Category Archives Photography

First, watch that 60-second (or so) video above from Tim about his online class on shooting close-up detail shots of cars. I’ll wait right here.

[insert mental shot of me waiting].

…see that didn’t take long. Awesome, right? I know!

After I posted some car shots I did a couple of weeks ago here on blog, and on my Facebook, Twitter and G+ pages, I had a lot of questions about the lighting and camera techniques and I wish I could take a lick of credit for any of it, but I learned it ALL from Tim’s online classes. He’s really an amazing teacher and he tells you EVERYTHING — he doesn’t hold anything back, which I totally love about him! (He’s the real deal!)

Anyway, if you’d like to watch Tim’s class, we’ve set it up so that TODAY ONLY you can go and watch Tim’s class on shooting close-up detail shots of cars for free (when you go to the link below, you’ll see a button for Rental. It’s usually $9.99 for a three-day rental (our regular price for any 72-hour rental), but today-only the price is $0.00 — free!). I explain how our online class rentals work below, but basically today you just watch for free. Free, free, free! Whee!!!!!

How This Usually Works
Normally, if you rent one of our online courses, you can watch it as often as you like for three full days (72 hours), from the time of purchase. To access rented courses (like this free one), if you don’t have an account, go ahead and create one (it’s free) and go to your “Account Settings” page and your rental course(s) will be listed. Just click the link to watch it. By the way, I know this goes without saying but to watch an “online” course, you need an Internet connection (and it should be a broadband connection unless you are a very, very, very patient person).

One more thing
Tim has five other online classes on shooting cars on Kelby Training already, so if you’re interested in seeing more of Tim’s training, you can sign up for a month and watch them all (along with hundreds of other classes)! or sign up for a year (you save money — it’s around .54¢ a day — crazy cheap!) and watch his classes to death! LOL!!!  OK, while you’re there check out some of mine, will ya?

OK, I get it…..
Hey, isn’t this all just a fancy way to get me to join Kelby Training Online? Yes. Absolutely. But I promise you this, you’ll love it (and if for any crazy reason you don’t, we offer a 100% money-back guarantee, so there’s really no risk, except that you might watch these classes and want to buy a large stripbank softbox. But that’s a given). ;-)

Have fun and enjoy Tim’s classes.


P.S. This is the first time we’ve tried this particular thing, this particular way. If for some reason the link doesn’t work right at the crack of midnight, or the rental thing is grayed out, or if anything isn’t working perfectly and you can’t get to that class right this very minute…don’t freak out. It’s a one-day deal. You’ve got a whole day to get it. We’ll get the link, button [insert a random problem] here, fixed shortly. Thanks — signed, the Voice of Prior Experience. LOL! ;-)

Here’s the behind-the-scenes video I mentioned on Tuesday from my car shoot at an airplane hangar (as luck would have it, the hanger was the exact same hangar at the airport where my wife flies out of). I used the Priolites again but I also used a new super-lightweight battery pack that let us take one of our Elinchrom studio strobes out on location (I did a quick demo of it on the video above).

Anyway, we were planning on shooting two cars and a plane, and it turned it to a six-car, six-hour long shoot with two Ferraris (an F-430 and a California); a Devon GTX, a Rolls Royce Ghost, a Spyker, and a Audi R8. We were psyched! (Plus, I was finally going to get a full-body shot of the Audi R8 I did the detail shots of last month).

Anyway, I’ll tell the rest in the captions (BTS photos by Brad Moore), but first a big thanks to my buddy David McComas who not only has some amazingly cool cars (and let me shoot them, and borrow his hangar), but he also has friends with more cool cars. Not a bad combination (thanks David!)

Above: This shot is just natural light. We only had a few minutes where the sun had tucked behind the other hangar, but it wasn’t sunset quite yet, so we actually had a decent amount of light, and that’s when I had my crew pull the R8 out in front. I wanted to take a shot that had lots of negative space (the total opposite of the close-up detail shots I took last time).

Above: The Devon GTX. What an insanely cool car (with gull-wing doors, no less). I love how the back has no bumper â” it just go straight from the truck to the rear in one solid piece. The color of the car was pretty monochromatic so I went ahead and took it all the way with a black and white conversion. Again, just natural light near sunset.

