This is the official host hotel for the conference, where all of the instructors stay. And it’s conveniently right across the street from the conference center.
You can get all the details on the Photoshop World Travel Info page, including a link to online reservations, address, nightly rate, and phone number to call-in your reservation. And don’t forget… NAPP members get a discount on Hertz Car Rentals!
If you want to subscribe to Kelby Training, act now and you’ll also receive a free copy of RC Concepcion’s brand new book, Get Your Photography On The Web AND his Adobe Dreamweaver for Beginners DVD. This offer is good through tomorrow, January 21. Just use the promo code ANJAN11 at the checkout to add those items to your order.
> Kelby Training Live Seminars
Dave Cross is bringing his über-popular Photoshop CS5 Power Tour to Oklahoma City, OK on January 26 and San Antonio, TX on January 31!
> NAPP Membership Special NAPP is currently running a special that adds one extra month to your membership for free if you sign up or renew by the end of January! Just use promo code 1EXTRA online or when calling customer service to take advantage of this great opportunity.
> Photoshop World Pre-Conference Workshops
Are you thinking about doing a pre-conference workshop at Photoshop World Orlando? Sign up now because they’re filling up fast! Don’t miss your chance to spend a day…
– With David Ziser on a live wedding shoot
– Learning HDR from Matt Kloskowski and RC Concepcion
– Shooting DSLR video with Rich Harrington
– Rocking out with Alan Hess and Scott Diussa in their concert photography workshop
– Creating killer portrait lighting with James Schmelzer
– Nailing those tricky channels and masks with Deke McClelland
– Transforming photos to paintings with Fay Sirkis
– Or getting the basics of Photoshop with Lesa Snider
The NAPP Photo Safari with Moose Peterson and Joe McNally is already sold out, and there are plenty of others that only have a few spots left. Register here to make sure you don’t get left out!
> South African Photo Safari with John Paul Caponigro Want to join world-renowned fine art and nature photographer John Paul Caponigro on a 10-Day South African Photo Safari? Here’s your chance! Go to SafariSweepstakes.com to enter for the February 1 Grand Prize Drawing and all the details about the trip and full list of prizes totaling $2500!
That’s all the pimpy for this week. Scott’s got something fun for tomorrow, so swing back by to feel the love :)
It is an honor to be back here on Scott’s blog. The last time I was here the guest blogger idea was in it’s infancy and a lot has happened since then…. but some things have stayed the same.
My guest blog post in 2008 was centered around shooting Billy Idol in concert, so I though it would be cool to share the experiences I’ve had with them since then. I have been lucky enough to shoot Billy Idol five times in 2010. This blog post has to do with how that became possible and how it led to being able to photograph Billy Morrison at the release of his signature Gibson Les Paul at NAMM this last weekend.
It really is a very simple concept. I only show my best work.
It sounds easy enough in theory, but in reality it can be real tough to do. It’s tough to step back from the time and energy involved in shooting and just pick out the best image from the show. Now, if I am shooting for a wire service or a music website or magazine, I will submit more than one image depending on what was asked for. This one shot is the image that I will try to get to the musician. I am looking for the image that they will like, that will get a reaction from them. Musicians see a lot of photos of themselves, what I want to do is make sure that the image they see from me stands out.
Before I get in the actual editing process, I want to talk about Billy Idol, Steve Stevens and Billy Morrison. In 2008 I was able to photograph the opening night of the Billy Idol tour in San Diego. After the show was over, I edited my images and sent a few of the very best to the person who got me the photo pass. These included a shot of Billy Idol and one of Steve Stevens. These images were then shown to the band members and the next thing I knew, Steve Stevens (Billy Idol’s lead guitar player and collaborator on some of his biggest hits) was inviting me to photograph the band again in Hollywood later that year (which was the subject of the previous guest post). Since that time I have kept in contact with Steve, and when Billy went back out on the road in 2010 I was able to photograph the Southern California dates.
