Friday
Aug
2008
08

Worldwide Photowalk Update, #2

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Here’s some quick news about the August 23rd Worldwide PhotoWalk to celebrate the release of my new book, The Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers. (Preorder it now from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com)

  • Today is the final day to apply to be a Leader of a PhotoWalk for your city, and after today we won’t be adding any additional cities, so if you wanted to host one—-get right on it.
  • I just did an interview about the PhotoWalk with Shawn King of the popular YourMacLife radio show (Shawn and Photoshop World Instructor Lesa Snider are hosting the New York, Greenwich Village walk), and you can listen to it: click here
    (Note: Shawn asks me during the interview where in the world I would like to hold a photowalk if I could do one anywhere, and the answer I gave wound up revealing something very embarrassing about my past. Yikes!).
  • We now have more than 200 cities on board (I’ll release the final number of cities on Monday, as we’ll be approving the final group of cities this weekend).
  • We’ve added a number of cities this week, all around the world, including:
  1. Beijing, China
  2. White River Junction, Vermont
  3. Coney Island, New York
  4. Wellington, New Zealand
  5. Cape Town, South Africa
  6. Fredericksburg, Virginia
  7. Mount Dora, Florida
  8. Vienna, Austria
  9. Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  10. Austin, Texas
  11. Los Alamos, New Mexico
  12. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  13. Trondheim, Norway
  14. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  15. Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
  16. Tel-Aviv, Israel
  17. Lake Tahoe, North Shore

If you haven’t signed up to be a part of a walk, make sure you check the current list of cities (click here), and see if there’s one near you. Hope you’ll be able to join the thousands of photographers around the world who have already signed up to be a part of this history-making event! :)

Friday
Aug
2008
08

Friday News Nuggets

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Here’s a few quick things to take us into the weekend:

  • We just released two new online training videos at KelbyTraining.com; one from photographer and Photoshop Hall of Famer Eddie Tapp called “Blending in Photoshop” (click here) and one from Photoshop World Video Guru Richard Harrington on “Color Correction in Final Cut Pro” (here’s that link)
  • Capture NX Shark Vincent Versace turned me on to this “loophole”deal on NX 2: Nikon has released their upgrade policy for people who bought (or will buy) Capture NX Version 1 from an authorized Nikon reseller, from May 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008; those folks will be entitled to receive a FREE Capture NX 2 Upgrade directly from Nikon (they just need to call Nikon at 800-Nikon-UX with their product key and provide a copy of their proof of purchase to receive a Capture NX 2 key code free of charge). If you’ve been on the fence, this may be your chance.
  • If you’re going to Photoshop World, you might want to go a day early to catch one of the new pre-conference workshops:

Canon’s live model studio shoot (with Eddie Tapp and Jack Resnicki)

An advanced workshop called “3D Lenticular Imaging w/Photoshop” taught by Adobe’s own Russell Preston Brown

The Epson Print Academy (featuring John Paul Caponigro, Jeff Schewe, and Andrew Rodney)

Dan Margulis’ new “Lab Color In Depth” workshop

A new Live Shooting class call “Inside the Studio” with Jim DiVitale.

Fay Sirkis with Impressions of Nature – A Landscape Seascape Photo Paining Class,

Kevin Ames with Lighting, Posing, Metering & Photographing Fashion

Building an Electronic Portfolio, using DVD, Slide Software, and Web Galleries, with Richard Harrington

Here’s the link with more info on each workshop, and how to sign up (note: this intimate workshops are only open to Photoshop World Full Conference attendees).

  • If you haven’t backed-up your Lightroom Catalog, right now, this very minute, is a great time to do it. If you’re using the original version of Lightroom, go to Lightroom’s preferences, click on the “Go to Catalog Settings” button, choose “Once a Week upon starting Lightroom” (then Quit Lightroom and restart it, and you’ll have a dialog pop-up that asks you if you want to back up your catalog). If you’re using Lightroom 2, then just press Option-Command-, (PC: Alt-Ctrl-,) to bring up the Catalog Settings window, and then do the same thing (choose once a week, etc.).

That’s it for today, everybody. Have a kick-butt weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Thursday
Aug
2008
07

Teaching a “How To Shoot Sports” Workshop For The NFL’s Chicago Bears

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Man, did I have an absolute blast on Tuesday! The NFL’s Chicago Bears flew me up to the Bear’s training camp (it’s held about 90-minutes outside Chicago at Bourbonnais, Illinois) to teach a private workshop called “How to Shoot Sports Like a Pro,” for a special group of some the Bears longtime supporters and longtime season-ticket holders. My buddy Dave Moser came along with me to help with the workshop, and generally keep me out of trouble.

