Wednesday
Nov
2008
05

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring RC Concepcion

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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HELLO FROM LAYERS MAGAZINE!

If there is one thing that I am enjoying the most out of the last few years, it’s the evolution of the Creative Professional. In the amount of time it takes us to say “Iomega Zip Disk” we’ve seen incredible strides in technology, expression and reach. There are few places in this planet that aren’t connected to the Internet, and with that – the playing field has gotten wider. Much much wider. My only job here is to hopefully inspire you to see Photoshop as a tool that is a part an entire toolbox you may -already- know how to use.

YOU MAY KNOW MORE THAN YOU KNOW
If you’re adept at Photoshop, you’d be surprised as to how much you may already know about other tools in the Creative Suite. Take Layers for example. In Photoshop, you can take layers and stack them on top of one another and create cool stuff. You can do the exact same thing in Illustrator — masks, filters, and all. Ditto for programs like InDesign and Flash, that allow you to stack stuff on top of one another. In the world of video and audio, these Layers are called Tracks, and their behavior is modified by Levels rather than Masks.

How about Styles? Photoshop uses Styles to be able to repeat a series of specific effects over and over with one click, centralizing these effects in one area (the Layers Styles palette) and giving them a name. InDesign allows you to make paragraph and textual changes using a Styles panel — keeping stuff centralized in one spot. That same technology is called Presets in Lightroom, and in the world of the web, these saved styles are placed in one sheet called a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS).

These programs, while originally designed by competing companies, have technologies and techniques that are cross-transferable. The trick here is to find the commanilities, learn those first, then double back and figure out the rest of the tool to make the next leap – adding another program to your belt.

MONETIZE IS JUST A COOL WAY OF SAYING MORE MONEY
So, why is this all important? Well.. if you’ve spent any time taking a look at the papers, or the Internet, or the TV (it’s pretty much everywhere, actually) you’ll notice that the economy is not doing so well. I’d argue that you’re probably sitting in one of two camps: “How do I keep myself competitive to keep my job” or “How can I take what I know to make more money.”

Photographers, you could capitalize on the emotional high of an event by putting your shoots online – immediately. Get them while they’re cheering, I say. If you are a smaller photography studio, make yourself look bigger than you are by creating an effective website to showcase your work. Better yet, take your pictures and make a video presentation attached to music. Now you’re a “Visual Artist” — that can totally be sold.

If you’re a graphic designer, you can either make a logo, or you can take that logo, place it on a website, develop a couple of multi page layouts, make a mini flash movie with the company’s vision, and sell the entire package. At the minimum, you’d give your client a way to ‘visualize’ your idea in different arenas — helping you close the sale, and making you look more professional for it.

YOU DONT HAVE TO REINVENT THE WHEEL TO DO THIS
A lot of time, people argue that one of the reasons a large part of the Creative Suite is not opened past Photoshop is that it’s “Too hard to get into.” Take Flash for example. Many people want a Flash gallery, but would slam a head against a wall if they knew just how much coding you’d have to learn to make it happen.

You don’t have to learn it though.. Plug-ins and Components are here to help.

I use a lot of Components from Digicrafts Components to do heavy lifting in Flash. Your clients don’t have to know that though… all they have to know is the sweat and tears it took to slave over that SWF file. Well.. not really..

A SMALL VIDEO
So, I made a video and posted it for you guys to check out. I set my computer to record, and just started doodling around the applications. Took about 20 minutes, but in that time, I set a logo, made a business card, made a three page InDesign layout, built a website, added a Flash gallery based on XML to it. In the tutorial, I cover Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom, Dreamweaver — editing it in Premiere, with a little Soundbooth for music. It’s long because I didn’t want it to be edited — I just wanted to work in the applications, as fast as I could.

You can click on the maximize video, and it will go to a full screen:

There is a more important thing that I wanted to do here with this video, and this is what I want to leave you with:

All of what I did through these applications, you can do with just an introductory class in the Creative Suite applications. If you spent 2 hours an application — you could do the exact same thing.

