Posts By Scott Kelby

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Greetings from The Photography Show in Birmingham, UK. First, what an awesome show this is! I was surprised at how large it is (about the size of Photo Plus Expo in NYC), with row upon row of vendors selling everything from cameras (Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Sony) are all here, and there’s tons of camera bag dealers; Elinchrom is here; Westcott is here (quite a treat to walk past their booth and see one of my demos of their lighting playing in their booth); the gang from 3-Legged-Thing tripods are here; Wacom is here; Epson is here; everybody is here! Awesome show and incredibly energy. Photo above by Peter Treadway of Hybrid Photography.

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Yesterday I did a sold out session on their “Super Stage” (they also have a “Live Stage” moderated by my dear friend Dave Clayton) where they do live lighting demos and model shoots, and I’m teaching it again today at 10:30 am. (photo above and all the ones below by David Williams of Hybrid Photography).

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Such a great crowd to present to – incredibly gracious and fun. I did an hour session, a 30-minute open Q&A, and I wrapped up with something for the crowd to think about for 2016. So much fun! (and such a well-run, well organized show).

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This is me gesturing. Why is there a “dent” in the middle of my hair? I’ll tell you why — funky blow drier in my hotel room (yes, I know I’m the last living person using  a blow dryer. I get it).

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I’ve spent the past three days with these two awesome guys (L: Peter Treadway, me [duh] and Dave Williams, often confused with famous actor Toby Maguire, but without the fame, the girls, and money, and talent, and charm, and fancy cars, and tailored clothes, and…well…you get the picture). ;-)  By the way — please ignore the fact that when Dave took this selfie of us, he cut off Peter’s ear. They’re both very sensitive about it.

If you’re at the show tomorrow and you see me, please create a momentary distraction so I can sneak away from these two stalkers guys, so I can escape back to London for my flight home tomorrow.

Glyn and Dave. Two top bananas! 
While Peter and Dave are clearly two dodgy characters, we did meet up with two of my dear friends: Photoshop World instructors Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton, and we had dinner together this evening and it was just absolutely wonderful. Worth the trip over just to spend some time with them. Absolutely top men!

Tomorrow we are planning on doing a very special episode of The Grid (with a tour of The Photography Show floor, and including our guest Dave Clayton, and the Hybrid Boys: Peter and Dave), which will air at its usual time of Wednesday at 4pm New York Time – that is if every single little technical thing in the world works out just right, so you know…it’s a lock. ;-)

Thanks in advance to exhibitors Calumet Photo and the folks at Rode mic’s for helping us out with gear for our Grid episode today (big love to you both).

Cheers,

-Scott

P.S. I have learned a LOT of very bad English phrases from Peter and Dave, which I will not repeat back in America even though some sound totally innocent, but honestly, I think at this point they’re just making them up anyway. 

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Above: That’s Peter, Dave and me with St. Paul’s Cathedral in the background as we continued our series of photos of me posing in front of amazing places that won’t give me permission to shoot inside. ;-)

Howdy folks. Greetings from Birmingham, UK – I’m here for “The Photography Show” where I’m speaking today and tomorrow. I was excited to learn that my presentation today was already sold out in advance (whoo hoo!), and I’m super looking forward to meeting everybody here.

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I’ve spent the past couple of days here in London having a blast with two of my photography buddies: Peter Treadway and Dave Williams (from Hybrid Photography), and we’ve had such a fun time shooting and other stuff (see below). #smize #bingo #dodgy #silentletters

Here are some highlights of the trip so far:

(1) We stood at the banks of the River Thames and looked out at the MI6 Headquarters building across the river that was blown up in a recent James Bond Movie (see video below); we Googled the lyrics to Skyfall, and the three of us sang the chorus full voice (and it was quite glorious by the way), before going in to the Tate Museum to shoot its beautiful spiral staircase.

https://youtu.be/rh_us78fTlI

(2) We ate at Byron Burger, which was my favorite burger place in the UK (replacing my beloved Gourmet Burger Kitchen [GBK] a few years back), until I learned and experienced an even better burger: The Meat Market, in Covent Garden. Legendary! The new reigning UK burger champ in my book. The hamburger scene here is real!

