Tuesday
Apr
2015
07

Seven Things They Need to Fix in Periscope

by Scott Kelby  |  25 Comments

Before I get to this, I want to go on record saying that I absolutely LOVE Periscope. I think it’s one of the most important Apps in years, and it does it in a way that leaves its competitors flat. In fact, last week I recorded a tutorial on how to use this new live streaming App from Twitter (available free from the App store for the iPhone), and the tutorial (above) does two things:

(1) It shows you how easy it is to use the free Periscope App to view broadcasts, and make your own live broadcasts
(2) In this tutorial, I snuck in a full tutorial on lighting a product shoot

I do love Periscope, and it’s one of those things where once you try it once, you’re hooked. However, it’s a 1.0 version of the app and it wouldn’t take much to make this the App of the year, and in that vein, here are a few ideas:

Seven Things Periscope Needs To Fix Now:

(1) You need to be able to shoot horizontal video
Periscope is designed for vertical (portrait mode) shooting, but video on phones is best-suited for horizontal (wide) shooting. YouTube (and all professional video) is designed up the same way — for a wide horizontal screen, not a tall one. While technically Periscope will let you turn the screen sideways, it also forces the viewers to turn their phone as well, but it keeps the messages coming in sideways, and it cuts them off, and people start yelling at you immediately when you turn your iPhone sideways. They need to fix it so you can shoot either tall or wide, without the viewers having the comments get messed up and the chat text field go away.

(2) They need better, faster, and easier control over bad users
I have seen some absolutely mortifying, disgusting, and downright filthy comments appear on screen while watching a broadcast, particularly if the person broadcasting is female. I’m stunned at some of what I’ve read, and which you can click on their comment, go to their profile and then hit the block button, this takes too much time, and is often impossible to do while trying to record and talk live. My friend Terry White suggested these fixes along those lines:

(a) Let us just triple-tap on a name to block them permanently from your feeds
(b) If you triple-tap someone, it removes all their comments from the rebroadcast

I think these are great ideas, and if Periscope doesn’t do something meaningful to curb this type of very inappropriate comments, it may be its undoing. Also, my buddy Jeff Revell suggested a visible flag of some sort to let viewers know before they click on a stream that it contains “adult” content. Right now, you might click on a stream and then see something you were just not expecting.

(3) Swiping Down to reveal the Stop Broadcast button is a bad idea
I wish I could count the number of times I’ve seen people (myself included) swipe down and instead of stopping the broadcast it brings down their Notifications panel, which covers right over the broadcast. Give us an easy way to stop the broadcast. Make a smaller version of button visible all the time.

(4) Let us choose which camera we want to start broadcasting with
The first thing I usually do when broadcasting is double-tap the screen to switch to the rear-facing camera so I can address the viewers directly. Not everybody will want to do that, which is fine, but when we’re starting a new broadcast, give us a choice of which camera to start with: front-facing or rear facing. While you’re at it — the double-tap to swap cameras isn’t very responsive — often times I have to double-tap four or five times before it actually swaps the cameras. How about a button, ya know, right beside that stop broadcast button.

(5) Help us to find a user’s broadcasts
If I find a user on Periscope, I’d love to be able to see a list of all the broadcasts they’ve made in the past 24 hours. Right now, finding them is a bit of the needle in the haystack thing

(6) Give us a way to link to our videos
Once we’ve completed our broadcast, there’s no easy way (from the App) to share a direct link to the rebroadcast. We need an easy way to share our broadcasts and lead people to us on Periscope

(7) Give me the option to see only broadcasts in my language, or just a few languages
I see a lot of broadcasts where the title is written in arabic, or Turkish, or Russian or other languages I can’t read, so I don’t know what the topic is, but it shows up as a featured selection at the top of the TV page. In fact, sometimes two or all three have titles in foreign languages. I might still like to see someone’s morning commute in Paris, or breakfast in Sydney, but I wouldn’t even know that’s a choice unless the titles are in English (luckily a lot of them are). Just give me a choice: show me everything, or hide the broadcasts in languages other than English (or the language I choose in the preferences).

None of those fixes compare with the technological features they’ve already mastered, so addressing these issues (which I’ve heard again and again from users), would go a long way to making Periscope the App of the Year. Just my two cents.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday, and we’ll see you over on Periscope (you can follow me there, I’m [wait for it, wait for it] @scottkelby ;-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’ll be doing a live Periscope broadcast later today. Hope you’ll stop by and check it out (here’s a link to download the free Periscope app).

 

Monday
Apr
2015
06

Announcing My “Shoot Like a Pro: RELOADED!” Seminar Tour

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

I know I’m just officially announcing it today, but that’s only because I’ve been waiting on the video about (it’s just 1-minute and 25-seconds long) that explains what’s new in this ALL NEW tour.

