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  • Category Archives Guest Blogger

    My Very Favorite Photography Equipment

    reedrummondsm
    Photo by Bill Nygard

    Hi, everyone! I’m Ree Drummond, also known as The Pioneer Woman. I’m so happy to be here on Scott Kelby’s blog. What am I doing here, anyway? Photographically speaking, I’m nothing but a punk.

    But I’m here, and I might as well join in the fun. I’ve decided to call this post “My Very Favorite Photography Equipment” rather than “My Photography Equipment” for a reason. A very good reason. If I were to call it “My Photography Equipment” I’d have to show you ALL of my photography equipment. This means I’d have to lay all of my sins out in the open and come face-to-face with the reality of my addiction. This way, by simply showing you just a small handful of things I love, I can keep most of my sins packed away and hidden, and avoid admitting in this public forum that I have a problem.

    It’s so much better this way.

    As I repeatedly tell the cool folks who read the photography portion of my website, when it comes to photography there are approximately 1,986,334 people who know more than I do. I am no expert. On the contrary: I bought my first digital SLR camera—a Nikon D70—a mere three years ago this May. I took one lesson, then dove into the twisted, confusing, and wonderful labyrinth that is Photography. I’ve taken more bad shots than there are grains of sand in all the beaches of the world. But I’ve also taken a handful of photos that I’ve loved, and they’ve kept me going.

    Nope, I’m no professional. This makes the fact that I’ve managed to convince myself that I really, really, really need this lens—or ooooh! THAT lens—even more hilarious. But still, I surge on.

    What is it about lenses, anyway? Why do they suck us in? I think they emit some kind of addictive, invisible gas that renders us incapable of resisting.

    Wait. Isn’t all gas invisible?

    But I’m going to go with this gas theory: my penchant for buying lenses has nothing to do with my own excess or lack of control. I buy lenses because an invisible gas makes me do it.

    But even if that weren’t the case, I have a backup rationalization: I hate shopping for clothes and shoes and purses and almost never do it. I also live on an isolated ranch and never go anywhere. So I’m actually saving money with this photography hobby if you really think about it.

    Isn’t this nice? Scott Kelby invites me to write a guest post on his photography website and I totally blow it. So before he shows up and kicks me to the curb, let me show you my very favorite equipment as of April 15, 2009.

    This is the stuff I can’t live without:

    ....a beloved source of photographic inspiration and information, and one very cool blogger, The Pioneer Woman herself; Ree Drummond. If you've haven't checked out "The Pioneer Woman" blog, stop what you're doing and head there now (here's the link) and you'll see why she has built a cult-following, and why we wanted her to be a special guest blogger here on my blog (by the way, don't just check out her photography---take in the whole site). Then, make sure you're back here tomorrow to see what she has in store. I, for one, can't wait. See you then!

    First and foremost, thank you to Mr. Scott Kelby for letting me steal some of the spotlight this week and also to Douglas Sonders.  If you do not remember or have not seen Doug’s guest blog, check it out here.  With that being said, let’s begin.

    For this session, I’m going to break down the steps and go through the methodology of how I created the S.W.A.T. piece below:

    As mentioned before, Doug showed the S.W.A.T. shot in his blog and many people asked how I did it.

    ....someone I think you guys are going to totally dig.....it's Justin Paguia (the Special Effects Retoucher for popular photographer, and previous special guest blogger Douglas Sonders). I have to thank the amazing Brad Moore for this, as he was able to pull off having Justin do this follow-up to Douglas's original post (which was a huge hit here on the blog), and what I love about what Justin did is; he revealed exactly what he did, step-by-step, in the post processing of one of the main images featured in Douglas' original post. He did exactly what I hoped he would do (something most retouchers guard so intently and rarely reveal), and he shares it all here tomorrow, so make sure you check back and learn from this master special effects retoucher.

    asm

    Have Kid Will Photograph

    asm
    Rick Sammon (bottom) falling through the air at 125 miles per hour over Namibia. (Is this guy nuts!?)

    Several weeks ago, I was hanging out at Kelby Training in Oldsmar, Florida (founded by R.E. Olds – as in Oldsmobile) shooting two new Kelby Training shows. On my last day in sunny Florida, I saw Matt Kloskowski (unbeknownst to him) leaving work holding his young son’s hand. That night, from my hotel room, I sent Matt an email: Cherish every second. All too soon your son will be way too cool to hold your hand.

    After my two-day shoot at “Kelby World” was wrapped up, Scott took me to Dunedin, where we had some Mexican food (totally awesome) before heading off to the Fat Tuesday parade (a dud, photographically). As soon as we got on site, Scott said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to shoot for a while and then split so that I can get home and put my kid to bed.” That was not the first time I had heard Scott talk about his kids. He had previously told me that he plays video games with his son every night, as I try to do (Mario Golf) with my son, Marco. Scott is a cool dad. He even wrote a book on the subject: The Book for Guys Who Don’t Want Kids.

    Being a dad is my most important job. Over the past 17 years, my wife, Susan, and I have taken our son, Marco, named after Marco Polo, all over the world on my photo assignments – giving him a well-rounded education, especially when it comes to learning about different cultures and customs. Like Scott and Matt, I am a proud dad – super proud lately, because Marco was named (after working incredibly hard) the Valedictorian of his 2009 high school class.

    Go to the Bio page of my website to see just how proud I am.

    When I teach a workshop or seminar, participants come up to me and say stuff like this: “It’s been fun to watch Marco grow up in your books and magazine articles, and to see pictures of him in your slide shows, but don’t you find that taking a kid around with you to exotic locations hinders you photographically, logistically and creatively?”

    My answer:

    .....the world famous travel photographer, Canon Explorer of Light, talented musician, prolific author, and Photoshop World instructor, Rick Sammon. At NAPP HQ we just love Rick. He's one of the most positive, hard working, charming, and fun guys to be around, and he just happens to be one heck of a photographer (you might recognize his name from me raving about his photography book, Flying Flowers---here's the link). Rick always brings a unique perspective and sense of fun to everything he does, and I can't wait to see what he's bringing for us tomorrow, so make sure you check back then!

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