Posts By Scott Kelby

Above: Here’s the final image. Click on it so you can see it larger (it makes it much more epic). 

Now, you’ll notice I didn’t see “the” recipe â” I said “a” recipe (because there are many), but this is one I use again and again, in lots of different situations, that’s surprisingly quick and easy to pull off. But first, a behind-the-scenes shot (below).

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot. My camera is down low on a Gitzo tripod with the legs splayed out wide about as far as they can go. I’m shooting tethered into the laptop you see beside me â” going straight into Lightroom. I think that’s Brad with some serious hip action way off to the left. Dang hippie.

There are three ingredients in this recipe:

(1) A super wide angle lens
The wider the better (here I’m using a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 wide angle zoom, and I’m at 16mm). If you’re shooting a full frame camera, this is one of those times where its full-frameness pays off because your wide angle lens are wider. If you’re shooting a crop sensor camera, a 24-70mm won’t get you wide enough, even at 24mm â” you’re going to need something wider, like a 10mm or a 12mm wide angle (but not a fisheye). Think “super wide.”

(2) You need to get down really low 
Really super low (like you see me above). I’m not quite comfortable with lying down to get the ‘epic’ look, so I’m using a tripod with the legs splayed way out, but this getting low part is incredibly important to creating the bigness of the shot. Once you’re down low, it’s really important to get the floor in front of you in the shot â” it’s key to the bigness of the look. Also, if you can include the ceiling and the floor in the same shot, it really takes it over the top.

(3) You need a great location
I know that kind of seems like it goes without saying, but if you try this technique and your shot doesn’t look “epic” you have to ask yourself if you’re shooting in a location that is really interesting. I was shooting yesterday on the front porch of a beautiful gothic church and I did this technique and it just looked great (but I actually just put the camera right on the floor â” tilted it up on my camera strap, and took a blind shot to start, and just tweaked the position a little. It looked great. Ya know why? It was the right technique WITH the right location.

So really, if you’re already shooting at a great location, it’s really just two steps.

Above: Here’s the flip side behind-the-scenes shot, but this was taken a few minutes before I realized I wasn’t getting low enough to make the shot look really epic, so after this was taken we took my laptop off my tripod stand, and I used that tripod. Off in the distance is my team (Hendricke doing make-up and Lexi doing hair, Brad and Julio and Lynn helping on the set and Kalebra doing all the art direction and styling). 

Anyway, next time you find yourself shooting in a great location, try going for the big ‘epic’ look by using these two steps: (1) Use a super-wide angle lens, and (2) get down really low, almost to the floor, and include lots of the floor, and ideally the roof, in the shot.

Hope you find this recipe helpful, and here’s wishing you an ‘epic’ weekend with lots of amazing locations. :)

All my best,


Oh man, it’s been a long time since last football season â” nearly seven months, but preseason has already started and next Friday I’m shooting my first Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game (I’m shooting the Bucs for Zuma Press again this season, and I’ll be picking up some other games when the Bucs are on the road).

Hoping to do some more fun things with remote cameras this seasons, but not sure I’ll be doing any on Saturday (but I will be scoping out a possible remote location for the regular season opener).

Anyway, I thought I’d share what was my first photo-post ever over on, which was a post on my favorite shots of 2013 (see below), and if you’ve got a sec (and you’re ready for some football), here’s the link. 

So, next Monday we’ll see my first shots of the season (Bucs vs Dolphins), and I’m sure I’ll probably be a bit rusty, but man will I have a big smile on my face at about an hour before kickoff on Saturday night when I walk through the tunnel out onto the field and start to sweat in that humid Florida heat. But I don’t care. Football is back!

Hope you guys have a non-humid, nicely air-conditioned ‘but football is back so I don’t care’ kinda day! :)



****NOTE: Sign-ups for the walks will be open today at 3:00 PM (New York Time).****

I'm very excited to announce the official date for: Scott Kelby's 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walkâ„¢ (the world's largest Photo Walk, with walks in over 1,200 cities last year) and  we want you to be a part of this fun, free, global, photography social event.

Here's a quick Q&A with all the details.

Q. When is the official Photo Walkâ„¢ day?
A. The official date is Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Q. What exactly is a Photo Walk?
A. Watch the short video clip above and you'll get the idea.

