Friday
Aug
2013
02

Seven Quick Friday Things (one or two of which may actually be important)

by Scott Kelby  |  22 Comments

(1) My Lightroom 5 Book is in-stock
Most folks who pre-ordered have already received their copies, but now the online bookstores (and brick and mortars) also have it in-stock, and I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s the link to it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Get your copy today and be one of the “cool kids” (that alone won’t actually do it, but it certainly won’t hurt). ;-)

(2) My Jesus Book is Sold Out Again
It’s sold out again at Amazon, but more copies are already on their way. Now, if you just said to yourself, “Scott wrote a Jesus book?” Here’s a link to the video where I announced it, which explains it all (and who the book is for). It is still available as an ebook for the iPad or iPhone from Apple’s iBooks store, and we’re working on a Kindle version (have been for a while, but we are finally getting close. It’s a long story). Anyway, more print copies are on the way.

(3) Today is the cutoff for the $100 Early Bird Photoshop World Conference discount
I know Brad mentioned that it was today yesterday, but today’s today. Here’s the link if you want to join us in Vegas next month for a career-changing, earth-shaking, technique-learning, fun-loving’ Photoshop love-fest, here’s the link. Sign up today and snag that $100 discount (and get a full 12-months of the full Adobe Creative Cloud for free).

Plus, you’ve always been dying to go — now’s your chance. Airfares to Vegas are cheap, we’ve got a great deal on the hotel (stay where the instructors stay, the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, the home to Photoshop World Vegas), and today you save another $100. Say it with me, “This is the year. I’m going!”

(4) If you missed Brian Smith on “The Grid” you missed a lot!
Brian totally rocked the Grid this week and we’ve gotten a flood of comments on how useful, informative, and just plain great that episode was. The topic was “The secrets of great portraits” and some are calling it one of our best episode ever. You can watch it all right above.

(5) SmugMug gets the “Big Buzz” award of the week
Everybody was raving about SmugMug’s new relaunch this week, and their debut of some seriously beautiful new portfolio layouts, a much-improved back-end, and an all new…well…everything. They totally nailed it, and if you haven’t checked them out this week, jump over there right now and see what all the fuss is about. Congrats to the crew at SmugMug on the hugely successful big launch!

(6) Speedlights vs. Battery Powered Strobes
Really great article in photographer Michael Clark’s latest newsletter on Speedlights vs. Battery Powered Strobes. I always enjoy Michael’s newsletter and he often covers topics you don’t see covered that frequently, which I think is great. This one is an excerpt from his book, and he makes some really great points. Plus, lots of great photos as always. Here’s the PDF edition: http://bit.ly/15gY770

(7) You can now view “Cool Photography Stuff” (my Flipboard magazine) on The Web
I just learned that you don’t have to have a tablet to read the Flipboard 2.0 magazine I curate anymore — you can now read it right in your web browser (and the layouts transfer very well, as seen above). I curate my “Cool Photography Stuff” magazine every day, and it’s free, free, free to subscribe! Here’s the “view on  the web” link: http://flip.it/ErwfT (of course, it’s still available within the free Flipboard App itself as always). So, if you want to stay up on what’s going on daily, check it out.

Well, that’s my seven quick things for this Friday.
I’ve got a really cool review planned that I think will help a lot of folks. Hope you all have a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday. Cheers, -Scott

Thursday
Aug
2013
01

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  71 Comments

Photoshop World – Early Bird Special Ends TOMORROW!
If you’re going to Photoshop World in Las Vegas, make sure you register by tomorrow, August 2, to save $100 on registration! Early Bird registration ends tomorrow, so sign up before it ends to take advantage of this offer. Just by registering for the conference, you’ll also be receiving a 12-month subscription to the full Adobe Creative Cloud! You’ll be getting not just Photoshop, but Lightroom, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Muse, Encore, and all of the other applications from Adobe for a full year! While you’re registering, make sure you book your stay at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino to stay where the instructors stay!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a full conference pass to Photoshop World!

