scottstage

Mornin’ everybody – here’s what’s up:

New Tour Dates and Cities for My Seminar
We just added a bunch of new cities and dates for my full-day “Shoot Like a Pro: Part 2 (Reloaded) Seminar” [photo above by Kevin Newsome]— they are:

> March 3 – New York, NY – View
> March 30 – Boston, MA – View
> April 26 – Seattle, WA – View
> April 29 – Portland, OR – View
> May 12 – San Diego, CA – View
> June 7 – Orlando, FL – View
> June 9 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – View
> July – Nashville, TN (exact date in July TBA)
> August – Indianapolis, IN (exact date in Aug TBA)
> August – Columbus, OH (exact date in Aug TBA)
> September. 21 – Minneapolis, MN
> September 23 – Milwaukee, WI
> October – Arlington, TX  (exact date in Oct TBA)
> October  – Sacramento, CA (exact date in Oct TBA)
> November 14 – Denver, CO
> November 16 – Las Vegas, Nevada
> December, Charlotte, NC (exact date TBA)
> Plus a few more cities yet to be announced.

Hope I’ll see you in one of these cities (you can find out more details here).

 

psw2016

Photoshop World Registration Opens Next Week
I can’t wait to tell you what we have in store this year for the Photoshop World Conference (including some awesome new instructors we’ve added to the roster, some fun new events, cool new classes, and lots more). Registration opens next week for this year’s conference in Las Vegas. Awwwwyeah!

I’ll post a link here when registration goes live next week, but you can start planning now because the official dates are July 19-21, 2016 (at the beautiful Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino). It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!  :-)

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Rebroadcast of our Canon Total Gear Head Live Q&A
On Wednesday afternoon we did a special live Q&A exclusively for KelbyOne members featuring two of the super genius tech guys at Canon (Rudy Winston – DSLR tech guru seen above right, and Brent Ramsey -DSLR Video guru seen above left).  They were there to answer questions about the newly announced Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, and we have the rebroadcast now available and the questions were just pouring in.

The feedback we have received has just been phenomenal, if you’re a KelbyOne member, you can watch the rebroadcast right now at this link. (if you’re not a member, you can take the free 10-day trial and watch it that way, along with all the rest of our classes). Thanks to our friends at Canon for lending us Rudy and Brent – they totally rocked it!

 

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New Online Classes
Yesterday, we mentioned my new KelbyOne online class on Designing Beautiful Wedding Albums in Lightroom, but I thought it was important to let you know about what makes this class different than my existing online class on creating Photo Books in Lightroom.

This class is really about the design of the book – the layout, and creating beautiful looking photo books – that’s the focus of the book — not learning all the Lightroom photo book features (even through you wind up learning those, too). Check out the preview here. 

Also, here’s a peek at some of our other upcoming online classes already taped and in post production:

> Get Up To Speed Fast on the Sony a7R II
> Photo Recipes: Dramatic Lighting
> Using the Canon 600EX RT Hot Shoe Flash
> Design Basics for Adobe InDesign
> Adobe InDesign for Photographers
> Light Painting & Photographing The Stars
> DIY Photography Gear Solutions

Next month we’re taping new KelbyOne online classes with Moose Peterson, along with new classes from Photoshop Retouching Shark Kristina Sherk, and Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neal Hughes on using Adobe’s latest mobile apps, PLUS I have a few new classes I’m taping as well — one on my own simple system for organizing your images, and 10 Things Every DSLR User Should Know. 

Just a quick look at what’s coming your way — hope you all have an awesome weekend (hate to see that football season has ended), and we’ll see ya here next week.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Houston, Texas — I’ll be there a week from today. Come on out!

Designing Beautiful Wedding Albums in Adobe Lightroom CC
Learn how to design beautiful wedding albums in Lightroom CC! Join Scott Kelby as he shares his favorite design tips, tricks, and techniques for creating wedding photo books with high impact. Scott takes you through the process, from beginning to end, showing you how to get started with your book, maximize the Lightroom interface for an efficient workflow, how to add photos, customize pages, work with text, and all the while sharing his insights into how to design your layouts like a pro. You’re going to fall in love with the process once you realize how much control you have over the design, and your clients will fall in love with your albums.

