Monday
Dec
2012
10

Introducing My Brand New Book (it’s certainly one I never dreamed I would write)

by Scott Kelby  |  Comments Off Comments

Every once in a while I write a book on something that’s way outside my usual Photography and Photoshop topics, like a few years back when I wrote a short hardcover book for guys who didn’t want kids (trying to explain why they’re missing out on about the greatest thing ever!). Well, this book is certainly something different for me, and it’s on a topic that I would have ever dreamed that I would write.

I hope you’ll take a moment and watch the short video above about why I wrote it and who it’s for. Also, if you order (or download) a copy, know that 100% of the profits from the book will go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 

NOTE: on the video it says that’s its only available in ebook format at this time (it’s now in the Apple iBooks store — here’s the link), but actually we now have printed copies and you can buy them directly from Amazon.com (here’s the link).

One more thing: I left the commenting turned off for this post, which is unusual for me, but this book is unusual for me too, and this way I can actually go to the office instead of just sitting around all day with my finger on the “Delete comment and block user button.” LOL!  :)

Cheers, and here’s wishing you your best Monday yet!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. UPDATE: The book is now sold-out on Amazon.com, but you can still place your order there and as soon as they get the next shipment they’ll send your copy out straight away. Many thanks to every one who ordered a copy! :)

Friday
Dec
2012
07

Big Adobe Unveiling Coming Next Tuesday! (and you’re invited!)

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

Adobe has asked me to show off some cool new Photoshop stuff (along with some other hidden gems), and the whole event will broadcast LIVE and you don’t want to miss what’s next in Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

When: Next Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Time: 10:00 PST (1:00 pm New York Time)
Where: Here’s the link.  

The Photoshop Guys will be helping out in the live chats; answering questions and generally being pesty, so I hope you’ll join us all online for this very slick event. Lots of cool stuff to share. See you then! :-)

Friday
Dec
2012
07

Catch our Bonus “Holiday Gift Guide” for Photographers

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Our buddy, lifestyle photographer Erik Valind, was in town taping a class for Kelby Training Online and I snagged him as my in-studio Guest for a special “Holiday Gifts for Photographers” episode of “The Grid” (our weekly talkshow for photographers).

These are an entirely different collection of gifts from my “Gonzo Gear Guide” that I published here on Monday — these are all entirely new, awesome, super useful (and mostly inexpensive) yet totally cool gear for the photographer on your Holiday Gift List (except Erik apparently has the holiday gift budget of a neurosurgeon but I will say, even though some of his suggestions cost a bit more, he picked some really great values, including a lens deal that really surprised me).

You can watch our Gift Guide for Photographer episode above. Happy shopping everybody! :)

Thursday
Dec
2012
06

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  42 Comments

Photoshop User TV
Have you watched the latest episode of Photoshop User TV? You might want to if you haven’t, considering it might be the only episode that’s ever featured an Academy Award nominee!

Aaron Blaise, who animated characters for movies like The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and directed Brother Bear (which landed him the Oscar nomination), stopped by to show how he develops a character for the screen from sketch to finished image. He wowed Corey and Pete on set, and is wowing viewers as well!

KelbyTraining.com
Trying to figure out how to work your iPad into your photography workflow? Or maybe you want to create your own iPad app… Terry White’s latest classes on KelbyTraining.com will help you figure out how to do both of these!

In Creating an iPad app in InDesign, Terry walks you through the surprisingly easy process of creating your very own iPad app from start to finish, including submitting it to the iTunes store!

Then, in Using the iPad in Your Photography Workflow, Terry shows you all the tools and apps he uses to shoot tethered, edit photos, get model releases, show his portfolio, and more!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month subscription to KelbyTraining.com.

Kelby Training Live
There are only a couple of chances left to catch Kelby Training Live seminars this year, so make sure you take advantage of these two opportunities:

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Dec 10 – San Diego

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Dec 17 – Houston

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Winners
TAP! 2013 Conference Ticket
- Martin G.

