Wednesday
Nov
2011
09

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Brooks Potteiger!

by Brad Moore  |  20 Comments

“What type of photography do you do?” This seems to be the first question most people ask when they discover you are somewhat competent with the camera. I still don’t have a clear answer to this question. However, during a trip to Guatemala two years ago I quickly realized that travel/mission-oriented photography captivated me the most. It was the first time since I started doing photography that I was able to get out of the bubble that is America. Being in such humble, yet beautiful, conditions really showed me the power that this medium possessed.

Last year I had the chance to visit Haiti about 5 months after the quake. I went there to do make some images for Mission of Hope Haiti. MOH Haiti is an amazing organization that does so much that it’s difficult to know where to begin. For starters, on their grounds alone they have an orphanage, a school, a church, and a prosthetics lab. So many lives have been impacted and even saved by them. The mission is also so well run that they were more equipped than almost anyone else in the nation for the earthquake. In fact, they served more meals to people in the first week than the UN. It’s pretty unreal. To hear the doctors speak about the quake was chilling. They said the first victim arrived within 10 minutes, and that began a 36 hour marathon of emergency surgeries.

Also, the fact that they had a prosthetic lab was an absolute God send, in every sense of the word. They have a doctor who specializes in prosthetics come almost weekly to serve the people who need artificial limbs. I was allowed to ride along to drop some of the patients off at their homes on one occasion. Here are some images from that:


The entrance to one of the tent communities that housed a few of the patients


A sister comes home after getting fitted for a prosthetic


Several more kind folks


A man getting fitted back at the mission

The thing that struck me about the people was their real joy, despite their loss. They were so eager to love and to be hospital. It started to drizzle while I was there and I heard a woman calling to me in Creole. I went over to her and she took my camera and put it in a plastic bag to protect it. This is the heart of the people.

On another day we were taking a walk through a neighboring village. Because my guide had a good relationship with them, several of the people allowed me to make portraits of them.


A little girl and her puppy


A worker who is helping to rebuild


A kind older gentleman


One day we took the orphans from the mission to the beach. Here is a little girl experiencing the shore, maybe for the first time

Something about Haiti that I did not anticipate was the beauty…oh the beauty. We often hear of the poverty or the despair, and while that is a reality for many people there, there is an incredible amount of beauty as well.


The view from Mission of Hope Haiti

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Tuesday
Nov
2011
08

Some Shots from my Titans / Bengals NFL Shoot (click on them for larger views)

by Scott Kelby  |  47 Comments

I thought after yesterday’s “Hall of Shame” shots, I’d better post a few that didn’t feature shots of the goal post (as epic as those were). This was a late afternoon game, and with the rolling back of Daylight Savings Time, by the time kick-off came around the entire field was already covered in shade, and a hour or so later, it was starting to get dark and I had to crank up the ISO nearly right off the bat.

(Above: He just scored—why is he so angry at the ball?). ;-)

Finding Out After The Fact
It’s rare for me to shoot a late-afternoon game. Most of the games I shoot are at 1:15 or at night, so I wasn’t used to planning for the light to change to drastically, and I lost a lot of shots due to not watching my ISO as closely as I should have been. I had a number of shots with shutter speeds as low as 1/640 so a lot of images I had just didn’t make the cut —- of course, I didn’t realize this until it was too late. I did adjust and raised my ISO when I caught a glimpse of how low my shutter speed had fallen, but the shots I had taken like that had just enough movement to make them pretty unusable. If I had thought to turn on Auto ISO at the beginning of the game, I wouldn’t have had to even think about it again. Sigh.

Wait….Don’t Take My Cards!
Usually when I’m assignment, at halftime I race to the Photographer’s workroom (a luxurious well-appointed suite serving a champagne brunch. No wait…picture the exact opposite of that….and that’s what it looks like) to find 10 or 12 shots to upload to my wire service. I quickly choose which shots I want to send; then I can edit and crop if necessary in Photoshop. I always sharpen them, and then upload them to the server. Pretty standard stuff.

