Friday
Aug
2013
09

BREAKING NEWS: Announcing My 6th Annual “Worldwide Photo Walk”

by Scott Kelby  |  56 Comments

I’m here to announce the official date for Scott Kelby’s 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (the world’s largest Photo Walk, with walks in over 1,300 cities last year) and you’re invited to be a part of this amazing, free, global, photography social event.

Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details.

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A. The official date is Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Q. What exactly is a Photo Walk?
A. Watch the short video clip above and you’ll get the idea, or go right here.

Q. Is there a fee to participate ?
A. Nope — it’s totally free.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader), not only gets the ebook edition of my “Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers,” but their image is entered into the photo competition vying for thousands of dollars in prizes.  From those winners (chosen by the local walk leaders) I choose 10-finalists, who all get tons of great prizes, and then I choose a Grand Prize winner. Plus, there’s a People’s Choice award winner as well, as voted on by the walkers themselves. 

Q. I watched the video and I see that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean there’s a really cool Grand Prize?
A. You know it. Canon is giving the Grand Prize Winner the just-announced (and not even shipping yet but already getting tons of buzz) Canon EOS 70D. How sweet is that!

Q. Can I still come if I don’t shoot a Canon camera?
A. Of course — the photo walk is open to everybody, no matter what type of camera you use (but of course you might just win that new 70D in the photo competition  — hey, ya never know!)

Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Everything from full copies of Adobe’s new Lightroom 5, to Wacom tablets, to the OnOne Software plug-in suite, B&H Photo Gift Cards, Westcott Lighting Gear, Think Tank Photo camera bags, and more. I’ll have a blog post about ALL the prizes next week, but the list is getting cra-zay! (we have some awesome sponsors!)

Plus, we’re adding a new prize category — for folks who create videos during their photo walk and Canon will be giving away a VERY cool prize to the winner there as well! I think this year we’ll have our biggest collection of prizes yet! Whoo Hoo!!!!

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. Yup—almost 300 cities already have walks all over the world, with more being added every day!

Q. How did those cities gets walks already?
A. We give the previous year’s Photo Walk leaders advance notice to lead a walk again in the current year (after all—they’re seasoned leaders).

Q. So are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A.
 Absolutely! I’ll be leading a local walk in Rome, Italy. (Oh yeah — Rome baby!!!!) However, I’ve never been to Rome (but I needed a semi-legitimate reason to visit Rome and well…this was my chance), so although I’m not quite certain exactly where in Rome we’ll be walking (somewhere downtown I imagine —- I’ll need the help of some kindly photographer in Rome who speaks really fluent English to help me plan and host the walk, like my buddy Serge did for me in Paris last year).

Of course we’ll end my walk at a super-yummy Italian cafe where we can all hang out, grab some lunch, maybe share a few photos and make new friends (and we can all speak with Italian accents, even if some of us [ahem] are not actually Italian]. Also, you don’t have to live in Rome to join me on this walk  — so look at this is yet another reason to vacation in Rome (hey, it worked for me)!

Q. How can I find out if there’s a walk in my area?
A. Go to the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the “Find Walks” link at the top right, then type in the city, state, and/or country where you want to walk, and if there are any walks already organized, they’ll be listed on the right side (and you’ll see pins on the map in your area). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because, like I said before, new walks are being added every day.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, etc., you’re likely to get accepted to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don’t want to enter your images, you absolutely don’t have to (it’s just to make the experience more fun, and if you don’t think joining the contest is fun, you surely don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest). You can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private “secret” photos.

Q. Did you get any complaints about how the winners were chosen?
A.
 Are you kidding? Absolutely! People get pretty outraged if they think one of their images deserved to be the winner but wasn’t chosen by their leader or by me as a finalist. I have people send me angry emails because their leader picked what they (and their friends) think is the “wrong photo,” but hey—that’s the thing about art—it’s subjective. At the end, I pick one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists, and I catch some heat for that, too, but I’m OK with it. Surprisingly, I’ve never heard one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners. ;-)

Q. What do I get for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. You also get the ebook edition of my Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers, and you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a free copy of the ebook as well. Plus, that person you chose is entered into the grand prize competition for a bunch of insane prizes (or they could wind up as one of my top-10 finalists, and still win lots of cool prizes). We also have a “People’s Choice Award” where you vote for the best shot, and a special competition just for Photo Walk leaders.

