Posts By Scott Kelby

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Adobe InDesign Basics: Creating a Custom Flyer for Your Business with Dave Clayton
Get started with InDesign by creating a versatile flyer for a business. Join Dave Clayton as he shows you all of the key elements you need to know to do your first project with InDesign. Dave gives you a firm foundation for customizing InDesign to match your needs, then shows you all of the steps needed to complete the project and deliver to your client. You’ll learn how to add images and quickly send them to Photoshop for any tweaks needed to fit the design, how to add text and style it, how to align all of the elements to create a design that is pleasing to the eye, how to include interactivity and save out PDFs for both print and electronic delivery, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have created a great looking flyer that can serve as a design template for a variety of projects.

This class will be available today at KelbyOne.com. Leave a comment for your chance to win a free 1-month KelbyOne membership!

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I’m standing in the middle of an airport surrounded by friends and family, filled with excitement for the arrival of one man. As he turns the corner, everyone starts clapping, cheering and cameras flashing. He’s dressed in his full United States Army uniform and has a smile on his face that I will never forget. Running to his side are his wife, Heather, and their children, Luke and Nevaeh. His parents, Donna and Tim, follow. Sgt. Ryan Dickinson is finally home.

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Heather Dickinson, Ryan’s wife

There is another group of people standing alongside Ryan’s friends and family that I’ve never seen before. Most of them appear to be bikers, wearing leather vests and jackets adorned with patches. They have formed two long lines down the middle of the airport lobby that extends to the exit doors. Each of them is holding an American flag that they raised when Ryan entered. The men and women in the flag lines stand strong and salute as he triumphantly walks through. It’s a sight I had the honor to witness and photograph.

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Gerry Flanagan

None of these men and women knew Ryan personally. They are just there to commend a soldier and give him a hero’s welcome home. These remarkable people are The Patriot Guard Riders and they honor the men and women fighting for our country.

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Nancy Greenseich

Almost 5 years later, on September 1, 2013, another American soldier killed Ryan at Fort Hood in Texas. It was devastating. The Patriot Guard Riders were called on once again to honor Ryan, this time in a different way. A group of them were at the airport when the casket arrived and escorted it to the funeral home. On the day of the wake, The Riders stood outside of the funeral home and saluted every person that entered. Even in the background, they had a strong presence throughout the day.

As the bugle played Taps in the distance, my friends and family were in tears. The Patriot Guard Riders had surrounded us, standing proud with their flags flying in the wind against the blue sky. I thought to myself “these people don’t know Ryan yet they’re all standing here with us.” From that moment on, I wanted to give them the recognition that they deserve by showing the world their stories through strong portraits.

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Bill and Cindy Ventura
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Cliff Smith

Five months had passed since the funeral and I was ready to begin production on my portrait project. There was a lot to figure out to make this successful, including logistics of where to photograph everyone, how to get as many PGR interested, scheduling and all other details that are involved in shooting such a large group. I was very fortunate to have L.W. Murphy, one of the Riders and a former military photographer, lend me his help during the process.

With his connections, I was able to meet with many of the PGR at a motorcycle club on Long Island to introduce the project and myself. I knew that I had to explain my true intentions and to build a trust with them and not to make the project come off as exploiting or disrespectful. After many conversations, networking and buzz, I was able to schedule 60 people to photograph. L.W. was able to secure a location for the photo shoots at the Jacob’s Light Foundation building, a charity that sent care packages to soldiers.

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L.W. Murphy

To create an iconic and respectful portrait, I used two 69” Elinchrom octabanks to camera right as a key light to create a soft, yet slightly dramatic lighting. The portraits were shot with a Phase One 645DF body and P40+ 40MP digital back. That was my go to camera at the time (I’ve since upgraded to a Phase One XF body and IQ350 back). The portraits were converted to black and white in Capture One and touched up in Photoshop to enhance contrast and remove blemishes.

