Category Archives Featured

Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Lightroom
Scott Kelby’s Seven Point System book revolutionized how photographers edit their images, and in this new course you’re going to learn his latest updates and refinements to the system (including his own post processing “secret sauce”) for Lightroom (or Camera Raw) users. Once you learn these Seven Points, you’ll know exactly what to do, in what order, and why for every JPEG, Raw, and TIFF photo you edit. It will transform the way you edit your photos from this moment on.

In Case You Missed It
Streamline your mobile photography workflow with Lightroom Mobile! Join Josh Haftel, senior product manager at Adobe, as he teaches you how to use Lightroom Mobile to import, organize, edit, and share your mobile photography, as well as how you can synchronize it all with Lightroom on your desktop and Lightroom Web.

Well, actually it’s at least 3-photo tips for this Friday (we do these every week – have been for a long time — if you follow KelbyOne on Facebook, you’ll see them every Friday, even when I don’t blog about ’em). In fact, there’s a new tip there today that I’m not featuring here, so when you’re done with these, head over to catch today’s new tip. Here we go:

We’ll start with a very clever tip from KelbyOne Instructor Dave Cross:

Dave’s new KelbyOne course on Photoshop selections is right here (ya know, in case you’re so inclined).

OK, here’s a nice one for Wacom tablet users from KelbyOne Instructor Erik Valind:

If you’re digging that, check out Erik’s class on Active Lifestyle portaits. Ready for another one? This one’s from KelbyOne Instructor Gabriel Biderman:

 

Thanks, Gabe! By the way (ahem…) Gabe’s awesome class on nighttime photography is right here. 

Well, folks — there ya have it. Some Friday Photo Tip love.

Here’s wishing you an awesome weekend! :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re looking for a new class to watch this weekend, Today we’re releasing my new class: “Scott Kelby’s ‘Seven Point System’ for Lightroom” — an expanded version of what I taught on my live “Shoot Like a Pro Tour” and if you’re a KelbyOne member, you can go watch it right now (or, at the very least, I hope you’ll check it out this weekend). If you’re not a KelbyOne member yet, take the 10-day free trial and you can start watching it immediately. 

My name is Joe Glyda and I am a commercial photographer specializing in food photography.

I would like to thank Scott for inviting me to be a guest on his blog. This year marks my 40th year as a commercial food photographer. Yes, I am one of those photographers that worked my way through the darkroom and started my career using 4×5, 8×10, and 11×14 Deardorf view cameras that used film.

The one thing I loved about shooting film was, ‘the set’ had to be ready and complete before the film was loaded into the camera. There wasn’t “I’ll just fix it in Photoshop.” Getting it all put together in one shot and looking at the subject upside down and backwards taught me to see the food ‘as a subject’ very differently. Painstaking details went into every shot, as Polaroids were used to get the test shot done, before exposing the film. But seeing that transparency on the light box was extremely rewarding.

I thought I would talk a little about my favorite subject, Food Photography. The unique aspect about commercial/food photography is that it’s ALL about the product. It’s NOT about you the photographer and your style, or your vision. It’s about the client’s vision, who in turn, hires an art director to come up with an approved layout and make the product be the hero. It then becomes the photographer’s responsibility to engage in a conversation with the art director and concur on a plan of action.

In other words, ask questions, LISTEN, then solve the problem.

Engage in a conversation prior to the photo session. Do not wait until the art director shows up to start setting up. Be prepared and ready to go. Do some testing to get yourself familiar with the product that’s about to be photographed ahead of time.

One of the key elements in food photography is finding the products with the right elements of detail that work with all the other elements in the photo. So, in the case of this print ad, what seemed to be an easy shot ended up taking a dozen cheese wedges and twice as many Polaroids to create the cut marks on the cheese wedge so they fell exactly under where the package artwork was to be placed. The client wanted the package to represent the natural look and flavor of real Cheddar cheese. Knowing what the client wants is so very important before the camera is even set-up.

That doesn’t mean photographers can’t have their own ideas or be able to contribute an idea regarding the images. At first, it’s important to leave your personal vision at the door. What I mean is, waiting for the right opportunity to share your ideas with the art director or client, after learning what the vision of the product is. Don’t be afraid to talk to the art director. Take an AD to lunch. Share ideas with them.