Above: Here’s a shot with me standing where the Audi R8 was parked, looking back in toward the Devon in the hangar (now you can see the full-color version).

Above: That little red circle in the back of the hangar. That’s me. 70-200mm f/2.8 lens at ISO 100. I switched to the D800 for this one to get extra resolution.

Above: Here’s the over-the-shoulder view.

Above: here’s the Spiker (the one I showed in Tuesday’s behind the scenes shot). Sick car!!! I only had time to shoot two of the car full-body and this was one of them.

Above: Here’s the lighting set-up for the Spyker. Three lights total. #2 and #2 are Priolites (the same ones I did the Audi R8 with last month), so there’s no power pack or cables â” the battery it built right into the lights (which is pretty sweet!). The #2 light is a bare blub strobe. It was supposed to have a grid on it, but we somehow misplaced it before the shoot and of course didn’t realize it until we were actually at the shoot. That posed quite a challenge because the light was spilling like crazy, but it was what it was. The #3 light is using a large strip bank.

The #1 light (with a large Tim Wallace-style strip bank) is a regular studio strobe — an Elinchrom BRX 500 (my go-to light int he studio), but we were able to take it on location thanks to the brand new lightweight battery pack I talk about in the video (though here’s a direct link to it at B&H Photo).

Above: I love the front grill of the Spyker! 

Above: I’m not a big fan of laying down on the job, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. That’s Brad Moore holding a Priolite with a large strip bank and that’s how we made the detail shot you just saw. Shooting at f/22 makes the light fall off to black on the edges almost instantly (thank you Tim Wallace — it’s his technique). 

Above: Same lighting, same technique, same settings. It still amazes me how the light falls off to solid black like that. I know it makes sense, but it still makes me smile every time I try it. 

Above: Here’s the distinctive rear-end of the Spyker — same everything as far as lighting and camera settings. 

Above: Yes it was that bright where we were shooting, and yes shooting at f/22 makes it fall off to black like that without having to fake it in Photoshop. I was just as surprised as you are, but son-of-a-gun it works!

Above: The rear emblem and very soft lighting. 

Above: I wish I had the time to really experiment and get the lighting just right on this one, but with six cars to shoot in the absolute stiffling heat, we pretty much had to run and gun all day. Even though it was really cool to have all these cars on hand, I wish we had half as many cars and the same amount of time, because if something didn’t work lighting wise, I didn’t have the time to really make it work — I had to cut my losses and move it if it didn’t come together pretty quickly. 

Above: The Rolls was Amazing. First time I had ever sat in one, and the interior was really something to behold. I could have spent two hours just on it, but I only had about 20 minutes (we spent waaaaayyyy to long on lighting the Spyker), and it caught up with us time wise. 

Above: As the heat took its toll on all of us, I started to lame out and shoot some of the shots from a chair, and that’s the on you saw above. We were beat like you cannot believe. Drenched in sweat, semi-dehydrated (we only brought six bottles of water for the three of us — huge mistake) and though we started at 5:00 pm, none of us got home before midnight.

Above: We had two Ferrari’s but all I had time for were detail shots. I just love the Ferrari nameplate so I spent a while on trying to get the lighting right, but I still had to add a radial gradient in Photoshop to get the look I was trying for. 

Above: I’m a sucker for headlamps.

Above: I had to get an engine shot of the California — just one light — still that Priolite but we switched to a small softbox. We probably should have switched back to a stripbank, but I’m still OK with how it came out. 

Above: In Tim’s online classes for Kelby Training, he talked about splitting the logo with the light, so we spent a few extra minutes trying to get it right on the money. 

Above: This is actually the interior of the Ferrari F-430 and I shot it with a 24-70mm f/2.8 using a technique I learned from Tim when we taped his class for Kelby Training on shooting car interiors (should be coming out soon. Brilliant class  — I learned a ton!). 

Above: Here’s a parting shot of the Ferrari California. 

