My Photo Book From Last Week’s Cruise to Greece & Croatia

Hi gang—-I’m back, rested and ready to jump back in the saddle (kicking things off with the premiere of our 2nd season of “The Grid” today at 12:00 noon EDT with our special in-studio guest, Joe McNally), but I thought first I’d share a few of the pages from my photo book from my trip this past week (click on them for much larger views). Also, here’s a quick video I did on the blog about how to create photo books like these.

Recharging the Batteries
This trip was strictly vacation for my wife and I, and my mother and father-in-law (really awesome folks and fun to travel with), came along, as did my crazy brother Jeff. I really just kicked back and relaxed, which I needed after wrapping up my next book, “Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” the day before we left, so I could totally relax and just be a tourist and hang with the family. Perfect!

The challenge of shooting on vacation
Nearly all of the travel photography I’ve done happens during my own family vacation, not during a dedicated photo travel tour, so you kind of have to make the best shooting generally in mid-day harsh direct sunlight. A few years ago, when I went to Dubai with my brother and my buddy Jeff Revell, we went there to take photos. That was our goal, and reason for going, so we would get up at dusk, get in position early, be set-up with our tripods at dusk, and so on, but on a family vacation, the vacation part comes first (which is as it should be. I’m just particularly lucky that my wife is so cool about me having my camera with me at all times).

On this cruise, the photography part was particularly tough because by the time our ship docked and got cleared by the local customs officials for us to go into town, the good morning light was long gone. Worse yet, we usually had to be back on the ship by 6:00 pm at the latest, so we missed every sunset (and any chance of good late afternoon light) in every city but Dubrovnik, Croatia, (which is just an amazingly beautiful city, so I shouldn’t complain). Sunset was around 9:00 pm, so we usually saw it from the back of the ship while already out to sea (I know, “boo hoo,” but you know what I mean).

When I’m on a family vacation, that means lots of organized bus tours (and shooting out of bus windows), and 10 minute photo stops here and there. Luckily, my wife is always looking out for opportunities for me to go shooting, so we also usually grab a cab for a couple of hours so I can get to some good areas to shoot. It doesn’t help with the lighting situation, but at least I’m not shooting out a bus window, and the drivers are more than happy to let me shoot at a location for pretty much as long as I want, and my wife and family are very, very patient with all this, which is awesome.

So, while it’s a challenge photographically, it’s a ball family vacation-wise, and once we leave our organized tour and just walk around, then it’s just kind of like a photo walk, but with more walking, lots of laughing and less shooting, but I always have my camera nearby.

Four Countries in 7 Days
Cruise vacations are great for giving you a taste of different places, so you can find ones you really like and go back for an extended visit. We started our trip as we landed in Venice, Italy and then immediately boarded the ship in Venice harbor. It kind of broke my heart not to have a chance to shoot in the beautiful city of Venice (we had been there three years ago), but the darn ship left port so early, and we had to get checked in, and blah, blah, blah—long story short, all I got to shoot of Venice was from the top deck of our ship as we went down through the Grand Canal and out to sea late in the day.

Our first main stop was in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Just an amazing city, with wonderful people, great food, and fantastic architecture (That’s one of only three HDR shots I took on the left page above). I tried to make sure I didn’t keep my face buried behind my camera, and that I took the time to enjoy my family and the wonderful sights all around me, and I surely did both. I took just over 1,600 shots for the entire week (less than I do for a football game), so I had lots of time to relax and just take it all in.

After Dubrovnik, we went to the country of Montenegro, which really surprised us with its charm (loved the old town of Budva and the island resort of Sveti Stefan—shown above left, and that’s also the island I showed in yesterday’s post). Totally charming country and people.

The Main Reason for this trip
My wife gave me this trip as my Christmas Present last year, and she especially wanted to do this for me because it included a stop in Corfu, Greece, which was where I celebrated my 20th birthday playing in a disco band back in the 1980s (the exact year isn’t really that applicable now, is it?). I had always wanted to return to Corfu, and visit the hotel our band “Loose Change” spent the summer that year playing at their rooftop lounge, and I also wanted to visit the nearby fishing village of Benitses, where we spent our days hanging out (and our late, late nights after the gig partying at “Spiros on the beach”).

