Monthly Archives December 2007

Before I get to my list, first I have to tell you; I am just so thrilled at the response to our launch yesterday of our subscription-based online training. The first-day’s sign-ups were beyond what any of us had even hoped for, and we’re so excited to have you all on board. It’s going to be an amazing year ahead (with lots more surprises right around the corner). Thanks to everyone who came onboard, posted comments, and showed their support. It means a lot.

Now, if you’re looking for some last-minute Holiday gifts, here’s a list of my six favorite print magazines, and you can give gift subscriptions to any of these online at their Web site (I’ll include the links for each one). Here we go (not listed in any particular order):

outdoor.jpg> Outdoor Photographer
I can’t wait to see this one in my mailbox each month, and I particularly look forward to the monthly columns from people like George Lepp, Bob Krist, Bill Hatcher, William Neill, and Frans Lanting. Great stuff for the nature, landscape, and outdoor photographer on your list. Also, lots of great info on gear for outdoor photographers and they always end each issue with a photo that makes you smile. Here’s the link.

pdn.jpg> PDN (Photo District News)
This is for the pro photographer on your list, but anyone will enjoy the wonderful images and article on industry pros. It has a heavy lean toward advertising and commercial photography, but here’s the thing; it’s amazing photography, the magazine is very well written, beautifully laid out, and is just slick from top to bottom (with a beautiful print job as well). Here’s the link to subscribe.

digpro.jpg> Digital Photo Pro
The newest magazine of the bunch, but it rocks. A great layout, and lots of digital photography focused content (including Photoshop and Lightroom feature stories and tutorials), make this one of my absolute favorites. Good info on gear, on printing, and I really enjoy the Misinformation column on the back page. Lots of great photography and a layout that works beautifully to show it at large sizes that really make it hard to put down. Here’s the link to subscribe.

how.jpg> HOW magazine
This one is for the graphic designer/art director on your holiday list, and nobody covers this market like HOW. As you might expect, the layout is just beautiful, but not the least bit “over the top.” It’s elegant, very readable and engaging. Lots of design-business articles, and one of my favorite columns has always been their “Workspace” column, which shows the interior of some of the coolest ad agencies, design shops, and creative companies in the world. Very inspiring. Also, lots of cool stuff on Type, which I dearly love. Here’s the link to subscribe.

shutter.jpg> Shutterbug
In the last few years, I feel that Shutterbug has really moved to the next level, and it’s one of my favorite to sit down and read as soon as it arrives, because they focus on a lot of new gear, and I just love that. Of course there’s lots of great photography and feature articles, but when it comes to gear, this one has no peer (hey, that rhymes). A great pick for the photographer on your list. Here’s the link to subscribe.

popphoto.jpg> Popular Photography
The grand-daddy of all photography magazines still shows how it got to be that, with great articles, great photography, and perhaps most of all; really great in-depth product reviews. They also have a very nice online site as well. Great writing, a touch of Photoshop training, and lots of info on gear make it one of my favorites. Here’s the link to subscribe.

There you have it; my six picks for my favorite magazines. Now, I’m sure you probably noticed that I excluded the two magazines I publish (Photoshop User and Layers Magazine), because I’m kinda (very) biased about those two, and I figured those were implied. ;-)

Have a great weekend everybody. I’m going to take Monday (Christmas Eve) and Christmas Day off to spend with my family, so it’ll be “No Blog Monday and Tuesday.” I wish you all a wonderful joy-filled Christmas, and I hope Santa brings each of you a D3 or a Mark III (hey, that rhymes, too!).

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Kelby Training Online

OK, this is really, really, really big news; today we just launched a groundbreaking new online training program, featuring the best teachers on the planet, and it’s subscription-based so you get unlimited access to ALL of our online courses for an amazingly affordable price.

Here’s a Q&A with all the details:

Q. Before we get started; do I have to read all this stuff, or do you have a quick video clip that explains it all?
A. Yup, we sure do. Here’s the link.

