Tuesday
Sep
2013
24

Tuesday Photoshop Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  26 Comments

(1) Fascinating interview with the man who wrote Photoshop, Thomas Knoll
A really great look at Photoshop’s history, evolution and much more. Very frank, revealing, and refreshing. Great stuff  (click the video above to jump over to Vimeo to watch the interview — Vimeo wouldn’t let me embed it here, but you can watch it there).

(2) Adobe’s photographers bundle deal is now available
I know a lot of folks have been waiting for the $9.99 per month bundle deal for the latest versions of both Photoshop & Lightroom (for previous owners of Photoshop, all the way back to CS3), to become available, and now it’s here. Here’s the link for more details. I did a post with more info shortly after Adobe’s announcement during the Photoshop World keynote — here’s that link.

(3) Adobe announces 1-million Creative Cloud paid user mark (hit way ahead of schedule)
Remember when I said Adobe wasn’t going to abandon the subscription-only plan. This is yet another reason why. This report was before they released the $9.99 Photographer’s bundle, so I imagine this number is now going to skyrocket. I’ve been talking to more and more photographers out on the road who are totally on board with this new deal, citing how hair the price is (and I agree). More about this below.

(4) Talking about Adobe’s $9.99 Photographer’s Bundle Deal on “The Grid”
If you missed the episode above of our weekly show for photographers, “The Grid,” in this episode we started the show with some important discussions about Adobe’s $9.99 photographers bundle. You can watch it right above.

(5) New versions of Photoshop and Lightroom released
Adobe has recently released new versions of both Photoshop and Lightroom 5 with new features and bug fixes. If you’re a Creative Cloud user, you can download the update from the Creative Cloud widget thingy. If you’re a Lightroom 5 user stand-alone user, you can download the Lightroom 5.2 free update  here (for Mac) or here (for Windows).

OK, that’s all the Photoshop news for this Tuesday, but….
I’ve got one more semi-related, yet totally not-related news: Tomorrow on “The Grid” it’s our popular “Blind Photo Critique” show, so If you’d like to have your work considered for tomorrow’s photo blind critiques (we show your images but don’t mention your name on the air), just leave us a link to 3 to 5 images that show off your work AT THIS LINK:http://kelbytv.com/thegrid/critique/

From those, we’ll pick 15 to 20 photographer’s work to go over on Wednesday’s show (not based on who posted first — we choose based on showing variety and images we think can help our viewers), and the live show is broadcast TOMORROW at 4:00 pm ET athttp://www.kelbytv.com/thegrid  – join me and Matt LIVE tomorrow — See you then. :-)

Monday
Sep
2013
23

My Worldwide Photo Walk is Only 12-Days Away!

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

I’m getting psyched!!! Here’s a few quick things stay on top of:

(1) We now have more than 1,000 photo walks organized in cities around the world
All the walks are now in place, as the deadline for creating new walks was this past weekend, so now it’s just about finding a walk near you.

(2) We have the biggest and best prizes for the photo contest ever!
Check out this link to see what our awesome sponsors have come up with.

(3) It’s not too late to join a photo walk in your city (it’s free).
Here’s the link to the official photo walk page — see if there’s one near you and join us on Saturday, October 5th for an experience you’ll never forget.

(4) Check out our Worldwide Photo Walk Webcast
Last year we did a free webcast with lots of helpful hints, suggestions, and we answered a bunch of questions people had about joining and walking, and you can watch it right here. 

(5) Order your official t-shirt right now (and help the Springs of Hope Orphanage)
We have awesome official Worldwide Photo Walk t-shirts, and not only do they look really cool (lots of folks wear them on their photo walk), but more importantly, 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts  go to feeding, clothing and caring for the wonderful kids at the Spring of Hope Orphanage, Kenya. Our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, came up with t-shirt idea and if things go well this year, we will have raised nearly $50,000 in just these six yearly walks. That rocks! Remember, even if you don’t want a shirt, you can still buy one to support the kids. Here’s the link.  NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

OK, so that’s a quick update. I’m leading a local walk in Rome, Italy this year, and I’m hoping that some of the people that come to my walk speak some English, or we’ll just wind up going to a McDonalds. LOL!!!

Cheers everybody to a great Monday! :)

Friday
Sep
2013
20

Shooting the Cowboy’s Stadium Yesterday. Whoo Hoo!!! :)

by Scott Kelby  |  33 Comments

Cowboy Stadium has been at the top of my list for stadiums to shoot for a few years now, and yesterday I finally got the chance.

