Posts By Scott Kelby

 

Hi Gang: A lot of folks are already asking me how I like the new iPhone 5, so I thought I’d put a quick Q&A together on my initial thoughts after using it for a few days. If you’re not an iPhone user or not interested in the iPhone, just skip this post and head down to find out who won the Springs of Hope Guitar Raffle, no need whatsoever to comment on this story — just roll on with your day. For everybody else, here goes:

Q. So does it really feel lighter and thinner?
A. Actually, it feels much lighter and thinner than I ever thought it would, just based on the specs. In fact, that’s the first thing I did this weekend when somebody asked “Is that the new iPhone 5”? — I would hand it to them, and they all immediately remarked, “I can’t believe it’s so much lighter and thinner!”

Q. What about the screen? Does it really feel bigger?
A.  Sometimes. Not all the Apps have been updated to fill the larger screen yet, so sometimes you don’t notice it at all (if the App is the old size, you get black bars at the top and bottom but because everything else surrounding it is black it’s not that apparent). However, once you launch an App that has been updated to the new size (which many already have), you immediately notice the size increase (it’s taller but not at all wider). Haven’t watched a movie yet, but now the aspect ratio is approximately the same as a 16:9 movie or HDTV size.

Q. How’s the speed?
A. Insane! This was the other thing that surprised me — this thing hauls butt!!!! In fact, on Saturday PC Magazine did a series of five different Benchmark speed tests and posted an article titled, “iPhone 5 Benchmarked: The fastest smartphone in the land,” where they said “Based on these benchmarks, the iPhone 5 lives up to the promise of being twice as fast as the iPhone 4S. It’s also, for now, the fastest handheld computer sold in the US.” That’s not me. That’s PC Magazine. Take it up with them (over on their site); I’m just trying to give interested readers some idea of how fast it feels to me, and apparently it’s pretty fast as similar tests are popping up all over the Web.

Q. Isn’t this just an incremental upgrade, though?
A. At this point in time, all updates to any smartphone are incremental just like updates to Photoshop are incremental. All the essential stuff is already there, so all any company can do at this point (including Adobe with Photoshop) is to add things to make what’s already there, better.

Q. So, are you saying it’s not that a big an upgrade?
A. The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a bigger screen, a better camera, it’s TWICE as fast (as I noted above, PC Magazine showed it is the fastest smartphone on the planet), it now has 4G LTE capabilities, faster wireless, better battery life, redesigned improved earbuds, enhanced audio, a smaller more durable connector, and a very cool built-in pano feature. I was sold at thinner and lighter, but add in the rest and it’s a no-brainer.

This is pretty much the same with any DSLR camera you buy today, whether it’s the new Canon 6D or the new Nikon D600, they’re not revolutionary — they’re just better than the cameras they replaced. They both are better versions of what we already had, and they’ll both be huge hits. They don’t have to re-invent DSLR photography every time they introduce a new camera, it just has to do things better than the one that they replace, which I’m sure they both do.

Q. Yeah, but didn’t some other smartphones already have some of that stuff?
A. And that should mean something to me because……?

Q. But you bought the iPhone 5 without actually trying it out, right?
A. When Nikon came out with the new Nikon D4 DSLR, I ordered it just on reading the specs online — I hadn’t held it, tried it out, or even laid eyes on it in person, but Nikon had gained my trust over the years. I have never bought a new Nikon that wasn’t better than the previous model. I feel the same way about Apple and the iPhone. Each one has been better than the last, and that’s all they need to be for me to upgrade (though I do feel the iPhone 5 upgrade was a much bigger upgrade then the iPhone 4s, but I was happy with my iPhone 4s. Well, until I actually held an iPhone 5. ;-)

Q. What about that new redesigned connector?
A. I like it a lot. I like not having to look at the connector itself to figure out which way it goes in. Life my wife said, “With the old connector no matter which side you tried first, it was always the wrong side. Haaaaa!” so I dig it. Plus, I didn’t have any accessories whose dock required me to buy an adapter to make it work, except for my car-charger, so I’ll be buying a new one of those.

Q. How about the Maps feature?
A. I haven’t used it, but supposedly it’s a mess, but I can only speak to the parts of the phone I’ve used so far. I have the TomTom and Navigon GPS navigation apps (both are fantastic) so all I used Google Maps for was looking up phone numbers, or finding a close carwash, stuff like that, but I did like the Google Maps a lot, so I’m looking forward to having that back (or Apple fixing their Map feature, whichever comes first).

