Thursday
Mar
2010
04

Join me for a Free Webcast at the just launched ‘Peachpit Photo Club’

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

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My book Publisher, Peachpit Press, has just launched a very cool new project; the Peachpit Photo Club. They invited me as their first guest, and here’s how they describe the whole shebang:

On the third Tuesday of every month, from 8 to 9 p.m. EST (5 to 6 p.m. PST), join us for a webcast featuring your favorite digital photographers, such as Scott Kelby, Chase Jarvis, Chris Orwig, Joe McNally, David duChemin, and many more!

The debut Peachpit Photo Club features Scott Kelby on Tuesday, March 16 at 8 p.m. EST! During this live webcast, photographer and bestselling author Scott Kelby will present some of his work, provide you with some insight and inspiration, and answer your burning questions!

To keep the creative juices flowing, Photo Club members will receive a fun assignment at the end of the session. Members can complete the assignment on their own, or team up with others in their area. Either way, once the assignment is completed, Photo Club members can upload their work to Flickr where your friends at Peachpit, and some of our photography authors, will help critique your work. And of course, there will be a chance for prizes!

The space is limited, but you can register to be a part of the free Webcast with me, right here. Hope to see you there. Well, I won’t see you, but you’ll probably see me, but at least I’ll hear you breathing (OK, actually, I probably won’t, but I’ll know you’re there. Somehow, I’ll just know). :)

Wednesday
Mar
2010
03

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Calvin Hollywood!

by Brad Moore  |  88 Comments

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First of all I really want to thank Scott and his team for the great opportunity to write here about myself and my work.

I am Calvin Hollywood, Photoshop Artist located in Heidelberg, Germany. My major focus is to take photographs of people with the emphasis on the digital image editing with Photoshop.

And there we are right in the middle of the topic: I am addicted to Photoshop :-)

By the way, you are addicted too if:
-    you wake up after a wild night in the bed of someone and you think “STRG + Z”
-    you don’t get older, just harder to retouch
-    you order the meat in your favourite restaurant “RAW” to adjust it yourself
-    your apartments walls have 50% gray color

But what can you do in Photoshop if your starting point material is not really good? I try to get as much done when photographing and only if I can’t get further with photography I start with Photoshop.

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I started photography and image editing in 2005, and since then I have continuously worked on my skills. When friends went to parties, I partied with Photoshop. And the great thing is: It was a lot of fun! Because I learned everything by myself I relied on the Internet, books and training DVDs. These media have been very effective for me and I consumed nearly everything on the market.

In 2006 I started to work with the Photopartner and “Lightguide” I am still working with today. Together we form a great team allowing me to focus on the picture and the image editing.

The work for hire I do contains a lot of portraits of artists and musicians. I love to take pictures of people who are (as I am) very passionate and live their passion.

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But if you want to reach known artists, you have to have a great portfolio of your work. In the beginning I created my portfolio based on pictures I took of friends and family. For these pictures you don’t have pressure regarding time and success – they allow a lot of experimenting.

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My pictures all have an artificial look. Many people think that my pictures are painted. But I really can’t paint, believe me. I shoot my pictures with the camera and give them “the look” in Photoshop.

Likely this is not what most people mean by „photography“, but it is in fact a big part of my imagination.

The techniques I am using for my work are no secret.
I have published more than 7 video tutorial DVDs on the German market and one on the English market. In these publications I explain my techniques and strategies in detail.
I host more than 50 Seminars each year and I am worldwide on the road for companies like Adobe, Wacom, video2brain, etc.

It would be way to many words for this blog article to explain my entire library of techniques, but I would like to explain some selected ones to you.

If you have and further questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email!

The Double RAW Conversion
Most of the time I am converting my RAW files twice.
For this I am using a very thrilling method which I have explained in this YouTube video.

Colorlooks
Rarely I am removing color casts, but many times I am adding color casts to my images.

For this I am using in most cases an adjustment layer „Hue/Saturation“ and the layer blending mode „Soft Light“.
Additionally I activate the check box „colorize“ and then give the image a warm color cast.

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Freaky Details
In order to get all the fine details out of an image, I am using a very freaky method. I would like to show you a short tutorial for this. It has been created during the production of a video tutorial project.

There are so many easy techniques which have major impact on the picture. I think that it is the many small changes to an image, which create the final picture. In my opinion playing with the pictures it is very important and I really suggest it to everybody.
Combine some filters and blending modes.
Try to understand Photoshop.
Don’t underestimate the basics.

Sometimes I am also editing pictures for other photographers, who love the painted and illustrated look.
Below you can see an example of a retouch I have performed for the photographer Martin Krolop.

