Category Archives Photography

I’ve been wanting to update my online portfolio for a long time now for a number of reasons, but mostly so it could be a somewhat consistent experience no matter where you see it (on a computer, iPad, iPhone, etc.). Besides that, I also wanted to update my images, but since my portfolio was Flash-based, and I’m no Flash wizard, it was kind of a pain (read as: I needed outside help) to update even just one image in my port, so it stayed pretty much woefully out-of-date.

RC to the Rescue!
Luckily, this turned out to be an easier, and much faster process than I figured it would be, because when you want to get your images on the Web, where do you go? That’s right—-you go to RC Concepcion (the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject). RC got my previous Flash-based portfolio online for me, and I absolutely loved the way it worked—-as long as I was looking at it on my computer. As soon as I looked at it on a mobile device, it….well….it stunk (it swapped the Flash version out for a lame HTML stand-in).

I went to RC and told him the four things I wanted this port to do:

(1) It had to work on iPads and iPhones (so it couldn’t be Flash-based).

(2) I wanted the images to be as large as possible, while still allowing room for links to multiple galleries.

(3) I wanted a portfolio layout where wide images and tall images would get the same amount of attention (if you look at a lot of portfolios you see online, the wide images fill the screen, but then a tall image comes up, and it feels tiny by comparison, and it’s centered on the screen and surrounded by either gray or black.

(4) It had to load faster than my old Flash portfolio, which made you wait while each image loaded one-by-one (it even had its own status bar), which was another big downside of the old one.

I went with a horizontally scrolling layout, with no thumbnails
You can see in the layout below how vertical and horizontal images are side-by-side at the same height, so the tall images don’t wind up all alone, centered on a page and looking really small.

But there’s another big benefit to this horizontally scrolling layout (as you’ll see below).

Panos rock with this layout
I shoot a decent amount of panos, and I use my Cinematic Style Cropping technique on images, and these look really great in this horizontally scrolling style (because usually these wind up so small on screen), but if you look at the image above, it’s actually even wider than what you’re seeing, but you just scroll right on over. This I really dig (there’s an image of a Hawaiian Fire Dancer in my People port where this works beautifully to show the entire image at a nice big size). Also, another nice feature is that although you do click and drag the scrollbar to see the images on your computer, on an iPad or iPhone, you just swipe your way through it, which I love.

More Categories
I wanted to separate my Football shots from my other Sports images, so now I have two separate categories (sports and football), but RC also suggested, after seeing the first run-through of my people port, that I should separate People and Fashion into two separate categories, and after looking at it, I agreed, so now they’re separate (although the fashion category technically should be titled “Beauty & Fashion” I’m going to let it go as just Fashion, and it’s the default portfolio that appears when you click the Portfolio link here on the page (or this link right here).

RC’s Design Hits All My Points!
This new port, which RC designed from scratch in Adobe Dreamweaver, does everything I want it to (with one small exception). It’s HTML-based, so it can be seen on any mobile device; it loads much, much faster than my old port, I like the horizontally scrolling layout so tall and wide images both look good, and I like that the image sizes themselves are very large. However, that’s the one area that doesn’t well as well when you view the port on an iPhone. You actually have to “pinch in” to get the port to fit on the tiny screen. Outside of that, I’m very happy with it, and it’s very easy to update with any HTML editor (I just upload the file and change the file name—that’s it. Not a bunch of coding and stuff, which is great for me).

Another benefit is that this new port lets me email a direct link to an individual portfolio, so if I wanted to send someone directly to my Football portfolio, I could send them to (whereas in the old portfolio, I could only send them to the main portfolio, and then ask them to click on the Sports link).

This Would Make a Great Online Course
When RC was done (he put the first version together in literally just an afternoon or so), he said, “Do you think showing how to build a vertically-scrolling online portfolio just like this this would made a good class for Kelby Training Online? I told him, “Are you kidding!!!! Absolutely!” so RC’s going to take what he did for me, and show anybody how to quickly and easily create the same type of port for anybody who digs this type of layout, and multi-device compatibility.

