â¦one of my favorite outdoor photographers, the head of NAPP’s Gear Desk, a Photoshop World instructor, and one of the nicest, most genuine, and fun people you’d every want to meet, the amazing Laurie Excell.

Laurie has one of the coolest, and most demanding jobs in photography training, as one of the instructors for the famous “Digital Landscape Workshop Series” (link) along side photography legends Moose Peterson and Joe McNally. So, how do you get to be that “third instructor” beside Moose and Joe? You have to be really, really good (and Laurie is exactly that). I’m honored to have her here tomorrow as my guest blogger—make sure you check back to see what Laurie has in store (in the meantime, here’s a link to Laurie’s photography blog).


Hi everybody. Here’s what’s up:

First, since this is the first time I’ve done a “News Quickie” since last Wednesday, I wanted to thank Ben Willmore for his terrific post, and a fascinating look at his life and his work. Very cool stuff (Thanks Ben!). Now, onto the news:

  • I am really excited to announce that in just over a week, Brad Moore (Joe McNally’s current full-time assistant) is moving to Florida to join our team as my full-time photography assistant and general digital tech guy. (In case you were wondering; I didn’t steal Brad from Joe; I won him fair and square in a card game). Actually, it was Joe that brought the opportunity my way, as Brad was wrapping up his 2nd year with Joe. I’ve known Brad for a while now (that’s him pictured above on an average day), and he already works for us at Photoshop World as one of our official show photographers (along with Josh Bradley), and he is just a really great guy; really sharp, and not surprisingly a first-rate photographer as well. I’m really tickled to have Brad coming on board (I could really use the help), and you’ll be hearing a lot about Brad and his new role here, and some very cool projects he’ll be involved with soon. Brad wrote his farewell post over at Joe’s blog, and you can check it out right here.
  • Don’t know if you caught this, but Adobe released a free Camera Raw update (Camera Raw 4.6), which includes supports for some of the newer DSLRs like the Canon 50D, and the Nikon D90. Here’s the link to download it from Adobe (Mac) or (PC).
  • Terry White over at Terry’s Tech Blog wrote a really great, in-depth review on the new Firewire version of the Drobo, and it’s definitely worth a read if you’re losing sleep over the safety of your images. Here’s the link to his review.
  • If you speak Italian, I did an interview with the Italian Website “Total Photoshop,” and you can read it online right here. (Intervista esclusiva!)
  • Now for some “And Stuff;” So I’m at home catching up on some writing, and my sister-in-law and her daughter come to where I’m writing, and she tells me “You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I think there’s a bald eagle in the backyard!” I yell, “He’s back!” and while I’m rushing to grab all my gear, she tells me “There’s actually three of them” and now I’m really scrambling. I pop-in a memory card, sneak out around the side of the house, being super quiet and surprisingly unobtrusive (for me, anyway), and son-of-a-gun if one of them didn’t spot me, and all three flew right off. I got one lame shot of one of the three flying away (too lame to post). So, I did miss the shot this time, but hey—-not only did he come back—he brought some friends. So, now there’s hope there will be a next time (by the way; if you have an idea on the best way to sneak up on Eagles, let me know, because apparently I have no clue).

That’s it for today folks. Have a great Tuesday!

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This has dink to do with Photoshop, but here’s a quick video from Terry White and I about the major update to our award-winning book, “The iPhone Book,” (due in bookstores any day now). If you’ve got an iPhone (or know someone who does), check it out.

Here’s a link to the book on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com


When I was hosting my Dunedin, Florida PhotoWalk (as part of the worldwide photowalk), I saw a photographer in my group, a very nice guy named David Rogers, using the handiest camera strap I’ve seen in while. It’s called the Rapid R-Strap, and while I thought it was ideal for shooting in situations like a photowalk, I’m going to order one tonight for use with my 2nd camera when I’m shooting sports.

After talking with David about it, he offered to do a full review of it for the blog, and so, here you have it; the complete review from photographer David Rogers (Thanks David!).

Review: Rapid R-Strap from BlackRapid
The Worldwide PhotoWalk seemed a perfect opportunity for me to test the R-Strap from BlackRapid, Inc. I’m not the kind of person that likes to wear a tie let alone a 6lb. swinging weight around my neck so when I found out about this strap and the fact that it came with a 30-day return policy I felt I couldn’t lose. If I didn’t like it I’d send it back and be no worse off.

It aint going back! The simplicity of the design alone has you saying “why didn’t I think of that.” Truth is, much like the automatic kitty litter box, you probably did think of it but never did anything about it.

How it works:
The R-Strap is worn over one shoulder (my left) and crosses the body like a car seat belt or messenger bag. It attaches to the camera via the tripod socket on a large lens setup or the camera body when using smaller lenses. The camera is now hanging upside down at your side or just above your right butt cheek. In one very smooth motion you grab the camera with your right hand and swing it forward and away from your body up to your eye. Shoot!, then lower it back to your side and continue about your day.

[ed. Here’s a quick video from the manufacturer showing the R-Strap in action]:

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The greatest feature of this setup is the fact that your hands are free and your (more…)


We posted another new online training class from the amazing Joe McNally at KelbyTraining.com this week, and this one is on corporate photography, in particular, shooting an executive portrait on location.

Joe takes you through the entire process, and it’s really fascinating to see how he deals with problems that crop up, how he deals with lighting challenges, and how he works with the executive to get the shot. Click here for more info.


First, thanks so much to everyone who shared their opinions on the “Bolding of Keyboard Shortcuts” in my Lightroom 2 Book. Besides your comments on the bolding, I really thought there were some other great ideas there as well, so I wanted to comment on them here.

  1. Based on your comments, I’m moving forward with bolding all the keyboard shortcuts in the book I’m finishing up now, “The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers.”
  2. I talked this week with my publisher about the possibility of including a tear-out card with keyboard shortcuts. We’ll have to see what the costs involved are (adding a second perforated card ain’t cheap), but I like the idea a lot.
  3. I love the spiral bound idea (and I never realized you could just pop down to Staples or Office Depot, and they’d spiral-bind the book for around $4.00. That was very clever!). The problem is; most major bookstores won’t carry spiral bound books because their books are shelved with the spine facing outward, so readers in the store can see the titles. However, here’s what I proposed; that we do a special limited-edition run (which would have to cost slightly more because of the expensive of spiral binding), that we could sell direct through Kelby Training. That way, we could easily measure the demand for this type of binding going forward. Hey, it’s a start.

I’ll keep you informed on any progress and any challenges we run into along the way, but in the meantime I wanted to let you know how much I value your input, and appreciate you all taking the time to share your comments. It does (and just did) make a difference.