(3) We went to a Tube Station and talked with a guard who let us take some shots shooting up at the escalators (yes, it’s a thing). He was cool with it as long as we didn’t use flash or a tripod, but then later a big booming voice came over the loudspeakers saying “Photographers at the bottom of escalators 14 and 15, if you don’t have permission — desist immediately.” We had permission, so we continued on for a while and then wrapped up because we had to move on to our next spot, which was…well…not what I expected.

(4) We had special permission to shoot in this beautiful, classic old theater, and it was beautiful…well…in parts. I had seen thumbnail photos of it on Google on my iPhone from an article in The Guardian online about London’s hidden interiors. The name of this classic old theater was the Gala Bingo Hall, and I figured at one time, perhaps back in the 1930s, it was a classic old bingo hall. Here’s how the Guardian described it:

“The Gala Bingo Club is the only Grade I-listed cinema in England, and one of the most lavish in Europe. It opened on 7 September 1931 as the flagship of Sydney Bernstein’s Granada empire. The exterior was a fairly conventional affair but what set the Granada apart was the interior: designed by Russian theatre designer and impresario Theodore Komisarjevsky. The real climax is the colossal auditorium, designed to seat 3,000. It has an intricate coffered Gothic ceiling, arcaded walls and gabled Gothic canopies suspended over the proscenium arch.”

All of that is true. However, what they failed to mention in that article is that it is no longer an elegant Grade-I cinema, as the Gala Bingo hall is actually now just that — a Bingo hall! Beyond that, it has no stage — it’s been replaced with a snack bar, video screens with bingo numbers and prize amounts, plus rows of booths for people playing (wait for it, wait for it) live bingo!

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Above: This is the moment of sadness when you release that the Gala Bingo Hall is in fact, a Bingo Hall and not the only Grade 1 cinema house in all of England. Selfie by a sad Dave Williams.

So, it’s somewhat possible that my research (ahem) on this venue might not have been as tight as it should be. We still shot it, and did our best to hide the snack bar and slot machines and such, and I might have come away with something that’s not too bad, because I was using a 14mm lens, and the stage was so far away (we went to the last row of the balcony), and then of course, there’s Photoshop to hide some of that stuff (but it won’t be easy).

There’s a lesson here: Many photographers already know this, but the main reason you want “fixers” in a foreign country is so you can continuously place blame upon them, and don’t worry — I heaped it on Peter and Dave and they took it like the brave young men they are (though neither are young or brave, which made it even more fun).

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Above: Me shooting Random Stuff at Somerset House (photo by Dave Williams). 

(5) We learned that in 97.2% of all cases, Uber X drivers in London will pick you up in a Toyota Prius. You can bank on it. Nothing wrong with a Prius, just kind of funny after a while. They should just name it Prius X over here. Also, you can ask to go to well known places and most of the drivers will have no idea where they are. For example, Us: “Can you take us to the House of Parliament?” Driver: “Do you have an address?” Or “Can you take us to Buckingham Palace?” Driver: “Is that a Marriott?”

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(6) Saturday night we got special permission to enter the compound at 10 Downing Street (the British Prime Minister’s Home, and the UK equivalent of The White House). We didn’t go inside and hang out with David Cameron, of course, but we did get to meet his house cat and pose in front of his front door, which is (as you might imagine) a super restricted area and behind some pretty high security, so that was pretty cool.

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(7) I did my first ever Airbnb rental and it turned out really great! An entire apartment, just outside the Buckingham Palace gardens (right around the corner from Victoria Station), and it was literally half the price of a room at the Hilton, and 5x the space, with a full kitchen, beautiful bathroom, great natural light, but a very, very unusual closet situation. Check my Facebook page, and you’ll see a live video tour of my “Swinging London Pad” and you’ll see what I mean. I’ve never seen anything like it (neither had Peter or Dave). It’s clever, but just …wow.

(8) At breakfast yesterday Peter offered me a taste of “black pudding.” It looked kind of funky so I passed. It wasn’t until after I passed that he told me black pudding is pig’s blood wrapped in the lining of the pig’s intestines. It’s lucky for Peter that I didn’t actually taste it, as that would be the defining moment when our friendship officially ended. I told him, you have an amazing selection of food in this country, from every corner of the world. Why would you voluntarily eat pig’s blood wrapped in the lining of a pig’s intestines? He will never be able to give me a satisfactory reason I could possibly accept.
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Above: I can’t swear this is even us, but the guy on the left could be an American. 