Thanks RC!
My thanks to RC for all his help in getting this up (Dude, you so rock!). The bulk of his time was spent rearranging images for me to this morning’s launch. Once he’s done (today) he’s handing the reigns over to me to do my own updating from here on out, and honestly, that’s the way I want it. I don’t want to bother someone each time I want to add, move, and update my port, and being able to instantly do it myself, will almost ensure it gets updated much more often.

You can see the final port yourself by clicking on word “Portfolio” (top left side of my blog here, right under “About Me”), or you can just click this link.

Setting the Bar Low Guarantees Success!
I went into this trip with very modest photographic goals: I just wanted to do better in Denmark, then I did in Spain last year, where after 10 days in Barcelona I came home with absolutely nothing. Not that I didn’t shoot, mind you—I just came home without one shot I’d show anybody. (My buddy Dave Moser didn’t believe me, so I showed him what I got in Spain, and his exact words were, “Ohhhh. Boss. What happened?”).

I had never been to Copenhagen, so although I did want to take lots of photos (and I only had 2-1/2 days to shoot), I didn’t want to see this beautiful city from only behind my lens. I wanted to experience it firsthand, and get to enjoy the people, the culture, and the history without feeling like I was only there to shoot it. I also wanted to visit with Terry as it’s not often where I get to spend a few days with him where we’re not both rushing off to teach a class, but of course with Terry being a photographer, we both never went anywhere without our cameras.

Awesome Architecture
I was really taken with the modern Danish architecture, and so I shot quite a lot of it, and even made special trips out to see certain buildings. Of course, I did take lots of touristy shots, too, of things like the boats in the harbor, and the Little Mermaid (well, I took shots from the boat), and your standard touristy snapshot stuff, but I don’t include that stuff in my photo book (captures of which you’re seeing here on the blog today). The softcover book was made using the latest version of Apple’s iPhoto, using one of their built-in book templates (Click on any one for MUCH larger views, plus I captioned most of them).

My Gear
I wanted to travel really light (I didn’t even check a bag), so I brought my Nikon D3s and just one lens: my new 28-300mm f/3.5-f/5.6, and honestly, it was so wonderful not having to ever change lenses, and yet never feeling like I had the wrong lens. That lens is so sharp and crisp—-I just loved it (though, if it were just 4mm wider; making it a 24-300mm, that would be my dream lens).

Terry brought one extra lens, a 10.5mm fisheye, and I did borrow it once to shoot the inside dome of an amazing church, but that’s it. I took 1047 shots total, including lots and lots of backgrounds for compositing (for me, and for a project Matt’s working on) and I shot quite a hot of 5-bracketed exposures HDR shots. When it takes five photos to create one HDR image, you can really crank through a lot of shots. I only kept a few HDRs in my photo book (three actually), even though I shot an awful lot more.

The “Other” HDR Secret
Today, the shooting and tone mapping of HDR images is actually fairly easy, but not a lot is said about the real art of HDR photography, which is knowing which types of scenes make great HDR images, and how to compose them so you get the most out of the HDR effect. RC talks about this quite a bit in his upcoming HDR book, and I think it’s where the art of HDR really lies. Well that and post processing the living daylights out of it. ;-)

My favorite story from the trip. Well, there were two
We rented a car and drove to Malmo, Sweden (which was awesome), because I wanted to see a twisted skyscraper that a guy on Twitter turned me on to. It was totally worth the short 30-minute drive (plus, Malmo itself was just beautiful). Anyway, after that Terry wanted to try out his new Navigon GPS for the iPad, so we programmed it to take us to “Hamlet’s Castle” back in Denmark, not far from Copenhagen.

We drove for about an hour, and I must say—the Navigon worked like a champ. Plus, I’ve never seen such a large GPS screen (GPS on the iPad looks HUGE!). It made me want to get a Navigon myself (I use Tom Tom for the iPhone, and love it). Anyway, we’re driving for an hour or so, and then it has us leave the highway, and now we’re driving through a shipping port. I said to Terry, “Does this look right?” and at that moment it says “Turn Right” and we do. We had to stop the car, because (wait for it….wait for it), it took us to a Car Ferry. One that had already left for the day. The gates were closed. Everyone was gone. Terry and I looked at each other, and we just started cracking up.

