Trinity 5sm

1. An Early Morning Shoot for my Book “The Great Indoors”
It’s hard to believe this amazing church is right here in the US — it’s the gorgeous Trinity Church in Boston. I found out about it just two days before I arrived in Boston (many thanks to my assistant Lynn), and we were able to get access to shoot it.

The only chance I could get to shoot it, was early in the morning right before my seminar in Boston (which for someone who likes to get to his seminar very early, was a bit worrisome to me, but it was walking distance from the convention center, so I went for it). The folks at Trinity Church were amazing (thank you Donna!) and I had such a great time shooting, and learning about the history of the church, which was built in the 1800s.

I took a bunch of shots (including the one you see above, taken with a Canon 5D Mark III with an 11-24mm super wide-angle lens. Shot down low on a 3-legged-thing travel tripod, with a Really Right Stuff Ballhead.

I’ll share more shots from the Trinity Church as soon as I get done editing them (the one you see above was only edited in Lightroom – no plug-ins or anything fancy — just my “Seven Point System.” 


2. Call for Entries: The Photoshop World Guru Awards
If you’re going to the Photoshop World Conference 2016 in July this summer (July 19-21st), you’re invited to enter your images and designs into the prestigious Guru Awards competition. You can submit images for judging for free (this contest is only open to registered Photoshop World attendees, which is actually a good thing, because your chances of winning in a category are amazingly good!). There are a number of categories, from retouching to photography; compositing to illustration among others, and you can enter up to three images total. You can get all the details right here. Good luck, everybody!

3. You’ll Laugh. You’ll Cry. You’ll Kiss 56-seconds Goodbye!
Check out the trailer (above) from just-released class on the now totally free Google Nik Collection of plug-ins for Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I’m getting such great feedback on the class, and I hope you’ll give it a look (if you’re not a KelbyOne member already, sign up for the 10-day free trial and you can watch it right now). Here’s the link:

Secret title on old paper

4. The hidden advantage of Lightroom’s built-in HDR
I shared a short clip from that Nik Collection class about Lightroom and a hidden advantage you get when you combine your bracketed images in Lightroom (and it’s not what you think). If you’ve got a sec to check out the video (it’s short), jump over to LightroomKillerTips and check it out.

That’s it for today, folks. Hope you have a great weekend, and we’ll see you next week!




Rockin’ the FREE Nik Collection of Plug-ins with Scott Kelby
Join Scott Kelby as he shows you his tips and secrets for using the FREE Nik Collection from Google! This plug-in suite has long been many photographers’ secret weapon, and now it’s free to everyone!

In this brand new class, Scott will walk you through each of the eight plug-ins in the suite and show you how to best utilize them to your advantage. From making killer black and white images with Silver Efex Pro, to adding a special look to your images with Color Efex Pro, using Viveza to control specific colors, creating amazing HDR images with HDR Efex Pro, refining the details with Dfine and Sharpener Pro, or making your digital images look like film with Analog Efex Pro, Scott has you covered! Here’s the link to the full class.

It’s “Throwback Thursday” Class Time:
It’s one of our all-time most popular classes, and in case you missed it, check out Scott’s Shooting Travel Photos Like A Pro online class, shot on location in Paris. It’s tres magnifique! 

Photographer Jeff Lombardo photograph's Dubai Marina from the Princess Tower in Dubai, the Tallest Residential Building in the World.
Photographer Jeff Lombardo photographs Dubai Marina from the Princess Tower in Dubai, the Tallest Residential Building in the World.

How did you get your start in photography? Have you always done what you’re doing now, or did you start with one or many genres of work and then gravitate to your current style?
Well, I’m not the photographer that was given a camera at a young age or the photographer that followed in his father’s footsteps. I’m also not the photographer with a darkroom and film background. I actually never had any desire to become a photographer at all. I was a freelance graphic designer for NBC, Universal Studios, MGM, A&E, FOX, Disney, and many others — who one day decided to put everything he owned in a storage unit and follow his dream of world travel.

A helicopter view of downtown Vancouver
A helicopter view of downtown Vancouver.
A view of Brooklyn and Manhattan (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
A view of Brooklyn from Manhattan.

