Masters Academy Evolves

Masters Academy Evolves

Hi everyone! I’ve got some exciting news to share with you all. As you may already know, I launched my own online learning platform back in September called Masters Academy. It was designed to help users master the tools of their digital trade: Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography. Up until recently, Masters Academy members would log in to a private, member-only Facebook group to watch the videos, ask questions and interact. While this worked, we knew that Facebook wasn’t the ideal platform for the academy and I am excited to announce some huge updates, improvements and member benefits.

First of all, I have partnered with Craig Swanson (co-founder of CreativeLive) and his company, Digital Product Studio. It is this partnership that has fueled many of the Masters Academy improvements, including a new, dedicated website for hosting the videos. At the time of this post, the site is a bit bare-bones because it is geared toward current members, but it will become full-fledged in no time. As part of launching the new site, we have also secured a new domain name,

When members view a lesson, they will now have a clickable table of contents, downloadable practice images for all lessons (where appropriate) and PDF companion guides for all new lessons. We no longer rely on PayPal for payments, and we froze the pricing for existing member renewals (the price for new members will continue to increase as we add new features). We have also have started recording in a professional studio in Seattle, so the quality is light-years better than it was in those initial lessons!

If you become a member today, you’ll immediately gain access to the 24 existing lessons and then will get a new lesson every week for a full year. In general, this project is where I’m dedicating all my time. My calendar is clear of all Photoshop/Lightroom-related speaking events so that you pay a single price for my entire output this year!

As you can see, we’ve been extremely busy and will keep you posted as we continue to make improvements to Masters Academy!

Visit the product page on Digital Mastery for detailed information, or visit the Masters Academy site to look around or sign up to be a member.

Service Station Images: Before & After

Service Station Images: Before & After

Hi gang! I hope everyone has been keeping their sanity during this crazy holiday season! I’ve been taking a lot of time out the past few weeks to work on images. As you may already know, one of my ongoing projects is to photograph over 350 service stations that I have researched and mapped out. When I’m traveling and shooting, I don’t have as much time to process the images, so they sometimes get “piled up.” I’ve been working on that virtual pile and wanted to share some before and afters with you.

When retouching the images, I don’t add any objects, but I will remove any modern elements such as cars, telephone lines, etc. I feel that this helps to create a timeless image. With the images posted below, use the scroll handle, dragging it left and right to see what the image looked like before and after processing. Enjoy!

Masters Academy Evolves

Free Masters Academy training video!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you all know that for the next 48 hours, you all have access to a free Masters Academy training video. The lesson is on Photoshop and Lightroom integration and will only be available to non-members until 2:00pm EST on Thursday, Dec. 8th.

If you’ve never heard of Masters Academy before, it’s a private academy that I created to help users master the tools of their digital trade: Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography. Through weekly streaming video lessons and a private, members-only online discussion group, I push Masters Academy members to the next level of understanding and competence. The whole idea is to go beyond what you can learn through most video-based classes by making a full year’s commitment to continuous learning.

I wanted to offer this free lesson because 1: Everyone likes free training!; and 2: If you were thinking about joining Masters Academy but unsure if it’s for you, the video will give you an idea of what the weekly lessons are like.

You can access the free video on Facebook by clicking HERE.

To learn more about Masters Academy, or to sign up, click HERE.

If you happen to catch this post late and missed the free video, not to worry! I will periodically be posting videos like this on my Facebook page HERE.



Recent Travels & Our Expanding Photo Series

Recent Travels & Our Expanding Photo Series

Hi gang! As we recently wrapped up another two-month international adventure, I thought I would share some of the imagery that came from the trip. We started our journey in Rome and over the course of the two months, we visited Italy, France, Malta, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Spain, Morocco, Monaco, Montenegro and Portugal. This is what our route looked like:

As you can see, our itinerary was incredible and we were overwhelmed with some of the amazing experiences we had. If we had to choose a top highlight, it would probably be our night time gondola ride in Venice. If you ever get the opportunity to do this, we highly recommend it!

