Tuesday
Oct
2013
15

So, How Many “Keepers” Do You Get From a Shoot?

by Scott Kelby  |  103 Comments

I get that question fairly often, and I can tell you straight out — it’s not as many as I’d like, that’s for sure. Yesterday, when I posted some of my favorites from my Bucs/Eagles shoot over on my Facebook page, I got a number of questions along these lines, so I thought I’d cover it here:

Q. So, how many shots did you take at the game on Sunday
A. Exactly 1,873

Q. That seems like a lot
A. I know, but I’ve been told I under-shoot by quite a bit. I talked to another shooter at a game a couple of weeks before and he had taken over 4,000 shots that game, and he chuckled that I only had taken around 1,600.

Q. So what ratio would you like to have of keepers to ones you delete?
A. When I go to a game I don’t have any ratio like that in mind whatsoever, but since you’re asking, ideally I’d like it to be around 95% keepers. Unfortunately, in reality it’s more like 5%. In fact, for this shoot, it was almost exactly 5%. I had around 92 shots that were “contenders” to send to the sports wire I shoot for.

Q. So, how many did you actually send?
A. 46.

Q. So, you cover an entire NFL game and you only get 46 publishable images?
A. Uh huh.

Q. Is it because you’re covering the Bucs and they’re 0-5 this season?
A. Yes.

Q. Really?
A. No.

Q. OK, why so few keepers?
A. Well, there are a number of reasons (and this might take a minute), so let’s look at a few:

One reason is because we take LOTS of shots that aren’t publishable because they’re simply not interesting. For example, look at the series of shots I took above. I wanted a clean shot of Eagle’s Quarterback Nick Foles, but once the ball was hiked, two players moved right into my frame, but I stayed on the QB until they moved out of the frame a second later. Out of this series, the first two frames are unusable  maybe the 3rd frame would be OK, but I felt the fourth frame looked best (and it’s the one I submitted), but the rest just look awkward or aren’t very compelling (well, at least I didn’t think so). This is a short series — just seven shots — often it’s 10 or 12 and we’re lucky if there’s a good one in there at all, but either way, you’re only “keeping” one from this series at best.

Q. OK, what else?
A. You cover a running back, and you’re dead on with your focus and you’re tracking his every move, but it’s just a “messy scene” — there’s just too many players and you can’t clearly see him or what’s going on (see above). There were 13 shots in this series, and I couldn’t use any of them. This happens quite a bit during a typical game.

Then there’s these (above). Plenty of ‘em. Every game. However, this only happens after you’ve been tracking a player who breaks out for a big run and you’re waiting to capture that moment of peak action — of course the refs sense this and race to get right in your field of view.

Q. Really?
A. No. But it sure feels that way.

Q. OK, I’m with ya. What else?
A. After big plays you have to stay on the player who made the big play because capturing the “jube” (short for jubilation) is huge. These are some of the most marketable shots (provided the guy’s team actually wins the game, because there’s virtually no market for shots of a guy on the losing team celebrating), so you definitely want to “stay on” the player after the play. In this case, Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper had a big catch and run for a 44-yard gain and so I stayed on him just in case, and sure enough, he was pumped up and made a big gesture (I don’t know what else to call it) and I was right on him to capture it when the play was over (shown above).

Q. So, what’s wrong with that?
A. Nothing, it just took 19 frames to get that one frame — the other 18 frames are worthless. I had to stay with him from the moment he was down, until a while after because you don’t know if other players are coming over to celebrate with him, or a coach on the sidelines, or if there’s a penalty and the play gets called back and you get a secondary reaction when he learns that it was all for naught. Either way, that’s 19 frames after the play is over on the chance that you might get a reaction shot. You do this a dozen times or more during a game and a lot of times it yields absolutely nothing (the player doesn’t celebrate, or refs or other players walk into your frame).

Q. I notice you didn’t post any shots of Darrelle Revis’ fumble recovery for a Buc’s touchdown. How come?
A. Oh, I was right on him, from the moment LeSean McCoy coughed up the ball until Revis was celebrating in the end zone — 79 shots in all. Only one problem. It was called back. The runner was down by contact, so while the Bucs did get the turnover, the touchdown was called back, so that part of the play never happened, so those 79 shots of him recovering the fumble, running to the end zone, and celebrating with teammates, are all worthless.  That’s nearly 4% of the shots I took that day all gone in an instant. Darn refs. Silly rules. 