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
A. We have that, too! We started it two years as a way to honor the work of our leaders (we’ll contact the leaders after the walk with info on how to enter an image in the Leader’s competition), and we’re doing it again this year.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for walkers & leaders?
A. You betcha! Each year, our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea of selling t-shirts to raise money for (you guessed it), the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts will go to feeding and care for these great kids. Last year (with Rob’s gracious help and contributionswe raised over $10,000 just last year (imagine how much $10,000 means to an orphanage in Africa). I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help us once again this year (Rob rocks!).

Here’s the link. 

We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

This year, let’s buy enough t-shirts to donate $15,000 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage (we can do it!!!!). By the way, this year’s t-shirt design is from our own Felix Nelson, and it is WAY cool and a one-of-a kind memento from the walk.

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list, so definitely get on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Local Photo Walks are limited to 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Here’s the full explanation.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing; what’s involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
A. 
There’s a detailed FAQ on the Website (here’s the link), and once you’re signed up for a walk, we’ve made it much easier for your Walk Leader to keep you up-to-date with messages on your local Walk page.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. We have an official Google+ Page everyone can follow (manned by our own RC Concepcion, but I’ll be popping in there as well). To stay on top of all of the latest news: follow this link: [kelbywalk.com] then click the “Add” button and now breaking Worldwide Photo Walk news will show up in your stream.

Of course you can follow the World Wide Photo Walk on Twitter (@KelbyWWPW) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/ScottKelbyPhotowalk), but that’s where all the latest office updates from official Photo Walk Project Manager RC Concepcion will be posted.

Q. So when can I sign up to be either a walker or a Walk Leader?
A. Right now! Here’s the link, and I hope you join us this year as we make worldwide photographic history once again!

Thursday
Aug
2013
08

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  683 Comments

Stay Where The Instructors Stay at Photoshop World Vegas!
If you’re coming to Photoshop World Vegas, make sure you book your room at Mandalay Bay before tomorrow, August 9 to get the special rate of $142/night and stay where the instructors stay! You can also spring for THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay for an extra $20/night.

You can find all the info right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to the conference!

Photoshop World Photo Contest
Want to win a free pass to Photoshop World, a Kelby Training & NAPP memberships? Check out the Photoshop World Photo Contest! If you share your pictures for the Viewbug contest, the grand prize winner can get their shot published in Photoshop User Magazine AND a ticket to Photoshop World! All you have to do is submit up to three images that best represent great use of Photoshop before August 20, and the best image will be chosen by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski!

The Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers
Now that Scott’s latest book, The Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers, is shipping, let’s celebrate by giving away FIVE copies to some lucky commenters here on the blog! You can go ahead and order your copy if you want a guarantee that you’ll get one, or leave a comment if you’re feeling lucky!

How To Photograph Car Interiors with Tim Wallace
Have you ever wondered how to light the inside of a car when you hardly have any room to move? Wonder no more and learn from the best in the business! Join Tim Wallace and Scott Kelby as they show you step-by step how to light and shoot a car’s interior in How To Photograph Car Interiors. The key to lighting is all about the angles, and once you get the lighting right it frees you up to just focus on nailing the best composition. You’ll get to see every step in the process through Tim’s eyes as he shares his secrets for setting up the lights, highlighting the important details, and finding the right camera angle to make each automobile look its very best.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!



Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby or Joe McNally? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Aug 16 – San Antonio, TX
Aug 21 – Indianapolis, IN
Aug 27 – San Jose, CA
Sep 13 – Miami Beach, FL

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Aug 9 – Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 10 – St. Louis, MO
Sep 12 – Kansas City, MO

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 1 at Barnes & Noble
The latest edition of The Digital Photography Book, Part 1 is currently being featured on the “Humorous, Helpful, and Odd” table in many Barnes & Noble stores across the country until August 15th! If you haven’t already picked up your copy, head down to Barnes & Noble and pick one up.

