Friday
Oct
2013
18

“A Walk in Rome” The Free Rebroadcast — Right Here (and some more stuff)

by Scott Kelby  |  31 Comments

If you missed the live broadcast of our photography talk, a Walk in Rome, you can watch it in its entirety, right here (above). We got really great feedback on the show, and I hope you get a chance to check it out.

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> My loadout for this weekend’s games
I’m shooting two games this weekend; first on Saturday the University of Tennessee Vols vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks in Knoxville, and then that night I’m off to Atlanta to shoot with the awesome Falcon’s crew for Sunday’s game against the Bucs.

On Saturday, we’re hoping to mount a remote camera on one of the goalposts, and if all goes well, we’ll have some shots from a different perspective than I’ve been able to get before. Keeping my fingers crossed, but also bringing the gear in case we get final clearance (the gear is shown above: Two Bogen Magic Arms, safety cables; Two f/plate.net floor mounts with ball heads for player intros, and three PocketWizard Plus IIIs to trigger up to two remote cameras.

I’m flying to Knoxville in two legs on Delta, and it’s the 2nd leg that has me concerned because it’s on a CRJ 900 Regional Jet, so here’s my loadout:

I’m taking my smallest ThinkTank Photo Roller Bag (it’s kind of a half-height bag), and you can see above that I’m bringing three Canon 1Dxs, a 16-35mm, a 70-200mm f/2.8, a Black Rapid strap for my second body during the game. I’m taking the 400mm f/2.8 in a separate smaller bag (a soft-sided bag made my Lightware — that’s it sitting on the floor in the foreground) that fits in the small overhead bins (the camera bag will have to fit under the seat in front of me  — and it does). I also have a Gitzo monopod for the 400mm. Brad is bringing a few more camera bodies and a fisheye with him (he’s helping me on the sidelines for Saturday’s UT game).

Hopefully, I’ll have some shots from the UT and Falcons game to share next week.

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> The “Refresh” of Part 2 of my “Digital Photography Book Series is now available

The original Part Two was published back in 2008, so I brought the book up-to-date with a pretty significant refresh using today’s latest cameras and changes in gear; plus I added a new chapter; I went through and updated all the photos and techniques where needed throughout, and I re-wrote from scratch the most popular chapter, the “Photo Recipes” chapter with all new images and descriptions.

It’s not a total rewrite — it’s a refresh, but if you have Part One and you’re thinking of picking up Part Two, make sure you get copy that looks like the cover on the right (above). Here’s the link to it at Barnes & Noble.com,  Amazon.com, and from Peachpit Press (the book’s publisher).

Cheers everybody, and here’s hoping you get some killer shots this weekend (and here’s hoping that your real team, and your fantasy team both win, unlike what happened to me last weekend). ;-)

Thursday
Oct
2013
17

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  32 Comments

A Walk in Rome with Scott Kelby
If you missed last night’s webcast, you can still catch it streaming over on KelbyTV.com/onair. Scott was joined by Matt Kloskowski as he told stories from his trip to Rome, shared photos, talked about the gear he took and used, and even showed some tips and tricks in Lightroom and Photoshop! The event got great feedback from the thousands of people who watched it live, so make sure you check it out!

Wedding Portraits – Classical Lighting and Posing Techniques
This week’s free KelbyTraining.com class is Wedding Portraits – Classical Lighting and Posing Techniques with David Ziser! The class just started airing yesterday and will run through October 23. All you have to do is go to KelbyTraining.com/onair and sign up for a free account, then click play! Of course, if you want to watch all of the other classes any time you want, you can always sign up for a KelbyTraining.com subscription ;-)

You can also leave a comment here for your chance to win a 1-month subscription!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNallyMatt Kloskowski, or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 – Washington, DC
Oct 29 – Boston, MA
Nov 14 – New York, NY

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
Oct 23 – Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL
Nov 13 – Los Angeles, CA
Nov 18 – South San Francisco, CA

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Nov 6 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov 15 – Sacramento, CA

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Nov 1 – Phoenix, AZ

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! Don’t forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Winners
KelbyTraining.com Subscription
- Pedro Oliveira

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- John Swarce

Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers
- Ramona P

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Oct
2013
16

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Justin Van Leeuwen!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments

Honesty, integrity, originality, and good old fashioned hard work. I like to think I possess all these characteristics, but there’s a good chance I don’t, at least not all of the time. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, a quest for the righteous at times; indeed, even the best of us can fall from grace. Jumping on the failures of others is so easy for many of us to do. It’s easier than producing your own content. And it’s not unique to photographers or our community, but by the nature of our work, out there for everyone to see, it’s a lot easier to be exposed to the potential negativity.

