Category Archives Fun

contest

Yesterday we kicked off the KelbyOne Photo and Design Competition anyone can enter (now through December 11th), with lots of cool prizes.

The Grand Prize winner receives this prize package:

  • Canon EOS 7D Mark II w/EF-S 18-135 lens
  • Canon PIXMA Pro-100 printer
  • 1-Year full Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions – (All CC Applications)
  • 1-Year KelbyOne Membership
  • $200 B&H Photo Gift Card
  • Airport Navigator, from Think Tank Photo
  • 4-in-1 Lens from Olloclip

Plus four Category winners get a prize package, too, plus a People’s Choice category award winner, so make sure you enter. You can see the images people have already submitted right here.  (when you get there, scroll down the page to see the entries).

All the details, and how to submit your images, are right here.

Good luck everybody! :)

Best,

-Scott

GonGear

Welcome to my 10th Annual Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide. I know it’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years. When I wrote the first one, Roosevelt was still President, The Dick Van Dyke Show was a prime-time hit, and the Spice Girls had just released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (please don’t dwell too long on any of that—just let it go). Anyway, that’s not important; what’s important is that there are some really cool, fun, and tasty gear in this year’s guide (including my throwback pick—the Flowbee). It’s almost time to unleash the “gonzoness” of this guide upon you, but first, some housekeeping stuff.

As is my sacred Gonzo tradition for more than a 10th of a century, I’m breaking things into three distinct categories:

  1. Stocking Stuffers: But you can use these as actual holiday gifts if you’re not that crazy about the person.
  1. Great Value Gear: Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.
  1. Cha-ching! Stuff you buy for the surgeon/Wall Street banker/rap mogul on your Holiday gift list. This is the stuff that makes them burst into spontaneous tears of joy. Well, at least I would.

THE RULES
These are my annually self-imposed guidelines for which products make it into the guide. It’s just two rules actually. First, to be listed here, they have to be products that I use myself, and that I absolutely love, and now can’t live without (well, I could live without them, but I just wouldn’t want to). Second, if a product makes the guide, it has to be one I’d recommend to a close friend without hesitation, especially if my friend was Justin Bieber.

Okay, folks, hang on to any loose body parts; here we go!

 

STOCKING STUFFERS

Yong Nuo Trigger

YONGNUO YN-560TX Wireless Flash Trigger
If the photographer on your gift list has a YONGNUO flash, this is an inexpensive wireless controller that sits on top of their hot-shoe and controls up to six groups of flashes. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s cheap at less than $45. If they don’t have a YONGNUO flash, then it becomes a unique tree ornament.

Prices:

YN560 TX (for Canon): $44.95 (link)

YN560 TX (for Nikon): $39.99 (link)


 

1232815347000_330874 copy

Lastolite Ezybalance 12″ 18% Grey/White Target
If they shoot people…(let me rephrase that). If they take portraits, this is an awesome gift because it helps them get the white balance right on the money. It’s super portable (it collapses like a diffuser or reflector so it’s really small and fits in any camera bag), super lightweight, and pretty cheap.

Price: $32.88


 

rmslx-rapid-mount-tether-tools-slx-front-side-with-light copy

 

Tether Tools RapidMount SLX Speedlight Holder
Okay, so technically it’s for mounting a flash just about anywhere, but it’s really for mounting just about anything anywhere. So clever, and very affordable.

Price: $24.95


 

TheHeadshot_3D_Merged copy

Some Cool Books
If they’ve ever wanted to create really professional-looking headshots, they’ll love Peter Hurley’s The Headshot. It came out this year and it’s already going into its third printing. A huge hit! (Full disclosure: I was the development editor, and despite that—it’s still a good book.)

Every photographer and/or graphic designer/illustrator needs Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki’s The Copyright Zone book. It’s full of invaluable information for protecting your work, and lots of great business advice, as well. Good stuff.

Our dear friend Glyn Dewis wrote quite an awesome book this year. It’s called The Photoshop Workbook and it’s packed with great techniques for intermediate users and up.

If you have a few extra bucks to spend, check out Jay Maisel’s It’s Not About the F-Stop and Light, Gesture & Color. Both brilliant books (from us and Peachpit Press).

