Category Archives Photography

Oh man, it’s been a long time since last football season â” nearly seven months, but preseason has already started and next Friday I’m shooting my first Tampa Bay Buccaneers home game (I’m shooting the Bucs for Zuma Press again this season, and I’ll be picking up some other games when the Bucs are on the road).

Hoping to do some more fun things with remote cameras this seasons, but not sure I’ll be doing any on Saturday (but I will be scoping out a possible remote location for the regular season opener).

Anyway, I thought I’d share what was my first photo-post ever over on Exposure.co, which was a post on my favorite shots of 2013 (see below), and if you’ve got a sec (and you’re ready for some football), here’s the link. 

So, next Monday we’ll see my first shots of the season (Bucs vs Dolphins), and I’m sure I’ll probably be a bit rusty, but man will I have a big smile on my face at about an hour before kickoff on Saturday night when I walk through the tunnel out onto the field and start to sweat in that humid Florida heat. But I don’t care. Football is back!

Hope you guys have a non-humid, nicely air-conditioned ‘but football is back so I don’t care’ kinda day! :)

Best,

-Scott

So what exactly is pruning?
Many of us have been posting our images online for years now. We started with a SmugMug account, a Squarespace portfolio, or a flickr account or 500px, or maybe even a custom portfolio site of our own, and we put up whatever our best images were at the time. Of course, over the years we’ve gotten better at photography and we’ve uploaded lots of newer, better images, right? In fact,  if you were to look back now at those images you posted five years ago, you’d probably cringe, right? (I know I would â” sadly I wouldn’t have to go back that far).

The problem is (and I was reminded of this vividly while doing some online research for a trip), that although our images are much better today than they were five years ago, there’s a good chance those cringe-worthy images are still alive and well on your portfolio page (or on Smugmug, or flickr or whatever). I ran across this so many times â” I’d find a photographer’s site or 500px page and his stuff was amazing, but on page two it wasâ¦wellâ¦less amazing. By page three it was stuff he had done a few years ago and those images were  just OK. Page four was even worse â” you could tell he posted these when he first started, and they’re not bad, but they’re not real good.

The first question: Why is there a page 4?
It’s probably because you really haven’t thought about it in a while, and now you only look at page one where all your “best stuff” is, but other people often dig deeper, and the deeper they dig, they less impressed they become. For example, when I would see the front page of a photographer’s gallery and think “Man, this guy is good!” by the time I got to their 2nd page, I’d start thinking⦓Wow, I guess he isn’t as good as I thought” and by page three I’ve lost all interest in this guy’s work because his stuff is getting worse and worse (and really, it’s just his earlier work, which just simply isn’t as good as his current work).

If your best work is on your first page (or first set of images), then what’s on your 2nd page? The shots that weren’t good enough to make the first page â” where you put your best work. So, page two is your second rate work, right? My question to you is: “Why would you show anybody your 2nd rate work?” If that’s the case, what’s on page 3? See where this is going? Prune it big time, and leave them wanting more.

Don’t use this the “age old” excuseâ¦
When I’ve talked one-on-one to photographers about this, the one persistent excuse I’ve heard is “I think potential clients would be interested to see how my work has progressed over time, and how much better I am today.” That only works for your mom. She’ll be proud of how far you’ve come. But a potential client is about to see some really cringe-worthy work from you â” why would you chance that? What do you have to gain by keeping cringne-worthy pictures still up online for everybody to see? We know the downside. Where’s the upside?

That’s why I’m proclaiming today as “Prune Your Port Friday”
Take a few minutes right now â” dig through your SmugMug account, your flickr account, squarespace, 500px â” you name it and delete any shots that make you cringe even just a little. If you’ve got galleries that are more than a page deep, it’s time to prune. If you have shots in there you know aren’t that good, but for some reason you can’t explain it but you “just like ’em” it’s time to prune (keep those on your computer. That way if you miss them, you can still look at them. Do this when you’re alone).

Those old shots aren’t helping â” they’re hurting â” and you’ll feel so much better after cleaning house a bit and leaving just your new stuff, your strong stuff, your best stuff out there for the world to see. This is who you are today as a photographer. This is what you’re capable of. This is what they can expect from you. This is the real you, now. Let them see the real you and what you can do. I’ll bet they’ll be impressed.

If you’ve got a lot of images, this might make a great weekend project, and man is that a perfect segue segueway for me to wish you an awesome weekend of pruning, and we’ll see you back here on Monday for a very important announcement (one that many of you have been waiting for, forâ¦ohâ¦about a year).

