Friday
Aug
2014
22

OK, Are You Ready for a Really Cool Contest?

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

It’s called “Expose Yourself With Scott Kelby” (I didn’t name it. I would have named it “Get nudie-nude naked and naughty with DJ Scott-Scotty K and the fully clothed nudists” but they voted it down).

Anyway, if you are picked as the winner, you win a Sony RX-100 Camera, so if you can get past the whole thing of having nothing on, this is awesome.

The contest is for photographers who want to share what they’ve learned with other photographer through a blog post, article, photo submission, etc. on InMyBag.net —-(in their words: “InMyBag.net is now a fully fledged photography magazine. In addition to featuring awesome photographers and their kit, we put a strong emphasis on including additional value – it could be a tip, a mini tutorial or general advice. Essentially, we’re asking photographers to SHOW & TELL). “ 

Anyway, this month the folks at InMyBag.net are letting me pick my “favorite submission from the 10 most popular posts submitted and published between 1st July and 31st August 2014″ (so get to writing — you could win!).

Here’s a link with all the details — I wish you the best of luck — hope you win the camera, and maybe even some clothes (hey, it could happen). ;-)

Thursday
Aug
2014
21

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Free Expo Pass for Photoshop World Las Vegas
If you can’t attend the full three-day training conference, you can still take part in the Free Expo that’s headed for Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. Check out the show floor, packed with free classes, product demos, and exclusive show specials from the hottest names in the industry. The Expo hits Vegas September 3-5 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. Register now for your free pass!

 

Photographing Motion Indoors with Joe McNally
This class is all about different ways of capturing motion with a still camera in an indoor setting. Join Joe McNally for a series of on-location shoots as he demonstrates different techniques for revealing people and objects in motion. From capturing an aerial dancer on a flowing silk to showing the motion of flowing fabric and hair, Joe steps you through the process of pulling all of the pieces together and then modifying them on the fly to meet the real world conditions you will encounter. Joe uses a combination of ambient light, speedlights, continuous hot lights, and strobe to create different effects that can be used to show blur or stop all motion in its tracks.

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Corey Barker, Matt Kloskowski, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Aug 26 – St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 – Kansas City, MO
Sept 26 – Houston, TX

The Power of One Flash with Joe McNally
Sept 24 – Cleveland, OH

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
Oct 3 – New Orleans, LA

The Lightroom LIVE Tour with Matt Kloskowski
Sept 29 – Livonia, MI

The Photoshop Creativity Tour with Ben Willmore
Sept 22 – Arlington, TX

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we’ll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
KelbyOne Rentals
- Marijke
- Ross S

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Terry Gardner

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Aug
2014
20

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Jason Groupp!

by Brad Moore  |  4 Comments


Photos by Peter Hurley

Howdy folks! I hope you’re having a great summer! Here in NYC I feel like we’ve had a bit more rain than in the past, but all in all it’s been a very pleasant season, albeit a fast one! I feel like we were just celebrating Memorial Day, and now I’m suddenly busy preparing for Photoshop World in just a few weeks! Yikes! If you come see me speak, I promise to fill your head with loads of information about OCF (Off Camera Flash) geekiness, but today I’m going to talk to you about that moving target we call the work/life balance. So if you’re here today to learn about the difference between an f/stop, and the bus stop you should move directly to this class. ;-)

….you’re still here?! GREAT! Let’s talk about that work/life balance. Come in a little closer, I’m going to let you in on a secret…closer, closer. Sorry kids, whomever told you can have a wonderful life filled with happy, joyous days with your family AND run a fruitful, cash $$ money business while you skip and run into the distance riding a unicorn over the rainbow is either a lunatic or has just figured out the right pharmaceutical medley to keep them happy while they’re most likely screaming on the inside.

So why go on this rant you ask? Why am I trying to crush your mellow? In the words of Lynn Cartia, “I’d like to take this moment to bring it WAAY down.”

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jason Groupp, and I’m the Director of Education and Membership for WPPI/Rangefinder and PhotoPlus Expo/PDN (Oct 29 – Nov 1).  I am also a photographer of 25 plus years, mainly weddings with a smattering of commercial and editorial work over the years.  Going from my studio every day to an office has been one of the weirdest, most jarring experiences of my life and has forced me to make some lifestyle changes, while at the same time trying to manage the artist ego inside who needs to stay creative, and…oh yeah, I have a beautiful wife, and two nutty children ages 5 and 7. Managing three different lives at the same time, clocking nearly 55,000 miles on United this year, trying to be the best Dad in the world AND desperately trying to find the energy to be creative has proven to be a phenomenal challenge. Did I mention that I like to workout at least 4 days a week?

