Thursday
Dec
2014
18

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

8 Krazy Deals
Today is day 7 of our 8 Krazy Deals, and for today’s deal we’re offering a KelbyOne Annual Membership Plan with Bonus! In addition to your full year of all access to KelbyOne online training and all of the things that come with it, you’ll also get a free portfolio review from industry professionals! For more info, check it out right here.

Photographing Groups: Small to Large with Tony Corbell
Our newest class is by none other than Tony Corbell! Tony has photographed three U.S. presidents, 185 World Leaders, 65 Nigerian Heads of State, about 600 brides and grooms, a couple of NASA astronauts and lots of famous and not so famous faces.

Tony’s class is called Photographing Groups: Small to Large. If you’re a member you can watch this class tonight and if not a member, you can watch a preview and see if it’s a fit you want to add to your photography education.

New Addition to the Team
Julio Aguilar is our newest addition to the KelbyOne team. Julio will be managing our KelbyOne Blog and making sure we get you the latest and best info on Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom. Check out the blog and say hi to Julio at KelbyOne.com/blog, and follow him on Twitter!

Scott Kelby’s Shoot Like A Pro Tour
We just announced the first three dates for Scott Kelby’s Shoot Like A Pro Tour for 2015! If you’re in one of these cities, come check it out:

Jan 26 – Columbus, OH
Jan 28 – Richmond, VA
Jan 30 – Raleigh, NC

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

Last Week’s Winner
The Fuji X-System User’s Guide from Bill Fortney
- Neoh Soon Hueng

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

Wednesday
Dec
2014
17

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Bill Fortney!

by Brad Moore  |  20 Comments

The Season For Giving
Since it is approaching Christmas, you may think this is an blog entry about Christmas gift giving, but it’s actually not!

Let me start with a funny story! You may have heard Scott Kelby refer to me as “Bill Fortney – A Man Barely Alive!”  and wondered what that is all about? Well let me give you the back story. I met Scott about a dozen years ago when I worked for Nikon and called on him as a client. We went on to become great friends! My father died at age 66 and I was in my mid to late fifties when I met Scott. I guess I thought with heredity and all I probably wouldn’t live much longer than my father did! I was a two times cancer survivor and I’m a type two diabetic so I guess I thought my leash was short! Scott found it amusing that I would answer questions about if I would be a such an such event and I would say, “Sure, if I’m still around.”

So that is how that whole a man barely alive thing got started. Let’s fast forward a decade and I’m coming up on my 69th birthday in February, and even closer to the big last trip! I am a huge football fan. I once was actually the official photographer for the Washington Redskins, and in football terms I’m definitely in the 4th quarter! Since none of us knows the exact moment when we will be leaving this sphere, the two minute warning could have sounded for me already, who knows!?

Being at this stage in the game of life causes one to consider some pretty important questions, questions we should consider long before the middle of the fourth quarter! What is this life really about? How famous we are? How rich we become? Who admires us? I think not. I think this life is about leaving something valuable when you leave. For me, I have three main goals at this stage of my life: Serve my Heavenly Father and share his love with everyone I meet, be the best husband, father, and grandfather that I can possibly be, and lastly leave a photographic legacy I can be proud of.

How do you leave a photographic legacy? I’m not talking about a body of meaningful or beautiful work. I’m talking about helping others that love the same craft that I do. A lot of people have inspired me, and taught me over the past 45 years and they helped me to get better each day! It’s my turn. I teach workshops, speak at events, do classes on KelbyOne, and write books because I want to share what I’ve learned with others.

Am I a good enough photographer to have anything worth sharing? I hope so, but the “information” I share, I know can help other photographers! I am at heart, and have always been a teacher. I love to see others learn and get excited about this craft I love so much. You can visit my website BillFortney.com to see my work, learn about my workshops and even buy my eBooks, but that is not why I wrote this article.

I want to encourage you to consider how you can take your considerable talent and knowledge and share it with those that could benefit from it! You could offer community classes in photography at your public library, or maybe your church. You could volunteer to teach a photography class for your local high school or adult education program. Many camera clubs and civic organizations are looking for programs, you could share your knowledge and entertain them! In Jay Maisel’s wonderful new book, Light, Gesture, and Color, he thanked his high school art teacher Leon Friend for the incredible start he gave him, and the chance to become a member of the ”Art Squad!” Just think what this high school art teacher gave us, all of us, that have learned so much from Jay!

I want to be that kind of a teacher, one that has students produce art long after I’m gone! Here is a secret… If you want to have a really great life, help others get what they need and want! Trust me, a thank you from someone that you have helped learn, is worth far more than fame and fortune!