However, in this case, I was shooting for the Titans as part of Titans Team Photographer Donn Jones’s crew that cover each home game, so I’d be shooting on the field and toward the end of the quarter one of his editors would pop-up beside me on the field and ask me to surrender my card so they can pick the shots they need and do all the uploads. I was SO not used to that (I have done that during College Bowl Games, but I still got to make the final call on what got uploaded), so it did freak me out a little bit (and you needed to have lots of back-up cards handy), but by the third quarter, I’d see the editor coming and just I’d go run and hide near the Bengals bench. ;-)

(Above: Sharing his touchdown celebration with The Man upstairs! No, not the guy in the pressbox)

Working on things I need to fix
One thing I really need to work on is making the switch to my second body, with a wider lens, at the right time. When you’re shooting that 400mm, and the line of scrimmage is 30 or 40 yards away, the focal length is awesome, but if a receiver makes a catch and breaks for it down the sideline, all of a sudden he’s too close for you to focus on, but yet—-I still keep shooting. At least I did about three times where I absolutely, positively should have switched to my 2nd body, and that just drives me crazy. I missed some great opportunities that unfolded right in front of me, because I didn’t take my eye off  that 400mm. Uggh!

Another thing I caught myself doing yesterday was letting from framing creep up on me, to where I was composing shots with lots of grass below, and my players squashed up at the top of frame—sometimes even cutting them off. I didn’t realize I was doing that until I looked at some of the images on my LCD. I did adjust by moving my center focus point down, so I would have to reframe the shot with a little more headroom above the players and that helped, but I lost a whole series of shots due to me not really being aware of the problem like I should have been.

My wife thinks my problem was something entirely different
I called my wife after the game to tell her:

(a) How much fun I was having with Donn and his crew. For most of the games I shoot, it’s a pretty solitary experience, and the football photographers aren’t exactly what you’d call “Chatty.” But Donn and his crew were some of the nicest, most fun, down-to-earth guys you’d ever want to meet. They had me laughing the whole day (and afterward—more on that in a moment), and…

(b) How upset I was with how I shot the game. I really felt totally into it at the start, and that, along with perfect football weather, and an all access pass form Donn, and I really had high hopes that I would come back with some great shots, but I was just totally bummed. My wife joked that the reason I wasn’t in the photo zone, was that I was in the “Fun zone” with Donn and his buddies. She’s probably right. These guys were a riot, and they really made me feel at home, and totally like one of their crew.

The “Lame @#$ Tailgate Party” is anything but!
Since the team photographers have to be at the stadium four hours before game time, they don’t get to go to any tailgate parties, so it’s a tradition of Donn’s to have their own tailgate party for photographers, in the stadium parking lot, after the game, and after they’re done uploading and adding metatdata to their images (so it’s quite a while after the game). They call it the “Lame @#$ Tailgate Party” and they were kind enough to invite me to join them, and it was really a lot of fun (and the food was insane!). They were grilling out hot dogs, chili, sausage, and they had every football-related snack ever. They had music, games, and even a generator with lights so we weren’t wandering around in the dark. Hanging out with the guys was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip (maybe my wife was right). ;-)

Anyway, here’s a few more shots from the game (they all look better bigger, so make sure you click on them for a larger view):

Good News/Bad News
We’re just coming back from halftime and I walk straight into my buddy, Atlanta-based sports photographer Paul Abell (former team photographers for the Bucs, and the Atlanta Braves baseball team), who was shooting the game for AP. Neither of us knew the other would be there, so it was really a treat seeing him and catching up. He’s taught me a lot about shooting sports, and he’s a terrific guy (and one hell of a shooter). That’s the good news. The bad news is: I was in the end zone and I saw Paul get hit by a receiver at the goal line in the third quarter. He popped right back up like nothing, so I figured he was OK, but I got a text from him a little later that he was really hurting, he was pretty dizzy, and had to leave the game early. We texted later that night, and he was feeling better, but he really took a whack, and was still sore from the hit. Here’s hoping Paul feels 100% soon.