Lightroom 4 Live
- Dianne A

1-Month KelbyTraining.com Subscription 
- Taz

Wednesday
Dec
2012
05

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring David Bergman!

by Brad Moore  |  11 Comments

I’m honored to be back here for a second time as Scott’s guest blogger. Like my last post, I’m going to share some non-technical thoughts because it’s too easy to get lost in gear and megapixels.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been a professional photographer for as long as I have, but here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

People Still Love Prints

Technology is awesome. I sleep with my iPhone next to my bed and am at my computer within minutes of waking up. Photos look great on the iPad and my online portfolio is an important marketing tool.

But physical prints are still king.

When is the last time you held one of your favorite images in your hands, printed on 11X14 heavyweight matte paper? Try it. Have a real print made, frame it, and hang it on the wall. It feels good and looks good.

I’ve created a modern business by selling prints. I tour with a number of bands (most recently Bon Jovi), and offer officially licensed prints through my company TourPhotographer.com. It’s a fun gig, makes money, and fans seem to enjoy getting real prints.


Fans can buy various sizes of my 2011 image of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora in Istanbul.

Prints have an impact that screen images just don’t have. You can scroll through hundreds of photos in a Facebook web gallery and they’re gone in a flash. But go through a box of mounted prints, and you’ll instinctively handle the artwork more carefully.

After I shoot a job, I try my best to make a big print of my best image, sign it, and mail it to the PR person, manager, subject, etc. Sometimes I actually get a call or email back thanking me for sending it, and the next time I see them, they remember me.

How often does that happen from a web gallery?

There Is More To Being A Professional Photographer Than Just Making Great Images

Photographers are everywhere. Digital cameras, autofocus, and Instagram have made it simple for anyone to make “decent” images.

But how many people do you know who are full-time, working professional photographers? There aren’t that many of us.

Why?

Because “point, click, and share” just isn’t enough.

I was fortunate to begin my career nearly 25 years ago, before technology lowered the entry barrier to the profession. What I learned is that “taking the picture” is only about 10% of the job.

There is so much more that goes into making a successful photography business: Marketing, promotion, invoicing, managing and archiving your image library, backups, balancing the books, buying and testing new gear, commercial insurance and workman’s comp, pre- and post-production, taxes, and more.

Of course, having the right gear for the job is important as well.


Here’s the gear I used at SuperBowl XLVI. If I missed a shot, I couldn’t ask the players to do it again.

Your Uncle Bob may have a shiny new DSLR, but would you trust him to capture a once-in-a-lifetime event like your wedding? What happens when his only battery dies or he’s in the bathroom during the cake cutting?

Just because you occasionally make a good photo doesn’t mean you should quit your day job.

Relationships Are Everything

People hire photographers that they know and like. It’s rare, if ever, that you’ll send in a portfolio or web link cold and get a gig. It just doesn’t happen that way.

If I go back far enough, I can trace most of my best jobs back to friends from college. You never know how it will happen: that guy was friends with this guy, I did a job for his sister and met this person at the gig, and ten years later he works at a big ad agency. Fast forward another ten years and, well, you get the point.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the work. Once you get in the door, you still need to do a great job or they won’t hire you back or recommend you to anyone else.

I recently photographed my fifth Olympic Games, but it was my first time working for NBC. A few months later, when they put together a telethon to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief, I called my contact at the network so I could do my part to help the storm victims. The next day, I found myself backstage shooting portraits of some of the artists before the show.


I photographed Jon Bon Jovi, Jon Stewart, Steven Tyler, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Joel, and others at the telethon.

I donated all of my profit from print sales of these images to the Red Cross. You can see them all at TourPhotographer.com.

Don’t burn any bridges. You never know when you’ll have to cross them.

—-

Those are just a few of the important things I’ve learned over the years. Photography is a service business and, like any other, it’s important to be professional, valuable, and memorable. Treat your clients well and hopefully they’ll keep coming back for more.

