Monday
Sep
2013
30

We are just 5 Days Away From My Worldwide Photo Walk

by Scott Kelby  |  10 Comments

We’re just five days away, and right now we have more than 23,000 photographers already signed-up for 1,200+ local walks around the world this Saturday, Oct 5th. We are thrilled at the worldwide participation and sense of community this has created, and I can’t wait for the local walk I’m leading on Saturday in Rome, Italy to get here (it’s my and my wife’s first time to Rome, and my brother, his girlfriend, and a few more friends will be joining us along the way. I am psyched!).

If you haven’t signed up for a Walk Yet….
It’s not too late. Here’s the link—find a city near you, and sign up to be a part of your local walk.

Seven Tips for Walkers
Each year, I gave seven tips for walkers to help you make the most of your walk, and I’ve got those here for you again. If you’re going to be walking with us this weekend, take a moment to give these  a quick read: I promise it’ll make a difference in your experience.

(1) Drink Plenty of Water
Make sure you take plenty of water with you and stay fully hydrated during the entire walk. Two hours is a long time to be out in the sun so make sure you drink lots of water before and during the walk. (TIP: Want to be a hero? Bring an extra bottle of water or two to share with other walkers).

(2) Use Sunscreen
If your walk is during daylight hours (and most are), make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, and don’t forget to wear a hat for protection as well.

(3) Leave a Small Footprint
Make sure that you have as little physical impact on the area you’re walking in as possible. If you’re walk is in nature, make sure the area looks exactly the same when you leave as when you got there. Same thing in a downtown area—-we want store owners and pedestrians to welcome events like this, so be kind to everyone you meet, and create as small a footprint on your walk route as possible. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.

(4) Make New Friends
This is a social event, and everybody is there to have fun and make new friends, so make sure you talk with other walkers in your group. Ask them ‘what kind of stuff like they to shoot,’ or ‘how they like their camera or a particular accessory,’ or ask ‘if they’ve ever been on this street or area before,’ and you’ll have a conversation up and running in no time.

(5) Let Your Leader Lead
Your walk leader has put a lot of time and effort into planning the walk, organizing and publicizing the walk, and making the whole thing happen (after all; without your local Leader there might not be a walk in your city, right?), so don’t try and hijack the walk; let your Leader do the talking, and the leading, and that way you can just relax and focus on getting some great shots.

(6) Get To Your Walk Early
It happens every year; some people miss the walk altogether because they couldn’t find a parking space, or they missed the train or subway, or they ran into something that delayed them from getting to the start of the walk on time. It’s really heartbreaking to get there and find that the walk is already underway and there’s nobody standing there but you, so make sure you plan extra time to get to your walk’s Starting Location, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress (and possible heartbreak) by getting there early. Plus, if you get there early, there’s extra time to make friends before the walk even starts—maybe you’ll make a “walking buddy” who’ll share the experience with you.

(7) Play it Safe
The single most important thing is your safety during the Photo Walk.

Don’t get distracted by what you’re shooting or seeing, and back right into the street, or into another photographer (or just a person walking down the street). Keep your wits about you, and remember than many of you will be shooting in a downtown area, on crowded sidewalks or busy streets, so just stay alert the entire walk, and look out for other walkers as well. Also, don’t wander into any areas or alleys that may look the least bit unsafe—stay with your group—there’s safety in numbers, and of course always keep a close eye on your camera gear and personal items.

Also, make sure you check out the Official World Wide Photo Walk Facebook Page (here’s the link) for more walking tips and also you can follow the official walk on Google+ (here’s the link) or on Twitter using the Hashtag #WWPW.

See you guys this weekend as we make photographic history!

Friday
Sep
2013
27

How to Create Realistic Shallow Depth-of-Field Backgrounds for Compositing

by Scott Kelby  |  71 Comments

Mornin’ everybody. I wanted to wrap up the week with a quick trick for creating realistic backgrounds for compositing, so here goes:

When I was in Seattle for my “Shoot Like a Pro” Tour, before the seminar kicked off in the morning, Brad and I went just outside the convention center so I could create some real shallow depth-of-field backgrounds I could use in Compositing. I did this mostly because I hate how it looks when you take an in-focus background and try and “fake it” by adding a massive Gaussian Blur or Lens Blur filter in Photoshop.

Above: I had Brad stand in the street, and I zoomed-in fairly tight on him with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, at f/2.8 so the background would be way out of focus (as seen here). Once I was focused on Brad, I would hold the shutter button half-way down to lock the focus on Brad, then I would give Brad a signal and he would walk out of the frame (that’s Brad walking out of the frame above).

Above: Once Brad was fully out of the frame, I’d just press the shutter button the rest of the way down and take the shot. Mission accomplished  — a realistic shallow depth-0f-field background.

Above: Since this technique literally took less than 30-seconds, we shot a handful of different backgrounds, at different angles and on nearby streets, and every time the technique was the same: Brad stands in place: I focus on him at f.2/8; hold the shutter button half-way down; I give him the signal; he walks out of the frame; then “click.” I had 20 or so background in just 10 minutes.