More and more sites are scraping every single set of images they can possibly find to showcase, blog about, and expose; like Flickr, 500px, Fstoppers, Petapixel, Tumblr, Buzzfeed, and Reddit.  This is wonderful stuff; absolutely anyone can have their work viewed by millions of people around the world. There’s pressure in this, for some, to perform. To produce content that’s as good as the last “big thing,” to get noticed like your friend did last week. “He has a million views on his photos, mine are better, why can’t I?” I think we could even mistake this for being competitive… but is it? Does it even matter? Is it a big distraction?

Let me be honest. I’ve struggled. I’m still trying to figure out my work, to find my place, to make a living. I’ve been incredibly fortunate this early in my career to have more positive than negative feedback, and a great amount of support from those around me to keep doing what I’m doing. I work hard when I’m on the job and I try to do right by my clients. I show and share my work actively in the hopes of getting noticed, of having someone see it and maybe getting that next big job from that someone. If nothing else, the big group-hug that is Flickr can make me feel good about myself for a day. Is that how it works?

Maybe it has for a few lucky folks, but in my case, I’m not working nearly hard enough. Doing a good job for my clients isn’t enough anymore, it’s the bare minimum of what’s expected of me as a professional photographer. I need to work hard for my next client; I need to work to GET them. And they’re not going to come from, being explored, or the editors’ picks On a website. I need to find them myself, and I need to show them my work, and I need them to know that I am the right person for the job. That’s really putting myself out there, and I’m terrified of taking that necessary next step. I’m scared because it’s hard, and I’m scared because I might fail.

Integrity comes in many forms but to me it is an extension of an outward honesty. I give credit when and where I can, I pay my assistants faster than I get paid myself, I share openly and freely knowledge that I have and methods that I’ve used, trying to help mentor the next group of photographers coming up behind me. Secrets, in this industry, seem to be a way of trying to protect yourself, to make sure nobody can copy your work or business model like you’ve done something particularly unique or special. You’ll notice, as savvy readers, that the most unique and special photographers are absolutely comfortable sharing their methods because really, many of us couldn’t compete if we tried.

I’ve also copied. I copy David Hobby’s lighting setups. I’ve copied Scott Kelby’s Lightroom workflow. I’ve copied Joe McNally’s… sarcasm and love for naps. Little ideas, little methods: these guys have all shared their work and knowledge for years and I’ve copied them until I got it right. Then I went and I took their methods until they became my own. Now, I couldn’t work without the things I took from them if I tried. And still – STILL – I’m not as good as them. How come? Maybe I’m not good enough. That’s a pretty terrible outlook, though. How about the possibility that I just need to work harder?

There’s no escaping the time you have to put into this industry. There’s work to be done. People need their pictures taken. They need them taken well, or poorly if that’s their taste. On a tight budget or one that can afford a guy like Jeremy Cowart (I love his hair). I’ve had my photos seen by hundreds of thousands of people. My work is published, it’s been stolen, it’s been paid for. My mom thinks I’m great, and my wife thinks I take good photos of the kids though, oddly, never of her. I’ve been told all sorts of equally wonderful and horrible things about my work, and even about myself. I’m not a bad guy, I just pretend to be one on Twitter.

Is my work even good? Does “good” even matter? There are better photographers than me, by a long shot, who aren’t working and haven’t had the opportunities I have. There are also some photographers we all wonder how they got to be where they are. Are they even good? What actually matters in professional photography? Who gets to judge my work and, by some weird extension of my mind, me and my self-worth? Who gets to tell you your work is worth doing?

I do.

My clients do.

And both can get it wrong. So, let’s just get back to work. Work hard, be honest, have some integrity, and do the best we can; the rest is just a distraction.

If you’re up to the challenge, you can follow my over-share of a Twitter feed, check out my blog for the occasional tutorial and read my lens reviews on Canonrumors.com.

