Monthly Archives May 2011

Hey everyone, Brad here with some breaking news… Scott Kelby’s Photo Recipes Live: Behind The Scenes, Part 2 app is now available on BOTH the iTunes Store (for the iPhone/iPad) and the Android Market!

Photo Recipes Live, Part 2 is introductory priced at just $9.99, but in two weeks it jumps up to its regular price of $19.99, so download it now while it’s 50% off (this same deal is available for Photo Recipes Live 1 as well, so if you missed it, get it too before it goes to $19.95 in two weeks).

Here are the links for both apps in the iTunes Store & Android Market:
Photo Recipes Live, Part 1iTunes | Android
Photo Recipes Live, Part 2iTunes | Android

Hey Gang, Brad Moore here with this week’s news, deals, reminders, and all around pimpyness!

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! New York City IN ONE WEEK!
That’s right, one week from today, Thursday June 2, Scott Kelby (and myself) will be at the Javits Convention Center, helping you get the most out of your lights and showing you the latest retouching techniques! Expo Imaging will be on hand, along with other great vendors as well!

In July, we’ll be crossing the border into Canada (I hear it’s the Maple Leaf State ;) )! We’re headed to Toronto on July 6, Calgary on July 21, and Vancouver on July 22.

And we just added dates in Cologne (Köln), Germany on August 10 and in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on August 12. Keep an eye out at for these dates to be posted, get tour dates for the rest of the year, and register!

More Kelby Training Live
Scott isn’t the only one on the road for Kelby Training Live. Ben Willmore is bringing the Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus To Finished Tour to Milwaukee on June 20 and Nashville on June 22!

Plus Dave Cross is bringing the Photoshop CS5 Power User Tour to S. San Francisco on May 27 and Sacramento on June 6!

As always, you can get all the info you want, see more tour dates, and register over at

Kelby Training Online
Until May 31st, you can save $10 off an annual subscription to Kelby Training Online and receive Rafael “RC” Concepcion’s brand new book, The HDR Book, for free! Use promo code ANMAY11 during checkout to take advantage of this offer.

Exclusive NAPP Discounts
Mpix is offering three limited-time deals exclusively for NAPP members:
– 25% off Gallery Wraps
– 25% off Metallic Prints
– And free USPS shipping!
Just log in over at the NAPP Member site to find out how to take advantage of these offers.

NAPP members also get 10% off the Trey Ratcliff’s HDR Video Tutorials! Again, all the details are over at the NAPP Member site :)

And if you’re not a NAPP member, we have something for you too! If you haven’t already, you can get a free digital issue of Photoshop User Magazine right here!

Rick Sammon’s iHDR App
Our buddy and Kelby Training instructor Rick Sammon released an updated version of his iHDR App recently. If you want to check it out, all the info and screenshots are right here!

Adorama TV
Speaking of apps, head over to Adorama TV to see Mark Wallace go in depth with Adobe Nav for Photoshop on the iPad!

Vincent Versace Workshops
Yesterday’s guest blogger and Kelby Training instructor Vincent Versace has two workshops on June 1 at Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto coming up: Black & White Conversion, and Exploring ExDR. You can get full details and register right here.

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 6, the live premiere of Another Day With Jay Maisel! It’s a one-time-only free public showing of Jay’s new class, and he’ll be here in the studio with Scott answering your questions! Have a great Thursday ;)

First I would once again like to thank Scott Kelby for allowing me this forum to express and share ideas in. I am both honored and humbled every time I am given the privilege to contribute.

This year’s blog is an excerpt from the opening of my next book “From Oz to Kansas 2.0. Almost Every Black and White Conversion Technique Known to Man.” God willing, coming out this fall.


A Recipe for Creating

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
-Vincent Van Gough

Most of us can look at the artistic work of others and decide whether or not we like a particular piece. Why then, when we view an image of our own, are we frequently fraught with ambivalent feelings? I do not understand why we tend to be our own worst critics. Certainly there are enough people in the world who will find fault with anything that we do. We must learn not to assist them.

But why pursue anything creative if we are doomed to torture ourselves about what we did and approach being creative as if there is some cosmic score keeper that decides if we are ahead or behind? The truth is that nobody but you is keeping score. We spend too much time concerning ourselves with the notion that for our creative work to be valid, others have to like it.

