Category Archives Photography

Hi gang, and happy Monday to ya!

Last week I did a post about how to avoid a common mistake that could make your portfolio weaker. Master concert photographer and bestselling author Alan Hess wrote a great comment about that post, adding another thing to watch out for, and I felt it deserved a wider audience. Alan wrote:

“There are two things I see all the time that takes a good portfolio and makes it weaker. The first is exactly what you have in this post. the same seven [shots of a model] or in my case the same band or musician.

The second is to [include] good (not great) shots because you like the subject matter, or you think there is some type of name recognition. I am in the middle of revamping my portfolio and it is tough. Is the shot of the unknown guitar player from an opening band a better choice than the famous guy? What about acts I have shot multiple times? I have great Bieber shots from the last 3 tours.. (I know it sounds weird to say great Bieber shots…) So difficult to stick to the rules when there is an emotional attachment to all the photos.”

So true, and thanks for sharing that Alan — some really great advice there. :)

More on Building Your Portfolio
If you’re into this type of stuff, we just released a class last week from Stella Kramer — she’s a New York City based photo editor and one of the most sought-after portfolio consultants in our industry (I hired her myself to help me with my portfolio), and her first class with us is on Editing and the Sequencing (order) of the images in your portfolio. I can tell you this — it is already one of our most highly-acclaimed classes — Stella is simply amazing and shares a perspective and insight you don’t often hear.

Hope you found that helpful, and here’s wishing you a week full of discovery, great images, and fun. :)

Best,

-Scott

Hi gang — I’m pretty excited about this one — it’s called “Grids” and I’ve been using for about a month now and I’m totally and hopefully in love — mostly because every other desktop Instagram solution I’ve used has always had a “gotcha” — some key thing that was missing that made it pretty much unusable and I always wound up going back to the Instagram App until now.

Here’s what it looks like on your computer:

Above: When you launch the app it shows you your feed, but really nice and big (much larger than you’d see on your phone or even your iPad — it’s really beautiful and the best way I’ve ever seen to experience Instagram). Of course, you can access your own profile and images (like mine above). You access things like posting from your desktop from the pop-down menu to the right of your profile photo.

PLUS: when you’re looking at your main feed, it shows Instagram Stories across the top, just like the app. But bigger.

Above: When you choose “Add New Post” here’s the posting window that appears. You can drag and drop your photo onto it, or click the Choose Photo/Video button to navigate to it. You type in your Caption here, too.

Above: You can add your caption info; tag people; add a location (it brings up a pop-up search where you type in a location like you have in the Instagram app), and you can crop your image Square, Rectangular or crop by dragging out over the area you want to appear, like I’m doing here. When you’re done, hit post. Boom. Done.

Is there anything missing?
Well…there’s just one little thing. It’s minor, but if they added this, it would be 100% — it doesn’t suggest #hashtags or show recently used hashtags like the Instagram app does. You can still type them in like always — it just doesn’t help, or share stats of which hashtag are most often used. Outside of that small nitpick — this app is gold. Gold I tell ya!

Cost: Free download for viewing Instagram on your desktop, but there’s an in-app purchase for $7.99 for posting from the desktop and other “pro” features. Worth every penny and then some!
For: Mac and Windows

I am super digging this — so happy to finally have an Instagram Desktop app that really works, and it’s free (or really cheap, depending on which features you need).

Download it here.

Hope you found that helpful (and hope you’re following me on Instagram where I share my travel photography images – I’m @scottkelby).

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Yesterday I got a new Porkpie “Little Squealer!” snare, and it sounds absolutely awesome! Saw rave reviews online about it, and they were right. Took it home last night and couldn’t stop playing it! Just the best (especially for the money). Here’s an iPhone pic of it when it came in yesterday. 

 

Hi Gang — and welcome to a totally awesome Monday! On Saturday, I shot with the Falcons Crew (three of the best guys, and lights out shooters, you’d ever want to meet: Jimmy Cribb, Michael Benford, and Lynn Bass) for the NFL Divisional Playoff game between the Falcons and the Seahawks (and the Falcons rocked it with a big win!).

