Wednesday
Feb
2013
27

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Donald Page!

by Brad Moore  |  18 Comments

With my most humble sincerity, I would like to thank Scott and Brad for their friendship and for allowing me to share a brief window into my life as of late. I would also like to thank my friend Robby Klein for the photo of me above. He is a fantastic photographer in Nashville that you should totally check out.

If you’re anything like me, long blog posts just end up getting skimmed through for the highlights (or just to look at the photos) so I’ll try to keep this as A.D.D. –friendly as possible.

For those of you not familiar with me and my work, allow me to introduce myself. Two and a half years ago I wrote my first guest blog post here and was able to share my life and photographic journey up until that point.  A lot has changed since then, and I have grown a lot personally and photographically.  Not the least of these changes was a move from Louisiana to Tennessee.  I am now the staff photographer for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, a job that is held in high regard (being one of very few staff sports photography jobs in the world). It’s also a job that I never felt like I could actually could get when I heard about it.  I applied regardless, and it is with that in mind that leads me to what I want to talk about.

FEAR

One of the things that has been rattling around my brain lately is the Idea of Fear, and the Fear of an Idea.

It’s not the fear of things like my fear of heights, although when I walk out on the 110’ catwalk, I’m not exactly comfortable.

It’s the fear of putting your name on an idea and having the courage to execute.  It is because of fear that we have committees and meetings. So if it doesn’t work out, you can’t be blamed for it.  It’s skipping out on the guaranteed safe image, and trying something with your camera that, even if you’ve done it before, is not guaranteed to be successful every time.

It’s saying “this is a good idea, and I believe in it”, when others might scratch their head because they don’t share your vision.

It is my belief that there are t̶h̶o̶u̶s̶a̶n̶d̶s̶ millions of ideas out there that go unsaid out of fear that they will flop, and people will see you fall on your face.

I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, and am certainly guilty of holding back because of fear, but when I look around at industry leaders, you see people taking chances.  Sometimes they flop, but those failures fade off into the darkness of the interwebz and are eventually covered up by a brilliant, more successful idea. And why? Because they were not afraid to let one (or two or three or twenty-six) failures stop them from trying to find the ONE idea that worked.

I look at my own life as a Staff sports photographer, and sometimes I have to decide to leave the field and shoot from the roof.  Sometimes it works out, and sometimes it’s a flop.

I’ve left entire portrait sessions not happy with many, if any, images.  It doesn’t mean that my idea was bad or that I shouldn’t keep trying, it just means I need to learn and grow and keep going.

Just the other night, while I was shooting a basketball game, there was a monster dunk that was the highlight of Tennessee’s win over LSU.  I didn’t get a single shot of it because I decided to shoot the whole second half with a 400mm and get tight details and faces. That decision cost me that shot. You live to shoot another day. As a sports photographer, I could make plants grow in the Sahara with my tears if I cried over missed shots.

I’m inspired by people who take ideas and are successful with them. I am also inspired people who chase after an idea and fail.  Because they tried.  There are no participation trophies in life, so trying isn’t enough.  But there is no chance of success without risk, and that is the only way to know how great our idea can become.

Move your lights around. Face the other way. Get low. Get high. Shoot tight. Shoot Wide. Set up a remote. Make a Tintype. Use Gels. Go Underwater. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. The 24-70 is the blah of life.

If you have an idea, don’t be afraid of it; let it breathe. Let it grow. Let it evolve. Let it be successful.  Let it fail.  But put your name on it and don’t be afraid.

As an added bonus for making it to the end, I’ve also included this short video feature created about my work at Tennessee and my approach to photography in general done by the talented video folks at Tennessee.

You can see more of Donald’s work at DonaldPage.net, and follow him on Twitter at @donaldppage and @Vol_Photos

Tuesday
Feb
2013
26

If I could add just one feature to the next version of Photoshop, it would be….

by Scott Kelby  |  32 Comments

… a “Do That Last Step Again” keyboard shortcut.

