Category Archives Photography

If you missed the live broadcast of our photography talk, a Walk in Rome, you can watch it in its entirety, right here (above). We got really great feedback on the show, and I hope you get a chance to check it out.


> My loadout for this weekend’s games
I’m shooting two games this weekend; first on Saturday the University of Tennessee Vols vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks in Knoxville, and then that night I’m off to Atlanta to shoot with the awesome Falcon’s crew for Sunday’s game against the Bucs.

On Saturday, we’re hoping to mount a remote camera on one of the goalposts, and if all goes well, we’ll have some shots from a different perspective than I’ve been able to get before. Keeping my fingers crossed, but also bringing the gear in case we get final clearance (the gear is shown above: Two Bogen Magic Arms, safety cables; Two f/ floor mounts with ball heads for player intros, and three PocketWizard Plus IIIs to trigger up to two remote cameras.

I’m flying to Knoxville in two legs on Delta, and it’s the 2nd leg that has me concerned because it’s on a CRJ 900 Regional Jet, so here’s my loadout:

I’m taking my smallest ThinkTank Photo Roller Bag (it’s kind of a half-height bag), and you can see above that I’m bringing three Canon 1Dxs, a 16-35mm, a 70-200mm f/2.8, a Black Rapid strap for my second body during the game. I’m taking the 400mm f/2.8 in a separate smaller bag (a soft-sided bag made my Lightware — that’s it sitting on the floor in the foreground) that fits in the small overhead bins (the camera bag will have to fit under the seat in front of me  — and it does). I also have a Gitzo monopod for the 400mm. Brad is bringing a few more camera bodies and a fisheye with him (he’s helping me on the sidelines for Saturday’s UT game).

Hopefully, I’ll have some shots from the UT and Falcons game to share next week.


> The “Refresh” of Part 2 of my “Digital Photography Book Series is now available

The original Part Two was published back in 2008, so I brought the book up-to-date with a pretty significant refresh using today's latest cameras and changes in gear; plus I added a new chapter; I went through and updated all the photos and techniques where needed throughout, and I re-wrote from scratch the most popular chapter, the "Photo Recipes" chapter with all new images and descriptions.

It’s not a total rewrite — it’s a refresh, but if you have Part One and you’re thinking of picking up Part Two, make sure you get copy that looks like the cover on the right (above). Here’s the link to it at Barnes &,, and from Peachpit Press (the book’s publisher).

Cheers everybody, and here’s hoping you get some killer shots this weekend (and here’s hoping that your real team, and your fantasy team both win, unlike what happened to me last weekend). ;-)

Mornin’ everybody. I wanted to wrap up the week with a quick trick for creating realistic backgrounds for compositing, so here goes:

When I was in Seattle for my “Shoot Like a Pro” Tour, before the seminar kicked off in the morning, Brad and I went just outside the convention center so I could create some real shallow depth-of-field backgrounds I could use in Compositing. I did this mostly because I hate how it looks when you take an in-focus background and try and “fake it” by adding a massive Gaussian Blur or Lens Blur filter in Photoshop.

Above: I had Brad stand in the street, and I zoomed-in fairly tight on him with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, at f/2.8 so the background would be way out of focus (as seen here). Once I was focused on Brad, I would hold the shutter button half-way down to lock the focus on Brad, then I would give Brad a signal and he would walk out of the frame (that’s Brad walking out of the frame above).

Above: Once Brad was fully out of the frame, I’d just press the shutter button the rest of the way down and take the shot. Mission accomplished  — a realistic shallow depth-0f-field background.

Above: Since this technique literally took less than 30-seconds, we shot a handful of different backgrounds, at different angles and on nearby streets, and every time the technique was the same: Brad stands in place: I focus on him at f.2/8; hold the shutter button half-way down; I give him the signal; he walks out of the frame; then “click.” I had 20 or so background in just 10 minutes.

