Category Archives Photography

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I know that a lot of you already are on Instagram, but almost daily I have somebody ask why they should be on Instagram if they’re already on Facebook or on Twitter. But it wasn’t really until two things happened recently, that I really got excited about Instagram and started to post there regularly.

The first happened during an episode of “The Grid” where we were talking about social media for photographers, where that same “Why should I be on Instagram” question came up, and when I heard my answer out loud, it even upped my usage of Instagram (I was really, really late to the Instagram thing – I started an account years ago but only used it a couple of times because I really didn’t “get it” but there were other reasons. So today, I’m giving you 7 reasons, including my first one, from that Grid episode:

  1. It’s the only big social media platform based on photography
    Twitter is about text (and not much of it at that). They just started embracing photos recently, but they still penalize you for using a photo by taking away from your 140 character count. Facebook only started really caring in the last couple of years, and that’s only because when Google+ was getting big, it did care about a photo. A lot. That’s why it resonated with the photo crowd. So, that was what I said on “The Grid” that day in answer to that guy’s question — it’s the only big social media platform based on photography – how can you not be there?
  2. They fixed the whole “your image has to be cropped square” thing
    Now you have the choice, and it’s built right into the app. This is a brand new development and it changed everything for me personally (this is the 2nd thing I mentioned above). I used to use a separate app called SquareReady which kept my image’s original wide orientation intact by adding black bars on the top and bottom (kind of like letterbox widescreen in movies), but now that’s it added right in, it doesn’t take me twice as long, and two different apps, just to post one photo. This is a HUGE thing for serious photographers because the original crop is how we saw the scene. It’s our composition. Having to make your image square (or use a separate app with a letterbox effect), wasn’t cutting it. Thank you Instagram for making your app serious photography friendly.
  3. You don’t have to write a lot.
    Unlike the other social media, here your image counts more than your words, so you can say very little, or nothing at all, and its totally OK. Sometimes, I just can’t write another post, but I still want to share an image. Instagram is perfect for that.
  4. Tons of photographers are already there
    All the big name photographers. All the big brands. The whole world is on Instagram, so you’ll be in good company and lots of it. It took off back in 2010 and it’s just exploded since then. I wish I had embraced it a long time ago.
  5. It’s a wonderful place for inspiration
    Just like other social media platforms, you follow the photographers you want to follow and you’ll see the images they post daily (I hope you’ll follow me there – I’m posting lots of travel, portraits/fashion and sports images there each day now. I’m on there under ‘scottkelby‘ on Instagram). There’s tons of inspirational images that keep your creative juices flowing. I see a lot of really wonderful, beautiful, compelling images there every day. You can tap a heart to send a like. You can comment. Or you can just sit back and scroll through a stream of inspiration and fun.
  6. The Instagram App is really good
    It’s simple and clean and that’s a good thing. It’s the least complicated app on earth – you just scroll down through images. If you want to post an image, you can tap the bottom center icon; either upload a photo from your camera roll or take one with the built-in camera. It has built-in filters (it was Instagram that made all those retro looks so popular) and you can apply them with one tap (you get a preview), and that’s pretty much it. Simple is good.
  7. There are photographers you’ll only find there
    Just like you have people who are famous ‘Youtubers,’ you have photographers who have gained their fame from being ‘Instagrammers’ and this is where they showcase their work. They’re getting working from Instagram. Lots of people are. People can get noticed here. Maybe you’ll be next.

 

Of course, there are some things I wish were different on Instagram. For example:

  1. It doesn’t allow you to embed links into your posts.
    You can put a web URL in your post, but if viewers click on it, it doesn’t take them to your link. It does nothing. Ugh. It’s about the only place left on the entire internet where posting a URL doesn’t create a live link.
  2. It gives you very little analytics other than likes and comments 
    I use a Web app – Iconosquare.com (which is excellent by the way) to give me all the stats you should be getting from Instagram.
  3. You can’t post images from the desktop
    You can see them on your computer, but you can’t post images or comment, etc.  without subscribing to an expensive third-party service – you have to do it from the phone app itself. Ack! This is a pain for sure. Plus, there’s no iPad app — you just download the iPhone app and then it runs at 2x size, but the images don’t look nearly as good. Instagram just recently upped it resolution, so I’m hoping that an iPad/Tablet app is behind that move.