Merry Christmas!
Bill Fortney

Tuesday
Dec
2014
16

Help Us Welcome “The New Guy” at KelbyOne, Julio Aguilar

by Scott Kelby  |  10 Comments

Hi gang, meet Julio. He’s a little shy in the video above (after all, it’s just his first day), but he’s an awesome guy (we’ve been working with him for about a year – he helps out on complex shoots and assists the instructors that come here with location shoots and stuff while they’re taping classes for KelbyOne). He’s an event/portrait photographer himself, and he’s joining our team full-time as chief editor, fancy-pants blog specialist, and big kahuna of content on the just-launched KelbyOne blog, where you’ll find him every day bringing’ the love.

Julio’s job is to make the KelbyOne blog incredibly awesome! He’s going to make it packed full of cool content on Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography; he’s going to tell us what’s going on in the biz each day, he’s bringing cool guests, breaking news, reviews, whatever’s going on — he’s totally going to be on top of it. Plus, he has really awesome hair (rivaling the finely-tuned fro of Jared Polin, which is not an easy thing to do).

If you get a chance, stop by the K1 blog, or just leave him a shout-out here.  Thanks for helping us welcome Julio (you can follow him on Twitter at @julifro) and we look forward to him sharing his hair care secrets his freshly starched ideas with us all.

Have an awesome Tuesday everybody, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Joe McNally is our in-studio guest tomorrow at 4pm live on “The Grid.”  

Monday
Dec
2014
15

Dear “Twitter Clause” – Can I Please Get These Four Things For Christmas? (or at least for 2015)

by Scott Kelby  |  21 Comments

I really like Twitter a bunch. I do. Super Dig it!
That being  said, I could totally and utterly “love” Twitter…if somehow for Christmas (or maybe just for 2015) Twitter added these four things that I believe would revolutionize, re-engerize, and just do a lot of awful lot of good all around. Here goes:

(1) Stop penalizing me for including a photo with my Tweets
You send me emails telling me how awesome it is to add images to my tweets. You show me stats which show that each tweet with a photo is likely to get so many more retweets and favorites, it’s just crazy. But then if I actually add an image to my tweet, you subtract characters from my 140-character limit per tweet. You basically penalize me for doing the thing you’re asking me to do. Please let me add an image and still have my 140 characters. I promise to add more photos in 2015 if you do. We all will.

(2) Give me one 10 or 12-character hashtag for free
You’re penalizing me again — I know that using hashtags will expand the number of potential people who read my tweets, but I already added a photo to my tweet, and I could barely say anything cohesive when I had the full 140-characters. Between losing characters for the photo I attached, and being penalized for adding a search term (hashtag), I spend 15-minutes just to get my tweet under the limit with what little is left. I usually don’t even add hashtags — I just don’t have the room. Plus, I often say lots of inappropriate words during this frustrating pruning process so I have to stay clear of children or small pets during this critical phase of the tweet-shortening process. Could you please give me just one hashtag per tweet “on the house?” — without subtracting from my 140-charaters? Make it a 10 or 12 character limit, and make it just one hashtag for free per tweet (so things don’t get out of hand) and we promise to use more hashtags in 2015.

(3) Give us a 50% discount on links
I use bit.ly like a boss. It really helps. It does. But even using bit.ly, sometimes the link eats up so many precious characters. I looked at a bit.ly link I created last week and it took 14 character’s out of my allotment. When you see something starting with http:// have your magical unicorn of backend database stuff automatically give us a 50% discount, and only count it as 7 characters instead of 14. Please help me to share more stuff and I promise to share even more stuff in 2015.

(4) Let me buy an extra character or two with the proceeds going to charity
Sometimes I just can’t make my thought or idea fit. I’m two characters away from making it fit, and I’ve cut and cut, but I just can’t make it work. There are times where if I could buy two or three characters for a buck a piece (so $2 or $3 total) that would be the fastest two or three bucks I would spent all week, especially if I knew the proceeds went to charity. Each week you could choose a different charity (might I suggest, for week one, that all the “character buyers” contributions go to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. They need the help like you cannot believe. It’s just 33 kids, but it’s 33 kids that matter. Please, let us give a buck for each extra character in 2015 (you could limit the extra characters, so maybe the maximum you could buy would be 10-characters, so a $10 limit per tweet). It could do a lot of good in the bigger picture, and I promise to buy a few extra characters fairly often in 2015. Especially in that first week. ;-)

So there ya have it. This is perhaps not the most photography or Photoshop-related thing that I’ve covered here on the blog, but I’m hoping that somebody at Twitter might be in the Holiday Spirit this year and take the time to give it a read, like you just did. Hey, ya never know, right?

Here’s wishing you all the best Monday you’ve had all year!

