Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger….

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

…..I was introduced to when he and I both wound up being the featured photographers in the same issue of Nikon World magazine, it’s Atlanta-based editorial and commercial photographer, Andrew Kornylak.

He’s got some amazing images—and before you read his post tomorrow, make sure you check out his Action photography portfolio at his Web site (click here). Make sure you check back tomorrow to see what Andrew has in store for us. :)


Report from The Digital Landscape Workshop Series (DLWS) with Moose, Joe and Laurie

by Scott Kelby  |  36 Comments


So after I shot the Honda Superbike Races on Sunday in Birmingham, I hopped a flight (well, two flights), up to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to be a part of Moose Peterson’s DLWS (Digital Landscape Workshop Series) “Outer Banks” workshop, which kicked off Sunday night (I’m not teaching; I just came to shoot and hang out with my buddies Moose, Joe McNally, and Laurie Excell, and I had a blast (That’s right; I did this morning’s sunrise shoot then headed to the airport to head back home).

They’re still going to shoot sunset today and sunrise tomorrow, but I’ve got to head back home, see the kids, and then get ready for my Down & Dirty tour in DC (which was sold out last Friday with over 700 people for the day). Also with me was the ‘Bad Man’ himself, Brad Moore (who used to work as staff at these DLWS events, so this was old home week for him!).

I’ve got to tell you this about DLWS: they run an absolutely first-class, well organized, and most importantly downright fun workshop experience from beginning to end. Everybody here is having such a good time, and the crowd is so into it—they’re really hungry for the information, and they are getting it here by the armloads.

Yesterday we started the day with a dawn shoot out at a local lighthouse (this is lighthouse city out here on the Outer Banks of North Carolina), and while it wasn’t a spectacular sunrise by any means, we still had some fun (I’ve only taken a peek at a few shots so far, but here are a couple [above and below] from yesterday’s morning outing).


When the light got too high in the sky, Joe McNally did an awesome on-location small-flash portrait shoot with a local model, and I don’t care how many times you’ve seen Joe, every time is just amazing. Seeing how he sets up the shot, adjusts for problems with light, and explains how to walk away with a client-pleasing shot is just something to see, and everybody was eating it up (the shot below is Joe during that mini-session; taken with my iPhone’s built-in camera).


Then we were back in the classroom with Moose, Joe, Laurie, and Kevin Dobler (who was doing some of the Photoshop training—and did a great job by the way). After the classroom sessions, (and a late afternoon snack); we headed out to some sand dunes for a sunset shoot, but got totally socked in with rainy weather.


So, Joe pulls out some SB-900s and we did another portrait shoot, in the rain, with Photoshop TV’s own Stephanie Cross as the model, and it rocked. We’re all huddled (about 40 of us) under a shelter, and Joe has her standing just out in the rain, in a raincoat and hood, and came up with a great shot, despite the conditions (like Joe says; your photo editor doesn’t care about how harsh the conditions you encountered; you’re being paid to come back with a shot, and if you want to work for them again, you’d better come back with a shot; and he showed us what to do to get that done—-using High Speed sync).

This morning we headed out to a commercial fishing port, and the highlight was an area with old rusting hulls and salvage boats that were great for HDR stuff. We were all walking around and at one point Joe and I were walking over to these two big boats and I looked at Joe and said something really stupid. “Joe…you shoot much HDR?” He gave me the look you see below. I had to capture it.


So that became the running gag for the day. “Hey Joe, do you think this would make a good HDR shot?” Hey Joe, is this like that HDR shot that National Geographic asked you to do?” It ended up with an HDR breakfast shoot of pancakes joke about an hour later. Just the look on McNally’s face above said it all.

Anyway, after that, we had to head out, and I’m already on my way home. Had a great time, and I saw first-hand why every single DLWS workshop for the rest of the entire year is already sold out in advance. Moose Peterson and his staff have put something very special, and very unique together here. It’s an experience like no other, and I was as excited as everybody else there just to be learning from Moose, Joe, Kevin, and Laurie, and to be spending some time together doing something we all love. Plus, I never had to dive out of the way of an oncoming car or motorcycle moving at 140 MPH. That’s a bonus. Below are some chairs on the back of that house I shot above. Yes, I just took a few minutes, sat in them, and looked out at the beautiful shoreline. I know it’s a throwaway shot, but now those chairs will bring back fond memories of a morning shoot in May.


