Thursday
Feb
2013
14

Watch Joe McNally’s Entire Presentation from Photo Pro Expo

by Brad Moore  |  6 Comments

Check this out… If you missed this year’s Photo Pro Expo, you now have the opportunity to see Joe McNally’s entire 2-hour presentation online! It’s only available until Wednesday, February 20, so make sure you watch it sooner than later. Plus, you can also watch interviews with Kevin Kubota, David Ziser, Zach and Jody Gray, and Rick Sammon! Just click this link to watch those videos and register for next year’s Photo Pro Expo for only $129.

Speaking of Joe McNally, you can also see him at Photoshop World Orlando in April. From now till March 1, if you sign up using one of the discount codes on this page, you can either get an extra 6 months added to your NAPP membership, or 3 months of online training from KelbyTraining.com.

AND, if you want to spend a day with Joe, you can sign up for his BRAND NEW pre-conference workshop, Characters On Location: Telling Stories With Light. This one is limited to only 45 people, so sign up now to make sure you get in!

Thursday
Feb
2013
14

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  63 Comments

Photoshop World Orlando
It’s hard to believe, but we’re only two months away from Photoshop World Orlando! You can get a small taste of what to expect from the conference in the video above, and last night we did a [just short of two-hour] webcast called the Photoshop World-A-Thon where The Photoshop Guys showed some of the stuff they’ll be teaching at the conference. And, if you click this link, you’ll find some great deals to either get 6 months added to your NAPP Membership, or get 3 months of free training from KelbyTraining.com when you register for Photoshop World!

KelbyTraining.com
Check out the latest addition to the KelbyTraining.com series of business and inspiration classes, Erik Valind’s The Art of Digital Photography: The Inspirational Series. You’ve seen Erik Valind in action as he does a lifestyle shoot. Now watch him as he sits down with Mia McCormick to talk about the business of photography. In this class, Erik talks with Mia about getting started in photography, connecting with clients and fellow photographers, and even touches on his favorite gear!

Leave a comment for your chance to get a free rental of this class.

Kelby Training Live
Want to spend a day with Matt KloskowskiRC Concepcion, or Ben Willmore? Check out these seminar tours!

Lightroom 4 Live with Matt Kloskowski
Feb 20 – Arlington, TX
Feb 22 – Atlanta, GA
Mar 22 – Phoenix, AZ

Photoshop CS6 for Photographers with RC Concepcion
Feb 27 – Richmond, VA
Mar 15 – Tampa, FL
Mar 25 – Houston, TX

Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop with Ben Willmore
Mar 19 – New York, NY
Mar 20 – Washington, DC

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket to one of these events!

The Digital Photo Workshops – Moab with Dave Black
What are you doing April 25-28? No plans? Well, even if you have plans, cancel them and sign up for The Digital Photo Workshop with Dave Black! He’ll be teaching, along with Jeff Leimbach and Randy Van Duinen, in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Not only will you have the opportunity to photograph beautiful locations at sunrise and sunset, but you’ll have the opportunity to learn light painting from the master! In between shoots, you’ll be learning the ins and outs of the digital darkroom, including basic post processing and HDR techniques.

Here’s the best part… They’re giving away a free ticket to this workshop! Just leave a comment for your chance to win [doesn't include travel, accommodations, food, or other expenses].

Peachpit Photo Club
On Tuesday, February 19th at 8PM ET, Teri Campbell will be discussing some of the topics from his new book Food Photography & Lighting: A Commercial Photographer’s Guide to Creating Irresistible Images during the Peachpit Photo Club! Plus, to keep the creative juices flowing, Photo Club attendees will receive an assignment at the end of the session. Once the assignment is completed, Photo Club attendees can upload their work to the Peachpit Photo Club Flickr Group so that Teri and the Peachpit crew can help critique it.

And, next week only, you can grab Teri’s book for only $9.99 when it is the Peachpit eBook Deal of the Week! Leave a comment here for your chance to win a free copy.

Winners
Peter Hurley Mastering Headshot Photography Rental
- Charlie O’Brien

Lightroom 4 Live Seminar
- R Levesque

Cliff Mautner Class Rental
- Jane Hamilton

Capture NX 2 Class
- Cheryl Tadin

Wednesday
Feb
2013
13

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Jeff Cable!

by Brad Moore  |  11 Comments

Shooting the Olympic Games: The preparation, challenges, and the advantages!

Hundreds of millions of people have watched the Olympic Games on their televisions or seen the countless images being transmitted online from this epic sporting event, but far fewer have had the opportunity to experience the Olympics first hand. Trust me, being there is truly an amazing experience!

I have been lucky enough to photograph three Olympic Games (Beijing, Vancouver, and London) and I am already preparing for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Since you are reading this on Scott’s blog, chances are you have an interest in photography, and maybe even sports photography. I thought you might like to know what it is like to be a photographer at the Olympics.

Photographer Dave Black says that “shooting the Olympics is like photographing three Super Bowls per day for 16 consecutive days.” And he is right. At the Olympics, the pressure is huge and the competition is fierce—and I am just talking about the photographers!

But let’s back up for a second and talk about the planning, since well before shooting the Olympics, there is a ton of preparation involved.

The Preparation
The first and most important part is getting the ever-coveted Olympic photographer credentials. Since most countries only get a handful of these, this is rarely ever a “given” and must be earned.  It took me years of work and building relationships to get my first chance. Now that I have photographed numerous Games and proven myself, this process is a little easier than trying to break into this from square one, but still never a “given.”

