Posts By Brad Moore

Scott Kelby at Photo Plus Expo
I know Scott covered this the other day, but I (Brad) just wanted to remind you of his schedule at Photo Plus Expo this week. He’ll be talking about sports photography in the Canon booth this afternoon at 2:30pm, and again on Saturday at 11:30am. If you’re there, make sure you stop by to see him! There are plenty of other amazing speakers (like our friends Greg Heisler, Peter Read Miller, Jack Reznicki, Vincent Laforet, Bruce Dorn, John Paul Caponigro, Tyler Stableford and others), so you can come by at any time and see some great people and images!

Freeze Motion Photography
This week's free KelbyTraining.com class is Freeze Motion Photography with Frank Doorhof! The class just started airing yesterday and will run through October 30. All you have to do is go to KelbyTraining.com/onair and sign up for a free account, then click play! Of course, if you want to watch all of the other classes any time you want, you can always sign up for a KelbyTraining.com subscription ;-)

You can also leave a comment here for your chance to win a 1-month subscription!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt Kloskowski, or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 - Washington, DC
Oct 29 - Boston, MA
Nov 14 - New York, NY

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
Oct 30 - Orlando, FL
Nov 13 - Los Angeles, CA
Nov 18 - South San Francisco, CA

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Nov 6 - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov 15 - Sacramento, CA

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 1 - Phoenix, AZ

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! Don't forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
KelbyTraining.com Subscription
-Leslie

Kelby Training Live Ticket
-KC

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!


Fishing from a kayak in the Florida Keys with a GoPro camera

There is nothing like securing a contract to photograph an event like the one I was blessed with in June.

Nik Wallenda was going to walk a high wire across the Grand Canyon, untethered, and the Discovery Channel was going to broadcast it to more than 200 countries with an estimated viewership of 200 million people.


Nik Wallenda walks a high wire across the Grand Canyon June 24, 2013

I had been hired to document the event, Nik’s family and friends who were there, and add to the already-vast Wallenda family legacy, archives and heirlooms. I would also feed to Getty Images.


Nik Wallenda gestures into the abyss on the first day of on-site training.


Nik sits on the edge of the Canyon at sunrise on the first day of on-site training.

All in all, it would be a demanding, pressure-filled shoot, four-day shoot, yet with a built-in cushion: Great visuals guaranteed. How could it get better?

By taking my near-80 year old father along.


Dad made friends easily. He laughs with Jack Hanna’s wife, Suzi, at the Grand Canyon within five minutes of meeting her

Nik Wallenda is a nice, kind, sweet, friendly, talented, charming, devoted family man. I didn’t steal that line from any press release. I learned it on my own. This year he let me photograph him nearly a dozen different times.


Nik Wallenda walks a high wire over downtown Sarasota on January 29, 2013


Nik Wallenda poses holding a piece of the cable he used to walk a high wire over Niagara Falls February 15,2013

His family is always there. Most times it’s the physcial presence of his wife and three children, his mother and father and many other family and close friends who rig his cables, handle his media calls, guarantee his safety and hundreds of other details that go along with being part of the most recognized high-wire family in history.

Always present is the shadow of his great-grandfather, Karl Wallenda, and others who carved out history in the 200 years the Wallendas have been performing.


Nik’s wife Erendira (Left) and his sister, Lijana, share a hug after the Grand Canyon walk.

I really like breaking rules. The big one on this trip, if Nik would allow it, would be to bring my father along. It’s not professional to have family and friends along on shoots. We all know that.


Nik Wallenda tugs on the wire that he’ll use to walk across the Grand Canyon during a training session two days before the actual walk.

When I thought about Nik’s devotion to family and legacy, I couldn’t help but think how great it would be to have my 78-year-old father, Marvin, along with me. He was a truck driver for most of his adult life. He’d never seen a TV stage in real life, much less one that crossed the Grand Canyon. But, he is in good shape, he is warm, smart, funny, charming and very sweet. He is devoted to his family.

He is much like Nik, in other words. I had to ask.

