Well, here’s your chance, as the fine folks who publish the Canadian-based Stark-Magazine have introduced the “Stark Awards” competition and their official Call for Entries is now open in a host of categories (the story of how these awards came to be is right here).
The overall winner will have their art featured in a Photohaus Gallery Exhibit and Stark Awards will finance the printing and mounting of artwork – See more at this link.
There are a host of judges, including yours truly, and there are cash prizes for the winner of each category and the overall winner as well.
I am on my way to beautiful Nashville, Tennessee for my SOLD OUT seminar there tomorrow (Whoo Hoo!!!). Very excited to meet everybody (and thanks for the wonderful turn-out Nashville).
I’m getting in to town early and not surprisingly Nashville has a lot of music stores, so I’ll be hitting a bunch of them this afternoon. If you’re a local and know of a music store I shouldn’t miss, please leave me a comment below so I make sure I stop by there.
I’m especially on the lookout for cool used guitars or vintage guitars (and of course my search continues for a distressed Fender Strat with a British Union Jack flag painted on it (like this one here – I’ve contacted them about getting that exact one — so far, no reply at all. Not looking good). Anyway, I know finding one in Nashville is a bit of a long-shot, but hey — ya never know, right?
Is Photoshop Dead for Photographers?
That was the headline from an article I ran across last week (Well, it was actually worse than that — it said “Is Photoshop Dead?” and it showed a tombstone with the Photoshop Icon on the tombstone). We tackled that article and issue on last week’s episode of “The Grid” (which I’ve embedded right above).
Our buddy Mike “Hollywood” Kubeisy was our in-studio guest and we also got to talk with him what it’s like working with celebrities and on Hollywood sets and he shared lots of interesting stories (and answered lots of questions from our viewers). Anyway you can watch it right above.
The big Adobe Event is this week!!!
I’ll be tuning in live on Wednesday (and so can you — it’s free — here’ the link), and of course we’ll be talking about all the new stuff on “The Grid” that afternoon, but in the meantime all I can say is there is some really slick stuff coming our way from the folks in San Jose (hey, that rhymes). Mark it on your calendars.
Hope you all have a first-rate Monday, and I look forward to seeing a whole bunch of you in person tomorrow at my seminar here in Nashville.
We really had a wonderful time last night at my “Prague to Budapest” Travel Photography Webinar (hosted by RC, who was awesome!).
Photographers from all over the world had tuned in and we had lots of great questions, plus we had our partners jumping in left and right offering prizes for us to giveaway during the event (the free replay is posted above).
Here’s what we wound up giving away live last night during Webinar:
2 Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Size Tablets
2 $150 B&H Photo Gift Cards
5 copies each of these books (courtesy of our friends at Peachpit Press): My “Photoshop for Lightroom Users” book; my “Lightroom 5 for Digital Photographers” book; RC’s “The HDR Book” and 5 copies of my “Photoshop for Digital Photographers” Book
The Complete Nik Collection of Photoshop/Lightroom plug-ins from Google
A Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens
A Canon Pixma Pro-1 Printer (this alone sells for $999)
Of course, we had to pay the bills, so we also had deals on KelbyOne and a bundle of Photoshop World Vegas with a 1-year KelbyOne membership. Besides all the prizes, we really had a lot of fun throughout (and lots of laughs) and the response from the thousands of comments, and flood of tweets, was just fantastic. I posted the entire Webinar above, and I hope you get a chance to watch soon.
Thanks to everybody who watched the live feed last night, and to all our partners who were so generous with their giveaways. Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.
Join Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion tonight at 7pm ET for a live webcast where they’ll be discussing Scott’s recent trip to Europe. RC will be chatting with Scott about his experiences in various cities along the Danube River, and Scott will also be sharing some of the shooting and post-processing tricks he used along the way. You can register for the webcast right here so you can chime in on the live chat to ask questions and share your own experiences, and we’ll also be giving away some great prizes!
KelbyOne Father’s Day Special Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, and we here at KelbyOne want to give you a chance to give the gift of online training for $50 off our normal price. Give Dad the opportunity to learn photography from the best people in the industry! Just use the discount code Kelbyone50 at the checkout to get the discount.
Commercial Product Photography and Post Processing Techniques with Alex Koloskov
Join Alex Koloskov as he walks you through every step in his workflow over the course of three different product shoots, and then finishes each project in Photoshop. Creating stunning product photography requires a unique set of skills in the studio and in post-production. Each product was chosen to expose you to a variety of techniques to help you build a repertoire of skills that will aid you in shooting a range of commercial products. In this class you will learn that attention to detail during your studio time can save you hours in post-production, you will see different ways of using lighting modifiers to enhance the shape and detail in your subjects, and you will learn to how to develop an efficient workflow that takes you all the way from the studio to final output.
Leave a comment for your chance to watch this class for free!
KelbyOne Live Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Corey Barker? Check out these seminar tours!
October 5th, 2011 was a Wednesday, and the Cache Valley Photographers were gathered at my studio for their weekly lunch time meeting to discuss Scott Kelby’s Guest Blog, and I remember the day well. The Guest Blogger was Jodi Cobb, who wrote about her project documenting modern slavery. Unfortunately, the group didn’t spend as much time discussing this as it deserved because it was also the day that Steve Jobs passed away.
