Monday
Jun
2014
09

I’m Back from 12-days in Europe

by Scott Kelby  |  20 Comments

Hi gang — if you were wondering why I pretty much ducked out of sight on social media in the past week or so, it’s because the wifey and I, our friends Jim and Jean, and Kalebra’s mom and dad all snuck off for a vacation that we’ve planning for over a year to celebrate Kalebra’s mom’s 73rd birthday.

Her mom had always dreamed of cruising down the Danube river in a “flatboat” so that’s exactly what we did. We started out in Prague for 2-1/2 days, then made our way to Nuremberg, Germany to catch the boat that took us to some very charming towns along the Danube (like Passau and Rugnesberg), with overnight stops in Vienna Austria and ending up in Budapest for a day in the city and then the next day our flight home.

Anyway, I have lots to share, and lots of photos of course, but I’ve been flying for 17 hours so I’m going to do the full post tomorrow, so I hope you’ll check back here then. Again, sorry for dropping out of sight on social like that, but I’m back in the saddle and ready to rock. Well, at least I hope to be tomorrow. ;-)

Cheers and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for the full trip report.

Best,

-Scott

Friday
Jun
2014
06

Paradise Workshop in St. Lucia This September & A Slideshow Tutorial

by RC Concepcion  |  13 Comments

Hey everybody – RC here.  First off, I wanted to thank Scott for the opportunity to jump in here real quick and tell you about something that I am really pumped about.  This September 14-19 2014, I will be joining the legendary Joe McNally once again at the Anse Chastanet / Jade Mountain resort for a Workshop in Paradise.  This is my third time teaching the workshop with Joe and I feel like every year there are new things to find and explore- not just in the beauty of St. Lucia, but in the techniques we use as photographers.

This is a 5 day workshop intensive that covers a ton of things for the emerging photographer.  From advanced speedlighting techniques in the jungle, to one light cover model assignments.  In depth critiques to the best workflow and post processing techniques.  We even go into the worlds of post production, video, and HDR .

 

The classes are small.  These classes work you hard.  You also relax and play hard in one of the most beautiful places i’ve ever seen.

One of the things i’ve been really in love with is how tight the group gets towards the end of the workshop.  By working really hard in small groups – you’re guaranteed to come out with a killer set of techniques.. some great memories.. and some good friendships. These are some stills from the actual workshop.

I could go on and on about this..  but I sure wish you guys join us.  Click on this link to be taken to the page where you can get more of whats in store on a day to day basis.  It will also take you to the Eventbrite page for registration to the Workshop.

 

A Slideshow Tutorial for Photoshop

This brings me to our tutorial.  One of the things that we talk about in the workshop is the ability to use Photoshop for making quick videos.  Its no Premiere – but it can really make something cool with some creative thinking.  One of the other things that it can be used for is the creation of slideshows.  While I dont mind the slideshows that Lightroom does, I dont think it offers a great amount of customizing in terms of the timing of the slideshow.  I’d rather do this by hand, and Photoshop makes it pretty easy to do so.  I figured i’d share how to do that right here.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a great weekend!

Friday
Jun
2014
06

You’ve Gotta Catch Jeremy Cowart’s New Online Class on Shooting Portraits on Location

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

Here’s how we describe Jeremy’s new class:

In this class we get a behind-the-scenes view as Jeremy creates unique and dynamic setups in the most unlikely locations, with Scott at his side asking him all the questions that you’d want answered.

Jet away to South Beach, Miami, Florida to meet up with Scott Kelby for the next segment of our On Location Photography with Jeremy Cowart series. Jeremy has an amazing ability to clear away clutter, eliminate distractions, and make his subject the primary focus in just about any setting you can throw his way. You’ll be amazed at what can be accomplished with minimal gear and a creative mindset that will surely change the way you view new locations.

For those of you who have seen Jeremy’s two classes we shot a couple of years ago out in Venice Beach, California, you know what I’m talking about — Jeremy is just amazing at find portrait locations just about anywhere, and then he uses simple light (just one light), and directs his subject to come up with amazing on-location portraits.

