Tuesday
May
2009
12

Tuesday News Stuff (and my 2nd Award Winning Product Pick of the Year!)

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

thinkhot

Think Tank’s Airport Security 2 Gets a “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Award
My recent trips to Birmingham and DLWS in the Other Banks totally cemented it—-the Think Tank Airport Security 2 is the rolling camera bag of my dreams. It has totally replaced my beloved Lowe Pro Pro Roller 1, which served me well for the past two years, but this Think Tank rolling bag is truly that next level of bag, and now there’s no looking back.

I’m still amazed at how that bag holds as much as it does (I load mine with a 200-400mm f/4 lens, a large 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, a large 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, two full-sized camera bodies, an Epson P-7000, two chargers, a monopod, an SB-900, multiple filters, a Di-GPS unit, and loads of little gadgets that wind up in our camera bags). Besides what it holds; it’s very cleverly designed, well-built, and it’s just a smart bag all the way around (from it’s built-it security cable, to it’s built-in emergency backpack conversion, to it’s hidden ‘secret compartment’).

Think Tank really understands photographers, and what we need, and that’s why I’m giving the Airport Security 2 my “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Editor’s Choice award. Here’s the link to their site with all the details. (Note: They have an International version, which conforms to Int’l carry on restrictions, but I only have the US edition. If you travel internationally, here’s that link).

withinframe

Just got my copy of David DuChemin’s New book, “Within The Frame”
When I got to my office yesterday morning, a copy David DuChemin’s just released new book, “Within the Frame” was sitting on my desk. I took it home last night and just couldn’t put it down! There’s nothing like a photography how-to book with stunning photography to inspire you, but his book goes way beyond just inspiration, and teaches you how to think about creating captivating images, and I think that’s why this book is going to be the next big thing. Hats off to David (who is my guest blogger for tomorrow) for creating a very special book (here’s the link to it on Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com). Way go go, man!

lr2boxban

Adobe deal: $25 off Lightroom 2 until May 31st.
I saw where Adobe has a $25 off deal on Lightroom 2 running until May 31st. Here’s the link to their online stores (including Int’l) to take advantage of the deal.

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Photos From my DC Seminar
Vithaya Photography attended my DC Photoshop Seminar/Audiofest and they were kind enough to send me a link to a gallery of images they took from the day (photo above by Vithaya Photography). Here’s the link to see a gallery of some scenes from the event. My thanks for Vithaya Photography for coming to the seminar, and for being so kind to share these images with my readers.

That’s it for today folks. Don’t forget to check out David’s guest blog tomorrow, and we’ll see you here on Thursday for a photo I’m sure will make me shudder (along with other news bits and stuff).

Tuesday
May
2009
12

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is….

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

….an amazing photographer, teacher, and now published author….David duChemin.

You’ve heard me talk about David’s captivating work a dozen times here on the blog, and it’s such an honor to have him here as my guest blogger tomorrow (it’s particularly cool because I’m in the middle of reading his brand new book, “Within the Frame” right now, and as expected—it’s awesome!).

In the meantime, I encourage you to go and spend a couple of minutes looking at David’s amazing portfolio (here’s the link) and check out his personal blog: Pixelated Image. You’ll love it! (Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for his guest blog).

Monday
May
2009
11

The Calm Before The Storm….

by Scott Kelby  |  22 Comments

dc-sem-1

The blurry photo above was taken with my iPhone just a few minutes before the doors opened to my new Photoshop seminar. It shows the calm before the storm.

On Friday, in our nation’s capital, I met some of the most gracious, patient, and downright forgiving people on earth, because for two hours, at the kick-off of my “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks,” at the Washington Convention Center, I had absolutely the worst audio problems I’ve had in the 16 years I’ve been doing live Photoshop seminars.

I am not kidding.

Before the doors opened, we had tested, tweaked, and toned the center’s audio system (I took the photo above during the soundcheck. That’s Corey Barker walking through the ballroom as we were tweaking the audio. Luckily, we were in such a large ballroom that the in-house A/V company had an audio tech right here in the room with us). The sound check went fine, the doors opened, 700+ people poured into the ballroom, and after a few announcements, I was introduced to start the seminar.

I walked to the front of the stage, and said, “Well, good morning everyone,” and that’s when the problems started. During the next sentence, my mic cut out. Then back in. Then out. One of our staff rushed to the stage and quickly swapped out my headset mic’s batteries. It worked. For about a minute. Then it cut out again. And again.

