Teaching classes & taking classes

After teaching at the California Photo Festival (mentioned in my last post), Karen and I flew back to the Philadelphia area. Her family lives nearby in New Jersey and we have been staying with them while the bus gets some maintenance work done in New York. I should really say that Karen has been staying with them, because I have been bouncing all over the place this past week!

It wasn’t two days after we returned from California that I was on another plane, bound for Atlanta. where I presented my 1-day Photoshop Creativity seminar. I was only there for one night, but I was happy to be able to meet up with my great friend and fellow photographer/teacher Eddie Tapp, who lives in Atlanta. That’s one of the great things about traveling so much. I make friends all over the country and always have someone to catch up with when I’m visiting a major city. Because Eddie also travels a lot, I’ve seen him in multiple places all over the country.

After returning to New Jersey, I only spent one night before I was on the move yet again. I headed north to pick up the bus in New York, where I stayed for one night reviewing all of the maintenance projects that were being done on it. I’m also happy to say that, for the first time in years, the bus has a working generator!

My next stop was Lancaster, PA, where I would be taking a private class on lightpainting. That’s right. You read that correctly. I wasn’t teaching the class. I was taking the class. I had come across the work of Harold Ross and was just blown away by his style of lightpainting. When I saw that I would be within a few hours of his PA locale, I was excited to be able to arrange a two-day class/workshop with him. I loved seeing his approach to lightpainting and having the opportunity to learn with him one-on-one. We spent one day where Harold created a lightpainted still life, showing me how he works, and then another day where I created one myself, with his assistance. The image you see here literally took all day to create and is made up of nearly 100 exposures.

So in the course of one week, I went from being the teacher to being the student, and I loved it! In the coming week, Karen and I will begin to head south, as temperatures are dropping and we’d like to be able to photograph some fall color before ending up in warm, sunny Florida. More to come!

Stilllife-LightpaintingThis is the final image that I created during my lightpainting class with Photographer Harold Ross. 


stilllife-detail2Detail images from the lightpainting

Photoshop World 2013: Back to Vegas

It’s hard to believe that this event rolled around again so quickly, but as the saying goes… time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve taught at well over 20 Photoshop World Conferences and this one was back in the crazy town of Las Vegas. This usually makes for a pretty good mix of work and play! I taught three classes at the event: Camera Raw Essentials, Advanced Camera RAW and Photoshop’s Hidden & Hard to Find Tweaks. The rest of the time was spent networking, scouring the trade show for new and interesting products, and hanging out with friends.

This conference was a little special, due to a amazing move by Adobe to give ALL attendees a free 1-year subscription to the Creative Cloud, which is basically the master collection of all Adobe’s software. This is pretty huge, and basically pays for the conference admission and then some!

ScottKeynoteScott Kelby introduces Adobe at the Photoshop World Keynote. 

We also saw two shows during the conference after hours. The first was the Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show, which was pretty great. As you can probably imagine, the highlights of this one were the music and the dancing. Karen is a Michael Jackson fanatic, so she was pretty much in her glory. We also saw a show called Absinthe, which was very…um… different. Let’s just say that it’s a great show, but not for the faint of heart… or those who are easily offended. The show was a series of beautiful performances, punctuated by the bantering of two emcees who are just hilarious. (and very rated R) We liked that the whole feel of the show was different, and we knew that going in, as we literally entered the tent (which is the venue) through a phone booth.

BenSteveBrennanOut to dinner at Caesars Palace with by friends Brennan and Steve. 

After the conference wrapped up, we few back to Minneapolis, where we left the bus. We’ll be spending the next week or so here, catching up with old friends (I grew up in Minneapolis) and getting some work done. Afterwards, we’ll head eastward, passing through Chicago and likely a few more cities before reaching the east coast.

Upcoming Events:

In case you missed Photoshop World, I’m teaching at another fantastic event coming up called the California Photo Festival, in San Luis Obispo, CA. I taught at this event for the first time last year and was really impressed with not only the number of classes, but the variety. There are loads of hands-on shooting classes in the field as well as lecture-style classes. If you like having the opportunity to shoot a lot during events like this, be sure to check this one out. You can find the class list and registration details HERE. And you can find my schedule HERE.