Here’s why this would rock: How many times have you had to do something like resize three photos to a particular size, and since you’re only resizing three of them this one time, it doesn’t make sense to go write an Action for them because by the time you actually wrote the action, you could have already been done with the resizing manually. Short, repetitive stuff like that happens all the time during our work, and the only way to do them is just to sit there and down them — one at a time.

Worse yet, what if it’s two steps to four photos? Like resize to 610 pixels wide and apply an Unsharp Mask. Ugh!

So imagine if you could resize a photo, and then just press a keyboard shortcut to apply that exact same resize to the next photo? Or if you could add a Modifier key (like the Alt key) and now it applies your last two steps? (Resize and Unsharp Mask) Add another modifier (like Shift) and it applies your last THREE steps! (Resize, Unsharp Mask and Crop!). All three moves — just one shortcut. Sweet!

Imagine how that would boost your productivity day in and day out (but of course, like any Photoshop feature, some folks would never use it at all). Anyway, that’s the one simple feature I would love to see added to the next version of Photoshop (I’ve been wanting this one for years!).

OK, I shared my one pet Photoshop  feature request. I know you’ve got one, too, so let’s hear it.  (remember, you only get one). :-)

P.S. Thanks to Rich Harrigton and Scott Bourne who spurred this discussion when I was their guest on their Photofocus Podcast last week. If you missed it, here’s the link. 

 

Monday
Feb
2013
25

How to Set up a Remote Camera, Step-by-Step (it’s easier than you’d think)

by Scott Kelby  |  28 Comments

Hi gang: I thought I’d do a quick video (above) for you all here on the blog that takes you through the step-by-step process of setting up a wireless remote camera — ideal for sports, for weddings, or anywhere where you can’t get a camera, or can’t be at two places at once.

If you have any questions that I didn’t cover in the short video above, just post ‘em here and I’ll do my best to answer them, once I’m awake and have a cup of coffee or three. Cheers, and hope you have a great kick-off to your week.

– Scott

Friday
Feb
2013
22

Today I’m Announcing What is Probably The Coolest Hands-on Workshop I’ve Ever Done

by Scott Kelby  |  58 Comments

You’ve got to watch the video above — it explains the whole thing, but I’ve got to tell you — we are incredibly excited about this. We put a lot of work into making something really unique and really special, but  it’s only for 20 very cool, very lucky photographers, and I hope you’re one of them. I hope you can join me (and Scott — watch the video) for one of the coolest workshops ever! I am not kidding! :)

Here’s the link to sign up - http://kelbytraining.com/hockey

P.S. Scott and I will be answering your questions here on the blog, but give me a chance to wake up and at least have a cup of coffee or two! ;-)  This is going to be (wait for it….wait for it….) edit. No, epic! 

Thursday
Feb
2013
21

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  21 Comments

Blind Critiques with Zack Arias on The Grid
On yesterday’s episode of The Grid, Scott was joined by Zack Arias for a special episode of blind critiques (special because we just did blind critiques last week, and because Zack had some great insight for viewers)! If you missed the live airing, you can watch the video above, and head over to KelbyTV.com to leave comments (the episode will be posted there later today) and enter for your chance to win one of the prizes.

Stay Where The Instructors Stay at Photoshop World
If you’re coming to Photoshop World Orlando from April 17-19, make sure you book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel and stay where the instructors stay! Ride the elevators with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, bump into WPPI Director Jason Groupp in the lobby, high five former Disney illustrator Aaron Blaise as you’re checking in, and slip a fiver to the concierge and see if they’ll “accidentally” give you Photoshop Guy Pete Collins’ room key (okay, don’t really do that).

Seriously though, don’t wait for long to book your stay, because once rooms at the hotel that’s most conveniently located to the convention center are gone, they’re gone!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Matt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Feb 22 – Atlanta, GA
Mar 22 – Phoenix, AZ

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Feb 27 – Richmond, VA
Mar 15 – Tampa, FL
Mar 25 – Houston, TX

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 – New York, NY
Mar 20 – Washington, DC

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

Character Composite with Glyn Dewis

You’ve been seeing this teaser on Kelby TV for over a month now, and have been waiting patiently for it’s arrival. Well, it’s finally here! Head over to KelbyTraining.com to check out Character Composite with Glyn Dewis and start creating your own character composite now!

