Photoshop Hall of Famer, and SVA Department Chair Katrin Eismann sent me some interesting news: The School of VISUAL ARTS is taking the The Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography program online for the fall of 2009 (image above by June Young Lim).

The students will complete the fall and spring classes (Advanced Imaging, Color Management, Photo Illustration, Studio Management, etc) online and then come to New York City to complete their thesis projects, which includes taking the Large Format Print class, developing a web presence, designing a brand, and producing the collateral for a NY Exhibit.

The MPS in Digital Photography is a concentrated course of studies in both commercial and fine art digital photography that addresses the entire imaging workflow – from image capture and enhancement to online distribution and final display. Under the guidance of leading photographers, retouchers, designers and studio managers, students master the latest tools and techniques to create technically perfect and aesthetically compelling images. In addition to developing a body of work, students become versed in the critical aspects of branding, marketing, studio operations and current business practices.

The one-year, 33-credit degree is designed to advance students' understanding and application of cutting-edge digital imaging technologies through in-depth coursework, specialized workshops and seminars, and presentations by contemporary artists. Culminating in a thesis project, the required curriculum includes classes in color management, editorial photography, photo illustration, large-format printing and studio management.

For information about the program, visit


Gang; we are so close to finishing this Orphanage, but as you read on Friday—the funding has run out, and the construction has stopped. With your help, today, we can restart construction immediately, finish the orphanage, and start feeding and caring for these children who need our help so badly. So, here’s the plan:

For one day; today, Tuesday, December 16, 2008, if you pre-order my new book, “The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers” using this special direct link; I will donate 100% of the entire cover price of the book to Springs of Hope, Kenya, the non-profit grass-roots group put together by Joseph and Molly Bail to build this orphanage. (This opportunity ends tonight at 12:00 midnight, Eastern Standard Time, U.S.).

I’m not donating just “the profits” from the book, or “a portion of the proceeds” from today’s sales; you pay the cover price for the special limited-edition spiral-bound version of the book, which is $64.99, and all $64.99 goes directly toward finishing the orphanage, and feeding these children. So, basically, you and I are in this together, both of us giving to make something special happen in the life of child.

Along with my humble and most heartfelt thanks, I will personally sign your copy of the book, as my way of saying thanks for supporting Joseph, Molly, and the amazing and selfless work they’re doing with homeless and street children in Kenya.

Now, could you buy the book cheaper somewhere else? Absolutely, but when you buy it here today, you’re not just buying a book, you’re feeding and caring for a child that desperately needs your help. No matter what else you do today, you’ll know that you did something that really matters. You gave a hungry child food, shelter, and hope.

NOTE: Here’s the link you’ll need to buy the book direct from Kelby Training, so the proceeds go to Joseph and Molly.

If you’d like to learn more about Joseph and Molly’s work, visit

IMPORTANT: This opportunity to help out is available only today, Tuesday, December 16, 2008. Scott’s book is scheduled for delivery later this month. Not available with any other discounts. As always, Shipping & Handing is extra. Thanks for spreading hope.

…back for his 2nd guest appearance as guest blogger here; he’s co-host of Photoshop User TV, author of “Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature,” he’s the producer of the “Lightroom Killer Tips” blog and weekly Podcast, he’s a columnist for Photoshop User magazine, and he’s also my good friend—Mr. Matt Kloskowski.

Matt came to me with the idea of this topic a while back, and if you’ve been waiting for a post that will shake up the old guard, and challenge traditional Photoshop thinking, then make sure you’re back here tomorrow. Matt has a really thought-provoking guest blog post that will have many of you cheering, and others reaching for their gun. It’s going to be a wild day, so don’t miss it!


The spread above is from my book “The Digital Photography Book, Vol 2.” It’s my opener for the chapter on shooting portraits (click on it for a larger view), and the reason I’m mentioning it is that I found the shot below, showing the set-up for that shot (taken just moments after I took the shot above). I found it this weekend while I was searching for a completely different shot.


The set-up photo above (click for a larger view) was taken by my buddy Dave Moser, and that’s my buddy Terry White holding a Lastolite 30″ TriGrip Diffuser (here’s the link to it on B&H) in front of the window. The sunlight was pretty harsh and direct, so I had Terry hold the TriGrip in front of the direct light to soften, spread, and diffuse it, to give you the shot you see at the top of this post.

The lighting is a little flatter and less directional than I usually go for, but when I looked at the shot on my laptop (which is what I’m doing in the shot above), I was happy with the overall look. So basically, I just tamed the light with a simple diffuser—no flashes or reflectors—just that one diffuser.

