Monthly Archives December 2008

…the action packed, talent-packed, hand-pruned by McNally, won in a card game photography assistant….the boy wonder himself, Brad Moore.

I gotta tell ya, Brad has a wild (and surprisingly true) story for his guest blog post tomorrow, so be sure to stop by tomorrow and take a peek into the wild world of Brad Moore, man of mystery. If you love a good story, he’ll make it worth your while.


True story: While I was on my recent vacation in Egypt, my sister-in-law felt she had to call me just to let me know that there were not one, not three, but actually nine American Bald Eagles perched in my back yard. And though once again, I had missed them, my friend (and Santa Fe Workshop Student), Steve Rogers happened upon the Eagle shown above, not more than a hour or so from where I live here in Florida, and captured it in flight.

In his email to me, he wrote, “I remembered from your blog you had a bald eagle around your house a few weeks ago. Well, I drove away this evening and saw one flying near my house. I fumbled around and got my D300 and clicked away before he flew off. I didn’t get any world-class photos, but here’s one of the not-so-blurry shots.”

So, I wanted to share his fantastic shot (I love the rim lighting), especially since Steve and I are now no longer friends. ;-) Way to go, Steve (and thanks for letting me share your image).


Last week I saw my first copy of Bill Fortney’s amazing new book, “America From 500 Feet, II” which is a stunning photography book of images of the American landscape, taken from an Ultralight airplane (as seen above), over a period of one year, by two incredible landscape photographers: Bill Fortney and Mark Kettenhofen,” and I was blown away. We all were.

His original book, “America From 500 Feet” still holds the record as the best-selling aviation photography book in history, and this new project, if possible, is even better. The images are so dramatic, so beautiful, and so compelling, that it makes you see the American landscape in a whole new way. They include some great stories from their year on the road, and the entire hardcover book is beautifully laid out, presented, and printed. It would make a perfect holiday gift! You can find it at or Barnes & for around $32.

My congratulations to Bill and Mark for creating something really special.


Hi gang—just a few quick things to take us into the weekend:

  • I came across some cool, quick-little “case study” videos from professional retoucher Jean-Michel Massey, which show the evolution of a commercial retouch, and I thought the videos were fascinating (Jean-Michel has some mad skills). Here’s the link to check them out.
  • My buddy RC “Rico” Concepcion (Ed Note from RC: "This was actually done by one of our regular readers, Firgs. Big thanks!) did something fairly horrible to Matt, Dave, Corey, himself and I (a still from it is seen above) that is just really, wellâ¦you’ve got to see it for yourself. It’s called “Elf Yourself” and if you’ve got two seconds, and don’t mind seeing grown men looking fairly ridiculous, check it out right here (totally for laughs).
  • Photographer Janine Smith (who was at my LA Lightroom seminar yesterday), turned me onto the fact that now lets you add products from other sites to your wishlist (for example, you could add things from B&H Photo to your wish lists, even though you’re on Amazon).
  • I just learned that will now make prints up to full 24″x36″ poster size (previously, their largest size was 20″x30″). I’m using Mpix to output some prints I’m doing as holiday gifts, because I can just upload them from my computer, and they’ll ship the final print, packaged flat, right to the person on my gift list. Sweet!
  • Just in case you missed it; Adobe announced a pretty substantial update to Camera Raw (called Camera Raw 5.2), which includes adding the Targeted Adjustment Tool (TAT) to Camera Raw, Snapshots, Camera Profiles, and Output Sharpening, along with support for some new cameras. You can download the free update from (Mac) or (Windows).

That’s it for today. I’ve got some pretty cool news for Monday, so I hope I’ll see you back here then. Have a wonderful weekend everybody!



Wow—what a great day yesterday in LA! The crowd was absolutely awesome, and we just had such a blast!!! (photos above by Matt Kloskowski)

Tom Hogarty, Adobe’s Lightroom Product Manager, flew in for the day to help field questions from the nearly 700 photographers on hand, along with my buddy Matt Kloskowski, and between the three of us, we were swamped all day.

Also on hand was our recent guest blogger, concert photographer Alan Hess, who posted some very cool shots from the day (including a slick pano of the meeting hall) over at his blog (here’s the link).

Matt is picking up the tour next year with his first tour stop being Covington, Kentucky on January 23rd. If you want to sign up, here’s the link for all the details.

Thanks to everyone in LA for being so much fun. I really got to meet some great people yesterday, and everybody made me feel right at home. Can’t wait to see you all again!


