Category Archives Photography

It’s been an incredibly fun adventure taking this tour all over the US, three cities in Canada, and two in Europe, but tomorrow is my last US stop of the tour (I do have one more tour date in London, England on Saturday, April 28th).

If you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late (and for the first time ever, we’re hosting this event at the historic Tampa Theater in downtown Tampa, Florida. Here’s the link with details (it’s $99 for the full day, or just $79 if you’re a NAPP member).

Thanks to everyone who supported this tour, and came out to see me on the road. It’s been one of my most-successful tours ever, and absolutely the most fun tour I’ve ever taught. I will definitely miss teaching it, but of course soon I’ll be rolling out an entirely different tour, and hopefully later this year I’ll get to see some of you once again (though my touring schedule will be much, much lighter than it has been the past year or so. I’m beat!). :)

Hope I get to see you in person tomorrow in Tampa (or in London next month). Cheers!

Hey gang, Brad Moore here with some really exciting news…

I’m sitting at my desk yesterday, and across the hall I see Scott get up from his desk, laptop in hand, and HUGE smile on his face, to dance out his door and call out, “Gather round everyone, for I have great news!!”

As he slowly and dramatically turns the laptop around (still grinning ear to ear), we all see his photo of Ryan Malone from the Tampa Bay Lightning featured on the ZUMA Press Pictures of the Day website!

At that very moment, a flock of doves flew through the air, trumpets sounded, and a bunch of other exciting stuff happened :)

Okay, that last part may have only been in my mind, but it was definitely a moment of celebration and excitement for us as we congratulated Scott on not only getting some killer hockey photos, but having one of them featured on the ZUMA site.

For those of you who have been following Scott’s “Painful Dance” with hockey photography, you too know just how excited he really is.

Way to go Scott!!

OK, I know you’re probably hoping this is a custom version of Photoshop designed for the iPad, and if you are, well guess what? That’s exactly what it is! (and I have to say, it’s pretty darn slick)!

Although they certainly didn’t build this just for me, it actually has most of the things I was asking for when I wrote a post about what we want in an iPad version of Photoshop (which basically I wanted a stripped down version of the full Photoshop, but it needed to include some some key tools and features [but it had to have stuff like layers, and some key filters], and while I hoped it would have Photoshop’s same interface, I have to say that the interface is actually very Photoshop-like (without looking just like Photoshop). It even has Free Transform!

Oh, but there’s more…
Check this out: It has Levels. It has Curves (it has CURVES!). It has Shadow/Highlight, there’s a Gaussian Blur Filter, you can add text, the Layers have blend modes (Screen, Multiply, Overlay, etc.), and you can show/hide them — change their opacity — create blank layers, duplicate layers, all that stuff. There are effects filters, there’s noise reduction, you can make selections (and you will love how they implemented them). You can share images direct to Facebook, and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t think would be there….but is.

Of course, it doesn’t have everything the desktop Photoshop has (or there is no way it be able to run on a tablet), but I think you’ll be surprised at the cool stuff it does have.

Terry White (who works full time for Adobe as one of their Adobe Worldwide Evangelists), put together a great video that shows you the power of this puppy (which is even more amazing when you realize that’s it only $10 [well, $9.99]). Here’s the link to Terry’s video (and lots more details about the App), and here’s the link to download the App (it’s available right now).

Way better than I was expecting
I saw an early version of this App on a trip out to Adobe last year, and I have to say I am really tickled at how the app has grown since that first look — in fact, it grew into something I wasn’t sure we’d ever see on an iPad (well, not anytime soon anyway, and certainly not this soon).

I give Adobe a lot of heat about certain things, but when they do something really cool (and they often do), I have to tip my hat to them, and for this I wish I had more than one hat to do so. Way to go, Adobe. We’ve got Photoshop touch on the iPad. It was worth the wait. :-)

http://youtu.be/Gf8pXw0HeSM

Greetings from the Dallas Convention Center (we open the doors for my Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it tour here in 20 minutes, so I’m just catching up on stuff). My buddy Ken Toney sent me this video clip this morning, and after watching 60-seconds of it, I knew I had to share it here. Thanks Ken!

Hope you all enjoy it, and here’s wishing you the best Tuesday you’ve had so far this year. :)

Welcome to my world (well, as of late).
This is the small hole in the glass you get to shoot through when you’re shooting hockey (The NHL made the holes smaller recently to protect the photographers and players). The one here is from Saturday night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum (the arena where the Tampa Bay Lightning play their home games).

I’ve talked with other photographers shooting hockey, and they tell me they would kill to have any hole in the glass, because they have to shoot through the glass, which is often 1-inch thick and almost guarantees their shots won’t be nice and sharp, so I really shouldn’t complain.

Here’ the view if you angle  your camera in that hole as far as you possibly can and shoot blindly down the rink (I say blindly, because it would be kinda hard to fit your head in a position that would actually let you look through the viewfinder, but I thought I’d at least show that not matter what, you’re not getting a shot of the other goal, so you’re only going to get the goal you’re positioned right in front of).

The Challenge (Warning: football metaphor coming):
Shooting from the position I was assigned (the shooting positions are assigned before game time by the team photographer, and you stay in that position the entire game), it lets you basically shoot from the back of the goal you’re in front of to the blue line (before you reach center ice). In football terms, that would be like having to shoot from the 5-yard line all game, and you can only shoot from the back of the goal to the 15 yard line. But, you can’t shoot all the end zone, because there’s a big net covering part of the end zone. Because you can only shoot when their action in front of you, it always seems like all the action is at the other goal (which you can’t shoot at all from your position, so you just sit quietly and watch the game).