We hooked up with two taxi drivers that took us to the Regency hotel where our band played. I walked in the front door of the hotel, and I was amazed at how little had changed in all these years. Everything was in the exact same place (except of course  the furniture had been updated, and they removed the gift shop), but outside of that, it was like walking through a time-warp. The hotel clerk went and found the one staff member who had been working there since the 1980s, and he came out to meet me. He saw me and said “I remember you—you used to play the keyboards!” We talked for while, shot some video, took some photos, and it was off the Benitses for the best meal of the trip. Our taxi drivers (Sam and Niko) were just so much fun, and it was really a day I’ll never forget. Thanks to my sweetie for putting this all together for me.

Magical Santorini
We wrapped up our cruise in what was hands-down the highlight of our trip—a day in Santorini, with bright blue near-cloudless skies with the winding white-washed building and bright blue domed churches (the first set of shots at the top are from there). We took a mini-bus tour to the nearby village of Oai, and I was just blown away. It was photography paradise. It was so beautiful, that even in harsh mid-day light I had one of the most fun shooting days ever. My brother Jeff, quite a good photographer in his own right, was shooting alongside me and we just couldn’t believe the charm, the architecture, the colors, and the wonderful backdrop of the Mediterranean.

Besides being even better than I had imagined Santorini to be, the one thing that surprised me was that it’s located on the top of a mountain, and that you have to take a cable car ride up to the top to visit the city. I had always just assumed it was a seaside village—not a mountain top one, but that made it even more special (and more scary, because I don’t particularly like cable cars. It’s that whole “fear of heights” thing, but it was absolutely worth it and then some).

Camera Stuff
I stayed with my “less is more for travel” camera rig, and I used my 28-300mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 lens the entire time. Never changed lenses one. Actually brought my 14-24mm f/2.8 lens, and never took it out of my camera bag. Took my travel tripod, too and it never left my cabin (even though it should have, especially in Dubrovnik since we were there until dark), but I usually had so much light (too much light actually), that I got by without lugging it around (they were having VERY warm weather—usually around 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so we were sweatin’ like things that really sweat a lot). My camera body was my Nikon D3s, and I did wind up having to crank the ISO a few times because I didn’t bring my tripod (there’s always a tradeoff, right!).

I shot in Aperture Priority the entire time, usually at around f/8 so everything was in focus. Occasionally for a family photo, I’d switch to f/3.5 to get a soft background (I always make a second photo book with all the family and vacation-y type photos, but my wife prefers I don’t share those personal shots here, and I’m cool with that). No filters or anything fancy. Just one body, one lens, and I left the camera bag in my cabin.

Post Production
Please promise me you won’t be disappointed when I tell you what I did for the post processing, because it’s very unglamorous and boring. I basically did three things in Camera Raw (Well, actually Lightroom’s Develop Module, but it’s the same thing):

(1) I went to the Camera Calibration panel and changed the Camera Profile from Adobe Standard to Camera Landscape (as seen below)

(2) I went to the Basic panel and (don’t hate me) clicked the “Auto Tone” button. Hey, it worked pretty darn well in most cases (see below). If the colors started looking too punchy, I would undo this step, but most of the time it worked surprisingly well, especially since I didn’t have a bunch of time to mess around with each image.

(3) The other thing I would do here and there is to use the Adjustment Brush to brighten an area. Let’s say a part of a window was in shadows; I would get the brush, increase just the Brightness amount (never the Exposure amount) and paint over that area to open it up a bit (as seen in 3 below).

There are two tweaks I only did in certain cases. For example, if the harsh daylight looked just too harsh and bright—I would go to the Basic panel and lower the Brightness (midtones) slider a bit by dragging it to the left until things didn’t look so bad. So, basically I would underexpose the photos a little bit, and they looked much less harsh. If the photo had an important part that wound up in the shadows, I would increase the Fill Light a bit. Not a bunch, but just enough to open it up a bit.

