Monday
Jul
2008
07

Confiscating My Brother’s Memory Card in Italy

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

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I wanted to share an interesting story with you that happened to my brother Jeff while we were in Italy. We were in Genoa one day, and he and his girlfriend had been out doing the tourist thing, and at the end of the day they stopped into a large grocery store to get some Diet Cokes (called “Coke Light” in Italy) to take back to the hotel room.

As they were walking around, Jeff saw some interesting looking produce and pulled out his Canon G-9 Point-and-Shoot and took a few pictures. Within a few minutes a man came up dressed in plain clothes, flashed a badge, and told him he couldn’t take photos in the store. My brother said “no problem” (after all, it’s a private store, right?), but then the guy demanded my brother’s memory card.

My brother gave him that “Are you outta your mind” look and said, “No way!” Can you guess what happened next? The guy simply shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

My brother saw him in the store a little later, and the guy had a bag and was shopping. My brother made eye contact with him, and the guy turned away as though he didn’t want Jeff looking at him. Jeff feels like this wasn’t “official store security,” but instead some guy collecting (and then reselling) memory cards from unsuspecting tourists (many of whom might have just surrendered that card immediately).

Anyway, he kept his card, and the shots, and luckily that was the end of it. Have any of you heard of anything along these lines? I’d just be interested to know.

Friday
Jul
2008
04

Catch My Exclusive Interview with Attorney Ed Greenberg for the Straight Scoop on Copyright, Model Releases, and Shooting in Public

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

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If you’ve been reading this blog for the past month or so, you’ve read my posts about photographers being harassed when shooting in public, and a lot of readers have chimed in with comments about what we can and can’t shoot, what our rights as photographers are and aren’t, our interpretations of copyright law, and so on. There’s just one problem; we’re not attorneys.

So, I contacted New York-based Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg, who’s a published author on the topic, and who has been dealing with photography copyright, contract, and creative rights issues for over 30 years, to finally get the straight no-nonsense scoop on all this.

Ed is absolutely brilliant; he communicates in Plain English (and with a great sense of humor as well), and he cuts through the bull and gets right to the point (which is why we now have Ed, and photography rights advocate Jack Reznicki, co-host a legal session for photographers at Photoshop World).

I had Ed as a call-in guest for next week’s episode of Photoshop User TV where I asked Ed to debunk some of the most widely held myths of copyright, model releases and shooting in public (the same topics we’ve been discussing here on the blog). Below are two video clips of the interview from next week’s show, approximately 10-minutes each, which represent some of the best, and most important information we’ve ever delivered in the history of the program.

The two clips, Part I and Part II, will air on next Monday’s show, but I wanted to run the interview here now, because I think you’ll find it as eye-opening, surprising, revealing, and as incredibly valuable as I did. This interview can change the way you work and protect your images in a very profound way, and that’s why I wanted to run it today, and during this entire fourth of July weekend, so you’d have a chance to really give it your undivided attention.

My thanks to Ed for being so gracious as to share his time and expertise with my readers here on the blog. I really hope you find this helpful. Also, thanks to my buddy Terry White, who came up with the idea to go straight to the source and really get to the heart of this matter.

Click the videos below (start with the top video Part I), to watch each interview.

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PART ONE:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/4czzNOPbJWk" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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PART TWO:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/zGZ_pJQ-_EU" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Again, my humble thanks to Ed for his time and insights, and if you’re going to Photoshop World Las Vegas this September, make sure you catch his and Jack’s full hour-long, eye-opening class.

Thursday
Jul
2008
03

Save Saturday, August 23, 2008 for me (I’ve got something really cool for us to do that day)!

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

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Seriously, I have cooked up something very, very cool for us to do together, and you are SO going to want to be a part of it.

Although I can’t spill the beans until later this month, I wanted to give you a heads up now to mark your calendar to spend Saturday, August 23rd with me (Trust me; you’re gonna love it!) :)

Remember; on August 23rd—-it’s you and me—doing something you’re totally going to be into, so try and keep that day open. More details soon!