Dave Black to the rescue
I had really been struggling through the last couple of games, and while I made some progress in game two, I wanted to continue improving (which I knew would eventually come the more games I shot), but Dave Black (the magical wizard of sports photography) was down here at our studio taping some classes for Kelby Training Online, so I tracked him down to get some advice for shooting Saturday night’s Lightning game against the Washington Capitals, and of course, he was a huge help.

Football messed me up
Well, not just football, but for most sports we shoot wide open; usually at f/stops like f/2.8 or f/4, but Dave suggested that I try shooting at f/8, which kind of freaked me out, until he pointed out that in Hockey the fans are right at the glass, and unless I was zoomed in really tight, they were going to be in focus anyway (and I wasn’t going to get those super soft totally out-of-focus backgrounds with the crowd just 2 feet from the players on the boards, which totally made sense. He mentioned that I might have to crank the ISO and I might only get up to f/5.6 but that would help my focus issues, and boy did it ever. Huge difference!

(Above: An iPhone shot taken by the usher of me hand-holding my 200-400mm f/4 from the Mezzanine level shooting position. I had to bump the fill light massively as the original shot had me as a silhouette). 

Take the 400mm! (I don’t need it! Yes you do!)
Besides shooting from ice level, we also have the option of shooting overhead (just over the glass) from the Mezzanine level, and I was going to take my 300mm, but Dave thought it might be too short and recommended that I take the 200-400mm instead. Of course, I briefly (and stupidly) argued with Dave, telling him low to the rink the mezzanine level actually was, but once I got there and started shooting (hand held no less—no monopod), I realized (as expected) that Dave was right. I shot out at 400mm the entire time.

It’s like cheating!
I will say this—shooting from above the glass, unobstructed, with a clear view of both goals and pretty much the entire rink was a blast. It was also pretty much like cheating, because you can see everything so darn well. You can follow the play pretty easily and you’re probably not going to miss a goal, so if reporting the news is your goal, it’s perfect. The only problem is; your shots look like you took them from the stands. The just don’t have the impact and feel the ones at ice level do, which explains why I was the only guy shooting from the mezzanine. So, while it great for catching everything, you’re not going to come back with shots that have the impact you want. I only stayed up there one period, and then I went back down to my tiny hole in the glass.

(Above: Lecavalier scores [note the puck behind the goalie] to help the Bolts win 2-1).

Progress Report
Dave’s tips (all of them, not just the two I mentioned here), really helped a lot, and I turned in my best shots yet (but of course, I’m still nowhere near happy with them, but at least things are going in the right direction). My timing is getting better and I’m getting just much more comfortable with my setting and surroundings.

Note to Self: Don’t look at their screens
In the photo room at the end of the night, I made the mistake at looking at Lightning Team Photographer Scott Audette’s shots as they were being uploaded (he is just sick at shooting hockey, and gets incredible shots despite the fact that he can’t shoot high speed because he’s firing strobes overhead. His timing and composition are astounding), and I saw some of Mike Carlson’s shots (he shoots for AP) and although he’s not firing strobes, his shots totally kick butt. He has the perfect shooting position on the ice — he’s behind the goal and to one side, and from there he can shoot end to end no sweat (with a 300mm lens pressed against the hole—he crops out the edges of the hole in post).

Looking at their shots can really bum you out, because I’m not getting shots anything like theirs, so I’ve got a long, long way to go, but hey, at least I made some progress (thanks to Dave and more practice), and that’s all I can hope for at this point in my hockey-shooting journey.

Heading to Dallas and Phoenix
I’m off to do a couple of my seminars this week (link just in case you can go), so I won’t be shooting any hockey this week, but that’s OK — the Lightning’s on the road anyway, but when they get back, I’m back too and I’m hoping I can pick up an assignment to shoot a game or two. Have a great Monday everybody!

(Above: You might be wondering “Scott, why the static no-action shot?” That’s because I’ve found that when the players aren’t moving, it’s somewhat easier to get a shot in focus, and that “in-focus” thing was eluding me most of the night, so I posted this shot to prove to myself I can shoot a sharp still life. Maybe next time pears in a bowl).

I shot another NHL hockey game last night (the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the San Jose Sharks), and while I certainly did some things better, I didn’t do enough of them to actually share the actual shots. My painful dance of learning to shoot through a very small hole in the ice continues. My angle this time was actually worse than in the other game, and I could only shoot the goal directly in front of me, and about 3/4 of the way to the blue line. Anything from the center line to the opposite goal was absolutely impossible to shoot (though I had a great angle on a McDonald’s ad).

(Above: When they come crashing into the boards, all you can do is jump back and try not to get killed. Here’s the view of my little hole in the glass; just large enough to fix a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens through, but not nearly big enough for a 300mm f/2.8 lens. By the way, if you’re wondering if I screamed when this happened—yes—like a Brownie at Halloween Horror Nights!).

Of course, since you can’t shoot the other end of the rink, it always seems like all the action happens down at the other goal. Sigh. Well, there’s only one way to get better, and that’s keep on trying. I shoot the Bolts again on Saturday night. I may even shoot some of the players when they’re moving. Hey, ya never know. ;-)

(Above: It’s like these guys follow me from sport to sport to make certain I have more shots of them, than of the athletes themselves. This just reeks of a carefully orchestrated worldwide conspiracy by a secret cartel of referees).  

P.S. The Lightning beat San Jose 6 – 5 in Overtime. Go Bolts!!! :)

 

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