So, Terry went to his Navigon preferences and turned on the checkbox for “Avoid Ferry’s” and then we began our hour drive back to Malmo, and then onto the castle. We didn’t get there until like 6:30 pm, but we laughed all the way there, so it was worth the extra driving. What really cracked us up though, was the way the route showed our car leaving land and heading out into the ocean (presumably in the car ferry).  We were actually probably lucky, because I can’t imagine how much that car ferry would actually cost, because just the toll to cross the bridge into Sweden and back was $114.00. Yowsa!

The Other Story
I had nothing do to with this one, but when I heard it at dinner, I nearly shot Coke Light right out of my nose. Terry, Greg, and Jason (the Adobe Worldwide Evangelists) have been touring like this for years, but they had a new Evangelist join them on this tour—-a young guy named Paul. He’ a really nice guy (and obviously a very smart guy), except that he made the mistake of walking away from the breakfast table while leaving his iPhone on the table with his Twitter app open. Greg picked it up and sent out a Tweet to Paul’s followers as if he were Paul. It was just one word. “Pooping.” Then, to make matters worse, they got out their phones, and they all retweeted it. And their friends retweeted it, and so on. When I left Denmark, they were plotting to do it again, and this time they would use just two words. “Still pooping.’” I think I left Denmark just in time.

At Least I Beat Spain
Because you can see that I’m actually showing some of the images from my trip here, I feel like I did better in 2-1/2 days in Denmark than I did in 10 days in Barcelona. We had marvelous spring weather, and bright blue skies, and not a drop a rain the entire time. Terry is just a blast. Totally fun guy, up for anything (trains, cars, tours, weird food, border crossings, etc.). The Adobe guys were really fun, plus I even got to watch the first hour of their two-hour presentation, and I even picked up a few new things (these guys are really good).

My Thoughts on Denmark
I was really taken with their love of design. They care how everything looks, and there are lots of sculptures, museums, art, fountains, and incredible building, both ultra modern and very old. Danish design is absolutely top notch, and companies are willing to to invest heavily to create incredible offices and public areas.

The people were absolutely lovely. I never ran into anyone who didn’t speak English, and they spoke it very well. Plus, the entire country was very, very clean. Sparkling in fact. You’ve gotta love that! Lots of national pride there, and in Sweden. They two countries seem like they make great neighbors.

I visited the Tivoli Gardens amusement park which was a personal highlight for me. I had read about it for many years (it was the inspiration for Walt Disney to build the original Disneyland, and now I see why), and it was incredibly charming. Even better than I expected.

Funny aside: I went to the hotel concierge to ask about getting a train schedule to Malmo, Sweden, and he looked at me and said, “Hey, you’re Scott Kelby. What are you doing here?” He was a photographer, and retoucher, and he was really helpful. I had a guy come up to me in Sweden on the street, too who was currently reading one of my books. Those “It’s a small world” moments are really fun. I even ran into a NAPP member who spotted me in Copenhagen on the last day. People are sometimes embarrassed to come up and say hi (I’ve gotten emails from people who saw me, but didn’t say hi), but I always get a kick out of meeting people who read my books, or watch our shows, or have seen us live, so I’m always happy to meet them. Heck, I’m happy to meet anybody.

One more thing. If you’re planning a trip to Denmark, it wouldn’t hurt if you knocked over a bank before you visit. Well, a 7-11 at the very least, because it’s incredibly expensive. Everything is. Taxis, food, hotel rooms at a regular old Marriott, water, air, you name it. Bring your checkbook. But as expensive as it was, it was worth it. What a great place! I hope I get to go again and take my family (once I’ve had time to build up some money, just in case we want to go to dinner out one night while we’re there). ;-)

Hi Gang: By the time you read this, I’m already on my way back from an incredible weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Malmo, Sweden, hanging out and shooting photos with my good friend Terry White.

Terry, whose full time job is an Adobe Graphics Evangelist, was in the middle of an Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 roll-out tour, and he told me last month that during the tour he’d have a few days off in Copenhagen, and since I had always wanted to visit Copenhagen, on Thursday I hopped a night flight to meet him there, and spend the weekend just being a tourist, and taking lots of photos.

