Today is Labor Day in the United States, and our offices are closed, so we’re taking today off here at the blog but I’ll be back on here tomorrow.

By the way: I looked up Labor Day in WikiPedia, and here are a few interesting tidbits about this American Holiday:

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties.

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and College football seasons.

(NOTE: My football shooting season has already started, as I shot the Bucs vs. Bengals and the Bucs vs. Browns NFL Preseason games already. Here’s some thumbnails from the Browns game, below).


Have a great Labor Day today. Don’t forget to rest and party! :-)



P.S. We have right around 650 Photo Walks organized around the world as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk. If you’re relaxing this Labor Day, why not click this link; type in the name of your city, and see if there’s a walk near you that you can join on Saturday, Oct. 3rd?

OK, you’ve gotta try this one, even if you don’t do type effects a lot, because it unlocks a little known Photoshop CC feature that is just awesome! Here goes:

STEP ONE: Start by choosing an Open Type font (here I’m using the Open Type font Bickham Script Pro, but you can use other Open Type fonts (look for the “O” symbol in front of the font’s name in the Font pop-down menu). So why the Open type fonts? Because they have really cool hidden stuff (more on that in the next stuff). For now, just type Pizzeria



STEP TWO: To find the cool hidden stuff, go under the Type menu, under Panels, and choose Glyphs Panel (as shown here).


Above: Here’s what the panel looks like — it shows you all the font’s symbols, special characters, and specially-designed beautiful extra versions of your capital letters and lower case letters, and you can use these to create instant logos that really have a unique look.


Above: At the top of the panel is a list of all the different sets of characters that come with this particular font (and you can see there’s a bunch of ’em, like a whole set for Currency symbols, like the British Pound, The Euro, The Japanese Zen, etc.). But we’re going to use a special set of capital letters.



STEP THREE: Highlight the “P” in Pizzeria (as shown here) and then choose Swash from the pop-up list of characters in the Glyphs panel (as seen here). You can see a preview of the some of the beautifully-designed alternate capital letters you can use. Now, take a look at the capital “P” that is the default “P”. It’s “OK” but it could be fantastic by choosing some of these Swash version (TIP: there’s a slider at the bottom of the panel that lets you choose the size of the thumbnail previews).


STEP FOUR: Scroll down alphabetically to the letter “P” and double-click on the preview and it replaces your boring old capital P with the much fancier P you see here. Admittedly, I’m not crazy about this particular fancy “P” but luckily, it’s not are only choice.


STEP FIVE: There’s another set of beautiful capital letters that take things up a notch. Highlight that capital P again; then from the pop-up menu at the top of the Glyphs panel, choose Stylistic Alternates; scroll down alphabetically to the letter “P” and double-click on the “P” there to get the gorgeous “P” you see here. How about that bad boy? Beautiful, right? Oh, but there’s more — let’s make the last letter in Pizzeria — the boring “a” into a more interesting “a.”



STEP SIX: Highlight that ‘a’ at the end, and then scroll up to the Stylistic Alternate “a” and double-click on it. Look at that nice a now! (stop snickering). ;-)


STEP SEVEN: We’re not done (still more cool stuff we haven’t uncovered), but let’s add a 2nd line of text; change your font to Trajan Pro (this font comes with Photoshop, too!) and type in the word Italiano. Change the color of Italiano to red; change the color of Pizzeria to green (highlight the text and choose the new color from the color swatch up in the Option bar at the top of the screen). OK, time for more fun stuff.


STEP EIGHT: One of my favorite features of Open Type fonts is that many of them has a set of decorative ornaments, and Bickham Script Pro is no exception — choose Ornaments from the Glyphs panel’s pop-up menu; click the Type tool somewhere away from where your other text is located; then double-click on any one of the ornaments and it appears on screen. Here I clicked on a nice ornamental “swooshy thing” and then I dragged it up under the letter “P” like you see here. I clicked on a few different ones until I came up with this one that I thought fit pretty well, but there were LOTS of choices of different styles and shapes. OK, we’re almost done.


STEP NINE: You’re about to learn a very handy selection trick, but to make a selection of just part of a Type layer, you have to convert it from a Type layer to a regular ol’ pixel layer. You do that by Right-clicking on the layer in the  Layers panel and from the pop-up menu that appears, choose Rasterize Type (as shown here). Now, you could grab the Eraser tool and just start erasing any part of that word Pizzeria you’d like (but don’t do that, because you’d miss the really handy selection tip I’m about to share.


STEP 10: We’re going to make the dots in the dotted “i’s” red. Get the Rectangular Marquee tool; drag a selection around the dot over one of the eyes (as shown here).


