Monday
Feb
2010
08

Shooting the SuperBowl in Miami Last Night

by Scott Kelby  |  51 Comments

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OK, there is a slight distinction in the headline you see above from my normal football game coverage—I didn’t say “shooting from the sidelines.” This time, I actually shot from up in the stands, because I didn’t have sidelines credential.

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Now, if you’re wondering how I got some “big glass” into the game, here’s the trick. The NFL has a rule that a spectator can’t bring a lens that’s more than 6 inches long (15.25 cm) into the stadium, and they measure the length as you come through the security. So, I measured my beloved Nikon 70-300mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 VR lens, and it measures (without the lens hood, and attached to a camera body), about 5-3/4″—just under the wire, so they let me in with it.

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I shot with a D700, so to get even closer (I was a ways back from the field), I used the DX crop, so although it got me in much closer than I would set at full frame, it does crop your image down to 6 megapixels.

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Our seats (I went with my brother-in-law), were right on the goal line, so when the action was down on our end of the field, we both took some shots, but when they went past the 50-yard-line in the opposite direction, we pretty much just put down our cameras and watched the game.

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The half-time show was absolutely amazing to see in person (and especially seeing them build that huge stage and lightshow in less than 6 minutes). The Who sounded just fantastic in person (much better than I expected), and the stage looked so cool I had to snap a few shots of them, too (but again, I didn’t really have the right access or the right lens, but it was fun shooting them anyway).

Although I didn’t get a sidelines pass, as I was walking into the Stadium, I ran into my buddy Jeff Snyder from Adorama, who had sideline media credentials, along with his son (who was shooting his 9th Super Bowl). You can check out his blog about shooting Super Bowl week right here.

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As I write this, I’m back in my hotel room in Miami (heading back home first thing in the morning), and I really had a blast. A good friend hooked me up with the tickets, and we hung out with him and his family during the game, and just had an amazing time (plus the Saints won, and as an NFC guy, with a few buddies as die-hard Saints fans too, I had to root for New Orleans, but honestly, I thought the Colts would take it. Glad they didn’t though!).

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Saw lots of celebrities at a party before the game (Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Harry Connick, Jr. [he's told me he's been using Photoshop since version 1.0], Jerry Rice, LL Cool J, Hillary Swank, and we saw Brad Pitt and John Travolta a little later).

What a fun day. I know, I know—the fun’s over—now back to work. :)

Monday
Feb
2010
08

Ken Got His Guitar (and The Springs of Hope Orphanage got $2,500)

by Scott Kelby  |  13 Comments

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Ken Toney, regular commenter here on the blog, won the raffle we did for the “Photoshop Guys Signature Guitar” and he sent me the shot above of the guitar, in its display case, hanging on the wall of his office (which is pretty sweet, by the way). Click on the photo for a larger view.

The raffle raised nearly $2,500 for the Springs of Hope Orphanage, and then we raised another $1,300+ from the off camera flash t-shirts (which are still available, in four stunning styles by the way), right here.

Also, we raised an additional $1,000 through this blog’s affiliate program with Think Tank Photo, (makers of the most awesome camera bags I’ve ever used) so if you’re thinking of buying any Think Tank gear (over $50), use this link and: (1) You’ll get a cool freebie from Think Tank (see below), and (2) 100% of the affiliate fee goes directly to the orphanage.

Here are the free Think Tank Goodies you get to choose from:

  • Cable Management 20 ($19.95) Link
  • Modular Pouch ($19.95)  Link
  • Pixel Pocket Rocket ($16.50) Link
  • Security Tag ($25.00)  Link

Anyway, all totally cool stuff, for a really important cause.

Thanks to Ken for sharing the photo, and thanks to you all for helping to support the great kids from the Spring of Hope Kenya Orphanage.

Friday
Feb
2010
05

Engadget Turns Off Comments. On Some Level, I Understand.

by Scott Kelby  |  66 Comments

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Is it any coincidence that just a few days after Apple’s iPad was announced, Engadget.com, probably the leading tech blog on the planet (who blogged the announcement live as it happened), announced that they were turning off reader comments for a while. As a longtime reader and fan of Engadget, I have to tell you I was shocked.

Here’s what they said:

“Hey guys, we know you like to have your fun, voice your opinions, and argue over your favorite gear, but over the past few days the tone in comments has really gotten out of hand. What is normally a charged — but fun — environment for our users and editors has become mean, ugly, pointless, and frankly threatening in some situations… and that’s just not acceptable.”

Click here to read their post, and why they did it. Thankfully, it appears that they have reopened comments once again, but I have to tell you, on some level, especially after some of the comments here concerning my iPad post, I kind of understand why they did it.

Here on this blog I feel very fortunate that we have built such a great community that it usually isn’t an issue (unless you mention Apple of course, and then all bets are off). However, a lot of bloggers I’ve talked with have decided to turn off commenting permanently, and they are stunned that I don’t at least moderate the comments here before they’re released. My policy has been—-if you make a comment—it goes up immediately, and so far that hasn’t been a problem.

