Monthly Archives September 2008

We’ve been doing Learning Centers now for years, but what RC, Corey, and the Layers magazine team have done with their Adobe Creative Suite (CS4) Learning Center, is beyond anything we’ve done before.

They’ve teamed up with more than 30 instructors, authors, writers, and Creative Suite experts to bring you a vast collection of videos on all the new CS4 Creative Suite applications, including InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Illustrator, and of course, Photoshop.

If you’re a creative suite user, you’ve gotta stop by and check out what they’ve done over there, because it is off the hook. Here’s the link to the Layers Creative Suite Learning Center, the most comprehensive CS4 learning anywhere, and it’s all free!!!

…none other than the man behind the “Whibal” white balance reference card, and the popular “How to Shoot Raw Without FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)” Camera Raw training DVD, Michael Tapes.

I’ve known Michael for a number of years now, and when he heard a few weeks back that I didn’t have a Special Guest Blogger lined up, he proposed a very interesting idea. I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but he’s on to something that a lot of people will really be into, so make sure you check back here tomorrow to see what Michael will be unveiling. Should be fun! :)


Mornin’ everybody. Here’s what’s up:

  • Just in case you missed my “Rare Friday Night Post,” Adobe posted a Lightroom 2.1 “Release Candidate” free update on Adobe Labs on Friday. Scroll down to Friday’s post for all the details (and a description of what a “Release Candidate” is).
  • The Digital Landscape Workshop Series DLWS) (with instructors Moose Peterson, Laurie Excell, and Joe McNally) have posted their workshop location schedule for next year, and I’m telling you now because they’re already starting to selling out for next year. I can’t recommend DLWS enough—-it is an amazing experience (to say the least). Here’s the link to their 2009 schedule, and if you get to go, just know that I am totally jealous!
  • PhotoWalk Leader Update: I found out that if you led a PhotoWalk here in the U.S., your Lightroom 2 shipped mid-week last week, and I’ve already heard from some of you that have already received your copy. If you led an international PhotoWalk, your books shipped last Friday, so depending where you are in the world, you should be receiving yours soon! Once again, my thanks to my publishers Peachpit Press/New Riders Press for making all this possible!
  • Just a reminder: My Lightroom 2 Live! Tour kicks off in Dallas, Texas on October 27, 2008. Here’s the link.
  • If you attended my “Portrait Retouching” session at Photoshop World, Las Vegas, just a reminder; the “bonus” start-to-finish portrait retouch video that I did you for guys, is online at the address that I gave out in class.
  • Lastly, the first reviews of my new “Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers” have started to appear. Here’s a really in-depth review from T. Michael Testi at “TheBlogCritics” (link).
  • Also, the photography blog “NeutralDay” did an in depth review on my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Volume 2” and although this book has been out since the beginning of the year, I wanted to point this particular review out, because of all the reviews ever done on this book, I think this reviewer did absolutely the best job of describing exactly what the book was about—who it was written for, and why. Here’s the link.
  • Tomorrow should be a big day, with Adobe’s big CS4 announcement coming. If you’ve haven’t signed up to be a part of free Web broadcast, click here to sign up.

Have a great day, and make sure you check in tomorrow for the big scoops on all the new stuff!

This rare Friday-night post is to let you all know that Adobe has just posted Lighroom 2.1 “Release Candidate” on Adobe Labs today; a free update to Lightroom that addresses a number of bugs and performance issues some users were experiencing. The “Release Candidate” moniker is explained by Adobe:

“The â˜release candidate' label indicates that this update is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Lightroom team would like the community to help verify the quality of this update through normal usage as this will ensure that the application is tested on a diversity of hardware and software configurations not available internally at Adobe.

I think it’s very cool that Adobe thought to release it this way first, and get the benefit of additional outside testing before releasing the final version. You can download the 2.1 update right here.

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Here’s a quick video clip I did for you guys with some background info on my new “Lightroom 2 Book for Digital Photographers.” On the video (it’s around around 2-1/2 minutes long), I talk about how I developed the book; the differences between this new version of the book, and the original version I wrote for Lightroom 1.0, and some of the new things I added to make the book more valuable to the reader. (However, I forgot to mention on the video another cool thing I added to the book—although I put Lightroom 2 tips throughout the book, at the end of each chapter I now added a special “Killer Tips” page with some very slick little tricks, timesavers, workarounds and shortcuts).

Anyway, I hope you’ll take two minutes and watch the video.

NOTE: Good news; we just got our shipment of Lightroom 2 books in at Kelby Training (finally!), and they started shipping those books out Tuesday and Wednesday, so they’re on their way.

There have been a number of questions posted on the blog this week, and I thought I’d over a few of them here today. Here we go:

  • Q. Why did you use HSC [High Speed Crop] for more reach, rather than cropping later in Lightroom or Photoshop? Is it just the desire to get it right in camera and save time later, or is there more too it than that?
    A. I really like to compose in camera, rather than later in Photoshop or Lightroom, so it is that desire to get it right in the camera. I know—it’s a sickness.
  • Q. Recently you shot the college football game and used a 1.4 teleconverter with your Nikon camera and lens. Could you give more insight into how it worked for you and any drawbacks that there with it? My local camera store strongly discourages using one.
    A. The only downside to the 1.4 teleconverter is that you lose 1-stop of light (so an f/2.8 becomes an f/4). As long as you use a decent teleconverter (I bought a Nikon brand converter), it works just great. As for why your local camera store strongly discouraged it—-I have no idea. Well, I have some idea. ;-)
  • Q. I am surprised you didn't rent the 200-400mm f/4 or the 500mm f/4 from for the big game! NAPP members get a 10% discount on rentals.
    A. I ran out of time. I only found out I was going to shoot the game the day before, so I didn’t have time to get it overnighted. This cost me a bundle, because this week I went ahead and bought the 200-400 f/4 from B&H Photo because I’ve got a NFL shoot coming up next week and figured I should finally go ahead and make the plunge. Ouch!!!! That one hurt. My kid’s won’t get to go to college now, but by golly I’ll have a swell lens. ;-)
  • Q. Nice shots, and as has been mentioned⦠great hat!
    A. You can buy that classic black Zildjian ballcap direct from Zildjian for $13. Here’s the link.
  • Q. I was wondering⦠could you recommend a tripod head that lets you switch from horizontal to vertical FAST in a situation like this [shooting sports]? (more…)