Thursday
May
2014
01

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments

The Grid – The Effects of Unsolicited Criticism
The topic of yesterday’s episode of The Grid was The Effects of Unsolicited Criticism, which has grown recently thanks to the anonymity of the internet. Scott and Matt spoke about one photographer’s experience with such feedback (though it was via email, not anonymous), and how it brought her to the point of almost quitting photography completely. This is a photographer whose work is admired by many of us here at Kelby Media Group, as well as KelbyOne instructors. The episode will be posted sometime today, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Keep an eye out for it on KelbyOne.com and YouTube.

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

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
May 13 – Portland, OR
June 17 – Nashville, TN

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
May 2 – Denver, CO
May 20 – Hartford, CT

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 – San Jose, CA
June 27 – Seattle, WA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 – New Orleans, LA

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
May 7 – Philadelphia, PA
May 9 – South San Francisco, CA
May 28 – Sacramento, CA

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!

Time Lapse Photography with Tom Bol
Become a master of time! Join Tom Bol in Time Lapse Photography, the latest class on KelbyOne, as he teaches you everything you need to know to get started creating stunning time lapse videos. Tom starts by introducing you to the core gear and the foundational information you’ll need to make your first time lapse. From there he steadily walks you through increasingly more challenging time lapse scenarios that culminates with the holy grail of time lapse; a shoot that spans the changing light levels from day to night.

Leave a comment for your chance to check this class out for free!

Last Week’s Winners
The HDR Book, 2nd Edition by RC Concepcion
- Marcel Bauer
- Bergbrly
- Gordon

The Art of Digital Photography with Joe McNally
- Cris Da Rocha

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Gordon (not the same Gordon as the book winner above)

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

Wednesday
Apr
2014
30

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Brad Moore!

by Brad Moore  |  13 Comments


Photo by Scott Kelby, just before we hit the streets of Ybor City to shoot for an upcoming book last week

PHOTOGRAPHING 98ROCKFEST
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to photograph a local radio show, 98ROCKFEST at one of Tampa’s largest venues, Tampa Bay Times Forum. It was a fun night of photographing a familiar band, one I wasn’t familiar with and ended up loving, and trying to keep up with the headliner.

CHEVELLE
First up was Chevelle, a band that I had shot once previously, so I was familiar with their stage energy and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. They’re energetic without moving around too much, so it’s easy to focus on one person at a time (especially there’s only three guys in the band). But they still have some good expressions, so it’s easy to show emotion in the shots.

VOLBEAT
Next up was Volbeat, the band I was unfamiliar with but quickly became a fan as soon as they took the stage.

These guys all had great energy, expressions, and looks in general. They moved around the stage a good amount, but once they hit a point they would stay there long enough for you to run over and get a few shots off. And they would even step onto the subs in front of the stage, getting nice and close to us photographers in the pit. I would almost say they’re the perfect kind of band to shoot.

AVENGED SEVENVOLD
Last up was Avenged Sevenfold, another band I hadn’t photographed before. There were other photographers in the pit who had and gave me a heads up on what to expect, but there’s nothing like experiencing something for the first time to learn from and improve for the next time.

These guys ran around the stage almost constantly, which made it difficult to keep up with any one person. After attempting to do so, I realized that I was just going to have to pick a spot to stay in for a while and shoot whatever came into my frame, then move to another spot and do the same. They also had three risers at the front of the stage, which was great when they were on them, but became obstacles to shoot over/around when they weren’t. While they were a little more challenging to shoot, I still got some of my favorite images of the night from this set.

PRO TIP
Before I close out here, I’ll leave you with one pro tip… Don’t be this person:

I get it. There’s something cool happening in this one spot on the stage. We all want to get the shot, so we all converge on the same area and politely jockey for position. But DON’T hold your camera up in the air like this. You’re ruining other people’s shots. It’s slightly more than annoying. We’re all trying to do our jobs, so let’s work together. If you have to hold your camera up to get a shot, do it for a second or two here and there at most, not for the entire three songs.