I also added some contrast to three of the photos. Then I would turn on the Matte Paper Sharpening set to High when I exported the Raw images as JPEGs. That’s pretty much it. I know, you were probably hoping for some cool tricks, but that’s pretty much it (aside from using the Healing brush to remove sensor dust, or an annoying power line or nosy tourist’s foot). ;-)

One more HDR for the road
I had to do one mega HDR in honor of our friend Barb Cochran (whose work was featured in RC’s new book), and that appears on the right side of the page above. I walked in this tiny restaurant, and it was so dark inside, and so bright outside, I knew it was born for HDR. However, I had to give it the “full juice” and so I slapped all sorts of HDR-lovin’ on it.

It’s always great to go; it’s always great to come home

Of course, we missed the kids like crazy, so we’re actually very happy to be home. Now, it’s back to work, and getting ready for my first Canadian Tour (we already have over 450 photographers signed up for my Toronto stop on July 6th), but first I gotta keep that McNally guy from cussing like Maisel when he’s on “The Grid” later today. Hope you guys will tune in to the new season, kicking off today at 12:00 noon EDT. Here’s the link.

Thanks to the warm wonderful people of Greece and Croatia, and thanks once again to Brad for covering for me while I was gone. It’s great to be back. Now, it’s off to get ready for the show! :)

  1. Scott:

    What a wonderful Xmas present! What a terrific post! I am really stunned at the pictures you captured while on vacation, and even more stunned at the minimal editing you did on them. They really pop when opened up in large size…I wish I could see the actual book when printed (how many of these books do you have now?).

    I really love your meal shots and I was hoping you would have some nice ones. You didn’t disappoint on that count. Just wondering, though…how much set-up do you do for those photos? Are you doing a lot of arranging yourself, or is that just how it’s brought out from the kitchen? I figured the wine bottle shot was set-up, but the food photos have great “presence”, for lack of a better word.

    Thanks for including your camera gear and settings, too. Less is more seems to be the new Kelby motto. I am going to San Francisco in August (for training for my new job), and I need to travel light. So I think I’ll rent that Nikkor 18-200 that you recommended to me for my D300 for the trip (from, of course!).

    Thanks for letting us view these places in the world through your eyes, because many of us will never see them personally. You live a blessed life, Mr. Kelby!! 8)


    1. Hi John:
      As for the meal shots—-the only set-up I did was to move the errant Coke Light bottle out of the way. They were taken (except one) as our meals were being served, and when they put the food down I would say “Wait for just a second until I shoot it” so everybody would pause, but I would just shoot it from where I was sitting, so no special set-up.

      The wine shot that looks set-up, actually wasn’t—it was just pure luck. On one of our day tour, we went to a wine tasting at a Croatian family’s home, and they set us up a lone table outside and served us absolutely delicious cheese (they make themselves) along with bread, and of course their wine (a shot of my place at the table, before we sat down, is just below the little row-boat shot above. After our wine tasting, of course it’s off to their gift shop to buy wine, and when I got up to head that way, I saw the small table you see in the larger shot (the set-up looking one), where the owner’s wife and son had their lunch right nearby (if you look on the plates, you’ll see the crumbs from their lunch). It was under a trellis with grapes hanging down from it, and the light better than when we were sitting, so I took about 10 or 12 shots of it from different angle. Total luck, but it was that kind of trip (did you see the news today—-we left out of Athens yesterday, and today the air traffic controllers are striking. Whew! That was close).

      One more thing: I went to look up the EXIF data on some of the food shots, and I was usually zoomed tight to 300mm, and at 300mm shooting wide open means only f/5.6, but zooming in tight like that (on things like the pizza) still gives you a pretty shallow depth of field).

