Wednesday
Jan
2008
30

Progress Report: The First Month of Kelby Training’s Online Subscription Service

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

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Now that our newly launched Online Training Subscription Service is one month old, I thought I’d share a quick look at where we’re going and where we’ve been.

Starting From Scratch:
Any time you launch something new like this, you hold your breath. You just do, because no matter how many estimates you’ve compiled, or projections you’ve made, and bandwidth you’ve alloted; and meticulous plans you’ve laid; you just don’t know until you launch.

In our best case scenario, if everything came together just right, we were hoping to have 300 subscribers at the end of our first month. If we somehow hit 500 subscribers by month’s end, it would have been nothing short of an absolute grand slam home run. Here’s what we hadn’t counted on; More than 2,200 subscribers!!!! We are just floored!

The word of mouth from our students has just been incredible, and I’ve been getting email after email from our students raving about their experience, and how over the top they are about this amazing faculty of instructors (I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to hear your stories; how it’s helping you in your careers, and in your passion for creating great images).

This incredible jump start has helped us to move further ahead on a variety of new training projects, and thanks to your response we’ll be announcing a number of new world-class instructors who’ll be joining our faculty, and bringing their talents to you in just the next few months (this has me totally psyched!).

Here’s what we learned:
We wanted this to be a totally immersive learning experience, so our classes are delivered in a large-size, wide-screen video format, and as you might expect—it was just days before we needed to add more servers. Fast! We did, and we’ve heard from many of you that it’s made a big difference, and we’re continuing to enhance and improve the entire delivery process

Although we still have a hiccup here and there, each day they get less and less frequent as we tweak the loads, delivery methods, and bandwidth. It’s a learning process, and we’re learning quickly what works and what doesn’t, so every day the whole experience gets even better.

New Classes Online
Since our initial launch just over a month ago, we’ve been adding a steady stream of new classes, including new online courses from Moose Peterson, Joe McNally, Dan Margulis, Andy Greenwell, and Dave Cross, plus a lot more are on the way (Our next new class goes live tomorrow as we bring gifted artist and instructor John Paul Caponigro’s first new class with us online).

What’s Up Next:
We have a number of classes that are already well into production, from teachers like Vincent Versace, Eddie Tapp, David Ziser, more Joe McNally on location shoots, my new Photoshop Portrait Retouching Techniques class, Katrin Eismann, Rich Harrington, and lots more coming in just the next few weeks! That’s one of the things I’m most excited about; it’s not just about what we have now; it’s about the new classes being added all month long, and all year long.

We Hear Ya
We’ve also been listening to your ideas and suggestions, and we’ve heard from a number of subscribers who have already noticed that new features and enhancements they requested are already being put into place (keep those ideas, and class suggestions coming—we love ‘em!).

The Bottom Line
We just couldn’t be more excited, delighted, and totally focused on this new 24-hour a day teaching opportunity, that is already reaching new students around the world . It’s been an amazing month; one in which we’ve learned a lot, tweaked and enhanced a lot, and both gritted our teeth and jumped for joy, but at the end of the day; it’s just a start. It’s what we do from here on out that will make the difference, and we’re totally committed to bringing you nothing but the best training, from nothing but the best educators on the planet. Period!

That’s why we’re still tweaking, improving, analyzing, adding, and most importantly; listening. Thanks for putting your trust in us, and the amazing team of dedicated educators we’ve assembled. I just can’t wait until you see what we have coming next. I think you’re absolutely going to love it!!! :-)

Tuesday
Jan
2008
29

Tuesday News Nuggets

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Here’s what goin’ on:

  • Nikon just intro’d a new DSLR (the Nikon D60—photo above courtesy of Nikon), and two new lenses (the wide-angle PC-E NIKKOR 24mm f/3.5D ED with perspective control, and AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens). Get the full scoop where I got it; Moose’s News Blog. (While you’re at Moose’s blog; make sure you scroll down a bit and check out some of the amazing shots he got in Yellowstone at their most recent DLWS workshop. Incredible!).
  • If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you already know I’m a Gitzo tripod freak, and if you’ve got the Gitzo fever, too; then check out the new Gitzo Tripod Configurator, which helps you find which Gitzo tripod is right for you based on how wealthy you are (OK, I’m kidding …but it doesn’t hurt). Actually, it helps you find the right tripod based on what kind of camera you have, what kind of lenses you use, and what kind shooting you do (it’s very well done). Here’s the link to configurate your day.
  • Photoshop Boy Genius Matt Kloskowski has been creating some really useful Lighroom presets, and making them downloadable for free from his “Lightroom Killer Tips” site for a while now. Well, Matt’s presets have become so popular, that some folks who’ve been downloading them have formed a flickr group (open to everyone). Here’s the link to the flickr group (get on board now!).
  • I don’t know this guy, but I love seeing this picture (click here).
  • Lastly, I came across this photographer while on photographer Darrell Kincer’s blog, and this is truly amazing stuff (it’s underwater photography, by photographer Zena Holloway, and it’s among the very best I’ve seen of it’s kind). It’s a must-see (here’s the link). Stunning!

