Friday
Oct
2012
26

My Day in New York at the Photo Plus Expo

by Scott Kelby  |  23 Comments

(Above: iPhone shot of Nikon’s huge booth right at the front door of the expo hall).

This was a quick trip: up one day and right back home the next, but it was totally worth it (plus I got to do a session on “Photoshop for Travel Photographers” at B&H Photo the night before, and it went really great — thanks to everyone who came out, and to the awesome team at B&H Photo for the honor of letting me teach there. I had a wonderful crowd and met some really nice folks.

(Above: This was taken right before my class at B&H Photo started — photo by my buddy Dave with his iPhone).

I didn’t have any sessions at the show itself, (just a few meetings) so I got to do my two favorite things: (1) Check out all the latest gear from the vendors, and (2) watch some demos and presentations at some of the booths (that totally rocked — more on that in a minute).

I was loving the Nikon Theater
Right when you walked in the door, Nikon had a theater where they featured presentations from a number of Nikon shooters and it was fantastic (by the way: Canon had a presentation stage as well, but their stage was more set up for training with live shoots, whereas Nikon’s was more for inspirational talks and teaching. Both were packed. Both were awesome).

I spent a lot of the day at the Nikon theater, first watching the adventure photography of Corey Rich. He chronicled his 14-day project in Mexico creating promo stills and a DSLR movie for Nikon’s launch of the D4. His presentation was really great in that his point was, “Look at this amazing video, just a few regular guys made, you can do this, too!” Of course, I wouldn’t repel down a waterfall to shoot a pro-kayaker going over waterfalls” but outside of that, he showed that it was just some guys with the D4 (and a lot of talent) can make something special (and his video and still both were awesome). Very good presentation all around (and his movie is below — you’ll dig it).

Later in the day I sat in on a Beauty/Fashion presentation from award-winning photographer Dixie Dixon and she was just terrific. She’s got really beautiful images, very cool behind-the-scenes videos (really well produced), and a very genuine, fun presentation style. She’s doing big work for big agencies and corporate clients, and creating some really wonderful images, and she’s just 22 years old. I picked up a few great ideas and tricks from her presentation, too! The crowd was totally with her the whole time (I already asked her to do a guest blog here, so you’ll hear more from her here soon). In the meantime, here’s one of her behind-the-scenes videos:

After that, two Nikon DSLR movie makers took the stage and brought up a slide showing that they created their movie using a crew of 120 people, and they had to close off like 8-blocks of a big city (and just how hard that was to do), and they listed all their expensive gear, and on and on. They basically took the opposite approach of Corey. Instead of saying, “Hey, you guys can do this!” they basically said “You’ll never be able to do this, so just sit back and soak in our awesomeness.” I’m sure their movie was amazing, but I left right then (Since I’ll never be able to do any of what they’re about to show, anyway).

(Above: Another iPhone shot — that’s Robert Beck in the Nikon Theater).

Lastly, I made it a point to come back and catch Sports Illustrated’s staff photographer Robert Beck and his presentation and it was terrific. He has some absolutely iconic sports images (it’s wild to see the image full screen first, and then in the next slide you see it on the cover of Sports Illustrated) and his stories and insights were awesome. Lots of great learning moments there, too (he said a few things that really resonated with me). Really glad I got to see him present.

All-in-all, I learned a ton in just those presentations and it was totally worth the trip up just for those.

The Gear
Ahhhh, the gear. I wish I had had more time to visit booths and check out stuff, but I spent too time learning (LOL!!!). Here’s some cool stuff I did see:

(Above: It’s really exciting to come around a corner at the trade show and see one of your shots really big on the wall. This is the Elinchrom booth — iPhone photo by Matt Kloskowski). 

Manfrotto (Elinchrom and Lastolite)
I went by Elinchrom’s booth and they had the new updated strobes that are replacing my beloved BXRI 500′s (the new ones are just BXR 500) and they have a few nice new features and will be shipping next month if I remember right. Lastolite had some very clever new flash modifiers (snoots, brackets and stuff), and a very interesting gobo rig with drop-in patterns for creating interesting backgrounds. They also had some cool resizable softboxes (they convert from strip banks to rectangles, and octas and stuff). I’m continually impressed at Lastolite’s innovation in modifiers — they are really kind of leading the way these days.