Q. So what is subscription-based online training?
A. In the past, we’ve offered online training courses, and it was always “Pay as you go” (basically, you’d pay individually for each class you took). But now you can pay one annual subscription fee and then you have unlimited access to all our online classes.

Q. You said this is amazingly affordable. OK, how affordable is it?
A. Our annual subscription is only $199, or you can pay $19.95 a month. By contrast our online classes used to be around $70.00 each. If you took just three classes, you were already paying more than our new subscription tuition. Now, you get unlimited access, all year long, for only $199. That’s just 55¢ a day, for unlimited access to the best Photoshop and photography teachers on the planet.

Q. What if I’m a NAPP member? Do I get a discount?
A. Absolutely! You get an annual subscription for just $179 (or only $17.99 a month).

Q. How many classes do you have online right now?
A. We just launched today, and we already have 34 classes up online, right now, with more waiting in the wings (and I mean literally waiting in the wings; including some amazing new classes going up next week!)

Q. What makes you guys different?
A. We knew we had to do something really special to stand out from the other online training options, so we asked ourselves what is the single most important aspect of any online course. Is it the topics? The price? The technology? The quantity? The look? What is it? We think the single most important thing is “The teacher.” It’s who you’re learning from, and their connection with the students. It’s their passion, their knowledge, their ability to communicate and share in a way that makes sense, that’s engaging, and even fun. That’s why we built our entire program around one thing; bringing you nothing but the very best teachers on the planet. Period.

Q. So who is on your faculty?
A. Only the most gifted teachers like:

  • Katrin Eismann
  • Bert Monroy
  • Dan Margulis
  • Dave Cross
  • Ben Willmore
  • Matt Kloskowski
  • Eddie Tapp
  • John Paul Caponigro
  • Terry White
  • Moose Peterson
  • Joe McNally
  • Rich Harrington
  • David Ziser
  • RC Concepcion
  • Fay Sirkis
  • Corey Barker
  • and Vincent Versace (with more announced in just the next few weeks).

They don’t all have classes up live yet, but we’re working on them all as we speak, and as soon as one of their classes is complete (they’re all doing multiple classes), we’ll open that class up to our online students.

Q. Scott, are you teaching any classes?
A. You know it! Today my “Photoshop CS3 for Digital Photographers” class went live and I’ve got two more classes on the way: (1) Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques, and (2) A class I’m co-hosting/moderating with photographer Andy Greenwell on “Building Your First Studio From Scratch” (which is scheduled to go live in the next 10 days).

Q. If the teacher provides files for us to practice along with, can we download them, or do we have to pay extra?
You get ’em without any extra fees whatsoever. It’s part of your subscription.

Q. OK, I’m a photographer; tell me something that’s going to get me really psyched!
A. How’d you like to learn landscape photography from Moose Peterson, the man behind the renowned “Digital Landscape Workshop Series.” We flew a camera crew out on location to Montana to take you on a live landscape shoot and training workshop with Moose himself.

Q. Now you’re talking. Tell me more!
A. OK, next month we’re live on location in a beautiful church with world famous wedding photographer David Ziser, where you’ll learn the secrets of pro wedding photography. Learn from the master as David photographs the formal bride and groom shots, and you’re right there with him as he explains everything from lighting to posing to how to turn this all into profits for you.

Q. That’s what I’m talking ’bout! OK, can you give me just a little more, cause I’m getting pretty psyched?
A. This week our video crew was in the studio with Joe McNally and on location for an amazing environmental portrait shoot with a ballerina that will blow you away. Imagine learning location lighting, and professional off-camera flash techniques from the man who literally wrote the book on location lighting. During the taping our crew said (and I quote,”this one class alone is worth the entire year’s subscription”). This is just a peek at what’s already “in the can” and what’s coming in the weeks and months ahead.

Q. How ’bout spilling the beans on a cool unannounced class?
A. No sweat, cause I’ve got a killer class for ya. How about an Adobe ACE Certification “Boot Camp” class from Matt Kloskowski, the same guy who taught the live ACE Boot Camp pre-conference session at three Photoshop Worlds! That’s coming online in the next couple of weeks, too. How cool is that!