All artists hear a call to express themselves creatively, but too often, that voice fades with time and is replaced by one that says, “You can’t do that.” or “If it was such a brilliant idea someone else would have thought of it first.” The quickest way to silence that voice is to do exactly the thing that you think you cannot.

Hardening of the Categories

Hardening of the categories causes art disease.
– W. Eugene Smith

If you want to take more interesting pictures, stand in front of more interesting stuff.
-Joe McNally

Every image you create is an expression of the artistic inspiration that moves you. You express your creative voice by developing the ability to show what moves you without screaming for the attention of others. It means getting out of your own way and, in the moments when your creative spirit is moved, trusting that what comes from those moments will be good. Your goal should be to trust what you feel and constantly strive toward personal excellence and elegant performance. When your effectiveness becomes effortless, your images will move the viewer solely by the power that caused you to be moved.

Because you are reading this blog, I assume that most of you have chosen photography to express how you feel to the outside world. However, regardless of the path you have chosen, it is you who drives the art form bus, not the other way around. Technique exists to better help you express yourself. If there is a battle between voice and technique, voice should always win. Emotionally full and technically imperfect trumps technically perfect and emotionally vacant every time.

I believe that there is no drug as addictive or as alluring as being successful creatively. To make a living from the fruits of one’s imagination is truly a blessed way to live. But herein lies the rub. With practice, and perhaps success, we find our groove. But grooves frequently become ruts, and ruts can become trenches, and trenches can become graves in which our creativity becomes buried.

So how do you become more creative and create diverse, emotionally moving images? If you want to have more creative work, find creative moments in your everyday life. If you want to have more emotionally captivating work, let your everyday life captivate you emotionally. If you want your work to be more diverse and interesting, lead a more diverse and interesting life. In simpler terms, your work is only as good as the inspiration that you find in the life you lead.

If You Have a Minute, Tell Me Everything You Know

I would say to any artist: ‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.’
-Edward Weston

A discussion about photography should be about why we are moved to create the images we do, and how to best practice the things that will help our voices be heard in the clearest, truest way. A discussion about technique that excludes one about why particular techniques are chosen is like having a conversation about a repair manual.

All creativity comes from a wellspring within us, and the more frequently and diversely we exercise our creative muscles, the stronger and clearer our emotional voice becomes. Feeling that you will never do something well, is no reason not do it. Let that something become your new best friend, because it is from doing that things never before seen are born.

For me, great photographic lessons were learned from shooting both portraits and landscapes. What I learned is to shoot my landscapes like portraits and my portraits like landscapes. When I photograph a flower, am I not taking the flower’s portrait? When I photograph a person, is it not the objective, with one frame, to lay bare the essence of that person in that instant? My most successful portraits and landscapes are the ones in which those things happen.

What makes images even more successful is bringing life experiences and a knowledge base of techniques to the table. This allows you to create an image that reflects what you felt when you were taken by the moment.

I would like to tell you a story. I love to cook and, even though I know it is unlikely that I will ever be as great a cook as one of the great chefs that I know, I keep trying to learn more about cooking creatively. I had the honor of spending a week in the kitchen of John Fraser, the chef at Restaurant Dovetail in New York City. By mid-week, I had finally graduated to “preparing ingredient,” specifically – the task of chopping carrots into the equivalent of pixel-sized cubes. About half way through my second bunch of carrots, Chef Fraser walked by and told me that my efforts were not acceptable. My first thought was “.. but they are just carrots.” Apparently, my face belied that thought, and Chef Fraser said, “I see you don’t understand.” Again, I must admit I was still thinking “.. but they are just carrots.” What I said was, “No, I do not.”

“Okay,” he said, “let’s talk about something I know you understand. These carrots are not visually acceptable. You need to be cutting cubes and you have cut rectangles and diamonds. The visual composition I want to create is squares in a circle. So compositionally what you have done does not work.” I did get that! “But the bigger issue is that because they are irregularly shaped and different sizes, they will cook differently. Some parts of the carrot will be over-cooked and some will be under-cooked. My goal is to create a dish that is so visually appealing that you almost don’t want to eat it because of how pretty it looks, and when you do, you will find that it tastes even better than it looks. By not cutting the carrots uniformly, you have disrupted the pleasure of the person eating this dish. Everything matters. Everything dovetails into everything else. It’s why the restaurant is named Dovetail.” That was one of the most important lessons I have ever learned. Everything matters, and everything dovetails into everything else.