Tuesday
Oct
2013
15

So, How Many “Keepers” Do You Get From a Shoot?

by Scott Kelby  |  103 Comments

I get that question fairly often, and I can tell you straight out — it’s not as many as I’d like, that’s for sure. Yesterday, when I posted some of my favorites from my Bucs/Eagles shoot over on my Facebook page, I got a number of questions along these lines, so I thought I’d cover it here:

Q. So, how many shots did you take at the game on Sunday
A. Exactly 1,873

Q. That seems like a lot
A. I know, but I’ve been told I under-shoot by quite a bit. I talked to another shooter at a game a couple of weeks before and he had taken over 4,000 shots that game, and he chuckled that I only had taken around 1,600.

Q. So what ratio would you like to have of keepers to ones you delete?
A. When I go to a game I don’t have any ratio like that in mind whatsoever, but since you’re asking, ideally I’d like it to be around 95% keepers. Unfortunately, in reality it’s more like 5%. In fact, for this shoot, it was almost exactly 5%. I had around 92 shots that were “contenders” to send to the sports wire I shoot for.

Q. So, how many did you actually send?
A. 46.

Q. So, you cover an entire NFL game and you only get 46 publishable images?
A. Uh huh.

Q. Is it because you’re covering the Bucs and they’re 0-5 this season?
A. Yes.

Q. Really?
A. No.

Q. OK, why so few keepers?
A. Well, there are a number of reasons (and this might take a minute), so let’s look at a few:

One reason is because we take LOTS of shots that aren’t publishable because they’re simply not interesting. For example, look at the series of shots I took above. I wanted a clean shot of Eagle’s Quarterback Nick Foles, but once the ball was hiked, two players moved right into my frame, but I stayed on the QB until they moved out of the frame a second later. Out of this series, the first two frames are unusable  maybe the 3rd frame would be OK, but I felt the fourth frame looked best (and it’s the one I submitted), but the rest just look awkward or aren’t very compelling (well, at least I didn’t think so). This is a short series — just seven shots — often it’s 10 or 12 and we’re lucky if there’s a good one in there at all, but either way, you’re only “keeping” one from this series at best.

Q. OK, what else?
A. You cover a running back, and you’re dead on with your focus and you’re tracking his every move, but it’s just a “messy scene” — there’s just too many players and you can’t clearly see him or what’s going on (see above). There were 13 shots in this series, and I couldn’t use any of them. This happens quite a bit during a typical game.

Then there’s these (above). Plenty of ‘em. Every game. However, this only happens after you’ve been tracking a player who breaks out for a big run and you’re waiting to capture that moment of peak action — of course the refs sense this and race to get right in your field of view.

Q. Really?
A. No. But it sure feels that way.

Q. OK, I’m with ya. What else?
A. After big plays you have to stay on the player who made the big play because capturing the “jube” (short for jubilation) is huge. These are some of the most marketable shots (provided the guy’s team actually wins the game, because there’s virtually no market for shots of a guy on the losing team celebrating), so you definitely want to “stay on” the player after the play. In this case, Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper had a big catch and run for a 44-yard gain and so I stayed on him just in case, and sure enough, he was pumped up and made a big gesture (I don’t know what else to call it) and I was right on him to capture it when the play was over (shown above).

Q. So, what’s wrong with that?
A. Nothing, it just took 19 frames to get that one frame — the other 18 frames are worthless. I had to stay with him from the moment he was down, until a while after because you don’t know if other players are coming over to celebrate with him, or a coach on the sidelines, or if there’s a penalty and the play gets called back and you get a secondary reaction when he learns that it was all for naught. Either way, that’s 19 frames after the play is over on the chance that you might get a reaction shot. You do this a dozen times or more during a game and a lot of times it yields absolutely nothing (the player doesn’t celebrate, or refs or other players walk into your frame).

Q. I notice you didn’t post any shots of Darrelle Revis’ fumble recovery for a Buc’s touchdown. How come?
A. Oh, I was right on him, from the moment LeSean McCoy coughed up the ball until Revis was celebrating in the end zone — 79 shots in all. Only one problem. It was called back. The runner was down by contact, so while the Bucs did get the turnover, the touchdown was called back, so that part of the play never happened, so those 79 shots of him recovering the fumble, running to the end zone, and celebrating with teammates, are all worthless.  That’s nearly 4% of the shots I took that day all gone in an instant. Darn refs. Silly rules. 

Q. Anything else?
A. Well, I took 110 shots of the team and individual player intros before the game (one sample is shown above).

