Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

What’s Brad Been Up To?

Hey everyone, I figured I would take this opportunity to just check in and let you know what I’ve been up to so far this year! I’ve been doing a bit of a hodgepodge of things, but I’m definitely staying busy…

I kicked the year off with a few thousand of my friends (and Styx and Keith Urban) at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight at Bicentennial Mall Park in Nashville.

Photo by Robby Klein

As if that wasn’t enough fun, just a few days later I made my debut at The Ryman when I helped my buddy Robby Klein out on a shoot there.

Then there was a Run The Jewels concert a few weeks later.

At some point in January, I decided to start taking this whole photography thing more seriously.

And figured, if I’m going to take this seriously, then then what better way than by helping my buddy Rob Foldy out on a shoot at Vanderbilt University for ESPN?

Photo by Matt Divine

In February, I took a trip to Vegas for WPPI where I led an available light portraiture photo walk. Rob returned the favor by helping me out here ;-)

When I got back, I took some pictures of my favorite pup nugget, Opal Pancake, to give my sweetheart for Valentine’s Day.

(She may have also had a birthday recently…)

I’ve also been shooting some video content for my buddy Phil Barnes, a musician and songwriter in Nashville.

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson for The New York Times

In March, I helped Robby Klein on another shoot with Kellie Pickler for her Selma Drye home goods collection, then followed that up with helping my buddy Eric Ryan Anderson on a shoot with Paramore for The New York Times.

In April, I shot a couple of videos for a new music startup called Crowd Music.

And one for my friend Annette McNamara to help her promote her corporate headshots.

Then I met up with the old gang in Orlando for Photoshop World.

And from Florida, I went to Atlanta and spent a few days editing photos for The Orange Conference.

Last week I shot Tycho when they came through Nashville and played at Marathon Music Works.

And just a few days ago, I photographed the Iroquois Steeplechase horse race at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.

Coming up next month, four days of shooting at the Bonnaroo Music Festival for Red Bull! This will be my first time photographing the iconic music festival in Manchester, TN, so I’m pretty stoked for that experience!

It’s been an exciting 2017 so far, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds for me!

Brad Moore is a Nashville based entertainment and commercial photographer and videographer. You can see more of his work at BMOOREVISUALS.com, and follow him on Instagram, Vimeo, and Twitter.

Hi gang. I’m happy to report that last weekend I found a new source for V-flats here in the US, and the price is right and you can find them in 65 locations (mostly in the Central and Northeast, South, and everywhere out West), and when I show behind-the-scenes shots using them, I always get asked about where to get them.

In the past, it was “Find a local sign store” but a lot of folks were kind of reticent about going into a sign store and asking for ‘Gator Board,” so I’m glad I found this new source. First, let’s look at what a V-flat even is.

Above: Here they are on either side of our model. It’s two large 4-foot x 8’foot panels that you put up against each other (like two swinging doors in a saloon) and then you simply run a 3″ piece of white Gaffer’s tape (you can find white Gaff at B&H) from the top to bottom of the seam, and you’ve got a V-flat. The main reason we like a “V-shape” is that it can hold itself up when positioned in the shape of a “V” or “L” (where they are pretty much “L’s”).

Above: Here’s what they look like from behind (from a different shoot on a different day). But you can see how the “V” set-up keeps them standing in place. You can also see the seam (on her right) where you tape right down the seam with Gaffer’s tape.

Above: Here’s what the final images look like, fully lit with help from those V-flats.

Now, onto our source:

Above: I was taking my wife Kalebra and our daughter (we call her “Yittle”) for a day of artistic shopping fun to “Blick” — an awesome nationwide art supply store, and in the back of the store, I found this nice collection of foamboard, in solid white or black. This is a shot of the Blick in Tampa, Florida.

Above: Look at this! It’s the exact 4-foot x 8-foot sheets we’ve been dreaming of!!!