(9) We took lots of photos in lots of different places, from architectural shots to cathedral interiors, to rooftop shots; we shot inside museums, we shot in Tube Stops, we went to Somerset House and shot the wrong spiral staircase (the old one, not the cool new one), and Dave flirted with a German waitress at Byron Burger, and went so far as to leave her his phone number on the bill. We’re still waiting for her to call him. I’m starting to get concerned, but ya know…love takes time. ;-)

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(10) Peter and Dave took me to some Awesome guitar stores! This one (shown above) was my favorite though — it’s called “Hanks” and apparently it’s quite famous in the UK, and its 2nd floor was guitar heaven. I didn’t buy any…but I wanted to! Awesome vibe in that store – just something about it (and it’s right next to Tin Pan Alley where,back in the day, musicians  would post job openings with bands. Story has it The Beatles used that job board in the early days).

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Above: random British guys on a train. Not Peter and Dave if that’s what you’re thinking. ;-)

(11) As I write this, we’re on a train from London to Birmingham  and we’re meeting up with two of the best guys in the world (and two of the most talented): Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis. Can’t wait to see them both. Seriously love these guys!

OK, that’s it from here in the Swingin’ UK. I’ll be sharing the photos later in the week – maybe doing an Adobe Slate or Exposure post, and I’ll share that link when I post it.

Looking forward to meeting everybody here today – please come and say “Hi” if you’re here at The Photography Show, and here’s wishing you a less weird than my weekend Monday. :)

Best,

-Scott (and my train mates Peter and Dave)

P.S. We’ve already sold out some of the Pre-Conference workshops at Photoshop World this summer , so if you’re thinking of taking one of these optional in-depth workshops the day before the conference begins, make sure you book ’em now!

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This week we were very fortunate to have Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neil Hughes in our studios (he was taping a KelbyOne class on using Adobe’s Mobile Apps, plus he did a live private Webcast exclusively for our members, and he was also my guest on The Grid on Wednesday). Basically, Bryan didn’t get much sleep  this week.

Anyway, if you missed any of this…
I’ve got the next best thing, which are some short clips where Bryan is giving you a glimpse of the power of some of these amazing apps (and once you see them, you’ll be even more amazed to learn that Adobe makes all of these apps available for FREE!).

Take a look at these three short videos (below) on these mobile apps in the Photoshop family: Photoshop Fix, Photoshop Mix, and Photoshop Sketch. (I’ll share some more app videos next week). A lot of folks were literally blown away at what these apps are able to do, and how they extend the power of editing your images to mobile. Really incredible stuff (and thanks Bryan for an incredible week of learning Adobe’s awesome free mobile apps).

https://youtu.be/OpvCgARhvXY

https://youtu.be/DL27l4QvhIo

https://youtu.be/40t1Ou9rnKM

We’re cooking up lots of cool training on mobile apps, including classes on Lightroom Mobile at this summer’s Photoshop Conference 2016 in Las Vegas (Bryan will be teaching there again this year), so I hope you can make it. If you’re a KelbyOne member, and you sign up before June 10th, you can get a full conference pass for all three days, with nearly 100 sessions to choose from, for just $599. Here’s the link with details.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see ya back here on Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m off to London today and I’ll be speaking at “The Photography Show” on Monday and Tuesday. I hope to meet you in person there. Can’t wait! :)

https://youtu.be/sikiUkymskk

I’ve already seen comments online saying “…it’s our best episode ever,” and that sure wasn’t hurt by the fact that our in-studio guest was none other than renowned wildlife and aviation photographer Moose Peterson.

Our topic was “10 Things Photographers Should Stop Doing Now!” and man did we cover a lot of ground (including tackling some fairly controversial topics).

An interesting thread between commenters were from people who watched the show live (the Grid airs every Wednesday at 4pm EDT), but then went back and re-watched it a second or even a third time. I hope you find it helpful (and you can watch it right here above).

Tomorrow, on “The Grid, my guest is Adobe’s own Bryan O’Neil Hughes
A lot of you already know Bryan from his appearances during the Photoshop World opening keynote, or from his feature articles in Photoshop User magazine, and tomorrow we’re talking mobile editing apps. You are going to super-dig this episode tomorrow, and of course we’re taking your questions and comments live on the air. Come join us tomorrow at 4pm (you’re going to see some really cool stuff!)