This image was part of a year-long campaign which stemmed from a lunch appointment with an AD who just finished meeting the client from Cracker Barrel Cheese. We talked about the client’s needs to make their snacking product look different and more trendy. Polaroid transfers were very popular at the time, so I suggested to shoot the real food on a Polaroid of an empty plate. The art director drew up layouts and our collaboration was a success.

When shooting multiple dishes, it is crucial to work with a prop stylist. They have resources beyond the photographers’ prop room. They tend to watch trends and have a pulse on what’s hot and what’s not. It’s also important to know what foods will last on the set longer than others, especially with multiple dishes. In this case, it was the spaghetti sauce that was put in place last so the sauce wouldn’t run through the tortellini.

In 1986, I witnessed my first retouching job on a Scitex Response-300 computer and knew right then that I had to get into digital technology. By 1993, I was using a Kodak DCS 460 digital camera and stopped using film by 1995. I helped convert the Kraft Foods in-house photography department from film completely over to digital by 1999. I wanted to have more control over the quality of the final image using the digital process. With the art director on set, we could see instantaneously together what we were getting, and make sure the color and direction was correct. Color management in food photography is so important. Food products have a certain color and their companies pay extra to make sure their products are not falsely advertised.

I use an X-rite color checker before every shot series to ensure the color is correct. Changing the color checker every time the light source changes is very important. This will ensure that the color of the food is right on.

Even though Photoshop 2 was a big part of the digital process, at the time, I continued to have the mind set of getting things done on set, prior to engaging the camera. I used the digital technology to my advantage whenever possible. It helped me create these images using digital fire in a campfire scene, and digital water from a pool on the deck while still having full control in the studio. Then creating outdoor lighting effects on the food to match the digital images made them look like they were photographed on-location.

Working with a food stylist is a must when working with food products. The job of a food photographer is lighting, composition, and the technical aspect of the photo session. The food stylist’s responsibility is to make sure the food looks good for the camera. They get the camera position in relationship to the plate from the photographer, and then position the food on the plate to make the food look its best. Dummy food is usually used during the set-up. Dummy food is a representation of the hero food but not yet styled. This helps the photographer light the food and create the composition needed to make the food look great. In this case, the soup was replaced by a salad and the sandwich direction was changed once the client saw the dummy food shot.

Dummy Food
Hero Food

My favorite foods to photograph are desserts, for the obvious reason, they taste the best. They tend to be difficult to maneuver around the set during the set-up, but once the hero food is placed on the set, the shot is taken quickly before the food dies. My lens of choice is a Nikkor 100mm macro lens, and in some cases I love to use a bellows attached to my Nikon D800. It brings the texture and details of the food to the forefront. And the clients are thrilled because it shows off their product.

Another kind of food photography that I enjoy doing is packaging photography. It takes more patience because the image needs to FIT in between words, logos, or call-out flags. If there are multiple products, they all have to fit together like a family! Usually in this situation the camera angle is locked down so the position of the image stays the same throughout the series of shots. Notice the color under the plates on these packages change but the plate position does not.

Styles and trends, like in fashion, come and go in food photography. It’s important to watch how these trends influence the images across all media. Over the past year, straight down shots have been the angle of choice. Panera, Qdoba, and Starbucks are a few companies changing their look to this elevated level. I just had a client this month that wanted to see their cake recipe from this angle, and they loved it!

Even some of the car companies are now using this look and some say that it’s because of the increase of drone photography that has inspired the look. But I guarantee you, this trend is not new. It was very popular in the late 80’s, and here is one of my shots of asparagus I did in 1988. I remember an art director back then, saying after meeting with a client, “Do they really want to shoot from above again? I’m tired of this angle” Watch for the new trend to take over, and believe me, it will.

Finally, the secret to good food photography is backlight. The food looks best when the shadow falls under the front of the food to act as a base for the food to sit on. The light from behind the food creates a highlight effect along the top and back edge of the food to give the food a heroic effect. Fill cards are used to bounce the backlight back into the front of the food, creating a soft and pleasing appetizing appearance.

In summary, remember these five steps when working with food:

  1. Listen to the client, It’s ALL about the product, not you!
  2. Talk to the art director, engage in discussion about the project prior to the session, don’t wait till the day of the shoot.
  3. Use a color management system to get accurate color.
  4. Hire a professional food stylist. (and a prop stylist when necessary)
  5. Backlight most food subjects for ultimate results.

Using these simple ideas will make your food images more appetizing and give the illusion that they are jumping off the page.