I brought my standard remote camera rig (more on that in a moment), but I wanted to try something new for shooting goal line stands from really down low, which is a remote camera rig (Platypod Pro Max, 3leggedthing Airhed Neo Ballhead) but I did it by controlling the shoot from my iPhone using Tethertools “Case Air” Wireless Tethering System.

The advantage is that I can set the rig down on the ground, and then see a live view of the field from my iPhone. I can change settings, set my focal point, do a time lapse, and even fire the camera all from my iPhone. The images go straight into my phone, so I could share them almost instantly if need be.  Here’s a closer look at the rig:

Above: The Case Air is that little unit sitting on top of my camera, in the hot shoe mount. It plugs into your camera’s mini-USB port (well, on my camera anyway, which is a 5D Mark III), and that’s the whole set-up hardware wise. Then you download the free Case Air app for your iPhone. The Case Air creates its own closed wireless network which you connect to (just takes a few seconds), and then you see what your camera is seeing, right on your app.

Above: The Falcons are lining up for an extra point when I took this shot using the Case Air. It was at that moment that I realized that a 14mm lens is WAY too wide for this task. Needs to be at least a 24-70mm, which is what I’ll try next week. This way, I can keep my 70-200mm ready for a pass to either edge, and the Case Air covers the center of the field (though I’m set up off center here, I won’t be next time).

We’re generally not allowed to lay down in the end zone (kneeling is fine), and the PocketWizard Route that I use for the player intros would work here too. It’s probably more responsive than the Case Air, but without lying on the ground (which I do in rare instances), the Case Air gives you a perfect way to set-up and focus the camera before the play. I can tell you — this is probably the last thing the folks at Tethertools ever imagined this being used for, but I wanted to try it anyway.

PROS: It’s super lightweight; it’s very cleverly designed, and all connects in seconds, and in the studio and for this field test I had zero problems getting it to work. I just hooked it up and it worked. The software is great, and the whole thing is fun, and I can go straight from my iPhone to the Web. Social Media folks for teams would eat this up! Plus, it’s only $149, which is around the price of just 1 of the 2 PocketWizard Plus IIIs that you’d need to fire a remote camera in an environment like this.

CONS: It was never designed for this. It’s really for wireless tethering in the studio or for portraits on location, or for a second camera behind the bride and groom during the ceremony. Because everything’s moving via wireless, the images have to transfer from the camera to the iPhone, so if you shoot a burst of images (like we do in football) you don’t see the results right away — you see a spinning status wheel as images are coming in, so you have to wait a minute to see if you “got the shot.”

Speaking of PocketWizard Plus IIIs
My regular remote camera shoot for the intros, which is usually a no-brainer at this point…wasn’t.

Above: My standard rig (except this was my 3rd camera, so it’s a Canon 5D Mark III — usually a Canon 1Dx). PocketWizard Plus III on top sitting in the hot shoe mount. Connected to my camera’s Remote Shutter Release port via a cable. 14mm lens on the camera (perfect for this); an Oben ballhead (got it from B&H), and a Platypod Pro Max plate holding it all steady.

Above: You can see my small rig over on the right, to the left of that Falcon’s logo, which soon will be spitting out fire and smoke, which is one of the reasons why you need a remote camera — you might burst into flames.

Above: Here’s the view from the camera itself. I do lots of test shots before the players come out to make sure everything’s working. The position seems pretty perfect, and it’s firing off test shots (I can see the little light on the top of the PocketWizard, and I see the image appear on the back of the screen, so even though I’m not down there on the ground, I can see it’s firing.

Above: I have a PocketWizard Plus III with me out at the center of the field to trigger that remote camera; it’s in my Hot Shoe mount, so when I fire my camera, it automatically fires the remote. At least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work, but on Saturday it only fired once — just this one picture above, and it never fired again. I have no idea why. Maybe I knocked the remote as we shifted positions after the cheerleaders came out, and the connection wasn’t solid — I don’t know — but I only got this one shot, which is pretty much worthless. This same exact rig worked perfectly at the Dolphins game down in Miami just a few weeks ago. The shame is — the positioning was on the money (at least I know for next week, right?).

