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; (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.


A few weeks ago Scott invited me to start thinking about a topic for an appearance as guest blogger. I had come up with an idea that I'd been fleshing out when I read Stephen Johnson's column last week. I'm telling you this to make it clear that my column is not in response to Stephen's, nor it is intended as a rebuttal - if anything, it's just interesting timing that my column follows Stephen's.

I think it's also important to note that after reading Stephen's column I chose not to read any of the comments since I wanted my thoughts to be mine alone, not influenced by the comments of others (although I certainly plan to go and read those comments once this column is published). So with that bit of background information (disclaimer?), here's what I have in mind.

In my travels as an instructor (I always wanted to start a sentence with "In my travelsâ¦") I get the wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with lots of very interesting people. Often our discussion revolves around two schools of thought: "get it right in the camera" versus "fix it in Photoshop". When asked which approach I take I usually answer with either "it depends" or, "there's a third possibility" (more on that later).

Generally speaking my goal is to get it right in-camera - or at least to get it really really close to what I want, so that I can tweak it a little in Photoshop. When I was in Maine last Fall I had the time to set up my tripod and experiment with settings and I'm pleased to say that the majority of my photos needed very little adjusting. I came very close to getting the result I wanted, right out of the camera. I didn't rely on Photoshop, but it did provide some valuable assistance here and there.


Last August I had the pleasure of visiting Alaska and ran into a slightly different situation. We had taken a boat from our ship and had been wandering around a small town for a few hours when I came across a really interesting location I wanted to shoot. Just as I started to get set up I heard the call that the boat was leaving, so I figured I had two choices: miss the boat to get the perfect shot, or grab a quick shot knowing that I might be able to get what I wanted by creating two exposures from Camera Raw (which I did and I was very happy with the resulting photo). In this case I did rely on Photoshop to "come to my rescue" because of the circumstances.


So this is where the "it depends" comes into play: I strive to get the look I want in-camera but when the circumstances call for it, I take advantage of the tools available to me in Photoshop and Camera Raw to tweak my photos. I don't think of that as "fixing it" as much as fine-tuning to get the result that I want. So, I change my approach slightly, depending on the situation.

But I think there's a third option, and this one excites me the most, and that is to shoot with Photoshop in mind: take advantage of digital technology to create things you never could (or would be much harder to do) traditionally. To create images that combine great photography with the power of Photoshop. There are plenty of examples of what I mean, for instance photographers such as Joey Lawrence and Dave Hill who have "signature" looks that combine great lighting/photography with post-processing. [links: Joey Lawrence and Dave Hill]

Or photographers who capture separate images with the intention of combining them in Photoshop. Here's an example from the work of NAPP member James Quantz Jr. He creates wonderful images from photos that he takes with the express purpose of compositing them later in Photoshop. []


I love taking multiple photos while I picture in my mind how I will combine them in Photoshop. Does that make the end result less of a photograph? Maybe in the traditional sense it does, but I don't think we can discount this as a photographic art form: rather than attempting to capture the scene as my eyes saw it, I'm creating the illusion of something that never was.


I think there's a place for all these different approaches: get it right in the camera, tweak it in Photoshop and shooting to take advantage of Photoshop. I also believe that there are different breeds of photographers, and that some of us really enjoy the Photoshop process and see it as part of making a great image. And I don't think there's anything wrong with taking advantage of Photoshop - just as I applaud the goal of getting it right in-camera or making minor adjustments. Just as there's many different ways to achieve something in Photoshop, there's various ways to take advantage of our cameras and the technology that's available to us. What a great possibility that offers us.

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Here’s an excerpt from this week’s episode of Photoshop User TV; it’s my exclusive interview with pro photographer, Photoshop World Instructor, and photographer’s rights and copyright advocate Jack Reznicki.

Jack gives the step-by-step instructions for how to register your work, and gives important details (including Photoshop settings) for submitting your images. It’s some absolutely invaluable information, and a perfect follow-up to my interview last week with copyright attorney Ed Greenberg. Click the Play button above to watch the interview.