My Photoshop Creativity Tour is also coming to Tampa, FL, on Oct. 4, and Atlanta, GA, on Oct. 18th. This is a one-day event that is broken into five sessions: Essential Masking Techniques, Working Smart, Compositing Secrets, Adding Depth and Dimension and Jaw-dropping Tips. For more details, or to register, click HERE.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 12.56.32 PM

creativeLIVE & the road to Glacier

Hi gang! Here’s the weekly recap. We started the week off in Seattle, where I was teaching my “Photoshop Mastery: Creative Explorations” 2-day online class. We covered everything from filters, to brushes, to panollages, and all kinds of fun creative techniques. If you missed it, you can still get the class HERE. Immediately following my Creative Explorations class, I did a one-day “Image Ambulance” class, which covered all kinds of retouching and restoration techniques. This one was really interesting because all of the images were submitted by viewers and I only started working on them during the live class. No pressure! It actually turned out to be great, and we had a nice array of “problem images” to deal with. If you’d like to grab the Image Ambulance class, you can do so HERE.

BenCL-JulyMe and my in-studio students at creativeLIVE.

Karen and I always love hanging out in Seattle. Not only is the creativeLIVE team amazing to work with, but the city is pretty awesome itself… especially in the summer months when it’s actually sunny! We always find great places to eat, and this time, we checked out the Collections Cafe, which is located inside the Chihuly Garden of Glass Museum. The cafe is pretty interesting in that it’s full of interesting… you guessed it… collections. Each table is a shadowbox full of unique vintage things. Cameras, wind-up toys, you name it. Hanging on the ceiling are dozens of old accordions. All in all, it makes for a pretty funky atmosphere. We also stopped at Pike Place Market before we left, and that’s always an adventure in itself!

Ben-CollectionsCafeKaren got this shot of my at the Collections Cafe in Seattle. There are dozens of old accordions hanging from the ceiling.

After we left Seattle, we spent a night in the Spokane area before heading east towards Glacier National Park. We did stop for a night in Sand Point, Idaho on the way and spent the evening hanging out with Karen’s friends Wendy and Sean, who live in town. What’s funny is that the RV park we stayed at was directly across from Laughing Dog Brewery. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a bit of a beer snob, and love stopping at breweries along my travels. This place had at least five different IPAs (India Pale Ales) and that’s my favorite kind of beer. Karen also loved the place because to say it was dog friendly would be an understatement. There were at least five to six dogs running around the place at any given time.

BenKar-LaughingDogKaren and I striking one of our signature poses out front of Laughing Dog.

The next day, we made it to our Glacier rv park, which is only a few miles from the entrance to the national park. So far, we’ve only gotten to explore one day so we were really just getting the lay of the land, driving from one side to the other to see what it was like. I haven’t been to this park since I was in college and Karen has never been before. In fact, this is her first time in Montana! From what we’ve seen so far, the park is beautiful, and we’re bound to have a great week of exploring and shooting here. More to come!

BenKar-GlacierSignThe mandatory tourist shot.

GlacierNP2013-706-EditHere I am with a fleet of vintage busses used by the national park for public transport. I would LOVE to get to lightpaint one of these!

In the field and “on Location”

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Fourth of July Weekend! I spent the past week parked a little north of Spokane, Washington, doing a mixture of shooting and event prep. You may be confused by the title of this post, because “in the field” and “on location” sound like the same thing. To clear things up, I have named my current bus “Location” so that when people ask me where I am, I can say that I’m “on Location.”

If you read my last post, you saw lots of images from our shoots in the Palouse area. Well, I was so happy with that area that I went back to spend more time there this past week. Karen spent the week at her parents’ house in NJ, so I was exploring on my own. I managed to get some really nice light, as you can see in the shots below.

PalouseLandscapePanoI shot this pano near the top of Steptoe Butte in the Palouse.

1013163_10153420865980355_292144191_nLone tree in a wheat field with Steptoe Butte in the background.

