Wednesday
Jul
2015
15

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Tilo Gockel!

by Brad Moore  |  10 Comments


Photo by Mike Silberreis

Loving Light

Hello everyone. My name is Tilo Gockel. I’d like to start by saying that I am incredibly honored to have the opportunity to share my thoughts with you on Scott Kelby’s blog. I’ve been a professional photographer for seven years now. Previous to that I was an engineer, where I was in close contact with image sensors, video transmission, pattern projectors, and optics. Nevertheless, it took me quite some time to understand the technical challenges and the creative impact of photography. After years of practice I’ve now come to think of photography like learning a new instrument: I had to (and still have to) practice the scales, so to speak.

Let’s rewind to when I started out. It did not take long for me to become totally addicted to light and lighting. From there, the obsession grew to include flash, because flash yields the most possibilities of all the artificial light sources. Then I took another small step and got interested in the “Strobist” field and community. I thought, “Wow, look at all these shots made with some inexpensive off-brand speedlights from Asia. I want to be able to do this!”

Lighting with all variety of flash units does imply a bit of technical expertise, even in a time of tethered shooting, TTL, modeling flash, and many other great options and features. For me, as a former nerdy engineer (still nerdy, to be honest), using flash offered the perfect combination of fiddling a bit with cool technical stuff and being creative.

I love to try something new on every shoot. I really don’t like to do the same old routine day after day. I remember a photo job during which I had to shoot rubber gaiters and shoe stretchers. Dozens of them, in all colors—after two days, I hated it! For me, I have to be doing something new to stay interested, like shooting underwater, “bokehrama” images, powder and ashes, motion, and of course, experimenting with different light sources.

What I also like to do is teach. Each summer I give a lecture on photography basics and I also teach a flash photography workshop. So, it was only natural that I wrote a book called One Flash! Great Photography with Just One Light to help even more photographers understand the crucial elements of flash photography. What made me even prouder was when this book was translated from German to English.

What I cover in the book is what I’ve deemed “the one flash approach.” This is a very zen-like approach to flash photography, emphasizing the use of one single flash. You might think that is a very challenging restriction, but actually it is quite liberating––less stuff to buy and maintain, less to carry. More time to set up that one light properly and to shoot. I really enjoyed every single shoot in this book. And we shot a lot. The book covers motifs like food, products, and people, and techniques such as bouncing flash, supersync, flash composites, and bokehramas. One part of the book that I found to be really interesting was about shooting with shadow patterns. Here’s a sneak peek.

Imagine you are forced to shoot inside in an empty room and you only have your camera and one speedlight with you. Now, to get shots that are a bit more creative than the typical “girl in front of a white wall” shot, you have to think outside the box. I chose to project some interesting shadows on the subject. For the first example, I cut some reeds from a nearby sea and shot the flash through them. This not only makes the light a bit softer, it also gives that interesting pattern projection on the model’s face.


A bunch of reeds and a speedlight–a simple scene to shoot photos with interesting shadow patterns.


The outcome: Safari girl, lying on a cowhide, looking sexy!


“Like Rita Hayworth!” Photos with lots of shadows also look fine in black & white.

For the next shot, I used a piece of cheap synthetic lace and shot the flash from a long distance through that “gobo”––the longer the distance, the sharper the projection.


An even simpler setup: A single speedlight shining through a piece of synthetic lace.


The resulting image with the floral pattern on the girl’s face.

Traveling light and shooting with only one flash is easy, and it has great potential. Being freed from all the technical complexity that comes with more gear, you can focus on the things that really matter, like communicating with the model and creating images with emotional impact.

––Tilo Gockel

You can see more of Tilos’s work at his blog (in German) and follow him on Flickr, Facebook, or via the author’s page at Rocky Nook. If you want to find out more about the projects and workshops in the book, have a look at the image gallery on Flickr.

