Monthly Archives June 2010


When I announced my new Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers (shown above), I listed where you could pre-order the book, but at that time didn’t have it available yet, so I wanted to let you guys know that not only is it available now for pre-order, but I expect to have the first copies any day now (it’s just about off press, so it won’t be long now).

Here’s the link to preorder yours today from (Note: if you didn’t get the scoop on the new book, I did a quick video all about what’s different in this new major update to the book. Here’s the link to that video).


Ed and Jack’s Book on Copyright for Photographers is Here!
I finally got a chance to sit down with “Photographer’s Survival Manual: A legal guide for Artists in the Digital Age,” the new book from Copyright and Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg, and Photographer’s Rights advocate Jack Reznicki, and I gotta tell ya—these guys hit it out of the park!!!!! You guys probably remember my interviews with Ed that I ran here on the blog last year (here’s the link), and I know a lot of you have packed Ed and Jack’s classes, or watched their highly acclaimed online classes on, and so you know these two are the real deal—incredibly insightful and entertaining, and packed full of info, and their book puts everything in black and white in a way only they can. If you’re serious about protecting your work, you must get this book! Here’s the link to it on Barnes &, and

What a Cool Guest Blog!
Did Ryan Schude’s Guest Blog rock yesterday or what!!!! He put almost as much work into his guest blog, as he did that amazing photo (I was telling my wife about it at dinner tonight), and very grateful that he shared so much with us. Thanks Ryan!

Sean Duggan’s Workshop at Santa Fe Workshops
Sean has got a hands-on workshop coming up at the famous Santa Fe Photographic Workshops called “The Creative Eye: Photography & Digital Darkroom Essentials.” The workshop runs July 25-31, 2010, and there are only a few spots left if you want to get in on it (here’s the link). I’ve taught for the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in the past, and they run an absolutely first-rate educational program, and I highly recommend them!

Meet me Tomorrow in New York!
Don’t forget, I’ll be in New York City tomorrow for the free Photoshop CS5 Summit, which kicks off at 4:30 pm. Matt, RC, Dave Cross, and Corey will be joining me in the class, and Adobe will be there, too, so don’t miss out—here’s where you grab some of the last remaining free tickets. P.S. We’ll be answering the crowd’s questions live via Twitter during the event!

We’re 96 cities away….
….from breaking last year’s record for Photo Walk Cities!!!! Remember: about two weeks or so before the walk date of July 24th, we stop adding cities to have walks, so if you were thinking of leading a walk, now’s the time to get yours set up. All the details are right here.

Friday Morning Shoot in New York
Matt and I are looking for something cool to shoot on Friday morning in New York, so if you know of a cool place or event in the City that Matt and I should be shooting, let me know by posting a comment here.

That’s all folks!
Have a great Thursday and we’ll see you tomorrow for another “This Weekend Only” Deal!

Photo by Derek Wood

Hello, my name is Ryan and I am a photographer living and working in Los Angeles. My background spans everything from shooting natural light, street photos in black and white film, to the staged tableau that you will see below. The goal of each photo is to create a narrative which has a specific concept, but also allows the viewer to develop their own story.

A common question I’m asked about my work is whether or not it is the result of a Photoshop composite. Generally I would prefer not to spend time behind the computer and so the goal of each shoot is to capture as much as possible in one frame. With the larger group photos there are many people involved and inevitably different frames are pieced together in order to get the best expressions or actions from each character but everything is shot and lit at one time. Here I’ve illustrated one example with a diagram to show you exactly how it was lit. I would also like to open up the remainder of this post to any additional questions you may have about this photo or others from my site. The beauty of this blog seems to be the interaction amongst the readers and I’d love to create a dialogue about whichever topic interests you all the most so please feel free to ask anything tech-related or not.

Here’s a short behind the scenes video of the shoot:

(Click to see REALLY big for all the details)


Lighting Legend:
1: Profoto at palm tree over van
2: Profoto at 3 marching band members outside of van
3: Profoto at man holding flowers
4: Profoto inside of van
5: Profoto behind building shining through back window
6: Profoto behind back wall, bounced off ceiling
7: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
8: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
9: Profoto in bushes on woman in pink dress
10: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
11: Profoto on roof at man with flowers
12: Lumedyne mounted in ceiling at woman in back booth
13: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
14: Lumedyne mounted in ceiling, hairlight for woman in pink
15: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
16: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
17: Lumedyne mounted in celing on woman at cash register
18: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
19: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
20: Profoto with green gel bounced off ceiling in back kitchen
21: Slave Light Bulb in ceiling fixture
22: Profoto on waitress spilling food
23: Profoto on marching band members in front
24: Profoto on marching band members in front

Leave a comment with your question(s) and comments, and I’ll respond to as many as I can as quickly as I can.

