Posts By Brad Moore

When I was a kid, in lieu of hiring a babysitter, my mom would just plop me down in front of the television.

I think I learned more about life from Mike and Carol Brady than my own parents.

In fact, at the time, I looked a lot like Cousin Oliver, who was brought on the “The Brady Bunch” to boost sagging ratings, but, instead, only helped the show jump the shark.

So, where am I going with this trip back to before the remote control was invented?

Well, it isn’t because I caught the photo bug from the episode where Greg Brady inadvertently made a shot of a key football play while photographing his cheerleader girlfriend, but because I think I was subconsciously inspired to do street photography by another show I watched.

You see, my local public television station in Chicago would occasionally broadcast a syndicated program about photography.

Each week, a different thirty-minute episode would be shown.

One week, it was about a specific news photographer. The next, it was the sports photographer’s turn.

Then, one fateful week, I witnessed an episode about this crazy man, who wandered New York City snapping photos of people walking past or kissing in Central Park.

That man was Gary Winogrand.

At the time, I had no idea that I wanted to be a photographer, but, there was something about Winogrand that fascinated me.

He photographed unusual people in an unusual way.

Fast forward to 2010.

At this point, I had been a newspaper photographer for almost 25 years and was employed at the Chicago Tribune.

I had spent the majority of my career shooting newspapery things- sporting events, funerals, protests, business portraits, concerts and so on.

I never really thought about street photography, because I saw no point to it.

My newspaper had no interest in publishing a photo of a smoker walking down the street or a woman with a fabulous fur coat. There was no news hook.

Then two things happened simultaneously. I started doing a photo blog and I started getting tired of the staged nature of certain photo assignments- political rallies, press conferences, environmental portraits and the like.

After a couple weeks of doing “Shooting from the Hip”, I quickly realized that I didn’t produce enough interesting content to fill my blog.

As a typical photojournalist, I shoot a lot of things to simply feed the beast. Assignments that are necessary and somewhat interesting, but not interesting enough to stand on their own.

I, also, knew that when I had some free time, I couldn’t wander too far from the Tribune Tower.

So, I started to go on photo walks up and down Michigan Avenue.

A whole new photo world opened up for me.

I now had a reason to photograph the amazing situations and fantastic characters that in the past I would walk right by.

It took awhile for me to get the knack of shooting with my camera at my waist.

I began by pre-focusing about five feet out, but that yielded mostly out of focus images.

I realized, too, that the lens I was using, a medium zoom, was not wide enough.

Eventually, I settled on a 16-35mm zoom and using a technique where I focus
and shoot while walking past a scene.

I know that I look like a total creep, but it is the only way I can think of to consistently make pure images of real moments without any camera awareness.

I have never had a subject of my street photography get mad at me, but, for some weird reason, I get a hard time from people watching me do street photography. Some guy even pushed me into Michigan Avenue when I responded to his complaint about my shooting from the hip style.

I guess it is that Midwest value of protecting your fellow citizen or maybe there are a lot of crazy folk in the city.

So, after doing hardcore street photography for awhile, I started expanding what street photography meant to me.

First, I did a portrait series on the men and women who dress up as the Statue of Liberty or Uncle Sam to promote Liberty Tax Service.
For this series, I would introduce myself and ask if I could make the subject’s portrait with a 50mm lens set at f/1.2.

I traveled all around Chicago and it’s suburbs looking for the wavers.

By time I was finished, I had photographed about 25 different men and women.

The thing I found amazing was that each one was alike but also different at the same time.

Another one of my projects was on the tradition in Chicago called “dibs”.

Dibs is the Winter time practice of using a random piece of furniture or household item to reserve one’s newly shoveled out parking space.

After a huge snowstorm in early 2011, I drove around the Pilsen neighborhood only photographing different types of chairs that people used.

I ended up photographing nearly 50 in one hour and putting them together in grid form.

Some of my other subsets of street photography evolved from people that I witnessed on a daily basis- the homeless and down on their luck that populate downtown Chicago.

I started to notice last year, that more and more street people had stopped verbally asking for spare change but had instead switched to using home made signs to make their plea.

