Hi Gang: Thanks to all the KelbyOne members who tuned in to catch my “Iceland Landscape Adventure” members-only Webcast on Thursday. One thing I didn’t get to cover on the Webcast was a look at the backpack I took with me on the photo trip — the Vanguard Quivio 44.

I did a quick field review for you (below) with what I liked about it; what I wish were different, what the bag does best.


If this bag looks like the one you’ve been looking for, here’s the link. It’s $169 at B&H.

Tomorrow I’ll have an update on my 9th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk, so I hope you’ll check back then. :)

Have a great Monday. Well…you know what I mean. ;-)



P.S. Next week: I’m in Minneapolis on Wednesday September 21st, and then Milwaukee on Friday the 23rd with my “Shoot Like a Pro Tour: Reloaded.” Tickets here. Come on out and spend the day with me.

Every day now, it seems photographers around the world are ponying up money for a Kickstarter campaign to get some new piece of camera gear get made, or a new camera bag, or some obscure lens. Does the world really need another photo gadget? Don’t get me wrong, I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but I’ve found something that will make you feel better than any gadget you’ve ever bought. Instead of buying something, you can save someone.

Today, as a photographer, you can do something bigger. Something that really means something in the bigger picture. Instead of backing someone’s get rich quick scheme, why not donate just a few bucks to feed some wonderful kids living in an tiny orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya? This is an orphanage the wonderful photographers who read this blog helped build from literally an empty plot of land, into one that cares and feeds more than 30 awesome children.

But they need our help.

If you want to do something today that will make you feel far better than backing yet another kickstarter camera gadget,  this is your chance.


So far, we’ve raised $4,748 dollars, which absolutely helps (and for which I’m so grateful), but it’s just 13% of our $35,000 goal. The photo walk is just three weeks away, and we need your help.

You can help us get there. Give a buck. Give $5. Whatever you can give makes a HUGE difference to these kids, and this tiny orphanage. Maybe your company would like to donate. Maybe your friends. This all adds up. It really does.

Photo Walkers — I’m Calling Out To You!
I’m encouraging anyone taking part in my 9th annual Worldwide Photo Walk to give just a buck. $1. If we all do just that, we’ll easily reach our goal.

Here’s the link to the donation page we set up at Generosity.com for the orphanage. Doing this will make your day, heck your whole week, that much better. It will.

Here’s wishing you an open heart and an open mind, for others in need.




Today at 2:00 pm EDT I’m doing a Webcast for KelbyOne members all about my photo trip to Iceland last week. I’ll be covering:

> Gear (everything from lenses, camera bag, tripod, bodies – you name it)
> Camera Techniques
> Post Processing in Lightroom & Photoshop
> Plus I’ll be sharing lots of images from the trip

Join me and landscape and fine art photographer Jeff Leinbach tomorrow at 2pm. We’ll be taking your questions and comments live.

Note: if you’re not already a KelbyOne member – you can still join the Webcast – just take the free KelbyOne trial, and you can watch right along, plus watch all our other members-only Webcast, and more than 600 courses on Photoshop, photography, Lightroom and more.

Here’s where to watch the Webcast: http://kelbyone.com/webcast

Hope you can join us later today. :)




Camera Basics: Canon EOS 80D with Larry Becker
Get up to speed on the Canon 80D! Join Larry Becker as he shows you around one of his favorite cameras on the market today. In this class Larry will teach you about all the settings that matter most, the key features and functions, and help you get going quickly with tips and insight about the specifics of using this camera for both stills and video. By the end of the class you’ll be familiar with all of the buttons, dials, and menus you need to know to get the most out of this powerful camera.

In Case You Missed It
Learn why the Canon 600EX-RT is a quantum leap forward in speedlite technology! Join Michael Corsentino, a portrait and fashion photographer based in Florida, as he takes a deep dive into the Canon 600EX-RT speedlite system. He’ll get you up and running with the key features and functions that will enable you to get the most out of this flash. In this class you’ll learn about the key buttons and dials, how and why to use the different exposure modes, the importance of shooting with the flash off the camera, how to take advantage of high speed sync, and so much more. All throughout the class Michael shares his insights, tips, and tricks to help you get the most out of your flash and enable you to create the images you’ve been dying to create.