Home Run Hitting 101

Don’t let the fear of striking out ever get in your way.
-Babe Ruth

Be careful of the artist who boasts of 35 years of experience. Such a person may have one year of creativity experienced thirty-five times. To me, a true artist practices by acting; by putting truth into his or her creations so that they have an elegant simplicity. Great art is created when the artist discovers that being an artist is about understanding themselves and expressing that. Knowing more about techniques helps that expression happen.

So why should you know every black-and-white conversion technique known to man and how to use all of them? Because the more you know about how to bring forth your vision, the clearer your voice will be heard. So what if you swing and miss? If you do not swing at all, you will never have the chance to knock it out of the ballpark.

The underlying goal is a simple one: to make a print of a picture that moves you, just like it moved you the first time you saw it. The joy of creation is in knowing that your photograph moves others.

The bigger and fuller you experience life, the bigger and fuller your creative expressions of life will be. It is on that note, that you should begin all your creative symphonies. It is on that note, that you should begin every breath you take.

You can see more of Vincent’s work at, and catch one of his upcoming workshops:
June 13 – 15
Pixel Boot Camp – San Francisco

July 3 – 9
Maine Media Workshops

Hey everyone! RC here.  I wanted to give you guys a quick update on the launch of Scott’s new portfolio section and answer a couple of questions while I had a moment.

Before I do, I did want to share with you guys a heartfelt thank you for all of the suggestions and comments that we had on the port launch.  One of the things that makes us very proud and grateful is having such engaging and enthusiastic readers here on the blog.  I know that Scott appreciates all of your comments – and takes his time in going over every one of them.  You guys really look out for this place – and it totally shows.

I figured this would be a cool time to share with you guys some of the changes that we’ve made to the port, some of the changes we’re looking into, and answer some of your questions/feedback.

Things we’ve changed so far

We’ve made it so that the portfolio stretches to 100% of your screen:

Those of you who are looking at the website with a large monitor should see more of the images going from edge to edge.   I think it really does add to the viewing experience.

Kept the logo and navigation constant on the page:

When you are using the scrollbar to move across to the right of the page, you should still see the logo and navigation on the top of the page.  This will work on desktop computers.  The iPad’s being a little fussy with things, so as I get a better way to keep that navigation handy, i’ll implement that in there too.

Landscape Has a Title:

This was one of those moments where I said “ugh.. I should’ve picked that one up”.  It’s funny, cause the Title tag on HTML is usually one of those afterthoughts when i’m working in a page.  Jokingly, I always said to myself (and others) “its one of those things that’s important.. but really gets no attention.”  Later on in the afternoon yesterday I tweeted “Ever wonder how important the Title tag is on a page?  Forget about writing one.. you’ll see. :) ”

Centering the Page

This was a straightforward fix.. and does look good on the site. :)

Things We’re Looking Into

Next and Previous Items using Javascript:

Adding some function that allows you to hit an arrow for next and previous is a very quick way to get some functionality into the page.  The problem here is that the genesis for the change was to create something that had a very specific feel and look on the iPad side.  Changes that you make in Javascript (or more recently- JQuery) can be easy to implement on the desktop side, but may not translate well over to the iPad side of things.  It’s bad enough to have to crosscheck Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and IE on both the PC and Mac side – now we’re adding iPad to the mix.  As I get something that I think will work on this side, i’ll be sure to post it up.

The other thing to keep in mind here is the full screen experience.  If we wanted to only see one picture on the page and wait for the next one, it would mean that the “window” that we see the image in would have to be a specific size.  Let’s say we choose 600 pixels for a landscape. What happens when the next image is a pano? Or, what if the next image is a portrait – well short of the 600 pixels in width for that window.  This would mean that the user would be put in a position to see a picture, click next, see a picture, click next, and so forth. This was a behavior that we had in both the Jquery based portfolio we had earlier (for the ipad) as well as the Flash implementation we worked on.  In the end – the client (in this case, Scott) wanted a smoother experience for the images – which is why we’re leaning in this direction.

