Monthly Archives September 2010

When I shot the LSU vs. North Carolina football game last week, I wanted to take my new 32-gig Lexar Professional 600X high-speed UDMA memory card out, and when I popped it in the camera, I have to tell you—my jaw dropped when I looked at the LCD readout on the top of my Nikon D3, and saw that in JPEG fine mode, I had more than 4,300 shots available on that one card. Seriously—wow! I snapped the shot you see above of the LCD readout window using my iPhone 4 on the balcony of my hotel before I left for the game.

Now, later Paul Abell snookered me into shooting a sporting event in Raw mode, so my number of available shots went down to around 1,200+, but still—that ain’t bad for just one card. By the way—the Lexar 600X card is insanely mondo fast. I had never had that level of speed (or that big a card), but it was really sa-weet. Anyway, I had to share that moment with you guys. I didn’t even know the “shots left on card” readout went that high! :-)


Last week I promised that I would tell you guys a little bit about what the folks at FJ Westcott did on the Photoshop World Expo Floor that made them the talk of the show, but first a little history. (All Photos by Terry White. Thanks T!).

Dave Moser (NAPP’s Chief Operating Officer) and I had come up with an idea with based on the the fact that so many people already bring their cameras to Photoshop World. We thought it would be cool if we set up “shooting stations” for lack of a better term, where we would have sets and props or professional models, all professionally lit, where they could practice their skills.


A few months back I called Kelly Mondora over at Westcott Lighting to share the idea, because the only way this was really going to work was to use Continuous Lighting, like their TD-5 Spiderlites (having to deal with strobes, and wireless channels, and getting multiple people shooting at once, just would be a nightmare, and by using the TD-5’s we’d sidestep all that, plus as many people that wanted to shoot at one time, could).


Well, Kelly was all over it, and basically they took the idea and totally ran with it and it was literally the talk of the show because: (1) How incredibly creative the sets and concepts were, and (2) how well executed each set was with great props and backgrounds (3) how nicely lit each set was (4) that the male and female models were great and incredibly patient, (5) the make-up artist they flew in was just amazing, and (6) the fact that they changed the sets and models every day!!!! (One of their sets the first day was Catwoman, as seen at the top of this post. Photo by Terry White).


People were shooting at the “Westcott Shootout” literally all day, every day during the entire conference. You could see crowds huddled around each set at any given time, as seen above (Westcott did all this, while they were running their regular booth at a different location on the show floor).


Anyway, I was so excited at how it came out (which Westcott gets, and deserves 100% credit for), and I wanted to share it with you guys here, so if you come to Orlando Photoshop World next March, you absolutely, positively have to bring your camera and see what they come up with next. (Check out some of Scott Bourne’s awesome shots from the Shootout right here, and here, and here).

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Consider this my standing ovation to Kelly, to photographer Michael “MJ” Green who worked the shootout and helped everybody along the way, and to everyone at Westcott who showed that they do way more than just make lighting. They make cool!

P.S. Check out Westcott Lighting on Facebook right here. They always post lots of cool stuff, and videos and tips on lighting.

UPDATE: Westcott caught more than just the attendees attention with their shootout—the LA Times did a write-up on them. Here’s the link.

I mentioned on Monday that a got a chance to shoot the LSU vs. North Carolina College Football Kick-off Game on Saturday in the Georgia Dome with my buddy, Atlanta-based pro sports photographer Paul Abell (here’s Paul’s guest post on my blog).

We really had a ball, plus it was a terrific game, coming down to the last 2-seconds, where the Tiger’s defense was able to hold off the Tar Heels from snagging a last second victory.

This was my first time out shooting with my 300mm f/2.8 (a gift from my book publisher [Peachpit Press] for being named the world’s #1 best-selling technology book author for the 6th year straight. I know—totally awesome publisher, right? Plus they really know how to give a gift!!!!!). :-)

Anyway, here’s a few shots from the game. I am getting better at my timing, which is something I’ve been trying to work on, but I let a few great shots get away because of focus issues (totally my fault), where the receiver was out of focus and the crowd behind him, or players on the sidelines were in focus. This was my first game of the season, and it helped get the rust off a bit, but shooting football is one of those things that just takes lots and lots of practice—–but I gotta tell ya—-I surely don’t mind this kind of practicing. :)

CAMERA INFO: All the shots were taken with a D3 or D700. My D3 had the 300mm f/2.8 on it pretty much all day, and my second body was the D700 with my 70-200mm for when the action got inside the 20 yard line. My ISO was generally either 2,000 or 2,500 (Note: My other sports lens is a 200-400mm f/4, and that one stop advantage with the f/2.8 lens let me shoot at 2,000 ISO in an indoor dome stadium, rather than shooting at 4,000 ISO like usual. Plus, it gave a shallower depth of field than the f/4, which I love). No color correction in Lightroom necessary (I know, I’m amazed myself—some sort of fluke)—just adding contrast and sharpening. Also, I only applied noise reduction on one single image, but sadly I can’t remember which one it was. Anyway, here’s the shots:


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Above: Taken from the upper deck with a 10.5mm fisheye lens. I removed the fisheye distortion with one click using Lighroom 3’s automated Lens Correction.

