Monday
Jul
2012
09

The Effects of Printing and Hanging

by RC Concepcion  |  51 Comments

Hey everybody! RC here. I wanted to share with you a bit of a confessional and a great lesson that I just got this weekend- from an unlikely source. Past being giddy, it was one of those moments that gave me inspiration, closure, and excitement at the same time.

My confession – I spend a lot of time making pictures. Here at Kelby Media, we try our best to keep a foot in the training space and a foot in the real world shooting space to make sure that we can bring relatable information to you every week. This means that all of us strap a camera to our shoulders and hit pavement making images. These images end up on a computer, and we run Photoshop on them to make them great. Some of them get posted on a website, and some even get sold or donated to clients. For this, I am truly very happy.

Do you know where my pictures dont end up? My own walls.

On The Road
After filling hard drive after hard drive full of pictures, I can count only three shots that I’ve put up in my own home. Everything else has this barren feeling – pale white walls just staring back at me when I walk into my house. We finally jumped into buying our house down here in Tampa this past December, and my wife and I have been sitting there chatting with one another wondering what pieces of furniture we want to switch. Which pieces of furniture we want to add. Which graphic designer friend we want to bring in from the office to help us with with this conundrum of a home that feels to transient to be our own.

Secretly, I have been fighting a very different fight in my own head. As much as I have had celebrated moments in the pictures i’ve made, I cant help but have this pit in my stomach that says that my pictures are no good. Every time I share a shot, I think to myself “Eh, its ok.. but you see here.. this part could have been better if only.. ” and I rattle off the part that I thought was missing in it. Now don’t get me wrong.. I absolutely love being a photographer, and I absolutely love being “On the Road” of it. You see, I tell everyone that the moment that you pick up the camera in earnest and say to yourself “I want to do this, and I want to get better at it” you invariably end up on this road. At the end of it are the greats in your mind. In front of you, all of those specific things you want to learn. Where you are in that road is the absolutely most exciting place to be because you are always learning. I believe in this so much – the journey is the most important part. However – every now and again you just feel like you have been taking two steps forward and one step back. There are absolutely no signposts on this road, and you just yearn to wonder if you’ve made it a mile or a meter..

So we want to feel like home, and I want to feel like im closer to my goal, and no amount of shutter clicking is making this happen.

However, I’m still printing. Im still sending out the odd print here and there to a client. What could they possibly see that I dont?

Hipping My House
So I get a word from my friend Kevin at work that says Mpix is partnering with us to do something called “Hip My House” Where a winner gets their house done up in Mpix prints. (I’ll chat about that later.. it’s not really about this now..) There was one line in it that made me think .. “your own art”. Im sitting there thinking to myself, “Why dont I just own up to the pictures that I have and print what I love up there?”

I told Kevin that i’d be cool to make a video just showcasing my situation and talking about the contest. Separately, however, I bit the artistic bullet and went through Lightroom and looked for pictures that I thought I would want to see.. things that made me happy when I looked at them.

My Sources of Inspiration
As much as I loved so many pictures, the ones that I kept coming back to again and again were the fun shots that I would do on the weekends with my daughter Sabine. More and more I was going “Oh, this one is cool.. this one she looked cool… this one she looked so happy”

The more I did it, the more I noticed that she was the person that I turned to when I wanted to recharge photographically. Jenn and Sabine were the people I ran to do pictures of when I wanted to re-inspire. I picked a bunch of shots and I said “Im going to just get these done and fill this wall.. see what happens.. ”

In Front of Me All Along
I got my friend Rich Porupski (THANK YOU SOO MUCH!) to come in and organize them on the wall (Last time I tried to hang pictures, they had to call in a contractor to fix the wall at work.. ugh), and the more pictures went up, the happier I was. Jenn was over the moon too.

As it turned out, putting these pictures on these walls actually made our house feel more like a Home. Instead of looking for a Pier 1 or a Magazine for inspiration, the very pictures that I have been shooting all this time actually made my house feel like mine. (Sorry for the dark shot.. iphone late at night, but wanted you show you!)

Another thing happened – I started looking at the pictures and going “Hey.. this is pretty good. Hey this didnt come out half bad. Hey.. I really like what i’ve done with this.”