That’s it for today, folks! Make it a great one! :-)

Tuesday
Jan
2008
29

Cool Simple Trick for B&W Conversions on Epson Printers

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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We had Dan “Dano” Steinhardt from Epson on as a guest on this week’s episode of Photoshop User TV, and he’s got an amazingly simple little trick for creating black and white prints (without converting your color image to black and white) on Epson printers. He also brought some printed samples on the show to show the results, and if you’ve never struggled with B&W, it’s definitely worth watching (you’ll be amazed at how simple this is, for the quality of the final print it delivers). Here’s the link to watch it online.

Monday
Jan
2008
28

On Friday, I got my hands on McNally’s “The Moment It Clicks” and It’s Even Better Than I Imagined

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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I saw it–one of the first copies off press of what I truly believe will be the single most important photography book of 2008; Joe McNally’s “The Moment it Clicks.” (Published by New Riders). I have to tell you—I was blown away. I had seen galleys, mock-ups, and proofs, but there’s nothing like seeing “The real deal,” and it was just stunning.

This sounds cliché, but I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I literally took it to lunch with me on Friday (my wife was thrilled, and made some remark about what a fun date she must be if I have to bring a book along when we go to lunch. I did let her look at it though. Believe it or not–it helped). Anyway, it was amazing to see the way his images and real life stories seamlessly wrapped around all the education and the “how to get a shot like this” sections–I’ve just never seen any book like it.

As that one copy make its way around our office on Friday, it made such an impact on everyone who opened it. Joe has done something really special here, and a BIG congratulations to Joe for so willingly sharing his wisdom, his humor, his invaluable insights, his instruction, and some of the most amazing images I’ve ever seen.

I gotta tell ya; if it was just a coffee table photo book, it would be worth it just for the incredible photos alone. If it it was just a book of Joe’s amazing stories, or the “how to get a shot like this” sidebars, or just those little nuggets of photography wisdom he gleaned from a life behind the lens, it would be worth it to get any one of those. But he gave us all four. One foot on the coffee table, and one foot in the classroom. I don’t know how he pulled it off—but he did—in a big way.

NOTE: It usually takes about two weeks between the printer, and the time bookstores get them warehoused and into their system, so we’re still probably around two weeks from seeing them in stock, but you can preorder your copy from Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com.

Friday
Jan
2008
25

New Online Class: Light Shaping Tools with Joe McNally

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

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A new online class, the first of five lighting classes, from world class shooter and renowned instructor Joe McNally, has just gone live on KelbyTraining.com.

It’s shot on location in a photography studio, and Joe literally starts from scratch teaching the basics of a single-light portrait shoot using a variety of light-shaping tools, from umbrellas, to diffusers, reflectors, and softboxes, with special bonus sessions on Ring Flash, and he ends up with a bonus on-location sunset with a ballerina on the beach at sunset that is just amazing—you see the shoot unfold live as they race the setting sun to “get the shot” before it’s too late (and boy does he ever get the shot!).

Here’s the link for the full description, and you can watch three sample sessions from this new class absolutely free. Very cool stuff!!!

Friday
Jan
2008
25

Friday News Wrap-up

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

It’s Friday everybody, and you know what that means! (You do know, right?). That’s right, it’s time for the Friday News Wrap-up (and weekend sports with Gail Fisher). Hang on, here we go:

  • When I was looking through that UK-based magazine Digital Photographer earlier this week, I saw a double truck (two page spread) ad for Canon’s 40D, and the ad’s background was a sweeping sunset shot, but when I read the headline I just burst out laughing. It read, “I gaze at the sunset with the woman I love, and think….f/8 at 1/250.” You just gotta love that (if only it didn’t ring so true)!
  • Sony is hosting a huge, worldwide photo competition that it’s vying to make the “Oscar awards of Photography” and the deadline is right around the corner; January 31, 2008, so if you’re interested, check out their site at worldphotographyawards.org
  • I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but some friends at Adobe shared this with me while I was out there earlier this week and it’s just hilarious. It’s a video series on YouTube.com called “You Suck at Photoshop” and it’s just hilarious (content warning; there is some serious cussing, but it’s seriously hilarious cussing. Just so you know). Make sure you start with Part 1, so you’re in on the gag. You will laugh your $#&!* off! (Here’s the link to Part One).
  • Mike Wong over at the “One onOne with Mike Wong” blog, did a write up on Volume 2 of my book, “The Digital Photography Book.” Here’s the link.
  • Lastly, start your Friday off right by taking a moment to enjoy some fine art landscape photos from photographer Peter Haigh. Beautifully serene images (here’s the link).

That’s it for today. Lot’s of cool stuff coming next week, so have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday. :)

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