Monthly Archives October 2009


I’m up in Boston for the kick-off of my new one-day workshop called “Photoshop For Digital Photographers,” but while I’m teaching today, I wanted to give you guys a quick highlights/wrap-up of the Photo Plus Expo which wrapped up on Saturday in New York. (The photo above [click for much larger view]  was taken during my Saturday presentation at Nikon’s main stage—-photo by Rafael “RC” Concepcion).

The Buzz
The big buzz was about digital video on DSLRs, and editing that video. I saw a number of vendors selling different mounts and stedicam-like brackets for getting smooth hand-held HD video from DSLRs, and everybody was talking video (which is weird for a photo tradeshow). Lightroom 3 was getting some buzz, but since Adobe wasn’t exhibiting, a lot of the buzz was “Where’s Adobe?” Nikon’s D3s and Canon’s 7D were both getting a lot of buzz, too. I saw lots of booths from companies offering: (a) online portfolios (b) printed photo and wedding books (c) printing on different mediums (metal, aluminum, etc).

The Attendance
I have no idea what the official attendance number was, but the show seemed very crowded the entire time, and the aisles were always busy. We had a NAPP booth at the show, and had one of our best shows in years, and every vendor I talked with seemed really upbeat and busy, and that’s a good thing.


Cool Stuff I Saw
JVC had a 3D television (you had to wear 3D glasses), that was really cool. I went by Think Tank Photo’s booth three times to try and finally meet someone from Think Tank in person, but it was so crazy in their booth, you couldn’t move. You’d think they were handing out $20 bills (that’s their booth above–photo by Rafael). was there with their photo business cards (where you can get up to 50 cards business cards, each with a different photo), and it seems like I’m the last one on earth to have heard about them, because everybody had cards already. Olympus had a pretty cool almost-point-and-shoot camera called the Pen that people were talking about. Nikon had a packed house for their Capture NX 2 theater, and their booth was a mob-scene morning til night. Nik Software had ’em wall to wall checking out Viveza 2 (totally amazing) in their theater, and I saw quite a few microstock companies there as well.



Awesome Demos
Matt Kloskowski and I both did demos over at the Elinchrom booth (that’s Matt seen during his demo in the “taken with my iPhone” photo above). Jim Smelzer was pulling a huge crowd for three solid days for his lighting demos in the Westcott booth, and people were eating his stuff up (that’s Jim holding the softbox above).

Also, UK-based fashion photographer Mark Cleghorn was doing live lighting demos at the Lastolite booth and he had ’em packed in. I just caught the end of a demo at the Asukabook booth, but they had a bride and groom in the booth, with a photographer giving posing tips, and what I saw was really interesting. Saw a great presentation from Tyler Stableford at the Canon booth, who had some incredible adventure sports photography and portraits (here’s his site), and I saw Douglas Kirkland doing a fashion lighting demo for Canon that was very interesting and entertaining. Also saw a great presentation from celebrity photographer Jerry Aveniam at the Lexar media booth. There were so many great presentations all over—I wish I had more time to check them out. (That’s my brother Jeff and Dave Loebig in the NAPP booth in the photo below—-photo by Rafael)


Conference Sessions
I got to attend three workshops on the conference track; two of which were absolutely fantastic. The first was from wedding photographer Cliff Mautner, and Matt and I both caught his class and we were blown away. This guy is the real deal—incredible photographer and teacher. I learned a bunch (he does live workshops—here’s the link). I also caught a Sport Photography workshop given by Sports Illustrated’s Peter Read Miller and it was just absolutely fantastic!!!! He was very informative; gave very specific information, and I took loads of notes the whole time. He was very gracious and humble, (especially for a living legend of sports photography), and I learned a lot. Really, one of the highlights of the whole trip for me.


(Above. Softboxes. Mmmm!). There was one workshop Matt and I were really disappointed in, because the instructor didn’t teach anything—he just showed slides and talked about himself (and how much smarter he was than the art directors, and the clients, and well…everybody). Matt and I eventually walked about after about an hour and a half. Outside of that—-it was great!!! I also saw Julieanne Kost teaching Lightroom. I was only in the classroom about 10 minutes and sure enough—I learned something I didn’t know. Dang, she’s good! (That’s Bogen Product Manager Mark Astmann below, showing off my beloved Ranger Quadra. Mmmmm. Quadra. Photo by Rafael).