What Makes A Great Sports Photo with Peter Read Miller
Shooting sports is messy. We all struggle with the same issues and ask the same questions. Where are the best shooting positions? What lens should I be using? How do I know which photos are any good? Join legendary sports photographer Peter Read Miller and Scott Kelby to find the answers to all these questions and more in What Makes A Great Sports Photo on KelbyTraining.com! Peter and Scott go through the particulars of shooting many different types of sports, ranging from football to basketball and swimming to volleyball, as they discuss and dissect what makes a great sports photo in each specific environment. You’ll learn the key elements that separate the winners from the losers based on Peter Read Miller’s 30 years of experience covering sports all over the world.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free rental of this class!

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Matt Kloskowski? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Aug 16 – San Antonio, TX
Aug 21 – Indianapolis, IN
Aug 27 – San Jose, CA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Aug 7 – Charlotte, NC
Aug 9 – Pittsburgh, PA

Lightroom 5 with Matt Kloskowski
Aug 2 – Hartford, CT

Lots more dates have been added for the rest of the year, so head over to the Kelby Training Live site to get the full schedule! And leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Secrets of Great Portrait Photography by Brian Smith
Celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith was here yesterday as our guest on The Grid, and he left an extra signed copy of his book Secrets of Great Portrait Photography for us to give away! Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy, or go ahead and take advantage of this week’s Peachpit eBook Deal and get it at 40% off!

Winners
Photoshop World Ticket
- Mel Carll

James Schmelzer Class Rental
- Irhad Babic

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- Debi Buck

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon! Have a great Thursday, and don’t forget to sign up for Photoshop World today to save $100!

Wednesday
Jul
2013
31

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Brian Smith!

by Brad Moore  |  1 Comments


Miami celebrity portrait photographer Brian Smith

[Note from Brad: This is the first of four guest blogs from newer Photoshop World instructors in the weeks leading up to the conference. We thought you might like to get familiar with them beforehand if you're not already, so we hope you enjoy this series!]

Not every picture is worth a thousand words. The value of an image depends on how much you give it to say.

Conceptual Portrait Photography is creating story-telling portraits that say something about your subject. I’m very excited to join the faculty of Photoshop World in Las Vegas this September 4-6 where I’ll be speaking about creating story-telling Conceptual Portrait Photography. In the mean time, Scott and Brad have been kind enough to hand me the keys to O’Kelby’s Pub for Happy Hour Wednesday. So grab a pint, slide up to the bar and enjoy a few appetizers.


Darnell Dockett photographed for Sports Illustrated

Concepts come from many different places. They can be yours or they can come from the creative director, art director or photo editor. They can be based on the subject’s latest movie, project or book. Sometimes they come out of collaboration with the subject and occasionally you just have to pull them out of thin air on the spur of the moment.

Let’s start with a concept that I was hired to shoot. Sports Illustrated assigned me to photograph Florida State defensive end Darnell Dockett in a cemetery for their Halloween issue.

I pictured something like the nighttime graveyard scene in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. When shooting college or pro athletes for magazines, you rarely have control over when you’ll be able to shoot them. The only time Dockett was available was 3pm in the afternoon. If you’ve ever been in Tallahassee, Florida in October, you know that harsh afternoon sunlight looks nothing like the ghoulish evening sky we were after.

The key to pulling off the concept boils down to problem solving. We hired an assistant in Tallahassee and put him to work finding the funkiest old cemetery in town.

“Day for night” is a cinematic term for faking a nighttime shot during the day. We chose a spot in the cemetery that would be in full shade so I wouldn’t have to fight the sunlight. To give a “Thriller”-esque feel to our daylight shoot, we rented a generator and fog machine.

Using a stand-in for Darnell until he arrived, we pre-lit the shot with three Profoto 7B strobes. The main light was from a Profoto 7B with a beauty dish on the right. A second 7B strobe head with a zoom reflector was just off the ground on the left side of the shot to light up the tombstone on the left and also put a small highlight on Darnell’s helmet. A third 7B with a zoom reflector was placed on the ground behind the tombstones to backlight the fog. The bright blue sky was underexposed three stops and white balance was set to tungsten to give the photograph a nighttime feel.