I broke the class into three segments:

  1. I did the first hour in the classroom, where I did a slideshow and live camera demo talking about equipment and techniques for shooting all kinds of sports, but of course, with an emphasis on shooting Football.
  2. Then we went outside where I arranged to have three football players, in full Bears uniforms (pads, helmets and all), run a series of scrimmages for the class so we could practice the techniques we learned in class (the players weren’t actual Chicago Bears, but were part of the Bears organization and totally into the gig—they were great—you can see some of the shots below).
  3. Then after shooting outside for about 45 minutes, we headed back inside to do critiques of the shoot, so the students could see what they were doing right and what they needed to work on (I did the critiques anonymously, but when I ran across a student who had some shots that really kicked butt—then I asked them raise their hand).

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(The top photo by Dave Moser. The bottom three taken during our class shoot by Mike McCaskey. His bottom photo demonstrates a segment where instead of trying to freeze the action, we tried panning and lowering our shutter speed to 1/60 of a second to blur the movement and create a sense of motion).

The reason the second and third sections of my workshop were so important, is that the Bears graciously arranged for everyone in the class to stay after and shoot the real Chicago Bears from the sidelines during a closed practice. What an incredible opportunity, and a perfect way to end the day (I was excited that the class would have a chance to take the tweaks in composition and technique they learned in the class and apply them right away to a real world shoot). Anyway, it was just a blast—I couldn’t have asked for better, more attentive, or more involved students (some of which had brought a teenage son or daughter).

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(L to R above; my buddy Dave Moser, Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith, Me, and Chicago Bears Chairman Michael McCaskey).

Thanks to everyone in the Bears organization especially our host Michael McCaskey (shown above) and the Bear’s Director of Stadium Sales & Services, Adam Kellner, who were so gracious and accommodating to Dave and I during our trip. It was truly an honor to get to work with you and your first class organization. Go Bears!

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One last thing in the “it’s a small world” department; Dave and I just landed at Chicago O’Hare airport, and we’re outside waiting on the rental car shuttle and I hear, “Scott? Dave?” and I look beside me and standing two feet from me is John Nack, Adobe’s Principal Product Manager for Photoshop (who was my guest blogger just a few weeks ago). He was in Chicago visiting family, and we just happened to wind up in the exact same place by chance. (Photo of John and I above by Dave Moser).

Thursday
Aug
2008
07

Andrew’s Post From Yesterday and The Vibe of This Blog

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

A big thanks to Andrew Rodney’s guest blog yesterday, which really opened a lot of people’s eyes as to how digital imaging is changing, how our workflow is evolving, and how Lightroom and Photoshop fit into that workflow.I especially appreciate the comments from my readers, and from Andrew himself who posted a number of follow-up comments which really expanded on what he wrote and grew into a really great and informative discussion (almost an article within an article, which I think is cool). Something that one of my readers, Dan Sroka, wrote in a comment really stood out to me and so rings true with me. Here’s what Dan said:

“After using Lightroom for quite a while now, I don’t find that I am doing less work in Photoshop…. I find that I am doing *different* work in Photoshop. Because Lightroom has taken over the heavy lifting for getting a photograph into shape, this has freed Photoshop from those tasks, and allowed me to use it in more creative ways.”

Well said Dan, and just a note to my regular readers; if you’re not reading the comments other readers post, you’re missing out on some really great insights and discussions. Also, if you do post a comment, you’ll find a very friendly, helpful community of friends awaits. Thanks Andrew for inspiring this kind of response, and for your commitment as a teacher to our digital community as a whole.

I love the friendly vibe that exists from the readers who comment, and that things don’t turn nasty here, and that you can tell it’s a group of “friends helping friends.” It’s one of the things that really makes me want to write this blog each week, and I have you all to thank. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday
Aug
2008
06

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Andrew Rodney

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

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Photoshop and I are getting old(er)! I started working with Photoshop 1.0.7 in May 1990, only a few months after its release. It’s hard to believe we are both 18 years older. It’s been amazing to see Photoshop grow over the years and an honor working with Adobe as a beta and alpha tester since version 2.5. I’ve seen a lot of products over the years attempt to compete with Photoshop. Anyone remember Color Studio, X-Res, or Live Picture?

One of the most exciting image processing products I’ve worked with since the introduction of Photoshop is Lightroom. For those of us working with Photoshop for many years, Lightroom represents (excuse the cliché) a quantum paradigm shift with respect to image processing. Mark Hamburg, Lightroom’s architect has described Lightroom as being “The Anti-Photoshop”. It’s OK for Mark to say this considering he was the chief Photoshop architect for years before creating Lightroom.

