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I’ve had so many people who were a part of my 2nd annual Worldwide Photo Walk write in to tell me that we should do a book made up of the great photos taken that day, that I thought I should at least investigate the idea.

I love the idea of creating a beautiful coffee-table style and quality book, with a simple, clean no-nonsense layout, that lets the photos take center stage and do all the talking.

I see it including more than just some of the winning shots. I would love it if it included some group shots from walks around the world, and shots of people shooting during the walk, and some shots that weren’t even picked by the local winners—but are still great shots and deserve to be recognized, and I just want to share visually what an amazing day it was, and some of the amazing images that were created that day.

To do something like this would take a lot more work than you might imagine. For example, because we’d be selling the book, I’d have to get permission for every single image we want to use in the entire book, which I would envision would include hundreds of images. But that’s just one of the hurdles, which include creating the layout, printing, marketing the book, and on and on (books aren’t easy).

In the spirit of the World Wide Photo Walk, I don’t want to do all this just to make another book of interesting photos. I want to capture the spirit of the walk and use this opportunity for something bigger (you knew this coming, right?). I would want to have this book feed some hungry children half way around the world that really need our help.

By sending 100% of the profits from the book to the Springs of Hope Kenya orphanage (to house and feed the orphans that the readers of this blog have adopted with their hearts and with their pocketbooks), This would make the book extend way beyond what we did on July 18th to something much bigger. But before I get all carried away with the idea, I need to hear from you.

Here are some things I need to know:

  1. If you participated, how would you feel about donating the use of your image for the book?
  2. If you participated in the walk, does this sound like a book you’d buy, even if your image wasn’t included in the book? (After all, we had around 32,000 participants, who took literally millions of photos that day, so only a small percentage of walkers’ photos would wind up being included).
  3. Do you think other people, who didn’t participate in the walk would buy the book?

I love this idea on so many levels, but I have a fear that the logistics of putting it all together, (getting all the releases and permissions and then either finding a publisher who wants to donate their services, or publishing it ourselves, and then trying to market it, distribute it, fulfill orders, etc.), might be even more work than putting on the Photo Walk itself (which was a huge undertaking).

Anyway, before I even start researching what all would be involved, I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas on how we can make this work, and whether you feel the project would be a success in the first place.

I look forward to hearing what you think about this whole concept, and thanks in advance for helping me navigate these waters.

-Scott

gurus12

I know the prize package for the winner of the World Wide Photo Walk was pretty amazing, but of course, with 32,000 photographers who could enter up to two photos each, the competition was pretty amazing too, and your chances of winning were….well…..you can do the math.

That’s why I think the best opportunity for some killer prizes and big time recognition may be entering the Photoshop World Guru Awards competition (sponsored by iStockPhoto.com), and competing to win the “Vincent Versace Award for Excellence in Digital Imaging” (which is a sub-category of the photography category. Everyone that enters the photography category is automatically eliglible to win the “Vinny” award, which is chosen by Vincent himself).

This contest was created to honor the work of Photoshop World attendees, so only other attendees to this year’s conference in Vegas can enter, and not of all them: (a) are photographers, and (b) will enter. In fact, only a few hundred people will actually enter the competition at all, but the list of prizes for just the Vinny alone are pretty staggering.

For example, the “Vinny” winner gets:

  1. An Epson 3880 printer
  2. A Wacom Intuos 4 tablet and wireless pen
  3. The Entire collection of Nik Software Photoshop Plug-ins
  4. Two (2) 8 gig 300x UDMA flash cards from Lexar
  5. An Induro 314 carbon fiber tripod
  6. An Xrite Color Munki
  7. The entire collection of OnOne Software’s Photoshop Plug-ins
  8. All of the Acme Educational titles
  9. An Expodisc and an Expoaperture
  10. A one-year subscription to Kelby Online Training
  11. A signed copy of David Duchemin’s “Within the Frame”
  12. A signed Vincent Versace print

That is just an amazing prize package, plus you get the Vinny Award itself (which Mr. Versace presents himself during the Guru Awards ceremony).

Best of all, there’s no entry fee (again, this competition is only open to registered Photoshop World attendees). Here’s a link with details on how to enter the Photoshop World Guru Awards and take your shot at winning “The Vinny.”

My thanks to Vincent for putting together such an amazing prize package, and thanks to Wacom, Lexar, OnOne Software, Nik Software, Xrite, Epson, Induro, and all the sponsors of this year’s Vincent Vercsace Award for Excellence in Digital Imaging.

hyattplace

When I go on the road for seminars or photo shoots, I generally try to stay at Hilton Garden Inns (which is a less expensive boutique hotel chain run by Hilton). They’re all pretty new, so the hotels are nice and clean (that’s very important to me), and you get free breakfast, and free wireless, and they have a little 24-hour store where you can get toiletries, and snacks and stuff, and for the money, they’re really hard to beat.