For as long as I can remember I have always loved anything in print, whether it be books, comics, magazines, brochures or pretty much any kind of printed ephemera. A life in design was always in the cards (I collected them too!) for me and I am glad it’s a path I chose. I didn’t go to college or university. Everything I learned in the formative years of my working life was self taught. In latter years the internet came along and I subsequently discovered NAPP and KelbyOne as it is today. I love design and specifically, what we used to call, Desk Top Publishing and also typography and fonts.

Photography was never my speciality, it’s an art form I love and that I follow, it’s those great photos which provide the imagery I need to make great printed content. They go hand in hand but it’s graphic design for me all the way. This passion led to me being asked by Scott to teach my first ever class at Photoshop World this past July called “Introduction to InDesign” on the Expo floor. It truly was an honour to represent as an instructor alongside the very people I had learned from over the past 10 or so years.

Dave Clayton PSW 2016 Montage

Not many people had realised either that, at the age of 50, my presentation was my first ever public speaking ‘gig.’ I decided that if you are going to start somewhere, start big!!

Initially I was going to present a ‘How To…’ class but actually, the thing I found myself talking about the most when it comes to design and InDesign was explaining what InDesign actually was. So in this blog I would like to use the basis of my presentation “Introducing InDesign” to talk about why I love what I do and how I try to encourage others to indulge in InDesign and a little graphic design.

Introducing InDesign

On a personal note, It’s fair to say that I am a very lucky man. I have achieved some awesome personal goals over the past 7 years, most notably the experiences, opportunities and friendships I have developed. Meeting Glyn Dewis was a huge turning point. Scott introduced us almost 6 years ago and a lot of people think we’ve known each other a lot longer, but that’s just how well Scott got that introduction right! Anyway, cutting a very fulfilled and action packed story short that includes a bit of modeling, designing my favourite logo, and appearing on the cover of magazines, I have also been privileged enough to design the covers for his two books, The Photoshop Workbook (Peachpit) and the upcoming “Photograph Like A Thief” (Rocky Nook), both covers laid out and designed in InDesign (as are both books). The cover design to PLAT I designed in Illustrator but it’s all laid out in InDesign. That’s because this is what InDesign is for. It’s pretty much the best layout tool and I think the best tool in the CC arsenal!


So, the main question I get when I’m talking about this is “What’s InDesign for?”, not “how do I use it?”


My answer is pretty much “Everything, everywhere!”


At least, to me, is what it feels like. Just arriving in Las Vegas for Photoshop World, I had to fill in a TSA entry card, designed in InDesign. The magazines, brochures, attraction flyers, menus, newspapers, books I saw in the airport, the huge advertisements on the walls of the airport – all InDesign (maybe Quark but you get my point). The imagery may have been created in Photoshop or Illustrator but I can bet you at least 90% was laid out in InDesign. That’s because it is THE tool for the job.


The reason I am so passionate about talking to photographers about this is because there is money to be made for you (if you are a photographer). I had a conversation at the Photography Show in the UK last March with a photographer who asked what I did, assuming I was also a photographer, and I surprised them when I said I was just a graphic designer. And interestingly (a common response when I had many conversations like this) I generally get, “Ah, I need a graphic designer to make some stuff for me.”


I am a firm believer in the old adage, “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat forever…”

Of course I would love to take on lots and lots of work from photographers who need my services, but do you know what? I would rather teach or encourage a photographer to understand InDesign, what it can do and what they could make themselves with some basic skills. I love you guys, it’s hard enough trying to be a working photographer without having to spend out on collateral for yourself. The conversation pretty much went like this…

He said he’d done a shoot for a local business that was selling a specific product. They’d spent most of the day there shooting the owner and staff, products, and the shop. They only made about £50 ($75) because they really wanted to get some work and hoped that they’d get referrals for more work. He admitted he has a lot of time spent waiting for the emails or phone calls for more work but they don’t come that often. We both know that’s a dangerous path. So I asked what the photos were for. “Probably some flyers or a brochure and the website.” So I explained that, as a designer, I could and probably would make at least five times what they got paid for doing that work. I can’t do that without those images and yet I’ll get a better pay day sat at my desk.

