Posts By Brad Moore

When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.
-Albert Einstein

I have come to believe that my job, why I was put on this earth, is to tell the truth and see the pretty. My job is to walk all over the planet and allow myself to be taken by the moment and to record the truth, beauty and moments of abandon with a camera. Interesting work if you can get it. What I discovered is so long as I stay on this path I (mostly) stay out of trouble. What I have also discovered is that coincidence is the universe's attempt at remaining anonymous. I live in a world where my fantasy as a child has come true, to make my living creating art. To make one's living solely from being a visual artist is to experience life as if you are in a waking dream only to find yourself waking up into a deeper dream.

This story starts with being asked in 2012 by the director of the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. "Hey, would you like to teach a five day travel workshop in Cuba?" As you can imagine it was a difficult decision to make, requiring much time and consideration⦠Roughly about the length of time it takes to say "HELL YES."

For those of us who grew up in the 1960's, Cuba has always been a great fascination. A forbidden place trapped in a time warp. Cigars, Rum, The Kennedys, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Black September airplane hijackings landing at the Havana Airport – all the way to today and Guantanamo Bay. So to be afforded an opportunity to enter Cuba legally in 2012 something not to say no to.

The issue that I did not know then, but discovered later, was that on my first trip to Cuba I was about to break one of the few dogmas I have: Do not walk into a shoot with any preconceptions. That the only thing you should visualize preconceiving is to prepare to be amazed by every little thing around you.

Ansel Adams said, "Without pre-visualization photography is a five finger exercise." Paul Caponigro said, "If you believe in pre-visualization you deserve what you get." Who's right? They both are. What is at issue is not whether to pre-visualize or to not pre-visualize. The issue is the misconception between pre-conception and pre-visualization and the very, very, very fine line as to when to start the visualization process.

From the moment I was asked to the time I left I allowed myself to become a victim of entropy. I allowed my pre-conception of what I thought Cuba should be to color and affect what Cuba is. During the first time I was there I kept finding myself having a running dialog about, "How this isn't right⦠This is supposed to be like this." Don't get me wrong, I had a great time; I just didn't realize it until I got home. Somehow I had allowed myself to be looking for the moment rather than letting myself be taken by the moment.

Simply put Ansel Adams broke the creation of an image process down this way:

1)  The need/desire to photograph
2)  Discovery
3)  Visualization
4)  Execution

The first is fairly obvious, "The need/desire to photograph," either you are on assignment (the gig) or you are where you are because you want to be there with a camera. The second, "Discovery," for me is the moment when the picture takes you (not the other way around) and you are pulled through the lens and the impulse to click the shutter is driven by being grabbed by the moment.  The third, "Visualization," is the one step in the process that tends to do us in, and if you do not take care, you do indeed get what you deserve. The time you should pre-visualize is after the moment has taken you. Not before and not during. At that moment, after being taken by the picture, is when you should be thinking about what else you need to make the image successful. It is this, that is the catalyst for "execution." Why this is is because the speed of life moves much faster today behind the digital camera then it did back in Ansel's day behind the film camera with all of the considerations you need to make at point of capture. As to the speed of the thrill of photographing life? That speed remains the same, both faster than, as well as slower than, we as photographers are often capable of moving.

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wasn't exactly happy with of my images from my first trip to Cuba, my image capture take for me was very low, I was frustrated with the experience and I did not know why. I mean it was Havana for goodness sake! It wasn't until I was sitting with Jay Maisel showing him my images that he pointed out something to me, which was this: I was in my images. That I took them and not the other way around. That I had pre-conceived a vision and imposed that on the place and made my images fit the pre-conception.

Did I mention that coincidence is the universe's attempt at remaining anonymous? I walked away from that conversation with the dream of going back to Cuba. So in July of 2014 the director of PBPC asked me if I wanted to go back to Cuba in December and would I be interested in going again in 2015. Lightning does not often strike twice in the same place. Next thing I knew I found myself going to Cuba three times over 15 weeks.

This time I let the place take me. I did not focus on politics or what I thought I should be shooting. I just walked the streets with my students and allowed the spirit of the place and the people to take charge. I gave in and gave up to simply being. The outcome of this is a 103-image gallery exhibition and an additional 200 plus "keeper" images I have yet to post process.