Broncolor Lighting
Broncolor and Hasselblad had an off-site exhibit (about a 10-minute walk from Photo Plus) called “Shoot NYC” and it was in this hip location where they set up all these different lighting set-ups (all based around a Ducati motorcycle, so they had the cycle lit, a cool helmet  for a product shoot, and a racing boot at another shoot, and it was just a really cool theme and layout). I got to see the new Broncolor packs they intro’d at the show and I was really impressed.

F.J. Westcott
They had introduced a 1000-watt LED-powered continuous light (it was small and round, more like a regular studio light) that looked really interesting. They’re going to send me one to review and I’ll let you guys know how it works but it was really incredibly bright and I’m looking forward to giving it a whirl.

Sony DSLRs
They had a big presence again (though it didn’t seem nearly as big as last year’s), but they had a couple of presentation stages and I watched part of a session on shooting babies and they had an adorable, very well behaved little cutie there and the woman doing the shoot for Sony (Sorry, I wish I had her name), was very good and made some wonderful images live in the front of the crowd. Almost made me want to shoot babies. Almost. ;-)

(Above: You can see Canon’s Live Learning Stage on the left, with Wedding Photographer Denis Reggie giving a presentation. Great presenter and of course, fantastic wedding photographer). 

Canon
Canon’s booth was jammed, and they had lots of levels of depth, and a very cool “Car crash” scene you could film with their DSLRs. I only did a brief walk-through, but they had the type of booth you felt like you could really spend some time in just exploring. I can’t imagine what it cost.

(Above: A quick snap of Nikon’s Mad Science Lab set and actor. This guy would go non-stop for hours. Don’t know how it did it. Maybe he is “mad”). 

Nikon
Nikon was jammed as well, and they had a Nikon 1 stage with Salsa dancers, and a Fosse-like tap dancer (among others) and over at the DSLR side they an elaborate “Mad scientist’s” lab with an actor playing the part to a “T.” RC did an HDR of it, but here’s a quick snap from my iPhone in the meantime. They also had a tall platform where you could look through some really long glass, of course they had that awesome theater up front when you walked in the door.

Other booths
Epson’s booth was big and hopin’; Peachpit Press had a booth and they were so busy I could only get one of them to even look my way. We had a NAPP booth there and I heard from our crew it was doing really well, so that was cool (stop by and see my brother Jeff — coolest brother ever — plus they have some show specials). Olympus had a fairly good size booth, but it was kind of buried behind the massive Nikon booth so unless you were standing in just the right place, you couldn’t see them. I saw the Sigma booth and they had a good crowd and a shooting theater too. Tried to get to see it, but got swept into an impromptu meeting and never got back over there.

Maddening Inspiration
One thing that always strikes me about Photo Plus Expo — there are a LOT of fabulous images everywhere you look (they’re literally lining the walls of the Epson booth, and at MPIX Pro, and at every paper company, and on every flat-panel display in about every booth). It’s really inspiring to see so much great work, but at the same time, so much of it is so good that it makes me want to take all my gear and toss it in a dumpster. Weirder yet, simultaneous to feeling all that, I want to just run out and shoot (which is probably why my gear went with me on the plane instead of in a dumpster at 28th and 8th, which I briefly comtimplated). I would have like to spend another day or two there wrapped up in this “inspirational self-loathing” (hey, I coined a new phrase — I have a reason to live!) just to catch some more sessions and looking more to learn more.

Wrap Up
Overall show seemed crowded everywhere I went, and everybody seemed to be having a great time (I sure did). I wish I’d had a chance to see more of the booths, but before I knew it, it was time to head for the airport (Matt and RC are still there tomorrow though, so keep an eye out for them, and trip them if you get a chance. They’re young. They can take it). By the way: Peter Hurley took an incredible headshot of Matt while he was up there. Matt actually didn’t look horribly grotesque, which I think says volumes about Peter’s work. ;-)   By the way; we have a class coming out on Kelby Training Online from Peter that will totally rock!!!

I’m off Washington DC on Monday
I’m already back home now (I told you it was a quick trip), and I’m off to Washington DC on Sunday (no football game — the Redskins on are the road)  for my “Photoshop for Photographers” seminar on Monday (hopefully, I see some of you there: here’s the link if you want to come join me for the day), and I hope you all have an awesome weekend!!!

