Category Archives Updates


Our head of IT at Kelby Media Group is a guy named Paul Wilder. He’s one of those guys who has that whole “super-giant uber brain” thing going on, but besides his immense IT skills, he’s really a terrific guy all around (We love Paul!). In fact, he’s so great that he allowed me to share a personal story and while it might be a bit embarrassing for an IT guy like Paul, he felt it was more important to share the story to help other folks avoid a similar nightmare.

Paul’s constantly hounding us all the time to make sure our computers are backed up, and he’s got all sorts of sophisticated back-up systems in place at our headquarters for our servers and such, but like the plumber whose own pipes are leaky, he didn’t have a backup for his home computer. You know what’s coming next, right? Just recently it crashed, and I mean it crashed big time! Over the years, I’ve seen Paul pull some severly crashed drives back from the grave that I would have bet money were gone for good, so the fact that Paul couldn’t repair his drive lets you know the depth of how far south this puppy had gone. It gets worse.

Paul had some absolutely critical data on that drive that could not be replaced, so he was forced to resort to every IT guy’s most dreaded act of desperation—he sent his drive to DriveSavers to see if they could bring it back to life. DriveSavers is known worldwide as the people you call when all else fails, but the reason this is an IT guy’s last resort is that DriveSavers charges a bundle. How big a bundle? $2,500! Now, you might wonder how can they get away with charging $2,500? It’s because they can. And, that’s because they are about the only people on earth who can recover the unrecoverable, and by gosh—they were able to recover his entire drive—-all it’s contents, and Paul says, “It was absolutely worth it.”

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “There’s no way I would pay $2,500,” that just means you can’t think of anything worth $2,500 to you on your computer. To Paul, what he lost was worth more to him, and although it was painful to pay $2,500, it would have been more painful not to. Luckily for Paul, he could afford it, but I know a woman who within the last month had her laptop die, and nobody locally could recover it. She had hundreds of absolutely irreplaceable photos on that drive, including the only photos of her grandmother’s funeral, and she was incredibly distraught, but sadly she didn’t have the $2,500 to get it restored, so those photos are simply gone forever.

It’s for stories like those, and thousands more that happen every day, when you least expect it, to regular people just like you and me, is exactly why I made today “Back Up Your Hard Drive” Friday. Stop reading this blog, take a couple of minutes, hook up an external hard drive, and back your stuff up (at the very least, back your photo folder up).

Thanks to Paul Wilder, for being willing to share his story (and please don’t post any of those “He’s an IT guy; he should have known better⦔ comments—-believe me. He knows.).

Another good thing that came out of this whole experience is that Larry Becker (NAPP’s Execuctive Director) was able to get DriveSavers to offer NAPP members a special discount if they ever have to use their services (and the discount alone is will save them more than double their yearly NAPP membership). Lets just hope you never have to use it (To make sure you don’t—go back up right now!).


I’m really excited to announce that we’re just about 10 days away from the release of my brand new book, “The Mac OS X Leopard Book (Published by Peachpit Press). I took the same layout, feel, and writing style of my book, The Digital Photography Book, and applied that same concept to teaching people how to do the things they really want to do with their Macs.

Like “The Digital Photography Book,” I explain everything the same way I would to a friend, so there’s no techno-geek-speak—-it’s just you and me, and I tell you, short and sweet how to do all those things you bought your Mac for in the first place.

I really wrote for the book for all the new Mac users out there, who just want somebody to tell them, “Look, here’s what ya do.” So, the book’s not aimed at advanced users (but I’ve already had some more advanced users tell me they’ve learned some pretty cool things from it, so I was fairly psyched about that).

I cover everything from the absolute basics (in a chapter called “20 things every new Mac user needs to know”), to chapters on Customizing your Mac, working with photos, doing video on your Mac, making music on your Mac, setting up email, getting organized and a whole bunch of other stuff Mac users always ask.

The book has little tips scattered throughout it (like The Digital Photography Book has), but I end each chapter with an extra page of nothing but tips, and for the first time I also did a series of short “refresher course” videos for each chapter to really make it stick.

If you want to be the first to get it, you can preorder it today from (link) for only $16.49 (dirt cheap!), or from Barnes &, or wherever cool books are sold.


It’s Thursday, and that means a new class at Kelby Training, and this time it’s from the Master of Off-Camera Flash, Joe McNally. Joe’s taking things up a big notch with his class “The Next Step with SB-800 Flashes.” Here’s a link to see the complete list of what Joe covers in this brand new exclusive online class, (plus, you can watch a sample while you’re there). You gotta love that McNally guy!