Q. Anything else?
A. Well, I took 110 shots of the team and individual player intros before the game (one sample is shown above).

Q. Did you submit any of those?
A. Not a one. I try a different shooting position for the player-intros each game, and this was just not a particularly interesting one, so I didn’t submit any. Next game, I’ll shoot from an entirely different position, and maybe I’ll get one or two keepers as they jump through the smoke. It’s hard to get a straight on shot of them coming through the smoke because I’d have to be standing in the Visitor’s bench area, and they’re generally not too keen on that, so I have to shoot at a weird angle, and so far I haven’t gotten anything too cool this season.

Q. What is that?!
A. These are my speciality — shots taken by accident, usually as my second camera hits my leg as I’m running down the sideline. I’ve taken so many of these over the years that I considered making a photo book of them and selling it with the proceeds going to the Springs of Hope Orphanage. I am not making this up.

Q. What about out-of-focus shots?
A. I’d like to say I have a few, but I’ve actually got plenty where I didn’t have my focus point on the right spot (as seen above). A lot of time you swing from one player to another (like from the QB to a receiver or tight end) and you just miss it. I’d like to blame it on the camera, but the Auto Focus system on the Canon 1Dx is absolutely insane — it was made for this stuff, but as good as it is, it won’t make up for my mistakes.

Above — that’s a shot of the Buc’s amazing running back Doug Martin. Even though the Bucs are losing, he’s still putting up great numbers (he’s 9th in total rushing yards in the NFL), but I don’t stay on Doug at the end of a play after a big run because he never, ever, celebrates. No emotion. No “first down” signal. No trash talking. He just gets up, tosses the ball to the ref, and gets back to the huddle. He’s a class act, but after the play he doesn’t give you any reason to stay on him for the “jube.”

Q. OK, now I’m surprised you actually came away with 92 keepers.
A. It does kind of put things in perspective, but still, it’s not as many as I would like. I’ve had more on certain games, and less on some, but I’d say one hundred or so is about average, and from there I narrow it down to the best. My goal is always to have more to choose from, and more to upload to the sports wire.

Q. How many do you upload at halftime?
A. I always think I’m going to limit it to 8-photos max at halftime, but I usually wind up sending 10 or 12. For Sunday’s game I sent 14, which made me miss the start of the 3rd quarter (well, that and I couldn’t get an Internet connection because of a problem with my laptop’s wireless, but my buddy Rob Foldy let me tether to his iPhone and I was able to upload via that — thanks Rob!).

Immediately after the game, I upload as many good ones as I have right then, but of course, I haven’t really had a lot of time with them (I tag my images in camera during the game to speed the workflow up — that way the tagged photos show up first when I import them) so once I get home, I go through all the shots again, and do a final upload (within 2 hours of the game ending), but most of those will just wind up being archive photos.

Q. So, what do you do with the rest of the photos?
A. I back them up to two different hard drives, just so I have them in case somebody needs an image down the road, and I might upload the rest of my keepers well after the game just for their archives, but outside of that, the rest are just backed up on my drive. You have to fully caption every single photo in detail, which takes quite a while, so it’s not as easy as just uploading a bunch of images — it’s long, tedious work, but it’s got to be done or your shots have zero chance of being seen or used. 

Q. OK, any words to wrap things up?
A. I hope that gives you some insight into how this all breaks down (well, at least for me). Your mileage may vary.  

Monday
Oct
2013
14

What’s Coming Up This Week

by Scott Kelby  |  31 Comments

> Join me Wednesday Night for a FREE online Webinar called “A Walk in Rome”
I did one of these after my trip to Cuba (called “Connecting with Cuba”) and after last year’s Paris Photo Walk with “A Walk in Paris” and they were really well received, so I thought we’d do one about my images and photo book from Paris last week. If you’re into travel photography, I’ve got lots of practical photography and Photoshop tips for you, PLUS a review of the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-f/6.3 lens for full frame cameras, and I’ll be taking your questions and comments live on the air.

What: “A Walk in Rome” Free Photography Webinar
Where: Here’s the link
When: This Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET

Plus we’ll talking about my Worldwide Photo Walk (I held a local walk in Rome. I’ve got lots of fun stuff to share and some really helpful photo tips,so I hope you can join me (it’s Free) at 7:00 pm ET Wednesday at this link. Also, can you help me spread the word? :) [NOTE: If you can't make the live broadcast, we'll start free rebroadcasts the following day].

