Friday
Sep
2008
19

A Couple of Quick Answers To Your Questions

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

There have been a number of questions posted on the blog this week, and I thought I’d over a few of them here today. Here we go:

  • Q. Why did you use HSC [High Speed Crop] for more reach, rather than cropping later in Lightroom or Photoshop? Is it just the desire to get it right in camera and save time later, or is there more too it than that?
    A. I really like to compose in camera, rather than later in Photoshop or Lightroom, so it is that desire to get it right in the camera. I know—it’s a sickness.
  • Q. Recently you shot the college football game and used a 1.4 teleconverter with your Nikon camera and lens. Could you give more insight into how it worked for you and any drawbacks that there with it? My local camera store strongly discourages using one.
    A. The only downside to the 1.4 teleconverter is that you lose 1-stop of light (so an f/2.8 becomes an f/4). As long as you use a decent teleconverter (I bought a Nikon brand converter), it works just great. As for why your local camera store strongly discouraged it—-I have no idea. Well, I have some idea. ;-)
  • Q. I am surprised you didn’t rent the 200-400mm f/4 or the 500mm f/4 from LensProtogo.com for the big game! NAPP members get a 10% discount on rentals.
    A. I ran out of time. I only found out I was going to shoot the game the day before, so I didn’t have time to get it overnighted. This cost me a bundle, because this week I went ahead and bought the 200-400 f/4 from B&H Photo because I’ve got a NFL shoot coming up next week and figured I should finally go ahead and make the plunge. Ouch!!!! That one hurt. My kid’s won’t get to go to college now, but by golly I’ll have a swell lens. ;-)
  • Q. Nice shots, and as has been mentioned… great hat!
    A. You can buy that classic black Zildjian ballcap direct from Zildjian for $13. Here’s the link.
  • Q. I was wondering… could you recommend a tripod head that lets you switch from horizontal to vertical FAST in a situation like this [shooting sports]? Continue reading
Thursday
Sep
2008
18

Thursday News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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I’ve got a few cool little news things today, but first my thanks to Rod Harlan for his Special Guest blog yesterday, which came at photography and Photoshop from a very different angle. From the comments I read, I think it got a lot of us thinking about new ways to show our work, new techniques to try, and new ideas to consider. I can’t wait to see sample of what you guys come up with using his techniques (don’t forget to send me links). Anyway, way to go, Rod!

Now, onto the news:

  • My in-house Tech Editor Cindy Snyder asked me to donate a print for a charity auction she’s involved with, and so I went to MPIX.com to have a 20″x24″ print sent to her. I was just going to have it mounted on matboard, but when I was on their new site, I saw that they now offer custom framing, so I thought I’d try it out (I thought it might make the auction piece more attractive to potential buyers if it was framed).

    Well, yesterday it arrived and I was just bowled over at how nicely it came out (that’s me holding it above—-photo by “New Daddy” RC). I showed it to Matt, Dave and some other folks and by last night I literally had friends and co-workers emailing me that they had just ordered their own framed prints from MPIX. In case you were wondering, I had then output the 20″x24″ print, had it mounted on matboard, framed with that large flat black frame (which I think look great with photography), including glass, for only $82.84, (plus they shipped it overnight Fed Ex next business day for only $10.75). Anyway, I thought I’d pass that on becuase I know a lot of you use MPIX but may not have tried out their new framing stuff.