Best,

-Scott 

I shared this shot last Friday on Social Media and here’s what I wrote:

“I hesitate to even post this shot from yesterday’s bridal shoot (Kalebra was there doing the art direction and she was just amazing). It’s one of my favorites but I hesitate to post it because I emailed it to a buddy last night and he said “Selective Color?” Of course, it’s not. There’s lots of other color in the image. Please don’t make me regret sharing it with a chorus of selective color comments. Many thanks.”

So, I held my breath, and posted the image. Luckily the comments were very kind (over 160 that day), except for the usual few unsolicited critiques (groan), but then one of the commenters, Daniel Nicholas said something thatâ¦wellâ¦here’s what he wrote:

“I love it!!! He must be color blind lol”

The moment I read it, it hit me. Oh my gosh â” my friend actually is color blind!!! I am not making this up. I just about fell on the floor!!! My friend was just ribbing me either way, but literally laughed out loud the moment I read that, and felt a whole lot better about sharing it.

Anyway, here’s a behind-the-scenes photo — and if you look on the screen you’ll see the final image is very close to what was captured (more in the caption below the photo).

Above: While she was well lit from the front, from behind it was pretty dark, and I wanted to over-exposed the background so it would blow out to white (for effect), so I had to use a tripod. I actually started with the tripod extended up over my head and used a stepladder (a LadderKart actually), but I kept getting parts of the ceiling in the shot so I finally lowered it and came back down. 

Camera Settings:
This was shot at f/3.2 at 1/10 of a second. My ISO was 640 (I was on a tripod so I could have lowered the ISO quite a bit, but it would have slowed the shutter speed down a lot and if she moved even a little, it would be blurry, so I left it where it was. I was shooting a Canon 1Dx so the noise doesn’t show anyway).

Tethering:
I’m shooting tethered into Lightroom 5.5, and that’s Julio (our 2nd assistant on the shoot â” Brad Moore took this behind-the-scenes shot). Kalebra is a few feet behind Julio so she can see the screen and direct the bride). We have a Tethertools laptop stand we usually mount on the tripod, but it was trickier than it looks on those stairs so we removed it and Julio just held the laptop. He loves holding laptops. It’s a sickness.

Venue:
It helps to have an amazing venue, and we sure did. This was taken at the Kapok Tree Event Center in Clearwater, Florida. It is literally attached to, and shares the same parking lot as Sam Ash Music. I think I should get some points for completing this shoot and never walking into Sam Ash, even though I walked directly past their front door. I think that was my biggest accomplishment for the day, but when I returned to the office, the used Boss Super Chorus stomp box I ordered had arrived, so somehow it all worked out.

I think you can see, the camera part of this was simple â” what made this come together was having Kalebra doing the art direction, and having the vision for this shot in the first place â” that just left me to compose, get the exposure I was looking for, and hit the shutter button. We make a great team. :)

Hope you all have an awesome Tuesday, and we’ll see you here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday. :)

Best,

-Scott

It arrived in bookstores sooner than we thought (yay!), and it’s here now, complete with bonus selective color image no one was expecting (and at no extra cost).

Here’s the link to it on Amazon.com (both Print and Kindle version are in stock) and the Nook eBook version is available now at  Barnes & Noble.com and the print edition should be available there any minute.

What’s the book all about? Check out the video below. :)

http://youtu.be/PCbrKUPKMXk

Thanks to everybody around the world who has supported this book series from the start, and who enabled me to bring you this fifth part to the series. I’m really excited about the release, and hope you find it really helpful.

Best,

-Scott

1. Did you miss Thursday’s “Photoshop World-a-thon?”
If you missed Thursday you missed out on a ton of Photoshop and Photography tips. Besides what “The Photoshop Guys” did live on the air (including my live shoot with a “Big ‘ol soft box”) a bunch of our instructors shared video clips of tips to air on the show, and it was literally packed-full of cool stuff (the idea of course, being we’d give you a sample of the stuff we’re teaching in our classes at Photoshop World Las Vegas and that you give you some idea of what we do for three solid days, and then you’d want to come and be a part of it all, and meet everybody in person, and all that. Here’s the link — you can watch the free rebroadcast right now:  http://photoshopworld.com/athon/ 

http://youtu.be/UumysQmRM_0

2. They say this past Wednesday’s Episode of “The Grid” was one of our best ever!
The topic was: “”Why you’re not shooting video with your DSLR like you thought you would” and we did something we rarely do on “The Grid” we did a step-by-step tutorial (when you see it, you’ll see why). And, we did the entire tutorial in just 5 minutes (we ran a countdown timer), but you should start watching around the 20 minute mark (the first part was me giving my “most embarrassing photography story” and God knows you heard that already. Anyway  here’s just a few of the comments I saw online after the show aired:

> “Mind blown! You totally delivered. Looking up my unused videos now⦔

> “That show was an epiphany for me mate.”

