Monthly Archives August 2007


I’m honored to announce that educator Rhona Shand, Undergraduate Coordinator and Associate Professor of Art at Pittsburg State University, is the first recipient of the “Bruce Fraser Photoshop World Memorial Scholarship,” which was created to honor the memory of beloved Photoshop author and instructor Bruce Fraser, who passed away late last year.

Rhona was chosen by Adobe’s own Photoshop team to receive the scholarship, which includes her airfare, hotel, and full Photoshop World conference pass (courtesy of NAPP: the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) as a way of honoring Bruce’s lifetime legacy of learning.

My personal congratulations to Rhona, who’ll be attending the Las Vegas Photoshop World Conference next week, for being chosen as the first recipient of the Bruce Fraser scholarship—one dedicated to a man who has meant so much to so many throughout this industry.


Next week, during the opening keynote for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, our industry will honor two inductees into the Photoshop Hall of Fame: Color management guru, author, and instructor Andrew Rodney (AKA “The Digital Dog”), along with Adobe’s Senior Director for Product Management, Professional Digital Imaging Group; Kevin Connor, whose countless contributions to the growth, success, and development of Photoshop have helped guide the application to become the amazing phenomenon it is today.

The Photoshop Hall of Fame was founded in 2001 to honor those individuals whose contributions to the art, business, and development of Adobe Photoshop have enduring value.

It’s an honor to recognize Andrew and Kevin, and to add their names to the Photoshop World Hall of Fame trophy alongside some of our industry’s most valued, respected, and bevolved individuals. My sincere congratulations to both Andrew and Kevin on your amazing achievements.

For more information, and a list of past inductees, visit

Here’s some quick news:

  • I ran across this blog this past week, and I just really found the photography interesting. It’s called “The Landscapist” but it’s not your typical landscape photography site, and I particularly liked their vision statement, which is, “Photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful, because what is true most often is beautiful.” There’s just something about their stuff I really like. Give it a look-see right here.
  • If you want to learn more about Kevin Connor, who as you read in the previous post is being inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame next week, he was interviewed last week on the Inside Digital Photo Radio podcast, and Kevin has some insightful comments on the future of digital imaging. You can listen to the interview online by clicking here.
  • Yesterday Jason posted a comment here on the blog, asking about my personal workflow. His question was:”â¦I am wondering whether you use both Lightroom and PS for workflow, or if you find yourself using one more than the other for basic workflow? I realize this may be putting you in something of a quandry as much of your support comes from “The Adobe Mothership” and you don’t want to alienate one product line over another equally deserving one, so feel free to email rather than post a response…”Jason; I’m happy to share my workflow (after all, that’s my job). I do the bulk of my work now in Lightroom, including processing my Raw images there, and I would say I probably spend 70% of my time there. I do nearly all my printing in Lightroom because personally I think it kicks Photoshop CS3’s butt when it comes to printing for photographers.The other 30% of the time I spend in Photoshop CS3 doing finishing work. Some photos never make their way to Photoshop CS3 at all, and my entire workflow for those is within Lightroom, but there are so many things that you need Photoshop for, that I jump back and forth as needed. So, in short, my digital photography workflow uses Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 together (I can’t imagine using either alone anymore–they work best as a team), and I know some people at Adobe will cringe, but I rarely use the CS3 Bridge at all.

    Once I started using Lightroom, I looked at the Bridge differently; I use it when I need to quickly find one or two images from a shoot (let’s say I went out shooting, and I need to find one image to quickly email to an editor—that’s when I’ll pop open the Bridge, or if I need to find an image on my drive and I don’t know which folder it’s in; then I’ll use the Bridge).

    I think the Bridge is still very useful for graphic and Web designers, and people using the entire Creative Suite, but for photographers, I think Lightroom just blows it away (and then some). There you have it–I hope that helps. :)

That’s it for this Tuesday. Tomorrow I’m on my way to Chicago for my one-day Lightroom Live Tour on Thursday. If you’re coming to the event and you’re a reader of my blog–make sure you stop me and say “hi.” Have a good one.


It’s a great Monday (ya know, for a Monday), and here’s what’s goin’ on:

  • Photoshop and Politics: check out this article from the UK’s Telegraph, about how the French President’s love handles were retouched away for a recent article (complete with before and after examples. Thanks to Carl for turning me on to this one). Check it out here.
  • Want some Photoshop inspiration to kick off your Monday right? Check out the amazing retouching, CGI, and photography of Rocket Studios. This is just some amazing work (check out their different portfolios—you will be amazed and inspired for sure). Here’s the link to Enjoy!
  • More than 500 photographers will be learning the “New Digital Photography Workflow,” using Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 with me this Thursday in Chicago at my Lightroom Live Tour. We’re almost sold out—if you want to go, you can snag one of the last remaining seats at
  • UPDATE: We’ve added another city to my Lightroom Live Tour, as we’re coming to Tampa, Florida on October 30th at the Tampa Convention Center. You can sign up right here (It’s $99 for the public; only $79 for NAPP members).
  • There’s an interesting article over at about how to win a photo contest. It’s got a lot of great insights, and worth the quick read. Click here to jump there. Thanks to my buddy Jeff Revell for turning me onto this one.
  • One of my readers pointed me to this blog review of my new “Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers.” Check it out here.
  • This is totally just for fun; it’s a short parody video about Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone, called the ZunePhone. Hilarious! Click here to watch it online.
  • Perhaps most importantly: I have an update on my Gitzo Traveler Tripod field report from Friday, so if you would, please scroll down to the next post for the full scoop.

