Monday
Dec
2013
09

Just Released: My ebook on Pro Sports Photography Workflow

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

The video above explains the new ebook (and it’s short and sweet, just like the book), but I just wanted to reiterate: this ebook is designed for photographers who are shooting on assignment and have to get their images sorted, tagged and uploaded on a deadline. But don’t buy it without watching the video above (important!).

Here’s the link to it on Amazon and on Apple’s iBooks Store. 

It’s $9.99 (cheap!)

Hope you find it helpful. :)

-Scott

Friday
Dec
2013
06

Some Shots From Last Week’s Wedding Shoot

by Scott Kelby  |  113 Comments

Last Saturday I shot a wedding in Orlando, Florida and I thought I’d share a few pages from the Wedding proof book I put together in Lightroom.

This was about as ideal of a shooting situation as you’re going to get: The bride and groom, Ryan and Lindsay, could not have been easier to work with, and Linsday was a stunning bride (and both Ryan and Lindsay were both very photogenic, which made my job really easy). They were really a joy to photograph and they were incredibly accommodating. The groomsmen and bridesmaids were wonderful and the parents couldn’t have been nicer, and the surroundings were first class all the way. The pre-wedding and reception were held at the gorgeous Ritz Carlton, and the ceremony itself in a beautiful church in Winter Park.

I really wanted to do this right, so I brought some serious back-up: I had the wonderful Kathy Porupski as my 2nd shooter during the ceremony (she could only cover the ceremony itself, but she totally rocked it!), and I had Brad Moore assisting me with the lighting (and doing some 2nd shooting pre-wedding and at the reception) along with Pete Collins and we even got our buddy Kevin Graham (who lives in Orlando) to help us out, so I had everything well covered, and my crew did a great job during a long 16-hour day with only one 30-minute break all day.

Camera Stuff
I’ll leave the rest to the captions, but in short, I shot withthe pre-wedding images with a Canon 1Dx, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 and a 24-70mm. I also used the new Profoto B-1 Off-Camera Flash with a 5′ Octa softbox for the formals of the groomsmen, and for formals at the church, and some pre-wedding portraits.

For the reception, I used pretty much just one lens — the 85mm f/1.2 but I shot it at f/1.4 (I’m not sure I’m accurate enough at run-and-gun photography to keep enough in focus at f/1.2. I’m pushing it at f/1.4) with a Canon Speedlight 600EX-RT flash mounted on the hot shoe (aiming straight upward — seen a bit farther down below).

An Un-plugged Wedding
We sent the bride a link to the CNN article I talked about here on the blog about “un-plugged weddings” where the Bride and Groom ask the guests to NOT take their own photos at the wedding, and leave the photography to the hired photographers and the guests just relax and enjoy the day, and the bride loved the idea and rolled with it. I cannot tell you how much easier that made our job. Three cheers to the bride and groom who totally embraced the idea.

OK, on to the wedding album proofs:

Above: I used a 105mm Macro lens on a tripod for this one.

Above: Here’s the set-up for that shot, taken on the balcony of the bride’s hotel room right after the bouquets were delivered.

Above: The bride’s mom and dad on the right page. Lovely people (really made us feel at home).

Above: The flower girls were absolutely adorable — love the portrait drawn while the bridesmaids were getting ready.

Above: We had set aside just over an hour for portraits of the bride at the hotel before we left for the church, but as is usually the case, things ran behind and as it turned out I actually only wound up with less than 20 minutes with her and a long walk to here I wanted to shoot. The shot at the top of the page was made as we were walking back through the hotel’s convention lobby on the way to her limo to race to the church. I ran in front of Lindsay and asked her to pause just a moment right in the window light just long enough to pose her and get that shot. She was incredibly calm throughout, even though we were cutting it really close in getting to the church on time.

Above: Here’s a behind the scenes of the shot in the spread above, right page. Taken using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Above: The shot on the right is one of my favorites. It’s taken on the staircase leading to the spa, just outside the hotel (so he had to hoof it a bit to get there). I’m standing on a step ladder (the ladder cart I mention in one of my books), and I’m using the Canon 16-35mm lens at 16mm. I also over-exposed nearly a stop using just natural light. On the left: That’s the bride still laughing and smiling after walking pretty darn far to get there.

Above: I shot a few from the right side as well, without the ladder and a tighter lens. 

Above: More shots taken on the way back to the limo. For the shot on the right, I asked Pete and Brad to ask the flower girls to hide out-of-site for a moment and once the bride started walking, have them come out and follow the bride but not run up to catch her. That way I could have them out-of-focus in the background, as you see here (I was shooting at f/2.8). , and it worked out pretty well. They’re a little cut-off on the left side of the page just because of the page dimensions. If I wind up making this a two-page spread, you see all of them and lots of breathing room as well.