As you may already know, my wife and I have an ongoing project that we collaborate on together. It’s a photo series called “The World is My Yoga Mat,” where I photograph Karen bending into different yoga poses in unique places all over the world. For us, it’s important that the pose we choose fits with the surroundings in a graphical or visually pleasing way. This has been a fun and challenging project in that we are constantly searching out optimal locations for this every place we visit. It’s very rare that we already have a location in mind when we arrive somewhere, but it does sometimes happen. Iconic structures are an example of this. We knew we wanted to make an image at the Colosseum in Rome, and in a gondola in Venice.

During our last trip, we shot no fewer than 80 yoga images, and I have been posting them daily to our Instagram account @theworldismyyogamat. We are also tagging the images so they can be seen on a world map and you can view those HERE.

When we are traveling internationally like this, we are usually doing so on board a Crystal Cruise ship. On the ship, I teach a class on how to make fun movies on the iPad using the photos and videos guests capture on their trip. Our next adventure begins on March 3 and we’ll be exploring South America, the Amazon River, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, etc. You can learn more about those upcoming voyages on our Events page.

To close, I’ll leave you with a few images from this past trip, but we encourage you to check them all out on Instagram by visiting @theworldismyyogamat.

Introducing Masters Academy


Hi everyone! I have a BIG announcement to make!

After 20+ years of teaching at events all over the world, I’m happy announce that I’ve cleared by calendar and I’ll be turning my focus to helping a select group of individuals in what I call Masters Academy.

In the academy, I’ll produce a new video lesson every week that takes you beyond what I’ve taught in all my books and seminars. Then you can ask questions, share your results and ask for constructive criticism from a group of hundreds of other dedicated Photoshop and Lightroom users that are in the academy. I even have a way to allow you to watch some of the videos for free if you’re not a member.

Come see what it’s all about here:

Creative Lightpainting & Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

Creative Lightpainting & Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

Hi gang! It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I just wanted to fill you in on what’s going on and what’s coming up. I’ve been spending most of my time preparing for my upcoming Photoshop bootcamp class that will be broadcast on CreativeLive from June 6 – July 1. It’s called “Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide” and will be a comprehensive, 4-week class, covering everything from the basics of Photoshop to advanced retouching, actions, etc. Each day, a new lesson will be broadcast and it will repeat all day long so that you can watch at your leisure. As with all CreativeLive classes, it’s completely free to watch during the broadcast. If you want anytime, unlimited access to the videos, as well as all of the bonus materials and handbooks that come with the course, you can purchase it for a discounted price during the month it’s being broadcast. This class is also special in that we have a designated Facebook group where you can post your work, ask questions and interact with other students taking the class.  To learn more about the course, view the daily schedule and enroll for free, visit the class page here.

Aside from preparing for the Photoshop bootcamp, I’ve been doing some creative photography using light-painting, a technique I specialize in. When I create an image like this, I start with a completely dark scene and literally “paint” light onto the subject using a flashlight or similar light source. This images below were shot as part of a yoga series that my wife and I collaborate on. I shoot images of her in yoga poses all over the world, and while these particular shots aren’t special due to the location, they’re special due to the technique and creative element. You can follow the yoga series on Instagram @theworldismyyogamat.


The above image was captured during a single 12-second exposure, half of which was spent fumbling in the dark to re-find the cable release to close the shutter. The white streak in the image is the edge of the light source, which also reveals the path it took when traveling across the scene. I also set the light source on the ground angled up at about a 20° angle to light the lower legs and arms. Karen was positioned atop a black Westcott Masterpiece Sheet Background that was draped over the floor and sofa and table that was in the background. I had to darken the background a bit in Lightroom to make sure the folds were not visible. 

I used a homemade lighting instrument which consisted of a yard stick with a diffused LED linear strip light and battery gaffer-taped together. Here are sources for the critical components used in its construction:…/lfd-series-led-line…/1310/


The same setup was used in the image above. It was captured during a 10-second exposure using a Sony A7Rii and Canon 24-70mm lens. The streak of light above gives you a hint that I started with the 18″ bar-shaped light source almost parallel to the ground, which caused the camera to only see a sliver of it on the left of the frame, then I tilted the light slightly as I moved it toward the right, which allowed the camera to see more of its surface and produced a thicker streak of light.

