Monthly Archives May 2010


Hey folks. As you know, Scott is taking a break this week. But that doesn’t mean we’re not doing everything in our power to welcome him back next week with a full plate :) (sorry Scott). One of the things on his plate is a special (free) Photoshop CS5 Extended Live webinar that you’re invited to join.

Along with Scott (and some great Photoshop tips), there will be experts from Adobe, Dell, and NVIDIA there to answer any hardware and other related questions. It could get geeky and it could get techie, but if you’ve had questions about video cards, 64-bit power, and how to best configure your computer for Photoshop then this will be the place to get them answered.

Since Photoshop CS5 has been released our live webinars have been a huge hit so don’t miss this one next Wednesday, May 12 at 1pm (EDT). You can find out more info and register for the free webinar right here.


The news of the flooding in and around Nashville began hitting the local media Saturday afternoon. Speculation held that we would receive at least eight inches of rain in a twenty-four hour period; however, the estimates were off by nearly ten inches. I woke up Sunday morning to a phone call informing me that the farmers market four blocks from my apartment had sustained massive flood damage. Ignoring the requests by law enforcement to stay home, the defiant adventurer in me decided to grab my gear and go. My original objective was to take still photos of the happenings in and around my neighborhood, but I quickly realized that still photos wouldn’t have done much justice. I saw shop owners wading chest-deep in murky water, trying to save what was left of their livelihoods; contents of their shops floating all around them. I saw families evacuated from their homes without a chance to collect their only belongings. I drove past parking lots full of vehicles almost completely submerged in water. This kind of flooding hasn’t been seen in Nashville in over seventy years; we simply weren’t prepared for it.

The human element to this story is vast and far-reaching. Lives have been lost, homes and cars destroyed, entire neighborhoods underwater and their inhabitants displaced. The news media had focused so much on the water rising instead of what the rising water was directly affecting; people. I didn’t set out to capitalize on a tragedy. I didn’t set out on a vast humanitarian effort. I set out to take pictures of people in my neighborhood and I ended up getting caught up in the emotion of what I was capturing. I wanted to share what I was seeing and experiencing and I did it the best way I knew how.

The way I see it, if you are true to yourself and true to your craft, people will see the real heart and motivation behind your actions and respond appropriately. I have a huge problem with so called “slacktivists” who are quick to talk and slow to act. There are far too many artists, writers, musicians and photographers who align themselves with causes and do little, if nothing, to help with said causes. They tend to be vocal, uninformed, and carry a sense of entitlement that their art is more important or more necessary than others. These are sharply contrasted by those who dedicate their art and their lives to capturing and sharing the needs of the less fortunate. I’m seeing that we can use our art to promote true, good, and meaningful change; not the kind spouted by slick politicians using enigmatic buzzwords. The catch is, you’ll never know what good can come of your work if you don’t get out there and use your talents.

For those curious about the technical aspects of the video, it was shot completely with a Canon 5D Mark II at 1080p and 24 frames per second. I mainly used Canon’s 85mm and 50mm primes as well as a 35mm on a few shots. I edited and color corrected in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4. The shakiness of the video was a bit of a concern for me, but I’m not a videographer so I don’t have all of the necessary tools. Shooting this showed me the need for shoulder stabilization and a follow focus.

I don’t claim to be a great artist or a great photographer. I’m certainly not a great cinematographer. This was my second attempt ever at shooting and editing a video. As the news services picked it up and Twitter exploded with retweets from various blogs, I began feeling very uncomfortable about the “success” of my work. The praise received began to feel misdirected and frankly, wrong. This wasn’t supposed to be about me and my abilities – it was about getting the word out about a tragedy which the mainstream media had yet to satisfactorily cover. Soon after the buzz began to die down, I started receiving numerous notes thanking me for bringing this tragedy to light. I heard from viewers who were brought to tears by the images I had captured. I heard moving personal stories from people directly affected by the tragedy. As of writing this, my video has received over 130,000 views. That’s 130,000 people who otherwise may have not heard about what was happening. Even though it wasn’t my original intent, I’m thankful for the opportunity to share Nashville’s current situation with so many people.