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes of the shot on the page above left.

Above: I saw a small bench in front of this window and I asked (begged) Lindsay to let me just take one more and I promised it would be the last one before she jumps in the limo. She gladly obliged and I’m so glad she did.

Above: The shot on the right is on those circular stairs leading to the spa, shot using just natural light. I’m down at the bottom of the stairs, shooting up towards her.

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes of the ring closeup in the previous spread. That’s Pete Collins holding a white card to bounce some window light back onto the rings to create a highlight. The shot was taken on an end table in the hotel room.

Above: Here’s a wide angle shot with my 16mm of the bride and groom walking down the aisle in a two-page spread. The church doesn’t allow any photographers near the front of the church during the ceremony whatsoever, so I went either really wide or 200mm tight. Honestly, I wished I had brought at 300mm, or at least a 1.4 tele-extender.

Above: This one’s just using the available room light and me cranking up the ISO, which worked amazingly well. 

Above: After the ceremony, right before we arrived at the Ritz Carlton, I stopped for just a minute to jump out to get this shot, thinking it would make a great transition in the album between the ceremony and the reception.

Above: The bride and groom make their entrance to the reception ballroom.

Above: On the right, the groom’s father gives a warm welcome speech. He really looks like a star in this shot (and his welcome speech was one of the best!). That him below dancing with his daughter.

Above: Here’s me shooting directly into a video light to get a lens flare effect.

Above: For all these shots I’m either just using that one Canon Speedlight, aiming straight upward (so just a little light goes forward toward the subjects), or I turned off the flash and just shot at a high ISO to get the shutter speed up high enough to freeze motion. My strategy was to position myself directly across from the moving lights the band put up aiming at the dance floor. That way, I could get a lens-flare effect when the light aimed right at my lens. It didn’t work every time but when it did, I thought it looked great (that’s how I got all these shots with the exception of the top right where the lens flare didn’t work, but I really liked the shot.

Above: Here’s my set-up for shooting the reception. 85mm f/1.2 and a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight.

These are just a few of the pages from the album (I didn’t include any of the formals at the church here, or all of the reception shots, or getting-ready shots, and so on), so these are just a few of my favorite spreads from the book.

A wedding like this is a lot of work
Even with a whole team (my thanks to Kathy, Pete, Brad and Kevin who were all very professional and a huge help from start to finish), but of course, my work has just begun — I’ve got prints to deliver, a final book to create, web proof pages, and a myriad of things before our work is done. We had a really great time, thanks to a Bride, Groom who knew what kind of images they wanted, and were very accommodating to make sure we had the opportunity to create them.

We were honored to have the opportunity to share in Lindsay and Ryan’s special day, and their willingness to request an “unplugged” wedding from their guests made our job so much easier and less stressful for everyone. It was a beautiful wedding of two lovely people, and I feel very fortunate to have been small part of it. Here’s to the Bride and Groom — and to love and laughter, happily ever after. :)

Thursday
Dec
2013
05

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  12 Comments

The Art of Photography with Peter Hurley
Take an inspiration break with Mia McCormick and Peter Hurley, an advertising and commercial photographer based in New York. Peter is known around the world for his ability to draw emotion and expression from people posing for his headshots, but you may not know the story about how he got started and built the business he has today. Over the course of an hour Mia and Peter discuss a wide variety of topics that range from getting started in the business to figuring out how to create a viable career, from what Peter’s typical day looks like to the importance of building relationships, having the burning desire, setting goals, and so much more!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott KelbyMatt Kloskowski, or RC Concepcion? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Dec 9 – Toronto, ON

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Dec 6 – Seattle, WA
Dec 13 – Jacksonville, FL
Jan 23 – San Antonio, TX
Jan 31 – Covington, KY (Cincinnati Area)

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Dec 11 – Calgary, AB

We’ve added more dates for next year too, so make sure you check out the full schedule for seminars through March! And don’t forget, if you register for a seminar at least 14 days in advance, you can save $10 by using the code KTL10 at the checkout. And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Matt Kloskowski Class Rental
- Brian

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Alicia Stanley

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

Wednesday
Dec
2013
04

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Gabriel Biderman!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

Shooting Stars
Admit it, you are enamored by certain stars; you follow and keep track of all of their movements. I’m a sucker for stars too, but more of the celestial type. There is a certain magic to shooting at night and capturing what can’t be seen with the naked eye. Hopefully these tips will inspire or help you improve your night visions.

