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Author Topic: B&H & AdobeŽ LightroomŽ 5 Digital Photography Summit  (Read 6823 times)
mistybreeze
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« on: June 18, 2013, 10:54:14 AM »
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Well, to listen to Scott Kelby tell it (on his blog), he attended a (sold out) love-in. That's not exactly what it felt like in the audience. It was not sold out and the love was cautious and on reserve.

Javits told me they set up 1700 seats in Hall 1A. The day started with possibly 1500 in attendance (based on empty chairs). And about halfway through the day, half the chairs were empty.

The 9:30 AM - Doors Open entry line was blocks long, and Javits is undergoing construction. There was a cloud of sanded concrete in the air, inside and out. We were not offered masks or a forewarning. I'm still coughing up some unknown substance. The things we endure for an Adobe high.

B&H's David Brommer, who somehow manages to combine baldness, a mullet, and a ponytail all at the same time, cheerfully greeted the audience and began the summit. But not before Scott Kelby noticed that David misspelled Lightroom on a large visual flanking the four video screens, detailing the day's schedule. Kelby proceeded to change Light Room 5 to Lightroom 5. David was hoping no one had noticed. All I could think, how does this veteran B&H photographer honcho not know how to spell Lightroom?

Some young, Asian, Adobe guy named David, who said he was a LR product manager but looked like he was playing hooky from high school, took the stage to give a typical Adobe spiel. Near the end of his rah-rah-hey-hey, he mentioned Creative Cloud, and in an instant at least 1200 of the 1500 people let out a collective boo that filled the large hall. It was an awkward, embarrassing 15 seconds for David and Adobe. I saw Julienne Kost flinch, and Katrin Eisman's face and body language scream "I told you so." Nothing more was said about CC.

Kelby was the first "digital star" to take the stage, looking quite robust at the waistline. His sport coat was ill-fitting, and I don't think he could close his jacket (even if he wanted to). He looked rather creaky, creepy, and frumpy. When someone who looks like this mentions the word "fashion," one who actually works in fashion can only cringe in disbelief. Who does he think he's kidding?

The portrait photos Kelby used to begin his LR5 demonstration were god-awful. The art direction was a joke and the exposures were insanely bad, large chunks of facial skin were way beyond clipped. Maybe this made sense if he had planned on demonstrating the Exposure or Brightness slider to a group of blind photographers, but that was not the case.

Later on, Kelby performed his fashion "Shoot-Out" on stage. It was entertaining in an OK Corral sense, but the show seemed geared toward a Midwest audience, photographers who only fantasize about shooting an agency model. IMO, the presentation was displaced in this fashion capital, with the wrong photographer behind the camera.

Kelby openly complained about the $600 price tag of Canon's on-camera flash (I agree, the price is insane), saying he didn't understand why some manufacturers ignore this hard-time economy. Next to Adobe, Canon was the 2nd largest sponsor of this event. Canon endured the slap down while Kelby kept quiet about Adobe's CC pricing. One can only imagine how Canon felt about that.

Katrin Eismann didn't seem quite sure she was in the right place. At one point she said, "I only shoot dead things." There was an offer from an audience member to present a dead body. Perhaps he was offering the Adobe guy.

Ever the skilled speaker and performer, Katrin put her best foot forward and demonstrated she knew her way around the program. Did we not already know this? However, during her attempt to demonstrate this new and "cool" HDR feature, which required opening and closing the file in Photoshop, Lightroom 5 failed to do what it was supposed to do. We all know no software program is perfect, but what a pain when 1500 people are watching when the crap don't work.

It's somehow refreshing when this failure stuff happens to the digital gurus. We suddenly feel it's not just us. But when the gurus publicly admit they have no idea why the failure happened (Katrin tried twice), you certainly have to question your intelligence and wonder why you want to drop $150 for this product.

Adobe is really lucky to have Julienne Kost. Julienne is either a GREAT actress, or she loves the people she serves and educates, and she loves her job. Julienne makes the software look so easy, and she demonstrates a great sense of humor while trying to explain the silly keyboard shortcuts. And it was fun to watch her tackle other people's photos that were submitted beforehand. It would have been nice and helpful to see more of that work. I wish B&H would have given Julienne more time. A photographer of many styles can really learn a lot from her.