There are worse ways to spend a day
Even though I made a lot of mistakes, I learned some things, too (plus I got to try out some new things I learned from taping that online class with Dave Black on Friday), so all in all, it was a really great day, and I got to meet some really great people, and see my buddy Paul to boot. My thanks to the amazing Donn Jones, and to Al, Will, Richard, Charles and the gang (also Mike, and Eric), who treated like I was family. You guys are the best, and I hope we get to shoot together again real soon (I promise to bring my “A” game!). :)

(Above: Richard got this shot of me with a 12-16 fisheye [cropped down here] right before kickoff. You know it’s before kick-off because I’m still smiling). ;-)

Monday
Nov
2011
07

Making Magic at the Titan/Bengals NFL Game Yesterday

by Scott Kelby  |  74 Comments

(Above: You can go to SI.com and see tons of shots with a receiver catching the ball in the end zone for a touchdown [boring], but how many times do you see a new fresh style, where the focus isn’t on catching the ball, or even seeing the ball, but instead the focus is on that icon of football—the goal post. This is the kind of fresh, brash images I was capturing all game. If I had to use one word to describe it: “Magic.” I was so in ‘the zone.” ;-)

Not every shot I took was a shot of the goal post. I actually had some where you could see the ball, and I can tell you without reservation, that they are pretty darn unimpressive. In fact, I spent four quarters creating some of the most average, uninspired, and down right yawners you’ve ever seen. I don’t know what happened. I’m bummed because I went into this game really thinking I was going to have a great shoot. We had perfect weather, a beautiful stadium, total access, and yet I missed so many shots, and was in the wrong position for some many plays, that I’m just sick about it.

(Above: Here’s one where you can see the ball, and it doesn’t bother me one bit that it’s partially obscured by the ref walking into my shot. In fact, I think it adds an artsy feel to the image—one that I believe is lacking in so many NFL shots these days. In fact, I think their sharp, crisp, clear photos are just a crutch these photographers use and their clarity just further exposes the lack of referee engagement in their images. It’s sad).

(Above: X-marks the spot, and clearly that is exactly where I was focusing. The real story is the headless guy in dark blue off the field on the right side. How does he keep his job with no visible head whatsoever? That, my friends, is the story. The rest are just blurry players on a football field). 

I actually did get a few decent shots despite myself, which I’ll share tomorrow, but it’s late and I’ve got an early flight home in the morning, so I’m hitting the sack, but at least I got to share a few of my “magic moments” here with you tomorrow. More to come tomorrow —- though some will be a little less “magic” than these.

Friday
Nov
2011
04

Deadline EXTENDED: for our first-ever “Photo Walk Leaders Contest”

by Scott Kelby  |  29 Comments

At the request of a bunch of leaders, we have officially EXTENDED the leader upload deadline to this Sunday Night at 12:00 am EDT. So, if you led a photo walk as part of my 4th annual Worldwide Photo Walk, then the deadline for getting your entries in to me for judging is now….Sunday at 12:00 am Midnight EDT. 

I’ll be choosing a winner, and 10 finalists from leaders around the world on November 11, 2011. The winner will receive their choice of either a Full Conference Pass to the Photoshop World Conference & Expo or a 1-year KelbyTraining.com Online Subscription, a one-year NAPP membership, and the Full Library of Kelby Books. The 10 Finalists will all receive a 1-year NAPP membership and subscription to Photoshop User magazine.

Here’s how to enter: Simply log in to your leader account at WorldwidePhotoWalk.com and go to your Photo Walk page. There you’ll find a yellow box with instructions for submitting your best photo to the Leader Contest.

Good luck to all the leaders around the world, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all your entries. :)

Thursday
Nov
2011
03

It’s Pimpy Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  3 Comments

Hey gang, Brad Moore here with the latest goings-on!

Jeremy Cowart on The Grid
On Thursday, November 17, we will be airing a special edition of The Grid featuring Jeremy Cowart. Jeremy will join Scott on the show to talk about Help-Portrait, the movement that began a few years ago which gives photographers the opportunity to give back to their community. This year’s event will take place December 10, and you can find all the info on how to be part of it over at Help-Portrait.com!