Those three things aside (things that I imagine will all be addressed at some time in the near future), I have to say I’m loving my Instagram experience (and it’s now my wife’s favorite social media. You can follow her at kalebrakelby – she posts some really wonderful stuff, and her stories and commentary and either quite touching or really hilarious).

If you’re not already on Instagram, I hope this post at least has you giving Instagram a try. The app is free. The account is free. The free is free. It’s free! Give it a try for a few weeks – I’ll bet you fall in love – after all – it was made for you!

Hope you all have an awesome Tuesday!

Best,

-Scott 

P.S. I’ll be up in NYC all week this week at the big Canon Expo. I’m speaking on Thursday afternoon doing a class “How to Present Like a Pro!” (the class is sold out, so if you’re already signed up – I’ll see you there! I’m really excited about this session – I’ve put a ton of time into making it really valuable for anyone who attends). 

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It’s a huge event, held once every five years in New YorkParis, Tokyo and Shanghai and not only is it my first time attending, I’m actually teaching a session in the conference track, and get this — it’s not Photoshop, Lightroom or Photography related.

Canon asked if I might do a business class this time around, so I’m really excited to be doing a class next Thursday (a week from this Thursday), called “How to Present Like a Pro” where I’ll share my favorites tips and techniques for making presentations that rock.

But besides my class…
Everybody I’ve talked to about this tells me how huge this Expo is, and it covers everything Canon does, from film-making to photography to copiers to…well, Canon makes a lot of products covering a wide range of stuff, and I can’t wait to see it all, and you can too. Here’s the details:

When: September 10-11, 2015
Where: Javits Convention Center, NYC

Here’s the link for details and to register (you need this ACCESS CODE to register because this is an invite-only event, but don’t worry — this access code is your invite: IGKB4PPT).

Check out this video (below) – I found it on YouTube and it’s from the 2010 Paris Canon Expo – I can’t imagine what the one in NYC is going to be like. That’s some crazy stuff!!!  Looks like it’s going to be a blast!

Hope I’ll see you there in person next week. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!

Best,

-Scott

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ve probably seen me posting some shots from a class I’ve been working on about my location lighting set-up. I had four different location shoots planned for the class (we wrapped up taping last week), but the day before Photoshop World we did the first shoot out on a dry lake bed just outside Vegas.

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Here’s one of the shots from the shoot. It’s lit with just one flash and it’s the replacement for what has been my go-to kit for years now — the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra — the new model is the ELB 400, and it’s got a slew of new features over the old kit (I go over all that stuff in the class, but mostly the class is about lighting tips and techniques and ideas for location lighting. The ELB is pretty awesome, though!). The dress is from DreamShootRentals.com

The softbox was my go-to softbox (been using this for years); it’s my Elinchrom Rotalux 53″ Midi Octa. I just love that softbox (and it’s not too crazy expensive for being fairly big — it’s $329 at B&H Photo).

TIP: August may not be the ideal time to shoot in the desert
I knew I’d already be there; my video crew would already be there for Photoshop World starting the next day; and Kalebra would be there with me to do the Art Direction (she rocks!), so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to pull off a shoot like this. Ya know, except for the whole shooting in the desert in the August heat thing.

One thing that made it a bit complex is that we were kinda out in the middle of nowhere. We were going to need a restroom on the scene, and a place for the model to get hair/makeup and to change outfits. We had a large crew:  our video crew and producer (this is part of a KelbyOne class), Brad, my assistant Lynn and a second photo assistant. We had a location scout, and Kalebra and I working on the direction and shooting, so we wound up renting this production trailer, which is what they would normally use on a movie or TV production, but it worked out really well (as long as we didn’t run all four air conditioners, which would blow a fuse). Check out the video below for more on the production trailer.

Above: Here’s a little iPhone BTS video we shot so you could see the set-up, and we went in the production trailer for a quick tour, too. It’s pretty short. Worth checking out. 

 

Above: Here’s a gallery of some behind the scenes shots. Click to see a larger version. 

I can’t wait until the whole class is done
I really was able to cover a lot of stuff — four different shoots and an entire section just about the gear to start it all off. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready.

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Above: Here’s some thumbnails from some of the other finals from that shoot. More to share in the class. 