Right there, in front of me in my dining room were all of the signposts that I was looking for. Putting them in front of me on a wall let me see where i’ve been, where I am, and how far I am on this road. That gave me a great feeling of accomplishment. AND, I got the wall done!

I Learned Something Today
So.. a long ramble.. what are the takeaways:

Go through your pictures.. find the common bond that makes you go “wow, i’m so glad I did this one.” When you find that, thats your inspiration. Go there photographically when you need to recharge the batteries.

Find a spot in your home where you can put several pictures of yours, print them and hang them. The more you see them up there, the more you will realize that you are better than you think you are. You’re on the road and you’re moving forward.

And your art is your proof. Have a great Monday everyone!

(If you want to follow me, you can go to my G+ page at http://gplusrc.com or my blog at http://www.aboutrc.com)

Friday
Jul
2012
06

NIK HDR Efex Pro 2: Weekend Only Deal!

by Scott Kelby  |  116 Comments

Hey everyone, RC here with pretty cool news!  Nik Software has just released a new version of their killer HDR software – HDR Efex Pro 2.  They’ve got a new tonemapping algorithm, some sweet speed increases, and a new interface.  Rather than me sit here and just go on and on about it, I figured it be a neat idea to just walk you through the process with one of my files.  I’m even including the file for you guys to play with at the bottom of this post!

Scott Kelby Fans Get a Jump Start and a Great Discount!
So, here’s the deal.  We are all getting advanced access to Nik HDR Efex Pro at a very reduced rate.  How reduced?  Its like 40 dollars off…   In order to check it out, go to this link: http://bit.ly/M8axzX

Some Samples of Images Tonemapped with HDR Efex Pro 2

I know that just showing a quick video of a tonemapping process wouldn’t be enough to convince you that this is something that you should really look at.  That’s why I went ahead processed all of the images below with HDR Efex Pro 2.  This thing is the real deal.

Download the RAW Files Used in the Video
I didnt want to just show what I can do here with the program – I also wanted to see what you guys come up with!! To that, I figured it be cool to get you a link with the RAW Files (its about 108MB in size.. 8 RAW Files). This way, you can play with them and share with me what you come up with. Download the program, take these files for a spin and share with me what you come up with!! Download the file here: http://bit.ly/LSpv0s

You can follow me at my Google+ page (http://www.gplusrc.com) or at my blog (http://www.aboutrc.com) – Enjoy!!

Friday
Jul
2012
06

Photoshop CS6: From The Inside

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

[This article originally ran in the May/June issue of Photoshop User Magazine. It got such a great response, we decided to share it here as well!]

Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop & Bridge, pictured above, takes us behind the scenes at Adobe to show us the making of the latest version of Photoshop

As I’m writing this, we’ve just released a free public beta of Photoshop CS6. This is only the second time that we’ve given the world an opportunity to “kick the tires” before we ship. I could give you some great tutorials and help you understand just how to use the incredible feature-set to its fullest—but then so could a lot of people. In fact, immediately following this article, you’ll find an entire section dedicated to all the new features in Photoshop CS6. Since you’re reading Photoshop User, you already know that NAPP and major conferences like the twice-annual Photoshop World are great places to learn from the best (and even hacks like me), so I wanted to try something different. I figured I’d give you a unique insight into how we came up with Photoshop CS6 and what goes into a release of Photoshop. I feltthought the best way to approach this was in an interview format andto address all the commonmost popular questions I get about how we build a release—I get these types of questions a lot.

Coming off of Photoshop CS5, our most successful release to date, we were all wondering, “How on earth are we going to top that?” Thankfully, with the 64-bit transition behind us, we had the most precious commodity that a software development team can ask for—time.

So, where do you start when it’s time to work on the next version of Photoshop?
Planning a release is equal parts doing what you need to do (OS changes, performance tuning, integration with other products, camera support, etc.); what your customers want you to do (both the large requests and the small ones); what the team wants to do (emerging technology from our labs, licensed technology, pet projects, and a bucket of “things we’d really like to fix”); and all of what you started but didn’t finish in the prior release. With a very diverse and vocal user base worldwide, ideas are never the problem. The toughest part about scoping a release is choosing where to place our bets and acknowledging that some won’t pan out, so prioritizing features ends up being extremely important. For every feature that we green light, there are dozens we’d love to—it all comes down to time.