As good as he previous classes were (and they were a HUGE hit), honestly I think this class is even better! If you’re a KelbyOne Online Subscriber, I’d definitely try and watch his class this weekend. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can Rent it, Buy it, or Subscribe (and watch as many classes as you’d like). Here’s the link. 

I’ve got some fun stuff to share on Monday or Tuesday, so I hope to see you back here then. Hope you all have an awesome weekend.

Cheers,

–Scott

Thursday
Jun
2014
05

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  24 Comments

Photoshop World Las Vegas
You may be thinking that you still have plenty of time to register for Photoshop World since it isn’t until September. That’s true, but if you’re planning on signing up for one of the in-depth workshops that happen the day before the conference starts, you could be running out of time! Two of these workshops are already sold out, and I know of at least one other that only has a few openings left. If this is something you’re hoping to make part of your Photoshop World experience, sign up now before it’s too late! Or, you know, if you just want to save money by registering early, you can do that too ;-)

Once you’ve registered, make sure you book a room at the official Photoshop World hotel, Mandalay Bay, so you can stay where the instructors stay!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free spot in one of these workshops (must be registered/registering for Photoshop World Las Vegas):
- Art In The 21st Century with Fay Sirkis
- Lightroom Crash Course with Matt Kloskowski
- Photoshop for Beginners with Pete Collins
-The HDR Workshop with RC Concepcion

On Location Photography: South Beach Edition with Jeremy Cowart
In this class we get a behind-the-scenes view as Jeremy creates unique and dynamic setups in the most unlikely locations, with Scott at his side asking him all the questions that you’d want answered. Jet away to South Beach, Miami, Florida to meet up with Scott Kelby for the next segment of our On Location Photography with Jeremy Cowart series. Jeremy Cowart has an amazing ability to clear away clutter, eliminate distractions, and make his subject the primary focus in just about any setting you can throw his way. You’ll be amazed at what can be accomplished with minimal gear and a creative mindset that will surely change the way you view new locations.

Leave a comment for your chance to watch this class for free!

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Corey Barker? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
June 17 – Nashville, TN
Aug 26 – St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 – Kansas City, MO

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 – San Jose, CA
June 27 – Seattle, WA
July 24 – Milwaukee, WI
July 28 – Boston, MA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 – New Orleans, LA
Aug 1 – Miami, FL
Aug 13 – Austin, TX

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we’ll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Frank Doorhof Book
- Pedro Oliveira

Lindsay Adler KelbyOne Class
- Konfral

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Reba Baskett

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Jun
2014
04

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Andy Barron!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

i am admittedly the least technical and gear-minded photographer i know, so to be featured on this blog is a pretty humbling experience, so first off, thanks.


Photo by Ashtin Paige

my name is andy barron and i live in LA. most of the stuff i shoot is music related, and more specifically tour related. my mindset of capturing images has always been to be a person first and a photographer second, so that combined with my love of music and travel has helped me get to doing what i am now. i love just being in a situation and observing, being a fly on the wall and just documenting what happens. some people might balk at this, but i love having limitations put on me when i’m shooting. whether that may be a dark backstage, a small tour bus, a tv show that doesn’t allow professional cameras; anything like that just makes me try and figure out solutions within these so-called “problems,” and that’s where i love living and shooting.

for the nerds out there, here’s what i travel with: canon 5d mark2, 24-70 f/2.8, 15mm f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, canon g12, fuji instax. that’s it. i’ve had the same setup for years now and i love my gear. i’ve tried new lenses, prime lenses, different cameras, but always come back to this setup which i can easily throw in a backpack and go at a moment’s notice.

currently i am on tour with the band foster the people, and i could not ask for a better group of guys to tour with. they are my brothers and i am so thankful for the role they have played in my life. i also run their instagram, so while we’re on tour, a lot of my shots go up there. here’s one from this year’s coachella.

for this post i figured i’ll just show some of my favorite shots over the last few weeks of tour. sweet.

a few years ago i took a shot backstage at the roseland theater in portland during a 20 second photo shoot sitting on this couch. that photo ended up being their promo shot for a long time and i believe is still the image that comes up for them on iTunes. we were back at the same venue years later, and the couch was still there, so we had some fun recreating the shot (well, almost).

