Thursday
Jul
2008
24

Adobe VP John Loiacono to Headline Photoshop World Conference Opening Keynote

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Great news! John Loiacono, Adobe’s Senior Vice President of Creative Solutions, will be the featured keynote presenter at the opening keynote at Photoshop World Las Vegas (the morning of September 4th). Johnny L. (as he’s known to friends, and previous Photoshop World keynote crowds) is definitely not “a suit” (if you’ve ever seen one of his presentations, you know he’s totally “one of us”), and he’s a very engaging, and downright fun presenter to watch.

But all that aside, one of the of the things I like best about having Johnny L. as our featured presenter is that he uses Photoshop World as a platform to either launch a new Adobe product (like he did when he launched the Lightroom 2 Public Beta at Photoshop World in Orlando), or he uses it to give the crowd on hand a sneak peak at some unreleased Adobe “future technology,” which is always amazing.

If you’re going to the keynote, make sure you get there early to get a good seat (by the way; our keynote theme this year is somewhat of a Star Trek parody. That’s all I’m gonna say). See you at the keynote!

Wednesday
Jul
2008
23

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Terry White

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

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Digital Photographers and the iPhone/iPod touch

More and more photographers I know are now carrying around their portfolios in their pockets. The iPhone and iPod touch makes for a perfect portable pocket sized slideshow device. At a minimum you have 8GB’s of space, which is quite a bit for small JPEGs. Also, if you were only showing your best work, you would only need to show your best 20-24 shots anyway. So storage space is not really a concern. Also these devices have really nice large 4″ displays. The color is fantastic and the brightness is great.

I not only use my iPhone to show off my portfolio, but I also don”t hesitate to whip it out (the iPhone of course) when people ask me “how’s the family doing?” I have the latest shots of my two girls on it all times. I also have older photos too so that they can see how much they’ve grown. Although the iPhone integrates quite nicely with Apple’s software products such as iPhoto and Aperture, I’m a Photoshop Lightroom user. I also shoot in RAW almost exclusively. So I need a method to get those RAW files into manageable JPEG files and to get them over to the iPhone.

Luckily, whether you’re on a Mac or a Windows PC, you can use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to automate the entire process. It’s all in the Export presets. I have several Export presets setup in Lightroom for all the various ways I share photos. I also have one setup specifically to go to iPhoto. Now I realize iPhoto is a Mac only app. Don’t worry PC users, I’ve got you covered too. Hang in there with me. Since the iPhone can sync which ever photos and albums you specify in iTunes from iPhoto, it makes sense to take advantage of this app since it comes with every new Mac.

Let me be clear! I don’t use iPhoto to manage my photos. I use Lightroom. However, I do take my best/favorite shots from LR into iPhoto as JPEGs. Once those shots are in iPhoto I can then sync them to my iPhone, iPod or Apple TV.

Here’s how to set it up:

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1) Open LR and select one or more photos
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2) Either click the Export button or choose Export from the File menu to bring up the Export dialog box.

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3) Next you’ll need to set up your settings. First you’ll need to choose a folder to export your images to. I’ve created one in my Pictures called “For iPhoto”. You can also setup if your File naming if you want it to be custom. Otherwise it will use your existing file names.

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4) The next section is for File Settings. Here is where you set the format to JPEG. Color space to Adobe RGB and quality of 60 or higher. I like 80 personally.

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5) In the next section we have Image Sizing. This is where you set the maximum size of the images that are going to be exported. If your images are going to only be shown on an iPhone or iPod touch, then you can set the dimensions to 480 x 480. If your images are going to be shown on an Apple TV or an iPhone/iPod connected to a TV, then make the width 1920 and the height 1024. This is 1080 HD resolution. There’s no need to go any higher than that as the TV won’t show them any bigger than that. I set mine to 1920×1080, which is the most I’ll ever need, and the iPhone and iPod touch will size them appropriately as they sync. As far as the resolution goes, 72 PPI works fine.