In just one week  from today (Monday the 13th) I’ll be kicking off the tour in Salt Lake City, and then on Wednesday I’ll be in Los Angeles teaching it at the LA Convention Center. We’re adding more dates all over the country (basically, if I came to your city with the original seminar, I’ll be back with this RELOADED seminar, too!). :)

I designed this new tour from scratch, with all new concepts, ideas, and techniques to pick up right where the original “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar left off, so it’s ideal for photographers who attended the first seminar who feel ready to learn the next level up. If you don’t feel like reading a bunch of stuff, just watch the video above which explains (really quickly) what the day is about.

Here’s the link if you want more info, or want to sign up (it’s just $99 for the full day, and includes my detail workbook).

Thanks so much for listen/watching, etc. and here’s wishing you your best Monday of the year so far!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. A big shout out and my humble thanks to everyone who follows me over on Twitter. I hit one-quarter million followers there this past weekend, and I’m very grateful to everyone who allows me to be a little part of their day. Thank you very much. :)

 

Friday
Apr
2015
03

Images From My Trip To Dubai

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Hi Gang: First, thanks to everybody who joined us last night for another in our free travel photography series webcasts; this one on my, RC and Brad’s trip to Dubai (what a truly amazing place).

I did a post over at exposure.co with images and stories from the trip — if you have a sec I hope you’ll take a look.

Here’s the link. 

We really had a lot of fun last night, and we even gave away a Canon Pixma Pro-1 printer last night to one of our live viewers, thanks to our friends at Canon (that’s us with the Pixma Pro-1 taken right before we did the Webcast).

Thanks again to all our viewers, and here’s wishing you a really great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Apr
2015
02

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  70 Comments

Unpacking Dubai with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, and Brad Moore
Tonight, April 2nd at 7:00pm ET, join Scott, RC and Brad as we take a look at Dubai and our recent middle east adventures! We’ll be showing photos, sharing stories, and giving away prizes, including a signed print from Scott! To register for the webcast go to KelbyOne.com/dubai then watch live for your chance to win.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally or Joel Grimes live in person? Check out these seminar tour dates to see if they’re coming to a city near you!

Shoot Like A Pro: Reloaded with Scott Kelby
Apr 13 – Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 15 – Los Angeles, CA

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
Apr 21 – Phoenix, AZ
Apr 27 – Portland, OR
May 4 – Rosemont, IL (Chicago area)
May 19 – Philadelphia, PA
June 15 – Lansing, MI
June 17 – Nashville, TN

The Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Mar 27 – Minneapolis, MN
Apr 17 – New York, NY
Apr 22 – San Antonio, TX
Apr 24 – Houston, TX

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

It’s Not About The f-Stop by Jay Maisel
You are about to go on a visual journey and learning adventure with one of the greatest photographers of all time, Mr. Jay Maisel—a true living legend whose work has impacted, informed, and inspired generations of photographers from all over the world. Now, for the first time ever, Jay’s amazing insights, captivating stories, and expressive images have come together in a groundbreaking book that has the power to change the way you think and create photography forever.

In It’s Not About the f-Stop, Jay takes you beyond the buttons and dials on your camera to teach you the most important parts of photography: how to finally “see” like a photographer, and how to capture the world around you in a way that delights, intrigues, and challenges the viewer.

You can pick up your copy from the KelbyOne store, or leave a comment for your chance to win ONE OF FIVE FREE COPIES that we’ll give away right here next week!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Darrin Johnson

If that’s you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Apr
2015
01

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Regina Pagles!

by Brad Moore  |  44 Comments

Hi! My name is Regina Pagles and I am a portrait photographer residing in the rural community of Springdale, Utah (Pop. 450), just outside of Zion National Park. I have a small studio where I have been taking portraits of friends and family since I discovered studio lighting in 2010.

I have combined the techniques learned from my biggest inspirations, Peter Hurley (expression), Sue Bryce (posing), Don Giannatti (lighting) and Scott Kelby (post processing) to develop and hone my own style. In the spirit of ‘paying it forward,’ I would like to share with you what I have learned and the techniques I use, in honor of those that have inspired me and who have offered their knowledge so graciously.

I will take you through my post processing workflow, using a recent image of one of my favorite subjects, model Yolanda Damon Harris.

Straight out of the camera, you can see the image doesn’t look too good…

I begin by making initial adjustments in Lightroom and the image starts to improve.

The first Lightroom adjustments are correcting White Balance, Exposure, Highlights, Shadows and Blacks.

