Thursday
Oct
2008
30

Thursday News Stuff from The Photoshop Insider

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Happy Thursday everybody! Before we kick into this, I want to thank Tim Grey for his inspirational Special Guest Blog post yesterday. I love reading the comments posted by readers, and if you read the one’s posted for Tim’s post yesterday, you can see that his creative insights got a lot of people thinking. Well done, Tim! :)  Now, onto the news:

  • First, thanks to everybody who came to spend the day with me in Orlando yesterday learning Lightroom 2. I was up late the night before tweaking every aspect of the workshop, and it really paid off, as I was able to cover more ground, and actually only ran over by 3 minutes. The crowd in Orlando was just a blast to present to, and I was also very lucky to have both Matt Kloskowski and RC Concepcion there helping me field one-on-one questions during the day. Also, Michael Tapes (of Instant JPEG from Raw) made an appearance, and gave me some mini-Whibals to give away (I used one during one of my live shoots), and this was my first gig with Brad Moore assisting me, and as expected; he kicked butt (photo above by Brad). Best of all; we had a really great day! Thanks again to everyone who made me feel so welcome.
  • Crash Taylor has a really fascinating interview with the grand master of wedding photographers, David Ziser, which includes photos, and some of the most in-depth, and intriguing  interview questions I’ve seen in a while. I know David fairly well, but Crash’s interview brought out some new things out I didn’t know. Very well done. Here’s the link.
  • Congrats to mega-photographer Joe McNally, whose German translation of his book, “The Moment It Clicks,” (called “Der entscheidende Moment” in German) was just awarded the prestigious German Photography Book Award (The silver medal), which is awarded for outstanding photographic quality, a superior aesthetic overall impression as well as pre-eminent photographic technique and background information. A hearty congratulations to Joe on his now “Award-winning” book!
  • Today is “Back up Your Lightroom Catalog Thursday,” so if you’ve been hitting the “Skip” button when it asks if you want to back up your Catalog, go ahead and invest five minutes right now (right this minute) and have it back-up your catalog. It may save your butt one day.

Have a really great day, and I hope you’ll drop back by again tomorrow. :)

Wednesday
Oct
2008
29

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Tim Grey

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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Adding Mood to a Photograph

This may sound a little silly coming from a certified Photoshop junkie, but my tendency when optimizing a photo is actually to try to make it look as close to reality as possible. Sure, I’ll add a slight touch of “what I remember” to take it beyond “what it really was,” but by and large my aim with Photoshop is to produce an image that accurately reflects the beautiful scene I chose to photograph in the first place.

But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

I find the desire to push a photo beyond reality usually occurs when I’m a little disappointed with a photograph that I really thought would turn out better. Most often that disappointment is a result of having had an emotional response to the scene that can’t adequately be captured in a simple photograph.

A recent trip to Japan provides a couple great examples of this. I started off in Tokyo, and was fascinated by many of the sights. I found myself particularly drawn to the small temples and shrines that hid behind and between large buildings on major streets in some of the busier parts of Tokyo. These temples and shrines provided a remarkable sanctuary, and some great photographic opportunities.

In one case there were three shrines that shared a courtyard, and a small cemetery adjacent to the courtyard. I’m always intrigued by cemeteries, particularly to learn about how different cultures honor those who have passed on. In the corner of this cemetery a collection of wooden planks with Japanese writing on them caught my eye. I was later told these were “prayer sticks” that would be placed at the gravesite by family or friends. I captured an image, confident it would convey the solemn tranquility of this place.

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Somehow the image simply didn’t elicit the feeling I was expecting. Sure, it is always a very different experience to view a photograph compared to the actual scene. So I started working with the image in Photoshop to see what I could come up with. I tried various adjustments, and then ventured into slightly more creative areas. I tried a black-and-white conversion. That helped. Then I applied a sepia-tone effect. Better. A boost in contrast and a vignette effect, and I was much happier with the image.
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My next stop was Kyoto, and I knew I was in for a treat. This is a city with over 2,000 shrines and temples, 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and a tremendous amount of history. It also contains many wonderful Zen gardens, and it seemed each one I visited was more calming than the one before it.

One garden in particular got me clicking the shutter more than usual (and “usual” is still Continue reading

Tuesday
Oct
2008
28

Download New Photoshop Plug-ins For Reducing Noise/Grain, Smooth Skin, and Color Correcting

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

Kodak has released a host of Photoshop Compatible plug-ins that do everything from reduce digital noise to retouching skin, to color correcting, and more. Best of all, you can download free trial versions and start using them today. You can download them from Kodak’s Austin Development Center. By the way; over the years I’ve had photographers rave about Kodak’s “Digital Gem” plug-in for noise, but I guess they had stopped supporting it, but now it’s back as one of those plug-ins. I haven’t had a chance to take them through the paces myself, but hopefully I’ll get a chance this weekend.

Tuesday
Oct
2008
28

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

….prolific photography book author, Photoshop World instructor, and digital imaging expert, my buddy Tim Grey.

