Monthly Archives December 2007


For my last post of the year, I thought I’d take a quick look back at what has just been an amazing year of change, innovation, and growth for our industry. I’m going to focus on what’s happened in the Photoshop arena, in photography, what’s happened here in my Photoshop Insider blog, and how it’s impacted our lives (and my own work), throughout this year (which seems like it literally just flew by).

First, the “over achiever” award for 2007 has to go to Adobe Systems. I don’t think anyone there has slept all year. Here’s why:

  • In February of 2007, after four groundbreaking public Beta versions had been released, Adobe released Lightroom 1.0, and for many of us this changed the way we work with our digital photos forever. (Side note: I’m still amazed at how many people, after all this time, still think Lightroom is just a replacement for the Bridge).
  • At the end of February, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen blew everybody’s mind by announcing that Adobe was developing a web-based online version of Photoshop. Also in February, Adobe relaunched Adobe magazine as a downloadable PDF, free from Adobe.
  • In March of 2007, Adobe announced that for the first time in history, there will be two versions of Photoshop: Adobe Standard and Photoshop Extended. I didn’t see that one coming. Also, Adobe announced in March that over half-a-million people had downloaded the free public Beta version of Photoshop CS3.
  • Then at the end of the month, Adobe had the biggest new product launch in the history of the company, with the launch of the CS3 Creative Suite, and a total of 25 new or updated applications being announced that day in New York City.
  • By May of 2007, Adobe had announced that a major new update to Camera Raw (version 4.1) was coming, and it would have many of the same raw processing features as Lightroom’s Develop Module. This is bigger than it sounds.
  • Also in May, Adobe announced the end of the road for Macromedia Freehand, and started the migration to Adobe Illustrator. This one I actually saw coming.
  • By June of 2007, Adobe had released Lightroom 1.1 (a free update), adding significant new features, and answering the prayers of many Lightroom users around the world. Also in June, Adobe announces record revenues.
  • In July, Adobe continues it’s record-breaking year of new product announcements by shipping the CS3 Production Premium Suite, and Cold Fusion 8, and they announce Captivate 3 (I’m not even sure what that does). By this time they also have a number of “Public Beta” programs running on a variety of new and soon to ship products.
  • In August, Popular Photography names Lightroom as “Imaging Software of the Year”
  • In September, during the Photoshop World keynote, Adobe’s John Loiacono gives a quick sneak peek at the online version of Photoshop, now dubbed “Photoshop Express.”
  • Also in September, Adobe releases Lightroom 1.2 (free update), and Camera Raw 4.2, and they revealed the first ever “Photoshop Logo” and the tagline “See what’s possible.” I like the tagline, but to me, the logo looks like a cartoon bubble. Hey, that’s just me.
  • September was a busy month, as Adobe also shipped Photoshop Elements 6, with an entirely new interface (which is great, by the way), and new features.
  • With all these new products, and CS3 kicking butt, it’s no wonder Adobe announced record financial results in September.
  • In October, Adobe was buying up more companies (like Virtual Ubiquity), and launching more products (like Flash Lite 3).
  • In November, after years of leading Adobe to new heights, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen hands the reigns over to current President and COO Shantanu Narayen (A great choice for CEO by the way, and way to go Bruce on an amazing career!)
  • In December Camera Raw and Lightroom both get free updates, and Adobe continues sneaking in new little improvements in their Lightroom updates. This I love.
  • Adobe ends the year reporting record quarterly and fiscal year revenue. It’s all good, baby! An amazing year all the way around. My hats off to Adobe for not resting on their laurels for even one minute.

It was a wild year in the photography business as the two major forces in digital photography, Nikon and Canon, both refreshed their high-end lines, and brought us the best digital SLR cameras ever made.

  • Nikon’s D3 raised the bar by lowering noise, increasing its speed, going Full-frame, and adding amazing new features. Their D200 got a huge makeover and became the bigger, badder D300 (with a larger LCD screen, and lots of juicy features, including some from the D3 itself).
  • Canon had big intros this year as well, with their amazing EOS 1D Mark III and 21-megapixel 1DS Mark III, and they took their popular 30D up a notch with their 40D, with new features and a larger LCD. Canon also intro’d the G9, which is probably best described as a point-and-shoot with features like a DSLR.
  • Sony started to make some big noise in the high-end DSLR market this year, and the Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoot cameras won lots of fans this year as well.

