Posts By Brad Moore

[Note from Brad: Nick was getting questions about this topic after his first guest blog, so he offered to do a follow-up post about it. Enjoy!]

Additive Color Theory and How to Have Fun with Flash Gels
Since the success of my guest post last month, I have received a few emails from people wanting to know the process behind the multi-colored, multi-shadowed image.


Flash setup


Final image

I will now break it down for you, starting from the beginning.

My absolute favorite publication and source of constant inspiration (and self-doubt) is Interview Magazine. A few months ago, there was an interview and editorial of Game of Thrones actor Michael Huisman, shot by master S¸lve Sundsb¸. Being the lighting phenom that he is, Sundsb¸ once again peeled back my brain with his insanely gorgeous and experimental images of the actor. And being the lighting nerd that I am, I immediately started trying to reverse engineer his techniques, based on shadow hardness and direction.

I could tell that he was using 3-4 hard (un-modified) lights from the side. It just so happens that I own 3 speedlites, so I immediately set up a test shoot with the first model that was available (I am an impatient guy). I locked in Stephnaie Flor, a illustration major from a local art college, and I met her in the hallway outside her classroom (after all, all I needed was 15 minutes and a white wall). In Sundsb¸'s image, difference in flash distance from the subject was the cause, I reasoned, for varying opacities in shadow. So I set up the three flashes, a bit lower than her head, keeping six inches between them and staggering them one foot in front of another.


Flash setup


Successful homage to Sundsb¸

I was happy with the results, but wanted to play with the technique a bit more.

A week or so after this experiment, I found myself thinking a lot about additive color theory. I had taken a color theory course in college and had really enjoyed it. I loved learning that there is a science behind which colors complement each other and why. I had also learned about how to balance the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow adjustments in the darkroom, with the color enlargers. For reasons unknown to me, I had started thinking back to what I had learned about different color theories- specifically CMYK and RGB and the difference between the two. I was fuzzy on the info, so I looked it up. To sum up, when red, green and blue light overlap, they create cyan, magenta and yellow light. When cyan, magenta and yellow light overlaps, white light is created.

It just so happened that my flash gel kit contains cyan, magenta and yellow gels and I own three flashes. Serendipity. So I grabbed a vase of flowers (best thing I could find in the five minutes I spent looking) and set up a product shot.


Flash setup

I had no preconceived notion of what the resulting image would look like, or if the experiment would even work at all. I was just experimenting on a slow day of work. I placed one flash on either side of the flowers and one directly overhead, zooming the flash heads in to 105mm. I aimed the heads so that they would all intersect on the flower vase.  And wouldn't you know it- it worked!


Cyan + Magenta + Yellow = White Light

The cool, unexpected thing that I came from the experiment was the unplanned, happy accidents.  I hadn't accounted for the chaos factor. For example, if one flower petal or leaf blocked the yellow strobe from lighting part of the vase, only the cyan and magenta light was illuminating it, resulting in a purple shadow. Likewise, if the magenta light was blocked, only cyan and yellow light was mixing, creating a green shadow. And so on. The layered colors didn't just create white light, but it created a layered, complex light. Compare the previous shot to this shot, lit with un-gelled lights…


Un-gelled flashes

Kinda bring, right? Now to try with a real life model.

This is when the two experiments came together in my mind. I found myself connecting the dots between the shoot with Stephanie, where I staggered three flashes, and the shoot with the flowers, where I was arranged three, gelled lights. What if I arranged the lights the same way I did with Stephanie, but they were gelled cyan, magenta and yellow? Why wouldn't it work? Well it sure as hell would, and did.


Raw file

As with the flower experimentation, I was figuring out the process as I went. When all three flashes overlapped, white light was created on the model, resulting in a black shadow. Also, like with the flower, when one of the three colors was blocked by part of the model, only two of the colors were able to mix, resulting in multi-colored shadows.