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My style works especially well if there are a lot of structures and details in the RAW file. That’s why I like to use photos of men a lot :-).

But if I am working on a fashion project, my work-for-hire mainly leads me to female models. But it is also important for me to keep my personal style there.

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It is important to edit the pictures in the individual way of your own emotions.
There will always be people who don’t like what you did.
Stick to what you like and have fun doing it!

I believe that especially in the beginning it is really fine to copy techniques from role models or industry leaders.
I did that all the time in the past.
Copying style and techniques gave me a goal to reach and helped me keeping me on track for my target.
The personal style will automatically appear over time.

I also think it is laughable and absurd to try to keep personal techniques secret.
Photoshop is a tool and the perfect picture is not created by Photoshop.
The feel for the image and the experience working with the tools is separating the wheat from the chaff.

Thank you very much indeed for your interest, and remember: if you have questions you can always drop me an email.

Warm regards,
Calvin

You can see more of Calvin’s work on his website. If you’d like to see more of his teaching, be sure to check it out here!

Tuesday
Mar
2010
02

Matt has found THE Portfolio/Photographer’s Site Layout!

by Scott Kelby  |  46 Comments

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My good friend, and D-Town TV co-host Matt Kloskowski has been working on a portfolio site for his photography, and when he came in and showed it to me last week, I was just like, “Dude—that’s the portfolio site everybody wants!”

He had been keeping his eye out for a while for an easily up-datable, flexible, inexpensive solution, but this is actually more than that , and I think he just totally nailed it!. I think it really compliments his photography, and at the same time, it makes you want to look around and see what else is there (and there’s lot of stuff there). Take a moment and check out Matt’s fantastic photography, and his very cool new site.

NOTE: Matt is in Dubai right now, teaching at the Gulf Photo conference, but I’m doing to send him a text to let me know that I ran this post, and hopefully if he gets a chance he can answer some of your questions about his site.

Tuesday
Mar
2010
02

Photoshop in DC Rocks!

by Scott Kelby  |  14 Comments

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Thanks to the nearly 800 photographers who came out to spend the day with me in Washington DC yesterday for my “Photoshop CS4 for Digital Photographers Tour.”

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The DC crowd is just absolutely a blast to present to, and I had such a fun time teaching the class, and meeting lots of new people. Jeff Revell stopped by the seminar, as did Rob from Towner Jones photography (Got an update from Rob on the final numbers for the Worldwide PhotoWalk T-Shirts sales that he coordinated, and it’s amazing—$7,000+ raised for the Springs of Hope Orphanage just from those t-shirt sales).

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Anyway, I had such a wonderful time, and I hope you guys did, too. Thanks for hospitality and hope to see you guys again soon!

Monday
Mar
2010
01

My First Soccer Shoot: The U.S. Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador

by Scott Kelby  |  54 Comments

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Even though I had never shot a soccer match before (or what the rest of the world calls Football, or futball), I was totally psyched to get the opportunity to shoot the U.S. Men’s National Team vs. El Salvador match played in my hometown of Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. [Click on the photos for much larger views].

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I Needed Some Shooting Help
Since this was my first time shooting soccer, I really wanted to get some shooting tips from someone who really knew the game, and knew how to shoot it, so I thought who better to ask than the guy who won the “Shooting from the Sidelines with Scott & Mike” contest, Alex Walker (who won the competition with a stunning shot of his son during a soccer match).

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Alex was incredibly gracious with his time and talents, and sent me not only loads of tips, and techniques he learned from shooting his son’s games over the years, but his son even pointed out particular players on the US Team to key on during the game. I can’t tell you how helpful this was, and I followed Alex’s advice the entire time and it really made a difference. (Note: Alex’s stuff was so helpful, and so detailed, that I told him it would make a great Guest Blog post. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll do one for us).

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Predicting The Future Must Be Harder Than It Looks
The Weather Channel online forecast showed a 10% chance of rain at game time, so I almost didn’t take any rain gear at all, but at Brad’s insistence I threw some into the trunk of my car before heading to the stadium. As it turned it, it rained non-stop the entire first half of the game (thanks Braddo!), but luckily I was wearing a hoodie and a ballcap, so the rain didn’t cause that much of a problem for me personally, but my gear needed some protection. (Photo of me above by Ron Metz).

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Bring the Rain!
The last time I needed rain gear was when I was shooting the Outback Bowl on New Years day, and I had some camera rain gear made by Kata that my buddy Dave Moser had bought me for my birthday the year before, so I took that along for the Bowl game.