At least I thought that until I stayed at a Hyatt Place the night before my Orlando Photoshop Down & Dirty seminar. That’s where I want to stay from now on.

Like the Hilton Garden Inn, the Hyatt Place is Hyatt’s lower priced boutique chain, but where the Garden Inn is kind of simple and homey, the Hyatt Place has a much more creative bent to it (it’s kind of like the “jetBlue” of hotels, and I totally mean that as a compliment).

For example, the layout of the hotel is very hip. It looks like something you’d see in New York or San Francisco costing lots more. They had a small Starbucks attached to the front desk, and it was open 24 hours (since it’s manned by the front desk staff late at night), and when you order a sandwich (even late at night), they serve it on a real plate—-heated if you like—and they served the whole thing up like you were in a restaurant, even though you take it back to your room.

My room was great. It really wasn’t much bigger than a standard sized room (see the image up top—courtesy of Hyatt Place, which totally doesn’t do the room justice), but the layout was really brilliant (it was like a Think Tank Photo bag. The same size, but somehow they made it feel much bigger).

Totally digging my suite-like room
They made the room seem like a suite, with a vertical half-wall separating the bedroom from the rest (but much nicer than an Embassy Suites room) with really cool furniture, which included a wall-mounted 45″ High-Def flat panel television. The TV was set up so you could plug anything (including HDMI) right into it; your iPod, your digital camera, your computer—-you name it. You could do a slide presentation right in your room.

It had a refrigerator, a wet bar, a work desk, a great roomy shower, lots of places to sit (it kind of had a big sectional so you could put your feet up, work, and watch TV). Plus, it was super clean.

It came with free Wireless everywhere, and the whole room was just set up very smartly, and it actually reminded me of a room at the “W” hotel, but it was roomier and at just a fraction of the cost. Also, the staff was really on the ball and went out of their to help me on several occasions.

You get free breakfast. They had a cool-looking restaurant downstairs, where you got your free breakfast, but I skipped it that morning to get over to the convention center early.

Price Matters
I did some checking to compare prices between the Hilton Garden Inn and the Hyatt Place, and they’re priced very comparably (in some cases, one was $10 to $12 bucks higher than the other, but it just depended on the city as to which one was a little higher than the other).

Anyway, I know this isn’t generally the kind of thing I blog about here, but you know when I learn about something really great, I can’t keep it to myself. I know a lot of you travel (and I know a lot of you travel to my seminars), and if you’re going to a city that has a Hyatt Place, you should give it a try—–if you’re a creative type (which if you read this blog, you are), you’ll totally dig it. (Here’s a link to their Website).

By the way, if you come to Tampa for my Lightroom seminar in November, they just opened one right by the airport (about 10 to 12 minutes from the convention center).

3up singingsm

Hi everybody. It’s Thursday—but before we get to the news, a big thanks to Scott Bourne for his kick-butt tutorial yesterday on bird photography. Nobody’s ever covered that topic here, and I thought his 10 tips were terrific (though he did leave out one of my favorites bird shots of his;  a black & white shot he used in a recent post that I just loved. Here’s the link to see for yourself). Now, here’s what up:

My Rock n’ Roll Studio Shoot’ Tutorial Now Online
The image you see above (of professional model Orsolya Bergman), was shot after I wrapped up a photo shoot for Volume 3 of my Digital Photography Book. I created the 3-up rock shot as a tutorial for the NAPP member Website, where I show the entire process, from the initial set-up and shoot, through the post-processing retouching, and compositing after the fact in Photoshop.

Well, good news; that tutorial is now live online at the NAPP member Website, and you can check it out there (it’s 23 minutes long, but I cover everything from the lighting to the Photoshop stuff). Hope you NAPP members enjoy it! (and if you’re not a NAPP member, why not? Here’s the link for details).

NOTE: My EDP tutorial is scheduled to go live (at NAPP) in just a few weeks.

Making the Top 10 and the Top 5 in One Week. Whoo Hooo!!!!
A big thanks to the Examiner.com, who named this blog one of their “Top 10 Photography Sites” (here’s the link) and to “Beyond Megapixels” who named my blog one of their “Top 5 photography Websites they rely on.” (link to their list). I’m honored that you guys would include me, and a sincere thanks!!!!