Thursday
Oct
2012
25

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  90 Comments

A Walk In Paris
If you missed the webcast with Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and RC Concepcion the other night, it’s now available “on demand!”  Join them as they discuss the Worldwide Photo Walk and Scott’s photo walk in Montmarte, Paris, as well as some post processing tips from Scott. You can watch it above, or head over to YouTube and see it there.

Kelby Training Live
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with Scott Kelby
10/29 – Washington, DC
11/7 – Boston, MA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
11/2 – Philadelphia, PA
11/5 – Tampa, FL

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
11/26 – Toronto, ON

Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these seminars!

Kelby Training Sales
Don’t forget, you can still get 15% off all books and DVDs at the Kelby Training Store! All you have to do is use the promo code 15KTB for books or 15KTD for DVDs when you check out. And if you’re buying a book/DVD bundle, either code will work.

Plus, our apps are still on sale! For a limited time, you can grab Kelby Training Apps for 50% off. That’s a full class from one of your favorite instructors for just $4.99!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free book and DVD.

Winners
Kelby Training Book/DVD
- Martin

Lightroom 4 Crash Course App
- Laura Fowler
- Sage Green

Photoshop CS6 Crash Course App
- Bull Munder
- Joel Schilling

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Seminar
- Jose Valcarcel

Food Photography & Lighting by Teri Campbell
- Kevin Fishel

Secrets of Great Portrait Photography by Brian Smith
- Howard Jackman

Wednesday
Oct
2012
24

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Regina Pagles!

by Brad Moore  |  113 Comments

Hello every one! My name is Regina Pagles, aka ‘shineylewis’ and I am a hobbyist photographer living in Springdale, Utah.

I am honored to be writing a post for this blog. Thank you Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for providing me this opportunity. Dreams really do come true!

It was roughly 20 years ago that my dad purchased the first version of Photoshop and installed it on his Apple 2e computer. We had no idea how to use the software and it was clearly above our skill level. In spite of this, we managed to figure out how to place my dad’s head onto Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body. To this day, I remember our laughter!

I was fascinated with the program, but never found the time to devote to learning all of it’s intricacies. I always said to myself, “One day…”

Fast forward 20 years: that day has come. I am obsessed with learning Photoshop and have finally decided in earnest to master the program to the best of my ability.

I considered myself primarily a landscape photographer until I was first introduced to studio lighting and portraiture at Photoshop World 2010. Westcott had a ‘Shoot Out’ booth on the Expo floor with professional lighting, sets and models. I was instantly hooked and spent hours taking hundreds of photographs. Upon returning home, I entered Westcott’s Flickr Photoshop World Shoot Out contest and amazingly, won first place. Shortly after, a truck pulled up to my front door and delivered a bunch of lighting equipment. Luckily, my husband and I had the space and we set up a small 400 sq. ft. studio. I can’t imagine ever going back to landscapes!

Even though it has been 2 years, studio lighting is still a mystery to me. I approach each photo shoot as an experiment. Sometimes the experiment goes well and sometimes not as well as I had hoped – but it’s all a learning experience. It’s the same when it comes to retouching. Some images are winners and quite a few end up in the trash can. I need to constantly remind myself: “Every shot does not have to be a masterpiece.”

I would like to make it clear that I am not a naturally gifted artist or photographer. In fact, I consider myself to be quite a hack. My theory is that if you throw enough mud against the wall, some of it is bound to stick. I just persevere.

A huge inspiration of mine is Joel Grimes, and my favorite quote from him is that “Hard work will out perform talent any day of the week.” That quote resonates with me because I am just a rather boring and realtively unimaginative person with a lot of patience and drive.

Early on, I worried about what others thought about my style of processing. Will THEY like it? I didn’t even know who THEY were, but their opinions were very, very important to me. Thankfully, I stopped caring and that’s when I started improving. The only approval I seek now is my own.

I realize that my style of retouching is not for everyone. It is not important to me that my images remain ‘natural.’ I view the face of the person that I am photographing as a blank canvas, and I have no idea what the result will look like in the end. Sometimes the resemblance to the subject is similar in the finished version, sometimes they don’t look anything like themselves. I don’t like blemishes, wrinkles, uneven skin tones or defects on myself and I have a tendency to obliterate them on any portrait I retouch. Up until very recently, I would apologize for this fact, however now I have decided to make it a disclaimer.