That being said, here’s my policy: you can disagree with me—no sweat (and if you’ve read this blog for any time, you know that happens on about a daily basis)—-just don’t be mean about it. If you’re really mean to me, or to anyone else here, there’s a pretty decent chance I’ll just go and delete your comment (this isn’t The New York Times after all).

If you post a comment here and you get a message saying it’s awaiting moderation, that means you’ve probably put some web links in your post, and my spam filter thinks it’s a spam comment, but it’s not entirely sure, so it holds it for me to check it out. The problem is—I might not get to check it out until the end of the day, so your best bet is not to include a bunch of outside links. One isn’t usually a problem, but two or more and it’ll hold it for moderation.

I get literally hundreds of spam ads comment attempts here each day, most of them put there by automated spam bots, and believe me—you don’t want them to get through. Many are absolutely filthy (shockingly so in some cases), and besides, you probably already have enough Viagra, Cialis, and discount fine watches to last you for a while, right? ;-)

Anyway, I thought it was sad to see things get so bad at Engadget that it came to that. Again, I understand, but it was still sad. I surely don’t ever want to see that happen here, so as we move forward, even if I do wind up mentioning a topic you feel very passionate about (Apple), just remember we’re all friends here (except for Brad Moore. If he posts anything—blast him!). ;-)

Thursday
Feb
2010
04

Thursday News Quickies

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

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The Hottest Event Of the Summer: The Nik Summit
Nik Software, the company behind plug-ins I can’t live without, like Color Efex Pro 3.0, Silver Efex, and Viveza 2, is launching a very special event this May in San Diego called, “The Nik Summit” where they’re bringing together a group of top photographers (including the likes of Tony Corbell, Joe McNally, and Rick Sammon no less) and top instructors for a very cool creativity/training experience, and you’re invited.

If you’ve got a sec, check out their event site, and see if this just doesn’t sound cool as anything! Here’s the link.

If you Shoot Macro, You Gotta Get This T-Shirt!
Photographer Dan Stroka came up with just a very clever shirt for any photographer into Macro. I won’t spoil it (you have to see it yourself—you’ll crack up), but here’s the link.

Thanks to this week’s Guest Blogger, Joshua Black Wilkins
I think Brad’s idea of giving us a peek into the world of famous photographers, through their full-time assistants, is really fascinating and entertaining, and learning about folks like Joshua, and his story, how he got there, and where he’s going is just very cool. Thanks Joshua for sharing your story with us.

Contest for Photographing Children
Ginny Felch, who has the top-selling book on how to photograph children, is running a very compelling contest over on her blog for children’s photography, and the winner gets a copy of Lightroom. Here’s the link with all the details. (NOTE: Besides the contest, she’s got a great blog, with lot of great photography—definitely worth a visit).

Don’t be the last person in the world to enter Adorama’s iPhone contest
There are already over 5,000 entries—why isn’t yours in there? (OK, maybe yours is, but you know what I mean). It doesn’t cost anything to enter, and the prizes are insane (be aware though, that’s the same term that my son uses to describe the taste of a “Chicken Nugget” as in, “Dad, have you ever actually tasted a chicken nugget? They’re ‘Insane!” By the way, he actually said that, and I couldn’t stop laughing for two solid days). ;-) Anyway, here’s how to enter: (1) Look at the photos on your iPhone. (2) Find a really good one. (3) Enter the contest here. (4) Sit back and wait for prizes to rain upon you (or not, depending on how you did in Step 2. By the way: when you finally do see the winning photo (which hasn’t been chosen yet—there’s still time to enter), you’ll see it and think to yourself, “Oh man, I should have entered.” That, I can guarantee! OK, now go and enter.

New Online Class: Fixing Photographic Problems with Photoshop with Dave Cross
This class just went up live on Kelby Training Online, and just today I saw two emails from students who were raving about the class (despite the fact that much of it was in Canadian). ;-) Here’s the link. Also, thanks to everybody whose been sharing feedback and helping us get the kinks out of our cool new player. It’s coming right along, with more fixes (and new features) coming, so many thanks you guys.

It’s 12:50 am. I’m hitting the sack.
I hope you guys have a great Thursday—-in fact, I hope it’s your best Thursday yet! See ya tomorrow for some Fridayesque stuff.

Thursday
Feb
2010
04

News: Cool New Weekly Photoshop Podcast from Dave Cross

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

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Did I say “Podcast?” I meant “Padcast.” (Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself). ;-)  Seriously though—Dave came up with a great idea for a weekly podcast—it’s called “Ask Dave” (with Dave Cross) and basically you ask Dave Photoshop questions, and he answers them (Dave knows Photoshop on a crazy level).

I love this new show—–it’s short, sweet, and right to the point. Here’s the link to watch the first episode on KelbyTV, and here’s the link for submitting your questions to Dave on Twitter. Congrats Dave on launching your new show! (also catch Dave each week on the new Photoshop User TV).

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