One last thing: I met so many people who came up to me and said, “Hey, I read your blog first thing every morning.” I was really tickled, and wound up meeting some really cool folks, including one sports photographer that I’m going to hook up with when I shoot the Indy 500 later this month. Small world.


Shooting the 7th Annual Honda Superbike Classic

by Scott Kelby  |  39 Comments


Yesterday I few up to Birmingham, Alabama to spend the day with my buddy Jeff Rease (who we now affectionately call “The Chancellor of Birmingham”), shooting the AMA Racing’s Honda Superbike Classic race at Barber Motorsports Park. Matt Kloskowski came along with me, and the three of us spent the morning shooting (some of the shots I got are shown here; click on them for larger views).


We had full media credentials, including a Hot Pit pass, but as luck would have it; we only got to shoot for 30 minutes total the entire day, (during the Superbike morning warm-up session), because after warm-up and lunch, a huge thunderstorm moved over the track, which delayed the actual race long enough that I had to catch my flight back home without getting to shoot another shot. We only shot from one area, and for only that 30 minutes, but ya know what—we still had a blast! (and I would definitely do it again, if only for that 30 minutes).


Matt, Jeff, and I cracked jokes, goofed off, sorted our images in Lightroom, did some serious chimping, and generally just a great time hanging out for the day and talking about photography. Before I knew it we were on our way to the airport (where I’m writing this post).


The shot above is of the media/press room overlooking the track. This is a shot of Matt and I sorting and editing our images while it pours rain outside (photo by Jeff Rease).


Thanks Jeff, for hosting (read as: putting up with), Matt and I for the day. We love the friendly people of Birmingham, and the great folks at Barber Motorsports Park.


Tech Specs: Mostly shot with my 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens on a Nikon D3. I shot at a slower shutter speed (usually around 1/320 to 1/250 of a second) to get the blurred background and motion in the wheels). It was a very cloudy, very overcast day, so I shot at 400 ISO in Aperture Priority mode at around f/11. I took my 200-400mm f/4 lens but we were so close to the track, I hardly got to use it.


The final shot, below, of Matt and I was taken by Jeff “The Chancellor” Rease.



It’s Embarrassing Photo Friday (and some news)

by Scott Kelby  |  19 Comments


Somehow, I actually forgot that yesterday was “Embarrassing Photo Thursday” so just consider this “The Day After What Would Have Been Embarrassing Photo Thursday.”

But before we discuss the photo above (and sadly, we will), just a quick thanks to Matt Bailey for being my first actual Vendor guest blogger, and my hat’s off to him for providing some great insights and ideas without turning the whole thing into a big plug for his company. And, since he didn’t do that, I’ll do it for him. Here’s the link to LiveBooks (the company he co-founded), which builds “…customized photography websites to help you get more work.” Thanks Matt. Ya done good! :)

Now, about the photo above. This one was from a little later in my musical career, around 1984 or 85. If a song I was singing didn’t have keyboards, I’m come up front and do my best Eddie Money impression. This shot was taken when I was in my “retro sports coat phase” where I bought old style sportcoats from Goodwill for about $6 each, and rolled up the sleeves because (say it with me now,) “That’s was we did back then.” The skinny tie was from Chess King in the mall. The name of the band was “Park Avenue,” and we played Top-40 Dance Music and Rock.

At the time, I had a bunch of promo bumper stickers made up for our fans which read, “Darling I love you, but give me Park Avenue.” Of course, this was so long ago that people actually got that Green Acres reference. One last thing; that shadow on my face isn’t facial hair; it’s a shadow from the mic. Now that that’s behind me, onto the news:

As Usual, You Guys Had Some Great Ideas!
The post was up hardly an hour, and I had already found some great new ideas for my Vol. 3 book. I honestly haven’t had a chance to go though even half the ideas, but these folks already definitely have a free book coming:

  1. Jim Godo
  2. Kat Clark
  3. Anita
  4. Alexandre
  5. Marcin Grzybek
  6. Tyler Green

There will be more when I look through the entire list (over 200 suggestions), later today, but I wanted to at least let you guys know how much help you were. Your input will make a big difference in the book.

