Category Archives Guest Blogger

Pushing the Envelope

I have a phrase for it, the Darwin Theory of Photography - Evolve or Perish. While it's very true that I'm a gear head and one of my greatest pleasures in life is to get a new piece of gear and just sit and inhale the new gear smell, there is most definitely a method behind my madness. I love telling stories and since I can't draw, dancing is out of the question and my family won't even let me sing in the shower that leaves me with photography to tell my stories. In 1998 when I first started to shoot digital, I knew then that the means in which I delivered my photographic stories was going to have to change.

It gets complicated for Sharon & me in the fact that we make our livelihood by telling stories with my photographs. The editorial marketplace is where we have worked and grown for the last three decades in part of our own mission to get the word out about our wild heritage. Realizing from the get-go that we couldn't do it on our own, we needed to enlist every possible photographer in shooting and sharing their stories, so then our editorial requirement grew from our own stories to helping photographers tell theirs as well. This created an even greater need for the editorial marketplace to be healthy and strong.

Over the years digital photography has as you know become more and more powerful as a medium. Its ability to instantly tell a story and the web's ability to deliver it has in some ways crippled our traditional method of telling stories. Many a magazine and newspaper has succumbed to this new pressure due in part to not following what they don't know about, my Darwin Theory of Photography. In a nutshell, if you're a storyteller, you gotta have a way and place to tell your story. And if you're a storyteller who tells stories with photographs and depends upon magazines for a vehicle and they are disappearing, your ability to tell stories is going to disappear too. And if you have a mission to help others, the pressure is even greater. You gotta push the envelope!

One of the greatest perks of working with all the great folks at NAPP is the constant flow of creativity. I am very fortunate to be able to sit down and talk with Scott or Matt or RC or Moser and discuss the creative and business side of photography and outreach. It was from a conversation with Scott years ago when the iPad was first made known to us though it was not on the market yet that got my wheels turning. It was then that I saw at least in my own mind, a way to push the envelope of photography and the editorial marketplace and deliver content in a very new and exciting way.

Shortly after the iPad's release, a plug-in became available for InDesign that permits you to take your InDesign document to the iPad. I'm not talking eBook, which is just a glorified PDF. I'm talking a whole new method to deliver content in an exciting and visually more stimulating way, taking advantage of all the unique qualities of the iPad to improve learning. This was the way we could push the envelope and take advantage of our digital photography and the way more and more want to receive their content, how they want to learn. One major, big, giant problemâ¦it was way over my head!

I was sitting at my desk working and our son Brent was down for the weekend from college. Brent has this unbelievable ability to make computers sing with just a glance. He was looking over my shoulder while we were talking and I was doing battle with the program when he asked, "Dad, what are you trying to do?" I explained it to him, kinda and he just said, "I've got a minute why don't you let me try it?" The rest is history now. He had it working within a heartbeat and my blood pressure went back to normal.

Our first goal was to take our 15yr old BT Journal to the iPad. The main thing was to just not "take" it to the iPad but take advantage of the iPad technology. The first thing that came to light is the ability to deliver more photographs and more of their stories. Brent loves the "push dad button" as he started asking for more and more photos for the digital version of the BTJ. This is because he was able to do slideshows, adding 400-500% more images to the content. With the traditional editorial model, you have only so much real estate where you can place images. Such is not the case with the iPad, which not only vastly increases useable real estate but also presents the layout designed both in landscape and portrait format. (And when magazines can use more and more photos and you're in the business of selling images, this is a good formula!)

But our abilities to present content in more untraditional ways doesn't stop there.  When you go to iPubs, you have the ability to incorporate video content right along with the written and visual. This is very powerful stuff when it comes to teaching and inspiring! One of the first cool videos Brent incorporated was of Upper Yosemite Falls. When you flip the page in the BTJ, folks see the waterfall shot and at first think it's a still image until after a moment they notice the water is flowing, falling and crashing. The look on folks' faces when they see their digital magazine "come to life" is great! Being able to include video got Brent to thinking and that's how the Pg28 Videos came to be. Where on the hard copy Pg28 are just photo captions (which are greatly expanded and attached to the photos in the digital version), in the digital version Pg28 are video Photoshop lessons about photos in the issue. It wasn't long before we realized there are no limitations! Our latest BTJ issue with an interactive map is an example of this, but wait, there is so much more.

