Category Archives Photoshop

alltop3

I’ve talked about Alltop.com before (which is basically a site that does a very clever job of gathering blogs about specific topics and it puts them all on one handy page, but that’s just part of the story). They call it, an “online magazine rack” that they update every hour.

Anyway, just recently, they introduced a feature called “MyAlltop” where you can set up your own Alltop page, with your own favorite blogs on it. So, I put one together with blogs about Photoshop, Photography, the Mac, and other stuff I check each day, and of all the things like this I’ve tried (various RSS readers, blog aggregators, Google-this, Yahoo-that, etc.), this is the quickest to use and easiest to set up.

One of my favorite features of Alltop is that you can move your cursor over a headline and it shows you the first paragraph or so from that post, so you can quickly decide if you want to click the link and read more.

It’s free to sign up, and once signed up, you just search by topic (Photoshop for instance), and it shows you a list of the Photoshop blogs they follow. To add one of those, you just check the box, and keep on choosing blogs until you’ve got your own custom page set up. You can also reorder the blogs in the order you want them to appear by just dragging and dropping. Anyway, it’s free, and quick, and definitely worth a try. Here’s the link to set-up your own page.

Let me know what you think after you’ve tried it for a few days. (If you want, you can check out my own page by going to my.alltop.com/scottkelby)

dc-sem-1

The blurry photo above was taken with my iPhone just a few minutes before the doors opened to my new Photoshop seminar. It shows the calm before the storm.

On Friday, in our nation’s capital, I met some of the most gracious, patient, and downright forgiving people on earth, because for two hours, at the kick-off of my “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks,” at the Washington Convention Center, I had absolutely the worst audio problems I’ve had in the 16 years I’ve been doing live Photoshop seminars.

I am not kidding.

Before the doors opened, we had tested, tweaked, and toned the center’s audio system (I took the photo above during the soundcheck. That’s Corey Barker walking through the ballroom as we were tweaking the audio. Luckily, we were in such a large ballroom that the in-house A/V company had an audio tech right here in the room with us). The sound check went fine, the doors opened, 700+ people poured into the ballroom, and after a few announcements, I was introduced to start the seminar.

I walked to the front of the stage, and said, “Well, good morning everyone,” and that’s when the problems started. During the next sentence, my mic cut out. Then back in. Then out. One of our staff rushed to the stage and quickly swapped out my headset mic’s batteries. It worked. For about a minute. Then it cut out again. And again.

We swapped out headsets. It worked for around two minutes. Then we tried a lav mic. It worked. For about a minute. I could go on and on, but what we wound up doing was moving my laptop over to the podium, rewiring everything, and I did the class standing up from the podium using the podium mic. This is just not how I wanted to start the first stop on my brand new tour. Arrrggghhh!

After the break, they had brought in four new speakers on tall stands; they ran new cables, and brought me yet another mic, and it worked. For about 4 minutes. At one point, the only way we could get the mic to work was to have Corey sit beside me on stage and hold the mic’s wireless receiver up over my head. If he moved, even an inch—it went out. This was the convention center’s in-house system, so it was totally out of our hands—all we could do was complain to the A/V techs troubleshooting the system (which we did. Vigorously!).

During lunch, the A/V company (who now had three techs frantically working on the problem), finally swapped out the mixing console, and it (a bad console) turned out to be the culprit. The audio was great the rest of the day, but let me tell you—that was the longest two-hours of my training career.

It’s not that amazing that we had such a catastrophic audio meltdown; stuff like that can and will happen, and always at the worst possible time. What is amazing is how gracious, patient, good-natured, and forgiving the audience was. They hung right in there with me the entire day—we laughed, we cried, we gritted our teeth the entire morning, but we made it through alive, and at the end of the day, somehow we brought that plane in for a smooth landing (although we did arrive at the gate about 25 minutes late).

Yesterday, I saw the first review of the seminar, from Karen Akerson of Svenska Studios (and yes, she did mention the audio), but you can read it here for yourself (here’s the link). There’s also a photo of me during the day, and I probably looked as blue as the tint she added.

Thanks to all my friends who came out (like Jeff Revell, who brought me a copy of his brand new book, “Canon 50D; From Snapshots to Great Shots!” which looks absolutely outstanding!) Also, right before my flight, I had been handed the first copy off the press of my new “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” book, and I actually gave away that signed first copy as one of the giveaways at the end of the day. Hey, after the audio problems, I nearly gave my laptop away! And my plane ticket. And rental car, and…..

I do want to offer my humble thanks to everyone who endured those audio problems right along with me, and thanks for all your kind words of support during the day while audio grenades were going off all around me. Your attitude and the smiles on your faces out there kept me in the zone and focused on what we came to do—put the rest of the world on hold while we immersed ourselves in creativity and learning some really cool new Photoshop stuff. My hat’s off to you all.