Tuesday
Jul
2015
14

You know what this country needs? One-million more selfie sticks. ;-)

by Scott Kelby  |  21 Comments


Above: Leave it to a US company to come over and singlehandedly ruin this great country. LOL!!!! ;-)

Greetings from one of my favorite places on the planet — London, England! I’m here today for my “Shoot Like a Pro Tour: RELOADED” seminar and I’m so excited to meet everybody (my whole family is here as well, and we’ve been having a blast!).

OK, my one day of shooting (yesterday) was a total bust!
I would have one day of shooting here before the seminar, so I came up with a list of places I’d love to shoot. At 8:30 am, we were first in line at St. Paul’s Cathedral here in London (which I might add, is one of the most spectacular cathedrals I’ve ever seen, perhaps 2nd only to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome — it was just amazing).

Where, when you walked in the front door to pay for your ticket (it’s about $28 per person for entry), you see these NO PHOTOS! signs everywhere. Of course, I saw people taking photos with their iPads, with their DSLRs, with their cell phones, etc., and there were times where we no one was looking where I could have “sneaked off a shot,” but I didn’t do it (it’s not a good example for the kids for one – we used it as a learning moment for our daughter), but I wanted to respect their rules as well. I tried to reach out to their social media folks before the trip but had no luck (they have a very active Twitter page).

Anyway, it was wonderful to see the cathedral, and if you haven’t had the chance, it’s absolutely worth seeing, even if they don’t allow photos or video.

Then, it was off to other places I couldn’t shoot…
Like the famous, ultramodern Lloyds of London building who wouldn’t even let me take one single shot in their lobby, or the amazing City Hall building which is open to the public, except of course for the one place I really wanted to shoot (their center atrium), which is off limits for photos, but if you Google “City Hall London” you’ll see scads of photos (here’s a link to a page with some nice photos of it).

I tried to get permission to take photos inside the Parliament building inside. No!
Westminster Abbey? No! (they don’t allow photos either)
It was pretty much a resounding NO!!! everywhere I went.
I didn’t even mention using a tripod, which is apparently results in a louder version of NO!

So, what do I have to show for my day of shooting?
That iPhone shot of a double-decker bus you see at the top.

I’ve got one more chance, Wednesday morning, so I’m trying to gain access to a couple of places for just 30-minutes (I’m trying to shoot these interiors for my first coffee table book, which is about 80% done. More on this soon).

But all is not lost…
Because when I wasn’t being told I couldn’t shoot, we went all over London having fun, and I met up with my dear friends Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis for dinner, along with my seminar crew and my friends Peter and Dave (from Hybrid Photography here in London), and we ended the day with a lovely dinner and lots of laughs.

Looking forward to meeting everybody today at my seminar (and a big thanks to everybody attending today, and to everybody who helped spread the word).

Cheers,

-Scott

Monday
Jul
2015
13

Just Announced: Get a Canon DSLR + Adobe Photographer’s Bundle + KelbyOne Online Classes in one bundle deal

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

Greetings from Swingin’ London everybody! So, check this out — Canon just released a special, limited-time bundle deal and I am so excited that we’re a part of it. Here’s the scoop:

If, during the run of this offer, you buy either a:

> Canon 5D Mark III, or a Canon 7D Mark II, or Canon 6D

It comes with:

> A full year subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan (so, basically Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC),

PLUS

> A full-year of online training on Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC from us at KelbyOne.

So, it’s the camera, the software, and the tools to learn Photoshop and Lightroom. Oh yeah!

Here’s the link with full details on the “Power to Create” offer. Also, check out the promo video below:

Hope you all have a great Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Hope to meet a whole bunch of you tomorrow at my seminar in London. It’s not too late to get a ticket if you want to come join me (here’s that link).

 

Friday
Jul
2015
10

It was kind of a rough day on “The Grid”

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

This past Wednesday was our monthly “Blind Photo Critiques” episode of ‘The Grid” where we ask our viewers to send in 3 or 4 of their images and give an honest critique (which is why we don’t ask for their names, we don’t say who took the shots so we can give an honest critique without publicly embarrassing anyone).