Above: Here’s the image at the top again — it was my first test of the concept. I didn’t crop our subject here as tightly as I had actually shot Brad, so it would be more realistic if I had matched her size relative to the frame, but at least I can see that it worked — now I just have to find the right image for the foreground.

My subject was shot on a light gray background in my studio, and then I used Photoshop’s Quick Select tool along with the Refine Edge feature to remove her from that background and then I copy and pasted her onto the out-of-focus background. Once there, I matched her overall color-tone to the background, and then lastly I put a slight tint over the entire image (to help visually unify the two) and I added a soft glow effect as well (a 50-pixel Gaussian Blur, and then I changed the blend mode to Soft Light and lowered the opacity to 50%).

Anyway, just a quickie for Friday, and maybe something you’ll consider next time you’re out shooting with a friend who can act as an “in-focus” stand-in to create some out-of-focus backgrounds.

Back to Football
This weekend I’m shooting the Bucs vs. Cardinals NFL game with the Buc’s new starting quarterback Mike Glennon. That should keep me busy during the first quarter, eh?  Also, trying some new techniques I picked up from the just-released book, “Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography.”

I’ll share some shots next week, but next week is also Worldwide Photo Walk week (the actual walk is next Saturday, and we have 1.200 walks organized in cities all over the world, with more than 22,000 walkers so far. Hope you’ll join us next Saturday. 

Here’s to a great weekend. Hope it’s a safe and fun one. :)

Cowboy Stadium has been at the top of my list for stadiums to shoot for a few years now, and yesterday I finally got the chance.

I had only seen it from the outside, a few years ago when I was doing my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour in Arlington — it’s within walking distance of the convention center where we hold my classes, and it’s just an amazing feat of architecture and design, and when I found out I I’d be here a day early, I reached out over Twitter to find a contact with the Cowboys, and before you know it I was talking with Shannon Gross, Social Media powerful overlord for the Cowboys (and as luck would have it, a photographer).

Our shoot was set for 2:00 pm yesterday, and I was planning out my shoot in the morning when I realized that the massive overhead high-def screens would be black, I shot off a quick last-minute email to Shannon asking if we could get the Cowboy’s logo up on the screens for our shoot, and I would need a helmet (for the shot you see above), and Shannon scrambled to make both happen. This were some of the first dedicated stadium shots the Cowboys would have since the new AT&T branding (It’s now AT&T Stadium) and so I wanted to make sure there was something on those big screens.

These shots were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III using an 8-15mm Fisheye zoom lens, and I usually had it zoomed out to between 14mm and 16mm on a Gitzo tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. Contrast and Clarity added in Lightroom (except for on the turf field itself).

This shot was taken at the 50-yard-line, up high with a super-wide angle lens â” the 16-35mm set at 16mm.

The stadium itself was just amazing. The screen….well…what can you say about the HD screen — it’s just insane, but the whole facility is incredibly well designed, well thought-out, and just so focused on creating the ultimate fan experience.

Above: Brad snapped this iPhone shot of me during the shoot.

The Cowboys offer daily guided tours of the stadium, and so we’d wait until the short break between on-field tours to take our shots, so we’d get set up, check our email and stuff until the tour headed for the locker-room tour and then we’d have a nice empty field all to ourselves. We’d shoot, pack and move to another location and shoot until the next tour hit the field, so it was a pretty relaxing shoot, and we still had everything wrapped up in about two hours from start to finish.

Here’s one for the road, shooting right down the handrail toward the corner of the field. I have lots more shots, and some great stories, but I’ll have to save those for next week’s episode of “The Grid,” ’cause it’s time to hit the hay — big day tomorrow here in Dallas with my tour tomorrow, and I hope I’ll see some of you there.

