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Dog Photography: Overcoming Challenging Situations with Kaylee Greer
Learn how to overcome challenging situations in dog photography! Join Kaylee Greer as she shares her tips and techniques for dealing with a variety of canine personality types. From wild untamed puppies to shy rescues, you’ll see how Kaylee sets up the situation, how she interacts with the subjects (and their human companions) to get those impactful pet portraits that clients love. Kaylee also demonstrates how to deal with doggie group photos and the exposure challenges that can come with combinations of light and dark colored dogs. Each lesson is a real world scenario on location, and Kaylee talks through the approach she takes every step of the way.

In Case You Missed It
Time to let the dogs out! Join the fabulous Kaylee Greer, a private and commercial pet photographer based in Boston, as she shows you how to capture the best dog photographs you’ve ever taken. In this class Kaylee works with four different dogs in different locations, ranging from the local park to the local animal shelter, and shows you her tips and tricks for engaging with her subjects to bring out their unique personalities and create portraits their owners will love, or that can help a shelter dog find a forever home. The locations and lighting are not always ideal, so Kaylee teaches you how she works with whatever situation she finds herself in to locate those hidden gem spots that provide the perfect backdrop for your dog. You’ll need to be prepared to get down on the ground and make silly noises, but the effort will show in the fantastic photos you can create.

Hi Gang: First, there’s a BIG very cool announcement for KelbyOne members today on “The Grid” (my weekly talk show about photography), and you don’t want to miss it. Plus, my very, very special guest is none other than Kalebra Kelby herself.

Lots to share today on “The Grid” – our topic is “How to become a better photographer in 2017”. That’s at 4pm ET (http://kelbytv.com/thegrid).

OK, on to our Photoshop Down & Dirty Trick (it’s quick, easy and pretty fun, too! Plus, it doesn’t use the ol’ Drop Shadow Layer Style, which would make it look like it’s just floating in space).

Hope you found that helpful (and down. and dirty). ;-)

Don’t forget “The Grid” today at 4pm – we’ll be announcing one of the coolest things we’ve ever done for our members.

See you then!

–Scott

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Commercial photographers are tasked with producing salable imagery in a client-driven environment; we’re hired to help create an image that itself is a product, and that often means that we’re working to a client’s specifications. In a busy year that could mean you’re constantly reacting and trouble-shooting ideas and concepts without a break to recharge your own creative battery. Many photographers take the time to fit in their own creative projects to do this. These personal projects can also lead to more work.

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Shot to spec | Client: BrazeauSeller Law, Agency: McMillan
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Client/Photographer collaborative | Client: Kettleman’s Bagel Co.

I love what I do and so I typically only take breaks when they’re presented to me, like a slow period when I’m not booked for any shoots and have few deadlines. I typically take this time to watch movies, read, and play video games which all can act as alternate sources of visual inspiration outside of photography. Of course, unplanned breaks can also have unplanned interruptions.

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Environmental Portrait | Client: Career Cruising

My last shoot of 2016 was local artist working out of his home-studio. We had a fun session and I came away with some environmental portraits that I was happy with. I tweeted my thanks for everyone’s support over my fifth, and best, year in business. I unpacked my bags at home, uploaded my photos started some edits, welcomed my kids home from school and heard the scream and cries as one of them broke his left femur.

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Waiting in Emergency

I wouldn’t consider myself a documentary photographer or photojournalist, but I instinctively grabbed my Fuji x100t – I bought this little camera after I found myself taking fewer photos of my children – and away we went to our local children’s hospital, CHEO.

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Pre-Surgery

From Emergency, we went to traction. From traction, we went to Surgery, and from surgery we stayed, filling the hours with Lego and Advil.

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Days before Christmas, Santa even came to visit the children, some of whom wouldn’t be home for the holiday.

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All the while I was taking photos. Not something client-driven. Not a personal project. Just documenting a part of my son’s life because. “Because?” Because it’s what we do. Downloaded and edited on my iPhone. I updated his journey with friends and family. Letting them know he was well and, eventually, home.

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Home for Christmas

When I was asked to do a guest-blog post I thought maybe I’d write about the process of managing a commercial photoshoot, or a click-bait list of useful gadgets I use. I had a whole week on break to come up with it, but a different kind of break changed everything. A sort of personal project in a style that I rarely ever do. Something not technically motivated, but personally. Something that is likely to outlast anything I create for a commercial client. Something just for me and my son.

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

Hi Gang: So glad to see you here in 2017 – and I’ve got a really slick little tutorial for you, based on a text the awesome Brad Moore sent me last night — it’s something you can do with expensive lighting, but you can get really close to that look using just Photoshop, and it’s super quick and easy (and a variation of a technique I showed here last year).