Q. Is there a fee to participate ?
A. It's totally free, but this year we’re “Walking with a Purpose” and by that I  mean we’re hoping you will find it in your heart to donate just $1 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya when you sign up for your walk.  We’re trying to raise $50,000 to help them feed, clothe and house some wonderful children. 100% of your $1 goes directly to the orphanage (it’s a very small orphanage, housing 33 kids, but feeding many more each day). So, if you could donate $1 when you’re on the site (just one buck) you have no idea what a difference it will make (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. This year, we walk with a purpose. :)

Q. If I have led a walk or participated in previous years, can I use the same login info to sign up for a walk this year?
A. No. To save everyone the hassle of trying to remember or retrieve their login info, we’re asking you to create a new account this year. That way we know we have your current email address so you don’t miss out on important messages.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader) will get a full-year of KelbyOne Online (normally $249) but their image is also entered into the main photo competition vying for thousands of dollars in prizes.  From those winners (chosen by the local walk leaders) I choose 10-finalists, who all get tons of great prizes, and then I choose a Grand Prize winner. Plus, there's a People's Choice award winner as well, as voted on by the walkers themselves. 

Q. I watched the video and I see that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean there's a really cool Grand Prize?
A. You know it. Canon is giving the Grand Prize Winner Canon EOS 70D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. How sweet is that!

Q. Can I still come if I don't shoot a Canon camera?
A. Of course â” the photo walk is open to everybody, no matter what type of camera you use (but of course you might just win that new 70D in the photo competition  â” hey, ya never know!)

Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Everything from subscriptions to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Bundle, to Wacom tablets, B&H Photo Gift Cards,  and more. I'll have a blog post about ALL the prizes next week, but the list is getting cra-zay! (we have some awesome sponsors!)

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. Yupâ”we already have nearly 250 walks set-up all over the world, with more being added every day!

Q. How did those cities gets walks already?
A. We give the previous year's Photo Walk leaders advance notice to lead a walk again in the current year (after allâ”they're seasoned leaders).

Q. So are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
 Absolutely! I'm planning on leading a walk in Swingin’ London baby, Yeah! (but I’m running into a logistical problem so I haven’t posted my walk up there yet. Hope to in a day or so once I get it worked out).

Q. How can I find out if there's a walk in my area?
A. Go to the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the "Find Walks" link at the top right, then type in the city, state, and/or country where you want to walk, and if there are any walks already organized, they'll be listed on the right side (and you'll see pins on the map in your area). And if you don't see any in your area, keep checking back because, like I said before, new walks are being added every day.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website just click on the "Lead a Walk" button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We're looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you're the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you've lead Photo Walks in your area before, etc., you're likely to get accepted to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that's the type of experience we're looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don't want to enter your images, you absolutely don't have to (it's just to make the experience more fun, and if you don't think joining the contest is fun, you surely don't have to upload even a single photo for the contest). You can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private "secret" photos.

Q. Did you get any complaints about how the winners were chosen?
 Are you kidding? Absolutely! People get pretty cranked if they think one of their images deserved to be the winner but wasn't chosen by their leader or by me as a finalist. I have people send me angry emails because their leader picked what they (and their friends) think is the "wrong photo," but heyâ”that's the thing about artâ”it's subjective. At the end, I pick one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists, and I catch some heat for that, too, but I'm OK with it. Surprisingly, I've never heard one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners. ;-)

Q. What do I get for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. You also get a full year of KelbyOne Online Training (normally $249) and you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a year as well Plus, that person you chose is entered into the grand prize competition for a bunch of insane prizes (or they could wind up as one of my top-10 finalists, and still win lots of cool prizes). We also have a "People's Choice Award" where you vote for the best shot, and a special competition just for Photo Walk leaders.

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
A. We have that, too! We started it two years as a way to honor the work of our leaders (we'll contact the leaders after the walk with info on how to enter an image in the Leader's competition), and we're doing it again this year.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for walkers & leaders?
A. You betcha! Each year, our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea of selling t-shirts to raise money for (you guessed it), the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts will go to feeding and care for these great kids. Last year (with Rob's gracious help and contributionswe raised over $10,000 just last year (imagine how much $10,000 means to an orphanage in Africa). I'm so grateful that Rob wanted to help us once again this year (Rob rocks!).

