A Shout-Out to Dave Kelly

Dave Kelly is well into his second year producing his weekly “TK Friday” videos for his YouTube channel, and I think it’s time to provide a well-deserved shout-out given the difference this series has made for me and other photographers.  Dave and I collaborate on these videos to some degree.  He sources the images and processes them using the TK8 plugin, and we then run through the various steps on a weekly Skype call.  I add a few suggestions here and there, but, for the most part, Dave is in charge of the content and decides how the image gets processed.  I’m just a consultant; Dave is the creator who makes it all happen.

I think of Tony as the scientist creating something new and I think of you as the engineer showing us how to use this new creation. Always learning something new from you, Dave.

–David Bee

At its core, the TK8 plugin is a collection of Photoshop techniques useful for processing images, and it’s not limited to just luminosity masks.  It’s sort of like the letters of the alphabet.  Users can apply the techniques in whatever order suits their needs to develop an image in the same way the letters of the alphabet can be arranged to create a useful vocabulary.  In this analogy, the TK8 plugin is an alphabet of processing techniques and the resultant vocabulary is creativity.  After over a year of recording content based on the TK panel, I think it’s fair to say that Dave Kelly is an accomplished TK8 “wordsmith.”

This edit was fantastic! I followed it to the end, and it convinces me that the TK8 panel is such a powerful tool where the possibilities are endless. Your explanations are so easy to follow. Thanks again, Dave.

Jose A De Leon

However, it wasn’t always this way.  In the early days of the “TK Friday” series, I could tell Dave was still working to learn what the TK panel could do.  Still, it was obvious from the start that he was 1) good at figuring things out, and 2) was able to share what he learned with others.  It didn’t take long before Dave started challenging my own concept of what TK8 could do.  He was employing the masks in ways I had not envisioned.  He started using color grading and the mask calculator more effectively than I had.  He questioned whether the plugin could do a new task, and I had to think of a way to accomplish it.  He pioneered using Photoshop tools in combination with the plugin and found new uses for several of the panel’s functions.  Dave’s relentless experimentation has helped even me to better appreciate the potential and possibilities that TK8 has to offer. 

How you figure out the amazing techniques you demonstrate is beyond me. Very impressive and very creative. I learn so much from you. Because I faithfully watch all your videos, my post processing skills have greatly improved. Thanks, Dave!

Stephen Ehrlich

Not surprisingly, the way I process images has improved because of this series.  Seeing someone else use TK8 has always been educational for me.  Seeing someone use it every week is an absolute gift.  I’m able to see the panel through the eyes of an experienced user and learn to use it better myself.  “What would Dave do?” is a question I now ask myself when I get stuck developing an image.  It usually provides an idea of something to try that often works.

Your knowledge and enthusiasm are always motivating and enjoyable. I’m off to try some new and fun techniques!

Hali Sowle

It’s also worth mentioning that while Dave Kelly has undoubtedly influenced many photographers using the TK8 plugin, he has likely influenced the plugin itself even more.  His in-depth use has uncovered several bugs I missed when writing the original code.  He’s also shown me better ways to execute several of the actions to make the panel easier to use.  All updates issued since TK8 was released last September have contained things Dave Kelly helped correct and improve.  And, going forward, I’m looking to incorporate several features that Dave has suggested.  So, while I love learning new ways to use TK8 from Dave, I’m even more excited by how he’s helping to drive its development.  My images are getting better, and TK8 is getting better as well.

Like you, I enjoy going back to older images and reprocessing them based on my new understanding of post-processing via TK-8 panels.

Keith Pinn

I hope you’ll take time to watch some of Dave Kelly’s TK8 videos and perhaps subscribe to his channel.  He has an excellent eye for knowing what can be improved in an image and is also very good at finding ways to use Photoshop and the TK8 plugin to fix problems.  The images he works on contain a variety of subjects.  Watching him work convinces me to NOT give up on my marginal images, and indeed, I’ve resurrected several by applying a Dave-Kelly mindset as I develop them.  I have a feeling I’m not alone in this regard.   Dave has shown a lot of photographers what’s possible with TK8.

This is Dave Kelly’s latest video from the “TK Friday” series. It provides an excellent review of TK8 techniques Dave incorporates into many images as well as new techniques and new ways to use the TK8 plugin.

26 thoughts on “A Shout-Out to Dave Kelly

  1. Hello Tony,

    I hope you continue to do most well.

    This is an excellent email… and I completely agree with you about Dave.

    How fortunate for all of us that you guys connected.

    My very best,

    Guy

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  2. Tony,
    The collaboration between you and Dave make for a powerful photo editing tool using TK8 and Photoshop. To both of you, keep up the good work.
    Dean

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  3. I try to watch Dave Kelley’s TK Friday videos regularly. While I like the instructional videos Sean Bagshaw made, seeing the practical use of the plugin in Dave’s videos has helped me understand how to use it much more effectively.

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  4. Yes, giving a huge Kudos, Thank You, whatever words that can never, IMO, truly express the amazement and gratitude I have for Dave is just beyond well well deserved. THANK YOU so much Dave. I can’t express how much you’ve broadened my use of TK8, etc.

    So what will it take to get you, Dave, to put all these videos together so that we can purchase them and not be dependent on YouTube? They are priceless to me, and, as I get older, I always (ALWAYS!) have to refer back to them. I fear that one day they will disappear from YouTube and I will be hopelessly lost. They are truly wonderful, and I’d be willing to pay for the collection (as well as any future releases as an option) in a heartbeat.

    And of course thank you Tony. As you know I’ve been with you from the start and continue to be amazed at what you have provided me and the photographic community for developing digital images from what shows in the raw file to what is felt or wanted to be conveyed when the image was taken.

