Posts By Scott Kelby

Last week on “The Grid” we were doing our popular “Blind Critiques” episode (where viewers send in their best images for us to critique on-air, but we don’t give the photographer’s name — we just to through and review their images).

Anyway, in this episode we ran across this series of shots sent in by a photographer; they were scenes of some interestingly lit buildings in an office complex/entertainment area, most notably a “Hampton Inn” and the buildings nearby. While the shots were technically correct (exposure, composition, sharpness) they were just find of “nothing” shots. We were actually struggling a bit to describe precisely why these shots were so lackluster, when I viewer (JWPhoto) sent in this very insight comment that I think absolutely nailed what was happening in these photos. He said:

“These are ‘Hunting Shots.” This photographer is hunting for a photo, and these just say “Is this it? How about this?” Nothing that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and says “Here! Look!”   –JWPhoto

I knew he was right, because I’ve been there myself so many times when I’ve been standing in front of a scene that looks really great while I’m standing there, but then once you put the camera to your eye, and start taking photos, you’re not seeing images that look as cool as the scene. So your start hunting. You start “working the scene” to find a way to express what you’re standing in front of in a way that people viewing your image will hopefully think, “Wow!” too. That process of working the scene — that’s really good, and it’s what we should be doing — working, hunting, experimenting to uncover that image.

So, where did this photographer fall down then? He never “found” that shot, yet he sent in his “hunting photos” as examples of his best work to be critiqued. He sent in the photos he took before he ever found a really intriguing shot, or a really unusual angle, or composition, or some other unique thing that would make anyone look at his image and think something more than “Well, it’s properly exposed.”

I posted the episode above, and if you scrub over to around to 1 hr, and 20-seconds mark, you can see the critique of this photographer’s work, and why we were struggling so much to put it into works (which is where JWPHoto can in and really gave it context and meaning).

It’s OK to have “Hunting Shots.” We all do. I have thousands. But it’s our job as photographers to be good editors of our work, and to not add those hunting shots to our portfolios. Every time we go hunting with our camera, we shouldn’t expect to always come away with a prize. It’s unrealistic. But our job and our challenge (and what makes all this so much fun) is to keep hunting until we do capture that prized image. When you get it, you’ll know.

The hunt is on! :)


Last year, after my trip to Rome (where I led a local walk as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk), I did a live Webcast about the trip where I shared some of the spreads from the photo book I always create after a trip (here’s a link to that Webast), and while I posted that video here on my blog, I never actually shared the images here.

Well, since  then, I’ve fallen in love with the photographic story-telling site which was born for things like this (I first used them for sharing my favorite football shots of this season), and I was looking for another opportunity to use Exposure again, so I used it to tell my Rome story.

If you’ve got a quick minute, I hope you’ll check it out — here’s the link.

Here’s wishing you a warm, cozy Monday no matter how freezing cold it might be where you are. :)



Happy Friday everybody! Here’s a few quickies to take you into the weekend:

If Only This Software Actually Existed
I shared this wild video on social media yesterday, and was asking the question, “Is this software real?” Apparently, it’s not — it’s a music video with a message, but man do I love the on-screen interface, and what it does (well, theoretically) is amazing. Either way, the video had to be really challenging to make. Give it a quick look — it’ll totally blow your mind.

Dissolve: changing the playing field for stock video clips
I predict this is gonna blow up big time: it’s called “Dissolve” and it’s a very clever, super-low cost stock video footage service. They’re licensing HD video clips starting at an average of around $5 a clip, which is a game-changer price. It’s from one of the co-founders of istockphoto, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns into the next big thing. The video above does a clever job of explaining why you might want to license stock video in the first place. Here’s a link to their site, and their blog. Looks really interesting.

Matt’s Long Exposure Online Class is Getting Big Love!
I didn’t even do the class, and people are emailing me about how much they love it. Matt (Kloskowski) told me of all the classes he’s done at KelbyOne, this one has really just struck a chord with people on a level he never expected. If you’re a KelbyOne subscriber, you gotta go watch Matt’s class. Here’s the link.

Come spend the day with me in Tampa
My first seminar of the season is coming next month as my “Shoot Like a Pro” tour comes to Tampa, Florida. Hope you can come join me for the day. Here’s the link if you wanna come. :)

Count Your Blessings, Folks
This has nothing to do with Photography or photography, but if you take just a couple of minutes and watch this video clip, it will astound you (and seriously remind you count your blessings, and remind us to stop complaining about life’s little inconveniences). You’ll truly admire what this amazing man does for his family. I am speechless.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend; try to stay warm, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

A few days ago, just for fun, I started doing these short little Photoshop tips, between 20 and 30-something seconds long (well, that’s the goal anyway), and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on them. I just cover one little thing; so far it’s been some little-known shortcuts, and I’m not sure exactly what’ll I’ll be covering from day to day, but here’s the first three I created.

I don’t talk on these (a big bonus for some) — I do it all using text (that way I can just bang these out right when I think of them, without having to go to the studio). You should hear the “click” sound from my computer, but for some reason the 2nd one didn’t include the click audio. Anyway, here they are — hope you find ’em helpful.

NOTE: If you don’t want to miss any of my Micro Tips, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here. 

All my best,


Above: A tip on picking fonts visually — it rocks! YouTube didn’t give me a decent choice for the thumbnail — so it just has this black screen. Ugh.

P.S. Tomorrow, on “The Grid” we have an awesome guest, our buddy (and action photographer), Tom Bol. If you’re not familiar with Tom’s work, or his classes on KelbyOne, you will totally love him! See you tomorrow at 4pm at this link

Adobe released a bunch of new features yesterday for Creative Cloud subscribers, and I’m sharing some of the videos they created to showcase the new features here on the blog, like the one above which introduces Perspective Warp (really handy for people who are bad at shooting images for compositing. OK, sorry, I couldn’t’ resist).

Above: That’s an overview of the new Photoshop CC features

Above: This is one a lot of folks are psyched about â” linked Smart Objects.

Above: 3D printing from Photoshop. Sounds like something Corey Barker would do, right?

Above: This one’s from Adobe’s own Julieanne Kost, and she’s revealing some of the little tweaks, enhancements and little improvements added to Photoshop CC

There’s a list of these little enhancements over at Jeff Tranberry’s blog (here’s the link).

There’s some fun stuff to work on this weekend — hope it’s a great one, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. Cheers. :)


P.S. Besides these new features announced yesterday, Adobe released a number of new little tweaks and improvements to Camera Raw back in December of 2013, but the announcement slipped past a lot of folks. Stuff like “Auto Temperature” and “Auto Tint” for white balance, and kind of an “Auto Levels” for automatically setting the Whites and Blacks sliders, among other new little tweaks. The full list of Camera Raw tweaks from December are at this link.