Okay, rant over. Hopefully you picked up something useful from this or at least enjoyed my shots. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll answer as soon as I can. And if you’ve just finished reading this and are wondering, “How can I get a photo pass to shoot a concert?” I have a link you’ll find useful right here.

As always, thanks to Scott (Kelby) for allowing me to use this platform to share my work, and thanks to Scott (Audette) for asking me to cover this show!

You can see more of Brad’s work at BMOOREVISUALS.COM, and connect with him on Instagram and Twitter.

Tuesday
Apr
2014
29

If you Shoot Long Exposures, You Gotta Get This App

by Scott Kelby  |  35 Comments

Yesterday afternoon I was on location shooting some long exposure black and white (well, I was shooting in color with the intention of converting to black and white later) and I thought I’d share an iPhone App that has made finding out exactly how long to keep your shutter open an absolute no-brainer.

It’s called ND Timer and you just tell it three things:

  • (1) What your current shutter speed is (before you put your ND filter on your lens)
  • (2) How many stops your ND filter is (like a 3-stop, 4-stop, 10-stop, etc.)
  • (3) If you’re stacking more than one ND Filter on top of another you tap the “Stack Filter” button then let it know the number of stops of your 2nd ND filter

Instantly it tells you exactly how long to leave your shutter open, and it even has a built-in timer countdown clock.

It’s just 99¢. That rocks! (you can find it on the App store)

Plus, it couldn’t be easier to use (there’s really nothing more to it than I just told you.

Anything Missing?
Well, yes. There is one feature I would love to see added: sometimes you’re standing there for 5 or 10 minutes waiting on a long exposure, and it is counting down the time, but I’d love to be able to switch to another App (maybe check my Facebook page), but when it gets down to 10-seconds left before you need to release the cable release lock it needs to have a pop-up warning that appears on screen and ideally an option for an audible warning, like one of the built-in alarm sounds. I’d also love to have the option of having it beep each second for those last 10-seconds (like the self-timer on your camera), so you can get ready to release the cable release lock.

Outside of that, it just rocks, and for 99¢ how can you go wrong?

How about a Long Exposure Photography Tutorial?

OK! (see below)

That’s a long exposure tutorial I did on location in Maine a few years back for my buddies who run the “Weekly Photo Tips” blog. It’s already been viewed nearly 550,000 times — the only thing missing was this App (I didn’t know about it then). Anyway, hope you find it useful.

That’s it for today, folks. I’ve been working on another project for CocaCola.com (this one is a special project for Mother’s Day) and I did three shoots for it yesterday. I’ll have details, and a link, coming soon.

Hope you all have a really great Tuesday!

-Scott

Monday
Apr
2014
28

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

by Scott Kelby  |  71 Comments

I get asked this question a lot (well, not exactly the $1,000 amount — it’s based on the person asking the question’s budget — sometimes it’s $1,200, sometimes it’s $800 so I went with something in the middle).

As an educator, my first thought is always “the answer is education!” (if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, right?), and I will include some education in my recommendations, but when it comes to portraiture there surely are a few things you could pick up that would have an immediate impact if (here’s the gotcha) you learn how to use them (there’s that education thing again).

OK, here are some ideas for your portraiture shopping spree:

A Westcott 5-in-1 Diffuser
It costs just $29.90 yet it’s probably got the most bang-for-the-buck of anything on this list. The four reflectors that it comes with are certainly handy (White, Gold, Black, and Silver) but the white Diffuser that comes with it (which you simply put between the sun and your subject which turns harsh ugly direct light into gorgeous, soft beautiful light is worth it’s weight in gold. If you did nothing but start using this diffuser outdoors, you’d see the impact in your outdoor portraits immediately. Here’s the link. 