      As for the blessed life—-believe me, I know it is just that, and I’m very, very thankful every single day. :)

      1. Beautiful photos Scott. Any chance you could share the EXIF data on these travel shots? I am particularly interested in the focal length. Would you say you mainly used the lower end or upper end of your 28-300 lens? I can never decide on what lens to take on vacation trip, and I don’t have a single lens that will cover the 28-300 focal length. Thanks!

  2. Hi Scott,
    Odd question: can you share some details of the actual cruise? Living in Europe makes is not too difficult to make cruises through the Mediterranean and visits to Venice and Santorini are on my wish-list. Together making this cruise very appealing…


    1. Hi Ed:
      We were on Seabourn Cruise’s ship the Odyssey, which was a wonderful ship, and after being on almost every cruise line at one point or another, I feel that Seabourn is the best by far. The service is absolutely fantastic (the ships are very small—with their biggest holding only 450 passengers, and most only 200), so it’s a very intimate cruising experience. The standard cabins on the Odyssey were very large, and very well designed, the food was great, and the small size of the ships means you can often dock right in the port when other ships have to use Tenders to get you from the ship to shore. Highly recommended (this was our third cruise with Seabourn). Hope that helps. :)

      1. Hi Scott,

        Glad to hear that you had a great time on the Odyssey. I work for Holland America Line (we own Seabourn) and if I may, I’d like to suggest a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam next time. If she is sailing the same itinerary you get some great ports but you also get a couple of pretty good opportunities to shoot Venice, Barcelona or Istanbul during dawn and dusk while the ship is ported there for two or sometimes three days during the cruise.

        Not that I want you and your family to leave Seabourn, just presenting an option for a shooting excursion. Also, if you take me up on this recommendation, let me know – I’d love to meet you in person! :)

  3. Scott, WOW! what amazing pictures and they’re made even better by the presentation of the book format. I think you’ve given really strong evidence for why we should print our photos.
    Also looking at your photos I’m reminded of something Trey Ratcliff talked about a few weeks ago on the web/podcast mostlyphoto (now twitphoto) about how seeing great work inspires, and depresses you at the same time. Thanks for inspiring me and curse you for reminding me how sucky I am! ;-)

  4. Hi Scott ,

    Really a great post , you should have come to Turkey while in Greece too, We have some great sight seeing if I have to name a few -Pamukkale, Ephesus, Antalya,Marmaris, Turtle Beach-
    You will love it and your family will have a great time and proper kebap *wink*

  5. Hi dear Scott,

    Wonderful Trip, I think the Most Important part was your visit from the Hotel …… Memories are always around us and we live with them ……

    Just one question, In this Family trip did you use Jpeg Format ?

    Thanks for your energetic Blog :) ….BTW, I sent you a reminder :)

    Be Healthy

    – Ali

  6. Hi Scott,

    Seems like you had a great holiday. Some very nice pictures despite the harsh light conditions. I think you mixed up some of your explainings of your development techniques. #3 picture should be a picture of the brush tool I think. And I think you mean you have to push the Brightness slider to the RIGHT to temper the harsh light.

    1. Well #3 does show the brush panel but you refere to it als dragging the slider of the fill light. Just a little mix up I want to tell you but I gues people know what you mean.


    2. Hi Hans: Thank you so much for catching that. It was messed up, but I just went and fixed it (I shouldn’t write blog posts when I’m jet lagged). ;-)

      Seriously, thanks for the heads up. :)


  7. Stunning pictures Scott. Really nice. As always thanks for the specs and the post work information.

    Kudos to the family and your wife. It’s always good to have such a supporting person.

    Feels good to read that you always use 1 lens most of the time while you travel. You beat a lot of others who keep on saying you need so and so lenses to get good travel photographs.

  8. GREAT photos Scott. Welcome back. Nothing like a getaway to paradise with the loved ones!
    Looking forward to the Grid with Joe and it is quite possible I will see you in Toronto. :)

  9. Scott,

    As always your travel photography is amazing and really inspirational. I know it’s been said many times, but you really should publish a photo book of your travels. Every time you do one of these posts I think the same thing:. Id love to see them properly in a nice glossy coffee table book. You’d sell a bajillion of them.