Before we get onto the news, I just have to thank Vincent Versace for yesterday’s amazing Guest post. He was able to move us with words in the same way he does with his images, and it was truly an honor to have him kick off Guest Blog Wednesday in such a classy, thought-provoking, and inspirational way. Thank you, my friend. Now, onto the news:

  • I heard today from NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker that we now have a special 20% off NAPP member discount in place for the very popular “Photomatix” HDR software that everyone’s raving about. So, if you’re a NAPP member, head to the member’s site for details and your discount code. If you’re not a member, and you just want to check out Photomatix, here’s the link to their site.
  • Thanks to John Paul Caponigro, who brought the two “Ophan Works” copyright bills currently before congress to my attention. According to JP, “…if passed these two bills will adversely affect copyright laws. Both define "abandoned" work far too loosely. The less problematic bill puts the onus on the artist to register images with the Copyright office not just once but twice. The bills haven't gone through—-Now is the time to act. Contact your representatives now. Phone, mail, fax, and email are all effective - in that order.” Here’s a Web site with info on how to contact your Congressional representatives. (Thanks to John Paul for sending this our way!).
  • Also, John Paul wrote a comment yesterday about Vincent’s Guest post that was just terrific, so if you get a chance, scroll through the comments and take a moment to read his thoughtful response which builds on what Vincent was talking about.
  • David Hobby and Joe McNally were both teaching in Dubai recently, and they had a video camera, and well….you just got to see the video for yourself, because it’s off the hook. They use this huge “cluster” of Nikon SB-800 flashes out in the desert for a live model shoot, and the results are just stunning. Plus, the video is very well-done, and you see how they set-up the shots, and well…like I said, you just gotta see it. You’ll find the article, and the video clip right here.
  • One last thing: Corey Barker has a nice tutorial on this week’s Layers TV episode (hosted by Corey and RC) on a very practical way to use Photoshop’s Vanishing Point Filter, plus as a guest they have Christie Winter, (one of NAPP’s in-house designers) showing her own Photoshop technique on how she created this year’s annual “Hot Tips” cover for the magazine (it’s pretty cool). You can watch it right online at

That’s it for this Thursday. Hope you all have an absolute kick-butt day! :)


That’s right, starting tomorrow I’m replacing “No-Blog” Wednesday with (wait for it, wait for it…) “Special Guest Blogger” Wednesday!

Each Wednesday I’ll be featuring a special guest blogger and I’m honored to announce that we’re kicking things off tomorrow with the man who convinced me to to start “Special Guest Blogger Wednesday;” celebrated photographer and Photoshop instructor Vincent Versace (author of the award-winning book, Welcome to Oz: A Cinematic Approach to Digital Still Photography with Photoshop).

So, don’t forget to drop in tomorrow and catch Mr. Versace’s post (his topic will definitely capture your attention), and then stop by each Wednesday. I’ve already got some big names lined up for you as guests, and they’re dying to share their latest techniques, news, opinions, and insights. I’m really excited about giving this new idea a try, and I can’t wait to see what my guests come up with in the weeks ahead.

Thanks Vinny, for coming up with such a great idea; for convincing me to do it, and for being willing to kick off the inaugural Special Guest post tomorrow. Can’t wait!

It’s time for a fresh bowl of crunchy news nuggets (now with more lightly sweetened multi-grain oat clusters, and added Beta-carotene):

  • Now, I haven’t had a chance to research this one myself, but one of my readers posted a comment about a “Photographer’s Rights Protest” (scheduled to take place on June 1st, in LA). Here’s what he wrote: “Photographers throughout Los Angeles, with cameras in hand, will gather at Hollywood and Highland and Union Station to peacefully rally against the unnecessary treatment they have received from security guards, LAPD, and LASD while photographing in public places, and on the Metro.” They’ve set up a flickr group with more info, and you can find it by clicking here.
  • Another one of my readers, and frequent posters, Paulo is hosting a “Photo Walk” in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida next month, and everyone’s invited. Here’s the link to more info.
  • Came across another review of my recent Hartford, CT seminar. Here’s that link.
  • Peachpit Press did kind of a cool video promo for Joe McNally’s smash-bestselling book, The Moment It Clicks, where they asked some of the Photoshop World instructors (myself included) what was the “moment that clicked for you.” If you’ve got a quick minute, check ’em out right here.
  • Photoshop Rapper “Matt Matty Matte” did something unusual this weekend; he blogged. That’s right, he did a one-minute video tutorial on a cool brushing feature in the Lightroom 2 Public Beta (on Friday, he also talked about the “Invite a friend to the Beta program” thing), so make sure you check it out at LightroomKillerTips.

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the end of “No-Blog Wednesdays!” :)