Monthly Archives July 2019

Bryan O’Neil Hughes will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see him in person!

Drawing Upon Past Experience

Getting to post on Scott’s blog is always a treat, thanks for having me back!

This month marks twenty years at Adobe for me! Looking back, it still feels like a dream. I first got into photography when I was seven (largely because I couldn’t draw); and when I say I got into it, I mean, I went DEEP. My passion for cameras had me doing anything and everything related to the medium – eventually processing and printing photos; repairing and selling cameras; even freelancing as a motorsports photographer.

Then, in 1996, photography introduced me to Photoshop at a Seybold seminar. I must’ve watched Adobe’s Photoshop 4.0 demo 5X over that day – it was immediately obvious to me that my future had something to do with the magic happening at Adobe.

“Obsession” is way too weak a word…within months, I’d packed-up and moved to Silicon Valley with the single-minded intent of working at Adobe.  That sounds ridiculous and it absolutely was; I didn’t even own a computer! With the naivety of youth, I never accepted any other path; an interim job handling digital retouching orders for two dozen camera stores solved my computer & Photoshop problems.

I joined Adobe in the Summer of 1999 as a Quality Engineer on the Photoshop team, the job was essentially: test and break the app – I was completely in heaven! Stepping into product management nearly 15 years ago was another impossible dream come true; the opportunity to help guide Photoshop for so many years taught me a lot about the many ways that people use the application & how software is made. While I’ve spent most of my career looking forward, it’s interesting to look back at my years on the Photoshop team and to see how much the product and the workflows have changed.

I’m often asked, “How has Photoshop endured the test of time?” Sure, there’s the fact that the Photoshop team has always charted their own course; constantly innovated; expanded platforms & services – all while maintaining a very high bar for quality & performance…but there’s more to it than that. I think that much of Photoshop’s success can be attributed to the product’s ability to adapt.

Photoshop’s plug-in architecture has always allowed developers to communicate directly with the product – whether that’s bringing in unique file formats; exporting to specialized devices, or just adding missing functionality. That same flexibility exists within the fabric of the team, whether pivoting Photoshop to the growing needs of web designers with version 5.5; welcoming the digital camera boom with version 7.0.1, or exploring entirely new verticals; there are hundreds of examples of the team addressing the needs of a new or expanding segment.

The other thing about the Photoshop team, is that they know when the solution lies beyond Photoshop itself. The example of Camera Raw is a good one; at the time, we were seeing the mass proliferation of digital cameras; suddenly photographers expected Photoshop to deal with thousands of images, not the one-at-time workflow that it was originally built for. Photoshop answered that call with the File Browser (which would later become Bridge) and Camera Raw.

While this acknowledged a massive shift in I/O, the world was changing dramatically, digital photography wasn’t just for tech-savvy, early adopters, but for everyone and new devices required a streamlined, focused, editing solution and a digital asset manager in one…that solution would of course become Lightroom, a product I continue to be very closely involved with, both as a user and a spokesperson.

Lightroom allows me to use Photoshop for what Photoshop does best – while moving faster and shooting more. Because of Lightroom, I’m both more creative and more efficient. Lightroom and Photoshop have never been more closely integrated than they are today, thanks to Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud allows Photoshop to integrate deeply across application, surfaces and platforms – keeping Photoshop as the hub of hundreds of creative workflows. Clearly, sometimes the best solution to the problem is a brand-new product.

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#TravelTuesday with Dave has come around again, you lucky, lucky people!

I’ve just returned home from a trip to Valensole in Provence, France, where I’ve been shooting lavender, sunflowers, mountains, and all manner of French fancies. I hope you were following along on my usual Instagram Story but if you weren’t, here’s a little glimpse at what I was doing: –

I have a tiny, itsy-bitsy secret…. The lavender season was pretty much over and there were just a few fields of lavender left un-harvested! What this means for you isn’t much, but what it means for me is a fair amount of Photoshop action.

In other news, my Sunrise Challenge starts today! I’ve teamed up with KelbyOne, Drobo, Platypod, Litra, and BlackRapid, and they’ve very kindly donated some amazing prizes which are up for grabs to you lucky people! In fact, the total prize haul is worth in excess of $1,000!!!!