Going Back to the Beginning

Im playing around with getting a button at the end of the slideshow to bring the user back to the beginning of the series.  Again, making this for the desktop is pretty easy – JQuery has some built in functonality to animate some slides (or can be added with getting some functionality like jQuery.ScrollTo) but this is something that has limited success on the iPad.  Because of the direction we’re trying to go with this here, it’s something that I’d put on the “lets see how we can make it better”


Why wasnt this portfolio done in WordPress?

One of the things Scott wanted to be able to do here is have a barebones, easy to use way to show off his images that worked well on the desktop and lended itself well to showcasing images on his iPad.  While its totally possible that we could design a child theme in WordPress or setup a new install of WordPress that would manage the portfolio – it just seemed like it was more than what we needed here.  The portfolio here is really managed through a series of HTML files, and adding something to this is as easy as uploading the image, adding a line of code, and being done with it.  Would a WordPress install be easier?  Hard to say.. you’d still have to upload a file, and still have to add it to the portfolio.  At that point -where- it was being done seemed moot.  This gives him a small, non database dependent, simple way to get the images up.  Yes, it -could- have been done in WordPress – but this option wasn’t bad either.  It becomes preference, then.

Dreamweaver Sites are so 1990’s (or 2002, depending on what comment you read) Via Claude and Lynn:

I don’t really use -when- a technology was used as a barometer for whether it’s going to be useful to work with. I just use the ‘is this going to work for this scenario’ method of implementing it.  There are tons of sites that are still being developed in Dreamweaver – and to date it is a VERY powerful tool for someone who wants to have control of even the smallest components.  That said – the solution here seemed easier to implement on Dreamweaver.  One of the things people may not know is that Scott is actually quite adept in Dreamweaver, so it’s not like he would be in unfamiliar territory.

I like WordPress as a development platform – heck I even wrote a book on it not too long ago.  My own personal site is on it ( and I *gasp* even use a Flash Gallery for it.  It’s a great tool.. but its one of several tools.  While WordPress may be a “dream” to use.. this is just as good.

PS.  Went to your site on an iPad – tried to use the thumbnails.  They didn’t work.  Might want to check that out – figured i’d give my two cents for a change. :)

Could we have built a Flash site, that with a bit of code, switched to a iPad Friendly site?

Sure could have.. in fact that’s what we were doing for a while here!  We had a flash site, with an autodetect that moved people over to a jQuery based website for iOS folk.  We just decided to do something different.  That mode worked very well – and I promote it heavy in my book.

Could we Implement a JS hack to paginate through the Portfolio?

We could – but most of these hacks still use vertical pages as a measure and move downward.  Trying to move them across an iFrame using anchors and/or scroll by X amount functions doesnt play nice on iOS devices.  That’s not to say we -can’t-.  That’s just to say I want to find the best way to do it so we do it for all browsers.

Could we make something that just updates the images from Lightroom?

I’ve been asking for a feature in the Bridge and LR web galleries that just updates the images and not the HTML FOREVER now, and have got no response.  Even if someone made an HTML gallery for images, made some tweaks to the HTML code and published it, it would all get erased during the next export.  One checkbox that said “update image references/ not the index.htm” would be killer.. alas.. nada yet.


One of the things that I thought was great about making the portfolio, and reading through the comments is the amount of considerations that need to be made when working on a website.  As a designer, you need to leverage quite a bit of things before you really need to code.  Audience, technology, interpreted devices, statistics (did you know that 1280×1024 is about 7% of the population.  The next higher resolution? 8%), and on top of that, the wishes of the client.  Factoring in all of that makes for a great “What if we did this.. ” moment because there is always something else to factor into that decision.

Thankfully, it’s what makes doing all of this so much fun.  And i’m ever grateful for that. :)


I’ve been wanting to update my online portfolio for a long time now for a number of reasons, but mostly so it could be a somewhat consistent experience no matter where you see it (on a computer, iPad, iPhone, etc.). Besides that, I also wanted to update my images, but since my portfolio was Flash-based, and I’m no Flash wizard, it was kind of a pain (read as: I needed outside help) to update even just one image in my port, so it stayed pretty much woefully out-of-date.

RC to the Rescue!
Luckily, this turned out to be an easier, and much faster process than I figured it would be, because when you want to get your images on the Web, where do you go? That’s right—-you go to RC Concepcion (the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject). RC got my previous Flash-based portfolio online for me, and I absolutely loved the way it worked—-as long as I was looking at it on my computer. As soon as I looked at it on a mobile device, it….well….it stunk (it swapped the Flash version out for a lame HTML stand-in).

