Monthly Archives April 2019

I am so excited — this is the first thing I’ve ever invented (with lots of help from my friends at Westcott) — it’s a lighting tool for educators and students, and its sole purpose is to teach people lighting before they go and buy lighting. Check out the video below to see what it’s all about (and how the idea came about).

So, now that you’ve seen the video, you know — it’s about experimenting, learning, and seeing “the light.” That way, when you do buy a flash or a studio strobe or continuous light, the frustration, the futzing, and the whole guessing game is over because you’ll have a plan — you’ll know what you’re trying to achieve, what light does, when to use hard light, diffused light, what gobos do, what fresnels do, the color differences between tungsten and daylight. You’ll know all this because the light comes with a full training class on light, and how to use The Learning Light, in your classroom, or with other students, or for just you as you’re learning.

It’s got direct hard light, soft diffused light, a Fresnel spotlight, its own set of gobos, and a carrying case it all fits perfectly inside. It’s LED powered so it doesn’t get hot to the touch.

We released a full training class on it to KelbyOne members this week, but if you buy the light, you get full access to the class as part of the lighting package.

It’s available today

The light, with the gobos and the training class, is just $89.90 and you can get it direct from the folks at Westcott (here’s the link), and B&H Photo will be carrying them any day now, too.

As an educator myself, you can probably imagine how exciting it is to have a tool like this for other educators and students, and I’m so grateful to my friends at Westcott: Eric Eggley (who came up with so many great ideas for The Learning Light, and took my initial idea and took it much farther than I’d ever hoped), and to Brandon Heiss, whose vision and commitment to helping teachers is why there is a Learning Light today at all.

I’m super-psyched! (can ya tell)? ;-)

One last thing, and it’s something I think is really important (and you’ll hear me talk about this aspect a lot). This is not lighting. It’s a learning tool. It’s the light you buy before you buy real lighting. It’s for experimenting with shadows, and light, and for learning lighting before you fully invest it in. I truly hope you’ll find it helpful (and I think you’ll find it’s a lot of fun), and thanks for taking the time to let me share this all with you (and tell your teacher friends about it, if you would). :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!


P.S. Did I mention I invented a light for educators? Whoo hoo!!! I’m super-psyched!

The Learning Light with Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby demonstrates how the Learning Light works, utilizing different lighting styles and set ups. He will discuss diffused vs. hard Lighting, how to use lighting patterns and Gobos, how to set up for split lighting, as well as broad and short lighting styles.

In Case You Missed It

Create a cool fashion shoot on a budget! Join Scott Kelby as he shows you how you can pull together a high-end looking fashion shoot on a low-end budget. Scott takes you step-by-step through the process of building a set, re-creating window light with a single speed light, shooting a variety of looks, and all the while sharing money saving tips and tricks that you can put to use on your next shoot. Throughout the class you’ll learn resources for acquiring sets and clothing, how to prepare before the shoot, what gear you’ll need, how to set the lighting, and so much more. Scott wraps up the class with a look at his streamlined post processing workflow. You don’t need a large budget if you can be resourceful, clever, and creative.

The Personal Side of Dave Clayton with Kalebra

Dave Clayton has been fascinated with good design since he was a child, but there is much more to Dave than just being a graphic designer. In this in-depth interview with Kalebra Kelby, Dave opens up about his personal side in a way we’ve never seen before. In this interview you’ll hear Dave share stories about how his family, friends, and mentors have opened him up to the opportunities and experiences that have made him who he is today. Plus, you’ll love hearing the story of how he met his wife.

In Case You Missed It

Sit down with Kalebra Kelby and meet Melanie Kern-Favilla! You may recognize her as the winner of our second Gallery at KelbyOne contest with her beautiful floral work. And now she is sharing her wide-array of knowledge with you! In this in-depth interview, Melanie opens up about her job as a train engineer for the Long Island Railroad, her husband and two dogs, and of course, her passion for photography. Would you ever guess that her fascination with thunderstorms would lead her to where she is today? She loves everything nature and her perseverance to always keep going and improve her creative side is motivating and inspiring. We are so excited for you to get to know her and welcome her to the KelbyOne family!

Hidden Feature to Auto-Match Colors Like A Boss!


Apart from lights, shadows, and perspective, one of the most challenging tasks in making a great composite is matching colors of the subject with the new background. Although there are a bazillion ways of accomplishing that in Photoshop, today we are going to explore an underutilized feature, hidden inside a “double click,” that will allow you to automatically match colors absolutely non-destructively.

More often than not, this feature produces perfect results. However, sometimes, you might need to perform a little bit of manual adjustment, and even then, this acts as an incredible starting point. In today’s example, we have intentionally chosen a challenging set of images which would require an additional adjustment.

So without any further ado, let’s get started!

Here are the images we’re combining in this tutorial, before the processing begins. These images are from Adobe Stock, and here are links to download the woman and the background if you’d like to follow along.
And here is the final product of where we will end up at the end of this tutorial.

Before We Begin:

Use your favorite techniques to cut out the subject and place it on a new background. For this image, I have used the “Select and Mask” feature to create a primary mask. Since masking hair, in this case, was extremely difficult, manually painting some strands of hair on top made more sense.

Basic Mask
Painted Hair

I have also used “Perspective Warp” to lower the horizon line of the background to match with the position of the subject.