  • This week’s new online class at KelbyTraining.com is from photographer Rick Sammon, and it’s called, “Exploring Digital Photography” and it’s an online version of the presentation that Rick does across the country at seminars and workshops, and it’s packed with photography tips, techniques, and some very inspirational images. Here’s the link.
  • I just found out some absolutely wonderful news yesterday—I got a call from the Church handling the donations for “Springs of Hope, Kenya,” and they wanted to let me know that readers from this blog had been sending in their own personal checks directly to them, as donations to help build the orphanage in Kenya. I was just so touched by your generosity, and so grateful to have such wonderful, caring readers. My personal thanks to you guys for making a real difference in stuff that really matters.
  • My buddy Dave Cross has come up with a pretty interesting thing on his blog. It’s called “Finish the Sentence” and it’s a quick interview-style article with different people in our industry, and his first one is with Photoshop Hall of Famer, Eddie Tapp. Here’s the link.
  • Canon announced their long-rumored Canon EOS 5D Mark II yesterday (which sounds like just an amazing camera), and Terry White over at Terry’s Tech Blog, has a really interesting angle on one of its new features—the ability to shoot high def video built right in. Anyway, you’ve got to give it a quick read (here’s the link). Also, if you’re a iPhone freak (like me), make sure you stop by Terry’s site on Fridays, as he posts his “iPhone Application of the Week” pick.

That’s it for today. See you guys tomorrow for the Friday festivities!

Wednesday
Sep
2008
17

It’s “Guest Blog Wednesday” featuring Rod Harlan

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

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So I bet you’re asking, “What’s a video guy doing as a guest blogger on a (primarily) digital photography site?” Well, I’m here to tell you why you need to jump on the online video bandwagon… and do it now! But first, for all of you that would feel a little cheated that you came to Scott’s blog today and you didn’t get a cool tip or trick to take with you, here’s how to turn Timelapse Photos into beautiful video in Photoshop CS3 Extended in just a few easy steps:
1. Choose File > Open and direct it to your folder of images. Make sure that they are numbered in sequence.

2. Select the first image and then click the “Image Sequence” checkbox (as shown below).
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3. Select your Frame Rate. This will also determine the overall duration of the clip as it makes this calculation based on the frame rate.

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4. Click the Play button in the Animation timeline or simply hit the Space Bar to render the video clip into RAM.

Here’s a video clip where I show the technique and talk about it in a little more detail: (click here).

If you’re using a 10-15 megapixel camera, then your images will allow you to create 4,000 – 5,000 pixel wide video files. This is many times larger than Standard Definition or High Definition video files. In fact, you can go out and shoot once, and then chop up the resulting monster video file into 30-50 Standard Definition video files for sale as a collection on DVD or website. You can see me demonstrate this technique with one of Moose Peterson’s files by viewing this video clip here:

Why Online Video
Now on to my main discussion point… the reason Photographers should jump on the online video bandwagon as soon as possible. To say that online video today is Continue reading

Tuesday
Sep
2008
16

Tuesday News Quickies

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Howdy, folks. First, a few answers from questions posted about yesterday’s FSU sidelines shoot.

  • I shot in Aperture priority because I knew I wanted to shoot “wide open” all day. I had plenty of light, so shutter speed wasn’t really an issue—the challenge was white balance. When a play started in the sun, the white balance looked great, but as soon as a running back or receiver would wind up in the shade, everything turned blue.
  • As for renting a lens; I wish I had time to rent the 200-400mm f/4 (my favorite all-around sports lens) from LensProToGo.com, but I only found out on Thursday night that I’d be shooting on Saturday, and leaving my house at 7:00 am Saturday, so no time to have one overnighted. I’m probably going to have to break down and just buy a 200-400mm, but they are just darn pricey (around $5,000. Yeeeeoch!).
  • I had the question, “Besides white balance, what else would you have done to those shots?” I would have made sure that the players faces where well lit, so you could better see their expressions (I would either use Fill Light or a Screen layer and a Layer Mask). I also probably would have done some dodging and burning, and some spot sharpening as well. Not on every shot—only the best of the bunch.
  • As for tracking the action: I just switched my D3 from Single to Continuous focus (the switch is right below the lens itself on the front of the camera), which I always do for any moving subject. Works great for tracking sports. I also set the camera to the 51-point focus mode (though I normally leave it at 21 point for day-to-day stuff).
  • Here’s another question from yesterday; “…could you recommend a tripod head that lets you switch from horizontal to vertical FAST in a situation like this [shooting sports]?” When you use large lenses, they usually have a collar around them, which attaches to the monopod, which lets you instantly rotate your camera and lens by just loosening a knob. It’s ideal for sports shooting.
  • Lastly, my FSU shooting buddy Mike Olivella posted a very detailed comment yesterday about how to get credentials to shoot a college game. Go check the comments from yesterday post for Mike’s insights. Absolutely invaluable (thanks Mike!). Also, check out Mike’s sports shooting portfolio here.

