Hi everybody. It’s Tuesday and 2008 is almost in the bag. Here’s what’s up:

  • A lot of people have been asking me for an update on how I feel about my Apple MacBook Pro now that I’ve had it for a while, and basically here’s where I’m at: I’ve gotten over the glossy screen thing. I’ve calibrated it a few times now and while the glossy screen is a bit more contrasty, it really hasn’t caused any problems (and maybe that’s because I’m compensating a bit, knowing that my screen looks more contrasty than the final images). My prints from both my Epsons, and from MPIX.com are coming out fine, so the glossy issue isn’t as big an issue as I thought (though if I could get this MacBook Pro without the glossy screen—-I would). The trackpad is still a real issue for me, and frankly it drives me nuts about a dozen or more times a day. I wish Apple would give us a way to turn gestures off, but as best I can tell—there is none. The two reasons I decided to stick it out with this model are: (1) The nVidia graphic card makes Photoshop CS4 zoom faster than I’ve ever seen Photoshop go, and (2) I doubt Apple is going back to matte screens, or bringing back a trackpad button, so I’m going to have to get used to it sooner or later, and I might as well just get used to it now. So, that’s where I’m at; I’m not thrilled, but I’m adjusting.
  • Thanks to PhotographyColleges.org for including this blog in their list of the Top 100 Photography Blogs. Here’s the link to their full list.
  • Want to see some cool Photoshop post production retouching? (Not so much portrait retouching—just retouching). Check out Ciklopas Photography Studio, and then when you get to their site (click here), click on the Post Production link on the left side of the page, and then toggle through their different projects. Very well done.
  • Dave Cross had my buddy Terry White as his guest last week for his popular “Finish The Sentence” feature. Here’s the link to check it out.
  • This I love: Go check out this Web site for a spa in Aspen, Colorado. They’ve got a pretty darn fabulous landing page presented in a simple, yet dramatic way that I haven’t seen before. Beautiful photography beautifully presented, even if it’s just for a few moments. Worth a quick look (here’s the link).
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’m taking New Years Eve off along with New Years Day, but I’ll be back with more wholesome goodness on Friday the 2nd. Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year!

See you guys next year! :)


Well, let’s get this out of the way first. We lost. At home. Miserably. To a team that’s only won 4 games all season. We’re out of the playoffs. Our season’s over. Ugh! I don’t want to talk about it. Until next year, of course.

Now, onto the shoot. It was a warm beautiful day (as you might imagine; I had a blast) and I have a quick story to share: It’s very late in the fourth quarter, we’re a touchdown behind with just a minute or two left on the clock. I’m shooting from the sidelines, right near the Buc’s bench, and when one of our receivers drops a pass, I look to the guy standing right next to me, and say something along the lines of, “Oh come on–you gotta catch those–it was right in his hands.” He looks at me and nods in agreement. It was Tiger Woods. I kid you not. I had to step back and grab a couple of shots of him, but I didn’t post any here because it would have ruined the story, as you would have recognized him instantly.

Anyway, after I took the shot, I went over to him and said, “I’m having a problem with my short game. I’m hooding my wedge a bit on my backswing, and I was wondering if you had any tips that might help?” (OK, I didn’t really walk over and say that. I had ya though, didn’t I?). Anyway, it was wild seeing him there (I wish I had noticed him earlier, I probably would have at least said “hi”).

GEAR: All shots were taken with a Nikon D3 with a 200-400mm f/4 lens, or a D300 with a 70-200mm 2.8 VR lens. ISO 200 and wide open (at f/4 and f/2.8 respectively, all day). My thanks to Matt May and the Bucs for giving me such a great day that I can nearly overlook the loss. Nearly. (Click on the thumbnails below for a larger image).

So, here are some of my favorite shots from this heartbreaking, season-ending game (and of course, besides the Bucs needing to win this game, to get in the playoffs the Eagles would have also had to beat Dallas. Of course, they did. Double-ugh!).

Photo courtesy of NIkon USA

If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you know by now that I often write these posts either late at night, or really early in the morning. You also know that it’s not unusal for my posts to have typos, mistakes, and other mishaps that occur when you write blog posts when you’re really sleepy (by the way, my mistakes aren’t just limited to those two times; I make mistakes all day long).

Anyway, last week on my blog, in a December 23rd post about location shooting with the Lastolite EZYBox, I mistakenly called my Nikon 14-24mm lens a “VR” lens (which it is not). Now, generally when I make a mistake like that, one of my readers will usually post something like, “Hey Scott, there’s a typo in your post. That lens isn’t a VR” and then I’ll usually post back saying, “Hey, thanks for catching that” and I go and change it. It’s happened dozens of times.

Well, this time the guy who pointed out my error, added “Is this something they custom made for you?” (knowing it was not). He was kind of being a smart $#% with this  “Is this something they custom made for you” comment, so I thought I’d be a little one back, and added this comment, “Actually, it is a special custom-made version of the 14-24mm Nikon made for me with the VR added (this model isn’t available to the general public, but may be in the future). Happy Holidays! -Scott. I never dreamed that anyone would take me seriously (especially since this wasn’t a blog post—it was just a comment about a post).

Well, my comment turned out to be an even bigger mistake than accidentally saying it was a VR in the first place, because a Nikon rumors site picked up on it, and ran a post called “Is Scott Kelby kidding” which started a long debate about the lens existence (Maybe they actually made it for me, and I slipped up, etc.) and whether wide angles lenses would even need VR, and so on. Then it was picked up over in the forums over at DPReview.com, and the next thing I know I get a call from Nikon because they are getting calls from people who want this new VR lens, which obviously doesn’t exist.