These Blind Photo Critiques are really popular because we try to use these critiques as learning tools for all our viewers (not just the person whose images get critiqued), but I gotta tell ya — this past Wednesday’s was a pretty rough episode. I felt pretty down afterward, because we didn’t have a lot of good things to say about the images that were submitted, try as we might to find a silver lining in some cases. Usually we have three or four photographers whose work is really solid, and sometimes it’s more like 6 or 7, but on Wednesday, we only had one, and that really made it rough.

Our guest was photographer and instructor Rick Sammon, and Rick (as always) had lots of helpful technical insights on composition and technique, but we all struggled at times to come up with anything meaningful or nice to say, and I can tell you, that’s not fun. We want to be encouraging, but at the same time, we feel we need to be totally honest to really help, and every time we are, it reminds us of why it’s so much easier to lie and tell people “you’re on the right track” even when you know they aren’t.

It makes you feel like crud when you read a tweet like this, from someone we reviewed this past week:

“Well thats left me more than slightly deflated! Had my photo’s critiqued on #thegridlive by @ScottKelby & @aboutrc. Didn’t go down too well!”

Thankfully, we do see a lot of positive tweets from people who tell us it’s what they needed to hear, and you can tell they have the kind of attitude that’s going to make them a success. We’ve had people go right out again shooting after their critique; and share their photos literally a week later that are a night-and-day improvement from what they had submitted just a few days earlier, and that’s what keeps us going. There is nothing that makes an educator want to stand up and cheer more than seeing one of their students succeed. It’s what puts the fuel in our tanks, so you can imagine how all three of us felt after Wednesday’s episode where we barely had anything kind to say. It was a rough show. You could tell when things were really going bad because RC and I would just look over at Mr. Sammon and say “Rick?” and let him try to come up with something (poor Rick – he’s just a good sport).

If you get a few minutes, please take a look at the episode I posted above because there actually are some really good learning moments in there, especially in the first critique we did of the guy’s shots in the park (we spent a lot of time on his shots, but it was time well spent from a learning standpoint). We did have to make the point, after the commercial break, that the goal of the episode isn’t how many photos we get through — it’s about how much we learn, and I hope you do take something useful from it (and I hope you submit your images next month around this same time).

I’m off to London!
I’m teaching my seminar in London on Tuesday, and if you’re in the UK and you’re not one of the 300 or so photographers coming out to spend the day with me (and Brad), why the heck not? Come on out – you’ll learn a lot (it’s 100% money back guaranteed, so you have nothing to lose – if you don’t think it totally kicks butt, you get your money back!). Here’s the link – I hope to see you there on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend everybody, and a great week (and make sure you follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I’ll be sharing my trip there next week. Well, starting Sunday anyway).

Best,

-Scott

Thursday
Jul
2015
09

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  11 Comments

Shooting Sports Physiques on Location with Glyn Dewis
Glyn Dewis
has two new classes out and they are all about shooting sports physiques on location. The first class covers the shoot and the second class is all about the post process Glyn uses. Glyn walks you through his gear, five different lighting setups, and many post production tips.

Photoshop World EZ Pay
We’ve introduced an easy way to pay for your Photoshop World tickets. You can now purchase your tickets in 2 or 3 installments that include special bonuses like Adobe CC annual membership and concert tickets. Just visit PhotoshopWorld.com and click on EZ Pay.

KelbyOne Live
Want to learn from Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, RC Concepcion 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
July 13 – Ottawa, ON
July 15 – Calgary, AB
July 17 – Toronto, ON
Aug 21 – Orlando, FL
Aug 24 – Miami, FL

Lightroom CC Power Tour with RC Concepcion
Aug 26 –  Charlotte, NC
Sept 16 – Arlington, TX
Sept 24 – Milwaukee, WI

Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour with Ben Willmore
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!

