Hi Gang: and happy Tuesday (I know. Ugh).

If you’re planning on going to the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando this April (and I surely hope that you are — it’s open to everyone), I wanted to list the sessions I’m teaching (there are nearly 100 sessions but I hope you’ll check out a couple of mine).

Now, if you’re wondering, “Should I be attending this conference?” listen to some of the folks who’ve been there tell you in their own words (it’s short — only 30-seconds — worth a quick look to hear it from them).

I love hearing their comments and takeaways from it.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Orlando is the ONLY Photoshop World conference this year – we will not be in Las Vegas at all this year (Adobe will be holding Adobe Max conference in Las Vegas in the same time frame). 

Anyway, here’s the classes I’m teaching this year:

Essentials of Designing With Type in Photoshop
Bad type can ruin a really great photo and in this session, I’m going to show how to create everything from poster layouts, photo book covers, web graphics and more so your type complements your work, rather than destroying it. You’ll learn everything from the basics of typography including which fonts to use, when, and why, and how to create simple, beautiful-looking designs (it’s easier than you’d think). This class will change the way you think about and use type and photos together from this point on.

Creating Beautiful Photo Books in Lightroom 
In this session you’ll learn how to create beautiful photo books from right within Lightroom itself. You’ll see the entire workflow, step-by-step and exactly how to create your own custom photo books the easy way, plus I’m going to share a few tricks on creating your own custom layouts that I think you’ll really find helpful. Lots of little tips, tricks, and time-saving techniques.

Lightroom Tips & Tricks
This is an updated version of one of my most popular classes at Photoshop World, with lots of cool new tips, workarounds, shortcuts, and things to make you faster, more effective, and just have more fun using Lightroom. You’re going to learn real, practical techniques you can put to work the very next day.

The conference is open to everybody, and it’s held April 20-22nd at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (around 15 minutes from Walt Disney World). If you haven’t planned to join us yet, it’s only 60-days away — but it’s not too late.

Here’s the link — you’ll learn more in three days than you have in three years. Break though your barriers; make new friends; take your skills up a big notch, get inspired, and have a ton of fun doing it.

See you in Orlando this April!

-Scott

P.S. You know who my guest is on The Grid tomorrow? If you guessed Peter Hurley (the man, the legend, the lover), then you were right! Wed. at 4pm ET at Kelbytv.com/thegrid

Hi Gang, and happy Monday (Ugh, I know). Anyway, this was a request from one of my readers — the drop shadow effect we’re talking about is from Mark Wegner’s website (Mark is the artist that won our “Gallery at KelbyOne” solo show). He has this slick little drop shadow behind his prints, and it’s actually very easy to do, so I did a video on it (below).

HOWEVER, I must warn youyou will learn a lot more Photoshop stuff in this video than just the drop shadow, because there’s lots of handy shortcuts and techniques wrapped inside this tutorial, so you should definitely check it out.

BONUS VIDEO! 
Below is a short add-on video that shows how to make the background transparent when you save the file, so you can place the final image on your site as just the image and shadow. Thought you might want to know that.

In other Photoshop-related news…
We’re only 60-days or so away from the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando (we’re not doing Vegas this year — Orlando only), so come out and learn and play and get faster, better and more awesome at all this stuff.  Check out the short trailer below to see what being at Photoshop World is really like.

Hope you find all (some, part, etc.) of that helpful.
Have a great day, and we’ll catch ya tamorrah. :)
-Scott

Happy Friday everybody. This might sound like a beginner tip, but many pros I run into don’t know this one, and man can it ever be a time-saver. It’s for making tricky round selections, and that may not sound like it’s a problem (no, it’s not just hold the Shift key), but when you see the video, you’ll see what I mean.