This trip was kind of a last-minute thing, so I didn’t have any time to research where to go or what to shoot, so I put a comment on my Facebook and Twitter accounts asking for ideas of where to shoot right before I left, and I got LOTS of great ideas. I went to as many suggested spots as I could in the 3 days I was there. Besides taking a boat tour, and a city tour by bus, we visited:

$#x2022; Marmorkirken (the marble-church)
$#x2022; Christiana Free Town
$#x2022; Saxo bank headquarters, in Hellerup, Denmark (an amazing building)
$#x2022; Malmo, Sweden (To see the Turning Torso building and the West side)
$#x2022; Tivoli Gardens (Absolutely charming!)
$#x2022; Nyhavn Harbor
$#x2022; The Opera House
$#x2022; Hamlet’s Castle (way cool)
$#x2022; and we walked, and drove, all over!!!!

Thanks to everyone who shared ideas. The trip to Malmo (mentioned by a number of people) was totally worth it. Also, thanks to Terry, who was an awesome host (we laughed non-stop for three solid days. He’s a blast to hang out with).

I plan on posting some images from the trip tomorrow (the HDR shot you see above is of the Knippelsbro bridge, which was right by our hotel. It was processed using Photoshop CS5’s HDR Pro), along with some stories from the trip, including hanging out with the other Adobe Evangelists (really great guys), Greg, Jason, and Paul.

Oh yeah, one last thing:
I took just one camera body, and just one lens, and I didn’t even take a camera bag or a tripod—I packed my gear right in my carry-on luggage. I absolutely loved traveling so light). See ya tomorrow!

Sports photography legend Dave Black has been down here at the Kelby Training Online Studios this past week taping a class on using off camera flash for shooting action sports portraits. He was doing some amazing stuff all week (his class is going to be SICK!!!!! If you use off-camera flash, his stuff is going to blow your mind!!!!).

By the way: I know many of you already know Dave is an amazing instructor (ask anybody that saw him at Photoshop World), but when he’s not teaching, and just being a regular guy, he’s just as amazing. I got to spend some time with him this week—Dave even went to church on Sunday with my family, and he spent the day with us just hanging out, talking sports [my poor wife], sharing stories, but mostly laughing. He’s one of the most fun, genuine, and just great guys out there. He’s “the real deal.”

A Night to Remember
Anyway, one night at dinner I asked Dave for any tips he had about an upcoming Major League Baseball shoot I had coming up for Southcreek Global Media. Of course, he had a ton! I’ll tell you the exact same thing I told Matt Kloskowski when I came into the office the next day: “I learned more about sports photography last night, than I had in a year!” (It’s WAY more than I can fit in a blog post, or two, or 10!).

I had a bunch of questions about setting up a remote camera for shooting sports, and Dave convinced me to put together a remote rig  (shown below) and take it with me to my next MLB shoot (which was two days later—The Rays vs the Twins this past Saturday). He told me to mount it near me, just so I could get used to shooting a remote, and then once I was comfortable with it, then start to find cool places to mount it (like in the catwalk above the domed field, which they do allow if you get there the day before, or very early for the game, and you’re not afraid of crazy scary heights or intense heat. I was out on both counts).

The Remote Set-up
Brad put together a Manfrotto Super Clamp with a Manfrotto Variable Friction Magic Arm attached to mount and had a Nikon D700 with a 300mm f/2.8 lens attached. On top of the camera sits a Pocket Wizard attached to the camera with a 10-pin connector. That way, I could fire the camera in (High-Speed Continuous shooting mode) from where ever I was (there are four shooting pits at Tropicana Field, one before and after each dugout). I started with it just a few feet above my head, aimed at 2nd base (I used the auto focus to focus on 2nd base, then I switched to the focus button on the lens to Manual so the camera wouldn’t accidentally change focus while firing).

Above: You can see the position of the camera a little better here. The photo pit is below and to the right of the camera). To position or check the camera, I had to either climb up on the railing to adjust it (can’t do that during game play), or make the long trek up to the top of the that section, back down to the camera, and then back up and down again. Tip: when you re-aim the camera at a new target, make sure the focus is on the money. I switched to catch the batters, but the guy I focused on wasn’t fully in batting position, and I had about 100+ photos of batters, all just a little bit soft. Lesson learned.