Above: Here’s the image at the top again — it was my first test of the concept. I didn’t crop our subject here as tightly as I had actually shot Brad, so it would be more realistic if I had matched her size relative to the frame, but at least I can see that it worked — now I just have to find the right image for the foreground.

My subject was shot on a light gray background in my studio, and then I used Photoshop’s Quick Select tool along with the Refine Edge feature to remove her from that background and then I copy and pasted her onto the out-of-focus background. Once there, I matched her overall color-tone to the background, and then lastly I put a slight tint over the entire image (to help visually unify the two) and I added a soft glow effect as well (a 50-pixel Gaussian Blur, and then I changed the blend mode to Soft Light and lowered the opacity to 50%).

Anyway, just a quickie for Friday, and maybe something you’ll consider next time you’re out shooting with a friend who can act as an “in-focus” stand-in to create some out-of-focus backgrounds.

Back to Football
This weekend I’m shooting the Bucs vs. Cardinals NFL game with the Buc’s new starting quarterback Mike Glennon. That should keep me busy during the first quarter, eh?  Also, trying some new techniques I picked up from the just-released book, “Peter Read Miller on Sports Photography.”

I’ll share some shots next week, but next week is also Worldwide Photo Walk week (the actual walk is next Saturday, and we have 1.200 walks organized in cities all over the world, with more than 22,000 walkers so far. Hope you’ll join us next Saturday. 

Here’s to a great weekend. Hope it’s a safe and fun one. :)

Thursday
Sep
2013
26

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  39 Comments

Sixth Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk
Have you signed up for the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk yet? We’re less than a month away, but there’s still time to find a walk near you and sign up. There are over 17,000 already people signed up to take part in this year’s event! New walks are being added every day, so if you don’t see one near you, keep checking back. If you’re already signed up, don’t forget to pick up your official Worldwide Photo Walk shirt (or hoodie). All of the profits from the shirt sales will go to the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage, so you’re helping kids in need when you make your purchase.

And if you need any extra incentive to sign up for this fun, free event, we’ve recently had more additions to the Contest Prizes! The Grand Prize package is now valued at over $13,000 and includes a Canon 70D, Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer, Adobe Creative Cloud membership, Wacom Intuos tablet, $250 B&H Gift Card, OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 8, Graphic Authority Complete Collection, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Nik Collection by Google, 1 Year of Squarespace, 1 Year of SmugMug Portfolio, Manfrotto Tripod and Ball Head, Westcott Skylux Lighting Kit & 7′ Parabolic Umbrella, Olloclip, 24×36″ Print from iAcrylic, Hurley Pro Board, 2-Year KelbyTraining.com Subscription, 2-Year NAPP Membership, and the Kelby Training Book Library. That’s a lot of stuff!!

New Photoshop and Lightroom Classes on KelbyTraining.com
Want the newest and best training on Photoshop and Lightroom? Check out the most recent additions to the KelbyTraining.com library! We’ve got great new classes from the best in the business, like Portrait Retouching Using Lightroom 5 and Lightroom 5 Killer Tips from Scott Kelby, Compositing Fundamentals from Pete Collins, Color Adjustment and Manipulations from Calvin Hollywood, Overview of Creative Cloud with Corey Barker and more! Head over to KelbyTraining.com today to check out these classes and more.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of one of these classes!

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

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 25 – Washington, DC
Oct 29 – Boston, MA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Oct 9 – Denver, CO
Oct 23 – Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Oct 11 – Portland, OR

Adobe Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
Oct 4 – Tampa, FL
Oct 16 – Atlanta, GA

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! And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Killer Deal on Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 5 & Photoshop CC Book Bundle!
Between now and October 1, you can pick up Scott Kelby’s Lightroom 5 Book and Photoshop CC Book for Digital Photographers Bundle for 40% off from Peachpit Press! Choose from the printed version for $62.99 or the eBook version for $35.00. Check them out right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free bundle!

Winners
Landscape Photography Class Rental
- Michael Matthews

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Chelsea Palmer

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

Wednesday
Sep
2013
25

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Mike Campau!

by Brad Moore  |  19 Comments

[Note from Brad: This post contains a little PG-13 language/imagery.]

I would first like to thank Scott and Brad for inviting me to be today’s guest blogger… it’s quite an honor and hopefully I won’t make them regret asking me. Like most of us here, I am an image guy and words are my enemy. So, I will do my best to finish a thought, not use run-on sentences, and in the end, shed some light on what I do as a digital artist.

For those of you who don’t know me or my work, let me give you the elevator ride explanation of who I am. I have been in the business of making images for high profile clients, ad agencies, and celebrities for over 15 years. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I cut my teeth in a small retouching studio and worked my way up through studio/agency life until venturing out on my own. I consider myself a digital artist, who’s specialty is creating hybrid images. This is done by combining all of my skill sets into one image, CGI, illustration and photography.