Hope your Tuesday is even better than your Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. We’re also doing a private “members-only” live Webcast tomorrow with Bryan, just for KelbyOne members, and he’s going to reveal some “secret apps” during this exclusive broadcast, including some that members will be able to download tomorrow. Keep an eye on your inbox for the invite. 

Hi Gang: Happy Monday (I know, that’s a bit of a stretch this early in the day, right?).

If you’re planning on going to the Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas this summer (and I hope that you are — it’s open to everyone), I wanted to list the sessions I’m teaching (there are nearly 100 sessions but I hope you’ll check out a couple of mine).

Now, if you’re wondering, “What’s Photoshop World?” take a look at this highlight clip from last year’s conference (below). We played a longer version of this at the conference wrap up (this is just a two-minute clip), but it gives you a really good idea of what it’s like being there.

https://youtu.be/L_W3mUA7_7Q

Anyway, here’s what I’m teaching this year:

Essentials of Designing With Type
Bad type can ruin a really great photo and in this session, I’m going to show you how to create poster layouts, photo book covers, web graphics and more so your type complements your work, rather than destroying it. You’ll learn everything from the basics of typography including which fonts to use, when, and why, and how to create simple, beautiful-looking designs (it’s easier than you’d think). This class will change the way you think about and use type and photos together from this point on.

Unlocking The Power of Lightroom Mobile
If you’re ready to take your Lightroom CC workflow beyond the desktop, you’ve got to check out this session that expands and extends the way you use Lightroom in a very cool way. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the things you can do with Lightroom on your mobile device, including some really interesting stuff you can do Web-wise that if you haven’t learned yet, you’re totally going to love (and so will your clients).

Creating Beautiful Photo Books in Lightroom 
In this session you’ll learn how to create beautiful photo books from right within Lightroom itself. You’ll see the entire workflow, step-by-step and exactly how to create your own custom photo books the easy way, plus I’m going to share a few tricks on creating your own custom layouts that I think you’ll really find helpful. Lots of little tips, tricks, and time-saving techniques.

Lightroom Killer Tips
This is an updated version of one of my most popular classes at Photoshop World, with lots of cool new tips, workarounds, shortcuts, and things to make you faster, more effective, and just have more fun using Lightroom. You’re going to learn real, practical techniques you can put to work the very next day.

Anyway, if you’re going, I’d love to see you in one of my sessions, so I hope you’ll drop by. If you haven’t planned on going, why not? Here’s the link — come and spend a few days taking your career, and your skills, up a big notch (warning: if you go even once, you’ll want to go every year. Ask anyone that’s been to one). See you in Vegas this summer!

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Happy Friday everybody! Today I’m going to break down the  simple one-light bridal portrait you see above (camera settings, lighting and post production). Keeping it simple like this is ideal because it lowers the bride’s stress and yours, too. Plus, by just using one simple light you can focus on emotion and expression rather than fussing with a bunch of lights (it’s another one of those “less is more” things).

In this beautiful small church, there was a short hallway leading to an exit door, and some storage closets, but the doors were a vivid red color, and I thought that would contrast beautifully with our bride (who had a white dress and a pinkish bouquet). I thought we’d try posing the bride in that short hallway, but getting a light in there with the bride, without being seen in the shot, would be kind of challenging.

Lighting Gear
I used just one small flash head running an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra kit, which consists of a very lightweight battery pack (I believe it’s about 2-3/4 lbs.) with a strap on it so you can just sling it over your shoulder, and a very small, very lightweight flash head (literally just 10 ounces ). This is one of my “go-to” rigs for location lighting because:

(1) It’s very lightweight and portable — it all fits in a small carrying case that’s smaller than an airline carry-on,

(2) You get studio-quality light and a much brighter, more powerful light than you would with a hot-shoe flash,

(3) It has a built-in wireless trigger and lets me control the power of the strobe from right on my camera (the other matchbox-sized trigger sits on my cameo’s hot shoe mount),

(4) You can use two strobe heads with just this one pack if you decided you did indeed need a second light. And..

(5) …it’s designed so I can use any of my studio softboxes with it, and in this case it was a small 24×24” Elinchrom Rotalux square softbox.

Figure 1

Above: The Hallway with the red door. 