Bill Gates photographed for Business Week

The small stuff can make or break a shoot. Styling is the polish that really makes your concept sing. Back in the early 90s, Business Week called with a cover shoot for Bill Gates. Their concept was to shoot Gates as “Master of the Technology Universe” posed in front of a starry night sky backdrop – a bit over the top – but what the hell, it’s a cover.

Back in those days Gates was never photographed in anything but his trademark button-down shirt and sweater vest, which doesn’t exactly scream master of the universe. My wife Fazia, the stylist on our shoot, pulled out a black turtleneck for Gates figuring if we could convince him to wear it, the look would be a better match for the magazine’s concept. Gates’ assistant was positive he wouldn’t wear the turtleneck, but she took it with her anyway. Fifteen minutes later Gates showed up in the black turtleneck and did everything I asked without a word of complaint.

Gates never adopted our look, but a few years later his archrival Steve Jobs did…so maybe Apple was finally able to steal something back from Microsoft.


Fly-Sci photographed for Eating Well

Illustrating a small subject on a large scale requires some photographic trickery. Sometimes the best thing to do is turn to your subjects for help. I was at a loss for how to illustrate this story about scientists who irradiate fruit flies, so I asked them for suggestions. When they showed me a slide they use in their lectures, the wheels began to turn. Images of brilliantly bad 1950′s Sci-Fi B movies started to run through my brain. I asked if they had a room with a projector, and they led me to a lecture hall with a wall-sized projection screen. I asked the scientists to don their lab coats and stand in front of the screen so they’d be illuminated by the projected slide. Their faces were lit from below with a little burst of light from using strobe heads fitted with 5-degree grid spots. The color came from cross-processing color negative film as chrome, producing the weird blue/orange shift.


Gatorade Inventors photographed for Sports Illustrated

Group shots can be boring, but you can add interest if you choose a location and props that help explain what your subjects do. Sports Illustrated was gathering together the Gatorade inventors at the University of Florida and gave me what I love best—an open assignment to do anything I wanted to do.

The Gatorade inventors are legends on campus, so when I asked to shoot in their old lab, the university quickly agreed. When we arrived at the old lab, we started clearing out the clutter, and then brought in a bunch of laboratory glassware from the adjoining lab. We filled the glassware with a special, extra-strength Gatorade mixed from powdered concentrate—about four times the normal strength—until it practically glowed neon yellow. I wanted the lighting to read as real, yet be prettier than actual overhead fluorescent lights, so the shot was lit with one big Octabank above and to the right. I gave this a blue tungsten white balance, which looked more flattering on the scientists than the greenish color cast you get from fluorescent lights.

When the inventors arrived, we dressed them in lab coats—arranging them from front to back to give the photo depth—handed them flasks of our super-strength Gatorade-on-steroids, and let them enjoy their roles.


The Bee Gees photographed for Entertainment Weekly

My favorite assignments are the one’s where I have a clean slate to shoot whatever I want. It’s a fun challenge narrowing “everything” down to a manageable idea.

When I got a call from Entertainment Weekly to shoot the Bee Gees during their comeback tour, my first call was to their manager who offered up their recording studio as a location. From a historical perspective, the studio was interesting, but visually—not so much. Instead, I asked about shooting at one of their homes in a room filled with their gold records, but their manager swore no such room existed. Not one to let my ideas get shot down without a fight, I decided to create a room filled with nothing but gold records. I headed to Home Depot for paint and materials to build the set while my wife and stylist, Fazia, hit the thrift stores, where she picked up 100 LPs at 50 cents a pop.

After two days of building and painting the set, the Brothers Gibb showed up in an all-black wardrobe as requested and acted like true pros throughout the shoot. When I explained that the concept was based on a room that I thought they should have in their homes, they laughed and said, ”Yeah, we’ll have to think about that.”

I’m often asked if it would be easier just to shoot subjects on green screen and add the background in post. Sure you can do that, but having a set allows your subjects to get in the mood and interact with the props – plus you’d miss the fun when the subjects show up and realize they’re being photographed by a crazy person.