So we talked about using that ‘down time’ to learn some InDesign basics, there are classes on Kelby One and Terry White has some great content on YouTube. They did exactly that and I got an email a couple of months later telling me that they’d watched my classes and some others, got a book and the next time they got a photography gig for a client they were also able to secure the design work and successfully created some flyers, a reward card, a couple of shop window posters and a simple price list. Nothing super high end, BUT good enough for the client who had a modest budget. A relationship now developed with the customer and future work to follow because the photographer can offer a more complete package. I am talking starting off with small, local businesses though because using an application and understanding design are two very big differences, much like owning a great camera and understanding how to make great images. It takes time, but we all have an eye for design and there’s enough content to be inspired by (just read Glyn Dewis’ recent post here on Scott’s blog!)

I actually made a fake Photoshop World poster to make a point in my class (see below) – we’ve all seen these awful creations made in Word with Clipart and Wordart – in fact this took me longer to do in Word than if I had done a proper version in InDesign!! You know this is awful and you don’t have to be a designer to know that. And the fact you realise this means you know in your mind you can come up with something better. Practice, practice, practice!


As I mentioned previously, InDesign is my creative hub. Everything else feeds it. No matter what I create, if it’s going to print, it’s going in InDesign. Because of this, my local printer loves me!


The other strength of InDesign is typography. In my experience I have always had better control of type in InDesign over Photoshop and Illustrator. Understanding a bit of typography helps and Scott Kelby has a great class on this on KelbyOne, Corey Barker also has a great one on Typekit – if you have the Creative Cloud then you’ll know about Typekit but I won’t go into that now. Look at typography and text in magazines and books, look how certain styles work, how they look on the page and how easy content is to read. Look at composition and white space. You know what your eye likes to see so use that as inspiration.


And where else can you get fonts other than Typekit or what’s on your PC and Mac already installed? Back in the day we all used to download the usual 1001 fonts off the internet and use them in everything. Something a lot of people don’t realise is that you can’t just use any font for any commercial project. Much like taking images from Google to use in your work, fonts are licenced in the same way images are. You can very easily get excellent commercial fonts very cheaply and free. For the past two years I have been buying commercial font bundles from DesignCuts.com– a mix of stylish, decorative and corporate style fonts and a bunch of amazing design resources, mostly only $29 per bundle. Seriously, check them out.


If you want some free commercial fonts then try FontSquirrel.com or MyFonts.com, both offer some cool fonts, all licensed for commercial use (but always please read the licensing when using for client work). If you are brave enough to make your own then get hold of FontSelf.com – you can make fonts in Illustrator and easily convert to usable fonts for all your programs. A Photoshop version is imminent! There’s no excuse to not be able to use great fonts for great projects and you won’t break the bank doing so!


Speaking of typography my next slide in my presentation raised a few eyebrows… “When I was growing up I wanted to be a kidnapper…”

Seems like a dangerous and unethical career choice! But all I was interested in was being the guy who made the ransom notes. That took more skill than anything in my book. You can’t send a ransom note using comic sans, you shouldn’t use the same font twice in a word, you had to mix the colours, the cases, the serifs and the non serifs. This was serious stuff to me! I used to cut out letters from my parent’s magazines and newspapers and make my own; I used them to make posters and signs for our bedrooms. I’m generation X – born before the days of computers – the equivalent of shooting film!! Yeah, that old :-)


Another thing I touched on was being a versatile designer. For every eye catching poster there’s an “admin” type job that also needs doing. What do I mean by this? I went to a fast food restaurant (don’t judge me) after the movies one day with my family and on the tray of food was an A3 sized piece of paper with an advert for an Angry Birds promotion, someone designed that and everyone who ate in that restaurant saw this artwork.


Awesome for them. However, I turned this sheet over and on the back was a HUGE spreadsheet type layout of all the nutritional facts for all the food.


This was also laid out in InDesign and equally important. If you can do this kind of unexciting work, you’ll still be working! Do the bread and butter stuff and you’ll be in demand. There’s an abundance of work out there that needs doing, and whilst it’s nice to get the glamorous posters, there’s way more layout based work going. It still pays the same bills!

As I said before, I’ve got two classes on KelbyOne to help you learn InDesign and type projects. Please give them a look and apologies for the accent!


Photoshop User Magazine also has a two page InDesign tips page that I write every month and instructors like Terry White have some great content on YouTube. There is no excuse!


If you want to find out more about me, I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as @itsdaveclayton and I have a new blog at ItsDaveClayton.com where I will be posting more InDesign and graphic design content over the coming months. If I am really lucky, I’ll maybe be back at Photoshop World again real soon teaching more of what I love….yep, InDesign.

So let’s get out there, make some stuff, learn it, love it and share it!