We did discuss this iconic image made by photographer Albert Watson. Watson’s work is varied and inspiring, and this photograph of Jobs has come to define an entire generation. It’s the cover of Steve Jobs’s Biography, it was the landing page of Apple.com for an entire month, and it hung billboard-sized at Apple’s campus. Few people have not seen this photograph. I’d like to share what I’ve learned from it, how it’s changed my life, and an idea for how it may be used to change others’ lives too.
Subject as Object
We examined this picture, making suppositions about how it was lit, the lens used, etc. But no matter how much you dissect it, it’s clear that the subject is the object of the image, and that’s a lesson I’ve tried to keep in mind in all my portraiture since. This picture isn’t about Watson—an internationally renowned photographer—and his fancy lighting knowledge and camera-craft. It’s all about Steve. Viewing it, you’d never think, “Man that’s a cool lighting technique,” or, “Interesting background,” or, “I bet he used a full frame camera.” Watson masterfully removed everything from this image that might distract from Steve, including himself.
After lunch, my buddy Justin Wasden and I set out to recreate the image, and that was fun. Then someone else came into the studio, so we invited them to make a portrait, too. That evening I invited any and all to come in to make a portrait similar to Steve Jobs, and you know what? 100 people came.
You gotta understand, this was a small farming town in Northern Utah, so it was pretty cool to get so many people involved. Some people called it a tribute portrait, some didn’t like Steve but couldn’t deny his impact on the world, and several were teachers who talked about how wonderful it had been to have computers in their classrooms (I had Apples in school, and earning a few minutes to play Oregon Trail was a great incentive in my elementary school classrooms). It was fascinating to hear so many stories and perspectives on the man.
Since then, I’ve made similar portraits for hundreds of people, and every time is marvelous. I’ve shot in my studio, in businesses, at conferences, and in casinos in Vegas. When people use this portrait for their profile image, they get a big bump in traffic and attention, which helps them build their businesses. Maybe you could get good results from making similar portraits, too.
Character vs. Person
When you make these portraits, it’s essential to remember that you’re working with a person, and people are shy of being photographed. Being photographed is hard! I know many of you have said, “I bought the camera so I don’t have to be in front of it,” and if you have, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Being photographed helps you to empathize, and that will make you a better person and a better portraitist.
On the other hand, the great thing about this picture is that it gives people a chance to be a character, like an actor. It’s as if they are freed from their self-consciousness and embarrassment. They usually open up and we have fun. “Channeling Steve” is liberating.
Still, you’ve got a responsibility to help people look their best in your portraits. How? Start by watching Peter Hurley’s guest post videos. Besides helping people hide their extra chins, you’ll also notice that Peter has his camera on par with the person’s face, not shooting from above. In this portrait, it’s important that your lens be positioned level with your subject’s nose. This helps your viewer engage with the portrait from a respectful position. Shooting from above, as we may have been taught to do, is a mistake in this case. If you do, the viewer is now looking down on the person, and that’s the wrong relationship. We ought to present people as equals. Use Peter’s tip of pushing the forehead toward the lens. You’ve got to help people look their best. It’s not a picture of a guy with his thumb on his chin; it’s a portrait of a person.
This video demonstrates a few key tips for making these portraits, including how to work with a person. You can see my setup with a beauty dish (though I often use a 26″ Rapid Box when I travel), and a 105mm lens. I strongly recommend you shoot these portraits at a minimum of 85mm.
The Steve Jobs Portrait Project
Watson’s portrait of Steve Jobs is iconic, which means this simple portrait represents something larger and more important than the picture or the man alone. Maybe this single image recapitulates the last four decades. Maybe it represents the Baby Boomers. Maybe it represents prosperity and ingenuity and determination and capitalism and whatever else you think of when you consider one of the most influential men of the last 100 years.
As photographers, our place is to make photographs that mean more than the sum of their parts. Beautiful sunsets are great, and pictures of babies are cute. The value of those pictures, though, is in the power they have to stir emotions and move people to action even when they’ve never been to that place, or met that child. Scott Bourne has named us the High Priests of Memory Protection, and that’s a serious responsibility and it requires us to act. I mentioned Jodi Cobb’s post earlier, which is just one example of powerful imagery moving people to action.
I’m trying to use this Steve Jobs Portrait Project to make photographs that mean something and move people to action. I’ve identified local organizations that do good things, and it seems that what they need most is more money to do more good things. We’re making Steve Jobs Portraits of the beneficiaries, and we’re making portraits of the benefactors who help make the good things happen. We invite people to a gallery reception (perhaps at a local business) where they may interact with the people of the organization, both the benefactors and the beneficiaries, and invite them to see how a little money can make a big impact. When we bring portraits and stories and people together, good things happen.
These portraits aren’t mine. It’s clearly a tribute to Watson’s work, and Steve Jobs used the same pose in portraits many years ago. I’m having a blast, however, affecting people’s lives with it. Maybe it’d be fun for you, too. Maybe you can even use it for something good.
One More Thing
I’ve always thought that being asked to be a guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s blog would be the biggest honor, and that only the big league players were invited. Well, I know I’m still just a newbie, but it is an honor, and I’ve realized that the big leagues are full of people who give more than their share to others, and I can’t imagine better company to be in. Thank you, Scott and Brad, for establishing a giving culture and letting me be a part.