This class will be available today, exclusively at KelbyOne.com, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free 1-month membership to KelbyOne!

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IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE
It’s always a privilege to appear as a guest blogger on Scott’s Photoshop Insider Blog. Having a chance to share some of my experiences in photography with Scott’s blog readers is always a pleasure. If anything I say plants a seed in your mind that you then nurture and turn into a unique memorialization of a moment in time, I couldn’t hope for more.

This will be my fourth appearance as Scott’s guest blogger and this time I’ll be chatting about one way to create some sports images that are different than the usual stuff you may see. If you’ve tried your hand at sports photography you know how much competition there is in the field. With camera equipment becoming relatively affordable and with technology advancing so much that pro level equipment is readily available to all, there has been a proliferation of folks who are geared up to shoot sports. With so many new shooters, I find it necessary to do anything I can to distinguish myself from others for the sake of continued photo assignments. Thus, I strive to capture images that stand out from what others capture.

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15mm fisheye shot from the floor

For many years, I have used a diagonal fisheye lens to add one or two images to my typical set. The unique image curvature created by this lens is always good for images that are different from typical sports images. The shot above is an example of a basketball image taken with a 15mm fisheye and the camera body placed on the floor angled upward. The problem is that a little fisheye goes a long way. One or two images in a set are plenty.

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Trying a different perspective for this shot

To supplement equipment in my bag of tricks I try to use creativity as a means of generating novel images. Over time, I have developed a reputation among colleagues as the guy who will try almost anything in order to get a different perspective for an image. It’s become a running joke with my friends and it’s gotten to the point where they are no longer surprised when they find out from where I managed to get a given shot.

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And here’s the shot

My philosophy is pretty simple – the best way to separate my work from that of others is to be creative enough, and sometimes crazy enough, to find unique perspectives for images. The early bird may get the worm, but the creative one is more likely to get the shot that turns heads.

Perspective is one of the easiest things you can change to make an image look completely different from another one depicting the same scene. That’s why for sports like basketball which are played indoors, I have been venturing up into the nosebleed section of FSU’s basketball arena to shoot some images during a game. To do so, I had to force myself to overcome a fear of heights but it has been well worth it for the sake of unique images.

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The view of the Tucker Center’s basketball court in Tallahassee, Florida from the catwalks above the arena

Normally, when people talk about going to the nosebleed section of a stadium or an arena it’s usually a sarcastic reference to being relegated to crappy seats. When I tell people that I’m headed to the nosebleed section, it’s not with sarcasm in my voice, it’s with a mixture of excitement, fear, and a lot of trepidation. My version of being in the nosebleed section of an arena is different than sitting in the cheap seats – it’s making my way up to the catwalks that ring FSU’s arena high above the facility.

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The catwalks and the steel girders that support the structure

In order to get to the best spots from which to shoot, I have to climb up and down ramps, scale ladders, and negotiate obstacles, cables, and lights, all the while petrified beyond words. I don’t like heights. No, that’s an understatement. I really, really hate heights. But when I sit at my computer after a game and look through the images that I get from the catwalks, I can only smile.

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The arena lights just in front of the steel grates that make up the floor of the catwalks

Some photographers set up remote cameras on the catwalks and then trigger them from the floor. For them, spending one minute more than necessary perched on a catwalk sends shivers down their spines. I wish I was more willing to trust technology but I still believe that if I want something done right I need to do it myself. I refuse to trust a camera’s autofocus capabilities or pre-focus on a spot and set the camera to Manual Focus to generate images. I’d rather not hope and pray that a given shot sequence is in focus only to find out later that the images aren’t sharp. Old school still rules so I shoot from above.

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Two shots taken from a side angle

There are some guidelines I follow when venturing up to the catwalks. As far as equipment, I only take one camera body strapped diagonally and securely around my body with the lens attached. Since basketball is the sport I typically photograph from catwalks, I’ll walk you through what I do to shoot basketball from the heavens but the same basic principles apply to anything else that you might shoot from up there.

