Monday
Mar
2015
30

Twitter’s Periscope App is Simply Awesome!!!

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

Greetings from Holland (well, greetings from 33,000 feet above Holland — I’m on my way back from speaking at the Professional Imaging show in Nijkerk – awesome experience — more on that coming soon).

OK, let’s talk about Periscope, a FREE app from Twitter (for IOS only at this point), that lets you broadcast live from anywhere you have a connection to the Internet and people can chat with you live (type questions), and visually experience exactly what you’re seeing. It is one of the most fun social media experiences I’ve had. As my buddy Frank Doorhof says, “It’s addictive!”

Beside the educational uses (which are pretty mind-blowing by themselves), what I love about it is the immediacy — you decide to share what you’re doing/seeing, etc. and bam — it’s live, and people who have Periscope (or are following you on it), can see it right now.

For example, while I’ve been at this photography expo in The Netherlands, I’ve been able to give a virtual tour of the show floor, and people could ask me questions to ask to various vendors about their products while I’m standing there right in front of the booth, and the whole thing is live — as it happens.

Last night I was shooting on location a night shot of Amsterdam (along with Terry White and Frank), and you’re right there with me during the live shoot — people were asking questions about settings, and lenses, and making comments as we went — it was just so much fun (and it was really chilly and windy as well). While we’re taping, a couple comes up and says, “Hey, are you using that new Periscope App?”  Small world. :)

To become a part of this new social media revolution (and it’s been a while since somebody’s come out with something as cool as this), here’s all you have to do:

STEP ONE: Download the free App Periscope from the App Store (IOS phones only)

STEP TWO: Log in with your regular Twitter Account, and then you’ll have the option of following your friends on Twitter who are already on Periscope.

STEP THREE: Click the center icon at the bottom of your screen to start a broadcast. Now just say what you’re looking at (Here’s my cat; photo shoot on an abandoned rail road track; here’s a dead tree stump, whatever…) and while you’re doing that, it will establish a video link (you’ll be amazed at the quality of the audio and video – better than FaceTime IMHO). Then, when you’re ready to broadcast, hit the red “Start Broadcast” button and you’re live! Start talking, and watch people from all over the world start watching and sharing your experience live!

To flip from the front camera to the back camera, just double-tap the screen. To end your broadcast, swipe down. You’ll see comments appear on screen while you’re taping, and you’ll see how many are currently watching your broadcast live, and you’ll see little “hearts” float in on the screen when people like what they’re seeing — they’ll tap the screen to send you love. :)

That’s it. It’s just so simple. Try it once, and you’ll be hooked.
I’m on my flight now, but I’ll be doing a live broadcast when I land in Atlanta near 3:00 pm today, and if you want to come and experience it (you can just watch or chat for this first one, but you’ll surely want to do your own after seeing one — my wife Kalebra did her first one yesterday called “Coffee with Maggie” the wonderdog, and it was really cute). Also, when you do a broadcast, it can send a tweet right then to your followers on Twitter that says you’re LIVE right now, and inviting them to come and join.

While you’re in the App, I hope you’ll follow me…
and Frank Doorhof, and Glyn Dewis, and Kalebra Kelby, and Terry White, and Brad Moore and RC Concepcion and Ajna Adams (our Duchess of Social Media at Kelby One who turned us all onto Periscope — she’s runs our KelbyOne periscope account, too!).

The way Twitter has designed this, and it’s hook into regular Twitter is just so clever and so simple, I think it’s going to revolutionize the way we communicate via social media. Once you try it, you’ll see what I mean, and we’re just at the tip of the iceberg of what can be done with Periscope.

Hope to see you live on Periscope once I land in Atlanta (and clear US Customs).

Best,

-Scott
Writing blog posts in a chair in the sky….. 

Friday
Mar
2015
27

“Howdy” From Holland!

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Hi gang: Greetings from here in The Netherlands
Got here yesterday and spent the day with my buddy, fashion photographer, lighting wizard, and awesome instructor, Frank Doorhof (that’s a copy of the Czech translation of Frank’s bestselling “Mastering The Model Shoot” I saw displayed when touring Frank’s cool new studios in a town outside Amsterdam).

We went to go shooting yesterday, but by the time I took my “jetlag avoidance nap” the rain had moved in, so we didn’t get any shooting done, but today we’ve got permission for what could potentially be a cool indoor shoot, and if I get anything I’ll post it over on my Facebook page.  (we did visit a town today called Urk that was really just adorable! Wish it hadn’t been chilly, rainy and gray — I can’t imagine how awesome it would be warm, bright and sunny!).

