Monthly Archives October 2009


  1. Well, technically it’s in Livonia, Michigan, but that’s close enough. Anyway, I hope you’ll join me, and more than 400 other photographers, for a full-day of Lightroom love and learning. We’ve got three live shoots, so you learn the entire process from beginning to end. It’s gonna rock! Here’s the link.
  2. In other seminar news: Joe McNally is about to sell out his Washington DC stop for his new Kelby Training Live Location Lighting Seminar (it’s on Friday, October 23rd), so if you’re thinking about going, I’d get on board fast! Here’s the link to his tour.
  3. I’m kicking off my brand new “Photoshop for Digital Photographers Tour” in Boston in just a few weeks, on Monday, October 26th, and if you’re up that way—you’ve gotta come out for this day, cause I’m sharing all the latest new stuff, and I really want you to be there. Here’s the link for details.
  4. RC Concepcion is doing our “Adobe CS4 Creative Suite Unleashed” tour in St. Louis, MO on Wednesday, Oct 28th, and if you’re a suite user—this day is just for you! He and Dave are getting rave reviews out on the road on this one, so if you can get there—get there! Here’s the link.

That’s it for now. Hope to shake your hand in person tomorrow (or in Boston in a few weeks). :)


I love behind the scenes training videos, and “Session from Joey L” is the brand new DVD from rising star photographer Joey Lawrence (remember his amazing guest blog here earlier this year? Here’s the link), goes beyond that, as he answers some of his most-asked questions about his lighting techniques and his Photoshop pro-processing moves.

I’ve been going through the DVD myself this past week (it’s available as a DVD or direct download), and I have to say—-it’s very cool seeing how he puts these shoots together (he’s got a really cool job, and get some amazing gigs).

He’s got a preview video on his site, and if you’ve got a minute, give it a look (warning: if you watch the preview; you’ll be hooked). Luckily, the disc lives up to the hype. Congrats Joey on being willing to share what you’ve learned. Here’s the link for more info, or to order his disc.


Ok, but seriously folks, I really do love my job with Zack. The idea for that video came from a recent porch night with the Usedfilm crew after bringing up the request to do a blog post here. I hope you enjoyed it.

For this part of the post, I’m choosing to give you a background of how I came to work with Zack full time. Here we go…

I was born and raised in rural Oklahoma about 45 miles northeast of Tulsa where I graduated high school with a class of 54 students. That’s it. Tiny farming community by the name of Adair. I mean my neighbors were cows for crying out loud! Out of high school I went off to study graphic design at the technical branch of Oklahoma State University. After 1 1/2 semesters I quickly realized that I wasn’t any good at it, though the art history class was awesome. Failing marker rendering class isn’t hard if you can draw worth crap…

After that I went back to what I knew. My trumpet. Yep, I was your classic band dork in high school and decided it would be a good idea to study music education at a four year university. Well, after 3 years of “real college life”  it came to mind that I really didn’t want to teach some kid how to bang a drum in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma as a career. Can you blame me? During that time though, a camera was put in my hands by a friend’s mom who was a photographer. I had an interest and I had the chance to work in a darkroom once during a high school summer program. She gave me an old tank of a body too, a Canon AE-1. I LOVED that camera. Until it got a light leak and wasn’t worth getting fixed. I tried tape and everything, wasn’t happening.

So I took a year off from school and just worked and hung out like a regular person. Still taking pictures for the fun of it and always wishing I knew what I was doing when I saw a scene worth photographing. So, during that time off I enrolled in the photography program at the same school I studied design previously. It was strange to go back and see the same teachers that failed me before.

While at photo school I realized I wanted to merge my love for music and photography and shoot live music and bands. Especially after understanding that your average music mag photos were horrible! Next thing I knew it came time for my internship semester and I literally Googled “Music Photographer” when searching for somebody to work with. Zack Arias came up number three on the list. The first two were in Europe, completely out of reach for me. For two months solid I was emailing and calling with no avail. I had a faculty member helping me out even! But one day in early May, Zack is calling me to invite me out to work for the summer. That was pretty cool.