You might have noticed I like to take pictures of planes. For awhile now, I've been trying to get you excited about playing with planes. Just like with wildlife photography, I've been putting out information on how to improve your aviation photography and wanted to put it all in one place for folks, what we traditionally call a book. Well, no one wanted to publish a book on aviation photography, "no market" was the response. Publishing a book is expensive, distribution is tricky and marketing is everything and this all takes time. Brent & I put our heads together and decided we were going to push the envelope again and produced the world's first iBook, Taking Flight.

Taking Flight took one month to write, lay out, assemble and put on the market. Taking Flight is an iBook that has hundreds of photographs, web links, videos and the best thing, is updatable! That's right! Our iBook (only $14.99) includes free updates, which we have already done in the form of additional photos and more videos since its release. If you want a new edition of a traditional book, what do you have to do, buy a new book right? This is not the case with an iBook. The worldwide response has been so amazing that we're working on our next iBook, and it will be FREE!! We don't stop pushing the envelope around here.

But what does this all have to do with you? I know one of the first comments below will be, "I don't have an iPad or will it be coming out on Android?" which to me is no different than, "I don't have $29.95 to buy a book." And I'm sure each producer of a new means of communication since the printing press has heard the same basic comment for their day at the introduction of their product. That brings us back to the Darwin Theory of Photography. And this is not for those books you want to curl up with next to a fire on a snowy afternoon. What we're talking about here is increasing the marketplace, the means to tell our visual stories in a changing editorial world, which we need to support if we want it to support us!

Our traditional model of delivering content is fading with newspapers, magazines, and books slowly disappearing from our visual landscape. If you are like me and tell your stories visually through the editorial medium, this means you're going to lose if nothing else, income. If you not only need that income but also have a burning desire to share your photographs (which you all should have!), then you need to push the envelope and be part of how we develop the next generation of magazines and books. You can do that by subscribing to all the magazines now available on the iPad and buying those iBooks that might interest you. At the same time, think creatively how you can add content to these mediums and get more involved in sharing your photographs.

Evolve or perishâ¦be it a new body, lens, technique or passion, it is at the heart of my photography. And I hope now I've planted the seed that becomes the heart of yours. When Brad pinged me to write about how Brent & I went to the iPad with content, I scratched my head how the story might be of service to you. And in a long winded way, I came back to really basics illustrated with a high ended story. Pushing ourselves and more importantly our photography is what all great photographers have done since the dawning of the medium, which is how we got where we are today. It is now up to us to push past camera brands and megapixels and focus on telling the story of our days by using the mediums now available to us. Don't settle, share your photographs and change the world, knowing that in part you do it by pushing the envelope!

You can see more of Moose’s work at, follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and circle him on Google+

Photo by Nancy Leigh

Thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity to be guest blogger. Once given the platform to blog, my issue became what I should blog about because I wear many hats. I am co-founder of D65  and we conduct Lightroom workflow workshops around the US and have a new book on Lightroom 4 called D'65's Lightroom Workbook, Workflow, Not Workslow in Lightroom 4.  Additionally, I am a partner in Digital Photo Destinations with John Paul Caponigro and we conduct workshops in exotic locations like Antarctica, Iceland, Chile and any location presenting amazing photo opportunities. Of course I am a photographer as well and could easily write about being a cryophiliac "love of Ice." My passion is color but my muse is ice, hence "cryophiliac".

After contemplating all the possibilities I decided to blog about one of my anal habits. KEYWORDING and for continuity decided to write about Keywording in Lightroom.