We swapped out headsets. It worked for around two minutes. Then we tried a lav mic. It worked. For about a minute. I could go on and on, but what we wound up doing was moving my laptop over to the podium, rewiring everything, and I did the class standing up from the podium using the podium mic. This is just not how I wanted to start the first stop on my brand new tour. Arrrggghhh!

After the break, they had brought in four new speakers on tall stands; they ran new cables, and brought me yet another mic, and it worked. For about 4 minutes. At one point, the only way we could get the mic to work was to have Corey sit beside me on stage and hold the mic’s wireless receiver up over my head. If he moved, even an inch—it went out. This was the convention center’s in-house system, so it was totally out of our hands—all we could do was complain to the A/V techs troubleshooting the system (which we did. Vigorously!).

During lunch, the A/V company (who now had three techs frantically working on the problem), finally swapped out the mixing console, and it (a bad console) turned out to be the culprit. The audio was great the rest of the day, but let me tell you—that was the longest two-hours of my training career.

It’s not that amazing that we had such a catastrophic audio meltdown; stuff like that can and will happen, and always at the worst possible time. What is amazing is how gracious, patient, good-natured, and forgiving the audience was. They hung right in there with me the entire day—we laughed, we cried, we gritted our teeth the entire morning, but we made it through alive, and at the end of the day, somehow we brought that plane in for a smooth landing (although we did arrive at the gate about 25 minutes late).

Yesterday, I saw the first review of the seminar, from Karen Akerson of Svenska Studios (and yes, she did mention the audio), but you can read it here for yourself (here’s the link). There’s also a photo of me during the day, and I probably looked as blue as the tint she added.

Thanks to all my friends who came out (like Jeff Revell, who brought me a copy of his brand new book, “Canon 50D; From Snapshots to Great Shots!” which looks absolutely outstanding!) Also, right before my flight, I had been handed the first copy off the press of my new “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” book, and I actually gave away that signed first copy as one of the giveaways at the end of the day. Hey, after the audio problems, I nearly gave my laptop away! And my plane ticket. And rental car, and…..

I do want to offer my humble thanks to everyone who endured those audio problems right along with me, and thanks for all your kind words of support during the day while audio grenades were going off all around me. Your attitude and the smiles on your faces out there kept me in the zone and focused on what we came to do—put the rest of the world on hold while we immersed ourselves in creativity and learning some really cool new Photoshop stuff. My hat’s off to you all.

NOTE: Photoshop genius guy Corey Barker (who helped me develop the tour, and helped immeasurably on Friday) is taking the tour to Richmond, Virginia on May 27th, and it is filling up fast. If you want to go—better snag your seat now (here’s the link). My bet is; the audio will be perfect! :)

Friday
May
2009
08

Launching a New Tour is Hard….

by Scott Kelby  |  44 Comments

starcrew

…which is why it’s 1:24 am, and I’m in my hotel room preparing for my class tomorrow, and as far as the blog goes today…well…I got nuthin’.

Well, I’ve got one thing—that’s right—an embarrassing photo (seen above). This one is more recent; it was taken during the on-location taping of our opening movie for last year’s Photoshop World keynote (we had a Star Trek theme, and I thought with the new movie opening, and well…ya know).

Shown in the photo above (L to R Back row: Corey Barker (as Lt. Smirnoff), Matt Kloskowski (as “Beta”), Photoshop Principal Product Manager John Nack (as “Major Mancandy”), Crewman #1, RC Concepcion (as Warp), Crewman #2, and Felix Nelson (as Jordache). L to R seated: Dave Cross (as First Officier Jim Beam), yours truly (as Captain Morgan), and Terry ‘Tiberius’ White (I can’t remember Terry’s character. Hey, it’s 1:24 in the morning!) [Ed. Note: It was "T-Bones," which I just figured out after re-watching the opening movie (link added above)].

OK, well, I’ve got to finish up getting everything ready, and I’ve got to get up pretty early, so I’ve gotta get back to work, but I’ll be back in full force (whatever that means), on Monday. Until then, have a great weekend everybody!