Q. Can I get a sneak peek at how it all works? How about letting me try a couple of lessons?
A. Sure, why not. Head over to the KelbyTraining site, and click the “Try it Now (Free)” link at the top. You can watch the first three lessons from any of the classes to get a sense of what we’re doing, how the player works, and stuff like that.

Q. This sounds just amazing. How do I sign up, because I want to start taking classes today?
A. I knew you’d say that (’cause I wrote it). You can sign up right now at the site, and start taking any one of our classes today. Plus, you’ll have unlimited access to all new classes as soon as they go live.

Q. Thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A. It was really helpful. It’s like you knew what I was going to ask before I even asked it.
A. It’s a gift. I have to say, I really felt a connection with you. (Or, with me. Well, you know what I mean).

So that’s it folks. You’re seeing the ground-floor launch of something that we’re very committed to, and very honored to be developing for you. I invite you to subscribe and join me and Katrin, and Dan, and Bert, Matt, Dave, Ben, Eddie, Vincent, JP, Rich, Terry, RC, Joe, Fay and the whole gang as Kelby Training brings you the very best training, from the very best teachers on the planet, with a tuition that’s affordable for every one, and every company. Here’s the link to start learning with us today.

That’s it for today. Hope to see you back here tomorrow for my Friday wrap-up. Have a great Thursday everybody! :)


Here’s some stuff. On Wednesday. It’s Wednesday stuff.

First, I’m really excited to announce that our show, Photoshop User TV, was named by Apple as one of their “Best of 2007 Podcasts” in the Video Podcasts category. We’re totally psyched, and our humble thanks to the Editors at iTunes for the honor of including “The Photoshop Guys” in your Editors’ Choice for 2007.

If you’re thinking of getting someone on your holiday list an HD camcorder, check out the DV Confidential blog, where Rod Harlan reveals his pick for the best HD camcorder under $1,000.

Joe McNally’s upcoming book, “The Moment It Clicks” has already created a huge buzz in the photography community with it shooting to the top of’s bestsellers in the photography category this week, and get this; I saw it get as high as 246 of ALL books on I hope you got to watch Joe’s video (I posted a link earlier this week), but beyond that, take a moment to go back to Monday’s post and read the comments posted by people who’ve taken a class from Joe, and you’ll see exactly why it’s going to be book of the year. Our hats off to Joe for sharing his gift of teaching, and his amazing images with us all. (Here’s the link to to preorder yours).

karinsean.jpgThe amazing Katrin Eismann has teamed up with Sean Duggan on a new book called “The Creative Digital Darkroom” (from O’Reilly Publishing) that’s being released this coming week, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. They’ve got a blog about the book with all the details, and you can check it out right here.

That’s it for today, folks. See you all tomorrow for more food and fun! (I’m not exactly sure what that means) :)

rellocks2.jpgThe day before my seminar in Honolulu a couple weeks back, I got to spend some time shooting with just a great guy and photographer; Steve Dantzig (who wrote the book, Softbox Lighting Techniques for the Professional Photographer).

Steve and I wound up as guests on the same radio show a few months back, and as our interviews crossed paths, the host introduced us to each other, and as luck would have it, I had just bought his book (which is great by the way). Anyway, Steve lives in Honoulu (lucky dog); one thing led to another, and before you knew it, Steve had invited me to go shooting with him, at a beautiful cove about 30 minutes away (he even picked me up from the airport). Long story short; we got rained out, so we wound up shooting in his studio instead, and he quickly arranged to have a local up-and-coming model (and her entourage) meet us at the studio.

Anyway, once we got the lighting set up, Steve invited me to shoot as well. I was shooting my new Nikon D300. I was swapping cards during the shoot (using one for shooting, while the other was downloading into Lightroom; I couldn’t shoot tethered because I couldn’t get Nikon Camera Control Pro 2 to work with Mac OS X Leopard, but thankfully, it now does —no problem). So, here’s the “School of Hard Knocks” lesson. When the D300 ships, by default when you take a shot, it shows up on the camera’s LCD monitor (here’s the stinger:) even if you DON’T have a memory card in the camera.