I have been called the King of Keywording. The best way of using any DAM (Data Asset Management) software is to take advantage of the application's ability to find specific images. Proper keywording is not only advantageous, but essentially the only way of finding specific images in a very large collection. It is one thing to scroll through a few hundred images to find the one you want. It is an entirely different matter to scroll through 50,000 images to find the image you want. With proper keywording one can find any image in a click.

A keyword tag or "keyword" is metadata that categorizes and describes the key elements of a photo. According to one study, it may take more than 400 keywords to accurately describe an image without actually looking at the thumbnail. Building a Keyword Hierarchy can be a tedious and painful task, but it is essential to digital asset management.

Keywords help in identifying and searching for images in a catalog. Keyword tags are stored either in the image files or in XMP sidecar files or in Lightroom Catalog. The XMP can be read by any application that supports XMP metadata.

Keywording Images
To keyword your images, think globally first and then go for local. Think of keywording the same way you would classify an animal. A Spider Monkey would first be a Mammal then an Ape, then a monkey and finally a spider monkey. For example, to classify Palm Beach Gardens (where I live), you would… (more…)

Let me start of by introducing myself.

My name is Frank Doorhof, and I'm based in the Netherlands where I run a photostudio together with my wife Annewiek. We shoot mainly fashion, artists, celebrities and some family work.

Where most people will probably know me from is the workshops and the videos you can find on Kelby Training. You probably already read a lot from me about why you should use a light meter, calibrate your monitor and use a color checkerâ¦. So when I'm asked for a guest post on Scott's blog I decided to do it a bit differently this time.

One of the things I always hear during the workshops I teach can be boiled down to two main topics:

Creativity and getting your name known.

Let's look at these two for todays guestblog.

When I do portfolio reviews I see a lot of nice work, but very often I see work that I think could be improved A LOT by adding some simple things in the image. In other words, the light is great, the posing of the model is okay, the location is great but⦠Well, let's start at the beginning.

We all know how we started out right?

A model with jeans and a tanktop. Now this is great as an outfit for outside, don't get me wrong. I love jeans and a tanktop (although you will never see me wearing them :D) However when we do a photo shoot it's often much more interesting to add something extra to the image and this is were the problems startâ¦. Styling costs money right?

Well yes and no.

What a lot of photographers forget is that you don't really need a stylist per se. A stylist is a great addition to your shoot, but there is a lot you can do yourself just by being "creative." Most of all, learn to see possibilities with materials and props you would normally probably not see fit for photoshoots.

I can write a lot of text, but let's look at some examples and you can see how material that actually did not cost anything (or very little) can make some really interesting images.

The material in this first image is actually bubble plastic. A lot of companies have big rolls of this in the packing department, and with a bit of creativity, the model has a new dress. When lighting this material it gives an awesome look due to the structure of the bubbles and the slight reflective look.

The next image did raise some eyebrows when people heard during a seminar what the material was for these dresses… Believe it or not, but it's all Christmas wrapping paper that was left from Christmas, so in fact it got a second life.

But you can also use props.

In the following shot I used an old window that I bought for less than $20 in a junk yard. The dress the model wears looks like a wedding dress with a twist, but it's not a dress at all. The whole dress is made out of curtains (yeah the stuff that hangs in front of windows).

That same dress can be made into something really special… (more…)

Hello every one! My name is Regina Pagles, aka ‘shineylewis’ and I am a hobbyist photographer living in Springdale, Utah.

I am honored to be writing a post for this blog. Thank you Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for providing me this opportunity. Dreams really do come true!

It was roughly 20 years ago that my dad purchased the first version of Photoshop and installed it on his Apple 2e computer. We had no idea how to use the software and it was clearly above our skill level. In spite of this, we managed to figure out how to place my dad’s head onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body. To this day, I remember our laughter!

I was fascinated with the program, but never found the time to devote to learning all of it’s intricacies. I always said to myself, “One day…”

Fast forward 20 years: that day has come. I am obsessed with learning Photoshop and have finally decided in earnest to master the program to the best of my ability.