One of the most rewarding aspects of what I do is collaborating with some the best photographers in the world. Working with another artist on a project can be very rewarding, especially when you can combine your talents and create something better than you could have alone. I have had the luxury of working with some great photographers and I would like to shed some light on how the whole process works. Keep in mind that there is no one formula for working together, as we all know, people are very different and so is my approach when working with photographers. The best way to explore this topic is to use real world examples and talk a little bit about approach, collaboration and promotion.


Photos by Tim Tadder

I will start off with a photographer who has done the guest blog before and who has inspired me to be a better artist. That guy is Tim Tadder. Tim and I met a few years ago and we both felt an instant connection in our work… wow, that sounded more like a “bromance” story, not that there is anything wrong with that. Anyways, Tim and I have come to rely on each other for creative inspiration and as sounding boards for ideas.


Photo by Tim Tadder

Continue reading

Tuesday
Sep
2013
24

Tuesday Photoshop Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  26 Comments

(1) Fascinating interview with the man who wrote Photoshop, Thomas Knoll
A really great look at Photoshop’s history, evolution and much more. Very frank, revealing, and refreshing. Great stuff  (click the video above to jump over to Vimeo to watch the interview — Vimeo wouldn’t let me embed it here, but you can watch it there).

(2) Adobe’s photographers bundle deal is now available
I know a lot of folks have been waiting for the $9.99 per month bundle deal for the latest versions of both Photoshop & Lightroom (for previous owners of Photoshop, all the way back to CS3), to become available, and now it’s here. Here’s the link for more details. I did a post with more info shortly after Adobe’s announcement during the Photoshop World keynote — here’s that link.

(3) Adobe announces 1-million Creative Cloud paid user mark (hit way ahead of schedule)
Remember when I said Adobe wasn’t going to abandon the subscription-only plan. This is yet another reason why. This report was before they released the $9.99 Photographer’s bundle, so I imagine this number is now going to skyrocket. I’ve been talking to more and more photographers out on the road who are totally on board with this new deal, citing how hair the price is (and I agree). More about this below.

(4) Talking about Adobe’s $9.99 Photographer’s Bundle Deal on “The Grid”
If you missed the episode above of our weekly show for photographers, “The Grid,” in this episode we started the show with some important discussions about Adobe’s $9.99 photographers bundle. You can watch it right above.

(5) New versions of Photoshop and Lightroom released
Adobe has recently released new versions of both Photoshop and Lightroom 5 with new features and bug fixes. If you’re a Creative Cloud user, you can download the update from the Creative Cloud widget thingy. If you’re a Lightroom 5 user stand-alone user, you can download the Lightroom 5.2 free update  here (for Mac) or here (for Windows).

OK, that’s all the Photoshop news for this Tuesday, but….
I’ve got one more semi-related, yet totally not-related news: Tomorrow on “The Grid” it’s our popular “Blind Photo Critique” show, so If you’d like to have your work considered for tomorrow’s photo blind critiques (we show your images but don’t mention your name on the air), just leave us a link to 3 to 5 images that show off your work AT THIS LINK:http://kelbytv.com/thegrid/critique/

From those, we’ll pick 15 to 20 photographer’s work to go over on Wednesday’s show (not based on who posted first — we choose based on showing variety and images we think can help our viewers), and the live show is broadcast TOMORROW at 4:00 pm ET athttp://www.kelbytv.com/thegrid  – join me and Matt LIVE tomorrow — See you then. :-)

Monday
Sep
2013
23

My Worldwide Photo Walk is Only 12-Days Away!

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

I’m getting psyched!!! Here’s a few quick things stay on top of:

(1) We now have more than 1,000 photo walks organized in cities around the world
All the walks are now in place, as the deadline for creating new walks was this past weekend, so now it’s just about finding a walk near you.

(2) We have the biggest and best prizes for the photo contest ever!
Check out this link to see what our awesome sponsors have come up with.

(3) It’s not too late to join a photo walk in your city (it’s free).
Here’s the link to the official photo walk page — see if there’s one near you and join us on Saturday, October 5th for an experience you’ll never forget.

(4) Check out our Worldwide Photo Walk Webcast
Last year we did a free webcast with lots of helpful hints, suggestions, and we answered a bunch of questions people had about joining and walking, and you can watch it right here. 

(5) Order your official t-shirt right now (and help the Springs of Hope Orphanage)
We have awesome official Worldwide Photo Walk t-shirts, and not only do they look really cool (lots of folks wear them on their photo walk), but more importantly, 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts  go to feeding, clothing and caring for the wonderful kids at the Spring of Hope Orphanage, Kenya. Our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, came up with t-shirt idea and if things go well this year, we will have raised nearly $50,000 in just these six yearly walks. That rocks! Remember, even if you don’t want a shirt, you can still buy one to support the kids. Here’s the link.  NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

OK, so that’s a quick update. I’m leading a local walk in Rome, Italy this year, and I’m hoping that some of the people that come to my walk speak some English, or we’ll just wind up going to a McDonalds. LOL!!!

Cheers everybody to a great Monday! :)

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