If you want to give light painting a shot, then download this free PDF that shows you how to get started:…/u…/2015/08/LearnToLightpaint.pdf

More to come!

Lightroom Mastery Keyword Set Now Available!

Lightroom Mastery Keyword Set Now Available!

Hi gang! I hope you all had a great weekend! I want to take this opportunity to make an exciting announcement. It’s been a long time in the works, but my Lightroom keyword set is finally complete and available for purchase! If you are familiar with my teaching and my work, you know that I adore Adobe Lightroom and use it every single day. One of Lightroom’s incredibly useful features is the way it allows you to keyword your images so they can be easily searchable in the future. I have over 200,000 images in my Lightroom catalog, and I can find any image that comes to mind in five seconds or less. And no, that’s not an exaggeration. The reason I can do this is that I have a very organized system for applying keywords. I have spent over two years creating and implementing a keyword set that is organized using a hierarchal system and has allowed me to completely streamline the way I tag and search for images. I’ve become a digital neat freak, if you will.

base_keywordsI know that most people don’t want to invest that much time into creating such a system, so I am offering my system up to you. Not only do you get my complete keyword set, but I’ve also written a detailed, 30-page e-book that will teach you about keywords and how to use them. The main focus of the e-book is to make your images searchable by applying keywords. Regardless of whether you have no idea what a keyword is, or if every image you’ve shot has been tagged with a keyword, my approach will change the way you think about this invaluable feature.
In the book, you’ll learn how tagging a single keyword to an image can suddenly make the image findable when searching for over a dozen different keywords. That means tagging an image with “Cathedral” will make it show up in searches for “Church,” “Architecture,” “Religious Structure” and more.

Keyword Organization You’ll see how organizing your keywords can have many benefits and give you a different way of exploring your image catalog. Instead of viewing your images by folder, collection, or search, you can now browse based on subject matter.

Special Characters You’ll see how using special characters can change the way you approach keywording and how capitalization can shift the way you interpret your keyword list.

Smart Collections Using Smart Collections, you’ll be able to quickly locate images that can be adjusted remotely, determine which images should be keyworded and which images have larger, hard drive-hogging previews than may be unnecessary.

As I said above, I’ve been working on this keyword set and e-book for well over a year. Every time I thought I was finished, I would come up with another way to extend the functionality… and push the completion date further away! So I apologize to those of you who have been inquiring on when this set would be ready, but rest assured that the delay has resulted in a much better final product!

I’m really excited to release this set, not only because it has taken forever to create, but because it has dramatically improved the way I organize, sort and search for images in Lightroom, and I would love if it could help you in the same way!

Click here to learn more or to purchase the keyword set and e-book.

More to come!


Example pages from the e-book


Creative Lightpainting & Upcoming Photoshop Bootcamp

Coming in June: 4-Week Photoshop Bootcamp! (online event)

Hi gang! I’d like to give you all an update on current/upcoming classes and what’s going on with me in general. First of all, I’m currently en route to Palm Springs for the annual Palm Springs Photo Festival, which is always an amazing event that’s geared toward serious photographers. I hope I’ll see some of you there!

This month, my 4-week class, “Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide,” has been broadcasting every day on CreativeLive. We’re on week four now, and if you are a Lightroom user (or want to be) I encourage you to check it out. As always with CreativeLive, it’s free to watch while it’s being broadcast. If you’d like anytime access, you can buy the course and get all of the extensive bonus materials (including a 200+ page handbook) that come with purchase. This class is also a special one because we have a Facebook group for students to ask questions, discuss the days’ topics and share their work.  You can access the Facebook group HERE. (Note: It is a closed group, which doesn’t mean you can’t get in! It just means that your Facebook friends won’t see your posts/comments in the group.)


