Category Archives Fun

Today in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving; a national holiday where we give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy (and I truly feel like the most blessed guy on earth). Traditionally this is a day  where families come together to eat a Thanksgiving turkey feast, and then we watch football until we pass out. It’s just about a perfect day. :-)

Our offices are closed today for Thanksgiving, so there’s no “pimpy Thursday” today, but I’ll be back here tomorrow with some fun stuff, and of course some mild to medium pimpage in honor of the biggest shopping day of the year.

In the meantime, please enjoy the stock photo above (nothing brings the warmth, togetherness, and joy of Thanksgiving together like a stock photo).

In all seriousness, here’s wishing you and your family a joyus, happy, and yummy Thanksgiving. :-)

All my best,


I haven’t had a chance to really go through my shots from the 49ers/Giants game on Sunday quite yet, so instead, I thought I’d turn this into a teaching moment and share some tips on shooting football—the kind of tips  you’re not likely to find anywhere else. ;-)

TIP #1: What this shot needs is….more goal post (see photo above right).
Without the goal post clearly visible in the shot, how does the viewer really even know what sport they’re seeing? Is it ice hockey? The 100mm Men’s Freestyle? Doubles Tennis? Who knows without a strong visual cue like that icon of football, the venerable Goal Post. Seeing it lets you know in an instant that this is football, and a four-point touchback is just moments away.

“I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription…is More Goal Post.”
— Legendary football photographer Bruce Dickinson

“If Bruce Dickinson wants more goal posts, we should probably give him more goal posts. And maybe I am being selfish, but last time I checked, SI doesn’t have a lot of pictures that feature the goal post!”
— Legendary G+ commenter  Nicholas Boivin


Tip #2: Use the Ref as a Graphic Element Whenever Possible
Timing is everything when shooting football, and if you can time it to where a referee walks into the frame at the peak moment of action (as seen above right), it will add a level of depth that is missing in so many sports photos today. Look at the flat-looking, one dimensional image on the left. Now compare that with the one on the right. The ref adds the depth and dimension it needs to take this shot to the pro level. I call this technique “Reverse Shallow Depth of Field.” or RSDOF

Tip #3: Use assistant coaches and other random people on the sidelines to help “frame” your subject (as seen above right).
In the shot on the left, you don’t know where to look first, but in the shot on the right, your eyes are drawn right into the player carrying ball (someone you might otherwise overlook). This is a tried and true compositional technique that is usually applied to travel and landscape images, but if you’ve got team assistants, and video crew, and the guy holding that big blue parabolic mic right there beside you on the sidelines, why not use them to apply that same technique to football shots? You won’t see this type of framing on, and that’s precisely what will make your images stand out!

Well, there you have it folks, three solid tips designed to add the element of surprise and shallow depth of field to your foreground like never before. Now, it’s off to shoot the second period of play and take a few snaps of that running guard right before the buzzer! ;-)

(Above: L to R: Pete, RC, Matt [in his old belt], Yours Truly, Corey, and Brad, right after his testing)

Last night the Photoshop Guys were there to support our buddy Matt Kloskowski as he tested for his Black Belt in Taekwondo, and as expected—-he rocked it!

He’s been winning tournament after tournament during this training, including 1st place in sparring and 1st in forms competition numerous times, and he’s competing in a little over a week in a big competition—his first as a black belt.

A big congratulations to Matt, who has been training hard for years for this night, and we all are so proud of him. Way to go, Ski!!!!! :-)

OK, this is totally off topic, but I’ve had so many people ask me here on the blog if I had a recording or a video of my band, “Big Electric Cat” and I didn’t have one…until now. I ran across a DVD taped two years ago at B.B. Kings Bar & Grill. My foot was in a cast (note the crutches on the left behind me) , so I had to sit most of the time (I don’t like to sit when I play), but at least I found it.

It’s us playing the last song of the night — it’s kind of our trademark song, originally recorded by Mother’s Finest, it’s called “Baby Love.” The audio mix is pretty lame, as is the lighting, but you still at least kinda get the idea. So, without further ado (yes, that was “ado”) here is Baby Love performed by Big Electric Cat (From L to R: Tony Llanes on Guitar, Felix Nelson on Bass, Kalebra on Vocals, Scott Stahley on Drums, and me on Keyboards).

Hi Gang: I just got back from the Bucs vs. Colts Monday Night football game (it was awesome!), but I just walked in the door and it’s 1:24 am in the morning. I’m downloading the images from the game in the background, because no matter how tired you are, you must always at least take a brief look at your images to see if you really did capture that touchdown pass in the end zone, or did the ref walk right in front of you.

(Above: Our good friend Ken Toney snagged this image of me on TV, right behind the word ESPN on the left, shooting from the end zone. Man was it hard shooting over those letters). ;-)  Sadly, Ken did not win the Spot Scott Competition, because others beat him to it. I’ll determine the winners later today).

The post that was not to be….
I had grand plans of writing a blog post when I got home showing a more personal side of my Tampa Photo Walk, but sadly that will have to wait until Thursday or Friday, as I’m whipped from a whirlwind day at work, and the game tonight, and now (well, a bit later today) I’m flying to Houston, Texas for my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch It” seminar there on Wednesday (hey, if you’re not signed up yet, it’s not too late to go—here’s the link).

I guess the reason I’m telling you all this is that I’m not doing that really cool post I had planned, and instead I offer you “Lame/Late/Light Blog Tuesday” which I realize is both light and lame, but I really don’t have a great back-up plan (plus, I’m battling a mosquito that snuck in the door with me when I came in a few minutes ago, and that’s not making things easier).

I do, however, hope you all have a magnificent Tuesday filled with all the joys only a Tuesday can bring (I have no idea what that means. Can you tell it’s really late at night?).


-Scott, the Sleepy Bear, Kelby
Red ballcap, yellow monopod, jeans and kneepads. It’s what all the cool kids are wearing. ;-)

P.S. Stacy Tuggle, who follows me on Google+, totally nailed the High Def shot, and posted it on G+ (it’s shown below). Thanks Stacy! That’s worth a signed book! :)

Here’s one more for the road (well, three really), from Kirk Howard on Google+:

OK, I am super psyched because tonight I’ll be shooting on the sidelines at the Monday Night Football Game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Monday Night Football is a grand sports tradition here in the USA, and it’s broadcast nationwide (as its the only pro football game that airs on Monday night—-all the rest play on Sunday), and I know a lot of you will be watching, so I thought I would create this handy “Scott Spotting Guide” just in case I get creamed by a receiver (or if Josh Freeman breaks my monopod). ;-)

Brad Has Re-Pimped Out my Monopod
To make “Scott Spotting” easier, Brad has removed the red flames tape and replaced it with bright yellow tape around the top section of my monopod, so if I show up on camera (which I do from time to time), you’ll be able to see that it’s me. Oh but there’s more…

Adding a Colorful Ballcap
I went to my closet to find a colorful ball cap to help make me easier to spot, but as you can see in this iPhone photo, apparently all I have is black ball caps. So, I went to the mall and picked up the red ballcap you see in the photo at the top of the page at a Sporting Goods store. So, red ballcap and yellow monopod. I’ll look like a small firetruck with a 400mm lens.

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.

I also go out on the field immediately after the game to grab a few close-up shots of players celebrating / agonizing at center field. I’d be shooting something more wide angle at this point.

Let’s make it interesting
The first three people who taks a photo of their TV Screen where you can see me, and post 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, “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it.”

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 CS5 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 tomorrow (provided I get any decent ones). Have a great Monday, and we’ll see you tonight. Well, you know what I mean. :)