> Worldwide Photo Walk Contest Deadline is TODAY at 12pm ET
If you want to get a chance to win some incredible prizes, including a Canon 70D camera (courtesy of the official Photo Walk sponsor, Canon themselves), plus all sorts of other amazing goodies, make sure you get your contest photo uploaded by TODAY at 12pm ET (New York time). Remember, if you don’t enter, you don’t have a chance of winning, so make sure you upload your best photo for a chance to win.

> A Different Perspective on This Past Week’s Photo Industry Scandals, PLUS How to Not Hate HDR (Well, not as much anyway)
This week’s episode of “The Grid” should be a wild one, as we’re talking about the recent scandals within the photography industry (but we have a different perspective on it), and although we’re not going to be able stop people from doing HDR (and we shouldn’t), maybe we can help them spot the telltale signs of “bad HDR” along with how to avoid it. It all starts with admitting you have a problem. LOL!! ;You do not want to miss this episode, which airs (as always) LIVE every Wednesday at 4:00 pm ET at this link. 

> My Shoot Like a Pro Tour is coming to DC
OK, even thought the seminar isn’t this week, I’m giving away two free tickets to the seminar this week, so it kinda counts. Just leave a comment here and you’re entered, and we’ll draw two winners tomorrow. All the details on the seminar are right here.  See you in DC.

> Learn Landscape & Travel Photography from Trey Ratcliff
Here’s the scoop on this just-released online class at Kelby Training Online from renown travel and landscape photographer Trey Ratcliff:

“Join Trey on location in New Zealand as a virtual participant in his landscape photography workshop. From sunrise to sunset, visiting streams, lakes, mountains, and hills, Trey takes you from one incredible setting to the next, all the while sharing his tips, tricks, and techniques for capturing breathtaking landscapes and high dynamic range photos.”

We’re already getting lots of great feedback from this new class, so if you’re a Kelby Training subscriber, you’ll want to catch it right away. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s yet another reason to join. 

> Catch Matt’s Lightroom Basics Class, streaming FREE until Thursday
Each week on Kelby Training Online we stream one of our classes continuously 24-hours-a-day absolutely free (in fact, it’s streaming right this very minute — just jump over there right now (or heck, anytime before Thursday) and watch the entire class, on us. So what happens on Thursday when this class stops? Another class starts streaming continuously for a week. Sweet!

We’re hoping you’ll like learning this this so much that you’ll want access to all our classes (nearly 400) any class, any time, on demand. Here’s the link to join (just in case). :)

OK, it’s a busy week this week. Let’s get to it! (and here’s wishing you a fantastic one!)

Friday
Oct
2013
11

Group Shots From Saturday’s 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

Above: Here’s a short (17-second) iPhone video clip I did before we kicked off my local walk in Rome, Italy. I had a really wonderful, fun, really good-natured group of photographers there in Rome. They totally rocked it! 

Below is a compilation of Group Photos from around the world, sent to me by group leaders and photographers who participated in my World Wide Photo Walk this past Saturday.

I have to tell you, I get such a big smile when I see each and every one of these. I try to imagine what their walk was like, and how much fun it would have been to be at that walk I’m looking at. Everybody looks so happy in these group shots and it just really tickles me each time I see one.

You can see the individual city names (and larger images) over on my Google+ page. Here’s the link:

If you have a group photo, and haven’t sent it to me (or I somehow missed it), I’ll keep updating this Google+ album as they come in. I hope you’ll send in yours because I already know it’ll make me smile. :)

I also wanted to include a group shot from our Rome Photo Walk “lunch meeting spot” at a wonderful little restaurant in Rome called Ristorante Ciccia Bomba (chosen by the wonderful Ashley Turney who helped me plan the entire walk, served as our guide and interpreter, and was just totally cool all the way around. I couldn’t have done the walk without her).

Above: Here’s an iPhone pano from the restaurant Ciccia Bomba. Dig that waiter with the multiple heads and arms (stitching a pano with people moving can produce some, ahem, interesting results). LOL!!! Hey, who is that guy to his left. He looks super cool! ;-)

Above: This shot of my wife Kalebra and me was taken during my photo walk by photographer Miroslav Radosavljevic. It is somewhat plausible that I married ‘up.’ LOL!!! ;-)

OK, I’ve got to hit the sack (I’m back in the States now but my body thinks I’m still on Italy time). Here’s to a great weekend filled with lots of great images, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Cheers,

-Scott

Thursday
Oct
2013
10

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  36 Comments

What Happened To RC?
RC Concepcion and crew went to Gary, Indiana to record our highly anticipated Exposing HDR course.