June 6 – July 1 • Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide

With the 4-week Lightroom class wrapping up at the end of the week, I’m excited to announce that we’re going to be following it up with another bootcamp-style class in June. This class is called “Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide” and will cover all the ins and outs of Photoshop. Whether you’re new to Photoshop or a seasoned user, this course is designed to take your skills to the next level.

Here is the course description on CreativeLive:

Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to work effectively in Photoshop. Ben has made a profession out of teaching Photoshop and has been doing it for over twenty years. In this series, you’ll learn essential topics such as retouching, compositing, masking, layers and troubleshooting. You’ll also learn how Photoshop’s adjustment capabilities are essential and how they go way beyond what is available in Adobe Lightroom. By the end of class, you should feel proficient in the workings of this complex program. If you’ve been paying for Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan every month and only use Lightroom, then it’s time to take full advantage of your investment by learning Photoshop.

Each weekday we’ll broadcast a new lesson that will repeat all day long, so you can tune in when it is convenient for your schedule. Then, Ben will give you homework assignments to help you practice and integrate what you’ve learned. During the month, you can pop onto our dedicated Facebook group at any time to connect with other students and share your experiences. Then each week, Ben will do a live question and answer session where you can interact with Ben and the rest of the class.

This class will also have its own Facebook group so you can interact with fellow students and ask questions about what you’re learning. We’ll post the link to the group as the starting date gets a little closer. I’ll also post a list of bonus materials that come with purchase. But remember, the whole class will be free to watch while it’s being broadcast on CreativeLive.

You can learn more and register for free HERE. 

More to come!

Announcing my 4-Week Lightroom CC Photo Editing Workshop! 

Announcing my 4-Week Lightroom CC Photo Editing Workshop! 

Hi everyone! I have an exciting announcement for anyone out there who uses Lightroom or is thinking about getting started with Lightroom. Starting April 4th, I’ll be teaching a 4-week, online workshop with CreativeLive called “Lightroom CC Photo Editing: The Complete Guide.” This class is going to be different than the others I’ve taught with CreativeLive in the past. Each weekday we’ll broadcast a new 60-90 minute class, which will loop all day long, so you can tune in and watch each episode at your convenience. Most days will include homework assignments that help you integrate what you’ve learned. Then there’s a Facebook group where you can ask questions, connect with fellow students, etc. and we’ll even have occasional live Q&A sessions.

Gang, I am putting LOADS of time in to prepare for this workshop and have a huge amount of content to cover next month. If you’ve watched my training in the past, you know that I absolutely love Lightroom and I am so excited to be able to give you in-depth training on the program over the course of four weeks. Whether you’ve never worked with Lightroom before or you are a seasoned user, I’m sure that by the end of the four weeks, you will not only be able to organize and optimize your images in the best way possible, but you will love Lightroom just as much as I do!

If you’re not familiar with how CreativeLive works, all of the classes are completely free to watch while they are being broadcast. If you would like access to the video files to watch and re-watch at your leisure as well as all of the bonus material and handbooks that come with the course, you can purchase the class (at a discounted rate while the broadcast is happening).

Here is the complete course description from CreativeLive:

Automate Your Editing. Streamline Your Workflow. Save More Time.

Welcome to CreativeLive’s comprehensive, 4-week Lightroom workshop! Join one of our best software instructors, Ben Willmore, to learn how to process and organize your images more efficiently – and have more time to spend doing the stuff that matters. In this series of lessons, you’ll learn how to import and organize your images; optimize your photos, using all levels of adjustments; make your images searchable within the program; and optimize your workflow, including exporting, printing, and troubleshooting.

Enroll in this course, and you’ll gain access to both an enduring resource to build your skills and a community with which to share the fruits of your work. Ben will provide a workbook that acts as a reference guide, and he’ll be holding Facebook group meetings with students.

Join us on Facebook!

As I mentioned above, we have created a Facebook group for the workshop so that everyone can participate, ask questions and stay connected. Keep in mind that, with a couple weeks to go before the course starts, you can still influence what I cover by posting what’s important to you and what you want to learn. I’m going to take everyone’s suggestions very seriously and make sure I cover exactly what you want to learn!

