I’m Back from Swingin’ London!

I gotta tell ya—I wasn’t there long, but I had a blast!!!!

I flew out Wednesday night, got there Thursday at 8:08 am (slept a bit on the plane), and by the time I got to my hotel and caught a quick 45 minute nap, I grabbed my camera and headed out the door to meet Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis (two faithful readers of my blog, and otherwise horrible people).

(Above: That’s Dave and I posing in front the famous Leaning Tower of Big Ben. Notice how un-touristy I look wearing a Chicago Bears jacket. Photo by Glyn Dewis).

Dave and Glyn took me to an awesome place in Covent Garden called “Gourmet Burger Kitchen” for lunch. Yummy burger, and lots of laughs, and then we set out to find a Starbucks so I could charge my iPhone.

(Above: That’s Glyn and I caught in a totally un-posed, spontaneous moment, pondering the age-old question; “Would this gray overcast day look better as an HDR?” Photo by Her Majesty’s Royal Photographer in Waiting, Dave Clayton).

After that we went on a mini-photo walk around London. It was kind of a gray, overcast, chilly day, but that didn’t stop me from taking some of the most uninspiring, blah photos ever! I couldn’t wait to delete them off my card.

(Above: We found a mirrored wall, and couldn’t help ourselves. Photo by one of us, I’m pretty sure. Probably Dave).

We goofed off most of the day–shooting, talking about the great weather, and the two of them had the best fake British accents you’ve ever heard (They kept saying stuff like, “Cor Blimey Chappy. Cheerio Guv’nah” and stuff like that. Why they sounded just like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Dave was dressed in a red Beefeater uniform the whole day). ;-)

I feel bad teasing Dave, because the very next day, right before the seminar, he gave me what may seem like a small gift, but to me, it was out of this world. His brother had worked on the Rolling Stones last world tour, and he gave me five guitar picks from the Stones, with their names on them (see below). I was so psyched!!! (I know—it’s the little things). :)

My buddy Ed Davis met us that night for dinner, and surprisingly enough, he too had the fake British accent. ;-)  I originally met Ed years ago at a Photoshop World in Florida, where he’s won numerous Guru Awards, and since then we’ve become friends and he’s written articles for Photoshop User, and he’s just a great guy all around.

The morning I came up with the original idea to host a Worldwide Photo Walk (it was during a breakfast meeting at Photoshop World with my publisher Nancy Ruenzel), I walked out of the breakfast restaurant and ran right into Ed Davis. He was the first person I saw after hatching the idea, so I told him the idea and asked that if we actually did this, would he host a walk in London? Ed said “Absolutely!” and that was it—we were off and running (I’ll always be thankful for running into Ed that morning. His immediate positive reaction gave me confidence to charge forward. Of course, at that point we were hoping for 50 cities around the world to participate. We had no idea….).

The Day of the Seminar
I walked up the street to grab some breakfast at Pret a Manger (a little walk-up restaurant down the street from my hotel), and I met half a dozen people on their way to the seminar who stopped me on the street. Everybody was so incredibly gracious that I talked with (though they seemed surprised to see me walking the streets of Islington). One of them told me, “Hey, your buddies are over at Starbucks,” so I stopped in there and Glyn, Dave, and some friends were all in there hogging up all the power outlets and drinking American coffee, while still faking British accents (I heard “You are the weakest link” several times. Shameful!).

I left them to their Bangers and Mash (which is weird, since they don’t serve that at Starbucks), and I grabbed some breakfast at Pret a Manger, then headed back to the Business Design Centre (where we held the event. Great place by the way—iPhone photo of the front entrance below).

I cannot tell you how genuinely friendly and warm the crowd was. It was hands down one of the very best crowds I presented to all year. They were totally into it, really focused, and not afraid to have some fun. I answered lots of questions between breaks, at lunch, and since I didn’t have to fly out until Saturday, I offered to stay until every single person had their question answered one-on-one, so we were there for quite a while afterwards, but I didn’t mind one bit. Everyone was so gracious, and patient. Really a tremendously fun day!

(Above: Here’s a close-up during the seminar. Notice the liquor bottles  to the far left, on the corner of the stage. I was hammered all day. Of course, only later did I learn they were just bottled water. Also, noticed I cleverly positioned myself so there would always be a green sign with an arrow aiming right down at me. Photo by The Duke of Clayton).

Sean McCormack from the Lightroom Blog traveled over from Ireland to see the seminar, and we got a photo taken together (here’s the link). Great guy, and it was nice to finally meet Sean in person, after reading his blog for so long (link).

(Above: After the seminar, I stuck around, answered questions, posed for photos, and generally tried to avoid Dave and Glyn as long as possible, but Dave got this photo any way).