Q. How’s it feel in your hand?
A. Perfect! The size and form factor is right on the money. Even better than the 4s, which surprised me.  It’s another thing that people have mentioned when I let them hold the phone — how great it felt in their hand. Plus, the fit and finish is really beautiful. So beautifully designed that I kind of hate to put a case over it, but I probably will just to protect it, but it’s a shame because it is beautiful (well, as beautiful as a phone can be, right?).

Q. So, overall what da ya think?
A. I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s a bigger upgrade than I was expecting (like I said, thinner and lighter alone were enough for me to upgrade), and much faster than I imagined. Every one that’s held it so far has said, “Oh man, I can’t wait to get mine” or “I wish I could get one,” and I think that says a lot.

Q. Any funny stories yet?
A. Just one. I went to the salon to get my haircut Saturday and I showed my hairdresser my iPhone 5, and the entire salon came rushing up to see it. While everybody was crowding around looking at it, a man walked in for his appointment.  He saw everyone crowding around me  and he came over, too. He said, “Is that the iPhone 5?” and I said “Yup. Just got it.” He said, “Is the screen really bigger?” I told him, “Yeah, it’s about 1/2 inch bigger, but it’s not really obvious until you put it next to an old iPhone.” Then he reaches in his suit pocket and pulls out a Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone and says, “It’s not as big as mine,” and I nodded and said “Yeah, that is bigger.” to which he announces loudly, “That’s what all the girls say.” The room went silent as all the women standing there (six or seven)  turned and looked at him with that “What an idiot” look. As he walked back up front to wait for his stylist, they all stood there for a moment and expanded on their initial sentiment. I wonder how his haircut came out. LOL!!

Q. Scott, if I have a different smartphone than the iPhone, should I post a comment telling you about it? 
A. Nah. I wrote this article for people who have asked me about how I feel about the new iPhone 5, so if you’re not interested in the iPhone 5, like I said at the beginning of this article, this is not for you. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to leave a comment listing their brand of smartphone, why they chose it, how much they hate Apple, why the iPhone 5 isn’t better than their phone, doesn’t have this feature or that feature, etc.

Everyone is free to choose the mobile phone that suits their needs, just like we’re allowed to choose the camera brand, or guitar brand, or lighting brand that suits our needs. You don’t have to defend your choice (or share your personal choice), and I shouldn’t have to defend mine. Of course, it’s different when it comes to image editingâ”everyone should use either Lightroom or Photoshop without a doubt, but that’s a different story. ;-)

Hope you all have a great Monday, and your best week so far this year! :-)

P.S. I shot the Titans/Lions NFL Football game yesterday up in Nashville, and if I got anything worth a darn, I’ll post it here tomorrow. 

… [drum roll, please]……it’s…….Henry Heerschap!!! (Wild cheers, ensue!!!! Well, from Henry anyway).

I’ll have the figures tomorrow on how much we raised for the orphanage from the raffle, and more details, but I wanted to get this up there today so you wouldn’t still be in suspense.

My humble thanks to everyone who supported the orphanage in such a meaningful way. More tomorrow, but for now just a very big thanks! You guys rock!!!! :-)

What a wild, long, confusing, exciting game as the Atlanta Falcons whupped up on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football up in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome.

I had a total blast because I got to shoot with the Falcons crew (the awesome Michael Benford, the magnanimous Matt Lange, and the gentlemen of NFL football photography, the incredible Jimmy Cribbs), and their guest (and our mutual buddy) Joey Wright. Overall, I had a pretty lame shooting night and I was pretty disappointed with what I got, but at least I did like some of the fisheye stuff I got from the full frame Sigma 15mm fisheye lens I was trying out. I liked it so much, yesterday I bought it (it was $300 cheaper then Nikon’s full frame 16mm lens which is an older lens that hasn’t been updated in a while). It’s sharp, has great contrast and a fast auto-focus. Totally digging it.

Here’s a shot Joey took of me taking the fisheye shot I showed above this one. I liked it so much, I made it my Facebook cover photo (thanks Joey!). This was about three hours before game time, and right before the opened the doors to the public. That’s my favorite time for stadium shots — when it’s empty like this. A few hours later, the dome was packed to the gills and it was an absolutely electric atmosphere in the Georgia Dome.

Like I said, I was pretty disappointed with how I shot overall, but here’s a few that I did get (more on the fisheye stuff in just a minute).

Some Fisheye Work
When you’re shooting for the Falcons (they get all my shots straight off the card, which is pretty terrifying by the way, especially with the night I was having), you get extra access (and a green photo vest that tells security its okay for you to do things like go on the field while the players are warming up about 45 minutes before kickoff).