To see more of Ryan’s work, check out his website and keep up with him at his blog!


We Need Photo Walks in China!
Although we already have more than 800 walks around the world, and more than 15,000 people already signed up for walks, there’s a massive country that only has three Photo Walks—China. I really want to see Chinese photographers get the chance to be a part of this event, so if you’ve got a connection with any photographers in Mainland China, can you let them know about the Photo Walk, and see if we can get some walks going in Bejing and other major cities around the country. I would hate to see China left out. Here’s the link with all the details, and thanks for helping me spread the word over there.

New Episode of D-Town TV–The Weekly Show for Photographers, is Up Live
Matt and I are back again with another weekly episode, and in this week’s show:

– I show a few tips on using a polarizing filter.
Larry Becker is back with “Cheap Shots” and he’s got an amazingly inexpensive rig for transporting light stands, umbrellas, and other photo gear
– Matt has a number of tips on keeping your camera gear and photos safe while traveling
– Commercial photographer Jim Divitale shares some tips on using the Canon Utility software for tethered shooting
– We check out the work of lifestyle and wedding photographer Jasmine Star
– Plus you have a chance to win a copy of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro

Here’s the link to watch Episode 43.

This Friday, Let’s Meet Up in New York City
The free NAPP-produced, Adobe Sponsored, “Photoshop CS5 Summit” is this Friday at 4:30 pm, and if you haven’t reserved your seat, better do it quick. Here’s the link with details.

New Online Class from Photoshop Hall of Famer, Dan Margulis
I’m really psyched to announce that we just released the second part of a brand new online class at from Photoshop legend, and the father of modern color correction, Dan Margulis, called “There are no bad originals, Part 2.” It’s an amazing class that will challenge you, and get you thinking in new ways. It’s not for “newbies,” by a long shot, but if you’re ready to take things up a big notch, catch Part 1, and this new Part 2. Here’s the link.

By the way; though I don’t always mention them here on the blog, we add at least one new class every week on Kelby Training Online, and we’ve got brand classes from Joe McNally, Wedding photographer Cliff Mauntner, and Moose Peterson all coming out in the next few weeks.

McNally Invades The UK July 23rd
I guess Joe McNally won’t be leading a Photo Walk on the 24th of July, because he’ll be in London, England on the 23rd teaching off camera lighting, as we take his tour to the UK for the first time ever. Here’s the link to reserve your seat (this one will be sold out in advance!).

It’s 1:26 am—I’m hitting the sack!
That’s it for tonight folks. Have a kick-butt Tuesday!


My buddy, portrait photographer, and Web guru, and HDR Expert RC Concepcion is tonight’s special guest on Peachpit’s “Photo Club” and everybody’s invited (it’s free), and tonight he’ll be talking about photography, Photoshop, and all sorts of cool RC stuff.

Here’s how Peachpit describes it:

Join Peachpit and Layers TV host RC Concepcion for the next Peachpit Photo Club webcast on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 from 8 to 9 p.m. ET (5 to 6 p.m. PT).

RC will cover everything essential about getting yourself and your work on the Web—what to do, what not to do, useful techniques, how to present your work, and more. Plus, he’ll jump into the software side a bit and show you some simple in and out techniques for working with your images, hosting your images, and getting up to speed quickly—just like he does in his popular podcasts. As if that wasn’t enough, he’ll address the just-released Lightroom 3. It’s kind of like an RC extravaganza!

Of course, along the way RC will provide you with insight and inspiration, and answer your burning questions. To keep the creative juices flowing, Photo Club members will receive a fun assignment at the end of the session. Once completed, Photo Club members can upload their assignment to the Peachpit Photo Club Flickr Group where your friends at Peachpit, along with RC’s help, will help critique your work. And of course, there will be a chance for prizes!

This all happens tonight, so be sure to sign up to be a part of this very fun evening with RC. Here’s the link with all the details.