If you don’t make it to B&N in time, we’ll give away a couple of copies to two lucky commenters here on the blog next week!

Winners
Photoshop World Ticket
- Lizzypat

Peter Read Miller Class Rental
- AvishaIF

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- em

Brian Smith Book
- El Conde

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon! A bit off topic, but if you’re looking for some music to listen to today, I’d like to recommend my (Brad’s) buddy Matt Hires‘ new album that’s streaming over at USA Today ahead of its release this coming Tuesday. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Aug
2013
07

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Bill Fortney!

by Brad Moore  |  50 Comments


Photo by Scott Diussa

Five Things I Know!

Have you ever gone on a great photography trip and then returned home to sit at your computer to review hundreds or even thousands of images from your grand adventure? Over the past few months I’ve reviewed many countless thousands of images from the great adventure of a 44-year career as a photographer! As Mark Twain once remarked, “Garrulous old people climb up on a soap box and tell the rest of us how they got there!” I’ll go ahead and plead guilty now for what I’m about to do, but I hope these things I’m sharing will have some lasting value for you, because these are five things I do know to be true…

1. The truth of Rod Planck’s quote: “Technique trumps equipment every time!”
The specific camera and lens used for any given photograph may be one of the least important factors that determines the success of your images! Far more important is the clarity of the subject, the effectiveness of the light, the arrangement of elements within the frame, (composition), and the specific conditions at the time of the exposure, all of theses factors carry much more weight! Even more important than even those factors is the story or message your image conveys! I believe a great image leaves the viewer moved, raises questions, or provides answers! No camera can do that, only you. We all love the gear, collecting it, and using it is so much fun, but cameras are only tools, tools for building things, building images.

The images above were all made with cameras that cost less than six hundred dollars. Top, glasses on the Bible with an Fuji X-10, middle, hubcap with pine needles with an iPhone 4s, and bottom, lines in a slot canyon, a Nikon P7000.

2. The true secret to becoming the photographer you always hoped you could be, only requires three things: years of study, years of practice, and perseverance when you fail (and you will fail, many times)!
In other words, when you fail, get back up, dust yourself off, and try again! Few people want to hear this, but hard work is the key that opens the door to photographic success. The rewards are far greater than the price of the hard work though. Jay Maisel said, “We only take pictures for two reasons… I want to show you something or I want to keep this for myself…” I’ve found very few of the images I’ve ever made that don’t fall into these two categories! When we share our images and the response is one of amazement or pleasure from the viewer, we’ve shown some one else our vision, and sharing our vision is always worth the effort. No amount of hard work is too much to allow you to enjoy this amazing craft!

Top, NFL game action shot, middle, sunset light rays Great Smoky Mountains N.P., bottom, single fall leaf on the forest floor.

3. Giving truly is better than receiving!
If you have been so fortunate to have received great talent, and then, keep it for yourself, you have missed a great blessing! I’m not sure that I’ve been gifted with great talent, but I’ve happily shared whatever I’ve been given with others seeking to learn! I can only speak from personal experience, but my greatest joy is seeing others share my passion about photography, and the wonderful subjects we have the opportunity to try to capture. I believe some of the most talented shooters we have today get their greatest joy in sharing their vast knowledge! There are many that meet that description, but Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, and Jay Maisel certainly are at the top of my list! If my name were ever mentioned anywhere close to that list, I would be proud indeed, but truthfully, that is not necessary for me. My joy comes from holding a camera in my hands, and attempting to capture the things that interest me! In giving the gift of photography, I have received the greater gift of sharing in others joy. When I look at the work of Jim Begley, Zack Arias, Richard Small, Matt, Moose, Brad, RC, and many, many other fine photographers, I share in their joy!

Top, Aerial photograph of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, middle, Hudson name plate in Old Car City, GA, bottom, spices in a Paris market.