NAPP (The National Association of Photoshop Professionals)

  • It was a huge year for NAPP (The Photoshop education organization that I head), as we went over the 70,000 current member mark earlier this year.
  • In September, we unveiled NAPP’s H.E.L.P. system, which features hundreds of online videos, just for members, that go over every feature, every tool, and every command in Photoshop. Each video is just 60-seconds long (maximum), and cover just that one topic, making it easy to get to exactly the information users need. It’s currently in Beta 2.0, and we’ll soon release the final version, with many more videos and incorporating members ideas and suggestions.
  • Photoshop User TV continued to grow in popularity around the world, and we were on location for Adobe’s CS3 launch, and got exclusive interviews with Adobe’s CEO Bruce Chizen, and Adobe’s new VP and all around genius guy John Loiacono. We also helped launched Layers TV, the weekly how-to show for Everything Adobe.
  • In 2007 launched a new magazine called Darkroom (for Adobe Lightroom users) and later wound up rolling that inside Photoshop User magazine, which made Photoshop User even bigger than ever before (which makes sense, because now it’s cover two separate applications).
  • Also in 2007, for the first time in our History, our Photoshop World Conference & Expo sold out in advance. It was really weird to put the “We’re sold out” sign up, but it made for an amazing event, and both our Photoshop World conferences this year (East Coast and West Coast) broke records for attendees, number of exhibitors, number of instructors, and number of sessions.
  • This year we launched a nationwide one-day Lightroom Seminar Tour, that was originally scheduled for only six cities, but was such a huge hit (with as many as 800+ people showing up in some cities), that we expanded it to many more cities around the country.
  • We also launched the hugely popular “Lightroom Killer Tips” weekly video podcast, and blog, hosted by our own Matt Kloskowski. (NOTE: Matt posted a “2007 History of Lightroom” today, and you can check it out right here).
  • We added another way cool Photoshop guru to our in-house crew of Photoshop talent, as we brought on RC Concepcion earlier this year, and he’s already having a big impact on our training and education (he also co-hosts Layers TV with our own Photoshop Laddy, Corey Barker).
  • This year we also inducted two new members into the Photoshop Hall of Fame, as we honored Adobe’s Kevin Conner, and author and trainer Andrew Rodney for their contributions to our industry.
  • Video tutorials played a much bigger role in NAPP member training, and we added new videos every week to the member Web site, from our in house team of gurus, and special guest, and columnists from around our industry, as well as loads of new step-by-step tutorials and articles.
  • 2007 will always be remembered as the year where our product reviews, both in the magazine and on the site, really gained maximum velocity, with more in-depth product review, video product reviews, and more emphasis in giving our members guidance as we’ve become one of the most trusted sources for product and services reviews.
  • NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker started his weekly video NAPP News Reports, which have been a big hit with our members, and in 2007 Larry was able to negotiate more member discounts and deals than in any time in our history, and for our members, that’s big, because taking advantage of just some of these discounts can easily pay for their entire membership. Perhaps most notable was a $100 discount on Adobe Lightroom, (which just that savings alone was enough to pay for NAPP membership), but there were also special savings for upgrading to CS3 exclusively for NAPP members as well.
  • We launched our 3rd annual Photoshop User Awards, with the Best of Show winner going on an all-expense paid vacation to Maui, Hawaii.
  • This year we hired the world’s most highly regarded digital artist and instructor, Bert Monroy, to join NAPP’s staff full time, and since then Bert has been doing some amazing training for our magazines, our Site, and on the road with our Photoshop Creativity Tour.
  • This year, for the first time ever, we were able to offer Equipment Insurance and professional liability insurance to NAPP members, through a special arrangement with insurers Hill & Usher.

The whole year was a year of “more” for NAPP members, with more training, more discounts, more features on the web site, and more communication and community.