Next in LR:

  • Add a little Sharpening. Amount = 60, Radius = 0.6 
  • Correct the table perspective. Under Lens Corrections, I adjust the Horizontal slider to +11. This distorts the entire image a little, but I’m ok with that.

Under Camera Calibration, I make these adjustments:

  • Change Profile to Camera Neutral
  • Under Red Primary, Hue = +8, Saturation = -10
  • Under Green Primary, Hue = 0, Saturation = -5
  • Under Blue Primary, Hue = +10, Saturation = -35

The red, green and blue primary adjustments are image specific, but generally very close to these settings for the majority of my images.

All finished in Lightroom, now onto Photoshop.

First thing I do is mask the subject.

Next, I add the ‘Oliphant’ layer.

Explanation:
I photographed just the Oliphant backdrop at a darker exposure and place it in the document as a separate layer. I then mask the subject. The original texture of the Oliphant background is retained, but just darker. I made a large 5000 px soft feathered brush and added noise to it. Then, I put the Oliphant backdrop layer in it’s own group and add a white mask to the group. I paint with black, using the large brush I made, right over the subject. Now I have a vignette, no banding and the hair blends seamlessly in to the background. Plus, the background is the darker shade I prefer and the texture is the original. Yay!

Next, I mask the table and correct the saturation in the yellow and reds.

Now on to the subject…

  • Add a Selective Color Adjustment layer for the skin, Red = +12.
  • Use Healing Brush to fix skin blemishes.
  • Apply a skin retouching technique learned from Calvin Hollywood, who learned it from retoucher Natalia Taffarel. I have it set up as an action, and I don’t remember exactly what the steps are… sorry! Calvin explains the technique in his ‘Calvinize’ DVD. Not a deal breaker if you don’t use this technique, especially if the face is so small in the image, like they are in mine.
  • Double check for any skin inconsistencies and add add’l healing, if necessary.
  • Even out the eyebrows and eyelashes, (only on females) using a 1 or 2px hard brush.
  • Use Viveza plugin by Nik to subtly darken the highlights of the face, if necessary.

  • Add very subtle contrast, only to the subject, with Nik’s Color Efex Pro v.4 ‘Tonal Contrast’ filter.*

  • Brighten eyes using Dodge & Burn.

I then make some image specific adjustments, such as removing the string on the cross in this image.

A few more minor tweaks to skin healing and I’m done.

Now, I just save and duplicate the image, then resize the copy to 2048px wide, which I read is best for Facebook.

Last of the adjustments, I will use Nik’s Sharpener Pro v.3 and apply only to the subject, avoiding the edges.

I convert the profile to sRGB and use Save for Web, 75 quality.

*I am SO disappointed with the Version 4 of Nik’s Tonal Contrast filter. I used to LOVE v.2, but v.4 is just awful. I use it still, out of habit and denial that such a wonderful filter could turn so bad.

Older behind the scenes shot (pre Oliphant backdrop and reversed main light position).

Black foamcore on left is not in use, it’s just resting against the only available wall space.

Here are the Photoshop layers:

Lighting diagram:

I hope that this information will provide some insight into how I post process and light my images. Granted, posing plays a huge role, but I will have to save that topic for another post! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you next time :)

Image samples:

You can see more of Regina’s work at ReginaPaglesPhotography.com, and follow her on Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram.

Tuesday
Mar
2015
31

Travel Photographers: This Webcast on my Dubai trip is for you!

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Hi Gang: If you’re into travel photography (or just want to learn some interesting things about one of the most amazing places on this planet), then you’re invited to join us for a FREE travel photography Webcast this Thursday night at 7pm called “Unpacking Dubai.”

RC and Brad (who were both in Dubai this month) will be joining me, plus we’ll be giving away some goodies, including a big beautiful print from my trip. We’ll be taking your questions live on the air, and sharing everything from photography tips and techniques to the post processing side of it all. Here’s the details:

Who: Me, Brad and RC
What: A Free Webcast called “Unpacking Dubai” (for travel photographers)
Where: At this link (register for the free webcast now)
When: This Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00 pm New York Time (link to World Time Zone converter)
Why: Because we love travel photography and sharing cool techniques

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 Thursday (mark your calendar). Also, can you help me spread the word? :) [NOTE: If you can't make the live broadcast, we'll start free re-broadcasts the following day.] 

In the meantime, don’t forget these three things:

(a) Tomorrow is “The Grid” with Peter Hurley as our in-studio guest live at 4pm ET
(b) Follow me on the Periscope App for lots of live behind-the-scenes fun
(c) If you’re into Lightroom, come and learn lots of new stuff at lightroomkillertips.com

Best,

-Scott

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