Applying a Photoshop bias towards Lightroom can be problematic; Lightroom operates in a totally different manner. Lightroom targets a core user group, provides a unique set of functionality while having the ability to work with lots of images at once. Photoshop is a pixel editor targeted to many groups of users. From day one, it was designed to work on one image at a time. Sure, you can use Droplets, Actions and Automate commands to process multiple documents, but essentially you’re opening each, full resolution pixel based document into RAM, altering some or all pixels and saving these newly baked pixels back into the document.

At its core, Lightroom, like its older brother, Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is a raw processor that creates idealized pixels using metadata-based instructions. You define these instructions and the original data, which is never altered, is used to build a new, desirable appearing image. You’re never baking a color appearance into a pixel-based image until you export or print this new data.

Some Photoshop users dive into Lightroom’s Develop module and expect the controls to behave like Photoshop’s controls. That’s often a risky expectation. For example, both ACR and Lightroom’s develop tools are presented in an optimal working order; top down, then left to right in the case of ACR. Some old time Photoshop users gravitate directly to Lightroom’s curves since in Photoshop curves are the tool to alter color and tone. Yet Lightroom’s curves are presented below other develop control sliders. It’s really designed for fine-tuning. While you can work with the tools in Lightroom in any order you wish (Lightroom is real smart about automatically applying all the metadata instructions in the ideal processing order), you may end up chasing your tail by ignoring this orderly design. This is vastly different in Photoshop where you’re affecting pixels on a per-edit basis and working in differing order, even altering the position of adjustment layers, can cause undesirable results and wasted time.

I recently had a conversation about Lightroom’s Develop controls with the head of the photo department at a major university. He told me he didn’t like the sliders and I asked why. “They remind me of the Photoshop Contrast and Brightness sliders and we all know these are poor tools”. The sliders in Lightroom don’t behave at all like Contrast and Brightness in Photoshop. Plus the hair on the back of my neck always rises when someone says “but we all know….”. We don’t all know. In fact, there are situations where these tools could provide a desired result. I tried to convince this new Lightroom user that he should remove his Photoshop bias and try working with the controls in the order provided. If at such a time he can’t produce the desired color and tone appearance, then we might investigate if this is indeed a flaw in the application (not likely with the pretty smart Adobe engineers) or if there’s a flaw in the usage of the toolset. Its often the later. Suggesting that curves in Photoshop and Lightroom should operate identically fails the logic tests because the source data is so different as is the final image processing. You can see the same disconnect if you play with the exposure tools on a Raw in Lightroom versus the Exposure or Shadow/Highlight tools on a rendered image in Photoshop. The tools may have the same name, yet the processing and results are often significantly different.

Another bias I’ve seen is the idea of being very casual in handling your raw rendering and “fixing” the image later in Photoshop. There’s a kind of macho mentality, (or maybe its just due to familiarity), that cause some users to dismiss rendering the best possible image data before using Photoshop. This is the old “I’ll fix it in Photoshop” mindset. Never forget GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out! The result of edits applied in Lightroom and ACR is a totally new image, from either an existing rendered image (TIFF, JPEG) or better, raw. Edits are applied on high-bit linear data using the greatest color gamut from the raw data. It therefore makes sense to do all the heavy lifting, in terms of producing the desired color appearance, with such tools, long before you even consider launching Photoshop.

Those who’ve used Lightroom for a while often say, “I’m doing so much less work in Photoshop”. Some may find this alarming, almost criminal. Photoshop hasn’t lost its shine and is still an indispensable tool. Lightroom and ACR provide new ways of bringing ideal data into Photoshop. Use Photoshop’s vast arsenal of tools to do the work that makes most sense: Layers and blending modes, compositing, precise retouching, and perspective control, to name a few. Global tone and color “correction”? Not if you can create the preferred, global and tone rendering of new pixels using Lightroom. The toolset in Lightroom and Photoshop do overlap in some areas, but both complement each other. The message here is abandon the bias and use the right tool for the right job.

Tuesday
Aug
2008
05

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

…none other than the “Digital Dog” himself; Photoshop Hall of Famer, Color guru, and one of the principals of “Pixel Genius” Andrew Rodney!

I’ve been a fan of Andrew’s for years, and besides having him as my honored guest blogger tomorrow, you can also catch him teaching at Photoshop World, in magazines like PPA’s Professional Photographer, and on his site “DigitalDog.net.” Make sure you check back tomorrow to catch his special Wednesday Guest Blog post! :)

(Note to my readers: So sorry this is going up so late; I’ve been traveling today [I'm back now], but this is the first chance I’ve gotten to post since early this morning. More news on why on Thursday).

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