 


 

 

GREAT VALUE GEAR

PC-SD_bundle copy

Perfectly Clear Plug-in 2.0
This plug-in is pretty much your “retoucher-in-a-box” type of plug-in (for Lightroom or Photoshop) in that it applies up to 20 automatic image corrections. Yes, there are other plug-ins that do automatic corrections and retouching, but this is probably the best I’ve ever seen. Good stuff.
Price:
Photoshop or Lightroom Plug-In v2: $149
Photoshop and Lightroom Bundle v2: $199


 

Bag_02

The Everyday Messenger by Trey Ratcliff and Peak Design
This awesome little camera bag/messenger bag was co-designed by travel photographer Trey Ratcliff, and funded through a Kickstarter program that raised more than $500,000 its first day (raising nearly $5 million total), and when I got mine, I saw exactly why. It’s beautifully made, thoughtfully constructed, very clever, holds a little or a lot (and cleverly adjusts for both), and overall it’s just an awesome camera bag that the photographer on your gift list will love you for.

Price: $249.95


 

Deluxe-Kit-Full-small-amazon_15A0090

Platypod Pro Deluxe Kit
This is a very slick, small, lightweight camera support that you use in place of a tripod (you just put a ballhead on this incredibly sturdy plate and you’re good to go). Its small size lets you use it in places where tripods aren’t allowed, which is a big thing. I love it for doing interior photography with a wide-angle lens down low, or travel photography for getting a really low perspective in a cathedral or palace, but I’m also using it for remote cameras at sporting events. It also has a very well thought-out carrying case.

Price: $49.95


 

product Image 2

CamRanger: Wireless Camera Control & Tethering
This is one of the most useful, smart, and just brilliantly designed things to come along for photographers in a while. It lets you wirelessly control your Canon or Nikon camera for everything from tethering (with touch focus) to time-lapse photography, to making movies, and more with your iPhone or iPad, Android-based mobile device, and even your Mac or Windows desktop computer, and the level of control you get is pretty astonishing. You can view images, save images (RAW and JPEG), adjust the controls all wirelessly, change metering modes, do bracketing—it’s just sick! It’s won about every industry award you can win and its fan base of evangelists around the world grows larger every day.

Price: $299.99


 

TetherTable copy

Tether Table Aero System
This is a shelf that attaches to a tripod to hold your laptop for tethered shooting, which by itself is incredibly convenient for shooting in-studio or on location, but the optional accessories they make for it are awesome, including a little under-mounted holder for external hard drives, to a secondary holder for your iPad, to a pullout drink holder that I personally just love. It’s totally worth it.

Price: Starting at $175.95


 

Westcott

Westcott Apollo 50″ Mega JS Softbox for Hot-shoe Flash
It’s a big, beautiful, super portable, lightweight softbox that’s a miracle for the money. Perfect for lighting portraits, full-length shots, or even group shots, all with just a single flash. It collapses like an umbrella but forms into a big ol’ 50×50″ softbox, and at $169.90 you can’t beat it.

Price: $169.90


 

DxO ONE iPhone APri

DxO ONE
If you have an iPhoneographer on your Holiday list, this gift will blow them away. It’s a pro-quality 20-megapixel camera lens and sensor that attaches to your iPhone via a lightning connector, and the results are pretty stunning. With its f/1.8 aperture, now you can take shots with those soft out-of-focus backgrounds right from your iPhone, but it integrates directly into your iPhone so you can still do all the iPhone stuff to the images it captures. The images are sharper, clearer, better in low light than your iPhone, and well, it’s basically a whole new experience in quality and size.

Price: $599


 

Vello copy

Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer Remote Switch
This is so inexpensive that it probably should go under “Stocking Stuffers,” but it doesn’t look cheap, so I’m sticking it here. This accessory does double-duty—it acts as a cable release for your camera, but then it also does time-lapse photography (well, that’s actually its main act). It’s pretty well made (mine has lasted for years now), and it’s only $49.95 at B&H.

