Posts By Scott Kelby

I posted some of my favorite images from the race, and the story behind them, over at — if you’ve got a minute, here’s the link. 

What I didn’t postâ¦
…were the shots I never got to take because quite honestly, I kinda blew my game plan for covering this race by biting off way more than I could chew.

Anytime I’m covering an event, shooting sports, planning a complex location shoot, or even shooting a wedding, I start by coming up with a game plan based on what I want to come away with. It starts with the equipment I think I’ll need, and in this case it was a pretty simple set-up:

> Two bodies (I want to switch lenses as little as is humanly possible, so I’ll be carrying two bodies)
> Three lenses (1) My main lens would be a 200-400mm f/4 for the race action shots. (2) For getting shots of fans, vendors, etc. I would use a 24-105mm, and for wide sweeping shots of the track and downtown from up high, I’d use (3) the 16-35mm.
> A monopod to hold the long lens, a Black Rapid Strap for my 2nd body, and a Hoodman Loupe.

I was given a shot list of the things they needed me to cover (I was one of four photographers covering the event for them on race day), and it included everything from fans to fun to very specific race action, and lots of sweeping shots showing the race taking place on the waterfront (otherwise, the track shots could have been taken at any Indy event).

Where I went off track (no pun intended)
A solid game plan includes making good decisions about what you can cover in the time you have to cover it. The race lasts around 2-1/2 hours from start to finish, and I plotted out the course I wanted to take from one end of the track to the other. That was my first mis-step — this is a huge course — nearly 2 miles long and to get from one end to the other, making your way through huge crowds while lugging a bunch of gear, takes at least 20 minutes, especially if you decided to first climb up to an airport control tower for part of the race, and then soon after wait while your assistant gets shots from the top of a Ferris Wheel with a 30-minute wait to get on. I tried to do way more than I ever should have, and because of that I didn’t get to cover all things I really wanted to and as a result I didn’t come away with the type of shots that made me want to shoot the race in the first place.

Above: Here’s the view from the airport control tower that I really had no time to be up in, but at least I got a shot of the Ferris wheel that threw us off by 40-minutes. 

Eerily Similar Shots
The worst part — I pretty much came away with mostly similar shots to what I took last year. Nothing really new and special. I gambled on shooting from an office building outside the track (I had to actually leave the race track to reach the building), and while it was a great place to see the race from, there were so many trees obstructing the view that I only got around one single shot out of it, yet it took 20+ minutes to get there, and 15 or so minutes up there, and the race actually ended on our way back, because I didn’t manage my time well and tried to do WAY too much during a 2-1/2 hour time frame.

Above: I’m still smiling at this point because the race hasn’t started. LOL!! Photo by Rob “State of St. Pete” Foldy.

The Smart Thing Would Have Beenâ¦
To choose a few key locations, not far from each other, and really try to work those to come up with something special — not traipsing around a huge track where you spend more time walking than shooting. I was pretty cranked at myself (still am), but I learned a valuable lesson about not trying to cover too much ground, and too many different locations. It’s hard to find your “groove” when you’re constantly relocating.

Luckily, I was more concerned with getting the images the City needed than what I wanted, so I got a lot of shots for them (about 4x as many shots as I turned in last year), so that’s a good thing. The other good thing: I learned a valuable lesson about future game planning for an event. Come up with what I want to do, and then cut that number in half.

Today I’m only shooting one thing!
I’m out an airfield this morning for a sunrise shoot of one of the world famous Blue Angels — they’re rolling one out on the Tarmac for a group of photographers from the ISAP (the Int’l Society of Aviation Photography) along with an F22 Raptor. I’ll be tired, but I’m only shooting that one thing. OK, maybe two. ;-)

In case you missed itâ¦
Here’s the link.  to some of the shots I actually did get. :)

Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll be back on Monday to kick off Photoshop World Week!




If you can't make the full three-day training conference, how about a FREE Expo-only Pass for the upcoming Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in Atlanta in like 6 days? (April 8, 9, and 10th). That way, you can check out the show floor, see some cool gear, check out Adobe's tradeshow booth and all the fun stuff at the Expo portion of the show.

Even though these passes are $40 at the door,  if you register for your FREE pass now online, B&H Photo will pick up the tab for your Expo pass (how sweet is that!). 