  10. Absolutely wonderful images, Scott! I am very impressed with the quality of these. My wife and I live in Europe now temporarily and have done lots of traveling to take advantage of our time here. I have the hardest time getting decent shots while on these trips for the reasons you stated. Being the quitter I am (can’t win, don’t try), I usually just give up, but you have inspired me to try harder as getting great shots in the middle of the day with minimal gear is indeed possible.

    Also, really floored by your food shots with the 28-300. I enjoy taking food shots and really never considered this lens as one that was even remotely suited for that. The shallow DoF you managed in the pizza shot surprised me giving the aperture restrictions of that lens and I would think you had to shoot that in the normal focal length range.

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed the trip and also great to have you back. If you get a moment, and do not mind, it would be very interesting to know the cruise line/cruise specs you were on. It sounds like something my wife and I would greatly enjoy.

    Lastly, look forward to seeing you in Cologne in August.


      1. Scott, I wish the Greeks could capitalize all that beauty around them and pay off the debts to the rest of Europe.. It’s our (Dutch) tax-bill that’s at stake…
        I am a great admirer of your books on Photoshop and Lightroom. Use the latter a lot to process my pics. Have a few questions about working in a synced two computer environment. Like to send a direct e-mail. Where to?

  11. Great post Scott – love that you visited Croatia and Montenegro. On a recent trip to Italy, I kept bumping into Americans that were doing there umpteenth trip to Italy. When I asked if they’d been to Croatia, I was surprised to find that none had. Definately one of Europe’s up and coming gems.

    Did you manage to walk on the walls of Dubrovnik. We managed to get on the walls as they were closing, meaning we had them during the sunset all to ourselves. Magical and romantic.

    1. Hi Jon:
      We did walk the city walls around dusk—just fantastic (that’s where I got that first HDR shot, the one of the square building with the garden in the center). The weather was lovely that night (it had been incredibly hot, so it was wonderful once the sun went down). What a wonderful place! :)

  12. Hi,
    Very nice high contrast photos. Photos are such a photography class without explanation.
    You must have enjoyed Greek delicious kebab and olives as well.

    I hope you have enjoyed yourself.
    Please let me know the Camera and lenses you used.

    Thank you.

  13. Awesome pics. Congrats! I’ve been to Croatia twice (the first time it was before the war and still named Yougoslavia though). I wasn’t really into photography back them. So I can’t wait to get back with a decent camera and some decent skills.

  14. Hi Scott,

    Besides anything else, these shots just show your high standard of photography. All that time with Jay Maisel and Jeremy Cowart must have rubbed off!

  15. I think you might be missing a word here…

    “Our taxi drivers (Sam and Niko) were just so much fun, and it was really a day I’ll forget. Thanks to my sweetie for putting this altogether for me.”

    Great picture!

  16. Glad to have you back Scott – certainly looks like you had a good break from the beautiful images you’ve shown here.
    Out of interest the blues in the skies, water etc look really deep & rich. You haven’t made mention of any HSL adjustments in LR, so were they really that strong or does the Nikon ‘Landscape’ profile enrich blues?

    1. Hi David:
      I didn’t make any HSL adjustments at all. The Landscape profile did a lot of the work, and Mother Nature (along with the Mediterranean skies) did the rest. :)


  17. Oh Scott, i am a Greek photographer, i have visited 2 times Santorini (7 days each time) and i cant stop taking photos of the island. This place is the heaven for photographers!

  18. Great images Scott, thank you for sharing!

    One question though, you mention in bullet 3 of your post processing to use the Brightness to brighten up som shadows and never the Exposure. Could you tell why? I’ve been using both actually and just wondering why not to use the Exposure with the adjustment brush?

    Thanks /Anders

    1. Hi Anders: For me, I think the Exposure adjustment gives too harsh, and too obvious in many cases, an adjustment (it’s mostly highlights) and the problems I find in my own editing are mostly in the Midtones. Give just adjusting the Brightness a try and see what you think. :)

  19. Scott, it looks like you’re using what you learned from Jay Maisel for travel photography. I usually carry a wide angle and telephoto for travel and I am expecting my first book from a cruise I took back in March. I would have done it sooner, but I was taking a full load at college while working full time.

