Category Archives Fun

Man, did I have an awesome week!!!! My wife and I snuck away to London for a quick 5-day vacation with some dear friends of ours, (Alan and Marcia Gassman), but the main reason for the trip was to fulfill one of Alan’s lifelong dreams—to see Eric Clapton perform at the Royal Albert Hall), which we did on Monday night.

Of course, Clapton totally rocked!!! (and the acoustically perfect Royal Albert Hall may be the best place to see a concert ever!). Great show, we had great seats, and Alan is still glowing to this day. Anyway, I thought I’d share a few stories, along with some images from the photo book I created using Apple’s iPhoto about the trip. This is a new template I’ve never used before, and I kinda like it.

During the week, I spent a lot of time shooting the four of us just being tourists around London (including a day at the British Museum—my first time there—amazing place!), so although I’ve got about 45 photos of us in the back of various London cabs, the weather was so beautiful we did an awful lot of walking, too. We took a train to Oxford for a day trip that was just beautiful, and I got to eat at one of my favorite spots (Gourmet Burger Kitchen, where my buddies took me last year), which was super-yummy.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting to see the final day of a Sony-sponsored photographic exhibit by the World Photography Organization at Sommerset House museum, right next to our hotel. It showcased the winners of their annual competition WPO, and it was quite a large show (taking up two floors), and there were some really incredible images on display.

Core Blimey! Meetin’ Up With A Coupla Proper English Chappies! ;-)

Of course, I couldn’t go to London with hanging out with a few of my buddies, so one day my wife and Marcia went off shopping at Harrod’s (where she bought me a new super-small Tamrac travel camera bag), and I went off shooting with my two top chaps: Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis. Now, you may remember last year my story about going shooting with these two English Beefeaters (the day before my London seminar), in some of the grayest, wettest, chilliest weather London could stir up (which led to Dave earning the nickname “The Earl of Gray” and Glyn being referred to as the “The Duke of Cloudyshire.”), but they totally redeemed themselves this time by ordering up five of the most beautiful blue-sky, sunny, and warm days I’ve spent in London.

(Above: L: that’s me tell Glyn I caught a fish “this big!” and the three amigos, Dave, me and Glyn on the right–photo by Chanel Fusco).

A Portrait Shoot I Wasn’t Planning On
Our first night in Swingin’ London, we went to Convent Gardens (it wasn’t far from Buckingham Place, where we were staying as guests of Her Majesty the Queen. Not really—I just wanted to see if you were still playing attention). Anyway, it was a short walk from our hotel, and we ate outside at this great cafe called “Fuel” around dusk, and while we were waiting for our food to arrive, a street performer was setting up to do a short acrobatic show right nearby, and so I strolled over with my camera and took a few shots as he was warming up the crowd.

He was hilarious (very personable), and a really polished performer, and after I took a couple of shots, I looked on my LCD and thought, “Man, this guy has a really interesting look.” He had piercings and a huge tattoo down one arm, and a mohawk. I’ve got to shoot this guy!

So, after his performance (which ended up with him assembling then free-climbing a 15-foot high pole and doing a one-handed handstand on top), I introduced myself as a photographer from America, and I told him I thought he would make a great subject for a portrait shoot. He gave me his business card (which didn’t even have his name—only his Web address), and he said to send him an email with what I had in mind (he seemed like a really nice guy in the short chat I had with him, so I was hopeful we’d be able to set something up for Wednesday afternoon, which was when I was going to shoot with Dave and Glyn.

I dropped him a note the next day, and the shoot was on. Neither Dave nor Glyn live in London, and I didn’t have time to do any location scouting, so I asked Dave and Glyn if they knew anybody with a daylight studio in central London (since I didn’t bring any lights). Dave thought me might have a connection, and as luck would have it, the studio owner he knew had a number of my books, and they gave us a smoking deal on a rental studio, with lighting! It was perfect!!! (in fact, we had three studios to choose from and Elinchrom lighting. I was jazzed). The studio, right near London’s Tower Bridge, was called (wait for it…wait for it…) “Tower Bridge Studios.” Awesome place, and they were wonderful to work with (highly recommended—here’s their link).