Soooo⦠My point is this: Don't think about the image before the image happens. Don't go into the moment with a belief of what you expect to see, just go in and see what there is to see. Don't worry about not taking any images, if they are there for you to take they will find you if you slow down enough to let them land on you. The baggage that you carry with you should be left in the hotel room with your luggage when go out to shoot.

If you still feel the need to pre-visualize before you pick up the camera, just fantasize this: I am about to be amazed by every little thing around me.

Vincent Versace
Nikon Ambassador: United States

Cuba Slide Show

Walk Through of Show

Cuba Exhibition at Palm Beach Photographic Centre

You can see more of Vincent’s work at, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Instagram.

Photoshop World Preview
We are hosting a live webcast this Friday at 12pm ET to talk all about Photoshop World! The webcast will be hosted by Larry Becker, the MC of Photoshop World. Larry will give you an insider’s view of the event and introduce you to a few of the instructors and preview some of their classes. Whether you have been to Photoshop World before or this is new to you, you’ll want to check out the webcast THIS Friday at 12 pm. Get all the details at

DJI Inspire 1 with Mia McCormick and John McQuiston
Mia McCormick and John McQuiston will help you capture compelling footage by mastering the DJI INSPIRE1 quadcopter. In the first of two classes, designed to walk you through the basic set-up and calibration process, the flight system and all the features of the DJI Pilot App. In this class we'll take the INSPIRE1 out of the case and get it ready to fly, then take you outside for the first flight. Plus you'll learn the FAA flight safety guidelines to help you stay out of trouble and keep your INSPIRE1 in the air.

In the second class, Mia and John take you through advanced flying settings and features on your DJI INSPIRE1 and DJI Pilot App. They will show where all the telemetry is displayed and how to operate the on-board 4K camera. You'll learn how to use the quadcopter's advanced settings to capture smooth and properly exposed video and amazing still images. This class will walk you through setting up dual operation mode and even give you some pointers on capturing your best footage using both controllers. At the end of this class you will feel comfortable and confident flying your DJI INSPIRE1.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Ben Willmore live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they're coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
June 5 - Hartford, CT
July 14 - London, UK

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
May 19 - Philadelphia, PA
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN
July 13 – Ottawa, ON

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
May 29 - South San Francisco, CA
June 19 - Seattle, WA

These are just some of the upcoming dates for these seminar tours. You can find the full calendar of events right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
KelbyOne Live
– James D

Moose Peterson’s Captured eBook
– Gene Tewksbury

If either of these is you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Let There Be Light
Thanks Scott for the opportunity to be a quest blog writer this weekâ¦it's such an honor dude.  And perfect timing as I am preparing for my own Lightpainting Workshop on May 28-30, in Loveland, Colorado.

Okay⦠Let's learn how to Lightpaint.

Humanity is drawn to light. It is in our DNA. We can't help but look towards the brightest part of a picture. As a photographer it is my responsibility to help guide the viewer to the subject in the picture, and I can do so with light.

But sometimes a flash or strobe just isn't graceful enough. That's when I turn off the studio lights and delve into the most creative lighting technique of all. Lightpainting⦠it's the perfect combination of photography and artistic expression.

The word photography in the Greek means "light writing." Simply said, Lightpainting is the revealing of the subject from darkness with light. In general, Lightpaintings make use of long exposure times like 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 2 minutes, or more.

Let's begin with some basics and Lightpaint a "Table-Top" Still Life. I will need a dark environment for my little subject â¦the Yellow Tail Fly. I will use a Manual Exposure of which I have a basic starting exposure that I begin many of my Lightpaintings with: ISO500, 30 seconds at f/8.

During the 30 seconds exposure time I will use a mobile light source to illuminate the subjects in the scene and reveal them from the dark with Lightpainting.

For my Table-Top still life and live model Lightpaintings I use a small Stylus penlight with a single LED bulb made by Streamlight.

First I arrange my subject and composing the scene. Then, like with all Lightpaintings, I secure the camera on a sturdy tripod. With the studio lights turned "on" I use Auto Focus on the subject and then turn "off" the auto focus. This is so the auto focus does not activate or "search" in the dark when you turn off the lights, open the shutter, and begin to Lightpaint.

