Monday
Jan
2009
05

Big Contest Over at Planet Photoshop

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

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Corey Barker, over at PlanetPhotoshop.com just launched a very cool Photoshop contest, and the winner gets (among other prizes) a full conference pass to Photoshop World this March in Boston. Here’s how Corey describes the contest:

“The way it works is you are presented with three tutorials that have been selected from the vast library of tutorials here on Planet Photoshop. After watching the tutorials your assignment is to use the techniques you learn from one or all of them to create an original piece of artwork. Feel free to be as creative as you want. Just think of these tutorials as a springboard as you proceed to create your original art.” –Corey

The deadline is just two weeks away, so for for details (and how to submit your work), click here. Good luck! :)

Friday
Jan
2009
02

Photography Quote of the Week (from David Ziser)

by Scott Kelby  |  41 Comments

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You’ve heard me talk about David Ziser countless times on this blog, and he is one of my favorite Wedding photographers, a gifted instructor, and an amazing blogger to boot. One of the things I admire most about David is that he’s not afraid to take a stance or make a statement about a photography technique, or the photography business, that sometimes flies in the face of the status quo.

Well, I was on David’s site yesterday (DigitalProTalk.com), and I watched a video he did back in October of last year, that detailed a back-lighting problem he was having on location, where he wanted the bride and groom backlit with flash while standing in the shadowy entry way of an elegant home (as seen above—photo by David Ziser). During this video, David said something that really stood out to me—so much so that it’s my “Quote of the Week.” In talking about his lighting challenge he said:

The fact of the matter is, it’s so easy these days to go ahead and take a photograph with that [fixing it in Photoshop] in mind. Some people say “Oh my gosh; If you don’t get it right in the camera, don’t even bother pressing the button!” but I’m going to disagree with that, because I think we can fuss and fiddle with it out on location, and do everything we can do from having to go into Photoshop or Lightroom, (and I’m going to use Lightroom in this case here). My point is, “Why fuss for 10 minutes” on the job when you can fuss for one minute in Lightroom and basically get the shot that you want?”  — David Ziser

Why this struck such a chord with me is that maybe my pendulum has swung too far the other way. I really bend over backwards to get the shot right in the camera, and I probably do spend too much time sometimes on location tweaking a light, or a reflector, or a scrim, because I know I shouldn’t have to fix it in Photoshop. Anyway, it’s some great food for though from someone whose photography and photo editing skills I admire very much. Thanks David, for giving me something to think about this weekend.

Here’s the link to David’s video, which includes his quote: Bridal Location Shoot with David Ziser

Friday
Jan
2009
02

Friday News Stuff From The Photoshop Insider Blog

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

Hi everybody. I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year, and as my first post of the New Year, it’s time for some Friday News Stuff. Here we go:

  • First let’s take a look at something different: I’m always featuring wedding photography here, but this time take a look a Graham & Graham Photography’s annual collection of their top-10 Bar/Bat Mitzvah shots from 2008. Really nice stuff here, and it’s definitely an art unto itself (here’s the link).
  • Thanks to Camera Dojo who named my blog one of their Top 20 Photography Websites of 2008 (here’s the link), and to Moments in Digital for including me in their list of “Blogs they followed in 2008″ (here’s that link).
  • If you’re a NAPP member, you probably catch Larry Becker’s weekly NAPP News show on a regular basis, but if you’re not a member, I mentioned a few weeks ago that you now watch it online free (through Apple’s iTunes Store), or you can subscribe to it free (so it downloads each weekly episode for you automatically). Well, the big news is—-it’s a hit! By last week it had already climbed up to the #5 spot in the iTunes list of technology podcasts. Congratulations Larry! (and if you haven’t seen it—check it out right here. Lots of good industry news, info, contests, along with NAPP news and anything else Larry wants to pass along).
  • Today my buddy Terry White over at “Terry’s TechBlog” has released his “Best iPhone Applications of 2008″ list, and if you’re into the iPhone this is a must-see post (by the way, every Friday Terry picks his “iPhone App of the Week” and half the apps in my phone came from his list. A definite must-visit every Friday). Here’s the link.

