Posts By Scott Kelby

This is a cautionary tale — one where I was literally just one click away from getting my $1,450 Canon EOS-R Mirrorless body ripped off. Here’s what happened:

I wanted to buy the new Canon R6 Mirrorless body

It has all the stuff I want on it, (and yes, for goodness sake it has two card slots), and I’ve been waiting for what I hope will be the perfect camera for me, and well…it came in yesterday. Anyway, to get this body I decided to sell my beloved Canon EOS R mirrorless body I bought back in 2019, so I listed it for sale on eBay (as seen below).

I’ve sold a number of things over the years on eBay, and I don’t do the whole auction-thing — I only put stuff up with a “Buy It Now” choice. I take my own pics of the product (seen below and throughout), so it’s the actual one they’re getting, and I price it to move, and it usually does pretty quickly. I had a few low-ball offers, but then within a day or so, it sold at full price, and I could see the guy paid in full, but PayPal put a hold on the funds to make sure I actually sent the guy the camera body. Apparently, theft and scams for what PayPal referred to as “high-priced consumer electronics” is a fairly common thing.

Things start getting a bit sticky

I get a message from the buyer saying how excited he was to get the camera, and how he couldn’t believe they actually got it. He also told me the shipping address on the account was outdated, and now he lives in Delaware and could I ship it to where he lives now instead, and he gave me his new address. I’m like “Sure, no problem.”

I messaged back to the buyer that I would be shipping the camera body that day and I would send the FedEx tracking number shortly, and I went to create the shipping label.

Wait. What?

The buyer dropped me a note again, and said he noticed that PayPal had put a hold on the funds. I’m not used to this happening (neither was he), so I went “old school” and called PayPal on the phone to make sure it was OK to ship the camera body (I didn’t want to get scammed, and have the buyer pull back his payment after I shipped the camera, saying he never received it). They assured me it was OK to ship it, and that the payment would be released the buyer received the camera. So, as I’m writing back and forth the buyer, I wrote, “That’s going to the Delaware address, right?” He wrote back, “What Delaware address? I live in Tennessee.”

Well, as it turns out, the first messages I got weren’t actually from the real buyer. They were from someone posing as the buyer of my camera, using a different eBay account. He got the buyer’s name after seeing it on my Facebook page, because the actual buyer wrote there, “Hey, Scott. I just bought your EOS R” so this other guy posed as him, used his name, and son-of-a-gun I was one click away from shipping it to the scammer at tthat Delaware address. I would have lost my camera; the real buyer would get hosed because now he’s not getting a camera either, though eventually he would have his money released back to him by PayPal, but the bad guy in Delaware would have pulled a fast one and I’d be out $1,450. I was that close. One click from printing that label and shipping it.

A Rookie Mistake

I’ve been told (since) you never, ever ship to an address other than the address on their account (by the way — the guy in Delaware closed his fake account immediately after I told him I was shipping the camera that day).

I Dodged A Bullet!

The real buyer confirmed he got the camera and he’s loving it. I’m about two days away from having PayPal release the funds from the sale, and my new camera (along with a new 150-600mm Tamron lens) came in yesterday in a glorious B&H Photo shipping box, and man…I just got lucky. This story could have had a very sad ending.

I hope this story of near-disaster helps you if you’re selling any gear online, and at the very least makes you double-check and triple-check before you ship.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful, safe, non-ripped off weekend, and we’ll catch you next week. :)

-Scott

P.S. A big thanks to everybody who attended our Travel Photography Conference this week. It totally rocked, and the feedback has just been stellar!!! Such a great group of photographers, with lots of great questions and discussions, and laughs throughout. Also, a high-five to all our wonderful instructors and my production team here at KelbyOne who worked so hard to make this conference such a success. I’m indebted to you all. Can’t wait to share what’s next. :)

I had to do this for a project I was working on recently, and it’s so simple (yet so effective) that I thought I’d share it in a quick two-minute video here today. It’s how to add a realistic drop shadow under your product in no time (so easy and quick). Check out the video below:

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Have a great Monday — stay healthy and happy, and check back tomorrow for “Travel Tuesdays with Dave.”

-Scott

The conference itself is Wednesday and Thursday of next week, but it kicks off a day early on Tuesday with a special pre-conference session I’m teaching called “What makes a great travel photo?” I’ve got such a great session put together for this pre-con — I can’t wait to share it with the folks who’ve signed up.

