Posts By Brad Moore

Hey Gang, Brad here with a last-minute reminder that tonight is the SNAPP event with The Photoshop Guys! It’s like the NAPP-a-thon we did last year, but with a different name :)

You can register over at over at, then tell all your friends, family, and pets to tune in from 8:00-10:00pm tonight for two hours of tutorials, fun stuff, and even some great giveaways like Lexar memory cards!

The main reason for this is to show non-NAPP members what NAPP is all about, so if you love NAPP and want to share it with your friends, let them know to come check out the webinar!

Shoot Action and Make it Look Exciting!

Hi everyone, and thanks to Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for inviting me to post on the Kelby Blog.  This is truly an honor and I’m proud to have my writing alongside such world-class photographers!

Action sports are extremely exciting.  They are fun to watch, play, and shoot!  But how do you get your images to reflect how exciting the sport actually is?

When starting out, a lot of photographers will take images that don’t showcase how extreme or tough the sport is.  And no, this isn’t another action article that says to blur the athlete or they will look too static, I’ve never really agreed with that…  Frozen motion IS cool and the details retain more sharpness.  Blurred images can be great too but there is no need to blur your images to create a sense of motion.

With all types of photography, your angle and lens choice are some of the most important aspects to creating an exciting image.  More extreme angles and wider or longer lenses will create images that showcase how extreme the sport really is.  Take skateboarding for example.  A standard ollie (popping the board up into the air) will look LAME if shot from eye level with a 35mm lens.  The athlete simply can’t pop the board up high enough, and normal angles like this will lack excitement since it’s a “NORMAL” angle, see what I’m getting at here??

Now take the same shot, of the same ollie, and lower the camera to the ground with a wide-angle lens.  This makes the trick feel BIGGER, and the wide angle adds a certain degree of distortion to the image that will provide a look that you couldn’t see through your own eyes.  This makes the image way more exciting!  Flip through any skate magazine and you’ll see how many images are shot wide or with a fisheye.  They do this for a reason.

My advice?  Go low and wide, go high and wide, go far and zoomed, go far and wide, go far and high, or far and low.  Any combination of angles that are out of the ordinary will boost the image’s appeal.  If you can find higher ground to take the shot, head for it, or bring a ladder!  If you can get right under a feature or right up next to the athlete, get in close and go wide!  Think out of the box.  Frame the shot with trees, or a cool net, do absolutely anything to make your image different from everyone else’s.

Action sports generally take place in cool and unique locations.  Show these locations in your images!  Sure, a photo of a skier going off a big cliff will always be impressive.  But take the same shot at a different angle to show the incredible mountain range in the background, and prepare for an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, heart-pounding image that really shows the lifestyle and just how extreme the athlete is!

With all images it’s important to try and tell the story.  There can be mystery to the image but you’ll want the viewer to at least have an idea of what is happening.  If the sport involves an air-born trick, include the landing, takeoff, or both to show the viewer what’s happening.  “Guy in the Sky” shots went out in the 80’s and aren’t coming back….  This is because the location never applies to a guy in the sky shot and anyone could take the same shot anywhere.  Be different.

Here’s a secret that will make your work even more awesome and different…  Shoot with flash!  And no, I’m not telling you to put a shiny gold grill over your teeth while you shoot along with your favorite gold chain.  I’m talking about the kind of flash that pops more light into the image.  Fill flash will make your images more unique than the majority of photographers.  Flash is the advantage that will take your work to the next level.  It’s also an important component for those low and wide shots since the sun will be above the athlete casting them in shadows.

Try shooting with a remote flash to really spice things up.  This will add more depth and dimension to the image, rendering it even cooler!  And with the new PocketWizard remotes, there’s no reason not to shoot remote since you can now push high sync speeds.  Using HyperSync I’ve been getting 1/1600th to 1/2000th sync speeds making for perfectly sharp and brilliantly lit images.

Strive to find the best angles you can that showcase the environment along with the feature, to create great action images.  Mix in a flash, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a top-notch action sports photographer!  Put that mouse down, get out there, and make incredible images.

Connor Walberg is a 23 year old professional photographer specializing in action photography, including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and skateboarding.  His work has been published in several major publications around the world and is sold through Getty Images.  His sponsors include: Lensbaby, LumiQuest, and Datacolor.