During the summer of 2010 I shot three shows, and the first thing I noticed was that this was not the same band I shot in 2008. There were some additions to the band, most noticeable to me was Billy Morrison on rhythm guitar. The really enjoyable thing about photographing a band like Billy Idol is that it is so visual. Each member has a great look and are not afraid to act like rock stars. After the shows were over, I made sure to send the best photos on to Steve and asked that he share them with the band. The images made their way to Billy Morrison and he had contacted me to let me know that he really liked them. That just makes my day. It’s a great feeling when the subjects like my photos of them. Just plain makes me feel good.
Lucky for me, Billy Idol decided to play a couple more shows in Southern California in December of 2010 and once again I was able to photograph them. By this time I was in contact with Steve Stevens and Billy Morrison directly. When the shows were done, I sent them both images from the shows. The email I got back from Billy is one of my all time favorite responses to my work I have ever got. He loved the shot I sent him. I would reprint that email here, but due to the Rock ‘n Roll nature of the language I think it’s safer to just say that he really liked the shot.
Here is the key… it was just one image. Not a slew of good images with one great one in the middle, but a single image. From there we talked about shooting opportunities and usage for the shot he loved. For example, it was used along with a Steve Stevens photograph for a press release by AKG Microphones.
That brings us to The NAMM Show (National Association of Music Merchants), a show held each January in Anaheim. It’s not open to the public, but it is the place for music manufacturers to show off their goods to music buyers. This includes a lot of signings and endorsements, and this year included the release of the Billy Morrison signature Gibson Les Paul guitar.
So there I was in the Gibson room with Billy as he gets to see and play a production model of his signature guitar for the first time ever. All of this from just making sure I showed my best work. (For more on Billy and his new guitar, click here.)
I think the best moment for me personally was watching as fans came up to ask for Billy’s autograph, and the photo he pulled out to sign was the one I had sent him.
So how do I pick that one image?
First, I import all the images using Photo Mechanic.
I then start looking at the images as I import them, full screen. I find that Photo Mechanic is by far the fastest program for doing this.
I go with my gut feeling on the first round, just picking the images that stand out. It might be the lights, or the pose, or a look in the subject’s eyes, but I don’t think too much about it. It’s either good enough or it isn’t. This is by far the fastest part of the sorting process. I never spend more than a few seconds with each image. For some shows, this means picking 10% of the images, other times it is closer to 40%. I am not too worried about picking too many since I know I will be culling images again in Lightroom.
The next step is to select all the picked images and I copy them into a new folder called Picks. I then import these images into Lightroom. This makes my catalog easier to deal with since it only has the images I think are worth editing. I now apply a preset to the images that turns on the lens correction and applies Noise Reduction of 20 Luminance.
My next step is to go through the images and crop where needed to make sure that the composition is what I wanted. I tend to shoot a little wide and usually have to crop each image a little. This only takes a few seconds per image, but now I can start to go through the images and start really narrowing down the picks.
In the Library module of Lightroom, I select the first image, press E for loupe mode, then Shift+Tab to hide all the panels except for the main screen, and press L twice so that the screen is black. Now I start to look through the images with a more critical eye. When I see a shot I like, I press P to mark the image as a pick.
Once I have gone through all the images, I press L to bring up the lights, and G to see the images in a grid. Now I select all the images that have been marked as picks and create a collection of them. These are the best of the best and will be the web gallery on my website or submitted to the client.
It is from these images that I still need to pick the single best shot. To do this, I ask myself a simple question; does this image portray the musician in a way that I think they want to be portrayed? That usually makes it easier to get the selection process down to a small handful of images and then it is a matter of looking hard to decide which is the best.
I have to tell you that sometimes this process is easy. There are shows I have shot that the minute I pressed the shutter release button I knew that I had that one shot. I wish it was that way for every show but it isn’t.