This is what I do, day in and day out at the office, and what you’ll see when you come to KelbyTraining.com in the coming months. At the core, I’m still a Photographer, and I’m still a Photoshop guy. I’m just more of the background guy – not really working on the sexy portions of the program, but working on the parts that will give me the maximum amount of reach. And I encourage all of you to do the same.

–RC Concepcion

Tuesday
Nov
2008
04

Tuesday News Quickies

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Hi Gang. It’s Tuesday–here’s what’s up:

  • Even though I provide a detailed step-by-step workbook for people who come to my Lightroom 2 Tour, a lot of folks still take their own notes, on in the case of Amanda Kern (A professor of Graphics Technology, at Valencia Community College), they create SketchNotes (like the one seen above, which Amanda created during the day). She posted a number of these SketchNotes from the day on her blog, and they’re just so clever I thought you’d get a kick out of seeing them (here’s the link). Thanks Amanda, for letting me share these über-doodles with my readers.
  • Yesterday my Photoshop User TV co-host Dave Cross posted a link to a downloads page within Adobe where you can download some of the filters and things Adobe quietly removed in Photoshop CS4 (things like Extract, Pattern Maker, and Picture Package [contact sheet II] among others). Here’s the link to Dave’s article.
  • Last night we announced the winners of our ‘iPhone Photo Contest,” and you can check out the category winners (chosen by your votes), and the Grand Prize Winning Shot (which is pretty darn amazing), by clicking right here.
  • One of my readers, Jim Geduldick, turned me onto this video of a Photoshop retouch by Aaron Nace of ARFotography, and it’s just pretty cool to check out. It doesn’t really show you how he did it; it’s more of a time-lapse thing, but it’s very short and worth checking out to see how it unfolds. Very well done. Here’s that link.
  • If you’re a photographer with either an iPhone or an iPod touch, check out this cool downloadable application for photographer’s called PhotoBuddy, which is basically a utility that, in the words of tech guru Terry White, “…aims to be your photo assistant.” Terry has a full review of it on his tech blog, and it’s looks pretty darn sweet. Here’s the link.

It’s kind of a quiet day, so that’s it for me today. Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Tuesday
Nov
2008
04

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

..an incredibly talented individual, co-host of Layers TV, Photoshop World instructor, one of the most creative guys you’d ever want to meet, as well as one of the most genuine, my good friend and general boy wonder, “RC Concepcion.”

RC is so good at so many things (from photography to Photoshop, from Dreamweaver to Flash, from Web Design to Illustrator), that I have no idea what he’ll show up with tomorrow, but I can tell you this—I can’t wait to read it. Make sure you check back tomorrow to see what RC has up his sleeve.

Monday
Nov
2008
03

Nikon Releases D300 Firmware Update With Lots of Nice Little Enhancements

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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…and a couple of bug fixes, too! Here’s a list (from Nikon’s support site) of what’s included in this free downloadable update, which was released on Friday:

