Monthly Archives July 2007


Here’s a shot from another scouting shoot—this time at the Portland Head Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth (click on it for a larger view). Again, it’s a “high noon” daylight shoot just to test shooting conditions, and I plan to get back there to shoot it again in better light.

It was funny, when I first got there, I see another photographer with his tripod set-up and as I walk by he says, “Hi, Scott.” I go over and say hi, and he says “I’ve been reading your blog.” Small world.:) Turns out he’s from Jersey and staying with his sister about 40 minutes away. I also learned that I’ll be seeing him again in September, as he’s coming to Photoshop World. Cool! :)


Here’s a shot I forgot to post from my sunset shoot at Cape Porpoise, earlier in the week (click on it to see a larger view). I’m going shooting near there again this afternoon with wedding and portrait photographer Scott Eccleston, who’s based about 30 minutes from where I’m staying in Maine, and kindly offered to take me shooting. Weather permitting, we’re going to shoot at two nearby farms, and a couple of his local favorite shooting locales. Even if the weather’s bad, we’ll still have fun!



OK, so I went back in much better light and got these two shots (they look MUCH better bigger, so click on each one for a larger view). I was waiting for the couple on the right to move out of frame so I could take the shot, but while I was waiting my wife climbed down on the rocks, and when I told her why I was waiting, she said, “I think they add to it.” Ya know, I think she’s right. :)

Although the light and color were much better, there were hardly any clouds in the sky during the reshoot (there’s always a tradeoff, right?), so I like the light and seeing more foreground here, but I prefer the clouds from the previous shot. Anyway, I had a great time shooting (the temperature was perfect and there was a wonderful breeze). I am just loving Maine—what a great place to spend a summer!

NEWS: Scroll down to the next post for my Wednesday News Brief.

Here’s a quick look at some news:

  • nik Software released a new version of Define (their Photoshop plug-in for reducing photographic noise). The new version has improved noise reduction technology, the ability to selectively apply noise reduction to just certain areas, and an improved user interface. For more details (or to download a 15-day trial), visit their site.
  • My Lightroom Tour is getting ready to head out on the road for the second leg of my tour, and my first stop is in Chicago (I love Chicago, which is coincidentally the home of Garrett’s Popcorn, perhaps the greatest food item known to man). The one-day tour comes to Chicago’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, and you can attend the full day for $99 (NAPP members; you go for only $79). You can get more info (or sign up) right here.

  • Want to give Adobe some feedback on which particular features Photoshop features you’d like to be faster (filters, launching, resizing, etc.)? Then I encourage you to spend a few moments filling out this quick survey posted by Adobe’s Photoshop team, to let them know which areas affect your work the most speed-wise. Here’s the link.

  • If you watch “Photoshop User TV,” here’s a tip: at the end of just about every show, after the credits roll, Jason (our video guru), adds a little “kicker” at the end (sometimes they’re outtakes, or just hilarious stuff he puts together), and this week’s is hilarious. Go back and check out the end of the past month or so’s shows (that Jason guy is pretty darn clever!)
  • I get a lot of questions about the Photoshop World precon’s, so here’s a quick FAQ:

    What is a precon?
    They’re limited size, half-day workshops and because they’re much longer, you get to really go in-depth on a topic you’re really interested in.Q: How long are they?
    Most run from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, with a short break every hour.

    Q: Why are they called “precons?”
    A: These workshops are held the day before the actual conference begins, so they are “pre-conference.”

    Q: How many people are in each workshop?
    A: Usually between 50 and 100 (depending on room size).

    Q: How popular are these precons?
    Very! We generally have over 1,000 people taking these optional workshops, so they’re very popular. In fact, most workshops sell out in advance, and some are already selling out now.

    Q: How much do these optional workshops cost?
    If you sign up now; $89. If you show up at the door, (if a seat is available) it’s $99.

    Q. Is there a beginner’s workshop?
    Yup, (this year it’s a Layer 101 beginners class) and it’s always very popular because a lot of people want to start there, so they’re ready for the rest of conference the following day.

    Q: Where is there a list of the precons for Vegas?
    Right here.

    Q: Do people really ask this many questions?
    Only the fussy ones. ;-)

That’s it for today. Have a great Wednesday!


A few weeks back I mentioned that for Father’s Day my wife bought me the Gitzo Traveler Tripod, along with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ballhead, and I’ve had a number of emails, and some posts, asking about my experience with both.

I’ll start with the BH-40 ballhead, which is the first recipient of my new “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” Award (as seen in the logo above, designed by NAPP’s creative director Felix Nelson as a takeoff on one of my other favorite logos; the “Hot Now” sign at Krispy Kreme). The “Scott Thinks It’s Hot!” award is kind of like this blog’s “Editor’s Choice” award or “Hot Pick” award, and will only be awarded to products or services that: (1) I fall hopelessly in love with, and (b) I actually use myself. So, if you see that logo on a product in my blog, it has to be just about perfect (well, to me anyway).

So, after a week with the BH-40 (the little brother of the BH-55), I’m in love. It feels and works like the BH-55 (my main ballhead), but without the size or weight (which makes it a perfect companion to my new smaller tripod). Despite its smaller size, it performed flawlessly, even with quite a heavy load, and its movement was smooth, fast, and responsive (just like its big brother). The BH-40 LRII sells for around $399, and although I usually buy all my gear from B&H Photo, to get Really Right Stuff gear you have to go directly to their Web site and buy from them direct.

Now, the other part of this “My week with” is my experience with my new Gitzo Traveler tripod. Overall, I really liked it, and it will definitely be my “on the road” tripod of choice from now on (unless I’m doing a photo workshop, and then I’ll bring out the “big guns” and take my Gitzo GT3540 Tripod Series 3 Mountaineer with my BH-55 Ballhead instead). Gitzo nailed the size/weight issue—the Traveler weighs less than I though it would, and it’s so small there’s no excuse for not taking it with you. As much as I fell in love with traveling with it, carrying it, and setting it up, for some reason I haven’t fallen in love with using it yet. I’m going to test it again this week, and I’ll let you know if my love for its light weight and size blossoms into true love, but so far, we’re still just dating. (remember, to get my “Scott Thinks it’s Hot” Award, a product has to be “just about perfect”).

Hey, one last thing: there are FIVE posts today, so scroll down to the next post. :-)