“Nik, can I bring my dad along?” I wrote in an email two weeks before our journey was to begin. “I’d be honored to have your dad along,” Nik wrote back.


With Nik in the backround, my father Marvin and I pose for a photograph. Photo by Thomas Bender

So, for three of those days, my father was at my side as we followed Nik Wallenda and his family and crew to press conferences, training sessions, meet and greets with fans, rehearsals, meals, horseshoes and hijinks, and finally to Sunday, the day Nik was going to create history and put his life on the line in front of 200 million people on live television.


Nik Wallenda walks a high wire across the Grand Canyon

My father became a minor celebrity himself along the way. His hometown newspaper, The Altoona Mirror, wrote a story. Dad said he couldn’t go anywhere without people asking him about his trip with Nik Wallenda to the Grand Canyon.

He developed a true friendship with Jack and Suzi Hanna who invited dad to visit them at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. (We went this month)


I never asked Nik to pose with my father until the after-party. Dad was tired. We had been working together for about 12 hours by the time this photo was taken.

I think a lot of people were moved about seeing my father and I hanging out together at the biggest event in the world.

Two other photojournalists there told me they had lost their own fathers recently. One teared up, I believe from the wish that he could have been in my sooty shoes, with his own father. I was reminded how blessed to have mine there.

The successes were huge. Nik finished the record-breaking walk despite immense heat, windy updrafts from the Canyon floor, slippery desert dust on the wire and a thousand other challenges he and his team faced and conquered.


Nik blows a kiss to his wife and children as he nears the end of his historic high wire walk.

My dad and I had a great time, bonding and making memories and photographs that will be around long after we’re all are gone. One thing I didn’t plan on, but was incredibly satisfied to find out: Not only did I add to and enhance the Wallenda family heirlooms and legacies, but those of my own family as well.


My father and I at the Grand Canyon. Photo by Douglas Hay


iPhone close-up of Nik’s autograph on the 16×20″ I printed for my father.


iPhone shot of note we received from Jack and Suzi Hanna. I sent them a 20×30″ print of their choice. He said he wanted it signed. I told him, “you know Nik, you ask him to sign it.” He said, “I want you to sign it.”


Show hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales pose with Nik at sunrise on the morning after the walk.


Nik back on the wire at sunrise on the morning after the walk.

Thank you to Scott Kelby, David Hobby and Joe McNally for showing me the light.

Thank you to Nik Wallenda for saying yes to just about anything I ever asked him and for always giving me something interesting to shoot.

Thank you to my Jack and Suzi Hanna for treating my father like he’s the most important man in the world.

Thank you to my father, Marvin, for always having a sense of adventure and my mother for things I could never put into words.

You can see more of Tim’s work at TimBoylesPhotography.com, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

A Walk in Rome with Scott Kelby
If you missed last night’s webcast, you can still catch it streaming over on KelbyTV.com/onair. Scott was joined by Matt Kloskowski as he told stories from his trip to Rome, shared photos, talked about the gear he took and used, and even showed some tips and tricks in Lightroom and Photoshop! The event got great feedback from the thousands of people who watched it live, so make sure you check it out!

Wedding Portraits - Classical Lighting and Posing Techniques
This week's free KelbyTraining.com class is Wedding Portraits - Classical Lighting and Posing Techniques with David Ziser! The class just started airing yesterday and will run through October 23. All you have to do is go to KelbyTraining.com/onair and sign up for a free account, then click play! Of course, if you want to watch all of the other classes any time you want, you can always sign up for a KelbyTraining.com subscription ;-)

You can also leave a comment here for your chance to win a 1-month subscription!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt Kloskowski, or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 - Washington, DC
Oct 29 - Boston, MA
Nov 14 – New York, NY

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
Oct 23 - Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 - Orlando, FL
Nov 13 – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 18 – South San Francisco, CA

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Nov 6 - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov 15 – Sacramento, CA

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 1 - Phoenix, AZ

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! Don't forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Winners
KelbyTraining.com Subscription
- Pedro Oliveira

Kelby Training Live Ticket
– John Swarce

Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers
– Ramona P

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Honesty, integrity, originality, and good old fashioned hard work. I like to think I possess all these characteristics, but there’s a good chance I don’t, at least not all of the time. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, a quest for the righteous at times; indeed, even the best of us can fall from grace. Jumping on the failures of others is so easy for many of us to do. It’s easier than producing your own content. And it’s not unique to photographers or our community, but by the nature of our work, out there for everyone to see, it’s a lot easier to be exposed to the potential negativity.