I had only seen it from the outside, a few years ago when I was doing my “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it” tour in Arlington — it’s within walking distance of the convention center where we hold my classes, and it’s just an amazing feat of architecture and design, and when I found out I I’d be here a day early, I reached out over Twitter to find a contact with the Cowboys, and before you know it I was talking with Shannon Gross, Social Media powerful overlord for the Cowboys (and as luck would have it, a photographer).

Our shoot was set for 2:00 pm yesterday, and I was planning out my shoot in the morning when I realized that the massive overhead high-def screens would be black, I shot off a quick last-minute email to Shannon asking if we could get the Cowboy’s logo up on the screens for our shoot, and I would need a helmet (for the shot you see above), and Shannon scrambled to make both happen. This were some of the first dedicated stadium shots the Cowboys would have since the new AT&T branding (It’s now AT&T Stadium) and so I wanted to make sure there was something on those big screens.

These shots were taken with a Canon 5D Mark III using an 8-15mm Fisheye zoom lens, and I usually had it zoomed out to between 14mm and 16mm on a Gitzo tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. Contrast and Clarity added in Lightroom (except for on the turf field itself).

This shot was taken at the 50-yard-line, up high with a super-wide angle lens — the 16-35mm set at 16mm.

The stadium itself was just amazing. The screen….well…what can you say about the HD screen — it’s just insane, but the whole facility is incredibly well designed, well thought-out, and just so focused on creating the ultimate fan experience.

Above: Brad snapped this iPhone shot of me during the shoot.

The Cowboys offer daily guided tours of the stadium, and so we’d wait until the short break between on-field tours to take our shots, so we’d get set up, check our email and stuff until the tour headed for the locker-room tour and then we’d have a nice empty field all to ourselves. We’d shoot, pack and move to another location and shoot until the next tour hit the field, so it was a pretty relaxing shoot, and we still had everything wrapped up in about two hours from start to finish.

Here’s one for the road, shooting right down the handrail toward the corner of the field. I have lots more shots, and some great stories, but I’ll have to save those for next week’s episode of “The Grid,” ’cause it’s time to hit the hay — big day tomorrow here in Dallas with my tour tomorrow, and I hope I’ll see some of you there.

A big thanks to Shannon Gross and the gracious folks in the Cowboys organization for the wonderful opportunity to take some shots for them (and for me) and I hope to see you all again real soon! Cheers. :)

Thursday
Sep
2013
19

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  29 Comments

Photoshop Design Challenge
Corey Barker has just announced the first Photoshop Design Challenge, inviting you to submit your best Disaster Movie Poster designs (each person can submit two)! Prizes include a NAPP Membership, a year of Adobe Creative Cloud, a year of Squarespace, a new Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, some great books and more. Submissions will be judged by Corey, Bert Monroy, Pete Collins, and NAPP Creative Director Felix Nelson. Head over to Corey’s blog to get all the details and start working on your designs!

Worldwide Photo Walk
Have you signed up for the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk yet? We’re less than a month away, but there’s still time to find a walk near you and sign up. There are over 17,000 already people signed up to take part in this year’s event! New walks are being added every day, so if you don’t see one near you, keep checking back. If you’re already signed up, don’t forget to pick up your official Worldwide Photo Walk shirt (or hoodie). All of the profits from the shirt sales will go to the Springs of Hope Kenya Orphanage, so you’re helping kids in need when you make your purchase.

And if you need any extra incentive to sign up for this fun, free event, we’ve recently had more additions to the Contest Prizes! The Grand Prize package is now valued at over $13,000 and includes a Canon 70D, Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer, Adobe Creative Cloud membership, Wacom Intuos tablet, $250 B&H Gift Card, OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 8, Graphic Authority Complete Collection, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, Nik Collection by Google, 1 Year of Squarespace, 1 Year of SmugMug Portfolio, Manfrotto Tripod and Ball Head, Westcott Skylux Lighting Kit & 7′ Parabolic Umbrella, Olloclip, 24×36″ Print from iAcrylic, Hurley Pro Board, 2-Year KelbyTraining.com Subscription, 2-Year NAPP Membership, and the Kelby Training Book Library. That’s a lot of stuff!!

Beginner Basics: Landscape Photography
Do you love the idea of grabbing your camera and heading out to beautiful locations? Then join Matt Kloskowski in Beginner Basics: Landscape Photography to learn the basics of landscape photography. This is the class Matt wishes he had when he got started with landscape photography. You’ll learn all about the gear you’ll need, the camera settings you’ll want to use, and all kinds of tips and tricks to help you get tack sharp photos that are composed for impact. By knowing the basics you’ll be more comfortable when you are out on location, so you can enjoy the scenery, and make great photos while you are there.