There’s a scene in Goodfellas where Ray Liotta is trying to manage all these errands, and still put on a face that he’s in complete control. He keeps complaining about this helicopter flying above him and this weird feeling like something is going to go wrong, and it does. Of course he’s crazed out on drugs, and that’s part of the problem, but at a certain point his work/life balance comes crashing down to a halt in epic proportions. He failed.

Okay, so I’m hoping most of you don’t have DEA agents flying over you watching your every move, but I’m sure most of you have felt like Ray (minus the drugs) at some point in your lives. We all have that moment when we think we can outsmart reality, and it all comes abrupt stop, and realize it’s time to change.

Now don’t beat yourself up! I’m here to tell you it’s okay. Wait, if I did I would then be that crazy person who tells you can have it all. You can’t. But that’s OK. I’m here to tell you it’s OK. ;-)

This past weekend I had one of those moments. My wife and I do a great job of  “dividing and conquering” as we like to call it. This includes general errands, dropping/picking up kids, play dates and stuff like that. A typical weekend includes early morning runs, followed by trips to the dry cleaner, supermarket, and some kind of kid-friendly activity to finish the day off. However, this past weekend there was quite a few more adult things that needed to be done, including calling several contractors, replacing tires on both cars, finding a new mechanic, and coordinating multiple birthday parties drop-offs, etc.  As we sat eating our breakfasts  my daughter says, “OMG, there’s a cat stuck in our tree.” She’s got a great imagination, so we laughed, but then she repeated, “No really, there’s a cat stuck in the tree!”

With that one sentence, I knew at an instance, this would be the thing that completely derailed our weekend. The next several hours included phone calls to the police, animal control, fire department, and of course visits from our neighbors, all offering advice that was completely unhelpful. I looked at my wife and said that we don’t have time for a cat stuck in the tree! “We have all of these errands to run, plus I have to write an article (this one!) for Kelby, plus I was going to edit some images later.” She smiled at me and said “Yes, but there’s a cat stuck in the tree.”

At that moment I realized the stress of trying to get it all in wasn’t going to happen, my plan had failed, and that was okay.

Here’s ten things I do to help keep my sanity, none of them get me to achieve a work/life balance, but helps maintain a large enough bucket to keep the water out of our sinking ship.

1 – Recognize the warning signs. At some point you know you can’t get it all done, and you have to let it go.

2 – You can’t be good at everything all the time, but you can be good at what you are doing right now. Focus! Focus is the key.

3 – The “Play like a champion today” Notre Dame football motto can apply to everything you do. Prioritize, and conquer. When you’re food shopping, do that, “I’m shopping like a champion today,” “I’m buying tires for my car like a champion today.”

4 – Be present for your family. This is the hardest one for me. You can still drag your kids around to do the errands, but make the time to look into your kids’ eyes and listen. Too often I find myself on a business trip missing my family feeling guilty about not spending enough quality time with them. The cat stuck in the tree really made me think about how our lives need to be more balanced.

5 – Call in sick once in a while! Do it!

6 – Throw something out! Or donate it to someone who wants it. Clearing out clutter is awesome.

7 – Call your Mom. Well that doesn’t achieve a work/life balance, but she wants to hear from you.

8 – Kill your television. There’s nothing good to watch on it, and you are wasting too much time looking at it.

9 – Go read a book. It will keep you sane, and it will keep your brain alive.

10 – Make some plans to do something fun. John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re making plans.” GO MAKE SOME!

I’m not sure if this was a helpful article, but it was cathartic for me to write. Now and again there comes a time in your life when you get a cat stuck in the tree and I’m here to tell you it’s OK. You are not going to find the balance; all you can do is manage the fallout. Trick is to manage it like a champion. It’s OK!

You can see more of Jason’s work at JasonGroupp.com, follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and catch him live at Photoshop World Las Vegas!

Tuesday
Aug
2014
19

Why Isn’t There a Photo Walk In My City?

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

Here’s our “Week One” update (the official launch was just one week ago):

So far we have 564 walks already planned all around the world. (you can see some of the cities that created walks just this weekend, listed above). What an amazing start!!! Also, a big high-five to everyone who has been kicking in the requested $1 donation to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. They’ve never needed your help more, and we’re indebted to you for helping (especially to those who have kicked in $50 to make sure everyone in your local walk was covered — how cool is that!). There’s some very special people out there (you know who you are). :)

So, that’s the update part, but today we’ll be focusing on a question and comment I get any time I mention a new city has come on board with a photo walk, and that question is…

“Why isn’t there a Photo Walk in My City?”

Just so you know; we don’t actually pick the cities where walks are held.  In each case a photographer in that city has graciously volunteered to organize and lead a Photo Walk as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk. They went to the official Website (here’s the link) clicked on the link called “Lead a Walk” and they filled out an application to lead a walk in their city.

