Tuesday
Nov
2014
04

Announcing The Winners from my 7th Annual “Worldwide Photo Walk”

by Scott Kelby  |  37 Comments

Every year it’s a big challenge. Looking at images from more than 1,000 walks all over the world — ones that have already been selected as the best from each local walk — and then trying to narrow things to just one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists. There’s just so many great shots that it makes the process really tough.

The Process
I take this judging role very seriously — I put a lot of thought and careful consideration into each selection. Every image gets viewed, and reviewed and considered and reconsidered to death because you can make a great case for so many of them. Think about it — this is a group of photos from every corner of the world, and there are a lot of captivating, fascinating, cute, fun, and very serious images, and so I view every image full screen size, and then tag the best of the first round.

A lot of images actually make this first cut. Then I look at just those tagged images, and narrow things down to just the best of that group (this year I got down to around 79 images at this stage). Then I do it again and again until I have just 11 left. One of those 11 will wind up being the winner. That’s when it gets really tough. It takes a lot of time, and I sweat every decision, but in the end a decision has to be made.

Even though this round of judging is over …
You’ll still get to make your own picks in our People’s Choice Award, and we have a Leader’s Competition, and I always list my ‘Honorable Mentions’ (images that are so good that even though they didn’t win a prize, still deserve recognition)  so while this is the official announcement of the Top-10 Finalists and the Grand Prize winner, the competition phase still has a few more components left.

First, let’s reveal this year’s Top 10 Finalists (in no particular order):

By Macbeth (Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea Photo Walk)
This shot just looks happy — even though you can’t see the expressions on the people walking down the hill, the vibrant colors, and sun beams, and the whole thing makes it look like a scene from the Teletubbies, and I just loved it. I love the placement of the people on the hill, and just the overall vibe of the shot.

By  Jean-Christophe (Lyon, RA France Photo Walk)
This shot has a lot of graphic appeal on its own, with its angular lines in either direction, but the placement of the man on the stairs really made it all come together. Very simple, but very cool.

By Tinnakorn (Chiang Mai, จ.เชียงใหม่ Thailand Photo Walk)
What a great scene! I just love the juxtaposition of those three large hero photos above with this gentle looking man just having a beer — it really caught my eye right away. I love the colors and how it all works together. Makes me wish I was at the next table over having a cold one myself. Nicely done.

By  Joseph (Charleston, South Carolina, USA Photo Walk)
OK, I know this isn’t a technically perfect shot, and that plant on the far left is distracting…but it’s still a great shot. It’s so simple, and casual, and I like the post processing and it was so different than any of the other entries that it really stood out to me. It’s not the typical type of shot I’m drawn to, but I sure do like it.

By Phongphanich (Bangkok Thailand [Rattanakosin Island] Photo Walk)
This is just a wonderful combination of color and composition, and I love the post processing on this shot. It makes me want to know more about the shot — what’s the rest of the story. Who is the guy in that picture? There’s a lot going on here for such a simple photo.

By Sonata (Kaunas County Lithuania Photo Walk)
The first time I saw this shot, it was like looking at a still shot during a movie. It has a real cinematic feel and I love the way our subject, and the birds, are all back lit, and I love her position in the frame. Really makes you feel like you came upon a moment in a movie and that was all I needed.

By Eman (El-Gamaleya, Cairo, Egypt Photo Walk)
What captured me about this shot was the light. From the light beams streaming behind our subject, to the soft light on his face, to how the overall scene is lit — the lighting is just really wonderful. Plus, I really like the subject’s expression and care that’s being given to his work. Very nice capture.

By Mark (Hoover, Alabama, USA Photo Walk)
This is another one of those shots where the first time I saw it, I loved it, and of course what I loved the most is how the mushroom is lit. It just stands out so beautifully in the otherwise dark scene. I wish that little spot of white wasn’t there at the top of the frame, because it does draw my eye a little, but it’s such a lovely shot that I’m willing to look the other way on that, and just enjoy the beautiful scene. Nice!

By Andrew (Seoul, South Korea Photo Walk)
This shot just cracked me up, only because it’s such a real scene. I love how the women are in very traditional outfits, but they’ve got a cell phone up on an “extender for selfies” pole and they’re flashing peace signs. It’s kind of surreal, but at the same time, you’re looking at something very real. Great shot!

By Daniela (Haarlem, The Netherlands Photo Walk)
First, there’s the subject — a young girl on stilts, which is something you just don’t see every day, but the lighting in this shot is so subtle and beautiful without the scene being dark and dramatic. I feel like I walked in upon a quiet moment and I want to know where she’s going, why she’s wearing stilts, and how she’d get so lucky to be learning to walk on stilts in such gorgeous light. One of my favorites for sure.

———————————————————–

AND NOW…THE GRAND PRIZE WINNING IMAGE IS:

By Michal (Warszawa, Mazowieckie Polska Photo Walk)
There is just something about this shot. I kept coming back to it again and again. I love the overall tone of the image, and how you see these individual drops frozen in time like that. There’s not enough water so that it looks cheezy (which can happen when freezing water in a fountain), and I love the composition with that wide open area to the right. I wish I could give you a better technical reason why I like it, but I think it’s 100% an emotional response. If you keep coming back to it again and again, then you just know there’s something special there, and I think this is a very special shot.