My lens of choice for basketball is usually a 300mm f2.8 that I hand hold. On occasion I will also take a wide angle lens or my 15mm fisheye for artsy fartsy stuff, but if I take an extra lens it is stuffed deep into my pants pocket. I leave everything else on the arena floor and that includes camera bag, lens hoods, cell phone, monopod, keys, glasses, and anything else that I might accidentally drop from above. Not only are these items superfluous, they pose a risk of serious injury (and possibly even death) to the people below if accidentally dropped.

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Two more shots taken from a side angle

Some arenas do not have catwalks that run directly above either basket or directly above center court. For a long time, that was the case at FSU’s Tucker Center but I was nevertheless able to find spots where I could position myself to nab some cool stuff. Even though I wasn’t directly over a basket, I was able to alter the images’ perspective somewhat in Photoshop to make them look almost as if they were taken from directly overhead. The two images above are examples of images I shot from the side and then corrected to some extent in Photoshop.

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A couple of other images shot from different vantage points

By moving around on the catwalks and changing locations I use different vantage points to get different perspectives on images. I shoot some images vertically but most of the time I stick with a horizontal orientation.

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The Tucker Center during player introductions taken with a 17-35mm lens

I use a wide lens for shots of the venue during games that pit FSU against teams that are usually highly ranked, such as Duke, Louisville, or North Carolina. These games usually mean that the seats in the arena will be full which lends itself to desirable images. But after those shots are in the can I switch to the 300mm lens. The 300mm on a full frame camera body is ideal from up top because it lets me get tight on the action while still allowing me to follow it so I don’t miss too many shots.

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The grate over the center catwalk supported by girders underneath. Top/center is the opening through which I shoot
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Me (right) and a colleague (left) shooting from the catwalk pictured above. Photo by Colin Abbey

The best shots from overhead are when players are looking up at the rim or up at the ball, such as the opening tip, going for a rebound, about to release a floater in the lane, or just before a dunk. Last year, Florida State renovated the Tucker Center and finally cleared out an area that has a small opening over each of the baskets so I can now shoot from a position almost directly overhead. That is the ideal situation as I can now mix up my shots, some from the sides and some taken from directly overhead.

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Two images shot from almost directly overhead of the baskets

I try to stay alert even when play stops as opportunities for images often present themselves after the whistle blows. If I had let my guard down after the whistle blew (first image) or after a timeout was called (second image), I would have missed the images below, one of a player who collapsed in pain and the other of a dance team member doing a back flip.  Fortunately, I kept an eye on the floor after play was stopped and snapped away.

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A Clemson player collapses in pain shortly after the whistle blew

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An FSU dancer does a back flip during a time out

Another shooting opportunity presents itself during timeouts. I keep an eye on the game clock and anticipate the media time outs. When I know one is approaching, I’ll boogie over to a spot directly above one of the teams and wait for the players and coaches to gather for their strategy session. Shooting the teams from the catwalks during a timeout yields images that are not your traditional, vanilla time out images. Here are a couple of examples.

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Duke men’s team uses its bench for seating during timeouts
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FSU women’s team uses seats brought out to the floor during timeouts

If you’re fortunate enough to have catwalks available for use in your arena, by all means give it a go. To shoot from the catwalks I obtain permission from the arena facilities director to access the catwalks. That individual is usually making the rounds around the floor of the arena before the game. Once I find him and obtain permission, I make sure he contacts his staff via radio to ensure that someone will unlock the stairwell door that leads the catwalks. I make my way to this door long before I intend to shoot so I can slowly, carefully wind my way up and down the ramps and stairs that eventually end up on the catwalk that rings the arena.

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My first time up in the catwalks I made sure to leave myself enough time to get a feel for what it was like up there and explored the vantage points that exist by walking around. I took test shots of the teams as they warmed up to dial in the right exposure and explored the image possibilities from the different vantage points. After that I was all set to create my images.

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If you make it up to the catwalks of an arena and you’re like me, your heart will be in your throat until you are safely back down on the court. But when you download your cards and take a peek at what you got, you’ll be glad you made it up to the nosebleed section of nosebleed sections.

