Monthly Archives July 2008


Yesterday I flew up to Atlanta for the day to shoot the Atlanta Braves vs. the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Despite the sweltering heat (and the Braves loss), I had a blast shooting, and hanging out with Braves team photographer Paul Abell.

I didn’t really have time to go through all the shots, since my flight got home last night, but here are a few that caught my eye upon import in Lightroom (the shot of me above was taken by Paul with my iPhone). Click on any photo to see a larger view—I think they look much better larger, too)

I also didn’t have much time to really do anything to these except sharpen them and tweak the exposure a bit.

I was shooting my Nikon D3, with a 200-400 f/4 VR lens, mounted on a Gitzo monopod. I shot wide open at f/4 most of the day in Aperture Priority mode. I wanted to keep my shutter speed around 1250 to 1600 of a second (to freeze the action), so I had my ISO set between 200 and 320 most of the day, based on the light at the time. Most of the shots were taken from the 1st base dugout, 3rd base dugout, and behind home plate. Later in the day I went up to the first deck to set a few shots shooting down, but most were taken from field level.

Two interesting things to note:

  1. What a difference a year makes: The Nikons outnumbered the Canons (only by one, mind you, but come on—that’s sayin’ something).
  2. Turner Field recently instituted a policy which a lot of ballparks have started to enforce and that is they no longer allow fans to bring in pro cameras with lenses longer than 5″. Apparently, some fans were literally coming to game with 400mm and 600mm lenses; shooting the game from the stands, and then selling the images cheap online, so the ballparks have started cracking down across the Major League.

Thanks to Paul, and everyone at the Braves for a really great day !










Hi, Jack and Ed here. Seeing that there were a bunch of questions and comments from our Photoshop TV interviews in the last two weeks, we both thought we'd answer and clarify some of questions and comments. We'll be going into more depth to some of these questions in our two Photoshop World sessions in Las Vegas. And we'll also answer some in our upcoming column in PhotoshopUser Magazine.

As far as the paper VA form, it is being phased out. Bummer. It's easier than the online registration, in Jack's opinion. If you have any VA short forms you can still use them or you can still request them to be mailed to you from the copyright office. Jack keeps a blank VA PDF form on his computer. But you can no longer download the VA form from the Copyright Office site ( The Copyright office will still process VA forms, but the Copyright Office is no longer making the VA forms easily available in an effort to encourage online filing.

The eCO (Electronic Copyright Office) system, as the Copyright Office calls their online registration system, is improved and better than the first beta version used. But there is still have a problem with the number of files you can register if you are registering a very large number of files, as Jack usually does. Recently he registered 3,093 small compression JPEG files, that are compressed even more into a zip file, and they still total about 158mb. Jack's upload rate and their pipe in, was going to take 39 minutes according to the timer. There is a time limit of (more…)

fayhd.jpgWorld renowned Digital Artist (and Photoshop World instructor) Fay Sirkis has just released an in-depth DVD (from called "A Celebration of Art; Weddings, Portraits and Faces" If you haven’t had the chance to learn from Fay, she’s without a doubt one of the most amazing, passionate, and engaging teachers out there (her sessions at Photoshop World–standing room only, and her pre-conference workshop is always one of the first to sell-out). Her last record-breaking DVD took the digital painting world by storm, so make sure you check out Weddings, Portraits and Faces while they’re still in stock (here’s the link). By the way: NAPP members get $20.00 off.

Besides Photoshop World, you can also catch Fay live at her “Summer Photo Painting Bootcamp” at the prestigious Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging in Los Osos, California, on August 18 thru 22nd. (NAPP members get 15% off there, too!). Here’s the link for info on her bootcamp.


