Finally a gear guide from Scott Kelby that doesn’t inspire me to bankrupt myself

Richard Charpentier Photography, Photoshop Leave a Comment

I’ve said it for years.  Read a Kelby book and you’re going to want to bankrupt yourself.  I warn clients all the time.  “These books are great, but you’re going to want to spend more money then you thought possible on your photography hobby.  It’s happened to me………”

Scott Kelby, the Kelby Media Group, NAPP, and are all very inspiring.  They’ve got a knack for explaining the technical and creative.  And when you attend a class, watch an online presentation, or read one of their great number of books you walk away inspired.  You also walk away with gear lust (if you’re a gear head it’s even worse).  That’s when you start looking around the homestead for anything and everything not nailed down to sell so you can address that gear lust.

So, yesterday I received my latest copy of Photoshop User Magazine, and I was terrified to see the cover.  This year’s picks from Scott himself for the annual gear guide.  This is the must have stuff people.  And if you have to sell your first born to get it, that’s okay!

I left the magazine on the table for over an hour after getting home.  I didn’t want to open it.  Fear that I’d want too much gripped me.  I distracted myself by making a pie……..and when I finished said pie I didn’t know what else to distract with.  So I unwrapped the magazine and jumped right to page 47 to begin the torture.

But this year there was no torture.  Instead something else happened.  As I read through each item I said, “Oh, I’ve got that, that too, and that……..”  Ah, sweet non-spending safety.  About 60% of what’s in this year’s guide is already in my camera bag or on my computer!  Hooray!

Conversely you could say I’ve already bankrupted myself.  Take that hooray away and instead posit the question, “Really Rich, you’ve got a bunch of this stuff?”  Yup, I sure do.  And I’m not totally financially devastated and didn’t have to sell anything not nailed down.

Some of my favorite items from this year’s list?

  • OnOne’s Perfect Suite:  I got this last year on sale, and then just did an upgrade recently.  Love Photo Tools, Photo Tune, & Perfect Resize.  I haven’t played with all the new features yet, but I will.
  • Topaz:  Hey, I’ve been a long time Topaz user.  Years now.  And their software keeps getting better.
  • The newest Vagabond Mini:  This portable power pack was probably my best purchase of this year.  Simply amazing.  I’ve used it on too many shoots to count now.  And I’ve never run the power down on it even after hours of usage.
  • Nik’s Suite:  Okay, I don’t have everything from Nik, but I do have a few items.  Just another editing powerhouse.
  • subscription:  I’ve been a Kelby Training member for quite a while now.  Want to learn more about photoshop, lighting, composites, and more?  Yeah, this one is a no brainer!

There’s more but I don’t have the magazine at my side.  Suffice it to say I wasn’t driven over the edge and foaming at the mouth this year.  But for other folks who read the issue…..?  Yeah, good luck gang!

So, what do I suggest for someone starting out?  If you’re buying someone their first DSLR for Christmas this year, what accessories should you get?  Ah, I’ve got some ideas.

  • Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Book (Vol I – III):  This book set is a must have!  I own the set, and I often recomend it to clients just starting out.
  • The 7 Point System by Scott Kelby:  One of my all time favorite books from Kelby.  If you know someone getting into Photoshop this is a great instructional book to really get folks started.
  • Layers:  If the person you’re buying for is really getting into Photoshop this is the next “must read.”  Personally I found that reading Layers was the final step in my foundation for understanding Photoshop better.  If you give the gift of this book and the others above….well, you rock!

So, there’s my must have for the new digital photographer!  And that list won’t break the bank.  😉


P.S.  I’m teasing about Kelby breaking the bank.  I love all the resources he’s involved in providing.  And yes, whenever I read something from him I find myself writing a wish list.  🙂


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