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Ani Rodriguez

I wanted to capture moments and show who these people are rather than worry about the technical details. Many of The Riders are veterans and wanted to pay respect to other military soldiers and their families. Others have children who are currently serving or have died in action. Some are simply American patriots and want to show their appreciation for our military.

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Carlos Varon
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Warren Schlicker

People got very emotional telling their stories. One veteran had brought his father’s medals and the flag that was presented to him at his father’s funeral. He told me stories about his dad and began to tear up a bit. The PGR at his dad’s funeral left such an impact, he joined himself for that reason.

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David Isaacs

Conversations aren’t always necessary to bring out a strong portrait. I requested that everyone bring something(s) that show who they are and why they are a PGR member. Some brought the flags that they received at a funeral or military tags, and a few wore their old uniforms, including a 90-year-old Marine veteran.

Ryan’s son, Luke, wore his dad’s hat for his portrait. Heather, Ryan’s wife, wore his jacket while holding the flag she received for him. Donna, Ryan’s mother, wore a U.S. Army sweatshirt and held tightly on to the flag she received. As difficult as it was to see Ryan’s family getting emotional and wearing his uniform, it also made me feel so proud that I was able to give something back.

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Luke Dickinson, Ryan’s son
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Donna Liebenow, Ryan’s mother

Since the end of the project working with the Long Island and New York City branches of The Patriot Guard Riders, the project has gained national attention, as I hoped for. The series won a 2015 PDN Faces award in the personal work category and was also featured in the November 2015 issue of Reader’s Digest, which has over 3 million subscribers and an overall audience of almost 19 million. Although many of you may not have heard of the Patriot Guard Riders before reading this post, now you are aware of these extraordinary, selfless people and what they stand for. Thank you Scott and Brad for allowing me to share this story.

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Sgt. Ryan Dickinson

You can see more of Rick’s work at RickWenner.com, and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Happy Friday everybody! Here’s what’s up:

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Are you into Lightroom?
I have a free tutorial today over at LightroomKillerTips.com on how to do a retouching technique that we used to have to jump over to Photoshop for. In fact, not only can you now do it in Lightroom — it’s even faster and easier there now than it is in Photoshop. Here’s the link.

Also, while you’re there, earlier in the week I showed what to do when you turn on a Len Correction Profile and nothing happens. Here’s that link. 

https://youtu.be/tuoW3v9f4jk

Wedding Album Design Tutorial
A couple of weeks ago I posted a trailer for my class on Wedding Album design in Lightroom CC, and I’m sharing a tutorial here (above) from the class that really gives you an idea of the emphasis on the design and layout of the pages. The feedback from viewers of the class has been phenomenal – here’s the link to the full class.

New York by night. Brooklyn Bridge, Lower Manhattan – Black an

Next Thursday, I’m teaching a seminar in New York City
It’s Part 2 of my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar – it’s all new from the ground up, and I’ll be at the Javits center next Thursday. It’s just $99 for the full day, and you can use this code right now to get $10 off [ code: KONY10 ]. Here’s the link – hope I’ll get to meet you there next week (and until then, please enjoy the stock image above).

One last thing…
Looking for a great online class to watch this weekend? Check out our new “Trailers” page – they’re like movie trailers, but for online classes. Here’s the link.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

This is the written tutorial of something I did in my course on using Westcott Speedlight Modifiers over on KelbyOne, and the trick is a very effective, location lighting technique for a formal portrait of the bride, and part of the technique is done in camera, and then the other part in Photoshop, and the good news is — both parts are really easy (but the final result is really sweet!).

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Above: Here’s the final image with the light hidden

The Lighting Set-up
We’re only going to use one simple hot-shoe flash for this technique. Lately I’ve been using the Phottix Odin hot shoe flashes, and I’m super-digging ’em as their just released new Phottix Odin II TTL Flash Trigger is hands down the easiest hot shoe flash transmitter I’ve ever used (it even has hard buttons for each group, which makes it incredibly easy to change groups, turn on/off flash, change the power [using a simple dial], etc.. Very smartly designed, and the price is right, at around $209).