A Big Thanks!
A special thanks to Canon, our Premier sponsor (and provider of amazing Canon prizes) and to flickr, Adobe Systems, Peachpit Press, Tamron, KeepSnap, B&H Photo, and Wacom — thanks for all your support and for offering such awesome prizes to our winners (we are very grateful).

Thanks to our Walk Leaders who did such an outstanding job once again of giving of their time and talents to make their local walks happen, and to the wonderful photographers from around the world who created such inspiring, creative, and beautiful work.

P.S.: We still have the unveiling of the Honorable Mentions (images that didn’t win a prize, but that are so good that I felt they needed special recognition), so make sure you stop by on Friday for that. Don’t forget: Although this phase is over, we still have the People’s Choice Award to pick, and a special competition for your Walk Leaders, so there’s more to come. :)

 

Monday
Nov
2014
03

Looks Like The WWPW Winners Announcement Will Be Tomorrow

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

Hi everybody. I’m so sorry the judging is taking so much longer than usual.  I feel terrible that the results aren’t going to be posted until tomorrow, but I know you don’t want me to rush through the selection process (it’s a LOT of images to consider, and a lot of tough choices to make), so thanks for understanding and for the time extension.

If all goes well, I should have the winners posted in the morning. :)

All my best,

-Scott

Monday
Nov
2014
03

Today at 2:00 PM EDT We Announce The Winners of My 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

UPDATE: Judging all of these amazing images is taking longer than I expected! Check back again later and I’ll announce the winners just as soon as I can.

Hi Gang: Join me here today at 2:00 pm EDT for my official announcement of the 10 finalists (all prize winners), and the Grand Prize Winner from my 7th annual Worldwide Photo Walk. (Here’s a worldwide time finder to help. Use New York City as your search).

We’ve got some amazing prizes and some wonderful images to share, so I’ll see you then — right here on the blog.

Good luck everybody! :)

-Scott

Friday
Oct
2014
31

I’m Calling In Tired!

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Greetings from New York where by whatever time you read this, I’ll probably still be sound asleep.

I’m feeling MUCH better (despite the fact that my voice sounds just awful), but I had a crazy busy, awesome, fun, tiring, exhausting, I’m really toast kind of day, so I’m kinda calling in “Tired.” (you can do that, right?)

Lots to share next week (the Mylio launch and party last night was just so cool)!

Today (Friday), I’ve got two sessions then I’m off to the airport:

> 10:45 am — “How to Shoot Sports Like a Pro” at Canon’s booth

> 12:30 — “Portrait Retouching Secrets” at the KelbyOne Theater on the Expo Floor (we are crushing it up here!)

Hope I’ll see you there tomorrow (and hope my snoring doesn’t keep you up tonight). ;0-)

Best,

-Scott
Zzzzzzzzzzzzz, Inc.

 

Thursday
Oct
2014
30

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  9 Comments

Wildlife Photographer Adam Jones on The Canon 7D Mark II
Wildlife photographer Adam Jones talks with KelbyOne’s Mia McCormick about his thoughts on the new Canon 7D Mark II. Adam talks about how shooting high ISO has helped him get free from his tripod and shoot handheld. Adam also talks about the crop factor and how it benefits the way he shoots.

If you’ve been itching to get some hands-on time with this new camera, you’ll be able to this week at PhotoPlus Expo in NYC! Just swing by the Canon booth on the expo floor and try it out for yourself today, tomorrow, or Saturday.

KelbyOne at Photo Plus Expo
KelbyOne is at the Photo Plus Expo today through Saturday! Come find us at booth #473 where we have some of our world-renowned instructors on hand teaching and sharing some amazing tips. Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski are around, and Pete Collins is showing his amazing “photo spin” technique for some awesome kids portraits. Jay Maisel will be at the booth, along with Roberto ValenzuelaPeter HurleyBrian SmithTamara Lackey… the whole gang. Please stop by and say hi! And, if you aren’t here for the show, be sure to check in on the blog for show updates throughout the Expo – KelbyOne.com/blog

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Matt Kloskowski, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Dec 1 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The Power of One Flash with Joe McNally
Nov 6 – Washington, DC
Dec 9 – San Diego, CA

The Lightroom LIVE Tour with Matt Kloskowski
Nov 4 – Philadelphia, PA
Dec 5 – San Antonio, TX

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA

The Photoshop Creativity Tour with Ben Willmore
Nov 10 – Toronto, ON
Dec 12 – Phoenix, AZ

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through the end of the year. Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Camera Basics Classes from KelbyOne
This past week we added some new Camera Basics classes for the Nikon D5300, Canon 6D, BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema, and BlackMagic Production 4K cameras over at KelbyOne! If you have any of these cameras and want to make sure you know how to get the most out of them, Mia McCormick, Larry Becker, and John McQuiston will walk you through all the buttons, dials, menus, and settings you need to know. John also has you covered on getting started with the Zoom H6 audio recorder.