Wacom Intuos Pro Small
Portrait retouching is such an important part of being able to deliver professional looking results today, and even though our job is “photographer” our clients expect that any image we give them will be a “final” image, retouched and ready to go. All of your competition will be retouching their portraits (after all, would a pro take a portrait and just hand the client a raw untouched image? Probably not, right?), so getting decent at retouching today isn’t an option — it’s part of the job, and a Wacom tablet is tool that makes retouching so much easier you’ll be amazed you ever tried retouching without it.

I carry the “Small” (that’s the model name, and it’s also its size) with me everywhere I go (it fits perfectly in my laptop bag) and I won’t consider retouching without it. This will make a bigger difference than you think. It’s $227.17 at B&H Photo. Here’s the link. 

An 85mm f/1.8 portrait lens
Portrait lenses are notoriously expensive — except this one. It’s about $1,100 LESS than an f/1.4 or f/1.2 and you’ll still get that magnificently shallow depth-of-field for natural light portraits that we love without breaking the bank (after all, is 2/3 of a stop more really worth that extra $1,100?). The only downside is — you’ll probably never want to use any other lens. Right now it’s only $369 at B&H (they have a $50 instant-saving deal on right now). Here’s the link.

OnOne’s Perfect Photo Suite 8
These are the essential plug-ins that cover everything from portrait retouching to portrait effects, from black and white conversions to lens effects, and pretty much everything in between. This Suite creates those trademark “looks” that have become the bread and butter of many portrait photographers and today being able to create those looks is really important. You can buy the whole stand-alone Premium Edition of the Suite for $149.95 right now, but if you’re a Lightroom user and only want just the plug-in version that works inside of Lightroom, you can get it for $99. Here’s the direct link.

Take These Online Classes
OK, this one is going to sound a little self-serving, but I take these online classes myself at KelbyOne to learn more about portraiture and lighting and it’s what I would recommend to a friend. Start with Peter Hurley’s class on Mastering Headshot Photography — even if you’re not ever going to shoot head shots, you’ll learn what really makes a great portrait and how to interact with your subject’s to get more natural, real expressions. Then watch “A Day with Joe McNally” to learn how to light with just one or two lights (mostly one). Then go watch Jeremy Cowart’s two-part series on location photography. He teaches you how to shoot pretty much anywhere with very simple light.

If you watch one class from each (you can rent individual courses for $7 a piece) you’re into this for $21. I’d just go ahead and spend another $4 and subscribe for a month ($25) and then you can also watch classes from Frank Doorhof on lighting, and Erik Valind on lifestyle photography, and Joel Grimes on lighting and compositing, and you can catch my classes on retouching, and more Joe McNally (you get the idea). Here’s the link. 

Get a Simple Lighting Kit
I imagine you already have a hot shoe flash of some sort, but a hot shoe flash alone, without a kit to make the light soft and beautiful, is a recipe for some harsh portraiture. This kit (made by Impact) is a steal, and it comes with a 24″x24″ pop-up soft box, flash bracket, tilt head and light stand and it’s only $149. That’s a pretty insane price. If you’re only going to shoot in natural light, you’re only going to be a part-time photographer (during the day and in ideal conditions). Learning to use just one flash will open doors you never dreamed of, and this kit is just $149. Here’s the link. 

So, how much have we spent?

TOTAL: $950

Round things off by picking up Gregory Heisler’s fantastic “50 Portraits” hardcover book for sheer inspiration ($34 at Amazon) and then use the rest for lunch on your way to your next portrait shoot.

Hope you found that helpful, and I encourage you to share any of your picks, ideas or suggestions here in the comments below. Hope you all have a kick-butt Monday (if there actually is such a thing). ;-)

Best,

-Scott 

 

 

Friday
Apr
2014
25

A Little Girl Needs Our Help (and four quick things to take us into the weekend)

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

(1) A little girl really needs our help
If you saw “The Grid” this week, you heard us talk about SavingEliza.com — a site where photographers have banded together to sell prints of their work to help raise money to save a darling little 4-year-old girl who is suffering from a degenerative genetic disease called Sanfilippo syndrome. It’s a heartbreaking story but take a moment to watch this video about Eliza and her disease (there is a cure, but it is incredibly expensive).

