Morning everybody, and welcome to “late post” Monday! Just a few quick things:
1. Quick Lightroom Skin Retouching Tip
Today I posted a quick tip on Skin Retouching in Lightroom over at LightroomKillerTips.com, based on a question I was asked at my seminar in Hartford on Friday. Here’s the link to that tip, but if you want more pro-level stuff in Photoshop, check out Kristina Sherk’s just-released online class on “High-end Skin Retouching” over at our site (here’s the link to her class – it’s getting rave reviews!).
2. Why didn’t anybody tell me Van Halen released a new live Album with David Lee Roth?
I saw them in Tampa a year or so ago when they just kicked off their new tour, and they sounded great live (but the iTunes review comments are pretty mean all the way around. Ack! Anyway, I just previewed some of the songs and it sounds OK to me). I’m in that group of folks that feels like Van Halen isn’t “Van Halen” without David Lee Roth up front!
3. More Helpful Features from Exposure.com
My favorite online photo-storytelling site keeps getting better and better — Exposure.co has added a new text-only feature for folks who want to have a story block without having to have an image to go with it. If you’ve got a sec, here’s a link to my photo stories over at exposure.
4. Very proud of RC!
Next Saturday he’ll be in NYC to see his work hanging in the Joshua Liner Gallery there – how cool is that! If you missed the whole story on Friday, here’s the link. Very cool stuff (and very proud and excited for RC!)
5. I’ve been trying out a new lens!
It’s just a loaner, so I only have it for a few more days, but Canon’s new 11-24mm is one of my favorite lenses ever! Super sharp all the way to the edges, and that super wideness is super awesome! Hope to have some test shots soon — I’m working on two shoots where it would be awesome (my shoot in Hartford this past week fell through, so I’m onto something new). I will say this — I’ve yet to shoot it anywhere near 24mm — it’s all 11 to 15mm range stuff (mostly 11) as many of you know (link) that I’m not a fan of 24mm (I really like a much wider lens, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now to shoot a full frame body with 11mm super-wide, and let me tell you it is sweet!).
OK, gotta run – hope you all have a fairly decent to on the verge of awesome Monday, and we’ll see ya here tomorrow where I hope to actually have a proper post written and in place sometime late tonight. :)
P.S.When I mentioned retouching stuff earlier, I didn’t mention this but I’m teaching a class called “Retouching Faces” at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in August. You can see the full schedule of classes here.
I also wanted to share with you a little bit about the project – and why I was even happier to participate once I knew the social media involvement in it – not having it be about me.
More Than Just Us
The project came about as a partnership with Canon to have people more familiar with their large format imagePROGRAF printers (if you want to learn more about the imagePROGRAF printers, click here) . To me, the print really is the final step in the process, and no matter where you do it, you really owe it to yourself to see your image in this final form. I tend to want to see my images as big as possible. I feel like it really gives a user the feeling of being wrapped in the process.
Canon’s idea was to create a gallery around the concept of “Embrace” – giving you a very wide latitude of shooting subjects that let you jump in on that as well as show off some work. To that end, they asked if I would be willing to go and shoot some images and submit some of my earlier work to share in the gallery.
This however was just the start.
They also asked if I would reach out to other Canon shooters as well – asking if they would like to share images they felt would fit in this theme. I shared the information over social media and many people participated in the project. Out of the many entries that were submitted, we had the job of bringing these images to two winners.
Erin’s shot of a father and child really took the embrace concept literally and let us step into a touching moment shot perfectly well. The use of black and white really lent to the feeling of the image, and its something that definitely warranted being seen on a much bigger scale.
Rachel’s fine art approach to the subject really made me look at the image over and over again. The posing of the subject against the lines really drew you in and the overall feel of the piece really gave this classic art feel to it – begging to see it in a bigger scale. Just great work!
Rachel and Erin will each get to bring a guest and be flown to NYC, put up in a hotel, and get to see their work featured alongside mine on the gallery on June 13. I loved how we were given the opportunity to reach out to all of you to share in this moment – and I have a greater amount of joy to know that Rachel and Erin both will get to share in that experience. Your images deserve it!
If you are in the NYC area on the 13th, I would really dig it if you came down and said hello. There will be plenty to see in the gallery beyond my stuff – and the day can serve as both inspiration and an opportunity for me to say thank you to all of you for letting me do what I do.
