Monthly Archives June 2011

Hi Gang: Last week I was a guest on Leo Laport’s new Netcast, “TWiT Photo,” (with co-host Catherine Hall) and during the show we covered lots of photo tips, and I even got to do a live segment with three tips on using softboxes, and since it aired I’ve gotten lots of wonderful feedback.

Here’s the link to watch the show. Many thanks to Leo and Catherine for having me on the show. They were incredibly gracious hosts (and Catherine is a wonderful photographer) and besides getting to cover a lot of tips in a short time, I really had a lot of fun being on the show. Check it out if you’ve got a few minutes.

Late last year, the crew from OnOne Software came to our offices to show us some new stuff they were working on (amazing stuff by the way), and at the end of our meeting they asked if there was anything we’d be hearing out on the road during our tours that they might could help with.

I told them one thing that I hear again and again during my live seminars  from Lightroom users is that they either don’t want to jump over to Photoshop or they don’t have Photoshop at all (you’d be surprised how many Lightroom users don’t have Photoshop. Well, at least I was anyway). I told them if they could somehow give Lightroom users a plug-in to give them access to Layers features, I thought a lot of people would dig it, and they agreed and went to work on a plug-in to do just that.

I got to see the plug-in, and provide feedback as it was being developed, and then back in April they released a free public beta version of Perfect Layers and now the final version, with lots of improvments, tweaks, and enhancements based on user feedback from that public beta, is now shipping at the special introductory price of $99.95 until June 30th.

I got to do a brief interview with Brian Matiash from OnOne Software, and he did a short demo as well (watch the video about to check it out).

You can find out all the details at  NOTE: NAPP members can take advantage of a $35.00 discount by checking out the Software Discounts page on the NAPP Member Site!

Last September I got a deal for you guys from Metal Mural (They make these huge metal murals, made up of a grid of multiple metallic tiles, as seen above in this shot from their tradeshow booth)? Well, this latest “This Weekend Only” deal is even sweeter than their last one.Hey gang, Brad here to let you know about a killer “This Weekend Only Deal” from the fine folks over at Metal Mural.

Now through Sunday, you can order a stunning 24×36 Metal Mural (six 12″ x 12″ squares) for only $99.00 (includes free shipping)! Want something larger? Buy up to 16 vouchers (that’s 96 squares total) and combine them to make a massive mural!

This is the lowest price EVER from Metal Mural, so make sure you take advantage of this killer deal today!

Just a heads up: My daily giveaway of semi-useful stuff from my camera closet” is still happening daily. Yesterday I gave away a cool flexibile flash mount; today it’s actually something really useful:

It’s a Kata-103 backback camera bag that holds lots of gear, plus your laptop, plus a tripod and all sorts of accessories. It comes with a pop-out rain cover, and is actually a fantastic camera bag—one of the best I’ve ever used. Really well made. (Here’s the link to it on Kata’s site just so you can see it better—-these photo on the blog were taken with my iPhone).

To enter, just go to my Twitter page (@Scottkelby), and leave me a Tweet saying something like “I want your stuff” or “I gotta bag that!” or something naughy (like you guys did yesterday. Since it’s empty you can call it the naked Kata bag if it makes you feel better), and you’re entered. Good luck!

TWO THINGS: (1) Tomorrow’s won’t be as cool. Back to semi-useful. (2) This actually is stuff from my camera closet at home. See you then!

Hey gang, Brad here with this week’s pimpy!

Our Other Kelby Training Apps
Did you know that Kelby Training has other apps available besides the app? You can grab Matt Kloskowski’s Adobe Photoshop CS5 Crash Course and Lightroom 3 Crash Course, and Scott Kelby’s 10 Essential Studio Techniques Every Photographer Needs To Know apps for $9.99 each in the iTunes Store!

Kelby Training Live
Ben Willmore is bringing the Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished Tour to Milwaukee this Monday, June 20 and to Nashville just two days later on Wednesday, June 22!

And Scott Kelby will be trekking north to Toronto on July 6, Calgary on July 21, and Vancouver on July 22 with his Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. LIVE Tour!

As always, get all the info and register over at

Photoshop World Vegas
Have you registered for Photoshop World Vegas yet? You can sign up here, then book your room at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino to make sure you stay where the instructors stay! Make sure you upgrade to the Pro Pass for $119 and get all your must-have Photoshop World gear as soon as you step in the door. Includes a $59 Photoshop World Party Ticket, NAPP Backpack, NAPP Badge Holder, T-shirt, and more!

Scott’s Interview with Manfrotto School of Xcellence
Scott was recently interviewed over at the Manfrotto School of Xcellence! If you’ve ever wanted to know what his favorite piece of gear is, how he got into photography, and what his advice to young photographers would be, head on over and check it out.

Nik Radio
RC Concepcion and Dave Cross were both recently interviewed by Nik Radio! RC’s interview from last week is up now, and Dave’s will be going up very soon. You can also browse the archives for interviews with other Kelby Training instructors like Frank Doorhof, Alan Hess, Joe McNally, and more!

That’s all I have for today! This post has been brought to you by the letter K, the number 2, and Starbucks ;)

Taking a Closer Look…….