there are so many surreal moments on tour with a band that make you question what you do for a job in the best way possible. the day we went to NASA and were led on a tour by an astronaut was definitely one of them. a couple instax shots from that day (including the original apollo 13 desk, crazy.)

being able to travel a lot is a definite upside to touring (i only have two more states to go, maine and alaska i’m coming for you) and hands down one of the most gorgeous venues in america is the gorge in eastern washington. we were there the other day for sasquatch festival, and i snapped a couple photos of the guys on this back porch with a fairly decent backdrop.

later that night the guys played to about 20,000 people and then we got to watch outkast before hopping on a bus to seattle. definitely a fun night.

speaking of fun, we definitely have a lot of that out on tour. we play a lot of mariokart on n64 and we even have a few crazy carts out on the road with us. our drummer mark did some drifting at cain’s ballroom in tulsa before soundcheck. this was shot with my g12 and sometimes i just love how a point and shoot looks.

i also end up using a point and shoot a lot whenever bands i am working with play tv shows. a lot of studios have restrictions about SLRs in their space, so i usually lay back and try and get what i can with whatever i can. a few weeks ago the guys played letterman along with a children’s choir and i took this after their performance.

natural light has always been my favorite and even when doing a proper shoot for people i tend to shy away from any strobes or external light. some of my favorite natural light i have seen in a long time was a few months ago at the ryman in nashville, tn. such a historic and beautiful room.

speaking of beautiful rooms, during every show i at least try and get a nice wide shot of the room to showcase the actual venue, and the fillmore in detroit was definitely worthy of a good showcase.

to end, here’s a few of my favorite live shots from this last run. i love shooting the same show over and over trying to perfect and improve on shots i’ve taken from previous shows.

see you on tour. cheers.

to find andy and keep up with his photos, his travels, and his thoughts on this season of the bachelorette, head over to andybarron.com, his instagram, foster the people’s instagram, and his twitter.

Tuesday
Jun
2014
03

If I Had $1,000-ish To Spend on Improving My Landscape Photography, I’d Get…

by Matt Kloskowski  |  68 Comments


Hey there! Matt Kloskowski here today with an unofficial guest post. See, a while back, Scott wrote an article here on his blog called If I had $1000 to Spend on Improving My Portrait Photography, I’d Get… Well, I was talking to him later that day and he asked if I had read the blog post. I said “Heck yeah, and I wish I had thought of it first” :-) So he said I should write one for landscape photography as a guest post here.

First, as Scott mentioned in his original post, this is a question we get a lot. It may not be exactly $1000, but it usually around there. It may be $1200, or $800 but it’s in the ballpark. Also, I’m going to assume you have a camera body and lenses already (we’ll talk more about lenses at the end though). Either one of those will immediately eat up our $1000, and then some. Finally, I really tried to give some thought to the title of this post that Scott started. The key word I noticed was “Improve”. So I tried not to just go through my camera bag and list every piece of gear. Rather, I tried to really add things that I think can actually improve your photography. Ready? Here goes:

Remote/Cable Release – Vello Shutterboss ($50)
First, if you don’t already own one, you need a cable release or some kind of remote way of triggering your camera. As with many areas of photography, sharpness is critical for landscapes. You’ll see it on screen and you’ll definitely notice it in print the larger you go. So you have to make sure you’re not touching your camera and introducing any vibration or camera shake. I use the Vello Shutterboss remote for my Canon 5D Mark III. It’s great for simply triggering your camera, but it’ll grow with you if you ever get in to time-lapse or long exposure photography too since it has various timer modes.

They make them for other camera brands too and will run you about $50. They also make wireless ones, but personally I go with the wired version since I don’t have to worry about losing the little pieces that come with the wireless one.