I went to RC and told him the four things I wanted this port to do:

(1) It had to work on iPads and iPhones (so it couldn’t be Flash-based).

(2) I wanted the images to be as large as possible, while still allowing room for links to multiple galleries.

(3) I wanted a portfolio layout where wide images and tall images would get the same amount of attention (if you look at a lot of portfolios you see online, the wide images fill the screen, but then a tall image comes up, and it feels tiny by comparison, and it’s centered on the screen and surrounded by either gray or black.

(4) It had to load faster than my old Flash portfolio, which made you wait while each image loaded one-by-one (it even had its own status bar), which was another big downside of the old one.

I went with a horizontally scrolling layout, with no thumbnails
You can see in the layout below how vertical and horizontal images are side-by-side at the same height, so the tall images don’t wind up all alone, centered on a page and looking really small.

But there’s another big benefit to this horizontally scrolling layout (as you’ll see below).

Panos rock with this layout
I shoot a decent amount of panos, and I use my Cinematic Style Cropping technique on images, and these look really great in this horizontally scrolling style (because usually these wind up so small on screen), but if you look at the image above, it’s actually even wider than what you’re seeing, but you just scroll right on over. This I really dig (there’s an image of a Hawaiian Fire Dancer in my People port where this works beautifully to show the entire image at a nice big size). Also, another nice feature is that although you do click and drag the scrollbar to see the images on your computer, on an iPad or iPhone, you just swipe your way through it, which I love.

More Categories
I wanted to separate my Football shots from my other Sports images, so now I have two separate categories (sports and football), but RC also suggested, after seeing the first run-through of my people port, that I should separate People and Fashion into two separate categories, and after looking at it, I agreed, so now they’re separate (although the fashion category technically should be titled “Beauty & Fashion” I’m going to let it go as just Fashion, and it’s the default portfolio that appears when you click the Portfolio link here on the page (or this link right here).

RC’s Design Hits All My Points!
This new port, which RC designed from scratch in Adobe Dreamweaver, does everything I want it to (with one small exception). It’s HTML-based, so it can be seen on any mobile device; it loads much, much faster than my old port, I like the horizontally scrolling layout so tall and wide images both look good, and I like that the image sizes themselves are very large. However, that’s the one area that doesn’t well as well when you view the port on an iPhone. You actually have to “pinch in” to get the port to fit on the tiny screen. Outside of that, I’m very happy with it, and it’s very easy to update with any HTML editor (I just upload the file and change the file name—that’s it. Not a bunch of coding and stuff, which is great for me).

Another benefit is that this new port lets me email a direct link to an individual portfolio, so if I wanted to send someone directly to my Football portfolio, I could send them to (whereas in the old portfolio, I could only send them to the main portfolio, and then ask them to click on the Sports link).

This Would Make a Great Online Course
When RC was done (he put the first version together in literally just an afternoon or so), he said, “Do you think showing how to build a vertically-scrolling online portfolio just like this this would made a good class for Kelby Training Online? I told him, “Are you kidding!!!! Absolutely!” so RC’s going to take what he did for me, and show anybody how to quickly and easily create the same type of port for anybody who digs this type of layout, and multi-device compatibility.

Thanks RC!
My thanks to RC for all his help in getting this up (Dude, you so rock!). The bulk of his time was spent rearranging images for me to this morning’s launch. Once he’s done (today) he’s handing the reigns over to me to do my own updating from here on out, and honestly, that’s the way I want it. I don’t want to bother someone each time I want to add, move, and update my port, and being able to instantly do it myself, will almost ensure it gets updated much more often.

You can see the final port yourself by clicking on word “Portfolio” (top left side of my blog here, right under “About Me”), or you can just click this link.

Hi Gang: The short video above explains what we’ve got cooked up for you guys (a first for us), but it never says what time it’s all going to happen (because I didn’t exactly know at the time I taped it). But here’s the info:

Time: 6:00 pm EDT on June 6th (but watch the video to find out what makes this difference).

Where: Right Here

We are REALLY excited about this, and the opportunity for everybody to interact with Jay live. Can’t wait! :)