Friday
Mar
2012
30

Photos from my dawn shoot at the Sun n’ Fun Airshow

by Scott Kelby  |  54 Comments

(Above: That’s “Fifi,” the world’s only still-flying B-29 Super Fortress out on the flight line at dawn. Shot with a Nikon D4, and a 24-120mm f/4 lens I borrowed from NPS). 

This was my third time shooting the Fly-in (it takes place in my hometown of Lakeland, Florida), and this is the first time that I could actually stay and shoot the entire day (Well, I left before sunset to meet my family at Disney World), but I got more shooting in than all the previous times combined.

I was there as a guest of Sun n’ Fun’s official photographer, my buddy Jose Ramos, (link) along with Nikon Professional Services (NPS) who hosted me for the day in the event’s Nikon Media Center, and I got the honor to shoot alongside Bill Fortney, Bill Pekela, David Lee, and Scott Diussa (and of course, my buddy “Fuji” Ramos).

Camera Gear
I shot my new D4, and love it, love it, love it!!!! Love it more every time I shoot it (the tonal quality and gradation between colors is really wonderful, and the extra megapixels don’t hurt either). I shot with two lens: a Nikon 28-120mm f/4 I borrowed from NPS, and a 200-400mm loaner also from NPS.

We got there about 30 minutes before sunrise and headed out to the War Bird’s Flight Line and warmed up there until the sun came up. We didn’t have much for clouds (OK, it was a cloudless morning), but the light was pretty sweet, and we shot until about 30 minutes after the sun came up, then we headed back to the Nikon Media Center.

Above: Here’s a P-51 Mustang on the ramp. This was about the only angle I could shoot from (down low and in front), because there was a large tarp over the entire cockpit and canopy, and it looked pretty….well….distracting to say the least. Still a gorgeous plane.

Above: Later in the day the US Air Force Thunderbirds arrived and did a few passes by our shooting tower. 

They don’t actually do their airshow performances until 4:00 pm today, tomorrow and Sunday, but on Thursday they did do a few passes just to scope out the area and get the feel of things, but they didn’t do any formations or anything really wild, but we were able to shoot from special elevated shooting platforms Nikon put up for the media (shown above, right out by the runway), and that’s where I got the shot I showed right before this one.

(Above: My buddy Jose “Fuji” Ramos [Fuji is his "Call sign." Long story]).

One of the highlights of my Sun n’ Fun visit was catching an excellent presentation by my buddy Jose Ramos on Aviation Photography. Besides some amazing images (he gets to shoot air-to-air from military jets, which makes for some just absolutely sick photos), I was really impressed with his respect for the pilots, crew, and mechanics that work on these amazing machines, and in particular you can feel his reverence for our military men and women in uniform. He had some fascinating personal stories that really made his presentation a lot of fun, and when he was done, he had a big crowd around him asking questions for another 30 minutes. Very cool stuff, and I’m really glad I got to see it.

(Above: Jose snapped this iPhone photo of me out on the flight line once the sun was up enough that we knew that part of the shoot was over). 

My thanks to Jose, and the great folks at NPS (I don’t think a lot of folks realize how awesome it is having Nikon Professional Services at a photo event like this. They bring LOADS of high-end gear available as longer gear to the working media, and they have techs on staff (thanks Francis) who will do free minor repairs, offer advice, and even gladly clean your camera’s sensors. They were especially kind to Canon users who came in and needed their help. They really treated them like on of their own, and I thought that was really cool.

(Above: Here’s one for the road, taken from the back of Jose’s Golf Cart on the way back to the Media Center after shooting the Thunderbird’s warm-up). 

I have a lot more shots, but I’ve got to hit the sack
Again, my thanks to the gang at Nikon for their wonderful hospitality, and to “Fuji” Ramos for inviting me to shoot alongside him and share a day shooting some amazing planes. Also, my apologies to Moose Peterson — I know I’m not supposed to be shooting this stuff Moose — don’t worry — I won’t make it a habit. ;-)

Thursday
Mar
2012
29

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  53 Comments

What The Plus! from Guy Kawasaki
Our friend Guy Kawasaki has made his latest book, What The Plus!, available as a free download for 500 people! Just click this link and grab your copy for free until supplies run out. If you don’t get it in time, you can get it in your preferred e-book format for under $3 from Guy’s website.

