Friday
Mar
2015
20

This Weekend Only – 25% OFF Prints from MPIX!

by Brad Moore  |  4 Comments

THIS WEEKEND ONLY – 25% OFF ALL PRINTS!
Our friends at Mpix are here to help you clean out your camera just in time for spring with a 25% off all prints sale you can’t afford to miss. From now, Friday March 20, through Sunday March 22, fill up your cart with whatever prints you’d like to purchase, then enter the promo code kelbyspringcleaning at checkout to receive the discount!

Maybe it’s time to freshen up your home with some new photos for your walls, give that special someone a way to remember that amazing day you shared recently, or it’s just time you treated yourself to some new prints for your portfolio. Whatever the reason, why not do it now when you can save 25%? Head over to Mpix.com now to get started.

Please note: This sale is valid for all photo prints. Additional services applied to prints are not discounted. This offer is not available through ROES and no refunds will be issued for orders placed prior to the sale. Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (Central) on March 22nd, 2015

Thursday
Mar
2015
19

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

The Trailblazers Series with Elsa Garrison
Elsa Garrison has carved out a career capturing breathtaking moments at the peak of sports action for nearly twenty years. Shooting for Getty images, Elsa’s photographs have appeared in every major sports publication, and she’s covered everything from the NFL to the Olympics. A self-described shy person, Elsa’s determination and nose-to-the grindstone work ethic has earned her spots on the sidelines of an incredible array of sporting events and her photographs have earned her the respect of her peers and colleagues.

Next Level 3D with Corey Barker
Join Photoshop master Corey Barker and learn how to take your 3D skills to the next level! In this class Corey takes you through all of the steps involved in three different projects that showcase some of what you can do in 3D. Starting with a logo project that was originally done two dimensionally, Corey shows how it can be done in 3D as well as what the benefits are of having the logo as a 3D object. From there Corey steps you through a project designed to show you how to create a product in 3D and then place it in an environment that looks just like a product photograph. The final project takes things a step further with a demonstration of how you can merge 3D objects with photographic elements to create a composite image with incredible realism. This class has something for illustrators, designers, and photographers, and will leave you wanting to dig in and see what you can do in your own work.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby 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 Photographers Creative Revolution Tour with Joel Grimes
Mar 25 – Washington, DC
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!

Last Week’s Winners
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Lewis Johnston

Peter Read Miller On Sports Photography
- Clay73

If either of these is you, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Mar
2015
18

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Rick Sammon!

by Brad Moore  |  13 Comments

First off, I want to thank my friends Brad and Scott for inviting me back as guest blogger. I love these dudes – because they love photography and because they love helping photographers, around the planet, make better photographs. They are also really good people.

This post is about Creative Visualization, which is the title of my latest book, Creative Visualization for Photographers. In this post I will share some highlights from the book.

What is creative visualization? Basically, Creative Visualization is envisioning the end result – and doing this is often the key to making a good photograph. It’s kind of like going on a road trip: If you know where you are going, you’ll know how to get there, making the right travel decisions along the way.

When it comes to making a photograph, if you envision the end result, you will know what camera settings to use, what lens is best to convey your creative vision, and what accessories might be needed. What’s more, you’ll envision how your image can be enhanced/processed in Lightroom, Photoshop and with plug-ins.

So seeing the end-result, developing your creative vision, is important.

This is one of my favorite photographs from my Route 66 road trip –– which my wife Susan planned out (envisioned) so we knew where we were going.

Here is the original shot from which I made the image. No, it’s not HDR (High Dynamic Range). The train was actually speeding past us. This image is what I call an EDR (Extended Dynamic Range) image. EDR is about extending the dynamic range of a single file.

Knowing the EDR power of Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and Photoshop, I snapped a quick shot.

Here is what I did to push the limits of ACR.

Increased:

Exposure – makes an image brighter.

Shadows – opens us shadow areas.

Clarity – makes the image look sharper by increasing detail.

Vibrance – increases the saturation of non-saturated colors.

Saturation – increases the saturation of all the colors in a photograph.

Decreased:

Contrast –reduced the difference between the shadows and highlights.

Whites – preserved the highlights.

Highlights – brings back (and rescues in some cases) detail in bright area.

Blacks – makes blacks look bolder and add contrast to a file.

In case you were wondering, I corrected the perspective (pole on the left leading into the frame) in Photoshop: Select All > Edit > Transform > Perspective.

I envisioned a black-and-white image. To convey that vision, I used Nik Silver Efex Pro, using a red filter to darken the sky.

Photographing What We Recognize is an important concept. It’s another chapter in the book.

What do you see – or recognize – in this photograph? Take a good look. Take your time.

When I show this photograph to my workshops students, most see a silhouette of Christ’s crucifixion. That is precisely what I saw when I took the picture . . . and why I took the picture.

