Saturday
Oct
2014
11

It’s Here! It’s “Worldwide Photo Walk Day!”

by Scott Kelby  |  3 Comments

Whoo Hoo!!! It’s Worldwide Photo Walk day!!!!

Greetings from one of my favorite cities in the world — London, England where I’m hosting a local walk today as part of my 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk.

So excited to see images from walks all over the world today (the first walks, in Australian and New Zealand, have already wrapped up, so we’re off and walking!).

Here’s some “Day of Walk” stuff from my crew:

1. Check out the Flickr App for Sharing on the Walk

Check out Flickr’s Mobile app and share pictures of your walk. Here’s a video that will show you how to install and use the app: http://pardot.kelbymediagroup.com/e/39182/B-sZd3jlFhU/4m9n8/71366465. This app will allow you to upload all your pictures to one place and also share them on social media.

2. Join the Open Flickr Group

So that you can connect with photowalkers from all over the world, we would like to invite you to our Flickr Open Group page, where you can see images from photowalkers all over the world tomorrow! You can join that group here:http://pardot.kelbymediagroup.com/e/39182/groups-wwpw2014/4m9nd/71366465

3. #WWPW2014 is the Hashtag! 

As many of you already know, we are running a few social-media contests to highlight this event! On Twitter, follow @kelbyone and talk to us about photowalk using the hashtag #WWPW2014 for your chance to win prizes during the day of photowalk. We are also pinning our favorite #WWPW2014 pictures to our Pinterest board here:kel.by/wwpwpins

4. After The Walk

Once the walk is completed, we will email all of you so you’re aware of how to upload the pictures for the walk competition.  That won’t happen until Monday so you have some time to go through your pictures.

OK, I gotta run and go get ready to lead my London walk this morning. In the meantime, here’s wishing you all beautiful weather, a safe fun walk, a chance to make new friends, and some of your best photos yet!

Cheers,

-Scott

Thursday
Oct
2014
09

The Worldwide Photo Walk Is Tomorrow (plus seven last-minute tips)!

by Scott Kelby  |  7 Comments

It’s here!!! Tomorrow in more than a thousand cities around the world my 7th Annual World Wide Photo Walk kicks off, and by tomorrow night nearly 20,000 photographers around the world will collectively have taken literally millions of photos as part of their local Photo Walks. How cool is that!!!!

If you haven’t signed up for a walk yet: go here  right now — find a walk near you and sign up free! (you can be walking with us tomorrow!).

If you’re already signed up to walk, here are SEVEN LAST MINUTE PHOTO WALK TIPS to make your day a success:

(1) Walk Leaders: Make Sure You Watch my Leader’s Video
If you’re leading a Photo Walk, go to your Leader’s Dashboard page on the Official Worldwide Photo Walk site and watch my video called my: Top 10 (or so) Tips for Leading A Successful Photo Walk.” There is some VERY important info in that video, so please make absolutely sure you watch it before your walk.

(2) Get a Group Shot Right at the Beginning
Somebody remember to take a group shot before you head out for your walk (it’ll be much harder to corral everybody after the shoot, so get one right before you head out). Send some to me, and I’ll post ‘em on my blog next week and over on our Google+ Event Page.

(3) This is The Gear I’m Taking on My Photo Walk
I’m walkin’ light again this year. I’m going with a Canon 5D Mark III body with just one lens; a Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5 – f/6.3 XRDi lens. I’ll be using a Black Rapid strap (a strap that goes across your body, rather than over your shoulder) and two Lexar 32GB 1000X cards (one SD and one Compact Flash).

(4) Don’t Forget to Wear Really Comfortable Shoes
You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you wear shoes that make your feet happy. Don’t forget sunscreen (or a raincoat, depending on the weather for your walk).

(5) Charge all your batteries tonight
Don’t forget to charge your camera batteries, clean your lenses (and sensor), and make sure you’ve got an empty memory card and a back-up.

(6) Go read Dave Cross’ “Photo Walk Ideas” article
If you’re looking for some great ideas, give Dave’s great article a quick read. Even though he wrote it back for my 2010 walk, it’s a great article and it’ll increase your chances for a killer shot! Here’s the link.