4.  The truth is, in the end, it will be the relationships that matter most!
Faithful believer, husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher, these are my most important roles. I’m proud of my body of work, but some day when I’m gone, I’m one hundred percent sure that my relationships will be far more important than any of my photographs! A few years ago a very close friend died at too young of an age. He was a great photographer and I and all of his friends wondered what would become of his life’s work, which was considerable; he had authored over 26 photography books! That led to my considering what would become of my work! After some time and a lot of thought, I came to the realization that my photography has been a means to an end. It has helped support my family and been a source of great happiness for me, but in the end will not be housed in a college library somewhere preserved for the ages. It’s been great fun making the images, but they are just photographs. It will be the people that matter the most in my life.

Top, stream in Great Smoky Mountain N.P., middle, air cleaners Old Car City, bottom, my grandson’s snow covered bicycle.

5.  Some people make more than a career out of their work… They make a difference.
That was on the cover of congratulatory card sent to me by a dear friend upon my retirement from Nikon. He wrote a personal note saying I’d made a difference in his life. I certainly hope that is true. My most important goal in life has been that I leave situations, and people, in a better place, than I’ve found them. How can a mere human being do that??!! Only by living with faith in someone far greater than yourself. Having the peace that comes from knowing how much God loves us! Then we must share that love with others who come into our lives… and, that my friends, is the greatest truth of all.

Top, aluminum skinned airplane tail, middle, Mesa Arch, Canyonlands N.P., bottom, medals on a red military jacket.

It is a great honor for Scott to share you guys with me, I hope something I’ve shared here will be helpful for you! Don’t worry about what others think of your work, enjoy the process and rewards of being a photographer, there are many! Don’t keep this craft for yourself, share it! I will only be truly successful, when my students exceed my abilities. My hope is that your photographic life be as rewarding as mine has been for me! Blessings!

Bill Fortney

You can see more of Bill’s work at BillFortney.com, check out his classes on KelbyTraining.com, and see him live at Photoshop World Vegas!

Tuesday
Aug
2013
06

It’s Guest Blog Tuesday featuring Rick Sammon!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments

Let’s Get Inspired!

First, I want to thank Scott and Brad for having me back on Photoshop Insider as a guest blogger. It’s an honor to be here, as well as an honor to “share the stage” with so many talented photographers.

Today I’d like to talk about an important element, to some the most important element, in photography: inspiration – how you can get inspired and how you can stay inspired. I cover that topic somewhat in my latest Kelby Training interview, but here I’d like to share with you the detailed list of my “Top 10 Techniques for Getting Inspired.” Feel free to substitute the word “motivated” for “inspired.”

Condensed down to just one word each, here is my Top Ten list: Steal, Search, Share, Join, Learn, Change, Travel, Enjoy, Look and Walk. I’ll expand on those topics in a just a bit. In reading my list, keep in mind that if you play guitar or piano (as does Scott and yours truly), my “Top Ten” list also applies. In fact, the list applies, with a bit of tweaking, to all creative art forms.

Before we get going, however, I guess I should tell you about the Camargue horses pictures in this post. I took them during a recent digital photography workshop that I was co-leading in Provence, France.  All the images, taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and either my Canon 24-105mm IS lens or Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS lens, are pretty much strait shots, converted to JPEGs from my RAW files. All the images, however, are cropped. I feel strongly about cropping, as it gives us a second chance at composition – which is the topic of my Kelby Training class, Composition – The Strongest Way of Seeing.

Two more things about the images before I get to my “Top Ten” list:

First, you could say these photographs are “dumb luck” shots. Heck. I was standing in the water at the right time of day while these beautiful animals were running toward me (guided by riders who are out of the frame) at top speed. Basically, all I had to do was compose, set my exposure, allow my camera to focus – and shoot. Actually, you could say many images, even those by pros, are “dumb luck” shots. The thing is: “Luck favors the prepared photographer.” So be prepared.

Second, seeing pictures of the Camargue horses by other pros inspired and motivated me to try to make good pictures of these beautiful animals.

Okay, let’s talk about inspiration.

1) Steal!
Salvador Dali said, “Those who do not want to imitate anything produce nothing.” I first learned of that quote in the book, Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon.

One way to get inspired, therefore, is to look at the work of other photographers, and then try to emulate their work. If you succeed in your quest to “steal,” that will inspire you to go on “stealing” and creating.

