This is from Saturday night, and what I like best about it; I didn’t pump up the color in Photoshop (in fact, I did all the processing in Lightroom, and didn’t touch the Vibrance, Saturation, or HSL controls whatsoever—the light was that great!). The only adjustments were Exposure, Shadows, and sharpening. It was taken about 30 minutes after sunset, shot on a tripod (of course), and I was aided by a dedicated squadron of mosquitoes determined to make sure I didn’t shoot for 35 minutes after sunset.

I have a couple other shots from Maine (below) from my final set, so scroll down to see those. :)


I’ve talked about Lexar’s excellent Pro-Digital Photography Site on the blog here before, and I honored that the folks over at Lexar have included me on their site, and are featuring a brand new free video clip I did on my favorite method of converting to B&W using Camera Raw. (Click here to jump there—the video appears under my bio, but right above some samples from my portfolio).

This video tuturial is for both Raw and JPEG shooters, as I start by showing how to open JPEG images in CS3’s Camera Raw, and then I show two methods for making the conversion.

Also, while you’re there, jump back one level (to the main Pro Photography Corner section [click here for that area–where you can also just click on Scott Kelby in this list of Pro Photographer Profiles on the left side]) and check out some of the amazing photography, and very cool tips and techniques, from the talented group of photographer’s they’ve assembled, including people like Greg Gorman, Art Wolfe, Dave Black, David Honl, Gary Bernstein, among others along with Photoshop World instructors like Rick Sammon, Moose Peterson, Vincent Versace, Kevin Ames, and Joe McNally. There are loads of tutorials, articles, and some very inspiring art in their pro photographer’s gallery.

Thanks to Lexar for inviting me to be a part of their wonderful site, and for making such kick-butt digital film that earlier this year, before ever talking with anyone at Lexar, I made the switch over to Lexar for all my digital film (I use their 8GB Lexar Professional 133x Speed CompactFlash cards–B&H has them for less than $150) , and I love ’em. Highly recommended.

Lots more news today, so keep scrolling on down (Scroll baby, scroll!)




Last night I got to shoot with two really great guys: Scott Eccleston and Mark Hensley. It had been gray and very overcast all day, and by the time they picked me up (around 4:00 pm) it was already starting to rain. They asked if I wanted to postpone the shoot and try for another day, and I said, “No way—let’s just shoot something that looks good in bad weather.” I asked if there where any creeks or streams nearby, and Scott knew of one near his home–an old mill with a small waterfall, so we headed there.

What’s great about shooting streams in weather like this is that the dark skies overhead, combined with the shade from the trees, force your shutter to stay open longer to make a proper exposure, which gives you that silky water effect (like you see in the photos shown here). In Aperture Priority mode, I set my Aperture to f/22 which made the camera give me shutter speeds anywhere from about 4 seconds to 13 seconds long (the longer the shutter stays open, the silkier the water gets). The other benefit of shooting in light rain, or ideally just after it, is that the rocks look much better when wet, and the color of the foliage looks much more saturated and colorful when wet, too.

We had a great time, and I made two new friends (who are both top-notch photographers). We might shoot together again this weekend at some of the locations we planned on going to before we got rained out (on our way to the second location, it started pouring and we called it a day). My thanks to Scott and Mark for their gracious hospitality and for sharing their wonderful mill stream with me. :-)

Lots of posts today (four big ones), including my Friday News Wrap-up, so scroll on down, bunky! :-)

faithredbook.jpgCheck out which looks at the photo retouching work done to a Redbook magazine cover photo of Country Music star Faith Hill. It’s really a very well done retouch, and fairly indicative of the portrait retouching that goes into pretty much every magazine cover shot you see these days, but for some reason, people are making a big fuss, like this isn’t “business as usual” (but believe me–it is).

Some of the retouches were pretty standard fare; they made her look a little thinner overall, trimmed and smoothed her waist on the right side, removed blemishes on her arm, lightened her skin tone, and removed some facial wrinkles.

The more interesting work appears to be done on her arm, which is much thinner and slightly repositioned in the final cover, plus part of a second arm was added behind her (pretty masterfully I might add). This is most easily done using the Liquify filter and its powerful “Pucker” tool (I downloaded the before photo and tried the arm thinning, and waist fixing myself, and both combined took just a few minutes using Liquify, but of course I was working on a very low-res version of the photo).

I used the Healing Brush to remove wrinkles and blemishes, and then a skin softening technique to smooth her skin. I would love to do a quick video tutorial on how to achieve the same final result very quickly, but I don’t have the rights to use her image for the tutorial, so I’ll keep my eye out for something similar).

At one point, my wife and I thought the before photo was from the same shoot, but was not the actual photo used, but if you look at her hair (especially how it appears over her dress area) you realize that it is indeed the same shot).

Anyway, the site did an in-depth (and sometimes humorous) look at the retouch. Here, they show a large animated version of the cover showing the before and after rotating back and forth, and then here they show a point-by-point annotated look at what was retouched. This is definitely worth a look, and I send my kudos to for the in-depth coverage, and to Redbook’s retoucher, who I think did a very slick and professional retouch.