Thank you for sticking me if you made it this far. Have a great Wednesday!


Yesterday in my Twitter feed I saw this tweet:


I thought it was a pretty intriguing idea (and I was curious myself to see how many of my picks would still be the same eight years later), so I went and updated it here today (below).

I was happy to see that I actually got to do some of the bucket list things I listed as “Want to do before I die” type of stuff. I also slightly updated the topics to reflect where I’m at today and what I’m using today. Also, if there’s a topic I missed, or a product/service/restaurant, etc. that you want to turn me on to….post it here…there’s nothing I love more than learning about cool new stuff.

Here we go:

Note: Although it’s a “top five” list, they’re listed in no particular order.

Five Teachers I’d love to take a workshop from:

  1. Elia Locardi (link)
  2. Gregory Heisler (link)
  3. Jay Maisel (link)
  4. Frank Doorhof (link)
  5. Steve McCurry (link)

My Five Favorite Restaurants:

  1. Carmine’s on West 44th street in New York City (and in Vegas, and the Bahamas)
    Just incredible Italian Food, served family style, in a loud, wonderful atmosphere just steps off Broadway. It’s my single favorite restaurant on the planet. (link)
  2. J. Alexanders, in Tampa, Michigan, and 10 other states
    I always take visitors here first, because it’s got a wonderful atmosphere, amazing food, beautiful preparation, and great service. Their prime rib is great; the burgers sublime, but their unique grilled chicken salad has no peer. (link)
  3. Hellas Greek Restaurant
    It’s located in Tarpon Springs, Florida (a real Greek community), and the food tastes like you’re in Athens. Maybe better. Their Feta Cheese spread on Pita will curve your spine. (link)
  4. Tony’s Napolitano in San Francisco, North Beach
    I’ve never had pizza like this, but even if you don’t like pizza at all, their Coccoli with Italian beef, horseradish, giardiniera peppers appetizer is from another planet, and worth the trip alone. Mind blowing pizza from a master!
  5. Mimi e Coco Wine Bar in Rome
    This tiny little restaurant in the backstreets of Rome is a place you’ll never forget. Not just one of the best restaurants in Rome. It’s one of the best restaurants anywhere. (link)

My Top Five Favorite Business Books:

  1. Purple Cow, by Seth Godin (link)
  2. The One Thing, by Gary Keller (link)
  3. Delivering Happiness, by Tony Hsieh (link)
  4. The 4 Disciplines of Execution, by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey (link)
  5. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, by Gary Vaynerchuk (link)

Five camera accessories I love:

  1. A Hoodman Loupe
    If you shoot outdoors, you will find this invaluable. It covers the LCD monitor on the back of your camera, and you look through it (like a Loupe) so you can actually see what you just shot, even in bright daylight. I couldn’t shoot outdoors without it. (link)
  2. A tripod from 3-legged thing
    I just took mine to Iceland and it performed like a boss, but it folded up so small I could fit it in my carry-on roller, or attach to my camera backpack. Very cleverly designed, and the price is right. (link)
  3. A Really Right Stuff BH-40 Bullhead
    If you’re going to get a tripod, you need a killer ballhead. The ones from Really Right Stuff are the best. I use their BH-40 midsize with the quick release lever. You’ll fall in love (ask anyone who owns one). (link)
  4. A Battery Grip
    It’s not just for the extra battery life (in fact, I’d say that’s secondary). It’s for the vertical shutter release and controls, so when you’re shooting vertically, the shutter button is right where you’d hope one would be. Plus, you’ll love the feel of your camera with a battery grip. You can find one for most any DSLR brand, and they’re not too expensive (with most below $200).
  5. An ND Filter (a three-stop or a 10-stop)
    I know, everybody needs a polarizer, but this is that next level, and gives you that silky water for landscapes, or smooth skies for architecture, and it’s a black and white photographer’s best friend. Pick ’em up at B&H. 