The Amazing Randi photographed for Esquire

The best idea in the world is worthless if you can’t convince your subject to play along. Esquire magazine assigned me to shoot “The Amazing Randi” who’d been awarded a MacArthur Grant for exposing psychic frauds from faith healers to spoon benders. I’d shot Randi before, which usually makes things easier but also raises the stakes a bit because you always want to outdo what you did the last time. Plus this was Esquire, for God’s sake.

I wanted to do something this time that would be worth a second look. I came up with the idea of making him disappear. When I got to Randi’s house for the shoot, I explained my idea to him, but he quickly shot it down as the dumbest idea he’d ever heard. I asked him to wait to see it before making up his mind, and he trusted me enough to give me a chance to show him what I had in mind before passing final judgment.

Seeing is believing, so I set up my camera to show him a test. To get the effect I wanted, I shot an old-school double exposure on a single sheet of Polaroid. The first exposure was lit with a strobe with a grid spot that froze an image of Randi’s face, shoulders, and legs. So as not to disturb the position of the chair, I asked Randi to get up carefully and then made a second exposure with only tungsten spots and candlelight to open up the areas that were in shadow in the first shot, thus allowing Randi to “disappear.”

When Randi saw the Polaroid, he loved it! No Photoshop tricks—everything was done in-camera; there was no need for post. We quickly shot four rolls of film and were done. Sometimes the hardest part of the shoot is figuring out how to “sell” your idea to your subject.


Gloria & Emilio Estefan photographed for People en Español

One of the first shoots I did after moving to Miami was to fly down to Mexico to photograph Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine for The Miami Herald. Gloria and her husband Emilio and I became friends on that trip, and over the next decade, I photographed Gloria many times for many different magazines.

People en Español called looking to do something special of Gloria and Emilio for the magazine’s tenth anniversary issue. I thought back to an idea I’d pitched years before – shooting them in black-and-white with the feel of a 1950s Havana nightclub. We never got a chance to shoot it and this seemed like the perfect time. People en Español’s creative director Herman Vega loved the idea and agreed it should run in black and white.

The shot was very simple, or at least as simple as a shot with a grand piano trucked into a studio can get. To complete the look, we brought in a vintage 1950s microphone and wardrobe. A smoke machine added a smoky, jazz club atmosphere. Lighting matched the retro look: No soft lights were used, only Fresnels and other hard lights.

Hope to see you all at Photoshop World in Las Vegas this September 4-6. In addition to my talk about conceptual portraiture, I’ll also speak about ways that you can turn personal projects into jobs. You can Save $100 if you register by August 2nd – so do it TODAY! Photoshop World is three great days packed full of intense training in Photoshop, Lightroom and photography lighting techniques. This year is the greatest deal ever! With your paid registration to Photoshop World Vegas, you’ll get an entire year of the Adobe Creative Cloud Free!

Come see me there!

Turning Your Personal Photography Projects to Profit
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
2:30pm – 3:30pm | Bonus Classes, NAPP Expo Theatre

Your best work is the work that comes from the heart. Learn ways that personal photography projects can land you jobs you’ll love to shoot. I’ll talk about ways to maximize the impact of your projects though blogs, promos and social media to generate work.

Conceptual Portrait Photography: Selling Your Ideas
Thursday, September 05, 2013
10:45am – 11:45am | Photography Technique

I’ll share the way I comes up with concepts for portraits of the famous and infamous. Hear my tricks about how to sell those ideas to your subject and client. You’ll hear the behind-the-scenes stories of how we pulled off conceptual portrait shoots for magazines like Esquire, GQ, Time, Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine.
________________________________________

Miami Photographer Brian Smith photographs iconic portraits of Hollywood’s A-List stars and Fortune’s 500 for hundreds of magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Elle and GQ. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and author of Secrets of Great Portrait Photography and Art & Soul: Stars Unite to Celebrate the Arts. See more of his work at Brian Smith Pictures and follow his photo blog, Facebook and Twitter .

Tuesday
Jul
2013
30

If you missed the “Photoshop-World-a-Thon Tips & Tricks Fest…

by Scott Kelby  |  5 Comments

…well then, here’s the free rebroadcast (above). We’ve heard loads of great feedback from this show (we seriously showed some really cool techniques), so I hope you’ll check it out (and we hope it makes you want to come join us in person at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo in September).