Douglas Sonders Nik Webinar
Douglas Sonders will be presenting a free live webinar on Using Nik Software To Step Up Your On-Location Photoshoots on Tuesday, April 10 at 1:00pm EDT. If you’ve seen Douglas’ Kelby Training class, or if you happened to catch one of his classes at Photoshop World a few days ago, you know this is something you won’t want to miss. This webinar is limited to 1,000 people, so make sure you sign up soon!

KelbyTraining.com
Check out Bill Fortney’s latest class, Learning To Shoot Photographically, over at KelbyTraining.com! In this class, Bill takes on photography from an artist’s point of view and covers some of the basics of shooting to get you thinking differently about creating photographs.

David Ziser 5 Day Digital Master Class
David Ziser’s 5-Day Digital Master Class will be held April 16-20 in the Greater Cincinnati area. This class covers everything from flash techniques and posing, to marketing and print critiques. You can get all the info on schedule, registration and pricing at DavidZiser.com. And leave a comment for your chance to win one of three copies of David’s Captured By The Light DVD!

Kelby Training Live
We’ve got dates for Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom 4 Live seminar tour up over at KelbyTraining.com! You can register for the seminars in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and Chicago, all happening near the end of April.

And, you can sign up for the finale of Scott Kelby’s Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! Tour in Islington, London, UK on April 28!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to these seminars (make sure you say which one)!

Last Week’s Winners
Here are the lucky winners of last week’s DVD giveaways:

Scott Kelby’s Crush The Composition DVD
Tom Shoopman

Drew Gardner’s Location Lighting DVD
Bob Cooley
Barrie01
Andrew Petti
John Adkinson
Bob Burns
Steve Wetzel
Bill Munder
Vivian Frerichs
Nicole W
Don Townsend

Congratulations everyone! We’ll be in touch soon.

That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Mar
2012
28

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Del Sol Photography!

by Brad Moore  |  26 Comments

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
- Leonardo da Vinci

My name is Matt Adcock and I am lucky to have found my dream partner, Sol Tamargo. Together we run Del Sol Photography in Playa del Carmen, Mexico and we are always in search of “something else.” Since 2005, we’ve been using water and climate to create original, fun, and artistic wedding photography. I’d love the opportunity to share some of that with you and also wanted to thank Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for giving me the chance to do so.

For Sol and I, as I’m sure is the case with so many talented artists and artist teams, finding ways to stay fresh and creative, break out of routines, and chase that “something else” is a labour of love. It takes patience (which we don’t always have), it takes dedication (which is sometimes hard to muster), and it takes an ability to embrace the unknown to be ready to take advantage of it – which is so hard to see coming!

For Sol and I, we have a few areas that are the keystones of our efforts in our attempts to chase that “something else…”


Photo by Juan

Make Epic Photos About Them
If you allow yourself to daydream a little, it’s pretty magical where you can go with a creative mind. After listening to and understanding our clients’ expectations, we try to figure out the perfect shot for them. We brainstorm and sometimes even make sketches (when necessary) to see the frame. Our favorite clients are always dreaming and picturing “what if”… so it’s important that our imagination is in tune with theirs.

Imagine carrying 2 Underwater Housings (and all of the accoutrements) more than 500 miles from home with 3 packs (full of gear) by car, plane and boat to reach your destination. Imagine further, 5 more boats on the wedding day and a tiny strip of sand in the middle of nowhere – San Pedro, Belize. A solid example with one of our craziest executions making photos of them happened a when our studio received this inquiry:

“My fiance Lara and I are planning a wedding in Belize…. picture it… A white sand beach that crests just above the water not more than a few inches… no trees, no dirt… nothing but sand… water so clear it magnifies the ocean floor for miles around and skies so blue and perfect that the odd cloud only enhances every scene…”


Photo by Matt (more from this event here)

Equipment + Environment – Use it and Abuse it!
Ever look down a windy beach and see that mist that travels off the ocean with the wind? In Spanish, the word for this misty salty mash is “Bruma.” We are always surrounded by it – whether we like it or not!