Above: This was taken with my main camera with a 70-200mm — I darkened the scene except where I put that red circle so you can see where my remote camera was positioned. Oh well, it happens.

So, as far as Remote Cameras go, it was a miss and a single. I proved the Case Air can work even in an environment I doubt it was ever designed to work in, but I used a wide lens and didn’t have the one I needed with me. Luckily, I get to try again for the NFC Championship Game in Atlanta next week.

So, that’s a little behind the scenes, and a field report on the Case Air. Here’s a link if you want more details on it (and I give it a big thumbs up overall for an affordable, solid wireless tethering system.

Hope you all have a great Monday (yes, it’s Monday and it’s going to be great!). :)

Best,

-Scott

 

 

Hi Gang and Happy Friday. I wanted to talk briefly about something I see on a pretty regular basis when doing portfolio reviews or even just looking at another photographer’s work. It’s something that really weakens their portfolio, and so in this case, I want to talk about what not to do — and how to sidestep this portfolio mistake:

Don’t put the same subject in your portfolio more than once
Take a look at the portfolio above. Out of the nine images, eight are different views of the same lighthouse. Here’s what that tells me about your work overall:

(1) You’re not a very experienced travel/landscape photographer. Looks like you’ve been to one place — the Oregon Coast. Even if this was a gallery titled “Oregon Coast” people still wouldn’t want to see eight shots of the same lighthouse from different angles. That’s more a project you do in school (shooting the same subject from different angles), rather than a showcase of your best work.

(2) You must really like that lighthouse

If you love lighthouses, that’s great — now put together a portfolio of different lighthouses from different locations — not a bunch of shots of the same lighthouse. Now you’re cooking! :)

In most cases, I would suggest that you avoid repeating the same exact location twice, unless they are very different photos, maybe taken from entirely different vantage points, in entirely different lighting. So, it can work, but when it comes to portfolios, it’s your job as photographer to pick your best shot of that lighthouse, and only show that one.

This goes for shots of people, too 
For example, If you shoot weddings, if potential clients don’t see a wide variety of brides and grooms, they think you’ve shot maybe one or two weddings. That’s a warning flag for getting hired — nobody wants to hire a wedding photographer with what appears to be two weddings under the belt. Same thing with models — If you have 12 shots in your portfolio, and 9 of them are of the same model, and 5 of those are in the same outfit (I see this quite often). It says “this photographer must not have much experience.” Also, it’s just boring. Pick your best shot of that model, and then find more models to photograph and start building your portfolio.

Building  a portfolio of different people, different weddings, different landscape locations or travel destinations takes time. It’s something photographers have to constantly work at — you’ll probably wind up scheduling shoots and doing them just for your portfolio, and that’s OK, but while you’re in this process, avoid repetition as much as possible.

NOTE: An exception to this is high-end fashion, where you’ll often see the same model in four very different outfits from an editorial shoot, or a campaign, but for the most part, this “stick to one image of that subject” is a pretty good guideline to stick by. 

Hope that helped you side-step a little portfolio quicksand. :)

Hope you have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya back here on Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. This weekend, do you want to learn the “Top 10 Things Every Photographer Should Know on Their Camera?” Here’s the link.  I think you’ll dig it. :)

Happy Monday everybody — glad to have you here. So, last week on “The Grid” my wife Kalebra was our guest on the show, and we started the show sharing one of her ideas that have come to life. In short, here’s how it works:

“Picture this — we fly you and a guest to the KelbyOne Headquarters in Tampa, Florida so you can attend the opening night of your own private Gallery Showing.

It starts with you cutting the ribbon on your exhibit, then we usher you in with the crowd to a wine and cheese reception where they can enjoy your beautifully framed and mounted work in our new photographic gallery, with sprawling white walls; beautiful lighting; and wood floors.

After posing for pictures and chatting with the crowd, we head into the theater for a live interview where we talk about you, your work, and get some insight into the images you create. Your “gallery talk” is streamed live to KelbyOne members and guests who’ll be celebrating your gallery opening evening event, and talk, from every corner of the globe.”