I use the Auto Focus (AF) back button. By simply releasing your thumb from the AF button on the back of the camera it stops activation of the Auto Focus operation. Or you can also simply turn OFF the AF switch on the barrel of the lens or camera.

I also use a Manual WB of 10,000 Kelvin when Lightpainting with any LED flashlight. This setting helps add a warm color tone to the overall picture. And I will also activate the Long Exposure Noise Reduction mode in the camera. This prevents any noise speckles from appearing due to the long exposure time that generates heat inside the camera.

I'm now ready to turn OFF the room lights and make my first "TEST SHOT" without adding any Lightpainting to the subjects, just to see if there is any unwanted ambient light creeping in from a window or the door.

With a dark or "Blank" image on the LCD screen I'm now I'm ready to add some Lightpainting. I like to apply the light from off camera angles to create a dramatic lighting effect. In this image titled Yellow Tail Fly, the light from my Stylus is coming into the scene from the upper right corner of the frame.

Yellow Tail Fly: Nikon D7000, ISO400, 30 seconds exposure at f/32, Nikon 28-300mm VRII zoom lens at 300mm, WB 6700K, Manfrotto Tripod with 410 Gear Head, Stylus penlight, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro Flash Card.

The closer the light source is to the subject, the brighter the subject becomes. Also said, the longer time I spend illuminating my subject the brighter the subject becomes. Too much light or too much time spent applying light can overexpose portions of the imageâ¦and vise verse.

I try to keep the light source (Stylus) moving while applying the light, usually in a swirling or brushing motion. This helps soften the transitional edges between light and shadow, which is key in creating a painterly quality to the picture. You are in effect "painting with light."

My basic Manual Exposure setting of ISO 500, 30 seconds at f/8 is a good way to begin, but it can vary depending on intensity of your flashlight and the distance from flashlight to subject, and also how large your subject is. Don't give up, I sometimes make 10-15 Lightpaintings before I get one that I like.

The Red Violin: Nikon D800, ISO100, 1 minute at f/6.3, Nikon 105mm MACRO lens,
WB 10,000K, Manfrotto Tripod with 410 Gear Head, Stylus penlight, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro Flash Card.

Here is another "Table-Top" Still Life, but it has 2 variations from the Yellow Tail Fly. I used a lower ISO of only 100 and I increased the exposure time to 1 minute. Why? â¦because I felt I would need 1 entire minute to "precisely" apply Lightpainting from only a few inches away, and from multiple Off Camera angles. Lightpainting so close to the subject using ISO500 would result in way overexposing the subject.


Copyright Essentials for Photographers with Jack Reznicki & Ed Greenberg
Join Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki as they get you up to speed with the latest information on protecting your copyright and registering your work. There have been some changes in the process since their last class on the subject, and Jack and Ed walk you through all the steps involved in the registration process to show how it can be done. Beyond the registration process itself, Ed and Jack answer the important questions of what exactly copyright is, why it is important, and what rights you are granted by it. Pulling from years of experience as an intellectual property attorney and a commercial photographer, Ed and Jack share real life stories all the way through to illustrate why this issue is so important to all creative professionals.

Extraction and Close-ups in Nelson Ghost Town with Bill Fortney
Learn how to capture pieces of history and take a walk through time. Join Bill Fortney in Nelson, Nevada, a fantastic ghost town that is just chock-full of Americana. What's Americana? Well, you'll learn about that and a whole lot more as Bill takes you through one of his favorite places to photograph. You'll learn about all of Bill's gear for this type of project, his philosophical approach to the subject matter, and then he walks you through each photographic setup as he makes a photograph. Bill wraps up the class with a look at his post-processing workflow for different types of images.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Joel Grimes, or Ben Willmore live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they're coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
June 5 – Hartford, CT
July 14 - London, UK

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
May 19 - Philadelphia, PA
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
May 8 - Denver, CO

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
May 29 - South San Francisco, CA
June 19 - Seattle, WA

These are just some of the upcoming dates for these seminar tours. You can find the full calendar of events right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

African Photo Safari with Moose Peterson
If you enjoyed Moose Peterson’s Safari Adventure on KelbyOne, you can join in on the fun in person this July! Moose is leading another adventure and there is a seat with your name on it. Dates are July 27 - August 5, 2015, and you can find out more info right here.

