Good Morning everybody! I’m just finishing off some work today, then I’m off to LA at the “crack of dawn” to kick off my nationwide Lightroom tour, but until then here’s what’s goin’ on:

  • The “Photoshop Guys” are holding their first photography contest, and it’s called “The Photoshop TV Shopping Spree at B&H Photo,” and here’s the scoop: we fly the winner to New York City, put you up in some semi-swanky hotel, and then it’s over to B&H Photo in Manhattan for a $1,000 Shopping Spree on us! For more details, check out last week’s episode of Photoshop TV (hopefully, later today I’ll be posting a full-length version of our contest announcement from B&H, where we show you some of the cool things you can buy with that $1,000! Look back here later today for the link).
  • My buddy Matt "Rockin’ the Houseski" Kloskowski has a Photoshop and Photography workshop coming up with the Great American Photo Workshops (GAPW for Short), and he’s taking a group of 20 students out to the Banff (I am so jealous!) on June 13 – 17, 2007. It’s filling up fast, so if you want to learn Matt’s digital photography workflow, and shoot in some of the most beautiful scenery in North American, sign up soon (’cause once it’s full, it’s full!). Get the full info at GAPW’s Web site (click on the Event’s button and you’ll find Matt’s workshop).
  • Jason Moore, over at the Photoshop and Photography Blogroll, just got my new Lightroom Book and posted a mini-review. You can check it out here.
  • If you’d like some better-looking icons for the new Creative Suite (hey, I’m not saying that the current icons are really, really lame, but…ya know…), you can find some really nice ones by clicking here.
  • There’s an in-depth review, complete with high-res photos, of Canon’s recently announced EOS-1D Mark III DSLR over at Rob Galbraith.com. He goes into great detail in the review, but what caught my eye was a pull quote from the review posted on the Online Photographer (one of my favorite photography blogs), from Rob which read, “Trying to write something meaningful on every aspect of the EOS-1D Mark III is impossible, because there’s just too much that’s new.”
  • Today’s “What the Duck”comic is really cute. Just go check it out. :-)
  • There’s an interesting post on the technology blog “Tech.Blorge.com” called “Adobe says you will not Photoshop images.” The article is about a page on Adobe’s site that gives Adobe’s guidelines for legal use of the trademarked name and product names. It’s not something the public would probably go looking for, but for media and people who report on Adobe and “Adobe Photoshop-related issues” it’s very helpful. The link to it is on Tech.Blorge.com.
  • If you’re wondering whether or not to upgrade to Photoshop CS3 (I mean, “Adobe Photoshop CS3”) CreativePro.com has posted an online review from Ben Long, and you can read it by clicking here.
  • If you’ve posted photos to the Web, and then pulled your hair out because the colors look all washed out when you viewed them online, check out this article from Nelson’s Weblog (not related to the amazing Felix Nelson). It tells of his Web-color troubles, and then the simple fix in Photoshop for getting the color right. Worth a read if you’ve ever struggled with this. Click here for the post.

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At my Lightroom Live Tour (which kicks off in LA next Wednesday), I’m going to be doing three live studio shoots in the classroom, so I needed a full studio set-up (softboxes, stands, background, etc.) for those shoots.

I usually use strobes for my studio work, but last month (when I did that two-day hands-on Lightroom workshop at the Digital Technology Centre in Sarasota, Florida), I got a chance to try a continuous light source, because they had Westcott SpiderLites, and I was so impressed that when I put this tour together, I called B&H Photo to buy a SpiderLite system for the tour. Well, they put me in touch with David Piazza over at Westcott, and with their help we put together a three-light system to my specs, with three different size softboxes, stands, two TD-5 SpiderLites and a smaller TD-3 SpiderLite, along with a pop-up Westcott Illuminator background.

In preparation for the tour Matt, Dave, Corey and I set up the entire SpiderLite kit in NAPP Headquarters yesterday, and I have to tell you, we were all blown away. Once you work with continuous light, and can clearly see the shadows and light patterns as you reposition the lights, you just fall in love. Plus, the quality of the light (it looks like daylight), is just amazing, and best of all; they’re not “hot” lights. They’re absolutely cool (since they’re based on specially designed banks of flourescent lights). Really just amazing.

For me, another bonus of using SpiderLites is; you don’t have to sync with strobes, so there’s no wireless remotes necessary, or sync speed issues, or adjustments to make in the camera to work with flash, becuase…it’s not a flash (you shoot just light you would in natural light). So, on the breaks between sessions I can let any of my students who brought their camera to the seminar, just walk up and take shots, because the lighting is just “on.” No flash issues, no syncing issues, they can just walk up and shoot. If you’re coming to my tour on Wednesday, you’ll see what I mean, and then you’ll want this link to Westcott’s site, or to B&H Photo to pick up one of their TD-5 SpiderLite kits (they’ve got two light kits, three light kits, or individual TD-5 units which are only around $365 for the light itself, plus you need the five blubs (around $95) and a Westcott softbox, which attach directly to the light without having to buy a speedring, and a stand. B&H has a full kit like that for $499, but I think the softbox is too small—get the next size softbox up—like a 2′ by 3′).