Cyan, magenta, and yellow light overlapped to create white light, resulting in black shadows

Once I saw the kind of colorful chaos that was created when parts of the body blocked a color, I immediately knew that I needed to photograph a dancer, using this method. So I reached out to my ballerina friend, Kristie Latham, and asked her to come by ASAP. I had her bring a white outfit and a black outfit option. For this shoot, I actually needed to use a white sweep, rather than a wall, since I wanted to capture a seamless shadow (with no floor to wall transition). I prefaced the shoot by directing her to place her arms, hands, legs, whatever, between herself and the flashes as she moved, in order to create multi-colored shadows on her body. It worked splendidly.


Clean light, multi-colored shadow


When a body part comes between Kristie and the light, a multi-colored shadow is created

All that to say⦠experiment! If work is slow, try new techniques. Don't have any ideas? Go pick up a magazine and reverse engineer an interesting lighting scenario and try it out. Even if you fail at recreating it exactly, you've learned something in the process, which is a win.

If you enjoyed this experimenting process with me, you may also enjoy my new book, Studio Anywhere: A Photographer's Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations.

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

Become A Marketing Genius with Joel Grimes
Learn how to thrive in the marketplace! There's no talk of f-stops or lighting in this class. Join Joel Grimes for a cold hard look at what it takes to go from sitting in the stands to playing on the field by upping your marketing game. It is possible for you to make a living in photography, but it takes more than just being a good photographer. You need also need to be good at marketing yourself, your work, and what you can do that sets you apart from your competition. Joel shares the wisdom he's learned and earned from years of knocking on doors, making cold calls, and (eventually) getting the clients he was after. If he can do it, so can you.

An Analysis of Light Shaping Tools with Joe McNally
The job of a light modifier is to take a raw blast of light and shape it, contain it, and make it work for the kind of shot you are trying to create. Join Joe McNally for a clinical look at a range of light shaping tools in a sterile studio environment to help inform your ability to extrapolate out their performance into the real world. Starting with a series of light modifiers for small flash, Joe demonstrates how each one works while using the same subject, and catalogs the effect each light shaping tool has on the light source and the subject. From there Joe moves on to analyze a series of light modifiers designed for studio strobes in the same circumstances. When the analysis is complete it is time to move the lights, light shaping tools, and subject out into a variety of real world locations to put what has been learned into practice.

Photoshop World
We’re only a couple of months away from Photoshop World, and you can use the promo code PSWDAD to save $50 on a full conference registration! If you haven’t already booked your trip, make sure you reserve a room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. You’ll be closer to all the action, have a shorter walk from your room to classes, and stay where the instructors stay.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a key to the instructor’s hotel room of your choice! Wait, no, not that. I meant… for your chance to go to RC Concepcion’s pre-conference workshop, Lightroom Crash Course!

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
July 14 - London, UK
Sept 22 – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 28 – Austin, TX

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN
July 13 - Ottawa, ON
July 15 - Calgary, AB
July 17 - Toronto, ON

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
June 19 - Seattle, WA
Aug 4 - Kansas City, MO
Aug 6 – St. Louis, MO

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!

Madeline Island Lake Superior Workshop with Vincent Versace
Want to spend a week with Vincent Versace as he shares tips and teaches lessons on shooting, processing, and printing amazing images? Check out his Madeline Island Workshop happening July 20-24! During the workshop, Vincent will cover bokeh, depth of field, weather, gesture, black and white, shape and color, and more. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have learned how to set yourself up for success from the point of capture through making the print. It all takes place in the Madeline Island region of Lake Superior, and you can learn more right here.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of Vincent’s book, From Oz To Kansas!

Last Week's Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
– D Israel

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

Firstly thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity, and also thanks to Glyn Dewis for introducing me.

Hi Everyone, My names James Hole, I'm from Brighton, UK and I've been given the wonderful opportunity to guest post on Scott's blog today.