Here’s an over-the-shoulder view of the short hallway with red doors I was talking about. It’s actually much darker in the church that it shows here – this behind-the-scenes production shot was taken in Aperture Priority mode at a high ISO, so these behind-the-scenes shots look properly exposed, but in reality it was quite a bit darker, especially in the hallway, which was lit with just a few harsh overhead floods).

Figure 2

Above: Finding a place to hide the softbox was a challenge in this tight hallway, so we opened a closet door and had our 2nd assistant tuck-himself inside the doorway a bit to keep the soft box from extending into the frame.

If you look at this behind-the-scenes image, you can see me sitting in the pews, quite a-ways back from our bride — that way I could capture either tight or full length shots. The position of the light was pretty standard: at around a 45° angle from the bride, up higher than the bride and aiming down at the bride.

Figure 3-2

Above: Here’s the shot that resulted from me shooting full length from out in the pews. I’m not super-digging it, and it took a lot of post-production to tame the red light spilling everywhere and tinting everything, so the search continues for a better shot. 

GRIP TIP: We normally use a monopod for shoots like this (it’s easier to “run and gun”), rather than a lightstand with legs, but since we started our shoot using a lightstand in the back of the church, we just kind of picked it up and kept shooting. Normally, we’d prefer to have the strobe mounted on a monopod for faster and easier mobility between pews, and in tight situations. The only downside? You have to keep holding a monopod — it doesn’t “set down” very easily (there are no legs and feet) without crunching the soft box, so you wind up leaning it against things, which means you run the risk of it falling over. It’s a tradeoff (like everything, right?).

The Lighting Problem with the Red Door
I wasn’t happy with how the overall color looked because of how the light was reflecting off the red door. So, I thought we’d try one where the bride would be backlit, with just a little of the light spilling over onto her.

Figure 4

Above: Back lighting our bride 

I left the bride in the exact same spot, but I had our 2nd assistant take the strobe and softbox move to the other end of the hallway to position the light behind her and off to the side (so it’s pretty much the same lighting set-up — 45°-ish angle, up high aiming down, etc. it’s just positioned behind the bride this time, as seen above).

I did crank up the power of the light for this backlit shot, because I wanted to make sure it was powerful enough not just to put a rim of light around her shoulders, arms, etc., but that it also spilled over enough so you could see her face. I also made sure to have the bride turn her head and body toward the direction of the light. Had she been looking the other way, we wouldn’t have had enough light spilling on her face or bridal gown.

Camera Settings:
I shot in manual mode, so I could make sure the shutter speed didn’t get past the normal sync speed (this pack lets you do hyper sync, but I shouldn’t need to do that in a dark hallway), so my shutter speed was 1/60 of a second (I normally use 1/125 of a second, so I have to imagine at some point I accidentally hit the dial on the back of my camera). My ISO was set to 100 ISO (the cleanest ISO on my camera), and my f-stop was f/5 in case there was any background visible behind my subject, it will be a little bit soft. Using such a wide-open f/stop meant keeping the power of the flash at less than 1/4 power most of the time.

Post Production:
Light picks up the color of whatever it hits, so when white light hits a red door it reflects red light. Once I saw the color image of her backlit, it looked very red from the reflected light, so I knew right then it was a candidate for being converted into a black and white image.

Figure 6

Above: Converting to Black & White in Silver Efex Pro 2

I used Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in to convert the image to black and white (I used use one of their built-in presets — my three favorite preset choices are (in no particular order): (1) Full Spectrum (2) Fine Art Process and (3) High Structure Smooth, so I usually wind up choosing one of these three.

Figure 7

Above: Adding the Duotone look in Lightroom CC

Once I converted the image to black and white in Silver Efex Pro 2, I added a Duotone look in Lightroom using the Split Toning panel, but then only moving the Shadow controls; putting the Hue at 25 and the Saturation slider amount at 21. Don’t touch the Highlight settings up top or the balance slider — this is all done just using the Shadows Hue and Saturation sliders, so leave the other stuff untouched. It works wonders (and prints beautifully, by the way).

Figure 5

Above: Here’s the final image with the Duotone look applied in Lightroom (same as the opening shot).

Hope you found that helpful, and I hope your Tuesday is already off to great start! . :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m up in Boston with my seminar on Wednesday, March 30th — just a few weeks from now. Hope I see you there.  

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