You can see more of David’s work at DavidBergman.net and TourPhotographer.com, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook

Monday
Dec
2012
03

My 7th Annual Holiday Gear Guide

by Scott Kelby  |  52 Comments

Welcome to my “7th Annual Awesome Holiday Gear Guide.” I think what has made this guide extra awesome the past couple of years is that I’ve really tried to focus on choosing great value-for-the-money gear. As always, this year’s gear guide is packed with some really cool stuff that we absolutely, positively don’t need on any level, but we desperately want because that is, after all, half the fun!

The only thing better than actually buying cool gear for someone you love is having someone you love buy you cool gear (kidding—kind of). So, without further ado (that’s right—everything up to this point was “ado”), here’s this year’s collection of really cool, handpicked gift ideas. (Remember my motto: It’s perfectly acceptable to buy gifts for yourself if it has lots of buttons or any kind of LCD screen.)

THE RULES

These are my self-imposed guidelines for which products make it into the guide. It’s just two rules actually. To be listed here they have to be:

  1. Products that I use myself and that I absolutely love, and now can’t live without (well, I could live without them, but I just wouldn’t want to).
  2. If a product makes the guide, it has to be one I would recommend to a close friend without hesitation, especially if my friend was a rich doctor (kidding).

A Large Print of One of Your Images

Giving a large print of one of your favorite images is a very personal gift, and you don’t even have to have your own printer to do it. I use Mpix.com a lot around the holidays for this very reason. I upload an image, choose a matt, plus a simple black metal frame with clear glass, and they ship it directly to the person on my gift list. Same thing with ArtisticPhotoCanvas.com. If you want to send someone a canvas print, they kick butt at it, and people lose their minds when they receive either a framed print or a canvas. You can buy gift codes from Mpix so the photographer on your list can choose to have her own image printed and framed or mounted just the way she wants.

LINKS
Mpix
Artistic Photo Canvas

 

Snapseed from Nik Software

This is one of the most clever, fun, and powerful photo-editing programs ever for iOS (for iPad and iPhone), and there’s even a Mac and Windows desktop version. If you want to give it as a gift, you can “gift” an app directly from the iTunes Store. Snapseed is only $4.99 for the iOS version and $19.99 for the desktop version, which honestly is way underpriced.

LINK
Snapseed by Nik Software

iOS: $4.99
Desktop: $19.99

 

Moo Cards

Moo makes business cards, but what makes them really unique is that you can upload 50 images and they’ll put one image on each card. So when someone asks for your business card, you can basically fan out your portfolio and say, “Choose whichever one you like.” The quality is excellent and they’re surprisingly affordable. Perfect for designers, photographers, and illustrators. They’ll dig it.

LINK
Moo Cards

Price: Starting at $19.99 for 50 cards

 

A Blurb Photo Book

Even though custom photo books are becoming a big thing these days, there’s a darn good chance the photographer on your holiday gift list hasn’t made one yet. If she uses Lightroom (and she almost undoubtedly does), then she can choose her photos, click on the Book module, create a custom book right within Lightroom, and upload it directly to Blurb.com. In a few days a beautiful photo book arrives (well, as long as she takes beautiful photos), and you just pick up the cost of the book. She’ll be hooked once the book arrives, and you’ll be a hero.

LINK
Blurb Books - Order by Dec 16 and save 25% off your order by using the discount code KLBYVID456

Offer valid through December 16, 2012 (11:59 p.m. local time). A %25 discount is applied toward your product total. Valid for printed books only. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Price: Starting at $12.59 for a 20-page, 7×7″, softcover book on premium lustre paper

 

SmugMug Pro Business Account

If the photographer on your gift list wants a way to showcase and sell his images online, he would totally love a SmugMug Pro Business account, which lets him do both without having to have any Web design skills. Really well designed, but it’s a tad pricy. Well, pricier than last year anyway since they just raised their annual rates, but you’ll be a holiday hero for it.