Other comments on this photograph have included:
- A man raising his arms to a crescent moon.
- A blue sky with a low sun.
- A lady dancing.
- Neptune and his trident.
- Sadness.
- Christ, monsters, faith, welcome, danger, decay, a duck.
- Evocative image. Very “Rorschach.” There are many things to see in this image.
- A man with a crown, birds at the end of his arms, leaning against a pole with a crescent moon.
- A poor exposure and bad cropping.

The point is that photographers, myself included, usually photograph what we recognize, consciously or unconsciously. What’s more, some photographers specifically travel to popular locations to get the “iconic” shot, the same shot that a million other photographers on the planet have taken. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can be fun and rewarding, and you can learn some things by doing this.

The same is true for musicians, including myself (and my friend Scott Kelby may feel the same way). Sure, I like to improvise, but I also like (try) to play the “iconic” leads of my favorite guitar players: Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers. As I said, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It can be fun and rewarding.

In the chapter, Looking vs. Seeing, I talk about, among other things, seeing a picture within a picture, and the difference between just looking around and actually seeing a photograph.

This portrait of a novice monk is one of my favorite images from my trip to Myanmar.

This is a snapshot of the same scene. Had I not been looking for pictures, I might not have focused on the single monk on the right of the frame. And speaking of envisioning the end result, I wanted to create a “sense of place” image, so I chose a medium aperture to slightly blur the writing on the wall in the background, while still being able to see that there is writing on the wall.

Photography and the Death of Reality, another chapter in the book, is not a new topic, but as we move more and more into digital darkroom enhancements, the topic becomes more and more important.

The chapter leads off with this image of the Blue Swallow Motel on Route 66, which we planned to be at for sunrise – because, again, we envisioned the end result.

Before I go on, I’d like to share a story with you about Ansel Adams, relayed to me by one of his assistants, the talented John Sexton. Here goes: A man writes Ansel Adams a letter (condensed here): Dear Mr. Adams, I have your wonderful books. Your beautiful pictures of Yosemite inspired me to visit this National Park. However, when I got there I was disappointed. The park does not look like the pictures in your book.

So much for reality.

Since the early days of photography, people with cameras have made images that don’t represent reality, even when they tried. That’s due, in part, to the way cameras record light, and how lenses bend light and compress or widen a scene or subject – not to mention that we see in 3D and camera see in 2D, and that our eyes have a dynamic range of about 13 f/stops compared to the five or six f-stops our digital cameras see (in a single exposure without digital enhancements).

The chapter has three main messages:

One, it’s designed to encourage you to make your most creative images ever, and not to be afraid to follow your heart when it comes to making digital enhancements.

Two, it’s important to consider the reality of your photographs and the photographs of others.

Three, photographers are somewhat like magicians, or illusionists if you will. The creative process of image making is like the art of doing a magic trick. If you don’t know the trick, the trick is amazing. If you do know the trick, you know that it’s a relatively simple procedure.

The scene needed some digital darkroom magic, for sure. This is a straight shot (no image processing) of the scene.

The magic started with a bracketed set of images, from which I created my HDR image.

Here’s another example of creative visualization, combined with some HDR magic and basic image enhancements. It’s an image from Fairy Glen in the Conwy Valley in North Wales.

The scene looked like this upon arrival at Fairy Glen.

In the book I talk about the space-time continuum – which may sound a bit far out. I’ll end this guest blog post with this concept for a good reason: I think it will make you feel good about being a photographer.

The space-time continuum is a mathematical model that combines space and time into a single idea. That concept came to mind when I took this photograph of a lenticular cloud near Mt. Rainier in Washington State.

If you had been there, you might have chosen a different space (composition) for your photograph. You might have taken a wider or tighter shot, or you may have composed your image differently.

What about time? You may not have pressed the shutter release button at exactly the same time as I had, so the clouds might have been in slightly different position. You also may not have used the same shutter speeds that I used, which could have affected the movement of the clouds in your photograph.

Back home, you probably would have processed the image differently, perhaps making it a more saturated image or a black-and-white image.

When you think about, a photograph you take is a single idea – of your individual creative vision. Acting on your ideas, and accomplishing your goals, will give you a good feeling about your work – and yourself.

Creative Visualization is not limited to photography. It applies to your life, too. In his book, Real Magic – Creating Miracles in Everyday Life, Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about (basically) how you can create your own reality. Visualization is the key.

You can see more of Rick’s work at RickSammon.com and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Rick will also be talking about creative visualization at Photoshop World in Vegas later this year, and you can check out his classes on KelbyOne.


Available in paperback and Kindle versions

Tuesday
Mar
2015
17

Our Friend and Instructor Cliff Mautner Wins the WPPI Grand Award for Photojournalism For The 2nd Time!