I’ve had a number of requests this year to go beyond just sharing my camera settings, and share a little more of the “behind the scenes experience” of shooting a major sporting event. So, two weeks ago when I got an opportunity to shoot a Major League Baseball game (Tampa Bay Rays vs. the Toronto Blue Jays), I kept my iPhone’s camera handy so I could chronicle some of the goings on for you, (though the image above, which I call “Steee-rike!” [notice the ball at his hip] was taken with my D3).

Getting Credentials
As anyone who has tried knows, getting credentials to shoot a major sporting event is hard, and getting harder every day. I shoot for a wire service, and thankfully they take care of the credentials for events I’m assigned to cover, but in other cases (like this one), it came through a “hook up” from someone I knew within the organization, but those are few and far between.

If you’re interested in this subject, check out my buddy Mike Ollivella’s Guest Post here on my blog about getting credentials and breaking into the shooting sports. It was a big hit, and Mike answers a lot of questions that other people hadn’t. (Here’s the link).


The Bad News About Parking (and why you need to get there early)
The parking situation can be really dicey for photographers, because even though there is often a media parking lot, photo credentials don’t always come with a parking pass to enter this lot, and without that pass, you generally can’t talk your way in (I’d say the amount of parking passes I get is about 1 in 3).

This means that: (a) you’re going to be paying for parking, and (b) you’re going to be parking a decent distance from the stadium, and that means that you’ll be hauling all your gear quite a ways. If you don’t mind paying $20 or more, you can park somewhat nearer the stadium, and if you get there early enough, you’ll get a good spot in the lot. One reason you might want to consider this is that when the game is over (which could be at night), you’ll be walking these streets all alone, after nearly all the spectators have gone home, carrying thousands of dollars worth of camera gear, so I like to make that scary walk as short as possible.


Getting there Early
I try to get to the stadium (field, court, arena, etc.), at least one hour before game time, if not earlier. I’ve never gotten there so early that I regretted it, because it takes a while to get from your car to where you’ll be shooting (and get through all the things I’m about to mention).

In some cases, they will mail you your credentials in advance, in some cases you can pick them up a day or two before the event in person (depending on the event), and sometimes you just have to pick them up on game day at the Media Center at the stadium. So, you have to get to the stadium, and then find out where the “Media Entrance” is (it’s not always obvious), and it’s been my experience that the media center is always on the opposite side of the stadium from where I parked. Also, rarely do the parking lot attendants know where the media entrance is, so it’s kind of pot luck on this.

photo 8sm

Once you find the media entrance, you go in, find the media registration table (shown above in iPhone photo), and pick up your credentials. Some venues have a lanyard so you can hang your pass around your neck, and some don’t, so make sure you bring a lanyard in your camera bag.

Also, for some sporting events, you’ll be issued a Photo Vest you have to wear while shooting, so security can easily identify photographers. You have to sign these vests out—they are registered to your name, and you must turn these in when you leave or they totally freak out on you.

Be Prepared to Have Your Gear Searched
They always have a security guard or police officer search your camera bag as you enter the stadium, so be prepared to hoist your gear up on a table, and open the bag for inspection. Once they peek around a bit (they are usually pretty quick about it), they put a colored tag on the bag to show that its been inspected.

The Media Center
Your first stop after you have your credentials and clear security, is usually the press room, or photographers room. These range from very nicely appointed, carpeted, air-conditioned comfortable lounges to bare bones solid concrete rooms with no windows, concrete floors, fold up tables, and bare fluorescent bulbs.

photo 1sm

Luckily, the Rays really treat the media right, and they had a really nice media center, with 50″ flat panel HDTVs all around, fully carpeted, lots of Air Conditioning, and plenty of room to relax and have a meal, but I can tell you—that’s not usually the case—it just depends on the venue.

Most have tables with power plugs, because a lot of us have to upload images while the event is either still underway, or we have to upload them immediately after the game. There is almost always free wireless, and the network name and password is usually posted right on the wall. The Rays had a nice Press Box upstairs as well for working Media.

Photographer Briefings
Depending on the sport, you may have to attend a mandatory photographer’s meeting. When I shoot motorsports, this has always been the case, and during these meetings they give you a safety briefing, let you know where you can and can’t shoot, go over the course rules, and they remind you in no uncertain terms that if you break the rules, they pull your credentials and escort you from the premises, so you don’t want to mess up and break a rule, even by accident, because they take safety very seriously.