2007 was a particularly busy year for me professionally, and here’s a quick recap why:

In 2007 I wrote a number of books, including:

  • The Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers
  • The iPhone Book
  • The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers
  • The iPod Book
  • The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 2
  • The Seven-Point-System for Photoshop CS3

I did Lightroom and Photoshop CS3 seminars in:

  • New York (both Lightroom and CS3 tours)
  • Boston (both)
  • Atlanta
  • Tampa
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington DC (both)
  • Chicago (both)
  • Honolulu, Hawaii

I taught at photo workshops in:

  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • The Great Smokey Mountains
  • Glacier Nat’l Park (In Montana)
  • Cape Cod
  • Yosemite
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • Detroit, Michigan

I taught sessions at both Photoshop Worlds (in Vegas and Boston)

I taught a 2-day hands-on Lightroom workshop in Sarasota, Florida

I posted to this blog each weekday (with a few minor lameouts)

I co-hosted more than 40 episodes of Photoshop User TV

I played keyboards for Big Electric Cat, and drums for the band Phoenix

I lost over 100 lbs. on a physician’s weight loss plan of diet and exercise.

I published Photoshop User and Layers magazines

I helped launch “Kelby” which features an online subscription service for Photoshop training, where I unveiled my Photoshop CS3 for Digital Photographers online class.

I spent a lot of time this year learning from some really great photographers, like Moose Peterson, David Ziser, Joe McNally, Bill Fortney, Vincent Versace, Joe Glyda, and Anne Cahill.

I got to shoot NFL games from the field, National League Baseball from the 1st base dugout, and NASCAR from the pits. I had a ball!

I got to shoot in Monument Valley, The Antelope Canyon Slots, The Grand Canyon, and I hiked for hours in 112 degee desert heat to photograph “The Wave” with two of my very close friends. It rocked!

For the fourth year in a row, I got the honor of teaching the dedicated photographers of the FBI.

I got to see my Tampa Bay Bucs win their division and go to the playoffs, in a year nobody thought they had a chance. Me included.

And somehow or another I managed to take nearly a month off with my family, on vacation, or just doing nothing. I have no idea how, and I’m not sure I remember that month off, but my calendar swears it was so.

I worked a lot, shot a lot, played a lot, traveled too much, and I had just a wonderful year. I made a lot of new friends, and became more thankful for the ones that have stood by me throughout the years. I had an absolute blast with my wife and kids. Life doesn’t get much better.

That wraps up my not-really-quick but rather drawn out look back at 2007.

Thanks to everyone who reads this blogs, who has joined NAPP in the past year, who’s dropped me a line with words of encouragement and support, or just to say hi. I know that I live a very blessed life, and this year just reinforced that once again, so my sincere and humble thanks to you all for an amazing year, and for allowing me to do something I truly love for a living. :)

My best wishes to you all for the coming year, and may it be a year of peace, joy, happiness and prosperity to you and your family!

Happy New Year!!!!


P.S. I’m not blogging tomorrow. That’s right, I’m starting out 2008 with a “No Blog” Tuesday.


Last night I read through all 120+ ideas you all came up with from yesterday’s post regarding my upcoming Online Portrait Retouching Class, and they were just spot on!!! There were so many angles I hadn’t thought of, and you guys totally came through for me (once again!). :-)

Here’s what I learned:

(1) A lot of folks posted similar ideas, which is great because it means a lot of folks needed something I would have left out.
(2) A number of things that were posted were already part of my outline (which is cool), and there were others that would have been covered under my existing outline, but that may have been hard to tell with just the short descriptions I provided yesterday.
(3) Many of you are as concerned as I am about “overdoing it” when it comes to retouching. Over the past few years, when it comes to retouching, I’ve been embracing the “less is more” idea, so this class isn’t going to be an “Extreme Makeover,” but rather a collection of subtle retouches that, when they all come together, make your retouches look real (in other words; the goal is that the final photo doesn’t look at all retouched).

So, I’ll be staying away from the “Porcelain skin with super sharp eyes” look or any of that over-the-top retouching you see so often. Instead the class will focus on topics like skin smoothing while maintaining realistic detail and texture, and retouches that look natural and flattering, not fake and plastic. A special signed book goes out to Chris Joyce for her (his?) post called “Don’t lose the reality.” She/he said just what I was thinking.

