Wednesday
Aug
2013
14

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Colin Smith!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments


Photo by Greg Mellang

To do, or not to do, that is the “new” question. A Photoshop Journey, for the non purist.

First of all, thanks to Scott and Brad for having me here, it’s an honor.

I have been writing a regular column for Photoshop User Magazine for over a decade, but this is my first time as guest blogger. I hope you enjoy what I have to share.

Now that we have Photoshop and great resources to learn how to master the tool, is it still necessary to do “trick photography” or create surreal looks in camera? Should we be using all the tools at our disposal, or should we try and be purists?

What is purism anyway? It’s funny how as artists we can so quickly go from pioneers to museum keepers. Painters scoffed at photographers, film photographers scoffed at digital photographers, digital photographers are now scoffing at iPhone shooters. Where will it all end I wonder?

My opinion? Why cripple your artistic vision with prejudice or elitism? It’s not the tools that you use, it’s the art that you make that matters. Personally, I like to use every tool that’s available. Because of this, I like to do as much in camera as possible and also do as much in Photoshop as needed. To top it off, I also like to throw in some 3D as well, and if needed, I’m not opposed to mixing illustration.

Ever since I started to create digital art, I have been influenced by movies and often have a cinematic leaning to my images.

There is nothing more thrilling than creating art using lighting, photographic techniques and Photoshop together. It’s easy to get lost in the moment and stay up all night making images. There have been many times when I see the sun come up before I leave my computer for some sleep. I believe if you really want to get good, you have to put in the time. I heard a great quote once: “Work while others are loafing, study while others are sleeping, and then dream while others are wishing.”

Let’s go through a few of my images and see if you can tell which ones have been processed more than others. I’ll also tell you the techniques used.

First of all, what do you think of this pelican shot? Unusual perspective to say the least. Surely, I composited this in Photoshop, right?


I felt very lucky to get this shot

Wrong! The only post work on this was a slight vignette and a contrast boost. This was shot with a GoPro Hero 3 on my DJI Phantom quadcopter. I was hovering when this bird swooped underneath it, I knew I had a killer shot. Ok, I did also remove the small shadow of the phantom using Lightroom.

Come to Photoshop World and attend the in-depth workshop that I will be teaching with Russell BrownTop Gun Flight Training from Photographers.

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to fly a Phantom for yourself. Russell will be teaching still photography and I’ll be teaching the video side of things.

The next image is one that I shot recently in Maui Hawaii. The mist look was created by attaching a Neutral Density filter to my Canon 5D MkIII. By reducing the amount of light coming into the lens, I was able to slow my exposure time down to 30 seconds and allow the waves to become like mist. I also shot 3 exposures and turned it into an HDR image to preserve the details in the sunset while opening up the shadows in the rocks.


There is nothing like a beautiful sunset in paradise!

I have actually used HDR in most of the images that I’m sharing here. Maybe you aren’t used to seeing HDR used in these ways. I like to use HDR more for the advantages of an extended dynamic range than to create an “effect.” Don’t get me wrong, I like the effect, too, it’s just not the only use for HDR.

This next image, has to be totally done in Photoshop right? Or did I shoot a scale model? Nope, this is the real Times Square, New York. I used a Lensbaby Edge 80 lens to create the “tilt shift” effect that creates the miniaturized look and some HDR to make the details and color pop. No other Photoshop work involved.


Little New York

This next Photo involved HDR, so that I could capture the lens flare from the car headlights without totally blowing them out. The model was illuminated with a single Canon EX580 speedlight modified by a Chimera Octo-beauty dish. I then did some Photoshop work to create a mysterious cinematic feel.


Going for a cinematic look and feel

This is another from the same shoot, using the same setup. I wanted to create a nice rim light using the car’s headlights. Sometimes you can use what is known as “practical light” when an object in the scene is used to create part of the lighting effect.


The same scene from more a fashion perspective

Finally, you know it. This image was heavily Photoshopped. I shot the model in my studio and used some blue colored gels to simulate the moonlight on her rim. The moon and the rock were both shot as HDR images and composited into the scene. I created the tail in Maya (a 3D program) and composited and textured it in Photoshop. I was very honored to have Adobe show this image during their keynote address when they unveiled Photoshop CS6. This was the featured image on photoshop.com for almost 2 years.


