Tuesday
Aug
2013
06

It’s Guest Blog Tuesday featuring Rick Sammon!

by Brad Moore  |  22 Comments

Let’s Get Inspired!

First, I want to thank Scott and Brad for having me back on Photoshop Insider as a guest blogger. It’s an honor to be here, as well as an honor to “share the stage” with so many talented photographers.

Today I’d like to talk about an important element, to some the most important element, in photography: inspiration – how you can get inspired and how you can stay inspired. I cover that topic somewhat in my latest Kelby Training interview, but here I’d like to share with you the detailed list of my “Top 10 Techniques for Getting Inspired.” Feel free to substitute the word “motivated” for “inspired.”

Condensed down to just one word each, here is my Top Ten list: Steal, Search, Share, Join, Learn, Change, Travel, Enjoy, Look and Walk. I’ll expand on those topics in a just a bit. In reading my list, keep in mind that if you play guitar or piano (as does Scott and yours truly), my “Top Ten” list also applies. In fact, the list applies, with a bit of tweaking, to all creative art forms.

Before we get going, however, I guess I should tell you about the Camargue horses pictures in this post. I took them during a recent digital photography workshop that I was co-leading in Provence, France.  All the images, taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and either my Canon 24-105mm IS lens or Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS lens, are pretty much strait shots, converted to JPEGs from my RAW files. All the images, however, are cropped. I feel strongly about cropping, as it gives us a second chance at composition – which is the topic of my Kelby Training class, Composition – The Strongest Way of Seeing.

Two more things about the images before I get to my “Top Ten” list:

First, you could say these photographs are “dumb luck” shots. Heck. I was standing in the water at the right time of day while these beautiful animals were running toward me (guided by riders who are out of the frame) at top speed. Basically, all I had to do was compose, set my exposure, allow my camera to focus – and shoot. Actually, you could say many images, even those by pros, are “dumb luck” shots. The thing is: “Luck favors the prepared photographer.” So be prepared.

Second, seeing pictures of the Camargue horses by other pros inspired and motivated me to try to make good pictures of these beautiful animals.

Okay, let’s talk about inspiration.

1) Steal!
Salvador Dali said, “Those who do not want to imitate anything produce nothing.” I first learned of that quote in the book, Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon.

One way to get inspired, therefore, is to look at the work of other photographers, and then try to emulate their work. If you succeed in your quest to “steal,” that will inspire you to go on “stealing” and creating.

2) Share
Sharing your work, and ideas, on social media sites, such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter is a good way to get inspired. If other photographers like your work, you’ll get inspired by their comments, which will inspire you to make more creative pictures ­– and to post more pictures. Even if you are an established pro, feedback is important. I’m always searching the web for new sites designed for photo sharing. PhotoExtracat.com is my latest and favorite.

Recently, I posted one of my Camargue horses pictures on PhotoExtract, and within a few days it was featured on the home page of the site – which was quite an honor.

Of course, a bad review on a social media site can be uninspiring. But if you are in this game of photography, you need to learn how to take the good with the bad.

3) Search
Searching and researching the work of other photographers is another way to get inspired. That’s what I did before going to Provence.

I always suggest to my workshop students that they do a search on the masters of photography – Karsh of Ottawa, Irving Penn, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Jerry Uelsmann, Gordon Parks – to name a few. More masters can be found here.

Back in the late 1970s, I had the awesome opportunity while editor of Studio Photography magazine (and before some of you were born), to interview Yousuf Karsh, Arthur Rothstein, Andreas Feininger, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Francesco Scavullo – and several other famous photographers of that time. These men loved photography, which is different than someone who loves being a famous photographer (which is a trend today on social media). Search out the true masters. You’ll get inspired by their work – as I did and as I am.

4) Join
A great way to get inspired is to shoot with other photographers. Join a photo workshop, photo walk, camera club or photo Meet Up group. Learn from the pro or leader. Share your shots on site and online. Get feedback. Look at the work of others, especially in the field so you can see how the other photographers are seeing. Remember: the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.

If you have been on a photo workshop and have wondered why you were not getting good shots, this blog post may help: How Come I’m Not Getting the Shots?

5) Learn
“Learning is health,” so the Buddhist saying goes. I truly believe that. Learn a new plug-in and see how that plug-in can help you awaken the artist within. Learn how to use Photoshop, Lightroom or ACR to expand the dynamic range of an image. Learn how to make a great inkjet print. Master daylight fill-in flash, painting-with-light or EDR. EDR, in case you were wondering, is my own name for HDR, which you can read about in this post: Goodbye HDR! Hello EDR?

6) Change
“When you are through changing, you are through.” – Bruce Barton

Change is good – and inspiring and refreshing. If you are stuck in a rut, get some inspiration by trying a different type of photography or by experimenting with different digital darkroom techniques. Challenge yourself. If you meet and exceed that challenge, you’ll be inspired and motivated to try new things.

If you think you can’t change, think about this quote: “If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you can’t.”

Have enthusiasm for all that you do – new and old – and inspire others – which is actually a good way for you to get inspired. “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

7) Travel
Traveling to new locations is a wonderful way to get inspired. You don’t necessarily need to travel to the other side of the planet to get inspired, but that can surely help. Making a trip to a nearby city or park can also be a source of inspiration, too. Wherever you go, set a specific goal, perhaps to come away with a series of black-and-white images. With that goal in mind, you’ll see and picture your world in your own unique way, which is kinda cool.