You can see more of Joe’s work at JGlyda.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Check out his courses on KelbyOne, and come see him at Photoshop World Orlando where he’ll be teaching a food photography workshop on April 19 and a class on creativity on April 21.

It was just a couple of months ago when Kalebra called us all together to share her idea of showcasing the work of our KelbyOne members — to lift them up and help them reach a wider audience — and give them a solo gallery showing and a live broadcast to share their work with other people around the world. Of course, step one was — build an art gallery, and with the help of a lot of wonderful folks, it all came together in seemingly no time. Saturday night, we were thrilled to be able to cut the ribbon (see below) on “The Gallery at KelbyOne” — a place where our members’ work would be celebrated and showcased in openings just like this all year long.

After nearly 1,000 submissions from around the world, our judges chose the photographic work of Sonoma, California graphic designer Mark Wegner to open the gallery. We flew Mark and his lovely wife Carol in for a wine and cheese reception in the gallery on Saturday night, followed by a one-on-one interview with Mark about his work, his life, and his vision. It was such an inspiring, fun evening with Larry Becker hosting the presentation/interview (and of course, Larry was just marvelous).

I’m going to share some behind-the-scenes images from Saturday (below), but I wanted to give a special shoutout to the folks at Bay Photo Lab, who graciously not only provided the beautiful prints (and they were gorgeous), but also their clever mounting and exhibition system called “Xpozer” which couldn’t have been a better fit for our gallery, or for displaying Mark’s beautiful images. We had so many questions about the printing and mounting, that we were literally doing demo’s to the guests to show how it all works. Very clever (thank you Bay Photo — you guys rock!).

Here’s a peek behind the scenes (I’ll tell a bit more of the story in the captions — photos by Melvin Rodriguez unless otherwise noted):

Above: Cutting the ribbon to officially open “The Gallery at KelbyOne” (L to R: Jean A. Kendra, yours truly, Kalebra Kelby, our featured artist Mark Wegner, and our host for the evening, Larry Becker). 

 

Above: A couple admiring one of my favorite’s of Mark’s images — his dramatic black and white shot of a Bison.

Above: Mark chatting with some of our guests in the gallery. 

Above: One of our guests (far left) peeks behind one of the prints to see how they’re mounted. 

Above: Lots of wonderful cheeses and wines on hand for our guests as they head into the gallery. When you first enter the gallery, we have a collection of photographic work from our KelbyOne instructors on display.

Above: Giving some love to BayPhoto for their awesome prints and mounting system. 

Above: Mmmmmm. Cheese. :)

Above: A few scenes from Mark’s opening. 

Above: Mark chatting with guests about his work.

 

Above: We opened the video area so guests could take a peek at the KelbyOne Studios and the sets we use for everything from training classes to live webcasts and even the set of “The Grid” (both the new one, and the classic set which is still intact for a few more weeks).  

Above: After the reception, we moved into the KelbyOne theatre to learn more about Mark and his wonderful work. This is me briefly welcoming the crowd as I introduce Larry Becker, our host for the evening, and our featured artist, Mark Wegner. 

Above: Larry and Mark begin their chat, streamed live all over the world. 

Above: Larry was such a great host. Such a great wit, but also, so great at getting the most out of his guests. It made for a very inspiring night. 

Above: Mark shared so many great insights, tips, and he was funny, clever, and such an inspiring artist.

Above: Mark talked about a number of his pieces in the gallery and what went into making them. 

Above: A little behind-the-scenes from the production side of things. That’s Leighton on the jib crane camera. 

Above: The chemistry between Larry and Mark really made the talk captivating. 

Above: It was the perfect setting for such an intimate talk with the artist, and before you knew it, it was time to say goodnight.

Above: Larry looks on as Mark shares the story of his work.

Above: At the end of the night, after we said goodbye to our last guest, Kalebra snapped this shot of the gallery with her trusty iPhone. For me, it was really something to see her idea come to life so quickly, and it was especially gratifying in how our team embraced the idea of showcasing someone from our own community, and how they all came together in such a short amount of time to build a beautiful gallery to give our members that opportunity. I’m so proud of our crew — Kalebra, Jean Kendra and I are very blessed to be able to work with them each day. 

In just a few weeks, we’ll start on the course to find the next KelbyOne member who’ll have their own solo opening here in our gallery, and I’ll be sure to let you know when submissions are open.

Again, our hearty congratulations to Mark for sharing his beautiful work, and for sharing his wonderful wife Carol with us during their visit. She was a joy. They both are — and it’s the icing on the cake to be there when really good things happen to really good people. Also, my humble thanks to my wife Kalebra for sharing her vision, and her heart for making people’s dreams come true, and for letting us all be a part of it.