Hope you find that helpful. :)

Come join Larry, V., and Me Monday night at 6pm
We’re doing a free live Photoshop World Conference Q&A Webinar for folks who have never been (yes, we’ll be giving away a cool prize or two), and we’ll be showing some fun stuff from the conference, too. The webinar is open to everyone, so if you have a friend that has always wanted to go but they want to know more, or get some questions answered about the conference first, come join us (of course, we’d love it you’d come, too!). Here are the details:

Who: Larry Becker, “Vanelli,” and Me
What: A Photoshop World Conference live Q&A
Where: RSVP right here
When: Monday at 6pm

Hope to see you then. Well, actually, I hope to see you back here on Monday morning bright and early. ;-)

Have a great weekend everybody,

-Scott

 

Camera Essentials: Canon 1DX Mark II
If a Canon 1DX Mark II is in your future or already in your camera bag, then this class is for you! Join Larry Becker as he gets you up to speed on everything you need to know to get started on the right foot with Canon’s flagship camera. This is a pro-level camera, so Larry skips the basics and focuses on getting you oriented to the layout of the camera, teaching you the quickest ways to do the tasks you’ll want to do, and how to customize the camera to suit your workflow. By the end of the class you’ll have a solid grasp of what this camera is capable of doing, and where to go to make any needed changes.

In Case You Missed It
Get the most out of your Nikon D5! Join Larry Becker as he walks you through the important things you’ll want to know about your new D5. This is not a class for seeing every menu option and obscure function, but instead Larry focuses on the things you need to know to get the camera to do what you want it to do, as if a good friend was showing you how. You’ll learn the basics of navigating the camera, how to access various shooting modes, where to find key settings, and along the way Larry shares a wealth of tips, recommendations, and insights to help you feel like a master user by the end of the class.

There Is More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

Firstly I would like to thank Scott and Brad for this opportunity to talk a little about my life in the world of interior, architectural and location based photography.

I am based out of London in the UK, and specialize in taking images for a wide range of clients, ranging from architects, interior designers, kitchen designers, cabinet makers, hotels, resorts, and, not forgetting the ‘bread and butter,’ high-end real estate agents for their editorial, advertising and social media needs.

Potted History
I am one of those photographers that started in a black and white darkroom.

Way back when I was sixteen years old, I lucked out and got a job with a company called ‘Brook-Tella.’ They were exhibition printers and possibly the oldest photographic company in the UK back then in the 1980’s.

We hand printed enormous photos and hand developed them in huge vats of developer and fixer. Then the photos were mounted ready for the clients exhibition needs.

The enlargers ran on rails on the floor, and we worked in enormous hanger sized dark-rooms. The enlarging wall was made of metal as we needed to hang large strips of paper with magnets, and often a print was made up of three to four strips of paper 56” deep and up to 15-20’ feet across. Sorry, I’m still not a metric head being British.
These huge images adorned massive trade shows, such as the like of the Major Motor and trade shows in the UK, Europe and America.

This takes me back to how I remember being given a 4”x5” black and white negative and was told to print it day in day out for a week. I can tell you I was ready to walk out after day one, printing the same negative repeatedly; I saw no reason for it. The senior printer explained to me why I was printing this same image time and time again. His name was John, a really nice man, an absolute expert in the darkroom. He sat me down later in the week as I was close to tears and clearly feeling like the rise was being taken out of me.

This is what he said: “Murray, you still don’t know the skills of how to read a negative, the exposure, the grade of paper, what you will get when you burn and dodge different areas. In turn it will give each and every print a different look,” (think Ansel Adams). I swallowed my teenage pride and continued. That lesson has never left me. So, ‘there are many ways to skin a cat!’

I went on to be a fine art printer and then a photographer in my early twenties. Which takes us to date. The reason I tell you about that early experience is that we need to have a lateral and creative mind to get the best out of any situation and each image we create. What we may think is a good way or the best way to get the image isn’t the only way, sometimes it’s just a very simple solution – good clean light.

On Location
When I arrive at a shoot, I never know what will be happening with the light that day or what I may face in terms of logistics of the shoot. It doesn’t always play out as I think it will; all I know is that my clients are expecting quality results.

So I always go with an open mind, a mind that has many solutions to get the results.