STEP 11: Switch to the Move tool; then press the Up Arrow key on your keyboard once, and then press the Down Arrow key once. This snaps the selection to the dot (as seen here). This is such a handy tip because it picks up every pixel (it does a much better job than the magic wand would have done. In fact, this technique will even pick up stuff like soft drop shadows behind layers, and basically anything and everything in that area. It works like a charm!) Now; set Red as your Foreground color then press Option-Delete (Windows: Alt-Backspace) to fill the dot with red like you see above.


STEP 12: Here’s the finished logo with the red-dotted “i’s”


Hope you found that helpful. :)


P.S. OK, this is a little off-topic, but if you’re into Landscape photography, make sure you check out the new online class from landscape photographer Richard Bernabe — his class on landscape composition is getting rave reviews from KelbyOne members. Here’s the trailer (it’ll make you really want to watch the class, so here’s the direct link to the class itself. You can watch it for $20, then watch all the rest of our classes for a full 30-days. Can’t beat it). 




Retouching Brides with Scott Kelby
Learn new ways to retouch brides with Scott Kelby! In this class Scott demonstrates techniques targeted at helping photographers who have to do their own retouching to make the job quicker, easier, and more efficient. Dealing with skin tends to be the most important and most time consuming aspect of retouching brides, so Scott takes you step-by-step through a series of techniques that you can apply to a variety of situations, and he even shows you how to automate the techniques using Photoshop actions. It’s not all about skin though, Scott has techniques for color corrections, enhancing eyes, reducing noses, performing all kinds of repairs, and even conversions to black and white. There’s even a technique for giving grooms a cleaner shave. If you’re a wedding photographer who has to retouch your own photos, then this class is for you.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free 1-month KelbyOne membership to watch this class (and any others you want) for free!

Last Week’s Winner
Lightroom CC Power Tour Ticket
– Randy Bosman

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Teaching a class here at KelbyOne is always an awesome experience. And my most recent project – DSLR Filmmaking: shooting a music video for the band Jule Vera – was certainly nothing short of just that.

There were a lot of differences with this project versus my past music videos –specifically the budget. For the first time I was able to buy sets, props, wardrobe, special lighting, and a smoke machine.

If you find yourself getting into a project like this, you must pay people. Pay them something, even if it’s $100. Paid people work better for you and it shows in the end. When hiring talent… DO NOT USE YOUR GIRLFRIEND! The lead singer always wants to put his favorite groupie as the lead. A month later, they break up, she’s now dating a lawyer, and your video never gets finished cause you get served papers. If you spend money on anything, spend money on a model or actor. You are going to spend so many hours editing this thing, that spending some money, even if it’s out of your own pocket to help out, will give you fuel for your portfolio and lead to bigger opportunities.

I knew the The Van’s Warped Tour of about 70 bands was coming into town, and there I could find the perfect up and coming band, looking for a free music video. I came across Jule Vera from Alabama, who had members that grew up here in Tampa. I was sent their not yet released album, and was told to pick any song I wanted. Die Trying! Holy cow, what a cinematic and epic piece! I think the word epic is highly overused and I’m never one to say it about bike rides or desserts, but this song was freaking epic.

A basic formula for a concept story telling video is twofold. You shoot the band telling the story, and then you shoot the actual story. The band is the storyteller, and the short film depicts the story the song is telling. You edit them together – and voila!

My concept was simple: A man is stuck in a leveled, unrecognizably burnt down town. A girl trapped in an altered reality full of peace and sunshine, but alone. Man finds girl. Girl is ripped from her reality. And the two go off into the future and have like 10 babies. The band, meanwhile, is telling the story while floating above the wreckage of rooftops, tops of trees and fog.



To take my inspiration further, I studied the portfolio of my favorite artist who is a master of creating altered realities – Brooke Shaden. I pinned all her work that matched my theme to my desk wall, along with other ideas for pieces of the set, and lighting ideas. I listened to the song, over and over, as ideas came to me.

My friend Lindsay Adler came to the rescue, renting me two dresses for the price of one, from her online rental store My singer would have a dress made out of a parachute with a bullet holster and all! My model would don an octopus-like dress. Both women flowing beautifully above this town burnt to hell. It was perfect. The story was all coming together.


My producer, Jen Coffin, strolls up to my desk says “building a set with demolished rooftops and charred trees is just a tad way over budget.” I had no choice but to rethink my approach, but still keep within my theme. The dresses were on the way and the band now had serious expectations.