Sounds great, right? Well, it was going great until something went terribly wrong (we think), but we lost the feed and this is the only footage we have.

What happened to RC and crew? Are they in danger? Will we ever see them again? Will we have to get another instructor for our Exposing HDR course? We don’t know, but you can check in at KelbyTraining.com on Thursday, October 31st at 4pm EDT to find out! You have no idea what will be unveiled!

Lightroom Basics with Matt Kloskowski – Streaming for FREE!
This week’s free KelbyTraining.com class is Lightroom Basics with Matt Kloskowski! The class just started airing yesterday and will run through October 16. All you have to do is go to KelbyTraining.com/onair and sign up for a free account, then click play! Of course, if you want to watch all of the other classes any time you want, you can always sign up for a KelbyTraining.com subscription ;-)

You can also leave a comment here for your chance to win a 1-month subscription!

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

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 – Washington, DC
Oct 29 – Boston, MA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Oct 23 – Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Oct 11 – Portland, OR
Nov 6 – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 1 – Phoenix, AZ

Adobe Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
Oct 16 – Atlanta, GA

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! Don’t forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Fall Into Photography with Books from Peachpit
Want to learn more about sports photography, newborn photography, portrait photography, or just photography in general? Check out these great titles on sale at up to 40% off from Peachpit Press! Pick up books from Scott Kelby, Zack Arias, Peter Read Miller, Jeff Schewe, Bill Frakes and others for as little as $11.99!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of one of these books!

Free Chapter from Nicolesy’s Light & Process: Landscape Photography
Nicole S. Young is giving away a free full chapter from her new eBook and video tutorials set, Light & Process: Landscape Photography! Head on over to Nicolesy.com for more information.

Also, keep an eye out for yesterday’s episode of The Grid, which featured Nicole with Scott and Matt, over at KelbyTV.com and the Kelby Media Group YouTube channel!

Winners
KelbyTraining.com Subscription
-Debbie S

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Todd

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. That’s it for today, have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Oct
2013
09

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Rob Sylvan!

by Brad Moore  |  38 Comments

Lessons from the Help Desk

Greetings! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a chance to give a little something back to you all. Many thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity. You see I have been answering Help Desk questions for NAPP members since 2005. I started out assisting Peter Bauer with Photoshop questions, but once Lightroom 1.0 hit the scene I was tasked with handling all of the Lightroom questions sent to the Help Desk from that point forward. It was truly one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.

Sure, it was a job, but that is not what I mean by the gift I was given. The gift was the education I received as a result of the countless interactions I have had with so many NAPP members over the years. I did indeed learn a lot about Lightroom, and that alone has lead to a number of really great opportunities, but even more important was that I learned a whole lot about how to interact with people; people in a hurry, people at their most vulnerable, and people at their most-frustrated-end-of-their-rope-worst. Believe me when I tell you this is a skill that has served me well in my 16 years of marriage. :-D

It has also served me well in other Help Desk roles I’ve taken on, such as answering customer support tickets for a new stock photography co-op (Stocksy United) I am a member of, and even helping people in the field with The Digital Photo Workshops. Oh, and I answer all of the tech support questions for Kelby Training too.

So, when Brad asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for Scott’s blog I thought I could take the opportunity to share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my many roles as a helper in the hopes that perhaps it may inspire you to become a helper in you own way. I’ve also included a few photos taken around my backyard just to share some of what I do beyond answering questions.

1. You’ll become a better listener.
When you truly step into the role of helping someone the first and most important thing you can do to actually help him or her is to understand what he or she is really saying. I get a fair number of questions that are full of a lot of information that is really not relevant to the core reason this person is reaching out to me. I see it as my job to step back, really read (most of my interactions with folks are via email) what they are saying then focus in on the key issue. Sometimes this requires me to ask a few questions to ferret out the right information, but the rookie mistake is to reply too quickly to what we think someone is saying, and then spiral off into a rabbit hole that leaves both parties feeling frustrated.


Newly hatched bluebird chicks.