(7) The Most Important Thing Is…: That you all stay safe
Look out for each other on the walk.
 Drink plenty of water beforehand and during the walk. Keep an eye on your gear at all times. Don’t go into scary-looking areas, traipsing down deserted alleys, or anyplace that looks unsavory. Don’t get distracted by shooting—you don’t want to bump into, or trip over, anything. Get some great shots, and I’ll see you back here on Monday for a recap of the event.

A special thanks to our wonderful sponsors who made all of this happen (especially our premier sponsor Canon who gave us some incredible prizes for the contest) and to all the photographers around the world who volunteered to lead walks.

My humble thanks to you all for being a part of his historic photography event. Can’t wait to see your shots!!!!!! :-)

All my best,

-Scott

Thursday
Oct
2014
09

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  16 Comments

The 7th Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk
We’re just a couple of days away from the world’s largest social photography event, the Worldwide Photo Walk! If you haven’t already signed up to take part in this event, there’s still time. Just head to WorldwidePhotoWalk.com and search for a walk in your area. It’s a fun event that’s focused on photography, but also on the social aspect of things. Doesn’t matter if you have a top-of-the-line DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or a cell phone camera… Everyone is welcome! Not only that, but anyone who participates can enter the contest for a chance to win some great prizes, including a Canon 70D kit, Canon PIXMA PRO-1 printer, Adobe Creative Cloud membership, Wacom Intuos tablet, B&H gift cards, Tamron 28-300mm lens, and much more!

A Photographer’s Guide To Paris with Scott Kelby & RC Concepcion
If you’re planning a trip to Paris (or just dreaming of one), then consider this your travel guide on where to go for the best photographs of this iconic city. On and off the beaten path, Scott Kelby shares his favorite locations along with the kind of veteran traveler tips that will help you capture images that you’ll be delighted to bring back home. Timing is everything, so you’ll not only learn where to go, but what times will yield the best chances for great photographs. This is strictly a travel guide for photographers, so there’s no Photoshop or Lightroom involved, just the kind of information that will aid you on your photographic journey and inspire you to get out there and shoot.

Leave a comment for your chance to watch this class for free!

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Matt Kloskowski, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
Oct 10 – Westminster, London, UK (tomorrow!)
Oct 17 – Charlotte, NC
Dec 1 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The Power of One Flash with Joe McNally
Nov 6 – Washington, DC
Dec 9 – San Diego, CA

The Lightroom LIVE Tour with Matt Kloskowski
Oct 22 – Colorado Springs, CO
Nov 4 – Philadelphia, PA
Dec 5 – San Antonio, TX

Photoshop for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Oct 20 – Chicago, IL
Nov 7 – Los Angeles, CA

The Photoshop Creativity Tour with Ben Willmore
Oct 7 – Raleigh, NC
Nov 10 – Toronto, ON
Dec 12 – Phoenix, AZ

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through the end of the year. Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Squarespace 7 Is Here!
Here at Kelby Media Group, we LOVE Squarespace! It makes creating a website, blog, or portfolio incredibly fast and easy, especially if you just want to click a few options and get a beautiful, simple website in no time at all. We’re excited to share that they’ve launched the beta for their new backend, Squarespace 7! This is a brand new interface for our content management system that greatly enhances the usability of our existing web publishing platform. Squarespace 7 makes some significant design improvements to the site management features of Squarespace 6, but most of it will feel familiar if you’ve used Squarespace in the past two years. You can easily enable Squarespace 7 for your existing site by turning on a simple toggle.

If you’re not already using Squarespace, you can pick a template and start a 14-day free trial right here.

Last Week’s Winners
KelbyOne Rentals
- joe t
- Neoh Soon Hueng

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Michael Scott

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

Wednesday
Oct
2014
08

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Alex Garcia!

by Brad Moore  |  3 Comments


Photo by Robert Deutsch

Do your pictures speak to you?

If you’re feeling a dry spell in your creativity or you’re undecided about what personal project might wow your next client, it’s a curious but valuable question.

What happens often as photographers is we get caught up in tools of the trade. Not everyone obviously, but with so many eye-popping advances in technology we drift towards how we can manipulate, control and shape our images. We tell our pictures what to say.