High End Skin Retouching with Kristina Sherk Take your retouching skills to the next level with Kristina Sherk! Improving your portrait retouching skills will not only help you make your clients look their best, but they’ll want to keep coming back for all of their portrait work because no one else makes them look so good. Kristi’s approach is designed to help you understanding all of the critical fundamentals of retouching, from enhancing eyes and lips to dealing with blemishes, and from there she walks you through the essentials of adding depth and dimension while smoothing skin and retaining important detail. This class has the potential to revolutionize your approach to skin retouching while increasing your understanding of the underlying principles involved.
40 Must See Jaw Dropping Landscape Finalists
The submission period is over, and the 40 finalists have been chosen for our ViewBug contest! Now all that’s left is for Scott Kelby to judge the finalists and pick the lucky person who will get a full conference pass to Photoshop World Vegas in August! If you want to check out the finalists for the contest, you can see them right here.
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally,or Ben Willmore live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you!
A self-portrait of my Veterans Portrait Project location studio set-up
Howdy Scott, Brad, Kelby-crew and readers! Can you believe it’s been just over four years since my last guest blog post? So much has happened since then I’d like to share with y’all. But first, I need to extend a thank you to Scott and Brad for inviting me back for a follow-up.
Okay, let’s get to it! As you know from my previous post, I began a personal endeavor, the Veterans Portrait Project, while recovering from combat injuries I sustained in Iraq while documenting the war as a military combat photographer. After spending hours in Veteran Administration hospital waiting rooms surrounded by veterans from every generation and branch of service, I felt compelled to honor and thank them in the only way I knew how, photography. The Project became my new mission. In a way, it was my therapy too, and over time I began to heal both physically and mentally.
The journalist in me felt compelled to take my personal project public, to share the unique stories of these extraordinary citizens. Eventually it became a way to raise awareness too. I wanted to show what veterans really look like: Black, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, Native American, male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, young, old, homeless, married, single, disabled, and everybody in between. After all, everyone has his or her own idea of what a veteran looks like, about their background, and their reasons for serving. Admittedly, I did too—white, male, middle-aged combat veteran. And, yes, 92.5 percent are male and 79.2 percent are white, but what’s interested me most throughout my experience with the Veterans’ Portrait Project has been the smaller groups of veterans, including those like myself, who don’t necessarily fit the iconic veteran image.
A self-portrait for my Veterans Portrait Project archive
With the current popularity of war hero movies, such as Lone Survivor and American Sniper, people are inundated with images of Special Forces operators creating a misconception that all veterans fit the aforementioned attributes – young and chiseled. These portrayals, while compelling and worth our attention, are just a small representation of the veteran community. Through the Veterans Portrait Project, I strive to showcase all who’ve served and to educate and entertain the general public with real American military veterans’ stories and to archive the military histories of all service men and women.
Since starting the Project in 2008, I’ve photographed thousands of veterans in countless cities nationwide, hosted community-based exhibitions, and conducted numerous public speeches and town hall style discussions on veterans’ issues. I continue working worldwide as a photographer, educator, military consultant, and public speaker, but the Veterans Portrait Project is my heart and passion. It has been fuel for my soul.
After every WWII veteran’s portrait session, I take a selfie-smooch-picture and post it to Instagram. I’ve amassed quiet a distinguished collection. I have to say, my heart flutters with every stolen kiss. I’m a lucky gal for sure!
Despite the accolades however, I still believe those most deserving of awards are in front of my camera, and not the gal behind it.
Communities nationwide have received the Veterans Portrait Project positively and it’s gained so much momentum in just the last three years. My head is reeling.
The Veterans Portrait Project has been fortunate enough to gain a wide breadth of media exposure both nationally and abroad. A documentary series by PBS titled, Coming Back with Wes Moore, included a bit about me, and the work I’m doing with the Project. There have been print and online articles that have reached halfway around the world.
One day I received an email from a retired British Army soldier, and combat veteran, by the name of Stephen Porteous. Here’s an excerpt from his correspondence dated December 11, 2014.