First Things First
Each and every one of us has different approach to how we deal with lighting situations. When I give a talk or train anyone I always say that we have to try and make our post work as easy as possible, which means it’s all about getting right in camera first, at least most of it. Not all our clients are happy to pay for expensive post-production work, so workflow is king.

I can tell you that I probably do more post than most photographers in my field, so I am ahead on the learning curve. Down side is that if you start working out your hourly rate you could be earning not a great deal per hour.
But as I said in my heading, ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat.’ So with that in mind, you should approach each shoot with that attitude.

I believe in getting one exposure images when you can. I know many of you go to HDR style stacking, and occasionally it’s the only way. But making it look like a normal image is the difficult part of that style.

Recently when I met a few real estate photographers, I asked them how they went about getting their photos. Here is what shocked me. I heard one say, “I shoot two frames and use HDR.” That’s without anything more than available lighting. So if you think about it, most households and businesses have lighting around 2600Kelvin if you are lucky.

The colour grading in your post is going to be hard work at best with deep brown light mixed in with winter spectrum of blue daylight as we are now in the Northern hemisphere.. Trying to clean up bad light is nearly impossible if you want your client to be happy with your colour grading. So, what do you need to do? Add quality light! I use continuous LED lighting these days, but I have also used speed-lights and studio flash in the past.

Regardless of what you use, you need to add quality light to your interiors, and I promise you, you will be so much happier when you come to your post work.

Stacking, HDR, or one-framers, whatever your poison, just remember that if you want to create a great master file you still need to incorporate some clean light.

Having set workflow routines means you can create a style and know that the results will be scientifically based, giving you confidence in producing high quality work.

In the past I have always had to get my images right on one piece of colour transparency or film, including filtering for different light sources. It was a very methodical way of shooting that has put me in good stead right up to today.

My behind the camera work-flow goes something like this:

  • In the first instance, I choose my angle looking for the dynamic lines in the shot to get the room or space balanced in my viewfinder.
  • With the camera locked down I then look at what needs moving, redressing, tweaking etc.
  • Then I think about the light I am working with or against. I will normally hide some lights out of frame and hidden in frame, all just a soft helping of light, so you can’t see the images have been lit with extra lighting, which is the best way to light a space – subtly. Architects and interior designers often want to see true colour grading and the proper intensity of how lighting plays in a space to be rendered very accurately. Thus, burnt out lights and dirty colors are not an option.

It’s at this point that I decide how the post production will go. Often there will be additions of compositing and blending if need be. So always get a few extra frames exposing for any troublesome areas such as windows and views.

I would very much like to go into the post production side of my work, but that is a whole topic on it’s own, all I want to say is that as photographers we need to own the light.

If you need to go down the route of stacking or HDR, make sure you take images ranging from what looks like a burnt out frame with little detail through to the darkest exposed frame in 1-stop intervals. Two frames just won’t do it. Again, adding your own subtle clean light improves your chances of finishing with a nicely graded photograph.

I’ve got my workflows and I stick to them as I know what I will get, architecture and interiors are less about creative flamboyancy and more about methodical work practice. Knowing the right workflow that works in a certain situation is what we need in our tool kit as interior and architectural photographers.

One size does not fit all. As I said in my heading, ‘There is more than one way to skin a cat.’

You can see more of Murray’s work at RealFocus.co.uk. Murray works out of London, UK. He is considered one of the UK’s leading interior and architectural photographers. His work is published regularly and he is often found riding around London on his motorbike or flying out of the country for international assignments. He can be reached at RealFocusPhotography@gmail.com or you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Hi gang, and Happy Valentine’s Day! :)

Today I’ve got a really quick little video for ya, and these aren’t “keyboard shortcuts,” these are “moves” (little things you do that save you time and trouble. There’s some pretty sweet ones in there — check it out:

Hope you found that helpful.

Hey, if you’re in to Lightroom…
I’m kicking off my nationwide Lightroom Seminar tour next month — I’m in Boston on March 10th, and then Philadelphia on March 13th. I hope you can come out and join me for the day.

Here’s wishing you a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day! (aaahhhh, love is the air…)

Best, (I mean, “hugs,)

-Scott

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