So, as you might expect, I did an entire series of shots which vanished into thin air, because I forgot to put a card in the camera (On my D200 and D2Xs, I had turned that “go ahead and shoot without a memory card” feature OFF long ago, so I couldn’t accidentally take shots without there being a card in the camera. To do this on your D300, go to the Custom Settings menu, under Controls, and change control f9 [No memory card] to Release Locked [as shown above]. This locks your shutter release if no memory card is in the camera).

Luckily, this wasn’t a paid client gig, but had it been, this could have been a really serious situation. I have no idea why Nikon choose to set up the D300 so by defaul it shoots without a memory card, but it does, so all you new D300 owners be forewarned, and learn from another one of Scott’s famous “School of Hard Knocks” lessons from the field learned the hard way.

NOTE: Don’t forget to scroll down to the next post for some tasty Tuesday News Nuggets.

Happy Tuesday everybody! Here’s what’s goin’ on:

cep3_mainhead.jpgIf you’re thinking of buying any Nik Software stuff this Holiday Season, here’s a way to save some money. Moose Peterson (over at Moose’s News Blog), got Nik to give his readers a 10% discount of any Nik software purchases (like Dfine 2.0, Nik Color Efex 3.0, Nik Sharper Pro 2.0), by enter a special “Moose and friends” discount code (which Moose reveals on his blog). Anyway, here’s the link to Moose’s blog, with a link, and the discount code. Thanks to Moose for letting my readers get in on your deal. You’re not a bad egg. ;-)

  • You all have heard me talk (rave, exclaim, carry on, etc.) about Really Right Stuff’s L-brackets (which let you switch from shooting portrait to landscape in just seconds. Well, they finally put together a video demo to show how it works. Here’s the link.
  • This has nothing to do with Photoshop or photography, just an observation—but I was in the Apple Store last week, and it was (as always) just absolutely packed with shoppers. But what really struck me was how many employees were there assisting people. It seemed like there was one employee for every two people (and there were like 70 or 80 people in the store at the time). I’m not complaining; it’s a good thing, but it’s just kind of wild to see that many employees in a store that size. Keep an eye out next time you’re in the Apple store. It’s like the deck of a Starship.
  • Last week I mentioned that Sean Duggan is doing a black and white workshop at the Lepp Institute, but I forget to mention that NAPP members get a discount on any classes they take from the Lepp Institute. Not bad, eh?
  • I found this recent review of my Photoshop Seven-Point-System book, complete with Pros and Cons about the book. Here’s the link.
  • If you’re into Food Photography, I found a pretty cool flickr group dedicated to just that. You’ll find it right here.

That’s it for today. I’m in the studio shooting and working on stuff today. I’ve got some Big News for tomorrow, so I hope you’ll check back in then.


The single most amazing photography book I’ve ever read is just a few weeks away from being published. It’s Joe McNally’s, The Moment it Clicks: Photographer Secrets from one of the world’s best shooters (Published by New Riders), and I can tell you, without a doubt, I’ve learned more about the art and craft of photography, from this one book, than any book I’ve read to date. Period! It’s just that good.

NOTE: Nikon has posted a special page where you can watch a short video clip on how Joe created some of the amazing images from the book, and Joe shares some amazing insights into what the book is all about—it’s incredibly inspiratinoal, and you’ve gotta check it out. Click here to watch it online.

Joe McNally, whose celebrated work has graced the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, and National Geographic (to name a few), is amazing yet different because it actually blends the rich, stunning images and elegant layout of a coffee-table book with the invaluable training, no-nonsense insights, and photography secrets usually found only in those rare, best-of-breed educational and how-to books.

Now, I will tell you; It’s not really a book for beginners. It’s really aimed at serious photographers who want to learn what it takes to move to an entirely new level of thinking, of shooting, and making images that really captivate the viewer. It’s not really a how-to book (though it has a strong how-to element), and it’s not about camera settings (although he shares them for most images in the book), instead it’s a book about being a better photographer; about what it takes to “get the shot” (and how to get it), and how to start thinking differently about your work.