During one session, I wanted to feature the “Bruma.” I knew a creatively used flash would add the dimension to the frame I was looking for. Basically we sculpted with light creating shadows with a little back lighting using a small speedlight at full power, full CTO Gel on my flash and my WB set to 10,000 kelvin.


Photo by Matt

While the toll is high… Imagine changing lenses or having anything with metal contacts in this environment, don’t even think about sensor gunk – it’s unbelievable. Tropical climate for sure means a reduced shelf life for electronics – but when you get an image like this, it’s all worth it. Our suggestion is to invest in sealed camera bodies and buy the professional lenses to increase usability if you plan on working tropical.

Inspire and be Inspired
The late Steve Jobs quoted Picasso: Good artists copy and even greater artists steal! The idea is that nothing is really original, everything we produce as artists is a reflection from something or someone that we were influenced by. While I think the word stealing is heavily laden with sometimes negative connotations – I love to be inspired, I love to give credit where credit is due, and I love to take ideas to new levels.

I would like to thank Tony Hoffer (again) for stopping me dead in my tracks and reminding me to take risks with weather. A few years ago, my bags were packed and I retreated when rain occurred. Seems like the intelligent thing to do right? Ever since that first time I laid eyes on Tony’s engagement image, I’m excited when mother natures throws me a curve-ball. Tony didn’t invent the rain, but he certainly had a thing or two to share and I think we’re all the better for it!


Photo by Matt

Did I steal this image? No, I don’t think so. Did I glean inspiration from Tony s original creation? Absolutely, and I worked hard to push it further in a very different setting, and was quick enough to recognize a great set of circumstances were aligning when I captured this moment (somewhat lucky too). The reflection / bounce on this all black umbrella caused this amazingly soft down light. I didn’t plan that :). Also, her toe kick and the little trickle of water being lit by the flash really gives an additional movement feature to this frame…

Personal Projects as a Lifeline to Creative Freedom
Trash the Dress (TTD) has become a real source of creative freedom for Sol and I as it started as a personal project. Although it’s hard to reinvent yourself each shoot, we find ways to trip the imagination and come up with something else. The fun comes in the challenges we face, rugged locations, hikes, mosquitos, and almost anti-gravity underwater. The real kicker, these people aren’t models, and quite often they can’t swim! Its a bit cold as well, 62 degrees, so we really only have 30 -45 minutes of shooting time underwater. There are many risks, but the payoff is monumental.

Did I also mention that we find our way into caves to get this crystal clear water? They’re natural sink holes, called cenotes (se-no-tays), considered a sacred portal to the Mayan Underworld. The cenotes are part of the largest underground cave network in the world and exist only here in Mexico. Somehow we were able to merge daydreaming / fantasy photography and our brides into a business that is as far away from the “aisle” as possible. When was the last time a wedding photographer donned a wetsuit for anything wedding related?

I wanted to share a few TTD frames because this has been one of the most amazing things to happen to us. As you look through these TTD snaps, realize that we are always shooting for US and less worrying about client expectations.


Photo by Sol

Continue reading

Tuesday
Mar
2012
27

What a kick-butt week!!! :-)

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

Hi Gang, and greetings from Atlanta’s Hartfield/Jackson Int’l Airport where I’m between flights on my way back from one of, if not, my favorite Photoshop World’s of all time! (To see some of the images from the conference that were uploaded during the event (seen above), here’s the link).

My flight boards shortly, so I only have a minute (and this post is already way late as it is), but I wanted to thank everyone who came out to Washington DC this past week, and who helped to make it our highest attended East Coast Photoshop World Conference ever! The energy of the crowd in DC was amazing, and the participant’s enthusiasm and attitude make it an incredible experience for the instructors. When you have students engaged at this level, it just sweeps over you and wonderful things happen for everyone involved. I taught four sessions, and I loved every minute of it.

