Tuesday
Sep
2007
25

Air Travel Just Got Worse for Photographers

by Scott Kelby  |  4 Comments

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I wound up getting stuck overnight in Minneapolis/St. Paul due to a late flight that caused me to miss my connection back to Tampa (thanks Northwest Airlines, which not only made me miss my connection, but then wouldn’t release my own luggage to me, or provide me with a room, or well…pretty much anything. It just reminded me once again why I love United, but that’s another story).

Anyway, while passing through security the TSA Agent at the X-ray belt, said: “That’s a LowePro camera bag; do you have a DSLR in there?” I said yes, and he said I had to remove it and put it on the belt. I told him it wasn’t a video camera, and he told me DSLR’s now have to be removed and put on the belt separately because of their size. So I started screaming at him, and pointing my fingers in his face (you know I’m joking, right?). So, I just shook my head, took out my DSLR out of my bag (pictured above in a photo taken with my iPhone), put it in a gray bin (I sent it though last so I’d be there to make sure I’m the one that winds up with it), and went on.

Then they wanted to search my bag, and that’s perfectly fine with me, and they dusted it for explosives. While he and I were chatting, I asked him about having to remove my DSLR, and was this just an overzealous TSA agent, or a new rule? He said as of August 4, 2007 that all DSLR are supposed to be removed, but not all airports have instituted this new policy yet, but he felt certain most would. Just what I was hoping for, as I usually travel with two bodies, that now I have to worry about getting swiped as they pass through the x-ray machine.

Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to go to the TSA site and research this, but even if I find that it’s not accurate, what recourse do I have with a TSA agent that asks me to remove it. I’ve heard of the success rate of getting into an argument with a TSA agent. They generally win, since they can simply delay you long enough for you to miss your flight (this happened to a photographer friend of mine). Anyway, just a heads up that air travel with your DSLR may have gotten just a little bit more fun. ;-)

Monday
Sep
2007
24

Fielding Your Questions on the Nikon D3

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

I’ve had a number of posts and emails about my experience with the new Nikon D3 this past week, and to make sure I address the questions you want answered about the new camera, so I invite you to post questions here (in the comments section of this post), that you’d like me to take a shot at answering. I won’t have all the answers, but I want to address as many as I can, so thanks for your input, and check back tomorrow for some of the answers.

NOTE: I’ve posted some other shots below from the workshop, including a pano from one of my students.

Monday
Sep
2007
24

Another Stream Shot From Montana

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

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Here’s another from my Montana workshop (click on it for the larger version, which looks much better). I only had time to go through a few of the shots I’ve taken, because we had been going nonstop from dawn till late at night, but I took this one last night, as we returned to the stream where we shot earlier in the week, because it was another overcast night.

The shot isn’t really a pano; it’s just “pano cropped” (Bill Fortney gave the idea while I was processing the image in Lightroom (all the processing, sharpening, and cropping was done in Lightroom). I read a number of comments posted this week asking if I would share the camera settings for the shots I post, and I’m more than happy to (thanks for the suggestion):

SPECS: Taken with a Nikon D200 (Bill was shooting [read as: hogging] the D3, since we were shooting in really low light; I don’t blame him). I used a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (racked out to 200mm), and I shot in Aperture Priority mode at f/22 (to keep the shutter open as long as possible to create the silky water effect), which gave me a nice long shutter speed of 30 seconds. I also used a Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter to make things even darker, so I’d get that really long shutter speed. The ISO was set to 100.

Monday
Sep
2007
24

Shooting After Dark

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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SPECS: Taken using the same D200, and the same 70-200mm VR lens as the previous post, but I only pushed in to 130mm. I set the camera to Manual mode at f/22 with a 20 second exposure (which wasn’t enough. I should have stuck with 30 seconds). It was so dark outside by the time I took this shot, I had to take the Vari-ND filter off. In fact, it was so dark, my Auto Focus wouldn’t focus, so I switched the lens to manual focus, set the focus to Infinity, and crossed my fingers.

Dan, one of my students, offered to shine a flashlight on the falls to help my autofocus work. Even though it wasn’t bright enough for the auto focus to snap-to; it did light the falls just enough to help me make the moody picture you see above. I didn’t see it, but Dan says right after I took the shot, a large bat flew out from near the falls and made a beeline straight for me. I’m surprised I didn’t have a “Blurry Bird” in the shot.

Monday
Sep
2007
24

A Pano From One of my Students

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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During my GAPW Workshop (with famous landscape photographer Bill Fortney) this past week out in Montana’s Glacier National Park, I showed my students how easy it is to shoot and stitch a panorama, thanks to Photoshop CS3′s incredible Photomerge feature (which incorporates the mind-blowing Auto Align and Auto Blend features). I gave my students the assignment of shooting a pano and stitching it in CS3 (only one student in the class had ever shot and stitched a pano before).

Well, after our dawn shoot at Swiftcurrent Lake, we went to breakfast at the “Many Glacier” hotel right on the water. After breakfast, one of my students, John Cureton, shot his first ever pano from the hotel lobby balcony, overlooking the lake. When we got back to the classroom, John used CS3′s Photomerge to stitch it together perfectly and we both were really tickled. John’s success started a “pano frenzy” in the class, and by that evening everybody was shooting and stitching panos. John was kind enough to let me share his wonderful pano above (click for a much larger version). Thanks to John for letting me share this with you.

In a semi-related note: John, and his buddy Wes, were both students in my class, and they were telling me about an Advanced Photoshop Course they’re enrolled in at a local college near their home in Knoxville, Tennessee. They were raving about their instructor, Steve Chastain, and they just couldn’t say enough great things about, noting his true passion for teaching, and genuine care and dedication to his students.

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize Steve for his work, and for being such a great teacher that his students would be singing his praises even when they’re thousands of miles away. Way to go Steve–keep up the great work! :-)

Friday
Sep
2007
21

A Nikon D3 Shot from Glacier

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

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Here’s one from last night’s shoot at Glacier (click for a larger version). It was raining pretty steadily last night, so our sunset shoot was out, but when it rains it’s the perfect time to shoot streams (you can get that silky water from long exposures, and the rocks are wet, too). Unfortunately, this is shot at 100 ISO, so it doesn’t take advantage of the D3′s incredibly low noise, but I thought I’d at least throw one up. I’ve learned more cool things about the D3, and I’ll share more next week.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the D300, but unfortunately there’s not one here for me to shoot, so at this point, I have no idea how it compares to the D3, but as soon as I get to field test one; you’ll be the first to know.

I got a couple of shots this morning at our dawn shoot, and I’ve another shoot late this afternoon (it’s still cold, but not as cold, and it’s a bright beautiful day. I’m lovin’ it!). Have a great weekend everybody, and I’ll see you on Monday.

-Scott

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