All Good Things…
After the seminar, I grabbed a quick bite with my seminar team, and then we headed back to the hotel to print boarding passes (exciting, eh?). Then it was off to sleep, a quick taxi ride to the airport (which cost only half of my ride from Heathrow Airport to the hotel when I got there. It literally cost me $160 US, from a licensed black taxi. That’s more than a Photoshop CS5 upgrade).

As I write this, I’m in New York, at JFK Airport, waiting for my flight back to Tampa. I just want to thank everyone who came out to make the seminar such a success. Great people, great times, and a big thanks to Dave, Glyn, and Ed for being such wonderful hosts, and friends, and for making me feel so at home, so far away from home.

  1. A perfect transcript of events ;o) We taught Scott some new ‘English language’ – he’s auditioning for ‘Lock, Stock and Two Adjustment Layers” then ‘Harry Potter and the High Dynamic Rangers’
    Thanks for a great time geezer!

  2. It was a pleasure to meet you Scott, and the bangers and mash in Starbucks is really good you should try it, as for the fake English accents, we only put that on for you Yanks :-)

    The workshop was all I had hoped for and you are an awesome presenter. One thing I did learn upon first meeting you was…….blame Dave Clayton for everything, it makes life a lot easier.

    Looking forward to meeting you again in Orlando for photoshop world when me and Glyn come over.

  3. Hi Scott, Great day at Islington, Thank you. I am the guy that travelled from the Czech Rep to come and see you and was there with my father. We had to rush off at the end, and on the way back we did come up with a question we wish we had asked.
    ‘ My father is lucky enough to be going on a word tour soon if you could only take 1 lens what would it be? ‘
    Thanks again will hope to see you again.

  4. Strike a light what a corking couple of days; it’s not often you get a group of people chatting and laughing on the underground especially when it’s held in situ because of emergency maintenance; darn you Dave :)

    As for the leaning Tower of Big Ben I’d never noticed that before; amazing what you see once you open the images up in Photoshop huh :)

    Enjoy St Lucia mate and thanks again,
    See you at Photoshop World :)

    >ps Ed Davis…Agreed…what a thoroughly nice chap!!!

  5. Scott –

    Thanks for the heads up concerning the cab fare from Heathrow to London. Next spring the wife and me are heading over the pond; she wants to go to London to check out a couple of armoury museums, I want to go to the Tower (where an ancestor of mine had an all expenses paid vacation for three years), then its off to Scotland where I reprise my ’91 tour, this time with a wife in tow. I had heard that the cabs were pricey from Heathrow. Now I know to take the tube!

  6. Dear Scott,

    I am an investor, not a marketer or researcher and have been reading your blog lately. I have learnt from many investing gurus that its best to seek advice from all participants (users, employees, vendors, competitors, ex-employees) and then form an opinion. My question is about portable studio lighting and I have invested . My question is pretty much brand agnostic, it is:

    With more miniaturisation, advancement in technology, and poweful batteries in future, will the flashes on camera or some other technology replace need for studio lighting ? As in could there be alternatives to the likes of Broncolor, Profoto, Elinchrom, Alienbees etc ?

    Kind regards


  7. Scott,

    Many thanks for coming over to old Blighty for an entertaining event on Friday. Having previously only seen you on the Kelby TV shows it was quite surreal to be sitting in Starbucks talking to Dave & Glyn on Friday morning and suddenly see you walk through the doors.

    Black taxi’s are known to be extortionate over here (another thing Dave didn’t advise you of? ;-) ), so maybe you should try a minicab when you’re next over here. It may work out a little cheaper and perhaps more entertaining.

    (Hope I’ve formatted that correctly)


  8. Hi Scott!
    It was totally worth it to fly all the way from Poland. Thanks and hopefully see you in Europe again (for me is the only one option because they won´t let me in to US again…overstayed my visa, LOL)

    Best wishes! Tomasz :-)

  9. Hi Scott,

    I was one of those ‘stalkers’ in Islington! Great to meet you, as it was to meet Glyn and Dave, whose blogs I follow.

    Superb seminar, learnt a lot and now exploring all the NAPP content!

    Thanks for coming to the UK.

  10. Thank you, Scott for an excellent day. I learned so much and was highly entertained throughout. As I mention on my ickle blog, I needed to catch a lift at 5 so did not get to speak with you (my fault, certainly not yours). I was going to ask you to thank Julieann for her blog here a couple of weeks ago and also for your Chase Jarvis interview at the beginning of the year (it completely changed my view of phone photography). A tad more controversially, perhaps, I was going to ask if you’d ever considered changing NAPP’s name to more reflect its international nature.
    If you enjoyed your visit as much as we appreciated you being here, perhaps you could persuade some of your other NAPP stars to cross the water?
    Thanks again, John.