For your chance to win check out the full details right here, but basically I want you to set your alarm clock bright and early and go shoot a sunrise. Here’s why: –

Sunrise and sunset are the best times of day to go and make photos. There’s a golden hour while the sun’s up, and a blue hour while the sun’s below the horizon. Take a look around and notice how many of the awesome landscape photos you see in everyday life are taken at sunrise and sunset. The thing is though, sunrise totally beats sunset! Sunrise is a magical time of day where the world around you is just waking up. The summer sky is generally filled with haze, however at sunrise this haze tends to be absent. Sunset has colour scattered across the sky, whereas sunrise tends to focus the colour around the sun itself.

At sunset our eyes are tired from the brightness of the day, but at sunrise we are adapted to the dark and notice the colours and brightness so much more vividly. With these factoids in mind, there’s one further thing that steps sunrise up a gear over sunset – the change in view! Sunset shots are far more common than sunrise, so if we shoot sunrise we’re able to get a more unique perspective by changing our focus in the opposite direction to the more commonly seen angles of famous subjects.

On the whole we, as a species, don’t like to be up early enough to shoot sunrise. Not regularly, anyway! While it’s more ‘normal’ for us to sleep in a little and spend our energy shooting throughout the day and into sunset, the rewards of shooting a sunrise range from being set up to an awesome day ahead, through to potentially capturing the best photos we’ve ever gotten. Oh, and if you’re not so much of a people-person, their absence in at sunrise will be great for you!

Moving away from the photography, and with absolutely nothing to back this up, I swear that breathing the morning air is good for your health! Just as an added extra!

Moving back to Provence, if you ever get the opportunity to visit, take that opportunity! The vibe across most of rural France is pretty good. There’s a rustic charm and a generally laid back mood, but the past few days I’ve been exploring whilst making the launch image for the Sunrise Challenge have genuinely been amazing. I found myself racing across the countryside trying to capture as many views as possible at golden hour. To my surprise, having been immersed in views of the famous lavender fields of Valensole for the past month or so, there were barely any photographers taking advantage of the beautiful light. All day whilst driving around there were hordes of people shooting in the harsh, direct sunlight, but at dawn and dusk I found myself completely alone as if the whole plateau had been abandoned. During the days there were tourists walking the fields, but there were also couples and small groups with changes of clothing doing their ‘Instagram shoots’ in totally the wrong light. I felt like telling them to relax and come back later, but there were just too many people!

As for Valensole, there’ll be more on the story over on my blog in the next few days, but for now I urge you to get out and shoot that sunrise!

Much love

Dave

A couple of months ago I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Canon EOS R mirrorless, and I do love it immensely, but it’s missing a feature that Canon introduced after it shipped on their 2nd full-frame Mirrorless — their entry-level Canon EOS RP, and that is Focus Stacking (or as they call it, “Focus Bracketing.” Essentially, the camera automatically takes a series of shots each one focused a little farther into the image. This is awesome for shooting Macro where the depth of field is so incredibly shallow, but it’s also great for landscapes, and product photography and a bunch of different scenarios because it greatly expands the amount of the photo that’s in focus.

Here’s a blurb on Canon’s site I found about the feature:

Here’s a short video that explains Focus Bracketing on the EOS RP:

I would say generally speaking that this is a feature more advanced users would be interested in (and it requires either some Photoshop post-processing after the fact to combine all the individual frames it creates into a single image, or you can do it in Canon’s own editing software), but for some reason this feature is found on Canon’s new entry-level full-frame mirrorless and not the more advanced model that cost nearly $1,000 more.

So, my plea to Canon:

I know this new mirrorless roadmap is very important to Canon — I think it’s the future of the company, which is why I’m asking today for Canon to release a free EOS R firmware update that gives us the Focus bracketing feature (a feature you’ve already developed). Canon previously released a free Firmware update that added an Eye AF feature, which is awesome (high-five Canon), but now here’s a chance to be heroes once again. Please release a Firmware update that adds the RP’s focus bracketing to the EOS R. We would love that! Easy peasy. ;-)

I know, this feature isn’t a Canon-only feature

There any a number of cameras already out there which have a built-in Focus-stacking feature already (for example, a number of Nikon cameras have this feature already built right in); so no need to post a comment here that says something along the lines of “Gee, Scott, my [insert camera brand here] has had that feature since like late 1950s.” I get it. Canon’s not first, but they’ve taken the time to develop this feature, and I’m just hoping they will share it with the folks who jumped on the bandwagon with the R.

Here’s hoping all your free firmware update dreams come true. :)

-Scott

P.S. I’m off this week to Belfast, Ireland, The Faroe Islands, and Iceland. Maybe I’ll run into your somewhere along the way. :)P


Demystifying Photo Pills with Erik Kuna

Learn how to get the most out of PhotoPills when planning your next outdoor photography adventure! Join Erik Kuna as he explains exactly what this app can do, why photographers should care about using an app like PhotoPills, and how best utilize all of the features and functions within the app.

