What I learned at the CS3 Power Tour Part 1

Okay, the secret’s out. Who would’ve thought that photographers like Scott Kelby can sometimes take average-looking pictures? Actually, his words were, “the worst baby pictures ever in the history of baby pictures.” Or something to that effect. They weren’t perfectly in focus, the white balance was out of whack, and he had such a hard time picking nine best pictures of the lot of almost 70 shots that he had to use one file twice to complete the group.

But then he made something great with it. So great that the mother burst into tears at the sheer beauty of the presentation. So did he, he admits. Because he felt like such a scam.

I like it when the experts say stuff like that. I like it even more when they show us how to pull the same scams.

So here’s the first of what I hope to be a series of ten. Or five. Or if I’m really feeling smart, maybe fifteen. Or twenty if I’m feeling both smart and uppity. Because, as you well know, I like round numbers.

What I learned at the CS3 Power Tour:

1. You don’t have to throw out those not-so-perfect or even far-below-average photos. Get a group of them together, put them in a grid, make the whole thing black and white to hide color imperfections, and put a title to it. Presto! A keepsake poster beautiful enough to hang on the wall. No one has to know that it was made up of photos shabby enough to make mug shots look like studio portraits.

So here is my beloved niece. I constantly lament not being able to see as often as I wish I could. I love her to pieces and have tons of pictures of her whose sole value, I thought, was for posterity and for jogging my memory when I get too old to remember my twenties. (It’s called artistic license. Stop kicking me.)


Every time I see her picture, it makes me smile. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats hearing her laugh. Trust me, there’s no power in the world that can help you resist laughing along.

Go ahead. I dare you.

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See what I mean?

5 Responses to What I learned at the CS3 Power Tour Part 1
  1. shrewspeaks
    November 7, 2007 | 6:49 pm

    Oh sure…go ahead and exceed expectations there. Seriously, I am in awe.

  2. ivoryhut
    November 7, 2007 | 7:21 pm

    Umm … thanks, but all I did was follow pages 59 and 60 of our workbook. You remember, that last part where there are zero notes on the margin because our brains were about to cramp?

    Which reminds me, we’d better check that site for those missing pages.

  3. brc
    November 7, 2007 | 11:43 pm

    Very cool. You had a 60+ page workbook????????

  4. […] (3) Lastly, a student at my NYC seminar last week has started a 10-part review of my seminar at his (her?) blog: The Ivory Hut. Besides the review (just part 1 has been posted thus far), there’s some nice photography, poetry, and a very interesting section at the top called “43 things.” It really made me stop and think. Here’s the link. […]

  5. […] I was so impressed with the discovery that flawed photos can be salvaged that it was naturally the first thing I posted in this mini-series. But another thing I found really interesting was that adding drama to an otherwise ordinary […]

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about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

If you want to learn more about me, here are 43 things I'd like to do. Here's a little something about my name, in case you were wondering. Here are some other places you'll find me:

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The Ivory Hut: My Quick and Easy Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is the Filipino dish most people are familiar with. Here's my quick and easy version that requires minimal prep work and only one pan. Perfect for busy weeknights.

The Ivory Hut: Homemade Nutella Baking Chips

Yes, I made my own chocolate chips. Nutella chocolate chips, to be exact. Then I made cookies. Lots of cookies.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.