My friend, UK-based photographer and teacher Glyn Dewis let me know about this project, and following in his footsteps I added one of my images (see the red arrow above) to the fund-raising, life-saving project (each photographer pledges to raise $1,000 from the sale of their prints).

I hope you’ll consider picking up one of my prints, or any of the photographers who have pitched in to help by visiting this link; click on the photo you’d like a print of to help Eliza, then click the “BUY” button in the lower right corner and it brings up a window will all different sizes, papers, and prices. The photo community is awesome for coming together for important things like this and I hope you’ll join in by buying a print and become part of her cure.

 

(2) Time Lapse photography is really hot right now
…and we just released a new online class from Tom Bol yesterday at KelbyOne.com (we release a new class every week). I talked with Tom when he was here taping the class and he has a really simple, very clever, and really fun time lapse technique so if you’re a KelbyOne Member, make sure you check it out (here’s the link).

(3) Brad during yesterday’s location shoot for my new book (Part 5)
Don’t ask. I will say this — working with Brad on a shoot is…well…it’s…well…it’s a whole lotta stuff like this. I could make a book of Brad test shots that would probably win me a Pulitzer. Just sayin’

(4) Wedding photographers — this week’s “The Grid” was for you!
We had two AWESOME in-studio guests: Atlanta-based wedding photography team  Justin Wojtczak and Justin McGough from 375photography.com (the guys who won the fstoppers.com wedding photography behind-the-scenes contest). They totally rocked the show — lots of great tips, insights, and business advice. If you haven’t seen the episode, it’s right above — you’ll dig it.

(5) My thanks to you all!
My thanks to you all! At Photoshop World, my awesome book publisher (Peachpit Press) surprised me at the start of my Lightroom Photo Books class to present me with the award you see below for being the #1 bestselling photography book author for 2013 (read the full release here).

I’m indebted to my incredible team here at KelbyOne (Kim, Cindy, Jessica, Felix and his wonderful crew), and to Nancy, Scott and Ted and all the great crew at Peachpit who publish my books.

Most importantly, my humble thanks to all of you who buy my books and give me the opportunity to be able to do any of this in the first place. I couldn’t do it any of this without any of you, so just ‘thanks.” It means more than you know. :)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Apr
2014
24

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  141 Comments

The HDR Book, 2nd Edition by RC Concepcion
Congratulations to RC Concepcion on the second edition of his book, The HDR Book, making it as high as #663 in the Amazon Best Sellers list for ALL books!! To celebrate, we’re going to give away free signed copies to three lucky people. Leave a comment for your chance to win, and you can also go buy your copy from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or pick up a signed copy from the KelbyOne Store!

The Art of Digital Photography with Joe McNally
Join Mia McCormick as she sits down with Joe McNally for an inspirational hour of conversation that spans Joe’s 30 year career in The Art of Digital Photography: The Inspirational Series with Joe McNally. Joe has always strived to use his photographic vision to convey the emotionality and visceral impact of his experiences to the viewers of his work. In this interview you’ll hear the story of how Joe got started in photography, gain insight into what he’s thinking while on assignment, learn the back stories behind many of his most well known photographs, discover what drives him to give so much back to the photographic community, and so much more!

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

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
May 13 – Portland, OR

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
May 2 – Denver, CO
May 20 – Hartford, CT

Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
May 7 – Philadelphia, PA
May 9 – South San Francisco, CA
May 28 – Sacramento, CA

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through May, 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
Photoshop for Lightroom Users eBook
- Peter Lawton

Picture Perfect Beach Portraits Rental
- David A

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Micki Vogt

Exposure: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Jeff Revell
- Eric Reardon

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

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