You Guys Came Through With Some Great Book Ideas!!!

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

First, thanks SO much to everyone who shared their ideas for what they’d like to see covered in my new Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks book. The good news is: A lot of the techniques you guys asked for are already in the book (which is really good news for me), and some of your ideas are going to be added to the book (now that I know what you’re looking for).

psw09poster2After reading your comments (over 150 of them), I did realize that I haven’t done a good job of making it clear exactly what the book is about, which is why I included this Photoshop World poster at left. Creating that poster from scratch, including putting the collage together which includes the field, the stadium, the lights, the helmet, the reflection of the stadium in the helmet, adding the shadows, creating the text effects, etc. —that whole thing–-that is a Down & Dirty Trick (well, it’s the kind of thing my book is full of, anyway).

That poster (created as part of our college football theme this year at Photoshop World) was not only designed by NAPP’s own Creative Director (and Photoshop World instructor) Felix Nelson, but Felix did a step-by-step of how he created it in this month’s issue of Photoshop User magazine, in the column Felix and I created called (you guessed it) “Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks”(our column is now in it’s 10th year in the magazine!)

So, this book doesn’t cover things like color correction, or portrait retouching, or sharpening, or Lab color, or photo restorations, or Actions, or HDR (all those things are covered in my other books). This book is about special effects, collages, photographic effects, type effects, advertising effects, and stuff like that, and luckily I got LOTS of great ideas from your ideas, and because of that, these folks are getting free signed books from me:

  • Steve Vansak
  • Joe Gass
  • Dennis Smith
  • Jay Rodriguez
  • Trenton Moore
  • Jacob Hurlbut
  • Tim
  • Debbi
  • Matt Timmons
  • Csaba
  • Vincent Mistretta
  • Sacha Fernandez

Disclaimer: I am sending these folks signed copies of the book when it comes out, because they had great ideas, or pointed me to great examples. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ll actually be able to figure any of these effects out, so keep your fingers crossed.

3D Stuff: There were a lot of requests yesterday for effects using the new 3D tools in Photoshop CS4 Extended. I’m totally not a 3D designer on any level, but I knew this book would need to have some cool 3D stuff, so a few months back I went to my in-house Photoshop 3D expert Corey Barker, and asked him to do a special chapter for my book with a bunch of 3D tricks. Corey is just amazing, and I think having this extra chapter from him is definitely going to take things up a big notch.

The Book Cover: We had a book team meeting yesterday, and while our original idea was just to update the old book cover (so readers would recognize that it’s a new version of the old book), the old cover is just too old looking, so Jessica Maldonado (my in-house book designer and general wonder designer) is going to come up with something completely new and fresh. I’ll show you guys the new cover once Jess has it nailed down (Note to Peachpit Press; we’re sending a new cover!). ;-)


I Need Your Input On My New Book (Before it Goes To Press)

by Scott Kelby  |  195 Comments


I’m just 8 days from the deadline to turn in my “Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks” book, and before I turn it all in, I wanted to see if I could get some input from you on what to include in these last chapters.

First, a little background on the book. This is the book that started my whole career, as it was the first book I ever wrote, and the first edition was on Photoshop 5.5 (the Photoshop 6 cover is shown above, because it was essentially the same book). The book is a special effects book, and is based on teaching the reader how to create the same looks and effects you see in magazines, on the Web, on TV, etc.


I’ve been planning on doing a new edition of this book for years now (the last version was for Photoshop CS—-just CS, not CS2, not CS3. Just CS), so it’s long overdue, but it just kept getting pushed to the back burner by other book projects, but I’ve gotten so many letters and emails asking for it, I felt I had to do it (I get more requests for this book than about all the others combined). The first version of the book was for Photoshop 5.5, followed by the book you see above (which was for Photoshop 6). Ya know, now that I’m looking at it; even the new cover up top looks a little dated. We might have to work on that.

So, before I wrap things up, I was hoping that you’d share any ideas for effects you’d like to see covered in the book. If you’ve seen a look, or an ad, or a Web graphic, or anything you can point me to, I’ll check it out and see if I can figure out the look, and get it in the final chapters of the book.

If you turn me on to an effect, and your idea makes it into the book, I’ll send you a signed copy of the book as soon as it comes off press, plus you’ll have my undying gratitude, and a mention in the book, as well as the blog, and I might even send you a small box of crackers or something. Anyway, I could really use your input, because I really want to make this my best Down & Dirty Trick book yet! Just post your comments here on the blog.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you’ve shared. I appreciate it very much!


It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Bryan Hughes!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments


When Scott asked me to pen a guest blog, I was honored and thankful to have such a great opportunity to reach so many passionate users of our application… Then I realized I’d have to constrain my piece some and focus it on a particular room in the funhouse that is Photoshop.  I feel the same way when I’m demoing; whether I have ten minutes or two hours, it never seems to be enough time.  So I’m going to attempt two things here; one, to deep-dive on some new technology that I haven’t seen thoroughly explored, and two, to let this post be a launch pad towards some great resources for information and technology related to Photoshop.

Of the many twists and turns that Photoshop has taken over the course of my (nearly) 10 years on the team, none have been as interesting to me as those related specifically to photography.  My background is behind the lens and it’s my love for the medium that first drew me to Adobe.  Being mindful of photographers and the applications we provide for them, today I want to focus on two features whose powers can be tapped directly from Bridge CS4, Lightroom 2.0 or from within Photoshop CS4 itself.
Continue reading


Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is….

