Hey gang, just a quick update on where we are on the Worldwide Photo Walk.

Let’s look at the numbers first, cause they’re awesome!

(1) We had 24,338 walkers participate
(2) We had 1,068 walks organized around the world
(3) We have raised (so far), over $24,000+ for the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya (which is more than double what we raised last year. This is a BIG awesome win!! Whoo Hoo!!!)

Thank you to all the leaders who gave their time and expertise; thanks to everybody who joined a walk, and of course a big thank you to everyone who bought a t-shirt or donated to the Orphanage. What a blessing this will be for them (and for you, too!).

Now, some housekeeping stuff:

(1) The deadline to enter the main photo contest is…
Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 12:00 Midnight EDT.

To enter your image (which must have been taken during the official walk), go to the WorldwidePhotoWalk official web site; log-in with your user name and password; then from the top right side of the menu bar select “Your Walk.” Then, on your walk page, go to the Contest Tab (as shown below), and click on the photo contest button (shown circled in red below).


Our contest this year is handled by the folks at ViewBug. They’ll ask you to create a free ViewBug account, and you can submit your one image to the photo competition there.




(2) The deadline for the Leader photo contest is…
…the same as above for the walkers (Sunday, Oct. 16th, 2016); go to the site; log-in with your user name and password, and from the Leader’s Dashboard, in the top menu click on “Photo Walk” and from the pop-down menu choose “Your Photo Walk.” Then click on the Contest tab, and you’ll see a button for “Enter Leader Contest” (as shown above).

That’s it for now. Lots more contests and fun coming up, including the “Video Contest” (with an awesome prize from Canon USA our awesome sponsor — more on this next week), plus the People’s Choice Awards, and the announcement of all the finalists and winners.

Hope you found that helpful. Make sure you stop back tomorrow for a very special guest blog/tribute to one of the true greats in our industry.




Going to Photo Plus Expo in a couple of weeks? Come Shoot Portraits with Me!
Hi gang — it’s Monday. Here’s what’s up: If you’re going to Photo Plus Expo in New York, I want to tell you about a hands-on “Portraits on location” workshop I’m doing with the folks from Lexar Memory.

It’s limited to a small group of people, and we’re going to head out into the streets of Manhattan with two professional models. I’ll explain the technique, then you’ll split into two groups and try out the same techniques yourself with the models. We’ll be using both natural light and flash, and we’ll pack a lot into those two-hours — you’ll learn a bunch, and you’ll be shooting’ plenty the whole time.

Here’s the link to sign up for the workshop

These workshops [Photo Plus Expo calls them “Photo Walks” but they’re really hands-on workshops], are very limited to the number of participants, so if you want to join me (and Brad), then sign up right now before it’s sold out.

Another side of Street Photography on “Photography Live and Uncut”
I recently was a guest on the UK-based Web show “Photography Live and Uncut” with host Paul Griffiths (great host, and really nice guy), and we got “into it” on the topic of Street Photography. It’s a discussion you don’t hear very often, and if you’ve got a few minutes, just let this run in the background — it’s more entertaining than a Presidential Debate (but then, what isn’t?). ;-)


Honored to be included in “Get Inspired” Magazine
It’s a magazine of creative inspiration and in their current issue (issue #31) they included one of my portraits, and I’m very excited and honored to be included among such great photographers in this issue. Here’s the link to download the magazine.


Photographers in Charlotte and Sacramento — I’m headed your way!
I’m in Charlotte next Monday, the 17th, and then I’m in Sacramento the next week, on the 24th, with my full day seminar. Hope you can come out and spend the day with me. 🙂

That’s it for today! Hope yours is a great one!




Above: My MacBook Pro in the photo workroom, secured with “The Ledge” and cable lock.

A couple of weeks ago I covered the Bucs home game vs. the LA Rams, and I tried out a new lock for my MacBook Pro Retina laptop called “The Ledge” from (while I’m out on the field, my laptop is back in the photo workroom, and I don’t like to leave it there unattended without it being locked down).


Above: Here’s the cable lock I keep in my Thinktank Laptop bag.

