Monthly Archives February 2010

Yup—-today’s the day—your last chance to sign up for the Early-Bird $100-Off registration for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo (the largest Photoshop event in the world) coming up next month in Orlando, Florida (March 24-26,2010).  Here’s a link to sign up now (Hey, $100 is a hundred bucks, right!), and if you haven’t decided if you’re coming yet, watch that video above to get a real feel for what the whole experience is like. See you in Orlando!


Just this past week, I talked to three people who were going to buy an Apple iPad the moment it is released by Apple next month.

Then I asked them if they realized that if they buy the first one that comes out, in March, that they’ll only be able to be on the Internet if they are in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot (like in their home, or at a Starbucks, McDonalds, or some other place that offers Wi-Fi). Not a single one of the three realized that was the case.

They just assumed that, like their iPhone, they’d be able to jump on the Web wherever they were (at the pool, in a cab, etc.) with the one coming out in March for $499. One of them told me, “You better warn people about this, because a lot of people I talked to think that’s the way it is.”

So, this isn’t really a warning, it’s more of just a heads-up for my readers who are planning to buy an iPad. Want to jump on the Internet anytime with your iPad? Wait until April (or whenever the Wi-Fi + 3G version ships), and get that model instead. Just know, an iPad Wi-Fi + 3G with the ability to jump on the Internet most anywhere not only costs more than the just Wi-Fi version (which starts at $499), you have to sign up for a monthly data plan (like you do with a phone).

I put the chart at the top (from Apple’s Website), to show the differences. Anything under the Wi-Fi row means you have to be in a hot-spot to access the Internet. Wi-Fi plus 3G means you can jump on anytime, but you need a data plan from AT&T (at least that seems to be the plan so far).

IMPORTANT NOTE: There is absolutely no need to post a comment saying: (a) You’re not getting an iPad (b) No Flash support was a deal-breaker for you (c) You hate AT&T (d) Anything else mean or negative at all about anything (not just the iPad). If you have no plans to buy an iPad—good news—-you don’t have to worry about this decision and this public service announcement does not affect you in any way, so just pretend it didn’t exist. Thanks. :)


Crash Taylor has launched a site and series called “The Still Image with Crash Taylor” where he features an indivual image from a photographer, then ask the photographer the story behind the photo (how it lit, which equipment was used, how it was post processed, etc.).

There are a lot of very cool images there already, and I love reading about the “back story” on them. Crash invited me to talk about the image you see above on this new site, and share the story behind the photo, and you can read it right here.

Congrats to Crash on launching this inspiring new site, and thanks Crash for the honor of  being a very small part of something very cool.


Just a quick update on where I’ll be teaching seminars and stuff:

(1) Washington D.C. on this coming Monday (at the Washington Convention Center) for my “Photoshop for Digital Photographers Tour.” There are only about 40-something seats left at this point. I hope you snag one of them! Here’s the link.

(2) I’ll be giving the Keynote and teaching both Photoshop and Lightroom classes at Professional Imaging 2010 in the Netherlands week after next, March 7th and 8th in Utrecht (just outside Amsterdam). You can get all the details (and watch a little intro video from me) right here.

(3) I’m teaching three classes, and hosting the Keynote at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in Orlando, March 24-26, 2010. Here’s the link. I’m also teaching a lighting session in the Bogen Imaging booth on the show floor as well (details on exactly when coming soon).

(4) I’m taking my Photoshop for Photographers Tour to Chicago on April 9th, and then on to Atlanta on May 28th. Here are the details.

Hope to see you at one or more of these upcoming classes. :)


Happy Thursday everybody, and a big thanks to Nick Onken for his Guest Blog post yesterday! Now, here’s what’s up:

Photo Walk Pro to Host Free Photo Walk at Photoshop World
Jeff Revell over at (one of the sponsors of annual World Wide Photo Walk) is hosting a free Photo Walk the day before Photoshop World begins (so, if you haven’t signed up for a precon by the time Photoshop World starts, now you have something fun to do!). Jump over to for all the details.

Catch Matt and Me with Bert!
Don’t know if you saw this one, but during the last Photoshop World, Photoshop Hall of Famer Bert Monroy had Matt and I on his Pixel Perfect Internet TV show as guests, and we did some Photoshop tricks, and talked with Bert and stuff, and if you get a sec, you can watch it right here.

Photo Induced is giving my stuff away!
Hey, I just saw where the folks at Photo Induced are giving away a boxed set of my three-volume set of “The Digital Photography Book” (includes volumes 1, 2, and 3). Here’s all the details.

New Fine Art Digital Workflow DVD from Mac Holbert & John Paul Caponigro
Just heard from Acme Educational that R. Mac Holbert and John Paul Caponigro have a released a new training DVD on Fine Art Digital Workflow. Mac and JP are absolute authorities on fine art printing, so I’m going to order a copy myself, but in the meantime, you can order yours right here.