It makes perfect sense. If you’re trying to stay ahead, so much has to measure up. Who wants to take chances with pictures when a client’s expectations are at stake? More control, less risk. So we previsualize, research, come up with shot lists, use photo actions and tools. With a flourish of creativity, we finish. The results can be beautiful.

But this is all very much directed by you the photographer, in a process that can become so perfected and controlled that it becomes stale. Perhaps that’s why, at a portfolio review, you might be asked after you have bared the fruits of all your labor, “Do you have any personal projects to show?”

Editors and art buyers want to be surprised by someone’s individual passions and creativity. They want to lasso a star.

If you feel like you’re producing well-crafted widgets with your photography, or if you’re casting about for a personal project to get your passions going on, let me make a suggestion that I try to follow myself.

Let your pictures speak.

What the heck do I mean?  I’ve been a photojournalist for over twenty years, and I’ve done a lot of conscious picture-taking. Before I compose a picture, I’m thinking of my subject, my audience, my editors, and the reporter’s story. I’m trying to find and make pictures that will sing in the space provided but within the constraints of expectations and needs of the job.

So, tired by all the control I was exerting, I decided to do the thing that I kept putting off. I decided to explore my family roots in Cuba…without pictures.

What happened next set in motion a chain of events that forever changed my perceptions of photography and the direction of my career.

Unlike everyone else who goes to Cuba, especially through numerous destination workshops, I didn’t want to take pictures and turn the island into a photo project. I didn’t go to take photos of cigars, cars and decrepit buildings like everyone else.

I wanted to meet family that no one in my U.S. family had seen in about forty years. I took a camera, but more to take visual notes and to photograph family.

Yet, every time I felt an emotional chord strike, I would take a picture and move on.

It wasn’t an emotional family homecoming. That’s the stereotypical narrative for a returning family member. But too much time had passed. Politics intervened. My experience was a bit disjointed and sometimes awkward.

I was troubled by my experience. I came back and put away my pictures for 6 months.

But my unconscious had a few things to say. Still needing to process the experience, I went through and selected every picture that rang an emotional chord, even if I didn’t understand why.

I laid them out together and was shocked to see that the pictures had a voice that I wasn’t eager to hear. They told me this:

I was a stranger. It was also a strange land to me. I was a stranger in a strange land.

Yeesh. So much for feeling closer to my family.

Fast forward years later, I found myself at the presidential palace, face-to-face with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

How did that happen?

After what my pictures said on my first trip, I responded. I kept returning to the island, ultimately risking a staff job at the Los Angeles Times to ask for a leave of absence to study in Cuba for six months.

After the L.A. Times, I came to the Chicago Tribune, with extensive Cuba experience. Shortly after, the Tribune was the first U.S. newspaper in forty years to receive permission to open a bureau on the island. I jumped into my editor’s office. He could sense my passion.

So there I was at the presidential palace, getting ready to photograph our CEO and the Cuban president, shaking hands at the inauguration of the bureau.

On that trip, that lasted a couple months, I produced a sports picture essay that won a World Press Photo award. That award led to book projects and other opportunities.

I’ve left newspapering since then, but it was still a personal and professional highpoint in my career that is still bearing fruit.

But it all started with exploring a personal interest that, honestly, was unsettling.

While at the Tribune, I wrote a weekly column about photography that was gathered into my recent book Depth of Field: Tips on Photojournalism and Creativity.  I write about personal projects and the psychology of picture-taking because our unconscious behavior is either helping or hindering us.

So yes, I know, it sounds woogie to say,”Let your pictures speak to you.”

But when you do, and respond, it could add a missing personal dimension to your photography that others are hungry to see.

Alex Garcia is a Chicago-based editorial and commercial photographer with over twenty years experience as a photojournalist at the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. He is a frequent lecturer, author and public speaker. His recent book is “Depth of Field: Tips on Photojournalism and Creativity.” You can see more of his work at AlexanderGarcia.com, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday
Oct
2014
07

Real World Field Report on the Canon 7D Mark II

by Scott Kelby  |  150 Comments

Hi gang: This weekend I got a chance to take two Canon 7D Mark IIs out for a real world field-test shooting two football games: On Saturday the Tennessee Vols vs. the Florida Gators, and on Sunday the New York Giants vs. the Atlanta Falcons at Met Life stadium in New Jersey. (Note: the two camera bodies I used were overnight loaners from Canon of pre-production demo units — they are not the final shipping cameras — so they’re not quite finished yet, but they’re far enough along that I could at least test them and give you, and Canon, feedback).

