Tuesday
Jan
2009
27

Kick-Butt New “Fashion Photography Accessory” Discovery!

by Scott Kelby  |  24 Comments

At Christmas I got a very cool new electric guitar from my wife (that’s not the accessory, by the way), and she wanted to make sure I got a guitar I really liked, so I went to the local music store to find one I liked, but while there, I walked by the drum department and that’s when I saw a small, specially designed fan for drummers that mounts right on a cymbal stand.

Well, I took a look at how it was mounted and realized that it would fit perfectly on a lightstand, which would make it an ideal fan for people shooting fashion, because you can easily control the height and angle of the wind (rather than having it sitting on the floor, where it’s harder to access and aim).

Anyway, the fan is called the “BLOWiT Personal Cooling System” (OK, the name needs some work), and I tried it in the music store, and it seemed like a perfect fan solution for portraits since you could mount it up high so easily. So, I got home and ordered one (it was only $69.99). It’s pictured here below mounted to a light-stand in our studio.

blowitfan

Anyway, I did a shoot week before last and I got to try it out for the first time on a real job, and I have to say; it totally rocked! (sorry about that lame pun). But seriously, it worked out amazingly well. The shot below was taken using that fan on its lowest setting.

fanheadshot2

Below are two set-up shots (taken by Brad Moore) so you can see the fan (and the lighting, in case you care) in use during my shoot.

fansetup1

fansetup2

Lighting Info: I used two Elinchrom RX-600 Strobes for the shoot, one beside the subject with a 40″ Elinchrom softbox, and one behind on the opposite side with a Elinchrom strip bank softbox. Both are triggered by Skyport wireless triggers.There are no lights on the gray background, so it pretty much fell to black. The photo directly above is just to show more detail of the fan, but there I’m using an Elinchrom 53″ midi-octa softbox on the same RX-600 strobe.

Camera Info: Shot with a Nikon D3, with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, at 105mm. The ISO was 200, and the exposure was f/8 at 1/160 of a second. I shot in Manual mode. The post-processing was done in Lightroom (exposure, white balance, tone, etc.), and then over to Photohsop for some retouching (removing some minor blemishes, brightening the eyes, some dodging and burning, and I enhanced the highlights in her hair.

Fan Info: Usually, doing something like this (taking a fan made for drummers, and using for something entirely different), doesn’t work out, but here it worked just like I hoped it would. I let the subject be in charge of the angle and intensity of the fan, and during the shoot she would reach over and adjust the angle or speed (it has three speeds). Although we used it on the lowest speed most of the day, if I could add one improvement, it would be for the higher setting to be even higher (I’m not sure that’s possible with its light weight and size). Anyway, I’m pretty psyched about it and wanted to turn you on to this new discovery. You can order your BLOWiT Personal Cooling System direct at their Website (here’s the link).

Tuesday
Jan
2009
27

Tomorrow’s Guest Blogger is…..

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

…..sports portrait photographer, blogger, and post processing shark; Dustin Snipes.

My assistant Brad Moore had turned me on to Dustin’s very cool work about a month or so ago, and he’s also got a great blog (here’s the link) where he gives some background into his shoot (including production shots). He’s got a very cool post-processing effect for his images, and he’s planning a post-processing technique for his guest blog post tomorrow, so I’m pretty psyched to see it (though he’s not just a post-processing guy—-his lighting and composition is spot on). So, make sure you check back to catch his Special Guest post.

Monday
Jan
2009
26

Photoshop Insider Book Review: Footprint’s Travel Photography by Steve Davey

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

41cezb03rl_ss500_I don’t normally do book reviews, because I don’t think it’s right for me, a Photoshop and photography book author, to publicly criticize another author’s Photoshop or photography instruction book. It just ain’t right. Luckily, with this book I don’t have to (which is why I’m making an exception and doing a book review).

