Category Archives Updates


I’m off to Hartford, Connecticut today to teach my Photoshop CS3 Power Tour tomorrow, but until then, here’s some tasty Monday News Nuggets (now with more antioxidants and fiber):

  • I came up with a great idea for a t-shirt that’s a play on the popular bumper stickers and shirts worn by skateboaders, which reads “Skateboading is not a crime.” You can find these online all over, so I just had to mock-up one for us tripod-using photographers just for fun (UPDATE: I mentioned this morning that had thought of setting up a site where you could actually buy the real shirt, but then I thought….ya know, I should probably get back to writing my book. Luckily, one of my readers, Rob Jones, took the challenge and created the shirt design, and it’s now available at [here’s the direct link]. He priced it at Cafe’s base price, so he’s not making any money off the deal [though Cafe is making a killing]. Anyway, I just ordered mine! Thanks Rob for making this available to tripod terrorists everywhere!).
  • Also, I can see from some of the reader comments posted last week to my Tripod Terror Alert, that some folks may have thought I was actually upset by the encounter, but I totally was not. Surprised? Yes. Perplexed? Absolutely. Mad? Not at all. I didn’t complain to the hotel, or get rude with the guard, ask for his supervisor, etc.., I just thought it was an interesting commentary on our times (and people’s reaction to those menacing tripods), and I just wanted to share it with you guys. In fact, once the elevator doors closed, the first thing I said to Matt and RC was, “This is SO going on my blog.”
  • One of my readers posted a comment with a plug for his blog,, so I went and checked it out, and it’s pretty darn good. Lots of good teaching, tutorials, and other stuff worth checking out (so, why dontcha check it out). Here’s the link.
  • I finagled my kids into going to our studio this past week for a secret photo shoot as a surprise for my wife for Mother’s Day. Getting a toddler and a preteen to pose for portrait shoot is…well…it was tricky (to say the least), and I knew I would only get this one shot at it. That’s when I had a “Moment of truth.” It hit when I was reaching in my camera bag to choose a memory card. I opened my card case where I saw three different brands of high-speed cards to choose from, but at that moment Lou Schmidt’s phrase from last Thursday, “zero in-field failures” starting going through my head, and I grabbed a Hoodman RAW card. There was no way I could take a chance of losing these shots, and in the past I’ve been right there when friends, other pro photographers, and even one of my Santa Fe Workshop students saw one of their memory cards go bad, and they lost all their shots forever. Knowing that the RAWs have never failed, I immediately grabbed a RAW card. Now I get it. (By the way, my wife absolutely loved the shots, but I’m not sure she even noticed the lighting, or composition, or background, or anything else, but just for this once—I didn’t care). :)
  • Digital Photography School did a piece called “9 Hot Photoshop Books” where the author was asked by a friend to recommend some Photoshop books, and so he asked 10 of his photography buddies which books they’d recommend. I was honored to learn that three of my books made their list. Thank you guys! (Check out their full list of recommendations right here.)

That’s it for today, folks. I hope to meet some of you in person up in Hartford tomorrow at my seminar—make sure you come up and say “hi” if you read the blog. Here’s wishing you the kind of Monday that feels like a Friday! :)




Hi everybody. Here’s what’s going on:

  • First, the photos above (taken by RC Concepcion) are from NAPP week at B&H Photo’s store in New York City earlier this week (the class shot is during Matt’s Lightroom class). During the lunch break between sessions the gang at B&H took me to the Katz Deli (made famous by the movie When Harry Met Sally), and I had the best Corned Beef Rubuen of my life. Thanks to everyone who came out to see my class, and to the folks at B&H for being such gracious hosts to Me, Matt, and RC during the week. You guys are the best. (P.S. Hi Mordy).
  • Speaking of that class; the SelectedPixels blog did “live blog coverage” during my B&H Photo class on my Photoshop Seven-Point System; you can check it out, and their photos, right here.
  • This is too cool: the Pixsylated blog did a very slick, step-by-step tutorial on how to “pimp” Joe McNally’s “The Moment It Clicks” and turn it into a spiral bound version. It’s surprisingly well done, and if you have the book, you’ve got to check this out (here’s that link).
  • Just a reminder; I’ll be in Hartford, CT next week (Tuesday, May 13th), as we bring the Photoshop CS3 Power Tour to town for the first time ever. If you haven’t signed up yet, here’s the link. Hope to see you there.
  • Photoshop World instructor and DV and Photoshop guru Richard Harrington has just released a new book on Apple’s Aperture 2. It’s coming out any day; here’s the link to preorder it from Barnes & or Also I’m sending a big congrats to Rich on posting the 100th episode of his Understanding Adobe Photoshop podcast (here’s the link to it).