I considered myself primarily a landscape photographer until I was first introduced to studio lighting and portraiture at Photoshop World 2010. Westcott had a ‘Shoot Out’ booth on the Expo floor with professional lighting, sets and models. I was instantly hooked and spent hours taking hundreds of photographs. Upon returning home, I entered Westcott’s Flickr Photoshop World Shoot Out contest and amazingly, won first place. Shortly after, a truck pulled up to my front door and delivered a bunch of lighting equipment. Luckily, my husband and I had the space and we set up a small 400 sq. ft. studio. I can’t imagine ever going back to landscapes!

Even though it has been 2 years, studio lighting is still a mystery to me. I approach each photo shoot as an experiment. Sometimes the experiment goes well and sometimes not as well as I had hoped – but it’s all a learning experience. It's the same when it comes to retouching. Some images are winners and quite a few end up in the trash can. I need to constantly remind myself: “Every shot does not have to be a masterpiece.”

I would like to make it clear that I am not a naturally gifted artist or photographer. In fact, I consider myself to be quite a hack. My theory is that if you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. I just persevere.

A huge inspiration of mine is Joel Grimes, and my favorite quote from him is that “Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week.” That quote resonates with me because I am just a rather boring and realtively unimaginative person with a lot of patience and drive.

Early on, I worried about what others thought about my style of processing. Will THEY like it? I didn’t even know who THEY were, but their opinions were very, very important to me. Thankfully, I stopped caring and that’s when I started improving. The only approval I seek now is my own.

I realize that my style of retouching is not for everyone. It is not important to me that my images remain ‘natural.’ I view the face of the person that I am photographing as a blank canvas, and I have no idea what the result will look like in the end. Sometimes the resemblance to the subject is similar in the finished version, sometimes they don’t look anything like themselves. I don’t like blemishes, wrinkles, uneven skin tones or defects on myself and I have a tendency to obliterate them on any portrait I retouch. Up until very recently, I would apologize for this fact, however now I have decided to make it a disclaimer.

Photography and retouching are just a hobby and I do not accept paid assignments. I made a promise to myself not to turn my passion into a career and I am proud to consider myself an amateur. It is and always will be just a hobby, albeit one that I eat, breath, sleep and dream about. It is liberating to pursue something just for the sheer love of it. For me, it doesn't always have to be about money.

This is a subject that I feel very strongly about and have actually gotten into serious arguments over. It amazes me how many people that I come across who feel that if a person doesn’t charge money, then their work or art has no value. Worse still, some feel that I devalue their work because I ‘work for free’. I have ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. It may sound silly and possibly extreme, but I am of the opinion that once a person hands you money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the clients’ wants and needs and I want it to be all about me! I am perfectly fine with no deadlines, no do-overs, no unsatisfied clients and no stress!

I know that there will probably be quite a few photographers reading this that support themselves and their families with the income that they derive from providing photographic services. It is not my intent to diminish what they do or suggest in any way that they pursue photography just for money. I have chosen to keep photography and retouching a hobby and not a career.

Retouching Info:
Many have asked if HDR is involved, but I do not incorporate HDR into my portraits. The dynamic range is brought out many ways, but the ‘Tonal Contrast’ filter in the Color Efex bundle by Nik Software does a great job. I also use Perfect Photo Effects by onOne Software and on every photo I process. I will experiment with a variety of their filters. Finally, I love the filters from Topaz and don't know what I'd do without them!

I get a few inquiries on how I retouch skin. First, I remove the imperfections with the healing brush. Then I will dodge the darker areas and pores and burn the lighter areas. Recently, I have begun experimenting with Imagenomics â˜Portraiture' plug-in for skin. With the right settings, I am able to get decent results, while still retaining the pore structure. But my "go-to" skin retouching technique comes from retoucher Natalia Taffarel. On average, a portrait takes me about 10 hours to complete, but a lot of that time is devoted to trying out new techniques and experimenting. I work at a high resolution, but because I only display my images on the web and have never printed any, a lot of that detail is wasted.