With a little bit of creativity, resourceful budgeting, and a team of talented people, we came up with the idea of a burnt down house. Incorporate some key props and materials – creepy teddy bears, grand pianos, busted pallets, mulch – and now it was finally coming together.


A fun idea the guys came up with was to set up 3 drum kits, and pile ashes on top of the heads. They played the song at twice the speed, so that when I would slow it back down in post to normal speed, the ashes would be in slow motion and rise from the drum heads. We had time at the end of the day so we gave it a shot, and it ended up being one of the most powerful parts of the video.


Making this video was such an amazing experience and the lessons learned along the way are invaluable. Having talented people working for you like Daniel Bryant, who did all the compositing and effects, really took this video to the next level and I can’t thank him enough for all his hard work. I had a fun supportive crew, and it was a blast.


The rewarding part for me was being able to go see them play live at 2 different cites. They got me a photo pass and I was able to shoot one of my other favorite artists, Bebe Rexha! What a fun experience overall.


I hope you’ll enjoy my vision unfold and maybe take away a thing or two that can help you in your next project.

You can see more of Adam’s work at, and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Plus, see his class DSLR Filmmaking: Shooting a Music Video when it’s added to the KelbyOne library tomorrow!


It’s a huge event, held once every five years in New YorkParis, Tokyo and Shanghai and not only is it my first time attending, I’m actually teaching a session in the conference track, and get this — it’s not Photoshop, Lightroom or Photography related.

Canon asked if I might do a business class this time around, so I’m really excited to be doing a class next Thursday (a week from this Thursday), called “How to Present Like a Pro” where I’ll share my favorites tips and techniques for making presentations that rock.

But besides my class…
Everybody I’ve talked to about this tells me how huge this Expo is, and it covers everything Canon does, from film-making to photography to copiers to…well, Canon makes a lot of products covering a wide range of stuff, and I can’t wait to see it all, and you can too. Here’s the details:

When: September 10-11, 2015
Where: Javits Convention Center, NYC

Here’s the link for details and to register (you need this ACCESS CODE to register because this is an invite-only event, but don’t worry — this access code is your invite: IGKB4PPT).

Check out this video (below) – I found it on YouTube and it’s from the 2010 Paris Canon Expo – I can’t imagine what the one in NYC is going to be like. That’s some crazy stuff!!!  Looks like it’s going to be a blast!

Hope I’ll see you there in person next week. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!



If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably seen me posting some shots from a class I’ve been working on about my location lighting set-up. I had four different location shoots planned for the class (we wrapped up taping last week), but the day before Photoshop World we did the first shoot out on a dry lake bed just outside Vegas.


Here’s one of the shots from the shoot. It’s lit with just one flash and it’s the replacement for what has been my go-to kit for years now — the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra — the new model is the ELB 400, and it’s got a slew of new features over the old kit (I go over all that stuff in the class, but mostly the class is about lighting tips and techniques and ideas for location lighting. The ELB is pretty awesome, though!). The dress is from

The softbox was my go-to softbox (been using this for years); it’s my Elinchrom Rotalux 53″ Midi Octa. I just love that softbox (and it’s not too crazy expensive for being fairly big — it’s $329 at B&H Photo).

TIP: August may not be the ideal time to shoot in the desert
I knew I’d already be there; my video crew would already be there for Photoshop World starting the next day; and Kalebra would be there with me to do the Art Direction (she rocks!), so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to pull off a shoot like this. Ya know, except for the whole shooting in the desert in the August heat thing.

One thing that made it a bit complex is that we were kinda out in the middle of nowhere. We were going to need a restroom on the scene, and a place for the model to get hair/makeup and to change outfits. We had a large crew:  our video crew and producer (this is part of a KelbyOne class), Brad, my assistant Lynn and a second photo assistant. We had a location scout, and Kalebra and I working on the direction and shooting, so we wound up renting this production trailer, which is what they would normally use on a movie or TV production, but it worked out really well (as long as we didn’t run all four air conditioners, which would blow a fuse). Check out the video below for more on the production trailer.

Above: Here’s a little iPhone BTS video we shot so you could see the set-up, and we went in the production trailer for a quick tour, too. It’s pretty short. Worth checking out. 


Above: Here’s a gallery of some behind the scenes shots. Click to see a larger version. 

I can’t wait until the whole class is done
I really was able to cover a lot of stuff — four different shoots and an entire section just about the gear to start it all off. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.


Above: Here’s some thumbnails from some of the other finals from that shoot. More to share in the class. 

Hope you all have an awesome Monday (well, we can only try, right?), and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow. :)