Are You Ready to Go Pro? with Stella Kramer
Are you ready to go pro? Join Stella Kramer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo editor, as she shares what it takes from the perspective of the people who hire and work with photographers. In this class you’ll learn the importance of your communication materials, how and where to get started, where to find opportunities, how to start connecting with prospective clients, and what steps you should be taking. You can get to where you want to be with your photography if you follow your own passion, make the commitment to yourself, and make a plan that you can act on. Keep an eye out for this class later today!

In Case You Missed It
Join Mia McCormick and John Keatley as they sit down to discuss the business lessons John has learned from his career as an advertising and celebrity portrait photographer. John has photographed celebrities, athletes, and politicians, and his work has appeared in publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Wired. Over the course of an hour John and Mia discuss topics ranging from developing a business frame of mind to knowing your costs before entering negotiations, and from the role of social media to how to demonstrate what you can do in an engaging way, and so much more that will help you accelerate your business today.

Today I would like to share a journey to one of the most challenging and fascinating places on earth.

Want to stand on the edge of a crater and watch lava flowing beneath your feet? Want to explore the ancient churches of Lalibela? How about witnessing the culture and rituals of the lip plated Mursi people? Well, then this place is for you – welcome to Ethiopia.

I first learned about Ethiopia when a friend showed me a photograph of Erta Ale  – one of only six active lava lakes in the world. At the time I had no idea there is a place on Earth where you can stand right on the edge of an active volcano. How exciting! I knew right then and I must visit this place.

Little did I know how much more there is to see here – I explored centuries old churches of Lalibela, survived the scorching heat of the Danakil Depression and witnessed unique customs of the Omo Valley tribes.

Traveling in Ethiopia is not exactly comfortable – extreme heat and humidity, long hours in the car to get to most places, very basic accommodations with electricity and running water not always available. Almost every day I was pushed to my limits physically, emotionally and photographically.    

Some of you may wonder if it was worth it? There were moments on the journey when I wondered the same. What I have learned as a travel photographer is how important it is to test your own boundaries. Just when you think you cant take that next step, when you just want to give up and go home, when you are feeling frustrated and exhausted – that’s when you need to push yourself even harder, that’s when you will grow the most and transform. Your whole world opens up and you are never the same. One of the rewards of travel I welcome even more than breathtaking landscapes – learning to live in the moment. So is it worth it – absolutely! Never stop pushing yourself beyond the boundaries.    

The Salt Trade of Northern Ethiopia
Each day the salt miners make a 100km journey to Mekele – the nearest hub of the “white gold” trade.  Starting from the Danakil Depression where the salt is mined, it’s a three day trek through one of the hottest and cruelest places on earth with temperatures rarely falling below 40-60 C (104-140 F) during the day. This has been the livelihood of the Afar people for hundreds of years, and still continues to this day. Barren landscape, dust storms, unbearable heat and lack of water – after spending just a few days here – I’m truly fascinated by the resilience of the people living in this region.

Erta Ale Volcano – Staring Into The Mouth Of Hell
After a nine hour drive over lava fields, salt flats and sand, it’s a three hour hike in the dark until you finally reach the rim of the caldera. Not too far in the distance, you see the red smoke and ash coming from the ground – a mere 500 meters and you will witness what you’ve traveled so far to see – Erta Ale’s active crater.

Excited, you forget about exhaustion and want to run to it as fast as possible, but the local guide cautions you that this is the most dangerous part. As you descend there is no trail – you are walking on freshly crusted lava that cracks under your feet, one false step and you can fall into an air pocket – who knows what’s underneath?  Finally you made it – it’s a live volcano right in front of you  – you feel the heat, hear the lava bubble, see the ash and sparks flying up in mini explosions… It is one of nature’s most mesmerizing and dangerous shows.

The Faces Of Lalibela
Lalibela – the center of Ethiopian Christianity – is famous for its monolithic churches built underground. To this day the exact details of their construction remain a mystery. All the churches are active and priests still use century old books to pray, with the only source of light shining though small windows cut in the massive walls.

The Tribes Of The Omo Valley
Over 20 tribes live in the Omo Valley in the south of Ethiopia, close to the border with Kenya. Each tribe still follows unique rituals and traditions passed on from one generation to the next. Decorative scars, lip plates, being here feels like a time capsule to a foreign traveler.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Ethiopia. For those interested in joining me on adventure trips to some of the most unique corners of the world, feel free to send me a message at natalia@nataliastone.com.