Photography and retouching are just a hobby and I do not accept paid assignments. I made a promise to myself not to turn my passion into a career and I am proud to consider myself an amateur. It is and always will be just a hobby, albeit one that I eat, breath, sleep and dream about. It is liberating to pursue something just for the sheer love of it. For me, it doesn’t always have to be about money.

This is a subject that I feel very strongly about and have actually gotten into serious arguments over. It amazes me how many people that I come across who feel that if a person doesn’t charge money, then their work or art has no value. Worse still, some feel that I devalue their work because I ‘work for free’. I have ruined many hobbies in the past, turning them into jobs. It may sound silly and possibly extreme, but I am of the opinion that once a person hands you money, they own your creative vision. It becomes all about the clients’ wants and needs and I want it to be all about me! I am perfectly fine with no deadlines, no do-overs, no unsatisfied clients and no stress!

I know that there will probably be quite a few photographers reading this that support themselves and their families with the income that they derive from providing photographic services. It is not my intent to diminish what they do or suggest in any way that they pursue photography just for money. I have chosen to keep photography and retouching a hobby and not a career.

Retouching Info:
Many have asked if HDR is involved, but I do not incorporate HDR into my portraits. The dynamic range is brought out many ways, but the ‘Tonal Contrast’ filter in the Color Efex bundle by Nik Software does a great job. I also use Perfect Photo Effects by onOne Software and on every photo I process. I will experiment with a variety of their filters. Finally, I love the filters from Topaz and don’t know what I’d do without them!

I get a few inquiries on how I retouch skin. First, I remove the imperfections with the healing brush. Then I will dodge the darker areas and pores and burn the lighter areas. Recently, I have begun experimenting with Imagenomics ‘Portraiture’ plug-in for skin. With the right settings, I am able to get decent results, while still retaining the pore structure. But my “go-to” skin retouching technique comes from retoucher Natalia Taffarel. On average, a portrait takes me about 10 hours to complete, but a lot of that time is devoted to trying out new techniques and experimenting. I work at a high resolution, but because I only display my images on the web and have never printed any, a lot of that detail is wasted.

I wish there was an easy answer to the questions I receive regarding my retouching techniques. Learning Photoshop for me has been painfully difficult and tedious to say the least. I want to throw in the towel on a regular basis (almost every photo). Unfortunately, there is no magic button. But with hard work, patience and perseverance, it is possible to realize your personal or professional goals.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to impress yourself and stay true to your own vision. Don’t worry what THEY think!

I have a long way to go in defining my style and still rely heavily on my heroes for inspiration. Here are some links that I hope you will find useful:


Calvin Hollywood – German digital artist and photographer
I first discovered Calvin when he appeared as a guest poster on Scott Kelby’s Blog.
His English DVD training ‘Calvinize’ is amazing and I credit a lot of my techniques to him. He includes the skin retouching technique learned from Natalia Taffarel in this ‘Calvinize’ training. You can also find his classes offered on Kelby Training as well as his YouTube Channel. Most of his videos on YouTube are in German, but there are some in English as well, and they are worth seeking out!

‘Calvinize’

Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 1 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 2 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 3 (YouTube)

Calvin Hollywood Photoshop Tutorial Part 4 (YouTube)


Joel Grimes
I love Joel Grimes. I devour every word that comes from his mouth. He is such an inspiration and is so generous with his knowledge. [Framed] Network teamed up with Joel and aired weekly videos on the lighting set ups Joel uses to attain his images. There is so much information packed into those 20 minute videos. Joel also has classes offered on Kelby Training and amazing videos on YouTube.

‘Lit Up’ on the [Framed Network]

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Dorion

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Hope Solo

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Lauren

Joel Grimes – BEHIND THE SCENES – Aimee


Peter Hurley
You have to experience Peter in action to truly appreciate him and what he has to offer. He will drill home the importance of interacting with the person in front of your camera and he is a true master, so you learn from the best. I love this guy and you will, too!

