Monday
Oct
2008
13

Rapid R-Strap Review

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

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When I was hosting my Dunedin, Florida PhotoWalk (as part of the worldwide photowalk), I saw a photographer in my group, a very nice guy named David Rogers, using the handiest camera strap I’ve seen in while. It’s called the Rapid R-Strap, and while I thought it was ideal for shooting in situations like a photowalk, I’m going to order one tonight for use with my 2nd camera when I’m shooting sports.

After talking with David about it, he offered to do a full review of it for the blog, and so, here you have it; the complete review from photographer David Rogers (Thanks David!).

Review: Rapid R-Strap from BlackRapid
The Worldwide PhotoWalk seemed a perfect opportunity for me to test the R-Strap from BlackRapid, Inc. I’m not the kind of person that likes to wear a tie let alone a 6lb. swinging weight around my neck so when I found out about this strap and the fact that it came with a 30-day return policy I felt I couldn’t lose. If I didn’t like it I’d send it back and be no worse off.

It aint going back! The simplicity of the design alone has you saying “why didn’t I think of that.” Truth is, much like the automatic kitty litter box, you probably did think of it but never did anything about it.

How it works:
The R-Strap is worn over one shoulder (my left) and crosses the body like a car seat belt or messenger bag. It attaches to the camera via the tripod socket on a large lens setup or the camera body when using smaller lenses. The camera is now hanging upside down at your side or just above your right butt cheek. In one very smooth motion you grab the camera with your right hand and swing it forward and away from your body up to your eye. Shoot!, then lower it back to your side and continue about your day.

[ed. Here's a quick video from the manufacturer showing the R-Strap in action]:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/14Q1IxI_Opw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

The greatest feature of this setup is the fact that your hands are free and your Continue reading

Friday
Oct
2008
10

New Online Class From Joe McNally on “Corporate Photography” at KelbyTraining.com

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

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We posted another new online training class from the amazing Joe McNally at KelbyTraining.com this week, and this one is on corporate photography, in particular, shooting an executive portrait on location.

Joe takes you through the entire process, and it’s really fascinating to see how he deals with problems that crop up, how he deals with lighting challenges, and how he works with the executive to get the shot. Click here for more info.

Friday
Oct
2008
10

Going Bold: Your Input Makes a Difference

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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First, thanks so much to everyone who shared their opinions on the “Bolding of Keyboard Shortcuts” in my Lightroom 2 Book. Besides your comments on the bolding, I really thought there were some other great ideas there as well, so I wanted to comment on them here.

  1. Based on your comments, I’m moving forward with bolding all the keyboard shortcuts in the book I’m finishing up now, “The Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers.”
  2. I talked this week with my publisher about the possibility of including a tear-out card with keyboard shortcuts. We’ll have to see what the costs involved are (adding a second perforated card ain’t cheap), but I like the idea a lot.
  3. I love the spiral bound idea (and I never realized you could just pop down to Staples or Office Depot, and they’d spiral-bind the book for around $4.00. That was very clever!). The problem is; most major bookstores won’t carry spiral bound books because their books are shelved with the spine facing outward, so readers in the store can see the titles. However, here’s what I proposed; that we do a special limited-edition run (which would have to cost slightly more because of the expensive of spiral binding), that we could sell direct through Kelby Training. That way, we could easily measure the demand for this type of binding going forward. Hey, it’s a start.

I’ll keep you informed on any progress and any challenges we run into along the way, but in the meantime I wanted to let you know how much I value your input, and appreciate you all taking the time to share your comments. It does (and just did) make a difference.

Friday
Oct
2008
10

As Photographers, Are We Backing Up Too Much?

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

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I was talking with my buddy Terry White earlier this week about my photo storage problems. It seems that no matter how much extra drive space I add, before long I’m out of space again. He’s got the same problem. Maybe worse.