Wrap up
While I’m getting much more comfortable with lighting and shooting the up-close detail shots, I still need a lot more practice with full body shots, and that’s what I’m going to focus on next. While we were out on location I heard about a studio locally with a huge drive-in cove and a giant overhead softbox made for lighting entire cars, and I got a line on a few other cars to shoot. Brad’s on vacation this coming week, so nothing next week, but when he gets back, it’s time to sweat once again!

Above: OK the lighting is kick of whacked in this shot, but I couldn’t leave without showing you at least one shot with the doors open. Is that car sick or what!!!! 

Thanks to Brad and John for assisting me on the shoot (couldn’t’ have done it without you guys), and thanks to David for rounding up lots of cool cars for us to shoot. Also, thanks to my readers for stopping by and here’s wishing you all a sweat-free weekend and lots of shooting opportunities.


OK, this is NOT a finished shot — just a behind-the-scenes shot from a 6-hour long, six-car shoot in an airplane hangar. I was going to show the finished shots today and include a behind-the-scenes video about a new piece of gear we took out on location, but the video’s not quite out of editing yet. Hoping for Friday.

In the meantime, you can see two of the three lights used in the shoot —- the one in the top left corner is one of those Priolites that we are totally digging on (here’s a link to my Audi R8 shoot video and Prioite demo video), and the long strip bank near the rear of the car is an Elinchrom BXRI 500 (my go-to studio strobe) running off a very cool, very small, very lightweight, and very affordable battery pack (more on it on Friday’s post).

Above: This is an Instagram shot Brad took of four of the six cars we shot that day. Top left: A Ferrari F-430.Top R:  A Devon GTX. Bottom Left a Spyker, and bottom right an Audi R8. 

Lots more to share of course (plus we got to shoot two other cars: A Rolls Royce Ghost  and a Ferrari California), here on the blog on Friday.

But Before We Get to That…
I just wanted to take a moment to give a heartfelt thanks to all the folks who took the time yesterday to leave me a comment with a kind word or a show of support. I was expecting the worst, and was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to see so many supportive and understanding comments. Very much appreciated. :)

OK, Now We Can Get to That
Here’s wishing you all a great Tuesday, and here’s hoping all your car shots happen in slightly cooler weather than we were shooting in. Cheers, — Scott 


What an amazing day!!!! Over 1,500 photographers (capacity) at the B&H Photo event in person — literally thousands more watching the live stream from literally all over the world — Adobe was there, including the new Lightroom Product manager Sharad Mangalick, who was answering questions all day, one-on-one from attendees at the event — and I’m training alongside Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost and The Photoshop Diva herself, Katrin Eismann. What a blast! :)

Lots of learning. Lots of laughs. Lots of Lighting. Lots of Lightroom. Canon was there. Sony was there. Elinchrom, Square Space and Westcott, too (among others). That’s (L to R above): Yours truly, Katrin, and Julieanne during the opening session showing off some cool Lightroom 5 stuff.

I’ll tell the rest in the captions, but all morning we shared Lightroom tips, new features, news techniques, and so on. Then after lunch I did a live shoot, and then passed the images off to Katrin & Julieanne to do some retouching and finishing effects (they wound up doing a Twilight effect).

Above: We had a team put together to work with our model for the shoot. Here’s a shot from backstage with makeup artist Cassi Renee and hair stylist Eric Williams. The shoot was styled by Sophia Batson (not shown here, and darn if I could even find a shot with Sophia in the frame, but she is truly awesome! Fourth time I’ve worked with Sophia — she is wonderful to work with it and very talented).

Above: Our staging area was a small empty meeting room right next to the ballroom where the class was taking place, and at lunch time we did a quick test shoot to test the lighting, and go over with the model what we’d be doing on stage in about 30 minutes from then. That’s photographer David Teng helping us out as 2nd assistant and behind me is photographer Jason Joseph who was our third assistant on the shoot. By the way: I did have breakfast available for the entire crew (anyone that watched last week’s episode of “The Grid” will know why).

I’m shooting a Canon 5D Mark III here (Canon was the major sponsor of the event, so they gave me the Mark III to use for the live shoot. Sweet camera!)

Above: Here’s an over-the-shoulder view of our model Caroline, who did a really terrific job! After a few test shots, we broke everything down; moved it out to the stage for the live shoot in front of the class.