I know it sounds like I had everything figured out but I had no idea how I was going to make it work. I had the confidence that it would work itself out, but a lot of the time it was hope. I decided to come up with a monthly figure that I needed each month to travel and live on, then I divided that number by 3 and pitched my top 3 clients an all you can eat package and suggested a 6 month retainer. Between the 3 clients I reached the figure I needed each month and I was able to lock in paychecks for the next 6 months.

Model on a gondola in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Model on a gondola in Venice, Italy.
Jessica Burciaga on a beach in Honolulu. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Jessica Burciaga on a beach in Honolulu.

That idea landed me on 62 flights in 10 months and provided me with 2 ½ years of world travel while living out of a suitcase. I was living a life worth documenting so I documented it just like anyone else would. Photography itself started to become appealing when all the iPhone photo editing apps started to emerge.

Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia.
People vacationing on holiday in Positano, Italy (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Crowd of people vacationing on holiday in Positano, Italy.

Having a mini Photoshop in my pocket appealed to my graphic design background and when Instagram came out, it was icing on the cake. Photo editing apps and Instagram gave me a greater purpose to share my photos in real time with those I was out of touch with, rather than having them just sit on my phone. That’s when I went from taking point and shoot vacation photos to putting thought, effort and creativity into each photo. I became passionate about it and I wanted to become better. The study and learning process is what got me into photography.

Sunset in Brooklyn, New York overlooking Manhattan (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Sunset in Brooklyn, New York overlooking Manhattan.
Horseshoe bend in Page, Arizona (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Horseshoe bend in Page, Arizona.

As time went on and I felt like I was getting to a place that I was comfortable with in my photography. I knew I had another talent to offer my network of friends so I began putting the word out and swinging for the fences when looking for new opportunities.

The Empire State Building through the legs of the Manhatttan Bridge (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
The Empire State Building through the legs of the Manhattan Bridge.

Prior to photography I worked on some big projects as a graphic designer and I definitely had to pay my my dues. I went from being a starving artist all the way to working on the Dark Knight, Twilight, New Moon, WATCHMEN and countless other great projects. But once I decided to take the leap into becoming a professional photographer I realized I was a starving artist all over again — and I hated it.

Yachting through the Mediterranean Sea with a view of an active volcano in Stromboli. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Yachting through the Mediterranean Sea with a view of an active volcano in Stromboli.
Overlooking Positano from a balcony in the mountainside (Photo by Jeff Lombardo
Overlooking Positano from a balcony in the mountainside.

I hit the reset button on my career at midlife. I went from the peak of my design career and having 15+ years experience under my belt to being an amateur without any experience under my belt and a world full of competition all over again. I did my best to leverage both backgrounds in my pitches while I continued to aim for gigs out of my ballpark. I had nothing to lose.

On the roof of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy (Photo by Jeff Lombardo
On the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.
Emirates plane flyover. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Emirates plane flyover.

Because I was traveling, I had a lot of travel photos. I decided to make a website with my photo work and it was all travel work and I labeled myself a Travel Photographer. Once I had some decent landscape and cityscape shots, my friends in the music industry started to notice and opportunities in music started to land. I used each one as a launchpad to get me to the next level.

Ne-Yo being interviewed at his "Forever Now" music video shoot. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Ne-Yo being interviewed at his “Forever Now” music video shoot.
Ne-Yo in the studio writing a song. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Ne-Yo in the studio writing a song.
Ne-Yo Performs in Manchester on the 2013 UK R.E.D. Tour. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Ne-Yo performs in Manchester on the 2013 UK R.E.D. Tour.

I ended up going on tour with Ne-Yo, shooting the top 5 EDM DJs on 5 different continents and winning a photography award all in my first 2 years. A lot of you may ask how? Hustle and persistence is all I can say to that. I believe you have to align yourself with the opportunities you want and you have to be strategic and persistent. Find the gatekeepers that hold the power to what you want and beat down doors until someone lets you in. Everyone has something they need and something they can offer; it’s up to you to connect those dots.

Sebastian Ingrosso performs under fire at Stereosonic 2013 in Sydney, Australia (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Sebastian Ingrosso performs under fire at Stereosonic 2013 in Sydney, Australia
Hardwell spinning at EDC London 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Park (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Hardwell spinning at EDC London 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Park
Carl Cox spinning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during EDC Las Vegas 2013 (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
Carl Cox spinning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway during EDC Las Vegas 2013

Being a great photographer in 2016 isn’t enough. You have to be a great marketer. An ‘ok’ photographer who is great at marketing can make it further than a great photographer who is terrible at marketing. I don’t think that’s fair but that’s the game and sometimes you can’t change the game, all you can do is play it.