Part of the problem is our files are just too darn big; now even entry-level DSLRs are 12 megapixels, and a Canon 50D is up to 15 megapixels. If you shoot in raw, after five or six clicks you’ve eaten up nearly 100MB, and if you’re shooting a wedding or event, you can eat up 10 or 12GB fairly easily. If you have a 500GB hard drive for backing up your photos, and you only shoot one wedding a week, it’ll start getting kinda full in around 8 or so months.

What got me to thinkin’
In a moment, I’m going to go over my backup strategy, but before we even get there, I honestly think I might be backing up too much. Here’s what made me start thinking like that. Terry recently did a portrait shoot where he took 710 photos during the shoot. His subject reviewed the images in Lightroom, and choose the shots she liked (around 70 initially, then she narrowed it down to her favorite 5 or 6). Then Terry picked his favorites, and he chose 5 or 6.

So, what do we all do next? That’s right, we back up all 710 photos, even though the subject has already said, “I only like these 70.” She looked at them all, told the photographer straight up, “I don’t want any of the other 640 images” but we back them all up anyway. Now, Terry asked me, “What are the chances that she is going to come back some time in the future and ask for one of the ones she didn’t like? Right. Slim to none. Yet, we still store ‘em, and watch them eat up our drive space, and add more complexity to our file management. Like Terry says, “Those 640 images are never going to see the light of day. I don’t have any use for them. She doesn’t have any use for them, but I’m backing ‘em up anyway. Why?”

Client Work Backups
Now, Terry can make a good case for not backing up all 710 shots, but if you’re Continue reading

Thursday
Oct
2008
09

Breakfast With An Eagle

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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So a few days ago, I’m standing in my kitchen, having a bowl a cereal, and I notice a large bird flying right outside my kitchen window, and I say, out loud (with nobody around but me), “Oh my gosh was that a bald Eagle???!!!!!”

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life, and I can tell you the only time I’ve ever seen an American Bald Eagle in person was in a zoo, and now there’s one in my backyard. Anyway, I keep looking out the window and he lands at the top of a tree right in my backyard. I am stunned. So, I grab my camera, put my new 200-400mm f/4 lens on, attach a monopod, and go running out the door.

Amazingly, he’s still there once I get back there with my gear, but I’m not 100% certain it’s really a bald Eagle (for the reasons listed above), until I zoom in on him, and son-of-a-gun; it is! Now, you’d figure that I would carefully, slowly, and deliberately find a hidden vantage point to shoot from, but I was so excited, I just plopped my monopod right on a walkway in the backyard and aimed up at the tree. You can guess what happened next.

Needless to say, I scared the eagle away, and he took off, but just as he did I was able to snap a few shots (shown above—click for a larger view). I totally know that these aren’t great eagle shots, and I know that it was silly to run out there and clunk down my monopod and start firing, but I was just so freaked out/amazed that there was a bald eagle in my backyard, that I’m lucky I got a shot off at all. Sadly, the Eagle hasn’t been back since. He must know that now I’m poised and ready. ;-)

Thursday
Oct
2008
09

Ashton and Demi on the Sidelines

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

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One thing I didn’t expect during my sideline shoot at the Chicago Bears vs. Eagles game, was that I’d meet celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore before the game (I’ve learned since, that Ashton is a longtime devoted Bears fan). My buddy, Bears Chairman Mike McCaskey, brought me over to meet them for minute before the game, and they were both just as nice as they could be.

They talked about their Fantasy teams (they each have one), and how they have big football parties at their house on Sundays, and they just seemed really nice and regular (Demi was much more petite than I realized), despite the fact that everyone standing around them were freaking out as if a bald eagle had flown into their back yard (see the post above). ;-)

As I stepped away, another field photographer came up and asked, “Was that Ashton and Demi?” and I said “Yeah.” He said, “Did you get a shot of them?” I hadn’t, so I stepped back (way back, because I had my long glass on), and took the snapshot you see above (that’s Mike McCaskey on the right—one of the nicest and most genuine guys you’d ever want to meet).

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