Four Days Left to Save $100 Bucks!
Friday is the cutoff for our $100-off early-bird discount, so if you’re planning on going, make sure you register by this Friday to save a big chunk of change.

Shout out to Colorado Springs!
A big thanks to everyone who came out to my Shoot-like-a-Pro tour yesterday in Colorado Springs. Really great crowd (really big crowd!) and everybody was incredibly gracious and really in the mood to learn, which made it really fun for me. Next stops: San Antonio in a few weeks, and then on to Indy (here’s the link).

Hope you all have a rockin’ Tuesday (and to everybody who signs up this week to get the Photoshop World “Early Bird Discount,” you are going to have a blast, you’re going to learn a lot, laugh a lot, and sleep just a little. See you in Vegas!)

Cheers,

-Scott

Monday
Jul
2013
29

Watch the entire “B&H Photo Lightroom Digital Photography Summit” FREE (courtesy of B&H)

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

The awesome folks at B&H Photo have just posted four videos covering the ENTIRE full-day Lightroom Digital Photography Summit (the one held in New York City last month to celebrate the launch of Lightroom 5).

This was the all-day event featuring Julieanne Kost, Katrin Eismann, and me, showing the coolest new features in Lightroom 5; lots of Lightroom tips and hidden tricks; and in one session we did a live shoot on stage and I handed the retouching and effects over to Julieanne and Katrin (who did a remarkable job). The day was fun, informative, and it’s all brought to you FREE by our friends at B&H Photo, and the Summit’s official sponsors Adobe Systems and Canon.

Here’s the link to check out the videos from the event.

Thanks to David Brommer and everyone at B&H who worked so hard to make this very cool event happen (and to their video crew for bringing you the rebroadcast), and to everyone who came to the live event itself. Stuff like this only happens at B&H. You guys rock! 

Hope everybody has a great Monday
I’m out in Colorado Springs today for my “Shoot like a Pro” tour — next stop: San Antonio August 16th, and Indianapolis on August 21st. Hey, if you’re at my seminar today, make sure you come up and say “hi.” Cheers, -Scott

Friday
Jul
2013
26

Adobe is giving all Full Conference Attendees to the Photoshop World Conference in Vegas a FREE 12-month full Creative Cloud subscription. Whoo Hoo!!!

by Scott Kelby  |  79 Comments

As I’m writing this, I gotta tell ya — I can’t believe it myself, but Adobe is giving everyone who attends the upcoming Photoshop World Conference & Expo  (Sept 4-6, 2013) in Vegas, a FULL one year Adobe Creative Cloud membership. I am just floored!

That’s a $600 membership, because you get it all!!! Photoshop CC, Lightroom, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Muse, Dreamweaver, and on and on, and it all comes with your paid full conference registration. Freakin’ yeah, baby!!!! :)

If you’re already registered for Photoshop World, you still get the one year Adobe Creative Cloud membership deal. If you haven’t registered yet (there’s still time — in fact if you register before Aug. 2nd, you get a $100 early bird discount), you get the CC membership free.

So, now, here’s the deal:

(1) You get world-class Photoshop, Lightroom, Creative Cloud and photography training live and in person. Seven full training classes, packed with the stuff you need to learn now.

(2) You come away with 12-months of the full Adobe Creative Cloud with all the latest creative tools (and yes, if you’re already a CC subscriber, they’ll EXTEND your subscription by 12-months)

(3) You get to choose from over 100 classes; there’s an expo floor with all the top companies displaying their latest gear, and the whole thing is just a blast from beginning to end.

You can sign up right now for a full conference pass for $598 (or just $498 if you’re already a NAPP member). Here’s the link. This is you’re best deal….well…ever!

The whole thing is just amazing to me, and I cannot give a big-enough high-five to Adobe for making this amazingly surreal deal to our attendees. Their support of Photoshop World has always meant a lot to us, but this is just….it’s just…I’m blown away. You will be too!

See you in Vegas in September, baby! Whoo Hoo!!!

 

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