Thursday
Jul
2008
03

Thursday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

First, a big thanks to Senior Photoshop Product Manager John Nack for his Special Guest Blog yesterday, which resounded with so many of my readers. It was an honor to have John sharing his insights and perspective, and a point of view we don’t often get to hear. Now, onto some quick news stuff:

  • Joe McNally has a great post on his blog about the new Nikon SB-900 Flash, and you’ve got to check it out (here’s the link). Also, Bob Krist does a great interview with Joe about travel photography in the June issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine (click here to read it online).
  • Two new Online Classes have gone up at KelbyTraining.com; Part III of Dan Margulis’ Picture Postcard Workflow (here’s the link), and a new class from Rick Sammon about On Location Photography (here’s that link).
  • Next week, on Photoshop User TV, we got a BIG giveaway; we’re giving some lucky viewer a complete Westcott Spiderlite “Scott Kelby Studio Kit” (including 2 TD-5 Spiderlites, two softboxes, a pop-up reversible background, and two lightstands. Watch this coming Monday’s show for details on how to enter (you can watch the show right on the site–click the Photoshop User TV link above).
  • Our buddy, and Photoshop World instructor, Deke McClelland did a very clever thing that can only be described as a Photoshop Music Video, where he packs literally 101 Photoshop keyboard shortcuts into just five minutes (and better yet—he raps). It’s classic Deke, and here’s the link.
  • The popular Mac web site, “The Mac Observer” did a review of my new book, “The Mac OS X Leopard Book,” and you can read it right here (spoiler; they gave it a five-star rating). :)
  • NAPP’s Executive Director, Larry Becker, is featured interviewed on Mac Edition Radio, and you can listen in by clicking here.

That’s it for today. Have a kick-butt Thursday, and we’ll see ya tomorrow!

Wednesday
Jul
2008
02

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday Featuring: Photoshop Senior Product Manager, John Nack

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

A couple of weeks ago Scott proposed a simple, seductive idea: Why doesn’t Adobe simply let users tell us what they want, then pick the top X features from their list & agree to implement them? Seems like the most obvious thing in the world, doesn’t it?

 

“The customer is always right”–right? And yet I’m reminded of a pair of quotations:

 

  • “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky
  • “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” – Henry Ford

 

Democracy, in product development, is not a recipe for innovation. (Think the original iMac & its missing floppy drive were the product of democracy?) Groupthink produces evolution, not revolution. It may well be a recipe for customer satisfaction, at least to some degree, and we don’t discount it. But it’s not enough.

 

If you’re using Photoshop every day for work, you’re likely concerned with getting the next job done & putting bread on the table. You know the handful of changes you’d like to see made & why they’d make a difference. That’s cool, and we care–a lot. But you’re probably much less concerned with pondering the program in the abstract, thinking about how all the pieces connect & how it could be made holistically better.

 

That’s where we come in. My job is to talk to people from across the insanely diverse range of those who use Photoshop–and some who don’t, but who we think should–and to figure out the “next next” thing.

 

Let me give you an example from Photoshop’s history. It’s hard to imagine now, but for many years Photoshop supported only a single level of undo. Customers rightly clamored for multiple undos. They didn’t ask, however, for the History palette, much less the History Brush, snapshots, and related other features. It’s possible that the PS team (of which I wasn’t a part until later) could have delivered a simple, straightforward multiple undo system sooner than they did. By looking beyond the immediate requests however–by really thinking about what we needed, not just requested–they were able to deliver real breakthroughs that remain unmatched more than 10 years later.

 

Simply doing what your customers say carries significant risks. For one thing, it tends to paint you into a corner: you add ever-tweakier refinements for the same vocal group, neglecting the customers you don’t have (but whom you need in order to grow). For another, what customers say they want and what they actually need often differ. James Surowiecki nails it: “The strange truth about feature creep is that even when you give consumers what they want they can still end up hating you for it.”

 

Our job is to strike a balance, offering a mix of sizzle (“Oh my God,” only-in-Photoshop breakthroughs) and steak (sigh-of-relief, block-and-tackle stuff) while working like hell to enable the “next next” things.