You can learn more about shooting all types of action at, and view Connor’s work at

15,889 photos.

That’s the number of photos I shot, captioned, and submitted for publication as a staff photographer at my former newspaper before going freelance.  Why does this matter?  Because it is an insane amount of photos which represent a lot of time spent shooting for the proverbial “Man.”  It’s not a bad thing.  In fact, shooting for The Man gave me ample time to learn, develop my vision, and figure out what didn’t matter to me and what did in my photography.

The newspaper was my first full-time newspaper gig, which I left last year to pursue my freelance career.  In the matter of 8 years I made a lot of bad photos at bad assignments. I also made some great photos at great assignments.  Making great photos from bad assignments?  It was a challenge to myself.  It’s not the newspaper’s fault that bad assignments exist, it’s just the nature of the grind at a daily newspaper – especially this day and age with dwindled staff and depleted resources.  Most of your time is spent feeding the beast, churning out 2-4 assignments a day for prominent display in next morning’s recycle bin.  It’s making Chicken Salad out of Chicken Sh*t.  I’ve made my fair share of Chicken Salad.

Working as a staff photojournalist has its challenges.  How do you stay inspired, happy, and passionate about photographing a white guy in a suit standing in front of a building?  How can you make compelling images that give your photo subjects a voice in their own community when you can only stay for only 10 minutes?  Why am I photographing this plate of food that barely resembles food?  How do you make a picture that says “ribbon-cutting” without literally shooting the ribbon being cut?

You just do.  Here’s how:

Shoot for yourself.

He won’t remember this at all, but I sat down with Los Angeles Times photojournalist Rick Loomis to get my portfolio reviewed at the Eddie Adams Workshop right after landing my job.  I admired his work and wanted to show off my stuff.  I had won some contests, and was totally confident.  He flipped through my work quietly, took a pause, looked at me with a straight face and said, “You shoot like you want to win contests.”

My initial reaction?  Well, isn’t that the point?  I had no idea what it meant at the time.  I was in my 20’s (I’m 33 now) and full of eagerness to get to a big city metro paper and take his job.  It stung.  All of my portfolio reviews for years had gone amazingly well, and he crushed me.  I didn’t know how much his honest assessment in one short sentence helped until a couple years later.

My work wasn’t personal.  I was pressing the shutter, but what came out wasn’t by me, for me, or my subjects.

I made a huge decision after that realization.  I knew how I wanted my vision to look and made the decision to just start shooting for myself.  I stopped looking at contest results.  I stopped caring about how my photos ran in the paper.  I turned in my photos and forgot about them.  It wasn’t about my paper and the newsroom, which I loved, it was more about myself.  I knew the only way to grow my vision was to kick my own butt.  I started caring immensely more about what I was placing inside the four corners of my viewfinder.   I started seeing images that only I could see in a way that made me excited.

I stayed at a job for 8 years I had plans to stay at for 2 years max, because I knew I could make pictures where I was already happy – building myself both professionally and personally.  Sarasota is a small town full of snowbirds, weird news, and a palate of colors that I began using as my muse to change my work visually.  I fell in love with my community, this strange state of Florida, and everything about both.  Once that happened the picture-making process was less of a job or career, it was what I loved to do and happened to get paid for.

It’s one of the main reasons I left a cushy job and solid paycheck.  I was getting too comfortable.  That breeds staleness.  Stale is not what I want to be.

All of this has culminated to this point where I am on my own doing work for myself and marketing Me.  “The Man” is now me.  I control my own work, growth, and success.  This is a new thing for me, and it was quite an adjustment going from 15-20 assignments a week to maybe 1 or 2 a week for editors that are sometimes a voice on the phone or email address.  I’m shooting weddings, commercial, and learning how important retaining my copyright is.  I can say “no” to bad gigs and bad contracts.  It’s nice to land a photo on A1 or double truck in a magazine, but it doesn’t drive what I do anymore.  I make photos that I want to make, publish them on my blog, and if a new client likes what they see and can use my vision, then sweet.  When I don’t have a client, I go shoot a self-assignment as a sort of visual pilates.  It’s a refreshing way to work.

