Category Archives Photography

If you haven’t caught our Photography Tips & Tricks free weekly show yet, here’s your chance because this is a great episode! (it’s actually aired just a few weeks ago, but this particular one got a lot of love and loads of great feedback so I wanted to share it first).

(1) It starts with host RC Concepcion showing a really great, often overlooked feature on hot shoe flash: adjusting the flash zoom. He shows how to do it (and why you’d want to).

(2) Then we have a couple of really great tips from our in-studio guest Tamara Lackey on how to interact with children during a family portrait shoot. Really great insights (and Matt Kloskowski is on the set with Tamara for a brief interview as well).

(3) Lastly, Joel Grimes has a trick for a technique I haven’t seen before for getting more megapixels out of your camera so you can make much larger prints. Pretty slick Joel! :)

Anyway, the episode is right above, but ya know we do one of these every week (each one runs about 15 minutes, so they’re short and sweet), and you can find lots of other Photo T&T episodes (all free by the way), at this link. 

Have an awesome Tuesday and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday. Cheers! :-)

I am totally psyched to be teaching for Nikon in their booth/theater at the upcoming WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Conference & Expo in Las Vegas later this month (the Expo part where I’m speaking runs March 11-13th  — link). I am also honored to speaking alongside some truly amazing photographers, like Cliff Mautner, Jerry Ghionis, Dixie Dixon, and Tamara Lackey among others. (Above: that me on stage in Nikon’s booth at Photo Plus Expo — photo by RC Concepcion). 

I’m speaking all three days and my session is called “Shooting it With Just One Light” (the official times are shown below — click on it for a much larger view)

If you’re at the show, I hope you’ll catch one of my sessions (and if you see me wandering around, make sure you stop me and say “hi”).

Above: Another shot of me teaching from RC. 

… a “Do That Last Step Again” keyboard shortcut.

Here’s why this would rock: How many times have you had to do something like resize three photos to a particular size, and since you’re only resizing three of them this one time, it doesn’t make sense to go write an Action for them because by the time you actually wrote the action, you could have already been done with the resizing manually. Short, repetitive stuff like that happens all the time during our work, and the only way to do them is just to sit there and down them — one at a time.

Worse yet, what if it’s two steps to four photos? Like resize to 610 pixels wide and apply an Unsharp Mask. Ugh!

So imagine if you could resize a photo, and then just press a keyboard shortcut to apply that exact same resize to the next photo? Or if you could add a Modifier key (like the Alt key) and now it applies your last two steps? (Resize and Unsharp Mask) Add another modifier (like Shift) and it applies your last THREE steps! (Resize, Unsharp Mask and Crop!). All three moves â” just one shortcut. Sweet!

Imagine how that would boost your productivity day in and day out (but of course, like any Photoshop feature, some folks would never use it at all). Anyway, that’s the one simple feature I would love to see added to the next version of Photoshop (I’ve been wanting this one for years!).

OK, I shared my one pet Photoshop  feature request. I know you’ve got one, too, so let’s hear it.  (remember, you only get one). :-)

P.S. Thanks to Rich Harrigton and Scott Bourne who spurred this discussion when I was their guest on their Photofocus Podcast last week. If you missed it, here’s the link.

Hi gang: I thought I’d do a quick video (above) for you all here on the blog that takes you through the step-by-step process of setting up a wireless remote camera — ideal for sports, for weddings, or anywhere where you can’t get a camera, or can’t be at two places at once.

If you have any questions that I didn’t cover in the short video above, just post ’em here and I’ll do my best to answer them, once I’m awake and have a cup of coffee or three. Cheers, and hope you have a great kick-off to your week.

— Scott

You’ve got to watch the video above — it explains the whole thing, but I’ve got to tell you — we are incredibly excited about this. We put a lot of work into making something really unique and really special, but  it’s only for 20 very cool, very lucky photographers, and I hope you’re one of them. I hope you can join me (and Scott — watch the video) for one of the coolest workshops ever! I am not kidding! :)

Here’s the link to sign up -

P.S. Scott and I will be answering your questions here on the blog, but give me a chance to wake up and at least have a cup of coffee or two! ;-)  This is going to be (wait for it….wait for it….) edit. No, epic! 