I began my journey in photography at the end of 2012, when a friend asked me to take a couple of DJ promo shots for him. I didn't really know anything about photographing people or using and shaping light. So I chucked a speed light (I bought on eBay that same week) on a light stand armed with a snoot fashioned from a bunch of drinking straws, I watched a couple of YouTube videos and believe it or not the shoot actually went ok. I clearly remember that moment when I began looking at everything differently, realising that I wasn't limited to just what was in front of me to make a picture. With these basic tools I could create an image that looked completely different from the way a scene appeared to the eye. An idea that continues to excite me every time I make a picture.

At the time I was in the construction industry. I'd been looking for a career change for a while and had been considering going back to college. I decided that I’d see where this could take me, so I began reaching out to friend and picked up a bunch of small shoots and managed to get paid a little bit for them. I was just happy to be taking pictures. A little later on I decided with the support of my wife, I was going to give it shot full time. That was about mid-2013 and things have been going well since.

One of the most important things in starting my career was the personal work, the friends and family that I worked with to create a small portfolio. I can attribute the beginning of my career to one particular image. It was an idea I'd had for a while to photograph my Dad playing guitar on the deck at the back of my house. I put the shoot together in about 10 mins and shot for another 10 mins while my wife was cooking dinner one evening. The same day I'd had some ND filters arrive in the post that I was desperate to try out. The image above is the result of that test. The sun was setting (the flare is real, I only colour toned the shot) I popped a strobe in an umbrella and used about 5 stops of ND. I was so excited, I posted it up everywhere! About two weeks later I was asked to quote for an ad campaign and that shot was the main reference for the campaign.

I realised recently when deciding what to write in this guest post that I hadn't been shooting like this anywhere near enough recently. So this is a reminder for me too, to get out and make images that excite me and push me in the direction I want to be going in!

Make work you love, not what you think people want to see!

If I could share a few things I've learned during my short career it would be.

1) You need to be excited about the work you're creating. It shows through.

2) Network! People like to work with people they know and like.

3) Show your work! Don't keep waiting till you have this or that ready to be ready to show, tell your audience it's on its way with a teaser at the very least. Potential clients can't see something that isn't out there to be seen! (I'd recommend reading Show Your Work and Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon for inspiration on this).

I’m in the early stages of my career and far from having it all figured out, but I'm excited and grateful to have the opportunity to keep making images and see where this journey will take me. At the moment I am concentrating on editorial and commercial portraits and carving a path into the entertainment industry. Hopefully you've enjoyed reading my post and possibly found something interesting or useful to takeaway.

If you'd like to stay in touch with James, drop him a line on Twitter or Instagram, and check out more of his work at JamesHolePhoto.com

The views and opinions expressed in the Guest Blog series are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scott Kelby or Kelby Media Group.

High End Skin Retouching with Kristina Sherk
Take your retouching skills to the next level with Kristina Sherk! Improving your portrait retouching skills will not only help you make your clients look their best, but they'll want to keep coming back for all of their portrait work because no one else makes them look so good. Kristi's approach is designed to help you understanding all of the critical fundamentals of retouching, from enhancing eyes and lips to dealing with blemishes, and from there she walks you through the essentials of adding depth and dimension while smoothing skin and retaining important detail. This class has the potential to revolutionize your approach to skin retouching while increasing your understanding of the underlying principles involved.

40 Must See Jaw Dropping Landscape Finalists
The submission period is over, and the 40 finalists have been chosen for our ViewBug contest! Now all that’s left is for Scott Kelby to judge the finalists and pick the lucky person who will get a full conference pass to Photoshop World Vegas in August! If you want to check out the finalists for the contest, you can see them right here.

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 (tomorrow!)
July 14 - London, UK

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN
July 13 - Ottawa, ON
July 15 - Calgary, AB
July 17 - Toronto, ON

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
June 19 - Seattle, WA
Aug 4 – Kansas City, MO

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
– Mr Bill

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


A self-portrait of my Veterans Portrait Project location studio set-up

Howdy Scott, Brad, Kelby-crew and readers! Can you believe it's been just over four years since my last guest blog post? So much has happened since then I'd like to share with y'all. But first, I need to extend a thank you to Scott and Brad for inviting me back for a follow-up.

