This Was Just What We Needed

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

Zack Arias’ thought-provoking, inspirational, and emotion-filled look inside himself, his work, and his life truly connected with so many of us on so many levels. I was, (we were) just blown away.

His brilliant video drew more than 300 comments, and is now the third most-commented post in the history of this blog. Here’s some of what you guys were drawn to say, and really, these comments say it all:

  • Thank you from all of us who are not photographers. This reaches everyone who’s ever questioned their passion.
  • I needed to hear this today.
  • You make it feel how real it is. I totally identify [with] you. Everything you said is totally what I’ve been going through. You put things into perspective for me.
  • …certainly made me sit up, listen & now ponder.
  • WOW! This gave me a chills.
  • I have to say this may be the [best] video I have ever seen.
  • You have that ability to speak in a way, that makes me feel like you made that video just for me.
  • …gave me the push I needed to look deep inside and think about the path I am on.
  • The best video I’ve ever seen.
  • In a world that is filled with egos and facades, I found this wonderfully refreshing.
  • You bared your soul and in doing so made me look at mine even closer. Thank you.
  • This is everything I fall asleep with and wake up with as I go through my life day in and day out.
  • I SOOO needed that. Haven’t taken a picture in three months.
  • Strange to say it, but that was exactly what I needed to hear right now!
  • Simple. honest. inspiring. thanks!
  • Seriously … dude. You don’t know how much I needed to hear/see this today.
  • WOW, what a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant piece of work!!!
  • Thank you for helping put things in perspective.
  • What a different and inspiring post.
  • Beautiful film. Thank you for this. I need to bookmark it so I can go back to it on those dark days.
  • Thank you for inspiring me for one more day.
  • I’ll worry about tomorrow when we get there.
  • A powerful way to express what many of us feel and what some wish others would “get”.
  • Probably the best photography blog ever!
  • No words can describe. Thank you.
  • Thanks for being so open and vulnerable. We need more of this floating around out there!
  • As someone who has battled depression and has found photography a way out, I loved this piece.
  • I am blown away…..I was not expecting that.
  • One of the most inspiring pieces of art I have ever viewed.
  • How alive your video is, in all it’s darkness. Thanks.
  • One of the most thought provoking and powerful posts/videos on photography I have seen.
  • You made me want to quit my job half way through the video
  • Wow, that left me speechless. Very powerful stuff.
  • It broke me. It brought me to an emotional halt in my day.
  • The shallow emptiness of the competitive portrait world is utterly depressing. You give me hope.
  • I’m speechless. Absolutely speechless. Inspirational comes to mind but doesn’t come close.
  • Every “working” professional photographer needs to see this.
  • Did anyone else cry at the end, or was it just me?
  • One of the most inspiring short film I ever saw.
  • I like to think of myself as a big, tough guy but this video made me weep. It is amazing.
  • My batteries just went from near 0 to fully charged.
  • All my life it was on the tip of my tongue but I swallowed it.
  • I’m speechless…more then that. I’m transfixed in a moment of deep stillness that lasts even now and I feel somehow better. I’m no longer the same. thank you…

My personal thanks to Zack for bringing something so personal, so real, and so unique to this blog. Guest Blog Wednesdays will never be the same.


Tuesday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments


Hi gang: My book deadline is coming up on Friday, and I’m nose to the grindstone, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.

  • A New Photoshop Baby Is Born
    A big congratuations to last week’s Guest Blogger, Photoshop Product Manager Bryan Hughes, who welcomed the birth of their baby boy, Miles Lewis Hughes, on Valentine’s Day. Mom, Dad, and baby are doing great!
  • Some Photoshop World stuff
    Besides being the deadline for my book, Friday is your last chance to save $100 on your Photoshop World Conference & Expo pass, because the Early Bird Special ends on Friday at midnight. Here’s where to sign up (Boston is a blast—I hope you’ll be there! The photo above is of Adobe’s booth on the Expo floor).
  • Hotels in Boston Filling Fast!
    We are filling up our block of rooms fast at our host hotels; the Sheraton Boston (our official Host Hotel where all the instructors will be staying) and the Westin Copley Place (right next door, and attached to the convention center), so if you’re coming up to Photoshop World next month, make sure you snag your hotel rooms now!!!! The room info is on the Photoshop World Website.
  • On-Location Video from Joey Lawrence
    I just found out that Joey Lawrence, my guest blogger from two weeks ago, has posted a full 16-minute on-location video from his trip to Ethiopia. Now, before you click the link, just so you know up front, the video contains (in no particular order), nudity, language, and a bit of violence (they kill a goat for dinner). If you’re OK with that, then check it out, because it is cool to see him interacting with the natives and some of the stuff they have to deal with along the way. Here’s that link.
  • Get 25% Off on Large Prints ’till Feb. 25th
    If you’re one of those photographers thinking, “I always hear Scott talking about MPIXcom. Ya know, I’m gonna try them one day…” well here’s your chance: MPIX is offering 25% off large-sized prints now thru February 25th. Try them once—love them forever! (ask anybody that’s used them). Here’s the link with details. One more thing: Dave Cross had a post on his blog last week pointing out that MPIX now offers printing on the back of prints, so you can add your copyright info, studio contact info, etc. The details are right here.
  • Lame Segue Alert!
    Speaking of Dave Cross (sorry), he has Chase Jarvis as his “Finish the Sentence” guest this week, and you gotta take 30-seconds and check Chase out. Here’s the link.
  • Free CS4 Update for  “Photoshop for Video” Book
    Our buddy, and Photoshop World instructor, Richard Harrington, author of the popular book, “Photoshop for Video,” has posted a free 40-page update to his book (they’re not planning a rewrite of the entire book, because as Rich noted, ” …not much changed in the world of video specific tools.” His update is free, and includes all the hands-on files (Rich rocks!). Here’s the link.