I’ve probably got at least half of dozen of Tim’s books on my shelves at home, and if you’ve ever caught one of Tim’s sessions at Photoshop World, you know what a great trainer he is. Since I don’t give my Guest Bloggers any guidelines as to what they should write about (it’s totally “their day”), I have no idea what Tim’s got in store, so we’ll both have to check back tomorrow and see what he’s got up his sleeve.

Tuesday
Oct
2008
28

Report From My Dallas Lightroom 2 Tour Kick-Off

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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First, I want to thank everybody who came out yesterday to help launch my new Lightroom 2 Tour in Dallas (photo above from yesterday’s event; by Jeff Leimbach). Anytime you launch something of this scale, it makes you hold your breath a little, but we had a really great day, and the people in Dallas were incredibly gracious, polite, and just plain fun to spend the day with.

They were especially patient when, for some reason, my seasonal allergies kicked in big time right before lunch and I nearly blew out the overhead speakers a few times with coughs and sneezes that came on before I could hit the mute button.

Despite all that, the real challenge of the day was fitting all the new Lightroom 2 stuff in to a full-day that was already packed to the gills (we actually ended the day nearly 20 minutes late, which means I’ll be tweaking a few things for Orlando tomorrow to bring us in for a landing closer to “on time”).

I did a quick show of hands to see how many people were already using Lightroom 2; how many were still on Lightroom 1, and how many didn’t have Lightroom at all, but were there to see if this was their workflow of the future. Only around 40% of the nearly 500 photographers on hand yesterday actually had Lightroom 2, but by the end of the day, people were lining up to tell me they were going straight home to upgrade (some ordered it online right during the day). The lightbulb really went on for a lot of people yesterday (which I totally dig), and for a lot of folks it was the first time they had seen Photoshop CS4 (I dedicated nearly an entire class to using Lightroom 2 and CS4 together).

We’ll be back in Dallas in early December with Ben Willmore’s “Photoshop CS4 for Photographers” Tour, and I can tell you this; Ben is going to love the friendly hospitality of the folks in Texas. Thank you all so much for your support; for coming out and spending the day with me, and I hope what you learned yesterday helps you in your work, and fun, in Lightroom 2. Now onto Orlando!

Monday
Oct
2008
27

“Photoshop Insider” Monday News Update

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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Hi everybody! It’s Monday, and while it’s not a happy day to be a Tampa Bay Sports fan (I watched my Bucs lose live at Texas Stadium, and then went back to my hotel room and watched the Tampa Rays lose another World Series game on TV), I can overlook that for now, ’cause it’s time for the news:

  • If you’ve got a friend into photography; have I got a perfect Holiday Gift for them; Barnes & Noble has put together a special “Boxed Set” of my book, “The Digital Photography Book,” where you get both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, along with a set of four 5×7 prints, for just $35.96 (even less if you’re a B&N member)–that’s it pictured above. You can get this specially boxed set at any Barnes & Noble store, or online at Barnes & Noble.com (link). They printed a limited number of these boxed sets, and I just learned that they’re really going fast, so if you’re interested; better grab a box soon.
  • One of my blog readers (and a NAPP member) Stephen Power from Limerick, Ireland has launched a new photo blog of his own, called “The Snappy Snapper” (you gotta love that name), and his lead off story today is pretty interesting; it’s called “The Problem With Photography Forums.” You can check it out right here.
  • I’m kicking off my Lightroom Tour 2 today in Dallas, Texas to nearly 500 photographers who’ll be joining me for the full-day workshop. My buddy “Hollywood” Mike Kubiesy (the show photographer for NBC’s “Chuck,” along with “NCIS,” “CSI New York,” and a host of other television shows shot out in Hollywood), is hanging out (and assisting me) today, and I’m really looking forward to meeting some new folks, and showing them my latest Lightroom 2 Workflow. My next stop is Orlando, Florida on Wednesday; click here if you want to join me there.
  • MPIX is in the news again; USA Today did a piece on them about how they’re challenging sites like Shutterfly and Kodak Gallery (you can read that here), and Jeff Revell over at PhotoWalk Pro finally took the plunge, and got his first prints back from MPIX last week (you can read Jeff’s comments here).
  • Yesterday, between games, Mike and I walked over to Union Station, an old train station in Downtown Dallas, to shoot some HDR shots of the exterior. I started shooting the outside of the building from the downtown sidewalk, and sure enough; here comes security. The security guard was pretty polite; she asked what we were doing, and I told her I was in town for the game, and then wanted to take some photos of the architecture of the old building. She told me, “Well, they don’t want you taking pictures of the building.” I was polite, but I let her know this was a public sidewalk; and I was well within my rights to shoot it. She let me know again that they didn’t want me shooting it; I let her know they didn’t have the right to stop me (and so I continued on shooting), and I asked her to call the police and let them settle it. She walked away, and I never saw the police, or her, again.

Well, I gotta run. The seminar starts in a few hours, and I’ve got to set everything up. Have a great Monday everybody, and Go Rays! (he said, half heartedly, knowing how few teams in World Series history have come back from a 1-3 deficit).

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