Okay, let's get to it! As you know from my previous post, I began a personal endeavor, the Veterans Portrait Project, while recovering from combat injuries I sustained in Iraq while documenting the war as a military combat photographer. After spending hours in Veteran Administration hospital waiting rooms surrounded by veterans from every generation and branch of service, I felt compelled to honor and thank them in the only way I knew how, photography. The Project became my new mission. In a way, it was my therapy too, and over time I began to heal both physically and mentally.

http://youtu.be/6rhwERO5PFg

The journalist in me felt compelled to take my personal project public, to share the unique stories of these extraordinary citizens. Eventually it became a way to raise awareness too. I wanted to show what veterans really look like: Black, Hispanic, Asian, Caucasian, Native American, male, female, homosexual, heterosexual, young, old, homeless, married, single, disabled, and everybody in between. After all, everyone has his or her own idea of what a veteran looks like, about their background, and their reasons for serving. Admittedly, I did tooâ”white, male, middle-aged combat veteran. And, yes, 92.5 percent are male and 79.2 percent are white, but what's interested me most throughout my experience with the Veterans' Portrait Project has been the smaller groups of veterans, including those like myself, who don't necessarily fit the iconic veteran image.


A self-portrait for my Veterans Portrait Project archive

With the current popularity of war hero movies, such as Lone Survivor and American Sniper, people are inundated with images of Special Forces operators creating a misconception that all veterans fit the aforementioned attributes - young and chiseled. These portrayals, while compelling and worth our attention, are just a small representation of the veteran community. Through the Veterans Portrait Project, I strive to showcase all who've served and to educate and entertain the general public with real American military veterans' stories and to archive the military histories of all service men and women.

[pearsall_slideshow1/] Veterans Portrait Project by Stacy Pearsall

Since starting the Project in 2008, I've photographed thousands of veterans in countless cities nationwide, hosted community-based exhibitions, and conducted numerous public speeches and town hall style discussions on veterans' issues. I continue working worldwide as a photographer, educator, military consultant, and public speaker, but the Veterans Portrait Project is my heart and passion. It has been fuel for my soul.


After every WWII veteran's portrait session, I take a selfie-smooch-picture and post it to Instagram. I've amassed quiet a distinguished collection. I have to say, my heart flutters with every stolen kiss. I'm a lucky gal for sure!

On top of conducting portrait sessions across the U.S., I've been active in organizations such as Songwriting with Soldiers, Fatigues to Fabulous, Defense Centers of Excellence, Veterans of Foreign War, and American Legion. Can you believe it? I've been given awards for what I'm doing - and doing what I love, no less! Yes, the Daughters of the American Revolution presented little ole me with the Margaret Cochran Corbin Award and The White House declared me a White House Champion of Change. Whoa.

Despite the accolades however, I still believe those most deserving of awards are in front of my camera, and not the gal behind it.


Communities nationwide have received the Veterans Portrait Project positively and it's gained so much momentum in just the last three years. My head is reeling.

The Veterans Portrait Project has been fortunate enough to gain a wide breadth of media exposure both nationally and abroad. A documentary series by PBS titled, Coming Back with Wes Moore, included a bit about me, and the work I'm doing with the Project. There have been print and online articles that have reached halfway around the world.

http://youtu.be/pSra-cng8Xo

One day I received an email from a retired British Army soldier, and combat veteran, by the name of Stephen Porteous. Here's an excerpt from his correspondence dated December 11, 2014.

"When the funeral corteges and repatriation ceremonies of our service personnel who'd been killed in Afghanistan began appearing on British TV it struck a cord with the general public. However in the short space of time since we've left Afghanistan it is evident we [veterans] are becoming less newsworthy. In a bid to give something back, and play my part in keeping British Forces and veterans on the public radar, I decided I would act on the inspiration you provided through photography. My plan would be to mirror your project for UK veterans. It will be completely non-profit and, for the most part, self funded. Would you be prepared to endorse such an endeavor?"