What Feature Does Scott Want Added To Photoshop?
Check out this episode of the Photofocus Podcast where Scott Kelby joins Scott Bourne and Richard Harrington to talk about what he’d like to see added to Photoshop, how to pass the Adobe Certified Expert exam, the newest toys and gear Scott’s digging, and more!

Winners
Erik Valind Class Rental
- Justin Roush

Kelby Training Live Seminar
- Kathy Winter

The Digital Photo Workshop with Dave Black
- Sage

Teri Campbell’s Food & Photography Lighting Book
- Suzanne Offner

Congratulations, and we’ll be in touch soon with info on getting your prizes. For everyone else, have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Feb
2013
20

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Bill Frakes!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

We came to Norway chasing the night light. Laura and I have been planning this trip for months. This was more than an assignment, this was a quest. We wanted to make a time-lapse video showing the Aurora Borealis–the Northern Lights.

We thought the light we sought would be green and dancing, and there was some of that. Mystical, almost spiritual waifs.

There is science behind the swirling bands of green. During large solar explosions huge quantities of particles are thrown from the surface of the sun into deep space. When the particles hit the Earth’s magnetic field they are drawn to an area around the magnetic North Pole creating the celestial green streaks of light.

But the real beauty to me was watching the bright full moon travel across the sky illuminating the mountains and fjords.

The night sky above the arctic circle is different. Rich and blue. Dark clouds racing across the night. Peaceful, tranquil, calm, and then the next minute massive amounts of snow and wind pelting us and the gear.

In Northern Norway this time of year the nights are long and the days are short. The sun is up for at most 4 hours a day, but you can only see it shining brightly for 10-15 minutes, if you’re lucky. It’s always night.

We had this well sorted out. We are on the road most years around 300 days and so we are fairly well organized, and certainly accustomed to packing for all kinds of contingencies. But seldom have we had to be concerned with keeping cameras and fingers warm enough to work in temperatures that can quickly drop to 20 below. Did I mention that we are from Florida?

We brought 5 tripods, 7 Nikon bodies, 9 lenses and a bunch of hand warmers. 6 extra batteries per camera. Rain covers to protect the bodies and lenses against the blowing snow. We learned after the first day that snow storms come quickly, sometimes when you are least expecting it.

The bag guys at Kata made some special cold weather pouches for us to protect bodes and more importantly batteries–I’m not sure if the bags made the difference or if the Nikon batteries just function perfectly in the temperatures, but I do know this: we didn’t have any issues with camera power. Even during 5 hour time-lapse captures.

Our buddy Andy Hancock was with us. Being a Texan he always does things a little, different, than we do. We were making most of our exposures for between 2 and 4 seconds, at f 2.8, ISO 1600. Andy decided to try 30 seconds, at f 16, ISO 1600. His images resonated with me–they had a blurred feeling that just worked. Since we had so many cameras running we had plenty of room, and time to experiment. We switched two of ours to 20 and 30 second exposures and loved the results for the time-lapse. As independent still images they are too soft for my use.

We fought the weather the first few nights. Dense clouds dropping heavy snow made it very tough to see the green lights we  came to find.

It would have been easy to be frustrated and depressed. It’s not easy to get to Tromso–we traveled for almost 24 hours, and we had been planning this shoot for months. But it didn’t go that way. The calm, serene beauty and the light from the moon was enchanting. We had the best time, and made gorgeous images.

It’s what makes this job so difficult and so rewarding at the same time. When you are dependent on mother nature to produce, you are subject to her whims. It just reinforces what I have always said, you never know when the muse will strike, and when the stars will align to produce the best images in the toughest conditions.

Our next trip out to nature will be in March when we travel to Nebraska to host a workshop photographing the sand hill crane migration. We are excited to see what the weather has in store. Rain, shine, warm or cold, we are sure to be amazed and humbled.

You can see more of Bill’s work at BillFrakes.com and StrawHatVisuals.com, and follow him on Twitter

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