It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Jim DiVitale

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments


Greetings from Atlanta‐Barbara.

Splitting my time between our Atlanta commercial photography studio, my wife Helene Glassman’s portrait/fine art studio in Santa Barbara, and teaching digital photography programs means I spend a lot of time in the air. Today as I start to write the beginning of my guest Blog entry, I am flying to do a program in Chicago.

As I was shooting snapshots of clouds out of the window and thinking of what I would like to write about, I took notice of the date. I realized that in two weeks it will be exactly 30 years since graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta and official start of my professional career in photography. In those thirty years I then realized that exactly 15 of those years have been in a film‐based work environment and the other 15 years have been in a totally digital capture environment. A very interesting moment in time to reflect on….


A lot has changed in those 30 years. Although the tools we work with have changed and the final product is somewhat different, we are still doing the same job that we have always done. What was important then is even more important now. Where quality counts, doing just an OK job is not going to be good enough. For me as a photo-illustrator, I now have the tools to make things as perfect as possible which makes the clients very happy.

As I have been giving programs at photography schools around the country, I am meeting some incredibly talented art students educated in the latest digital imaging workflow techniques and software. It’s exciting to think about their futures ahead of them as they get ready to start their new careers. For those of us who are not currently in school, staying a head of the learning curve by being active members in your specific trade associations (like NAPP) and attending seminars isn’t even a choice any more. It’s a necessary part of your continuing education you must put yourself through to be competitive.

We must all constantly be working hard to improve our portfolios. That’s where the self‐assignment comes in. I have several different types of self‐assignments going on at once. One on-going assignment I have been doing for a long time is creating a multi‐image montage or digital panting that represents my feelings of each of the places I visit as I travel. These images are not for clients. Even though they are just for me, working on them makes me better prepared for the illustrative assignments that I do get from clients.



Over the last few years, I have had the honor of hosting the “Art Of Photography” panel at Photoshop World. Several of the PSW photography instructors each get 15 minutes to show off their latest imaging with most of the entire conference in attendance. I am always amazed of what each artist has been doing it the 6 months between each show and I get even more inspired to create new portfolio images. For me, the trick is to now pick subjects for these self‐assignments that I have little or no experience photographing.

I decided I wanted to photograph whales…. That’s a lot different that photographing golf Continue reading


I’m back from 11-days in Istanbul, Greece, and Egypt!!!

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments


Back in early July, as my birthday present, my wife surprised me with a dream vacation, which we’re just coming back from today (In fact, I’m writing this on the plane flight home right now).

We started our vacation in Istanbul and spent a couple of days there (even got a few tips on where to shoot from David Honl, who used to live there). Then we boarded a cruise ship for a week visiting Athens (where the photo above was taken by our waiter) and the Greek Islands, and we ended our cruise in Alexendria, Egypt where we transferred to Cairo, to spend a few days seeing Pyramids and Sphinx’s before heading back home. Here’s the kicker—-the even bigger surprise was—it was just us two—the kids stayed home with Grandma. We haven’t done anything like that in years (the kids go everywhere with us), and it was just an absolute blast to have that time together.

Although we totally loved having that time to ourselves, we couldn’t stop talking about the kids day and night, and suckers that we are, we missed them terribly the whole time we were gone. Let me tell you, those two are going to get some serious hugs and kisses when we walk in that door (by the time you read this, we’ll already be home, and they’ll be all “hugged up.”)

During the 11 days, I took lots of photos (as you might guess) and my wife was the ultimate trooper making sure I had plenty of shooting opportunities each day, and planning special shore excursions to places she thought I’d like to shoot. I tried to make it a point not to overshoot, and still enjoy each city and country, and most importantly, I just wanted to enjoy our time together, and that worked out really well (I didn’t even take as many photos as I did in Italy this summer). I also took plenty of just regular “vacation” photos, so when we got home, I’d be able to put together a photo book to relive this trip of a lifetime.

We were blessed with really great weather the entire trip, and we laughed, drank wine, had some really yummy food, slept late, and did an incredible amount of nothing. It was the perfect vacation (and boy does my wife know how to give a birthday present or what)!!

I really haven’t had a chance to process the images yet, but I tried out a different Lightroom 2 organization workflow just for this trip, and if I can get one kink worked out; I’ll share it with you (well, even if I don’t get the kink worked out—I’ll still share it, hopefully later this week).

Anyway, my batteries are fully recharged, and I’m really psyched about the great stuff coming up before the end of the year. My thanks to you all for hanging in there yesterday for “Unexpected No Blog Monday.” I thought I would have time to do it before we left for the airport, but I was so wrong.

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and I’ll try and get some photos together for Thursday.


Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

…..commercial photographer, Photoshop User magazine columnist, Photoshop World Instructor, and master of the montage, my friend Jim DiVitale (I always just call him, “Jimmy D” for short).

I’m particularly honored to have Jim as a guest blogger because he’s had such an impact on my career. Jim was an attendee at the first Photoshop World Conference ever, and a few months after that, I ran into him at an Atlanta tradeshow (I had never met Jim, but I saw someone walking by with a Photoshop World t-shirt on, and I went up and introduced myself). An incredibly lucky break for me, for as it turned out Jim had been teaching courses for PPA for a while, and he told me (in as kind a way as possible), what we needed to do to offer real photography training at Photoshop World, and he even offered to teach a class. Well, he’s been a fixture at Photoshop World ever since, as one of our key instructors, and for years now Jimmy has penned Photoshop User magazine’s digital photography column.

Beyond that, Jim (along with Kevin Ames) was a big help to me when I was developing the concept for my first “Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers,” and Jim is the reason why I include a tear-out gray card in the book to this very day. Jim and Kevin also flew down from Atlanta to NAPP headquarters a few years ago to help us set up a product-shoot studio for the magazine, and Jim and his talented wife Helene, flew down on another occasion just to spend the day with me, teaching me how Helene lights and poses her subjects.

Jim’s given me an awful lot during the years, and it truly is an honor to have him here on my blog tomorrow, so please make sure you stop by and check his guest post out. Also, in the meantime, check out Jim’s own blog by clicking here.


Matt Kloskowski to help field questions at my Los Angeles Lightroom 2 Tour

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments


It looks like we’re going to have a pretty huge crowd on hand for my December 4th Lightroom 2 Live Tour in Los Angeles, so I’ve asked Matt Kloskowski (from LightroomKiller, and one of the leading Lightroom experts) to come and help me field your one-on-one questions during the day. Matt was there with me in Orlando as well, and that enabled us to answer twice as many questions, and it worked out so well, I wanted him to be there in LA as well. If you haven’t registered for the event yet, here’s the link (see you there!).

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