Is it worth going to just the expo?
If you've never been to our Expo floor, it is truly awesome! There are lots of classes running on the Expo floor; tons of demos and special expo-only pricing on gear; Adobe will be there along with lots of software and hardware vendors (everyone from Canon to Epson to Westcott and more!), lots of cool stuff to see and learn (there’s a theater with free classes going all day), and totally lots of fun! Best of all â” it's free (if you reserver for your free tickets now, in advance).

Sign-up now for your free Expo-only pass (good for two admissions) right here.  (IMPORTANT: when you get to that page, scroll down and click on the “Free Expo Pass” button) then click “Register Now.”

See you in Atlanta next week!


P.S. I had hoped to have Indy Racing photos to post today, but I’m behind onâ¦.wellâ¦everything. Hopefully will have them ready soon. 

Hi Gang: I covered the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg all day yesterday. I have lots of stories, but I also have loads of shots to go through and I didn’t get home until late, so I don’t have images to post yet (well, here’s one, taken during a pit stop).

I hope to post more shots tomorrow along with a story that I hope will help you in covering events (what I learned will certainly help me).

Lots more going on this week (this is the week before the Photoshop World Conference in Atlanta), so I’d better run. Hope you all have a great Monday, and we’ll see you tomorrow for some Indy stuff. :)

Hope you have a rockin’ Monday!



Greetings from freakin’ cold Minneapolis!!!
Look, I was born and raised in Florida — I’m not sure I can function in temperatures below 60° and I have a seminar to do today here, so can somebody please call the convention center and make sure they have the heat turned on? ;-)

Looking forward to meeting everybody (over 300 photographers signed up for my class here today).

How to take a big leap in your portrait photography in just 64 minutes
If you thought you could really make a big improvement in the quality of your portraiture in just a little over an hour of your time, and it was totally free, you’d do it, right? Of course! Then sit down today, or this weekend, and watch Gregory Heisler from his appearance on our “Blind Critiques” episode of “The Grid” from this past Wednesday (posted here above). He just absolutely crushed it! I’ve already seen people on social media calling it our best episode ever, and you will be amazed at the way he communicates the how’s and whys of getting great portraits — it will change the way you think and shoot. Just brilliant! I say “Gregory Heisler for President in 2016!”

Two Tickets to Paradise!
OK, how about a chance to win a free ticket (for two lucky people) to my Salt Lake City stop for my “Shoot Like a Pro” tour? I haven’t been to Salt Lake City in about 10 years, and I’m excited about going (and catching lunch the day before at Crown Burger — I still remember it — it was that good!).

Anyway, I’ve got two FREE tickets (one ticket for two separate people). Just leave a comment here and you’re entered. I'll pick the winners on Monday. Good luck and I hope to see you there on April 14th (at the seminar. Not Crown Burger).

Here’s a quick video that explains the seminar (below):

OK, I’d better head over to the Convention Center. Looking forward to see a lot of you today (bring me some hot coffee and a blanket and maybe a snow plow!). ;-)

Have a great weekend!


P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in 10 days in Atlanta, there’s still time. Here’s the link. 

Thanks so much for your help everybody — your votes are in and I’m cutting the three images you see above, which will get me back down to my 24-image limit.

I have to say I was very surprised at how close the voting was, with only 84 votes separating first and last place. The yellow Ferrari rear detail shot (A) was the first choice by pretty decent margin.

Thanks again to everyone who participated — it helped a bunch. :)

Hi Gang: Can I get your help with something? I’m over my self-imposed limit on the number of images I have in my online automobile portfolio gallery (called “Personal Work” in my Sports portfolio — it’s a long story), and I was hoping you might help me trim things down. I did some of the leg work, by narrowing these down to these six images which are “on the bubble.”

Here’s how to vote
I can only keep THREE of the following images so I was hoping you’d choose your THREE favorites from these, let me know your choices, and then I’ll tally the votes and cut the other three remaining images. If you could vote in the comment section below — just give your picks by letter “A, B & C” or “C, D and E” etc., (the letters appear in the bottom right corner of each image).

Remember, only choose the THREE keepers by letter (and many thanks in advance). Here we go:

Many thanks for helping me out here. I’ll post which ones made the cut here once I count the votes.

Thanks again (and have an awesome Tuesday!). :)