Julienne admitted that for masking, she relies on Photoshop, because you can't beat that precision. Without a robust, precise masking ability, Lightroom will always have its limitations for serious photographers.

In the end, I bought Lightroom 5. The improvements to the clone brush and the gradient tools alone make the upgrade worth it to me. As for the summit, one hour of that lengthy day was worthwhile. Most of the day was spent selling something you most likely didn't need.

(The Gitzo-Manfrotto trade-in was a winner promotion. B&H deserves credit for extending that one day.)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 03:14:45 PM by mistybreeze » Logged
Morris Taub
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 11:28:44 AM »
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Thanks for this summary of the event...and I agree with all you say about Julieanne Kost, she does some great work and her video lessons are a treat...and my, how things have changed. I remember going to an Adobe announcement in Manhattan, NY. I forget what year, but when the guy showing us the new version of Photoshop said it now does Text, all fifteen or twenty of us applauded. OKokok, it was a long time ago, but being able to work with type in photoshop was major at the time.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 03:59:01 PM by Morris Taub » Logged

john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 12:00:39 PM »
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Enjoyed that. Doesn't Kelby tell jokes any longer?
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RikkFlohr
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 12:56:16 PM »
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Best forum post I have read today.
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Rikk Flohr
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 01:17:00 PM »
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+1

BTW: Julieanne Kost
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 01:29:14 PM »
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Enjoyed that. Doesn't Kelby tell jokes any longer?

He doesn't need to.  He just shows up.  That's joke enough.  Grin
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Malco
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 01:43:09 PM »
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That was fun. It's Julieanne Kost by the way  Wink
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 01:52:57 PM »
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BTW: Julieanne Kost

So sorry. Now I look as silly as David Brommer, except I'm not having a bad hair day life.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 01:54:30 PM by mistybreeze » Logged
Rhossydd
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 02:49:29 PM »
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Sometimes I think this forum needs a 'like' button for OP posts like that.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 06:06:11 AM »
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Julieann and Katrin are class acts! Kelby is becoming the P. T. Barnum of all Photoshop, LR and photography. It's all about selling. I've gone from a fan (and NAPP hall a fame inductee, instructor) to  demanding they remove my name from their site because the focus of NAPP has gone from maybe 50% education and 50% making money to 90%+ making money and hocking themselves at all costs. It's a shame two class acts like Julieanne and Katrin have to be associated with this guy. I have (had) enormous respect at one time for Scott for making the climb from nowhere to having 70K plus members. That IS impressive. But now NAPP is the Walmart of Photoshop, a shame.
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Andrew Rodney
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 06:23:34 AM »
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Thanks for the sobering insight, although I really don't see what hairlines and waistlines has got to do with anything.

-h
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richarddd
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« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 07:20:36 AM »
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I watched some of the live streaming.  A video should be posted soon for those interested.

Scott Kelby's performance will likely reinforce your opinion of Scott Kelby. The model shoot was not a high point.

Katrin and Julieanne were great. I especially liked watching them process photos in LR. I wish their segments were longer.

There were more technical glitches than I expected.
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jferrari
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 07:24:36 AM »
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Lightroom 5 failed to do what it was supposed to do. We all know no software program is perfect, but what a pain when 1500 people are watching when the crap don't work.

It's somehow refreshing when this failure stuff happens to the digital gurus. We suddenly feel it's not just us. But when the gurus publicly admit they have no idea why the failure happened (Katrin tried twice), you certainly have to question your intelligence and wonder why you want to drop $150 for this product.

In the end, I bought Lightroom 5.