 

It’s frustrating that laying plumbing for the future often takes a number of years during which progress isn’t visible. In the meantime we’re vulnerable to the perception that “Adobe just doesn’t get it; see, they haven’t touched filter X in ages…” It’s of course not obvious that we’re toiling away behind the scenes, working on, say, a fast-as-hell filter mechanism, or on changes that will make Photoshop massively more configurable and task-based over time. These things take a while. (I’m reminded of the line, “It might look like I’m doing nothing, but at the cellular level, I’m really quite busy.”)

 

If we didn’t invest for the future, however–if we just did what people request–we’d shortchange customers in the long run. It’s worth withholding short-term fixes in order to deliver what we know people really want and need, albeit sometimes a little later.

 

Now, turning to the Top 10 list of requested features that Scott posted on Monday, I’ll toss out a few thoughts:

 

  • Points 2 & 4 (both requesting filters as adjustment layers) are seductive, but very tricky. When the CS3 public beta launched, I wrote up a detailed piece called The Secret Life of Smart Filters, in which I explain why we specifically didn’t implement what people say they want–namely, filters as adjustment layers. Short story: We try not to put big “Hurt Me” buttons into Photoshop. Read my post for more background.

 

  • Point 8 says, “Make everything ‘Smart’ by default.” Ah–another one where many devils are in the details. Kill a few brain cells reading my discussion of Simplicity vs. Power to learn about the challenges of non-destructiveness in Photoshop. In any case, though, point taken: it’s important to make “best practices” the norm, and for that we have to grind away the remaining rough edges. This is far from an overnight change, but we are working on it.

 

  • It’s interesting that faster performance didn’t rate higher on the list. On the one hand, I’d like to take this as a good sign that our work in CS3 to speed up Photoshop’s launch time, take advantage of multi-core systems, etc. has paid off & that people are happy. On the other, there’s no such thing as “too fast,” and quicker performance is the best possible feature: there’s nothing to learn. Therefore I think all the muscle we’re pouring into R&D to leverage graphics hardware acceleration & 64-bit computing will make folks happy.

 

  • Much to my eternal frustration (and probably yours), we’ll never have enough time to implement even 10% of the good ideas that come our way. That’s why I’ve championed extensibility: let’s make it radically easier to customize & build upon Photoshop. I got an earful when I talked about using Flash to extend the Photoshop UI, but that’s because people haven’t seen what it’ll enable. (I can at least tell you that Scott likes what’s planned–a lot.) I have a lot of faith that if we make it ridiculously easy to tune the application and share one’s work, we’ll unleash a new wave of innovators. Let the Photoshop Nation rock out.

 

  • Matt Kloskowski made a number of good suggestions, but I have to push back on two things. One, I think translucent interface elements generally suck: they make it harder to see both what you’re adjusting and the controls for adjusting it. (Remember the hard-to-read menus in early OS X, the maligned translucent menu bar in Leopard, or the pointlessly blurry window borders in Vista?) Note that this is different from offering in-context, on-canvas adjustment tools. Two, the answer to old & suckful dialog boxes isn’t “make the dialogs better.” Rather, it’s “kill the dialogs.” Photoshop should do more things non-modally, previewing right on the canvas, more as they’re done in Camera Raw, Lightroom, and After Effects.

 

I’ve rambled on long enough, I think, but I hope I’ve provided at least a little useful perspective. Thanks for all the suggestions, and to Scott & co. for organizing the survey and giving me a chance to post here. It’s an honor, a battle, and a pleasure to wrestle with the challenges of trying to make Photoshop into just what you want and need.

 

Thanks for listening,

J.

 

PS–Oh, and by the way, lest I forget: yes, we’re changing the default stroke color to black. Just thought you’d want to know. :-)

Tuesday
Jul
2008
01

Breaking News: Two New Mosers Have Arrived!

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Huge news: My best buddy Dave Moser and his wife Lisa just delivered twin girls!!!!!!

I’m blogging this from the hospital waiting room, and my buddy is so thrilled, relieved, exhausted and overjoyed! The girls were four weeks early, but they’re doing GREAT!!! Thanks to everybody who sent their prayers Dave and Lisa’s way!!!

As soon as I get some photos, I’ll post ‘em here. Congrats to Dave and Lisa, and a big welcome to Katherine and Elizabeth, (who I’m sure will both soon have MacBook Airs and the Creative Suite). ;-)

Whoo Hoo!!!!

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