Above: The price for the 4-foot x 8-foot board isn’t bad — just $34.99 (and you’d need two of them), so $69.98 and you’ve got yourself a V-flat (although I showed using two — one on each side, in the examples above, I generally just use one unless I’m shooting full-length fashion, in which in some cases I build that “tunnel” with a V-flat on either side.

The official name of the store is “Dick Blick” (stop snickering) and to see if there’s one near you, head over to their official website (there are 65 stores in the US, so there might be one near you, unless you live in Texas, Oklahoma, a Dakota, or Alaska, or a few other midwestern states that are V-flat deprived).

Anyway, hope you found that helpful. :)

Best,

-Scott

Hi gang, and welcome to my new series on Photoshop features that can really be helpful…if you only knew they existed, and what they did. There’s some really great stuff buried in Photoshop, and it’s stuff that maybe we don’t use every day, but once unearthed, they can make a big difference.

I’m calling this new series “Buried Treasure” and we’re starting with one of my favorites (I had to use it just yesterday), and in the short video tutorial below, I’ll show you how I used it, and a way you might not have thought of where it can be really helpful. Here goes:

Hope you found that helpful. More to come later this week. :)

See you on Friday in Minneapolis?
I hope so — I’ll be there with my Lightroom On Tour seminar, and so will about 300 other photographers who are ready to make a big leap in their Lightroom life. Hope I’ll get to meet you there.

Have a great week (’cause it’s gonna be a great week!).

Best,

-Scott

Hi everybody and happy Friday. I was taping a segment to a new class I’m doing — a follow-up to my “Just One Flash” called (wait for it…wait for it…) “Just one more flash.”

Anyway, when the taping was over, I wanted to try something a little different portrait wise (well for me anyway), so I did a very simple portrait where the goal was to try and give it a window light look, and I thought I’d share the final image, some behind-the-scenes shots, and talk a little about camera settings and post processing. I’ll do that all in the captions below.

Above: Here’s the final image. 

Above: Here’s an over the shoulder view of my shooting rig. I’m using a Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (my go-to lens for portraits). My camera is tethered into Lightroom CC on my laptop using a 15′ TetherPro USB cable from Tethertools. It’s supported on a Really Right Stuff tripod with a Tethertools Rock Solid Tripod Crossbar; an Aero Table, and the strap that keeps my laptop from sliding around is an “Aero Secure Strap” and you can’t see it in this photo, but my tripod is on a rolling rig that is designed to let you easily roll the whole thing called a Rock Solid Tripod Roller.

Above: Here’s a clean view of the lighting set-up. I used just one Elinchrom ELC 500, and put it close enough to the cloth backdrop that some of the light would spill onto the backdrop. I didn’t want a bunch of light because I wanted kind of a dramatic portrait, but I needed a little spill. You can see from the shot above that my subject is seated way at the back of the softbox (a technique called feathering where your subject is far away from the hotspot in the center of the light).

Above: The softbox I used was an Elinchrom 53″ midi-octa, which is kind of my go-to big octa for portraits (and it’s not too expensive considering how awesome it is. B&H Photo has ’em for $324).

SETTINGS:
I had the power of the Strobe pretty low because it was so close to my subject (less than 18-inches and at times less a foot). My camera was in Manual mode, with my shutter speed at that nice happy 1/125 of a second; my f/stop was f/9; and my ISO at 100 (the cleanest native ISO for my camera). Just one single light, and some simple very repeatable settings for a set-up like this.

Above: I started in Photoshop doing some standard portrait retouching stuff (removing blemishes, some skin work, a little work on the whites of her eyes and her iris – pretty minor stuff overall).

I’m embarrassed to tell you how easy the rest was — I opened MacPhun’s Luminar plug-in; I went to their Presets (I have my own set-up presets you can get from MacPhun), but I actually wound up going with one of their built-in Portrait Presets called Smooth Portrait. I like the glow and the color grading it gave, but once I applied the preset, I backed off the amount to 48% strength. I also pulled back the highlights a bit and increased the amount of edge vignetting. That’s it. Easy peasy. I clicked OK, and that’s what you see at the top of the page as the final image.