Then, we’re going to use a collapsible softbox made for hot shoe flash — it’s the 50-inch Recessed Mega JS Apollo from Westcott (around $169 street price) Note: anyone who has been to my “Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded” seminar would recognize this bad boy!

Figure 2

Above: The flash is mounted inside the softbox on a light stand, and then it aims inward at the back of the softbox, and the light returns back out toward the subject, giving you softer lighter without a bright hot-spot right in the center like usual.  

There are five really nice things about this softbox:

(1) It’s pretty huge, and the bigger the softbox the softer the light, so when I have a choice, I go “big” like this.

(2) It’s collapsible like an umbrella, so despite it’s large size, it’s super-portable, lightweight, and sets-up fast.

(3) The flash aims backward — toward the back of the softbox, not directly at your subject, so the light reflects and bounces back toward your subject, which avoids a hot-spot in the center and creates even softer more wrapping light all the way around.

(4) Since it’s so large, you can light groups with it

(5) For a softbox this large, $169 is really a bargain.

 

Camera Settings
When I’m shooting with flash, especially indoors like we are here at a very popular venue for weddings and wedding receptions, I’m setting my ISO at the lowest, cleanest native setting for my camera, which for my Canon 5D Mark III is 100 ISO. Since I’m using flash, I’m always shooting Manual mode so I can get my shutter speed at what I would say is a very safe, kind of “default no worries” shutter speed for flash, which is 1/125 of a second. Lastly, my f/stop is usually around f/5.6 if I want the background a little soft but in this case I went with f/4 (I probably accidentally hit the dial on the back of my camera at some point and it moved my f/stop).

The lens I’m using for this particular shot is in vast contrast to the price of all the lighting gear, because it’s a high-end lens — Canon’s new 11-24mm ultra wide-angle lens shot at 11mm (which is just insanely great). Of course, you don’t have to use this lens (but man is it sa-weet!) — any nice wide angle will do the trick (like the 16-35mm).

You’re going to take Two Shots. Shoot this one first.
First you’re going to position the light right near your subject, in this case I’m positioning it right next to our bride and as you can see from the production shot here, the lighting isn’t aimed directly at her — it’s kind of aimed a bit past her so the light is just skimming her a bit. That way, the light is more subtle and softer because the light that’s hitting her is from the edges of the softbox, instead of from the center (you’ve heard this technique referred to as “feathering” the light). You can also see my photo assistant Brad “The Beard” Moore standing by as I take the shot. This is important (more on why in just a moment).

Figure 4

Above: Here’s the shot with the softbox fully visible in the image. That’s OK – you’re supposed to see it in a wide angle shot like this, but it won’t be there for long. 

Then comes the 2nd shot
Once you take that shot, where you can clearly see the softbox, ask your assistant (or friend, or friend of the bride) to pick up the light (it’s not heavy) and move it far away so you don’t see the light at all in the scene, and take your second shot. You want to keep your camera up to your eye the entire time, so minimize your movement between frames. Of course, if you’re shooting on a tripod, it doesn’t matter — you can theoretically take all the time you want, but you need to tell your subject (the bride in this case) to please hold her pose until you’ve taken both shots, so you don’t want to take too long between shots.

So, the process is this:

> Get your light in place
> Take the first shot, and keep the camera up to your eye.
> Have someone move the light out of the scene quickly and take the 2nd shot. Pretty easy stuff.

Figure 5

Above: Here’s the second shot, once the light has been removed. All you’re getting is the ambient light in the reception hall and no light from the flash. 

The post processing part is easy
Now open both images in Photoshop. Go to the image that has the bride lit by the flash; select all and copy that entire image into memory.

Figure 6

Above: Open both images in Photoshop; copy the shot with the flash in it into memory. 