Above: Ya know what’s stressful? Doing a live shoot in front of 1,500 New York photographers. Oh yeah, want to take it up a notch? Standing in the back of the room — Joe McNally. Cue the sweat!

Above: Here’s a Lightroom grid of some of the shot from the live shoot in front of the class.

Above: Lightroom 5 has a feature (which I showed earlier in the day) that lets you visualize any type of cover design, brochure cover, photo book cover , etc., as an overlay right within Lightroom, so I took one of the images; did the retouching myself (more of a straight-up fashion retouch), and did the cover mock-up you see here.

Above: Here’s the un-cropped shot used on the cover, just so you can see it without all the text.

Above: Here’s the view from backstage (behind the seamless, Julieanne and Katrin wait patiently for the shoot part to conclude and then I hand them a hard drive with the images on it for them to “do their thing”). Just one light — an Elinchrom BRX 500 strobe with an Elinchrom Rotalux 53″ Midi Octa Softbox, and David is holding a 5-in-1 Westcott reflector to kick a little light back into her eyes. We’re shooting tethered directly into Lightroom 5, and my live shooting rig uses a utility bar from Manfrotto mounted on a tripod, and then the platform itself and orange USB cable are from

Above: I’m including another backstage shot so you can see the shooting rig, and lighting set-up a little clearer.

It was a Lightroom love-fest!
Everybody I talked with was over-the-top in love with Lightroom, and there was a great vibe going all day. If you missed the live event, B&H Photo will be posting the entire summit online for free so you can go and watch it any time (as soon as its posted, I’ll post a link here, and over on my Facebook and Twitter accounts).

A big thanks to David Brommer from B&H Photo who put this entire event together (you rocked it, dude!). Plus, thanks to all the wonderful crew at B&H Photo, including our dear friend Manny Steigman (best guy ever!). They did an awesome job!

Also, it was a honor to share the stage with both Katrin and Julieanne who not only put up with my lame jokes, but who both taught me some new Lightroom tricks as well, which is always sweet! Thanks to all our fantastic sponsors, and to everybody who came down to the Javits Center yesterday, and who watched the streamed live event at home. We’re all lucky to be using and learning Lightroom together, and we’re very fortunate to have a partner like B&H Photo who values education like they do, and who makes live events like this possible.

Cheers, and hope to see you all again soon!






Sorry for the late post, but I was up REALLY late prepping for my sessions today at the B&H Photo Lightroom 5 Digital Photography Summit at the Javtis Center (it kicks off at 10:00 am this morning). I took the shot above (the view from my hotel room at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th) with my iPhone last night when I got in, and I processed it in Camera+ on my phone (Oppa Kalebra Style). 

I did get to meet up with my buddy, NYC-based photographer Jason Joseph (shown above) at one of my favorite New York restaurants, the incredible Keen’s Steakhouse. Mmmmm. Keen’s. We were hoping this photo makes it into the grainy, noisy hall-of-fame, and I think we have a decent chance at it.

After dinner my brother Jeff (who is here with us in NYC for the B&H Summit too), and I walked down to Times Square and did the tourist thing (sat in the bleachers and marveled at all the giant high-def screens), and I took this iPhone pano of it all.

Look forward to meeting many of you today at the Javits center (if you’re there and you read the blog, make sure you come up and say “hi”). Cheers and have a great Monday!


P.S. If you’re not in NYC, you can still watch the event – Here's the link to sign up for the free live streaming.


Lightroom 5 is now shipping — and to celebrate; one week from today you’re invited to come join me, Julieanne Kost and Katrin Eismann for B&H Photo’s “Lightroom Digital Photography Summit”

It’s a FREE, all-day learning event at the Javits Center, coming up on Monday, June 17th and if you’re in the New York area, you gotta come down (you’ll have loads of fun and you’ll learn a bunch).

I’ll be showing some of my favorite Lightroom tips; I’m doing a live shoot (then handing off the images to Julieanne and Katrin to retouch and finish), plus a lot more.

Seating is limited (and it’s almost already sold out in advance), so grab your seat at “The Summit” right here.

Hope you can join us. See you in New York next week!