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I was truly humbled by Stephen's missive. However, I was also hesitant to relinquish my Project, albeit a separate division, into the hands of someone else. That required faith they'd treat the Project, and the veterans involved, with the same admiration and respect I have for so long. I took a few days to consider the proposal and did some soul-searching within. Ultimately, I decided to give Stephen a chance under the condition I'd fly to London to train him. Only then would he have my endorsement.

We decided upon the first week of May 2015, which happened to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day! You can watch a video from our day with the amazing Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioners HERE.

[pearsall_slideshow2/] The Chelsea Pensioners

In the end, it felt amazing empowering Stephen with the tools he needed to stand up the Veterans Portrait Project UK, and to share the healing powers of photography with someone else. I'm encouraged by Stephen's enthusiasm and passion - I recognize myself in him quiet a bit. Truly, it was meant to be and I believe he'll do very well. He already is.

So what's next for me this year? Well, I've got 20+ more Veterans Portrait Project engagements on the calendar, six or so exhibits, a few more speeches, and I'm also teaching a class called Starting a Personal Project (08/11/15 from 3:14-4:15 p.m.) and giving a presentation about my career titled, Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera (08/12/15 from 8:15-9:15 a.m.) at Photoshop World 2015!  If you're attending, I'd love to meet you! If you can't make it, please be sure to follow the Veterans Portrait Project Facebook page to see if I'll be in your neighborhood.

Other than the growth of the Veterans Portrait Project, here are a few things of note that have also happened since I last blogged: wrote and published Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera, wrote and published A Photojournalist's Field Guide: In the Trenches with Stacy Pearsall, walked the runway during New York Fashion Week, judged the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, recognized by PDN in the Photo Annual 2015 for Personal Projects, ran the Marine Corps Marathon and celebrated my ninth wedding anniversary with my hubby, Andy Dunaway.

The best part of it all, being able to share my small victories with you! I've had so much encouragement and motivation from so many wonderful, amazing people like you. I couldn't have done any of these things alone either - from my dedicated assistants and supportive husband, to my stalwart sponsors and unfaltering cohorts, you've all had a hand in my success. For that, thank you!

Until next time y'all, salute!

If you would like to contribute to the continued success of the Veterans Portrait Project, you may do so by visiting our Crowdrise site HERE. You can see more of Stacy’s work at StacyPearsall.com, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photographing Your Sense of Humor with Joe McNally
Do you file away fun photo shoot ideas in your head? Join Joe McNally on location at Weeki Wachee Springs where he gets to finally realize a fantastic photo shoot idea he's had in mind for a long time. In true Joe McNally fashion he pulls out all the stops to ensure he has the lighting, the crew, and the location to pull off his vision. From preparations the day before to the early morning arrival time, and through the end of the shoot, Joe talks through his concept, the setup, and all of the problems that need to be solved to pull off the one frame he's trying to create. Putting everything underwater leaves no room for error and lot's of obstacles to overcome, and you get a front row seat.

Mastering The Family Outing with Annie Cahill
Get ready for your next outing as the family photographer! Typical family outings occur in places with busy backgrounds, challenging lighting, uncooperative children, and lots of motion from place to place. Join Annie Cahill at the Miami Metro Zoo as she walks you through everything you need to know to capture those great moments during your next family adventure. Annie spends the day with a family, and their two small children, as they experience the zoo, and along the way teaches you everything from how to capture kids in motion to what camera settings will give you the best image quality, and from how to pay attention to backgrounds in group photos to how to get into some of the photos yourself. By the end of the class you'll know what gear you need, how to prepare for the day, and how to come away with some great photos that will serve as mementos for years to come.

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
June 15 - Lansing, MI
June 17 - Nashville, TN
July 13 - Ottawa, ON
July 15 - Calgary, AB
July 17 - Toronto, 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
Lightroom CC for Photographers Spiral-Bound Book
– Francisco Manzanares
– Denise Beverly
– Cris Da Rocha

KelbyOne Live Ticket
– Ken Choate

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

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