We’re going to make a special announcement when the shirts are ready for sale – so make sure you keep checking the Worldwide Photo Walk website!

We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders â” you'll find the link on your leader's dashboard).

We’re hoping to raise $15,000 from the t-shirt sales for the Springs of Hope Orphanage (we can do it!!!!, which means we’d only need to raise $35,000 ($1 at a time) from our walkers to hit our $50,000 goal.

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list, so definitely get on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Each Photo Walk is limited to a maximum of 50 photographers. If that doesn't sound like a lot, you haven't seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It's more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Here's the full explanation.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing; what's involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
There's a detailed FAQ on the Website (here's the link), and once you're signed up for a walk, we've made it much easier for your Walk Leader to keep you up-to-date with messages on your local Walk page.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. We are going to keep making regular posts on the Worldwide Photo Walk website.  You’ll hear from people like RC Concepcion, Brad Moore, JBon– and I'll be popping in there as well. From tips, new prize alerts, and general information – it’ll be a great source for you to check regularly through this signup period.

Of course you can follow the action for the World Wide Photo Walk on our Twitter Account ( )   and  Facebook Page: .  If you want to talk about the walk socially – use the hashtag #wwpw2014 

Q. So when can I sign up to be either a walker or a Walk Leader?
A. Starting at 3:00 pm today (New York Time) Here's the link, and I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose, to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage” and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!


So what exactly is pruning?
Many of us have been posting our images online for years now. We started with a SmugMug account, a Squarespace portfolio, or a flickr account or 500px, or maybe even a custom portfolio site of our own, and we put up whatever our best images were at the time. Of course, over the years we’ve gotten better at photography and we’ve uploaded lots of newer, better images, right? In fact,  if you were to look back now at those images you posted five years ago, you’d probably cringe, right? (I know I would â” sadly I wouldn’t have to go back that far).

The problem is (and I was reminded of this vividly while doing some online research for a trip), that although our images are much better today than they were five years ago, there’s a good chance those cringe-worthy images are still alive and well on your portfolio page (or on Smugmug, or flickr or whatever). I ran across this so many times â” I’d find a photographer’s site or 500px page and his stuff was amazing, but on page two it wasâ¦wellâ¦less amazing. By page three it was stuff he had done a few years ago and those images were  just OK. Page four was even worse â” you could tell he posted these when he first started, and they’re not bad, but they’re not real good.

The first question: Why is there a page 4?
It’s probably because you really haven’t thought about it in a while, and now you only look at page one where all your “best stuff” is, but other people often dig deeper, and the deeper they dig, they less impressed they become. For example, when I would see the front page of a photographer’s gallery and think “Man, this guy is good!” by the time I got to their 2nd page, I’d start thinking⦓Wow, I guess he isn’t as good as I thought” and by page three I’ve lost all interest in this guy’s work because his stuff is getting worse and worse (and really, it’s just his earlier work, which just simply isn’t as good as his current work).

If your best work is on your first page (or first set of images), then what’s on your 2nd page? The shots that weren’t good enough to make the first page â” where you put your best work. So, page two is your second rate work, right? My question to you is: “Why would you show anybody your 2nd rate work?” If that’s the case, what’s on page 3? See where this is going? Prune it big time, and leave them wanting more.

Don’t use this the “age old” excuseâ¦
When I’ve talked one-on-one to photographers about this, the one persistent excuse I’ve heard is “I think potential clients would be interested to see how my work has progressed over time, and how much better I am today.” That only works for your mom. She’ll be proud of how far you’ve come. But a potential client is about to see some really cringe-worthy work from you â” why would you chance that? What do you have to gain by keeping cringne-worthy pictures still up online for everybody to see? We know the downside. Where’s the upside?

That’s why I’m proclaiming today as “Prune Your Port Friday”
Take a few minutes right now â” dig through your SmugMug account, your flickr account, squarespace, 500px â” you name it and delete any shots that make you cringe even just a little. If you’ve got galleries that are more than a page deep, it’s time to prune. If you have shots in there you know aren’t that good, but for some reason you can’t explain it but you “just like ’em” it’s time to prune (keep those on your computer. That way if you miss them, you can still look at them. Do this when you’re alone).

