Monday
Jun
2015
15

Check Out My New Lightroom Q and A Column in Lightroom Magazine

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

Hi Gang:  Just wanted to let you KelbyOne members out there to know that I’ve kicked off a new Lightroom Q&A column in Lightroom magazine (this is our new “magazine within a magazine” that comes inside each issue of Photoshop User magazine, which is published in print and digital 10-times a year for KelbyOne members. 

In the magazine I’m answering many of the great questions that are posted by our readers over at LightroomKillerTips.com readers  (thank you for that), so if you’re a KelbyOne member, keep an eye out for the new issue of Photoshop User, and my new column in Lightroom Magazine.”

Hope you all have a great Monday, and make sure you stop back by tomorrow – I’ve got some really cool stuff lined up! :)

Best,

-Scott

 

Friday
Jun
2015
12

It’s Guest Blog Friday featuring Nick Fancher!

by Brad Moore  |  11 Comments

[Note from Brad: Nick was getting questions about this topic after his first guest blog, so he offered to do a follow-up post about it. Enjoy!]

Additive Color Theory and How to Have Fun with Flash Gels
Since the success of my guest post last month, I have received a few emails from people wanting to know the process behind the multi-colored, multi-shadowed image.


Flash setup


Final image

I will now break it down for you, starting from the beginning.

My absolute favorite publication and source of constant inspiration (and self-doubt) is Interview Magazine. A few months ago, there was an interview and editorial of Game of Thrones actor Michael Huisman, shot by master Sølve Sundsbø. Being the lighting phenom that he is, Sundsbø once again peeled back my brain with his insanely gorgeous and experimental images of the actor. And being the lighting nerd that I am, I immediately started trying to reverse engineer his techniques, based on shadow hardness and direction.

I could tell that he was using 3-4 hard (un-modified) lights from the side. It just so happens that I own 3 speedlites, so I immediately set up a test shoot with the first model that was available (I am an impatient guy). I locked in Stephnaie Flor, a illustration major from a local art college, and I met her in the hallway outside her classroom (after all, all I needed was 15 minutes and a white wall). In Sundsbø’s image, difference in flash distance from the subject was the cause, I reasoned, for varying opacities in shadow. So I set up the three flashes, a bit lower than her head, keeping six inches between them and staggering them one foot in front of another.


Flash setup


Successful homage to Sundsbø

I was happy with the results, but wanted to play with the technique a bit more.

A week or so after this experiment, I found myself thinking a lot about additive color theory. I had taken a color theory course in college and had really enjoyed it. I loved learning that there is a science behind which colors complement each other and why. I had also learned about how to balance the Cyan, Magenta and Yellow adjustments in the darkroom, with the color enlargers. For reasons unknown to me, I had started thinking back to what I had learned about different color theories- specifically CMYK and RGB and the difference between the two. I was fuzzy on the info, so I looked it up. To sum up, when red, green and blue light overlap, they create cyan, magenta and yellow light. When cyan, magenta and yellow light overlaps, white light is created.

It just so happened that my flash gel kit contains cyan, magenta and yellow gels and I own three flashes. Serendipity. So I grabbed a vase of flowers (best thing I could find in the five minutes I spent looking) and set up a product shot.


Flash setup

I had no preconceived notion of what the resulting image would look like, or if the experiment would even work at all. I was just experimenting on a slow day of work. I placed one flash on either side of the flowers and one directly overhead, zooming the flash heads in to 105mm. I aimed the heads so that they would all intersect on the flower vase.  And wouldn’t you know it- it worked!


Cyan + Magenta + Yellow = White Light

The cool, unexpected thing that I came from the experiment was the unplanned, happy accidents.  I hadn’t accounted for the chaos factor. For example, if one flower petal or leaf blocked the yellow strobe from lighting part of the vase, only the cyan and magenta light was illuminating it, resulting in a purple shadow. Likewise, if the magenta light was blocked, only cyan and yellow light was mixing, creating a green shadow. And so on. The layered colors didn’t just create white light, but it created a layered, complex light. Compare the previous shot to this shot, lit with un-gelled lights…


Un-gelled flashes

Kinda bring, right? Now to try with a real life model.

This is when the two experiments came together in my mind. I found myself connecting the dots between the shoot with Stephanie, where I staggered three flashes, and the shoot with the flowers, where I was arranged three, gelled lights. What if I arranged the lights the same way I did with Stephanie, but they were gelled cyan, magenta and yellow? Why wouldn’t it work? Well it sure as hell would, and did.


Raw file

As with the flower experimentation, I was figuring out the process as I went. When all three flashes overlapped, white light was created on the model, resulting in a black shadow. Also, like with the flower, when one of the three colors was blocked by part of the model, only two of the colors were able to mix, resulting in multi-colored shadows.


