Category Archives Photography

Brad just sent me a roster of who’s speaking at this week’s Photo Pro Expo (produced by the Kentucky Professional Photographers Association), and they’ve got some really big name instructors teaching, including David Ziser, Cliff Mautner, Tony Corbell, and Skip Cohen (among others).

it kicks off this Friday, and it sounds like a really great event, so if you’re anywhere up that way, click this link to get all the details.

I had a number of people comment about the Duotone look I applied to my “Sessions” images” series (link), so I thought I’d share the exact settings I used (just promise me you won’t be surprised or disappointed that it’s so incredibly simple).

I did the conversion completely in Lightroom (though I’ll show you the camera raw equivalent in a moment). Start by pressing the letter “V” to convert the image to Black & White. Then go to the Split Toning panel—don’t touch the Highlights at all—just drag the Shadows Hue slider to 28, and the Saturation to 17.

That’s it. One letter—two sliders. :)

If you’re using Camera Raw instead; go to the HSL / Grayscale panel and click on “Convert to Grayscale.” (Does it bother anybody that photographers don’t use the term Grayscale for converting to black and white? That’s a graphic designer’s term, not a photographers. Don’t get me started). Anyway, then go to the Split Toning tab. Don’t touch the Highlights controls at all—just move the Shadows Hue slider to 28, and the Saturation to 17. That’s it.

Anyway, I know it doesn’t have a lot of fireworks to it, but that’s exactly how I did the conversions, and the exact settings I used.

Have a great Monday everybody!

Matt Kloskowski
Plays: Ibanez Roadstar Series Electric Guitar | Shoots: Nikon D300

Back in 2009, I had been talking with Joe McNally about kind of being in a rut over my own photography, and Joe encouraged me to come up with a personal photo project—something that would span a series of photos, and cause me to really think about a body of work instead of just “one-offs” like I normally shoot. I thought it was a great idea—-I just didn’t have a great idea on what to do.

Finally, Something Hit Me

After thinking about it for quite a while (and being quite frustrated by how hard a time I was having coming up with something creative and fun), until one day I came up with the idea to combine two things I love—music and photography, into a portrait series based on photographers who are also accomplished musicians. I would call the seriesĀ  “Sessions,“as I felt that name fit both music (like a recording session), and photography (like a photo session).

My idea was to shoot each photographer with their musical instrument (or a part thereof), but since they were photographers, I would make the backdrop and lighting part of the scene (so you’d clearly see the softbox, the back light, light stands, etc.), to bring the two arts together in one frame.

I decided that I would convert all the images into Duotones, and create a poster layout with the name of the series, then under it I would have the subject’s name, their favorite instrument, and their camera (for example, Matt Kloskowski. Plays: an Ibanez Roadrunner. Shoots: a Nikon D700). Then I would make a 24″x30” print (on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper) and have each of them sign the print, large, above the series name, which would bring them further into the layout like a celebrity signing a promo photo.

The Series Gets Tweaked Right Out of the Gate
I took the first couple of shots, (taken in our studio, with the backdrop set up in front of a white syc wall), and I sent a couple to Joe to see what he thought, and while he liked the concept, he thought I needed to have a better background than just the syc wall. He said to either move the entire set closer to the subject (like backstage at a concert, or on stage before a gig, etc.), or to someplace completely opposite the two subjects, like putting up the set in a desert, or near a waterfall.

I agreed, and I knew that I’d have access to a backstage area at Photoshop World for our opening keynote concert, so after the few first shots, I took the set backstage and did the next set, and of course, Joe was right.

Anyway, I thought I share some of the images from the series here with you today. You’ll recognize these photographers, but you might be surprised to find out that they’re musicians, which I think is one of the coolest things about the project.

Rick Sammon
Plays: Martin DC-16RGTE Acoustic Guitar | Shoots: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Drew Gurian
Plays: Spaun Custom Drums | Shoots: Nikon D3s

Eddie Tapp
Plays: Ludwig Drums | Shoots: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

RC Concepcion
Plays: Martin Acoustic Guitars | Shoots: Nikon D700

Jim Divitale
Plays: Pearl Drums | Shoots: Canon 1DS Mark III

Scott Diussa
Plays: Carvin DC127T
Electric Guitar | Shoots: Nikon D3s

My humble thanks to Joe McNally for inspiring me to try something new and shoot my first series, and for encouraging me to get serious about my sports photography in 2010 as well by just getting out there and shooting and learning. Both projects have taught me an awful lot, as I’m sure Joe knew they would.

Also a special thanks to my photo assistant Brad Moore, who was a tremendous help throughout the entire project, and a big thanks to these photographers who graciously posed for my project, especially since I knew full well that they would have been much more comfortable on the other side of the lens. :)

After yesterday’s post, I thought you guys deserved some balance by seeing some really nice shots for a change, and that’s why I wanted to share this video from my friend, UK-based photographer Glyn Dewis.

2010: A Portfolio Review from Glyn Dewis on Vimeo.

He did a recap of his 2010 shoots, and I saw it on his Facebook page and really enjoyed it, so I got the embed code from his site, and I’m sharing it with you guys here (hope you don’t mind, Glyn). If you’ve got a minute, take a look—I think you’ll really dig it. :)

P.S. Thanks to everybody who posted such nice comments yesterday about my Hall of Shame. It made me feel….well….shameful. ;-)

My buddy Matt Lange came up with a really cool way to showcase the images he’s taken on assignment for Southcreek Global Media—he puts them into a layout that looks like a football trading card (as seen above).

You can check out his other layouts right here. Also, I love his new layout for his portfolio (here’s that link). I guess it helps if you’re a great photographer who’s also a great designer, eh?