  11. Hey Scott,
    Sounds like you, and the folks across the pond, had a great time. I’m not at all surprised that Dave was a great host. I met Dave at Photoshop World in Vegas. He is an extremely nice individual. However, I am jealous of Dave because while he was here, he went to the Grand Canyon. I even saw an image of him out on the overlook of the canyon. Heck, I’ve never seen the canyon like he does. and I’m waaaaaay closer. Also, I never have got to do a walk with Scott Kelby.
    Great Post Scott.
    See ya,

  12. Sounds like it was a great trip Scott. And I’m sure your students learned a lot. On a side note, I like the Fender Custom Shop t-shirt. Jeez, do you have an endorsement deal with the big three (Fender, Gibson, Marshall) or what? I can barely get caps from these guys and I have a lot of their gear! :-)

  13. Sounds like you had an awesome time in London. I’m thinking of going to my first Photoshop World this March, but would also love to see you in one of your smaller talks. Any chance that you’re coming to Texas next year?

  14. You know Scott, they make a great tool in Lightroom that can fix the Leaning Tower of Big Ben problem. Check with Matt, I am sure he can point you in the right direction…..(insert cat noises). Cheers!

  15. Hey Scott, it was most fabulous to meet you. I loved your presentation, and it was great to meet all the Twitterati there too. I loved that you had time for everyone, no question was too stupid, and you gave all information freely, with a big heart. Hopefully it won’t be the last time we meet.

  16. Hmmm Scott, I’m jealous much lol!!!!! :)

    Glad the trip went well. I complain when I have to spend $50.00 on cab rides from the airports to my hotels $160.00 WOW that’s a plane ticket from Miami to Nassau (On a cheap day).

    “It was kind of a gray, overcast, chilly day.” – Normal for London yeah?? btw there’s a cute “Bird” in the back of you on the first pic haha.

    Welcome back…This made me wanna fly some where today…hmmm let’s see where…. :)

    Miami, Florida | Nassau, Bahamas

      1. Funnily enough they do make one for Charlie as a joke but they are as rare as rocking horse poo. Luckily I know some people who know some people and I have one ;o)
        There is also one for Daryll the bass player.
        And I do have a set of Charlies’ drumsticks from the Vegas MGM gig in 2007.
        I got to love my bruv for it all – he’s just the best ;o)

  17. Dear Scott,
    Thank you and your staff for a memorable learning day; it was really great to listen to you in person, (I’m still chuckling over the pylon convention).

    Best wishes,
    Balliolman :)

  18. Next time you are in London you can take the train to the airport esspecially when you don’t have much bags. On the train they told us to pay on the way out and on the way out they just waved us through

  19. This is one of your funniest posts. “I was hammered all day. Of course, only later did I learn they were just bottled water.” Sounds fun though, I bet there was some great shots, even though it was a “gray, overcast” day (you are in London).

  20. It was a great event; I toughly enjoyed the day and learnt a lot. I never expected to end up kneeling in front of Scott! I hope the photo came out for the guy who asked me to photograph him with Scott with his D700 (last photo above).

    1. David, thanks buddy for taking my photo with Scott. Sorry if I put you in an awkward position handing you the heavy D700 with grip and a 24-70mm f/2.8 – the ‘kneeling’ part was really cool. A million thanks, dude!

      Here’s what your shot looked like : http://www.flickr.com/photos/emaniebo/5085584105/

      It was an awesome experience with Scott and I was starstruck all day – will return again next year if Scott decides to bring it back to the ‘Swinging London!’

  21. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for a great day – really enjoyed it, learnt loads and had a good laugh (I love your sense of humour: “how would I get rid of her bra strap? I’d start by buying her loads of drinks…”).

    I was the guy in the Photo Walk T-shirt who (hangs head in shame) struggled to work out how to use someone else’s camera phone…


  22. Thanks for coming to London Scott! Ana and I had a great day – she’s the Brazilian who was asking about Tuscany; I asked about color spaces.

    You recommended Asciano – according to my Tuscany map there is a place of that name just to the north east of Pisa, and another just to the south east of Siena. Can you recall which one of the two you were recommending? Presumably the one near Siena, looking at the two on Google Maps?

    Look forward to meeting you or one of your team again next time you’re this side of the pond!


  23. thoroughly enjoyed the London seminar Scott, learnt lots and couldn’t wait to get home to try out some of what we’d seen. Thought I’d travelled far coming down from Scotland but was beaten by folks from Italy, Poland and Czech Republic! Hope the laptop survived the glass of English water?

  24. I really enjoyed the London seminar Scott! Like others, I thought I had travelled far coming in from Switzerland, and was amazed to hear of folks also coming from Ireland, Italy, Poland and Czech Republic! Thanks for an incredibly informative day – I really enjoyed it, learnt lots and lots and had a good time. Regret just a touch not hanging around to shake your hand, but the line seemed long and you seemed so gracious… See you again, soon!

  25. Thank you so much for coming over to the UK and giving us all such a wonderful day. It was fantastic and I learned so much and had a good laugh at the same time. I just didn’t want it to end.

Leave a Reply
Previous Post

Do not watch this video…

Next Post

I know it’s not Pimpy Thursday but…