You can join the group here

Join me in the San Francisco Studio!

Finally, why not join me in the San Francisco studio’s audience while we record the workshop? CreativeLive is looking for 10 students to join us from March 31-April 5 (except Sunday 4/3), from 8 am to 4 pm every day. Click here for more information and to sign up. I hope to see you there!


Photoshop Week 2016

Photoshop Week 2016

Hi gang! I just wanted to remind everyone that Photoshop Week kicks off in just a few hours at! Photoshop Week is an online conference taught by some of the best Photoshop and Lightroom experts in the industry. It’s free to watch while it’s live and you can also purchase the classes to watch whenever you want and as often as you want. Here’s the complete description from CreativeLive:

Discover the tools you need to remake the world in your image. Learn from some of the world’s most inspiring photographers and retouchers. Unlock the power of Photoshop and Lightroom to transform the images you have into the images you want.

On February 22nd-27th watch the free live stream of the industry’s biggest week. Learn exciting new ways to enhance your work and remake your post-production workflow. Create images that stand out and inspire. No matter how many years you’ve been in the game, find the tools, techniques and shortcuts you need to bring your unique creative vision to life.

This year, you can chose from 4 unique course tracks to find the skills you need. We now have a Beginner’s track and an Advanced track, so you can master the essentials and then graduate to more complex techniques. Get in the habit of shooting with post-production ideas in mind with our Shoot to Edit classes. After you get your skills locked down, keep up to date on the latest Photoshop techniques and designs with the Trends series.

Make the most out of what you learn this week! Our partners at Adobe are offering 20% off the Creative Cloud Photography plan to new subscribers if you join us for Photoshop Week – get access to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Adobe’s versatile mobile apps to craft amazing images anytime. RSVP now, and we’ll email you a link to this exclusive offer.

The conference begins today (Monday) at 9 am PST. My classes begin on Wednesday and here is a preview of what I’ll be teaching:

Beginner Photoshop Troubleshooting | Wed, Feb. 24, 9:00 am PST

Discover solutions for your everyday Photoshop troubleshooting. You will learn how the misapplication of Photoshop’s workhorse functions – selections, layers, masks, color mode and more – can create problems that cascade throughout the rest of your project. Develop a mental workflow that will help you quickly diagnose and fix these issues in the future.


Advanced Color Correction in Photoshop | Wed, Feb 24, 1:15 pm PST

Master the art of color correction, and learn how to edit images with challenging lighting issues. Make use of the wide variety of features that Photoshop has available for images with mixed light sources, complex highlight and shadow situations, or underwater lighting. Gain the ability to bring images that you believe to be terrible back from the brink of the trashcan, and shoot with greater confidence that you can correct your images in post.


Advanced Photoshop Tops & Tricks | Wed, Feb 24, 3:00 pm PST

Who better to learn advanced editing tips than from Photoshop Hall of Fame inductee Ben Willmore? Ben will help you unlock Photoshop’s hidden features, and draw on his 25 years of advanced editing experience to show you the power of common Photoshop features to produce extraordinary results.


Creating Different Photoshop Filter Looks | Thurs, Feb 25, 1:15 pm PST

Make the most of Photoshop’s diverse color filter menu! In this session, you’ll learn to combine filters with blending modes, smart objects, and blending sliders to produce unique results. Create a workflow for your complex effects, and apply them to your images without having to repeat the many steps needed to duplicate them.


Stupid Moves in Photoshop | Thurs, Feb 25, 3:00 pm PST

Avoid the everyday actions that make your post-production work difficult. Ben will clue you in on common functions and actions that can unknowingly degrade the quality of your images, bloat file sizes, or cause serious problems with your edits when you attempt to print your images. You’ll also learn how to fix or replace these actions with more efficient, effective, and safe methods to make your life easier.


Click here to check out the full schedule and learn more about the online event. I hope you’re able to tune in!