-Scott
Burnin’ the Midnight Oil

Thursday
May
2009
07

Thursday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  44 Comments

outerbanks5

Hi folks. How ’bout a big round of applause for Andrew Kornylak for his excellent Guest Blog post yesterday! Besides his very cool adventure photography, I loved what he did with this videos, and I know it got a lot of people thinking about ways to extend what they’re already doing, and that’s one of the things I love best about Guest Blog Wednesday; it gets us thinking and seeing things in a new way. Thanks Andrew for an inspiring and informative post! Now, onto the news:

  • One from The Outer Banks
    The image above is another one from my trip to DLWS Workshop in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and this one is from Tuesday morning’s dawn shoot at the commercial pier (click on it for a larger view). These rusty abandoned old boats made some really great subjects for the class to shoot, and although the sun went in and out of the clouds, I did manage to get this image I kinda like. Thanks again to Moose & Co. for letting me be a part of their creative world for a couple of days. I totally had a blast!
  • Off to DC!
    Today I’m on my way up to Washington, DC for tomorrow’s Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks special effects workshop and I am so excited!!!! Corey Barker, who worked with me to help develop the tour, is coming up with me for the kick-off of the tour (He’s teaching the day himself in Richmond at the end of the month), and I’m hooking up with some buddies for dinner, so it’s going to be a great trip all the way around! If you’re going to be at the DC Seminar (like Stacie), make sure you stop me and say “hi.” It’s always a lot of fun for me to meet people who follow this blog.
  • Making Poster Layouts (like the one you see above)
    I had a number of questions from readers, and even from other students at the DLWS workshop who read this blog about how I made the poster border I put around the image shown above, and those shown on Tuesday. It’s easier than it looks, because all you’re really doing is adding some Canvas side to the left and right; a little more to the top, a bunch at the bottom, and then adding some text. Here’s how it’s done:

canvas1STEP ONE: Go under the Image menu and choose Canvas Size. Turn on the Relative checkbox, then enter 3 inches in the Width field and click OK (this adds 1-1/2″ of white space on either side of your image).

canvas2STEP TWO: Go to the Canvas Size dialog again. In the Anchor Grid, the darkened square represents your images, so click on the bottom center square, so your white space is added above your image. Then enter 4 inches in the Height field, and click OK.

canvas3STEP THREE: Go to the Canvas Size dialog one last time. Now you’re going to add 8 inches of white space below your image (the bottom needs to have more white space to accomodate your text), so click the top center square in the Anchor, then enter 8 inches in the Height field, then click OK to add 8″ of white space below your image.

canvas4

STEP FOUR: Now add your text, centered horizontally below your image. I used the font Trajan Pro (which comes with Photoshop CS3 and higher), and increase the Tracking Amount (the space between the letters) to 120, as shown in Photoshop’s Character panel above.

OK, that’s all there is to it.

  • Join me in Denver or Portland For A Lightroom Lovefest!
    We’re just a few weeks away from my first time ever bringing my Lightroom 2 Tour to Denver, Colorado and Portland, Oregon, and I hope you’re coming out to join me (hundreds of photographers are already signed up in both cities, so don’t wait until the last minute; we have less room than we do in DC). The Denver seminar is on Wednesday, May 20th, and Portland is on Friday May 22nd (hey, that leaves me a day to go shooting with Laurie Excell, who’s based in Portland, on Thursday. Whoo Hoo!!). Anyway, you’re invited to come join me at either workshop, and I hope you’ll be there, because Lightroom (where I now do 80% of my work) will change the way you work and manage your images forever! Here’s the link.

That’s all for today, folks. Hope I’ll be seeing you in DC tomorrow—we’re going have one heck of a great time!

Wednesday
May
2009
06

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Andrew Kornylak!

by Brad Moore  |  47 Comments

New Adventures in Photography

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Photo by Corey Rich

In 2000 I was a software developer living in Tucson, Arizona. I had been rock climbing for seven years, and taking pictures of my adventures. I was totally psyched on Galen Rowell’s Art of Adventure Photography. I too wanted to share my passion for the great outdoors – not just how it looked, but how I felt about it and how I thought about it. Simple ideas like this make a young person reckless. I quit my job to “go pro.” This was a hilarious idea by the way – I didn’t actually stop doing software work on the side for another six years.

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On the Sharp End. Self portrait from the Whetstone Mountains in Arizona.

My first publication was a 2-page spread in Outside Magazine. Climbing in the remote Whetstone Mountains of Southern Arizona, I made a photograph of my hand reaching out into a cave from 40 feet up, clipping my lead rope to the next protection point, depicting the first-person view of what it’s like “on the sharp end” of the lead-rope.

I was hanging from a rope to get this shot of course, not actually climbing. After climbing the line once before, I thought about the idea for a photograph. I went back up with the camera (a Nikon F100) and spent some time getting myself in position for the shot. I contorted myself Superman-style to hold the rope with one hand, shoot with the other, and keep my feet and gear out of the frame. That’s the way a lot of my “adventures” actually went. Out playing somewhere, I would get an idea, marinate on it for a while, and then come back later to create a photograph. Continue reading

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