Workshop Updates
Here’s a heads-up on four upcoming workshops that are all filling up extremely fast

  1. Jay Maisel’s weeklong workshop in New York City (May 18-22) has only one space left at this point. If you want to grab it, here’s where you can go for info. (Note: his June workshop is already sold out in advance).
  2. Mary DuPrie’s “Photographing Models” workshop in Pontiac, Michigan has only two spots left in her May 9-10th workshop (her July workshop is already sold out, too!). If you want to snag one of those last two seats (and I highly recommend you do), here’s the link with details.
  3. My Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks Tour in Washington DC is nearly at capacity and will sell out sometime later today, so if you want to join me in DC next Friday, grab one of those last seats right now (here’s the link).
  4. It was just announced last week, and there are already just a few spots left for Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Workshop on the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Here’s the link with details. Hope I’ll see you in St. Lucia.

Terry’s Lightroom Workflow
My buddy Terry White did an Adobe Connect session featuring his Lightroom 2 workflow and I saw comments from some of the attendees and it was a big hit. If you’d like to see the entire presentation, Terry recorded it and you can watch it for free (it’s called “An Evening With Terry White”), by clicking right here. Thanks Terry for sharing this with my readers.

Good News From Kenya
I just had to thank you guys once again, because you always come though. I heard from Molly at the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya (which is due to open next month), and in just one day you guys donated nearly three thousand dollars to the Springs of Hope, Kenya Orphanage to go toward the furnishings, kitchen supplies, and playground equipment for the kids. No matter what else you do or don’t do today, one thing you did today is help build an Orphanage from the ground up—-one that’s half way around the world. One where you’ll probably never meet the kids whose lives will be changed by your donations. These are children on the other side of the world who’ll never know you helped put a roof over their head. And the fact that they won’t, makes it that much more special that you did it. Stuff like this is what it’s really all about.

The Votes are in!
I didn’t get a chance to thank everyone who participated in my “Guess which one of these three shots was shot with a small off-camera flash” poll last week (the other two images were shot with a studio strobe). Literally thousands of you voted, and the fact that most of us got it wrong (56% chose either 1 or 2) just reinforces the fact that as far as “quality of light goes,” the difference is now very, very subtle (so subtle, most people aren’t able to tell the difference).

Want to See some Great Photography?
Time for a little Friday inspiration. If you’ve got two minutes, check out the black and white work of photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. It’s just different in an interesting way, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Here’s the link.

I wish you all a really fantastic Friday, and I hope you make some amazing photos this weekend. Have a great time, and we’ll see you back here on Monday!


Dear White House….

by Scott Kelby  |  125 Comments


OK, so yesterday I heard from a friend that it was reported that the government spent an estimated $360,000 for that “Photo Op” debacle which had the President’s 747 flying low over New York City (good plan!), escorted by a fighter jet (luckily the President wasn’t on board).

I heard what they wanted was a shot of Air Force One (of course, it’s only called Air Force One if the President is actually on board, so we’ll just call it “Big Blue and White 747″) flying over the statue of Liberty with Manhattan in the background. There were probably more cost efficient ways getting that image, and so in literally less than two minutes I hacked together the composite you see above in Adobe Photoshop CS4, using a background from iStockPhoto.com and an official White House shot of “Big Blue and White 747″ from their web site.

Now, here’s my plea to the White House. Rather than spending $360,000 somewhat foolishly (wink, wink), whatdayasay we work out a deal?

I’m trying to raise money for furniture and household appliances for an orphange in Kenya (run by Americans), and I’d be happy to actually take 90 minutes (or more; whatever it takes), and really do the compositing job right, and all you have to do is buy a freezer for around, say $360. You can keep the other $359,640 or give it to GM.

Anyway, by next weekend my schedule will have freed up, so if you’re interested just drop me a line here or call my cell phone (you know the number).

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