Q. Did you submit any of those?
A. Not a one. I try a different shooting position for the player-intros each game, and this was just not a particularly interesting one, so I didn’t submit any. Next game, I’ll shoot from an entirely different position, and maybe I’ll get one or two keepers as they jump through the smoke. It’s hard to get a straight on shot of them coming through the smoke because I’d have to be standing in the Visitor’s bench area, and they’re generally not too keen on that, so I have to shoot at a weird angle, and so far I haven’t gotten anything too cool this season.

Q. What is that?!
A. These are my speciality — shots taken by accident, usually as my second camera hits my leg as I’m running down the sideline. I’ve taken so many of these over the years that I considered making a photo book of them and selling it with the proceeds going to the Springs of Hope Orphanage. I am not making this up.

Q. What about out-of-focus shots?
A. I’d like to say I have a few, but I’ve actually got plenty where I didn’t have my focus point on the right spot (as seen above). A lot of time you swing from one player to another (like from the QB to a receiver or tight end) and you just miss it. I’d like to blame it on the camera, but the Auto Focus system on the Canon 1Dx is absolutely insane — it was made for this stuff, but as good as it is, it won’t make up for my mistakes.

Above — that’s a shot of the Buc’s amazing running back Doug Martin. Even though the Bucs are losing, he’s still putting up great numbers (he’s 9th in total rushing yards in the NFL), but I don’t stay on Doug at the end of a play after a big run because he never, ever, celebrates. No emotion. No “first down” signal. No trash talking. He just gets up, tosses the ball to the ref, and gets back to the huddle. He’s a class act, but after the play he doesn’t give you any reason to stay on him for the “jube.”

Q. OK, now I’m surprised you actually came away with 92 keepers.
A. It does kind of put things in perspective, but still, it’s not as many as I would like. I’ve had more on certain games, and less on some, but I’d say one hundred or so is about average, and from there I narrow it down to the best. My goal is always to have more to choose from, and more to upload to the sports wire.

Q. How many do you upload at halftime?
A. I always think I’m going to limit it to 8-photos max at halftime, but I usually wind up sending 10 or 12. For Sunday’s game I sent 14, which made me miss the start of the 3rd quarter (well, that and I couldn’t get an Internet connection because of a problem with my laptop’s wireless, but my buddy Rob Foldy let me tether to his iPhone and I was able to upload via that — thanks Rob!).

Immediately after the game, I upload as many good ones as I have right then, but of course, I haven’t really had a lot of time with them (I tag my images in camera during the game to speed the workflow up — that way the tagged photos show up first when I import them) so once I get home, I go through all the shots again, and do a final upload (within 2 hours of the game ending), but most of those will just wind up being archive photos.

Q. So, what do you do with the rest of the photos?
A. I back them up to two different hard drives, just so I have them in case somebody needs an image down the road, and I might upload the rest of my keepers well after the game just for their archives, but outside of that, the rest are just backed up on my drive. You have to fully caption every single photo in detail, which takes quite a while, so it’s not as easy as just uploading a bunch of images — it’s long, tedious work, but it’s got to be done or your shots have zero chance of being seen or used. 

Q. OK, any words to wrap things up?
A. I hope that gives you some insight into how this all breaks down (well, at least for me). Your mileage may vary.  

Monday
Oct
2013
14

What’s Coming Up This Week

by Scott Kelby  |  31 Comments

> Join me Wednesday Night for a FREE online Webinar called “A Walk in Rome”
I did one of these after my trip to Cuba (called “Connecting with Cuba”) and after last year’s Paris Photo Walk with “A Walk in Paris” and they were really well received, so I thought we’d do one about my images and photo book from Paris last week. If you’re into travel photography, I’ve got lots of practical photography and Photoshop tips for you, PLUS a review of the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-f/6.3 lens for full frame cameras, and I’ll be taking your questions and comments live on the air.

What: “A Walk in Rome” Free Photography Webinar
Where: Here’s the link
When: This Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET

Plus we’ll talking about my Worldwide Photo Walk (I held a local walk in Rome. I’ve got lots of fun stuff to share and some really helpful photo tips,so I hope you can join me (it’s Free) at 7:00 pm ET Wednesday at this link. Also, can you help me spread the word? :) [NOTE: If you can't make the live broadcast, we'll start free rebroadcasts the following day].