Good Friends and Good Fun
One of my favorite parts of PPE is seeing so many friends and making new ones. I saw a lot of my Photoshop World buddies, like Joe McNally, Vincent Versace, Jack Reznicki, Kevin Ames, Steve Inglima, and of course Matty K, and Dave Cross (by the way—Matt few home Friday night to compete in a Martial Arts tournament on Saturday, and he wound up taking 1st place in Sparring and 2nd place in Forms. Congrats Matt!!!). Scott, Ted, and Sara Jane from Peachpit were there, too. My wonderful older brother Jeff was there and we got to hang out a little, which is always awesome.

I also talked sports photographers Matt Lange and Don Page (the guys I shot the Louisiana Tech game with last week), into coming to New York for PPE, and we hung out the whole show and I introduced them to “the gang” who took them in like they were old friends. Both are really great guys, and I think they made a lot of new friends, too (Don, RC, and Brad wound up hanging out one night at Joey L’s house until way late along with Jeremy Cowart, Dustin Snipes, and company—-Matt Lange had to get back to shoot the LSU game on Saturday).


Kudo’s to Anthony Bourdain!
The night before Photoshop World last month, my buddy Rod Harlan and I stayed up watching the Travel Channel show “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations” and he did a show called “Disappearing Manhattan” based on all these amazing restaurants that have been around “forever” and are one of kind places, with amazing histories and food to match (which is why they’re still around). I had already been to one of the places he profiled on the show (Katz’s Deli), but I got to two more from his list. “Keen’s Chophouse” (just amazing steaks and atmosphere), and Mangenaro’s Italian Foods and Restaurant (which I totally loved), shown in the iPhone photo above.


Also, my wife told me about a place she read about called “Pop Burger” and RC and I had to check it out after the show closed (that’s RC at Pop-burger above in another “iPhone photo.”).


Thanks, You Guys!
My humble thanks to everybody who came by to catch my presentations at Nikon’s booth, or at the Elinchrom booth, or who caught my panel appearance in Jack Hollingsworth’s session on Social Media for photographers. Also, thanks to Andrew, Mike & Mike, Ed, Joe, Bill, Scott, Mr. Fortney, Annie, and everybody at Nikon who were just absolutely wonderful to me. It truly was an honor to speak for you guys. (The photo above is something I never thought I’d see—-one of my prints [the football player] hanging in the Nikon booth. For me, that was really a thrill. Photo by Rafael). Also, thanks to the Photo Plus crew for hosting such a great show. Can’t wait till next year!


Even though NAPP is “The National Assn. of Photoshop Professionals,” not only do we have thousands of non-pro members worldwide, every day we have lots of people who join NAPP that are absolutely brand new to Photoshop—-total beginners——and they’ve joined NAPP to learn how to get their arms around this amazing program (a lot of these brand new users are friends of existing NAPP members).

That’s why we create a special section of the NAPP member website just for brand new Photoshop users to help get them up to speed fast. Their guide is NAPP’s own Senior Curriculum Director Dave Cross, and Dave has put together a series of beginner training videos that not only teach these new members how to use Photoshop from the ground up; he also shows them all the different areas of NAPP that are specifically for them (from beginner’s articles in the magazine to beginner’s resources and videos on the member Web site; from how to get help from NAPP’s Help desk, to getting help from other members around the world), plus how to leverage all the beginner info we create each month to get them ahead faster.

Although Dave is very modest about this new special area, he really did a kick-butt job on it, and he continues to expand and grow this rapidly growing area of NAPP membership, so if you’re a NAPP member, next time you’re at the member Website, click on the “Brand New to Photoshop—Start Here?” button on the top right, and take Dave’s tour, and beginner’s course. It’s the first step on a very amazing, challenging, and incredibly fun journey.


WOW—what a first day up here in New York. My day started at 10:15 am with a presentation in Nikon’s booth about my photography called “The Power of Color.” (photo above by Raphael “RC” Concepcion).

After my presentation for Nikon, I headed over to the Nik Software booth to unveil the brand new version of their award-winning Photoshop plug-in, Viveza 2. I have to say—it is one absolutely amazing plug-in. They really took Viveza to a whole new level with this update, and it was both an honor, and really exciting, to be the first to show off this amazing new technology.