Sounds like fun? It’s more than fun — it’s the opportunity to feature KelbyOne members and lift up a talented photographer or artist and share their work with the world. To get them recognition and exposure they might not get any other way. Our goal is to be that “foot in the door” or “big break” that gets an artist noticed and hopefully one that leads to bigger and better things.

I did a short Q&A below because while we’ve already had hundreds of entries since we launched the idea last Wednesday, we have lots and lots of questions. Here goes:

Q. Is this just an online gallery?
A. No, this is a physical gallery, located at our Headquarters just outside Tampa, Florida. The gallery itself is currently under construction, but it’s fairly far along and will be completed very soon (well before the actual first opening).

Q. Is this just a one-time thing?
A. Nope, this is something we’re doing throughout the year, so there will be multiple gallery showings each featuring a different photographer or artist.

Q. Is there an entry fee for my work to be considered?
A. There is no fee for KelbyOne members.

Q. What if I’m not a KelbyOne member?
A. Sorry — this is something we’re doing just for the KelbyOne member community, so only KelbyOne members may submit their work for consideration.

Q. What do you need for me to have my work considered for “The Gallery at KelbyOne?”
A. We just need a link to see your work. We’re looking for a body of work — we’ll feature approximately 14 of your images in the Gallery Show. It can be a link to your portfolio, to a photo gallery on Facebook — doesn’t matter. Just some place where we can see your work.

Q. Are you looking for a special topic or category?
A. Not at all — we’re just looking for great undiscovered work from great undiscovered artists.

Q. Do the images have to be photos?
A. Nope. They can be illustrations, line drawings, graphic designs, collages, montages, fine art — you name it, but the gallery is for digital art, so keep that in mind.

Q. Do I need to put my work in categories so you can judge them?
A. Nope — we just need to see that within your work there are enough solid images for a Gallery Showing. Again, we’re looking for approximately 14 images to display.

Q. What if I don’t live in the United States?
A. That means it will (a) Cost us more for your airfare, and (b) you’ll have to get a passport.

Q. What if I live in North Korea?
A. You will have very little traffic on your ride to the airport, or anywhere for that matter. Of course, they won’t actually let you leave when you get to the airport, but don’t worry — we’ll eat your weight in cheese at the opening, and I’ll just interview myself, which I think think this Q&A proves I’m perfectly capable of.

Q. Would it help if I send a bribe — maybe cash sent to your offices in a plain manila envelope?
A. Absolutely! That would definitely tip the scales in your favor.

Q. Really?
A. No! Are you kidding? This isn’t the Olympics! (Ouch, who said that? Just a joke. You knew that was a joke right? Everybody knows that’s a joke, right? Right? Hello?)

Q. Hey, I’m not a KelbyOne member, but I am a North Korean, and an Olympic Judge, and I’m offended!
A. Sorry, being offended by nearly everything is strictly an American trait, so you’re disqualified. Next question!

Q. Who takes care of the printing and framing of my images if I’m chosen?
A. We take care of all of that for you. When you arrive everything will already be in place, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Q. Do I get to keep the prints after the showing?
A. Absolutely. We’ll ship them to you with our compliments.

Q. OK, what’s the catch?
A. There is no catch. To give you a little insight, one day I asked Kalebra “If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?” She immediately said, “I’d be a talent scout. I would love it, because my job would be to make people’s dreams come true!” If you ask me, this is a just an extension of that — Kalebra’s dream of lifting someone from our community up, and giving someone who might never have the opportunity a gallery showing of their own. This is their shot, their chance, and hopefully, that will open doors and lead to big things. It’s a very genuine idea, and there’s no marketing, no discounts, no deals, no hidden agenda. It’s another side of us, and our community, and as soon as she shared her idea with us, we all loved it and wanted to be a part of it — of lifting an artist up — and that’s really what this is all about.

Q. When is the cutoff date for submissions?
A. UPDATED: for the 2nd gallery show, it’s May 15, 2017, at 11:59 PM EDT

Q. That’s not a lot of time.
A. That’s not a question.

Q. Can I have more time?
A. No. Come on, it’s 14 or so images. It’s just a link to your images online. If you can’t put that together in a week or so, maybe you’re not ready for a Gallery Showing.