Why we need a separate lock today
The MacBook Pros’ used to have a built-in slot for attaching a lock directly to the body itself, and I used a MacBook cable lock back then, and it worked perfect. But then in 2012, with the newer, thinner MacBooks, Apple sadly did away with that locking slot on the body, so I had to find another solution, and had the only decent solution I could find, which had you attaching a lightweight, yet strong, thin horizontal bar along the bottom rear of your MacBook, and on the end there was a slot where you inserted the lock (here’s the link to that review here on the blog). While it did add a long bar to the back of your MacBook, it did the job well (I still have my MacBook despite being left on its own many times). My only big complaint with this older lock was there was not a combination lock model available — you had to use a key lock.


Above: Here’s a close-up of The Ledge — it’s really small and unobtrusive.

The Ledge is That Much Better!
Beside the fact that you couldn’t get a combination lock with the other bar method, the other downside to the “locking bar” is that bar would sometimes get caught when  taking it in/out of your laptop bag. No biggie, but it happened enough that it was a bit annoying. Not enough to remove it, and take my chances with an attended laptop just lying their begging to be stolen, but annoying enough. That’s why when I saw “The Ledge” I wanted it badly — It’s the smallest, most unobtrusive, and easiest to install MacBook Pro lock I’ve ever used (just remove one screw; pop the “Ledge” on; use the included MPB screw and you’re set). Two minutes tops. And now I can say hands down The Ledge is absolutely my favorite. It addressed my one minor gripe from the old version, and it did it in a better way than I was expecting. It’s just so small and so simple. I love simple design.


Above: Finally — a combination lock option! Note: be careful when setting your combination — you press in a little button on the bottom (with a pen or small screwdriver) while setting the number you want for your combination (unless, of course, you want 0-0-0-0 to be your number). If at any time you let off the pressure even a tiny bit, it will choose whatever number you’re currently at, but you won’t realize it until it’s too late. Yes, this happened to me, and I had to get a replacement cable lock. It’s tricky to do with just one person, so ask a friend to help. 

You can choose a key lock or combination lock (I went with the combo lock).

Highly recommended if you worry about protecting your Mac anywhere you have to leave it unattended, even for a minute. It’s $79.95 for the Ledge with the cable lock, special little screwdriver, and slightly longer screw to attach the Ledge to the bottom of your MacBook Pro. More details at

Above: Here’s a close-up of combo lock attached to The Ledge.

Overall Rating
If I actually had a five-star rating-system, with 5 being best, this would be a 5-star (I gave the old version I a 4-1/2 star rating, knocking off the half star because at that time they didn’t offer a combination lock option (only a key lock) but now they do, it’s just a $5 upgrade.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! ✭✭✭✭✭
Price: $79.95 (includes key lock cable)
Combination Lock Cable Option: Add $5.00
Works on: 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros
Available from:

Hope you found that helpful. Try to stay safe and dry out there, and have a great weekend! #rolltide




Lightroom Killer Tips with Scott Kelby
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.

In Case You Missed It
Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, there’s no getting around the fact that photography gear can be expensive. Join Larry Becker in Inexpensive and DIY Photography Gear Solutions as he shares all kinds of cool ways you can save money on a wide range of photographic accessories. Larry is always thinking of clever alternatives to conventional gear and do-it-yourself ways to make the things you need at a much lower cost. Sometimes we can save money just by learning from the cautionary tales told by our peers. In this class Larry has gathered up a ton of his favorite tips, tricks, and projects to help you find low cost solutions for things all photographers need and use. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to head out to your local hardware store and start experimenting with your own solutions and alternatives, so that you’ll have more money to spend on the important things.


Hey! It’s great to be back on Scott’s blog. Thank you Scott for the invite, and thank you Brad Moore for setting up this extra-long guest blog post.

I’m here with an excerpt from my new (and 37th) book: Evolution Of An Image – A Behind The Scenes Look At The Creative Photographic Process.


The concept of the book: For each end-result photograph I share my goal, thought process, behind-the-scenes story, original image, outtakes, my Lightroom processing techniques and an unexpected result. I also talk about the photographic conditions. Detailed camera info and my original goal are also included.