NOTE: Photoshop genius guy Corey Barker (who helped me develop the tour, and helped immeasurably on Friday) is taking the tour to Richmond, Virginia on May 27th, and it is filling up fast. If you want to go—better snag your seat now (here’s the link). My bet is; the audio will be perfect! :)

sunfun-1a2

Hi gang. Here’s what’s up:

  • Shooting the Sun & Fun Fly-in
    Last Friday my buddy, and co-workshop instructor, Bill Fortney hooked me up with media credentials to shoot one of the largest aviation events in the nation, the Sun & Fun Fly-in, in Lakeland, Florida. I was pretty psyched because that afternoon they had an airshow, and I had amazing access (right next to the runway), and what I was really excited about was shooting a squadron of F-16s. They were scheduled to take off around 5:00 pm, so we shot some classic warbirds and stunt planes while we were waiting, but then my cell phone rang and sadly my mother-in-law Barbara was on her way to hospital, so I immediately packed up my gear and headed back home (after all, there will be other airshows, but my mother-in-law is very precious to me). She’s still in the hospital, and she’s really struggling along, so if you’re the praying type, and don’t mind sending a prayer her way, she could really use it. Anyway, I barely shot any frames, but I kinda liked the one you see above of a WWII era Grumman F4F Wildcat (click on it for a larger view). It was my first time shooting aerial photography, but I can tell you this—-it won’t be my last. I really enjoyed it a lot, and I got a whole new respect for people who do it well. Now, next time if I could just get a shot of those F-16s. ;-)
  • Pinhole Photography for Digital
    After I ran that piece last week about the pin-hole camera construction kits, Michael Tapes dropped me a line about a Pin Hole adapter for DSLRs (so you don’t have to process film), that is actually a body cap made for pinhole photography. They’re fairly inexpensive (in the $30 range) and you can find them right here. Thanks for the heads up, Michael.
  • My Landscape Workshop is Sold Out
    Just a heads up: My landscape workshop in Savannah, Georgia with Bill Fortney is sold out. Thanks to everyone who signed up—-looking forward to spending that week with you all. I can’t wait!!!!
  • Photoshop Down & Dirty Tour Update
    Two quick things: we now have over 600 people signed up for the Friday, May 8th kick-off for my Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Tour in Washington, DC. If you’re thinking of going, I would sign up now (here’s the link). Also, the amazing Corey Barker (who helped me develop the tour) is taking the Down & Dirty Tricks Tour to Richmond, Virginia on Wednesday, May 27th. You can sign up for Corey’s tour right here.
  • Memory Cards Sense Fear
    I heard it again this week. Another photographer talking about how when you need it most, you look down and your memory card is full. It happened to me at the Grand Prix of St. Pete, and this photographer was relating his story to me. The moral of the story—if you’re heading off to shoot something important, better check your memory card on the way.
  • CS4 Book For Digital Photographers Reviewed
    Yesterday I saw a review of my book, “The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers” over at Ronald Martinsen’s Photography Blog (Unfiltered reviews with real feedback), and he did one of the most in-depth reviews I’ve seen in quite a while, going chapter by chapter through the book giving his take on each section. You can read the review right here.

That’s it for today folks, see you here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday, and then I’ll be back here on Thursday for another installment of “Embarrassing Photo Thursday.” Have a great one!

7th-ave

Happy Thursday everybody. I’m back from three-days in the Florida Keys as chaperone for my son’s school trip to “Sea Camp.” It was three solid days without my laptop, without meetings, without working. It was awesome!

OK, about this Thursday’s Embarrassing Photo: I really can’t explain it. I can’t explain our hair. Why we were dressed that way. Or how we got gigs, or dates, or paid our bills, etc. but somehow, we did. Hey, it was an 80s disco band. Not much was expected of us.

The band was called “7th Avenue,” named after Ybor City’s main drag–7th Ave. (From L to R: Drummer Randy Wheat, Bass Player Mark Southwick, Lead singer Chris Denham, Me [yes, I’m actually wearing a square-ended, knit tie from “Chess King.”], lead guitarist Tony Llanes [of Big Electric Cat fame], and lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Jose Herrera). Now, once you stop giggling, we can move onto the news:

  • Tom Rocks The House!
    First, a big thanks to Tom Opasinski for his thought-provoking blog post yesterday, that had everybody talking. I thought his message was really insightful, and from reading your comments, you guys got a lot out of his article as well. Thanks for making him feel so at home here on the blog.
  • New Online Class from RC
    Kelby Training Online just released another online class from Web Guru RC Concepcion. This one’s called, “Dreamweaver CS4 for Beginners” and if you ever wanted to finally get up to speed with building Web sites from scratch, you definitely want to check out RC’s class. Here’s the link.

