Here’s a few things worth checking out as you surf around today or this weekend.

• Adobe has released a beta of Lightroom 2.6 (and Camera Raw 5.6). The major thing I can see is that it now supports the Canon 7D, G11, and Nikon D3s. You can get it over at Adobe Labs if you’re dying for support for those new cameras.

• My brand new Photoshop Elements 8 Book for Digital Photographers (co-authored with Scott Kelby) is out in stores and online. Since Adobe released the Mac and PC version this time around we changed things to cover both.

• If you’re a photographer (of any level) and looking for an online presence then you’ve got to check out RC Concepcion’s new WordPress for Photographers class at Folks, I see ALL of the feedback that comes in through Kelby Training and I’ve got to tell you, this class is one of the hottest to hit in a long time. RC really struck a chord with photographers who want to get online with their work, so I encourage you to take a look. He makes it really simple to get a wordpress blog/website up and running so you can show off your stuff and let people know what you’re up to.

• Check out the “31 Women in Photography Exhibition”. Its actually not until March but I mention now because the deadline to submit is today with the late deadline being in December.

• As you may have heard, onOne Software announced Plug-in Suite 5 with new versions of some of the key products. What’s really cool for us is that some of the in-house NAPP guys have presets that will be included in the suite. Here’s the link to find out more.

• Check out Timothy Armes’ new PLUS plug-in for Lightroom. PLUS is an international standard for clearly communicating usage rights for digital images. You can find out more here.

Have a great weekend everyone!



  1. RON 23 November, 2009 at 15:43 Reply

    ok now,

    I think we have beaten the plugin thing into the ground.

    To everyone who has been in on the use of plugins topic,
    everyone has good points they shared. It all comes down to personal choice as to how the use of any plugin is used. I totally agree they have their place in the work flow. But I will stick to the fact that everything starts at the camera and the shooter should use his best skills and practices to obtain the best shot at the get go. in doing that you can cut down the work flow time, be it in LR or PS retouching. How ever, there are those times that a plugin can either do a task better than another program or achieve an effect that only resides in the mind of the artist.

    If i could inject a thought out to everyone posting.

    Sometimes we write post’s that can come off a bit strong and its not our intentions. If there is a post that sounds a bit strong and we comment to it, I think its better to consider the original post may not be intended to be confrontational. So we should comment non confrontational.
    This is a great place to learn not just from Matt, but from each other.

    Peace out


  2. Shawn 23 November, 2009 at 09:22 Reply

    Darkroom technique requires learned skills. It also requires dedication and inspiration. To simply run an image through a plugin or preset requires nothing more than a mouse click. I remember learning darkroom technique from a public school teacher when I was 12 years old and I recall the JOY that this man felt and expressed while working under the red light. I picked up on that and never forgot. The expense of the chemistry and other supplies has unfortunately caused me to switch to digital exclusively but the old mindset stuck. I am not deriding the tools, I am expressing my opinion that it is wrong to expect them to do all the creative work that digital allows us to achieve.

  3. Brock 21 November, 2009 at 23:44 Reply

    Shawn — while I can understand the basic point of your over-the-top rant I think it has blinded you from to a few rather harsh facts about photography.

    You’re here opening a vein and advocating for photography “the way it used to be” but you seem to forget that MOST of the iconic photographic images we have required HOURS AND HOURS of DARKROOM work to get just right. And these were images made by the Masters of photography. If these photographers were alive today they would be using the same tools you are deriding; they’d swap the darkroom work for Photoshop.

  4. Darrin 20 November, 2009 at 22:39 Reply

    Taking the time to learn your equipment and then to set it up properly to ensure that you have the best chance to leave with a great photo in camera is important. Some of the software out there just allows you to place creative effects on that photo that would be difficult any other way. The software is not the end all be all, but it makes the workflow fun and it allows you to try new things.

  5. Dan Milham 20 November, 2009 at 16:43 Reply

    1. Using software for creative and experimental purposes is wonderful. Using it in place of good photographic practices or knowing how to get the image you want from the camera is just displacing the work to another place and time and probably with less pleasing results.
    2. The PLUS software or something like it will probably become more essential in the future.

  6. Shawn 20 November, 2009 at 15:04 Reply

    Hello Ron,

    You hit the nail on the head and I apologize for being a bit heavy handed. Fact is I am tired of watching people wandering around with their Instamatics at arms length shooting anything and everything, tripping over children and other obstacles, including my tripod. Then, when they get home and realize that they captured nothing but crap, the first thing out of their mouth is ‘I’ll just Photoshop it’. Seen it and heard it too many times. If you look at the pop charts it is too obvious that the mindset of ‘technology will save me’ is rampant. What really gets me is that in spending these huge sums of money for software folks are depriving themselves of the opportunity to purchase new and better equipment (not of the do-it-all-for-you variety) or availing themselves of the many instructional courses on how to become a better photographer. If the computer must be used, as with digital photography (no way around that), it should be used with restraint and not to totally ‘re-shoot’ the image. True art begins at the moment of inspiration and conception, not when the computer starts up. You know, as with cooking, proper ingredients in their proper proportions, with the chef’s talent to mix and manipulate on the fly, make the dish. Ask McDonalds, they KNOW lazy. They were the original Photoshop.

  7. RON 20 November, 2009 at 14:18 Reply

    hi shawn,

    you know I do agree with you on shooting and being a good photographer from the beginning. yes, there are those that rely on PS and other programs to make them a good photographer. My personal view is that any program you use is only an extension of your creativity and not a crutch do lack of skill or plain laziness in the art of photography. however, some plugins and programs handle certain tasks better than others because of their algorithms. and certain things can’t be accomplished in any other way. like mask pro for dropping background where difficult selections would be needed. or nix sharpening which handles sharpening better without creating extreme artifacs . so everything does have its place, but I agree it should start with your best at the camera. spending less time in post production and more time shooting is and should be any photographers goal when possible.

  8. Shawn 20 November, 2009 at 12:40 Reply

    No offence Matt, I know you are just passing along information and this is certainly not directed at you personally, but…

    I took a quick look at the OnOne offering and am again faced with the question. Does anybody ever do anything for themselves anymore? Hundreds of dollars spent to be able to use fancy manipulation software and presets that somebody else developed. Here is a novel idea. Learn how to expose properly, learn how to get your DOF right when you set up your shot, learn to recognize that if it looks like crap, delete the file and shoot it properly…..and throw away the electronic crutch! Of course, I expect to be derided for this opinion, but there it is.

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