In this class you’ll learn the basic terminology needed to use the planner, how to use the app to plan a photo shoot based around the position of the sun, the moon, or the milky way, how to discover when the next eclipse will occur at a given location, how to perform useful calculations, and so much more! Erik even breaks down all the steps he used in planning for a variety of different photographic scenarios. By the end of the class you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the ability to plan around celestial events using PhotoPills.



In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars

Join Dave Black for some lightpainting under the stars in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town. Dave starts off with a walk through of all the gear needed for lightpainting before taking us through the importance of a site survey. Over the course of six different shoots in a variety of locations Dave shares all of the steps and settings needed to create stunning lightpainted starscapes. Each lesson is packed with tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Dave’s decades of experience. Dave is a master teacher, and his love for creating these photographs is truly infectious.

Howdy, cowboys and cowgirls, here’s what’s up:

Well, someone found a new way to rip off photographers

I don’t know if there’s any solid way to protect yourself against this type of scam which hits folks who are selling camera gear (or honestly, selling anything). I saw this on Petapixel.com earlier this week — it’s a new scam where the legit seller gets ripped off in a new, and sadly clever way. You need to read post this as a heads up, but I’m not sure even how to adequately protect against it (though the person it happened to does give one solution, it’s not an easy one). Here’s the link.

A new account to follow on Instagram

Wonderful Australian fashion photographer Stephan Bollinger ditched his old Instagram account (and 17,000+ followers) and is starting over from scratch with a new account and new focus. Stephan is a great photographer and teacher, and I hope you’ll give his new Bollinger.photo account a follow. Here’s the link.

“Mastering The Model Shoot” On Tour

Incredible learning opportunity here folks as fashion light master Frank Doorhof is bringing his famous “Mastering The Model Shoot” workshop to New York City on September 1, 2019. Get this — you can join Frank and learn straight from the guy who wrote the book for only $299, which is just an insanely low cost. Insane! There are a few spots left, and if you want to jump ahead fast in lighting, styling, posing and shooting, this is your chance. Here’s the link — do not miss out — Frank is awesome! (I’ve learned so much from him myself; can’t recommend him enough).

7 Little-Known Lightroom Shortcuts

If you’re into Lightroom, I’ve got seven of those little-known, but oh-so-handy Lightroom shortcuts over at LightroomKillerTips.com – some juicy ones in there for ya. Link. (plus, an eighth one today – one I didn’t even know – I learned it from one of my readers).

When did Card Slots become the big thing?

When I saw Sony’s announcement of their new A7R IV Mirrorless camera earlier this week, I had to chuckle when I saw this official promo photo (above) on so many sites which clearly shows, “Yes, it has two card slots.” When did having two card slots become such an “it” thing that it becomes the thing a major camera manufacturer highlights when launching a new camera. It’s a weird time, folks.

Photoshop World Vegas Hotel Rooms 95% Sold Out

The special discount hotel room rate for folks attending the Photoshop World Conference out in Vegas next month (Aug 21-23) are almost gone (they’re now 95% booked up). If you’re thinking of joining us (and you should definitely come out and be a part of it all), these discounted rates are only available until this coming Monday, July 29th. So, this is your last chance to snag a great rate. Conference details here. Reserve your discounted room here. – See you in Vegas, baby yeah!

I found my next lens!

Already pre-ordered it from B&H (I believe it’s due to ship next month. It’s the Canon 24-240mm for my Canon EOS R Mirrorless — one lens that does it all, and I’ve been waiting for Canon to come out with a lens in this range that’s small, lightweight and inexpensive, for years. Canon’s lenses for their EOS R have been incredibly sharp, and I imagine this one will be sharp as anything, too! It’s just $899, which for a lens these days, is incredibly cheap. I love that it’s 24mm, rather than 28mm like most all-in-one lenses already out there (I can crop to get to 300mm or more, but you can’t make a lens any wider than it already is). Anyway, I’m psyched.

I’ve been waiting for Marc’s Book on creativity to ship

I got to see a pre-release copy of photographer Marc Silber’s new book Create, and it’s just so good. Marc’s book is filled with “Creative conversations from some of the world’s top photographers, filmmakers, Grammy award winners, TED presenters, actors, CEOs and more!” It’s about living a creative life, being able to visualize and unlock the creative spirit inside you that will flow through your art, your work, and your life. So well written, and if you’ve ever struggled with coming up with creative ideas and concepts, this is the book for you. Here’s the link to it on Amazon. Congratulations to Marc for creating another wonderful tool for our community.