Give the trailer above a quick look (it’s only like 2 minutes or so), and then go sign up right now — it’s going to be an amazing few days with an incredible team of instructors from all over, and you’ll learn a ton (there are a number of sessions on Lightroom and Photoshop for travel photography, including a session I’m doing on “Travel Photography Special Effects.”

Here’s the link to sign up, and we’ll see you next week!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and healthy, and we’ll catch ya back here next week. :)

-Scott

It happened again this weekend — I got a panicked email from a friend who lost the contents of his computer and didn’t have a backup. Thankfully, he had the bulk of his photos backed, but not all the photos on his laptop — not his Lightroom catalog (with all this edits), and not all his documents.

So, what does he do now?

Nothing. There’s nothing he can do. He’s lost everything on his computer, so know he’s pretty much starting over. He doesn’t even know everything he’s lost, but he knows it’s a lot, and I feel terrible for him. It’s heartbreaking.

Don’t let this happen to you, and it’s not a matter of “if” this will happen. It’s just a matter of “when.” But it doesn’t have to be a disaster like it was for my friend. It can just be a minor inconvenience. So don’t just backup your photo library. Back up your computer. Right. Now.

I use a program called “Carbon Copy Cloner”

Carbon Copy Cloner (from Bombich Software) is the easiest backup program I’ve ever used. It’s pretty much a no-brainer — you plug in your external backup hard drive (by the way — please use an external hard drive so if your computer dies, your backup doesn’t die with it), and it makes an exact duplicate backup of your computer. Yes, it’s that easy.

It reminds you to back up, too (which I love). It can remind you weekly, daily, every two-weeks, once a month — your choice, and when it does, all you do is connect your external drive and it automatically runs a backup in the background.

Why not do this today?

Why not start this year off with peace of mind and get your computer fully backed up.

Here’s an external hard drive I’ve used for years. It’s a WD (Western Digital), USB-3 drive and it’s a full two Terabytes which is enough to backup most hard computer hard drives, and it’s only $62.99 and you can have it tomorrow. $62.99. Tomorrow. Here’s the link.

I hope you’ll give this some serious thought today. Maybe one day you’ll post a comment here how it saved your butt, and we’ll both be happy. :)

-Scott

P.S. We’re less than 10-days from our first online conference of the year — the “Travel Photography Conference” and the day before I’m doing a pre-conference session for anyone registered for the conference on, “What makes a great travel photo” — that kicks off a week from Tuesday, and I hope you can join us. Tickets and more info here.  

I’m putting the official conference trailer below in case you’ve got a sec. I hope you’ll give it quick look (it’s short).

In the last Photoshop update, Adobe added a cool little feature that snuck by most folks, but you might find it really handy because it will help keep you from scrolling through your panels as much. It simply lets you “shrink” the panels so less of them appear on screen. Here’s how it works:

Take a look at the panels on the right side of the Camera Raw window (shown above). That’s the normal layout.

Right-click on any of the panels title bars (just to the right of any panel’s name), and from the pop-up menu, at the bottom choose Compact (as shown above).

Now take a look at the panels on the right side (and compare them to the one shown earlier). The Compact panel mode now shows all the names of the panels because they’ve “shrunk up” (you can see all the way down to the last panel — calibration), where it was hidden in the regular layout. You can see more panels without scrolling. Not earth shaking, but the less we have to scroll, the better. :)

OK, there’s a short one to get us started off right in this new year.

Here’s wishing you lots of success, happiness and good health in this new year.

-Scott

P.S. We are just a couple of weeks away from our first online conference of the year — it’s “The travel photography Conference. Two tracks — lots of incredible instructors, and lots of amazing education. I put the trailer below, but here’s the link for tickets for more details. You will love it, and I hope to see you there.

You know it’s a holiday, when I’m posting on a Monday at 10:50 am. As you might have guessed from the headline, I’m taking this week and next week off to enjoy some time with my family, watch lots of football, play Call of Duty Warzone and record some songs in the studio. Might even take a picture or two. :)

Here’s wishing you and your family, all the joys of the season — I hope you got lots of awesome Christmas Presents (and that there’s a mirrorless under the tree or a really great lens), and here’s wishing you a far better 2021 than we shared in 2020.

Brighter days are ahead, and I hope you enjoy great health, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. It’s going to be a great one!

With much love and thanks,

-Scott
The Holiday Break guy

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