That summer of 2005 was awesome. Zack and I hit it off like old buddies and we had a blast for 3 months going to shows, quoting stupid movies that we like and going out for ribs and Newcastle. That was the best part…

After that was all said and done and I was back in Oklahoma I had one more semester of school and next thing I knew I had a fancy piece of paper that said something about an associates degree in photography…… I don’t remember really…

You know what happens when you graduate college?? You’re unemployed!!! Yeah, I worked like 6 jobs after school just trying to support my photography because there just isn’t a market out there for ‘takin’ music ‘peechurs.’ So I was forced to work junk temp jobs that I hated and provided low pay. The longest run and last one I had was working at a factory building school buses for 10 hours a day assembly line style. Yep. It was just as fun as it sounds. Why on earth would you want to leave a job where you had to walk under welding slag all day?? I mean really!!?? But one day in October of 2006 I’m driving home tired and filthy from a long day’s work and my phone rings. It’s Zack. Instantly for some reason I knew why he was calling. It was seriously no more than a ten minute conversation that ended with me saying “Give me a few months to save money and I’ll be there”.

February 7th, 2007. I arrive in Atlanta, GA with my dog Copper (he’s awesome), ready to start a new life as a full time assistant.

Since I’ve been here it’s been a wild ride. Not knowing what the next day or month will bring us. From a workshop that Zack had an idea about to a full on DVD that’s getting shipped worldwide. From local Atlanta bands to getting invited to go to Australia. It’s all thanks to Zack just being a humble guy without pretense willing to share his thoughts.

I still pinch myself sometimes…

Erik doesn’t have a website for fear that it would be subject to a Zack and Meghan critique, further eroding what little bit of hope he has left for his life.  But you can be his Facebook friend or follow him on Twitter if you like.  It would be the highlight of his month if you did.  His beard has a Facebook page too.


Hi folks. Welcome to Tuesday. I’ll be your host for next few minutes. Please keep your hands and arms inside the blog at all times, and please, no on-camera flash photography.

Backing Up Your Photos and Lightroom Catalog With Matt
My buddy, and Lightroom Guru Guy Matt Kloskowski just released a new online class at Kelby Training Online called Backing up Lightroom and Your Photos.” He covers stuff I haven’t seen covered anywhere (all that stuff that nobody every tells you how to do), so if you’re a Kelby Training subscriber, and you use Lightroom (or even if you just want to learn other back-up strategies for your photo library), make sure you check out his class (here’s the class outline).

Tim Tadder’s Awesome photography
Last week I turned you guys onto the sports portraiture of photographer Paul Aresa, and one of my readers, Stephen Kahn, thought that if I liked Paul’s work, I’d also dig Tim Tadder’s portraits, and boy was he right. This guy is totally awesome, and his post work is really sweet as well. Great look, and great photography, and lots of just very intriguing images. Here’s the link (you’ll dig it). Thanks Stephen for turning me on to Tim’s work.

Two More Cities Announced for my new “Photoshop for Digital Photographers Tour”
I just learned that I’ll be taking the tour to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Monday, November 2nd, and then down to my backyard (in a day that was originally going to be my Lightroom tour day), in Tampa, Florida on Monday, November 16th for my only Florida stop this year with my new Photoshop for Digital Photographers Tour. Hope I’ll see you either in Boston, Philly or Tampa in the next few weeks. I really think you’re going to like some of the stuff I’ll be showing—–it’s my latest editing stuff, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Here’s the link with details.

Beyond Megapixels Reviews Volume 3
I just came across this review of Volume 3 of my book, “The Digital Photography Book” over at the Beyond Megapixels blog. Here’s the link to check out the review. Also, I have a lot of people who are joining this series at Volume 3 thinking that it’s the most recent update of my book. Actually, all three books are entirely different, and ideally you’d start with Volume 1 first, then volume 2, and then after reading those, should you get Volume 3. It’s not a marketing ploy to get you to buy three books at once; it really how the books were designed. Volume 2 picked up where Volume 1 left off, and if you hadn’t read Volume 1, Volume 2 wouldn’t be as valuable to you. Same thing with Volume 3. Anyway, I just get a lot of questions about that, so I thought I’d try and shed some light.