How all this relates to you, my friends, is that it doesn’t matter where you are, what you do, or what you shoot with.  You could live in a one-stoplight town.  You could be an accountant with a love of photography.  You could have a shiny, new Leica and not know how freaking jealous of you I am.  You can make pictures in any situation with the right attitude.  That attitude may not adhere to company policy, but in the end it is about the rectangles – and your happiness with what’s in them.

To see more of Chip’s work, visit his website, and check out his blog for more of his ramblings!

Hey gang, Brad here with this week’s pimpy!

Photoshop World Vegas Registration Is Open!
Head on over to to see the full list of instructors, classes, and pre-conference workshops, then register to reserve your spot at the world’s coolest Photoshop conference (well, at least I think so ;) )! And don’t forget, you save $100 by registering early.

Gargantuan DVD Sale at Kelby Training
We’re having a massive sale on select Kelby Training DVDs, up to 85% off their original price! If you want to snag training from Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, David Ziser, and more for $9.99 – $24.99, head on over to!

Kelby Training Live
We have quite a few seminars happening over the next month…

Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished Tour with Ben Willmore
– May 12: Philadelphia, PA
– May 17: Seattle, WA
– May 25: Washington, DC

Photoshop CS5 Power User Tour with Dave Cross
– May 27: S. San Francisco, CA

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! with Scott Kelby
– June 2: New York City

And those are just the ones coming up in the next few weeks. There are more dates posted over at, and even more to be announced soon!

Scott’s Portrait Retouching Webinar
If you missed Scott’s Portrait Retouching Webinar on April 21, it is online over at the Kelby Training site for your viewing pleasure!  Scott was joined by Matt Kloskowski to discuss the latest retouching tips and tricks, and answer questions from viewers.

The Grid featuring Terry White & Moose Peterson
If you haven’t been able to catch our newest show, The Grid, when we broadcast live at noon each Monday, you can always watch episodes over at the day after.

This week’s guest was Moose Peterson, who had some great insight on “When Does Photoshop Become Cheating?” And last week Terry White was in the studio for some healthy discussion on Nikon vs. Canon!

You can tune in live every Monday at noon (Eastern) to take part in the discussion via Twitter (#TheGridLive) and live chat, or catch up with the show starting the next day, all at

25% off Mpix for NAPP Members
If you’re a NAPP member, check out the latest discounts from Mpix! They’re offering 25% off metallic prints and gallery wraps, or get free shipping on any other orders. Check the Discounts Page for your discount codes.

Scott Photographs Tampa Bay Bucs Linebacker
If you want to see one of Scott’s photos from his shoot last week with Tampa Bay Bucs linebacker Adam Hayward, head on over to his Facebook page! Scott posts photos and news over there pretty often, so just click the “Like” button at the top the page if you want to keep up with all the cool stuff he’s doing :)

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for the big announcement of the NEW PHOTOSHOP GUY!

Hi everyone, it’s a privilege to be invited to contribute to this community. Thank you Scott and Brad for the opportunity to share a little here as well as to discover so much rich content from previous posts.

I’m astonished by the rate of change in our craft and our industry. There has never been a better time to be a creative person, or to be in the media business. The number of opportunities are expanding at a rate that’s hard to wrap one’s mind around and, accordingly, it’s hard to determine which new avenues to go after and to pursue them with the consistency that success typically requires. Attention has become the scarcest of resources.

Above: “My Dark Little Room” from the Hasselblad Masters Book

In the midst of this exponentially growing number of balls to chase, the act of creating photographic images has not changed all that much. Digital took over film, but you still operate the camera almost exactly the same. Lens selection is identical. Lighting is identical. And the content in front of the camera still trumps everything.

Photography has always required a personal commitment and many forms of the craft demand a persistent solitary pursuit to create a body of work to later distribute. Richard Avedon said that he began shooting to get closer to the things he was afraid of, citing examples such as women and death. The camera was a protective tool to explore something within himself. And it still can be.

Above: The Witch Hotel

It seems to me that another dimension of photography is gaining new prominence – the performance of photography is emerging as a part of our field like never before.