> “…thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued sharing of things.”

> “Absolutely amazing episode. Hats off to you guys. Now i will starting editing all the videos that i shoot with my DSLR.”

> “You have blown my mind yet againâ¦that was the best ever Grid⦔

> “Absolutely amazing show.”

Hope you’ll check it out — if you’re sitting there with a bunch of video clips on your computer and no movies to show for it, this could change everything for you in just five minutes. Thanks for checking it out.

3. This year at Photoshop World Nikon is doing free camera cleanings, too!
Canon has been doing free DSLR Sensor cleanings for the past few Photoshop World’s (how awesome is  that!), and this year we’re delighted to announce that Nikon Professional Services (NPS) will be there as well doing cleanings for Nikon DSLR shooters. If you’re going to Photoshop World, all you have to do is sign up in advance at this link.

4. Our new Kelby One “Trailblazers: Powerful Women of Photography” Series
I was very fortunate to have the incredibly talented Mia McCormick (above) as my Guest Blogger here last Wednesday, and she did such a fascinating post that gives you some insight into what it’s like to be a journalist/photography storyteller sharing the stories of folks like Joe McNally, Joel Grimes, Lindsay Adler, and Gregory Heisler among many others,  and it was really wonderful. But in her post she made a very important introduction to a new series Mia is producing for KelbyOne online training called “Trailblazers: Powerful Women of Photography” and I didn’t want that announcement to slip under the radar â” she’s really onto something special here. The series launches in just a few weeks, but in the meantime make sure you check out Mia’s post from last Wednesday. I promise, you’ll totally dig it. Here’s that link. 

http://youtu.be/HOXLXa-fKC0

5. If you’re a Canon EOS 1Dx shooter, I did a video on the free Firmware 2.0
If you’re a sports or wildlife photographer shooting a Canon 1Dx, I did a short video for Canon going through all the new auto focus features in the free Firmware 2.0 update (and I’ve embedded it right above). Hope you 1Dx shooters find it helpful. Here’s a behind the scenes from the shoot (below).

6. We’re giving away FIVE signed copies of my new book, “The Digital Photography Book, Part 5: Photo Recipes”
Over on the KelbyOne Twitter page, they are doing a giveaway of my new book (and I believe they are choosing the winners today). Here’s the deal (I copied this tweet from the K1 page):

“If u want to win an autographed copy of @ScottKelby‘s NEW Digital Photography Book Part 5, tell us why & use the hashtag #DigitalPhotoBook5

Needless to say I’ve already seen my share of tweets that say stuff along the lines of “Because he has a selective color effect in his book.” Funny. Ugh. ;-)

http://youtu.be/cBJyo0tgLnw

7. Let’s wrap up with some inspiration with a look at an amazing photographer: Chris Burkard
It’s another installment of SmugMug Film’s brilliant series on photographers, and this one is called “Arctic Swell: Surfing The End of the Earth.  called SmugMug Films. It’s incredibly well done from start to finish (you should subscribe to their youtube page — – all their videos are really just incredible). My hats off to SmugMug for bringing these photographer’s stories to life through tho series.

Well, that’s it folks — thanks so much for stopping by, and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow. Feel the love! :)

Best,

-Scott

http://youtu.be/PCbrKUPKMXk

It’s official â” the latest book in my series is headed to bookstores in just a few weeks, and the video above tells you what makes this new addition, called “Part 5 â” Photo Recipes” different than the rest.

You can preorder the book right now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or direct from us and be the first to receive the book when it ships in a couple of weeks. It’s only around $17 street price, which is an awesomely low price (it’s about impossible to find something for photography that only costs $17 bucks, right? This puppy is a steal).

I’m really excited about this 5th Part to the series â” it took an awful lot of work (and I about wore Brad out with all the shoots and travel), but I’m very hopeful it will help a lot of photographers along their journey â” especially those of you who already own other books in the series. Let me know what you think of the “all photo recipes” idea, and I hope you’ll give it a try.

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. Did I mention that it would make a really cool gift? Well, ya knowâ¦it would. Just sayin’ ;-)

 

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