Neutral Density Filters – Tiffen ND Kit ($95)
Neutral density filters are a huge way to improve your landscape photography. They help smooth out water for that dramatic surreal effect and also add some motion in to an otherwise static looking scene. While there’s a ton of filters out there, and I’d love to recommend you to my favorite Lee Big and Little Stopper filters, they’ll eat up half of our $1000. So instead, I’ll go with my first set of ND filters I ever owned and still use often today – the Tiffen 3-filter kit. It’s got a 2, 3 and 4 stop filter in it. For most sunrise/sunset shooting as well as waterfalls, these will work fine at extending your shutter speeds enough to get that longer shutter speed that you’ll need. Plus it even comes with a filter pouch to hold them so they don’t get lost.

Oh yeah…Notice I didn’t include a graduated neutral density filter. That’s because I don’t use ‘em. I wrote a little about why they’re dead to me here on my personal blog, in case you want to read up on it. But feel free to save some cash and not buy any.

Polarizing Filter ($150)
A polarizing filter is a must-have for landscapes as well. In fact, I’d buy one of these before I bought any ND filters mentioned above. Most people think of using polarizers for the sky, to get a deeper darker blue. While I do use them for that sometimes, I mostly use my polarizer to help cut down on glare and pop the colors/contrast a little. Glare on mountains, trees, rocks, water, you name it. It really helps subdue haze and glare so you can appreciate the details in the photo.

The one I’m going to recommend is a bit pricey. It’s a B+W Circular Polarizer and it runs about $150. You’ll definitely find cheaper ones out there, but I’m going to suggest you get a really good quality filter first – it’ll last you forever. I bought my B+W Polarizer nearly 10 years ago and I still have it today. Well worth the extra $50 from some of the more cheapy ones.

Backpack – Vanguard Adaptor 45 ($110)
It sounds kinda weird if I say a backpack will improve your landscape photography, but hear me out on this one. If all you have is a rolling bag, a shoulder bag or something similar, then it’s going to be hard for you to climb around. Part of improving your landscape photography is getting in to the right place. And sometimes that means hiking, climbing and moving around a little. That’s really hard to do with something hanging off your shoulder. You’ll need both hands free sometimes and a backpack is the best way to go.

The one I use the most is the Vanguard Adaptor 45. It’s a backpack but can also serve as a sling bag if you need to get at your gear quick without putting the bag down. It’s not huge and really only holds a camera body and maybe 2 lenses. But I try to keep it light. Remember, you’re a landscape photographer which means you have the luxury of needing very little gear. A camera body, lens or two, some filters, lens clothes, and maybe an extra battery and you’re good to go. You don’t need to be lugging around flashes, reflectors, etc… Travel light and keep your backpack small so it doesn’t kill your back.

Tripod and Ballhead – Vanguard Abeo Pro 283 with Ballhead ($230)
This one is tricky. Remember, I’m writing this from the perspective of having about $1000 to spend. And if you’ve ever done any tripod research, you’ll know that you could easily spend $1K on just the tripod (without the ballhead). So, while I personally use a Really Really Stuff TVC-33 most of the time, that’ll break our budget right away. So, I’ll go with another tripod I’ve used that I absolutely loved as well. It’s the Vanguard Abeo Pro 283 with ballhead. Vanguard makes great products. They’re sturdy, well made, and hold up well outdoors. Plus, this particular model even comes with the rubber feet with spikes to help dig in to the ground if you need it.

Post-Processing – onOne Software Perfect Effects ($100)
Just like I’m assuming you own a camera body already, on the post-processing side, I’m going to assume you already have Lightroom (preferably), or Photoshop. From there, the only other thing I use all the time on my landscape photos is onOne Software’s Perfect Effects. Earlier I said sharpness is critical. Well I’ve not found anything as good as onOne’s Dynamic Contrast (which is a preset effect in Perfect Effects). It helps take that sharpness, detail and contrast to a whole new level. It’ll run you about $100 for just that plug-in, or a little more if you want to buy the whole suite.

Rain Cover – Kata E-702 PL Pro ($65)
Some of the my favorite landscape photos were taken in crappy weather. Don’t get me wrong. I love the gorgeous light we get during sunrise and sunset, but dramatic clouds and storms can really make your photos stand out from the rest. In order to stay out there shooting in that weather, you’ll need to keep your camera and lens dry so make sure you pick up a rain cover. I use the Kata E-702. It keeps your camera and lens dry, while letting you see all of the controls on the back of the camera. Now, you’ll find a ton of other options as well (and many that are way cheaper than this one). I’ve even used some of them, and they can be pretty good. But I keep going back to the Kata. The build quality and ease-of-use make it my favorite.