I wish there was an easy answer to the questions I receive regarding my retouching techniques. Learning Photoshop for me has been painfully difficult and tedious to say the least. I want to throw in the towel on a regular basis (almost every photo). Unfortunately, there is no magic button. But with hard work, patience and perseverance, it is possible to realize your personal or professional goals.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to impress yourself and stay true to your own vision. Don't worry what THEY think!

I have a long way to go in defining my style and still rely heavily on my heroes for inspiration. Here are some links that I hope you will find useful:

Calvin Hollywood – German digital artist and photographer
I first discovered Calvin when he appeared as a guest poster on Scott Kelby’s Blog.
His English DVD training ‘Calvinize’ is amazing and I credit a lot of my techniques to him. He includes the skin retouching technique learned from Natalia Taffarel in this â˜Calvinize' training. You can also find his classes offered on Kelby Training as well as his YouTube Channel. Most of his videos on YouTube are in German, but there are some in English as well, and they are worth seeking out!


Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby's â˜Photoshop Insider'

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 1 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 2 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 3 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 4 (YouTube)

Joel Grimes
I love Joel Grimes. I devour every word that comes from his mouth. He is such an inspiration and is so generous with his knowledge. [Framed] Network teamed up with Joel and aired weekly videos on the lighting set ups Joel uses to attain his images. There is so much information packed into those 20 minute videos. Joel also has classes offered on Kelby Training and amazing videos on YouTube.

â˜Lit Up' on the [Framed Network]

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Dorion

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Hope Solo

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Lauren

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Aimee

Peter Hurley
You have to experience Peter in action to truly appreciate him and what he has to offer. He will drill home the importance of interacting with the person in front of your camera and he is a true master, so you learn from the best. I love this guy and you will, too!

â˜Art Behind The Headshot' Trailer

Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby's â˜Photoshop Insider'

Natalia Taffarel – High end digital retoucher from Argentina
A real pro. I have her DVD, it's 11.5 hours of advanced beauty retouching techniques. A little over my head, but worth it for the stuff that's not. This is where I learned how to retouch skin. Her technique is awesome, especially at retaining pore structure.

â˜Beauty and Hair Retouching High End Techniques' DVD

Sue Bryce
What can I say about Sue Bryce. Watch her on CreativeLIVE and see for yourself. A master at posing, she transforms average Janes into supermodels before your eyes, with just a simple pose. If only I could remember to apply a fraction of the advice I've learned from her…

â˜Glamour Photography' Course on CreativeLIVE

â˜Inside The Glamour Studio' Course on CreativeLIVE

Amy Dresser
An amazing digital retoucher, famous for her retouching on images by Jill Greenberg. I learned quite a bit from watching her â˜Pointy Man' tutorial on RetouchPRO. Worth the $15.00 if you have 2.5 hrs. to spend in front of the computer. You only have 3 days to watch it before it expires. Covers her â˜Carve' technique that is a big part of her style.

Amy Dresser Rentals Page on RetouchPro
Amy Dresser's retouching on Jill Greenbergs' images

Scott Kelby, whom I have learned so much from over the years. He has generously offered so much of his knowledge, in the form of books, tutorials, workshops, seminars, etc. If you've never been to Photoshop World, I can't recommend it highly enough. It was there that I won that contest, sponsored by Westcott, that got me started in Portraiture.

Thank you, Scott!

My sincerest thanks to all those who have generously offered their time and energy to assist me in my endeavor to improve my skills, especially my husband, Fred.

You can see more of Regina’s work and follow her here:

Portfolio Website

How to Really Learn Video

Rob Adams – "Forget about audioâ¦."

Random Photographer - "Okay. Wait, what?"

Rob Adams - "You're not good enough for audio yet."

Random Photographer - *blinks*

I don't pull punches. This is what I tell every photographer venturing into the arena of HDSLR video for the first time. I also tell this to photographers who have been shooting (messing around) with their video functions for some time now. Why? Well, imagine WPPI, Imaging USA, After Dark, PDN and InFocus. These are all conventions dealing with photography, or nowadays imaging to be more precise.