Q. Really?
A. No, I was just being mean. That’s one of the only benefits of writing a daily blog — the opportunity to get snarky with people who ask dumb questions like that. See, that’s me being mean again, and for no reason at all. I’m simply invoking “Blogger privilege.”

Q. Wait, but isn’t it actually you that is writing these questions in the first place?
A. Ummmm. Next question, please.

Q. OK, where do I submit the link to my work?
A. Log into the KelbyOne member site, and then click this link (if you’re not logged in, it will ask you to log in with your member User Name and Password).

Q. I see you have a set of terms I have to agree to that sounds like I’m signing over the rights, not only to my work, but also perhaps the deed to my home, and any future profits from the potential sale of medicinal marijuana. Are you going to steal my work?
A. Look, I’ve seen your work. Believe me, nobody is every going to want to steal your work.

Q. Wow, that was kinda harsh.
A. Look, somebody had to tell you. OK, in all seriousness, we hate having all that legal crud as much as you do, but sadly because we live in such a litigious society, now if you’re going to display anyone’s images it takes a team of lawyers to come up with terms so you don’t get sued. You can thank the lawyers for that one, but these types of terms are sadly very common these days no matter which competition or contest you enter. We’re not trying to take anything from you — we’re just trying to protect ourselves. We wouldn’t have those terms if we didn’t need to legally protect ourselves. We would have greatly preferred to keep the money our own lawyers charged us to create it. Don’t get me started.

Q. Well, it sounds like a rights grab, so I’m not going to submit my work.
A. Okey Dokey. Lots of other people already submitted so we’ll choose one of them instead.

Q. You’re pretty serious about the snarky thing?
A. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning. That, and the knowledge that at some point in the day we might get the opportunity to shoplift something small from Walgreens.

Q. You do that?
A. No, but a guy has to have dreams, doesn’t he?

Q. Snarkiness aside, you’re pretty excited about this, aren’t you?
A. I am. The moment Kalebra shared her dream of making someone else’s dream come true, we were “all in.” I can’t wait to meet the next artist myself on Opening Night. It will be something none of us will ever forget.

So, there ya have it. If you have any questions I haven’t answered here, just leave it for me in the comments, and I’ll get an answer for you (maybe even a snarky answer if you ask a snarky question).

Here’s to a 2017 where your work gets recognized, and you reach a worldwide audience that can enjoy, appreciate, and celebrate your work.

Best,

-Scott

jimmydsm

Above: My dear friend, colleague, and mentor, Jim DiVitale in a portrait I made backstage at Photoshop World for a personal project I called “Sessions” — it was a series of portraits of famous photographers who were also musicians (a pair of drum sticks in Jimmy’s hands).

My heart sank when I heard the news that my dear friend and colleague Jim DiVitale had passed away after a long tough battle with cancer. Jim was one of the brightest, most passionate, most helpful photographers on the planet — a working commercial photographer, dedicated educator, and just one of the nicest, most down to earth guys you’d ever want to meet. Respected and admired by his peers, and loved by his students around the world. We have lost one of the greats.

There will be so much written about Jimmy’s career, and his countless contributions to photography, education, and the photography industry as a whole, and what a pioneer he was in leading the transition from film to digital and introducing photographers to Photoshop. But here I want to share some very personal stories of how Jim directly impacted my career, and my life, and how Jim wound up touching so many people without even realizing it. It’s a story of how he planted seeds that grew into mighty oaks in my life, and my company’s history, and it’s a story that gives you some insights into the extraordinary person behind the gifted photographer and educator Jim truly was.