Five things you probably didn’t know about me:

  1. I don’t eat any type of seafood—not tuna, not shrimp, nada! If it swims, I don’t eat it. If it gets near stuff that swims, I don’t eat it. That being said; I ate Sushi for the first time this year and I liked it. There’s hope.
  2. I love the TV show The Walking Dead, and yet I really hate gory stuff, or scary stuff, or really violent stuff, and I can’t imagine a TV show that has more of all three. That’s how good it is. I cover the screen with my hands and lower the volume during gross or scary parts. Again, that’s how good it is – it’s worth it.
  3. I’m a pretty decent rapper, and not too bad a country music singer, too (I played piano in a country band for a couple of years when I was…ahem… a bit younger). I also play guitar almost every day (I have an amp on my desk, and 18 guitars in my office), and I play drums fairly often, too. Yes, I have a bass, two bass amps, and I play it too (I slappa da bass, mon!). My wife bought me a Yamaha Baby Grand piano for my birthday about 14 years ago, and I dearly love it (Always a dream of mine).
  4. I used to be a tournament foosball player. I am not making this up.
  5. I used to be a professional magician. My stage name was “The Great Scott!” – I am not making this up, either.

My Top 5 Camera Bags:

  1. Think Tank Photo Airstream Roller
    It’s small — not only will it fit in the overhead bin, it’ll fit under your seat. Holds more than it ever looks like it would. (link)
  2. Moose Peterson’s Backpack Series
    When you need to carry a lot of gear, and still have it fit in the overhead bin like a boss, this is the one. Really smartly designed with quick access to everything (in three different sizes). (link)
  3. Think Tank Photo’s Airport International Roller
    This is what I use for shooting football, and I take a ton of gear. It holds my two bodies, a 400mm f/2.8, my 70-200mm, a third and/or fourth lens, straps, knee pads, rain gear, and all sorts of accessories. It’s the big dog! (link)
  4. Vanguard Quovio 44
    This is the backpack I took to Iceland and it worked really nicely for all the gear I took (which was too much gear). This is great if you main goal is quick access to your gear. (link)
  5. The Everyday Messenger bag from Peak Design
    They designed this beautiful travel photography bag with Trey Ratcliff, and together they created something really wonderful. It doesn’t scream camera bag; it doesn’t scream laptop bag. It only screams “that’s a beautiful bag.” So clever. (link)

Five Photography Books That Will Inspire You:

  1. Light, Gesture, and Color, by Jay Maisel (link)
    His seminal work, and one every photographer should read.
  2. Paris, by Serge Ramelli (link)
    Only a Parisian can see Paris this way. Beautiful.
  3. 50 Portraits, by Gregory Heisler (link)
    If you make portraits, you must have this book to refer to. It’s magic.
  4. Air by Vincent Laforet (link)
    A view of the world from above. You’ve never seen it this way. Stunning.
  5. French Kiss: A love letter to Paris by Peter Turnley (link)
    Capturing romance in the city where it was born.

Five Great Photography Books that will Teach You:

  1. Understanding Exposure (4th edition), by Bryan Petersen (link)
  2. Picture Perfect Lighting, by Roberto Valenzuela (link)
  3. The Moment it Clicks, by Joe McNally (link)
  4. It’s Not About The f-stop, by Jay Maisel (link)
  5. The Creative Fight, by Chris Orwig (link)

Five Photographers You Should Be Following on Instagram:

  1. CestMaria
  2. Ruinism
  3. Davidbergman
  4. Kalebra_kelby
  5. DrewGurian

Five SPORTS Photographers You Should Be Following on Instagram:

  1. Vikingsphotog
  2. RobFoldy
  3. Carlsonphotos
  4. Michaelbenford74
  5. Officialdolphinsphotog

Five TRAVEL Photographers You Should Be Following on Instagram:

  1. Everythingeverywhere
  2. Hybriddave
  3. Ig_shotz_Le
  4. Resourcetravel
  5. Afarmedia

Five Really Memorable Steaks:

  1. The New York Strip at Ocean Prime (Tampa and 13 Other locations)
    This replaced Morton’s awesome Prime Rib from the old list, because they stopped serving it. A sad day, but the Strip at Ocean Prime will make you forget about it quickly. Get the Jalapeño Au Gratin potatoes with it. Mmmmmmm! (link)
  2. Any Steak at Gibson’s Steakhouse in Rosemont, Illinois (right near Chicago O’Hare Airport)
    I don’t know what they’re doing to their steaks, but it works. I never miss it when I go to Chicago each year. The service is off-the-chain, too! (link)
  3. The New York Strip at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse in Grand Central Terminal, NYC 
    Joe McNally recommended this to me a few years ago, and the atmosphere is as awesome as the steak and sides. Surprisingly good! (link)
  4. The Prime Rib at Keen’s Steakhouse in NYC
    If you order the King’s Cut of their legendary Prime Rib, everyone at the table will take their camera out and take a photo of it. Guaranteed! It looks like Fred Flintstone ordered it. It so big it has it’s own ecosystem. (link)
  5. The Steak Frites Roquefort at Mon Ami Gabi, Paris Hotel, Las Vegas (also in Chicago
    It’s a thin, wonderful French steak with bleu cheese on top. Amazing! The “Frites” (fries) are the best in Vegas, and they give you a mountain of them, but their Baked Goat Cheese in red tomato sauce with crispy french bread is a showstopper. Hard to beat!  (link)