The shoot
Our subject, acrobatic performer Reuben Kuan (originally from Melbourne, Australia), arrived right on time (skateboard in hand) for the shoot, and we got to spend a few minutes getting to know him. Really terrific guy (here’s his Website), with a great sense of humor, and fascinating stories. He was really patient during the shoot, and we had lot of laughs along the way. Since we were mostly shooting using the natural light from the frosted glass windows, we could all shoot simultaneously, which was really ideal.

I wanted to do a few really dramatic shots on a black background, so I took two Elinchrom strip banks and put them on either side of Reuben, aiming right at each other with Reuben in the middle. I went with just those two side lights—-with no front or fill light at all, so there would be lots of shadows (we actually tried a beauty dish up front, but I thought it looked more dramatic without it).

We shot with Reuben for about an hour and a half, and we spent a lot of the time just talking with him between shots, and hearing stories of his life so far (he’s done everything from teaching elementary school to IT work and performing with a circus). Really fascinating!

Our 2nd Subject
Once we got to the studio, Glyn told me he had arranged to have a second subject for later in the afternoon, the wonderful Chanel Fusco, a London-based singer and recording artist, who he had previously done some promo shots for. First, we got to listen to her album during the shoot (her style is R&B and her music was fantastic—-here’s a link to her album “Sad Goodbyes” on iTunes. You gotta give her a listen). I kept having to ask her, “Is that you? Really! Wow!” She wrote the songs as well, and the production on the album is top notch. Great band, great recording, and really catching, interesting songs, too!

We shot using only natural light the entire time with Chanel, but we did use a reflector from time to time to bounce a little light back into her face—especially when she was backlit. Although she wasn’t a professional model, she was a natural, and the camera loved her, so it made the whole shoot very fun and having Dave and Glyn there kept us all laughing the whole time. By the way: The full page photo of Chanel on right page above, where she is surrounded by lighting gear and a fan, is totally staged. The lights were turned on—they’re just props. I thought as a recording artist, it would be cool for her to have a photo where she’s shown in the midst of a studio photo shoot.

Off to the Pub

After the shoot we walked over to a local pub, where Dave and Glyn teased me for ordering a Diet Coke, and we told stories ‘till dinner time. We headed crosstown to an Ethiopian restaurant that was recommended to us, and we met up with our other buddy Ed Davis (four time Guru Award winner, and photographer teacher at a University just outside London), and we joined up with my wife, Alan and Marcia. We stayed there laughing and talking until we closed the place (which was bad, but we had to leave for the airport at 6:00 am the following day, but we figured we could sleep on the plane, and we did).

Dave and Glyn are Gray No More
The weather was so great, and that coupled with the fact that Dave was able to score a fantastic studio at an amazing price, and Glyn came through with Chanel to shoot, well….I have to finally let these two lads off the hook. All joking aside, if there are two better chaps in all the UK, I’ve yet to meet ‘em. We had an even better time than my last visit, and having Ed meet us for dinner, and for the seven of us to all get to share a meal and laughs late into the evening really ended our vacation on a high note. Thanks Dave, Glyn and Ed for making us feel so welcome so far from home.

The Best Part of All
I didn’t do a lick of work the entire time I was there (Whoo Hoo!). I didn’t even download any shots off my card until I was on the flight home. Yup, I’m tan, rested, and ready to finish up my latest book, head to New York next week for my seminar, do a live taping of the Grid, and work on some very cool new projects for the future. OK, play time’s over—-now, back to my day gig! :)

My publicity-shy wife, who was very hesitant when I wanted to share the story of her getting her private pilot’s license last month, was totally caught off guard when the largest pilot’s association (The AOPA) saw her story on my blog, and contacted her to see if she would be willing to let them do a story on her for AOPA Pilot magazine.