TECH SPECS: Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III, with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens (at 100mm), at f/4 at 1/200 of a second in Aperture Priority mode.

Anyway, I thought since I found the set-up shot, I’d share it here. I usually have that Lastolite 1-stop diffuser with me on every location shoot, and its paid for itself many times over (I also use the Lastolite diffuser to spread and soften the light from a Nikon SB-800 off-camera flash).


Howdy. Hope everybody had a great weekend. Here’s what’s up!

  • You’ve heard me talk about photographer/retoucher David Cuerdon numerous times here on the blog. Right after Photoshop World Las Vegas I got to talk to him about a new “Retouching Kit” he had put together, with included not only more advanced retouching techniques, but a specialized set of brushes, actions, textures, shapes, and color swatches for retouching that he uses together in a very clever way in his everyday work. Well, I’m happy to announce that not only were we able to convince David that he needs to be a part of KelbyTraining, but his Beauty & Retouching Kit online class (along with all the downloadable actions, brushes, and more) is now up online at! (here’s the link to see his sessions).
  • I just saw somewhere that keeps a running list of their bestselling digital cameras, and their #1 selling camera (at only $110.95) might make a great stocking-stuffer for someone on your holiday list. It’s the Canon PowerShot A590IS 8-megapixel point-and-shoot with 4x optical image-stabilized zoom. Here’s the link.
  • My humble thanks to everyone who not only donated on Friday to help build the Springs of Hope Orphanage. You can’t imagine what a difference your donations will make. For example, I was really touched by what Melody from Let it Shine Candle Supplies is doing. She wrote, “My family business has decided to have this be our highlighted charity of the month and will be donating 10% of our December sales to the cause.” That’s really amazing! So, if you’re planning on buying any candle supplies this holiday season—by all means, send your business to Let it Shine (here’s the link to their site). Also, thanks to those who wanted to donate but couldn’t because Springs of Hope Kenya can’t accept PayPal or credit cards. I’ll be working with them this week to work on the Paypal/Credit Card issue, and I’m sure we’ll get that addressed.
  • My thanks to for including my “Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers” in their 2008 Holiday Gift Guide (here’s the link).
  • We’ll end this post with a chuckle; remember I mentioned photographer Scott Diussa’s shots of Big Electric Cat on Friday? Well, it seems like Scott has a secret—he was in a 80s band as well, and posted some shots on his blog. Here’s the link (way to take the heat, Scott!). :)

Have a great week everybody!


I’m not proud of what I’ve done. I hurt a lot of people’s eardrums along the way. I had blond tips. I wore stage clothing that would make Duran Duran blush. But I was lucky. I got out. A lot of good people never did.

OK, so why am I not only admitting that I spent years of my youth in a disco band, and worse yet, sharing pictures? Well, it has to do with a chapter intro in my new “Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers,” and in that intro I stupidly mentioned that I would put a photo of some of my old bands on my blog. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but then I actually saw the photos, and then….well….I wish I had rewritten that intro.

But what’s done is done, and above you see four of the five members of my current band, Big Electric Cat, but in a promo photo from the mid-80s when we were in the band Rumor Hazit (when we played disco for a living). From left to right: Guitar player Tony Llanes, Bass Player Jackie Green, My wife (and lead singer) Kalebra, sadly that’s me on keyboards, and lastly Drummer Scott Stahley. Oh, but there’s more.


This is an earlier photo of the band, with a couple of different members. That’s me on the far left (dig the hair), Bass Player Lon Crawford, that’s Kalebra in the middle, drummer Scott Stahley bottom right, and Guitar player and vocalist Gary Granelli. You can’t see it in this photo, but my coat is actually a trench coat that goes all the way down to my calves, and I was wearing white boots like those shown in the photo below). I know. I was funky fresh! ;-)


This is perhaps the most important photo, because of the guy above on the right. That’s Barry Greene (with the pink guitar)—-the guy I wrote about in one of the book’s chapter intros, and the reason these silly photos went up here in the first place (the guy on the left is bass player Steve Burgess). This will all make sense when you read the chapter intro, but in the meantime, just enjoy some of the finest moments in fashion history.

This is my early Christmas present to you. ;-)

P.S. If you’d like to see some photos of us playing now (with Big Electric Cat), check out photographer Scott Diussa’s blog, where he shares some photos from this past Photoshop World, including shots of us playing live during our set at the Las Vegas House of Blues (here’s the link; when you get there, just scroll down a bit and you’ll see ’em). You’ll see from his photos, I haven’t aged a bit. ;-)