> Worldwide Photo Walk Contest Deadline is TODAY at 12pm ET
If you want to get a chance to win some incredible prizes, including a Canon 70D camera (courtesy of the official Photo Walk sponsor, Canon themselves), plus all sorts of other amazing goodies, make sure you get your contest photo uploaded by TODAY at 12pm ET (New York time). Remember, if you don’t enter, you don’t have a chance of winning, so make sure you upload your best photo for a chance to win.

> A Different Perspective on This Past Week’s Photo Industry Scandals, PLUS How to Not Hate HDR (Well, not as much anyway)
This week’s episode of “The Grid” should be a wild one, as we’re talking about the recent scandals within the photography industry (but we have a different perspective on it), and although we’re not going to be able stop people from doing HDR (and we shouldn’t), maybe we can help them spot the telltale signs of “bad HDR” along with how to avoid it. It all starts with admitting you have a problem. LOL!! ;You do not want to miss this episode, which airs (as always) LIVE every Wednesday at 4:00 pm ET at this link. 

> My Shoot Like a Pro Tour is coming to DC
OK, even thought the seminar isn’t this week, I’m giving away two free tickets to the seminar this week, so it kinda counts. Just leave a comment here and you’re entered, and we’ll draw two winners tomorrow. All the details on the seminar are right here.  See you in DC.

> Learn Landscape & Travel Photography from Trey Ratcliff
Here’s the scoop on this just-released online class at Kelby Training Online from renown travel and landscape photographer Trey Ratcliff:

“Join Trey on location in New Zealand as a virtual participant in his landscape photography workshop. From sunrise to sunset, visiting streams, lakes, mountains, and hills, Trey takes you from one incredible setting to the next, all the while sharing his tips, tricks, and techniques for capturing breathtaking landscapes and high dynamic range photos.”

We’re already getting lots of great feedback from this new class, so if you’re a Kelby Training subscriber, you’ll want to catch it right away. If you’re not a subscriber, here’s yet another reason to join. 

> Catch Matt’s Lightroom Basics Class, streaming FREE until Thursday
Each week on Kelby Training Online we stream one of our classes continuously 24-hours-a-day absolutely free (in fact, it’s streaming right this very minute — just jump over there right now (or heck, anytime before Thursday) and watch the entire class, on us. So what happens on Thursday when this class stops? Another class starts streaming continuously for a week. Sweet!

We’re hoping you’ll like learning this this so much that you’ll want access to all our classes (nearly 400) any class, any time, on demand. Here’s the link to join (just in case). :)

OK, it’s a busy week this week. Let’s get to it! (and here’s wishing you a fantastic one!)

Friday
Oct
2013
11

Group Shots From Saturday’s 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

Above: Here’s a short (17-second) iPhone video clip I did before we kicked off my local walk in Rome, Italy. I had a really wonderful, fun, really good-natured group of photographers there in Rome. They totally rocked it! 

Below is a compilation of Group Photos from around the world, sent to me by group leaders and photographers who participated in my World Wide Photo Walk this past Saturday.

I have to tell you, I get such a big smile when I see each and every one of these. I try to imagine what their walk was like, and how much fun it would have been to be at that walk I’m looking at. Everybody looks so happy in these group shots and it just really tickles me each time I see one.

You can see the individual city names (and larger images) over on my Google+ page. Here’s the link:

If you have a group photo, and haven’t sent it to me (or I somehow missed it), I’ll keep updating this Google+ album as they come in. I hope you’ll send in yours because I already know it’ll make me smile. :)

I also wanted to include a group shot from our Rome Photo Walk “lunch meeting spot” at a wonderful little restaurant in Rome called Ristorante Ciccia Bomba (chosen by the wonderful Ashley Turney who helped me plan the entire walk, served as our guide and interpreter, and was just totally cool all the way around. I couldn’t have done the walk without her).

Above: Here’s an iPhone pano from the restaurant Ciccia Bomba. Dig that waiter with the multiple heads and arms (stitching a pano with people moving can produce some, ahem, interesting results). LOL!!! Hey, who is that guy to his left. He looks super cool! ;-)

Above: This shot of my wife Kalebra and me was taken during my photo walk by photographer Miroslav Radosavljevic. It is somewhat plausible that I married ‘up.’ LOL!!! ;-)

OK, I’ve got to hit the sack (I’m back in the States now but my body thinks I’m still on Italy time). Here’s to a great weekend filled with lots of great images, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Cheers,

-Scott

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