Do you worry that you’ll ever run out of ways to improve Photoshop?
Never. When I started on the Photoshop team, digital photography meant drum scans and Photo CDs; the Web was in its infancy; no one brought laptops to meetings because there was no Wi-Fi; and mobile devices were limited to phone calls and weren’t yet the norm. Technology changes every day. Every new feature on a camera or in a computing platform is an opportunity for us. I think of Photoshop as an imaging platform; images (any kind: still, video, 2.5D, 3D) can come from anywhere and go to anywhere. Photoshop is what happens on the way. Photoshop no longer means just the desktop either. Our technology can be found on the Web and across platforms on phonessmartphones and tablets. I can honestly say that there has never been a more exciting time for Photoshop. Images are everywhere.


Adobe CEO, Shantanu Narayen

How many people are on the Photoshop team? What do they all do?
There are roughly 100 on the core Photoshop team (individuals devoted solely to Photoshop and Photoshop Extended), which when you consider that the application appears in every suite and is translated into 25 languages, is pretty impressive. While our headquarters is in San Jose, California, and houses the bulk of the team, we have team members in San Diego, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Florida, India, China, and beyond. The core team is broken into several pieces:

Management: Nearly all of us came up through various parts of the organization or played individual roles on other teams at some point.

Engineering: The magicians who write the code. These water-walkers comb through millions of lines of legacy code and push the framework to the absolute limit.

Quality Engineering: The tireless testers who assure that everything works (the new features and the old ones). These talented folks are paid to break Photoshop. Tens of thousands of bugs are logged, tracked, and fixed in a regular cycle.

Automation: These folks straddle coding and testing as they write and run complex scripts that stress-test each fresh build of Photoshop—computers testing computers.

Localization Engineering: The core team is made up of people from all over the world, but these team members are experts in multiple languages and assure that foreign builds are translated correctly and take into account any cultural nuances.

Experience Design: Adobe has a large team of experience designers. We have two dedicated entirely to Photoshop. Matthew Bice and Tim Riot are incredibly hard-working, creative guys and are tasked with an incredibly difficult job—touching an application used by everyone in their industry and wanting to leave their mark and push the envelope, but being constrained by a very well-established product and more than two decades of legacy code.

Program Management: Steve Snyder singlehandedly wrangles our schedule, milestones, and various check-ins. Steve jumps from meeting to meeting all day and makes sure that we are where we need to be. Steve has tenacity and an obsession with doing things right (he spent more than a decade in Quality Engineering). Getting more than a dozen suite applications out the door at the same time is a very big juggling act. Steve and others are invaluable here.

Evangelists: Julieanne Kost and Russell Brown are legends in their field:. Julieanne is one of Fast Company’s “most creative people,” and Russell is an Emmy Award winner, respectively. Both are in the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Julieanne and Russell travel more than not and share an insatiable curiosity and creativity. They excel at inspiring and teaching, and the team learns a great deal from them about what we can improve and how.

Marketing: Jim Heiser and Allison Goffman are dedicated to the Photoshop team and are very passionate about communicating its abilities in a fresh, exciting, and engaging way.

Customer Advocacy: Cari Gushiken and Jeff Tranberry founded this new team to assure that we listen and respond to our user base all over the world. From problem solving to social media, these two cover a tremendous amount of ground. If you’ve ever found an answer in a forum or seen a video on Facebook or YouTube, one of them was probably involved.


Jim Heiser (marketing), Scott Kelby (NAPP President), Zorana Gee (product management), Bryan O’Neil Hughes, and Matthew Bice (experience design) visit NAPP for an in-depth discussion about what would become Photoshop CS6

The team comes from every corner of the globe and is educated as much in liberal arts as computer science. Many of our team members (like myself) used Photoshop professionally before coming onto the team; others only touch it at work and wouldn’t call themselves users. None of us would ever say that we’re experts—there’s an unwritten rule about that. We all share one common ingredient, passion. That passion created the world standard in digital imaging and it continues to. If you ever find yourself outside of Adobe’s headquarters at night, look for the floor with the most lights on—that’s W10WT10 (the West Tower, 10th floor)—that’s passion.