That’s it for today
See ya tomorrow—have a kick-butt day!


There are so many things that one could talk about in an open platform such as this, so I think the biggest question I had to ask myself in writing this is, what am I about as a photographer and what have I learned along the way? I would sum it into this: living your passion, making better images, creating a style, designing a brand that takes your business to the next level, and giving back to the community.

Then there’s living life with the 5 senses. I’ve always had a personality of doing things against the grain, and not following the rules. Rules were meant to be broken. I never went to school for photography so my technological skills have always been catching up to my artistic vision. I feel like I’ve learned a lot along the way, so I figured I’d use this post to share what I’ve learned along the way.


Let’s start with “Living your passion.” I’ve always been a big advocate for this, and in my previous career as a graphic designer I loved what I did, but never to the point where I could grab a hold and run with an end vision in mind. When I discovered photography through shooting little abstract images for my graphic design work it was a slow evolution. A trip to Africa for a non-profit I was working with at the time to build an image library was the big kick into the reality that I could actually see the idea of photography becoming a career, and I began my journey.


At this time, I instantly saw the end goal of being a professional photographer shooting ad campaigns, and amazing stories. It has been and still is a long journey, but being able to see the end goal and know deep down inside, it’s what I want that has given me the drive and motivation to work hard, and make the sacrifices to get there. The idea that I could create my own career and lifestyle was never more real than that. Being able to combine my love of travel with a craft that I love has been truly a blessing. This has lead to another amazing opportunity which I’ll cover down the page.


I have many thoughts that I’ve learned along the way transcribed in my blog, but the first and foremost idea to ever get anywhere in this world of photography is making better images. To play on the level of shooting big advertising campaigns and projects, your work has to be at that bar, and it’s a hard bar to reach. My philosophy has always been to hone your craft, and make better images. Eventually when your work gets there, someone will trust you with a quarter million dollars to produce some images for them. The other component is to show what you want to shoot, or be hired to shoot. The trick is, if you don’t actually have any of those images, you need to go out and shoot them for yourself. First and foremost it’s about the quality of your work.


Creating a style is also a key component to the evolution of the photographic journey. It’s the key reason clients will hire you. If you shoot enough, trying different things, you’ll eventually figure out what you like, and what you want. That takes time. It’s always an evolving and refining process. Then comes the task of curating your portfolio and website galleries. The curation process is what really forms your style.


Designing a “Brand” is something that has been on the forefront of my mind lately and that’s probably due to the huge undertaking of the new website we just launched, and the 7 months of pulling it together with the designers. Having a background and education in design has always given me a fascination with building brands, and jumping into photography has given me a chance to design a brand around my own product which has been an almost equal passion as taking photos. When it comes down to it, a photography business is 80% business, and 20% photography, that is if you want to make a decent living with it. Designing your brand graphically, as well as the other customer service points of contact, is also a true art that must compliment your photography work in general. Perception is reality, and design is the avenue to create that perception.


I’m super excited to have launched the new where I’ve really been able to incorporate my evolved brand and key features for my target market. Without taking up too much space here, I’ve written up an in-depth post on the reasons I incorporated specific features here. Folio Revolution has also posted an in-depth review of my site which might be helpful if you are in the market to develop your own site. I do believe in the website as a huge player in packaging your curation of work to the world. On set this week, I had a conversation with my client about how good or bad design can make or break a photographer. It’s the first impression someone will see of your work and how you present it. It says a lot about who you are as a photographer. Again, though in the end it’s all about the images that you produce. You can have the best website design in the world and if the work isn’t there, no one will hire you to make images for them.


I’m also a big believer in sharing information. I’ve had some great photographers who have shared so much with me, and I like to try and do as much of the same and give back to the photographic community. My venue has been through my Shoptalk blog. With the new design I’ve incorporated an easier search and browse navigation to make it even more of a resource for photographers. Things I’ve learned along the way.

One of the things I love about life is experiencing it with all five senses. Experiencing moments and cultures with the five senses. That’s what I love about traveling, and traveling is one of the biggest reasons I got into photography as a career. To be able to combine the two passions makes for a great lifestyle. My travel work has also been a great way to give back to the world and team up with non-profits. I feel fortunate enough for Random House to have approached me a couple years ago to write an educational book on travel photography that stems from a compilation of my last 5 years of travel and photos. The book is called Photo Trekking and it releases March 16th.


All in all, this career and trade is about the journey. You really end up carving your own path and making it what you want to make it. I feel so privileged to have a job that I actually can pour 100% of my passion in and love it. Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. I feel like I never work, yet I work more than I ever have.

Mad props to Scott and Brad for inviting me to share on the blog.

You can see more of Nick’s work on his brand new website, keep up with him at his blog and on Twitter, or be his friend on Facebook.  No, really, go be his friend. Life on the road is lonely. ;)