Thursday
Apr
2009
02

Thursday News Fiesta

by Scott Kelby  |  13 Comments

mpixad

First, I want to talk about yesterday’s Guest Blog post from Rick Sammon. Rick demonstrated once again what I love about the Guest Blog concept, which is that everyone brings their own ideas, their own take on things, and they create their own topic. It’s “their day” to share what they want to share, and although what Rick shared was about photography, it went way beyond that, and touched a lot of people. Thank you Rick, for reminding us about the most important things in life. Now, onto the news:

  • MPIX.com is doing a series of full page print ads featuring a number of different photographers who use MPIX, where they share their favorite MPIX products. Right now they’re running the ad you see above, and ever since the first ad hit, I’ve been getting loads of emails every day asking me about the laptop stand/ball head tripod combo seen with me in the ad. It’s actually a set-up I learned about from Joe McNally, and I talked about it last year here on the blog. It’s two pieces: (1) The Manfrotto 131DD Tripod Accessory Arm for Four Heads (link), and (2) The Gitzo G-065 Monitor Platform (link). You mount these on any tripod, but the one you see it mounted on her is a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod.
  • You might remember me mentioning here on the week before Photoshop World that we open the Expo floor to the public for two days during the conference. I learned today that in Boston, the Expo Floor at Photoshop World had the most number attendees of any Expo we’ve done yet (including the one in Vegas), and in this economy, that is really welcome news. Thanks to everyone who turned out to visit our exhibitors and take in some of the Photoshop World fun!
  • (Lame segue alert!) Speaking of Joe McNally (lame segue alert), he posted a hilarious video on his blog earlier this week, and if you’ve got 60-seconds, it’ll crack you up. Scroll down the page until you see the video clip. Here’s the link.
  • Photoshop Hall of Famer Jack Davis was at “The Estate” in Boston and captured a bunch of cool shots of my band, “Big Electric Cat,” during our live set using nothing but his iPhone. He used the iPhone app: TimeLapse to take the shots, then he used “PhotoGene and CameraKit to tweak em.” (NOTE: Jack is currently working on making his own iPhone app to optimize and enhance images taken with the iPhone’s built in camera. More on this when Jack gets near the launch). Anyway, Jack uploaded the images to a page where you can check them out (here’s the link).
  • Later today the third installment in our three-part series on using Wireless Flash will go live on D-Town TV (The weekly show for Nikon DSLR users). Here’s the link.
  • Lastly, one of my readers turned me on to this site, called “One Photo a Day.” You can pretty much guess what it’s about, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s the link.

That’s it for today folks. Have a kick-butt Thursday and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Wednesday
Apr
2009
01

Updated My Portfolio

by Scott Kelby  |  70 Comments

port2

With the help of photography Web guru RC Concepcion, I just finished updating my photography portfolio with an all new look, new functionality, and a lot of new images.

I started this whole process by buying a portfolio Web template, which I thought would be easy to update with my own images and text, but once I got it, I realized that I was in way over my head (it was much, much more complicated than I ever imagined), and so RC was kind enough to throw me a lifeline and help me get this up and running (believe me, it wasn’t easy).

Anyway, here’s the link to check it out (or you can click the portfolio link over on the top left of this page). It does take a minute to load, but once it does, then it’s pretty responsive.

Thanks RC for all your hard work in getting this little project (nightmare) up and running. I owe you a really yummy lunch. Or two. Maybe a dinner. Or Two.

Wednesday
Apr
2009
01

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” with Rick Sammon!

by Brad Moore  |  55 Comments

Have Kid Will Photograph

asm
Rick Sammon (bottom) falling through the air at 125 miles per hour over Namibia. (Is this guy nuts!?)

Several weeks ago, I was hanging out at Kelby Training in Oldsmar, Florida (founded by R.E. Olds – as in Oldsmobile) shooting two new Kelby Training shows. On my last day in sunny Florida, I saw Matt Kloskowski (unbeknownst to him) leaving work holding his young son’s hand. That night, from my hotel room, I sent Matt an email: Cherish every second. All too soon your son will be way too cool to hold your hand.

After my two-day shoot at “Kelby World” was wrapped up, Scott took me to Dunedin, where we had some Mexican food (totally awesome) before heading off to the Fat Tuesday parade (a dud, photographically). As soon as we got on site, Scott said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to shoot for a while and then split so that I can get home and put my kid to bed.” That was not the first time I had heard Scott talk about his kids. He had previously told me that he plays video games with his son every night, as I try to do (Mario Golf) with my son, Marco. Scott is a cool dad. He even wrote a book on the subject: The Book for Guys Who Don’t Want Kids.