(4) I also found that you asked for some retouches that I simply don’t know how to do. Well, not yet any way—but I soon will (and soon so will you). :)

(5) I found that you had some ideas that are really outside the confines of this class, but would make a great separate class (a lot of requests about removing, limiting, and editing backgrounds, and group shots, and shadows, lighting, posing, and more.).

The following people had ideas that I loved, and I’ve added them to my class outline. Sadly, not all of them will actually make it into the class because I have to find (in my archives), or shoot, a photo for every single technique I add to the class. And I’m not sure I can find all these people, with all these problems, and shoot them in the next few weeks. Plus, each image has to be model released, because I’m making the images downloadable for every technique, so my students can follow along using the same images.

So….we’ll see how many I can come up with, but of the following list, I’m going to at least attempt to add them all. The winning ideas (and the signed book winners) are:

⢠Removing Tan Lines (Richard Murray)
⢠Fixing gaps between teeth (Bill Chinn)
⢠Crooked or chipped teeth (Edwardson)
⢠Neck one color; makeup on face another color (Tom Vollick)
⢠How to remove a double chin / Five o’clock shadow (Bruno Waes)
⢠Removing hair over your subject’s eyes (Thomas)
⢠Reducing the size of ears (Joe Stone )
⢠Glossy look on women’s lips (Steve)
⢠Touching up Hair Roots (Martin E. Morris)

NOTE: The post popular ones were removing tan lines, double-chins, and reducing ear size. Touching up roots was right behind.

Also Penny gets a signed book because I really wasn’t planning on doing a skin color correction thing, but her post made me change my mind.

My humble thanks to everyone who participated, and took the time to share their ideas. I consider it an honor that I get the help and input of so many talented people like yourselves, and that you give so willingly to help make the course better for everyone. That means a lot, and it says a lot about you all, and about this community we’ve created together. My sincere thanks.

Hey, one last thing: scroll down to catch one more post from me today. :)


RC and Corey Barker were kind enough to have me as a guest on their very slick weekly show, “Layers TV: The how-to show for everything Adobe.” What might surprise you, is that on this week’s episode I’m showing my 10 favorite Adobe InDesign tips. Now, you might be thinking, “Scott, do you even know Adobe InDesign?” Nope. Not really. (I’m kidding, of course. I actually use InDesign every single day—have been for years, and I even co-authored the book InDesign Killer Tips, so I’m a bit of an InDesign freak at heart). Anyway, you can watch the show right online (click here to check it out).

A new episode is posted every Wednesday afternoon and these guys have loads of cool tutorials and tips on Adobe Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Flash, Acrobat, and all the other Adobe stuff we don’t cover on Photoshop User TV. It’s one of the coolest shows out there, and if you watch it once, you’ll be hooked.

Note: if you want to see how “RC and I roll,” check out the silly little clip the editor, who will almost certainly be fired by the time you read his, put at the very end, right after the credits. It’s funkalicious!


The December 31, 2007 entry deadline for the 2nd Annual Worldwide "Photoshop User Awards" competition, (produced by Photoshop User magazine, and sponsored by Peachpit Press, Imagenomic (developer’s of “Noiseware”), B&H Photo, and Layers Magazine), is right around the corner.

Remember, if you're chosen as this year's "Best of Show" winner, we're sending you and a friend on a trip to beautiful Maui, Hawaii (including round-trip airfare, hotel, and daily expenses) to get you totally inspired to have your work featured as the cover art for an upcoming issue of Photoshop User magazine.

Besides the grand prize, there are also thousands of dollars in other prizes and winners in a variety of different categories. The contest is open to any Photoshop user, anywhere in the world, but you can't win if you don't enter, so for all the details, visit Don’t forget to enter by midnight on December 31, 2007.


I’m working on a new online course called “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques with Adobe Photoshop” and I hope to have it “up live” on in the next two weeks or so. Before I wrap it up, I hoped to get some input from you, to make sure I cover the techniques you think should be included.