….my buddy, brazen Canadian, and Photoshop User TV co-host; Dave Cross (a foreign man from a foreign land).

Dave came up with an interesting idea for his post that at first might sound like a response or rebuttal to Stephen Johnson’s post from last week, but you have to read it for yourself tomorrow because (despite the timing) it’s a totally different take on things, and I think you’ll really enjoy it.


My buddy RC was recently at an industry event and one of the instructors called him over to the side and basically said, “Hey man, be straight with me. Does Scott really write his blog himself, or does he have a team of people that write under the “Scott” name?”

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, and I’ve been hearing similar things for years about my books, so I thought I’d interview myself and come clean about the blog, my books, and some other stuff people ask.

Q. So, do you really write all this stuff yourself?
A. Sadly, yes. I write every single word you read here on my blog, and in my books myself. I don’t use “ghost-writers” or anyone else to write the blog or my books, or any article you read with my name on it. I know. It’s a sickness.

That’s why I needed “No Blog Wednesdays,” because I just couldn’t keep up with all my work duties and the blog. Now, I’ve got “Guest Blog Wednesday” which believe it or not, takes around 30 minutes for me to prepare to post each week, but that still takes less time than writing the blog entry myself, (but it does make me long for “No Blog Wednesday” sometimes). The real problem now is; the stuff my guests have been coming up with has been so great, that now I can’t stop it, and I really look forward to reading their posts!. The vicious cycle continues. ;-)

Q. Yeah, but what about using “Co-Authors?”
A. Out of the 50+ plus books I’ve written so far, there were five of those books where I did have a co-author, and my co-author’s name appears on the cover, their photo and bio appear on the “About the Authors” page, and in those cases we split the book 50/50 (so if the book has 10 chapters, I write five chapters and they write 5 chapters).

Q. So why do you use co-authors?
A. Sometimes it’s because I wouldn’t have the time to write the book if I did it all myself (figure it this way; it takes half as long to write half a book), and sometimes it’s because my co-author knows parts of the program better than I do. For example, Terry White and I co-author a book called “InDesign Killer Tips.” I’ve been using InDesign for years (I use it every single day), and there are parts of it I know inside and out (like anything to do with Type), but Terry is an expert at InDesign Interactivity, PDFs, creating rich-multimedia documents with InDesign, and a whole lot more, so I called Terry and asked him to do the book with me, and he did a brilliant job. Without Terry’s involvement, I wouldn’t have even attempted the do the book.

Q. OK, that makes sense, but I’ve got some other personal questions I’d like to have answered. Is that OK?
A. Absolutely. You’re my favorite interviewer, and besides; I feel pretty certain you won’t ask any questions that I wouldn’t feel comfortable answering.

Q. I appreciate that vote of confidence you’ve put in me. You’re really quite a guy!
A. {Blush}. Well, that’s awfully kind of you to say.

Q. So, “Mr. Write It All Myself,” it’s pretty obvious you’re sponsored by Nikon by the way you’re always pushing their cameras. I guess that’s because they send you all your gear for free, right? (more…)

Well, it’s finally here (putting this simple 10 minute tutorial together was harder than it looks—it took me nearly two hours, which is why this post is going up so late. Sorry ’bout that).

This tutorial has a lot of steps, and takes nearly 10 minutes, but it’s NOT hard—it just has a lot of steps, but at least when you’re done, you’ve got a reusable template. Also, since I wanted to keep this to a one-part tutorial (meaning I only had 10 minutes), I haul butt. But just remember; it’s video; you can rewind it if you missed something. I also didn’t have enough time to include the ripped page part at the end, so go back to last week where I did the iPhoto tutorial, because at the end I showed how to make the rip in Photoshop CS3.

In this video, I show how to build a calendar that you can have actually have printed by a photo lab (I used’s specs because that’s the only lab I use, but I’m sure there are other labs that print calendars as well). Click the video below to watch the step-by-step on how to build your own calendar templates like the ones in Apple’s iPhoto.

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