Sorry, but there goes your credibility. And I was really enjoying your post up to that point...
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 07:49:48 AM »
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Maybe he's not so naive to believe that something that works faultlessly when preparing the demo won't go wrong as soon as you're in front of hundreds of people?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 09:03:49 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

mistybreeze
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2013, 10:08:53 AM »
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Kelby is becoming the P. T. Barnum of all Photoshop, LR and photography. It's all about selling. I've gone from a fan (and NAPP hall a fame inductee, instructor) to  demanding they remove my name from their site because the focus of NAPP has gone from maybe 50% education and 50% making money to 90%+ making money and hocking themselves at all costs. It's a shame two class acts like Julieanne and Katrin have to be associated with this guy. I have (had) enormous respect at one time for Scott for making the climb from nowhere to having 70K plus members. That IS impressive. But now NAPP is the Walmart of Photoshop, a shame.

It's a very rare occurrence, but I'm always surprised when I read one author criticize another author in a public forum. I mostly see this behavior here. What is it about digital photography that causes bright, educated men to behave this way? Even actors, with less than a high school education, know that such behavior is considered unkind and unprofessional. Nobody's telling anyone not to have an opinion, but how necessary is it to express your negative opinion of a fellow industry person in public? Is such behavior really worth the stain it leaves on your character? I own Andrew Rodney's books. I sure wish the above quote could be attributed to someone I don't know.

Scott Kelby clearly has a burning desire to be an entertainer. He wants to be loved by the masses. And for whatever reason, he found his "act" in the digital photography industry. I, too, was an early member of NAPP, its first year. Then I learned more about Kelby. My membership only lasted that first year.

Kelby has appeal among non-professionals (who else will believe he shoots fashion?), and let's face it, the amateur market in digital photography has gone through the roof and will continue to grow. There's a senior citizen/Borscht Belt quality to his act, and 99.2% of the B&H Summit attendees were over the age of 50. (I'm being conservative. It could be 60, but older is looking better these days, so its hard to gauge.)

Digital photography has spawned a lot of carnival barkers with followers, and Lightroom offers users the opportunity to Map them. There are millions of gullible consumers out there, searching for guidance and knowledge, with a credit card in their hands. Kelby's everyman style offers hope to people with a dream, a hobby, or just a very strong urge to express creativity. Kelby provides a lot of courage to ordinary folks who are considering turing a car garage into a photo studio. His "you, too, can be a fashion photographer" message is very positive, even though many of us know it's a false sell. Kelby knows very well the art and power of the positive sell. (He did blog the event was "Sold Out.")

Julieanne and Katrin are fellow authors, with a strong reputation for their support of Adobe. Adobe sponsored the B&H Summit. Joining Scott Kelby on stage could be nothing more than a professional courtesy. In a corporate environment, professional courtesies occur all the time (regardless of personal feelings).
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 10:13:47 AM by mistybreeze » Logged
mistybreeze
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2013, 10:17:16 AM »
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I really don't see what hairlines and waistlines has got to do with anything.

Obviously, you don't work in the fashion industry.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2013, 10:32:02 AM »
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It's a very rare occurrence, but I'm always surprised when I read one author criticize another author in a public forum. I mostly see this behavior here. What is it about digital photography that causes bright, educated men to behave this way? Even actors, with less than a high school education, know that such behavior is considered unkind and unprofessional. Nobody's telling anyone not to have an opinion, but how necessary is it to express your negative opinion of a fellow industry person in public? Is such behavior really worth the stain it leaves on your character? I own Andrew Rodney's books. I sure wish the above quote could be attributed to someone I don't know.

Scott Kelby clearly has a burning desire to be an entertainer. He wants to be loved by the masses. And for whatever reason, he found his "act" in the digital photography industry. I, too, was an early member of NAPP, its first year. Then I learned more about Kelby. My membership only lasted that first year.

Kelby has appeal among non-professionals (who else will believe he shoots fashion?), and let's face it, the amateur market in digital photography has gone through the roof and will continue to grow. There's a senior citizen/Borscht Belt quality to his act, and 99.2% of the B&H Summit attendees were over the age of 50. (I'm being conservative. It could be 60, but older is looking better these days, so its hard to gauge.)

Digital photography has spawned a lot of carnival barkers with followers, and Lightroom offers users the opportunity to Map them. There are millions of gullible consumers out there, searching for guidance and knowledge, with a credit card in their hands. Kelby's everyman style offers hope to people with a dream, a hobby, or just a very strong urge to express creativity. Kelby provides a lot of courage to ordinary folks who are considering turing a car garage into a photo studio. His "you, too, can be a fashion photographer" message is very positive, even though many of us know it's a false sell. Kelby knows very well the art and power of the positive sell. (He did blog the event was "Sold Out.")