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6) There’s not much of a need to do anything in Metadata here as these images are just for show and not being seen on a computer. So you can skip down to the Post-Processing section. If you’re a PC user. You’re done. That’s right, your export will go to the folder we setup in step 3 and you can use iTunes to point to that folder to sync your images to your iPhone, iPod or Apple TV. Simply click the Add button to add this as a custom preset and give it a name. Have a nice day. However, if you’re on a Mac, you can take it to the next level by having LR send the photos directly to iPhoto after they’ve been exported. There is an “After Export” popup menu in the Post Processing area. Click it and choose “Go to Export Actions Folder Now”. This will take you back to the Finder and show you your Export Actions Folder.

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7) Find the iPhoto application icon in your Applications folder. You’re going to make an alias of iPhoto into your Export Actions Folder. The easiest fastest way to do this is to hold down the Command and Option keys and drag the iPhoto icon into your Export Actions Folder. You should see an alias of iPhoto (an icon with a little curved arrow on it) in your Export Actions Folder. Also your iPhoto application should still be in your Applications folder. You can now close these folders and go back to LR.

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8) Now from the After Export popup, you should be able to choose iPhoto. Once you do, click the Add button on the left to add this custom export preset to your menu. You can click Cancel and give it a spin. Choose Export from the File menu and choose your new “For iPhoto” preset. This will export the JPEGs to a folder that are the right size and resolution and then if you’re on a Mac, it will import them automatically into iPhoto. From there you can arrange them into albums.

Hey, if you want to see me do this whole thing from start to finish, check out this video:

Tuesday
Jul
2008
22

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

…one of my very favorite people in the whole world. He’s the co-author of two of my books, he’s the host of “The Creative Suite Podcast“, his official title at Adobe is Director, Creative Pro Technical Sales, North America, he’s a photographer, designer, Photoshop World Instructor, he’s produces the popular “Terry’s Tech Blog,” and he’s one of the greatest, most genuine, most gracious, and most humble guys you’ll ever meet…Terry White.

Make sure you check back tomorrow to catch Terry’s post, which I am told may include a video as well (ya know those tech guys—never satisfied with just words and pictures alone). ;-)

Tuesday
Jul
2008
22

I May Have Found The Ultimate “David Hobby” Lighting Kit Bag

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

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You know how as photographers we go through phases with our gear? For example, I go through phases where if I go to a shoot and I don’t have at least three big lenses, two camera bags, three cases of lights and a tripod that weighs more than my kids, I feel like I’m out there naked.

Well, right now for me, the pendulum has swung completely the other way. Now I’m in my “shoot light” phase, where I’m shooting with just one lens if I can get away with it, a very lightweight (but sturdy), tripod and if I have to bring lights, I want to bring one; preferably a off camera flash, like a Nikon SB-800. OK, maybe two SB-800s, but if I have to bring lightstands, they have to weight less than my daughter’s stuffed animals.

That’s why when I went to David Hobby’s (of the Strobist fame) excellent Off Camera Flash seminar last year (here’s the link to that story), he was speaking to my “less is more” mindset. I went and bought his exact on-location set-up (putting an SB-800 on a super compact, lightweight light stand with a hot shoe adapter clip and firing the flash thru a shoot-through umbrella), and I find myself using it more and more (see this link for more on me using it in the field). That’s a photo the basic rig below.

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In fact, I use his rig so often now I bought a few (they’re very inexpensive, which is part of the beauty of it), and I wanted to keep one in my trunk, so I would always have a location lighting kit with me at all times. Anyway, after searching every “real” lighting case, I have found the perfect solution (which isn’t a lighting case at all).

It’s a Hakuba PSTC 100 Tripod Case and I swear this baby rocks!!!! (photo at the top of this post, and below by RC Concepcion). There are five things that make it so perfect if you use a David Hobby kit:

  1. It’s only 27″ long, 7.5″ high, and 6.5″ wide. It’s just slightly bigger than the lightstand itself, and that was the main challenge; finding a bag that is big enough to hold everything, but not too long, and it has a shoulder strap.
  2. It’s incredibly light; weighing only 1.92 lbs. (0.870 kg).
  3. The bag comes with a perfectly sized side-pouch that holds (you guessed it), an SB-800 (or a Canon 580 EX flash). The whole case is padded.
  4. The bag holds not just one, but TWO full kits easily (2 lightstands, 2 umbrellas, 2 clips, and yes—-two SB-800s, or one SB-800s and a Nikon battery extension pack).
  5. The price is right; it sells for only $34.95 at B&H (here’s the link).