First, a big thanks to my special guest blogger yesterday, the amazing Dave Cross, whose message really resonated with so many of you out there. Very cool stuff, my friend!
Now, onto the News:

  • One of my readers, Nicholas Van Staten, pointed out this AP article (which I’m pointing to in the Miami Herald), about how New York City has now adopted a clear set of rules for photographers and filmmakers about when they need to obtain permits to shoot on the sidewalks and streets of New York. Here’s a link to the Herald (thanks Nicholas!).
  • Great news: Since I posted those two copyright interviews with attorney Ed Greenberg and photographer’s rights advocate Jack Reznicki, you all have posted loads of comments and follow-up questions, and Ed and Jack have heard ya. In fact, tomorrow I’ll have a post directly from them answering some of your most pressing copyright and legal questions, so make sure you’re back here tomorrow for this special follow-up from Ed and Jack (I love these guys)!
  • Yesterday, Mattias (one of my readers here on the blog) suggested that I create a category for all the Guest Blog posts, so it would be easy to find all the guest blog posts with just one click. Well, Fred (my in-house Web guru) already added this new feature, and now when I have a guest blogger, right up in the title area (to the immediate right of where it shows how many comments have been posted), you'll see the category "Guest Blogger." Click on that, and you'll get nothing but all the guest blog posts here on the Photoshop Insider. We’re going to expand that so all the posts are sorted into categories (so they’ll be one-click away, too) and these categories will appear listed on the right side of my blog (but it’s going to take a little time to go back and recategorize them, which sounds like a wonderful job for our summer intern, dontchathink?). Anyway, thanks again to Mattias for the suggestion, and thanks to Fred for getting it up and running so quickly.
  • Another blog thing: earlier this week a reader asked why his comment here said “Awaiting Moderation”, and I assured him I don’t moderate my comments (I just delete the really means ones after the fact), so I was stumped. But then, when I was working on this category thing, I found that my blog’s Spam filter had more than 264 posts it thought were spam, but it was waiting for me to tell it “yes it is” or “no it isn’t,” for each of those comments. Well, as it turns out, 231 of those were indeed spam posts (you’ll be glad it caught them—trust me), but 33 of them were actual comments from readers that it might be spam because the reader put a link in their post. Now, plenty of readers put links in their comments that get right through, but something in the software flagged these 33 real posts for some reason (unknown to me). Anyway, I approved all the real comments (and deleted all the spam), and now that I know where to look, I’ll keep an eye out so this doesn’t happen again. Sorry to everyone whose posts were delayed, but the good news is; they’re there now.
  • I had a number of people who watched my tutorial on how to create a calendar template for photos, ask how to create the bottom of the calendar (where the days of the month are listed). I did a search and found literally dozens of free downloadable calendar templates, and a site that creates these on-the-fly. Here’s the link to “My Free Calendar Maker” (but again, just do a Google Search and you’ll find loads more).
  • My reader Joe Gass sent this my way, and if you’re a photographer, just take 20-seconds and take a look at these photos—it will crack you up (well, it cracked me up anyway)!
  • Two more online classes went up this week on; (1) Photoshop World Instructor Taz Tally’s “Professional Scanning Secrets” (here’s the link) and (2) Graphic’s Guru Lesa Snider King’s “Practical Photoshop Elements” (here’s that link). Check ’em out if you get a chance.
  • Our buddy Scott Sherman, over at “The Digital Photography Show” podcast has launched his own photo blog. He’s already got some very good stuff there, so take a few secs and check it out right here!
  • Don’t forget, only 10 days left to take advantage of the Photoshop World Conference & Expo Early Bird “$100 off” special. Here’s the link. (make sure you watch the little movies while you’re at the site). Also, all the staff and instructors are staying at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino so, if you want to stay there with us (and join Matt and I for our traditional late night In/Out Burger run, followed by shooting craps), make sure you snag your hotel room now (use the Travel link on the Photoshop World site for special deals for attendees).
  • One last thing: Just my humble thanks to everyone who posted such wonderful comments on Monday. You guys are the best, and you really make it so much fun for me to do this blog. :)

Have a really great Thursday, and make it a point to do something nice for somebody you work with today. Hey, it couldn’t hurt.