“When the funeral corteges and repatriation ceremonies of our service personnel who’d been killed in Afghanistan began appearing on British TV it struck a cord with the general public. However in the short space of time since we’ve left Afghanistan it is evident we [veterans] are becoming less newsworthy. In a bid to give something back, and play my part in keeping British Forces and veterans on the public radar, I decided I would act on the inspiration you provided through photography. My plan would be to mirror your project for UK veterans. It will be completely non-profit and, for the most part, self funded. Would you be prepared to endorse such an endeavor?”
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I was truly humbled by Stephen’s missive. However, I was also hesitant to relinquish my Project, albeit a separate division, into the hands of someone else. That required faith they’d treat the Project, and the veterans involved, with the same admiration and respect I have for so long. I took a few days to consider the proposal and did some soul-searching within. Ultimately, I decided to give Stephen a chance under the condition I’d fly to London to train him. Only then would he have my endorsement.
We decided upon the first week of May 2015, which happened to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day! You can watch a video from our day with the amazing Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioners HERE.
In the end, it felt amazing empowering Stephen with the tools he needed to stand up the Veterans Portrait Project UK, and to share the healing powers of photography with someone else. I’m encouraged by Stephen’s enthusiasm and passion – I recognize myself in him quiet a bit. Truly, it was meant to be and I believe he’ll do very well. He already is.
The best part of it all, being able to share my small victories with you! I’ve had so much encouragement and motivation from so many wonderful, amazing people like you. I couldn’t have done any of these things alone either – from my dedicated assistants and supportive husband, to my stalwart sponsors and unfaltering cohorts, you’ve all had a hand in my success. For that, thank you!
OK, over 3,200 of you voted yesterday and I posted the results from that Lightroom Reader Suggested Feature Survey (quite surprising results by the way), over at LightroomKillerTips.com along with a link to today’s even quicker one-question survey, which is based on the series that I wrote which started this whole thing, called:
“What I love to see added to Lightroom”
I did a post on one feature each day for seven days, so there are just seven feature ideas (but you can only pick one). It’s short and sweet — will take you less than 60-seconds.
Here’s the direct link to this new survey if you just want to jump over there real quick and vote, but make sure you jump back over to Lightroom Killer Tips to see yesterday’s results, too.
Perhaps, equally as important, but not really….
…are the results from my “Which Guitar Has To Go Home?” survey:
That’s right — the Paul Stanley (lead singer for KISS) Signature Model Flying “V” up in the top right corner was your clear #1 choice and therefore must be banished from my office, and sent into exile within my private residence (which is very close to my house) under strict orders not to get anywhere near my Les Paul or my Paul Reed Smith Custom 24.
JOIN US LIVE LATER TODAY!
In times like these it’s a tradition (for over 1/100th of a century) to conduct an official “Changing of the Guitar” ceremony broadcast LIVE today via the Periscope App (free for IOS and now Android). If you’re not already following me there, please do (I’m @scottkelby) and watch as the magic unfolds. The spectacle and pageantry of this majestic processional is really something to behold. You’ll want to tell your grandchildren about this one, so make sure your batteries are charged, you have plenty of film on hand, and get there early to get a good spot and avoid all the tourists.
That’s all from here in “I’m up way too late” land. Hope you have a rockin’ Tuesday!
P.S.Later today we’ll be forming the “Missing V” formation as we gather in unison to hum “Detroit Rock City.”
OK, so I’ve been doing this series over on LightroomKillerTips.com called “Things I’d love to see added to Lightroom” and I shared my top seven picks in the last week or so. During the process, our readers posted lots of great ideas for features they’d love to see added, so today I put up a one-question survey where you (we, us, etc.) can pick which feature, from their favorites, is our favorite (if that makes sense).
If that doesn’t make sense, how’s this: “Hey, I posted a survey with a bunch of potentially cool Lightroom features — could you pick your favorite from the list?”
Hope you have a quick sec to take the survey (it’s just one-question), and then I’ll post the results tomorrow, and we’ll be able to see what the top most-liked feature ideas wound up being (while it’s just a one-question survey, this is harder than it sounds, because their feature ideas are really good. I’d like to vote for literally all of them, but for the purposes of our survey, we only get to choose one each).
Many thanks everybody. Here’s to a much better than average Monday!
P.S.I’m in Hartford, Connecticut on Friday teaching my full-day seminar. Wanna come?