Category Archives Photoshop


In honor of Photoshop’s 20th Anniversary (this Thursday, Feb. 18th), the gang here at NAPP (the National Assn. of Photoshop Professionals) put together a Photoshop Trivia Quiz on Photoshop’s history, what features were added when, and stuff like that.

The quiz is just for fun, of course, but it’s harder than you might think (I did “OK” on it, meaning I passed, but I didn’t do well enough to brag about my score).

If you’ve got a couple of minutes, click this link to take the quiz and see how you do.

(NOTE: if you do take the quiz and get a great score—don’t post a comment with your score. It’ll only make me feel even worse). ;-)


A week or so ago, by buddy Dave Cross had a great post called “The Debate about HDR”, which talked about the strong feelings photographers have about HDR, both pro and con (here’s the link). But what really caught my attention was a comment posted by one of his readers, because I’ve heard other photographers say the same thing, but none as succinctly as this reader’s comment:

“I too use to love it…now, not so much…and for some reason, once I quickly identify the HDR effect, my opinion of the picture drops a notch.”

This reminds me of something my teenage son does. If it hears a song on the radio from one of his favorite new bands, and I tell him, “Oh, that’s a remake of an old song from the 70s or 80s—no matter how much he liked that song—it now drops a notch in his book.

So, what is it about HDR that, once identified, that kind of taints the overall photo for these photographers?

Is it that they feel like it’s “Cheating” to use HDR, because it transforms the photo so magically? I have to admit that I’ve taken an HDR shot or two that, when I looked at the original base exposure, the shot was totally unimpressive, but once I applied lots of HDR Tone Mapping, and then take it back through Camera Raw for the final tweaking, it looks much more interesting. (the HDR photo above is courtesy of /photographer cinoby).

Personally, to me, HDR is an effect like any other effect. It’s a strong effect, but it’s still just an effect, and I totally understand that when it comes to visual effects, you either like them or you don’t (especially if they’re overdone). But I think there’s something more going on here, because creating a duotone is an effect but nobody seems to complain about duotones.

One of my photographer friends once said, “The photographers who don’t like HDR are the ones who don’t know how to do HDR—just like people who complain about the use of Photoshop in photography—those are people who aren’t very good at Photoshop. You don’t hear HDR experts complaining about HDR, just like you don’t hear Photoshop experts saying “There’s too much Photoshop!”

I’m not at all saying that’s the case, but I’ve heard and read that argument a dozen times or more. So what is it? What is it that makes people so emotional about HDR? When you learn that an image has been “HDR’d” does it taint your opinion of the shot? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


About a month ago we launched, a new home for all the video shows we produce each week, so folks would have a central location to find all our shows right online.

Last week I mentioned that Dave Cross has launched his own new weekly Podcast called “Ask Dave” and now NAPP News (hosted by Larry Becker)  has joined the channel.

The full list of weekly shows on include:

  • Photoshop User TV
  • D-Town TV
  • Layers TV
  • Lightroom Killer Tips
  • Photoshop Killer Tips
  • Ask Dave
  • NAPP News

Of course, you can subscribe to all of these shows using Apple’s iTunes, and watch them right on your iPhone, iPod Touch, etc.

Here’s a direct link (make sure you catch the new episode of D-Town, with special in-studio guest Joe McNally).


Did I say “Podcast?” I meant “Padcast.” (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). ;-)  Seriously though—Dave came up with a great idea for a weekly podcast—it’s called “Ask Dave” (with Dave Cross) and basically you ask Dave Photoshop questions, and he answers them (Dave knows Photoshop on a crazy level).

I love this new show—–it’s short, sweet, and right to the point. Here’s the link to watch the first episode on KelbyTV, and here’s the link for submitting your questions to Dave on Twitter. Congrats Dave on launching your new show! (also catch Dave each week on the new Photoshop User TV).


BIG NEWS: Adobe Photoshop is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Thursday, February 18th, and NAPP and Adobe are throwing an amazing party/celebration/Photoshop tip-fest and you are invited!

Here’s the scoop:

When: February 18th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Where: In San Francisco, at the Palace of the Fine Art theater

Who: This special evening is hosted by “The Photoshop Guys” (We’ll all be there in person—Me, Matt Kloskowski, Dave  Cross, RC Concepcion and Corey Barker, each sharing some amazing Photoshop tips and techniques).

Special Guests: Adobe’s own Russel Preston Brown, Terry White and Julieanne Kost

Ultra Special Guest: Adobe’s VP of rock: Johnny L, who’ll be giving you an exclusive, this-night-only, look at the future of Photoshop

What: A history-making night of amazing Photoshop techniques, at look at where Photoshop’s been (and where it’s going), along with lots of laughs, music, and fun.

Plus Cool Free Stuff: Everybody who attends gets a special exclusive 20th anniversary commemorative t-shirt, and poster, for being a part of the coolest celebration/Photoshop love fest ever!

TICKETS: The tickets are free, but as you might guess, seating is very, very limited. That’s why I reserved 100 tickets just for the readers of my blog, but they go on a first-come, first served basis, so if you want to hang out with the Photoshop Guys, and the gang from Adobe (and snag lots of free swag), for the Photoshop Party of the year, sign up right here, right now (before it’s too late!).

It’s the hottest ticket of the year, and I hope I get to see you there!!!!


You gotta check this out, because this isn’t just one of those things you don’t see very often—-this is something you just never see—an interview with John Knoll—the co-creator of Adobe Photoshop, and he’s talking to Robert Scoble about the origin of Photoshop well….ya just gotta watch it.

It’s one of those must-watch clips for anyone with even a passing interest in Photoshop, and because it’s John Knoll, you get insights and stories you won’t hear anywhere else. Really great stuff!

Here’s the link—don’t miss it.