‘Art Behind The Headshot’ Trailer

Guest Blog Post on Scott Kelby’s ‘Photoshop Insider’


Natalia Taffarel – High end digital retoucher from Argentina
A real pro. I have her DVD, it’s 11.5 hours of advanced beauty retouching techniques. A little over my head, but worth it for the stuff that’s not. This is where I learned how to retouch skin. Her technique is awesome, especially at retaining pore structure.

‘Beauty and Hair Retouching High End Techniques’ DVD


Sue Bryce
What can I say about Sue Bryce. Watch her on CreativeLIVE and see for yourself. A master at posing, she transforms average Janes into supermodels before your eyes, with just a simple pose. If only I could remember to apply a fraction of the advice I’ve learned from her…

‘Glamour Photography’ Course on CreativeLIVE

‘Inside The Glamour Studio’ Course on CreativeLIVE


Amy Dresser
An amazing digital retoucher, famous for her retouching on images by Jill Greenberg. I learned quite a bit from watching her ‘Pointy Man’ tutorial on RetouchPRO. Worth the $15.00 if you have 2.5 hrs. to spend in front of the computer. You only have 3 days to watch it before it expires. Covers her ‘Carve’ technique that is a big part of her style.

Amy Dresser Rentals Page on RetouchPro
Amy Dresser’s retouching on Jill Greenbergs’ images


Scott Kelby, whom I have learned so much from over the years. He has generously offered so much of his knowledge, in the form of books, tutorials, workshops, seminars, etc. If you’ve never been to Photoshop World, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was there that I won that contest, sponsored by Westcott, that got me started in Portraiture.

Thank you, Scott!


My sincerest thanks to all those who have generously offered their time and energy to assist me in my endeavor to improve my skills, especially my husband, Fred.

You can see more of Regina’s work and follow her here:

Flickr
Portfolio Website
500px
Google+
NAPP
Pinterest

Tuesday
Oct
2012
23

My Sports Photography Workflow (so far)

by Scott Kelby  |  88 Comments

I’ve had so many people ask me for so long to share my Sports Photography workflow, but honestly I’ve been so incredibly unhappy with my workflow, that I wouldn’t curse it on anyone. Of all the photographers in the photo work room, I was usually literally the last man to be able to leave at the end of the game (after uploading images to the wire service).

Luckily, it’s now finally (finally!) starting to come together to the point that I thought I’d at least share it, but I want to give you this important disclaimer up front: this workflow is a work in progress. It’s not “fully there” yet, but I was the third photographer to go home this week, and I’ve literally cut my processing/tagging time in half, but again — it’s far from perfect. My sincere hope is:

(a) This will help someone who was struggling along, like me,…

(b) Someone who really has their sports workflow down to a science will show me how to improve what I’m doing, which is very likely since I know mine isn’t fully baked yet.

So, with that said, here what I’m doing now:

Working on Assignment:
I’m shooting for a sports wire service, and the faster you get your images uploaded to them, the better (so they can get them out to potential news outlets for distribution). At hafltime, (actually, usually a minute or two of gametime beforehand) I  head into the photo work room, download two memory cards; quickly pick six to eight good sharp images, add all the required metadata (there’s plenty), tweak the photos a bit (sharpen, contrast) and upload them live from the stadium and get back out before the third quarter starts. That has never actually happened. Halftime is only 15 minutes, and I’ve never finished the process in just 15 minutes, so I usually miss some of the start of the third quarter. Sometimes as much as half of the third quarter. Hey, it happens.

Speed is the main issue
I learned the hard way — you need very fast memory cards (I use Lexar 1000X cards), and a fast Lexar USB 3 card reader to get my images on to my computer as quickly as possible. I actually use two card readers so both cards can be downloading at once.

I don’t use Lightroom. Or the Bridge. Ever.
I’ve tried both. It’s a death-trap for pro sports photography. Every pro sports shooter at an NFL game (or otherwise) uses a program called Photo Mechanic (by a company called Camera Bits). If there are 40 photographers in the photo work room, you see 40 copies of Photo Mechanic open on their laptops.

It was created for photo journalists and it has some features that you absolutely positively need for this type of work. They are:

(1) Absolutely insanely fast drawing of full screen previews.
As soon as the thumbnails appear (which is really quick), you can instantly view the images at full-screen size. I’m talking lightning fast. I’m talking so fast that you had no idea any program could possibly load full-screen images at this speed, but somehow it just does. I know what you’re thinking: “Does Adobe know about this technology?” Absolutely. “Have you talked to them about adding this to Lightroom?” Many times. “Do you think we’ll ever have fast-loading thumbnails like that?” Nope.