Last week when I posted my detail shots of exotic cars from the duPont Registery’s in-house collection, a buddy of mine Karl-Franz Marquez dropped me a line about it, and included some shots he had taken of his own car, a beautiful Aston Martin Vantage that he also shot “Tim Wallace” style (after watching some of Tim’s online classes at

He had some taken some beautiful shots, and I was totally digging on his car, and Karl-Franz offered to drive over for the day (around 150 miles each way) to let me shoot this British made Aston Martin, and so yesterday we did an afternoon shoot, indoors at our headquarters inside our video studios.

Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the image at the top of the page. That’s Karl-Franz holding a second flash to light the grill in the front of the bar (it’s half the size and power of the large soft box lighting the wheel and edge of the hood above). So, it’s two strobes total powered by the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger powerpack hanging from the light stand in front of me. Camera settings: ISO 100, Aperture f/22, Shutter Speed 1/200 of a second. Full power on the strobe. 

NOTE: The screen screen area behind the car is just there by coincidence — we rolled the car into that part of our video studio so we’d have room to shoot it —  it had nothing to do with our photo shoot (other than spilling green on the other side of the car so we could only shoot on one side).

Above: here’s a detail shot of the engine. I went back and watched Tim’s class and he had a segment on shooting engines so I just followed his instruction to get this shot. 

Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the engine shot you just saw. Just one light with a long strip-bank positioned opposite me. I’m shooting with a Macro zoom lens. 

Above: After watching Tim’s videos on shooting car details, there was something I missed the right time around, and it’s that he angles the wheels about 20° and it definitely does make a difference. 

Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes of the wheel shot. Not particularly glamorous — a lot of laying on the floor or shooting on your knees (fun on concrete). Just one light for this one. Same settings — shooting at f/22 (or up to f/32 in some cases) makes the light fall of fast to black. 

Here’s a few more shots from the day.

Above: Those three above are just using that one soft box with the long stripbank. All the settings are pretty much the same — f/22 to f/32 so the edges fall off quickly to solid black. I tried to fix a few mistakes I made during the duPont shoot. Luckily, Tim gave me some tips after I sent him some I was struggling with. Mostly, I think I wasn’t getting the softbox in close enough, and I wasn’t powering it high enough, and of course both of Tim’s comments were super helpful. 

Above: I don’t actually like this shot — it didn’t come out quite like I had hoped (I like my rear shot of the Ferrari last week much better lightning wise), but I’m showing it because I did pick up a great tip from Karl-Franz — and that is — he has a black license plate that he uses when shooting cars (seen here). It’s actually the flip-side of the dealer’s license plate that came with the car — how handy is that! :-)

Anyway, I liked the idea so much I ordered a blank, black custom license plate last night from (it was probably not the cheapest way of coming up with an all black license plate, but I was short on time). Anyway, hats off to Karl-Franz for the idea.

Above: Here’s our crew: that’s Karl-Franz’s girlfriend  wife Honey (her real given name); me in the center, and Karl-Franz (fake German guy who owns amazing sports cars and yet is a friend of Vanelli) on the right. 

Above: Seeing as we’re: (a) Shooting a car made in the UK, and (b) using techniques we learned from UK-based commercial automative photographer Tim Wallace, I thought I’d (c) wear my Marshall Amplification Union Jack shirt (legendary guitar amps made in the UK) to create a British “triple threat.” 

A big thinks to Karl-Franz for driving all the way over to our offices to let me shoot one of his cool cars; to Honey for being incredibly patient during the three-hour shoot; to Brad Moore for all his help and suggestions, and of course to the amazing Tim Wallace for helping Me, Karl-Franz, and thousands of other photographers by sharing his awesome automative lighting and shooting techniques.

P.S.  Good news — Tim will be back here in the States filming more classes for Kelby Training very soon (I haven’t seen the full slate of what he’s teaching, but I know I’ll be begging him to do one on lighting car interiors). :)