Monthly Archives January 2008


We had Dan “Dano” Steinhardt from Epson on as a guest on this week’s episode of Photoshop User TV, and he’s got an amazingly simple little trick for creating black and white prints (without converting your color image to black and white) on Epson printers. He also brought some printed samples on the show to show the results, and if you’ve never struggled with B&W, it’s definitely worth watching (you’ll be amazed at how simple this is, for the quality of the final print it delivers). Here’s the link to watch it online.


I saw it–one of the first copies off press of what I truly believe will be the single most important photography book of 2008; Joe McNally’s “The Moment it Clicks.” (Published by New Riders). I have to tell you—I was blown away. I had seen galleys, mock-ups, and proofs, but there’s nothing like seeing “The real deal,” and it was just stunning.

This sounds clich©, but I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I literally took it to lunch with me on Friday (my wife was thrilled, and made some remark about what a fun date she must be if I have to bring a book along when we go to lunch. I did let her look at it though. Believe it or not–it helped). Anyway, it was amazing to see the way his images and real life stories seamlessly wrapped around all the education and the “how to get a shot like this” sections–I’ve just never seen any book like it.

As that one copy make its way around our office on Friday, it made such an impact on everyone who opened it. Joe has done something really special here, and a BIG congratulations to Joe for so willingly sharing his wisdom, his humor, his invaluable insights, his instruction, and some of the most amazing images I’ve ever seen.

I gotta tell ya; if it was just a coffee table photo book, it would be worth it just for the incredible photos alone. If it it was just a book of Joe’s amazing stories, or the “how to get a shot like this” sidebars, or just those little nuggets of photography wisdom he gleaned from a life behind the lens, it would be worth it to get any one of those. But he gave us all four. One foot on the coffee table, and one foot in the classroom. I don’t know how he pulled it off—but he did—in a big way.

NOTE: It usually takes about two weeks between the printer, and the time bookstores get them warehoused and into their system, so we’re still probably around two weeks from seeing them in stock, but you can preorder your copy from or Barnes&


A new online class, the first of five lighting classes, from world class shooter and renowned instructor Joe McNally, has just gone live on

It’s shot on location in a photography studio, and Joe literally starts from scratch teaching the basics of a single-light portrait shoot using a variety of light-shaping tools, from umbrellas, to diffusers, reflectors, and softboxes, with special bonus sessions on Ring Flash, and he ends up with a bonus on-location sunset with a ballerina on the beach at sunset that is just amazing—you see the shoot unfold live as they race the setting sun to “get the shot” before it’s too late (and boy does he ever get the shot!).

Here’s the link for the full description, and you can watch three sample sessions from this new class absolutely free. Very cool stuff!!!

It’s Friday everybody, and you know what that means! (You do know, right?). That’s right, it’s time for the Friday News Wrap-up (and weekend sports with Gail Fisher). Hang on, here we go:

  • When I was looking through that UK-based magazine Digital Photographer earlier this week, I saw a double truck (two page spread) ad for Canon’s 40D, and the ad’s background was a sweeping sunset shot, but when I read the headline I just burst out laughing. It read, “I gaze at the sunset with the woman I love, and think….f/8 at 1/250.” You just gotta love that (if only it didn’t ring so true)!
  • Sony is hosting a huge, worldwide photo competition that it’s vying to make the “Oscar awards of Photography” and the deadline is right around the corner; January 31, 2008, so if you’re interested, check out their site at
  • I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but some friends at Adobe shared this with me while I was out there earlier this week and it’s just hilarious. It’s a video series on called “You Suck at Photoshop” and it’s just hilarious (content warning; there is some serious cussing, but it’s seriously hilarious cussing. Just so you know). Make sure you start with Part 1, so you’re in on the gag. You will laugh your $#&!* off! (Here’s the link to Part One).
  • Mike Wong over at the “One onOne with Mike Wong” blog, did a write up on Volume 2 of my book, “The Digital Photography Book.” Here’s the link.
  • Lastly, start your Friday off right by taking a moment to enjoy some fine art landscape photos from photographer Peter Haigh. Beautifully serene images (here’s the link).