That’s it for today. I’ve got some cool stuff coming up next week, including some photos from my day with Jay Maisel, details of my Grand Central Station photo shoot (including a surprise subject), and with any luck at all, a video I did on how to use the Westcott Spiderlites for a portrait shoot. Should be a fun week, with little or no sleep.

Have a great weekend everybody, and Happy Mother’s Day!!! :)


The most eagerly awaited (OK, even I couldn’t do that one with a straight face, so let me start again). The most overdue online class of the year, my “Professional Portrait Retouching Online Class” for finally goes live tomorrow. After incorporating your ideas and input for other techniques that should be added to the class, it turned out to be a retouching love-fest that was nearly four and half hours long, so I wound up breaking it into two separate classes; a part 1 and part 2, and both parts go live Friday.

Check out the video below to learn more about the class, what it covers, and how it all works, then tomorrow afternoon check out the class itself on

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Last week I posted a field report review of Hoodman’s RAW UDMA high-speed memory cards, and in my report I mentioned that while the cards performed flawlessly for me, and were fast as blazes, I couldn’t find a reason to justify their higher cost vs. similar size and speed Lexar and SanDisk cards (the Hoodman RAW cards run $70 to $80 more per card).

Yesterday, I heard from Lou Schmidt, VP of Marketing over at Hoodman Corporation, who sent this response to my review. I’m publishing his comments in their entirety below, but to cut to the chase, I called out in red why they’re more expensive, which told me exactly why they’re worth every extra penny. Here’s what Lou had to say:

“Thanks for the fine review of our Hoodman RAW CF cards⦠Thanks too for giving us the opportunity to explain why our customers are willing to pay more for Hoodman RAW memory cards. The RAW line has been in the marketplace for 18 months world wide and we have had ZERO in-field failures. Hoodman RAW is manufactured in Silicon Valley and is the only CF card built in the USA.

Both Sandisk and Lexar memory cards are built in ASIA in huge quantities to support the mass merchant market⦠Huge production will give you economies of scale which will allow you to lower your price, but there is a significant draw back to huge production runs⦠FAILURE RATES â¦which are tracking between 3 to 5% for mass merchant card makers. .

Professional photographers will not see mass merchant card makers supporting educational functions like Photoshop World or regional or national PPA shows because they are mass merchant card makers who can live with a 3 to 5 % failure rate. Which Pro will want to be the 3 -5% failure guy??? Hoodman has just completed exhibiting at 10 shows since January. Hoodman is pleased to give back by supporting educational programs in photography at the national, regional and dealer levels.

⦠Mass merchant card makers have always played the price game and continue to dump their cards in the marketplace because they are no longer selling well in the Photo Dealer Channel.

Hoodman customer service is manned from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday with live, helpful people⦠our competitors service systems will send you into endless voicemail loupes and make you wait 2 to 5 days for an offshore call center to get back to you; which is not much help when a customer needs answers now.

Yes, Hoodman RAW does cost more⦠Pros who can afford US built reliability and do not see memory as a commodity will continue to buy Hoodman RAW because they know us and see us doing our best to make the products that make their jobs easier.

Thanks for your time and efforts to understand the value a RAW memory card offers to the purchaser” –Lou Schmidt, Hoodman Corporation



Last week, on my way to work, I returned a call from my buddy Joe McNally. Joe answers and we BS for just a minute, and then he tells me that he can’t really talk long because he’s in the middle of doing a book signing at Borders Bookstore. Of course, I apologize for interrputing his signing, but he says, “Hold on a for a sec” and then I hear the sound of shutter buttons. He tells me he just had a photo taken of him during the signing, because he wanted me to see that right behind him was a display with both my and Matt Kloskowski’s books (you can see the orange corner of my Lightroom book behind Joe’s shoulder, in the shots above by Stephen Hindley).

Anyway, I told him I’d let him go, but before I hung up, I asked him, “Which Borders are you in?” thinking he’d say he was in Connecticut or New York, but he says, “I’m in the Mall of the Emirates, in Dubai.” I was floored, especially since I had just been in that same exact store, in that same exact mall, just two weeks earlier. What a small world, eh?

Then, after I hung up and continued on my way to work, it hit me. “Hey, how come I didn’t get to do a book signing when I was in Dubai?” (I know. I know. It’s because I’m not Joe McNally. I totally understand). :-)

Anyway, I thought it was such a cool thing that Joe got to do this (he was teaching over there at the Gulf Photo Plus Conference at the time), and that the people of Dubai think as highly of Joe’s work over there as we do here in the States.