Hope you found some of that helpful. :)

Have a great weekend everybody! I’ll be working on my new book all weekend — almost done (a brand new one!).

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Next Friday I’m in Minneapolis with my Lightroom On Tour full-day seminar. Hope you can come join me if you’re up that way. :)

Everything Else In Lightroom: Part Two with Scott Kelby
Building on Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 1, Scott Kelby has assembled a new set of skills every Lightroom user should know into Everything Else in Lightroom, Part 2. This series is designed to teach you a wide range of Lightroom topics, and serve as a reference for those times when you just want to dive into a specific topic, or come back and review. In this class you can master custom file name templates, learn how to use the Map module, become more efficient with export actions, customize your default settings for raw photos, develop a smart object workflow, and a host of other killer Lightroom techniques. You’ll be amazed at how many things Lightroom can do!

In Case You Missed It
Time for some Lightroom killer tips! Join Scott Kelby as he digs deep and shares dozens of tips, tricks, and workarounds to help you work faster, more efficiently, and have more fun while using Lightroom. From little known features to time-saving techniques, Scott will help you get more out of Lightroom than you knew was possible. Feel free to jump in with any lesson that catches your eye, or take it from the top. These killer tips can be found almost every corner of Lightroom and can be applied to any workflow.

Photo by John Schell

My 5 Essentials For An Outdoor Location Shoot
Spring is officially underway and with it, a flurry of photoshoots among the beautiful flowering nature. It’s that time of year when shooting outside is comfortable, and the evening light has the last of winter’s lingering softness. A vast majority of my shoots take place on location, and over the years I’ve learned to bring along a few things that make shooting outdoors that little bit less stressful.

1) Scissors
I have a pair of strong scissors I bring to “tidy” up a scene (i.e. get rid of leaves, small branches, brambles, etc). They also come in very useful if labels are left on clothes, and any of the multitude of reasons you’d need scissors for!

2) Rose Clippers
On the subject of “tidying” up a location, some foliage is a little too thick and this is when my rose clippers would come out. They’ve saved me lots of Photoshop time across many a shoot.

3) Fabric (thick or thin)
Sometimes it’s not so easy to predict whether an outdoor location would be muddy or not. I always bring fabric along to protect the garments from getting dirty. If the dress the model is wearing is full length I would make sure to always have fabric tucked underneath so as to protect it from dirt. Ideally using a fabric that’s a similar colour to the dress makes life easier.

4) Reflector
If you’re a natural light shooter then bringing a reflector along is always a good idea. It’s a great tool to manipulate light as well as doubling up as a scrim, providing some shade where there isn’t any available. It’s also super versatile as it comes in handy on occasions where I forget to bring fabric and needed to protect the garments.

5) Safety Pins and Hair Grips
Two things that are a staple in my camera bag! If you’re working with an experienced hair or makeup artist they would bring these along with them. I, however, can always count on something going wrong on location shoots such as, zips breaking, hairstyle needing tweaking, pinning the dress so it fits better, etc!

We all know that the more you can capture in camera the better, and that’s why it’s worth going the extra step in preparation.

Here are a few more suggestions for a comfortable location shoot!

Water: Hydration is always a good idea!

Hand warmers, hot water bottles and heaters: Great if you’re shooting in the winter.

Umbrella: Have one for the model if you’re shooting in the summer.

Food and snacks: Because food puts everyone in a good mood!

Music and a bluetooth speaker: To help set the mood and vibe

Ladder: Useful as a prop or to capture a new perspective/angle.

Battery bank: You never know when people’s phones or other things need to be charged. It’s always good to have something in this situation to keep you covered.

Shower Cap: If it were to rain, you can protect your camera with it and it also allows you to still work with it.

I would love to know, what are your location shoot essentials? It’s always interesting to see what other photographers bring along to shoots!

You can see more of Bella’s work at BellaKotak.com, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Close