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 McNallyMatt Kloskowski or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Sep 20 – Arlington, TX (Dallas/Ft. Worth area)
Oct 25 – Washington, DC
Oct 29 – Boston, MA

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Oct 9 – Denver, CO
Oct 23 – Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area)
Oct 30 – Orlando, FL

Lightroom 5 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Oct 11 – Portland, OR

Adobe Photoshop Creativity with Ben Willmore
Oct 4 – Tampa, FL
Oct 16 – Atlanta, GA

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!

Special Prints and Resources from John Paul Caponigro
For the first time ever, Paul Caponigro and his son John Paul Caponigro are offering a unique print edition – a 17×22” print with two images (one image from each of them). The normal edition prices start at $2,000 and $5,000 for single images. This is a fabulous deal at $495 for both images. The edition is limited to the number of prints sold by Friday at midnight.

Be sure to check out John Paul’s blog and resource library for photographers as well, where he is constantly sharing incredibly valuable resources and information!

Winners
Zack Arias Class Rental
-Holger

Kelby Training Live Ticket
-jriceco

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

Wednesday
Sep
2013
18

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Bill Wadman!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments


Photo by Claude Bauschinger

If you decide to read about portrait photography, you’ll find a lot about cameras, lenses, lighting setups, and tricks. Most of that misses the most important ingredient of all — your relationship with the subject, so frequently overlooked yet just as important as the technical mumbo-jumbo.

I was going to call this post “Why I Use Wide-Angle Lenses and Get Up In People’s Faces,” but thought better of it because there’s so much more involved. For me, meeting and talking to my subjects during a shoot is a big reason why I love taking portraits. The camera settings and technical considerations melt away (or, more often, are left to muscle memory), and it becomes two new friends getting to know each other.

Since taking portraits is an active process, “taking” doesn’t adequately describe what happens. It’s collaborative, and when it’s really going well, I liken it to a dance. You need to allow me to take a good picture as much as I need to want to take it. Read that last sentence again — it’s important.

That said, every subject is different, but that’s what makes it interesting. I’ve had people who trusted me fully upon walking in the door and others who took hours before I got anything that I liked out of them. Sometimes you have to wear them down with kindness. Keep shooting and talking until you get to the point where you’re just talking and one of you happens to have a camera. That’s when things really work.

Preparation is critical, of course, but so is thinking on your feet. Being empathetic toward your subject is a big part of it, especially with people who don’t get their picture taken very often. You have to make it not feel like they’re sitting on the cold crinkly paper of the exam table at their doctor’s office.

Sometimes, good preparation is enough. I was assigned to shoot Charlie Maxwell for BusinessWeek. Charlie’s an oil analyst who has been in the business since the 50s — basically as long as the oil business has been the oil business. So as for most of my editorial assignments, I did extensive research the night before. I learned everything I could about current reserves, recent discoveries, peak oil, and so forth. When I got to his house outside NYC and started to shoot, I wasn’t talking to him about the weather. I was talking to him about a recent find in Kazakhstan and what it meant for Saudi Arabia and the oil sands of Canada. I was talking to him about the one thing he knows more about than almost anyone else, and the fact that I had obviously done my research made him respect me in kind. Things went so well that he invited me and my assistant to the back lawn for lemonade with his wife afterwards and gave us a ride back to the train station when we were done. Memorable.

Other times, it’s not about anything you can prepare for, but just knowing how to turn someone around in the moment. On one my first magazine shoots, my subject was author Jhump Lahiri. I was really nervous already, but then she was late, which ate into the time I had to work. Apparently there were some politics going on, and they weren’t sure if she was going to show up at all — but no one told me any of that until we were in the thick of it.

She arrived 45 minutes late, spent 30 minutes in hair and makeup, put on a pretty dress, and then was ready. She was nice and polite, but not yet invested in what we were doing. I knew I’d have to wear her down a bit if I was going to get the kind of connection I needed. As we began shooting I asked (as I often do) if she liked getting her portrait taken. “Sometimes,” she responded. “It’s the photographers, isn’t it?” I said. She rolled her eyes slightly, and I’d found my way in.