Hope you all have an awesome Monday (well, we can only try, right?), and we’ll see ya back here tomorrow. :)

Best,

-Scott

 

I’m very excited to invite you to be a part of my 8th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (it’s a worldwide phenomenon with walks in over 1,000 cities last year). Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details:

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A.The official date is Saturday, October 3, 2015

Q. What do you do on a Photo Walk?
A. You start by meeting with up to 50 other photographers at a central meeting point. Then a Photo Walk Leader leads the group on a leisurely paced stroll through an area that is photographically interesting; you take lots pictures; you can chat with other folks (photo walkers are very friendly by nature); you laugh, you enjoying being outside with a group of like-minded folks; and then after around 2-hours you wind up at a local restaurant, pub, cafe, etc. (chosen in advance by the walk leader), where you can have a meal, maybe a snack, some drinks, maybe lots of drinks, you can get totally plastered), and make some new friends. It’s a social event, and it’s really a blast (and you get to make some cool pictures, which is always good).

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Above: That’s a group shot of the local photo walk I led in Paris a couple years of ago — we’re posed on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Look how happy we all look! Look how cold we all look!  Forget that last line. 

Q. Is there a fee to participate?
A. It’s totally free. But if you’re feeling charitable, each year we “Walk with a Purpose” to raise money for the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, to help them feed, clothe and care for some very wonderful children who need our help. When you sign up for a walk, you’ll have the option (it’s totally optional), to donate just $1 to the orphanage via Paypal. 100% of your donation goes directly to the orphanage, and last year we were able to raise more than $37,000, which is just amazing (and they were absolutely thrilled!). This year, we’re shooting for $50,000. You cannot imagine what a difference this makes to the orphanage (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. :) So, if you could donate just $1 when you’re on the site (just one buck) that would be awesome (and you’ll be helping more than you know), but again, it’s totally optional.

Q. Where do I sign up to join a walk in my city?
A. Visit the official Worldwide Photo Walk Website, and click the “Find a Walk” button to see if there’s a walk set-up in a city near you. If there is, and there are spots still available, you can sign up right there for free and join that walk. If there isn’t a walk in your city, maybe you can start one and lead it yourself (more on that in a moment).

Q. What happens when a local walk fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Each Photo Walk is limited to a maximum of 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Click here for the explanation.

londongroupAbove: That’s a group shot from the walk I led last year in London. It was a bright sunny day and everybody had a criminal record a great time. A really great group of folks (except for Dave and Peter). Even Brad was there (see far left)!

Q. So Scott, are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A. 
Absolutely! I’m leading a local photo walk in Sydney, Australia (I just posted my walk details this morning — I hope if you live in the Sydney area you can join me). :)

Q. If I led a walk last year, can I lead a walk this year?
A. We would love that! Check your email inbox — we sent out invitations already to last year’s leaders (the email comes from us at KelbyOne and it was sent on August 6th). The subject line reads “A special invitation.”

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. You bet! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader) will get the ebook edition of my bestselling book — The Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers” (it lists for $39.95) and their winning image is also entered into the main photo competition vying for thousands of dollars in prizes. From those local walk winners I will choose 10-finalists, who all get tons of great prizes, and then I choose a Grand Prize winner, who just gets an insane amount of stuff.

Q. I see on the site that Canon is the Platinum Sponsor. Does that mean the  Grand Prize might include a DSLR and a lens?
A. Why, yes it does! Our friends at Canon are giving the Grand Prize Winner Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a cool LensHow sweet is that!

Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Our official sponsors are awesome and have kicked in everything from subscriptions to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Bundle (high-five Adobe!), to Wacom tablets (love Wacome!), B&H Photo Gift Cards (best camera store on earth), and more for the finalists and grand prize winners. I’ll have a blog post about ALL the prizes soon, but the list is getting cra-zay! 

Q. Are any cities with Photo Walks organized yet?
A. Yes! We already have 250 walks set-up all over the world, with more being added every day! From Cairo, Egypt, to Ogunquit, Maine — from Tübingen, Germany to Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador — from Isfahan, Iran to Puyallup, Washington — from Lleida, Spain; to Dubai, and New Orleans — there are walks all over the world who would love to have you join them!