My thanks to our friends at Adobe Systems who help the event possible in the first place, and to all our exhibitors and sponsors, but most importantly to all the attendees from around the world (I met conference attendees from Australia, India, New Zealand, Germany, France, the UK, Russia and Japan) who transform the experience from a conference into a special event.

I’ll have more coverage later in the week, but I’ve got to board my flight. Hope you all have a fantastic day! :)

Monday
Mar
2012
26

Photos from Photoshop World Washington DC

by Brad Moore  |  13 Comments

Hey everyone, Brad here with a quick update from Photoshop World Washington DC! Just wanted to share a few shots from the event so far. More to come later!

Friday
Mar
2012
23

My First Update from Photoshop World, Washington DC

by Scott Kelby  |  21 Comments

The Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, and it was a glorious day here in DC as we get ready to kick off our largest East Coast Photoshop World Conference and Expo ever! (The photo above was taken yesterday afternoon by my wife Kalebra with her “Trusty iPhone”).

Here’s a quick update on what’s going here at the convention:

(1) Adobe’s Lightroom Lab on the Expo Floor
Adobe has created a 2nd booth on the show floor (Booth #455), right next to Westcott’s “Shootout Bays” (Booth #443) so you can shoot the live models with Westcott’s lighting and amazingly creative sets, then take your images right next door to Adobe’s lab, upload them and play with them with the new Lightroom 4 (how cool is that!!!).

CONTEST ALERT!!!! Check this out — after you’re done editing in Lightroom 4 at the Adobe lab, you can upload your favorite images to a folder and each day, Adobe will award three winners a free copy of Lightroom 4. At the closing session, they’re going present a grand prize to the best of the nine with a certificate for a full CS6 Design Premium package!!!

(2) You can come visit the Expo Floor FREE this Sunday or Monday
There are lots of classes running on the Expo floor; tons of demos and special expo-only pricing on gear; Adobe will be there (along with Photoshop Product Managers and Engineers), and lots of other vendors with lots of cool stuff to see and learn, and totally lots of fun! Best of all — it’s free. Sign-up now for your free Expo-only pass (good for two admissions) right here. 

(3) Adobe’s keynote Saturday Morning
I imagine that Adobe will be showing off some really amazing Photoshop CS6 stuff during their keynote presentation on Saturday morning, so if you’re here at the conference, make sure you don’t miss it (we have all sorts of surprises during the keynote, too!).

(4) Get my LIVE updates from the conference all-weekend long
I’ll be posting pics from the show on my Google+ page (here’s the link) throughout the week, along with anything new and cool (which we are expecting some big announcements here at the show), so make sure you follow me there.

(5) Get the Official Photoshop World App (it’s free).
If you’re here at the conference, you’re definitely going to want to download our free Photoshop World app. From getting instructor and class information to building your customized conference schedule, The official Photoshop World iPhone app is designed to put every minute of the conference at your fingertips with five sections and a high level of customization:

Features include:
Customizable schedule - Choose by instructor, time, class name, or add an entire track.
Class reminder and map - Countdown to your next event and find it on the built-in map.
Expo map with vendor list and bonus class sessions.
News feed - Track the #PSW hashtag on Twitter and PSW blog feed.
Instructors - Learn more about the pros and their classes.

(6) Follow the Action with Hashcaster
While you’re Tweeting about Photoshop World, why not get breaking #PSW news and even broadcast your own experience on Hashcaster? It’s simple, just log onto the #PSW Hashcaster site at psw.hashcaster.com with your Twitter account. Then Tweet your PSW experience like normal using the #PSW Hashtag. You’ll be able to see your Tweets broadcast on the PSW Hashcaster site on any computer or smartphone.

I’m really looking forward to seeing everybody and learning a bunch of new stuff myself. If you’re here in DC, I hope you’ll catch one or two of my conference sessions (here’s the link to what I’m teaching), and either way, if you see me, make sure you stop and say hi.

Have a great weekend everybody! :-)

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