PHOTOSHOP CS6 BY THE NUMBERS

  • Lines of code: 4.5 Million+
  • Icons replaced for new UI: 1,900
  • Cursors replaced for new UI: 250
  • Menu items removed from CS6: 47
  • Features brought back from CS4: 3 (PDF Presentation, Contact Sheet II, and Lighting Effects)
  • Languages supported in CS5: 23
  • Languages supported in CS6: 26
  • Changes to Crop tool: Around two dozen
  • Increase in feature changes over CS5: +62%
  • JDI features in CS5: 30+
  • JDI features in CS6: 65+

Can you explain product management’s role? Continue reading

Thursday
Jul
2012
05

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  81 Comments

Lightroom 4 Crash Course App
Want to take the Lightroom 4 Crash Course with you wherever you go? Grab the app from the iTunes store and you can have it on your iPad and iPhone! No need to be connected to the internet once you have it installed, and it’s like having Matt Kloskowski right there with you, letting you know about all the cool new features in Lightroom 4.

This and other Kelby Training apps are on sale for $4.99 today until around 3:00pm ET, so grab them now before they go back to their regular price of $9.99!

You can also leave a comment for your chance to win one of three promo codes for a free download!

Outdoor Lifestyle Photography
Join Erik Valind on the coast of Florida for his Outdoor Lifestyle Photography class! He’ll show you how to get amazing lifestyle photos using diffusers, reflectors, and strobes. He’ll also give you great tips on posing, composition, and choosing locations while working through the shoot.

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar Tour
This month, Scott Kelby is heading to Nashville, Philadelphia, and New York City to kick off his brand new Photoshop CS6 for Photographers seminar tour! You can get more info, more tour dates, and register over at KelbyTraining.com.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of the three seminars listed above!

Accurate Color from Herb Paynter
The Accurate Color interactive iBook series from Herb Paynter is now on the iBookstore in four editions: Text, Narrated Text, Audio Video Text, and finally, a Full HD videobook. A little something for everyone.

Preparing images for presentation of any sort must address several key issues: the medium’s ability to portray the desired visual message, and the effective adjustment of the image’s tones and colors to best utilize that medium’s spectral qualities.

Here are codes for four lucky people to download this iBook for free!
7NA4R93PKWRM- Accurate Color AudioVideoTextBook
J7TMYXJ343EX- Accurate Color AudioTextBook
JE9PL6H37P4H- Accurate Color VideoTextBook
9JN3FH4HMRMT- Accurate Color Interactive TextBook

Last Week’s Winners
Joe McNally’s One Light, Two Light Seminar
- Rene G

Going Pro DVD with Scott Bourne & Skip Cohen
- Kenny Kinter

Wednesday
Jul
2012
04

Happy “Fourth of July” Everybody!

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

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Photo by Brad Moore

I want to wish all my readers (well, at least the US-based ones) Happy Independence Day.

I’m taking today off to spend some time with my family, and I hope you’re able to do the same. Have a great day and we’ll see you here tomorrow for “Free Stuff” Thursday.

Just in case: here’s what ‘Independence Day’ Really Means to Us
Today is a national holiday celebrating our country’s independence from traditional film. No longer will we press the shutter button thinking, “Well, that just cost me 22¢” or “Well, that’s 36—time to pop in another roll.” or that phrase heard so often on vacation, “I need to stop and buy some film.”

Should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: No longer will we wait hours, or days, to see our prints only to find out that someone was blinking or the flash didn’t fire. No longer will we go quitely into the night, to drop off our film in an overnight drop box. We’re going to live on to shoot for free another day—free from the tyranny of film chemicals and safe lights; changing bags and temperature regulators; cotton gloves and Print tongs. No today as we gather together to fill our 16 and 32-gig cards with wild abandon we celebrate our real Independence Day! (–insert wild cheers here).

Tuesday
Jul
2012
03

50% Off All Kelby Training Apps!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

For the next 48 (ish1) hours, you can get any and all2 of the iOS apps from Kelby Training for HALF PRICE!!

Not only that, but the Lightroom 4 Crash Course app was just added, and is also available during this time for just $4.99!

Head over to the Apple App Store before 3:00pm1 ET Thursday, July 5, to take advantage of this opportunity.

1 The iOS store may take time to update its prices, so time frame is approximate. In other words, grab it as soon as you see the sale price!
2 Light It Magazine and Photoshop User Magazine are not included in this sale

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