seminars). The few that are still on the Bridge/Camera Raw don’t know why they should be using Lightroom at all. They think it’s just another version of the Bridge and Camera Raw, and they already have those, so why switch? Sigh.

What I’m doing about it
I’ll pick up with that right here tomorrow. :)

Hi gang: We had an absolutely fantastic seminar in Cologne, Germany on Wednesday. We had nearly 300 photographers there with me for the day, and I met some of the nicest, most gracious folks anywhere. What a warm welcome for my first tour in Europe—thanks to everyone who came out!!!

Here’s a few shots from the day, including one of my special guest retoucher, the amazing Calvin Hollywood (if you haven’t caught his classes on Kelby Training Online yet, this guy is insane!!!). Of course, the crowd loved Calvin, and I loved having him there (that’s Calvin above hanging out in the back before his retouching session—photos by Brad Moore).

(That’s Calvin above during his session where he shared his latest high contrast “freaky stuff.” Very cool techniques–I took notes the whole time he was on stage).

By the time you read this, I’m already teaching my seminar in Amsterdam, and my special guest instructor is none other than Frank Doorhof, and I cannot wait to see what Frank has up his sleeve!!!

My wife and son flew over here to spend a few days with me here in Amsterdam, so I am just totally psyched for the weekend, and I might even have a shot or two to share next week. :)

Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll talk again soon.

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