Tuesday
Feb
2015
03

Preparing Images For a Print Competition

by Scott Kelby  |  14 Comments

Hi everybody – good to see ya here!

I flew up to Nashville yesterday, just for the day, for the Imaging USA Conference & Expo, where I did a presentation on sports photography in Canon’s booth (excellent show by the way — lots of buzz and really engaged photographers up there).

Anyway, I was standing beside the KelbyOne booth on the Expo Floor and a photographer from Colorado named Scott Yakel came up (nice guy), and we started talking. He was complaining that he looked thoroughly in my “Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers” and couldn’t find anything in there about how to prepare images for entering into a Print Competition (he’s a PPA member and he and his friends enter images into the local PPA chapter’s print competition). In particular, there was nothing in there on how to add a black border around your image as required by the Print Competition rules.

Anyway, I agreed that there was not a dang thing in my book about that topic, but then, he mentioned that he’d like to take it a bit farther and add a thin stroke inside that border using a color pulled from the image itself. He and his friends were really struggling with a simple way to do this, so I pulled out my laptop there at the booth, and I showed him what I’m going to share here with you now (I figured if he and his friends were struggling with this, they’re not probably not the only ones, and honestly unless you’ve been using Photoshop for a while, it’s not super-obvious how to do this).

Anyway, here ya go Scott (and friends), a recap of what I showed you on my laptop about how to prepare images for entering into Print Competitions (Well, at least the ones at PPA in Colorado, where the first prize is a really huge bag of pot. Totally kidding — I’m sorry — I just couldn’t help myself. It’s my first Colorado pot joke — everybody should be allowed at least one, especially when they have the munchies. Whoops, that’s two).

STEP ONE: Here’s the original image opened in Photoshop. We want to add a 4-inch black border and a stroke inside that border.

 

STEP TWO: Go under the Image menu and choose Canvas Size to bring up the window you see above. At the bottom, for Canvas extension color choose Black (as seen here) from the pop-up menu. Now enter the number of inches of black border you want surrounding your image (in this case, he wanted to add 4-inches on all sides, so enter 4 inches for Width; 4 for Height and click OK.

STEP THREE: When you click OK, it adds that 4-inch black border around the image, as seen above. Some folks will end the process right there — short and sweet — but Scott wanted to add a thin stroke inside that black border (I’m not talking about myself in the third person here, like “Shaq likes his fries spicy” — I’m referring to Scott Yakel, who asked about this technique.)

STEP FOUR: Now, go to the Layers panel and click the New Layer button to add a new blank layer above your background layer. Now get the Rectangular Marquee tool and drag out a selection that fits inside the black border we added (as seen here).

STEP FIVE: Now let’s add a stroke around that selection. Go under the Edit menu and choose Stroke. When the Stroke dialog appears, choose your stroke width (in this case, Scott wanted 9-pixels [Scott likes his pixels thick] and then I clicked on the Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker (seen at left here), and then I dragged my cursor outside the Color Picker and out over my image (it appears over my image as the Eyedropper tool), then I clicked in the trees to sample the color of those trees to use as my stroke color. Click OK to close the Color Picker now, then click OK in the Stroke dialog to add a green 9-pixel stroke to your layer. Now you can Deselect your selection by pressing Command-D (PC: Ctrl-D).

STEP SIX: Here’s the final image, with the black border and the thin green stroke inside it (click on the image to see a much larger size).

OK, that’s it. Scott’s going to head to bed now (now that actually is me speaking about myself in the third person). Scott’s tired. Scott took two flights today on Southwest. That tires Scott out. Scott doesn’t like coach. Scott misses Delta and his free upgrades. Scott likes frequent flyer programs. Scott likes TSA Pre. Scott’s out. Peace. :)

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget to catch me and RC on “The Grid” tomorrow at 4pm. Scott will be on the air. Scott likes air. 

 

 

Monday
Feb
2015
02

Wanna go to the WPPI conference & expo in Vegas? Wanna save a bunch of money? (Sure ya do!)

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

Hi gang (and greetings from Southwest Airlines flight 571 to Nashville):

Just a quick discount deal today – the folks over at WPPI have given KelbyOne subscribers (and my readers) a $150 deal  on a full platform pass for their upcoming conference. Here’s the scoop (straight from them):

“This exclusive discount is good till February 10th. Receive a WPPI Full Platform Pass for only $150!

 The WPPI Wedding and Portrait Photography Conference + Expo is the industry’s premier event for photographers looking to learn techniques from the world’s best, to try the newest products on the market, and to develop relationships with others in the business.

If you’re looking to experience the full spectrum of what WPPI has to offer, the Full Platform Pass is the best way to challenge yourself by day and network by night. Full Platform Pass holders can attend up to 200 conference classes, get admission to the 3-day Expo as well as to Launch Pad. Head down the Strip learning lighting and posing techniques from one of our 50 Photo Walk leaders, take one of our new one-day intensive PLUS Classes, or sign up for a focused two hour, hands-on Master Class.