That’s it for today. Lot’s of cool stuff coming next week, so have a great weekend, and we’ll see you on Monday. :)


Howdy folks. I’ve returned from my trip out West, and I’m back in the saddle again. Here’s what’s going on:

  • Digital Photography magazine (another UK-based photography magazine), did a shoot out of noise reducing Photoshop plug-ins, and their winner was a plug-in I’ve never heard of before called “Neat Image.” Here’s what Digital Photography said, “Neat Image scooped the first prize due to its simplicity, features, and impressive results” and they praised it for its ability to reduce noise without making the image blurry. The other programs in the shoot out were Noise Ninja and Noiseware Pro (the plug-in I use for noise reduction). If you have any experience with Neat Image, let me know. Here’s the link to Neat Image’s web site.
  • You guys have heard me talk about Jeff Revell (from Jeff’s Photo Gallery blog), a number of times, and this week we had him on Photoshop User TV as a special in-studio guest (that’s Jeff above), and on the show Jeff revealed the new name for his blog; (for more about the name, and the man behind the site, check out Jeff’s interview right here).
  • Just when I thought this week couldn’t get any better, I just learned that I have won not just one—by TWO “Frankie” awards (one for this blog, and one for my CS3 for digital photographers book). This is an award so exclusive, so prestigious, and so secretive that even Frank’s wife didn’t know about it. Click here to view the list of all the Frankie Award Winners. (All joking aside—many thanks to Frank Weichmann for including my books on your list. I dig you, man!)
  • Confessions of a Pioneer Woman: How can you resist a photo blog with a name like this? I just recently found it, and I must confess, I’m really drawn to it (sorry for that lame “confess” pun). She’s got some nice photogaphy, and a lot of pioneer sass. Here’s the link. (I dig her, too!)
  • Weekly Photo Tips did a review of our recently launched online subscription service for learning Photoshop, photography, and other cool stuff. Here’s the link. Ivan Makarov over at IM Digital also posted a review and you can read it right here.
  • On the heels of this past week’s wonderful automotive photography from UK-based photographer Tim Wallace, comes the creative genius of California-based automotive photographer Steve Demmitt. He’s got a very slick style, including some amazing composites (like the three photo composite of the silver Bentley that loads first), and if you got a minute or two, check out his site at Amazing stuff!

That’s it for today, sports fans. See you back here for a wrap up tomorrow! :)


It’s Wednesday (in case you totally lost track of what day it was), and here’s what’s up:

  • First, I was thrilled to learn that in the February issue of PPA’s Professional Photographer magazine they gave my book, “The Photoshop CS3 Book for Digital Photographers” their highly coveted 2008 Hot One Award. I feel especially fortunate as it was the only book to win a Hot One award for the year (here’s a link to the complete list of 2008 winners). My thanks to the editors at Professional Photographer—-I’m so honored you chose this book! :)
  • I was reading Pro Photo (the UK-based magazine), and saw an article that talked about the “Flaghead Ringflash Adapter,” which turns your Nikon or Canon hotshoe mounted flash into a ring flash. Flaghead is a UK-based company, and I haven’t found anyone selling it in the US yet, and was wondering if any of you have had any experience with it? The price seems really right for the results they were getting. Let me know if you know anything about it (or where I can buy one).
  • There are some very cool tutorials right now over at, and a couple that particularly caught my attention are Corey’s new “Fire” tutorial (he’s been sending me samples for a week now), and the sketch-to-photo tutorial. Very slick stuff! Here’s the link.
  • Another new class went online at this week; it’s Moose Peterson’s “Landscape Photography, Part 2” shot on location in Montana. Moose describes the class this way, “Using knowledge of light and sharpness, we compose by throwing out conventional wisdom and taking our landscape photography to a new level.” You can get a preview of his class right here.
  • Photoshop trainer extraodinairre Dave Cross is out on the road again with the Photoshop CS3 Power Tour as he’s in San Antonio tomorrow, and then he’s coming to Atlanta on January 28th. You can sign up (or find out more details) right here.
  • Ready for some Wednesday photographic inspiration? OK, this may sound weird at first, (at least, until you see the images): it’s the pet photography of Tonya Schabacker. Yes, pet photography (but really, really good pet photography). So good, you’ve got to check it out for yourself. It will put a smile on your face (plus, she’s got a very nicely designed site). Click here to check it out.

That’s it for today (my travel day), but I’ll be back tomorrow with more…well…stuff. It just won’t be Wednesday stuff. See you then!