I just got a copy of “Footprint Travel Photography” by Steve Davey (published by FootPrintBooks), and I have to tell you, I’m very impressed. Here are seven things I love about this book:

  1. The author is a great travel photographer, and this book is loaded with this beautiful images.
  2. It’s got a nice, clean layout that makes you want to read the book
  3. It’s broken down into short, digestible one, two, and four page sections on a particular topic or idea.
  4. The author writes in a very conversational style, and gives lots of detail without getting overly techie, or trying to sound like he’s smarter than you (he is smarter than me, but he doesn’t rub it in your face).
  5. Although there are lots of small photos in the book, the layout does allow for a decent number of large photos, and they really have an impact.
  6. I love the smaller form factor of the book. Not too big, yet wide enough to accommodate a lot of photos.
  7. But perhaps what I love best about this book (and what made me want to write this review), is that he did something I find very valuable. For every photo in the book (and it’s packed with photos from exotic locales around the globe), he tells you exactly where the shot was taken. Often times, more than just the city, and country. Sometimes, he’ll tell you exactly where at the location he took the shot (from across such-and-such a river, or from a plane flying over, etc.). It drives me nuts when I see a great shot in a travel photo book, and there’s no mention of where the photo was taken, so I was particularly delighted to see how well he covered this thoughout the book. Also, after mentioning the locale, he usually adds a few lines of background info or a tip.

I could only find one thing that I would change about the book, and that is the font size for the regular text is really small (and I’ve had a lifetime of being accused of using too small a font size, so small sizes don’t normally bother me) and the caption-sized text (of which there is quite a lot) is crazy small (either that, or I’m getting really old. I’m probably getting really old). But that wouldn’t stop me one bit (in fact, I’m having to nit-pick to get to that).

I’m going to be spending some more time with the book this week, but since I was excited about it, I wanted to share my first impressions on this new book. Here’s a link to it on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com. It’s around $20. Totally worth it.

Monday
Jan
2009
26

Scenes From The Gallery Retrospective of Bert Monroy’s Work

by Scott Kelby  |  23 Comments

bert1

One of the highlights of my trip to San Francisco was getting to see the Hearst Gallery’s retrospective on one of the most brilliant digital artists of our time, our good friend (and Photoshop Hall of Famer) Bert Monroy. What an amazing exhibition (and beautifully presented by the gallery—kudos to them for an outstanding job).

The gallery was closed that day, but Bert arranged for us to have a private tour with him, and it was just amazing. I’ve seen Bert’s amazing photo-realistic work many times over the years, but seeing it at that scale really revealed the incredible detail that he puts into his work.

The shots below give you just a glimpse at the retrospective, and besides his work (all output on the latest Epson printers—including an entire section of the exhibit printed on large canvas), they had a number of important stepping stones from Bert’s career, including corporate work he had done in the early days, his first book (the first book ever on Adobe Photoshop), and even Bert’s original 128k Macintosh (shown below). It’s an amazing exhibit and if you’re out in the San Francisco area (the Hearst Gallery is just outside Berkley in Moraga, California—here’s the link), you’ve got to see it for yourself. Stunning work from a living legend, and true pioneer of digital art.

bert2

bert3

bert4

bert5

bert6

Friday
Jan
2009
23

Friday News Wrap-Up

by Scott Kelby  |  23 Comments

I can’t believe it’s already Friday. Here’s what’s up:

  • On Tuesday I came into my office and sitting on my desk was something that made my whole week. One of my readers here on the blog had sent in a $1,000 donation check for the Springs of Hope, Kenya orphanage. Talk about being humbled by someone’s genorosity. I continued to be so impressed with the way you all have stepped up to make such a difference for these kids. (Note: I just heard from Molly & Joesph that a shipment of freeze dried meals arrived today at the orphanage—-enough for 60,000 meals! Whoo Hoo!)
  • Dave Cross has had two very interesting folks in his popular “Finish the Sentence” feature; Katrin Eismann, and Dave Cross himself. Here’s the link to give it a quick read (I always find this feature really interesting).
  • There’s an in-depth review of David Cuerdon’s Beauty Retouching Kit online class over at the Pursuing Photoshop blog. Here’s the link.
  • The 2nd part of Ed Greenberg’s amazing series on copyright for photographers is now up online at PhotoshopUserTV.com. This is a must-see series for anyone interested in protecting their images. Here’s the link.

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend everybody and we’ll see you back here on Monday. :)

Page 358 of 495« First...102030...356357358359360...370380390...Last »
Advertisement