Learn from over 150 of the world’s most influential photographers and befriend them at any of our SIX Special Events from the Joe McNally keynote to the WPPI Pool Party! Enter the promo code KELBY on the Attendee Profile page and choose the Full Platform Pass registration type by February 3rd to get the discounted rate. Then, be sure to reserve your spot at each of our special events described below.”

Here’s the link: http://registration3.experientevent.com/showwpp151/default.aspx?flowcode=ATTENDEE

OK, so that’s the scoop (above). I’ll be teaching on the Expo Floor in our own theater, and I hope I’ll see you there in person (this is an AWESOME show – if you’ve never been, you gotta go!).

Hope you all have a great Monday!

Best,

-Scott

 

Friday
Jan
2015
30

Friday Stuff for Photographers

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

Happy Friday, everybody!. Here’s what’s up:

One minute and 41-seconds of brilliant advice for photographers
We do an “Inspire Me Monday” piece each week on our KelbyOne Facebook page and this week it’s a short 1-minute and 41-second clip taken from our business interview with Dave Black, and his advice to someone who asked him how to handle a portrait shoot with an athlete is just brilliant. Simple, yet so smart. You’ve got it watch it. It’ll be the best minute forty-one you spend today on your photography.

If you’re a Wedding or Portrait photographer…
We’re doing a giveaway for TWO Full Platform passes to WPPI (the big Wedding and Portrait photographers conference & Expo in Vegas, coming end of Feb/Early March), plus a 1-year KelbyOne Membership (the prize package is valued at $598). Not too shabby. Details to enter are here. (by the way, I spoke at WPPI last year — one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Absolutely first rate!).

If you’re into Lightroom…
I posted #3 of my “10 Things I would Tell New Lightroom Users” series over at LightroomKillerTips.com - hope you’ll check it out if you get a minute. While you’re there, check out Pete Collins post yesterday about applying presets on import. Really good stuff.

Secrets of Professional Photographers…
Yesterday, on “The Grid” RC hosted sports photographer Dave Black and lifestyle photographer Erik Valind, and the reviews have been fantastic! You can watch it above (I haven’t had a chance to see it yet myself, but I’ve heard rave reviews. Figures, they crush it when I’m not there). ;-)

Shooting Tethered & Lightroom Mobile Studio Workflow
Next Thursday we’re releasing another of my new Lightroom online classes (we release new full-length online classes each Thursday on KelbyOne), and this one is on setting up Lightroom to shoot tethered and then how to incorporate Lightroom Mobile into your own workflow. Keep an eye out for it next week on KelbyOne.

A Big Shoutout and Thanks!
What an amazing week! I had over 1,000 photographers come out to my “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar this week in Columbus, Richmond, and Raleigh and I met some of the most gracious, kind, and just downright fun people during those three days! I’m very grateful to everyone who came out and spent the day with me, and I hope to see you all again next year. NOTE: I made it through the entire trip without buying a guitar, despite visiting three music stores along the way. I think that’s a record for me. ;-)

Catch me LIVE on Monday at ImagingUSA
I’ll be teaching a session on stage at the Canon booth at PPA’s ImagingUSA show in Nashville on Monday, so if you’re at the show, I hope you’ll stop on by and say Howdy.

One more thing:
If you see me in Nashville on Monday, my wife would probably appreciate it if you would please stop me from sneaking off to Gruhen Guitars shop. Last time I was there I wound up shipping back this candy apple red Fender telecaster). ;-)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! (I’ll be home on the couch recuperating) and I hope to see you back here on Monday!

Best,

-Scott

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Jan
2015
29

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  80 Comments

New Lightroom Classes from Scott Kelby
Over on KelbyOne, we just released four brand new Lightroom courses from Scott Kelby! Whether you’re wondering why you should start using Lightroom and are curious what the advantages of it are over just using Bridge and Photoshop, a current user who wants to know more about sharpening, a sports photographer looking for the best way to integrate Lightroom into your workflow, or are just looking for some cool layout ideas, Scott has you covered.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free copy of Scott’s Lightroom 5 Book for Photographers!

Moose Peterson’s Trip To Africa in BT Journal
The latest issue of Moose Peterson’s BT Journal is out, and it’s all about his trip to South Africa! At 70 pages featuring 200 photos and plenty of video footage, it’s one of the largest issues they’ve ever produced. If you want to check it out, you can find out more right here.

Last Week’s Winner
-Bill Hardman

If that’s you, you’ll hear from us soon. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Jan
2015
28

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring David Molnar!

by Brad Moore  |  28 Comments

I’ve been afraid to admit this for a while… afraid to say this out loud.

But this is a safe place right?

For years I felt like a fake. I would be so nervous the night before a shoot that I felt like tomorrow was the day that I was going to come undone.

Tomorrow the world will discover that I’m faking this. I’m not really a good photographer. They really shouldn’t pay me for this. I’m not worth anything.