Leave a comment for your chance to win the eBook version of Moose’s book Captured: Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer!

Live Photoshop World Tweetchat with Jack Reznicki
Starting at 9pm ET tonight, Jack Reznicki will be doing a live tweetchat where you can ask him anything! Use the hashtag #PSWchat to join in and chat with Jack.

Last Week’s Winners
RC Concepcion Photoshop World Workshop
– Allison Cobb

Lightroom CC for Photographers eBook
– Lyle
– Matt C
– Dennis Zito

Lightroom CC Book for Photographers
– Roger Botting
– Orin Johnson
– Gregg Romey

KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Michelle H

If any of these are you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Photo by Chris Keels

Hello everyone. My name is Nick Fancher and I'm your guest blogger today. In case you don't know me (which is likely the case), I am a Columbus, Ohio based portrait and commercial photographer. A couple of weeks ago I released Studio Anywhere: A Photographer's Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations, on Peachpit Press. The idea behind the book is that photographers can get away with shooting without a conventional studio most of the time, as long as they can learn to make the most of their environments; all with the use of minimal, affordable gear.

This idea was born out of necessity. When I was in New York City last year, I wanted to do some test shooting in my free time. I began looking around for studios to rent for the day, and found the average price to be around $1,000. It'd be one thing if this was for a paying client, who would be footing the bill, but this was for unpaid, personal work. And even if I did shell out the $1,000, all the models would then be forced to come to me, which for an unpaid test shoot, would not exactly be a motivating factor for them. Instead, I opted to meet them at their homes, realizing that all I really needed was a white wall, and every home has at least one white wall. And it worked out just fine.

Setup: one light with grid

White walls work

Once I returned to Columbus, I started putting this practice to test, now opting to meet clients at their homes and offices for shoots. Not only did it allow for me to happen upon some pretty amazing environments to shoot in, I think it also gave me a +1 for convenience, in the eyes of the clients. It also led me to some particularly small spaces, which forced me to get creative with my lighting. As you may know, most of the time you need your light several feet away from your subject, in order to get a larger light spread. But if, say, your client lives in a 200 square foot apartment and the only spot to shoot is the spot next to his bed in his living room, you don't have that luxury.  To make my light source larger and softer, I turned the flash in the direction of the white wall on the other side of his bed and it worked smashingly.

Setup: one light bounced into white wall

White walls wreally work!

You may have noticed in the previous setup shot that there are white boards propped up behind the subject. I have two white and two black, 40×60" sheets of foam core that I bring with me to every shoot (leaving them in the car until I see if I actually need them). I often end up needing to use them in a variety of ways. Often I tape two boards together to make a v-flat, in order to block a light source or reflect light. Sometimes I use them as a backdrop, as in the previous scenario. Other times I stack them up so the model can stand on them, if I need a full body shot and the room has an unsightly floor, such as shag carpet.

My rule of thumb is to travel as light as possible, since I typically work without an assistant. I want to minimize the amount of trips I have to make to my car. So if I am heading in to shoot in an unfamiliar space, all I take in with me is my camera bag, a light stand and an umbrella, leaving my tripod, sandbags, additional stands and white boards in the car unless they are absolutely needed. And once I get a lay of the land, I scope out viable shoot areas. Large white walls are a plus. Areas with concrete or gloss wood floors will reflect light and make seamless, full body portraits a lot easier.

Setup: three lights gelled cyan, magenta and yellow

White wall plus a sturdy table = clean, full body portraits

I've even used grey walls or cream colored walls without issue. Of course white balance isn't much of an issue when your two lights are gelled red and cyan.

Setup: two lights gelled cyan and red

Cream colored wall is no problem when your white balance is not in play

Once you start working this way, you start noticing things that you can use to your advantage, such as a nice, red wall. I made a v-flat out of my two black boards and used a white board as a bounce, opposite the red wall. By firing a flash into the white and red surfaces on either side of the model, I had a large, soft spread on a black background, creating a stylized final shot.