Take a look for the whole story:

Hope you found that helpful (and maybe it even saved you a few bucks. Maybe enough to come to the Photoshop World Conference this April, eh?). ;-)

Today’s my first day back from an unbelievably relaxing Christmas and New Years break — so I’d better get back at it. Glad to see you here again, and best wishes for an awesome 2017!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. We had planned to do Photoshop World on both coasts this year, but we’re not doing a Vegas show this year as Adobe is holding their conference, Adobe Max, at the same time in Vegas, so we’re going to just be East Coast this year. 

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Travel Photography: A Photographers Guide to London with Scott Kelby and Larry Becker
Consider this your very own photographer-friendly guide on where to go for the best photographs of London, England. Join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as Scott shares his favorite locations to shoot, along with the kind of veteran traveler tips that will help you capture images that you’ll be delighted to bring back home. Timing is everything, so you’ll not only learn where to go, but what times will yield the best chances for great photographs. This is strictly a travel guide for photographers (including a downloadable PDF), so there’s no Photoshop or Lightroom involved, just the kind of information that will aid you on your photographic journey and inspire you to get out there and shoot.

In Case You Missed It
Join Jay Maisel and Scott Kelby for a week in Paris! As they stroll the streets, cathedrals, and cafes, with cameras always at the ready, Jay shares his thoughts on everything from why you shouldn’t have a plan to what gesture means to him, and all the while Scott asks the questions that keeps Jay delving deeper into each topic. This class will challenge the way you think about your photography and leave you itching to head out into the street.

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Drones! Why Aren’t You Flying One Yet?

Thank you so much to Scott and Brad for having me write the guest blog this week! I feel that I should begin by being upfront with all of you and saying that, although I know that this is a photo-centric blog, and I take thousands of photographs per year, I wouldn’t consider myself a traditional photographer. All those photos that I take are turned into timelapses which end up the films that I create. Yes, I am (gasp) a filmmaker, not a photographer.

But that said, I do believe that I have something of relevance to talk about today that bridges the world of photo and video. A new tool that is capable of being used for both. I’m speaking of course, about drones: the flying cameras that will become sentient in 2030, form Skynet, and take over the world.

During the Holiday season of 2015 an estimated million drones were sold in the U.S., and this year I would expect many more to find their way under trees across the country. Some of you may already own one or be planning to purchase one soon, and I am betting that once you see how fun flying a drone can be, you’ll consider using it for aerial photography. Photographers (and filmmakers) are always looking for new angles, new lenses, new ways of seeing the world. Aerial drones offer the ability for us to see and capture moments in ways we never would have dreamt of 10 years ago.

Think of the possibilities! Landscape photography of mountains, but from 300 feet up. A newly married couple kissing in a field, as a bird overhead would see them. Panorama photos of a city, from skyscraper height. Most drones support 4K video, as well as raw photos, meaning you can now capture any moment from any elevation.

In the Summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to the Pacific Northwest and film the mountains, beaches, and forests of the beautiful country there. My film “Pacific” was the result. These landscape views wouldn’t be possible in any other way.

Who Needs A Drone?

About 9 years ago, before I was even considering pursuing a career in making videos, I entered a video contest put on by Texas A&M University called “Why I’m an Aggie.” My entry featured fellow students speaking about why they chose Texas A&M and what they enjoyed about the university. Throughout the video, I featured pretty shots of campus that I shot with my trusty Sony HDR-UX1 – recording to mini-DVDs mind you, SD cards weren’t fast or large enough yet.

The shot that set my contest entry apart from the others though, was an aerial video of campus that I filmed from a plane. Yes, I actually rode in a plane over campus to get a shot for my video! This blew away the judges considering that aerial video was still relatively rare (unless you happened to have a pilot father – thanks dad).

An Aerial Video Revolution

Nearly a decade later, aerial video is now mainstream. People are buying Millennium Falcon camera drones, stuffing their dead cats and turning them into quadcopters, and anyone with a cell phone can purchase a flying camera for as little as $22 on Amazon. My aerial video in 2008 that took so much effort and timing, could now be accomplished by any kid with a drone Christmas present. Go to YouTube and search for any landmark in the world, and there is most likely an aerial video filmed of it with a drone. Do the same thing with Flickr and you’ll find nearly as many aerial photos of the same landmarks.

Due to the slow speed of government, there were several years where drones were allowed to be flown nearly anywhere. Half Dome in Yosemite, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Taj Mahal in India, and many more places around the world required no permission, red-tape, or license to fly. People were starting to see things from an entirely different perspective, and getting a bird’s eye view was becoming downright cheap. In addition, there were no requirements for commercial use; meaning anyone could fly a drone and be paid for it.

