Monday
Sep
2010
06

Happy Labor Day!

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

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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 tomorrow with some after-show coverage from Photoshop World.

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: It was the start of my football shooting season, as I shot the LSU Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels game Saturday night from the sidelines, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with my buddy (and guest blogger) Paul Abell (I’m in the Atlanta Airport as I write this). I’ll be posting some shots on Thursday.

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

Thursday
Sep
2010
02

Shots from Photoshop World Day 1

by Brad Moore  |  23 Comments

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Hey everyone, Brad here again with some more shots from the first day of Photoshop World Las Vegas. Images from the opening Keynote, various events throughout the day, and the After Hours Party at House of Blues (photos by Josh Bradley, Drew Gurian, and myself):

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RC Concepcion getting the crowd to their feet with a t-shirt toss before the keynote

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She’s a big Scott Kelby fan :)

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Scott and the NAPP band open up the keynote with “I Wanna Photoshop All Night (And Retouch Every Day)”

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Adobe Senior VP & GM of Digital Media Solutions Business Unit J
ohn Loiacono (Johnny L) and his “security detail” take the stage for the keynote presentation

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Russell “Presto” Brown demonstrates the magic Photoshop CS5

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Johnny L presents Scott with a copy of his could-have-been best-selling book, “Down and Dirty Trixie”

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Scott poses for a picture with
Johnny L and Adobe President & CEO Shantanu Narayen

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Shantanu Narayen addresses the crowd during the keynote

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A full class checks out Scott’s new Down and Dirty Tricks class

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Moose Peterson gives a one-on-one portfolio review

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Big Electric Cat performs during the After Hours Party at House of Blues

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Scott and Tony Llanes rock the After Hours Party at HoB

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Scott Diussa joins Big Electric Cat on stage for a song during the After Hours Party at HoB

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Tony Llanes plays during the After Hours Party at HoB

Thursday
Sep
2010
02

David Ziser’s Captured By The Light Tour

by Brad Moore  |  11 Comments

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Hey gang, Brad here with a quick bit of news on David Ziser’s Captured By The Light 2010 Tour.

David is kicking the tour off in just a few days in Phoenix on September 7, then heading to Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, and a bunch of other cities between now and November 4.

During the event, David will talk about lighting, composition, lenses, and more to help you get dramatic and intriguing portraits, as well as the best software and shortcuts for getting the job done quickly in post to save you time and money.

Not only will you learn tons about wedding photography (and photography in general), but you’ll get a free DVD, handbook, and the chance to win other great prizes (including Photoshop World passes)!

If you’ve read David’s book on wedding photography, Captured By The Light, you know that he is the go-to guy for anything you want to know on the subject. And if you haven’t read it, then check out these customer reviews (over 50 five-star ratings!) to see what you’ve been missing out on.

David’s coming to 20 cities throughout the U.S. between now and November 4, so check here for the full list to see if he’s coming to yours.

It’s only $79 for the whole day, and when you register, be sure to use the promo code CBLNAPP10 to get $20 off. This is one tour that you do not want to miss!

Wednesday
Sep
2010
01

Shots from Photoshop World Pre-Con Day

by Brad Moore  |  5 Comments

Brad here with some shots from yesterday’s Photoshop World pre-conference day. Hope you enjoy!

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Tony Llanes performs during the Real World Concert Photography class. (Photo by Josh Bradley)

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Tony Llanes and Scott Diussa perform during the Real World Concert Photography class. (Photo by Josh Bradley)

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Scott Kelby, Felix Nelson, and Scott Stahley (drums) perform during the Real World Concert Photography class. (Photo by Josh Bradley)

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Jim Schmelzer talks hair, styling, and posing for portrait photography in his Quality of Light In Depth class. (Photo by Brad Moore)

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Matt Kloskowski helps an attendee in the HDR Crash Course (Photo by Brad Moore)

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Rich Harrington talks about the importance of audio quality during his Creating Video with DSLR Cameras class. (Photo by Brad Moore)

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Attendees share their initial thoughts about Photoshop World Las Vegas. (Photo by Josh Bradley)

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Attendees receive their workbook from Tom Castenada during registration. (Photo by Brad Moore)

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David Ziser talks lighting and posing during his On Location Wedding Shoot class. (Photo by Brad Moore)

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Attendees pick up their badges and workbooks upon arriving at Photoshop World. (Photo by Josh Bradley)

I’ll be posting more shots througout the week, so stay tuned!

Wednesday
Sep
2010
01

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring John Loengard!

by Brad Moore  |  30 Comments

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The Role of the Picture Editor

It is not important if photographs are “good.” It’s important that they are interesting. What makes a photograph interesting? I’ll count the ways: It can be our first look at something. It can be entertaining. It can evoke deep emotions. It can be amusing or thrilling or intriguing. It can be proof of something. It can jog memories or raise questions. It can be beautiful. It can convey authority. Most often, it informs. And, it can surprise.

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Nothing is more important than the trust of photographers. Since they are not employees, but freelancers, photographers often operate from a disadvantaged position. Remember that:
· You are the photographers’ advocate. No one else will be.
· You are the photographers’ counselor, explaining the magazine to them and them to the magazine.
· You are the final arbiter when disagreements arise with other members of the staff.