Hi everybody. I’ve been very fortunate to have shot a lot of both College and Pro football this season, and I’ve been sharing some of my favorite shots from those games here on my blog.

Well, I didn’t shoot any Wildcard Playoff games this weekend, which gave me an opportunity to do something different: dig up some of my worst football shots, and foolishly I’ve chosen to share them here with you.

Now, when I’m out there shooting, and I fall for the fake handoff and shoot 22 frames of a running back carrying nothing, I will normally delete those right in the camera (just out of sheer embarrassment). If I miss deleting them on the field between plays, then when I import the images onto my laptop, I’ll usually delete the really bad ones then, but alas, I still had plenty left over. But today, I’m just going to share a few. That way, I have enough left for a part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5………part 62, part 63……

Here we go (hang on folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride):

Above: Focusing on the player that has the ball isn’t always a big priority of mine. I think the real story here is those guys in the rain ponchos back on the bench, and as you can see—-they are tack sharp! A lot of photographers out there get all distracted by the ball, and the play that’s going on, and stuff like that. Such a shame.

Above: A lot of guys try to make sure they’re in position to nail that end zone corner catch (like these guys here), but then they miss out on getting that really dramatic shot of the blue padding on the goal post, and the ref jogging over after the play, and I think that’s pretty short sided on their part.

Above: I think a lot of shooters out there are all hung up on the action, and miss out shots like this where you really get to use the “rule of thirds” composition technique. It’s not what you see in this shot—it’s what you don’t see.

Above: I know it looks a little soft here, but you should have seen how sharp it looked on the back of my camera. I was psyched!

Above: Remember, if you’re afraid you won’t capture the action, why not try capturing what happens right before the action. See, a lot of guys would have missed this shot.

Above: A lot of shooters on the sidelines are all hung up on the shot being, ya know…in focus, but hey—-you can still tell what’s going on, right? I mean, you can see he caught the ball and all. This would make a great 17×22″ print. Maybe larger.

Above: Touchdown! In an image like this—catching a pass in the end zone—-it’s really all about capturing the player’s emotion. That look on his face is priceless. Heck, you can almost see the ball in this one! Wait for it…..wait for it…..Epic!

Above: Picking the right spot to shoot from, where you won’t be obstructed by the chain gang, or a ref, or a video camera man, is really critical, so I’m always very careful to be in just the right position to capture “the shot.” Look at the expression on the Michigan player’s face. Classic. Could have been a poster. Could have sold millions.

Above: At the end of the day, it’s really about knowing how to frame your shot in the heat of the action. This is one of those shots where it just all came together for me. People ask me why I do it. This….is why I do it.

Above: My rule is: leave a lot of headroom up top, ya know….in case Sports Illustrated wants to use it for their cover shot.

Above: It’s not easy capturing an out-of-focus shot of a field goal kick. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one, but this is the kind of magic that sets me apart.

Above: There was something really thrilling happening there just a moment or two ago—I’m almost certain. Sidenote: look at how sharp the gloves are on the player on the far right side. When you get one like this, it reminds you of why you do it all in the first place.

Above: It’s all about getting tack-sharp images, and if you look closely, you can almost read the brand of drums they’re using. That’s tack-sharp my friends!

Above: I hate it when they run to the other end of the field. Everybody’s so tiny, so I don’t worry about actually composing my shots, which really takes the pressure off.

Above: Capturing that peak celebration shot after a big play, and the raw emotion of these headless players is really what it’s all about.

Above: The referees are such a big part of the game, I try to work them into at least 20 to 30% of my shots each game. It helps me to stand out.

Above: I don’t usually like to brag, but every once in a while you just nail one! Can you say “SI Double Truck!” I’m livin’ the dream, baby!

Above: So many guys out there are all about capturing the entire player, but I say, a chopped off limb here or there, especially a throwing arm, really isn’t a big deal. It’s about the moment—not the individual body parts.

Above: My instincts told me “Hey, this guy is going to catch a pass” and my cat-like reflexes took over. I turned, nailed the shot (BAM!), and headed to the photographer’s work room for a chili dog, knowing I had this one in the bag.”

Above: When you’re covering a big name Quarterback like Donovan McNabb, you have to put yourself in a position to capture the moment. I kept yelling at this player in front, “Hey, move to your right!” but he just stood there—blocking. I was so pissed.

Above: In the NFL, plays unfold so fast that you have to react in a split second. The play was over, so I whipped over to catch this majestic moment, frozen forever like a moment in time. Look how the ref is dragging his foot. Amazing!.

Above: They say that shots where you can’t see the ball, or that are partially obstructed by an official, or that don’t seem to have any focal point or story behind it are useless, but I think this powerful image proves them all wrong. While I’m on the subject; I know as photographers we’re out there to do a job, but when we’re side-by-side shooting, you know what we don’t talk enough about? Love. That’s right. Love. Between plays, we need to share our feelings, and talk about our relationships, and our struggles and dreams. And gosh darn it, if one of us really nails a great shot, we should all go over and hug him. Ya know…or not.

Capturing the moment. Or at least the one right after it.
Well, there you have it, part 1 of some really stunning shots that I cannot believe didn’t get deleted right out on the field. I wish I had 20 more to share. Unfortunately, I have hundreds. Maybe a thousand. Maybe more. I’ve got a playoff game lined up, so hopefully more of these magical shots will be heading your way soon (and if I actually get any decent ones, I post a few of them, too!).

Have a great Monday everybody (and stop all that snickering). ;-)

UPDATE: I added a few more “keepers” over at my Facebook page. Here’s the link. (to see all my Facebook posts, click the “Like” button).