More and more sites are scraping every single set of images they can possibly find to showcase, blog about, and expose; like Flickr, 500px, Fstoppers, Petapixel, Tumblr, Buzzfeed, and Reddit.  This is wonderful stuff; absolutely anyone can have their work viewed by millions of people around the world. There’s pressure in this, for some, to perform. To produce content that’s as good as the last “big thing,” to get noticed like your friend did last week. “He has a million views on his photos, mine are better, why can’t I?” I think we could even mistake this for being competitive… but is it? Does it even matter? Is it a big distraction?

Let me be honest. I’ve struggled. I’m still trying to figure out my work, to find my place, to make a living. I’ve been incredibly fortunate this early in my career to have more positive than negative feedback, and a great amount of support from those around me to keep doing what I’m doing. I work hard when I’m on the job and I try to do right by my clients. I show and share my work actively in the hopes of getting noticed, of having someone see it and maybe getting that next big job from that someone. If nothing else, the big group-hug that is Flickr can make me feel good about myself for a day. Is that how it works?

Maybe it has for a few lucky folks, but in my case, I’m not working nearly hard enough. Doing a good job for my clients isn’t enough anymore, it’s the bare minimum of what’s expected of me as a professional photographer. I need to work hard for my next client; I need to work to GET them. And they’re not going to come from, being explored, or the editors' picks On a website. I need to find them myself, and I need to show them my work, and I need them to know that I am the right person for the job. That’s really putting myself out there, and I’m terrified of taking that necessary next step. I’m scared because it’s hard, and I’m scared because I might fail.

Integrity comes in many forms but to me it is an extension of an outward honesty. I give credit when and where I can, I pay my assistants faster than I get paid myself, I share openly and freely knowledge that I have and methods that I’ve used, trying to help mentor the next group of photographers coming up behind me. Secrets, in this industry, seem to be a way of trying to protect yourself, to make sure nobody can copy your work or business model like you’ve done something particularly unique or special. You’ll notice, as savvy readers, that the most unique and special photographers are absolutely comfortable sharing their methods because really, many of us couldn’t compete if we tried.

I’ve also copied. I copy David Hobby’s lighting setups. I’ve copied Scott Kelby’s Lightroom workflow. I’ve copied Joe McNally’s… sarcasm and love for naps. Little ideas, little methods: these guys have all shared their work and knowledge for years and I’ve copied them until I got it right. Then I went and I took their methods until they became my own. Now, I couldn’t work without the things I took from them if I tried. And still – STILL – I’m not as good as them. How come? Maybe I’m not good enough. That’s a pretty terrible outlook, though. How about the possibility that I just need to work harder?

There’s no escaping the time you have to put into this industry. There’s work to be done. People need their pictures taken. They need them taken well, or poorly if that’s their taste. On a tight budget or one that can afford a guy like Jeremy Cowart (I love his hair). I’ve had my photos seen by hundreds of thousands of people. My work is published, it’s been stolen, it’s been paid for. My mom thinks I’m great, and my wife thinks I take good photos of the kids though, oddly, never of her. I’ve been told all sorts of equally wonderful and horrible things about my work, and even about myself. I’m not a bad guy, I just pretend to be one on Twitter.

Is my work even good? Does "good" even matter? There are better photographers than me, by a long shot, who aren’t working and haven’t had the opportunities I have. There are also some photographers we all wonder how they got to be where they are. Are they even good? What actually matters in professional photography? Who gets to judge my work and, by some weird extension of my mind, me and my self-worth? Who gets to tell you your work is worth doing?