Natalia Stone is a travel photographer based in New York City. Her passion for adventure and photography has taken her to over 40 counties and some of the most remote corners of the world. Whether standing on a rim of an active volcano in Ethiopia, photographing the northern lights in Norway or navigating through glacial waters of Greenland, her goal is to tell visual stories of the incredible treasures our planet holds.

You can see more of her work at NataliaStone.com, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

If you missed last week’s episode of “The Grid,” ( our live weekly show about photography) with the super awesome Kalebra as my in-studio guest — we opened the show by announcing the artist whose work will open “The Gallery at KelbyOne” (a beautiful new photographic art gallery at the KelbyOne headquarters in Florida).

The winner is: photographer and Art Director, Mark Wegner from Sonoma County, California

We were really taken with both Mark’s B&W and his color work, and the strong graphic aesthetic he brings to his compositions.

I did a full Q&A about this on-going project a few weeks back here on the blog when we opened submissions for the gallery showing to KelbyOne members. If you’ve got a moment, I think you’ll enjoying reading how the idea came about and why we’re hosting this gallery. It’s something we’re very excited about, and very proud of, and once you read about it, we hope you will be, too.

 

We’re working out the exact date of Mark’s opening now, and as soon as we have that nailed down, I’ll share it here on the blog (and we’ll be inviting members to join us for the opening night’s reception, and live interview with Mark in the theater).

Our hearty congratulations to Mark, and thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. We’ll be opening submissions to find our next featured artist in the gallery very soon, so stayed tuned.

Blind Photo Critiques Tomorrow on “The Grid!”
Plus, tomorrow we reveal our all-new “underground hacker” set for the show with all new graphics and a new look, new intro music, heck — new everything!  (Note: we did 269 episodes — just short of six years, on that old set, which debuted live on March 7, 2011 ); My guest tomorrow is Rick Sammon and we’re doing our monthly “Blind Photo Critiques” episode, so if you’d like to have your work considered for blind critique, here’s the link to submit your images. Good luck, and see you tomorrow at 4pm ET at kelbytv.com/thegrid

Best,

-Scott

Hi gang, and happy Friday. My new Photoshop Elements 15 book just hit bookstores — if you’re an Elements user, check out the official trailer below. If you’re not, keep reading for some Lightroom news.

Here’s the link to it on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble (but you can find it wherever cool books are sold). :)

This other Lightroom stuff (below) is for all you awesome KelbyOne Members out there:

The new issue of “Lightroom magazine” is out. Here’s the link to check it out (or hit the magazines link in the left side panel in your member dashboard).

Our first new addition in 2017 to the KelbyOne Member Creative Toolkit is my brand new “Lightroom Q&A” eBook — you can find here (or click the Toolkit link on your Member Dashboard). This eBook is free as part of your KelbyOne membership. More to come in your Creative Toolkit, as our way of saying thanks for being a member.

Hope you all have a safe, fun, and awesome weekend! #GoFalcons #RiseUp

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Two more cities were just added for my “Lightroom On Tour” full day seminar — Chicago on April 10th, and the Detroit area on April 11th. Come on out and spend the day with me learning Lightroom. 

Perfecting Selections in Adobe Photoshop with Dave Cross
Perfect your Photoshop selection powers! Join Dave Cross as he equips you with all the information you need to know to create accurate selections as efficiently as possible. Dave goes through all of the various selection tools, discussing their pros and cons, and demonstrating how to get the most out of each one. From learning pre-selection strategies to mastering techniques for fine tuning your selections, Dave will provide you with the key elements needed to choose the right selection techniques for the job at hand to end up with a great selection.

In Case You Missed It
Learn the core fundamentals of retouching hair! Join Kristi Sherk as she teaches you how to retouch hair smarter, not harder. From removing stray hairs to changing your subject’s hair color, and from creating custom hair brushes to adding dimension and shine, Kristi will show you how to do the best things possible in the fastest amount of time. Every photographer working with people can benefit from adding these hair retouching techniques to their set of skills, so that you can deliver outstanding work to your clients and get back behind the camera. By the end of the class you’ll know how to make your clients look red-carpet ready and how to do it faster than ever.

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