I know Kata makes great stuff (I have a Kata backpack camera bag which is incredibly well made), but I just didn’t really like their rain gear. It was kind of clunky to use, and for whatever reason it just didn’t click with me, so I saw another photographer using AquaTech rain gear and asked him how he liked it. He didn’t, but said he heard that Think Tank Photo had just come out with some rain gear that he heard good things about, so he was switching to that.

That was all it took for me (I’m a Think Tank Freak), so I immediately ordered my Think Tank rain gear the next day, and that’s what Brad threw in my trunk.

This was the first time I got to shoot using the Think Tank rain gear, and I have to say—I was thoroughly impressed. Of course, it did the job of keeping my camera body and lens dry, but working with it felt really great, and I was totally comfortable with it from the get go. Beyond that, it has all those little things that Think Tank does with their stuff that let you know this was not only designed by a photographer, but that the photographer who designed it actually uses this stuff. Highly recommended (by the way—-if you’re thinking of getting some of their gear, read this link first—it’s the third paragraph).

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Camera Gear and Settings
Since it was raining like it was, and I only had rain gear for one camera (and I wasn’t shooting on assignment), I shot with only one camera the entire game, my Nikon D3 with a 200-400mm f/4 lens mounted on a Gitzo tripod. This was  a night game, so I shot at 4,000 ISO the entire game to get my shutter speed up to 1/1000 of a second to freeze the action (though a couple of times I noticed it fell down to 1/800 or even 1/640. I should have turned on Auto ISO, right?).

By the way, Ron Metz (who took the shot of me in the rain you saw earlier), was shooting a 400mm f/2.8 lens, and by shooting at f/2.8 (rather than f/4 like me) he was able to keep his shutter speed around 1/1000 at an ISO of only 1,250. That gives you some idea of why we’re always going on and on about really “fast glass.” I did a live on-location demo of this whole “fast glass” thing and shooting sports indoors for one of the next episodes of D-Town TV.

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Post Processing
I started with the usual exposure and cropping adjustments in Lightroom, and the occasional vigetting (that’s all I did there), but then I took the images over to Photoshop to apply lots of contrast to the player’s uniforms, socks, and shoes (but not to their skin), and in some shots I applied a little to the grass playing field as well. I added the contrast using two filters; Topaz Adjust and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 3.0 (I applied the filters to a duplicate of the Background layer, then added a layer mask and just painted over their uniforms). You really have to be careful using these contrast effects when you have out-of-focus backgrounds, because it really looks funky (for lack of a better term) —it looks crazy over-processed.

Important Note
I added this extra detail and contrast because I was not on assignment, so these are pretty much for me and I can take lots of liberties with how they’re post processed. Had I been on assignment (I shoot for Southcreek Global Media) I would not have added the enhanced contrast look, and would have just tweaked the exposure, cropping, and sharpening in Lightroom and that’s it.

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The Bottom Line
I absolutely loved shooting this game, and it actually was a lot more fun to shoot than I had anticipated (especially since the US Team won 2 to 1), but what I loved about shooting it was the non-stop action of soccer. Don’t let the low scoring throw you—there is a lot of action, almost non-stop during the game, so you don’t have to wait around for a shot on goal to capture some great action. There is so much happening on the field that you just keep your eye to the camera the whole time, and I loved that.

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Although I got a couple of shots I liked OK, I know I can do a lot better with more experience, and shooting my first soccer match just reinforced the fact to make great shots of anything, it requires a lot of practice, and I definitely need that. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other opportunities to shoot soccer in the future, because the only way I’m going to get better is to go out there and do it, so that’s what I’m going to try and do.

A very special thanks to my good buddy Jim Workman for helping me get the media credentials in the first place, and for giving me the opportunity to try something new. It rocked!

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Wait, One More Thing!!!!!
I have a favor to ask. If you’ve got a sec, click on this link to jump to a page to vote for Tampa, Florida as the site for the 2018 World Cup supported by the MSL, US Soccer and other heavyweights in the field. It has information about the World Cup and the events leading up to it as well. Thanks much–Scott. :)

Monday
Mar
2010
01

“Captured By the Light;” David Ziser’s Groundbreaking New Book for Wedding Photographers

by webeditor  |  32 Comments

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Hi Gang: I just got my first copy of David Ziser’s amazing new wedding photography book, “Captured by the Light” and it is even more amazing than I thought it would be! I’ve only worked as Editor on two books in my career—Joe McNally’s “The Moment it Clicks” and now this book. Watch the quick video below to hear why David had to be the guy to write this book, and why it’s going to be the best thing to happen to Wedding Photographers in years.

The book is now in stock at Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com.

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