Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals for Photographers


screenshot of Adobe Black Friday ad

I haven’t seen too many Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals of interest for photographers recently. So on this Thanksgiving-eve, I thought I’d pass along a couple of items.

First up, I got an email from Adobe offering deals on its software titles until November 29. I’m always a little skeptical because I can usually find better prices on Amazon; but this is actually a good one. You can buy the full version of Photoshop CS5 for $549. The best price I found on Amazon was $610. Lightroom 3 is $199 which is about 3-dollars less than the price on Amazon. The fine print says you have to click the “buy” button and the discount will be applied when you add it to your cart. Click the image above for the link.

This may not be breaking news, but did you know you can subscribe to Adobe titles instead of paying the full price? In the screen where you select the version, platform etc.; click the drop down menu for “version” and select “subscription”. For Photoshop CS5, for example, you can pay $49 every month or $35 a month with a yearly plan. Excluding the deal mentioned above, it could save you money over buying the full version; not to mention having to pay the upgrade price when a new version comes out.

Speaking of which, Scott Kelby recently wrote Adobe a letter regarding their upgrade policy. You can read it over at his blog.

That leads me to the next Cyber Monday deal: UPDATE 11/29/11: The following offer from NAPP and Kelby Training have been extended through Tuesday.

NAPP Black Friday Deals

The folks over at NAPP and KelbyTraining.com are offering some pretty sweet deals on Monday. NOTE: I did read on Facebook that these deals are active now, so you don’t have to wait; but I haven’t tested it myself. Some of the deals include 6-months added to your NAPP subscription, $50 off one year of KelbyTraining or get one year of both NAPP and KelbyTraining for $199. If you’ve never heard of it, KelbyTraining is a great educational resource with online courses covering photography and software training. I credit it with teaching me Photoshop. Check out NAPP, if for nothing else, the discounts they offer on products and services photographers use. The discounts I got from Adobe and Apple  more than paid for my membership fee.

That’s it for now. If you see any deals out there, let me know. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

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Photography Education and Inspiration


You don’t have to go to school to be a photographer, but you do have to educate yourself. This involves more than just going out and shooting. If you go on one hundred shoots and don’t learn anything, then you’re just running in circles. So in this post, I hope to share with you the sources I turn to for education and inspiration. When I wrote about my top blogs to follow, I was hoping you would find some blogs to follow yourself. So in this post I’m sharing the main sources I turn to to learn about photography.

1.) Scott Kelby. If you’ve never heard of him, Scott Kelby is the president of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and a best selling author of photoshop and photography books. He tours the country giving photoshop seminars and publishes a blog which I follow every single day. He also heads up KelbyTV; the central location for episodes of Photoshop User TV, D-Town TV and more…and it’s all FREE. D-Town TV  just launched it’s third season. I highly recommend going back to watch the first two. The first season was Nikon-centric, but the principles and tips are universal. The weekly online show talks about gear, how to use it and great tips.
  But wait, there’s more. KelbyTraining.com is where I learned photoshop.  It’s a subscription service; $24.99 per month or $199 per year. The first three lessons of each course are free. If you look at the list of courses, not only is it comprehensive, but they are taught by the best known names in their fields.
  I mentioned Kelby is a best-selling author; for photography check out his Digital Photography books. There are three volumes. It’s great for beginners, but even more experienced shooters can pick up some helpful time-saving tips.

2.) David Hobby. He is better known for his blog Strobist.com. If you want to learn about off-camera flash, this is the place to go. Start with Lighting 101; watch the 8-minute video and continue reading the series.

3.) Joe McNally. When it comes to using off-camera flash, Joe is a master. He’s shot for Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. Whether it’s one flash or four, his approach is simple, but the results are amazing. Joe’s coming to Orlando this weekend and I am psyched to see him in person. Joe is also a good writer and his blog is always insightful and entertaining.
  His first book, “The Moment it Clicks,” is more inspirational than educational. His second book, “The Hot Shoe Diaries,” is more educational, though Nikon-centric. I liked how the chapters were divided up by how many flashes he uses. So Chapter 2 shows you what you can do with just one flash. Chapter 3 progresses with two or more flashes etc.
 

Those are my top three heavy-hitters. But I consume photography information everyday; from blogs, articles and even twitter links. Go back and check out my top blogs on AllTop. I scan those everyday the way someone would scan a newspaper. If routinely read at least 10 articles from those blogs, provided there is new content. 

This is a list, for example, of the articles on one site I visit: Virtual Photography Studio. As you can see, the articles about building a photography business are extensive…and that’s just one site!

If you’re interested in wedding photography, check out David Ziser’s Digital Pro Talk blog. David is a renowned wedding photographer and his blog features techniques and business tips.

The Still Image with Crash Taylor is an awesome site for inspiration. It features one or two photographs from a photographer who explains what equipment they used, the creative process and post processing.

I subscribe via email to the Digital Photography School. It is packed with quick-read articles on photography, gear and post-processing.

I’m sure I’m leaving something out, so I’ll be sure to update this post as I come across other useful resources.

-Harry