It’s always an honor to stand in for Scott, and I’m already so indebted to him for his many acts of kindness to me, I better do a good job!!!!  Is that fear that I smell?  Something’s burning, must the gears in my mind!  Actually I do have an idea I think might work.  I just finished taping a two part Close-Up class for Kelby Training and spending weeks preparing for that studio shoot, I came up with an idea.  The point to any close-up class is to teach someone how to approach a close-up subject, and what techniques are needed to capture it effectively.  For this blog entry I would like to take the same concept and move it in a different direction,  looking more closely at life.  With your permission, I will sprinkle some close-up images throughout the entry.

The thing that is shocking about making a close-up image, especially one in which you get really close to your subject, is just how much detail you see, that you never realized was there.  The richness of many subjects is almost indescribable!  A very close look and life reveals much of the same textures that we don’t see in a quick glance.

Let me share a story that will help you understand how I came to have this “new” vision of life.  About thirty years ago, when I was 35 years of age, (I know I look much younger than 65!),  I was diagnosed with cancer, and was told I had about a 5% chance of surviving.  It was a devastating blow.  I was madly in love with my wife (still am!), I had three young children, and all my hopes for my life, and my career were only beginning.  I wish I could say that I was very brave, but, if the truth be told, it knocked me to my knees.  I went through the three common stages.  First, because I was a Christian,  I blamed God.  Why me?  With all the evil people in the world, surely he could have picked someone else!  It didn’t take very long to figure out that wasn’t a very good idea to go down that road.  Then I felt sorry for my self, but that too, soon wore thin.  Finally I just admitted that I was scared.  On the third night in the hospital after my surgery to remove the tumor, after my wife had gone home at my insistence, I simply prayed and asked God to give me the courage to face this disease with all the bravery he could supply, I simply didn’t want to make things even harder on my family than it was already going to be.   I further asked God if we could make a deal, I told Him I was sure he didn’t cut deals, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t eligible for one, even if He did.  But this was my offer; If He would allow me to live long enough to see my young children grown and not in daily need of a father, I wouldn’t serve Him every day for the rest of my life, I would serve Him every moment for the rest of my life.

After my prayer I felt a peace that passed all understanding, and slept well for the first time in several nights.

The next morning my doctor, who was also a dear friend, came into discuss the results of the pathology report with me.  He had a big smile on his face which certainly puzzled me.  He said, “Bill, I have some good news and some bad news.”  I asked for the bad news first,  he responded, “Bill the tumor we removed, about the size of man’s fist, was definitely cancer.”  My heart sank, then he said, “the good news is that it is not the kind of cancer we had feared, multi-strained, it was, instead a single strain form that was very curable, in fact he elevated my chances of survival to 95%!

I was, of course, overcome with joy.  Later when I had time to think about what had happened I had a revelation that changed my life forever.  First I wondered if my cancer, had in fact, been the kind my doctor and feared and God had changed it!?  With more thought I came to the understanding that it didn’t matter.  I came to realize that what I had just gone through has a technical term in heaven, a wake up call!

This is the hard part of my story to share, but if the story is to have any value, it must be shared, for I am certainly not proud of it.  I was a Christian and loved my wife and family, and tried to be a “good” man, but I had put myself in first place in my life.  I was obsessed with becoming a quote, “famous photographer”.  Looking back,  I now realize that I was insecure and felt I needed that to make me feel okay about myself.  It became apparent to me that during all my time, after I found out I had cancer, I never once thought about being a famous photographer.  All I could think about was missing growing old with Sherelene, and seeing my children grow up.  God had changed my priorities.  I made a solemn commitment to keep my word and serve Him every moment for the rest of my life.  I started by trying to be the best husband and father that I could be and, though I worked hard at being a good photographer, I no longer concerned myself with how my work, or I, for that matter, stacked up against all the others out there pursuing our shared career.  I had been cured of the desire for fame.

So what has all this led to?  I’m a happy man who experiences real peace and joy.  I love photography and have never enjoyed it more, it just is not how I see myself being defined now.  I now know that I’m defined by how much I love others, after all that’s what my Heavenly Father does, and by what kind of partner I am to my wife, father to my children and grandfather to my six grandchildren!  Did you catch that?  “6”, I’m so blessed! I enjoy life for the sheer joy of being here.  I know that my earthly treasure is family, friends, and many professional associates.  Most of all I delight in a daily walk with Him,  and the changes are not over.  Everyday I get new insight into how I can make life better for others, and in turn it makes my life better as well!

Am I preaching?  Absolutely not!  I’m just like a man that saw and incredible movie and can’t wait to tell everyone they meet, “You’ve got to see this film!”  Every dream I ever had for my life, and career, and many more, have all come true, except the famous photographer part!  I finally realized that they don’t really exist!  Elvis was famous. The best a photographer can ever hope for is recognition, or respect among their peers.  I’ve found something worth a great deal more, a life worth living and sharing with others.

So sometimes, it’s a good thing to look a little closer……….

May your adventures of looking closer, richly bless you,

Bill Fortney

Galatians 2:20

You can see more of Bill’s work over at, and keep up with him over at his Pilgrim’s Chronicles blog. If you’d like to get in touch with him, just send an email to