Smooth the way for the photographer. Make certain that the proper research has been done before an assignment and that there is actually something to photograph. (It sounds unbelievable to say photographers can arrive to find their subjects don’t exist but it happens.)

You should back photographers’ good ideas with conviction and shield them from misguided suggestions: Often, something that sounds intelligent doesn’t look good in photographs. Intelligent thoughts are often better in the mind’s eye than in the camera.

Other editors, with the story’s text in hand, may judge photographs by what they have read. Don’t join them. The reader sees before he ever reads and may never read if there’s nothing interesting to see.

A good subject for one photographer may not be good for another. Some photographers create a graphic and dramatic structure of a scene and then record it. Others leave a scene alone, intent on catching the ring of truth in a moment’s natural activity. Some do a bit of both. Label the extremes “posed” and “candid.”

You must spot young talent and encourage it, giving these tyros more than occasional assignments. Give those you select enough work to allow them to develop, but remember that when photographers start out, they often imitate one famous photographer or another. Challenge them to be themselves. When a photographer such as Alfred Eisenstaedt or Annie Leibovitz makes his or her reputation in your publication, everyone, including the reader, benefits.

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Treat all photographers equally-those with whom you become close friends as well as those with whom you do not. Remember:
· React promptly to pictures you like when photographers call. Don’t wait days or weeks to satisfy their curiosity. Be an audience without flattery. Photographers rarely get informed reactions to their work.
· Don’t assure photographers that their pictures will be printed if they may not be.
· Be clear about what expenses you will pay. Don’t quibble with the photographer’s expense report. Pay promptly. Photographers are usually one-person operations-hardly businesses. They have to pay the airline and rental car bills the next month.
· If you must assign two photographers to do the same subject, make sure the reasons are known to everyone.
· Don’t hold on to a photographer’s work just to keep it from your competition.
Do all this, and when the time comes for you to hold a photographer’s feet to the fire-to urge him to continue to press a difficult subject or try a fresh approach-your mutual trust will be gold.

Since you wouldn’t ask a photographer to shoot pictures by the pound, don’t present their work that way. Take their pictures and narrow them down to the best. It’s your job to show their work so that others can clearly see its quality.

Learn to visualize photographs in scale, and understand art directors’ everlasting concern with fitting photographs, headlines, body type and captions into a page’s space. Appreciate their solutions. Make your points before layouts are made. No one wants to tear up finished work.

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When a story is proposed, the picture editor should take a leaf from the newspaper editor’s handbook-the part that cub reporters have to commit to memory and recall when they start out on a story. Who (or what) is interesting to look at? When is it interesting to look at? And where? And how?
To be interesting, a photograph needs to show something distinctive. A two-headed cow is unusual. A bride in her wedding gown standing in a kitchen is a bit odd. But there can also be something special in what otherwise might be a common picture: a child’s yawn, for example, or a man’s gestures or a tree’s shadow. The flawless detail in print from a large-format camera may define the peculiarity of a subject.

“Peculiar” means distinctive, individual (we say “peculiar as the nose on your face”), as well as aberrant, bizarre and absurd. It’s a good word to use when thinking about photographs. Before making an assignment, ask yourself, “What is peculiar about the subject?”

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Before I became a picture editor, I assumed that “good photographers” took “good pictures” because they had a special eye. What I found was that good photographers take good pictures because they take great pains to have good subjects in front of their cameras. (Reflect a moment on what cameras do, and this makes sense.) Good photographers anticipate their pictures. What good picture editors do is help them.

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Don’t try to tell a photographer how to take a picture, (except, possibly, suggesting some special effect). You want the photographer to follow his own instincts. You should, however, let the photographer climb upon your shoulders for a better view. That is, explain your thinking about the story. Talk about what might happen. Wonder if the man who invented “Post-its” would stick one on his nose. Raise the possibility without demanding to see it. Instead, expect to see something better.
Encourage good photographers to work for themselves, for posterity, for their grandchildren-not just for you. A photograph that solves a magazine’s problem is more interesting when the solution is something you remember after the problem is forgotten.

Text editors do their work after the fact. But because photographers have something in common with Babe Ruth-they either hit the ball or they don’t-almost everything a picture editor does is done before the pictures are taken. What can you do after a home run except smile?

No photographer can go out today and take a photograph that sums up the Obama Administration. Photographs don’t generalize. But a detail, when photographed, often conveys a sense of a whole. A finger, the man. A leaf, the tree. A curbstone, the city.

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Photographers don’t like leaving their pictures to chance. When shooting people, they gravitate toward making portraits-strong, static pictures they are certain will command attention-not riskier pictures that catch people doing things. As in a novel, action is always at a premium. And in truth, most subjects are static. Encourage photographers to take chances. Will the 100-year-old lady please bend and touch her toes?

How do you choose a photographer? Personality is not important. (Like barbers, photographers need to get along with almost anyone in order to earn a living.) But the photographer’s way of working is important-and so is the subject’s way of life. You must meld the two to ensure success.

Take the responsibility when assignments fail. (Your job is to see that they don’t.)

To view more of Mr. Loengard’s work, visit his website at johnloengard.com

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