Cheers,

-Scott

Friday
Dec
2014
12

Field Report on the New Canon 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 USM II

by Scott Kelby  |  62 Comments

A few weeks back I got a chance to try out a pre-production model of Canon’s new 100-400mm f/4.5 – f/5.6 USM II lens shooting on the sidelines for an NFL game (Eagles vs. Titans) up at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly, and I thought I’d deliver a field report here in a quick Q&A format. It’s not a technical look or in-depth review, just my initial thoughts after shooting it for a game. Here ya go:

Q. How is the physical size of the lens?
A. It’s really close to the size of Canon’s 70-200mm. It’s just a little bit wider but I was surprised to see it’s actually a little bit shorter than the 70-200mm. However, with the large lens hood attached, it definely looks beefier than the 70-200mm.

Q. How was the weight compared to the 70-200mm?
A. If I handed you the two lenses, you’d think they weighed about the same, but I think technically the 100-400mm weighs about 2 or 3 ounces more.

Q. Which other lenses did you use during the game?
A. None. I shot the entire game using just this one lens.

Q. What was it like shooting with just one lens?
A. It was absolutely awesome!! I cannot tell you how sweet it was using just one body, just one lens, no monopod needed and so lightweight compared to what I’m usually lugging along the sidelines (two camera bodies, a 400mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a monopod). Shooting on a monopod definitely limits you, and affects your shooting angles, so it felt like it does when I shoot my 70-200mm, so that was really nice.

Q. Did the lens get heavy to hold up as the day went on?
A. Not at all. Like I mentioned, it’s about the same as size and weight as my 70-200mm (which I shoot quite often, and it’s usually on my 2nd body at games anyway) so the weight wasn’t an issue.

Q. How’s the overall sharpness of the lens?
A. I felt it was a very sharp lens (especially for the money). It was super-crazy sharp at 300mm and under, and only slightly less at a full 400mm, but I was using a pre-production model on loan (just for that one game) so it didn’t have all the final tuning and adjustments the shipping model will have, but even at that it was still very crisp. I called a buddy of mine who is one of the tech gurus at Canon and he said that the Canon engineers internally are saying the final shipping version of this lens is really close in overall sharpness to the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 (which I think is one of the sharpest lens ever made by anybody), and for a 100-400mm at this price, that’s saying something.

Q. When is it supposed to ship?
A. I believe B&H Photo is shipping their pre-release lens orders today, so I’d say “any day now.”

Q. How was the overall “feel” of the lens?
A. Well, in the first quarter of the game I was surprised how tight the zoom barrel was on this lens (the older version of this lens was a push/pull lens — you didn’t rotate a barrel to zoom — you pulled the lens outward or pushed it in). Luckily, between quarters I saw a circular adjustment that lets you set the exact amount of tension you want, so I set it right then to how I like it (which is a looser zoom than the default setting).

Q. Did you use it on a full frame or crop sensor body?
A. I shot on a full frame Canon 1Dx, which is why I could get away with using just that one lens all day.

Q. So, is there a downside to using it on a cropped sensor body?
A. I wouldn’t say it’s a downside, because you gain something but you also lose something — it’s more of a tradeoff. On a crop sensor body, you’d gain 60% reach, so your 400mm lens suddenly has the reach of a 640mm lens on a full frame body, which is awesome (especially if you’ve ever priced a 600mm lens). However, that means when you zoom all the way out to 100mm, on a crop sensor that’s the equivalent of a 160mm and that would be too tight once the players get close to where you’re shooting from. So, if you’re shooting on a crop sensor body, you would want to have a 2nd lens to switch to for when the team gets inside the 20-yard line (something like a 24-70mm would probably be ideal).

Q. How did the auto-focus perform?
A. I was impressed — it was pretty snappy! I’m used to shooting some really high-end lenses and this one still felt pretty quick overall.

Q. Who is this designed for lens for?
A. I’d say it’s really designed for daytime sports photographer and for wildlife photographers, but of course it will take a picture of whatever you aim it at, so you’ll see everybody from wedding photographers to portrait photographers using this same lens, especially at its size/weight and price (B&H Photo has it for $2,199).

Q. Is it a Daytime only lens?
A. Well, it’s like this: it’s an f/4.5 to f/5.6 lens, so unless you’re shooting a body with really great high-ISO (low noise) performance (like the 1Dx I was shooting at this game) you’re going to have some really noisy images after dark, or inside a gymnasium or an arena. For wildlife photographers, this probably won’t be much of a problem, but for sports photographers this is something you have to consider, which is why I say it’s a daytime lens. During daylight, it rocks! I set my f/stop to f/4.5 and didn’t change it all day. I had Auto-ISO turned on and set it so the slowest shutter speed it would ever take would be 1/1000 of a second, so the ISO would climb as high as it needed to get that shutter speed. It worked awesome. It would be less awesome (at f.4/5 to f/5.6) at night or indoors.