Of course, I really wanted her to do it, so I kind of nudged her along, until she said “OK.” (Luckily, she loves being an AOPA member, so it wasn’t a very hard sell). But when you’re hesitant to be out there like that, of course you know what happens right? That’s right—it winds up running on their Web site right on the home page! (as seen above). Although she’s not quite sure how to handle all the attention, I think it’s cool as anything (said the proud hubby!).

Here’s a link to the full story, along with photos (special thanks to Keri McDaniel for the shot of my wife singing for the story).

So, my faithful reader and quick-at-the-draw commenter, Ken Toney may not have been at Photoshop World in person, but apparently a squad of Ken Toney fans made certain he was well represented in Orlando. Take a look at the iPhone photo above, taken just after Midnight Madness has ended.

The young woman in the photo is:

(a) Wearing a Ken Toney t-shirt
(b) Wearing a Ken Toney button (I was given one earlier in the conference)
(c) Is holding a Ken Toney 8×10″ photo
(d) Has someone else holding a 2nd photo (an accomplice)

But the most surreal moment of all was when my Editor at Peachpit Press, Ted Waitt, walked up and saw a Ken Toney button and said, “Is that “Flounderman?” (Ken’s tag). I was speechless.

Thanks Ken for making sure we weren’t lonely this year. Now, let’s see if you’re the first commenter on your own post. ;-)

Hi gang. I’m sitting in my delayed flight home (long story) blogging from my iPhone, but I won’t get home until crazy late, so it’s going to be “Light Blog Friday” (which is actually “Lame Blog Friday” with a PR spin).

Had a fantastic crowd in Chicago on Thursday. I thought it was our best stop yet. Our models were awesome, the attendees were incredibly gracious, and it was just a blast all day. Thanks to everyone who came out, and GO BEARS!!!

By the way—-I have to give some love to Brad Moore who has been awesome throughout this trip. When I thanked Brad on stage after the last shoot, the crowd gave him a rock star ovation, and he totally deserved it!! Thanks Brad for everything. :)

Well, they are literally closing the cabin doors for take off, so I’ve got to run. Have a great Friday and weekend everybody, and I’ll see you here on Monday.



– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

I just wanted to wish my totally awesome wife Kalebra congratulations—on Friday she passed her FAA check-ride exam and got her Private Pilot’s license (that’s her above in an iPhone photo taken by her instructor).

She’s going to take four leisurely days off, and then she’s back to training; working on an endorsement for a plane with a higher performance engine, and afterward she starts her IFR (Instrument Flight Rating) training.

In the meantime I just wanted her to know how proud the kids and I are of her. What an amazing accomplishment, and a wonderful example for our children showing them what hard work and dedication can accomplish. I am SO proud of you sweetheart! Let’s go flyin’! :-)

In January you guys posted more than 1,700 Comments
I just went back and added up the number of comments posted by readers from Jan 3rd to Feb 1st, and it was a whopping 1,730 (although 1540 of those were from Ken Toney). ;-)  I was just astounded at the community you guys have built, and I want you to know that I read each and every one. Because I see your comments, I wanted to answer some of the questions I see popping up again and again that aren’t specific to that particular post. However, before I do I just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to share your comments, and especially to thank you for keeping your comments positive and making this a place where everybody’s treated with respect, and people don’t get flamed (or even lightly toasted).

(1) Q. Did you ever get your monopod replaced?
A. As it turns out, getting my monopod broken was the best thing that happened to me at that game. When I posted the story about Packer’s Quarterback Aaron Rodgers breaking my monopod during his touchdown dive (link), the folks at Really Right Stuff (the people who make my beloved BH-40 and BH-55 Ball Heads, which I cannot live without), graciously overnighted me their brand new, super-heavy duty MC-34 Carbon Fiber Monopod (shown above, on the Photoshop User TV set, where I’m telling the story—photo by Brad Moore), which is awesome! Incredibly well built (I’m not sure Rodgers could even take this one out), and it’s getting its first workout next week. That was truly cool of the Really Right Stuff crew.

