Wednesday
Oct
2008
08

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Ben Willmore

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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My Evolution as a Photographer
When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to grow up to become a professional photographer. When I was in collage, I took darkroom and studio photography classes, but in the end got distracted and became a graphic designer. In my role as a graphic designer, I mainly worked with other photographer’s images and would occasionally direct a photo shoot. As the years passed, I found myself taking fewer and fewer photographs. Then, once day about fifteen years ago, I quit my job and started to teach Photoshop. When digital cameras started to become popular, I started to shoot once again, but primarily shot “when I had time”, which was either when I was on vacation, or when I needed a specific image for a Photoshop technique I wanted to teach. I eventually moved to into a beautiful house in the mountains of Colorado. It was a log home on the edge of a meadow with only a few homes in the view. I thought I was living an ideal life until I realized there was one area of my life were I wasn’t being fulfilled–my passion for photography. Two and a half years ago, I decided to take some drastic steps in an effort to reconnect with my passion for photography. One day I decided to sell my house and 98% of my material possessions and start to live a mobile lifestyle on a 40′ tour bus. The whole idea was to allow me to feed my passion for photography. This post is about how my approach to photography has changed since making that transition. I hope you come away with some ideas that might have you evolve as a photographer as well.

Here’s a shot of my home on wheels:

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Landscapes
When started living on the open road my first thought was the explore all the national parks and make some classic landscape shots. I spent time exploring the West and discovering some beautiful places. I found I kept referring to a few resources for advice on shooting locations over and over again. My two favorite resources were the Photograph America newsletter (www.photographamerica.com) and a series of three books titled Photographing the Southwest by Laurent Martres.

At this point in my evolution as a photographer, I found that every place that I was visiting had been shot so many times before by so many people that I found my shots were not living up to my expectations. Someone else had visited the same location at a better time of year at a time of day that had better light while capturing a great composition. That’s when I turned to Photoshop in an attempt to make up for what were often less than ideal shooting conditions. I also started to learn a lot more about composition and how big of a difference cropping make. Here are some before and after images that show the type of digital transformation I was making:

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Before

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After

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Before

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After

I forced myself to take notes after every shooting session to make sure I was Continue reading

Tuesday
Oct
2008
07

Your Opinion: Bolding Keyboard Shortcuts

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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This is going to sound far from revolutionary, but I tried something a little different in my new Lightroom 2 book; we “bolded” all the keyboard shortcuts to make it easier for them to stand out if you’re searching for them later on.

I got the idea from an attendee to my previous Lightroom Live Tour; in their evaluation form they noted that if they have to go back to their workbook to find a particular shortcut, it would make it easier if they were bolded, so in their search they could skip over paragraphs (or entire pages) without bolded shortcuts. Plus, they thought it would just be helpful, and more eye-catching in general.

So, the reason why I’m bringing this up now is; I haven’t heard any feedback one way or another on this particular aspect of the book. Maybe nobody noticed; maybe everybody thought they were always bold. Is it distracting, or helpful?

Anyway, if you have the book, take a quick look and let you know if this is a step in the right direction or not. I made a screen capture of a page (above), and you can see a larger version by clicking on it, but honestly, it’s kinda hard to see here, so it’s really better if you look in your copy of the book. I’m really interested to hear your feedback for future books, and workbooks (which is what I’ve been working on for days, preparing for my Lightroom 2 Tour, kicking off in just a few weeks. Yikes!). Thanks in advance for your help.

Note: I’ve been getting emails from people who led PhotoWalks around the world who have received their copy of the book. I heard from Glasgow and Paris in just the past few days. I’m lovin’ it! :)

Tuesday
Oct
2008
07

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

…one of the most gifted Photoshop instructors on the entire planet. Photoshop Hall of Famer, Photoshop World Instructor, Bestselling Author, and all around Photoshop Uber-Brain; Ben Willmore.

I’ve sat in on Ben’s classes numerous times over the years, and I’ve never sat in one where I didn’t learn something new, or understand something at a whole new level. Ben has a way of connecting with his students that is really unique, and I can’t wait to see what he has cooked up for us tomorrow as my Special Guest blogger, so make sure you check back then.