Hope that answers some of those questions. Now, onto some news quickies:

  • Photoshop World instructor David Ziser did an interview with Donny Hoyle (the guy behind the popular “You Suck at Photoshop” series on YouTube.com. Take a quick moment and check out what David found out. (Here’s the link to it on David’s “Digital Pro Talk” blog).
  • If you read German, check out my interview/tips article in the online version of the popular German magazine Spiegel, called Spiegel Online by clicking right here.
  • My congratulations go out to Susan Hayre Thelwell (who I was lucky enough to have as my lab teaching assistant during my Santa Fe workshop last year), as she won an “Honorable Mention” in the Blurb.com photo book competition, for her photo book, “Mitchell’s Lot.” She’s a terrific photographer (and just a wonderful person), and if you’ve got a minute to take a look at some really great photography, click right here to see some of her beautiful images from the book. Way to go Susan!!!!
  • When I did my “Top Five List for Everyting” list earlier this year (link), in one of the categories I listed my top five photographers I’d love to take a workshop from, and they included Jay Maisel, Karen Kuhen, Nevada Weir, Michael Greco, and Lou Manna. Well, one of my readers sent me this link to an article along those lines that absolutely made my day (here’s the link).

That’s it for today, folks. Have a kick-butt day! :)

Tuesday
Sep
2008
16

Tomorrow’s Special Guest Blogger is…

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

…Photoshop World instructor, DV guru, the author of the DVconfidential blog (link), the Director of the Photoshop World opening keynote presentation, and one of my oldest and dearest friends, the “MacDaddy” himself—-Rod Harlan.

If you’ve ever seen Roddy (as I call him) training at Photoshop World, or NAB, or any one of the conferences he appears at, you know he’s always coming up with some cool stuff, and I can’t wait to see what he’s got cooked up for tomorrow (no, he hasn’t told me). So, check back tomorrow and see what’s up from Roddy. (er, Rod). ;-)

Monday
Sep
2008
15

Shooting the Florida State Seminoles From the Sidelines

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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On Saturday I shot the Florida State Seminoles vs. the Chattanooga Mocs from the sidelines (FSU won 46-7). Being a longtime Noles fan, this was really a treat for me (let the “Gators” comments ensue). ;-)

Below are some pics from the shoot (which are pretty much raw from the camera—I didn’t really have time to do anything but fix the white balance on two of the photos and add an unsharp mask).

SPECS: I shot with a Nikon D3, and a 300mm f/2.8 Nikon lens (which I borrowed from my buddy, sports shooter Mike Olivella) but I attached a 1.4 tele-extender attached to get me closer to the action, because the full-frame sensor puts me farther away than with my D300. All the shots were taken wide open at f/4 (with the tele-extender, you lose a stop of light) to blur the background, and most were taken at 200 ISO at around 1/2000 of a second. I also did use the D3′s high-speed Crop mode a number of times when I couldn’t get close enough to the action (because of the team’s bench, and their position on the field).

I had several challenges during the day; since the game started at 3:45 pm, by the 2nd half the field was 2/3 in the shadows, so plays would start in the sun, and end in the shade, which wreaks havoc on your white balance. I wound up having to increase my ISO to 800, which was no problem whatsoever on the D3 (I didn’t see any visible noise whatsoever). The other problem was my camera itself—it wasn’t shooting nine frames per second—for some reason it was hiccuping, and skipping frames all day. I brought a back-up D300, but my brother Jeff was with me, and I let him shoot with it, so I didn’t want to snag it back. (Had I been on assignment, I would have had to switch to it). Either way—the D3 goes to Nikon for repair today.

Overall, despite the frustration of the hiccuping, I had a great day of fun and football, and of course a win is a win! :)

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