Now, right when all this happened (last week), I went to both site’s forums and immediately posted a comment saying it was my mistake, and my reply was totally a joke, and that there is no 14-24mm VR lens from Nikon; they didn’t custom make one for me (as if), and so on.

So, I’m sorry to Nikon for the trouble, and to anyone who spent more than 30-seconds debating on forums about this. I’m even sorry to the guy I was a smart #%$ to. Totally my fault, and don’t worry—I won’t do anything like that again.

Note: Photo above courtesy of NIkon USA


I’m finishing up the update to, “The Photoshop Elements 7 Book for Digital Photographers,” (co-authored with Matt Kloskowski) and each time I update a book, I always use all new photos throughout the book, which means I have to be shooting pretty much all the time (which gives me a great excuse to use with my wife, “Honey, it’s for work.” ;-)

Anyway, I shot a number of new images just for the book, and I thought it would be cool to do an on-location sports portrait of some local kids who play Soccer (which is called football about every place else on the planet). My buddy Jim Workman is president of the local Soccer (football) league and he set-up a shoot for me with a family that had three talented, fun, and really sweet kids.


This was my first location shoot with Brad assisting me, and we had an awful lot of fun. One of the highlights was watching these little kids blast the ball past Brad, who is a much better photographer than he is goalie, and then watching him chase the ball all over the field.


LIGHTING: We used one Nikon SB-800 off-camera flash, with a hot-shoe EZYbox softbox, (the one I talked about last week) mounted on a sturdy C-stand (if I had used a shoot-through umbrella, the wind would have taken it down about half-a-dozen or so times). Because this was a sunset shoot, we taped a 1/2 cut of CTO gel over the front of the flash to warm up the color. When the sun was completely gone, we added a second SB-800 on the opposite side of the player, with a HonlPhoto 8″ Speed Snoot to keep the light from bare flash really small and concentrated on the right side of the subject’s face.


We did the shoot at a local playing field, rather than in a big stadium,  and there were some unattractive maintenance buildings and a parking lot in the background, so I had to compose the shots to keep all that ugly stuff out of the frame. I took nearly all the shots lying on the ground shooting up toward the kids. I positioned the kids so the setting sun was behind them putting great color into the clouds (we got lucky having such great clouds that night—the next night there wasn’t a cloud in the sky). The field was pretty plain, so I made sure the goal was in most of the shots, so it would be more obvious that we were on a field. I also tried to included some of the field lights in the shots, to give more of a stadium feel.


CAMERA INFO: All the shots were taken with a Nikon D3, using a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens at 200 ISO. I shot in Manual mode, and most shots were taken at f/9 at 1/200 to 1/250 of a second (I used a higher shutter speed to minimize existing light and darken up the clouds).


I’m planning on doing a special bonus video for people who buy the book on how to set-up a similar location shoot.



Howdy, folks. Here’s what’s up:

  • Each week NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker does a short video  show called NAPP News, and it covers industry news, stuff for NAPP members like new discount and offers, and just generally a bunch of stuff Photoshop freaks would be interested in. We’ve had a number of people ask that we also make it available as a downloadable video Podcast in Apple’s iTunes, and well…now it’s available as a downloadable podcast in iTunes. You can subscribe to it free right here or just watch the show right there in iTunes. (By the way; if you haven’t checked out the show in a while, it has really grown tremendously, and Dave Cross has a very cute guest appearence in this week’s show).
  • This Sunday I’m shooting the Bucs vs. Raiders NFL game from the sidelines. This is a must-win game for the Bucs, and besides the win, we also need the Eagles to beat the Cowboys this weekend to snag a Wildcard spot in the playoffs. Here’s something you don’t hear me say very often; Go Eagles!
  • LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEA: My friend Janine Smith sent me this one. She wrote, “I LOVE my 5-second frames. Very easy to frame (just drop the photo in the back, no need to take it apart). Then you can add more photos (10 in the back compartment). Hang it on the wall (they offer easy templates) or stand it on a table, horizontal or vertical. To change photos, just pick it up, slide one photo out, another one in. This has to be the greatest grandparent gift ever. Nice looking, affordable ($15 or so), available at Target or Bed Bath &  Beyond. http://5second.com/ (Thanks Janine for passing this one one).
  • LIGHTROOM 2 TOUR: Make plans now as Matt Kloskowski brings our Lightroom 2 Live! Tour to Covington, Kentucy (near Cincinatti) on January 23, 2009. This seminar is going to sell out in advance, so if you want to attend, sign up now (tickets are available on a first come/first served basis). Here’s the link.
  • Terry White has a post up today on his popular TechBlog that you’ve got to read. It’s about “Adobe Connect” (Adobe’s web conference software) and the reason I’m hoping you’ll read about it (and sign up for a free Connect account), is that after the first of the year, we’ll be doing some special live training events using this technology, and I want you to be able to be a part of them. The first step, is signing up for that free account, but beyond that, the technology is pretty amazing, so if you’ve got a minute, check out his post right here.
  • NO BLOG TILL MONDAY: Just a reminder: I’m taking the rest of this week off, so there will be no blogging until next Monday, so I can take some time off to enjoy Christmas with my family. Hope you’ll be taking things easy too, and enjoying all the wonder this season can bring.

That’s it for today folks. See ya on Monday!