Monday
Oct
2008
06

New Date Added for My Lightroom 2 Live! Tour

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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We just added Los Angeles, California as a stop on my Lightroom 2 Live! Tour. I’ll be there on Thursday, December 4, 2008.

My other Lightroom 2 Tour dates (so far) are:

  1. Dallas, Texas on October 27
  2. Orlando, Florida on October 29th

Here’s where to go for more info, or to register. Hope to see you in one of these cities (more locations to be announced soon!).

Monday
Oct
2008
06

Monday News Update

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

Hi gang: My writing load had derailed my plans for the blog this week (hopefully, I’ll get to do it next week, so I’ll still keep it under wraps), but in the meantime, here’s what’s going on this this morning.

  • Don’t know if you saw this, but Dave Cross is continuing his series called “Finish the Sentence” and I think it’s really interesting. Last week he had Photoshop Hall of Famer John Paul Caponigro “Finishing the Sentences” (Here’s the link).
  • If you’re looking for a way to hand-hold your shots for maximum steadiness, check out Joe McNally’s now famous “Da Grip” video, where he shows you a camera holding technique that’s pretty darn slick. The video’s already been watched more than 44,000 times on YouTube. Here’s the link.
  • Surprise of the week for me; a friend bought me as a gift an Amazon.com “Kindle,” which is their wireless ebook reader. I’ve never met an eBook reader I liked, which is why I was so impressed with the Kindle. It’s surprisingly good, much lighter and thinner than it looks, and you could even say it’s, “Very Apple-like” in everything from its packaging to its industrial design. For photography and Photoshop books, it still really needs to have color inline graphics, so it’s not ideal for these types of books (even though my Digital Photography book is available on Kindle), but overall it’s way better than I expected. There’s a video about Kindle right here.
  • My buddy Matt Kloskowski has released his “Lightroom 2 Power Session” DVD, which is designed to get Lightroom 1 users up to speed quick on Lightroom 2. You can find out all the details here (note: NAPP members get $15.00 off).
  • You can catch Bert Monroy’s Photoshop Creativity Tour in Sacramento, California on Tuesday, and Terry White’s InDesign Productivity Tour in Toronto, Canada on Friday the 10th. Here’s the details.

That’s it for this Monday morning. Have a good one!

Friday
Oct
2008
03

Friday News Nuggets

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Just a few quickies to round out the week:

  • First, thanks to Alan Hess, whose Guest Post this week rocked (no pun intended). I loved having such a different angle, and I thought he did a great job taking us “backstage” at a concert shoot. Thanks Alan!
  • Michael Tapes has launched a new blog over at RawWorkflow.com, and he has a follow-up to the Guest Blog post he did last week covering his incredibly handy “Instant JPEG from Raw” free utility. Here’s the link.
  • Earlier this year I did a shot of our in-house Web Programmer Tommy Maloney’s pimped out Volvo, and Tommy entered the photo in a photography contest put on by IPD; a well-known company that sells custom Volvo performance gear and accessories, and son of gun—it won! Here’s the link, but the photo that won is shown above. Congrats Tommy! (P.S. Don’t race Tommy. It’s what you don’t see that matters!)
  • We released another “CS4″ online class over at KelbyTraining.com; this one from our own Dave Cross, who did an amazing class on “Creative Suite Integration” between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Here’s the link. Also, we were out in the field filming new sessions with Wedding Master David Ziser this week, and we’re in post-production on some new classes from Joe McNally!
  • If you’re in the Orlando/Tampa, Florida area; I’m bringing my Lightroom 2 Tour one-day workshop to Orlando on Wednesday, Oct. 29th at the Orange County Convention Center, and I’ll hope you join me there. Also, my Dallas seminar is filling up fast (on the 27th), so if you’re planning on going—sign up now! Here’s the link with more details. Hope to see you in Orlando or Dallas! (P.S. I expect to be announcing another city next week!).
  • Speaking of Lightroom; I ran across two reviews of my new Lightroom 2 for Digital Photographers Book this week; one at the Benson Blog (link) and one at the Australian photo blog “Lightly Toasted” (here’s that link).

Have a great weekend everybody. I have something cool planned for next week, if all goes well, so we’ll see you back here on Monday! :)

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