In other news…
We’re planning a free live travel photography Webcast next Thursday evening about my trip to Dubai (along with RC who was leaving Dubai as I was just arriving, and Brad Moore who was along with me on the trip).  We’ll be talking about travel photography, along with shooting tips (including tips on night photography), and post processing stuff, and we’ll be doing some awesome giveaways — a fun night all around and I hope you can join us.

I’ll have all the details here on Monday for you, including a link where you can sign up for the free Webinar.

Well, wish me luck today — hoping to get what could be a pretty cool shot (fingers crossed). Hope you all have a very awesome weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott
Diggin’ the Dutch

Thursday
Mar
2015
26

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  27 Comments

Moose Peterson’s Safari Adventure
Moose goes on safari! With a career studying and photographing wildlife for over three decades, Moose has his first African safari and you’ve got a front row seat. Join Moose as he encounters the wide array of wildlife that calls the Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa home. Moose shares his take on the gear he brought along with his tips and techniques for capturing images that help tell the story of your trip.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby or Joel Grimes live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
Apr 13 – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 15 – Los Angeles, CA

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Mar 27 – Minneapolis, MN
Apr 17 – New York, NY
Apr 22 – San Antonio, TX
Apr 24 – Houston, TX

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Tim James

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Mar
2015
25

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Tom Bol!

by Brad Moore  |  5 Comments

NEW FRONTIERS

All photographers have familiar subject matter. Maybe you are wedding photographer, a sports shooter or a headshot specialist. You cover similar events and subjects year after year. The natural progression is you start asking yourself, ‘is there a different way to photograph this familiar subject?’ Sometimes unique perspectives or new locations prompt spikes in creativity and original ideas. Sometimes new lighting or post processing creates fresh looks. And other times new gear comes along that lets you realize new possibilities.

I’ve been photographing adventure sports for almost 30 years, and I have watched how trends, techniques and styles have all evolved over time. Just when you think you have seen it all, photographers figure out new techniques and perspectives and things become fresh again. Right now the adventure sports genre is experiencing the ‘drone revolution.’ Video and still photographers have a new tool that permits exciting new ways to photograph climbing and kayaking. And combine that with athletes climbing cliffs and paddling off waterfalls that were thought to be impossible, and adventure sports photography is looking good right now.

My own evolution came with a phone call from my friends at Elinchrom. I have shot with Elinchrom lights for as long as I can remember, and nothing makes me happier than hauling my Rangers and Quadras into the woods to light up a rock climber on a cliff. But this time Elinchrom had a new light for me to try out…the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000s. These lights are 1000 watt AC units…and so much more. What knocked me off my seat was the spec that said “these lights can shoot 20 flashes per second.” After crawling back into my chair, I fell off again when I realized, “these lights can recycle as fast as your Nikon D4 can shoot.” If the specs were true I could finally realize a shot I had imagined for years; creating a sequence shot with every frame lit by flash.

To test out the lights I headed to Salida, Colorado to photograph pro skateboarder Shea Donavan. Shea has a huge half pipe skate ramp in his backyard, and he spends hours each day perfecting amazing aerials on his board. Shea and his dad Bill are always up for skating shoots; we set up the lights for cross lighting Shea when he caught air off the ramp, and waited for twilight for optimal conditions. But we didn’t anticipate one thing; the blinding power and speed of the ELC 1000s.

On the first pass Shea catch huge air. I started shooting at 10 FPS, and the ELCs were popping off every frame…and completely blinding Shea. Halfway through the jump he grabbed his board and prepared for a hard landing. Time seemed suspended for a moment, but somehow Shea landed on the ramp in control (but not on his board!). Lesson learned, we repositioned the lights, and on the next jumps, Shea knew what to expect and hit some amazing tricks well out of the half pipe. I was amazed to see every frame was perfectly lit. Instead of only having one frame illuminated per pass, I now had 10 shots to choose just the right shot from the jump. Bill Donavan and Dangerous Circus Pictures created a video of the shoot.

After seeing these amazing lights crank off hundreds of lightning fast shots, I knew I had the tool for my sequence shot. I had one challenge. Since I often shoot away from AC power, I needed a generator that could power two ELC 1000s strobes and keep up with the fast recycling time. I found that my 2000 watt Honda generator worked great, and better yet, it only weighs about 45 pounds. For my flash sequence photo, I hired a pro BMX biker, Chance, for the shoot. I told Chance well in advance to start with easy jumps since the lights might be a little distracting. But on this shoot we shot in brighter conditions with the lights at about 500 watts. And sometimes you just get lucky; dramatic clouds starting rolling in creating the perfect background for the shoot. I underexposed the background about 1.5 stops from what the flash exposure was on my biker. To help project the lights into the scene, I added sports reflectors to the heads.