Original Background
Modified Background

Step 1: Create a Curves Adjustment Layer

Once you have the subject placed on a new background as separate layers (as shown in the image attached), select the topmost “Subject” layer and click on the Adjustment Layer icon in the layers panel, and choose Curves.

Step 2: Create a Clipping Mask

Whatever changes we make in the Curves properties, it will affect the entire image, including the background. We want to limit the effects of Curve only to the “Subject” layer. To do that, create a clipping mask by clicking on the “Clipping mask button” in the Curves properties.

Step 3: Match Colors with Eye-droppers!

We have always used eye droppers in Curves to set the black, white, and gray points, but did you know you could customize them too? Yes! And that’s what we are going to use today.


There are stories of people doing various photographic experiments in heavily photographed locations worldwide, including Oliver Curtis who famously shot landmarks in the opposite direction. This week, I’d like to discuss methods of shooting places that are already heavily photographed, which is a common issue for me as a travel photographer.

So, I’m Dave Williams and happy #TravelTuesday to you all! Let’s get on!

This is Hamnøy, in the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway. This scene is “internet famous” now as a result of more accessible tourism to the area and the trending nature of big Instagrammers’ shots going worldwide. As is common with such images, there’s one shot, one view, one composition, shot in a variety of styles because there’s literally one vantage point. To shoot this scene depicting the small fishing town flanked by water and snuggled among imposing mountains, you have one option and one option only—walk up the road bridge, which connects Hamnøy with Sakrisøy.

To get a different view here means to get up and change position entirely. Seeing the same view time and again, as cool as it may be, is only gong to take you so far. It’s a cool souvenir shot and there are options to shoot it slightly differently, but rather explore and get a new view altogether, like this: –

Getting up close and personal with one of the buildings, using it here as a frame, I was still able to shoot the quaint wooden houses and their stilts, along with those mountains and the water, giving the same location a different look completely.

This shift to a different subject in the same location or to a different angle of the same location means your image is less “common.” The one thing that relates here the most is something I’ve said many times before and it’s this: –

When you stop, bring your camera up to eye level, and fire a shot, it’s a snapshot. It’s a souvenir shot serving as a reminder that you were there. The week-thought-out, well-composed, and deliberate shots, using a different angle, a different perspective, and a different exposure are the shots that stand out of common places.

The Eiffel Tower—the go-to example—has been shot so many times it’s unreal. Taking shots from a different place, at a different angle, with a different focus are the stand-out shots.

You can also focus in on detail to capture somewhat of a forced perspective to show the subject but not in its entirety, like something of an enigmatic composition, which can be made part of a larger story. Again, Instagram has kind of forced this position on us as photographers, but it’s not all as bad as it seems. For example, when shooting such well-known locations try cropping in tight on an element which makes it—such as the girders of the Eiffel Tower, the tiles on St. Peter’s Basilica, or the lava rocks at Jökulsárlón. Create a new way of seeing things that have been seen time and time again, and show people the way you see.

Much love

I took a week off for the kids’ spring break, and when I got back to the office last week, on my desk, I found a thank you card from a teacher at the University of Wisconsin who attended last year’s Photoshop World conference. She included this photo (above) taken at the conference. :)

There was something in her card that really struck me, so I reached out to her and asked if I could share her note and she was kind enough to allow me. Her card read:

Dear Scott, Thank you for a spectacular Photoshop World in Orlando. I cannot tell you how much of a positive impact it had on me — not only as a photographer, but also as a human being.

It was an absolute honor to meet you and attend your classes. Thank you for telling us to print our photographs. I’ve taken that to heart, and I’ve started to print my photos because you made such excellent points — they make an impact and they are our photo backup.

I’m including a photo of us from PSW. Thank you for everything. I appreciate it more than you know!


Alyssa Nepper

The thing that stuck out to me was the effect it had on her as a person. I just wrote about this very topic to our members recently — there are things beyond the classes, the instructors, and the learning that makes being at Photoshop World very special. Something that being there does to you, and an effect it has on you that’s beyond all that.

When we come together at Photoshop World we get totally engrossed in our passion, in being creative and being surrounded by other creative people, something wonderful happens. I wrote to our members: “This shared passion, the amazing community experience at the conference, and spending a few days getting inspired, motivated, and making new friends — I’m not sure if it’s ever been more important than it today,” and I truly believe.

I’m grateful to Alyssa for sharing her experience, and for allowing me to share it with you. In responding to my request to share her story, she forwarded me the image you see below — one she put together about her Photoshop World story, and I just love it.

While the conference is still called “Photoshop World,” Photoshop is only a part of it. There are entire tracks on photography, on lighting, on Lightroom, on design, and you’ll find everyone at Photoshop World now. Designers, retouchers, landscape photographers, teachers, students, creatives, portrait pros, Photoshop wizards, and Photoshop beginners. Tattoo artists, video experts, and people who are there to learn Lightroom, or the business side of things, or folks who want to be inspired, recharge their batteries and awesome people like Alyssa.

This is our 20th year of producing the Photoshop World Conference, and we’re celebrating by holding two full conferences: an East Coast Photoshop World in Orlando (May 31 – June 2nd), and a West Coast in Las Vegas, at our new home — The Mirage Resort and Casino (which I predict will be our best venue for Photoshop World ever!). Come and experience it for yourself. Tickets, details, and travel info are at – I hope I’ll get to hang out with you at one or the other.

I wish you the best this week. :)


P.S. If you’re thinking about coming to Orlando, don’t miss out on the Early Bird special, $100 off before April 29th.