  1. The Highlights playback option has been moved from Display Mode > Basic photo info > Highlights in tthe playback menu to Display mode > Detailed photo info > Highlights.
  2. The size and color of “Demo” displayed in the monitor with playback when No memory card? in the Custom Settings has been set to Enable Release have been modified.
  3. The range of settings available for ISO sensitivity settings > ISO sensitivity auto control > Minimum shutter speed in the shooting menu has been increased from 1/250 – 1s to 1/4000 – 1s.
  4. When shooting in hand-held live view mode and the frame is magnified prior to autofocusing, operation has been modified so that display returns to the magnified display rather then the full frame display.
  5. Images captured with Rotate tall, in the playback menu, set to On, are not automatically rotated for display immediately after capture (image review).
  6. A Copyright information has been added to the setup menu. When Copyright information is enabled, the copyright symbol ( © ) is shown on the LCD display, Shooting info menu.
  7. Recent settings can now be displayed in the place of My Menu.
  8. Custom Setting e3 Flash cntrl for built in flash ( e3 Optional flash when an optional Speedlight is mounted on the camera) can now be added to My Menu using the Add items > Custom setting menu > Bracketing/ flash.
  9. The degree of the High ISO NR setting can now be confirmed in the shooting info display while the High ISO NR setting item, in the shooting menu, is being applied.
  10. Ankara, Riyadh, Kuwait, and Manama have been added to the Time zone options for the World time item in the setup menu.
  11. When a GPS device is used and no heading information is available, –.–° is now displayed for the Position / Heading option in the GPS item in the setup menu.
  12. When shooting in live view mode using Camera Control Pro 2 (ver. 2.2.0 or later) with a PC-E lens, the aperture setting can now be adjusted from the computer.
  13. Focus acquisition performance in dynamic-area AF mode has been improved.
  14. Focus acquisition performance with contrast-detect AF has been improved.
  15. Auto white balance performance has been improved.
  16. The fourth digit in seconds display for GPS latitude and longitude information is now rounded off rather than omitted.
  17. The current MB-D10 battery type setting can now be confirmed in the shooting menu display when R6/AA- size batteries are used with the Multi-Power Battery pack MB-D10.
  18. An issue that caused an increase in noise when shooting in [M] exposure mode at a shutter speed setting of bulb with the shutter held open for less than 8 seconds and Long exp. NR enabled has been resolved.
  19. An issue that prevented shutter release at the specified shutter speed when no operations were performed for 30 seconds in mirror up mode has been resolved.
  20. An issue that caused abnormal image display when Image review was set to On and the playback zoom in button was pressed immediately after shooting at the following settings has been resolved.
  21. Image quality: NEF (RAW) + JPEG
  22. NEF (RAW) recording: Lossless compressed or Compressed
  23. Image size: S or M
  24. When the Speedlight SB-800 was mounted on the camera with flash mode set to distance-priority manual (GN) mode, and the camera recovered from standby mode triggered by the auto meter off function, the distance information in the SB-800 changed. This issue has been resolved.

You can download the free update directly from Nikon:

Mac (Nikon USA) click here.
Windows (Nikon USA) click here

Mac (Nikon Canada) click here.
Windows (Nikon Canada) click here

Mac (Nikon Europe) click here.
Windows (Nikon Europe) click here

Friday
Oct
2008
31

Just Released: Joe McNally’s Online Class at Kelby Training, “Light Shaping Tools, Part 2″

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

Here’s Joe like you’ve never seen him before, ‘runnin’ and gunnin,’ with on-location small flash, in this very cute teaser for his new “Light Shaping Tools, part 2″ online class at KelbyTraining.com. In his class, he shares his thought process for lighting and shooting in a mix of indoor and outdoor locations with small off-camera flash (after you watch the short video—and you gotta watch the video–here’s the link to his class, and the full course outline).

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Friday
Oct
2008
31

Photoshop Insider “Friday News Nuggets”

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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Happy Halloween everybody!!! Here’s some quick news nuggets:

  • If you’re in New York this weekend, check this out; Jay Maisel is giving his incredible talk on “Light, Color, and Gesture” at 1:00 pm on Sunday, Novemember 2nd, at B&H Photo’s Event Space, in their Headquarters at 420 9th Ave. in New York City. The talk is free, but space is very limited. More info here.
  • Matt and I have been “gently teasing” (wink) our Photoshop User TV co-host and good friend Dave Cross, because he’s uses the Bridge rather than Lightroom. We’re totally (mostly) kidding him, but he got us back this week by creating a “Bridge Rocks” t-shirt for Adobe Bridge users that is actually very cool (that’s it shown above), and best of all; you can actually order one yourself through Cafe Press. Here’s the link to Dave’s daily blog with more info (while you’re there, make sure you check out some of the stuff Dave’s been posting lately, including his popular “Finish the Sentence…” series, with his latest interview from David Hobby).
  • The voting is done, and on November 3rd we’ll be announcing the winners of the “The iPhone Book, iPhone Photo Contest” While you’re in the ‘iPhone” mood, if you bought my new book, “The iPhone Book” (co-authored with iPhone guru Terry White) at Barnes & Noble.com or Amazon.com, it wouldn’t hurt our feelings one bit (it’s as cheap at $16—perfect Holiday gift, eh?) By the way; don’t forget Friday is “iPhone App of the Week” day at Terry’s Tech Blog (here’s the link to that).

That’s it for today folks, have a safe Halloween—hope you get lots of yummy snacks, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. -Scott

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