I have found in speaking to many photographers that this is one of the hardest things to do. They take great photographs, then dilute the images by showing too many. It is one of the hardest things to do and the only way to make it easier is to practice.
So that’s it! Thanks for reading, and I hope you got something out this.
For more on Concert Photography, check out the Kelby Training class I did with Scott Diussa. If you are planning on joining us at Photoshop World in Orlando, Scott Diussa and I are teaching a concert photography pre-conference workshop with a live band, which you can sign up for right here!
Did you enjoy Photo Recipes Live, the DVD/book combo Scott did last year where he took you behind the scenes at his photo shoot to show you exactly how he gets the shot? Then you’ll love Photo Recipes Live Part 2 :)
Above is a short video of Scott talking about Part 2, so I’ll let him do most of the explaining. But I will say that we had a great time filming this one on location in Miami, and I think he got some killer shots!
Hey gang, Brad here with this week’s pimpy goodness. Check it:
Dave Cross is bringing his Photoshop CS5 Power Tour to Oklahoma City on January 26 and San Antonio on January 31, then Tampa on February 17 and Richmond, Virginia on February 21! Here are more details straight from Dave on what he’ll be teaching and what he suggests bringing to the seminar. You can register for any of these events right here.
Interested in a free digital issue of Photoshop User Magazine? Just go here and fill out the form to get the 100 Hot Tips issue, compliments of Dell. And if you’re already a subscriber, tell your friends!
And last but not least, former guest bloggerDrew Gardner has a new series of videos called Behind The Photos available for purchase on his website. In this series, he walks you through the setup and execution for his photos. He was kind enough to send one of them to share here on the blog so you can get a sample of what each video is like (there’s a short ad at the beginning):
That’s it for this post, but make sure you also check out the next one for one last bit of news :)
“Terry have you ever done a post or video on your photo storage workflow?”
This was a question one of my Adobe Colleagues, Tim asked me last month and after a few moments of blank stares I replied, “hmm, um, no.” The reason this caught me off guard is that while I have certainly talked about photography, computers and the importance of backup over the years on my own blog, I haven’t really put it all together specifically for photographers. I thought this might be a timely topic for my guest spot here. This is also the time where I have to give one of those Scott Kelby like disclaimers and say “This is MY workflow. It’s the way I do it. I understand that your workflow and requirements may be different. So take it for what it’s worth.”
Your digital images are your negatives – PROTECT THEM!
Let’s start with what happens at the shoot
My interests are primarily around portrait, fashion and glamour photography. This means that I’m either shooting on location or in my studio. If it’s the latter then 99% of the time I’m shooting tethered into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 running on my MacBook Pro. If I’m on location then chances are I’m shooting to a memory card in my camera. In either case I don’t leave the shoot without doing a backup. If I shot tethered to my laptop then the images are on my internal hard drive. That’s not good enough. Why? Because what if my drive crashes or becomes corrupted before I get home? What if my laptop is stolen between the studio and my trip home? Not likely, but I don’t chance it. I plug in a portable external Firewire 800 hard drive and copy the shoot folder over to it while I’m tearing down/packing up my gear. I think the longest it has ever taken is about 7 minutes. For me that 7 minutes is peace of mind. Either put the drive in a separate bag or in your pocket so that it’s not with your computer in case of theft (yes I’m paranoid and you should be too. How many hours did you just spend on that shoot?). If I shot to the card then I back up the card to a portable backup device such as the iPad with the Camera Connection Kit (see my review here), HyperDrive Color Space (see my review here) or the outrageously expensive, but very good display of the Epson P6000. Then I head home for more fun.
Have you ever lost or misplaced a Model Release Form?
Although I haven’t lost one, I did have a heck of a time finding one recently. It was over a year old and someone want to purchase one of my photos to use for a tutorial and patent application. I finally found the “paper” form and immediately scanned in all the rest of them. Now I no longer use paper release forms. I do them on my iPad instead. This way a copy of the signed form gets emailed to the model (or property owner) and myself. Once I get back to my computer I move it to my server for digital safe keeping.