Now go to the image with no flash (the ambient light image) and paste that image with the lighting visible right on top. If you used a tripod, you can skip this step and go on to #8, but if you handheld the shot (like I did), you’ll need to have Photoshop automatically Align the two images so they were perfectly aligned with one another.

You do this by going to the Layers panel; selecting both layers, and then go under the Edit menu and choose “Auto Align Layers” as seen below. When the Auto Align dialog appears, use the default setting of “Auto” and click and in just a few moments your two images will be perfectly aligned. Note: you’ll need to slightly crop the image to hide the white edges created by the alignment, but we’ll do that later.

Figure 7

Above: Paste the lighting shot onto the unlit shot, then select both layers and use Auto Align Layers to perfectly align them. 

Go to the Layers panel and click on the top layer (the layer with the lighting). Next, hold the Option key on Mac (the Alt key on a Windows PC) and click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel (it’s the third button from the left). This adds a black layer mask over your entire layer, so the lit layer is now hidden behind that black mask, which is exactly what we want. Now, get the Brush tool and choose a small soft-edged brush from the Brush Picker up in the Options Bar at the top of the screen. Make sure you Foreground color is set to white. Now take the brush tool and simply paint over the bride and now she appears “lit” as you’re revealing just that one part of the lit image layer that was hidden behind that black mask (this is similar to the trick we used last issue for creating a cityscape at dusk).

As long as your bride isn’t close to the background in the shot, you won’t have any trouble painting her in — it’ll take all of five seconds. If she’s close to the background, then you have the worry of spilling light onto the background as you reveal the lit version of her. You can still do it, you just have to be more careful, take more take, and use a smaller brush.

Figure 8

Above: Add an inverted Layer Mask (hold the Option key on Mac, or the Alt key on Windows, then click the Layer Mask icon) to the lit layer; take a brush and paint over the bride in white to reveal the lit version of her in just that area. No spill on the ground, or the walls, or anything.

The last step is to use the Crop tool to crop away those white edges created by the Auto Align move. Lastly, I hate to say just “Add contrast” but — add some contrast in Camera Raw; sharpen the image, and you’re done.

There ya go: Some camera work, some Photoshop work, and a beautifully lit final image without spending a bunch of money.

Hope you found that helpful, and if you’re a KelbyOne member and want to see the full video on it, here’s the link.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Next week, I’m coming to New York City with Part 2 of my “Shoot Like a Pro: Reloaded” seminar. Hope you can join me. 

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Above: We’re both shabangin‘ and squinching but the flatmosphere had us looking pretty ambifacial, but it’s mostly because we were worried that the photographer who took this (Kim Doty) might try to apply the brick wall technique.

OK, you see that caption above? It’s packed with some Hurleyisms, which are terms the one and only Peter Hurley has coined to describe what to do (and what not to do) when photographing headshots, and he was using these Hurleyisms pretty liberally during his in-studio guest duties on The Grid this past Wednesday (Peter was AWESOME by the way). Anyway, I mentioned during the show that there should be an online glossary of some sort somewhere with all these Hurleyterms, and lo and behold — now there is.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to to the Official Unofficial Peter Hurley Glossary of Headshot Jargon (with definitions from Peter Hurley himself):

SHABANG!
A characteristic, attribute or trait that an image possesses producing a visceral gut reation of approval in the artist who upon viewing it for the first time rejoices by yelling SHABANG! at the top of their lungs.

DOUBLE CHINSVILLE
A place you don’t want to visit — where the subject lives when they don’t get jam their forehead towards the camera.

SCHTICK 
It’s your mojo – it’s your go-to moves to engage the subject. Could be comedy, could be chill and calm, whatever it is that works for you to draw something out of your subject.

FLATMOSPHERE 
The environment a photographer creates during a shoot when they’ve got zero schtick.

MFSS
Massive Front Shoulder Syndrome is when you turn the body 3/4 and then when you shoot it, the lens choice you’re using makes their front shoulder look three times larger than their back shoulder.