I’m teaching my Lightroom Live Tour in Los Angeles today, so I’m just going to do a quick Q&A to address some things that happened earlier this week regarding my post on the introduction and pricing of the Nikon D3x. Here we go:

Q. First, did Douglas Sonders Guest Blog yesterday kick major butt or what?
A. Absolutely! I was so tickled to see the level and depth of what he showed. A lot of people promise to show you “the whole thing” but then fall short, but I thought Douglas really delivered, and if you look at the comments from yesterday, he just got an awful lot of new fans. Well done, Douglas! I’d love to have him back again for sure!

Q. You’ve taken a lot of heat because you mentioned on Monday that Nikon introduced a new camera. So, are you getting a D3x?
A. Nope.

Q. You’re not getting a new D3x? Why not?
A. That particular camera is not for me. I know there are photographers who need 23-megapixels for their type of work, but I don’t need it for what I shoot (heck I could probably get away with just 8 or 10 megapixels), so a D3x just doesn’t make sense for me.

Q. But then you’ll have to live with the pain of knowing that you’re not shooting with Nikon’s highest top-end camera!
A. It’s a pain I’ll just have to live with, but somehow, I’ll get by.

Q. Won’t Nikon send you a free D3x?
A. Nikon has never sent me a free camera. In fact, Nikon doesn’t even send me review units to test for a week or so, so I seriously doubt they’ll be suddenly sending me their top of the line camera free.

Q. Yeah, but what if they did?
A. I’d try it out for a few days, but then I’d go back to my D3. I just don’t want to work with images that big. 23-megapixels files are going to fill my memory cards twice as fast, and my hard drives twice as fast, and make Photoshop twice as slow, so I’m perfectly happy with my D3 and D300.

Q. So, do you think the price of the D3X is too high?
A. Personally, I think it should have been priced around $6,500, but that’s just my opinion (by the way, if it was $6,500 I still wouldn’t buy it, because again—I don’t need it for what I shoot). That being said, it’s not fair for me to tell Nikon what their pricing should be, anymore than I’d like Nikon to try and tell me what price I should sell my books for. Right now, $8,000 is their starting price. A year or so from now, it may be less, or they may do something wonderful like they did with the introduction of the D700, or like Canon did with the 5D Mark II (how soon we forget).

Q. Yeah, but I just checked Canon’s Web site, and they’re still selling their 21-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III for $8,000. Shouldn’t they lower their price?
A. I guess if they weren’t selling—they would.

Q. Canon’s new EOS 5D-Mark II is a 21-megapixel camera, too, and it also takes high-def video, yet it’s only $2,700. Shouldn’t Canon discontinue their much more expensive $8,000 1Ds Mark III?
A. I don’t think so. Why should Canon not offer a product that some high-end users want, and are willing to pay for?

Q. So Canon’s top-end 20+ megapixel DSLR and Nikon’s 20+ megapixel DSLR are both around $8,000?
A. Yup.

Q. So why are the Nikon users so mad? Both companies high-end cameras cost around the same amount.
A. Nikon users wanted the D3x to cost a lot less.

Q. So can’t they just not buy a D3x?
A. I’ve been told countless times over the past few days that saying “…then don’t buy it” is not a reasonable answer. The only answer they will accept is for Nikon to issue a public apology, and lower the D3x price dramatically—thousands lower than the price of Canon’s own high-end camera.

Q. Do you think that’s likely to happen?
A. Nope.

Q. I noticed that you closed the comments on your and Moose’s Tuesday blog post about the mean comments on the D3x from Monday. How come?
A. Because it started getting really ugly. People were starting to say mean things to each other—picking fights—calling names, etc. and this blog isn’t about that, so on the advice of friends I closed it to further comments.

Q. How many times have you had to do this in the past?
A. This is the first time I’ve had to do this since I started the blog back in 2005.

Q. All this over a Nikon product announcement?
A. Yup.

Q. But I just went and looked and I didn’t see any really mean comments.
A. That’s because I deleted most of them.

Q. You know you’re going to get some more nasty comments from this post, right?
A. Of course.

Q. They know you don’t work for Nikon; you’re not sponsored by Nikon, you have no family members at Nikon, and that they don’t even send you units to review, right?
A. If they didn’t, they do now.

Q. So why are they still going to trash you?
A. They’re mad at Nikon’s pricing, and I made the mistake on Monday of announcing that Nikon introduced a new camera.

Q. But you don’t determine Nikon’s pricing.
A. Apparently, they think I do. Or that I agree with it. Or that I’m trying to hide it, create a cover-up, or there’s some larger conspiracy.

Q. Aren’t there more important things to worry about in the world than Nikon’s pricing on a camera most of us don’t need in the first place?
A. I would love to think so.

Q. How likely are you to mention the introduction of a high-priced DSLR from any manufacturer in the future?
A. Very unlikely. But if I do, I will state up front that the price is outrageously too high and that I hate the company that makes the product (whichever company that may be).