Julieanne and Katrin are fellow authors, with a strong reputation for their support of Adobe. Adobe sponsored the B&H Summit. Joining Scott Kelby on stage could be nothing more than a professional courtesy. In a corporate environment, professional courtesies occur all the time (regardless of personal feelings).

Not sure what's wrong with expressing an opinion.  Author or not.  Not sure why you're castigating Andrew for, essentially, expressing the same basic opinion of Kelby as he does.

I too was a member of NAPP for one year, 7 or 8 years ago.  I was curious what all the hubbub was about.  Didn't renew.  The magazine is a joke.  The 'Kelby Method' of teaching - follow this script step by step - doesn't lend itself to actual learning.  And if you try to express any criticism or even say anything remotely less than glowing about Kelby or his band of merry men, the Kelby Kult members make like they're going to string you up and boil you in oil.  

And not for nothing, but commenting about ill-fitting clothes, bloated waistlines and less than appealing hair styles isn't exactly a classy move either; particularly where they have no relevance to the subject matter - Photoshop, Lightroom and Adobe.  It comes across as petty and catty.  
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 10:34:21 AM by BobFisher » Logged
john beardsworth
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2013, 10:44:57 AM »
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It's a very rare occurrence, but I'm always surprised when I read one author criticize another author in a public forum. I mostly see this behavior here. What is it about digital photography that causes bright, educated men to behave this way?
You've got to take it on a case-by-case basis. Andrew can obviously speak for himself, and has a particular issue with that Lab colour guy, but I can certainly explain why I made my mildly-disparaging quip about Scott's jokes and why I'll often refer to his company with coded language such as "I don't recommend" or they "aren't so strong" on certain topics (advice about Library for example).

It's always been my strong impression that Scott's organisation is extremely self-serving, and they'll do everything to boost things where they can take their cut, but almost nothing that might lead their audience to spend money elsewhere. Do you think they'll say nice things about a book/video they aren't promoting? Only usually if there's something in it for them, and that's just not the case with others in this loose author community. I also find a lot of their content loud and dumbed down to the point of being almost misleading, like the worst kind of American commercial TV, so I've always kept my distance from them and find little to recommend them.  

John
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 10:46:33 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

mistybreeze
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2013, 10:46:02 AM »
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Sorry, but there goes your credibility.

What a silly thing to say. Sorry, but you're wrong.

The demo that failed was an HDR workflow. I have never seen an HDR image that I liked, let alone wanted to take the time to emulate (even though I love to bracket). HDR images look fake and/or other-worldly to me. So if there's a glitch in a feature that I will not likely use (and might get fixed in v5.1), why should I not buy the product if other features that I do use have greatly improved? That would be STUPID.

The Advanced Healing Brush is finally non-circular. It's sort of like combining Photoshop's Healing Brush with the Patch Tool. It won't take care of stray hairs against a non-solid backdrop, but it will do much more than the limited tool in previous versions. THIS is important to my workflow.

The Radial Filter is a HUGE improvement, and the adjustments that you can make within this tool are AMAZING. If you are an artist, this tool is crucial.

The Correcting Perspective is a must have for architecture photography. I haven't used it yet, but I could easily see this helping my workflow in a big way.

Why on earth would I NOT purchase the product, especially with a "show price" attached, when all these new features are important to me? In fact, I bought 6 full versions of LR5. I plan to treat my favorite assistants.

I don't hate Adobe products. I just hate how the execs are treating struggling photographers. Get real.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2013, 10:49:04 AM »
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Not sure what's wrong with expressing an opinion.  Author or not.

I agree but I didn't see the rule that authors are not supposed to express such opinions. That said, my book's out of print, I have no intention of ever writing another.

Misty what's the statue of limitations for expressing an opinion? The book was published in 2005, went out or print a year or so ago.
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Andrew Rodney
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