Now imagine just about the same amount of conventions that are similar in size and attendance and that are geared towards only audio. That's why.

Audio is its own beast and it's the mitigating factor as to why I hear so many photographers say "I want to shoot video, but I just can't get the audio to sound any good. I just gave up on it."  This is not uncommon. It's a hurdle and it can suck the passion right out of you. It's not necessary to focus on audio when learning to shoot quality video. But you will get there.

You are image artists. Stick with that for now. Audio will come in time once you've mastered the basics of video. It will come when you are no longer staring at your 27" screen wondering why the heck your video looks so bad.

Want to start shooting video? Good video? Here's what you do:

Turn off the audio (for the time-being).

It's a distraction and will only frustrate you. If you can tell your story visually, you're on the right track.


Do NOT try to hand hold your camera like a news cameraman. It may look cool in Breaking Bad, but shaky footage is not professional when trying to please your wedding or portrait clients. They expect your photos to look clean and polished and so should your video. Get this monopod.

Yes, that one exactly.  It's industry standard and the best in the world use it. You won't find a better one cheaper and the more expensive ones are just not necessary. This is perfect for shooting high-quality, steady video. It comes with a quick release plate that you keep on your camera for fast, easy mounting.

Shoot SHORT clips.

Rolling on something for more than 10 seconds is only going to frustrate you in the editing process. If you are trying to capture an entire wedding ceremony, you are probably biting off more than you can chew at this stage in your video education. That's also a common problem. Trying to take on too much too soon.

When you first started photographing did you immediately start shooting weddings by yourself without watching someone do it first? Perhaps you were a second shooter or an apprentice for a while. If you answered "yes," I'm pretty certain you made some big mistakes and lost some sleep or hair over it. Maybe both. Keep your clips short and simple. Period.

For goodness sake, don't zoom.

Let me ask you this: When was the last time your eye zoomed? It doesn't. It's not natural. Zooming is for 90's wedding video (although I see it far too often today) and it is a telltale sign of amateur video. It's the equivalent of using a pop-up flash for professional portraits. You just don't do it. When you see the camera moving towards or away from something in a movie it's called a "truck." It's when the camera and the lens move together relative to a subject on a Z-axis. It mimics the natural movement of your body in any one direction. Your eyeball doesn't have glass elements that magnify light to make an object appear closer and with video, the lens should mimic the eye.

Don't move the camera, yet.

Random Photographer – "But Rob, isn't that what shooting video is all about?  Movement?"

Rob - "No.  It's about storytelling"

Watch movies. Unless it's some wild chase, a fight scene or some dialogue where the director is intentionally trying to impart a sense of drama on the viewer, camera movements are almost ALWAYS purposeful and controlled. Those camera operators on shows like Breaking Bad and The Wire didn't shake because they were bad shooters. They meant to do that. This observation is especially prevalent in many romantic movies or romantic comedies. These types of films tend to be what our wedding films mimic the most.

Study the way the camera moves the next time you watch a chick-flick. From establishing shots to over-the-shoulder dialogue, street walking and car-scenes the camera doesn't move unless it's stabilized on some sort of motion control device. I just ruined movie watching for you forever. Welcome to my world.

Let the subjects be your "motion."

So now that you have your camera steady and still the movement should come from what you are filming.  Filming people standing in front of a camera taking a portrait is boring.  Have them do something to make motion.  It's as simple as that.  Then creatively, the sky is the limit.   Sometimes the sky is no limit at all.  Take the Mars rover for example.  It shoots video.


One of the hardest things to do while shooting video with a large format sensor camera like a DSLR is to follow-focus. This means trying to keep a subject in focus as they move around, especially if your aperture is set to f/2.0 or some other shallow depth-of-field. Sure, f/2.0 looks great, but it's going to take much practice and great damage to your vision trying to follow-focus on that tiny LCD screen. Instead, pre-focus. It's the same as capturing a bride walking down the aisle in the good old days of film. You'd expose at f/8.0 somewhere on the aisle and when the bride walked into that areaâ¦pop. Try that with video. It's actually pretty cool looking when something or someone moves into your focus range. Just make sure you are rolling before the subject hits the focused area.