A big thanks to Shannon Gross and the gracious folks in the Cowboys organization for the wonderful opportunity to take some shots for them (and for me) and I hope to see you all again real soon! Cheers. :)

Sorry for the late post this morning — I’m behind on….well….pretty much everything. LOL!! :)

So, last week we started something new for us over at — each week we’re broadcasting one of online classes from Kelby Training Online for free, all-day long, continuously for free. Last week we aired my Travel Photography Class (filmed on location in Paris, France), and this week, we’re airing PART TWO, which is where I do all the post-procesing of the shots taken in Part One using Lightroom and Photoshop, and I go through my entire workflow.

Each week, we’ll be continuously airing a different class, because we’re betting you're going to watch a couple of classes and you'll learn so much that you'll totally want access to the rest of our more than 300 online photography classes (it's only $199 a year for unlimited access or $24.95 a month). I hope you’ll jump over and check out Part Two of my class right here. Here’s the link. 

OK, I’m off to Detroit & Dallas for my seminars this week. If you read this blog, I hope you’ll stop me and say “hi.” I always get a kick out of meeting my readers in person. Cheers everybody to a great Tuesday!

Above: One of my favorites from the game. Shot at 6,400 ISO. No noise reduction.

OK, it wasn’t a pretty game, and it didn’t end the way I was hoping, and we had a long rain delay (well, Lightning delay), and I got home hours later than I expected, and I’m still pretty damp from the rain, plus I forgot some important stuff, and just overall….I loved it! :)

Above: Here’s an iPhone shot of my “Office” for game day. Ahhh, the glamour of sports photography. They really spoil us with perks like free power outlets and fold-up metal chairs in the workroom. There’s almost enough for everybody. ;-)

I actually have lots to share about the game, the gear, my new fancy-dancy multiple card reader, and my long list of mistakes off the field and in my post-processing, but unfortunately, it’s pretty darn late at night, and I’ve got a super-busy day tomorrow before I head out to Detroit and Dallas for my seminars there this week. I might have some more details for tomorrow — it just depends on how today goes. :)

Above: This was taken at 10,000 ISO with ZERO noise reduction, in JPEG mode. 10,000 ISO! The 1Dx is seriously insane! Loving it more every time I shoot it. Learned more cool stuff about it too from my buddy Rob Foldy, who was there shooting the game for USA Today Sports Images. He also had some helpful tips for Photo Mechanic. Rob rocks. He’s “Rockin’ Rob.” (sorry, dude). 

Above: Saints Quarterback Drew Brees (or “Breezy Drew” as my wife calls him), threw this one right to me. I jumped up about a foot over the corner to catch it and I tacked-on 11-positive yards after the catch. Either that, or it was a short pass to New Orleans Saints wide receiver (and 5th round pick) Kenny Stills (as seen in the shot taken a moment later below), I can’t remember which. 

Above: Yeah, that’s probably what happened. He caught it though. He didn’t bobble it a bit (like I did). ;-)

Hope you all have a great Monday, and I hope to meet over 1,000 of you this week in person at my “Shoot Like a Pro” tour. Cheers everybody (I’m headin’ to bed. Zzzzzzzzz).

While we were teaching at Photoshop World last week, we launched a brand new way for people to experience the awesome online training we’re producing over at Kelby Training Online — now you can join us each week for a new, completely free, online training course, taught by a who’s who of the world’s top pro photographers. Come and go as much as you like and watch whenever it’s convenient, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

We kicked things off this week by airing my class “Shooting Travel Photos Like a Pro” filmed on-location in Paris, France and you can jump over and watch it right this very minute (it’s a continuous free broadcast all week long, until Wednesday and then a new class will start airing).

I hope you’ll check it out, because I’m betting you’re going to watch a couple of classes and you’ll learn so much that you’ll totally want access to the rest of our more than 300 online photography classes (it’s only $199 a year for unlimited access or $24.95 a month). I do hope you’ll watch my travel photography class and see what you think.

Cheers everybody, and don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for a very special September 11th Guest Blog post from none-other-than Joe McNally. You don’t want to miss it.