    Which Monitor Do You Use To Tether?
  • I have a question for you guys. You’ve probably heard about me shooting tethered directly into Lightroom on my laptop, but my question to you isn’t about shooting to a computer. Instead, this is for people who use a large TV or computer monitor in place of the LCD monitor on the back of their camera (so you’re taking a cable out of your camera, and going straight into the monitor itself—-not into a computer).
    My questions are:

    (a) Which monitor have you found works best
    (b)
    How are you connecting your camera (RCA jack? HDMI cable? etc.) to the monitor.
    I want to try a different set-up for a change, and any advice you guys could share would be greatly appreciated.

  • Is it a photo, or a fake?
    AutoDesk (maker’s of 3D CAD software) has a very cool promo-site where they show you different images, and they have a little poll where they ask you to choose which images shown are real photos, and which are 3D computer generated (and both are really there—it’s not a trick). It’s kind of fun, and kind of amazing at the same time. Here’s the link.
  • Only Four-Spots Left For My Landscape Workshop in Savannah
    Remember the landscape workshop I mentioned on Friday, coming up in Savannah, Georgia? I just learned that there are only four-seats left, so if you were planning on being a part of it, I’d grab one of those seats today. Here’s the link to my post with the details. Hope I’ll see you in one of those four remaining spots.

That’s it for today, gang. I’m really beat (it was a nine hour bus-ride home last night), so I’m keepin’ it short today, but I’ll be back in full swing tomorrow! Have a kick-butt Thursday everybody (and stop snickering).

snaks

This weekend I flew up to Detroit to spend the weekend with my buddy Terry White, and to do a presentation for his Macintosh User Group, “MacGroup Detroit.” (There’s a funny story about the snacks you see above coming up in a moment).

macgrp

They are just an absolutely fantastic group to present to, and I can’t imagine any group any where being more welcoming, fun, and gracious to a guest speaker than they are. It really spoils you (Photo above by Louis Levin). This year my presentation was on Retouching Portraits in Photoshop, and I had a full 90-minutes so I could really cover a lot of ground.

w-guest-prices1Of course, you can’t go up to Terry’s and not have a blast, because Terry really rolls out the red carpet, but this time was even more special because Terry had recently completed adding on a guest room suite at his house, and I was the first official house guest to stay there. The suite is awesome, (with a bathroom that would make the Westin jealous), but what really cracked me up was he had a basket of “mini bar” snacks just like in a hotel, and when I got there, sticking outside the basket was a card with a list of charges, just like in a hotel (of course, he did the thing as a gag, and I got Terry to give me the file he created—click on that thumbnail at the left to see it full size—it’ll crack you up! [Well, it cracked me up anyway]).

Anyway, we were doing totally fun stuff the whole time I was up there, and I really had a blast hanging with Terry in his totally tech’d out house. Thanks Terry for a wonderful weekend, and thanks Mac Group Detroit for such a warm welcome, and for the opportunity to share my latest photo retouching techniques.

savannah

On June 24-28, thirty photographers will join me, along with landscape photography legend Bill Fortney, and fine art photographer Joanne Wells, for a photography and digital imaging workshop in the beautiful surroundings of Savannah, Georgia that will change how you shoot and process your images forever. You’re invited to be one of those thirty photographers.

This workshop, produced by the wonderful folks over at the “Great American Photography Workshops,” will combine on-location shoots each day, with classroom time focused on one topic; how to create stunning landscape images.

We start each day with a dawn photo shoot at some of the most beautiful shooting locales in the entire South. Then, after we break for a yummy breakfast, we’re in the classroom where you’ll learn about digital photography, about processing your images in Photoshop, and about how to combine the two to create really captivating images.

After lunch, we’re back in the classroom for more learning, and then as the beautiful light descends upon Savannah, we’re back on location shooting landscapes. After our shoot, we break for dinner to unwind and talk about the day’s experiences.

Now, I have to tell you, this will be the third landscape workshop I’ve done with Bill Fortney, and Bill really knows how to make these workshops an awful lot of fun. You’ll learn a bunch, you’ll laugh a bunch, and you’ll come away with some images that not only will wind up in your portfolio, you’ll definitely be framing and hanging some of these on the wall.

Because of my schedule, this is the only landscape workshop I’ll be teaching this year, and as someone that reads my blog, I hope you’ll be able to come to spend these five-days with me, Bill, and Joanne shooting, laughing and learning in the beautiful scenery of Savannah.

It’s $795 for the workshop, and obviously, space is very limited (both of our previous workshops were sold out well in advance), so if you want to go, here’s a link to more details and where to register. I really hope I’ll see you there, because this is a workshop you’ll never forget!

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