I do not know how she does it!

Kalebra posted this shot to her Instagram and I was like, Dang! How’d she get that with her iPhone. I’m there beside her at night with my whole rig; tripod, bullhead, fancy lenses, cable release, etc., and she got a way-cooler shot that I did from there (once again). Hope you’re following her on Instagram, and if you’re into dogs, she has an awesome account just for our two crazy doggos, called “maggieandmaki” – it’s a pretty hilarious account of their daily lives, and her doggo pics are awesome (and her commentary is…well…you’ll see). 🤪🐕

Boston and Philly, I’m Headed Your Way in August

My 320+ strong crowd of photographers at my seminar in the Detroit area last week. I had a blast there, and Chicago at the day before. What a blast!

My new “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” full-day seminar is in full swing now and I am getting just over-the-top incredible feedback from the folks who have come out. I am having a ball teaching these concepts and helping photographers get real results right away — I love it! My next two cities are Boston on August 29, and Philadelphia on Aug 30th. Hope you can come out and spend the day with me. It’s 100% money-back guaranteed if it’s the single best photography seminar you’ve ever attended at any price, period! You’ve got nothing to lose! Tickets and info here. (more cities and dates coming very soon).

Spotted this deal from Bay Photo Lab – Time to make some prints!

Spotted this deal on Twitter – Bay Photo Lab’s giving 15% off anything until Monday (we use their XPosure System for displaying prints in our gallery and it is awesome – ask anyone who has seen them). Here’s the link to get their 15% off deal.

It’s Still #1 (whoo hoo!)

It came out in 2017 but it’s still the #1 bestselling lighting book on Amazon, and if you’re not absolutely in love with your flash, this $20 book will make all the difference in the world. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments from readers and they all pretty much say the same thing, which is “I finally love my flash.” As an author, there are no sweeter words — it’s why I wrote the book. I want people to love their flash, and get the type of results they bought their flash for in the first place. I think this book can honestly help. It’s $20. Whadayagottolose? Here’s the link.

Hope you all have an outstanding weekend! :)

-Scott

P.S. Did any of you catch the trailer for the next season of “The Walking Dead?” The Season 10 one they released at Comic-Con last week? It has an epic almost hopeful feeling (well, at least at the end). I love the soundtrack and the shocking love-triangle thing that looks like it’s forming. Anyway, here’s a link to the 4-minute+ Comic-Con trailer if you haven’t seen it. [note: it’s pretty gory, like all Walking Dead stuff).

Photo by Kandice Lynn

Terry White will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see him in person!

Shoot Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

When people ask me what I shoot, I respond with, “I’m a portrait and travel photographer. That pretty much sums it up, and I get the corresponding head nod. I have spent years practicing my lighting setups, model direction, getting my camera settings down, and investing in gear. I’m happy. However, if I stopped here, it would be such a waste.

My 1st shoot with Gina yielded one of my favorite shots of all time.

Professionals will tell you that you should pick a genre and master it. Shoot what you like and concentrate on it. I agree. You should figure out what it is that you want to do the most and do that. It’s impossible to become great at everything. With that said, there is no reason whatsoever not to try something different and new from time to time. While I started out shooting portraits, I realized that it would be a missed opportunity not to shoot travel as well. I travel for a living and have been to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

If you look to the right you can see a camel going by :)

Stepping outside of your comfort zone means that you’re going to take the chance of shooting something that you’ve never shot before. You’re willing to accept that your first attempt is probably not going to be great. However, you’re going to learn! Just getting the settings right means that you’ve mastered doing manually what the camera would have probably done had you set it to AUTO. That may seem harsh, but it’s true. It’s not enough just to take a technically correct photo anymore. It’s expected!

If you’re a “photographer,” then, of course, we expect you to get a shot that’s in focus with the correct exposure. Are you surprised when you go into a restaurant, order a dish and it comes out exactly how you expected? No. You expect the chef to be able to prepare the meal you ordered. That’s why you went to a professional in the first place. Now, if you take a bite and it’s better than anything you’ve ever tasted before, then you’re surprised and pleased. That’s how photography works.

I’m not a morning person by any means. However, I got the opportunity to attend a landscape workshop led by Joe McNally and Moose Peterson. Who says no to that opportunity? Next thing you know, I was in my car headed up to Traverse City, Michigan.

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