Last Week’s Winner
KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Mark Stephen Richards

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

Wednesday
Jul
2015
08

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Michael Bonocore!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

My Three Inspirations
If you had told me ten years ago that I would be making a living by traveling internationally 7 months a year while taking photos and making films, I would have laughed at you. If you had told me I would start a company called Resource Travel to share inspirational travel visual stories, I would have called you crazy. But that’s exactly what I do. And every day I try to figure out how it all happened.


Shaban, the Shisha Man Of the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan.


School children beg for money outside of a temple in Cambodia.


A man pauses for a reflective moment in the Taj Mahal, India.

I mean, I didn’t even leave the United States until I was 27 years old. Traveling and experiencing the world had mostly never even crossed my mind. I wasn’t against the idea at all, I just hadn’t had that “wanderlust” feeling since childhood, when I would thumb through my father’s National Geographic magazines.


A woman sweeps the streets of Oropesa Peru in the afternoon light.


A group of children sit on their boat outside of their home in a floating village on the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia. 


A boy shows he can write his ABC’s at a school in India.

But that all changed when I found the first real inspiration of my life. Photography. Even at 27 years old, and I had never really found anything that I was passionate about. I signed on to photograph around Peru with a company called The Giving Lens. This would be a scouting trip to work with an NGO in Oropesa, Peru called Picalor House. That trip would be the start of what would become the second real inspiration of my life. Travel. When I hit the ground in Peru, I noticed that looking at the world through my viewfinder made me see things that I had never seen before. I saw smiles, happiness, tears, and pain on the faces that I would encounter. And I felt compelled to capture those faces through my lens. And surprisingly, even the people with the tears and pain would let me take their portrait. I learned that even if someone was having a bad day, they would still let you into their world.


Lek Chailert often sings Thai lullabies to her elephants to help them fall asleep after a long day at the Elephant Nature Park. 


A Monk walks through the Tep Preah nom Pagoda while a girl and a dog play in the humid mid morning Cambodian air.


A boy stands outside of his home in a barrio in Granda, Nicaragua.

I would talk to people and try to get to know their stories. Every face has a story to go with it, and I was determined to hear them. Even if I never tell the stories when I post the photos, I will always remember them, and that is what inspires me to approach the people I meet on my travels, because I never know what their story is unless I ask them.


A monk enjoys a laugh inside a Pagoda in Cambodia.


A girl laughs on the steps of a mosque in Old Delhi, India.

I quickly became consumed with the idea of telling visual stories through the faces that I encountered on those dusty Peruvian streets. When I returned to my home in San Francisco, California, I couldn’t think about anything but traveling, camera in hand, ready to convey the emotions that I felt being in that foreign land. Soon after, I started leading workshops for the The Giving Lens, and have been fortunate to work with organizations around the world, helping to tell their stories and to highlight both the pain and successes that come from their tireless efforts.


An old merchant woman takes a nap at her stall in Peru.


Young children take a break from lighting off fireworks during the festival of Diwali in Delhi, India

While most of the travel photography you see today consists of beaches, hot air balloons, and people standing on the edges of cliffs, I still believe in also telling the stories of the people who aren’t fortunate enough to live by the resorts or walk down the main roads where the tourist shops reside. I fell in love with telling the stories of the people who make their home country come alive. Sometimes, the stories aren’t always pretty. Sometimes they can be rather uncomfortable to witness. But there is a big world out there, and a very small part of it lives in the tourist towns.


An old man enjoys a cigerette while he plays a local board game in the central square in Al-Salt, Jordan.


A merchant outside of a narrow ally way in Al-Salt, Jordan.

My love for sharing the powerful travel visual stories that I see every day is what led me to start Resource Travel. This has turned into the third inspiration of my life. I believe that, as a community, we can help others learn about the happiness and the pain of the world through our photographs. That is what inspires me to share the world’s   stories. As my friend Chris Burkard once said “If you aren’t sharing your work, then what are you doing?”


A merchant waits for a buyer on the streets of Oropesa, Peru.


A man walks outside of a Mosque in Old Delhi, India.

You can see more of Michael’s work at BonocoreVisualStudios.com, and follow him on FacebookInstagram, and the Resource Travel blog.

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