Being a dad is my most important job. Over the past 17 years, my wife, Susan, and I have taken our son, Marco, named after Marco Polo, all over the world on my photo assignments – giving him a well-rounded education, especially when it comes to learning about different cultures and customs. Like Scott and Matt, I am a proud dad – super proud lately, because Marco was named (after working incredibly hard) the Valedictorian of his 2009 high school class.

Go to the Bio page of my website to see just how proud I am.

When I teach a workshop or seminar, participants come up to me and say stuff like this: “It’s been fun to watch Marco grow up in your books and magazine articles, and to see pictures of him in your slide shows, but don’t you find that taking a kid around with you to exotic locations hinders you photographically, logistically and creatively?”

My answer: Continue reading

Tuesday
Mar
2009
31

Review: Jobo photoGPS for Digital Cameras

by Scott Kelby  |  72 Comments

photogps

I know a lot of people have been after me to test the Jobo photoGPS unit, so when I did the shoot of Tiger Woods at Tavistock a couple of weeks ago, I took the photoGPS along to give it a real world in-field test. After testing it for a while, I called my assistant Brad Moore, who was back at the office, and I said, “Brad, you can’t imagine how much I hate this thing.”

Three Strikes is Not Enough!
Usually, if a product has three strikes against it, that’s enough for me, but this one already had two strike against it before I even left my office so I thought I’d go ahead and give it extra room for a few more strikes just in case it turned out to be worth it in the end. I really wanted to have an open mind give it a fair shake, but here’s how it played out:

Strike One: The GPS unit doesn’t draw it’s power from the camera—instead you have to charge it separately before you use it. It takes two-hours for a full charge.

Strike Two: It doesn’t come with a power adapter to charge it. Instead, you connect it to the USB port on your computer to charge it. What this means is that at some point, when your battery runs down (though it supposedly has a crazy-long battery life), you’d better have your computer nearby or your GPS accessory is done until you can get back to your computer. I didn’t have my laptop with me at the golf tournament, but I didn’t use the GPS long enough for it to run out of battery (you’ll see why soon). Note: there are third-party USB chargers, like Griffin’s which let you charge USB devices right from your car, but of course, you’d have to buy this separately.

Strike Three: The Jobo photoGPS fits sits atop your camera by sliding into your camera’s flash hot shoe mount. I slid mine into the slot, then started to head out to the course. After a few minutes I heard the sound of my photoGPS hitting the concrete sidewalk. I looked down and it was in pieces. I snapped it back together, and to its credit, it still worked. A few minutes later, it fell off again. And again. And again. And then I put it in my camera bag for the rest of the day.

Strike Four: The Jobo photoGPS requires a separate software package for it to do it’s thing (this isn’t that uncommon when geotagging). When you’re finished with your shoot, you have to connect the Jobo photoGPS to the computer where you downloaded the files, using the same included USB cable that you use to charge the unit.

Strike Five: Now, you launch the software and it tries to match the photos with the GPS information that is now downloaded from the GPS unit itself, but you also need a live Internet connection while you’re doing this, so it can ping the main photoGPS server. The software is pretty easy to use—it’s just that you shouldn’t need a software application for something as simple as this. Note: There is another software app for GPS/File matching that’s pretty popular called “HoudaGeo” but it’s an extra $30.

Strike Six: The GPS information is not embedded into the Raw file. Instead it appears in a separate sidecar file, and if the sidecar file and the image file get separated—the GPS information will no longer be with the file. Also, if you’re shooting Raw, and you already have an XMP sidecar file, it won’t write into that XMP file—it has to make it’s own XMP file. (If you shoot JPEG, once it matches everything up, it overwrites your JPEG with a new file that has the GPS info inside it). Worse yet; if you don’t have an Internet connection, don’t even consider working on your raw files (keywording, adding metadata, etc.), because once you match up the GPS info, it will overwrite your XMP files and all your keywords and metadata are gone.

Strike Seven: Since you can only use this on your camera’s Hot Shot flash mount—-you can’t use a flash (pop-up or otherwise).

Up to this point, the only GPS I’ve really spent much time with is the di-GPS mini from Dawn Technology (now for Nikons and Canons), which I love (more than ever, now) because:

(a) it draws it’s power from the camera itself [no charging beforehand].