That’s it for this Monday. Have a great start to your week everybody and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!!! :)


After I posted my field report on Friday about my experience with the Gitzo Traveler Tripod, I received a wave of posts, calls, and emails from other Traveler users and not a single one was having the leg slipping problems I was having.

So my problem is either (a) operator error (meaning I’m doing something wrong), or (b) there’s something wrong with my individual tripod, which admittedly could have been caused by “a.” I’ve talked with the folks at Gitzo since then, and I’m sending the tripod back to Gitzo for their tech’s to figure out what the problem is (I’m really hoping it’s not operator error. I don’t want to be known as the guy who couldn’t figure out how to use his tripod).

I also learned, after talking with Gitzo directly, that the Traveler doesn’t use the same G-lock system as my Gitzo Mountaineer tripod. It does use Gitzo’s Anti-Leg Rotation system, but it’s a non G-Lock version.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who emailed, called, or posted comments here on the blog. I really love the tripod and don’t want to give it short shrift because of user error on my part (which I have a sinking feeling that’s exactly what it is).


Here’s another field report from my trip out West: I’ll start with the Gitzo Traveler tripod. This is a kind of a weird review for me, because I’ve really become attached to this tripod to the extent that I wouldn’t want to be without it. But on the other hand, it’s got one thing that really bugs me, and it’s so expensive that I’m not sure I can justify its cost. So, here’s my report:

The Traveler is just amazingly light (even lighter than I had imagined). It’s fun to hand it to other photographers and watch them laugh and shake their heads at its light weight (even with a BH-40 ballhead attached). When collapsed, it’s as small as it is light, and I can’t imagine what Gitzo could do to make it smaller or lighter. It easily supports a heavy Nikon D2X and large 70-200mm VR Nikon lens (together that’s quite a load), although on this trip it made easy work of the Canon 5D and 70mm-200 f/4 I was shooting. It didn’t even break a sweat.

So, here’s my problem: Gitzo’s G-lock one-twist leg lock technology is just amazing making set up and tear down about a 20 second deal (I have a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod as my main tripod, which has the same G-lock one-twist leg lock system and it just rocks), but with the Traveler; one or more of the bottom legs always seems to slip on me. It’s like I didn’t tighten them enough–but I did.

I keep thinking it’s got to be my fault—maybe I’m rushing to set it up too quickly, so I started double-checking to make sure I’ve tighted all the legs, but just about every time I’m shooting, one or two of the tiny legs at the bottom always seems to start slowly collapsing as though I hadn’t tightened them fully.

This has never happened with my Mountaineer—only the Traveler. Now, it is entirely possible that there’s a defect in either my particular unit, or in the way I tighten these smaller sized G-locks, so I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt there, but then there’s the price issue. I had to have my wife buy it for me as a gift, because it sells for around $600 for just the legs, and I personally would have a hard time buying that for myself (I’m just that way—but if someone else buys it for me, then I don’t feel so bad. I know, it’s still my money, but it’s how I fool myself into not feeling bad about spending $600 on camera accessories).

So, while overall I really like it (it’s actually probably the best ultra light-weight tripod out there), and it will probably see more use from me than my much larger Gitzo Mountaineer, I’d love to see those G-lock legs work better, and I’d be more comfortable with it in the $349 to $399 price range.

Now, onto to the  BH-40 Midsized ballhead from Really Right Stuff. I’ve been a huge fan of the BH-55 ballhead (the one that generally lives on my Gitzo Mountaineer tripod), I think, if it’s possible, I like the BH-40 even more. The size is just perfect. In fact, after using it for the week, my BH-55 actually feels a little big (though if I was shooting 400mm or longer glass, you would need the BH-55 for sure).

My shooting buddy Jeff Revell had just bought a BH-40, and this was his first shoot with it as well and we were just having a BH-40 love fest from our first shoot on. We both couldn’t say enough about it. It’s so well designed and so “right-sized.” It’s not too heavy, yet very sturdy, and it’s just a joy to use with incredibly smooth movement, it locks into place effortlessly, and it even supported a heavyweight Sigma 300mm zoom without flinching, even though I doubt it’s rated to carry glass that heavy.

I can’t recommend the BH-40 enough—it is, truly, the ballhead of the gods (if there is such a thing), and one that I would buy again without hesitation even though “it ain’t cheap” at around $399. (here’s the link to RRS’s site).

Just a reminder: these field tests are just that—there’s no fancy lab testing, where I disassemble the units into individual pieces or weigh the individual carbon fibers —it’s just my personal experience using the equipment in the field–good or bad, just like it happened. I hope it helps you find some great equipment, because great stuff is a blast!