…my good friend, photographer, and one of the most downright hilarious and genuine guys you’d ever want to meet, NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker.

One of my readers posted a comment that they’d like to hear from Larry, and I thought it was a great idea, and invited him that very day. I’ve been friends with, and worked with Larry for years now, and he’s one of the most talented, gifted, and quick-witted guys on the planet, and if you’ve ever seen him host one of our crazy segments during Photoshop World’s “Midnight Madness” you totally know what I mean (his off the cuff lines often have me, and the entire audience, literally falling off of chairs with laughter).

Now, that being said, don’t expect him to do a stand-up routine tomorrow, because he takes stuff like this pretty seriously, but I thought you’d like to hear about another side of the guy who hosts the “NAPP News” show each week. Make sure you stop back tomorrow, and catch his post (and if you’re at Photoshop World this week, stop by and say “hi” to one of my very favorite people).


If you’ve been wondering how the Westcott TD-5 Spiderlites you always hear me talking about here on the blog, work—I’m doing a live demo of them at the Westcott booth on the Expo Floor at 1:30 pm on Thursday (the opening day of the show).

I’ll be using the brand new brighter fluorescent bulbs, and I’m going to show how I use them, some of the set-ups I use in the studio, some of the accessories I use, and other stuff like that. I hope you’ll stop by and catch this “mini-session.”

IMPORTANT: Westcott will be also giving away one of my Westcott “Scott Kelby Studio Kits” (sold by B&H Photo) during the show, so even if you can’t catch my class, make sure you stop by and sign up for the drawing (hey, the total prize package is worth around $1,300 and comes with the new brighter bulbs—not too shabby!).

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It’s finally here—Photoshop World Week, where thousands of designers, photographers, developers, video editors, and Photoshop freaks (like me) all gather for a Photoshop love-fest. I can’t wait!

Here’s a couple of things to keep an eye out for, as we head into the conference:

  • First, if you’re going to Photoshop World, check out the short video above from NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker called “Getting the most out of Photoshop World.” He created it for NAPP members attending the show, but anybody going to the show will get a lot out of it.
  • Adobe often uses the Photoshop World keynote to announce a new product, or give us a sneak peek at some new unreleased technology (for example, at the last Photoshop World they announced the Lightroom 2 Public Beta). Well, Adobe’s VP of their Creative Business Unit, John Loiacono is our featured keynote presenter at the opening keynote, so I’m really excited to see what he’ll be sharing.
  • Don’t know if you caught Matt Kloskowski’s “Insider Guide to PhotoshopWorld” (link) or Dave Cross’s advice on making the most of Photoshop World (link), but if you’re going be sure you do.
  • If you are going; make sure you download Dave Cross’ Free Photoshop World Planner PDF. I promise—you’ll love it (and it will make choosing which classes to attend much easier).

Here are some Photoshop World tips that I can pass along:

  1. You gotta go to the opening keynote. It’s one of the highlights of the conference, and it sets the tone for the whole conference. If you miss it, you’ll be hearing everybody talking about it all week, so make sure you’re there for it.
  2. If you want one-on-one answers to your questions, make sure you stop by “Help Desk Live!” right outside the Expo hall. This is where the instructors, including Help Desk guru Peter Bauer himself, hang out to answer your Photoshop questions.
  3. The reason we don’t make you sign up for which classes you want to attend in advance, is so you can customize the conference to suit your needs. Sometimes you go to a class, and you like the instructor so much, you want to catch all their classes, and this way—you can. However, if you wind up in a class that doesn’t suit you—just get up as quietly as possible, and change to a different class on a different track. Don’t sit in a class that is too advanced for you, or a class where you already know what’s being taught. In short; take advantage of that flexibility.
  4. There are special classes offered on the show floor, in one of our three theaters. These aren’t demos—they’re training classes, most of which are taught by our official Photoshop World instructors. Also, there are theaters all over the Expo floor that are doing both demos and techniques, so really take advantage of these. NOTE: Even if you’re not going to the full conference, you can visit the Expo floor for free, if you sign up in advance at the Photoshop World site.
  5. This is an opportunity to make some “Photoshop Friends.” We all need friends that can help us in learning, and there is no better place to make friends than Photoshop World. Just walk up and ask anyone “So what to you use Photoshop for?” and you’ve got a conversation going. The Photoshop World crowd is an amazingly friendly group of people. The first step, is just saying “hi.”

