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). ;-)


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

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments


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.


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).


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):


Hope that helps.


Shooting Major League Baseball

by Scott Kelby  |  22 Comments


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 !










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

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments


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


New Training DVD from Fay Sirkis; A Celebration of Art: Weddings, Portraits and Faces!

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

fayhd.jpgWorld renowned Digital Artist (and Photoshop World instructor) Fay Sirkis has just released an in-depth DVD (from KelbyTraining.com) called “A Celebration of Art; Weddings, Portraits and Faces” If you haven’t had the chance to learn from Fay, she’s without a doubt one of the most amazing, passionate, and engaging teachers out there (her sessions at Photoshop World–standing room only, and her pre-conference workshop is always one of the first to sell-out). Her last record-breaking DVD took the digital painting world by storm, so make sure you check out Weddings, Portraits and Faces while they’re still in stock (here’s the link). By the way: NAPP members get $20.00 off.

Besides Photoshop World, you can also catch Fay live at her “Summer Photo Painting Bootcamp” at the prestigious Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging in Los Osos, California, on August 18 thru 22nd. (NAPP members get 15% off there, too!). Here’s the link for info on her bootcamp.


Thursday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments


First, a big thanks to my special guest blogger yesterday, the amazing Dave Cross, whose message really resonated with so many of you out there. Very cool stuff, my friend!
Now, onto the News:

  • One of my readers, Nicholas Van Staten, pointed out this AP article (which I’m pointing to in the Miami Herald), about how New York City has now adopted a clear set of rules for photographers and filmmakers about when they need to obtain permits to shoot on the sidewalks and streets of New York. Here’s a link to the Herald (thanks Nicholas!).
  • Great news: Since I posted those two copyright interviews with attorney Ed Greenberg and photographer’s rights advocate Jack Reznicki, you all have posted loads of comments and follow-up questions, and Ed and Jack have heard ya. In fact, tomorrow I’ll have a post directly from them answering some of your most pressing copyright and legal questions, so make sure you’re back here tomorrow for this special follow-up from Ed and Jack (I love these guys)!
  • Yesterday, Mattias (one of my readers here on the blog) suggested that I create a category for all the Guest Blog posts, so it would be easy to find all the guest blog posts with just one click. Well, Fred (my in-house Web guru) already added this new feature, and now when I have a guest blogger, right up in the title area (to the immediate right of where it shows how many comments have been posted), you’ll see the category “Guest Blogger.” Click on that, and you’ll get nothing but all the guest blog posts here on the Photoshop Insider. We’re going to expand that so all the posts are sorted into categories (so they’ll be one-click away, too) and these categories will appear listed on the right side of my blog (but it’s going to take a little time to go back and recategorize them, which sounds like a wonderful job for our summer intern, dontchathink?). Anyway, thanks again to Mattias for the suggestion, and thanks to Fred for getting it up and running so quickly.
  • Another blog thing: earlier this week a reader asked why his comment here said “Awaiting Moderation”, and I assured him I don’t moderate my comments (I just delete the really means ones after the fact), so I was stumped. But then, when I was working on this category thing, I found that my blog’s Spam filter had more than 264 posts it thought were spam, but it was waiting for me to tell it “yes it is” or “no it isn’t,” for each of those comments. Well, as it turns out, 231 of those were indeed spam posts (you’ll be glad it caught them—trust me), but 33 of them were actual comments from readers that it might be spam because the reader put a link in their post. Now, plenty of readers put links in their comments that get right through, but something in the software flagged these 33 real posts for some reason (unknown to me). Anyway, I approved all the real comments (and deleted all the spam), and now that I know where to look, I’ll keep an eye out so this doesn’t happen again. Sorry to everyone whose posts were delayed, but the good news is; they’re there now.
  • I had a number of people who watched my tutorial on how to create a calendar template for photos, ask how to create the bottom of the calendar (where the days of the month are listed). I did a search and found literally dozens of free downloadable calendar templates, and a site that creates these on-the-fly. Here’s the link to “My Free Calendar Maker” (but again, just do a Google Search and you’ll find loads more).
  • My reader Joe Gass sent this my way, and if you’re a photographer, just take 20-seconds and take a look at these photos—it will crack you up (well, it cracked me up anyway)!
  • Two more online classes went up this week on KelbyTraining.com; (1) Photoshop World Instructor Taz Tally’s “Professional Scanning Secrets” (here’s the link) and (2) Graphic’s Guru Lesa Snider King’s “Practical Photoshop Elements” (here’s that link). Check ‘em out if you get a chance.
  • Our buddy Scott Sherman, over at “The Digital Photography Show” podcast has launched his own photo blog. He’s already got some very good stuff there, so take a few secs and check it out right here!
  • Don’t forget, only 10 days left to take advantage of the Photoshop World Conference & Expo Early Bird “$100 off” special. Here’s the link. (make sure you watch the little movies while you’re at the site). Also, all the staff and instructors are staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino so, if you want to stay there with us (and join Matt and I for our traditional late night In/Out Burger run, followed by shooting craps), make sure you snag your hotel room now (use the Travel link on the Photoshop World site for special deals for attendees).
  • One last thing: Just my humble thanks to everyone who posted such wonderful comments on Monday. You guys are the best, and you really make it so much fun for me to do this blog. :)

Have a really great Thursday, and make it a point to do something nice for somebody you work with today. Hey, it couldn’t hurt.

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