LTR! Podcast Episode #27

Scott Kelby: On Photoshop And Lightroom

Scott Kelby is one of the heavyweights in the photo industry, and for good reasons! We talk about his start in the industry, how he grew his business and the ethics of retouching.

<span style="font-size:1rem;font-weight:200">In this Podcast:</span> <br>Scott Kelby

In this Podcast:
Scott Kelby

Scott is a photographer, designer, and award-winning author of more than 90 books. For six years in a row, Scott has been honored with the distinction of being the world’s #1 best-selling author of photography techniques books.

Scott is Editor and Publisher of Lightroom Magazine; producer of, Editor and co-founder of Photoshop User magazine; host of The Grid, the influential, live, weekly talk show for photographers; and is the founder of the annual Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk.™ He is President and CEO of KelbyOne, an online educational community for learning Lightroom, Photoshop, and photography.
Scott is Conference Technical Chair for the annual Photoshop World Conference and a frequent speaker at conferences and trade shows around the world. He is featured in a series of online learning courses at and has been training Photoshop users and photographers since 1993.

Guest Website

Scott’s Start Into The Creative Industry

Scott started his creative career early in his life as a musician. Driven by this creative spark in him, he went on to discover a variety of venues, playing gigs, going on tour. One day, meeting up with his brother who was into photography, Scott was shown a blown-up print of an image his brother took and was just blown away.

Ultimately, his brother gifted him his old Minolta film camera. A moment from which on Scot was hooked on photography

Photography Side Hustle – Burning out on Photography

After discovering his passion for photography, Scott opened up a photography studio on the side while maintaining his day job. Over time, however, he did so much photography, that he got burned out on it, ultimately laying his camera to rest and not touch it for 14 years.

Years later, when digital came around, Scott re-discovered his passion for the medium of photography and does it ever since. And on top, he is a world-renowned photography and photoshop instructor.

From Graphic Design To Teaching Photoshop

After Scott has left his job in the financial industry, he opened up a small design studio. That time, when he was doing print work for newspapers, he eventually discovered Photoshop. An application which by the time was quite rudimentary compared to today’s standards, but for the time, it was a groundbreaking life-saver for every designer.

From the design work he did, Scott learned all the little and huge tricks in design, printing, pre-press, and all that other good stuff. Scott grew into the Photoshop eco-system along with his work and his growing client base.

From Publishing A Magazin To Creating An International Conference

Back in the ’90s, Scott began to first publish a small magazine for photoshop and MAC enthusiasts to than hosting the first seminars on this topic in the Tampa, FL area.

To this day, Scott and his company do regular seminars on photography and photoshop, not only in the states but all over the world!

Ultimately, the conferences became the National Association For Photoshop Users (NAP).

Photoshop User Magazine

Photoshop user magazine is KelbyOne’s 100+ pages-long magazine on Photoshop which gets published 10 times every year for active subscribers to KelbyOne.

Sign up for a free membership and get your free copy of Photoshop User magazine


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Building A Photoshop and Photography Education Empire

Starting in 2005 Scott started Photoshop radio, which then later on became PhotoshopTV, the first video podcast of its kind.

Over the years, Scott and his team grew into the online education sector, recording videos and hosting live shows. One of the current live shows is called The Grid, which airs every Wednesday on the KelbyOne website and on YouTube.

Passion For Teaching Photoshop

Boutique Retouching q?_encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0321563174&Format=_SL160_&ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=DE&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=photeach-21&language=de_DE LTR!027 - Scott Kelby On Photoshop, Lightroom, And A World Without Bridge  Scott also considers teaching as a passion of his. And so he constantly strives to help others succeed, either by teaching via video or writing books on photoshop and photography.

His most successful book is: Photoshop – down and dirty tricksBoutique Retouching ir?source=bk&t=allgearedup-20&bm-id=default&l=ktl&linkId=faf22e3ce9505865d05f68c304af1c9e&_cb=1565113225658 LTR!027 - Scott Kelby On Photoshop, Lightroom, And A World Without Bridge

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Photoshop vs Lightroom vs Bridge

Scott describes the differences between different applications like Photoshop and Lightroom.

To Scott, Photoshop is the best application ever made!

He admits learning less about Lightroom because it is limited by the tools Adobe gives you to work with. Photoshop, on the other hand, is an application, not limited by the tools, but by the imagination and skill of the user that uses the software. Photoshop is limitless in what you can do with it.

Another strength is the community built around Photoshop. There are hundreds or even thousands of forums all specialized in helping, teaching, or inspiring each other. Possibly there is no other software on the world that has such a strong and dedicated userbase as Adobe Photoshop has. And that is why there is pretty much no alternative for Photoshop.

Even as there now are competing apps on the market, they are a far cry from the community Adobe has built around their software.

Ultimately, Scott describes the software Bridge as an awful piece of software.
I have to admit, we have included this mainly as a joke in this podcast. But then, it really has not been developed much further by adobe. As you now mostly move from one application to another without saving files and opening them up in the next app, it has become obsolete. That’s what bridge was meant for, and that was what it was great at, back in the day.

The Goals Of Retouching

Further down the conversation, Scott and I talk about why we retouch and what differentiates a good from a bad retouch. We even touch on the ethical side of retouching. With that, France and their proclaimed traffic light system to indicate the level of image manipulation on ads gets thrown into the discussion. We are both very skeptical of how this could be implemented, how fair it would be, and if it was reasonable at all.

That said, we both agree on the progress being made in the industry over the past few years. We came from making people look like aliens with plastic skin to a much more realistic approach to retouching.

Trends And Responsibility In Retouching

This trend can only be continued by education and by everyone involved in the creative process to stand up for what is the right thing to do. That means not to push a too unrealistic image in advertising that could potentially harm young humans, while still serving companies advertising goals.

We are all responsible for what is getting published in magazines and advertising. It might be challenging to stand up and say no to a client, but never is the right thing to be done easily.

As a father of a young girl, Scott agrees with the push towards natural retouching and therefore wishes for this trend to continue. It is a topic close to his heart, and he even did a Ted talk on this topic for this very reason.

Photoshop World

Scott Kelby and his company KelbyOne are hosting the infamous PhotoshopWorld Conference which is going to take place from August 20th to August 23rd in 2019.

So, if you are inclined to participate, see internationally renowned speakers on photography and Photoshop or want to take classes and seminars with your favorite instructor, you can still register and get yourself a ticket!


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