2. There’s no shame in knowing what you don’t know.
We pride ourselves on being experts and in being able to solve any problem that comes our way, but the reality is that there are a lot of things I just don’t know. I used to be afraid of those three words (I don’t know), but now I embrace them. I feel it is far better to let the person asking the question know that I honestly don’t know the answer, than to try and bamboozle them with bull-oney to cover up the fact that I don’t. I just come clean, and then we can work on trying to solve the problem together, and hopefully at the end they’ll have a solution and I’ll have some new information for the next person that comes up against the same issue. The person asking the question ends up actually helping himself (or herself), helping me, and then passing it along to others. It just doesn’t get any better than that.


Me tending to my bees.

3. There’s no shame in asking for help.
My wife will get a big kick out of me saying this as I am far better at giving help than asking for it, but I am working on it! I have had the privilege of helping people from all walks of life, all types of professional backgrounds, and a wide range of ages, and what they all had in common was they had a question that I could answer and the self-confidence to ask it. The moment I gave them that one thing they didn’t have before they were free to move on, to stop spinning their wheels, and to get stuff done. Why waste your time digging yourself into a deeper rut when there are so many ways of asking for help these days? I know, I know, I’ll try it myself one day. :-)


A beech leaf floating on the pond.

4. Always remember there’s a real genuine human being on the other end of that question.
Except when I am on a workshop or standing in at the Help Desk Live booth at Photoshop World, most of my help interactions are done via email. As we all know email and text communication can easily become very impersonal. I’m lucky in that I have gotten to meet a great number of people by working at Photoshop World that previously were only emails stacked up in my inbox (see photo below).  However, I will never meet the vast majority of the people I help, but I strive to always conjure up a picture of them in my mind’s eye when replying to their emails as a way to remind myself that they are not just another problem to deal with, but rather a person reaching out for a little guidance. I feel that this comes through in my response, as I have never been accused of talking down to someone or of being disrespectful. I also try to remember this in all those small frustrating interactions we have with each other while standing in line at the grocery check out, waiting at the doctor’s office, and driving on the highway.


My good friend Ed Law at Photoshop World 2013.

5. Answer the question, but also try to increase their understanding.
When someone asks a question there is almost always an opportunity to give them something more to help increase their overall understanding, and quite possibly head off the next question before they even knew they were going to ask it. If job one is understanding the question, and job two is answering the question, then job three in my book is providing them a link, resource, tip, or tidbit that gives them something more to chew on. If someone asks what is the keyboard shortcut to show/hide the Lightroom adjustment brush mask I tell them (press O), then I provide a link to all of the keyboard shortcuts too. It would be quicker in the short-term to just answer the question and hit Send, but by taking a few seconds longer I can give them a resource that gives them more and saves them from having to send in five more questions. That’s a win for both of us.


The view from the side of my house one snowy morning.

Beyond those five things I can tell you that working on the Help Desk is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had, that it must be good for my karma, and it has allowed me to learn Lightroom inside out and upside down. For all of that, and so much more, I am grateful to you all for the opportunity to serve. Hope to see you at Photoshop World!

You can see more from Rob at Lightroomers.com and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He is a photographer, trainer, and author. Aside from also being a NAPP and Kelby Training Help Desk Specialist, and instructor for the Perfect Picture School of Photography and the host of Peachpit’s Lightroom Resource Center. He is a founding member of Stocksy United (a stock photography co-op). Rob writes the “Under the Loupe” column for Photoshop User Magazine, is a regular contributor to Lightroom magazine, and is the author of many photography related books.

Tuesday
Oct
2013
08

Submitting Your Photo To The Worldwide Photo Walk Competition

by Brad Moore  |  9 Comments

Hey everyone, Brad Moore here with a quick update on submitting your photo to the Worldwide Photo Walk competition. RC Concepcion put together a video on editing, exporting, and uploading images to the competition that you can watch above. If you’re short on time, here are some instructions on submitting:

Walkers should log into your account at WorldwidePhotoWalk.com and go to your walk page. There you’ll see a box where you can upload your best photo. The suggested dimensions are 1000px on the longest side at 72dpi, and the maximum file size is 1MB.

Once your image has been uploaded, you will see it on screen and be able to confirm that the correct image uploaded. If you change your mind and want to submit a different image, you will have until the cutoff date (October 14 at 12:00 noon ET) to upload a new image. After that, no changes can be made.

Leaders will not see the upload box during the submission period because they aren’t able to submit a photo to the walker competition. Once the submission period has passed, they’ll see a gallery of images that were submitted and will then be able to choose the winning image from their walk.

Leaders will be getting information on the leader competition from RC once the walker competition is finished.

Page 24 of 462« First...10...2223242526...304050...Last »