    I was inspired by your tutorial on iPhoto and since I just bought a 27″ iMac with a NAPP discount, it didn’t take long to finish it. I’m getting married this weekend and my soon-to-be wife encourages me to shoot – even on our honeymoon, but I have to give up a sunset for a dress up dinner. She wants a vacation book for each time we go.

  20. Fantastic work, Scott. Now I want to visit Greece and I especially want to visit Croatia even more. So whether a travel photo is awesome or not depends on how much it makes someone want to visit, then consider these photos awesome.

  21. Great Blog. Aren’t you glad we no longer live in the days of film. Imagine the bulk of 1600 frames of 35mm film. Not to mention the cost – purchase, developing, printing. Then you would have to scan all those images you shared with us today. I am 50 years old and I am still amazed at digital!

  22. Even though the photos (most of them) were taken in ‘harsh light’ as you said, they all looked technically correct and composition was good. Most importantly, they immediately gave me the feeling of the locations being a warm, sunny and inviting place. Not every photo needs to be taken during the golden hours in order to work… and these prove that point!

  23. Fantastic photos Scott, and loving the photobooks to present them. You continue to inspire. When your done writing books about photography, (which hopefully wont be for a long time) you MUST do a biography cause you have good stories to tell. If not in words, could you imagine doing it as one photo book!! LOL Thanks as always for sharing. I’m 2 weeks back from holiday and still to go through my photo’s but will be following your recent tutorial to get the photo book look using Lightroom print module starting tonight!

  24. hi Scott,

    I am a long time follower of your blog, but rarely comment. However, your recent travel photos, London, Copenhagen and now this is pretty awesome. I do wish you would write something on travel photography.

    Although I travel a lot, its tough to get good photos when travelling with family. Pretty much the same issues as everyone.

    Looking at the images, it does seem that you use the mid to long range telephoto distances very effectively. I tend to use the wider angles more. Maybe, its time to try this more.

    Also, the pictures are very “punchy”? I never get that. Just awesome.


  25. Stunning photos!!! Love the colors and love your HDR shots!!! Seabourn Rocks, planning a trip with them to the Fjords (norway). You photoshop guys are really inspirational to say the least!!! Keep up the fantastic work!!!!

  26. Thanks so much for sharing your vacation photos, Scott. I always enjoy them and the ‘tales from the road’ as you go through them for us. Also love to see your photo-book layouts. Keep those postcards coming as you travel. I’m sure there many of us who really appreciate that you let us travel along.

  27. Nice trip and captures. Curious on the HDR shot. How many exposures? Was it handheld or sitting in a table if the tripod was in the hotel room?

  28. Scott,

    First of all, thanks for the Nasty Clamp. Already used it this past weekend. I loved your images. Just curious, did you use MPIX to create the book? I recently shot a baptism and want to create a photobook for the family.


  29. Oh Santorini. One of the most romantic Islands I ever visited. …

    The funny thing when you shoot in Santorini is, that all the images look already be processed. The colors are so intense, the blue and the white, even when shooting RAW.
    I was so impressed with it.


  30. About the cable car, I’ve just never understood the “fear of heights” thing. You’re not the first person to mention it and I know it’s common, but I just don’t get it. Personally, I have a tremendous fear of falling. As long as I think my altitude will remain constant, though, I don’t mind heights.

    1. I agree with your observation, William. I, too, have a “fear of falling”. Whenever I travel by plane, I love to get a window seat, but put me up on a ladder where my head is above the top rung, and I get the shakes. Weird, I know…..


  31. Hi Scott,
    Another great set of images from your trip. We did a cruise around the Med last year, so I’m totally with you on the problems of only having shore time during the day and shooting in the midday sun. I don’t know how you produce those books so fast, it literally took me months to process all my images and make a book. That definitely looks like a great cruise to do though – I’ll keep that one in mind for next time :-)

  32. Glad your vacation was a true vacation. The only disappointment I have with the pics is you spend that much time with Maisel and you only show us only 3 pics of locals (1 person, 2 body parts). How about Sam and Niko?