The Situation on Food
Most of the venues I’ve been to do feed the photographers, which his another reason to get there early, because once the game starts, it’s hard to find time to grab a bite (and you run the risk of seeing the food run out, which I’ve seen happen by half time more than once).

photo 9

Above: They had a really nice Mexican buffet, which just shows what a great sense of humor they have, because essentially what they’re doing is filling you up with Mexican food, and then 15 minutes later they’re putting you all in very close quarters for three hours. What a gas!

Again, the amount and quality of the food ranges widely from venue to venue, but again, the Rays did it right (and certainly better than most). They had a Mexican buffet (shown above), then “make your own custom sandwich” bar (shown below—iPhone photo), and a full salad bar—plus all sorts of beverages—all free for the media. The food was quite good, and they had all the fixin’s and plenty of tables, but again, this isn’t always the case. Usually, the bigger and newer the venue, the nicer the media room (and the spread). I can’t imagine what the new Cowboy’s stadium media room is like.

photo 10

Above: Make your own sandwich bar, right next to a fully decked out salad bar. This is sports photographer food heaven, but they’re not all like this—trust me.

You will find some venues that actually have a grill, and they cook up everything from hamburgers, hot dogs, to pasta and Ruebens all on request, and all for free, so again, it just depends on the venue, but the good news is; they almost always provide some food for photographers on the house.

Storing Your Gear
At some point, you’re going to be out shooting, and your camera bag, and back-up gear is going to be somewhere else. Generally speaking, there is always some staff in the photographer’s room, so you don’t have to worry about a stranger wandering in and grabbing all your gear, but that’s not to say another photographer couldn’t slide a lens out of your bag. I haven’t heard of this happening, but I’d rather err on the side of safety, so I lock my bag, and then I use the built-in locking cable on my Think Tank bag to tether my camera bag to a table or steel bar, or something that can’t easily be moved.


Above: That’s some of my gear on the floor of the Photo Pit. Everyone stacked their gear up at the back of the pit, but there was a security guy right there in the pit, so I didn’t sweat it too much.

At this game, you bring your camera bag right into the photo pits where we shoot, so you just drag it on in, get out your gear (as seen above—iPhone photo), and then zip it right up. It’s pretty much out in the open, but there’s a security guard in each pit, so I didn’t worry about tethering and locking my gear, and I had no problems whatsoever. Of course, you have to access each situation and then decide how much you need to protect your gear so you’ll feel comfortable (there’s nothing I hate worse than shooting in one location and worry about my other gear in another, so I usually keep things locked up).

This is What I Was Talking About….
….when I said to get there early, because it takes a long time to get from your car, to the stadium gate, through the media checkpoint, through security, over to grab a quick bite, to the photo bit, and then get all your gear out and ready to shoot.

photo 3sm

Above: Before game time, you’d better stake out your shooting space quick, or you’ll be fighting for air.

Where you can shoot
Because of the number of photographers shooting major sporting events, and for the safety of the photographers, they have to control where you’re allowed to shoot from. For American Style football games, there is a dotted line that surrounds the field (you probably haven’t even notice it before), but that is our “do not cross line!” Television crews can cross the line, but not photographers.

At NBA basketball games, there are sections at each end of the courts for photographers, and in some cases, on the sides as well. There’s a line in each section that you’re not allowed to cross (again, for your, and the player’s safety). For the Rays Game I was shooting, we had five places we could shoot from:

  1. A photo pit behind and to the left of home plate (one is seen above)
  2. A photo pit to the right of it
  3. At the end of the first-base dugout (sharing this spot with television cameras)
  4. At the end of the third-base dugout (TV cameras here, too)
  5. From up in the stands


Above: Your home when you’re shooting from the crowded 1st base dugout. That’s my friend and ace sports photographer Andy Gregory “chimping” in the back left. He was desperately trying to get at least one shot in focus (totally kidding—Andy’s an awesome sport shooter, and he shared some tips with me during the game, as this is his “home field”).