Miguel (Mike) Antonio Olivella, Jr. is a professional photographer based in Tallahassee, Florida. Mike has been a Featured Photographer for Florida State University Athletics for over ten years and a stringer for two international wire services. Mike’s sports photographs are routinely published worldwide and his astrophotography, wildlife, travel, and landscape images have been exhibited in solo and joint gallery exhibitions. You can see more of Mike’s work at BaselineShots.com, on Google+ , or on Facebook.

instatall
You guys have probably heard me talking about the role “size” plays on the impact of your images, especially when they’re viewed on the Web, and this tip really reinforces that concept.

Last night I was working on a post for our other blog (LightroomKillerTips), about some new Lightroom presets from “The Creativv” and while I was on their site I saw a post they had written about an Instagram tip —  something I hadn’t realized they added when Instagram recently added the ability to post landscape images (instead of just square images), you can now post images in Portrait (tall) mode as well.

The tip is — if you crop your image to a 4×5 ratio (a built-in cropping preset in Lightroom), your image then takes up pretty much the entire screen (see above right).

Compare the impact of the image on the far left, with the full screen portrait image on the right (note: if you scroll down, you’ll still see the caption for the image, but if you want more impact and engagement, I believe the one on the right will bring a lot more of both).

Here’s the link to their post (with the step-by-step cropping Lightroom details):

IMPORTANT: There’s one thing they didn’t mention in their post that had me scratching my head for a moment, and that is — once your image is in Instagram, you need to tap that little landscape/portrait button in the lower left corner of the image to switch your image to portrait orientation (from square). In the preview, this will show a gap on either side of your image, but when you post it, the gap doesn’t appear (as seen above right).

Also, thanks to all the awesome feedback I’ve gotten from my “How to Build Your Audience on Instagram” online class — as an educator, that type of feedback has us walking on air.

JOIN ME TOMORROW — If you’re a KelbyOne member, tomorrow at 2pm New York Time we have a live broadcast with two of Canon’s awesome super techie guys doing a live Q&A exclusively for KelbyOne members. Keep an eye out on your email for the link to come join us — we’ll be answering questions about the new Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, and anything else you can ask to stump our DSLR and DSLR video gurus (Rudy and Brent know this stuff at a terrifying level).

Hope you find that Instagram tip helpful (and thanks to Creativv for sharing it). :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Why did Adele cross the road? To say “Hello from the other side.” ;-)

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Peter Read Miller and Damien Strohmeyer not only shot the SuperBowl yesterday, they shot it with pre-release versions of Canon’s just announced EOS 1D X Mark II camera, and they’ll be sharing their experiences with it, and stories, and taking your questions live on the air.

Who: The Grid with Peter Read Miller and Damian Strohmeyer
What: Super Bowl Photography Love Fest!
When: This Wednesday at 4:00 PM (New York Time)
Where: http://kelbytv.com/thegrid

Hope you can join us!

ALSO:
Also on Wednesday (at 2pm) we’re doing our first ever “Gear Heads Only” live Q&A with two of Canon’s top nerdy guys tech guys (Rudy and Brent) that are there to answer your tech questions about the new 1D X Mark II. This broadcast is for KelbyOne members only — keep an eye out for the link if you’re a member (if you’re not a member, you could take the 10-day Free Trial and watch it that way).

Hope you all have a totally solid Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’ll be in Houston a week from this coming Friday (the 19th), with my “Shoot like a Pro: Part 2 Reloaded!” seminar – hope you can join me for the day. 

How To Get The Most Out Of Adobe Creative Cloud
Join Terry White, Adobe’s Worldwide Design & Photography Evangelist, to learn how to Get The Most Out Of Adobe Creative Cloud. In this class Terry demystifies what it means to subscribe to the Creative Cloud, how to find and install Adobe applications, and how to take advantage of all the additional benefits of a Creative Cloud subscription. From online storage space to increased collaboration tools, and from access to online assets to a wealth of mobile apps there’s a lot more to a Creative Cloud subscription than just installing and updating Adobe applications. By the end of this class you’ll learn how to empower your workflow with new tools, ensure you are getting the most out of your subscription, and know how to take steps to maintain it into the future.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free 1-month KelbyOne membership!

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