Here’s how the book came about, what makes it different, and why it’s going to be the book of the year for 2008; The Moment It Clicks was born during a digital photography workshop up in Vermont. We were up there shooting fall color, and it was the opening night of the workshop (I was there as a guest instructor, along with my best buddy Dave Moser), and after the other instructors had given their presentations (including legendary wildlife photographer Moose Peterson, and Landscape photography hot shot Laurie Excell), McNally takes the stage to finish off the night with his presentation.

So Dave and I are sitting in the back, and McNally kicks into high gear. Joe is one of the most captivating public speakers you'll ever meet, and the whole class is ooohing and ahhhhing each time a new image comes up, and he's got us laughing out loud one moment, and in tears the next. But Joe's not just showing off his workâ”he's a brilliant teacher and he's tossing out these incredible little nuggetsâ”the tricks of the tradeâ”the real "meat and potatoes" stuff and we're all hanging on every word (and scribbling notes as fast as we can write).

Every time Joe starts a sentence with, "An Editor at Time once told meâ¦" or "My Editor at National Geographic one saidâ¦" we all grab our pens because we know another nugget is coming our way. At one point, Joe is talking about lighting people on location, and he gets to that point where he says, "An editor once told meâ¦(I won't spoil it for you here), and then he shared something so simpleâ”it was just one sentenceâ”but my buddy Dave and I both looked at each other, and got these huge grins, because at that momentâ”it clicked. At that moment, a concept I'd read entire books on, just suddenly and almost magically all made so much sense. It all came together, at once. It was "the moment it clicked.”

When the class was over, Dave and I were just blown awayâ”it was all we could talk about. At one point, I looked at Dave said "Ya know, if all I took away from this workshop were Joe's amazing one-liner nuggetsâ”it would be absolutely worth the $795 I paid for this workshop, because I learned more about photography in that one hour than I had in the past three years." Dave couldn't have agreed more.

The next morning Dave and I were both still reeling from what we had learned, and I said to Dave, "I would pay anything for a book of just Joe's little nuggetsâ”just those one liners," and that's when it hit me¬; I've got to talk Joe into doing that book. Dave was all over it, and we started brainstorming on exactly what that book would look like.

What I really wanted to do was take what Joe does live, and transfer it to paper, because it all works so brilliantly together. For example, in Joe's class, he throws out a nugget, and then bamâ”a photo appears on screen that so perfectly illustrates what he's talking about that it bowls you over. Then he illustrates how he got the shot (and teaches the class how to get a shot like this of their own). It's a clever three-pronged approach, and I don't know if he does it that way consciously or not, but it really packs a punch. I wanted that same effect in bookâ”a three-pronged approach, a triangle of learning, that would be unlike any other photography or teaching book out there.

After our dusk shoot that night, I sat down with Joe and convinced him that this was the book he had to write. I told him how his quote and images had totally connected with Dave and I, and how he needed to share his gift for teaching, and his amazing images, with more than just the incredibly fortunate 20 people at this workshop. He needed to take it to the next level, and basically here's what I said: "Picture a two-page spread, and on the left page is one of your quotes. One of those "An Editor once told meâ¦" stories that breaks it down the bare bones. Then, on the facing page is the image you use in class to bring that story homeâ”to â˜seal the deal’ in their minds, and then we'll tell "the back story." The story of how it all came about; what happened at the shoot, and how the reader can get the same type of shotâ”just like you do in class."

By the time I was done with my pitch, we had a deal, and “The Moment it Clicks” is what was born that day during that rainy and wonderful Vermont workshop.

So, that's a little history on how the book came to be, and hopefully this gives you a little glimpse into an amazing book. One that teaches you concepts you never thought you'd grasp, that challenges you to try things you never thought you would; one that takes you places you've always wanted to shoot, and uncovers a side of professional photography that is as funny as it is fascinating. Click here to preorder it on or Barnes & You will absolutely love it.