Later I moved us into a corner of the huge studio away from the magazine staff, so we could work more intimately. I was up on a chair shooting down next to a big octabox and said to my assistant on the floor (within obvious earshot of the subject), “You know, Meg, I don’t care what these pictures look like as long as SHE says I was one of the good photographers.” That brought a big smile from Jhumpa and I thought, “Ah ha! Got her!” She immediately loosened up and the rest of the shoot went swimmingly. Afterward, she pulled me aside to shake my hand and assure me that I was one of the good ones.

Every once in a while, you have to look like you’re in complete control even as problems pop up like whack-a-mole. A few years ago, I was hired by TIME magazine to shoot author Malcolm Gladwell in a small studio in their offices in midtown Manhattan. Since the Time-Life building has airport-like security, I put my camera bag down on the x-ray machine, walked through the metal detector, and picked it up on the other side. However, I’d apparently forgotten to secure the flap on the bag and my 50mm prime fell three feet onto the concrete floor. BANG! I cringed, but upon inspection it looked ok and I figured, “hey, that happens — it’ll be fine.”

About 40 minutes later, I’m shooting Malcolm with the only other lens I’d brought — a 28mm prime. I stand up and walk back to the table to switch lenses, chatting as I work (as an aside, I like the break that happens for a few seconds when I change lenses — it’s kind of like the period at the end of a sentence and helps control the tempo of a shoot). I put on the 50, pull it up to my eye, half-press to focus, and the gearing in the lens makes an ugly grinding noise and seizes up. But — never let ‘em see you sweat — so I half-mumbled a comment that the wide-angle suited him better and quickly switched back, shooting the whole thing wide-angle. I’m just glad that the camera I was using had enough pixels that I could crop it in post and still get what I was looking for.

Sometimes it’s all about getting your subject on board with a concept, which is ultimately all about trust. I came up with the idea of shooting comedian Dave Hill rocking so hard on stage that sparks were flying out of his guitar. He loved the idea, but since I didn’t have a stage to shoot him on or the budget to get one, I planned to piece the whole thing together in post. The shoot involved him silently mock-rocking on his knees on top of the coffee table in my living room with a roll of gray seamless behind him. That’s trust.

Other times, the trust has to go the other way as well. I was in a hotel room in Austin taking portraits of magician Brian Brushwood, and he was lighting small fires on the room service plate in front on him. But since he literally wrote the book on fire eating, I had to believe that we weren’t going to burn the place down. That’s also trust.

One last example is personal. Last Christmas, we had a table full of friends over for dinner. Before dessert was rolled out, I told the group that I’d like them to be in a photo I had in mind. I’d always loved the Caravaggio painting The Calling of St Matthew and wanted to do a little bit of a homage for fun. To my surprise, instead of sighing and trying to get out of it, everyone started working together to choose their places and throw together props to make it even better. It ended up being one of the best group photographic experiences I’ve ever had. I set up one light, we shot a couple dozen variations, and 20 minutes later we were done.

So, sure, cameras and lenses and lights and business practices are important, but they’re not going to make good pictures of people into great portraits. You and the subject have to do that — together. My two cents.

If you’d like to hear more behind-the-scenes stories and before/after composite comparisons, check out my hour long lecture The Making of Drabbles on Vimeo.

—————

Bill Wadman is an American portrait photographer living in New York City. His editorial portrait work has been featured on the covers and pages of major publications throughout the world. Bill also appears weekly as the co-host of On Taking Pictures, a podcast on the 5by5 network about the art and science of photography and the creative process. See his work at BillWadman.com, read his blog at OnTakingPictures.com, and follow him on Twitter @billwadman.

Tuesday
Sep
2013
17

Watch Part Two of my Travel Photography Online Class FREE Right Now

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Sorry for the late post this morning — I’m behind on….well….pretty much everything. LOL!! :)

So, last week we started something new for us over at KelbyTraining.com — each week we’re broadcasting one of online classes from Kelby Training Online for free, all-day long, continuously for free. Last week we aired my Travel Photography Class (filmed on location in Paris, France), and this week, we’re airing PART TWO, which is where I do all the post-procesing of the shots taken in Part One using Lightroom and Photoshop, and I go through my entire workflow.

Each week, we’ll be continuously airing a different class, because we’re betting you’re going to watch a couple of classes and you’ll learn so much that you’ll totally want access to the rest of our more than 300 online photography classes (it’s only $199 a year for unlimited access or $24.95 a month). I hope you’ll jump over and check out Part Two of my class right here. Here’s the link. 

OK, I’m off to Detroit & Dallas for my seminars this week. If you read this blog, I hope you’ll stop me and say “hi.” I always get a kick out of meeting my readers in person. Cheers everybody to a great Tuesday!

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