Cyan, magenta, and yellow light overlapped to create white light, resulting in black shadows

Once I saw the kind of colorful chaos that was created when parts of the body blocked a color, I immediately knew that I needed to photograph a dancer, using this method. So I reached out to my ballerina friend, Kristie Latham, and asked her to come by ASAP. I had her bring a white outfit and a black outfit option. For this shoot, I actually needed to use a white sweep, rather than a wall, since I wanted to capture a seamless shadow (with no floor to wall transition). I prefaced the shoot by directing her to place her arms, hands, legs, whatever, between herself and the flashes as she moved, in order to create multi-colored shadows on her body. It worked splendidly.


Clean light, multi-colored shadow


When a body part comes between Kristie and the light, a multi-colored shadow is created

All that to say… experiment! If work is slow, try new techniques. Don’t have any ideas? Go pick up a magazine and reverse engineer an interesting lighting scenario and try it out. Even if you fail at recreating it exactly, you’ve learned something in the process, which is a win.

If you enjoyed this experimenting process with me, you may also enjoy my new book, Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations.

You can see more of Nick’s work at NickFancher.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and YouTube.

Thursday
Jun
2015
11

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  23 Comments

Become A Marketing Genius with Joel Grimes
Learn how to thrive in the marketplace! There’s no talk of f-stops or lighting in this class. Join Joel Grimes for a cold hard look at what it takes to go from sitting in the stands to playing on the field by upping your marketing game. It is possible for you to make a living in photography, but it takes more than just being a good photographer. You need also need to be good at marketing yourself, your work, and what you can do that sets you apart from your competition. Joel shares the wisdom he’s learned and earned from years of knocking on doors, making cold calls, and (eventually) getting the clients he was after. If he can do it, so can you.

An Analysis of Light Shaping Tools with Joe McNally
The job of a light modifier is to take a raw blast of light and shape it, contain it, and make it work for the kind of shot you are trying to create. Join Joe McNally for a clinical look at a range of light shaping tools in a sterile studio environment to help inform your ability to extrapolate out their performance into the real world. Starting with a series of light modifiers for small flash, Joe demonstrates how each one works while using the same subject, and catalogs the effect each light shaping tool has on the light source and the subject. From there Joe moves on to analyze a series of light modifiers designed for studio strobes in the same circumstances. When the analysis is complete it is time to move the lights, light shaping tools, and subject out into a variety of real world locations to put what has been learned into practice.

Photoshop World
We’re only a couple of months away from Photoshop World, and you can use the promo code PSWDAD to save $50 on a full conference registration! If you haven’t already booked your trip, make sure you reserve a room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. You’ll be closer to all the action, have a shorter walk from your room to classes, and stay where the instructors stay.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a key to the instructor’s hotel room of your choice! Wait, no, not that. I meant… for your chance to go to RC Concepcion’s pre-conference workshop, Lightroom Crash Course!

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Ben Willmore 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
July 14 – London, UK
Sept 22 – Phoenix, AZ
Sept 28 – Austin, TX

The Moment It Clicks with Joe McNally
June 15 – Lansing, MI
June 17 – Nashville, TN
July 13 – Ottawa, ON
July 15 – Calgary, AB
July 17 – Toronto, ON

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
June 19 – Seattle, WA
Aug 4 – Kansas City, MO
Aug 6 – St. Louis, MO

These are just some of the upcoming dates for these seminar tours. You can find the full calendar of events right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

Madeline Island Lake Superior Workshop with Vincent Versace
Want to spend a week with Vincent Versace as he shares tips and teaches lessons on shooting, processing, and printing amazing images? Check out his Madeline Island Workshop happening July 20-24! During the workshop, Vincent will cover bokeh, depth of field, weather, gesture, black and white, shape and color, and more. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have learned how to set yourself up for success from the point of capture through making the print. It all takes place in the Madeline Island region of Lake Superior, and you can learn more right here.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of Vincent’s book, From Oz To Kansas!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- D Israel

If that’s you we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Jun
2015
10

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring James Hole!

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Firstly thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity, and also thanks to Glyn Dewis for introducing me.

Hi Everyone, My names James Hole, I’m from Brighton, UK and I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity to guest post on Scott’s blog today.

I began my journey in photography at the end of 2012, when a friend asked me to take a couple of DJ promo shots for him. I didn’t really know anything about photographing people or using and shaping light. So I chucked a speed light (I bought on eBay that same week) on a light stand armed with a snoot fashioned from a bunch of drinking straws, I watched a couple of YouTube videos and believe it or not the shoot actually went ok. I clearly remember that moment when I began looking at everything differently, realising that I wasn’t limited to just what was in front of me to make a picture. With these basic tools I could create an image that looked completely different from the way a scene appeared to the eye. An idea that continues to excite me every time I make a picture.

At the time I was in the construction industry. I’d been looking for a career change for a while and had been considering going back to college. I decided that I’d see where this could take me, so I began reaching out to friend and picked up a bunch of small shoots and managed to get paid a little bit for them. I was just happy to be taking pictures. A little later on I decided with the support of my wife, I was going to give it shot full time. That was about mid-2013 and things have been going well since.