Q. How did the f/4.5 to f/5.6 range affect you for this game?
A. At first, at the 1:00 pm kick-off it didn’t at all, but later in the game some cloud cover rolled in and my shutter speeds started dropping. Then the game ran long (lots of penalties) so by around 4:30 pm it looked like dusk and the stadium lights were on, and my Auto ISO started climbing. Take a look at the shot up farther on this page — the shot where Titan’s Lineman Mike Martin is pulling on Sanchez’s jersey  — that was shot at 1,600 ISO and it’s just 4:41 pm in the afternoon. Lenses with these higher f/stops make you shoot at higher ISOs when it’s not bright sunshine — it’s that simple, and that’s why I call it a daylight lens. Just my take on it.

Q. Wasn’t there (ahem) an “incident” during this game? Something to do with a bullet pass?
A. Next question, please.

Q. Did you sharpen any of these images?
A. Of course. Every image you see from a pro game is sharpened (I applied an Unsharp Mask filter with these settings: Amount: 90; Radius 1.5, Threshold 0 – to the full-sized images). I didn’t think it would be a fair comparison to put un-sharpened sports images from any lens up against the sharpened sports images you see every day.

Q. Can’t you post an unsharpened image?
A. Sure. Here ya go (below) — this is an un-edited, un-cropped, tilty, unsharpened, JPEG shot straight out of the camera that needs straightening, brightening, cropping and sharpening. Still looks nice and sharp, but outside of this blog post I would never post ANY sports image without, at the very least, applying sharpening first.

Q. Did you shoot in RAW or JPEG?
A. I shoot all my sports in JPEG, so these are all JPEGs. 

Q. Anything else strike you about it?
A. Not really. I think Canon did a nice job with this lens, and I think at this price, it will make a lot of people happy (especially since the old version was introduced about 10-years ago). What was most memorable for me about shooting with it was just how awesome it was shooting an entire game with just one lens. Shooting without a monopod gives you a big advantage, so that was a big thing, and not ever having to switch bodies or lug all that gear was a real plus for me. I took all my gear to the game, and was expecting to switch to my regular much (ahem) high-priced lens for the 2nd half, but I was enjoying the freedom, size, weight and results so much I decided to just stick with it, and I was really happy with the results.

Q. By the way, who won?
A. The Eagles won 43-24.

(Above: Although I was shooting for the Titans that day, my buddy John Geliebter shoots for the Eagles and I snapped this one of him during a time out. After the game he drove me to the airport in record time to catch my flight, so I owe him several beers next time I see him). 

(Above: That’s my buddy Donn Jones, Titan’s Team Photographer and just one of the greatest guys out there. However, I feel like his iPhone is outdated…well…especially since my 6-plus just came in last night. I’m not sure Donn and I can be friends any longer). ;-)

This weekend off I’m to shoot with the Falcons on Sunday for their home game against the Steelers. Might do a few remotes (you know I love that!). I have some shots from the game next week. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend (#gofalcons, #riseup) and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott

 

Thursday
Dec
2014
11

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  15 Comments

Adobe Photoshop Creativity Seminar with Ben Willmore
The last KelbyOne Live seminar of the year is TOMORROW, December 12, in Phoenix with Ben Willmore! If you haven’t signed up yet, there’s still time. And if you want a chance to go for free, leave a comment here this morning, and we’ll pick a winner this afternoon!

DSLR Filmmaking: Camera Motion & Support with Adam Rohrmann
Attention aspiring filmmakers! There’s a lot more to camera rigs than just providing support for your camera. In this class our very own filmmaker extraordinaire Adam Rohrmann takes you through the technical how-to aspects of six of the most common camera supports used in DSLR filmmaking, and then brings it all home in a series of lessons designed to give you a camera operator’s-eye view of how each rig can be used to elicit a different emotion in your viewer through the production of a short film scripted for this class. Adam’s practical approach gives you a real world perspective on how to use each rig, how to keep your subject locked in sharp focus, and the importance of using camera motion with attention to the emotional impact it has on your audience.

Moose Peterson Discusses Image Quality
And he’s not talking about megapixels. Check out this video where Moose shows a print he had made and talks about how the quality of a picture has less to do with megapixels and more about the craftsmanship behind the making of the image. And if you want to see the behind the scenes from the shoot where he made the image, you can see that right here.

New Fuji X-System eBook from Bill Fortney
The Fuji X-System User’s Guide from Bill Fortney is a real guide to getting the most from this system. The guide features over 300 photographs spread over 200 pages with helpful information and tips for getting the most out of the fantastic System. The book also features work from today’s top pros that are using the Fuji X-System! You can find out more and buy your copy right here. Leave a comment for your chance to win a free download!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- 3lyssa

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

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