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Above: The fans get fired up during a pre-game rally!

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Above: That’s my buddy, Atlanta sports photographer Paul Abell right after the opening kickoff. He’s standing where I took the Fisheye shot you see earlier. He’s shooting a 14-24mm wide, and a 400mm f/2.8 for his long glass.

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I love shooting College Football. Your chance for high-scoring games (which translates to lots of action), goes up, and since they run some wild plays you won’t see in the NFL, you don’t always know what to expect, so it makes for a really fun day of shooting.


Hey gang, Brad here with the latest happenings and news. Just a few things to talk about today, but they’re some pretty cool things! :)

  • The brand spankin’ new iPhone Book (by Scott Kelby and Terry White) is now available! This fourth edition has updated info for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, including all the stuff you need to know to get the most out of this handy gadget. You can order your copy from Barnes and Noble or Amazon (or both!).
  • You can catch legendary sports photographer Bill Frakes TODAY at 2:00 pm EDT on a free webinar with  called “Sports Photography: Understanding Motion and Emotion.” It’s presented by the Manfrotto School of Xcellence, where you can also find archived webinars from other photographers, including Joe McNally! (If you missed Bill’s guest blog earlier this year, you should go back and check it out here)
  • Wacom recently rolled a very creative ad campaign featuring Joel Grimes, Nancy Stahl, and… Scott Kelby! It’s showing up in magazines and online, but the cool part is the website they’ve created that’s the heart of the campaign.  It features videos from each person showing you their workflow and how their Intuos 4 tablets play a vital role in their creativity. Not only that, but you can view and download each person’s settings to use for your tablet! Check it all out right here.

That’s it for today. Stop by again tomorrow to see shots from the LSU vs. North Carolina football game he shot last Saturday!

“Scott Kelby Rocks!” by William Beem

You probably saw Scott’s recap of Photoshop World earlier this week, but we thought it would be nice to let you hear from some of the people who were there as attendees as well.  Here are just a few of the people who have blogged about their experience in Las Vegas last week:

And I’m sure there are more out there, so feel free to link away in the comments if you want to share your experience from Photoshop World!



I’m thrilled and honored to be this week’s guest blogger. I’ve been a member of NAPP and a follower of Scott Kelby for many many years, and I can’t thank him enough for all the wonderful information he provides through his books and online videos.

I’ve been making my living as a photographer for more than 25 years, specializing in location work for annual reports and other types of business collateral material. Making a living as a professional photographer is hard work, no doubt about it!  You need passion, persistence and an unbridled faith in yourself and your abilities.  As hard as it is to build a successful business in photography, it is the most rewarding career you could ever imagine.

My love affair with photography started back during my high school days.  I was a staff shooter on the school paper as well as the yearbook. I enjoyed shooting B/W film, developing the negatives and making prints. My interest in B/W photography grew and I became a big fan of Ansel Adams and his beautiful landscapes. I taught myself the zone system and began shooting “rocks and trees”.  Like a lot of young people, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a living, but I did know that photography would always play a part in my life.  I had no idea that it would consume my life.



Back in the late 70’s I worked as a flight attendant for a major airline.  We had a saying in the industry, “There is a smile in every window and an ass in every seat!”  Fate was with me one day when I met a passenger that changed my life. He was a professional photographer named Joe Baraban, a Houston based shooter who shot corporate annual reports and advertising work.  I can’t remember if he was one of those smiles in a window or just another ass?  Long story short, I quit the airline, moved to Houston to assist Joe and learn the business.  I stayed for about 15 months before moving to Denver to start my own photography business.

When I moved to Denver, the economy really sucked, much like it does today.  Being young at the time, I didn’t know any better and I really didn’t care. All I knew was that I was determined to strike out on my own and succeed at becoming a working professional photographer.


Over the years I’ve photographed for all sorts of industry, however it was the engineering, oil & gas and mining work that captured my interest.  I love shooting large-scale projects and the challenge to make those industries look glamorous.  It is this sort of work which allows me a tremendous amount of creative freedom, travel and the opportunity to learn about how things work and how they are built.  I often compare my assignments with that of the Discovery program “Dirty Jobs”.


Aside from my assignment work, I also teach a lighting workshop called “Small Strobes, Big Results.  I’ve been teaching for three years now. I really enjoy sharing my many years of experience with those interested in sharpening their lighting skills.


I also I teach workshops for Nikonians, The Santa Fe Workshops, Maine Media Workshops, GPP (Gulf Photo Plus), PhotoPress Productions and Popular Photography’s Mentor Series Treks.

I’ve been very fortunate to earn a living doing something I love, and I realize that not many of us are able to say that.  When I have the opportunity to speak to young people, I encourage pursuing a career that brings them joy.  I encourage them to follow their dreams, seek out those who are succeeding in their field of interest.  Life is to short too spend your days doing something that you’re not interested in.  Reach for that golden ring!