(2) A very well-thought out and designed system for adding metadata to your images
Every photo you submit needs a full description of what’s happening in the photo, where the photo was taken and when, including each player fully identified by team name, player name, position on the team, and jersey number. You need this for every player in the shot. Three players, three full IDs.

(3) An automated process, using keyboard shortcuts, that lets you do all the stuff you have to do in #2 above really, really fast (with the help of a website I’ll mention in a moment).
Plus, you can FTP right from the program straight to the server of your local wire service.

So, step one is Buy Photo Mechanic
The program costs $150, and once I saw it in action, it was the fastest $150 I ever spent. Worth every penny. I’d have paid $250. Maybe more. But Photo Mechanic is just an image sorting and metadata application, albeit a great one, but  it’s not Photoshop and doesn’t do Photoshop-like stuff, so you still need Photoshop.

But before you start importing photos, you need to set up a Metadata template (they call it an “IPTC Stationary Pad”) like the one you see above. This includes a bit about the game and where it’s being played and such. (I do this before I even leave for the stadium).

Then, when I walk in from the first half, I open this Stationary Pad, add the score as it stands “The Bucs lead the Saints 21-14 at the half” to the end, and now when I import my photos, it automatically applies this metadata, including the date, stadium location, copyright info and such to every photo.

The greatest thing to happen to Metadata since….whenever the last good thing happened
There is a website called “CodeReplacements.com” and you pay a small subscription fee and it generates a current roster of both teams for any pro sporting event, which itself is handy, but that’s not what makes it totally rock. You import this roster into Photo Mechanic (it’s then called a “Code Replacement”) and now all you have to do is look at the number on the player’s jersey, type a shortcut and that number, and it automatically fills in all the team info, player’s name, position, and number. For example, if the player plays for Tampa Bay, I just type a backslash, “t” for Tampa Bay, his jersey number, and another backslash, and it instantly types in this for me:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20)

Then I type in “breaks up a screen pass intended for” and I type the other guy’s jersey number like this \n16\ and it writes

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16)

and then the rest of the metadata about what week it is, and what kind of game it is and where it’s played is already there because I added that to the IPTC Stationary Pad before the game (mentioned above). So, the whole thing reads like this is all of 20-seconds:

“Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Ronde Barber (20) breaks up a screen pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore during week seven of the 2012 NFL season in a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints. The Bucs lead the Saints 21-14 at the half.”

Those code replacements rock, and my hats off the guy who came up with the service. May he earn a millions bucks!

Now, you’re ready to download your cards when you come in off the field at halftime
Photo Mechanic calls this process “Ingesting” and it’s pretty quick (and you can ingest multiple cards at once, and I do). It automatically names and numbers them, similar to what you’d do in Lightroom’s Import Window (ya know, if you had all freakin’ day to import your images — don’t get me started).

Once they’re in Photo Mechanic, you can either scan your thumbnails really quickly looking for key shots, or just go to full-screen size and zip through them lickity split using the right-arrow key on your keyboard. When you see a photo you might want to upload, you press the letter “T” to “Tag” it. When you’ve gone thru all your photos, you turn on a filter that only shows your Tagged images, which is seen above (I usually have about 10 to 15 tagged images at this point. Occasionally more, but I’m only going to have to time to process six or eight at best, so I have to whittle it down to the best six or eight of those).

Here’s where my first hurdle comes in
At this point, I look at the, say…15 tagged images at full screen size and when I see one I want to make my cut of just six or eight for uploading, I press the number 6 to label it with a blue label. In just a few seconds, I have six or blue-labeled shots. I select those images (we’ll say I chose six) and jump into the Metadata editing window, where I add the player info using those automated Code Replacements. This is a little tedious, especially if you can’t clearly read a player’s number of their jersey or helmet. Then you have to go back to your full shoot and figure it out by looking at shots before or after the one you want to upload. This kind of drives me nuts, but you’ve got to have the right number or the player’s name will be wrong.