That’s it for this Friday. I have lots of cool stuff planned for next week, so I hope I’ll see you back here then. Have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday
Dec
2008
31

Happy New Years (from my 80s disco band)

by Scott Kelby  |  71 Comments

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I thought I’d wrap up 2008 with another embarrassing promo shot of my old 80s disco band, Rumor Hazit (complete with annoying moire pattern). Also, dig the Duran Duran inspired hair, the long coat, and the gloves with the fingers cut out. Sadly, this is what we wore back then, and we thought it was cool. I was so wrong. ;-)

See you back here on Friday, and until then here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

-Scott

Tuesday
Dec
2008
30

Quick Tip for Nikon Sports Shooters

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

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If you’re shooting sports with a Nikon D3, D700 or D300, you’re probably shooting fairly often in high-speed continuous mode, so you want the best performance (most number of frames per second) possible.

Well, if you’re shooting with a VR (Vibration Reduction) lens, once your shutter speed gets above 1/500 of a second, you should turn VR off to avoid any shutter lag or slower frame advance rates caused by the VR trying to stabilize the lens. (At high shutter speeds, you don’t really need to VR—after all, Vibration Reduction was designed to let you hand hold in low light, slow shutter speed situations. If you’re shooting with shutter speeds above 1/500 of a second, you really don’t need the VR, eh?).

When I’m shooting sports, to freeze action, I generally want my shutter speed to be at least 1/1000 of a second (or faster), so I know at the beginning of the shoot to turn my VR off. Anyway, I thought that might be helpful to other Nikon sports shooters out there. (Photo above by Eric Kuna).

Tuesday
Dec
2008
30

Tuesday Photoshop Insider News Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  10 Comments

Hi everybody. It’s Tuesday and 2008 is almost in the bag. Here’s what’s up:

  • A lot of people have been asking me for an update on how I feel about my Apple MacBook Pro now that I’ve had it for a while, and basically here’s where I’m at: I’ve gotten over the glossy screen thing. I’ve calibrated it a few times now and while the glossy screen is a bit more contrasty, it really hasn’t caused any problems (and maybe that’s because I’m compensating a bit, knowing that my screen looks more contrasty than the final images). My prints from both my Epsons, and from MPIX.com are coming out fine, so the glossy issue isn’t as big an issue as I thought (though if I could get this MacBook Pro without the glossy screen—-I would). The trackpad is still a real issue for me, and frankly it drives me nuts about a dozen or more times a day. I wish Apple would give us a way to turn gestures off, but as best I can tell—there is none. The two reasons I decided to stick it out with this model are: (1) The nVidia graphic card makes Photoshop CS4 zoom faster than I’ve ever seen Photoshop go, and (2) I doubt Apple is going back to matte screens, or bringing back a trackpad button, so I’m going to have to get used to it sooner or later, and I might as well just get used to it now. So, that’s where I’m at; I’m not thrilled, but I’m adjusting.
  • Thanks to PhotographyColleges.org for including this blog in their list of the Top 100 Photography Blogs. Here’s the link to their full list.
  • Want to see some cool Photoshop post production retouching? (Not so much portrait retouching—just retouching). Check out Ciklopas Photography Studio, and then when you get to their site (click here), click on the Post Production link on the left side of the page, and then toggle through their different projects. Very well done.
  • Dave Cross had my buddy Terry White as his guest last week for his popular “Finish The Sentence” feature. Here’s the link to check it out.
  • This I love: Go check out this Web site for a spa in Aspen, Colorado. They’ve got a pretty darn fabulous landing page presented in a simple, yet dramatic way that I haven’t seen before. Beautiful photography beautifully presented, even if it’s just for a few moments. Worth a quick look (here’s the link).
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: I’m taking New Years Eve off along with New Years Day, but I’ll be back with more wholesome goodness on Friday the 2nd. Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy, and prosperous New Year!

See you guys next year! :)

-Scott

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