I’m pretending to know what I’m doing. When really, I’m scared as hell.

You may or may not know this, but I’m a celebrity, music and advertising photographer in Nashville. I make most of my living shooting album covers for musicians and photographing advertising campaigns for companies like Pepsi, March of Dimes and Cracker Barrel.

But I owe all of my clients an apology.

A few years ago I had some big breaks. I shot an album cover for a band that sold over a million copies. I probably copied an idea from someone else or slightly altered someone else’s style and claimed it as my own. Regardless, I was the new hot thing in Nashville for a minute or two.

After a few more successes and working my butt off trying to take amazing photos… I realized I could just keep doing what I was doing. I found a couple of things that worked. Like shooting on a white backdrop and a specific lighting set-up that would look killer every time. It became my “old faithful.” I became more confident in my craft… or at least a few of my tricks.

I didn’t want to feel insecure anymore or worry that I’d be discovered as faking it, so I started playing it safe. We’ve probably all experienced this right?

I found myself saying by default, “How about we shoot that band on a white seamless backdrop. That would be cool and original!” Even though I’d already done it a hundred times.

If you’ve been shooting for a while, I bet you can relate to having a specific set-up that you know will work. Maybe you shot a killer senior portrait session in your secret location, or a bride in a beautiful backlit garden, and you kept replicating your past successes.

No one knew it wasn’t your best. But you knew. You knew it was only a copy of your previous best.

Sometimes early success is not good for you (or at least me). We turn to coasting on the momentum we luckily gained from a big break.

I’ve heard it said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

Well, here’s my confession:

I’ve been stale. I’ve been coasting. I’ve been lieing to you. Cheating my clients.

I told the artist, I loved the idea. I told my clients this was my best work, I told you… well, what you wanted to hear. I didn’t want to be vulnerable, I didn’t want put myself out there again, I wanted to be comfortable. Frankly, I wanted stay on my couch where it is warm and cozy.

PLEASE STOP THE MUSIC.

The world needs your art. It needs all you have. It doesn’t need my half-assed effort anymore. It needs my best. It needs me to push limits. To do things that scare me.

DON’T WITHHOLD YOUR BEST. If you’re not absolutely spent after a shoot… you’ve cheated the world.

I’ve had a few moments of being shaken back to reality in the past few years… but then I fall back into the same creative rut or safe zones.

Until recently, I hadn’t done any test shoots for myself in the last 3 years. I hadn’t gone out and tried something new. In contrast, my first couple of years, I was shooting every chance I could to build my portfolio, to learn, and sometimes just to create something beautiful.

Everything I’ve been doing recently has been from techniques that I learned years ago… and I kept doing the same things over and over.

Maybe for you, you need to stop shooting the same backlit portraits at the same location over and over shooting at f/2 to get that same super shallow depth of field. I need to stop shooting on the same white seamless background.

PUSH YOURSELF.

I love Jon Foreman’s lyric in the Switchfoot song: “This is your life. Are you who you want to be?”

I’ve been in a creative rut. I’ve been doing the same old things over and over… because they are safe and I know they work.

But that’s lame. I’ve been a coward.

I dare you to join me. I dare you to get uncomfortable. Let’s push the limits.

I dare you to risk being discovered as a fake… again.

You can see more of David’s work at DavidMolnar.com, and follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Tuesday
Jan
2015
27

Frozen (the tour)

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

I was born and raised in Florida. I was 24-years-old before I ever saw snow in person. Now I’m in Columbus, Ohio where I did my seminar yesterday and I’m making up for lost time. It’s “snow city.” Brrrrrrr!!!!

This is Brad. He’s from Knoxville, Tennessee so he’s used to cold weather, and even likes it, but it’s really not fair because his beard generates it’s own heat (just ask the ladies in Columbus).

Luckily, we hunkered down indoors yesterday, and we had an awesome group of photographers (over 300+ photographers braved the cold and the snow to come out for the day – as seen above). Thanks to everybody who came out, and even though it was cold outside, I sure got a warm welcome from the great photographers up there. I’ll be back next year with my new tour. :)

I won’t be there for “The Grid” tomorrow….
Brad and I will be in Richmond, Virginia (in fact, I’m at the airport right now), and I’ve got a shoot at one of the most beautiful classic old theaters in the country today (provided my flight doesn’t get delayed), and then I’ll be teaching my seminar when the Grid air, and I hate to miss it, because our in-studio guests are none other than Dave Black, and lifestyle photographer Erik Valind. It’s gonna be a great show, so make sure you join RC tomorrow at 4pm as he welcomes Dave and Erik. Here’s the link. 

OK, I gotta fly!
They’ll be boarding soon, so I’ve got to head out. Hope I’ll get to meet some of you in person tomorrow at my seminar in Richmond (if you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late – here’s the link).

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. Yesterday I started a new series over on LighroomKillerTips.com called “10 Things I would tell a new Lightroom user” and if you’ve got a quick minute, it’s right here.
 

 

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