Metadata Done Right
Camera Bits did a kick-butt job on this part, as you can click on the thumbnail in the metadata entry window and see a huge-preview (helpful in reading jersey numbers), and you can copy and paste metadata from one similar image to another (big time-saver), and you can use code replacements for everything the ref’s to special codes that have to be added on a per-player basis (in another field, I have to enter a bracket, the player’s last name, first name, and a closed bracket (like this: [Barber, Ronde]) for each player, but there’s a Code Replacement shortcut that does that, too (thankfully —- another big time-saver in an already tedious process). This whole part is very well designed on Photo Mechanic’s part.

Now over to Adobe Camera Raw
Once I click OK after adding all the metadata to those six photos, I press Command-E and open those six all up in a Camera Raw at once (they appear in a filmstrip along the left side of Camera Raw, as seen above). Now I take a quick moment to crop each photo tight (if necessary, and it often is), then I check the White Balance, add Contrast if necessary and any other very minor tweaks (This is reportage so you can do very little editing whatsoever to these images)

.

Sharpening and Saving as JPEGs
This is another place I’m not certain I’m totally nailing this workflow thing, but I then export the images out of Camera Raw as JPEGs and have Camera Raw apply sharpening (set to “For Screen” and amount “High” in Camera Raw’s Output Preferences) as they’re exported. This leaves them with a folder with six images in it, with all the metadata embedded, cropped, edited and sharpened ready for uploading, which takes all of 30-seconds (if that). I know some guys are running sharpening and resizing actions that do all that stuff in Photoshop, but I actually don’t go into Photoshop at all — just Camera Raw and save out to JPEGs with the sharpening applied at export, but again, I’m not sure that’s the best time-saving route (but that’s what I’m doing thus far).

The problem is: that takes longer than 15 minutes.
I think I probably spent too much time looking through my images trying to find the best ones to upload, and I may be over-thinking that part, but I haven’t found a way to speed the process. I have a hard time searching through tiny thumbnails — I like to see them big, and that definitely impacts my speed —- not because of Photo Mechanic — just because if you can judge by thumbnails you can breeze through hundreds really fast. I’ve tried it, and I feel like I miss too much that way, but maybe again I’m over-thinking it.

After the game, I do it all again…
But now I’m looking for 20 or so images to upload, and I’ve got the process down to about 45 minutes, but I’d like to see it down to 30 minutes, and if you see an area here where I’m doing double-the-work, or I’m making extra work for myself (I’m not an expert at Photo Mechanic) let me know because my goal is to cut time off this workflow, and anything that save time is a big win for me.

Quick Recap: 

(1) Set-up IPTC Stationary Pad, and download CodeReplacments.com file at home before game
(2) Import two cards at once (one from each camera); Apply Stationary Pad on import and rename
(3) Quickly go through images and Tag 10 to 15 of the best ones
(4) Narrow that down to just six or eight (label those blue)
(5) Add detailed Metadata for those six or eight keepers
(6) Open all those images at once in Camera Raw for cropping & editing
(7) Export those as JPEGs with Sharpening Applied on Export
(8) Upload those to the wire service

So, there you have it
As you can tell from my comments, I’m not fully satisfied with this workflow, but at least it’s at the point that I feel like I can share it and hopefully some part of it will help you with your workflow. Just for the record: I’ve tried using Lightroom, and/or the Bridge and Camera Raw combo, but neither can come close to the Photo Mechanic workflow (ask any pro sports photographer), but I think if I have an achilles heel in my workflow, it’s what happens after I leave Photo Mechanic.

Hope that all makes sense, and I hope it helps. I’ll be in Washington DC this weekend for my seminar there next week, so I don’t think I’ll be shooting any games this weekend (rats!), but just know I do, when I pick up a timesaver, I’ll be sure to share it with you guys here. Cheers, -Scott

Monday
Oct
2012
22

Three Quick Monday Things

by Scott Kelby  |  11 Comments

Hi Gang: Just a few quick things:

(1) Tried out a new lens on my 2nd body for yesterday’s NFL game
I’ve really never been happy with any of the lenses I’ve used on my 2nd body for shooting football. I’ve tried the 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 50mm f/1.4, 28-300mm and none of them fit the bill. I usually wind up falling back to my 70-200mm f/2.8 which you do see a lot on the sidelines. But recently I’ve run into a few guys using the 24-120mm f/4 on their 2nd body and they swear by it, so I rented one from http://www.lensprotogo.com for yesterday’s Saints/Bucs NFL game and I’m digging it (and I snagged this shot that was picked for Zuma Press’s “Sports Pictures of the Day.” I’m thinking I might have to pick this one up.