Anyway, I’m delighted to announce that Westcott has now come on as an official sponsor of my Lightroom Live Tour, and I just couldn’t be more tickled to have them be a part of this new tour, and to be using their lighting in my seminar. (My thanks to Dave and everyone at Westcott for their support).

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I just learned yesterday that our special bonus episode of Adobe Photoshop TV, which we taped live at Adobe’s CS3 launch event in New York City, has been download more than 890,000 times so far. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, click here to watch it online. Thanks to our friends at Adobe Systems, especially Addy Roff and Cari Gushiken, who helped make our CS3 Launch Show happen.

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Lots of Lightroom stuff today:

  • I did a little video clip to give readers some insights into my new Lightroom book (what makes it different, the format, etc.) and the cool thing is my Web dept. embedded the video right within a static banner so you can watch it right on the same page (it works cooler than it sounds). So, to watch it, go to PlanetPhotoshop.com, then you’ll see the square banner on the right side of the page, and it has a button on it called “Watch Video Intro.” Click that button, and you don’t go to a different page—the video clip plays right there. Check it out.
  • Saw this post in the Canon digital photography forum, about a NAPP member who just got his first issue of “Darkroom” (our new magazine for Adobe Lightroom users). Read his post here.
  • The Los Angeles stop for my new Lightroom Tour was sold out, but yesterday we contacted the LA Convention Center, and they were able to move us to a larger room, so we can now comfortably accommodate more people. We’ll have nearly 700 people for the seminar, which just gives you an idea of how popular Lightroom has become, even though version 1.0 is just over a month or so old. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone there! (By the way, the next steop for my Lightroom Tour is in Boston, Mass. For details, or to register, click here.)
  • I’ve been getting emails all week from people who have received my new Lightroom book from Amazon.com, which is big relief to me (thanks to everybody for being so patient). Anyway, as an author, I can tell you there is nothing authors want more than to get our books in the hands of readers, so I can tell you all those emails really made my day. :-)

12 Days Left!

It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means? OK, I’m not sure either, but in the meantime, here’s some news:

  • There’s only 12 day’s left to pick up Adobe Lightroom at Adobe’s special introductory price of $199 (US). On May 1st, it moves up to it’s normal price of $299. You can buy it direct from Adobe by clicking here, or from our friends of B&H Photo.
  • NAPP’s own Corey Barker "The Photoshop Lad' (who writes the daily Photoshop Blog at PlanetPhotoshop.com), has a really nice video tutorial on a highlight portrait effect that’s pretty slick. I’ve seen a number of different takes on this technique, but I think Corey has nailed it. Check it out right here.
  • Adobe released some free updates yesterday for Camera Raw 4, and the Adobe DNG Converter. You can download them right here (for Macintosh), or here (for Windows).
  • Moose Peterson brought this article to my attention (from the Pro Photo Business Blog), and it’s worth a read (even if you disagree with it). It’s called “The Death of Vertical Photos” and it’s about how the days of widespread use of shooting in Portrait mode may be numbered, because of the way today’s Web designers feel photos are best displayed on the Web. At first, I completely dismissed this article, but then I realized how many times recently I’ve purposely shot portraits in landscape mode knowing that the photos would be displayed here in my blog. Anyway, it’s food for thought, and worth a read (just for the record, although the writer makes a good point, I think his scenario is a long way off [perhaps never], for a variety of reasons). Check it out here.
  • Terry White has just posted a special “Inside Adobe” Creative Suite Video Podcast episode that covers all the products in the Creative Suite 3 Design Premium. This episode is 1 hour 16 minutes long and covers Bridge, Version Cue, Photoshop CS3 Extended, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Device Central and Acrobat 8 Professional. Highly recommended!
  • Got a minute to see some beautiful photography? (OK, that’s a trick question; of course you’ve got a minute to see some beautiful photography). I ran across this site from photographer Andy Biggs, and I just was really taken with some of his photography, especially his African Landscape gallery. Click here to check out some of his work.
  • My buddy, and Photoshop TV co-host, Dave Cross is teaching a one-day Photoshop hands-on seminar at the Digital Technology Centre in Sarasota, and it looks really cool, as the day starts with a “How to Shoot for Photoshop” live shoot, and then takes you through the whole process, and ends with Dave’s “Finishing Touches.” Seating is limited (as you might guess), so click here to find out more info or to snag one of the few seats available.
  • Adobe quietly released some new technology on the Adobe Labs site that is really pretty darn handy. It’s a new Help system called “knowhow” which lives within your applications, and it’s very well designed, very interactive, and I wish I had thought of it first. When you click this link, make sure you watch the little demo just to see how cool this thing really is.
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