OK gang, that does it for me; have a great Tuesday, and don’t forget to check out Zack Arias’ Special Guest blog tomorrow!


Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is….

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

…..well known Atlanta-based photographer and educator, and real ‘one-light’ master, Zack Arias!

I’ve been following Zack’s work for almost a year now on his excellent blog (here’s the link), but I really became a fan late last year when a friend gave me Zack’s “One Light Workshop” DVD as a gift, and I was hooked. What this guy does with one light is just amazing, and his DVD was as fun to watch as it was educational (here’s the link to his DVD). It has a raw, live, edgy feel to it that made me smile (as I trotted along on my treadmill).

I’m really looking forward to his post tomorrow, and I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow and see what Zack has in store. :)


Location Shoot with Jazz Guitarist Barry Greene

by Scott Kelby  |  35 Comments


This weekend I got the opportunity to shoot some back-stage portraits of celebrated jazz guitarist Barry Greene, who was playing a special engagement at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida last night with the Florida Orchestra (visit Barry’s site).

My assistant Brad Moore and I got there about an hour before their sound check, and we were able to shoot for about an hour backstage, out in the theater seating, and along the front of the stage (click on the photos for larger views—they look better larger). There are two very short video clips below; one during the shoot, with me out in the theater seats shooting Barry at the stage, and another of Barry riffing while I’m taking the shots. (Video clips by Brad Moore).

The shot below is my favorite shot from the day. That’s Barry’s son Mitch (a really great kid)  in the background, and he wasn’t actually in the shot the way I was composing it, but at one point I looked out from behind the camera and saw Mitch back there, and I just wanted to capture that backstage moment for Barry so I went much wider for that frame, and I really like how it came out (click on it for a larger view).


GEAR: We used an incredibly simple set-up; just one Nikon SB-800 flash, on a lightstand, shooting through a shoot-thru umbrella (we actually had planned to use the Lastolite EZ Box but when we got there, we realized that we were missing a critical part, but Brad always brings back-up gear so we just quickly switched to the shoot thru umbrella). I shot with a Nikon D700, and I used two lenses: (1) For most of the day I used a Nikon 200mm f/2, and (2) for the wide stuff I used the 24-70mm f/2.8. All the shots shown here were taken at 200 ISO.

Anyway, we had a fun day, and here are some of the shots from the shoot (the production shots are by Brad “Boy Wonder” Moore).







Here are the two video clips (shot by Brad Moore) below:


Friday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  14 Comments


It’s Friday; the end of a great week, and before we get to what’s up, I just want to thank Bryan Hughes for his Guest Blog Post on Wednesday. I don’t know if you read the comments readers posted about his post, but he really turned a lot of photographers on to Photoshop CS4 features, and ways of using them, that many folks hadn’t realized were there. I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me to thank me for having Bryan as my guest, but honestly all the credit goes to him. Thanks, Bryan! Now, onto the news:

  • Honl Flash Modifiers Now Over at Expo Imaging
    I just found out yesterday that the David Honl flash modifiers I’ve talked about again and again on this blog (and in my books) are now available direct from the Expo Disc people (Expo Imaging). His stuff is so cleverly designed, so lightweight, and so effective (some of them are shown above) that I became a fan more than a year or so ago, and now I’d hate to be without them. Here’s the link to them over at Expo Imaging.
  • Amazon Releases Kindle 2 Book Reader
    By now you’ve probably heard that Amazon released a major update to their popular Kindle ebook reader, the Kindle 2 (I have the original version, and it’s surprisingly cool), but a lot of folks don’t realize that a number of my books are available on Kindle. For example, my book “The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 1″ is available for wireless download to Kindle (believe it or not, on it’s the #10 bestseller of ALL photography books, including printed books. I know—I’m just as surprised as you are). Anyway, the Jaldous Journal Blog did piece about how a color book like mine works in a Kindle format (here’s the link). Also, here’s the link for more info on Kindle 2.
  • NAPP’s Larry Becker Interviewed
    Jason Moore over at the Photoshop and Photography Blog Roll did an interview with my buddy, NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker. If you’ve got a quick sec; jump over right here and give it a quick read.
  • Trying out a New Camera GPS This Weekend
    I have a location portrait shoot this weekend, and I’m going to be trying a new digital adapter I just got this week called the JOBO PhotoGPS. I’ll let you know next week how it worked.
  • One Week Left to Save $100 on Photoshop World
    We’re only one week away from the Photoshop World Conference & Expo Early Bird registration deadline, so if you’re going to join us in Boston (and I hope you are), don’t forget to sign up now to save $100 (hey, saving $100 bucks means more than ever, right?). Here’s the link for details.
  • Very Cool Bird Photography
    Want some inspiration to take you into the weekend? Holly Tarquinio, one of my readers, turned me on to this site she found with some incredible parrot photography (it’s cooler than it sounds). Here’s the link (thanks Holly for sharing this with us!).

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend everybody, and we’ll see you back here next week. :-)

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