2) Share
Sharing your work, and ideas, on social media sites, such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter is a good way to get inspired. If other photographers like your work, you’ll get inspired by their comments, which will inspire you to make more creative pictures ­– and to post more pictures. Even if you are an established pro, feedback is important. I’m always searching the web for new sites designed for photo sharing. PhotoExtracat.com is my latest and favorite.

Recently, I posted one of my Camargue horses pictures on PhotoExtract, and within a few days it was featured on the home page of the site – which was quite an honor.

Of course, a bad review on a social media site can be uninspiring. But if you are in this game of photography, you need to learn how to take the good with the bad.

3) Search
Searching and researching the work of other photographers is another way to get inspired. That’s what I did before going to Provence.

I always suggest to my workshop students that they do a search on the masters of photography – Karsh of Ottawa, Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Jerry Uelsmann, Gordon Parks – to name a few. More masters can be found here.

Back in the late 1970s, I had the awesome opportunity while editor of Studio Photography magazine (and before some of you were born), to interview Yousuf Karsh, Arthur Rothstein, Andreas Feininger, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Francesco Scavullo – and several other famous photographers of that time. These men loved photography, which is different than someone who loves being a famous photographer (which is a trend today on social media). Search out the true masters. You’ll get inspired by their work – as I did and as I am.

4) Join
A great way to get inspired is to shoot with other photographers. Join a photo workshop, photo walk, camera club or photo Meet Up group. Learn from the pro or leader. Share your shots on site and online. Get feedback. Look at the work of others, especially in the field so you can see how the other photographers are seeing. Remember: the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

If you have been on a photo workshop and have wondered why you were not getting good shots, this blog post may help: How Come I’m Not Getting the Shots?

5) Learn
“Learning is health,” so the Buddhist saying goes. I truly believe that. Learn a new plug-in and see how that plug-in can help you awaken the artist within. Learn how to use Photoshop, Lightroom or ACR to expand the dynamic range of an image. Learn how to make a great inkjet print. Master daylight fill-in flash, painting-with-light or EDR. EDR, in case you were wondering, is my own name for HDR, which you can read about in this post: Goodbye HDR! Hello EDR?

6) Change
“When you are through changing, you are through.” – Bruce Barton

Change is good – and inspiring and refreshing. If you are stuck in a rut, get some inspiration by trying a different type of photography or by experimenting with different digital darkroom techniques. Challenge yourself. If you meet and exceed that challenge, you’ll be inspired and motivated to try new things.

If you think you can’t change, think about this quote: “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t.”

Have enthusiasm for all that you do – new and old – and inspire others – which is actually a good way for you to get inspired. “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

7) Travel
Traveling to new locations is a wonderful way to get inspired. You don’t necessarily need to travel to the other side of the planet to get inspired, but that can surely help. Making a trip to a nearby city or park can also be a source of inspiration, too. Wherever you go, set a specific goal, perhaps to come away with a series of black-and-white images. With that goal in mind, you’ll see and picture your world in your own unique way, which is kinda cool.

8) Enjoy
Here’s yet another quote, this one by my good friend Hal “Bull” Schmitt, a wonderful motivational and inspirational speaker, as well as a former Top Gun instructor. “If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong.” Take joy in all your photography – and in all you do. You’ll be surprised at how your attitude affects your images.

9) Look
For photographers, there’s a big difference between seeing and looking. (For musicians, there is a big difference between hearing and listening.) When you are out shooting, look for images. The more you look, the more you’ll see picture possibilities. Don’t only look for interesting subjects, look for good light. It’s often light that can make the difference between a snapshot and a great shot. When we were photographing the horses in Provence, positioning the horses in good light was a main objective.

10) Walk
“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man who goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon

I’ll leave you with that quote and concept because it says it all . . . and because I am going for a walk.

You can see more of Rick’s work at RickSammon.com, and follow him on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook!

Monday
Aug
2013
05

90-Second Review of MacLocks’ Much Better Lock For Your Retina Display MacBook Pro

by Scott Kelby  |  25 Comments

Above: Here’s the small metal locking hole that attaches to the bottom of your Retina MacBook Pro. 