Above: Here’s a better shot of Andy. He’s smiling because one of the other photographers left his camera bag unlocked, and right before this photo was taken Andy shoved something in his front pocket. It looked like a 50mm f/1.4 but I’m not 100% certain. By the way, I’m totally kidding. It was a 10.5mm fisheye. Again, I kid. Andy didn’t steal anything but my shots (Come on, I’m on a roll, here!).

You’re allowed to change positions between innings and between half-innings only, because you actually have to walk on the playing field to get to the other photo pit locations. You’re sharing these photo pits with other photographers and often TV cameras, and in sports, television cameras are the priority, so you have to stay out of their way (just watch what happens if you don’t duck down and walk in front of a TV camera in the end zone during an NFL game).


Above: Ahhhh, the glamor of shooting Big League sports. This is your home when you shoot from the 3rd base dugout. You do you best not to cream your head into that camera mounted above you, or on the cameraman to your left.

Because you’re sharing this space, there are three things to keep in mind here:

  1. Get there early so you can stake out a good vantage point. The best spots get staked our early, and at the very least the photographer marks his spot with a camera, gear bag, or seat (if they allow it).
  2. Be friendly and courteous to the other photographers in the pit. You’re in close quarters, and everybody is trying to get the shot for their employer, so keeping a calm, friendly attitude is important.
  3. Be especially kind and friendly to the security in the photo pits. They can either cut you some slack, or throw the book at you if you mess up, or bump heads with another photographer. They’re usually pretty good guys, so let them know you’re a good guy, and that you’re going to play by the rules, and if they do wind up having to correct you, they’ll do it in a nice way. I’ve seen security and even police threaten to toss a troublesome or pushy photographer from a game more than once. Also, just stay out of the way of TV cameras, and be nice to the camera men. They can make your life tough if you don’t give them a wide berth (plus, they are friends with the security crew).


Above: Uploading from right within the photo pit. On more than one occasion I saw these guys playing World of Warcraft during the game (totally kidding—just a joke. It was Tetris). ;-)

Uploading Images
At this game, they allowed a few photographers to have their laptops right in the photo pit for uploading, but that’s not always the case. Normally, at halftime, or between innings, etc., you have to head to the photographer’s room to do your uploading. Same thing at the end of the game, when everybody is uploading from their laptops. Usually, this room is pretty near the field, but when you’re heading there, chances are you’re not alone, so be prepared for a very crowded room (I’ve been in these rooms where there are no tables, or no seats to be had—-you’re sitting on the floor with your laptop in your lap).

A lot of photographers pick their spot in this room early, put up their laptops, and then leave and go shoot the game. When I do this, I tether my laptop to the table itself with a Kensington steel cable lock designed to work with my MacBook Pro, so when I come back to that room at halftime or the end of the game, my MacBook Pro is actually still there. I am amazed at how few photographers do this, but I sure do.

In the media room (photographer’s room, etc.), they usually pass out stats from the game, with rosters, and lots of additional information that can be helpful with captioning (though I prepare my roster stuff before the game).


Above: the view from the third base dugout, before game time.

Packing Up and Heading Out
Once you’re finished uploading, you’ll need to turn in your photo vest (if you were issued one. Make sure you DO NOT leave with that photo vest. It was checked out in your name, and they get mighty cranked if you leave with it, and won’t issue you another credential—you get kind of blacklisted, so be sure to turn it in before you leave).

Here’s where the bad parking space catches up with you. After shooting a three hour event, and running all over the place, rushing every single moment, you’re beat—especially if it’s an outdoor game (luckily for me, this Rays game was in a domed stadium). Now you have to pack up all your gear, and often you have to haul it up at least one or more flights of stairs (because of the way stadiums are designed), and then haul it all to your car and load it up. This is where parking up close really pays off, and at that moment, you’d pay that $20 close parking fee twice just not to have to walk four more blocks to your car.


Above: Not an iPhone photo (for a change). By the way: the Rays trounced the Jays!

Behind the Scenes
Hope you guys enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at shooting a major sporting event. I’ll try and answer any questions that I didn’t cover, so post any questions relating to this behind the scenes stuff and I’ll answer as many as I can as the day goes on.


Above: I made this poster for the Rays organization, commemorating the shut-out. The image is of Carlos Pena heading to the dugout after hitting a Grand Slam!!! I usually don’t throw effects on Sports photos, but the excited looks on the fans faces made me give it a try, and I liked how it came out, so I left it there. There’s a great view of the Photo Pit there, too!