    1. Hi Steven:
      The 28-300mm is definitely MUCH sharper all around. The only downside is: you really need to use it with a full-frame sensor (like a D3, D700, D3s) or you wind up with what is really a 42mm to 450mm. Great for distance, but you pretty much lose the wide-angle aspect altogether.

  33. Hi Scott,
    Beautifull images from a very nice trip! We went on a catamaran to Greece just a few weeks ago. It’s stunning over there! I just made my reservation for your training in Amsterdam, so hope to learn some new tricks :-))
    Keep up the good work!!

  34. Hey Scott, Wonderful Images!! I also watched the link you put on how you make these photos books, it seems so simple, easy & inuitive. I however do not use Mac, and am using Windows 7 & only have Photoshop Elements 9. Do you know of a program/software or place I can go which will allow me to make a similiar photo book like you, without iPhoto??……………………Basically, if you did not have iPhoto to make books, and you had to have a book made. What would you use & how would you go about it??

    Thank you, in advance, I appreciate it! Saw you in NY for ”Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It” Wonderful seminar

    1. Dustin,

      Blurb is the bomb !!!! Go to I’ve used it several times, it’s much cheaper than either Aperture or iPhoto and the results are equally as good if not better. The only downside is that if you really like the idea of GPS or mapping where the photos are so that you have that in your eBook, then Blurb won’t offer that, but everything else is there including dozens of templates, layouts, and the ability to customize whatever you want. There’s an online version, or you can download a client (BookSmart). Check it out, you won’t regret it.


  35. Hey Scott,
    My wife and I vacationed in Croatia last year. Fantastic trip by car. Also went to Montenegro. Going on a similar cruise, with family, on Regent (490 passengers) from Rome, back to Montenegro, Ending in Venice.
    That’s the easy part. The hard part is I leave for it from NY the Sunday after Photoshop World in Vegas. And PSW is a few days after I get back from the Maui Photo Festival with Eddie Tapp and Jimmy DiVatale.
    Can you say “jet lag”.
    See you in Vegas! I’ll bring my Croatia photos.

  36. Scott – THANKS!!!!

    I took a similar cruise last November (my first trip to Europe). And it was AMAZING!!!. The best part of my cruise was Santorini – the hike from Fira to Ia. I’m a newbie shooting with my Canon, and I just couldn’t stop shooting!

    Thanks for your boks and tips. I remember being in the laundry room of the ship, late at night reading “The Digital Photography Book #1” while waiting for my clothes to be done. Why in al Heavens didn’t I took a picture of that, I don’t know.

    You have a big, big, big fan here in Orlando, FL. Thanks!

  37. Scott –

    As usual amazing presentation and super terrific photography! I was amazed to see that Mother Nature gave you such rich hues especially the blue, I thought for sure you had to use at least a polarizer….you da man!!!!!

  38. Wonderful, wonderful photos!! I’d love to see a coffee table book from you as well!

    I’ve read in the comments that you’ll be in Cologne in August… are you going to do a seminar or will you be there for a convention/expo etc??? I’ve never been able to attend any of your seminars here in the US, but I’ll be moving back to Germany in August and would love to catch one of your seminars etc there!!


      1. Thanks! I hope I’ll make it over there in time! Would hate to miss such a great opportunity!!!

  39. When you were in Santorini did you get a chance to visit Akrotiri? I guess it’s the history lover in me but I liked it more than Fira. I recognize a number of those places you shot. It’s such a beautiful island. In antiquity it was known as Helios, the island of sun.