Playing catch-up in 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act. Under section 333 of this act, the FAA was now in charge of regulating commercial drone usage in the United States. With no way for drone pilots to fly their drones legally for commercial usage, many of them chose to ignore this rule and continue to make money.

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Time For Safety And Order

This “wild west” of drone flying continued until May 2014, when the FAA began accepting petitions of exemption for Section 333. Any pilot could fill out some paperwork stating their business, why they wanted to fly a drone, and how they would be safe while doing it. Within 120-ish days, the FAA would reply with (hopefully) a grant of exemption allowing these pilots to fly a drone legally for commercial use. This exemption came with one HUGE caveat though, the person operating the drone must possess, at minimum, a private pilot’s license.

Yes, if you wanted to fly a small plastic drone the size of a shoebox commercially, the FAA expected you to know how to fly a full sized plane. This requirement led to greater attendance at many flight schools across the country, and also resulted in people exploiting loopholes such as getting their hot air balloon license. If you thought knowing how to fly a full sized plane didn’t apply much to knowing how to fly a tiny drone, try dangling from a basket suspended under two tons of canvas, air, and fire. Speak to many drone pilots from the “section 333” years though, and most of them ignored the rules and flew without a waiver.

Thankfully, the Section 333 exemption process was merely a band-aid while the FAA finalized their official rules for commercial drone usage. Finally, two years later in August of 2016, the FAA passed Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations – rules that govern the usage of small unmanned aircraft (aka drones). These rules were far more comprehensive than Section 333, did not require a petition letter, and most importantly, did not require an actual pilot’s license to fly a drone commercially.

Tests? I Hate Tests…

This massive drop in requirements from Section 333 to Part 107 made a lot of sense. Someone at the FAA realized that drones were not planes, and they shouldn’t require the exact same certification of their pilots. Drones are smaller, slower, and significantly easier to fly than a full sized plane, but below the surface, there are still many similarities between the two.

Both planes and drones are at the mercy of the weather, and no pilot of plane or drone should fly through a thunderstorm. Concepts such as center of gravity and g-forces apply to an aircraft no matter the size. Different classes of airspaces around airports exist to keep tabs on all aircraft in their vicinity, and keep pilots safe. These similarities, as well as many more, are why the FAA requires drone pilots under Part 107 to pass a knowledge test to become certified commercial pilots.

As someone that finished college five years ago, and has subsequently structured their life so they don’t have to take any more tests (or wear a tie for that matter), I was not excited about the prospect of taking a test. But, faced with the alternative of hanging up my drone for anything except fun unpaid videos in my backyard, I knew I would need to take it and pass.

How To Study For The Test…

We’ve now arrived at the main point of this blog post: a video I created which is all about why you should take the knowledge test, and how to study for and pass it. In the video, I detail the exact (free!) resources that I used to pass the Part 107 knowledge test.

If you find that self studying isn’t for you and a classroom setting works better, I would recommend checking out Remote Pilot 101 and Drone Pilot Ground School. Both offer classes with videos, articles, and teachers that are willing to answer any questions you have.

But if you’re like me and you have a month or two to study in your spare time, I would recommend the following resources. You can read them below in the order I spoke about them in the video:

BASIC DRONE KNOWLEDGE

PART 107 TEST COURSES & CLASSES

AMERICAN FLYER’S TESTING CENTERS

FAA OFFICIAL STUDY GUIDE

FAA Advisory Circular

SECTIONAL CHARTS VIDEOS

FAA TEST SUPPLEMENT BOOKLET

COMMERCIAL DRONES FM PODCAST EPISODE 6

FAA PART 107 PRACTICE TEST

JONATHAN RUPPRECHT FAA PART 107 PRACTICE TEST ANSWERS & STUDY GUIDE

3D ROBOTICS PART 107 PRACTICE TEST

OTHER RESOURCES NOT MENTIONED IN THE VIDEO

That’s it! Read and study these articles, listen to the podcast, take the practice test, and when you’re ready, go and take the real thing. If you take your time and prepare, you’ll pass like I did.

Is It All Worth It?

After having spent a month and a half studying, reading pages of material, and fully immersing myself in sectional charts, weather reports, and drone knowledge, I would say that it is completely worth it. There wasn’t a single bit of knowledge that I studied for this test that I didn’t find useful in some way. I know now that I am a more well prepared pilot, and that I will handle my drone safer than I would have before. I hope this study guide is helpful to you and has opened your eyes to the world of drone filmmaking and photography.

If you have any questions about drones, timelapses, or any other aspects of filmmaking, feel free to get in touch!

You can see more of Matt’s work at WhoIsMatt.com, and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.

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