In the studio with Kendrick Lamar as he records To Pimp a Butterfly in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jeff Lombardo)
In the studio with Kendrick Lamar as he records To Pimp A Butterfly in Los Angeles.

What led to you getting such intimate access with Kendrick Lamar?
I believe it’s a combination of trust, respect for my work and knowing the right people. Growing up we all used to hear the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” — but I disagree. It’s definitely both.


Howdy folks — happy Tuesday!

Adobe has been rolling out a stream of new features for Photoshop CC over the past couple of years, and even I sometimes lose track of all the things they’ve added, so I’m not surprised so many folks didn’t catch this one when it was rolled out (this one had been on my wish list for about 20 years).

It’s the ability to completely customize Photoshop’s toolbar, so you only see the tools you actually use (and hide the rest). It’s super easy to do. Here’s how:


STEP ONE: Go under the Edit menu, and near the very bottom choose Toolbar. This brings up the Customize Toolbar window you see above. The left column lists all the tools in Photoshop’s toolbar. If you see one you don’t use, just drag and drop it to the column on the right to hide it from the toolbar. The good news is — you can choose to have three little dots appear at the bottom of the toolbar which gives you access to all those tools you chose to hide, ya know…just in case. :)

Also, below the left column are a row of icons of features that appear at bottom of the toolbar, like the Quickmask button, and screen mode toggle buttons — you can even choose to each any or all of those.

STEP TWO: Click done and you’re done! Of course, if you ever change your mind and want to get back to the original default set of tools — just come back to this same Customize Toolbar window and click on the “Restore Defaults” button near the top right side.


By default you get a single column toolbar, but back “in the old days” (when dinosaurs ruled the earth), Photoshop actually had a two-column toolbar like the one you see above right. If you ever get in the mood to go all “old school” on us, just click the little double-arrow at the top left of the single toolbar to switch it to the double-column toolbar. You get five extra points if you play the song “Turn up the Radio” by Autograph right before you click that button. Doing that doesn’t actually affect Photoshop in any way, but will cause you, momentarily, to totally rock out and sign along. This is not a bad thing.

Hope you find that helpful. :)



P.S. Tomorrow, at 4pm on “The Grid” we’re airing a special “Live from the UK” tour from “The Photography Show” in Birmingham (it’s not actually live because we taped it at the show, but it was live when we did it, which is the kind of explanation a presidential candidate might give to any given question. I’m not one, but I’ve seen a lot of TV commercials for them). 😉



On the heels of Google last week making the entire Nik Collection of plugs-ins absolutely free, I’m doing a online class that will release this Thursday (March 31st) that not only teaches you how to use the collection, I show:

(1) How I use them in my workflow
(2) Exactly which ones are my favorite filters and presets
(3) Which ones I don’t use at all (and why)
(4) Which one, if I was stranded on a desert island, would be the one I couldn’t live without and why
(5) All sorts of little tips and tricks that will help make your experience faster, better, and more fun.

I’ve been saying for years that for so many pro photographers I know, they will tell you that the Nik Collection is their secret weapon — so if you’re a KelbyOne member, I hope you’ll check out my brand new class coming this Thursday.

Again, a big tip of the hat to Google for making these plug-ins available to us all for free, and here’s hoping upon hope that while it looks unlikely, that if there’s a major update to either the Mac or Windows OS some awesome engineer might update it (perhaps on his own, as some rogue engineering doing good outside the walls). Then he or she could be the new hero of “The Resistance.” [vague Star Wars reference].

Full Details coming Thursday
Don’t forget to come back on Thursday to get the direct link to the class — can’t wait to share this with you!



P.S. Hey, did I mention I’m teaching my full day seminar up in Boston on Wednesday? Hundreds of Boston area photographers are already signed up, but it’s not too late for you to come, too!


OK, not everybody, but I was surprised to see how many people were complaining after Google’s awesome announcement that they were making the entire Nik Collection of plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom, available for free download. FREE!

Of course, there are lots of questions after this announcement, so let’s do a quick Q&A on the topic to take us into the weekend.

Q. What is the Google Nik Collection? 
A. Here’s how Google themselves describe it:

The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.