First, some background: This is a class on portrait retouching, so it’s not going to cover color correction, or fixing lighting, or anything that’s not directly related to portrait retouching in Photoshop (both head shots and body sculpting). Also, there won’t be any retouching of nudie naked nakedness. In fact, there will be no nudity at all (other than my own, of course, as I usually record these in the nude. I’m kidding. You knew that, right?).

Anyway, here’s the list of individual lessons from the class, but it’s not too late to add a few more. Here we go:

» Eyes (making them larger)
» Eyes (whitening the eyes)
» Eyes (Enhancing eyes, and changing eye color)
» Eyes (Adding or enhancing makeup)
» Eyes (creating longer lashes)
» Eyes (Making them sparkle)
» Eyes (removing dark circles under, method 1)
» Eyes( removing dark circles under, method 2)
» Replacing closed eyes with open eyes
» Fixing reflections in eye glasses
» Teeth (Brightening)
» Teeth (Removing yellowing)
» Turning a frown into a smile
» Making lips fuller
» Removing Blemishes (Method 1)
» Removing Blemishes (Method 2)
» Reducing acne or freckles
» Removing wrinkles
» Reducing nose size (Method 1)
» Reducing nose size (Method 2)
» Reshaping Nose
» Smoothing Skin (basic)
» Smoothing Skin (advanced)
» Removing Hot Spots
» Sharpening skin
» Sharpening Female skin
» Making your subject look thinner overall
» Removing shirt creases and wrinkles in clothes
» Making arms and legs look thinner
» Reducing Jowels
» Adding highlights to hair
» Changing hair color
» Removing stray hair
» Digital tummy tucks
» Removing love handles
» Complete start to finish retouching Workflow 1
» Complete start to finish retouching Workflow 2

So that’s the current lesson list, but your ideas posted here on the blog can certainly have me adding to it. If I wind up using one of your suggestions in the class, you’ll get a signed copy of my upcoming book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2” and my sincere thanks for making the class better for everyone who takes it.

Thanks in advance for your input and advice. It’s most appreciated and it really makes a difference. :)

top5.jpg I’m back, baby! I had a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled Christmas, and although I’m still somewhat in Holiday mode, I’ve got a “lite” post-Christmas update for you.

  • First, I had a wonderful Christmas Eve surprise; I took a look at’s top selling titles for the entire Computers & Internet category, and saw that I had four of the top five bestselling books (see above), which really made me grateful to all my faithful readers who are kind enough to give my books as Holiday gifts. That’s about the best present you can give a writer like me, so my humble thanks go out to all who passed on my books to family and friends. You guys rock!
  • adim.jpgAdobe’s own in-house Photoshop genius, Russell Preston Brown, has announced the location and theme for his 11th annual “ADIM Conference” (Art Directors Invitational Masterclass), held each year in a different location. This coming year it’s being held in sunny San Jose, California on April 30th – May 3rd, and its has a clever “Classic Movie Monsters” theme. It’s really an amazing event (ask anyone who’s been), which includes creative opportunities, events, and classes you simply can’t find anywhere else. Here’s the link to the site (the site design itself is very cool), for all the details.
  • Designorati did an in-depth review of my “Photoshop 7-point-system” book and while I did flinch a bit while reading it (the reviewer Jeremy Schultz was very clear about what he didn’t like about my previous books), it’s still one of the most complete and fair reviews out there (in the end, he said “I almost never give a perfect ten, but Scott Kelby's 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 deserves it.” Click here to feel my pain (or joy, depending on how you look at things).
  • OK, to wrap up this truncated version of the news, how about a little photographic and Photoshop inspiration: check out Motor Image Works site. They specialize in car photography, and putting CGI generated cars into photographic scenes, and they have a section on their site where they show a breakdown of how the images where compositing (showing just the car, just the background, added CGI elements, and the final image. Definitely worth checking out (here’s the link).
  • Santa (in the form of my wife and friends), got me lots of cool photo gear for Christmas, and although I haven’t had a chance to take any of it out for a spin yet, I’m heading out with some of it later today, so hopefully I’ll have some field reviews for you by next week.

That’s it for this “Lite” version of the news. See you all tomorrow! :-)