My Top Five Favorite Fonts Right Now

  1. Cezanne (from P22) (link)
    Every time I use this font, people write in to ask me what it is. It rocks in all lowercase.
  2. Al Fresco (link)
    I love this for Wedding books – not too stuffy. A friendly script.
  3. Kozuka Gothic Pro (link)
    I use this font for presentations and slides. Very modern look to it.
  4. Bebas Neue (link)
    Another one that looks very modern – very tall thing letters.
  5. Satisfaction (link)
    A very cool script font – very casual and fun. Again, looks great in all lowercase.

My Top Five Workhorse Fonts

  1. Helvetica (This classic in the middle of a huge comeback)
  2. Leto (When I need something hipper than Helvetica. Very modern clean look but with personality)
  3. Futura Light (Try it in all caps with lots of tracking [space] between letters).
  4. Trajan Pro (When I went something to look really elegant, this is where I turn. It’s the Hollywood movie font)
  5. Gil Sans Light (It can be both elegant and casual. Try it in all caps with lots of tracking [space] between letters).

Five Books You Probably Didn’t Know I’ve Written:

  1. The Book for Guys Who Don’t Want Kids (link)
  2. Macintosh: The Naked Truth (link)
  3. It’s a Jesus Thing (link)
  4. The iPhone Book (link)
  5. Buy this book of Chapter Intros Even Though You Won’t Learn Anything (link)

Top Five States I’ve Never Been (but want to visit)

  1. Wyoming
  2. Mississippi
  3. North Dakota
  4. Idaho
  5. Iowa

Five places in the US I Can’t Wait to shoot:

  1. Death Valley, CA
  2. The Library of Congress
  3. Great Sand Dunes National Park
  4. The interior of the New York Yacht Club
  5. That Big Empty Airplane Hangar in CA they use in those car ads

Five Lenses I love:

  1. The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS (it’s my workhorse lens)
  2. The Canon 11-24mm f/4  (it’s the widest wide-angle ever made)
  3. The Canon 200-400mm f/4 with built-in 1.4 tele-extender (a sport’s shooter’s dream)
  4. The Canon 8-15mm Fisheye zoom (Love the fish, in moderation)
  5. The new Canon 16-35mm (I don’t have it yet, but I’ll sell some other lens to get it)

Five places I Want to Shoot Internationally:

  1. Morocco
  2. The Admont Abbey Library in Austria, and the National Library of Austria
  3. The University of Coimbra General Library, Coimbra, Portugal
  4. Norway
  5. Patagonia

Five Sports I Still Want to Shoot:

  1. Indoor Cycling
  2. Track & Field
  3. Moto GP racing
  4. The Tour De France
  5. Formula 1 Racing

Five Photoshop Accessories You Shouldn’t Live Without:

  1. A Hardware Calibrator (I like the Datacolor Spyder 5 Elite (link) or the X-Rite i1 Display Pro (link)
  2. A Wacom Tablet (I love my Intous Pro – I have both the Small and Medium) (link)
  3. A huge archival drive (I use a Synology NAS) (link)
  4. A small lightweight portable backup drive (I take mine everywhere I go — here’s the one I use)
  5. Alexis 6″ Studio Monitor Speakers (nobody should retouch in silence) (link)

My Top Five Photoshop Plug-ins:

  1. Google/Nik Software ColorEfex Pro 4.0 (link)
  2. Portraiture, by ImageNomic (surprisingly good skin retouching) (link)
  3. Google/Nik Software Silver Efex Pro 2 (for black & white conversions) (link)
  4. Aurora HDR Pro by MacPhun (it’s the current HDR champ) (link)
  5. Perfectly Clear Version 2 by Athentech (it’s better than you’d think) (link)

Five other software apps I use and totally dig:

  1. Lightroom (I spend about 80% of my image editing time here)
  2. Snapz Pro X (for making screen captures)
  3. Keynote (for slide presentations)
  4. Adobe Illustrator (Mostly for editing stock illustrations)
  5. Dropbox (what did people do before Dropbox?)