Q. So, you use these plug-ins?
A. Absolutely. Daily. I’ve been telling people for years that the Nik Collection is the pro photographer’s secret weapon.

Q. So let me get this straight — Google takes this amazing plug-in collection, which they were selling for $149, and they announce it’s now free, and some people are already hatin’ on them?
A. Oh, Absolutely. Welcome to the Internet, where lots of people are literally just waiting to be outraged about something. I’ve always said if you stood on a street corner and passed out free $100 bills, you could literally count the seconds before someone came up and said, “Are you kidding me? Where am I going to break a $100 bill? Can’t you give me five $20s instead?” 

Q. Like, what kind of stuff are they saying?
A. Stuff like: “So if I bought it in 2015, I’m f#@$d right?” or “…bit pissed as i paid full wack just over a year ago and not even partial refund. Will be the last google product i buy if they just keep giving things away”  or “Very disappointed, I bought it in 2015. Nice you make it free but you should refund your previous licenses.”

Q. Haven’t they had the use of this software all this time, before it was free?
A. Yes.

Q. So why are they so mad?
A. Apparently Google didn’t have five $20s. (see my answer to the 3rd question above).

Q. Isn’t this awesome that they’re giving this incredible plug-in package away for free?
A. I think it is. A lot of folks who could never afford it will now have access to it. I think that’s awesome!

Q. Does this mean that future updates for this collection have ceased?
A. Based on what I’ve read, I absolutely think that is the case, but I haven’t confirmed it with anyone inside Google yet.

Q. So, what if I download it today, and then there’s a major Mac OS or Windows update down the road and then it doesn’t work anymore. Will Google do an update to fix it?
A. Not as best as I can tell, so use it today and enjoy it for as long as it works.

Q. But that’s not fair!
A. You’re right. You should ask Google for your money back from that free download. Oh…wait…

Q. What if I bought it back in February? 
A. Google said they are automatically giving full refunds to anyone who bought the collection in 2016.

Q. Are you certain about that?
A. The older I get, the more I realize I’m not certain about anything, but that’s what they said in their post.

Q. What if I bought it back in December and I missed the cutoff?
A. Then you only had to pay $37.50 a month to use it until now, which for this suite is totally worth it, but that is still kind of a bummer. I’ve bought stuff the very week before it goes on sale. It happens, but you’ll get past it.

Q. Can’t I write angry comments about how unfair that is?
A. Absolutely, and you should use a lot of cuss words!

Q. Will that help?
A. Not one bit.

Q. Will Google ever release a Nik Collection Version 5?
A. I would love that, but based on their post about why they are making it free, it seems fairly clear that their desktop plug-in days are over (that was my take on it anyway). However, if they do one day come out with a new version, I imagine they would charge for it; I would definitely buy it, but I imagine it would be worth it.

Q. So, do you know something secret here?
A. I do, but it’s not about version 5. The secret stuff I know is about the supposed 1969 Apollo moon landing, and the plane that never crashed into the Pentagon, and the JFK assassination, but I’m not at liberty to say, because they’re watching me. They’re always watching.

Q. Were there any nice comments on Google’s announcement post?
A. Thankfully, there were many tucked in and around the whining. Some very grateful folks, and I was happy to see that.

Q. What was your favorite?
A. This one from Ray Akey:

“Funny to see all the reactions on this one. Free software is good for everyone, no matter what, especially when it comes from a company known for their excellent plugins because a lot of shareware and freeware is crap! Personally, I have only used SilverFX and it is a pretty nice piece of software. I’ll glady download and check this out. Thanks Nik and Google! Whiners: Poo!”

Q. That guy rocks, right?
A. Right! I love his attitude.

Q. So, where can I download the free Nik Collection?
A. Here’s the link.

Q. Should I write a mean comment here on your blog for taking the side of the non-complainers?
A. Believe it or not, there are bigger fish to fry in the world today than you complaining that somebody is getting something for free that you had to pay for a year or two ago. Instead, you should be happy that a good thing happened to a lot of photographers all over the world through this gift from Google. If you bought it beforehand, you should be thankful for the time you got to use it and how awesome it made your images look; you should not expect that Google will ever provide a free update to this free software, but know that you’ll still be able to somehow carry on.

Be thankful that there are brilliant geniuses that created this software in the first place, and that Google is so successful they can give it away to us for free, and instead of focusing on the negative side of things, why not take a deep breath, be glad you’re alive; enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)