DSLR Filmmaking: 25 Tips in Premiere Pro
If you’ve got a firm foundation for editing with Premiere Pro, then it’s time to up your game with Brandon Ford’s 25 tips, tricks, and hints designed to make your editing workflow smoother, faster, and more efficient. Brandon covers all of the little tricks of the trade that can add up to a huge savings in time when editing a big project. Each tip is meant to stand on its own, so you can feel free to zero in on the tips that interest you the most, or work you way through each one.

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- James D.

If you’re the lucky winner, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday, and we hope to see you at PhotoPlus Expo!

Wednesday
Oct
2014
29

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Steve Simon!

by Brad Moore  |  10 Comments

The Passionate Photographer – A Life Obsessed
All I ever wanted to do was take pictures. I love photography. My tagline says “obsessed by all things photographic” and it’s true.

When I was 16, I spent a summer riding around my suburban Montreal home on a 70cc motorcycle, an all-mechanical Nikon FM/35mm lens dangling from my neck. I was documenting community life for a local weekly newspaper long since gone. Even better, I got paid for it. As good as it gets I thought.

Years later, I graduated university with a journalism degree, and I couldn’t wait to aim my camera at issues I thought were important.

Fast forward ten great; sometimes-frustrating; always-stimulating years as a news photographer, I was finding it difficult to stay fresh and challenged. Daily assignments had made me a skilled and swift-working photographer, but I had become impatient, often retreating within my comfort zone, feeling forced to work in a formulaic fashion because of time constraints. I was ready for a photographic break-through, a way to slow down and find a way back to the innocence of vision and joy I had as a young guy cruising around town with my camera.

If there’s one concept I want to convey in my guest post (thanks Scott and Brad for the opportunity), it’s that the most rewarding part of the photographic process often comes when you find a project or theme you feel passion for, one you can dig into, and challenge yourself to create a set of pictures.

Finding Your Passion
Directing your photographic energy and passion towards a story or theme is something I feel confident will lead you toward becoming the photographer you want to be. It is passion that will take you there…if you let it.

But you have to find the subject matter that inspires you to commit and drives you to work hard, moving past frustrations and through obstacles, pushing towards a photographic place of competence and excitement you cannot even imagine as you read this.

In the evolution of a photographer, to get to the next step, liberating yourself from photographic routine, peeling away layers of traditional imagery to get to the core of your photographic soul is to be honest and ask, “What is it I am trying to say through my photography?”

Diane Arbus said something to the effect of “the more personal you make it, the more universal it becomes.”

What a powerful and liberating thought. In my experience it’s dead on.

Photography is a universal language and the more honest and revealing you are, the more viewers will respond to the work. If you stop trying to make images that look like what you think strong photography is supposed to look like and instead look inward, aiming your camera at the things most personal to you, following your curiosity —your work will be elevated. Honesty and passion shine through.

Story ideas can come from anywhere. I tend to read as much as I can, looking at blogs, magazines, news sites, reading books, listening to music, visiting galleries, looking at the work of other artists and photographers. But many of my best ideas come from my own life. Personal experience and exploring your own connections often yield some of the best and most rewarding projects.

If you’re inspired by the landscape, what is it that inspires you? How does it make you feel? As you dig deep the goal is to create images that make the viewer feel something, maybe discovering what you already know about the place. In other words, images that transcend the literal and become more lyrical.

Consider putting together a set of images for a book or exhibition, even if that exhibition is in your own living room. The challenge of creating a set of pictures is to make each piece strong, yet when put together in a very deliberate way, the message communicated is often bigger and more complex than any individual piece can convey on its own. The sum is greater than the parts.

The process of assembling, sequencing and showing a set of pictures will force you to make tough decisions. If two images are similar, you need to choose the strongest one or the image that adds to or moves the communication of the project further. Some projects, use repetition as a way to build momentum, a portrait series for example. Regardless, it’s like peeling an onion, you get deeper and deeper, and start to make images that scratch and dig below the literal surface to photographic places new and exciting.

It’s no mystery that when you go through a volume of work, you learn from your experience and you get better. And because you’re passionate about the work, you will work harder and longer; putting in the time.

More comprehensive coverage yields stronger, deeper, and more interesting work. If your story involves people, for example, they often get more comfortable with you as time goes by, relaxing and letting their guard down to reveal more of themselves for you to c!apture. Shooting more helps improve your skills and makes you a better photographer.

For two summers, I went on a road trip from Maine to Alaska and I never looked back. Even though it has never been published, The America At The Edge Project changed my life.

Of course, all big ideas start with a small step, and securing your idea is what you need to do first. Don’t over think it, you won’t know for sure that your idea is executable until you start the process of shooting.

What Personal Projects Have Taught Me
All my projects turn into amazing adventures. Personal projects have taught me so much. I have shared my process in my book The Passionate Photographer and now in this post. I’m sure much of my process will sound familiar to you.

Continue reading

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