So, I put my Sigma 15mm lens on my camera; attached my camera to the end of my Monopod, and put a PocketWizard Plus II on the camera, and I held another Pocket Wizard Plus II in in my hand to wirelessly trigger the camera on the end of the monpod. Then I headed out to the field to catch these shots — I balanced the foot of my monopod on my knee to balance it and then I extended it up high over the players (It was actually only about a foot or two above the players, but the fisheye makes it look like it’s MUCH higher, as seen below).

(Above: Here’s an iPhone photo of the rig — you can see the camera mounted on top of the monopod, and the PocketWizard Plus II on top, with a short cable into the socket on the camera. I’m holding another PocketWizard Plus II in my hands. The JBL vocal monitor on the bottom left is so I can hear myself singing over the crowd noise. ;-)).

(Above: Here’s another shot of the rig in action where I’m taking the shot you see below [iPhone photo by Mike Benford].  The bottom of the monopod is on my thigh — the top of the camera is cut off, but it’s there). 

My epic remote-camera fail
To be able to mount a remote camera anywhere near where the players come out, you have to first get permission from the guys that handle the pyrotechnics and the safety crew, and these crews generally would just rather you didn’t use a remote camera and they treat you that way, but in Atlanta, they were incredibly accommodating and even helped me find a better, closer vantage point. How sweet (and usual) is that (but honestly, that’s how it is in Atlanta — everybody I came in contact with, from elevator operators to the guys that hand out the photo vests, were as friendly and chatting and just downright nice as can be). So, I got my remote all set-up in an awesome place — right where the players come out, and the smoke is shooting out, and the fireworks and fire are going off. This is going to be Epic. Unfortunately, it was an epic fail.

I tested it out, and the remote triggered perfectly. The aim was right (I used a beanbag tripod I picked up at B&H Photo called “The Pod” so I could place it right where I wanted it on the ground), and then I set-up at mid-field to capture the players as they came out through the smoke and fire (see the shot above — four shots back) so that way I could get them from two angle. I had the Sigma 15mm fisheye on the ground aiming up, and the 400mm f/2.8 out on the field with me.

(Above: There’s my remote rig, on silent duty waiting patiently for the players to run through the smoke and fire.)

I hit the PocketWizard every time a player came through the smoke — the only problem was — it never fired. Not once. I have no idea why. Uggh. Could have been so cool. Sigh.

There were a lot of fireworks between the replacement refs and Broncos Headcoach John Fox. This photo gives you an idea of how he felt.

Above: Here’s my load-out for the game: L to R: Gel-filled kneepads (from Lowes), and a Gitzo monopod. My main body is a Nikon D4, and the 2nd body is a Nikon D3s. 400mm f.2.8 lens (top); Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 I’m trying out; Nikon 1.4x teleconverter for the 400mm (making it around 540mm); a 70-200mm f/2.8 for my 2nd body; a beanbag with a tripod mount for the remote shot as the player’s come out [well, that was the plan anyway], and the Sigma 15mm fisheye [the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye I use is for cropped sensor bodies. That has its advantages, but you lose half your megapixels]. Lastly, it’s all in a ThinkTank Photo Airport rolling bag. I’m also now using the Lexar X1000 speed cards for sports which is absolutely insane!!!! (and perfect for sports). The whole thing is just a blast to hoist up into the overhead bin. :)

And all was going well, until….
While I absolutely had the best time of any game this year, I had a rough day on the field. I was out of position for just about everything. One time I was in the perfect position for an amazing touchdown catch from Bronco’s receiver Demaryius Thomas (I was right there — it happened right in front of me), and I knew I had nailed it. Right after, I looked at my screen and sure enough — I had it dead on.

Then I zoomed in and saw that every frame was out of focus. I set up my second camera WITHOUT the backfocus button, so if I have to grab it quickly I won’t miss finding the back button. However, in my excitement from finally being in the exact right spot, all I pressed was the backfocus button and instead focused on the players 20 feet behind him. I blew it. Ugh!!!!  I just stood there shaking my head (and uttering a string of words normally reserved for rappers), but there was nothing I could do but try to make the 2nd half better, which I did, and things finally started coming together.


Above: L to R: that’s me, Matt Lange (who apparently got ahold of some bad sushi), and Joey Wright before the game — photo by Michael Benford.

Overall, I still had the best time yet. Mike, Matt and Jimmy are the most fun, gracious, and talented group of guys anywhere, and Joey Wright kept us laughing the whole time (it was great getting to know him better). And while the game went on for a lifetime (I didn’t’ get back to my hotel until after 2:00 am), I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I caught an early flight home and was back in the office by lunchtime. All-in-all — totally worth every minute of it! :)


Above: If you’ve ever wondered what Falcon’s Creative Director Michael Benford would look like if shot from above with a 15mm fisheye lens, well, now we finally know. He and Matt make an insane team — both top notch graphics designers and shooters — the Falcon’s are lucky to have these guys (and I’m lucky to have them as friends). :)

What’s next?
On Sunday I’m off to Nashville for the Titans vs Lions game, then the following week I’m back shooting the Bucs in Tampa vs. the Redskins, then onto Jacksonville the following week for the Bears vs. the Jags. I am LOVING football season!!!