LINK
SmugMug Pro

Price: $35/month or $300/year

 

Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens

It’s not a lens you use every day, but when you use it, it really has impact. If the photographer on your list shoots sports, weddings, or travel, she will be psyched to see this super wide-angle fisheye lens with a red bow around it. Plus, it’s significantly cheaper than the Nikon or Canon fisheyes, but it’s sharp and works great.

LINK
Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens

Price: $830

 

Lexar Professional 1000x UDMA 7 CompactFlash Cards

If you have a sports shooter on your list, there are two things you can count on: (1) The faster the speed of the memory card, the happier he is (for numerous reasons he already knows), and (2) he needs more memory cards. The new Lexar Professional 1000x cards are screaming fast (it’s what I use). Full disclosure: I’m one of Lexar’s “Elite Photographers,” so I might be biased, but I had Lexar cards even before that and, either way, for sports I’d still be using their 1000x speed cards.

LINK
Lexar 1000x UDMA 7 CF Cards

Price: Starting at $78 for 16-GB card (at B&H with Instant Savings deal until Dec. 31st).

 

Wacom Intuos5 touch Pen Tablet

Want to really score some points? Get your designer or photographer the new Wacom Intuos5 touch wireless tablet. They’re amazing and they’ll change the way he works in Photoshop forever (and he’ll think of you every time he picks up the wireless pen). I use the Intuos5 touch Small when I travel (it slides right into my laptop bag), and the Intuos5 touch Medium in the studio. This is a can’t-miss gift!

LINK
Wacom Inutos5 touch Tablets

Price: Small—$229; Medium—$349; Wireless Accessory Kit—$39.95

 

FolioBook Photo Portfolio for the iPad

If your photographer has an iPad, then she has probably been searching for the perfect portfolio app to show her work on the iPad, and there are a ton of them out there (and I’ve tried a bunch). But I think FolioBook is hands down the best one, and it’s cheap (just $12.99). Gift her the app directly from the App Store or buy her an iTunes gift card to get it.

LINK
FolioBook for iPad

Price: $12.99

 

LASTOLITE 8-in-1 Umbrella

LASTOLITE came out with this clever, very handy, and inexpensive shoot-through umbrella that acts like softbox, and I’m really impressed with it. Clever design, and it’s big enough that you’ll look like you spent a lot more on it than you did.

LINK
Lastolite 8-in-1 Umbrella

Price: $173

 

Really Right Stuff BH-30 LR II Ballhead

This year I’ve been using a smaller, more compact ballhead from Really Right Stuff (in my opinion, they’re the masters of ballhead manufacturing), and it has lightened my travel gear load while still letting me use the best ballhead on the planet. Same great features as the bigger BH-55 and BH-40 but in a smaller, lighter size. They’re not cheap, but they’re worth every penny. Give this to someone you love and she’ll love you forever.

LINK
Really Right Stuff BH-30 Ballhead

Price: $290

 

Jay Maisel’s DVD Collection

Jay Maisel is a living legend of photography, and the two classes we produced on location with Jay in New York have become classics, melding the feel of a documentary with a master class in learning photography. People’s reactions to Jay, his work, and these classes have been amazing, and you’ll get lots of hugs for giving these two DVDs as a gift—one she will treasure.

LINK
A Day with Jay Maisel 2-Part DVD

Price: $89.99

 

Some Cool Books

  

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our own books because they make really great gifts. Matt’s book on compositing is, I truly believe, the best book ever written on the topic. Period. RC’s book, The HDR Book, focuses on postprocessing in Photoshop, and it’s been a megahit (and helped to make RC a household name in Photoshop and photography). I have two new books out: The Adobe Photoshop CS6 Book for Digital Photographers and The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers. My company produced all of these books (just so you know).