I’ll always remember the day I first met Jim
It was in Atlanta, at the Georgia World Congress Center attending a trade show held by “The Printing Industry of The South.” My business partner Jim Workman and I had flown up there to get some pointers on how we could improve the Photoshop World conference, which had just been launched earlier that year. Jim and I are walking around the show floor, when a man recognizes me; stops me and says,

“You don’t know me. I’m Jim DiVitale, and I was at your Photoshop World conference in Orlando a few months ago, and it was great. Really great! But you only had one class on digital photography. Digital is the next big thing, and it’s so important, and well…your instructor was just terrible. He seems like a really nice guy, but he’s a terrible teacher. I’m sorry, but he was just really, really bad.” 

I didn’t get upset at Jim’s critique of that class, because I knew he was right. I had read every attendee’s evaluation form from the conference, and I knew that particular class was the lowest rated class of all. Then Jim started to pitch to me how next year he should be the guy to teach the class. In fact, he said we really need more than just one class, but he’d help us put together some really solid classes on the topic, and he told me about how he had been teaching for PPA at their conference, and about these workshops he was doing, and it all sounded so great that I looked at my partner Jim, and he smiled and nodded, and I said…

“OK, you’re hired. You’re our digital photography guy for next year’s conference.”

Jim kept going like I hadn’t said anything, and he continued on with his resumé and what he would do if he had the chance, and I told him again. “Jim. You’re in. You’re hired. You’re the guy. I’m serious!” I don’t think he fully believed me, but I got his card and told him I’d be in touch soon. That was 1999. Jim has taught at every Photoshop World ever since. He was everything he said he would be, and then some.

It was Jim that helped us grow our entire curriculum of photography at Photoshop World, and he brought on guys who have been mainstays at Photoshop World for years, guys like food photographer Joe Glyda (one of the greatest guys ever), and fashion photographer and ace educator Kevin Ames (more on Kevin in a moment), and it was Jim’s idea to create a panel where we didn’t teach at all — instead we would celebrate the art of our incredible group of instructors. Well, “The Art of Digital Photography”panel, moderated by Jim himself, was born, and it soon became an institution at Photoshop World, where Jim shared the stage with celebrated photographers like Jay Maisel, Joe McNally, Jeremy Cowart, John Paul Caponigro, Moose Peterson, Joe Glyda, Dave Black, and many more and he was the host for an evening that often included roars of laughter and tears of joy; standing ovations and gasps of amazement; and a night no one in the crowd would soon forget. He was an incredibly gracious, and humble host, and the crowds loved Jim, and they loved seeing his work presented in this creative atmosphere.

Jim literally built my first studio. In one day, no less.
In Photoshop User magazine, we had been doing product reviews for many years, but we had to rely on contacting companies and getting them to send us product shots to use alongside their reviews. The quality ran from top notch to terrible; from high res to low res, and usually they had to ship them to us via mail or UPS, and that often delayed the magazine from going to press. We finally got to point where we realized we needed to be taking our own product shots for the magazine in-house, but I had never used studio lighting (only flash), and only then for shooting portraits, so I had no idea how to set up a product photography studio, let alone take the shots, but I knew Jim, and that’s who I called.

Jim, and his soon-to-be bride, the wonderful and talented Helene Glassman (a well known, highly respected portrait photographer herself), flew down to Tampa to our headquarters for the day; took me out to buy the materials we needed; came back and set it all up, and in one day literally built a small product photography studio, and then taught me how to light and shoot products for the magazine. This tiny table-top studio was built right on the other side of the wall of my office; using the first studio lights I ever owned. While it didn’t look fancy, or cost a lot, the product photos came out great, and it transformed the quality of our reviews in the magazine overnight, and we wound up doing so much more for the magazine with that tiny little studio; from artwork for feature stories, to shots for ads and for our mailers. After getting the studio up and running, Jim and Helene spent the rest of the day, and into the night, teaching me portrait lighting; Helene teaching me posing techniques, and Jim talking me through all the settings in the camera.

I just couldn’t get over that they would do that for me. All on their own time, all on their own dime, and they never asked for a penny in return. They were so patient, and answered my every question. As I stepped on stage two days ago in Dallas, Texas to teach 250+ photographers how to light and shoot a portrait, just an hour after learning the heartbreaking news that Jimmy had passed away, it wasn’t at all lost on me that I wouldn’t even be able to stand on that stage teaching portrait lighting at all, if it weren’t for Jim, and Helene, and that day. I’ve written bestselling books, taught numerous online courses, and done many live workshops on studio lighting (this was my 2nd year of teaching a Studio Lighting Master Class at Photo Plus Expo in New York, and speaking about studio lighting in Canon’s expo booth), and that’s all from the seeds Jim planted that day.