Kelby Training Live
Here are the upcoming dates for all of the Kelby Training Live seminars. Come out and see us!

Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It. Live! with Scott Kelby
- Nov 14: S. San Francisco
- Nov 21: Seattle
- Dec 2: Washington DC

Lightroom 3 Live Tour with Matt Kloskowski
- Nov 7: Arlington
- Dec 1: Philadelphia

The Photographer’s Photoshop CS5 Power User with Dave Cross
- Nov 9: Chicago
- Nov 15: New York City
- Nov 16: Toronto
- Nov 30: San Diego
- Dec 7: Jacksonville

Photography & Photoshop CS5: From Focus to Finished with Ben Willmore
- Dec 5: Ft. Lauderdale

KelbyTraining.com
We’ve got two brand new classes up on KelbyTraining.com this week. First is the highly anticipated followup to Syl Arena’s first course, Working with Speedlites: Multiple Flash Photography! Syl heads into advanced territory and helps you get the most out of using more than one Canon speedlite.

Next up is Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom 3 Creative Presets. Matt takes you through all the steps to set up killer presets to get different looks for your photos and speed up your workflow at the same time.

11-11-11 Sale from NAPP & KelbyTraining.com!
We’ve got some amazing deals for this once in a lifetime date… Deals so good you may never see them again (well at least not until 12-12-12). Save on books, DVDs, bundles, NAPP memberships and Photoshop World right here!

Peachpit Celebrates 25 Years!
Our friends over at Peachpit Press (Scott’s book publisher) are celebrating 25 years, and passing on lots of great deals to you to celebrate! Head on over to Peachpit.com to check out the deals, and to see a video on their evolution as a company from the beginning till now.

Ben Willmore Workshops
Ben Willmore will be teaching all over the place during the next year! Check these dates to see if he’s coming to your neck of the woods, and head over to WhereIsBen.com for all the workshop details.

Dec. 7-11  Los Osos, CA
Feb. 16-19  Death Valley National Park
Feb. 25-26  Honolulu, HI
May 10-13  Page, AZ
Jun 24-30  Iceland
Oct 4-7    Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Oct 18-21 Zion National Park

That’s it for today. I’ll leave you with this, via a tweet from @JeremyCowart. Enjoy :)

Wednesday
Nov
2011
02

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Luanne Dietz

by Brad Moore  |  16 Comments

[Editor's Note: Luanne recently attended the prestigious Eddie Adams Workshop, and when she returned told me all about it. Her excitement was so infectious, I asked her to share her experience with everyone here! -Brad]

The Eddie Adams Workshop

In photography we often set out to capture the Decisive Moment. That sliver of life where time seems to stop and every element of the frame just makes sense. The minute I stepped off the school bus and heard Kodachrome by Paul Simon playing over the loud speakers, and I saw photo greats clapping for me and 99 other selected students as I walked up the hill to the barn at the Eddie Adams Workshop, I knew I was living my Decisive Moment.

I had spent the last 5 years dreaming of the day. Wondering what it would feel like, what color team I’d be on, who I’d meet, what friends I’d make, and most importantly if being there in person would ever actually happen.

This was my last year of eligibility. This was my last chance. This was my year.

My lust for Barnstorm started back in college when I first learned of the four day intensive workshop that has become a staple in the photojournalism industry. The Eddie Adams Workshop, also known as EAW or Barnstorm, is a product of a dream that Eddie Adams had to create a place where young talent can be inspired and seasoned talent can give back. His dream, which became reality 24 years ago, has now effectively influenced 2400 students and countless veterans. For one week in October, incredible talent descends on the Adams’ family farm in upstate NY, at the base of the Catskills, for a time of inspiration, reflection and community.

Timing is a funny thing.

I remember vividly applying to the workshop in 2007 for the first time. I was still in college with a student newspaper portfolio that I thought would change the world. I had a good balance of sports photos, hard news, and even a cute story about a kindergarten chess champion. I figured I was a shoo-in. Sadly, I figured wrong.