I don’t like photographing homeless people surreptitiously, so, I usually would photograph a sign holder then go back and introduce myself and explain what I was doing.

Not one person was upset that I had photographed them and they all were willing to be part of my project.

Another recent collection, that I worked on in 2011, documented the “Forever Marilyn” statue that was installed in Pioneer Court adjacent to the Tribune Tower.

The 26-foot sculpture by Seward Johnson has created quite a stir and has provided me with countless photo opportunities.

The great thing about street photography is that I can do it anywhere at anytime.

I love doing it on vacation, like my recent trip to Norway, where I photographed a sharp dressed man in Oslo while in the middle of an argument with my wife about me doing street photography while on vacation. Oops! Maybe vacation with my wife isn’t the best time for street photography. Strike that.

A great time for street photography is when I am out of town shooting a Chicago Bears’ game in London or New Orleans or on assignment in the Mecca of street photography- New York City.

In my next life, I will pattern myself after Winogrand and just wander the streets of New York enjoying life and making images of the hustle and bustle.

My newest street photography toy is the iPhone.

I just began a project where I do entire blog posts of Hipstamatic street photos on specific Chicago neighborhoods. I started with The East Side, where I grew up and have moved on to Chinatown, Hyde Park, Pilsen, Little Village and Wicker Park.

With over 200 neighborhoods in Chicago, this subset of street photography will keep me busy for a long while.

I don’t think I will ever do street photography full time, but, I am so glad to have the vibrant streets of Chicago right outside my workplace whenever I need a photographic boost.

You can see more of Scott’s work on his Shooting from the Hip blog and keep up with him on Twitter.

We just got the crazy list of prizes that will be awarded to the winner of The Vincent Versace Award for Excellence in Digital Photography (or, as we like to call it, “The Vinnie”) at Photoshop World in Washington DC!

Vincent has managed to put together a list of prizes that individually would make any photographer drool, but one very lucky person gets to take home the whole shebang. The purpose of these prizes is to remove any barriers of creativity so that there are no obstacles in the way of the artist. Check it out:

Epson 3000 Printer (shown above)
Wacom Intous Tablet
A Maine Media Workshop Workshop (travel and lodging not included)
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Full Nik Software Suite
Full onOne Software Software Suite
Pina Zangaro Personalized 13×19 portfolio
Induro C314 carbon fiber tripod and BH2 ball head
Xrite Color Munki and Xrite Color Checker Passport
Lexar Flash Card
Tiffen 77mm Close-up filter set
Expodisc white balancing disc and depth of field calculator
Hoodman Loupe
Westscott 5-in-1 Reflector
Lowepro Slingshot Camera Bag
24×30 signed Vincent Versace print
Signed copy of Welcome to Oz 2.0 and From Oz to Kansas (when it releases)
All of Acme Educational’s tutorial DVDs
One year subscription to
Whatever cash is in Larry Becker’s pocket when we are standing on stage.
What ever lint is in Vincent’s pocket when he is standing next to Larry Becker on stage.

The winner will be announced during the Opening Keynote at Photoshop World on March 24!

Internationally renowned commercial photographer Ron Martinsen has just released Printing 101 Notebook: An Introduction to Fine Art Photography Printing, an eBook that is designed to help frustrated ink jet printer users get the most out of their investment by educating them on everything they will need to make great prints. With interviews and advice from industry legends like Vincent Versace, Eddie Tapp, Greg Gorman, John Paul Caponigro, Douglas Dubler and more, this is a book is a must own for anyone who is serious about making great prints. This gorgeous looking book is over 90 pages that are easily readable on your Computer, iPad, Kindle, or any other device capable of reading PDF files.

Ron has educated over 800,000 visitors on his popular Photography and Photoshop blog. His printing series last year was a huge hit, but there was so much great information to share that his loyal readers asked for a book. Click here to order your copy today.