Looking to Jim for Guidance on my most-important book
After transitioning to digital myself; getting totally immersed in shooting again (I used to shoot film back in the day); and teaching so many photographers how to use Photoshop through my live seminars back then, I finally realized it was time to put all this into a book that would be called “Photoshop for Digital Photographers.” I had learned first-hand from the photographers that came out to my seminars, what the Photoshop challenges they were facing; what they were trying to accomplish, and of course I would include all that in the book. But if I wanted this to really be the book I wanted it to be — one that would help folks moving from film to digital to be able to really use Photoshop, it would have to include the stuff the pros would expect to be in there. I knew I needed to call Jim and get his guidance and input before I wrote the book.

A few days later, Jim and Kevin Ames (mentioned earlier, and a new Photoshop World instructor who really knew his stuff from both the camera side and the Photoshop side), flew to Tampa to help me out. They spent the day with me listing all the techniques I should include. Getting this type of feedback from Jim and Kevin, two working pros, was unbelievably helpful. The outline for the book was really starting to come together, and I think the three of us all realized that this could be that breakout book to really help photographers start using Photoshop for processing their digital images. Then Jim said,

“You know what would really set this book apart? You should include a tear-out gray card in the back of the book! Maybe one that’s perforated so they could tear it out and use it on shoots.”

I looked at Jim and said,

“What’s a gray card?”

After Jim and Kevin stopped giggling, and explained what it was and why it would be important, I was able to convince my Publisher, the wonderful Nancy Ruenzel, to include a gray card in that first edition of the book, published back in March of 2003. It’s been in every edition ever since, including the one that went to press just this month. There’s also a tear out gray card in my Lightroom book, too. Always has been. It’s there because of Jim. That Photoshop book was my biggest hit yet, and it opened a new world of post processing for hundreds of thousands of photographers around the world (it’s been translated into dozens of different languages over the years) and I owe a lot of the thanks to Jim, and to Kevin, who graciously shared their insight and ideas, and without whom the book never would have reached the worldwide audience it did. Jim did so many things like this, behind the scenes, to help our industry, to help his friends, to help his clients, and he had a impact on so many lives and careers — more than he would ever know, or take credit for.

Bestowing an honor well deserved
About three weeks ago I flew to Atlanta to see Jim, and to personally present Jim with a trophy he would have received in person in Orlando next spring, as he was to be inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame for his contributions to the art and education of Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to present it to Jim now, in case he wasn’t feeling up to making the trip down to Orlando. I also wanted to have the chance to let Jim know how much he meant to me, and how I would never forget the things he had done for me, my business, my family. I reminded him of the stories I just shared here with you. Jim was so humble and so gracious, and while of course he remembered all those occasions, from our first meeting, to teaching me studio lighting, to the book ideas, his column in Photoshop User magazine, and the Photoshop World conference all these years, he wouldn’t take credit for any of it. He didn’t see it as the big deal it really was. He’s just such a humble, down-to-earth person. Sharing like he did, helping and teaching other people — that’s just who he was.

He’ll never know how many people he inspired, informed, and helped along the way, and the seeds that were planted through this work will continue to grow for many years, and he leaves behind a legacy to be admired, celebrated and imitated. I will miss Jim, and I know so many of you that looked up to him and thought the world of him, as I did, will miss him, too.

When his wonderful wife Helene takes the stage in Orlando next spring to formally accept the Photoshop Hall of Fame award on Jim’s behalf, I know that hall will be filled with people that have been touched by Jim’s work; his teaching, and his heart for sharing what he had learned over the years, with an industry that meant so much to him.

I consider it a great blessing to have known Jim, and it has been an honor to call him my friend. Our industry and our lives are better because he was in it.

Jim, I shall never forget you. None of us will.

-Scott

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