Price: $49.95


 

mpix_logo

Use MPIX to Print, Mount, Frame, and Deliver One of Your Own Images
This is a really personal gift—giving one of your images, framed, to someone else. The impact this will make is pretty incredible. Expect them to follow you around like a puppy for the rest of the year for giving them something only you could do. You upload your image to MPIX.com; pick your mounting, framing, etc.; and they’ll ship it directly to the person on your gift list. Don’t go chinchy on the size—get a 16×20″ or larger (figure around $100 with mounting, framing, printing, and delivery or more if you choose a larger size).

Price: Depends on size, mounting, and framing you choose


 

B&Hlogo

The B&H Photo Gift Card
Not exactly sure what to get them? Get them this! That way they can get whatever they want (within the limit of how much you put on the card, of course) from the greatest photo store on earth. You can order gift cards directly from the B&H site. They’ll send a card and a catalog so it looks pretty substantial.

Price: That’s up to you


 

CA-CHING!

8-15

A Fisheye Lens
I’m just saying a fisheye, because you have to pick one that fits the camera make and style (crop sensor or full frame) that the photographer on your Holiday gift list uses, but whichever brand you wind up getting, they’ll super-dig this special-effect lens.

I use the Canon EF 8–15mm f/4L Fisheye USM zoom (for full-frame cameras), and it’s awesome! ($1,249).

For crop-sensor bodies, a lot of folks like the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye (around $600).

Nikon makes an AF Fisheye-NIKKOR 16mm f/2.8 for full-frame cameras that’s right around $1,000.

Their AF DX Fisheye-NIKKOR 10.5mm f/2.8 for cropped sensor DX bodies is around $771.

Price: Starting around $600 and on up.


 

ElinchromBattery copy

Elinchrom ELB 400 Battery Pack
If you want the photographer on your list to fall in love with you with a burning passion that knows no bounds, get them this awesome little battery pack that can use two small lightweight (but very powerful) flash heads. This is what I use when I want studio-quality light on location, and this latest version is better than ever. It has its own built-in (better) version of high-speed sync for freezing motion and strobe special effects that’s just awesome. Very lightweight battery back, well designed, and incredible for the money.
Price: $1,019 (without optional Lithium-ion battery or strobes)


 

Canon 11_24 copy

 

Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Ultra-Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
This is the greatest super-wide-angle lens I’ve ever used, and I believe it’s the widest wide-angle lens ever made without becoming a fisheye lens. It’s sharp as a tack, it’s a rectilinear lens so it minimizes distortion, and the images you’re able to capture with it are just stunning. It’s just so darn wide! I love it! Of course, this much love doesn’t come in a cheap package. It’s around $3,000 but for the greatest wide-angle ever made, it’s worth it.

Price: $2,999


 

Phantom copy

 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Flying Camera
Everybody wants a drone copter for taking aerial shots these days. Everybody! It’s “a thing.” I know I included a copter in my list last year, but however popular they were last year, it’s pretty much quadrupled for this year, so I had to include one. It’s a really fun thing, and the DJI Standard is, well, it’s the standard! (Note: If you give this to someone, prepare to receive the same reaction a dog gives his owner when he returns home: They’ll jump up on you and lick your face. Just sayin’.)

Price: $699


 

CanonPrinter

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Professional Inkjet Printer
We have one of these in our offices, and it’s among the best printers Canon’s ever made. It’s a 17″ wide-format pro-quality printer with all new guts (print head, new inks, new technology, new special magic, etc.) to make prints that are just unbelievable in quality, sharpness, and vibrance. They’ll not even believe you bought them a printer. It will totally freak them out (in a good way).

Price: $1,299


 

COOL STUFF FROM US

Print

A One-Year KelbyOne Online Training Membership
How awesome would this be? (Mighty awesome!) They’ll think of you for a full year as they’re learning cool new stuff. From lighting to landscapes, weddings to travel photography, portraits to pet photography, there are more than 500 in-depth online training classes here (including lots of classes from me). They’ll love you (I’ll love you). It’s only $199 for a full year of unlimited access. Feel the love.

Price: $199/year 


 

Print

Get Them a Ticket to My Live Full-Day Seminar
I’d love to see the awesome photographer on your gift list in person at my live full-day photography (and Lightroom and Photoshop) seminar. I’m heading all over here in the U.S., and I even pop over to Canada and the U.K. You can see a list of cities over at www.kelbyone.com/live. They’ll super-dig it, and you’ll be a hero.