In 2007 if you would have told me I wasn’t ready, I would have laughed at you. In 2008 I would have flashed my newspaper press badge to prove my status. In 2009 I would have told you that you were mistaken, because clearly, I’m running my own freelance business so I must be successful. In 2010 I might have said fine, because I’m moving to Israel anyway. Now in 2011, if you told me I still wasn’t ready, I might actually have agreed with you…

In 2011 I got accepted.

Looking back, I can’t imagine going to EAW at any other time in my life. About a year and a half ago I decided to throw my hands up and abandon everything I knew in Atlanta and move to the Middle East. At that time I didn’t know where exactly I was headed, but what I did know was that I needed out of where I was, and that I needed to get back to telling stories that had significance. From the minute I decided to go, life opened up for me.

This year I submitted my story from Israel on a Christian-run home for handicapped Muslim children in the West Bank as my application portfolio for EAW. I even wrote in my personal statement that this was me not trying to figure out what they wanted to see, but me showing them who I am. Thankfully it worked.

My time at the barn was life changing. It was a time where my photo heroes became my friends, and my big dreams got even bigger.

To start off the weekend, Eugene Richards spoke on the power of using our cameras as a tool to respond to life. He talked about the responsibility we have as photojournalists to act. And as if the bar wasn’t already set high just being there, he spoke right to me, literally, on the first night. I just so happened to be sitting in the front seat, at the front table, on night one when Eugene was speaking to the group. He literally was less than five feet from me, making eye contact, imparting wisdom and knowledge directly to me. I thought maybe I was just reading into it a little bit. I mean, after all I was sitting up front and the lights were off. But at the end of the evening when I went up to purchase his book, War Is Personal, I introduced myself and jokingly mentioned that I felt like he was talking right to me. He smiled and said that he was! He then took my book and signed it, “To Luanne at the Eddie Adams Workshop, So nice to talk to you.” It was game time.

The way the workshop breaks down is that there are 100 students divided into 10 teams that produce stories under the direction of industry leaders, editors, and producers. I had the privilege of being on the Bronze Team (what what.. represent!). We decided to go all Spinal Tap on EAW and crank it up to 11. Myself, along with 10 other students, worked together to tell stories of equality in Sullivan County.

I must admit I was a little nervous Friday night when I got my photo story assignment and it said “grumpy old man”. I don’t feel bad about calling him that, because he is a self proclaimed grump. So, here’s how it worked: I had two days to spend photographing with Mr. Eugene, a 91 year-old man who now lives alone on his farm in Sullivan county. Mixed in amongst my time spent with Eugene and at the barn were editing sessions, speakers, home cooked meals by photo gurus, an epic bonfire, portfolio reviews and amazing conversations. Notice, sleep is not included.

On Sunday afternoon each year there is a memorial service for Eddie, and six of his photographer friends from Vietnam. All students and veterans alike, quietly walk up the hill carrying a yellow balloon and a glass of champagne to an etched rock where friends lay down a sunflower in memory. It is a solemn time where all I can remember feeling is loss, hope, love, belonging and the wind.

This year’s memorial had an extra layer to it as Chris Hondros’s fianc©e was there to honor Chris and Tim Hetherington, who we lost in Libya on assignment earlier this year. Being a photographer can sometimes be an isolating job. This memorial time and the people who surrounded me during it, made me feel a part of something so much bigger than myself. It made me feel like family.

At the end of the week, I didn’t want it to end. I felt so close to the people I had just met. When you share intensity and birth of dreams with someone, you are destined to be friends for life. All weekend I found myself running the words of Clay Patrick McBride through my head. He encouraged us when we felt frustrated or overwhelmed, to stop and ask ourselves “Where am I?” He proceeded to tell us to look down at our feet, and where we are standing, and enjoy our moment.

I am so grateful and honored to be apart of the XXIV generation of EAW family.

After a car pool back to Manhattan we were so exhausted that we decided to order Chinese food in true NYC fashion. What I found inside my fortune cookie were the perfect words to sum up the weekend: “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” My mind, my heart, my dreams and my ambitions were stretched. I will never be the same.

To see Luanne’s full story on Eugene from EAW and other work visit LuanneDietz.com. You can also follow her on Twitter.

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