Q. How can I find out if there’s a walk in my area?
A. Go to the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the “Find Walks” link at the top right, then type in the city, state, and/or country where you want to walk, and if there are any walks already organized in your area, they’ll be listed on the right side (and you’ll see pins on the map). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because, like I said before, new walks are being added every day.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk in my area?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website — just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, so your familiar with keep a group of up to 50 people happy, safe and healthy, etc., you’re likely to get accepted fast to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not — it’s totally optional — you don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest).

Q. Do I get anything for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. And admiration from your walkers (and me). You also get a copy of the same ebook the winner of your local walk gets, as our way of saying “thank you.”. You also get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with the book as well (and judging a photo competition is a lot of fun. It’s often hard to narrow things down to just one winner, but it’s also fun because you get to see lots of beautiful images).

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
We have that, too! We started it three years as a way to honor the photographic work of our leaders.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for Walkers & Leaders?
A.You betcha! Each year, our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea of selling t-shirt to raise money for (you guessed it), Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts go to feeding and care for these great kids. Last year we raised over $7,000 just from these t-shirt sales alone (imagine how much $7,000 means to the orphanage) I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help us once again this year (Rob rocks!). Order you t-shirts right now at this link (and feel the good karma coming back to you!).

NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders —  you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing. Where do I go?
A. 
There’s a detailed FAQ on the Website (here’s the link).

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. Stay up-to-date by following us on our Twitter page and Facebook Page (If you talk about the walk on social – we would love it if you would include the hashtag #wwpw2015).

Plus, I’ll shoot you an email once a week leading up to the walk with some photography tips, camera tips, post processing tips, and fun stuff to get you ready for the big walk on Saturday, October 3rd all over the world.

I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose” to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. We want as many people to participate as possible, so anything you can do to help us spread the word about the walk would be greatly appreciated. Could you share it on forums, on social, with your camera clubs, and anywhere cool photographers hang out? Many thanks. :)

Hey gang: We had our own Larry Becker stop by some of the exhibitors at the Photoshop World Conference Expo floor last week, so they could give us a quick look at what they were showing off at their booths. Here’s a few to get you started:

OK, this post is getting crazy long – if you want to see more, check out our KelbyOne YouTube page where you’ll find lots more stuff from Photoshop World.

Hope you all have a rockin’ Monday!

-Scott

 

 

 

 

 

OK, I survived the Wedding shoot Saturday, but just barely thanks to all the record-breaking flooding we’re having here in Tampa. It kept us trapped indoors for the entire day (and all my bridal portraits were scheduled for outdoors. Ack!).

The event coordinator let us in an empty meeting room, and when I had the bride open the drapes, it faced directly into a rental car agency and a multi-level parking garage (see image below). LOL!

Solution? Over-expose by 3 stops!
That was what’s outside the window just completely blows out and turns to solid white. I’m not sure if I’ve ever shot 3-stops over-exposed (well, not on purpose, anyway).
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Hero of the day? Auto ISO!
To take sure I never had to worry about my blurry pictures, I turned on Auto ISO and set my minimum shutter speed to 1/125 of a second (as seen above). That way, no matter what the lighting situation was where I was shooting that day (or night), my shutter speed would never fall below 1/125 of a second (it just raises the ISO until you get that shutter speed, which is why it’s important to have a camera that has low noise at high ISOs, and I brought my Canon 1D-x for that very reason.

> By the way, in a unrelated, but still kinda related thing since I just mentioned it â” I saw yesterday that B&H Photo had the lowest price I’ve ever seen on a 1Dx â” they had a $700 instant rebate bringing it down to $4,599. It’s not cheap, but I think it’s the best DSLR ever made. More details here (and now back to our story).

It especially works great at the reception where light is changing constantly, but even more than that, at just 1/125 of a second when you shoot people dancing you still get some movement from some of the dancers (some people are sharp, and some have motion blur all in the same shot, which makes it look like they’re dancing, rather than being just frozen in awkward positions).

More to share soon
I have a few more things to share from the day coming up, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope you’ll catch us on The Grid tomorrow at 4:00 pm ET (it’s our live weekly talk show for photographers) at this link. 

Best,

Scott

P.S. I’ll be in Vegas next week at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo. Did you know you can snag a FREE Expo-only pass (a $40 value, but thanks to our friends at B&H it’s free) so you can see all the latest gear direct from the vendors themselves, and catch some free classes in the expo floor theater and the Peachpit theater? Here’s the link to snag your free Expo-only pass for either next Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. See you there!

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