A few different parts used to make up this scene

Some of you may have seen this image before. I created this image for a cover story in Photoshop User Magazine and walked the readers step by step through the creation of this piece. All the asset files were also available to NAPP members. This began life as a portrait in my studio. It was lit by Kino-flo video lights. Everything else was composited in Photoshop. The text was created with Photoshop’s 3D tools.


I’m glad I didn’t have to actually expose my guitar to water

This image is a mixture of everything. I modeled these wasps in Maya. The background, I photographed as HDR at the Television Center in Hollywood, which I thought was a perfect setting for my killer wasps. I then took all the elements together and composited them in Photoshop and added some illustration to finish it off.


These wasps wear gas masks because they are mutants and their stingers emit lethal gas

I was going to stick with all photographic imagery in this post. But I decided a good way to finish off is with a piece that I won a Guru award at Photoshop World,  1st place for Illustration. This guitar was created 100% in Photoshop. I didn’t use Illustrator, 3D or any photography at all. It’s all illustrated from scratch in Photoshop 6 (not CS6) out of the box with no 3rd party plugins. This one took me a while, but it was so much fun!


100% Photoshop

Thanks for reading this post and going on a little Photoshop Journey with me. I really hope that you can make it to see me at Photoshop World in Vegas in a few weeks!

You can see more of Colin’s work and tutorials at PhotoshopCafe.com, and follow him on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Tuesday
Aug
2013
13

RC’s Photoshop World Story

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

I remember when RC Concepcion first told me this story, and it’s just as powerful hearing it today as it was then. If you’ve got a minute, I promise it’ll be worth it. If you want to join RC, me and the entire crew here at NAPP as we make learning Photoshop easier, faster and more fun, come join us in Vegas next month — there’s still time. 

Monday
Aug
2013
12

Worldwide Photo Walk™ Stuff

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

After Friday’s announcement of the official date of the 6th Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk™ (It’s Saturday, Oct 5th in case you were wondering), I had a number of questions, so I thought I cover a few of the most frequent ones here today. Here goes:

Q. How do we know if a particular walk is full?
A. There’s a counter on each city’s page and it shows how many spots are left. If you see “0″ Openings (as seen above), that walk is full.  but you can still sign-up but you’ll be put on a waiting list. If a spot opens up (somebody cancels in advance), they’re filled in order by when you signed up (each year, I’ve been able to add a few people to my local walk from my waiting list, so it’s worth getting on the list).

Q. Is yours in Rome, Italy full?
A. It is. I think it was the idea that ice cream might be involved at the end of the walk that helped it fill in. Well, it sure made my decision easy. ;-)

Q. Can we order the t-shirts yet?
A. Yup — here’s the link. That’s the graphic shown above (designed by our own Felix Nelson), and the shirt is available in different colors (white, tan, blue, and so on). Plus, there’s a special “leaders” shirt as well. 100% of the profits from the sale of the t-shirts go the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya, so even if you don’t need the shirt, they definitely need the support. My thanks in advance for helping out the kids (and thanks to Rob Jones of Towner Jones Photography in Virginia who not only came up with the idea, but runs the t-shirt store like a boss). 

Q. I had trouble Registering for a walk, signing up to be a leader (insert your own Web problem here). Is it working now? 
A. When we updated to the latest version of WordPress, it broke a few things that we didn’t know about until Friday, but I think we’ve got them fixed now. Plus, we got crushed with traffic on Friday, so things should be better today all around. Thanks for your patience with all that.

Q. Is there someplace we can see last year’s finalists and winner? 
A. Sure. I did a blog post with each of the finalists and Grand Prize winner, and why I chose each one. Here’s the link (really some amazing shots).

Q. Is there a Facebook page for the Photo Walk so I can keep up on stuff?
A. You bet. Here’s the link. There’s a G+ Event page, too! Here’s the link.

OK, that’s it for today. Lots more to share soon (including new sponsors and more prizes). Whoo hoo!

Cheers,

-Scott

 

Friday
Aug
2013
09

BREAKING NEWS: Announcing My 6th Annual “Worldwide Photo Walk”

by Scott Kelby  |  56 Comments

I’m here to announce the official date for Scott Kelby’s 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (the world’s largest Photo Walk, with walks in over 1,300 cities last year) and you’re invited to be a part of this amazing, free, global, photography social event.

Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details.

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A. The official date is Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Q. What exactly is a Photo Walk?
A. Watch the short video clip above and you’ll get the idea, or go right here.

Q. Is there a fee to participate ?
A. Nope — it’s totally free.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader), not only gets the ebook edition of my “Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers,” but their image is entered into the photo competition vying for thousands of dollars in prizes.  From those winners (chosen by the local walk leaders) I choose 10-finalists, who all get tons of great prizes, and then I choose a Grand Prize winner. Plus, there’s a People’s Choice award winner as well, as voted on by the walkers themselves. 

Q. I watched the video and I see that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean there’s a really cool Grand Prize?
A. You know it. Canon is giving the Grand Prize Winner the just-announced (and not even shipping yet but already getting tons of buzz) Canon EOS 70D. How sweet is that!

Q. Can I still come if I don’t shoot a Canon camera?
A. Of course — the photo walk is open to everybody, no matter what type of camera you use (but of course you might just win that new 70D in the photo competition  — hey, ya never know!)

Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Everything from full copies of Adobe’s new Lightroom 5, to Wacom tablets, to the OnOne Software plug-in suite, B&H Photo Gift Cards, Westcott Lighting Gear, Think Tank Photo camera bags, and more. I’ll have a blog post about ALL the prizes next week, but the list is getting cra-zay! (we have some awesome sponsors!)

Plus, we’re adding a new prize category — for folks who create videos during their photo walk and Canon will be giving away a VERY cool prize to the winner there as well! I think this year we’ll have our biggest collection of prizes yet! Whoo Hoo!!!!

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. Yup—almost 300 cities already have walks all over the world, with more being added every day!

Q. How did those cities gets walks already?
A. We give the previous year’s Photo Walk leaders advance notice to lead a walk again in the current year (after all—they’re seasoned leaders).

Q. So are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A.
 Absolutely! I’ll be leading a local walk in Rome, Italy. (Oh yeah — Rome baby!!!!) However, I’ve never been to Rome (but I needed a semi-legitimate reason to visit Rome and well…this was my chance), so although I’m not quite certain exactly where in Rome we’ll be walking (somewhere downtown I imagine —- I’ll need the help of some kindly photographer in Rome who speaks really fluent English to help me plan and host the walk, like my buddy Serge did for me in Paris last year).

Of course we’ll end my walk at a super-yummy Italian cafe where we can all hang out, grab some lunch, maybe share a few photos and make new friends (and we can all speak with Italian accents, even if some of us [ahem] are not actually Italian]. Also, you don’t have to live in Rome to join me on this walk  — so look at this is yet another reason to vacation in Rome (hey, it worked for me)!

Q. How can I find out if there’s a walk in my area?
A. Go to the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the “Find Walks” link at the top right, then type in the city, state, and/or country where you want to walk, and if there are any walks already organized, they’ll be listed on the right side (and you’ll see pins on the map in your area). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because, like I said before, new walks are being added every day.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, etc., you’re likely to get accepted to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don’t want to enter your images, you absolutely don’t have to (it’s just to make the experience more fun, and if you don’t think joining the contest is fun, you surely don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest). You can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private “secret” photos.

Q. Did you get any complaints about how the winners were chosen?
A.
 Are you kidding? Absolutely! People get pretty outraged if they think one of their images deserved to be the winner but wasn’t chosen by their leader or by me as a finalist. I have people send me angry emails because their leader picked what they (and their friends) think is the “wrong photo,” but hey—that’s the thing about art—it’s subjective. At the end, I pick one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists, and I catch some heat for that, too, but I’m OK with it. Surprisingly, I’ve never heard one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners. ;-)

Q. What do I get for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. You also get the ebook edition of my Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers, and you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a free copy of the ebook as well. Plus, that person you chose is entered into the grand prize competition for a bunch of insane prizes (or they could wind up as one of my top-10 finalists, and still win lots of cool prizes). We also have a “People’s Choice Award” where you vote for the best shot, and a special competition just for Photo Walk leaders.