I’m posting some high resolution samples here (below), but make sure you watch the video above because we tackled all the important stuff you’d want to know about (of course, we talked a lot about high-ISO performance), plus we took loads of questions during the broadcast (I’m joined by RC Concepcion and Brad Moore in the studio). It’s really kind of “three guys sitting around talking about a camera” type of show and I show lots of my photos (not just sports stuff) taken with the 7D Mark II.

Above: Specs: Shot as JPEG image. 640 ISO. 1/1000 of a second at f/5.6. 560mm (400mm with a 1.4 tele-extender). If you click on this low-res preview, it will take you to the full high-resolution image you can download. I cropped-in a tiny bit to fix composition and I brightened the image 1/2 stop, but it’s still a bit under-exposed [I was shooting JPEG and used Exposure Compensation to overcome some highlight clipping I wouldn't have even worried about if I had been shooting in Raw]. No sharpening, noise reduction, vibrance or any of that type of stuff in post. By the way, it’s killing me to post a non-sharpened image. Just sayin’.

We Covered a Ton!
We covered what worked, what I wish were different, and literally just minutes before we started taping a tech-rep at Canon called in and helped out by showing how to fix my #1 complaint about the camera for shooting sports (which we show how to address during the show above). I still had to whine about a few things (I hope Canon is listening), but I covered the stuff it did right as well. We really tried to cover all the questions we’d been hearing on social and here on the blog as best we could.

Above: Shot in JPEG mode (we explain why on the video). This one’s at 1,000 ISO at 1/1250 of a second. Same lens as above. Cropped in a bit. We also show a large print of this on the show. 

RC Totally Scores!
My favorite part of the broadcast comes around the 2/3 to 3/4 mark when RC absolutely nails why this camera is so important, and he really articulated what I’ve been trying to say about the 7D Mark II since the official announce. You’ll know when it happens because I literally high-fived him for stating it in a way I wish I had, because he really put it all on context.

Above: I used Auto ISO to shoot in the locker room before game time. That image you see above? That’s 16,000 ISO. Click on it to get the high-res version (no noise reduction in post — and that was shot in JPEG mode). It’s shot at f/2.8 at 1/1000 of a second using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. You definitely do see noise on the full res image (heck, you see noise on a 1Dx at 16,000 ISO), but I was still pretty amazed that a crop-sensor camera could get this kind of performance at 16,000 ISO. 

I’ll be around today to try and answer any questions we didn’t cover during the broadcast (if you’re going to ask about noise, please watch the video ’cause we covered it to death), so just leave me a comment here and I’ll do my best (Note: I just did a field test — not an in-depth lab report, so if you ask me pixel-peeper style in-depth techie stuff I’m probably not the right guy to answer those, but I might be able to find someone at Canon who can answer those types of questions).

Above: I thought I should at least post one image actually taken at 100 ISO, so here ya go. This is uncropped, un-anything; shot in JPEG mode. Again, click on it to see the high-res version. 

Anyway, hope this helps, and here’s wishing you your best Tuesday yet!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. We’re only four days away from my 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. If you haven’t registered to join the local walk in your city this Saturday, it’s not too late. Here’s the link. 

Monday
Oct
2014
06

Peter Read Miller on the new Canon 7D Mark II

by Scott Kelby  |  8 Comments

Hi Gang: Mia McCormick sits down with one of my all-time heroes of sports photography, the legend himself, Peter Read Miller for his impressions of the recently announced Canon 7D Mark II. If you got a sec, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Also, I shot two games this weekend using the 7D Mark II for my main and secondary bodies (weekend loaners from Canon — just early demo units — not the final shipping version), and I cannot wait to share some shots with you here tomorrow from the Vols/Gators and Falcons/Giants games, so make sure you stop back tomorrow for my field report.

Hope you guys have an fantastic Monday (I know, that’s an oxymoron) even if your team lost this weekend (all my teams lost. Ugh. But there’s still a faint hope for my Fantasy Team — I’m in third place in our league).

Best,

-Scott

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