LINK
Books from Kelby Training

Prices: See website

 

Another Cool Book

Here’s another book to check out: Moose Peterson’s new eBook called Taking Flight (for the iPad) is a fantastic book for anyone into aviation photography.

LINK
Taking Flight by Moose Peterson

Price: $14.99

 

B&H Photo Gift Certificates

There’s nobody on the planet who wouldn’t love you to death (like a puppy) if you get him a B&H Photo Gift Card. That way, he can get whatever he wants (within the limit of how much you put on the card, of course), but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want something from the greatest photo store on earth. You can order them directly from the B&H site—they send a card and a catalog so it looks pretty substantial.

LINK
B&H Gift Cards

Price: Completely up to you

 

Silver Efex Pro 2 from Nik Software

If the photographer on your gift list is into black-and-white photography, this Photoshop and Lightroom plug-in from Nik Software will make him lose his mind. I don’t know a single black-and-white pro not using it because it’s just that good. You’ll score lots of points for this one.

LINK
Silver Efex Pro 2 by Nik Software

Price: $199.95

 

G-Technology G-SPEED Q Drives

Photographers are constantly fighting the battle of shrinking hard drive space, especially with all the high-megapixel cameras today with their giant file sizes. This year I switched all my photo archival duties over to G-Technology drives, and I’m loving them. I use their 12-TB G-SPEED Q system, which would definitely be for someone you’re very close to because they cost a few bucks, but giving one of these will change your relationship status on Facebook for sure. (That’s right, I’m saying the photographer on your gift list will marry you, or if you don’t get him one, he’ll divorce you. I’m kidding, of course. Kinda.)

LINK
G-Technology G-Speed Q Drives

Price: $799.95–1,799.50

 

1.4x Teleconverter

This is a reasonably inexpensive way to make a zoom lens even longer. It increases the zoom magnification by a factor of 1.4, so a 200mm lens becomes a 280mm for a fraction of the cost of actually buying a quality 300mm lens. I recommend buying one made by the same manufacturer as the zoom lens it’s going to be used with, so Nikon users would buy a Nikon teleconverter, Canon shooters a Canon, Tamron owners a Tamron, and so on.

LINKS
Nikon 1.4x Teleconverter
Canon 1.4x Teleconverter
Tamron 1.4x Teleconverter
Sigma 1.4x Teleconverter

Price: Starts at around $250, depending on brand

 

Subscription to Light It Magazine

If your photographer is into lighting, for $20 you can give him an App Store gift certificate so he can subscribe to my magazine on studio lighting and hot-shoe flash called Light It magazine (for the iPad). Of course, you could buy him just one issue for $3, but then it definitely goes in the stocking. For $620, you can get him a 32-GB iPad with retina display and a subscription and then you win the holiday gift-giver award for sure.

LINK
Light It Magazine

Price: $19.99

 

The Big Stopper ND Filter by LEE Filters

If you think the photographer on your list might want to make some of those gorgeous long-exposure black-and-white images (where the sea looks like silk), or she wants to shoot waterfalls in broad daylight and have beautifully smooth water (rather than frozen water), then get her an ND (neutral density) filter. It lets her keep the shutter open longer to get those wonderful water effects. Get her an 8- or 10-stop ND filter and she’ll lose control of her faculties. The Big Stopper will give her 10 stops, but it also requires the Lee System Foundation Kit filter holder, plus adapter ring, which will run you an additional $115 or more.

LINK
Lee Big Stopper ND Filter

Price: $160

 

Lexar USB 3.0 Dual Card Reader

Everything’s moving to USB 3 right now, and the faster the card reader, the faster your images download from your memory card to your computer (and faster is better). I use a Lexar Professional USB 3 Dual-Slot Reader that has both SD and CompactFlash in the same unit and supports UDMA 7 (read my Lexar disclaimer above).

LINK
Lexar USB 3.0 Dual Card Reader

Price: $64.99

 

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