Here’s to a day when your dreams come true. :)

Best,

-Scott

Go Back Up Your Photos. Right Now!
Seriously. If you want to do the most important thing you’ll do all day — stop what you’re doing right now and go back up your photos.This past Wednesday on The Grid our topic was backing up your photos and people were writing in with such heartbreaking stories of how they lost everything, or if they were lucky it was only thousands of photos they’ll never get back. They all mentioned how devistating it was. It takes much less time than you’d think, and you’ll sleep a whole lot better tonight knowing you’re finally, and fully backed up.

I’m embedding Wednesday episode below – we talked about which types of drives to get; how big, and different solutions for backing up to the cloud, and we answered a whole bunch of questions. If you’re not sure where to start, which this episode.

Today’s the last day to save $100 on a Photoshop World 2017 Conference Ticket
That’s right — the Early Bird Discount ends tonight at midnight for next month’s mega-conference in Orlando, Florida (it’s warm here btw), but if you get it on right now you’re not too late to save 100 bucks.

Head on over to photoshopworld.com right now and snag your tickets. You’ve always wanted to go — you keep saying “I’m going to go one of these years…” why not come join us now. You’ll learn more in three days than you have in three years, and you’ll come back faster, better, and totally re-energized. Get on it tonight – right now (well, right after you backup your photos). :)

Tomorrow night — it’s the Grand Opening of “The Gallery at KelbyOne”
We are just so excited — the gallery is complete, and tomorrow night we’ll be celebrating the photographic work of KelbyOne member Mark Wegner (Mark won our competition for a one-man show), and you’re invited to be a part of the opening, no matter where you are in the world. We’re streaming our “Artist Interview” live tomorrow night, and you’ll get a peek at the gallery, and you’ll be inspired by Mark’s work and his stories about how he “got the shots.” It’ll be a night to remember, and you’ll see it unfold live.

Details: 

Who: Me, Photographer Mark Wegner, and our host Larry Becker (Plus, a bunch of people enjoying wine and cheese). Mmmm. Cheese.
What:
The Grand Opening of “The Gallery at KelbyOne” and a solo gallery showing of photographer Mark Wegner’s work
When: Tomorrow night – Saturday, March 18th @8pm ET
Where: My Facebook Page, or at http://kelbyone.com/gallery-webcast
Why: To showcase the amazing work of KelbyOne members, and share their photography with a worldwide audience

The presentation starts at 8PM ET (Note to International viewers: the US observes Daylight Savings Time so we recently moved our clocks forward 1-hour). Hope you can join us. :)

For more details about the gallery competition (including how to enter when we open the 2nd round of entries shortly), jump over here.

 

That’s right — I’m giving away FIVE free copies of my latest Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers
Just leave a comment below in the comment section, and you’re entered. We’ll pick a winner this weekend and announce the winners on Monday. You can enter anywhere you are in the world — good luck everybody (if don’t win, you can buy the book online at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, in print or ebook formats)

Thanks for stopping by, and please consider this your friendly reminder that this is, officially, “Back Up Your Photos Friday.” :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

-Scott

 

Camera Focus Techniques: The Key To Super Sharp Photos with Larry Becker
Learn all about focusing with Larry Becker! You’ll hit the ground running in this class, as Larry starts off with some basic concepts and terminology before digging deeper into everything related to focus techniques, tips, and best practices. Beginners and experienced users alike can benefit from learning how to take advantage what your camera (regardless of manufacturer) has to offer to help you get super sharp photos in all kinds of situations and subject matter. You’ll learn how to set the diopter for your vision, how to control depth of field, the differences in focusing when using the viewfinder versus live view, the benefits of back button focusing, and so much more!

In Case You Missed It
Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, there’s no getting around the fact that photography gear can be expensive. Join our Larry Becker as he shares all kinds of cool ways you can save money on a wide range of photographic accessories. Larry is always thinking of clever alternatives to conventional gear and do-it-yourself ways to make the things you need at a much lower cost. Sometimes we can save money just by learning from the cautionary tales told by our peers. In this class Larry has gathered up a ton of his favorite tips, tricks, and projects to help you find low cost solutions for things all photographers need and use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to head out to your local hardware store and start experimenting with your own solutions and alternatives, so that you’ll have more money to spend on the important things.

Close