Tuesday
Feb
2010
16

Tomorrow’s Guest Blogger Is…

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Matt Lange!  Matt and Scott met when they shot a football game together a few months ago and have been buds ever since.

I (Brad) think that a lot of you will really be able to relate to Matt’s post for tomorrow.  He talks about starting out as a designer/photographer a few years ago, and all the struggles he’s gone through to make it to where he is today.

I have to give it up to Matt for pulling his post together so quickly and doing such a great job with it.  Our originally scheduled guest blogger called (well, emailed) in sick at the last minute, so Matt really came through to save the day.

So come back by tomorrow and see what Matt has for us!

Tuesday
Feb
2010
16

Scenes From Last Week’s Studio Shoot in Miami

by Scott Kelby  |  24 Comments

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Last Thursday I flew down to a very cool photo studio complex in Miami, near South Beach, for a photography training project I’m working on. Brad and I spent two days on location with a video crew filming behind the scenes footage of a bigger, more ambitious “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” project (that’s one of our models—Jerrid shown above—click on him for a much larger view).

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Above: Stevie during a one light shoot with a very powerful turbo fan, run by Brad.

We actually did 19 different photo shoots, setting up—and taping—each lighting set-up from scratch over a two day period, and we filmed segments in three different studios and on location on Miami’s South Beach. We used everything from one light, two lights, to three lights, and quite a bit of off-camera wireless flash, too. We did shoots with scrims, diffusers, reflectors, and about everything in between.

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Above: This is Wanderson (that’s his real name) during our sunset off-camera portrait shoot on the beach.

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That’s Vanessa above (a model friend of Dwayne’s who lives in Miami) during one of our daylight shoots. Those are the Raw untouched originals from the camera (Click for a much larger view). The red labels are the ones Vanessa chose as her favorites.

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Here’s Shay caught between snaps joking around with the crew.

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Above: The regular version of this shot is part of the project, but the all-white blown-out look you see here won’t actually be in the class—it was just me trying something new in Photoshop, just for fun.

We knew we’d be swamped (and on a tight schedule), so we contacted one of one my buddies, Dwayne Tucker (a frequent commenter here on the blog), who’s going to school down in Miami, and got him to come be our 2nd assistant on the shoot, He was a great help (well, when we weren’t all cracking up about something—-we usually have a pretty fun time on the set).

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Above: That’s our 2nd assistant on the set, Dwayne Tucker, taking a break between shoots.

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Above: That’s ‘The Scriv,’ Creative Director for Video at Kelby Media Group, with his trusty Steadicam. Also, notice how nicely his “tips” are in bloom (that happens every year right around Photoshop World).

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That’s “Beach Blanket Braddo” above, on Miami’s South Beach, holding a diffuser—-ready to spring into action at the first sign of harsh light). Also on the shoot was video cameraman Eddie “Fast Eddie, Easy Cowboy” Lynn, but I don’t have all the production shots here, so sadly, I don’t have a picture of him I can post right now, but he was everywhere! (and a huge help the entire shoot).

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few shots from the shoot. I’ll have more details soon about this project (The Light It, Shoot It, parts are done, but I still have 19 shoots to retouch, and record every step along the way).

Thanks to Brad for all his hard work in setting this up, and to Dwayne for helping us out, and to the five professional models who worked pretty much non-stop for two solid days to make this whole thing happen.

Tuesday
Feb
2010
16

Catch Thursday’s Live Webcast of the Celebration of Photoshop’s 20th Anniversary

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

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I’ve got a few more details for you about the Live Webcast of the big party/presentation/Photoshop love-fest happening this Thursday night (the 18th) in San Francisco celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Photoshop (if you hadn’t heard about it, here’s the link).

Anyway, here’s what I know so far:

(1) You sign up here (it’s free): http://www.photoshopuser.com/photoshop20th

(2) The Live Webcast starts at 7:30 pm Pacific Time (10:30 EST).

(3) There are some VERY special guests making an appearance that night.

(4) Matt, Dave Cross, Corey, RC, and I will all be on stage showing cool Photoshop stuff, as well as Adobe’s Julieanne Kost, Terry White, Russell Brown, and Adobe VP John Loiacono.

(5) That’s all I know. At least now anyway. Tomorrow, I may know more but hey, ya never know.

That’s it gang. I hope you can join us, because it’s shaping up to be an incredible night of fun/learning and Photoshop stuff galore!

Monday
Feb
2010
15

Reader Comment of the Week (from Friday’s Post)

by Scott Kelby  |  53 Comments

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Thanks to everybody who shared their views on the HDR issue last Friday (link). When it comes to HDR, it seems like most folks are on one side or the other, with very little middle ground—-you either like it or you really, really hate it.

One comment posted by a reader named Cory really stuck out to me. It’s short and sweet, but says volumes.

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The biggest trigger point for most commenters seemed to be the amount or style of HDR tonemapping applied to a photo, and they seemed to feel that the over-processing was strictly to hide bad photographic technique.

So, if a photographer creates an HDR photo, and even if they over-process it, does that somehow instantly mean that they’re now a bad photographer?

Not everybody that uses over-the-top HDR effects uses them as a crutch. They may just like they way it looks—plain and simple, and the photo they tone mapped may have been a strong photo without the processing, but they just like it better with the effect. Is that wrong?

Somebody I talked with this weekend about Friday’s post posed a really fascinating question, totally on the other side of the gamut from what I just wrote:

“If a photographer took a photo, and they looked at it on their camera’s LCD and thought it wasn’t a very good photo. But then they were able to add an effect to it in Photoshop (or whatever) that turned it into what a lot of people then thought was a good photo, is that a bad thing? At the end of the day, they created a photo that people like. What’s the harm in that?”

I mean, we all take a bad photo or two now and then, but the fact that the photographer knew a process that turned that boring photo into an interesting photo, is that all that bad?

Apparently, for a lot of people, it is.

Monday
Feb
2010
15

Take The NAPP Photoshop History Quiz

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

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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). ;-)

Friday
Feb
2010
12

HDR “Quote of the Week”

by Scott Kelby  |  225 Comments

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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 istockphoto.com /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.

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