Setup: two lights, fired into white bounce and a red wall

Large, soft, stylized light

Want a variety of backdrops for little to no cost? Browse royalty-free images on Google or buy cheap stock images to project onto a white wall. It's an old Hollywood trick, but it's a cool one to play with.

Setup: projector for back wall and one light, snooted

Free trip to Switzerland

What if you're just starting out and you don't own a strobe? Do you have a garage? It's a great spot for shaping available light. It's especially effective on a sunny day. By placing your subject closer or farther away from the open garage door, you can control the amount of light falling on them.

Setup: subject sandwiched in a black v-flat

Dramatic, available light portrait

Achieving a blacked out environment, sometimes referred to as "invisible black," is a lot easier than you may think. Find a background that's a mid to dark tone, not in direct sunlight. Make sure that you have enough space to keep the subject and light(s) away from said background. Get an ambient exposure and then close down at least three stops to get it to go dark/black. Add your light, output set to a high enough output to properly illuminate your subject. Flag light as needed, to keep it from spilling on to background, by using a grid, zooming in the flash head, angling the light away from the background, etc.

Setup: A medium-toned brown wall in the shade is a perfect backdrop to achieve a black scene. I used two bare bulb flashes on the model, one to light her upper torso and one to light her legs, below the tutu.

Black scene

Sometimes I want to add natural, visual elements to a shot, such as flowers or tall grass. To do this, take a black or white v-flat to a park and place it in front of said flower/grass element and have the subject sit/stand in the v-flat. Side note: if your camera case is nice and sturdy as is my Pelican 1510 case, it makes a fantastic chair for your subject.

Setup: Black v-flat in a field, flagging the direct sunlight from the model

Dramatic portrait on black, with added visual elements

As I mentioned earlier, I typically work alone, without an assistant. This means that I am traveling light, without sandbags, for examples. It also means that I can't put a large light modifier on my flash, such as an umbrella, without it blowing over with the smallest breeze. So I am usually looking for ways to soften a bare flash, when I am in the field. As was the case for the living room scenarios, lighter, neutral-colored walls are great for reflecting light. Simply place your light 2-3 feet away from the wall, zooming in the head, if applicable. Angle the light into the wall so that it's heading in the direction of the subject (think banking a pool shot).

Setup: A white wall found in park made for a great bounce surface for my flash

Soft light on my subject without an umbrella (and sandbag) on my light

I realize that many of you are likely already using some of these techniques/hacks, and you may even have some that I have not yet heard of or tried. Please use the comment section for sharing your ideas and experiments. If you feel so inclined, pick up a copy of my book/ebook, Studio Anywhere, here. Thanks for reading and happy shooting!

You can see more of Nick’s work at, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Photoshop World Vegas – Stay Where The Instructors Stay!
Coming to Photoshop World Vegas in August? You'll want to stay where the Conference is, where the After Hours Party is, where Midnight Madness is, where the Meetup is, where Birds of a Feather is, and where the Art of Photography is held… Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino! You can find all the reservation info on Mandalay Bay and its all-suite sister property The Delano at

And if you haven’t already registered, don’t wait because there’s only 12 DAYS LEFT before ticket prices increase from $599 to $699! If you’ve already registered, leave a comment for your chance to attend RC Concepcion’s Lightroom Crash Course workshop for FREE the day before the conference starts!

The Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers
Scott Kelby’s latest book, The Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers, is here! Well, a box of advance copies are anyway, but that means they’ll start hitting shelves any day now. If you prefer digital, you can pick up the Peachpit eBookKindleNook, and iBook versions now as well!

We’re going to give away three physical copies AND three digital copies, so leave a comment letting us know which you prefer for your chance to win!

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Joel Grimes, or Ben Willmore live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they're coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
July 14 - London, UK

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
May 4 - Rosemont, IL (Chicago area)
May 19 - Philadelphia, PA
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
May 6 - Boston, MA
May 8 - Denver, CO

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
May 29 – South San Francisco, CA
June 19 – Seattle, WA

These are just some of the upcoming dates for these seminar tours. You can find the full calendar of events right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Craig Coupland

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!