A few weeks ago Scott invited me to start thinking about a topic for an appearance as guest blogger. I had come up with an idea that I'd been fleshing out when I read Stephen Johnson's column last week. I'm telling you this to make it clear that my column is not in response to Stephen's, nor it is intended as a rebuttal - if anything, it's just interesting timing that my column follows Stephen's.

I think it's also important to note that after reading Stephen's column I chose not to read any of the comments since I wanted my thoughts to be mine alone, not influenced by the comments of others (although I certainly plan to go and read those comments once this column is published). So with that bit of background information (disclaimer?), here's what I have in mind.

In my travels as an instructor (I always wanted to start a sentence with "In my travelsâ¦") I get the wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with lots of very interesting people. Often our discussion revolves around two schools of thought: "get it right in the camera" versus "fix it in Photoshop". When asked which approach I take I usually answer with either "it depends" or, "there's a third possibility" (more on that later).

Generally speaking my goal is to get it right in-camera - or at least to get it really really close to what I want, so that I can tweak it a little in Photoshop. When I was in Maine last Fall I had the time to set up my tripod and experiment with settings and I'm pleased to say that the majority of my photos needed very little adjusting. I came very close to getting the result I wanted, right out of the camera. I didn't rely on Photoshop, but it did provide some valuable assistance here and there.


Last August I had the pleasure of visiting Alaska and ran into a slightly different situation. We had taken a boat from our ship and had been wandering around a small town for a few hours when I came across a really interesting location I wanted to shoot. Just as I started to get set up I heard the call that the boat was leaving, so I figured I had two choices: miss the boat to get the perfect shot, or grab a quick shot knowing that I might be able to get what I wanted by creating two exposures from Camera Raw (which I did and I was very happy with the resulting photo). In this case I did rely on Photoshop to "come to my rescue" because of the circumstances.


So this is where the "it depends" comes into play: I strive to get the look I want in-camera but when the circumstances call for it, I take advantage of the tools available to me in Photoshop and Camera Raw to tweak my photos. I don't think of that as "fixing it" as much as fine-tuning to get the result that I want. So, I change my approach slightly, depending on the situation.

But I think there's a third option, and this one excites me the most, and that is to shoot with Photoshop in mind: take advantage of digital technology to create things you never could (or would be much harder to do) traditionally. To create images that combine great photography with the power of Photoshop. There are plenty of examples of what I mean, for instance photographers such as Joey Lawrence and Dave Hill who have "signature" looks that combine great lighting/photography with post-processing. [links: Joey Lawrence and Dave Hill]

Or photographers who capture separate images with the intention of combining them in Photoshop. Here's an example from the work of NAPP member James Quantz Jr. He creates wonderful images from photos that he takes with the express purpose of compositing them later in Photoshop. []


I love taking multiple photos while I picture in my mind how I will combine them in Photoshop. Does that make the end result less of a photograph? Maybe in the traditional sense it does, but I don't think we can discount this as a photographic art form: rather than attempting to capture the scene as my eyes saw it, I'm creating the illusion of something that never was.


I think there's a place for all these different approaches: get it right in the camera, tweak it in Photoshop and shooting to take advantage of Photoshop. I also believe that there are different breeds of photographers, and that some of us really enjoy the Photoshop process and see it as part of making a great image. And I don't think there's anything wrong with taking advantage of Photoshop - just as I applaud the goal of getting it right in-camera or making minor adjustments. Just as there's many different ways to achieve something in Photoshop, there's various ways to take advantage of our cameras and the technology that's available to us. What a great possibility that offers us.

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Here’s an excerpt from this week’s episode of Photoshop User TV; it’s my exclusive interview with pro photographer, Photoshop World Instructor, and photographer’s rights and copyright advocate Jack Reznicki.

Jack gives the step-by-step instructions for how to register your work, and gives important details (including Photoshop settings) for submitting your images. It’s some absolutely invaluable information, and a perfect follow-up to my interview last week with copyright attorney Ed Greenberg. Click the Play button above to watch the interview.