Chance started with simple jumps, and then progressed into backflips and more advanced tricks. Each pass I was shooting my D4 at 10 FPS, and every frame was lit perfectly. What really amazed me was the consistency of flash throughout each sequence. We also shot a short video behind the scenes of this shoot:

http://vimeo.com/104026963

I later seamed up the individual sequence shots into one frame in Photoshop using layers and brushing in the rider into the shot.

I continued to experiment with new sequence techniques using these lights. The ELC 1000s also have a terrific stroboscopic mode. Instead of combining multiple frames from a sequence, you keep your shutter open for long periods of time while a moving subject is flashed moving across the frame. The end result is one frame with your subject in multiple positions. I experimented with karate competitors and dancers for some interesting effects.

I don’t think many photographers are ever satisfied with their work. I know I’m not. I create some images I feel are successful, and I may be complacent for a few days. But then I get restless, and feel the urge to create something bigger, better and more creative. I want to explore new frontiers. This year new technology, the Elinchrom ELC 1000s, have allowed me to explore new frontiers in my photography. But I’m starting to feel restless again. Perhaps this video best explains why I became a photographer, and why I just have to keep on shooting.

You can see more of Tom’s work at TomBolPhoto.com, follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and check out his classes on KelbyOne.

Tuesday
Mar
2015
24

My Favorite Football Shots From The 2014 Season

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

OK, I am WAY behind on posting this, especially since we’re just about to start cranking up the 2015 NFL season, but it’s one of those better-late-than-never things (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). :)

A 60-Second Recap:
I wound up shooting about the same number of games this year as I did last year, but I still missed quite a few games overall due to my travel schedule and family vacations (I have the opportunity to shoot about 21 games total per season if I shoot every single week, including preseason).  I shot most of the Bucs home games, and I picked up a few other games when the Buc’s were on the road.

Here are the teams I got to shoot this season:

  1. Tampa Bay Bucs
  2. Tennessee Titans
  3. Miami Dolphins
  4. St. Louis Rams
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Atlanta Falcons
  7. New York Giants
  8. New Orleans Saints
  9. Cincinnati Bengals
  10. Green Bay Packers
  11. Minnesota Vikings
  12. Carolina Panthers
  13. Baltimore Ravens
  14. Philadelphia Eagles

NOTE: This season I picked up shooting the only team I hadn’t shot yet: The Baltimore Ravens.

I did a full post, with all the stories and full size images, over at exposure.co – If you get a few minutes, I hope you’ll check it out - here’s the link:

https://scottkelby.exposure.co/my-favorite-football-images

There ya have it —-my favorite NFL shots from this past season
Thanks to everybody who tolerated my football posts this season and to everybody who supported me throughout the year with your kind words and comments (and to everybody who followed my game day on Instagram). I love sharing what I pick up from shooting these games (good and bad), and it’s been really fun having you all along with me on this journey. :)

Monday
Mar
2015
23

I’m Back From Dubai (and it was awesome!)

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

Above: My wife texted Brad that if he didn’t take a bunch of photos of me in my tux, that when we got back she would shave his beard off herself. Needless to say, he took lots of photos. 

The best way I can describe it is “Surreal.” I know that term is over-used, but it honestly best describes the whole event. The scope — the scale of it all, was way beyond what I was expecting. I figured the awards ceremony would be in a nice hotel ballroom, but I wasn’t prepared for something more along the lines of “The Oscars” and when we pulled up in front of the massive stage, assembled from scratch in the shadow of Dubai’s iconic Emirates Towers, in front of the Dubai International Financial Centre, I was speechless.

Everyone connected with HIPA’s event was just incredible 
They are some of the most gracious hosts on the planet (a special thank you Mohammed Al Daou, Ronald Villegas and Ziad Al Salama). It’s a first class organization, and a world class event and having his Highness the Crown Prince there, and to be presented with an award by His Highness himself…well…it’s something I’ll never forget. To say it was an honor, and an amazing evening, is just an understatement.

Today, I’m going to share a lot of behind-the-scenes photos, mostly taken with an iPhone, mostly taken by Brad, and I’m going to hold off on sharing my images from my 2-1/2 days of shooting until I find out (later today) if we’re going to do a live Webcast about the trip.

RC was there 8-days right before I arrived, and I’m hoping the two of us, along with Brad, can do a live Webcast about the trip next week (I’m off to Amsterdam this week), so I want to save sharing those images until then (but I’ll do a simultaneous release on Exposure.co of the images from the webcast for those who can’t attend).

I could share so many stories, but for now here’s some BTS shots, with captions that help tell the story of at least the HIPA Awards Ceremony, until I can tell the full story, and share some videos during the live Webcast (details as soon as I have them). Until then, here we go:

Above: Click on this pano to see it much larger, and it will help you get a feel for the scope of the event. This is about 2-hours until curtain, and everybody’s in prep mode, testing the lights, projectors, audio, cameras, etc. 