Price: $99


 

15PSWRGBlogo

Treat Them to Photoshop World Las Vegas
It’s a three-day photography, Photoshop, Adobe CC, video, and Lightroom lovefest coming this summer (July 19–21, 2016), and you can send your loved one (or hope-to-be-loved-back one) for an experience they’ll never forget. They’ll learn more in three days than they have in three years, and they’ll have you to thank. Plus, if you buy their full conference pass now, you’ll save a bundle.


 

Well, there ya have it folks. Remember, it’s not how many gifts you get. It’s about how many gifts you get me! ;-)

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving Week!

-Scott

De-Motivational Poster11-2015a

Last night, as I was sitting on the couch watching an inspiring Thursday night NFL game between the Jaguars and Titans, I was somehow moved to create another entry in my on-going series of “De-Motivational” Posters, so I created the one you see here above.

In the spirit of demotivationalalcsioucness , I thought today that I would share not only my latest poster entry, but a few of my favorites from earlier in the series (below), to help get your weekend off to a lackluster start.

demot7

demot2

demot3

demot4

demot6

demot5

Well my friends, there you have it. It’s a masterful combination of bad timing and poor focusing skills that have come together to create football magic that I’m decidedly ambivalent about sharing here with you today.

Here’s wishing you an in-focus, unobstructed, sharp-as-a-tack weekend! :)

Best,

-Scott

Mornin’ everybody. Sorry for the late post, but…I just woke up. LOL! (The photo above of me, with the famous Sydney Opera House in the background, is by Australian Photographer Keith McInnes).

We just got back home last night from our trip to Australia and New Zealand (and quite a few long flights), and while it was a totally incredible trip, it’s still always great to get back home.

Lots to share on Monday – I’m working on a post with images from the trip and the plan is to share those on Monday  (I’m still culling through the shoots).

Even though I’ve been on the road, the gang back here at KelbyOne has been working on lots of cool stuff I hope to share some of that with you next week, along with stories from the trip, and lots of fun news – should be a great week. :)

Anyway, just wanted to touch base; say “howdy” and let you know I’m back in the saddle (so to speak).  I’ll be shooting the Bucs again this Sunday and I’ll be back here on Monday with some shots from the trip, and I hope you’ll check back then.

Have a great weekend everybody – hope you make some great images!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Been posting lots of stuff over on Instagram – hope you’ll follow me there – @scottkelby

Scott, are you serious? After all the heat you took over:

(a) Buying your first Apple watch, and
(b) Then returning it for a full refund, you’re going to buy another one? Really?

Yes, really.

Here’s a quick Q&A on why:

Q. So, I thought your big problem with it was that you didn’t want to take your watch off each night to charge it? Isn’t the battery life still the same?
A. Yes, that was absolutely my main gripe — I like to wear my watch at night, but apparently that’s when it should be charging.

Q. So what changed your mind?
A. Apple releasing Watch OS2 (supposed to be tomorrow I believe). It has a new nightstand mode that lets you lay it on its side while charging on your nightstand – it flips the watch face sideways, and if you need to see the time in the middle of the night, you just tap the watch face.

Q. That’s not nearly as convenient as just wearing it though.
A. I know, but it’s at least a step in the right direction, so I’m willing to give it a try.

Q. Really, that’s all it took?
A. Well, quite honestly there are three other reasons:

  1. When I returned my original Apple watch for a full refund I went back to my Fossil watch, which never needs charging and looks pretty decent, but I hate the watch band like you cannot believe, and after having the Apple Watch, I realized that it’s a “dumb watch.” It just tells the time, looks nice and that’s about it. The Apple watch at least did cool stuff – it was lighter, and I liked being able to change the watch face on a whim.
  2. This article called “The thing with the Apple watch is everybody thought about it wrong” really made me see the Apple Watch in a whole new light, and it’s the best explanation of why the tech bloggers and writers just “don’t get it.”
  3. My old Fossil watch was heavy and I hated the strap (the end kept popping out of the two thin loops), whereas the Apple Watch is really lightweight (I didn’t realize how heavy my old watch felt, or how much I liked the Apple Watch strap until I put my old Fossil watch back on).