    Best regards, Bob Adler

    >

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    1. Hello Bob,

      your idea of making a bundle of the videos that one can buy is a great idea. I would gladly pay for it, just as I did with Sean’s videocourses. In addition it would help to categorise the techniques used in the videos, for when you want to watch again.

      So Dave: this might be helpful for you to gain some extra money with your excellent videos!
      And Tony: whatever Adobe is trying with Masking, it is good, but can’t compete with what you have realised in the TK Panels.

      Greetings from The Netherlands

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  5. Wow, very excited to see one of my comments on Dave Kelly’s tutorials quoted. I recognized Dave’s exceptionally excellent tutorial style years ago. Even before Dave started TK Friday.
    I try to comment on every one of Dave Kelly’s tutorials because (1) I want to make sure Dave Kelly knows his tutorials are appreciated and (2) I heard that engagement with “likes” and “comments” help the YouTube algorithm decided to recommend these tutorials to others.

    Very glad to see your recognition of Dave Kelly’s excellent tutorials.
    FYI. Using the TK plugins as Dave Kelly advises has truly improved my post processing skills.

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  6. Dave’s TK Friday videos have taught me a lot of techniques and greatly improved my results. Kudos to Dave and to you, Tony!

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  7. Agreed Tony. Dave is a gift! I find there is a huge improvement in my learning when I follow along with the downloaded image as opposed to simply watching Dave do all the work.

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  8. I watch his TK Friday video’s faithfully. I have learned so much from him. Both of you have done a great job with this tool. Thank you. My edits have much more impact thanks to you and Dave.

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  9. Tony – so glad you posted this recognition of Dave’s work. Your panel is terrific. Sean Bagshaw’s videos are great and indespensible. But Dave’s approach to taking one or two ideas per week and really driving these home in a clear and “informal” manner has taught me a lot. And especially, as you have noted, the mask calculator is something I now find I use on almost every image.

    Good to see such positive collaboration.

    Best, Steve Director

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  10. When I found Dave Kelly’s TK Friday, I went back and watched the few I had not known about. I have watched every one of them and can not wait to see the next one. I also have gone back and now have watched every one of them at least twice and a few more than twice. There is so much good information and it has improved my use of photoshop to a level I never expected. Of course none of this would have been possible without your incredible TK8 panels.Thank you both so much. Steve

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  11. Tony, Because of your panel and blogs, Sean’s instructional videos and Dave’s TK8 Friday’s I am forever challenged, changed and markedly improved as a photographer. I can’t thank the 3 of you enough for your expertise, inspiration and generosity to promote photography.

    Keep up the great work!

    Richard

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  12. I think Dave Kelly is FANTASTIC, I never miss an episode and refer to older episodes to re-watch again and again. I wish he would provide written transcript to the videos so I could print them and refer to them when I want to do something cool like Dave shows in the videos, but cant remember which video he showed it and I have to go through and try and work on an image while watching the video at the same time. I also love the TK8 panel, I’m still learning but with Daves great videos I’m learning how to craft some nicer images.

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  13. I agree 100% with your comments Tony. Some times a tool has so many great features that one doesn’t know where to start (especially when there are many ways to accomplish the same ends). Dave Kelly, is the “Goldilocks” of TK8 instruction – just the right amount, at the right time giving us a week to assimilate and try it. Kudos to Tony and Dave.

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  14. Thanks for the videos, thanks for the TK panels, thanks for the perseverance to get this product to where we are today. I find the technology behind the TK panels to be a multidisciplinary achievement that is hard to find in one place. The ability to explain it is also a work of art and genius. TK8 is beautifully organized and I sure that just the effort to explain the logical flow in the prior panels must have move the present set to a very logical conclusion. Thanks again.

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  15. I subscribed to Dave’s YT channel as soon as I saw the reference to TK8 and very pleased that I did. Hearing from you that he is influencing future updates is great news for all of us as, like you’ve outlined in the shoutout, I have come to understand that he likes to dig deeply into finding new ways to make TK8 even more useful for those of us that do not have the depth of knowledge that allows truly innovative use of Ps. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the TK series of plugins, you have accelerated my learning curve of photo editing far past my wildest aspirations. Many thanks, Gord

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  16. Hello Tony, Scotland calling. I fully endorse your thoughts on Dave. One of the highlights of the week(apart from selling sheep) Keep up the sterling work. Kind regards Alex

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  17. I have watched Dave Kelly’s TK Friday since he started. I was already a Dave Kelly subscriber and enjoyed his YT channel for some time. He is a great trainer.

    Ron

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  18. Hello, Mr. Kuyper

    When I read your email regarding to Dave Kelly, I felt I should testify what has happened to me as an user of PS with TK8 Panel.

    Not forgetting Sean Bagshaw’s videos, the way Dave Kelly uses to show the possibilities of using the TK8 Panel is absurdly more didactic. The ease he has to address where and how to use the tools available in the TK8 Panel allowed me to lose my fear and start making systematic use of this excellent tool for processing my photos.

    I’m very grateful to Dave Kelly for the exponential improvement I’ve had in the quality of my edits today.

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    1. Thanks for that feedback, Paurlo. Dave Kelly’s and Sean Bagshaw’s TK8 instructional materials are a perfect match, IMO. Sean basically provides the textbook of what TK8 can do and Dave provides the hands-on lab instruction. Both are excellent methods for teaching and learning, and we all have our favorites. Personally, I learned Photoshop from the 200+ page user manual that used to ship with the programs disks back in the 1990s. So, I’m somewhat of a “textbook learner.” However, Dave’s providing his demonstration images for user’s to download and follow along truly puts his YouTube videos in a class of their own. They’re a great resource for those who benefit from hands-on learning. I’m glad to know his tutorials have helped you navigate the learning curve for TK8.

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