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  • Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country. This post is also dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died five years ago in combat in Afghanistan. Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.

    I've been a fan of Triple Scoop Music even since I heard some of the instructors at Photoshop World using their royalty-free music tracks in their photo slideshow presentations. As a musician myself, I am just so impressed with the quality of their  tracks --- their stuff is "the real deal." That's why I was so psyched when they asked me to put together a Signature Collection of  their music tracks that I thought would be perfect for landscape and travel photography slideshows and videos. The "Scott Kelby Signature Series Vol 1 – Landscape and Travel Collection" launched today to coincide with my Los Angeles "Shoot Like a Pro Tour" today in LA. If you follow this link, you can go to their site and preview some of the music tracks in my collection right on their page (for those of you that caught my…

    The Digital Photography Book Part 1 - Second Edition Okay, Scott already announced the release of the new version of his best-selling book, The Digital Photography Book Part 1 - Second Edition. But since today is Free Stuff Thursday, I figured we would give away FIVE FREE copies to some lucky commenters! Whether you already have the first edition and just want the latest version, or if you want to give a copy to a friend, or if you just don't have any version of this book and want it, leave a comment for your chance to win! Or, you can head over to KelbyTraining.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever you like to buy great books and buy a copy! Kelby Training Live Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours! The Shoot Like A Pro Tour…


    Photo by Douglas Dubler

    A Tale of Two Photos

    Once a year, on the anniversary of Guest Blog Wednesday, Scott affords me the opportunity to share some thoughts. All I can say is that it is a good thing that he gives me a year between these guest blog posts. Once again, thank you, Scott, for your gracious generosity.

    Tale 1

     

    Of all of the images I have or will take in my life, I suspect “Paris in Snow” will be by far my most iconic. It is the cover of my book From Oz to Kansas, and Epson uses it as the image on their worldwide packaging of Cold Press Natural paper. So the image has received some airplay.

    This image is one of the best examples I have of how to capture “timelessness” in a photograph. There is no way to tell if the image was shot yesterday, one, 10, 50 or 100 years ago. This has to do with an observation I made several years back when photographing New York City: “modern” happens four stories and below, and “timeless” happens four stories and above. The shops at street level come and go, fashions change, cars change, and the banners that get hung for this or that special event all tend to be hung from the floor of the fourth story (or the ceiling of the third if you want to be picky) and below. But the truth of the city and the age of its creation all live four stories (from the floor up) and above. Case in point: in this image, I am nine stories up, and I am shooting down toward the fourth story of the buildings in the foreground.

    Note: This is also an ExDR image (Extended Dynamic Range). Not merely an HDR image (High Dynamic Range). For me, HDR images tend to be ones that scream “I AM AN HDR IMAGE!!!” and are an exercise in how to make a photograph look like a Harry Potter set. Just because something looks weird does not make it art. It just means it looks weird. In this image, the dynamic ranges of focus, time, and gesture have been extended. The goal of any technique is that when the image is completed you cannot see the technique in the image.

    But I digress…. Back to the tale of this image. 

    (Above) Here's a behind-the-scene shot from Friday's shoot.  This is a three-light shoot: Two 4-foot strip banks above (with Elinchrom strobes), and there's one additional softbox in front (you can see the light-stand right behind my laptop) that's putting some extra light on the engine --- it was a little dark in there with just the two strobe directly above the bike. I asked my Creative Director Felix Nelson if I could shoot his Harley, but he was doing some serious tinkering with it at home and it wouldn't be ready for days, so he suggested calling our guitar player (Felix is the bass player for Big Electric Cat), Tony Llanes since he builds custom choppers. He didn't have one available, but his cousin had this "Big Dog!" chopper and he came rolling up on it Friday and I was like, "Oh Yeah baby!" Only had…

    OK, if you already have the first edition of the book, DON'T BUY THIS ONE!!!! That's because it's a "refresh" and not a "rewrite." The original book was published back in 2006, so I brought the book up-to-date with a pretty significant refresh using today's latest cameras, updates and changes in gear; plus I added a short chapter with some advice I've learned since then; I went through and updated all the photos  (man, it's excruciating to look back at the images you were taking seven years ago), and techniques where needed throughout, and I re-wrote from scratch the most popular chapter, the "Photo Recipes" chapter with all new images and descriptions (because again, I hated those old photos from 2006). So, as much as I'd love you to rush out and buy a copy.... I want to keep you as a reader and that…

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