The Show Floor
I got to check out a few booths this morning. Hoodman showed me a new gadget for photographers who wear glasses, and it was very clever. I saw the Think Tank booth but didn’t get by to do any shopping (that’s for tomorrow). Canon and Leica had big booths, and Canon had a special indoor theater for showing their HD video, that was getting some buzz, along with their 1D Mark IV on display.

Nikon’s booth was massive, and packed to the gils the whole day, with the D3s getting lots of love, and I checked out Epson’s booth and as usually, it was hoppin’ and Westcott had James Schmelzer doing live demos and he had them packed in wall to wall.

So, what was the #1 most-asked question I got all day? Where’s Adobe? Everybody I saw asked the same thing, as Lightroom 3 was just announced, but there was  no Adobe booth on the Expo floor (although they did have some sessions on the conference track).

Joe and Me
After a quick look around, I headed back over to Nikon to tape a video interview between myself and Joe McNally. It was basically just a live, free-flowing conversation between Joe and I about the state of photography today, our careers, and where we see things going. It was an awful lot of fun, because it really was totally spontanious, unrehearsed, and sometimes really silly (yes, a lot of it will wind up on the cutting room floor because Joe and I got carried away a few times). I’ll let you guys know when it goes live.

In the afternoon, I did a presentation over at the Bogen Imaging Booth that was a lot of fun, and then I headed down to catch a session by celebrity and portrait photographer Michael Grecco.


A Wild Night in The City
After the show, I went to dinner with my buddies from Louisiana—Matt Lange and Don Page (the guys I shot the Louisiana Tech game last week—-I talked them into coming to New York).

After dinner at Rays Pizza (yum!), a bunch of us went to the wildest show I’ve ever seen—-an off-broadway performance art thingy called “Fuerzabeuta.” RC turned us all onto to this show (it was me, Matt and Don, plus Brad Moore, Joey L, Jeremy Cowart and his buddy Austin, and the whole gang from Peachpit Press. We even ran into Zack Arias at the show), and RC was a hero, because we had an absolute blast—-like nothing I’ve ever seen!


There’s no way I can describe it (it was something like Cirque du soliel would do if one day they said, “OK, now let do something that’s really over the top.”). But it was a blast!!!! Totally weird, but a blast nonetheless (photos by Donald Page).



We ended up at Lindy’s deli, sitting outside on a beautiful night, for their famous cheesecake. What a fun day!

Tomorrow, I’m doing my presentation for Nikon again at 1:15 pm, and then I’m going to catch Sports Illustrated’s Peter Read Miller’s session on sports photography in the afternoon (and during the morning I’m doing a brief stint on a panel as well). I’ll have more details, and more photos tomorrow.

Hope to see you at my Nikon Presentation tomorrow!


We taped an episode of Photoshop User TV while we were at Photoshop World, and it went “live” this week over at (and on the iTunes Store). Since we had a hard time getting Matt, Dave, and I together at the same time, we each did our own mini-tours of the Expo floor; stopping by some of our favorite booths, and generally just giving you a look at what it’s like on the Expo floor. You can watch the episode online right here.

NEW SEASON UPDATE: The new set is now far enough along now that we’ve picked a launch date to kick off the new season of Photoshop User TV—-it’s set to premiere on Monday, November 9th, with our new set, new format, and more Photoshop tips, tricks, and techniques than ever! Hope you’ll tune in to catch the new show.


Yup—it’s true! Lightroom 3 is here! (Well, the free public beta version is here, anyway).

Of course to get you up to speed fast on all the cool new goodies in Beta 3, NAPP (The National Assn. of Photoshop Professionals) has put together a Lightroom 3 Beta Learning Center, with videos from Matt Kloskowski and me, along with articles and info from RC Concepcion, and an exclusive video interview with Lightroom Product Manager Tom Hogarty.

Also, later today look for Matt’s “Lightroom 3 Beta Power Session” full training class to go live on Kelby Training, which teaches all the new features in depth, and how they relate to, and update your current Lightroom workflow.

Now, all that being said—just remember—this is a pre-release Beta testing version, so it’s far from the final finished product (if history is any indicator, when the real version ships, it will have more features, and lots of other improvements), so just remember—this is not a “finished” product, but a early testing version they’re letting you use for free to get your feedback before they release the shipping product at a later date.