As I mentioned above, I also spent a lot of time this week “on location” getting ready for this week’s training event. I am teaching a 2-day class at creativeLIVE called “Photoshop Mastery: Creative Explorations.” I’ve been teaching the Photoshop Mastery series for several months now and this is the newest segment. As with all creativeLIVE online classes, when the class is live, it’s totally free to watch. After it’s finished, you can buy the class to watch any time you’d like. When you buy the class, you also get all the supplemental material that goes with the course, such as the course handbook and practice images. The class is today and tomorrow (July 8-9) from 9-4 PST.

Here is a rundown of what the “Creative Explorations” class is covering:

Explore the creative side of Photoshop. Take a walk down the filter menu and learn what’s lurking in the not-so-obvious filters like Displacement Maps and Lighting Effects. See how the simple text and shape tools can be taken to the next level by incorporating layer styles, clipping masks and more.

• Learn which filters have a special relationship with Photoshop’s Blending Modes, which allows for unexpectedly creative results
• Start to use Photoshop’s 3D features to add dimension to otherwise flat imagery
• Create animated slide shows that better keep your viewer’s attention
• Add texture to your images to give them more personality


On Wednesday, I’ll be teaching an additional class at creativeLIVE called “Image Ambulance,” where you’ll learn how to deal with the most difficult problem images. Techniques will include:

• Removing dust and scratches
• Extreme color correction techniques
• Tonal Rescue Techniques
• General Repair and Restoration Techniques
• Unifying skin tone and color
• Eye and Teeth Tweaking
• Red Eye Removal
• Removing Lens Flare and glasses glare
• Whatever else you can think of and have an example image to submit

Click HERE to learn more and to enroll for free!

976540_10153428575930355_824597638_oI shot this image last year on the road to Taos, in New Mexico. I used Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter on it, as I was finalizing the creative techniques I’ll be covering in this week’s class. 

Karen and I will be in Seattle until Thursday, mostly immersed in creativeLIVE workshops. After that, we’ll head back to the bus near Spokane. More to come!

Work & Play in Portland

The Work

This past week has been a busy one, and my time was mostly occupied with work engagements. For three full days, I did some corporate training for a local company. What does that mean? Well companies can hire me to teach private events or do custom training sessions with their staff. This often times works out for groups with really specific needs. This way, they’re not stuck with the generalized sessions you’d receive at one of my public events. If you’re ever interested in private Photoshop or photography training, check out the In-House area on this site.

I also presented one of my 1-day Photographic Artistry seminars in Portland. Usually, I fly to all of my Kelby Training events, but for this one, we just happened to be in town! If you haven’t been to one of these one-day events yet, I’ve got more coming up in the next month in Denver, CO, Columbus, OH, and Boston, MA. More dates will be added as well. I’d love to see you there!

The Play

There is a vintage service station south of Portland that I have been wanting to shoot for some time now. After all the work events this week, I finally made my way down there to go shooting. This one is an old Flying A station. Below is an iPhone shot I played with a bit. I haven’t had time to process the RAW files yet.

BenFlyingAStationThe vintage Flying A station I shot the other day. This is my iPhone image.

This week, I also bit the bullet and ordered the new bike I had been planning on getting for a long time now. It’s a hybrid (paddle and electric) folding bike. This is the smallest and lightest folding bike you’ll find. It can be folded/unfolded in about 15 seconds and will easily fit in the boot of our Mini Cooper as well as in the storage area under our bus. I’m adding an electric conversion from NYCEwheels.com to help me up the hills and boost my speed when peddling as well.

BenBikeThis is the bike I just ordered. I had been eying it up for a while!

Lastly, Karen and I paid another visit to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, and were actually able to make it on a sunny day! As I mentioned in my last post, it’s just a color explosion, and very much worth going to if you’re a photographer or photo enthusiast. Despite the weekend crowds, I was able to get plenty of shots without loads of people in them. I played a lot with my circular fisheye lens, placing it in interesting locations, including underneath the tulips.

TulipFest-BEN-138One of my circular fisheye shots from the Tulip Fest.

This coming week, we’re in Orlando for another Photoshop World Conference and Expo! More to come…