My MPIX Pro Journey Continues
I got my first prints back from MPIXPro, and they included a number of shots from my Black Hawk helicopter shoot (see Tuesday’s post) and they did an phenomenal job. I had the one of Lt. Ozburn walking away as a metallic print, mounted on a black foam core, and it just looked great (in fact, it looked better than the shot I took. I can’t believe what that metallic finish did for the image!!! Hey—I’m not complaining—if their printing makes my image look better than it really did, I’m totally OK with that). Anyway, I received this round of images the very next day after I ordered them (Terry White just got approved as an MPIX Pro customer last week, and I told him one thing that got him totally hooked—-the next-day Fed Ex shipping for MPIX Pro customers is only $4. Four bucks! Sweet!).

I also got an acrylic print done as well with one of the image from my Tuscany trip (these are gallery style prints that appear between two clear Plexiglas sheets, like you’ll see in some photographic gallery exhibits. These are mounted with four brushed aluminum round mounts in each corner which just adds to the gallery look. However, I made a mistake a silly mistake in Photoshop that caused the image to come out differently than I had imagined.

I ordered a 12″x12″ acrylic frame, and I wanted my image to appear “floating” in the center of the frame, with the area around it clear. In Photoshop, I made a new 12″x12″ document, and then I put my 7″x7″ square image centered within it, and forgot (ugh), to delete the background layer, so my image printed with a white background (not MPIX Pro’s fault—that was my fault. I created it with a white background, so they printed it with a white background). Just a heads up in case you order one yourself (even the one with the white background looks great—-it’s just not what I was going for). What I should have done was just made a 7″x7″ image in the first place, and then it would have floated automatically in a 12″x12″ frame. Double Ugh. Anyway, just an update for you guys on how my move to MPIX Pro is going.

The “Live Concert Shoot” Pre-Con Gets Even Cooler!
Now that Nikon Professional Services (NPS) is officially sponsoring our Live Concert Shoot workshop at Photoshop World next month in Vegas (taught by concert photographer Alan Hess, with special guess instructor Scott Diussa), Nikon is bringing some extra bodies and some really fast glass for any Nikon shooters in the class who want to try some new fast gear. They’re also sending an NPS tech rep to answer your question right there on the spot. If you’re thinking of being a part of this, there are only about 9 spots left, so snag one now before it’s sold out! (Here’s the link with details).

There’s Still Time
Want to go to Vegas, and be a part of the world’s largest Photoshop training event? I’m teaching some really cool classes (including two classes on portrait retouching, and one on Creative Print Layouts in Lightroom).

Plus, Matt will be there. Dave wiil be there. Corey, RC, Deke, Ben, Moose, Jack Davis, Katrin, McNally, Julieanne, Russell, Jack and Ed, Bert, Eddie (HCIET!), and even more of nothing but the best and most talented Photoshop instructors and photographers (Jay will be there), in the world.

They’ll be all there for one reason—–to teach you their latest stuff. To give you the edge. To make you better, more creative, more marketable, more valuable, and to take your career to a whole new level.

We’ll all be there! You can be, too! There’s still time. Here’s the link.

That’s it for this Thursday.
Have a really kick butt day and don’t let the Goobers get you down! :)

bk_ipod2book3My new iPhone book is here!!!

Last Thursday I got my first copy of our new 3GS version of “The iPhone Book,” which I co-authored with iPhone super genius guru guy, and one of my very dearest friends, the amazing Terry White.

Of course, we added all the new stuff found in the iPhone 3GS, plus we added lots of new tips and tricks, and we basically took the whole book up a big notch, showing you faster and better ways to do…..well….just about everything on your iPhone! (People who buy the book always tell us they’re amazed at what they didn’t know about their iPhone).

This book is written in the exact same style and exact layout as “The Digital Photography Books, volumes 1, 2, and 3” so if you have any of those books from me, you’ll feel right at home with this one, too.

By the way: The first edition of The iPhone Book was chosen by Amazon.com’s editors as their Computer/Technology Book of the Year. The second version of the book was chosen by Amazon as one of their “Top 10 Must-Have Books” in their annual list of the most “gift-worthy” books of the holiday season, and this 3rd edition has even more tips, techniques, and ways to get the most out of your iPhone than ever before.

Also, when you get this new version of the book, you get access to a free one-hour video Terry and I did where we share our favorite iPhone accessories, our very favorite iPhone apps, and some of our favorite iPhone tips, too.

It’s just hit the bookstores, so order your copy today from Barnes & Noble.com, or Amazon.com or head into your local Barnes & Noble store and get your hands on a copy.

P.S. If you’ve got an iPhone, don’t forget every Friday is “iPhone App of the Week” day over at Terry White’s tech blog, where each week he picks another cool app that you won’t be able to live without. Here’s the link.

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