The Right Stuff
In order to successfully capture the night I would recommend a digital camera from the last 2-3 years, a sturdy tripod, and a cable release. I tend to shoot wide, 18mm-21mm, to include more of the sky. However when shooting wide, it is very important to incorporate an interesting foreground. Trees, rocks, and structures will add more dimension and scale against the night sky.

Get Out Of Town
Get away from all the light pollution of the city to better capture the starry skies. If you can’t see the stars, then neither can your camera. This shot was taken 40 minutes north of NYC, at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. The three crosses shot (later in the blog) was taken in the remote town of Las Cruces, Baja – and revealed more stars than I had ever seen or imagined.

Be In Tune With The Moon
Photographing under the moonlight can be a magical and therapeutic experience. The size and brightness of the moon will depend on what phase it’s in. Knowing this and what time the moon will be rising, will dictate the length of your exposure. I use the MoonPhase app to plot out what nights will be the best to shoot. The app, Moonrise, lets you drop a pin on a location/date and find out when the moon will be rising and setting.

Focus To Infinity
Autofocus doesn’t work for most night photography; there simply isn’t enough contrast in the scene. If you are shooting the stars and not including any foreground for 20-30 feet then switch to manual focus and set it to infinity. Note that most AF lenses go past infinity – so make sure to align the infinity symbol correctly to the MF hash mark on your lens. To focus on dark foregrounds without contrast use a high power flashlight so you can autofocus. Once you have locked down the focus – switch the camera back to manual focus so when you trigger the exposure it doesn’t search for focus again.

The 500 Rule For Better Celestial Skies
There are two ways to interpret stars – either as star points or star trails. Digital capture has made photographing star points, or celestial skies, easier than ever. A good starting point for capturing a celestial sky is a 25 second shutter speed, ISO 3200, at f/4. That was the exposure details of the Milky Way shot over Independence, California.

How do we figure out our exposure?

The most important factor is time. The earth rotates and when we capture star trails we are actually capturing the rotation of the earth – the stars remain constant.

There is a simple equation that will tell us how long we can expose until the stars start to trail. It was originally called the 600 Rule, which is probably safe for viewing on the web. But if you want to print or view the images at 100%, I recommend using the 500 Rule, where you divide 500 by the focal length of your lens.

500/24mm = 20 seconds

500/50mm = 10 seconds

The more telephoto the lens, the more it will zoom in and magnify the movement of the stars.

Now comes the balance of ISO and Aperture.  The two factors to consider is how fast and sharp your lens is wide open and how high can your camera’s ISO safely go?  I typically like to stop my lens down at least one stop – so from f/2.8 to f/4, and there is often a big difference between the noise at 3200 ISO and 6400 ISO.

Let Them Trail!
Star trails definitely have that “wow” factor, especially if we can point our camera north and expose for at least one hour. The problem is noise. Nothing creates more noise in-cameras than long exposures – it’s like a herculean effort to hold that shutter open! A quick and easy solution is to go into your camera’s menu and turn on your Long Exposure Noise Reduction (LENR). This will create a black mask over your image that will eat away most of the noise in-camera. However this often takes the same amount of time as your exposure (1 hour exposure + 1 hour LENR) and renders your camera useless until the “processing” is over. A more productive way is to take a series of images that will equal one long exposure and then stack them together in post. For example 18 five minute exposures = 1 ½ hours.

The trick with stacking is that you need to use a cable release like the Vello Shutterboss, and make sure your interval between images is no longer than a second or else you will have significant breaks in your stars. Even at a second, blown up to 100% you will probably notice subtle breaks in the stars.

Which do you like more – the star points or star trails?

Stacking In Post
There are lots of star stacking actions out there but I’ve gotten the best result by simply opening up all the images as layers in Photoshop and then changing the blend mode to lighten for each one. This will quickly and simply connect all the lines.

Operating under the stars can be a magical experience. I want to thank Scott and Brad for inviting me to share my nocturnal visions with you. If you want to learn more – the book I co-authored with Tim Cooper, Night Photography:  From Snapshots to Great Shots, was just released! If you are in NYC on Wednesday December 4, we are having at book signing/gallery opening at the Soho Photo Gallery from 7pm-9pm and would love to see you. Also, night workshops are some of the coolest ways to get more comfortable photographing in the dark. There are lots of options across the States that offer hands on teaching often in locations that you normally can’t access at a night. You can find out more info on my workshops and adventures at ruinism.com.

Carpe Noctem!