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The case is surprisingly rugged, it’s super-lightweight, and I used it on Friday for a formal bridal shoot, and I was reminded at what a great bag it really is. Anyway, for those of you whose pendulum over to the “less is more” side, like I have, I think you’ll totally dig this bag. As for the David Kit itself, he arranged his kit through Midwest Photo, and here’s the link to their site with the details on all his kits (they now carry 14 different Strobist kits, and I couldn’t figure out which one was the kit I bought back in April. This is an example of the “More is Less” thing in action).

Below is exactly what I bought at the time (and still use today), which is 1-1/2 kits (I didn’t need the 2nd umbrella):

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Hope that helps.

Monday
Jul
2008
21

Shooting Major League Baseball

by Scott Kelby  |  22 Comments

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Yesterday I flew up to Atlanta for the day to shoot the Atlanta Braves vs. the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Despite the sweltering heat (and the Braves loss), I had a blast shooting, and hanging out with Braves team photographer Paul Abell.

I didn’t really have time to go through all the shots, since my flight got home last night, but here are a few that caught my eye upon import in Lightroom (the shot of me above was taken by Paul with my iPhone). Click on any photo to see a larger view—I think they look much better larger, too)

I also didn’t have much time to really do anything to these except sharpen them and tweak the exposure a bit.

I was shooting my Nikon D3, with a 200-400 f/4 VR lens, mounted on a Gitzo monopod. I shot wide open at f/4 most of the day in Aperture Priority mode. I wanted to keep my shutter speed around 1250 to 1600 of a second (to freeze the action), so I had my ISO set between 200 and 320 most of the day, based on the light at the time. Most of the shots were taken from the 1st base dugout, 3rd base dugout, and behind home plate. Later in the day I went up to the first deck to set a few shots shooting down, but most were taken from field level.

Two interesting things to note:

  1. What a difference a year makes: The Nikons outnumbered the Canons (only by one, mind you, but come on—that’s sayin’ something).
  2. Turner Field recently instituted a policy which a lot of ballparks have started to enforce and that is they no longer allow fans to bring in pro cameras with lenses longer than 5″. Apparently, some fans were literally coming to game with 400mm and 600mm lenses; shooting the game from the stands, and then selling the images cheap online, so the ballparks have started cracking down across the Major League.

Thanks to Paul, and everyone at the Braves for a really great day !

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Friday
Jul
2008
18

Jack and Ed Answer More of Your ‘Copyright for Photographers’ Questions

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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Hi, Jack and Ed here. Seeing that there were a bunch of questions and comments from our Photoshop TV interviews in the last two weeks, we both thought we’d answer and clarify some of questions and comments. We’ll be going into more depth to some of these questions in our two Photoshop World sessions in Las Vegas. And we’ll also answer some in our upcoming column in PhotoshopUser Magazine.

As far as the paper VA form, it is being phased out. Bummer. It’s easier than the online registration, in Jack’s opinion. If you have any VA short forms you can still use them or you can still request them to be mailed to you from the copyright office. Jack keeps a blank VA PDF form on his computer. But you can no longer download the VA form from the Copyright Office site (www.copyright.gov). The Copyright office will still process VA forms, but the Copyright Office is no longer making the VA forms easily available in an effort to encourage online filing.

The eCO (Electronic Copyright Office) system, as the Copyright Office calls their online registration system, is improved and better than the first beta version used. But there is still have a problem with the number of files you can register if you are registering a very large number of files, as Jack usually does. Recently he registered 3,093 small compression JPEG files, that are compressed even more into a zip file, and they still total about 158mb. Jack’s upload rate and their pipe in, was going to take 39 minutes according to the timer. There is a time limit of Continue reading

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