So, definitely go to our Lightroom 3 Learning Center to get the full scoop (here’s the link), but in the meantime, here’s a 30-second look at some of my favorite stuff in the public beta:

(1) Importing has been redesigned with a new import window that lets you easily see where your images are coming from and where they’re going, with lots of little improvements and enhancements to make the process easier and much more visual.

(2) Drag and Drop Publishing to the Web (and more). Now you can just drag and drop an image to have it automatically published directly from Lightroom right up to Flickr, or directly to an iPhone sync folder, etc..

(3) Pro-level Noise Reduction. This is an area that Lightroom always lagged behind on, but now they have real pro-level noise reduction which competes, or beats, about anything out there (especially because it can do its noise reduction at the Raw file level, rather than on a processed 8-bit file).

(4) Built-in Film Grain feature. There’s been a lot of buzz recently about bringing back that film-grain look, and now that’s built right in.

(5) Better vignetting by a long shot. They really enhanced the post crop vignetting, and now post crop gives you a much better looking, and more natural result (and you have two choices for the type of vignetting effect as well).

(6) You can finally (finally, finally!!!!!) export a slideshow with music embedded in the slideshow (at last), and you can have your slideshow automatically sync the length of the slideshow to the length of your song. Plus, they made it so, on a Mac, you don’t need to use iTunes to host your slideshow music.

(7) Real watermarking is here! Now you can create real watermarks, at different sizes and opacities, and put them where you want them, for both web and print.

(8) Create print layouts with photos wherever you want them. Now there’s a Custom Print Package feature that lets you put as many photos, in whatever shape and size, on the page wherever you want them (you’re no longer restricted to use a grid of uniform cells), so now you can really come up with some creative print layouts without having your hands tied.

(9) You can change the background color for prints. Now you can choose any color as your background for printed pages. I know it sounds like a little thing, but it’s big.

(10) The Collections panel is now in the Develop Module, too. This one addition will dramatically increase your efficiency because now you don’t have to constantly switch back and forth between the Library Module and Develop Module, because you can get to all your collections and images from right within the Develop Module itself.

Plus, there are dozens of other little enhancements, fixes, improvements, and other little features which are scattered throughout the program—-but just remember—-it’s not done yet! (So don’t start posting questions like, “Why isn’t this feature or that feature not there?” because (say it with me, “It’s not done!”).

Now, go check out NAPP’s Learning Center, (link) where you’ll find a direct link to download the free public beta of Lightroom 3 direct from Adobe Labs. Sweet!!!! It’s a great day for Lightroom users!

P.S. Terry White, over at Terry’s Tech Blog has a video on Lightroom 3 Beta as well. Here’s the link.


Hello photographers and people frequenting this blog stalking Scott Kelby. My name is Matt Lehman. I’m a graphic designer at CMT (Country Music Television in the family of MTV Networks), and I have a small freelance gig called Invisible Associates. Here’s my guest blog. In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy, “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.” Minds will be blown. Poverty will be eradicated. Roofs will most definitely be raised (figuratively speaking, like when you push your hands up and down in the air). Yay photography!

Photo by Lee Steffen

I’m not a photographer in any way. I’m afraid of cameras really. They’re expensive. They break. Worst of all, there’s too much to learn… focusing, aperture-ness, ISO-ness, lenses, shutter speed, ambient light, other fancy words, etc. I took a photography class in college, and it was miserable. Most of my pictures involved me lying on the ground and tilting my camera at what I perceived to be an avant garde angle. Hey look, I just took a titled shot of that fire hydrant! Some things are in focus and some aren’t! Then I had to spend three hours in the darkroom to confirm that yep, these pictures are indeed pathetic. So I continued down the super-lucrative path I was on: the yellow brick road known as graphic design and illustration.

I love design and illustration despite the fact that the names connote some guy sitting at a drafting table with an airbrush kit turning around to give someone an affirming thumbs up. In a sweater vest. And a mustache. And not the ironically cool kind of mustache that’s currently en vogue. Photography. Just the name alone sounds so much cooler. In college, people who had earrings and ponytails and played in bands were photography majors. It was up there with actor, circus performer, or mime in “careers parents don’t want their kids to select.” There was and is a sexiness to photography. Remember the Lamborghini Trapper Keepers? Someone had to shoot that goodness.

Speaking of Lamborghini Trapper Keepers, (more…)