The App I use on the iPad (works on iPhone and iPod touch too) is called Easy Release and you can get it here from the
If you’re looking for an App that is completely customizable for all kinds of forms then I would go with Contract Maker Pro here from the
Signing with a finger is cool looking, but get a stylus! Your model/property owner will appreciate it more. This is the one I use.
Also check out my other favorite iPad Apps for photographers here.
Review, Edit, Retouch and Distribute
The next step in my process is to go through the shoot and immediately kill the bad shots. I use the Reject flag in Lightroom 3 for this. If you’re using Star ratings, these would be the 1 Star images (unless you’re one of the backwards thinking people that believe 1 Star is the best :) In your case these would be the 5 star images – BTW, how was that 1 star restaurant you went to or the 1 star hotel you stayed in? I’m just joking. Put down the keyboard, back away. It was just a joke.) The rejects are the ones not suitable for anyone’s eyes. These are the mistakes, out of focus or otherwise horrible shots. The ones that remain are the ones that I choose my favorites from as well as provide to the client to review via the web (see my choice of Lightroom client review web template here). Before creating that web gallery I do convert my Nikon RAW files (.NEF) into DNG format. I do this with one command in Lightroom and yes I do replace the original RAW files (remember my disclaimer above?). I’ve done it this way for several years and have yet to ever miss the proprietary .NEF files.
Another Backup Has Happened in The Background – The minute I get home and open my laptop another backup kicks in automatically and wirelessly. Because I’m on a Mac with Mac OS X 10.6.x Snow Leopard, there is a native automatic backup solution that backs up any changes to my drive every hour. That solution of course is called “Time Machine.” I have a 1TB hard drive connected to my Mac mini file server (more on that in a minute) that serves as a network Time Machine backup. So even while I’m working on the shoot that I just did it’s being backed up AGAIN. Now I have the images in at least 3 places for the time being.
You’re Happy and the Client is Happy – Now What?
I’ve talked about this in the past and even recorded a video on how I handle it. See it below. The question becomes, what do you do with the hundreds of photos you snapped that no one wanted? Again I know that everyone’s situation is different. I also know that some of you may even be contractually obligated to hold on to every frame you captured. I would dare say though that most of us don’t have those restrictions. Here’s the situation: Let’s say you did a shoot and you kept 300 shots from it. You picked out the 10 favorites that you will use. Let’s say the client picked 20 and paid you. Now you’re left with 270 shots that no one chose. You didn’t want them. They didn’t want them. By the way in all my years of shooting I have NEVER had a client come back and say, “hey, you know that shot that made my nose look funny or my belly stick out? Well I want that one now.” It has never ever ever happened to me. I found that I was holding on to thousands and thousands of images that no one would ever ask for and that I would probably never go through again. Even out of the 10 or so favorites that I picked, chances are that I would only use a couple of them. If I ever needed a “different look” from that shoot, I could just pick another one from my favorites. Also remember that you typically show people your BEST work right? When do you ever go back and dig up the second or third best shots to show?
That’s right! I said it. Delete them (see my disclaimer above before you argue your particular situation). Really? yes DELETE THEM. When you actually choose to delete them, is up to you. However, ultimately you’re better off by deleting them. If deleting them right away makes you squimish then decide WHEN you should delete them. Six months later, one year later, whatever it is, DELETE THEM!
For my Lightroom brothers and sisters out there I have a way to identify which ones to delete. I built a Smart Collection to keep a constant watch on the photos that no one choose. Here’s the video on how I did it:
Now that you’re left with the keepers where do they go?