You can see more of Gabriel’s work at Ruinism.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Tuesday
Dec
2013
03

Greetings From San Diego (and a Cyber Monday update)

by Scott Kelby  |  17 Comments

Hi Gang and howdy from San Diego — I’m here for my sold-out “Shoot Like a Pro” seminar here at the Convention Center where I’m hoping I’ll get to meet some of you who read my blog in person here today. I love this town (plus the awesome Alan Hess and his wife Nadra took us to dinner last night  at Slader’s 50/50— a great welcome to a great town). :)

Whew! What a crazy day we had yesterday on Cyber Monday
We had some great triumphs yesterday as incredible numbers of new folks joined with us at Kelby Training and NAPP, which is awesome, but at the same time, our phone lines and web sites were crushed, so not everybody got through. By the way, why is the rep in the photo above holding her mic? Nobody knows, but they all do it. I think it’s a nervous habit.

We had carefully planned, staffed and prepared for yesterday…
but you just never know how crazy things are going to get, and apparently “crazy crazy” wasn’t on our list of possibilities. It was totally nuts, but in a good way. Well, for the most part. We had some serious email glitches where some folks didn’t any emails about our deals (so they’re mad), but then a few folks got literally buried in emails from us (they’re mad), which totally stinks [I am so sorry about that]. We all had steam coming out of our ears trying to figure out how and why it happened, but it definitely made for a stressful day for everybody involved. My apologies to anybody who missed out, or got “over-notified” (how’s that for a coining a new phrase?).

Anyway, if you couldn’t get through on the phones yesterday…
… if you call our customer service department today at 1-800-738-8513 or 813-433-5000 and  they will honor the deals from yesterday (but just for today and just for folks who couldn’t’ get through by phone, or tried to order online while our site was slammed, which was most of the day).

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of our deals, and to everyone who couldn’t get through (or struggled to get their order in online) I hope we get the chance to make it right for you today. Thanks for your patience; your support; for hanging in there with us through another crazy Cyber Monday, and welcome to the Kelby Training community — it’s going to be an amazing 2014!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re at my San Diego seminar today, make sure you come up and say “hi” — I love meeting people who read this blog in person. :)

Monday
Dec
2013
02

Four Killer “Cyber Monday” Deals (and our Cyber Monday Deal-Watch Broadcasts)

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

OK gang, we’re doing it again this year: We’re going to scour the Web to help you find everybody else’s killer Cyber Monday deals on Photography and Photoshop Stuff:

It’s just a quick five-minute broadcast from the gang at the top of every hour starting at 10:00 AM ET Today!!! (and only for today, Cyber Monday!)

This was a huge hit last year (our first time trying this idea), but it succeeded thanks to your help spreading the word via Twitter, Facebook, your blogs, etc.? and if you could do that again this year, that would be awesome! Also, there are just so many great deals out there we can’t keep up with them all, so if you find a really great deal and you want us to share it, leave me a comment right here (make sure you include a link to the deal).

In the meantime, here’s our Cyber Monday Killer Deals (these end at midnight tonight):

DEAL #1: Save $40 on our kick-butt Online Training for photographers
You get it all —- unlimited access to all our online training courses for an entire year (literally hundreds of classes by the best teachers anywhere) for just $159 for a full year. Here’s the link. 

http://youtu.be/zLC06AAMZ3g
DEAL #2: One Month Full-Access to our Online Training: just $14.95
An entire month, including our acclaimed “Beginners Start Here” program (check out the short video clip above). Plus, all access to hundreds of full-length classes. Thousands of lessons. All at nearly 40% off. We’re nut to offer it this low. That’s true, but it’s just for today (well, it ends today). Here’s the link
DEAL #3: $10 Off Any of Our Live Seminar Tours (McNally, Matt, RC or Me)
Come spend a day live with Joe McNally learning hot shoe flash, or Matt Kloskowski learning Lightroom. How about a day with RC Concepcion learning “Photoshop for Photographers” or with me on my “Shoot Like a Pro” Tour? Well, now it’s even more of a bargain with $10 off. Here’s the link
DEAL #4: Save up to $250 on the Photoshop World Conference & Expo (coming to Atlanta in April)
It’s our first time ever in Atlanta, and we want you to share in the most amazing Photoshop, Design & Photography live learning experience on the planet, so we’re giving you up to $250 off a full conference pass. Today it’s only $449 (reg: $699) and that is an absolutely killer deal! Here’s the link. 
DON’T FORGET:
Come join us every hour, on the hour, as we uncover the Web’s hottest Cyber-Monday deals on our Cyber Monday Deal Watch. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it….) epic! :)
Happy shopping everybody!
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