(b) It stays in the hotshoe (and if it did fall off the hotshoe, the cable connected to your camera’s 10-pin shot would keep it from falling to the ground and breaking,

(c) it doesn’t require any software to work

(d) it embeds the GPS info directly info the file

(e) It doesn’t have to sit in your flash hot shoe, so you can actually use your flash. Instead, you can connect it your camera strap, leaving your flash (and/or hot shoe) still usable.

(f) Unlike the Jobo photoGPS, the di-GPS is nearly invisible to the user. You connect it and it does its thing without any input from you whatsoever.

Pros: The only “Pro” I can come up with is that it will work with digital cameras (including point and shoots) that don’t have a 10-pin connector.

Cons: Seven Strikes! If I had to go through all this to get GPS data into my files, I simply wouldn’t do it (unless it was absolutely required by my line of work).

The Bottomline
In some ways, the idea is great, and offers those who don’t have the necessary 10-pin port (the same one where you’d plug-in a cable release on your camera) required by GPS units like di-GPS a way to have access to GPS data for their images. However, in my opinion, the Jobo photoGPS is a poor choice for anyone that can use just about anything else. It’s a hassle to use, it falls off easily (which makes it prone to break), and has too many disadvantages to make it a viable choice, especially for working pros.

I just got Nikon’s new GP-1 GPS in-house, and I’m curious to see how this compares to the di-GPS, because sadly the Jobo photoGPS won’t even be in contention. The unit sells for around $170.

Tuesday
Mar
2009
31

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is….

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

…..the world famous travel photographer, Canon Explorer of Light, talented musician, prolific author, and Photoshop World instructor, Rick Sammon.

At NAPP HQ we just love Rick. He’s one of the most positive, hard working, charming, and fun guys to be around, and he just happens to be one heck of a photographer (you might recognize his name from me raving about his photography book, Flying Flowers-here’s the link). Rick always brings a unique perspective and sense of fun to everything he does, and I can’t wait to see what he’s bringing for us tomorrow, so make sure you check back then!

Tuesday
Mar
2009
31

The Wonderful World of RC Concepcion

by Scott Kelby  |  11 Comments

rc-6

I mentioned last week about sitting in on one of RC Concepcion’s sessions at Photoshop World in Boston, and how incredibly impressed I was with his content and delivery (believe me, I knew he was good—that’s why we hired him in the first place, but he’s really taken it up a notch).

Anyway, he’s got some really cool things coming up, and I wanted to share them here, so you can get a chance to learn from him in a live class setting.

You Can Do It, Too!
Moose Peterson and RC have been teaching an intimate workshop called “You Can Do It, Too!” Here’s how they describe it: “We take pictures, we talk about the business of photography revolving around the editorial marketplace (where it all begins) and how to exploit the web in your business plan.” It’s been a huge hit, selling out in advance (it’s limited to just six people), and their next one is coming up April 16-19, 2009 at Mammoth Lakes, CA.  There’s a great quote from one of the past participants that’s well worth reading (here’s the link).

The Voices That Matter Web DesignConference
RC has become the “go-to guy” for anything to do with Web design, especially for photographers, and he’s going to be one of the instructors at the upcoming Voices That Matter Web Design Conference in San Francisco, CA on April 27-30th, where he’s teaching a pre-conference workshop, along with regular conference sessions on everything from Flash to Photoshop, Dreamweaver to video on the Web. Here’s where you can learn more.

New Online Web Design Classes
RC just wrapped up four new courses for Kelby Training Online, including his upcoming “Dreamweaver CS4 Basics” online class, along with ”Building a Website in Photoshop CS4 and Dreamweaver CS4” as well as a “Lightroom 2 & Dreamweaver CS4 Portfolio design class,” and a “Flash CS4 Basics” online class on Kelby Training. Here’s the link for more details.

All RC all the Time!
You can also catch RC each week on Layers TV, and he writes the daily blog over at LayersMagazine.com, which pretty much ensures that he never sleeps (well, that and that the fact that he’s got a six month old baby girl—–just as adorable as she can be!).

Anyway, I’m really tickled to see so many cool things coming RC’s way, and if you get a chance to see him live—jump on it. He’s a really gifted, engaging, funny, and passionate presenter who really knows his stuff, and knows how to make it stick. Way to go RC!!! :)

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