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

A big congrats from everybody here to KelbyOne instructor Cliff Mautner who not only took the 1st place at in WPPI’s annual 16×20″ print competition, but he also won 1st place for wedding photojournalism, AND the Grand Award for photojournalism (this was his 2nd time running the Grand Award by the way) at the awards ceremony held on March 4th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
There were more than 3200 images entered from around the globe in various categories, which is fairly awesome unto itself, but while Cliff was there he also received the title of “Double Master of WPPI” with his accumulation of points in this competition. To view a video (and while you’re there, check out Cliff’s Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp, and also check out his new online classes on KelbyOne filmed on location during an actual wedding (it’s a two-part series).
About Cliff’s award-winning photo, above (in Cliff’s words):
“In many traditional weddings when a bride prepares for her wedding at her home, it’s common for them to have her father waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. I had concerns about my ability to capture this moment because of the lack of space between the steps and the front door. I decided to shoot this from inside the living room- thereby using a frame within a frame. I take great pride in never staging a moment like this, and it’s rare that all of the elements fall into place the way this did. Her twin sisters followed her down the stairs along with her niece, and her dad, normally a stoic man, was really overcome with emotion. The three ladies were a bit stunned at dad’s reaction, and I was able to fire off one single frame with this composition. Those judging the image compared it to a Norman Rockwell illustration that depicted an American wedding. This happened so fast, yet I thought I’d made something pretty special at the time, but I wasn’t sure until I went back and chimped on the LCD a few moments later. One frame-one decisive moment, and it was gone. The only thing I did was put myself in the right place at the right time, and the rest was all about my client. I called and thanked them for handing me this moment, because in the end, we’re only as good as our clients!”
Please join me in congratulating Cliff on these amazing accomplishments, and my personal thanks to him for his willingness to share the techniques that have made him a celebrated award-winning photographer with all of us. :)
Monday
Mar
2015
16

Check Out This “Behind The Scenes” Tour Of the KelbyOne Headquarters

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

https://youtu.be/jJAL4pgA_sk

That video above is a public sneak-peek of a new Webcast created exclusively for KelbyOne members called “Backstage Pass” and it’s produced and hosted by our own Mia McCormick. In this first episode, she takes you on a rollerblade tour of our expanded KelbyOne HQ and she meets up the “Photoshop Guys” along the way, including a stop by my office for a quick chat.

Anyway, since it has this behind-the-scenes tour in it, we thought we’d make just this first one available to the public, and I hope you enjoy Mia’s “rolling review.” ;-)

I’m in Dubai today, and as you might imagine I’m very excited about tonight’s Awards Ceremony and I’ll be posting photos from the event (taken by Brad) over on my Facebook page, so stop by there if you get a chance (btw: Dubai is nine hours ahead and the ceremony is at 7:00 pm, so by 10:00 New York time the awards ceremony will be starting.

Hope you all have a fantabulous Monday!

Best,

-Scott

Friday
Mar
2015
13

I’m Off To Dubai

by Scott Kelby  |  21 Comments

I can’t believe it’s been seven years since I took these shots in Dubai — I was there speaking at an Adobe conference, and I got a chance to spend two extra days just shooting and having fun in this amazing place, along with my brother Jeff and my buddy Jeff Revell.

I was there at the height of Dubai’s construction boom. At the time around 25% of all the construction cranes in the world were in Dubai. The Burj Kalifa was about 80% complete (seen below) and at that point nobody really knew how many stories it would be when completed (Well, somebody knew but they weren’t saying).

I said to my brother and Jeff back then, “I would just love to come back here in five years and see what it all looks like when they’re all done.” Apparently, they’re not done — it’s still growing fast, and it took me a couple of extra years beyond that five to make the trek back, but I’m so excited to be visiting Dubai again — one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen.

This time I’m not there to teach — I am humbled, honored and so excited to be presented Monday night with the prestigious Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award. And it comes with an added bonus that I finally accomplished something that made my young daughter slightly impressed with me. “A Prince is giving you the award?! Now that’s something Daddy!” Lol! Finally!

The awesome folks at 500px did a really nice write up about it over on their blog (here’s the link), and if you’ve got a sec maybe you could pop-on over there as they’ve got all the details.

I’m so looking forward to this…
…and I’m excited to have my buddy Brad Moore along with me for the trip this time. We’re trying to fit in some shooting time during this short trip, and I’m excited to see the completed Burj Kalifa (the hotel we’re staying at has a direct view of it), and to possibly make the short drive up to Abu Dhabi for a shoot there as well. And of course, the highlight will be the awards ceremony (I had to rent a tux and all), and I hope to have lots of photos to share when I return next week.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday, provided I have enough time to actually put together a post. Hmmmm. Maybe I could write one on the plane. Seems like I’ll be a few hours in the air. ;-)

All my best,

-Scott

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