AMBIFACIAL
A character of a very small percentage of the population that can be photographed from any angle of their face still looks good.

PTERODACTYL NECK
A unattractive thickening of the neck when you cortort your subject into a strange and awkward position, to where their shoulders turn away from the camera, but their head is aimed back directly toward the camera creating a bulky looking trapesizous and a tense sternocleidomastoid.

HOLDING YOUR SUB
The main move to slim down arms when photographing somebody who is overweight. (see video below)

https://youtu.be/lXbOx36YXrU

HURLEYISMS
One liners foisted upon the subject to gain a facial reaction.

SQUINCH
Narrowing the distance between the lower eyelid and the pupil. It’s not quite a squint, it’s a pinching of the lower eyelids, so the subject appears more confident than they actually are.

LOOKABILITY
A Shabangin’ shot that makes you want to stare at that sucker.

BES
Beaty Eye Syndrome —  when your subject has one eye smaller than the other.

BPS
Big Pupil Syndrome — this happens when you shoot strobes and the pupil grows so you lose real estate in the Iris, which means you lose color in the eye. This doesn’t happen with continuous light sources — just strobes.

The Brick Wall Technique
It’s what you pose people in front of when you’ve completely run out of ideas — you’ve got nothing left in your tank, and you’ve got a brick wall close to your proximity, so you throw them in front of it and take the shot.


 

Well folks, there ya have it! Thanks to Peter for taking the time to glosserize his terms for me here on the blog.

That’s it from here in Houston, Texas (I’m here for my seminar today — next step New York City on March 3rd). Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here next week.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Peter has organized the first ever “Headshot Crew Cruise” this April (on Norwegian Cruise Lines no less), where you cruise with Peter and his guest instructors from NYC down to Bermuda and back, and you learn and laugh and chill from port to port. The cool this is — the training part is free — just get your cabin, and you’re “in” to all the live classes (and fun) along the way. Here’s a link with all the details. 

 

 

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OK, it’s not technically for just Instagrammers, and there’s nothing in the app that says it’s for using with Instagram, but it’s so perfect for Instagram, I can’t believe Adobe wasn’t thinking that way from the start (even if they didn’t say it).

The App is called “Adobe Post” (it’s free, and available for iPhone) and it lets you create all sorts of custom graphics with text for social media. While there are a bunch of apps that already do this type of thing, this one is particularly clever, thoughtfully designed and very fast and simple to use.

It comes with a bunch of pre-made, nicely designed, easily customizable templates for use as your starting place, but the way you can tweak and change everything (including trying out new color schemes with just one tap), makes it not only fast but actually a lot of fun.

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Above: This is the opening screen which shows a bunch of different templates (there are way more than you can see in the screen cap — they appear when you scroll down) — just click on the one you want to customize or “remix” as they say.

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Above: Once you choose a template to start with, you can use their built-in photos or your own. Here I took a photo and blurred the heck out of it first; and then imported it into the App as the background. Now you can choose different color palettes for the tint over your image and the text and the graphic (a rope circle in this case) separately. You can keep remixing these colors by tapping on the arrows over the color.

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Above: You can change design templates any time, along with different placements for your text (everything is pretty much editable at any time — you can change text, fonts, size, colors, templates, you name it). Here I changed templates, and then I uploaded a different photo. Just tap on those thumbnails below the image and it changes the layout.

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Above: I switched to an entirely different layout for a different photo (just a snap with my iPhone, and one of my favorite quotes from my wife — she said it to our daughter one morning and I still laugh every time I think of it). I changed the top text, the text below it, and tried different color palettes.

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Above: Here’s how it looks when uploaded to Instagram (yes, you can take your edited image from Adobe Post directly over to the Instagram App for posting).

Adobe Post is available FREE for the iPhone on the App Store (here’s the link).

Hope you find that helpful. Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Best,

-Scott

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