Then, last Friday I got to speak at Manfrotto Distribution’s Annual Sales Meeting up in New York. They’re the folks behind a lot of the gear I use on a daily basis, including Elinchrom lighting, Lasto modifiers, Avenger stands, and (wait for it, wait for it), Gitzo tripods and monopods.

I’ve done presentations before in their tradeshow booth, but this time they had invited me to do a presentation to their distributors on how I use their gear in my own photography. So, I did a similar presentation to the one I do in their booth for the public, but then I ended with a quick portrait retouch (that’s me in mid retouch above—photo by Will Holowka), and then I ended with a short football photography slideshow.

After I was done, they presented me with not only a replacement for my broken Gitzo monopod, but the replacement was their upgraded model; the Gitzo GM3551 6X Caron Fiber Monopod, which is built like a tank. I don’t think a Packer’s lineman could take this puppy out. This all worked out much better than I could have ever hoped, because now not only do I have two awesome monopods, but I took the $220 Aaron Rodgers gave me, bought some whiskey, and went Honky Tonkin’. ;-)

(2) Q. Where’s the Kelby Training iPad App?
A. Every time I see that comment, which is now daily by the way, I cringe because I don’t have a decent answer. We have run into more hurdles with this project than you can imagine, and every time I think we’re a week away from releasing it, a new issue pops up in a different area. I can tell you we do have Beta versions in-house on our own iPads where we’re testing it, but there’s a reason it’s still in Beta—it’s not quite ready for release. This is one complex puppy, but once it’s lept over every hurdle, it’s going to be awesome. But until it is released, I’m in full cringe mode. Just know, it’s at the top of our list of projects, and I want it as badly as you guys do. Maybe more.

(3) Q. When’s the next Annual World Wide Photo Walk?
A. We haven’t picked the exact date again, but I imagine it will be approximately around the same time frame (late summer, so it’s really hot outside), but as soon as we nail down a date, I’ll be releasing that date here for sure.

(4) Q. When is the new Season of D-Town TV going to air?
A. OK, you have to keep this under wraps, but it’s been delayed a few weeks because we are launching an awesome new show in the next couple of weeks that I think you all will love. I can’t reveal all the details yet, but in the meantime it looks like D-Town TV will kick off its new season next week, but with some changes, which will be revealed in that first episode. It’s all good stuff, so stay tuned.

(5) Q. When is Jay Maisel’s new class going to be released? What about Jeremy Cowart’s 2nd class?
A. Good news: Jay’s class (which is incredible by the way) is almost out of editing, and should be up within just a few weeks. I am excited to tell you that Jeremy’s 2nd class is set to be released later today (his first class was one of our most-watched classes of the year, even though it didn’t come out until October). That’s Jeremy above, in a photo taken by RC yesterday at our studios where Jeremy was recording videos on how he does his Photoshop post-production. This is part of his upcoming online class where we went on location to Nashville to tape him doing an album cover shoot with a big name band. An amazing teaching opportunity from an amazing photographer and instructor.

(6) Q. When are you going to release an iPad App for “Photo Recipes, Part 2?”
A. The App is actually produced by my book’s Publisher, the fine folks over at Peachpit Press, and I imagine we’re probably just a few months away from its iPad release. I’ll let you guys know as soon as I hear anything concrete, but so far I haven’t heard a proposed ship date.

(7) Q. So Scott, are you shooting the SuperBowl?
A. Man, I wish. Unfortunately, I’ll be just watching the game at home, but luckily I’ll be surrounded by friends who all wish they were shooting it too, so we can drown our sorrows in yummy football food, while we scream at the TV (all wearing our Bears logo gear. We were so close!). Now, although Football season is just about officially over, I have a feeling it might be time for an NBA shoot this coming week. :-)

So, there you have it. Some quick answers to those lingering questions. Thanks again to everyone who posted comments and joined in the discussion this year. I love reading your comments, and commenting back when I have the chance. Have a great weekend everybody and we’ll see you here next week.