My Top 5 Random Cool Things:

  1. Small, awesome Anker Bluetooth speaker (Looks and sounds like a Bose at 1/3 the price). (link)
  2. Ring Video Doorbell Pro. This is awesome! (link)
  3. If you run out of hard drive space on your MacBook Pro, get this Transcend JetDrive Lite memory card that fits in your SD slot, and it treats it like an always connected external hard drive (but it doesn’t drain your battery like a USB drive). It gave me 256GB of additional storage on my very full laptop without plugging anything in (except it, which fits flush into your SD slot. Brilliant!). Link
  4. Zildjian 5A Nylon Black Dip Drumsticks. They’re wicked! (link)
  5. AppleTV (the new 4th gen version actually is a lot better) (link)

Five photographers whose work has really inspired me:

  1. Jay Maisel (link)
    He made me realize that it’s not about the camera.
  2. Joe McNally (link)
    He made me realize that what I really want to photograph most is people
  3. Moose Peterson (link)
    He opened my eyes to composition and how to look at a scene
  4. Elia Locardi (link)
    He made me fall in love travel photography all over again
  5. Zhang Jingna (link)
    She takes the most beautiful, peaceful, graceful fashion images I’ve ever seen.

Five graphic designers who inspire me:

  1. Angela Naymick
  2. Mario Ocon
  3. Margie Rosenstein
  4. Dave Clayton
  5. Jessica Maldonado

Five Canon Cameras I’ve Been Really Impressed With:

  1. The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (I’ve been able to shoot it for two weeks now. Just beautiful. I can’t…let…it…go!)
  2. The Canon EOS 1Dx Mark II (I don’t have one, but I tried it.)
  3. The Canon EOS 5Ds (Sick high-res files when you really need sick high res depth)
  4. The Canon 80D (Maybe the best value DSLR ever)
  5. The Canon G7 X Point & Shoot (A perfect 2nd camera for DSLR owners if there ever was one).

My Top Five Blog Picks:

  1. The Verge (tech stuff) (link)
  2. Terry White’s Tech Blog (link)
  3. Teslarati (link)
  4. Moose News Blog (link)
  5. ProFootballTalk.com (link)

Five cool blogs worth checking out:

  1. Fstoppers (link) – (one of the best photography sites out there)
  2. Site Inspire (great examples of great web design) (link)
  3. LightStalking.com (a great flow of news) (link)
  4. 1200 ISO Photography Magazine  (I love all their bts stuff) (link)
  5. 500px (The #1 best source of inspiration). (link)

My Top Five Things From Adobe (that aren’t desktop applications like Photoshop or LR):

  1. Adobe Portfolio –  a slick free online port that comes with your CC subscription (link)
  2. Typekit – access a treasure trove of high quality fonts – it comes with your CC subscription (link)
  3. Adobe Spark – create real photo storytelling online or on mobile – free (link)
  4. Photoshop Fix – I can’t believe this app is free (link)
  5. Lightroom Mobile – its Lightroom on your mobile device, and it keeps getting better and better. Oh yeah, it’s free, too!  (link)

My Five Favorite Guitars

  1. Fender Strat 1957 Reissue my wife gave me for our 27th Wedding Anniversary
  2. Cherry red Ibanez 1987’s 540-R Roadstar my wife gave me for Valentine’s Day three years ago
  3. Black Gibson Les Paul Classic my wife gave me for my Birthday two years ago
  4. Carved Flame Maple Top PRS  Custom 24  My company gave me to celebrate 10-years being the #1 bestselling author
  5. Fender Custom Stratocaster I designed it online from scratch with some of the award money I got in Dubai last year.