Above: Here’s one of the shots I caught with the remote camera. I was shooting my 400mm at the batter, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the play developing at 2nd base, and I hit the fire button on the 2nd Pocket Wizard in my left hand, and caught the shot you see here (and a whole series of this play) with the remote camera.

The part of actually getting used to shooting with the Remote didn’t take long (I totally dig it), but now the challenge is timing and finding cool places to put the remote (where I won’t get in trouble—they have rules where you can put them). I’m covering a few more games for them in the next week or so, so I’ll get more opportunities to work on my remote scheme. But, I want to thank Dave for encouraging me to do it, and to Brad for making everything work together. :)

Above: I saw one of my shots from Saturday’s Rays vs Twins game featured on the home page of Southcreek’s site (seen above). Sweet!!

Catch Dave Today on “The Grid”
Dave’s our in-studio guest on today’s LIVE broadcast of “The Grid” (at 12:00 noon EDT) and our first topic is “Can you make a living shooting sports photography.” It’s gonna be a great show!!! We’re also talking about what we want to see in the next round of DSLRs. Here’s the link (send us live comments during the show via Twitter: just add #thegridlive to any tweets, and we’ll see ’em).

One Last Thing!
While Dave was already here doing classes, we also got him to do a separate class on Light Painting (for those of you who follow his excellent “Workshop at the Ranch” tutorials [link], you know Dave is one of the leading educators when it comes to light painting, and is a true master of this very cool genre. If you don’t know what Light Painting is, follow that link. You’ll be hooked!

I got an assignment from Southcreek Global to shoot the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Indy Race (my 2nd time for Southcreek, and my third time shooting the race over-all. The first being for the Indy Racing league itself).

The race was this past Sunday. and I thought I share a few of the shots I uploaded to Southcreek here (the image above is one of my shots featured on their home page). Here are a few more, but I also uploaded some extras to a gallery on my Facebook page (here’s the link).

Above: That’s fan favorite Danica Patrick, just after she climbed into her car right before the race. I got to shoot a for just a few more minutes before the race, but they cut down the time the drivers have in their car before they start ’em up in half this year, so they hustled us out of there after just a few minutes.

Above: I had a special pit access pass (only a limited number of them are given out on race day, to keep from having too many photographers in the pits during the actual race), and even then, to shoot near the wall like this, you have to ask permission from the pit crew first. Every crew I asked let me shoot, but during the press briefing (at 7:15 am) they let us know which teams don’t allow photographers due to safety issues, so I stayed clear of those.

Above: Here’s a slow-shutter speed panning shot of what turned out to be the winner—Dario Franchitti, heading into the straightaway. I kept trying different shutter speeds from 1/30 of a second up to 1/125 of a second. I had to lower my ISO to a setting called L01 (which is lower than Nikon’s native ISO of 200), to let me leave the shutter open that long in direct sunlight.

Above: I don’t know how they drive all tilted like that, and still stay on the track. ;-)

Above: Before the race all the drivers got together to show their support for the people of Japan, and I got this shot of them, despite the fact that I didn’t have a flash with me. I just shot in High Speed Continuous mode and about every three or four shots, another photographer’s flash was going off, so I was all set.

Above: I liked this shot taken just a split second after a pit stop, while the driver’s tires are smoking as he pulls out into the Pit lane.

Above: This is another one I liked, probably because they look like they’re on the deck of a carrier.

Above: Another pit shot—dig the drill in mid air in front of the car, and the pit crewman signaling the driver not to leave yet.

Above: Here’s the first and third place finishers coming out of a turn.

Above: The bubbly goes flying in the winner’s circle.

Above: Race winner Dario Franchitti grins after his big win.

Above: This was another of my favorites, of driver Will Power, and as luck would have it, he came in 2nd. :)

Camera Specs (and some bad lens decisions)
I don’t know what I was thinking. I took my 400mm f/2.8, which works great for football, because you’re shooting more than you’re walking. Not at an Indy race. It’s a 1.8 mile track, and you spend the whole day walking, in the hot Florida sun (it was hot!!!!), and the 400mm was over my shoulder so much, I actually got a sore.

