Monthly Archives April 2008


I decided to use my recent trip to Dubai to field test Hoodman’s RAW high-speed 300X 8GB UDMA memory cards, and I also used their high-speed UDMA card reader (because without a high-speed reader, you’re not getting all the benefits UDMA brings).

The main thing I’m (we’re) always concerned about is reliability. It doesn’t matter how fast the cards are if they fail, and so far I’ve put thousands of images on the cards and they’ve performed flawlessly (which I expected because of my experience with Hoodman products in the past). Beyond that, I’ve been very impressed with the speed. It writes to the card very fast, it downloads back to your computer very fast—in fact, I didn’t realize how big a difference UDMA Cards would make, but now I see what all the fuss is about.

OK, so they’re really fast and they’re really reliable. So what’s not to like? The price. For example:

  • Lexar’s 8GB 300X UDMA card is going for around $170 at B&H Photo.
  • Sandisk’s 8GB Extreme IV UDMA card is going for around $180 from B&H
  • Hoodman’s 8GB 300X UDMA RAW cards are $250 (direct from Hoodman).

Both Lexar’s and Sandisk’s cards both use the fast UDMA technology, too; both have a good reputation for reliability, but as big a fan as I am of Hoodman’s gear (I swear by their stuff), I’m having a really hard time justifying the $70 to $80 more per card without a clear and distinct advantage over the competition.

Now, that being said, there may be an advantage to the Hoodman RAW cards that I’m not aware of, which justifies the higher price, and if that turns out to be the case, I’ll absolutely update this report, but until then; that’s my report. REPORT UPDATE: Hoodman responded to this review noted precisely why their cards cost more, and are worth the extra cost. Here’s the link to that post.

bertbooksm.jpgI finally saw a copy of the most-awaited Photoshop book of the year, Photoshop Studio with Bert Monroy; Digital Painting which just debuted at Photoshop World (I only got a quick look, because as soon as I saw it one of my crew snagged it out of my hands). I saw that the book included some of the digital painting techniques Bert used in creating his amazing panoramic illustration of the Damen Station on the Blue Line of the Chicago Transit Authority, so this weekend I hope to sit down, dig in, and pick up some new goodies. My congratulations to Bert on the new release, and you can get your own copy at Barnes &, or, or wherever books from really brilliant digital artists are sold.


Hi everybody! Hope you had a great weekend. Before we get to the news—-just a quick note to everybody who posted a comment on Friday; just my humble “thanks.” It means a lot, and reminds me why I do it. :)

Now, onto the news:

  • Teaching Update: I’ll be in New York City doing a special class on my “Photoshop CS3 7-Point-System” at B&H Photo’s Event Space on Monday, May 5th, and it’s FREE (you just have to sign-up in advance, right here). That whole week is “NAPP Week” at the Event Space, and Matt will be there on Tuesday, and then RC and Corey on Wed. and Thursday, and NAPP’s Executive Director Larry Becker will be there all week spreading the NAPP love, so it’ll be a week with a lot of learning and fun. NOTE: Matt and I are looking for a cool place to shoot in NYC on Sunday night, so if you’ve got any ideas, or connections for some cool shooting locale or studio, let me know.
  • Also, I’ll be in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, May 13th for my Photoshop CS3 Power Tour seminar, and I hope you’ll join me there. It’s $99 for the full day (or $79 if you’re a NAPP member), and we’re going to have a blast, so I hope you’ll come out and spend the day with me. Here’s the link with info, and how to register.
  • David duChemin (of the popular blog) was down at NAPP Headquarters on Friday, and we snuck in a quick shoot over at the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks, and the photo above shows David in “mid-sponge shoot.” It was fun kicking around with just one lens; my 18-200mm VR, but the highlight of the day was the moment at which David (a really terrific guy, by the way), said, “I don’t have the right lens for what I wanted to do with that last shot.” We both laughed, and went back to shooting sponges (Hey, it beats a day at the office any time). Thanks David, for a really great day!
  • Our buddy David Hobby, and his blog the was featured in an article in USA Today (and it includes a photo of David himself, with strobe in hand). Besides the article, it includes two videos (including one on shooting with four strobes), so you’ve got to check it out right here.
  • We posted another cool new class on last week; Richard Harrington’s “Photoshop and After Effects for Wedding Photographers.” Rich’s class just kill at Photoshop World, and this is one from his “most requested” list, because it’s one of those classes that just puts money right in your pocket. Here’s a link to the lesson guide, and you can watch a free sample lesson there as well. (NOTE: don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’ve been adding at least one new course every single week, and we’ve got a LOT more coming, and some announcements of new instructors coming on board as well. Lots of exciting stuff happening).
  • If you’re into travel photography, check out The Travel Photographer’s Network, which looks like a very cool site, and online magazine dedicated to travel photographers. I just started digging around it in, and it look pretty sweet. Here’s the link.