All the social sharing and audience building and enhanced communication has brought a heightened focus to the process of capturing the image. Everything we do in all aspects of our lives is documented and broadcast on a scale never before seen. And this is equally true for those of us who freeze time with cameras. Whether it’s online discussion, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, or the growing wealth of training media, dissecting and examining the act of photography (apart from the finished image) is on the rise.

Musicians always had this dichotomy – they did their recorded music and their performances. The recorded music has served largely as an invitation to look closer and see the more complete process in the performance.

Above: “Circus Life” from the Hasselblad Masters Book

This is all another way of saying that the work itself no longer exists in a vacuum, but as part of a larger discussion and that we as artists add value to our work and to the community by engaging in a greater dialogue. Many of the most elite photographers in the most high profile segments have virtually no presence or public face beyond their work. The process and persona behind the camera is shrouded in mystery. All of these artists rose prior to the digital communication revolution, and I don’t think we will see this as a norm ever again.

The discussion around the creation of a piece of work is now intricately connected to the work itself, giving it greater meaning and resonance. I think the dialogue is every bit as valuable, perhaps more so, than the framed image.

Above: Masked Beauty

And this focus on the act of creation is not only valuable for a public audience, but for the artist’s inner self as well.

The one experience I have had with yoga left me with sore muscles and a single thought. The instructor said that “the yoga” is not the pose. It’s not the routine, or the workout. The yoga, he said, is how you hold your cup of coffee. It’s how you open the door. The poses are merely exercises to practice applying the deliberate, conscious, in-the-moment approach that you should then bring to every aspect of your life. This easily extends to photography.

Above: Better Living Through Bomb Shelters

When I first started shooting I was hyper conscious of my camera and what I was doing since I was unsure of the tool and of myself. This kind of deliberation was an obstacle. As I internalized the tool and the grew comfortable with the process of working with people on set, I stopped thinking much at all about the craft of shooting, and focused on the end result. The shoot itself was something to get through on the way to an end goal.

Eventually, I made an effort to go back to being conscious of the act of shooting, but with more comfort in the process. Now, I enjoy the act of shooting for its own sake, not necessarily racing toward a goal using the moment of shooting as a means to an end. It makes the process more playful, and I experiment and try more things along the way.

Above: Portraits of actress Dawn Olivieri (Vampire Diaries, Heroes)

When I shoot fashion or conceptual work, it’s like I’m doing sculpture – minutely crafting each part of the composition: the pose, the set, the props, the light. When shooting portraiture, it’s like jazz. I’m riffing with the subject, we’re feeding off of each other’s energy and improvising the direction and tone.

Above: Electric Light

And while the gear is the same and the setup and preparation has not changed, I can see a response in the team around me and in the subject before the camera when I’m in this zone of being more present and intimately connected to the process of shooting. So it’s certainly more enjoyable, which is reward enough. And though it’s impossible to measure, I also believe this heightened attention and joy in the act of shooting can’t help but lead to better results in the final work.

Above: A behind-the-scenes look into a recent commercial fashion shoot

I would love to hear if others have had similar journeys and discoveries.






Hey gang, Brad here with a few things for you.

Landscape Photography Workshops in Iceland
Sean Duggan (who took the photo at the beginning of this post) is teaching two upcoming landscape photography workshops in Iceland. The first one is True North: Photographing the Interpretive Landscape in Iceland from June 26 – July 2.  And if you sign up before April 30, you get a 10% discount!

The second workshop is Icelandic Visions, along with Mike Shipman, from August 17-26. Head on over to Blue Planet Photo for all the info!

Scott + Scott = Photofocus
Scott Kelby recently joined Scott Bourne for the latest episode of Photofocus, where they talked about everything from press passes to lenses, memory cards, and much more! Head on over to to download Episode 73.

Kelby Training Online
Head on over to Kelby Training Online to check out the latest class from
RC Concepcion, Website Walkthrough Using WordPress: From Start to Finish. RC literally wrote the book on this topic, and this class is a great companion to that book!

Kelby Training Live
Ben Willmore is bringing the Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished tour to
Livonia, MI on April 28! This one has been rescheduled from April 27. Then he’ll be in Columbus, OH the very next day, April 29! Head on over to Kelby Training Live to register and get all the details.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Have a great Thursday!