It’s almost Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide Time
This week I’m turning in my picks for my 4th annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide, which will run in the next issue of Photoshop User magazine as the cover story (with over 125,000 printed copies), and then here on the blog, and of course, a live mini-version on the new season of Photoshop User TV kicking off in just a few weeks. Keep an eye out for more info here soon.

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger……
…continues with our special guest series which focuses on full-time photo assistants, and this time we’re honored to feature Erik Dixon, assistant to photographer/educator Zack Arias (whose video guest post still holds the records as the number one most commented on Guest Post, or article, ever—see the link on the right side of this page. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt you to watch Zack’s amazing video post again, before you see Erik’s tomorrow. I promise, it will enhance the experience.

I actually got to see Erik’s Guest Post yesterday, and I have to say, it just flat out rocks, and like Zack himself, he raised the bar for photo assistant guest posts in the future. This is one you’ve GOT to make sure you’re here to catch tomorrow. You’ll be emailing this one to friends.

That’s it for today’s spectacle
By the way, using the word ‘Spectacle” reminded me of my assistant Brad’s new business card. His card reads, “Brad Moore. Studio Tech and Undisputed Master of Light and Dimension.” It was that or give him a raise, so I went with the title (however, that does not change the fact that Brad actually is the Undisputed Master of Light and Dimension. Just ask him). [insert cat sound] ;-)

See you guys tomorrow. I’m coming back just to catch Erik’s Guest Post again!


I’ve been developing a brand new one-day workshop called “Photoshop for Digital Photographers” and I’m launching this new tour in just a few weeks; on Monday, October 26th in Boston at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

Here’s what I’m teaching in this new tour:

Scott’s Seven-Point System for Camera Raw
10:00 to 11:00 A.M.

My “Photoshop Seven Point System” book helped revolutionize how tens of thousands of photographers edit their images, and in his session you’re going to learn my latest update to the system which focuses all seven points inside of Camera Raw itself. Once you learn these Seven Points, you’ll know exactly what to do, in what order, and why for every photo your edit, including JPEG, Raw, and TIFF images.

Portrait Retouching
11:15 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.

This class is the perfect follow up to Camera Raw. You’ve got the color and tone looking good from Camera Raw, so now we take it to the next step. In this class, you’ll learn the very same techniques today’s top pros use in their work to make their subjects look their very best. You’ll learn to keep realistic skin tone and texture, the latest techniques for retouching eyes (incredibly important), and a host of techniques that look hard (but are easy once you know the secrets).

Killer Photoshop Tips for Photographers
1:30 to 2:30 P.M.

Now that you know how to tackle any photo let’s take a look at the “Tricks of the Trade” and the post-processing secrets that will give you a serious competitive advantage in the marketplace. Plus, you’ll learn everything from the easy way to shoot and create HDR images, how to Double-process images, along with Scott’s Extended Definition Processing (EDP) technique, and tons of techniques you’ll use every day in your work.

Printing Techniques and How to Show Your Work
2:30 to 3:45 P.M.

It’s all about the print, and in this class you’ll learn the straight scoop on how to finally get what you see on screen to match what comes out of your printer. Plus, you’ll learn a number of great techniques on how to show your work, including how to create some killer templates to automate the process so you spend less time editing and more time behind the camera.

My Photoshop Editing Workflow: From Start to Finish
4:00 to 5:00 P.M.

This is where it all comes together as we combine the techniques you’ve learned earlier in the day, (with some new ones you’ll learn in this class), so you can learn my entire Photoshop Editing Workflow. I start with the unedited images—straight out of the camera—and I teach you my editing techniques step-by-step, from beginning to end, and how to take your images from flat to fabulous. You’ll learn exactly how it’s all done, why it works, and how to apply it to your workflow, whether your final output is to prints or the Web—it’s all here in the only class of its kind.


If you want to come spend the day with me in Boston, you can find out all the details, or sign up, by clicking this link.

I’m really excited about this new tour (and I’ve got some really killer stuff to share), so I hope I’ll get to see you there in just a few weeks!