That’s it for this Monday. Have a kick-butt day, pretend it’s Friday, shoot with the wrong lens, and if you get really desperate—look for shots that are “Sponge Worthy.” ;-)


Here’s a quick Friday wrap-up:

  • Canon and Microsoft, have teamed up with one of my very favorite magazines; Outdoor Photographer, and they have put together a contest that is also a really great resource, and it’s based on the Top 100 Icon Locations in The World (Think of it as “100 amazing Places to Shoot landscape photography”). It’s really brilliantly done, and if you’re an outdoor photographer, you’re going to just love this! Here’s the link.
  • Congratulations to Adobe; they were named one of the Best Big Corporations to work for in Fortune magazine’s annual list (here’s the link to see why).
  • Paul Thorson turned us onto this gift only a photographer could really appreciate; jewelry made from old lenses (it’s better than it sounds—here’s the link).
  • My buddy Matt Kloskowski had a really great post earlier this week on his “Lightroom Killer Tips” blog called “Confessions of a Lightroom addict” and it really got a lot of buzz, because Matt admitted a lot of things a lot of people wouldn’t (and sadly, I’m guilty of a lot of the same things he wrote about. Except the whole “compulsive shoplifting thing,” and the parole violations, and his whole “do-it-yourself Meth-Lab thing,” of course). Here’s the link.
  • Great news—-Frank’s OK!!! Thanks to all of you who were concerned about Photoshop World instructor Frank Cricchio, who fell ill right at the start of the conference, wound up in the hospital, and wasn’t able to teach his sessions. The news couldn’t be better—Frank is 100% OK, and he’s already back teaching again. It just about killed Frank that he couldn’t do his sessions, but he’ll be back with us in Las Vegas in the fall, and we’re thrilled that everything came out alright, because Frank (who was just recently honored with PPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award), is not only an amazing teacher, but he’s literally one hell of a great guy.

That’s it for this week. David duChemin (of the Pixelated Image) is here at the NAPP Headquarters for a visit today, and we’re headin’ to one of my “top five” restaurants for lunch, and then off for a shoot. It’s a great way to start the weekend—hope you have a great weekend too, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)


“Obviously, since Scott's in bed with Adobe, there's no way he'd give Apple's Aperture a fair audition.” –Trevor Carpenter

“…what about Apple's Aperture? I don't see how you can just ignore it when writing this kind of article. If you do, I begin to wonder if you're simply being paid by Adobe? I understand the whole corporate sponsor thing, but I'd love to see you write about Aperture. It's definitely a player in this space.” –Mike Fullerton

Ya know what’s nice? Waking up in the morning, and reading comments like these, which were posted yesterday as comments here on my blog. It really starts your day off right.

My post yesterday was addressing a comment I read on an evaluation form, from a Photoshop World Conference attendee. This attendee didn’t ask me about Aperture (he was a PC user anyway, and Aperture is a Mac-only product); he asked the difference between Camera Raw, The Bridge, and Lightroom.

I thought that answering his question publicly, might help some other people who had the same question, but clearly what I was doing was just perpetuating my secret conspiracy against Aperture; the same Aperture I wrote about on Monday in my “Top Five of Everything” where I listed other applications which I use, which included Aperture; the same Aperture I wrote about in February after the 2.0 update was released, where I wrote:

“I haven't had a chance to play with the new version yet, (I hope to this week), but the improvements look pretty substantial and the initial feedback I've seen from existing Aperture users has been very positive.”

Adobe almost made me return my monthly corporate payoff check for writing that. ;-)

So, is this a cleverly orchestrated conspiracy against a program I readily admit that I use, or perhaps is the reason I didn’t mention Aperture in my post one or more of these:

  • (a) I don’t know much about Aperture. The only thing I do in Aperture is print books. I export my photos from Lightroom as JPEGs; I import them into Aperture, layout my book, and hit the Send button. That is the extent of what I do in Aperture, so I can’t pass myself off as an “Aperture expert” and anything I say about Aperture beyond printing books would be just a guess. I’ve played around with Aperture, and it seems to have some very cool features, but honestly, I just don’t know enough about it.
  • (b) This is the Photoshop Insider blog created for people who already use either Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom, or both. It’s not a digital imaging blog.
  • (c) Aperture was totally irrelevant to the question I was asked (especially since he’s a PC user).

I haven’t written a comparison of Lightroom vs. Aperture because selling Lightroom isn’t my job—that’s Adobe’s job. My job is teaching Lightroom to people who already own Lightroom (though the fact that I teach and write books on Lightroom pretty much tells you where I stand). Besides, I’m not the guy you want doing a side-by-side comparison of the two; I am totally biased; I’ve already made my choice; I’m a Lightroom user–plain and simple.

I don’t want to take anything away from Aperture, because I know a lot of Mac users really like it, and I think that’s great, but I use Lightroom, so don’t look for much Aperture coverage here. In the same vein, I’m a Nikon shooter, so don’t expect a lot of Sony or Olympus camera coverage here either, even though I’m sure both make perfectly fine cameras. It’s not an indictment of any of them; they’re just not what I use.

I hope that helps folks who post mean-spirited accusations about me understand where I’m coming from in this whole “Lightroom vs. Aperture” conspiracy theory. :)