Q. When you returned your first watch, you said you actually liked the watch itself – it was just the charging thing. Is that still correct?
A. I must admit, though I still don’t like the charging, I actually missed the watch itself, which is another big motivating factor.

Q. But didn’t you get slammed for buying it in the first place, and then slammed again for returning it?
A. Oh man, did I ever. Here’s just one (of many) I received after returning my first Apple watch – the first line is referring to something I wrote in that post, so his words start with “What about…:

I really needed to know what time it was, and my iPhone was charging on the other side of the house, so I had to find my iPad just to know what time it was.”

What about the oven, microwave, television, computer, any number of other devices within steps of you inside your own home. Did you try glancing at any one of those you pathetic douchebag! This is the most absurd article I have ever read, and you should be ashamed of yourself for bitching about needing to buy a second watch because you are too [deleted super bad words] worthless and lazy to be bothered to get off your fat a@# and figure it out. Go [really bad word] yourself [bad]hole.”

[Note: I edited his last line by adding in  those @#’s in his naughty words. His original comment of course didn’t have those].

He wrote me that comment because I returned my first watch for a refund.

Q. Ouch! Why was he so mad that YOU returned YOUR watch? It’s not like you forced him to return HIS watch?
A. I know. Welcome to my world. I’ve learned that if you say anything positive or negative about Apple, there are a certain percentage of people who just absolutely freak out, and they pretty much fit into two groups: Apple apologists are people who can’t imagine Apple creating or doing anything that isn’t perfect, so if someone complains about their Apple product they immediately blame the user (me, in this case), because they can’t bring themselves to blame Apple. Apple haters on the other hand, are just haters, and just the mention of Apple’s name brings them out in droves. You’ll see them here in the comments, even though I just called them out. They just can’t help it — haters gotta hate.

applewatch2

Q. So which model did you get?
A. I got the Stainless Steel version this time rather than the aluminum Sport Watch (it was $150 more), after seeing them all in person at the Apple store yesterday (it’s the one in the center above, with the white band). I also bought a black band (yes, you have to buy them separately if you don’t want the one that came with your watch, and they ain’t cheap — $50 for their lowest priced one. The one I really wanted turned out to be $445. For just the watch band. Um…I passed on that one.). The bands just slide in/out surprisingly easy — you push a button on the back and they slide out. Very cleverly designed.

applewatch1

Q. What if it doesn’t work out this time? What if you don’t like the new nightstand mode?
A. I’ll know within just a few days how I like it, and of course I can return it for a full refund (within 14 days), but honestly, I don’t think I will this time because I realize that I actually miss having an Apple Watch, and with Watch OS2 it seems like it has more of what I liked about it in the first place. Plus, I’m tired of having a “dumb watch.” So, I’d be pretty surprised if I wound up returning it this time.

Q. But you could be wrong, right?
A. Right. Just ask anybody. ;-)

Q. But the Apple watch isn’t nearly as advanced as [insert the one you like better here]. Why’d you get that one instead of [insert the one you bought here]?
A. Read that article in Reason #2 above. That pretty much explains why.

Well, despite the fact that I decided to give the Apple Watch another try, I still hope you have a great Tuesday. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m also trying out a PC Laptop, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a set of Bose Headphones, so load your weapons. ;-)

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and our offices are closed, so we’re taking today off here at the blog but I’ll be back on here tomorrow.

By the way: I looked up Labor Day in WikiPedia, and here are a few interesting tidbits about this American Holiday:

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties.

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and College football seasons.

(NOTE: My football shooting season has already started, as I shot the Bucs vs. Bengals and the Bucs vs. Browns NFL Preseason games already. Here’s some thumbnails from the Browns game, below).

browns

Have a great Labor Day today. Don’t forget to rest and party! :-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. We have right around 650 Photo Walks organized around the world as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk. If you’re relaxing this Labor Day, why not click this link; type in the name of your city, and see if there’s a walk near you that you can join on Saturday, Oct. 3rd?

Close