If you feel inclined to help, but you live outside of the Nashville area, there are several local charities to which you can donate. I can wholeheartedly recommend The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Hands On Nashville, and The Salvation Army.

…Nashville portrait photographer Michael Deppisch!

With the recent flooding in Nashville and the surrounding areas, I thought it would be timely to invite Michael to share the short documentary he made over the weekend that shows the devastation they’re facing right now.  Check back tomorrow to see the moving video and a bit of the story behind it.

In the meantime, you can donate to the recovery efforts at and check out Michael’s work at

(blog post by RC Concepcion)

So stop doing it!  Really, It really takes no time at all, but I hate having to do it to your images…

Bold statement, huh?  As the Photoshop Guy that’s focused on one mission – taking Photographers to the web- I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about the recent movement to make your pictures as ugly as possible with Watermarks. The practice has come to fever pitch in Photoshop CS5.  Try as we must to share with you how awesome all of the other technology that Photoshop CS5 is bringing us, I invariably get the same question:

“With Content Aware Fill, can people remove watermarks even easier?”  I usually tell people “Yup.  But anyone with a decent amount of skill in the Clone (nee, Rubber Stamp) tool could have at your images just as fast. ”

You shouldn’t spend so much time worrying about watermarking your images. Anyone halfway decent will be able to rip them off, and you will be “DigiSlapped” 3 times.

Interested? Read More Below


Over at my blog I have a regular feature called “Bits ‘n Pieces” that is really just a way for me to include several random things in one blog post. Today, I bring some bits and pieces to Scott’s blog.

Portolio Night

On May 20th in various cities around the world, graphic design and advertising students have an opportunity to show their portfolio to Creative Directors and agencies. There is a cost to the event but it looks like a great opportunity. For all the details visit


The (Almost) Prefect Camera + Laptop Bag


For the last couple of months I’ve been using a bag that lets me cart around my camera gear and laptop in one nice compact size. I can fit a ton of gear and yet it still fits under the seat on planes (for those times when the overhead bin is full). It has a place for a laptop, 2 zipped pockets with plenty of space for accessories, cables, and even a key ring, It has 2 insulated pockets for water bottles, a large “hidden” pocket etc and plenty of room inside. It even has a rain shield you can pull out from the bottom.

It’s almost perfect – there are only two things that stop it from being ideal, but luckily they were easy to “fix”.

1. The pocket where I keep my laptop doesn’t have as much padding as I’d like, but I simply keep my laptop in a padded sleeve for some extra protection.

2. The inside compartment doesn’t come with any dividers, meaning all your gear would pretty much rattle around. I was able to address this with a couple of extra velcroed dividers I had from another camera bag. NB: I just watched a video on their web site where they say it does come with dividers – I know I didn’t get any :(

Now this bag rocks! Along with my laptop and all necessary cables, I typically carry all this stuff in this bag: Nikon D300 w battery grip, 18 -200mm, 50mm, 70 – 200mm, 2 SB 800 flashes, benro travel tripod and ballhead (plus Bose headphones and a Kindle). It’s heavy with all that stuff, but the mammoth strap makes it easy to carry.

Believe it or not, this great bag comes from 5.11 Tactical, a company that makes law enforcement gear. The bag is called the Side Trip Briefcase and it retails for $99.99.

Overall, it’s the best solution I’ve found for the gear I want to travel with.

(If you decide to purchase one, enter the code FREEHAT10 at Checkout for a free ball cap with purchase over $75)


Artists Wanted

There’s a very interesting sounding search for photographic talent taking place at Here’s their description:

“Our goal is simple: we want to find amazing photographic talents and expose them to the world in the most potent way possible. Rewards and benefits will be given to all who participate. One grand prize winner will be awarded an art-star New York City gallery reception, international publicity and their choice of $10,000 cash or 1 year living rent free in a $1.2 million apartment provided by The Edge in New York City”


Science project meets Photography


Take a look at the amazing photography of Caleb Charland, who combines science with photography. Very cool stuff!