Above: Look at the size of that video screen — it blends down and continues right onto the floor, so they can project images on the floor as well. That entire black wall behind the screen was erected just for this ceremony. 

Above: Here’s a shot from the stage looking back toward the seating — the Emirates Towers make an awesome backdrop. 

Above: Yes, of course we have time for a selfie. :)

Above: Brad was looking very spiffy for the event as well, and his beard really took on an international flavour, don’t ya think?

Above: Brad was clearly concerned about not having enough tux shots, so he was constantly posing me, but it must have worked — he still has his beard. 

Above: Here’s an iPhone pano of the scene just before showtime at 7pm (click for a much larger view).

Above: The Crown Prince has arrived, and now it’s showtime! (and time for me to get a little nervous). 

Above: Before each category was presented, we saw a really slick video that interacted with performers on stage. Very well done, and they must have rehearsed like crazy to get the timing down the way they had it. Very well done. 

Above: After seeing lots of amazing images from around the world who were entered into the contest, it was time for the Special Awards category. In just a moment The Crown Prince His Royal Highness Hamdan bin Mohommed bin Rahshid al Maktum would come to the stage to present the HIPA Special Award himself to a very excited American author and Photoshop Guy. 

Above: Here’s a shot of me receiving the Award from The Prince. I will never forget that moment!

Above: You can see how excited I was to receive this award. 

Above: When I got back to my seat, I just could not stop smiling. What a night!

Above: At the end, all the winners came on stage to get a group shot with the Prince. I’m way over on the left side. 

 

Above: That’s a shot of me, and my buddy Ali Rajabi from Iran, posing with our awards (Ali won in the general category for an amazing shot he took of a snowy street in New York City). 

Above: Amazing after-party under the stars, and then off to bed for an early sunrise shoot on top of building (this was taken just after sunrise). 

Above: This is my new friend, Daniel Cheong (thanks Elia Locardi for introducing us!) who was a wealth of knowledge on where to shoot in Dubai, and how to get access to high places, like this rooftop (he should know – he’s taken some of the most well-known iconic images of Dubai with the tops of skyscrapers peeking through the clouds). Awesome guy — tons of fun, and we’re looking forward to having him on “The Grid” when he visits us later this year. 

Above: Look who we found in Dubai! Yup, skyscraper scaling, lunch eating, flash-firing, love-making (love-making?), risk taking, bundle of energy and light, the one and only Joe McNally, who was taking up residence at the Park Hyatt before heading home from his Gulf Photo Plus gig (and photographing the Burj Khalifa’s window washers hanging off the side of the building 140-something stories up. Yikes!) Had a wonderful lunch with Joe and Brad, and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. 

Above: What’s Brad’s beard look like 124 floors above the earth? Like this. He can take a selfie like a boss!

Above: Spent two really fun days in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with the wonderful Eva von Pepel, from the Swedish Photo Crew (a wonderful group of Swedish expat photographers living and working in Dubai — they led a photo walk last year as part of my annual Worldwide Photo Walk, and I contacted them before my trip and Eva was kind enough to chauffeur us all over, and get us access to cool places). This shot was taken in front of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Unbelievable place (more on this, and many photos, to come soon). Thanks again Eva! I think we put 1,200 miles on her Nissan Armada (and we crushed several slower, smaller cars along the way). 

Above: This is Brad “In da club” (it’s true. It’s just that we were in this rooftop club at 6:00 am for a sunrise shoot, but we couldn’t resist the “I’m in da club” shot). 

Above: On Wednesday night there was a press conference/panel at the hotel, hosted by HIPA and I was one of the participants. Totally cool event (very well run — the hostess who asked the questions and kept things moving was really great). A tux was not required, but had it been…I was prepared. 

Above: The panel discussion part mostly focused on photographic education and that was really fun for me. You could tell from the discussions how serious the Crown Prince and HIPA are about making Dubai a center for serious photography. Their commitment and passion are really refreshing and there were really engaging moments, spontaneous applause, thoughtful comments and just a really great presentation all around, presented in three different parts. I was really tickled to be a small part of it. 

Above: After the panel, there were meetings with different magazines, press organizations, the team from HIPA, and some serious photographers from all over the world. 

Above: Here I’m taping an interview for a Philippine’s based magazine. 

I’ve got so much more to share…
This is just a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes stuff. Again, I hope to be announcing a free live Webcast about the trip with RC, Brad and me, hopefully for next week (depending on schedules and things), and I’ll be sharing some of my images then.

Thanks for hanging with me through this very long post. Can’t wait to share the pictures and stories and people of one of the coolest places on the planet — Dubai and the UAE. :)

Here’s to an awesome week everybody!

Best,

-Scott

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