Well, that’s it for this Photoshop World update. I hope to see you there this week, and if I do, and you read this blog, make sure you come up and say “hi.” I wish you safe travels, and a career-changing, learning-filled, fun-filled week!

As I sit here in the early morning hours, I can’t tell you what a challenge it’s been choosing the winner, and runners up for contest part of my Worldwide PhotoWalk.

I was so impressed with the winning entries from around the world, and honestly, you could make a case for nearly any one of them being the winner, because what I was looking at was a collection of 237 local winners from around the world. These photographers images were already good enough that their local leader had chosen them as their best shot from their city, and now I was looking at nothing but winning shots. It’s harder than you’d think.

I’ve been a judge for many photo and design contests over the years, including my stint for years as one of the judges for the Photoshop World Guru Awards, and I had to lean on some of what I learned in that role. One thing that always stood out to me was now a particular image would “hit” everyone at the same time. For example, when we judge the Gurus, we sit in a darkened room and bring up the images on a projector screen one by one (with the entrant’s name hidden from view). As an image would appear on screen, usually you heard silence. Every few images you’d hear one of the judges say, “I like that one!” or “That’s a nice shot” but mostly it was silent. Then, an image would come up, and almost simultaneously, the whole room would go, “oooooohhhhh.”

It wasn’t always the sharpest image, or the one that was technically perfect, but it was always a photo that had some sort of emotional impact. Whether it was color, or texture, or composition, or whatever it was, it had it enough that the whole room was moved at the exact same moment to say, “ooooohhhh!”

So, when I was going through these images, I waited to hear my own “ooooohhh.” They’re all great photos, but I wanted the ones that made me personally go, “ooohhhh.” Each time I saw one of those, I marked it as a potential runner up. I could only choose 10 runners up (each of which wins a copy of Lighroom 2), and of course, I marked more than 10, so I then had to back through those and find out which ones moved me the most.

Then it came down to choosing just one image from that group to be the Grand Prize Best of Show. I thought from the very beginning that one single image would literally stand out from the crowd, but unfortunately it just wasn’t that easy. As I said, you could make a case for any of them, and I knew that no matter what I chose that, because this is such a subjective thing, that other photographers would say, “He chose that one?” because I’ve done that same thing about the winning choice in other competitions I’ve seen. But at the end of the day, I had to make a pick.

So, how did I make that pick? I asked myself this, “If I could only choose one of these 10 runner’s up to have framed and hang on my wall, which one would it be?”

For my Grand Prize winner, (drum roll, please) I chose Suhaimi Abdullah’s shot from the Singapore walk, of a bird flying overhead an industrial-looking street. To me, everything from its composition to its colors told a story. It looked almost surreal, and at the same time, totally believable because we’ve all been in a concrete jungle and have been suddenly reminded of nature and it’s inclusion (or exclusion), and I thought this image just portrayed that beautifully. In the end; I just couldn’t stop looking at it, and it is the one I’d want hanging in my home or office. For whatever reason, it just spoke to me.


So, congratulations to Suhaimi, who takes home the Adobe Creative Suite Premium, Lightroom 2, a $500 B&H Photo Gift certificate, a Wacom tablet, the Peachpit Book Bundle, and MPIX prize package, and more!

Here are my comments about the 10 finalists (who each won a full copy of Lightroom 2; courtesy of Adobe Systems):


(1) Hakon Senderland’s photo of the guards in Oslo, Norway (above)
I really like the reflection in the car’s window; the motion of the guards, and particuarly the way one is looking at the camera. I loved the dark moody sky, and the way all the colors in the photo worked so well together. I also like the fact that you could see past the reflection into the car itself. Just a very clever shot.