Don't change exposure while filming.

This will create a great deal of frustration when editing. If your light changes and blows out a dress or a skin stop filming, change the exposure, and resume. Trying to edit around exposure clicks in video can be a real challenge for a beginner. It looks unprofessional and amateur if they are left in there too.

Keep your aperture deep, for now.

Shooting video will be far less frustrating when you look at it later and it's not completely out of focus. What you see on that 3" LCD screen is NOT representative of what you are actually filming focus-wise. You'll understand this the second you look at your video clip full-size on your monitor later on. Trying to shoot subjects far away at f/2.0 is not easy, or wise.  Especially when they are moving.

Keep your depth-of-field deep for long shots (f/8 or higher) and shallower (around f/4) for tighter, more intimate shots. I know that shallow apertures look amazing, but think of it like choosing the right golf club for the situation. Beginning video shooters shouldn't stop down below f/3.5â¦ever.  Trust me, it will build your confidence seeing shots that are in focus when viewed at full resolution and then you can build upon your shallow-depth-of-field shooting skill from there.

So turn off your audio and try these simple techniques. Practice makes better. Even the best cinematographers in the world have been chasing perfection for decades. Continued improvement is what keeps filmmaking fun.

Random Photographer - "So what can I do with video clips that don't have audio?"

Rob Adams - "Good question."

How about making a fusion slideshow? I bet there aren't many photographers in your market doing them. It will set you apart, especially when you get good at it. Using web-based Animoto makes it easy. Or, how about having your subject(s) talk for a bit "on mic" about something or each other (if it's a couple?). It doesn't take much to add that in with music after, but that's another article for a later time. With either of these you can also offer a "movie poster."  My clients freak over them and you can use one of your awesome photos with my pre-made movie poster template packs.

What you should know is that you already understand a great deal about being a good cinematographer. The lighting principles are basically the same, composition still rests on the rule-of-thirds and shutter speed relates directly to blur and crispness. They are all variables. It's how you equate them that will determine the desired look.

Below is one of the film trailers that I show to the many photographers that I teach. Notice the camera movements, the audio, and the storytelling. That's my goal when I shoot and edit. Polished=professional.  Before you watch it mute the audio. Can you still follow the story?  That's the idea.
(You can watch full-screen HD here)

Rob Adams is a New York City area based wedding filmmaker with more than 15 years experience in the wedding industry.  Rob speaks all over the world on cinema techniques and holds workshops regularly.  Rob's next appearance will be at PDN in New York City on October 25th.  Rob is also holding a comprehensive wedding cinema workshop on November 6th in the New York City area.

To view more of Rob's short videos and trailers visit

To purchase a DVD of Rob's full length feature wedding films click here.

Rob is holding a comprehensive Wedding Cinema Workshop on November 6th in the New York City area.

Rob and his wife (photographer Vanessa Joy) will also be holding a Photo/Video Fusion Workshop on November 7th in the New York City area.

Hey Kelby Crew!! Thanks for tuning in to this video post that we put together for you! This clip is all about the business side of photography and is an excerpt taken from our business DVD that we recently put out called “Harvest, The 3 Step To Growing a Thriving Photography Business.”

While it is extremely important to work on your craft and be great at the technical side of photography, we can’t, as small business owners, neglect the management and entrepreneurial side of things.

Michael Gerber, writer of the E-Myth, says that we need to have all three of these areas (the technical side of shooting pics, the management side and the entrepreneurial side) all functioning together if we want our businesses to truly succeed. We hope that you enjoy this excerpt and don’t forget to focus running a great business!

You can see Zach & Jody’s work at, follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook. And you can save $49 on Zach & Jody’s HARVEST DVD by using promo code “KELBYperks”