I also demonstrate how plug-ins can help you transform a snapshot into a much more creative image, as illustrated by this giraffe photograph from the Using This Book section.

I have chapters on several different photo specialties: action, scenic, wildlife, people, landscapes and seascapes.


Here are just two of the opening pages for the more than 30 chapters.

Following is a condensed version of my Wrath of Khan chapter, which is in the Action section. Yes, there are a lot of words in this guest blog post, but there are even more words in the chapter, as well as more images. So as you can imagine, this is a reading/learning book, and not just a book of pretty pictures.


Location: Mongolia

Goal: Get at least one killer photograph that captures the action and intensity of Mongolian soldiers charging at full speed during the Naadam Festival.

Thought process: Get in the best possible position to make a photograph in which it looks as though the riders are charging toward the camera.

Behind-the-scenes story:
I was about halfway through teaching a private photo workshop in Mongolia. My student, Jack, and I were getting good shots, but neither of us was thrilled with the photographs that we were taking.

Things were about to change, big time. While downloading some files in my hotel room, I noticed a promotional card on the desk. It showed an action photograph of Mongolian warriors on horseback. The tag line: Experience the Naadam Festival – ride with Genghis Khan.

I immediately called our local guide to make arrangements to get us to what looked like an awesome opportunity for action photography. The next day we were at the festival at 8 A.M, an hour before it was scheduled to start.

When we arrived at the festival, I thought I could talk our way onto the field – the best position for realistic photographs. I used all my PR skills, but to no avail. We were told we had to buy tickets and sit in the bleachers.

I ran off to get tickets. I asked a security guard to tell me a little bit about the action on the field, specifically about the direction in which the riders would run onto and across the field. After getting the lowdown on the action, we chose seats in the front row of the bleachers that would give us the best view, the best background and the best light.

The idea here is to ask show organizers and helpers about where action will happen, and then to choose your shoot spot wisely. In festival (and sports) photography, location is very important.

Right on time, at 9 A.M., the festival began with some soldiers – the soldiers you see in the opening image for this chapter – charging across the field. Many elements came together for my favorite photograph of the festival, my favorite photograph from Mongolia – and one of my all-time favorite photographs.

My Favorite Shot – The Making Of A Good Photograph
The elements that make the opening image one of my favorite photographs are the same elements that, I think, make a photograph a good photograph. Listed below are those elements, elements you can consider when deciding on whether one of your photographs is a “keeper” or an “outtake.”

Mood – The mood, emotion or feeling is the most important element in a photograph. The dust, the background and the intense look (gesture) on the face of the lead rider created the captivating mood in the photograph. The body language (another gesture) of the lead rider, and the way he is holding his bow and arrow – while riding at top speed – also add to the impact of the image.


Good Composition/Cropping – I zoomed in as tightly as possible with my 70-200mm with 1.4x tele-converter set at 200mm (effective focal length 280mm), but the subjects were too small in the frame. Cropping out the boring areas on the top, bottom, left and right of the image helped me to create an image with more impact. Remember: cropping gives us a second chance at composition.

Good Exposure– The flat, and flattering, lighting, created by the overcast sky and dust, made getting a good exposure, with detail in the shadow and highlight areas, easy. The fast shutter speed “froze” the moment in time, and the aperture showed the two main riders in sharp focus, while the surrounding riders were in semi-focus, drawing attention to the two main riders. (Yes, this was luck, but I did have depth-in-field in mind when I was photographing.)

Separation – Notice how in the opening image all the horses and riders are separated from each other. That separation helps to cut the clutter, and makes the photograph more pleasing to view.

In this photograph, the group of soldiers in the middle of the frame is separated from the groups of soldiers on the left and right of the frames.

When composing, look for separation between subjects. Separation helps to add a sense of depth to a two-dimensional photograph.

Being There – A photograph that gives the viewer the feeling of “being there,” or “I’d like to be there,” is another quality that makes a good photograph. Here, I think I accomplished that goal by shooting at a low angle, which gives the soldiers a greater sense of power, and by filling the frame with the subjects.

Peak of Action – The horse in the middle of the frame has three of its four hoofs off the ground – almost the peak of action.