These applications are reviewed by the WWPW team and if we determine the applicant has the organizational background to successfully plan and lead a walk, then we approve their walk and they have 72-hours to set up their Photo Walk page and post it so people can join.

How do photographer learn about walks in their city?
If they search on the official Worldwide Photo Walk website, it’ll list cities near them with direct links for more info and to sign up, but for a walk to really be a success, most leaders help spread the word in their local community through social media, camera clubs, photo meet-up groups etc.. Some leaders get the local media involved, and each year we see dozens of news stories, articles, TV coverage and more, so it all makes a difference in getting a great turnout.

I hope that helps clear up some confusion and the idea that we (here at KelbyOne) actually choose the cities. The only city I chose is London because that’s where I’m leading a local walk this year (very excited , too!).

Here’s wishing you lots of happy photo walkers, and my humble thanks to everyone who has already signed up to lead a walk (or has done so for multiple years, as many of you have, and we’re so very grateful that you do). :)

Looking forward to the big day!

All my best,

-Scott

Monday
Aug
2014
18

How Photographers Can Turn Their DSLR Videos Clips Into Movies in Just 5 Minutes (using, believe it not, just Photoshop)

by Scott Kelby  |  14 Comments

This is a short clip from an episode of “The Grid” (hosted by RC and me) that has gotten a ton of buzz, mostly because so many Photoshop users had no idea that Photoshop could even do this (I think it’s the best-kept secret in Photoshop).

We start a five minute timer, and even with me messing up the first step and literally having to close and restart Photoshop and start over, we still comfortably got all seven steps completed in five minutes. You’ll be stunned at how easy this is, because we’re using a photography application that lets us create video, instead of making us photographers learn a video application from scratch. You’ll super-dig it.

Here’s wishing you a better than average Monday!

Best,

-Scott 

Friday
Aug
2014
15

A Recipe for Creating an Epic-Looking Shot

by Scott Kelby  |  28 Comments

Above: Here’s the final image. Click on it so you can see it larger (it makes it much more epic). 

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t see “the” recipe — I said “a” recipe (because there are many), but this is one I use again and again, in lots of different situations, that’s surprisingly quick and easy to pull off. But first, a behind-the-scenes shot (below).

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot. My camera is down low on a Gitzo tripod with the legs splayed out wide about as far as they can go. I’m shooting tethered into the laptop you see beside me — going straight into Lightroom. I think that’s Brad with some serious hip action way off to the left. Dang hippie.

There are three ingredients in this recipe:

(1) A super wide angle lens
The wider the better (here I’m using a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 wide angle zoom, and I’m at 16mm). If you’re shooting a full frame camera, this is one of those times where its full-frameness pays off because your wide angle lens are wider. If you’re shooting a crop sensor camera, a 24-70mm won’t get you wide enough, even at 24mm — you’re going to need something wider, like a 10mm or a 12mm wide angle (but not a fisheye). Think “super wide.”

(2) You need to get down really low 
Really super low (like you see me above). I’m not quite comfortable with lying down to get the ‘epic’ look, so I’m using a tripod with the legs splayed way out, but this getting low part is incredibly important to creating the bigness of the shot. Once you’re down low, it’s really important to get the floor in front of you in the shot — it’s key to the bigness of the look. Also, if you can include the ceiling and the floor in the same shot, it really takes it over the top.

(3) You need a great location
I know that kind of seems like it goes without saying, but if you try this technique and your shot doesn’t look “epic” you have to ask yourself if you’re shooting in a location that is really interesting. I was shooting yesterday on the front porch of a beautiful gothic church and I did this technique and it just looked great (but I actually just put the camera right on the floor — tilted it up on my camera strap, and took a blind shot to start, and just tweaked the position a little. It looked great. Ya know why? It was the right technique WITH the right location.

So really, if you’re already shooting at a great location, it’s really just two steps.

Above: Here’s the flip side behind-the-scenes shot, but this was taken a few minutes before I realized I wasn’t getting low enough to make the shot look really epic, so after this was taken we took my laptop off my tripod stand, and I used that tripod. Off in the distance is my team (Hendricke doing make-up and Lexi doing hair, Brad and Julio and Lynn helping on the set and Kalebra doing all the art direction and styling). 

Anyway, next time you find yourself shooting in a great location, try going for the big ‘epic’ look by using these two steps: (1) Use a super-wide angle lens, and (2) get down really low, almost to the floor, and include lots of the floor, and ideally the roof, in the shot.

Hope you find this recipe helpful, and here’s wishing you an ‘epic’ weekend with lots of amazing locations. :)

All my best,

-Scott

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