NAPP Member Webinar with Fay Sirkis
Next Tuesday, March 20th, NAPP (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) is hosting an exclusive members-only webinar entitled A Stroke of Genius — Photoshop Art Studio. Fay Sirkis will show you how to take your photographs and turn them into gorgeous paintings using Photoshop. If you’re not a member of NAPP, you could be. We’re giving away a one year membership to NAPP plus Fay’s 2-DVD setA Celebration of Art: Wild About Animals – a Photo Painting SafariJust leave a comment to enter. If you’re already a NAPP member, you can add the year to your membership or you can give it to a friend. As always, if you don’t win this killer prize, you can buy it by entering FAY2012 on the NAPP signup page. Good luck to one & all!

Photoshop World Washington DC
Photoshop World Washington DC is just around the corner, and there’s still time to sign up for what’s gearing up to be one of our biggest Photoshop World conferences yet!

While you’re signing up, make sure you register for a pre-conference workshop! Might I suggest the Real World Concert Photography workshop with Alan Hess and Scott Diussa? I have it on good authority that the person who has the best image from the workshop will win a Nikon D7000 kit! There are still a few spots left, so sign up before it’s too late.

Lightroom 4 Tour
Now that Lightroom 4 is out, we’re gearing up for the Kelby Training Live Lightroom 4 Tour! We have three dates scheduled for Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Chicago in April. You can get all the details and register over at
Speaking of Lightroom 4, you can head over to and check out the Lightroom 4 In-Depth series from Matt Kloskowski.

And, while you’re there, check out our newest class from Tim Wallace, The Art of Close-up Automotive Photography.

Rick Sammon Wildlife Shoot
Our friend Rick Sammon is leading an “Out of Africa” wildlife shoot at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas next month, and there is nly one tent remaining. You can get all the details and sign up right here.

Last Week’s Winners
Here are the lucky winners from last week’s giveaways…

Digital Photography Book Part 4: Leigh Catley, Dan Ablan, and Teri Egts
Sketching Light: Sarah Leonard
Jack Reznicki Workshop: DaveG
Calvin Hollywood Workshop: Miriam Rosenthal

That’s it for this week. Have a great Thursday!


Think like a digital ninja.
First of all I’d like to thank Scott and Brad for inviting me to write – I’m a big fan of what they do and how they empower the world to be better creators. Without people like them spreading the amazing wealth of information we have at our fingertips it would have been more difficult for me to migrate from a zoological career catching snakes in the Australian outback to where I am now – creating conceptual imagery for brands and magazines.

We live in a time where what we imagine, we can make – there has never been a better time to be an artist.  I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about my digital workflow in the hopes that you will find it useful.

I deal in high-impact imagery. I try to photograph ideas more than portraits – directing scenes and characters to tell a story. I started out as a photojournalist shooting first wildlife, then wild places, and now; wild people and stories. I have a background in retouching and compositing, skill-sets which I now leverage to create images that would be impossible to make happen otherwise. As far as aesthetic qualities, my work is characterized by contrast, depth, rich color and texture. I also incorporate compositing into many of my images, one of the components of a digital workflow that we’ll be dealing with here. Rather than talk about them, you can check out my images here.

Photography, particularly in the commercial world, has become far more than just shooting film and handing it off to the client. The digital revolution has not only led to the incredible democratization of creation we see today (I highly recommend you watch press pause play), but also an entirely new way to approach creating images.

The digital workflow allows us to create anything we can imagine. I can shoot elements in Africa, Australia and Southern California and blend them seamlessly so that the image looks like it was shot in one frame. For example, I just finished a campaign working with Art Director Jethro Ames and local ad agency Parkerwhite where I built 8 different images that communicate the beauty and heroism of athletes in moments of peak action. About half the talent we shot in a studio on green screen and the other half were on location – where the background was remixed beyond anything we could have achieved in a single frame. This allowed us to create scenes in the same way that a painter or illustrator would build a scene. It’s difficult to describe, so check out a highlights video we put together here:

I’m going to go over some of the fundamental elements in a digital workflow the way that I see them.

Green screen
I refer to it as green screen, but…


Brad here with some exciting news… In celebration of the overwhelming success of and response to Scott’s new Lighting Recipes app, we’re having a 24-hour app sale for all of the other Kelby Training apps!*

Today only, for 24 hours, all Kelby Training apps that are normally $9.99 are on sale for $4.99. Take advantage of our biggest app discount ever, and tell your friends too!

*Excludes Light It Magazine