8) Enjoy
Here’s yet another quote, this one by my good friend Hal “Bull” Schmitt, a wonderful motivational and inspirational speaker, as well as a former Top Gun instructor. “If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong.” Take joy in all your photography – and in all you do. You’ll be surprised at how your attitude affects your images.

9) Look
For photographers, there’s a big difference between seeing and looking. (For musicians, there is a big difference between hearing and listening.) When you are out shooting, look for images. The more you look, the more you’ll see picture possibilities. Don’t only look for interesting subjects, look for good light. It’s often light that can make the difference between a snapshot and a great shot. When we were photographing the horses in Provence, positioning the horses in good light was a main objective.

10) Walk
“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man who goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon

I’ll leave you with that quote and concept because it says it all . . . and because I am going for a walk.

You can see more of Rick’s work at RickSammon.com, and follow him on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook!

Monday
Aug
2013
05

90-Second Review of MacLocks’ Much Better Lock For Your Retina Display MacBook Pro

by Scott Kelby  |  25 Comments

Above: Here’s the small metal locking hole that attaches to the bottom of your Retina MacBook Pro. 

Since this is supposed to be only a 90-second review of MacLocks ”MacBook Pro Security Bracket,” I’ll cut to the chase (and then give you the back story if you’re so inclined).

Pros: It’s super-easy to attach (took all of two-minutes and a child could do it). It’s so sleek and slim you don’t even notice it’s there, which is a big step forward. In fact, it actually looks good. The included lock is cleverly designed and the whole thing feels solid and well-built. The install instructions are simple, visual and clear (the locking instructions themselves aren’t quite as good, but not horrible).

Cons: I still hate having to use a key for the lock (rather than a combination lock). If I lose the key, my laptop is staying at the stadium. They have good reasons for using a key for some IT situations, but I would love it if they would offer a combination lock as an option.

Plus, as before (with the older version) the achilles heel of the whole system is that it can be defeated if a potential thief has a very tiny screwdriver — they can just remove the plate altogether and walk off with the laptop (of course, they could just cut the cable with an industrial grade wire/cable cutter, too, right?), but it’s unlikely that either would be the case in the situations where you’d need to lock it down temporarily. So, while it’s not a perfect system, I think it’s as close as we’re going to get at this point.

Bottomline: This is the laptop lock I’ve been waiting for. They totally nailed it! A big leap up from their original clear plastic locking system, which I had been using until now (I wrote a review back in Nov 2012 – here’s the link). It’s not bulky and clear plastic like the old one; it’s lightweight, it’s not obtrusive, it looks and feels much stronger; the lock is better, and it’s faster/easier to attach. Big improvement over the old model, and it’s what I’ll be using from here on out.

Above: Here’s the bottom of the Retina MacBook Pro so you can see the full assembly attached to the top. By the way, these stunning review photos were taken with my iPhone, so be kind. LOL! ;-)

Above: Here’s a close-up of the lock attached to the security bracket. The bracket has little round rubber feet that cover Apple’s existing rubber feet. The whole thing is pretty unobtrusive, especially compared to the earlier model.

Overall Rating
If I actually had a five-star rating-system, with 5 being best, I would give it 4-1/2 stars, knocking off the half star because they don’t offer a combination lock option (only a key lock).

Price: $69.95 (though it appears to be on-sale for $59.95 right now)
Works on: 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros
Available from: MacLocks.com
Red stars with 2-pixel back stroke: Done in Photoshop

That’s it in 90-seconds. If you want more detail, see below.

————

OK, why do we even need a security bracket like this?
The Retina MacBook Pros are so thin Apple wound up having to leave off something that was a staple of most previous MacBook Pros: the specially designed security locking hole. You inserted the lock directly into the chassis of your laptop. That was sweet, but now they’re gone.

That left me leaving my MacBook Pro unlocked in an un-attended photography work room at stadiums where I was shooting games, until I came across the original MacLocks solution (in November of 2012), which which used a hard, clear plastic case that you screwed into the bottom of your MacBook Pro and it had a hard plastic nub with a hole sticking out the back corner where you could insert their custom lock and lock your computer down. It actually worked pretty well (and protected my laptop until now), but there were two issues on that old model:

(1) The plastic case was a bit bulky and added weight
It covered the entire bottom of the laptop, and that added to its thickness and weight (which stinks because one of the best features of the MacBook Pro was its light weight and thin size). It didn’t bother me at first, but as time went on, it became kind of a pain (and the plastic edge sometimes snagged the sides of my laptop bag. In fact, it finally cracked the clear plastic case on one side).

(2) The clear plastic case kind of looked like you could break it off without too much trouble.
I don’t think it would be easy, but just looking at at, it looked like it might be, and if someone actually did try, they would pretty much trash your laptop. So, even though they might not actually take your laptop, they could trash it to where you wouldn’t want it when they were done trying. It’s a win/lose proposition.

That why this new solution is so much better. You don’t even really notice it, so it doesn’t draw unwanted attention, and it doesn’t look like clear easily breakable plastic.

Hope you found this helpful. :)

Cheers,

-Scott

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

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