OK, I am super psyched because tonight I'll be shooting on the sidelines at the Monday Night Football Game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, alongside my buddies Michael Benford and Matt Lange.

Monday Night Football is a grand sports tradition here in the US and it's broadcast nationwide (as it’s the only pro football game that airs on Monday nightâ”-all the rest play on Sunday).  I know a lot of you will be watching, so I thought I would post this shot of me wearing pretty much what I’ll be wearing tonight (with black kneepads) and the beige vest and al — that way if  you see a photographer get creamed by a receiver on the sidelines (or if Peyton Manning breaks my monopod), you’ll be able to tell if it’s me they’re carting off. ;-)

Let's make it interesting with a “Scott Spotting Contest”
The first three people who take a photo of their TV Screen where you can see me, and post it, or a link to it, it either to my Facebook page (link), Tweets me with the photo (link), or posts it to my Google+ page (link) gets a signed copy of my new book, "Photoshop CS6 for Digital Photographers."

Where I'm likely to be on the field:
I generally shoot from these two areas:

(1) The End Zone (there's less chance of refs, the chain gang, video crews, and the guy with the giant blue parabolic mic walking in front of your shot)

(2) Between the 15 yard line and the goal line.

Howeverâ¦
If I get flattened by a player during the game, the first person to visit me in the hospital (besides my wife), gets my entire Photoshop and Photography book library. I'm hoping we don't have a winner for this one.

Can't wait to share the shots with you guys (provided I get any decent ones), but tomorrow is the long-awaited “Life after Drobo” post so it’ll have to wait. Have a great Monday, and we'll see you tonight. Well, you know what I mean. :)  GO FALCONS!!! #RISE UP!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBf5bzTaGOw

Hi Gang: Please take a minute and check out the short video clip aboveâ”We need to raise some funds for the kids at the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya (the orphanage built from the ground up with help from people who read this blog), and the video shows how you might win "The Photoshop Guys" signed incredibly cool guitar for helping out (hey, it comes with a floyd rose locking tremolo and beautiful pearl inlay).

Here’s the link (watching the video first, then I hope you’ll click the link and help. If you do help, please leave me a comment so I can thank you personally!). :)

http://youtu.be/_HHfQ2M-IeI

Each year at Photoshop World we pick a theme (just for fun) that runs throughout the conference, including all the signage, displays, and we introduce this theme at the opening keynote. This year, being an election year and all, we decided it would be fun to create “The Photoshop Party’s” political convention live on stage, and we kicked off the convention keynote with the video above, featuring political attack TV ads against each of the Photoshop Guys (again, just for fun). Thanks to our own Erik Kuna and crew who produced it from start to finish.

At each keynote we try and have a “Reveal” — something the crowd wasn’t expecting and this year it was a professional Sarah Palin impersonator who came out to introduce me, and she was a dead ringer (see above). The crowd was a bit stunned until they realized it wasn’t actually her, and then they totally got into the joke.

Catch Joe McNally in Phoenix on Thursday
Joe’s in Phoenix with his one-light/two light tour, and if you’re out that way, you don’t want to miss the change to spend the day with Joe. Here’s the link (It’s $99 for the full day or $79 if you’re a NAPP member). He’ll be in Hartford, CT on the 20th if you miss him in Phoenix.

Improvements to the “Light It Magazine” App
We’ve been getting lots of great feedback on the newly updated store and library layouts for “Light It Magazine.” (our iPad-based magazine on studio lighting and hot-shoe flash). We tried to make it easier to find the issues you’ve downloaded, and to find new ones, and so far, all the feedback has been very positive. Looking forward to getting the Android version completed — still a few things to work out, but we’re getting close. :)  The newly updated iPad version is available on the App Store —- issues are $2.99 each and back issues are available.

Don’t Miss Matt In Missouri
If you’re in Kansas City, so is Matt Kloskowski on Wednesday with his Lightroom 4 Tour. He has been absolutely killing it on this tour, playing to rave reviews and packed houses. If you wanna go, click right here. 

 

I was inspired to create the poster above after Sunday’s Bucs/Panthers game on the sidelines
I call it, “Courage.” I hope it inspires you to greatness, and to a fantastic Tuesday! Cheers. :)

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