(2) Today at 12:00 noon (Florida time) is the deadline for uploading your image for the Worldwide Photo Walk contest
Hey, there are some pretty kick-butt prizes, so pick your best shot from that day and get in the contest. If you don’t know how, there’s a video from RC on the Photo Walk home page (and I ran it here on the blog on Friday) on how to upload your image. Good lucky everybody.

(3) Dont’ forget tonight is my free online Webinar called “A Walk in Paris” 
Here’s the link with all the details — I hope you can join me live at 7:00 PM ET (Florida Time). Lots to share (and we’ll be talking about the Worldwide Photo Walk, making photo books, post-processing, my images from Paris, and much more). I’ll be taking your questions as well. Should be fun. :)

Hope you all have a fantastic Monday and don’t hate your referee for blowing a call in the end zone that cost your team the game, ya know, like mine did. Cheers, -Scott

Friday
Oct
2012
19

Some Quick Friday Stuff (and a free Webinar Monday Night)

by Scott Kelby  |  12 Comments

Hi Gang: Just a few quick newsy things for Friday:

Join me Monday Night for a FREE online Webinar called “A Walk in Paris”
I did one of these after my trip to Cuba (called “Connecting with Cuba”) and it was really well received, so I thought we’d do one about my images and photo book from Paris last week. If you’re into travel photography, I’ve got lots of practical photography and Photoshop tips for you, and I’ll be taking your questions and comments live on the air.

Plus we’ll talking about my Worldwide Photo Walk (I held a local walk in Paris, and participated in a friend’s walk there as well). I’ve got lots of fun stuff to share and some really helpful photo tips,so I hope you can join me (it’s Free) at 7:00 pm ET Monday at this link. Also, can you help me spread the word? :) [NOTE: If you can't make the live broadcast, we'll start free rebroadcasts the following day].

> Great Article about Google+ and its thriving photography community
The article, by Tim Berribeau, is over DPReview in their “Connect” section of the site and the whole thing is about how G+ is a healthy community for photographers. They even mention the Google+ Photographers Conference we produced earlier this year. Here’s the link. 

> Lots of New Group Shots from the Photo Walk
I’ve been posted lots more group shots from the Photo Walks around the world, and I hope you’ll take just a moment and check them out. There is something so hopeful about seeing photographers from all over the world, with all difference cultures, all sharing the same passion and you can literally see it on their faces. It reminds us all of how much we really have in common. I love seeing that there were walks in Libya and China, in Iran and all over Africa and so many fascinating locations. Every time I see their group photo, I wish I had been there with me. Here’s the link. 

> This video (above) for Joe McNally’s Upcoming Class is….well…you just gotta see it!
When Joe tapes a video, it’s always a wild ride, and this one (about sometimes having to make location portraits in less than ideal weather and horrible light), is definitely worth watching. It’ll make your morning.

> OK, this video (above) by my buddies Dave Clayton & Glyn Dewis is…well…don’t watch it. ;-)
It was taping during their local photo walk as part of my Worldwide Photo Walk in Oxford, England and….well…I really can’t recommend it, so watch it right now. :)

> Do you live in Washington DC? How about Boston? Great! Come and see me! 
I’ve only got a couple of my “Photoshop for Photographers” seminars left this year; in Washington DC on October 29th, and in Boston on November 7th. Hope you can come out and join me for the day (you’ll totally dig it). Here’s the link. 

> If you were on the Worldwide Photo Walk, check out RC’s video on uploading your contest entry (above)
I told my walkers in Paris — everybody here should upload a photo for the contest without question. You just never know which photo your leader (or eventually me) might choose as a winning image. For most walks, only a handful of people actually enter the contest part, but seriously — what do you have to lose? If yours doesn’t get picked, you don’t get a harsh critique or publicly called out, you just don’t get picked — no biggie, but at least you tried and that’s a win right there. Check out he video for exactly what to do (thanks RC!).

> That’s it for today, folks.
I hope I’ll be hearing from you Monday night at my free Webinar, “A Walk in Paris.”  Au revoir and have a great weekend!

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