Since this is supposed to be only a 90-second review of MacLocks ”MacBook Pro Security Bracket,” I’ll cut to the chase (and then give you the back story if you’re so inclined).

Pros: It’s super-easy to attach (took all of two-minutes and a child could do it). It’s so sleek and slim you don’t even notice it’s there, which is a big step forward. In fact, it actually looks good. The included lock is cleverly designed and the whole thing feels solid and well-built. The install instructions are simple, visual and clear (the locking instructions themselves aren’t quite as good, but not horrible).

Cons: I still hate having to use a key for the lock (rather than a combination lock). If I lose the key, my laptop is staying at the stadium. They have good reasons for using a key for some IT situations, but I would love it if they would offer a combination lock as an option.

Plus, as before (with the older version) the achilles heel of the whole system is that it can be defeated if a potential thief has a very tiny screwdriver — they can just remove the plate altogether and walk off with the laptop (of course, they could just cut the cable with an industrial grade wire/cable cutter, too, right?), but it’s unlikely that either would be the case in the situations where you’d need to lock it down temporarily. So, while it’s not a perfect system, I think it’s as close as we’re going to get at this point.

Bottomline: This is the laptop lock I’ve been waiting for. They totally nailed it! A big leap up from their original clear plastic locking system, which I had been using until now (I wrote a review back in Nov 2012 – here’s the link). It’s not bulky and clear plastic like the old one; it’s lightweight, it’s not obtrusive, it looks and feels much stronger; the lock is better, and it’s faster/easier to attach. Big improvement over the old model, and it’s what I’ll be using from here on out.

Above: Here’s the bottom of the Retina MacBook Pro so you can see the full assembly attached to the top. By the way, these stunning review photos were taken with my iPhone, so be kind. LOL! ;-)

Above: Here’s a close-up of the lock attached to the security bracket. The bracket has little round rubber feet that cover Apple’s existing rubber feet. The whole thing is pretty unobtrusive, especially compared to the earlier model.

Overall Rating
If I actually had a five-star rating-system, with 5 being best, I would give it 4-1/2 stars, knocking off the half star because they don’t offer a combination lock option (only a key lock).

Price: $69.95 (though it appears to be on-sale for $59.95 right now)
Works on: 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros
Available from: MacLocks.com
Red stars with 2-pixel back stroke: Done in Photoshop

That’s it in 90-seconds. If you want more detail, see below.

————

OK, why do we even need a security bracket like this?
The Retina MacBook Pros are so thin Apple wound up having to leave off something that was a staple of most previous MacBook Pros: the specially designed security locking hole. You inserted the lock directly into the chassis of your laptop. That was sweet, but now they’re gone.

That left me leaving my MacBook Pro unlocked in an un-attended photography work room at stadiums where I was shooting games, until I came across the original MacLocks solution (in November of 2012), which which used a hard, clear plastic case that you screwed into the bottom of your MacBook Pro and it had a hard plastic nub with a hole sticking out the back corner where you could insert their custom lock and lock your computer down. It actually worked pretty well (and protected my laptop until now), but there were two issues on that old model:

(1) The plastic case was a bit bulky and added weight
It covered the entire bottom of the laptop, and that added to its thickness and weight (which stinks because one of the best features of the MacBook Pro was its light weight and thin size). It didn’t bother me at first, but as time went on, it became kind of a pain (and the plastic edge sometimes snagged the sides of my laptop bag. In fact, it finally cracked the clear plastic case on one side).

(2) The clear plastic case kind of looked like you could break it off without too much trouble.
I don’t think it would be easy, but just looking at at, it looked like it might be, and if someone actually did try, they would pretty much trash your laptop. So, even though they might not actually take your laptop, they could trash it to where you wouldn’t want it when they were done trying. It’s a win/lose proposition.

That why this new solution is so much better. You don’t even really notice it, so it doesn’t draw unwanted attention, and it doesn’t look like clear easily breakable plastic.

Hope you found this helpful. :)

Cheers,

-Scott

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