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

….none other than Adobe Photoshop Product Manger (and all around cool guy), Bryan Hughes.

I got to spend some time with Bryan when I was out at Adobe’s HQ last month, and he really brings a totally different point of view to the evolution of Photoshop, how we work with it, what we want, and where it’s going. On a personal level, he’s a very dedicated, passionate, fun, and totally brilliant guy, and it’s a real honor to have him as my guest tomorrow here on the blog. I hope you’ll stop by and check out his Guest Post.


Tuesday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments


Hi gang: here’s what’s up:

Future Photoshop Guru
Is that an adorable photo or what? That’s 2-year-old Stephanie McLemore showing impeccable taste for someone of her young age (photo by her mom, Therese McLemore, taken with her iPhone). The photo came my way courtesy of her dad Sean, who wrote, “She is 2 years old and loves to be like her daddy, she even owns her own digital point and shoot. Even though her technical skills aren’t developed at such a young age we still get some unique pictures from her sometimes.” Hey, it looks like her technical skills are about to get better! ;-) Thanks to Sean and Therese for sharing this wonderful photo.

My Favorite Camera Profile
Matt and I were just talking yesterday about what our favorite Camera Raw/Lightroom camera profiles are (these are new in Lightroom 2 and Camera Raw 5.2), and we both said hands down our favorite was the Camera Landscape profile (of course, both of us shoot a lot of landscapes, so maybe that’s why). To me, adding these camera profiles is one of the most important things Adobe has done to Camera Raw/Lightroom in their recent updates, but I don’t think that; (a) many photographers realize how helpful these profiles are, and; (b) I don’t think Adobe has made enough of a fuss over having included them. Anyway, if you have CS4 and LR2, and haven’t checked them out; go look in your Camera Calibration panel (they’re in the pop-up menu). If they’re not there, go get the latest free update from Adobe’s site.

Lost Your Camera? Look here!
This is a very clever site; it’s called “Found Cameras and Orphan Pictures” and if you haven’t heard of them; you’ve got to check them out. They try and reunite lost memory cards and lost cameras with their owners by showing some of the shots on the card (or camera). It’s really pretty clever (and pretty handy if you’ve lost your gear). Here’s the link.

The 2009 Photoshop World Planner is Now Available!
My buddy Dave Cross has released his now famous, “Photoshop World Planner,” which is a very clever PDF that lets you plan which classes you want to take. Along with the free PDF, Dave put together a quick video to show how to take advantage of it. Here’s the link.

In-Depth Look at Glossy Displays for Photographers
There’s an interesting article over at about the new glossy displays on laptops from Apple, Dell, HP and others. If you’re worried about the glossy screens, this article may help you sleep better at night—-here’s the link.

Jack’s In The House!
Our good friend, and Photoshop Hall of Famer Jack Davis (shown below) was here last week recording a series of training videos for Kelby Training Online, and the ad below is part of our industry-wide print ad campaign which features our instructors. While Jack was here, we also had him on as a guest on Photoshop User TV, and he did a very slick tutorial, which should air on today’s show, so make sure you check it out. We also had Julieanne Kost on the show (she was in town taping some videos, too), and her guest spot is on last week’s show (the Feb. 2nd show), and you can check out both at Photoshop User


That’s it for today folks. Have a fantastic Tuesday, and dont’ forget to check back tomorrow for a tradition here at the Photoshop Insider: Guest Blog Wednesday.


10 Minute Shoot, Part 2

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments


Here’s another shot from my shoot with rapper “10 Minute.” After we lost all light at our location shoot, we headed back into the studio to finish up. Here are the details on the shot:


Although you can see two lights in the production shot above (photo by Brad Moore), only one (the one directly above his head) was actually connected (the light in the background was left from an earlier shoot that day (the one I did with the clamp-on fan). The light directly above his head is a White Lightning 1200 watt strobe with a Beauty Dish reflector and I have the diffuser that goes over the beauty dish (to somewhat soften the edgy light that comes from a beauty dish). The reason the medium gray background appears so dark is because I used a high shutter speed, so it would fall off to black (I used 1/250 of a second). NOTE: In the production photo, it kind of looks like the beauty dish is in front of 10 Minute, but it’s actually directly above his head, aiming straight down.

Now, you might be thinking, “Hey Scott, I thought you only used Elinchrom strobes?” True dat. But I bought this set-up a while back, and at the time it was the cheapest route to getting a beauty dish look, so I picked it up, but Brad was bugging me last week to finally break down and buy an Elinchrom dish to go over my RX-600′s, which I’ll probably do because the big pain of the White Lightning is that I can’t use my Skyport triggers to change the power output. Each time I needed to change the power output, we had to pull the whole boom down, and not only is it a pain, it really slow things down during the shoot.

I had my buddy Rod Harlan on the set, because when I was finished with 10 Minute, I was going to shoot a couple of headshots for Rod (Yes, I had three different shoots that day—-I couldn’t have pulled that off without Brad’s help). Anyway, 10 Minute went to change clothes for another look, and before I changed the lighting set-up, I had Rod step in to the exact same beauty dish set-up I used for 10 Minute, and the  photo is shown below (though I did convert it to black and white in Lightroom).


We had Rod hold the MacBook Pro, just so he’d have something to hang on to (a prop), and it was an easy choice since he’s such a Mac-head, but surprisingly enough while he was holding it, it started rotating his canvas (kidding, just a joke).

Anyway, just a little Monday morning one-light quickie to start off the week. :)

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