I do.

My clients do.

And both can get it wrong. So, let’s just get back to work. Work hard, be honest, have some integrity, and do the best we can; the rest is just a distraction.

If you’re up to the challenge, you can follow my over-share of a Twitter feed, check out my blog for the occasional tutorial and read my lens reviews on Canonrumors.com.

http://youtu.be/MVS7TvE4JkY

What Happened To RC?
RC Concepcion and crew went to Gary, Indiana to record our highly anticipated Exposing HDR course.

Sounds great, right? Well, it was going great until something went terribly wrong (we think), but we lost the feed and this is the only footage we have.

What happened to RC and crew? Are they in danger? Will we ever see them again? Will we have to get another instructor for our Exposing HDR course? We don't know, but you can check in at KelbyTraining.com on Thursday, October 31st at 4pm EDT to find out! You have no idea what will be unveiled!

Lightroom Basics with Matt Kloskowski – Streaming for FREE!
This week's free KelbyTraining.com class is Lightroom Basics with Matt Kloskowski! The class just started airing yesterday and will run through October 16. All you have to do is go to KelbyTraining.com/onair and sign up for a free account, then click play! Of course, if you want to watch all of the other classes any time you want, you can always sign up for a KelbyTraining.com subscription ;-)

You can also leave a comment here for your chance to win a 1-month subscription!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 - Washington, DC
Oct 29 - Boston, MA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Oct 23 - Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 - Orlando, FL

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Oct 11 - Portland, OR
Nov 6 - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 1 - Phoenix, AZ

Adobe Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
Oct 16 - Atlanta, GA

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! Don't forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Fall Into Photography with Books from Peachpit
Want to learn more about sports photography, newborn photography, portrait photography, or just photography in general? Check out these great titles on sale at up to 40% off from Peachpit Press! Pick up books from Scott Kelby, Zack Arias, Peter Read Miller, Jeff Schewe, Bill Frakes and others for as little as $11.99!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of one of these books!

Free Chapter from Nicolesy’s Light & Process: Landscape Photography
Nicole S. Young is giving away a free full chapter from her new eBook and video tutorials set, Light & Process: Landscape Photography! Head on over to Nicolesy.com for more information.

Also, keep an eye out for yesterday’s episode of The Grid, which featured Nicole with Scott and Matt, over at KelbyTV.com and the Kelby Media Group YouTube channel!

Winners
KelbyTraining.com Subscription
-Debbie S

Kelby Training Live Ticket
– Todd

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. That’s it for today, have a great Thursday!

Lessons from the Help Desk

Greetings! I can't tell you how excited I am to have a chance to give a little something back to you all. Many thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity. You see I have been answering Help Desk questions for NAPP members since 2005. I started out assisting Peter Bauer with Photoshop questions, but once Lightroom 1.0 hit the scene I was tasked with handling all of the Lightroom questions sent to the Help Desk from that point forward. It was truly one of the greatest gifts I've ever been given.

Sure, it was a job, but that is not what I mean by the gift I was given. The gift was the education I received as a result of the countless interactions I have had with so many NAPP members over the years. I did indeed learn a lot about Lightroom, and that alone has lead to a number of really great opportunities, but even more important was that I learned a whole lot about how to interact with people; people in a hurry, people at their most vulnerable, and people at their most-frustrated-end-of-their-rope-worst. Believe me when I tell you this is a skill that has served me well in my 16 years of marriage. :-D

It has also served me well in other Help Desk roles I've taken on, such as answering customer support tickets for a new stock photography co-op (Stocksy United) I am a member of, and even helping people in the field with The Digital Photo Workshops. Oh, and I answer all of the tech support questions for Kelby Training too.

So, when Brad asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for Scott's blog I thought I could take the opportunity to share some of the most important lessons I've learned in my many roles as a helper in the hopes that perhaps it may inspire you to become a helper in you own way. I've also included a few photos taken around my backyard just to share some of what I do beyond answering questions.

