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  • Howdy folks, here's what's up: Nancy Masse, (our in-house copywriter and Baroness of Social Web Marketing), sent me the photo above last week, and when I first looked at it, I didn't immediately hit me what it was. Then I was like, "Wow...that is so cool!" As impressed as I was with the very clever idea, I was really blown away once I realized that this isn't something composited together in Photoshop---what you're seeing is a photo of a set built at full size. That took it over the top for me. This image is now popping up all over the web (it's totally going viral), and so I had Nancy track down the original source, and here's what she found: The photo was taken by photographer Anton Ismael, for the Jakarta-based ad agency Bates 141, for their client software-asli.com) and the only thing…

    BIG NEWS: My favorite photography podcast, formerly known as "The Digital Photography Show" (hosted by Scott Sherman and Michael Stein) has found a new home, and a new name---it's now called "Digital Photography Life: Make Every Shot Count" and I am totally honored that they asked me to be the first guest on their new show (which you can hear by clicking here). The interview is pretty in-depth, and we talk about everything (and I mean everything), including a lot about Lightroom 2, so give it a listen when you get some time---I think you'll totally dig it. Congratulations to Scott and Michael on re-launching the show (it's a long story, but I'm SO glad they're back), and I wish you guys continued success!!!

    I had a lot of questions and comments from the MacBook Pro review I posted last week, so I thought I'd address a few of them of them here. Q. Why don't you just use a mouse? A. The reason I have a MacBook Pro at all, is because of travel (as I said in the review; I have a MacPro at home, which is my main machine for doing photography, retouching, and editing). You can't easily use a mouse on a plane, or in a taxi, or in the airport, or in all the places I bought a MacBook Pro for in the first place, like where I'm sitting writing this right now, where my "laptop" is in my lap. Q. How can anyone seriously use Photoshop with a trackpad? A. I've been doing it for years now, and  while I'm not a…

    Well it's Friday (yippie!) and here's what's going on to take us into the weekend. First, a big thanks to my buddy RC Concepcion for such a very cool guest blog post Wednesday. One thing I really loved about RC's post is that it was so "RC." That's him---the Swiss Army Knife of digital imaging and design, and he totally took the guest blog in a different direction, and I think that's really cool. Thanks RC--you rocked it, baby! This weekend, Photoshop User magazine will start arriving in NAPP members mailboxes (well, at least those here in the U.S.), and in this issue is (that's right), my 3rd Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide!!!! In the past, my Gear Guide has been part of Layers magazine, but Layers Managing Editor Chris Main pointed out that so many of the things on my guide are for…

    macbookpro.jpg

    There are things I absolutely love about my new 15″ Apple MacBook Pro (photo above courtesy of Apple), but at least 40 to 50 times a day, I want to have a friend fling it high into the air so I can use it for skeet shooting practice.

    Now, before I dig into this review too far, part of the problem seems to be an Apple thing, but part of the problem may be something Adobe can fix in Photoshop CS4, because it’s there where the problem is most prevalent, and it’s there where I find myself stringing together somewhat colorful phrases I would not normally assemble.
    My Worry
    My main concern about the MacBook Pro was that the glossy glass screen would be too glossy for accurately editing photos in Photoshop.

    My First Impression
    I was pleasantly surprised at how great photos look on its crisp glossy screen. In fact, it’s so luscious, I think it makes the photos look better than they really look. Also, I was concerned about reflections, and while it is more reflective, and I keep thinking that’s going to be a problem; so far, it really hasn’t been. Surprisingly, the only time I really notice the reflections is when it dims the screen. Then, I’m much more aware of them.

    The Reality
    I’m still worried. Because it makes photos look so darn good, I only want people to see my photos on a glossy MacBook Pro glass screen, but of course, that’s not going to happen, as they’ll be viewed on the Web on whatever computer they have, and of course, they’ll be viewed in print. I’ve only had my MacBook Pro a few days, so I haven’t had a chance to do any serious printing in-house on my Epsons, and just last night I sent my first lab print to MPIX.com, so I have no idea how my on-screen color correction and edits will relate to my final images in print or on the Web. So, while I’m pleasantly surprised at how nice the screen looks, I’ll have to wait and see how the Photoshop editing process plays out. I will update you on this as soon as I know.

    —-

    My Worry
    I know that one of the key features in Photoshop CS4 is the new hardware accelerated graphics and that now Photoshop hands off a lot of processing directly to the graphics card, and while I could see a difference in my old MacBook Pro, I was wondering if the new NVIDIA graphics card in the new MacBook Pros would really make that big a difference.

    My First Impression
    It’s way better than I expected. So much so, that it actually changes your Photoshop experience. I’ve never felt like Photoshop has moved faster than it does with the new NVIDIA cards. It’s crazy fast, and zooming, moving, rotating views, etc. is just amazingly, crazily, wonderfully fast.

    The Reality
    My first impression was correct. So much so, that I’m going to install an NVIDIA graphics card in my MacPro tower at home, which is the machine I do most of my serious photo work on.

    —-

    My Worry
    Since the new MacBook Pros don’t come with a mouse button, I was afraid it would be weird not having something to click, and it would take me a long time to get used to it. Instead, the whole trackpad is a mouse button (well, most of it anyway), so wherever you are, you can just click.

    My First Impression
    Wow, you don’t really need a mouse button. I started working with it immediately, because your hand sits right where it always did, and when you want to click, you just click with your thumb like you always did. After five minutes, you don’t even think about it again.

    The Reality
    I was wrong. The trackpad is killing me, and is the main culprit behind all my MacBook Pro Pain. Apple will have to fix part of it (and if the reports I’m reading online are correct, they’ve already begun a fix), but Adobe will probably have to fix the other part.

    The problem is a combination of the new trackpad finger gestures, which let you control navigation and rotation within Photoshop much in the way you work with photos on an iPhone (you can flick images around, you can pinch to zoom in, etc.. It’s actually a very cool intuitive idea). Here’s the problem; my thumb rests on the trackpad where it always rests—right where the click button used to be. But if it moves upward even 1/16 of a inch (which it often does), then the trackpad thinks I want to rotate the canvas view in Photoshop, and so it turns my canvas to a 45° angle. Sometimes, it just starts tilting my canvas back and forth while I’m trying to work. Sometimes it not only rotates my canvas, it zooms me out to less than a 1% view of my image. So, 40 to 50 times a day (maybe more), I have to go and reset my Canvas to normal, and then zoom back out to fit in view. It is driving me crazy to the point that I now find myself making finger gestures to my new Mac.

    I went to the Trackpad preferences, hoping there was a way to turn off the “rotate my screen wildly and zoom in and out at random” feature, but sadly, there was not (see the capture below).

    trackpad.jpg

    I’ve pretty much turned off whatever I can in the preferences above, and yet, still I rotate. Here’s a quick video of how this affects my day.

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

    Now, this problem happens to a lesser extent in my Web Browser and in my Mac Mail application, where suddenly my text zooms in, or gets really tiny. It doesn’t bother me as much there, but that’s probably because it doesn’t rotate my view, eh?

    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…

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