The Subject and Story – Never underestimate the importance of a good subject. These subjects were awesome, and the photograph tells a story even without words.


Image Processing Technique
Because I had a good in-camera exposure of the Mongolian soldiers, I only made the following Lightroom adjustments (after cropping my image):

  • Increased the Contrast – for a stronger image;
  • Opened up the Shadows – for a better view of the soldiers faces;
  • Increased the Blacks – also for a stronger image.


This particular charge that morning lasted only about two minutes. I took 15 images, and the last image is my favorite.


Unexpected Shot
While we were leaving the festival, happy that we finally had some good photographs, I saw this monk on this cell phone and this woman, her identity hidden, perhaps trying to sell the monk a phone. I think it makes an interesting and entertaining image – and a good photograph.

This shot is what I call a “being there” photograph. Because I was shooting close to the subjects with a wide-angle lens, and because everything in the scene is in focus, you feel as though you are in the scene. So the tip here is this: the closer you are to the subject, the more intimate the photograph becomes.

Closing Thought
Be your own toughest critic. Consider all the elements that comprise a good photograph. Then, as I mentioned, follow your heart.

Tech Info for Opening Image
Camera: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon 70-200mm with 1.4x converter @ 280mm
Camera settings:

  • AI Servo focus – to track the subjects for a sharp action shot;
  • ISO 200 – fast enough for the aperture/shutter speed combination I need, 1/640th second – needed to stop the action of the charging soldiers, f/8 – needed for good depth-of-field.


My Sammonisms
The book also features my favorite “Sammonisms” (my quick tips) along with my latest photographs from India and Botswana. Here’s just one.


Mood matters most. Sure, cameras and camera settings, as well as lenses and accessories, are important. When it comes down to it, however, it’s the mood of the photograph that matters most.

Color, light, brightness and of course the subject all affect the mood of a photograph. The pleasing mood of my photograph of Chinese fishing nets in Cochin, India that opens this preface is created by the warm glow of the sun and the warm colors in the sky. Shadows also create a pleasing mood and add a sense of mystery to a photograph.

Always keep mood in mind, and don’t get too caught up in the technical aspect of making pictures.


Evolving as a Photographer

The book closes with a chapter on evolving as a photographer. Here’s an excerpt.


So in closing this chapter and in ending this book, I’ll leave you with a final image (taken at Trout Lake outside of Telluride, CO), a thought and two quotes.

The Thought: Always take time to reflect on your photography and image processing techniques. Ansel Adams felt at though a photograph is never really finished. It keeps evolving, through the eyes of the photographer.

The Quotes:
There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is imitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius

We don’t learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience. – Thomas Dewey


Thanks for reading this guest blog post! I hope you enjoy my new book.

If you have any questions, please contact me through my web site:

You can see more of Rick’s work at, order his brand new book Evolution Of An Image – A Behind The Scenes Look At The Creative Photographic Process, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Greetings from the enchanting city of Venice, Italy (yup, I’m still here, but I head back home tomorrow). Here’s my awesome group of photographers, many of whom came from all over Europe to join us for a day of photos and fun (by the way — it was a bit foggy at the beginning of our route, but it never rained, and the fog burned off and it was a beautiful day all the way around!)

Group Shots From Around the World
One of the highlights for me each year, is seeing the group shots from around the world come pouring in — it’s such a treat to see all those smiling faces, from every part of the globe, having fun and enjoying one of the great joys of being a photographer, which is hanging out with other photographers and making new friends in the process.

Today, because I’m still in Venice, I’m doing a short post here, and I’ll be posting lots of groups shots on my Facebook page (here’s the link), so stop by there later today if you get a chance (I’ll be adding more as they come in).

So many wonderful things happened…
…lots of cool photos, lots of people meeting people, and lots of people helping those less fortunate by donating to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, which this photo walk has adopted. I’ll have lots more on the success of our fund-raising this year, but we easily beat last year’s donations, so that’s a BIG win. Thank you!

OK, off to wander the streets of Venice — a city I am more in love with today than ever, and now I have made some new friends here as well (more on that soon).

Here’s wishing you your best week this year (so far)!