One of the most important things in starting my career was the personal work, the friends and family that I worked with to create a small portfolio. I can attribute the beginning of my career to one particular image. It was an idea I’d had for a while to photograph my Dad playing guitar on the deck at the back of my house. I put the shoot together in about 10 mins and shot for another 10 mins while my wife was cooking dinner one evening. The same day I’d had some ND filters arrive in the post that I was desperate to try out. The image above is the result of that test. The sun was setting (the flare is real, I only colour toned the shot) I popped a strobe in an umbrella and used about 5 stops of ND. I was so excited, I posted it up everywhere! About two weeks later I was asked to quote for an ad campaign and that shot was the main reference for the campaign.

I realised recently when deciding what to write in this guest post that I hadn’t been shooting like this anywhere near enough recently. So this is a reminder for me too, to get out and make images that excite me and push me in the direction I want to be going in!

Make work you love, not what you think people want to see!

If I could share a few things I’ve learned during my short career it would be.

1) You need to be excited about the work you’re creating. It shows through.

2) Network! People like to work with people they know and like.

3) Show your work! Don’t keep waiting till you have this or that ready to be ready to show, tell your audience it’s on its way with a teaser at the very least. Potential clients can’t see something that isn’t out there to be seen! (I’d recommend reading Show Your Work and Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon for inspiration on this).

I’m in the early stages of my career and far from having it all figured out, but I’m excited and grateful to have the opportunity to keep making images and see where this journey will take me. At the moment I am concentrating on editorial and commercial portraits and carving a path into the entertainment industry. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading my post and possibly found something interesting or useful to takeaway.

If you’d like to stay in touch with James, drop him a line on Twitter or Instagram, and check out more of his work at JamesHolePhoto.com

The views and opinions expressed in the Guest Blog series are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scott Kelby or Kelby Media Group.

Tuesday
Jun
2015
09

Wanna see a really old, yet really cool Lightroom trick?

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

Yesterday I gave a shout-out to Kristina Sherk’s new class on KelbyOne on high-end skin retouching techniques, and this is absolutely nothing like that. LOL!!

I ran across this tutorial of hers last night on YouTube and when I saw the headline, “How to create Lens Flare in Lightroom 4″ I just assumed that she started in Lightroom; jumped over to Photoshop to use the Lens Flare filter, and then jumped back. Pretty standard stuff, right?

I was wrong. She does it ALL in Lightroom (and it’s a very clever method). So much so that it’s double-Kristina shout-out Tuesday here on my blog. Here’s the video:

That’s pretty clever, right! :)

Hope that makes your Tuesday a little more fun.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. This will work in Camera Raw, too, but of course there is already a Lens Flare filter in Photoshop, so…ya know. 

Monday
Jun
2015
08

Five Quick Things For Monday

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

Morning everybody, and welcome to “late post” Monday! Just a few quick things:

1. Quick Lightroom Skin Retouching Tip
Today I posted a quick tip on Skin Retouching in Lightroom over at LightroomKillerTips.com, based on a question I was asked at my seminar in Hartford on Friday. Here’s the link to that tip, but if you want more pro-level stuff in Photoshop, check out Kristina Sherk’s just-released online class on “High-end Skin Retouching” over at our site (here’s the link to her class – it’s getting rave reviews!).

2. Why didn’t anybody tell me Van Halen released a new live Album with David Lee Roth?
I saw them in Tampa a year or so ago when they just kicked off their new tour, and they sounded great live (but the iTunes review comments are pretty mean all the way around. Ack! Anyway, I just previewed some of the songs and it sounds OK to me). I’m in that group of folks that feels like Van Halen isn’t “Van Halen” without David Lee Roth up front!

3. More Helpful Features from Exposure.com
My favorite online photo-storytelling site keeps getting better and better — Exposure.co has added a new text-only feature for folks who want to have a story block without having to have an image to go with it. If you’ve got a sec, here’s a link to my photo stories over at exposure.

4. Very proud of RC!
Next Saturday he’ll be in NYC to see his work hanging in the Joshua Liner Gallery there – how cool is that! If you missed the whole story on Friday, here’s the link. Very cool stuff (and very proud and excited for RC!)

5. I’ve been trying out a new lens!
It’s just a loaner, so I only have it for a few more days, but Canon’s new 11-24mm is one of my favorite lenses ever! Super sharp all the way to the edges, and that super wideness is super awesome! Hope to have some test shots soon — I’m working on two shoots where it would be awesome (my shoot in Hartford this past week fell through, so I’m onto something new). I will say this — I’ve yet to shoot it anywhere near 24mm — it’s all 11 to 15mm range stuff (mostly 11) as many of you know (link) that I’m not a fan of 24mm (I really like a much wider lens, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now to shoot a full frame body with 11mm super-wide, and let me tell you it is sweet!).

OK, gotta run – hope you all have a fairly decent to on the verge of awesome Monday, and we’ll see ya here tomorrow where I hope to actually have a proper post written and in place sometime late tonight. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. When I mentioned retouching stuff earlier, I didn’t mention this but I’m teaching a class called “Retouching Faces” at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo coming up in August. You can see the full schedule of classes here. 

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