I wondered what I used last year, because I remember it not being so bad, and when I looked at my post, I realize why: I used one camera (instead of two, like this year), and only took my 70-200mm f/2.8 with a tele-extender. That would have worked great. In fact, I wonder how my 28-300mm would have worked (one camera body and one lens the whole day. That would be sweet).

I shot at f/2.8 all day on both cameras, and my shutter speeds were through the roof so freezing the motion wasn’t a problem as long as the car were heading straight toward me. For side shots, I had to lower the shutter speed dramatically, so at that point I switched from Aperture to Manual mode.

More over on Facebook
Like I said, there are a few more shots over on my Facebook page, but overall, despite my bad lens choice, and multiple camera fiasco, I still had a great time shooting. My buddy, pro sports shooter Andy Gregory was also shooting the event, so I followed him around so he could steal all my shots (gotcha Andy!). Ran into some NAPP members as well, which is always fun for me, and as luck would have it, I even met some of them indoors. In the air conditioning. :)

In Episode One of “The Grid” Matt Kloskowski brought up one of our favorite things about Twitter, which is that it’s such an amazing resource when you when need to find….well…anything. If Matt’s heading to a city to teach a seminar, sometime he’ll ask on Twitter if anyone in that city knows a good place to shoot, or a great steakhouse, or whatever, and he gets a dozen responses in minutes, if not seconds.

Last week, I went to Twitter for something similar. My son’s all time favorite band is the Christian Metal band “Disciple” and I surprised him with tickets to their show last week (I actually like Disciple, too, and have some of their songs on my iPod). Then I thought it would be cool to see if I could shoot a portrait of the band before the show, as I would take my son to assist on the shoot (he assisted on my shoot for Fight Factory), and that way he’d get to meet his favorite band in person.

I put out a Tweet asking, “Does anybody have a connection with the band Disciple? I’d like to shoot a portrait before their Florida show.” Well, in short—it worked. Within just a few hours, I was working out the details of the shoot with the band’s tour manager, and he invited me to shoot the concert that night as well. Amazing. I was excited. My son nearly blacked out.

An Unexpected Twist
We got to the shoot early and met with the band’s manager outside their tour bus. As it turned out, he told us we wouldn’t be able to do the portrait shoot after all, because one of the band members was actually on stage at that moment playing with their opening act—he was filling in for their missing guitar player, so the shoot was off. I was OK with it, especially since my son got to meet their Bass Player when we were out at the tour bus, and he was pretty psyched.

Shooting the Show
I still got to the shoot the show, and they gave me full access to go pretty much anywhere. I think the tour manager felt bad about having to cancel the shoot, so he let me shoot the entire show (not just the first three songs, like usual).

Six Lights, but only Five Were Working
It was a pretty challenging shoot, because there were only five lights total on the band, which had me shooing at around 8,000 to 10,000 ISO all night long. Thankfully, my Nikon D3s did an amazing job (but as pro concert photographer Brad Moore warned me—this is what Lightroom’s built-in noise reduction was made for. I had to apply a little on some shots, and it worked brilliantly).

Disciple put on a great show. We got to meet the band afterward, and I got a great shot of my son with the band (can’t show shot of the kids here on the blog. Mom’s rule). and he got a signed shirt and a poster for his room. My son had such a blast (and he knew every song. He has EVERY Disciple album).

Brad to the Rescue
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the shots I got here. I really felt Brad’s pain when he shoots a band without a big light show. It makes it really challenging, but Brad did give me some pointers on how to set up my camera for shooting concerts, and I have to say, his settings worked really well (He also had me turn on Auto ISO, which is why I wound up at 8,000 ISO most of the night).

There’s also a great feature story in this month’s Photoshop User magazine from pro concert shooter Alan Hess on not just the shooting, but the post processing, so if you’re a NAPP member, make sure you give it a read.

The Power of Twitter
Thanks to Brad for the settings; to Twitter for once again proving the power of social media, and to @chadphillips for the Disciple hook-up in the first place and to everyone who tried to help me make a Disciple connection. It was a day my son will never forget, which is all this dad wanted to give his awesome son. :)