1. You'll become a better listener.
When you truly step into the role of helping someone the first and most important thing you can do to actually help him or her is to understand what he or she is really saying. I get a fair number of questions that are full of a lot of information that is really not relevant to the core reason this person is reaching out to me. I see it as my job to step back, really read (most of my interactions with folks are via email) what they are saying then focus in on the key issue. Sometimes this requires me to ask a few questions to ferret out the right information, but the rookie mistake is to reply too quickly to what we think someone is saying, and then spiral off into a rabbit hole that leaves both parties feeling frustrated.


Newly hatched bluebird chicks.

2. There's no shame in knowing what you don't know.
We pride ourselves on being experts and in being able to solve any problem that comes our way, but the reality is that there are a lot of things I just don't know. I used to be afraid of those three words (I don't know), but now I embrace them. I feel it is far better to let the person asking the question know that I honestly don't know the answer, than to try and bamboozle them with bull-oney to cover up the fact that I don't. I just come clean, and then we can work on trying to solve the problem together, and hopefully at the end they'll have a solution and I'll have some new information for the next person that comes up against the same issue. The person asking the question ends up actually helping himself (or herself), helping me, and then passing it along to others. It just doesn't get any better than that.


Me tending to my bees.

3. There's no shame in asking for help.
My wife will get a big kick out of me saying this as I am far better at giving help than asking for it, but I am working on it! I have had the privilege of helping people from all walks of life, all types of professional backgrounds, and a wide range of ages, and what they all had in common was they had a question that I could answer and the self-confidence to ask it. The moment I gave them that one thing they didn't have before they were free to move on, to stop spinning their wheels, and to get stuff done. Why waste your time digging yourself into a deeper rut when there are so many ways of asking for help these days? I know, I know, I'll try it myself one day. :-)


A beech leaf floating on the pond.

4. Always remember there's a real genuine human being on the other end of that question.
Except when I am on a workshop or standing in at the Help Desk Live booth at Photoshop World, most of my help interactions are done via email. As we all know email and text communication can easily become very impersonal. I'm lucky in that I have gotten to meet a great number of people by working at Photoshop World that previously were only emails stacked up in my inbox (see photo below).  However, I will never meet the vast majority of the people I help, but I strive to always conjure up a picture of them in my mind's eye when replying to their emails as a way to remind myself that they are not just another problem to deal with, but rather a person reaching out for a little guidance. I feel that this comes through in my response, as I have never been accused of talking down to someone or of being disrespectful. I also try to remember this in all those small frustrating interactions we have with each other while standing in line at the grocery check out, waiting at the doctor's office, and driving on the highway.


My good friend Ed Law at Photoshop World 2013.

5. Answer the question, but also try to increase their understanding.
When someone asks a question there is almost always an opportunity to give them something more to help increase their overall understanding, and quite possibly head off the next question before they even knew they were going to ask it. If job one is understanding the question, and job two is answering the question, then job three in my book is providing them a link, resource, tip, or tidbit that gives them something more to chew on. If someone asks what is the keyboard shortcut to show/hide the Lightroom adjustment brush mask I tell them (press O), then I provide a link to all of the keyboard shortcuts too. It would be quicker in the short-term to just answer the question and hit Send, but by taking a few seconds longer I can give them a resource that gives them more and saves them from having to send in five more questions. That's a win for both of us.


The view from the side of my house one snowy morning.

Beyond those five things I can tell you that working on the Help Desk is one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had, that it must be good for my karma, and it has allowed me to learn Lightroom inside out and upside down. For all of that, and so much more, I am grateful to you all for the opportunity to serve. Hope to see you at Photoshop World!

You can see more from Rob at Lightroomers.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He is a photographer, trainer, and author. Aside from also being a NAPP and Kelby Training Help Desk Specialist, and instructor for the Perfect Picture School of Photography and the host of Peachpit's Lightroom Resource Center. He is a founding member of Stocksy United (a stock photography co-op). Rob writes the "Under the Loupe" column for Photoshop User Magazine, is a regular contributor to Lightroom magazine, and is the author of many photography related books.

Close