My Five Favorite Guitar Accessories

  1. A Snark clip-on Tuner (it’s the best — so light, so inexpensive, so reliable) (link)
  2. A Pedal Train pedal board. I so love mine! (link)
  3. Blackstar ID Core 20-Watt combo practice amp  – my favorite practice amp ever (and I’ve had them all). So much goodness in a little box. Built-in tuner, effects, and American or British sound switch. (link)
  4. Hercules Guitar Stand (so sturdy, and instant access with this clever design) (link)
  5. ProCo Rat 2 Distortion Pedal (the 80s are just one stomp away). (link)

Five Studio Accessories I can’t Live without:

  1. My 53″ Elinchrom Octa Softbox
    If I had to be on a desert island with only one softbox, this would be the one. (link)
  2. Skyport Radio Triggers
    They let me control my Elinchrom strobes right from my camera—so I can run my whole studio without leaving the back of my camera. Huge time/frustration saver. (link)
  3. Two Matthews 24×36″ Black Flags
    You can use them block flash aiming back at your camera, or eliminate spill onto your backgrounds, or just soak up light falling on your subject. (link)
  4. Rolling Light Stands
    Rolling lights around, on incredibly sturdy stands, just makes life in the studio so much faster and easier. (link)
  5. A Laptop Stand and USB Extender Cable for shooting tethered
    Shooting straight into your laptop, and seeing your photos at 8×10 size as they’re shot, gives you a much higher chance of success. All my tethering gear is from Tethertools.com – their stuff rocks!

My Top 5 Hot Shoe Flash Goodies:

  1. The Phottix Oden Flash Trigger
    I’ve used them all, and this one is the easiest to use ever. (link) That link is to the Canon version. You have to choose the model that works with your brand of camera. Use these with Phottix Oden flashes (I use them myself. Very good stuff! – these are the flashes I have out with me on tour right now).
  2. Westcott Recessed Mega JS Apollo Softbox
    I use this one on my seminar tour, and it is amazing of the price (and portability). 50″ x 50″ of soft, beautiful light. Cleverly designed, and only around $169. (link)
  3. Impact Light Stands with tilt and hot shoe bracket
    These are inexpensive lightweight stands and it’s a set of two, with two tilt brackets you’re gonna need, for less than $100. Put the umbrellas it comes with on eBay. (link)
  4. A low stand for your background light
    If you light your background, this is the inexpensive stand I use. It’s short, and you can remove the pole and mount your flash right to the bottom of the stand to really get it out of the way. It’s like $24 (link)
  5. Keep your background light from spilling forward
    ExpoImaging makes a thing called a “Flash Bender” and it velcros around your flash unit; and it helps direct the light toward your background, and it helps contain flash spill, so the light doesn’t bounce back too much and light your subject when all your want to light is the background. Very handy. (link)

Five things People tell me I say a lot:

  1. All right… (apparently, I start a lot of sentences this way)
  2. Here’s the thing (This one, too).
  3. Hi, everybody…
  4. Basically…
  5. Cool

My Top 5 Burger Joints in America:

  1. Plan B. Burger in Hartford, CT
  2. Milt’s in Moab, Utah
  3. Bobby’s Burger Palace, Las Vegas
  4. In & Out Burger (Out West, and now Texas)
  5. Boston Burger Company

In the hunt for the top 5 burger joints:

  1. Bru Burger Bar, Indianapolis
  2. J. Alexanders (multiple locations)
  3. Burger 21, Tampa
  4. Boardwalk Fresh Burgers & Fries (Atlanta Airport, Airside A. Don’t laugh. Ask Brad – they rock!)
  5. Crown Burger, Salt Lake City, Utah

Five magazine’s I recommend for Photographers

  1. Outdoor Photographer (for landscape and nature photographers) link
  2. PDN (For working pros in advertising and stock photography) link
  3. Digital Photo Pro (I love it!) link
  4. Professional Photogapher (PPA’s member magazine) link
  5. Shutterbug (It’s better than ever) link

Five things I want to do before I die:

  1. Walk my daughter down the aisle (she’s only 10, so hopefully that’s a long ways off)
  2. I want to get a LOT better at guitar
  3. Write a book to convince corporate types what a difference good graphic design makes
  4. I want to shoot the Olympics
  5. Celebrate my 50th Wedding Anniversary (only 23 years away–I’ll be 78)

OK, does that seem like a lot of top 5s, because it took me for-freakin’ ever to put this list together (oy!).

Anyway, there ya have it. I don’t know whether to thank Paul Bowers for that Tweet, or curse him, because I started this about 4 hours ago, and I’m just finishing up. Clearly, I must not have had anything to do tonight (besides, last I heard FSU was taking a beating, so I guess I was better off writing this post).

Hope you all have a great Tuesday! I’m happy to be back at work and seeing everybody today. Hope yours is a good one.