CamRanger Wireless Camera Control ($300)
Okay, at this point we’re right around $800. You could easily stop here and call it quits at $200 less than $1000. And honestly, it’s hard for me to think of anything else that will greatly improve your landscape photography. But I’m going to include one more piece of gear if you’re a little more advanced and really want some control over your photos out in the field. It’s called CamRanger. It’s a wireless camera control device that creates it’s own network. So even if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, with no wireless signals, you’ll still be able to use it. It works with iPad, iPhone, Android, etc…

Basically it’s an app that you install on your tablet. From there, you can see your photos and control your camera right from the app. It let’s you do things like wirelessly stream live view from the camera to the device. You can even zoom in and get really precise focus adjustments, as well as focus stacking. It’s also great if you get your camera in a difficult place where it’s hard to see through the viewfinder, because you’ll be able to see the image right on your device.

What’s really nice is that it displays full resolution images right on the device. So you can do things like check sharpness, highlights, shadows, etc… I’ve always found the image on the back of the camera’s LCD to be too small to really make any decisions from. The CamRanger helps you actually make decisions in the field, and walk away from the shoot knowing that you nailed it.

Training
Oh and you didn’t think I’d let you go without recommending training did you? ;-) I’ve got two classes that I think could help out a lot. First, if you’re just getting in to Landscape Photography then check out my Landscape Photography Basics class. And if you’re in to long exposure photos that you’d take with those neutral density filters I mentioned above, then check out my Long Exposure Photography class. You can rent them for $6.99 each or subscribe for an entire month for $25.

What About Lenses?
You’ll notice I left out lenses. Scott did indeed include a lens in his portrait photography post, but remember the spirit of the post is money I’d spend on improving my landscape photography. While I definitely agree with Scott that an 85mm f/1.8 lens can improve your portrait photography, I can almost guarantee you that you already have the lenses you need for landscapes. And that buying a new one won’t “improve” your landscape photography.

But I won’t leave you hangin’ on this, because I know there’s a lot of lens questions out there. So here’s a few thoughts if you do need to buy a lens.

1) Don’t worry about prime lenses. If you’re on a budget, don’t get caught up in to thinking that prime lenses will change much in your landscapes. I’ve done side-by-side comparisons with a prime lens vs. a zoom lens and the difference is nearly impossible to see.

2) Don’t worry about “fast” glass. Fast glass is generally known as lenses that can shoot at very wide apertures. f/2.8 is known as “fast” glass. But you’ll see lenses go down to f/1.8 and even as low as f/1.2. As landscape photographer, you’ll barely ever shoot with apertures that wide, because you’ll want to capture everything sharp from foreground to background. So you’ll more likely be at f/11, f/16 or even higher. So, while I may not recommend a lens with a widest aperture of f/5.6  for portraits, I’d totally recommend one for landscapes.

3) If I had to list the 3 lenses I use for landscapes, here goes:
- My most used landscape lens is a 24-70mm. Canon, Nikon, Tamron… they all make good ones.
- My second most used lens is the Canon 16-35mm. Nikon also makes one. Actually, if you shoot Nikon you can definitely save some money and buy the smaller and lighter 18-35mm.
- My third lens is the 70-200. It definitely doesn’t get used as much as the others, but it’s nice when you want to get in tight to some details further away. And if you do shoot portraits, it’s my #1 go-to portrait photography lens too.

What To Spend Your Money On If There’s Something Left Over…
If you decide to skip on anything above, and you absolutely feel like you have cash burning a hole in your pocket, then the last thing I’d spend my money on to improve my landscape photography is a plane ticket or gas in my car to get myself someplace cool. At the end of the day, location is the most important aspect of landscape photography (and lots of luck with the weather). Get yourself someplace great, and making great photos becomes that much easier :-)

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you found this list useful. Also, I’d love to hear any ideas you have so feel free to leave a comment below.

Page 11 of 477« First...910111213...203040...Last »
Advertisement