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
A. We have that, too! We started it two years as a way to honor the work of our leaders (we’ll contact the leaders after the walk with info on how to enter an image in the Leader’s competition), and we’re doing it again this year.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for walkers & leaders?
A. You betcha! Each year, our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea of selling t-shirts to raise money for (you guessed it), the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts will go to feeding and care for these great kids. Last year (with Rob’s gracious help and contributionswe raised over $10,000 just last year (imagine how much $10,000 means to an orphanage in Africa). I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help us once again this year (Rob rocks!).

Here’s the link. 

We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

This year, let’s buy enough t-shirts to donate $15,000 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage (we can do it!!!!). By the way, this year’s t-shirt design is from our own Felix Nelson, and it is WAY cool and a one-of-a kind memento from the walk.

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list, so definitely get on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Local Photo Walks are limited to 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Here’s the full explanation.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing; what’s involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
A. 
There’s a detailed FAQ on the Website (here’s the link), and once you’re signed up for a walk, we’ve made it much easier for your Walk Leader to keep you up-to-date with messages on your local Walk page.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. We have an official Google+ Page everyone can follow (manned by our own RC Concepcion, but I’ll be popping in there as well). To stay on top of all of the latest news: follow this link: [kelbywalk.com] then click the “Add” button and now breaking Worldwide Photo Walk news will show up in your stream.

Of course you can follow the World Wide Photo Walk on Twitter (@KelbyWWPW) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/ScottKelbyPhotowalk), but that’s where all the latest office updates from official Photo Walk Project Manager RC Concepcion will be posted.

Q. So when can I sign up to be either a walker or a Walk Leader?
A. Right now! Here’s the link, and I hope you join us this year as we make worldwide photographic history once again!

Thursday
Aug
2013
08

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  683 Comments

Stay Where The Instructors Stay at Photoshop World Vegas!
If you’re coming to Photoshop World Vegas, make sure you book your room at Mandalay Bay before tomorrow, August 9 to get the special rate of $142/night and stay where the instructors stay! You can also spring for THE Hotel at Mandalay Bay for an extra $20/night.

You can find all the info right here, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to the conference!

Photoshop World Photo Contest
Want to win a free pass to Photoshop World, a Kelby Training & NAPP memberships? Check out the Photoshop World Photo Contest! If you share your pictures for the Viewbug contest, the grand prize winner can get their shot published in Photoshop User Magazine AND a ticket to Photoshop World! All you have to do is submit up to three images that best represent great use of Photoshop before August 20, and the best image will be chosen by Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski!

The Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers
Now that Scott’s latest book, The Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers, is shipping, let’s celebrate by giving away FIVE copies to some lucky commenters here on the blog! You can go ahead and order your copy if you want a guarantee that you’ll get one, or leave a comment if you’re feeling lucky!

How To Photograph Car Interiors with Tim Wallace
Have you ever wondered how to light the inside of a car when you hardly have any room to move? Wonder no more and learn from the best in the business! Join Tim Wallace and Scott Kelby as they show you step-by step how to light and shoot a car’s interior in How To Photograph Car Interiors. The key to lighting is all about the angles, and once you get the lighting right it frees you up to just focus on nailing the best composition. You’ll get to see every step in the process through Tim’s eyes as he shares his secrets for setting up the lights, highlighting the important details, and finding the right camera angle to make each automobile look its very best.

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 or Joe McNally? 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
Sep 13 – Miami Beach, FL

One Light, Two Light with Joe McNally
Aug 9 – Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 10 – St. Louis, MO
Sep 12 – Kansas City, MO

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!

The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 1 at Barnes & Noble
The latest edition of The Digital Photography Book, Part 1 is currently being featured on the “Humorous, Helpful, and Odd” table in many Barnes & Noble stores across the country until August 15th! If you haven’t already picked up your copy, head down to Barnes & Noble and pick one up.

If you don’t make it to B&N in time, we’ll give away a couple of copies to two lucky commenters here on the blog next week!

Winners
Photoshop World Ticket
- Lizzypat

Peter Read Miller Class Rental
- AvishaIF

Kelby Training Live Ticket
- em

Brian Smith Book
- El Conde

If you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll be in touch soon! A bit off topic, but if you’re looking for some music to listen to today, I’d like to recommend my (Brad’s) buddy Matt Hires‘ new album that’s streaming over at USA Today ahead of its release this coming Tuesday. Have a great Thursday!

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