  40. Gorgeous pictures, Scott! I’m just curious why you didn’t take your lighter bodies (like the D700) on your trip. Unless you were curling the D3 and working on your guns! :-)

  41. Beautiful images! Amazing as always! Thank you so much for sharing not only the images themselves but your journey. I definitely know what you’re talking about when traveling with the family!!! I love cruises (I live in Miami) and just signed up for a photo educational 8 days cruise out of Miami beginning of December. It will be the first time I go on a shooting/learning experience trip. Looking forward to it

  42. Wonderful blog post. You mentioned exporting them out with the strongest sharpening (matte) – did any pictures come out too sharp? What DPI do you export them at?

  43. Omg!!! Ihave almost exactly the same shots from our visit to Santorini in 2008!!! I’m thrilled that shots I thought were awesome were included in your highlights too!!!!!

  44. I so love looking through these photo books that you put together Scott; so much so it’s given me a Royal kick up the a$$ to put my own together now from previous trips, oh and buy the 28-300mm lens of course…darn it I said ‘no more kit!’ :)

    Seriously though, glad to hear you had a great time away and have recharged the batteries, oh and looking forward to seeing the new book with the ‘killer’ layout ;)

    All the best to you and yours,

  45. Hey Scott,

    You and Kalebra are the bestest bestest! Thank you for sharing your beautiful cruise with all of loyal fans. But thank you most for the ‘blog shot’ (my new Barbism: coined for being mentioned in a blog). I ‘blog shotted’ back atcha! You guys totally rock and I feel so fortunate to have you as friends! Thanks again!

    Off to HDR my world again….

  46. Gorgeous photos, Scott, and a beautiful book. I have a question, for you – you don’t have many photos of people in your book, and I am curious if you just didn’t include those in the preview or if you didn’t put them in the book? I sometimes worry that if I don’t have enough “people” photos in my books, then they won’t be enjoyed by the readers as much – even though the architecture and landscape photos are the ones that typically capture my imagination. Just wondering.

    Thanks for sharing your cruise with us, looks like a wonderful trip!

    1. Hi Samantha:
      I did take a lot more photos of people, but the ones I included were the only ones I really liked. Though, looking through what I took, I don’t have nearly as many photos of people—I’m more of a studio photographer, I guess. :)


  47. Thanks for sharing Scott. Wonderful experience! I like those ‘blues’ – umbrella, water, & sky against the white contrast. Your photo book look is a big hit – thanks for telling us about how it is done.

  48. Thanx for the post. While i am a rank amateur, most of my travel photography is handheld in the middle of the day and I enjoyed hearing my method mimicked yours. I use my trusty D7000 with the 18-200VRII Dx lens in much the same way you do though i admit my pics don’t touch yours. I’ll keep trying. Thanx

  49. What do people think about the print quality of these iPhoto books? I had a look at a large hardback in the Apple Store here in the UK and didn’t think the print quality was all that good as you could see all the printer lines running through the photos.

    That said, I also notice that all of the print quality was different from one product to another. The small books seem to be better quality and the large glossy calanders are pretty good.

  50. Great shots! I actually have some VERY similar photos (even the same buildings!) from my trip to Santorini. It looks like we found some of the same shooting locations. I’m impressed with the 28-300mm, sounds like quite the travel companion.

  51. Scott, Really appreciate both the quality of your work and your thorough descriptions. I realize you wanted to limit your gear, but I’m curious about why you didn’t chose to use either a polarizer or a ND filter knowing the amount sky, water, strong light, etc. you’d routinely be exposed to when traveling in this part of the world on a boat.


  52. Probably a little late on the comment – But I keep all your blog posts in an RSS feed on my Mac for reference. Need to pick your Brain about this Cruise? My Wife and I are sailing end of this month for 2 weeks Mediterranean/Adriatic Cruise – Sent you a FB message as well – Just covering all my bases for contact. If you get a chance to read the message I sent over to you thanks!
    Mark Wojdylak

  53. Hi Scott, I’m always loving your stuff! I am wondering how you were able to export the iPhoto spreads into jpeg for your blog. I wanted to do something similar for my vacation images onto my blog. Would you or Brad mind sharing? I’m stuck and you’re the only one that I’ve seen done it. Many thanks, Leo

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