Those old shots aren’t helping â” they’re hurting â” and you’ll feel so much better after cleaning house a bit and leaving just your new stuff, your strong stuff, your best stuff out there for the world to see. This is who you are today as a photographer. This is what you’re capable of. This is what they can expect from you. This is the real you, now. Let them see the real you and what you can do. I’ll bet they’ll be impressed.

If you’ve got a lot of images, this might make a great weekend project, and man is that a perfect segue segueway for me to wish you an awesome weekend of pruning, and we’ll see you back here on Monday for a very important announcement (one that many of you have been waiting for, forâ¦ohâ¦about a year).



I shared this shot last Friday on Social Media and here’s what I wrote:

“I hesitate to even post this shot from yesterday’s bridal shoot (Kalebra was there doing the art direction and she was just amazing). It’s one of my favorites but I hesitate to post it because I emailed it to a buddy last night and he said “Selective Color?” Of course, it’s not. There’s lots of other color in the image. Please don’t make me regret sharing it with a chorus of selective color comments. Many thanks.”

So, I held my breath, and posted the image. Luckily the comments were very kind (over 160 that day), except for the usual few unsolicited critiques (groan), but then one of the commenters, Daniel Nicholas said something thatâ¦wellâ¦here’s what he wrote:

“I love it!!! He must be color blind lol”

The moment I read it, it hit me. Oh my gosh â” my friend actually is color blind!!! I am not making this up. I just about fell on the floor!!! My friend was just ribbing me either way, but literally laughed out loud the moment I read that, and felt a whole lot better about sharing it.

Anyway, here’s a behind-the-scenes photo — and if you look on the screen you’ll see the final image is very close to what was captured (more in the caption below the photo).

Above: While she was well lit from the front, from behind it was pretty dark, and I wanted to over-exposed the background so it would blow out to white (for effect), so I had to use a tripod. I actually started with the tripod extended up over my head and used a stepladder (a LadderKart actually), but I kept getting parts of the ceiling in the shot so I finally lowered it and came back down. 

Camera Settings:
This was shot at f/3.2 at 1/10 of a second. My ISO was 640 (I was on a tripod so I could have lowered the ISO quite a bit, but it would have slowed the shutter speed down a lot and if she moved even a little, it would be blurry, so I left it where it was. I was shooting a Canon 1Dx so the noise doesn’t show anyway).

I’m shooting tethered into Lightroom 5.5, and that’s Julio (our 2nd assistant on the shoot â” Brad Moore took this behind-the-scenes shot). Kalebra is a few feet behind Julio so she can see the screen and direct the bride). We have a Tethertools laptop stand we usually mount on the tripod, but it was trickier than it looks on those stairs so we removed it and Julio just held the laptop. He loves holding laptops. It’s a sickness.

It helps to have an amazing venue, and we sure did. This was taken at the Kapok Tree Event Center in Clearwater, Florida. It is literally attached to, and shares the same parking lot as Sam Ash Music. I think I should get some points for completing this shoot and never walking into Sam Ash, even though I walked directly past their front door. I think that was my biggest accomplishment for the day, but when I returned to the office, the used Boss Super Chorus stomp box I ordered had arrived, so somehow it all worked out.

I think you can see, the camera part of this was simple â” what made this come together was having Kalebra doing the art direction, and having the vision for this shot in the first place â” that just left me to compose, get the exposure I was looking for, and hit the shutter button. We make a great team. :)

Hope you all have an awesome Tuesday, and we’ll see you here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday. :)



Mornin’ everybody! :)

If you’ve been following me here on the Blog for a while, you know I’ve been doing a series of articles for Coca Cola and their “Journey” project, and they just released my latest article â” this one is on travel photography and I shared a few of my very favorite tips, including some behind-the-scenes how-to shots.

It’s live now over at the CocaCola Company Website (here’s the link).

Hope you find it helpful. :)



P.S. Just a reminder â” the deadline to save $100 for the Photoshop World Conference in Vegas  (using the Early-Bird Discount) is tonight at Midnight. If you’re going to come join us â” sign up today and save that hundred bucks!!! (you can use that $100 for Blackjackâ¦.er, I mean taxi fares and burgers). Here’s the link.