At this point I’ve done all that I’m going to do with these photos. The client is happy. I’m happy and I left with how many ever photos that I’ve retouched or tweaked on my MacBook Pro hard drive. After a while of doing this my drive space is going to dwindle. So it’s time to MOVE them to another more permanent location. I treat my MacBook Pro as my work in progress machine. Once the shoot is complete and I’m moving on to the next shoot, I need to move those photos off to another location. This is where my Server comes in. I have a Mac mini running Mac OS X Server with a Drobo Firewire 800 attached. This server has Terabytes of space in it and no matter how much current storage I have, I know that I’m going to need more in the future.
Your need for space is never ending. You might as well accept that fact.
I had to come to the realization that as a photographer I’m going to constantly be ADDING to my collection of photos presumably for the rest of my life. Think about it. You are always going to be taking photos and even if you only kept 20 photos from every shoot, you’re probably going want access to each set of those 20 photos for life. They are your memories. Client work may be different. You probably want to archive those shots, However, for me I kinda treat them as one in the same. In other words if I do portrait session for a paying client, I will probably still have my favorites from that shoot as well as their favorites. Some may actually make it in to my portfolio. Therefore I want access to my best shots at all times. I don’t Archive! Nope, I don’t store client shots any differently than I do my personal ones. Managing multiple archives is more hassle for me than it’s worth.This is why I went with a Drobo. Before Drobo I was just using the largest hard drives available at the time and of course backing them up. Each drive would last me a year or two before I would need to increase my storage space. This is when the pain would come in because it would require being down for a day while I restored all of my files onto the new larger drive. That pain was cured for me with a Drobo. This is because I can simply Add/Replace the drives with Bigger Drives without shutting down or stopping the work.
Time to move the shoot folder from my MacBook Pro to my Server/Drobo
The remaining shots get moved over my network from my laptop to my server. I keep the catalogs on my MacBook Pro as I constantly use them and add more photos to them (unless I created a projected specific catalog for a project that then gets moved to the Drobo as well). The next time I fire up the Lightroom Catalog it will ask where the photos are (by displaying question marks on the thumbnails) and I simply point one of them to the new location of the photos on my server and Lightroom relinks all of the ones in that folder.
Lastly, I backup the Drobo every night and I have an offsite copy too
Drobos are GREAT protection for drive failure AND they give you the ability to increase your storage on the fly with little to no down time. However, what Drobos don’t protect you from is file corruption, accidental deletion and viruses. Let’s say you accidentally drag a folder over to your Drobo that just happened to have the same name as a folder already there. Yes the operating system will ask you if you want to replace the folder or not and while you meant to click NO, you accidentally clicked YES. Now that older folder is GONE! There isn’t a thing Drobo will do to help you in that case. However, if you have a backup you can restore the folder.
How in the heck do you back up a Drobo?
Luckily for me my storage needs have yet to exceed the current capacity of the largest single volume drives (2 TBs) available. Since I don’t have more than 2TBs of data on my Drobo I can backup to the entire Drobo to a single 2TB external Firewire 800 drive. As a matter of fact I have TWO of these. I backup the Drobo each night using the Smart Update Feature of SuperDuper!, which only backs up the changes as needed. One drive is connected for the nightly backup and I rotate between the two drives each week between home and my safe deposit box at the bank. OK, I’m lying. I wish it were every week, but it’s more like when I remember to do it or get paranoid. In any case I have a duplicate copy of my Drobo and all my files and photos at the bank. If you think backing up a Drobo is overkill, read about my experience here. If my storage needs ever exceed the largest single drives available then I would order a second Drobo to back up the main one and then just rotate the drives from the Backup Drobo with ones in the Safe Deposit box.
The Bottom Line
I don’t proclaim my workflow to be the end all be all workflow for everyone to adopt. My goal here was to simply share what I do and why I do it. Take from it what you need and leave what you don’t need. I’ve used this method for years now and it has worked well and have the years of photos to show for it. Also by becoming more disciplined about what I keep and don’t keep, my storage requirements don’t increase as quickly as they once did.