Then, assuming that I get my credentials, there is the challenge of travel and lodging. I need to find airlines that make it easy for me to carry on lots of gear, since I have no desire to check my expensive camera gear. Before my first Olympics, I lost weeks of sleep just trying to figure out what gear to bring with me. How many cameras? Which lenses? How many memory cards? How many bags?

And, this is the Olympics, which means that hotel rooms are hard to find and expensive. It’s imperative to find a place to stay that is close enough to the Olympic Park, with easy access to the press buses, but not crazy expensive. Access to the press buses is key, since this helps me avoid crowded public transportation. Did you know that they have special “Olympic lanes” on the roads? The press buses are allowed to use the special lanes en route to the park, which saves more time, and time is at a premium.

Before leaving for the Games, I need to be “in the know.”  I need to know everything I can about the sports I’ll be photographing. Having an intimate knowledge of the sport helps me predict the key moments and best shooting locations. I also need to know about the venues. In London I spent a lot of time at the Water Polo venue, so I arrived there four days before the competition started and walked every inch of the building. I learned the allowable shooting positions, the restrictions, possible remote locations, pressroom details, and much more. And, of course, I need to know my camera inside and out. At the most recent 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I was using the newly released Canon 1DX. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a prototype of the camera a month before I left for London, so that I could become familiar with the new user interface and button layout.

The Challenges
Before shooting my first Olympics, I looked at the schedule and mapped out a plan of events to shoot. It was not until I got to the visiting city that I realized that the distance between venues and extended travel time meant that I could only shoot two or three sports per day. Not only are the events in many different locations, but their times often overlap, as well. There were many times in Vancouver when I could not photograph both USA Hockey teams (men and women) because their games overlapped and the arenas were an hour apart. I found a new tool while in London that was a real game-changer for me. For the first time ever, there was an iPhone app for the Olympics, which listed out the events for the day. If my schedule changed for any reason, I could look at the app, see what other events might be upcoming, and change my plan right there and then. It was awesome!

It’s also very important to get into a shooting position early. It’s not possible to show up last minute to the swimming pool to shoot a medal event. There will likely be hundreds of other photographers there, taking the best spots. It also helps to understand how many others will be shooting with you. The Summer Olympics, for example, might have 2,000 photographers onsite, while the Winter Olympics averages only 800 of us shooters.

Oh, and this is the Olympics. You can’t just shoot from anywhere. Most of the time, shooting locations are limited and mapped out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This makes it even harder to find a unique shot.  Often times, I will walk into the spectator area to try to find a unique perspective, but when shooting up-close to the action, you are generally lumped in with all the other shooters. Each venue will have their own restrictions, so before shooting there for the first time, I stop by the venue press office and ask about their setup. They let me know when I can enter the playing area, where we can stand, if remote cameras are allowed, etc. If I have never photographed that particular sport, I might even ask advice for optimum lens choice. Some events, like the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and certain gold medal matches, are what they call “high impact events” and those require tickets, even for us photographers. For those tickets, you must apply to your National Olympic Committee (NOC, or in my case the USOC). Believe it or not, there are many photographers who go to the Olympics who can’t get tickets to the Opening Ceremonies.

I mentioned that time is at a premium at the Olympics. This is really an understatement. The typical hours of an Olympic photographer are 9 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day. This is the one time in my life where I eat to survive, not to enjoy the food. For me, just about every waking moment is taken up by prepping, shooting, downloading, moving from one location to another, editing, posting, and blogging. I was under contractual obligations to go through my images from each game and get them back to Team USA within two hours of the completion of that event. That means that I am going through thousands of photos, finding the best 10 or 15 shots, adjusting them (exposure, white balance, cropping—no cloning is allowed), and then sending them through ftp back to the U.S. Most nights in London, I was eating a quick dinner at midnight while posting a blog or the last images from that day.

The key to shooting the Olympics, like so many other photography assignments, is to tell a story. For this reason, I’m always acutely aware of what is happening in front of me as I capture my images. Who is the star? Who just made a game-changing mistake? Who is the most interesting person to the audience back home?

The Advantages
Along with all of the challenges of shooting the Olympics, come the big advantages of being there. First of all, I am at the Olympics! Even though I have photographed three of these events already, I still get chills thinking about the next one. There is a very special vibe at the Games, with most people very excited to be there, and lots of geographic pride. This leads me to the next advantage: I get to represent my country. Not as an athlete, but as a professional who is there to do my job and do it as well as possible. Heck, I’m competing to get that “gold medal shot” that nobody else captured.

As a fully accredited photographer at the Olympics, I have the best seats in the house and often times get a chance to mingle with the athletes. And every shot that I take is another piece of history being captured.

While one of the biggest challenges is dealing with hundreds or thousands of photographers vying for the killer shot, it’s also one of the best advantages of being at the Olympics. I get a chance to meet amazing photographers from all over the world, and see them again at the next Games. Spending time together in this pressure-cooker environment makes you a close-knit family in a short amount of time.

Another great advantage of shooting the Olympics is that I get a chance to photograph unique and varied sports. Trust me, there isn’t a whole lot of bobsledding action in the San Francisco area! I love the challenge of shooting something different, and often find that my favorite images from the Games are from sports that were new for me.

Shooting the Olympics does provide one large business advantage for me. It helps me to build my reputation within the photo community. And I won’t lie; having the Olympic credentials definitely impresses potential clients. In this competitive environment, if this helps me differentiate myself from the other photographers in my area, that’s a good thing.

Lastly, and most importantly, shooting the Olympics is fun! Sure, it is a ton of pressure, endless work, and crazy long hours, but it is a blast nonetheless.

You can see more of Jeff’s work at JeffCable.com, keep up with him on his blog, and like him on Facebook.

Tuesday
Feb
2013
12

Blind Critiques on The Grid

by Scott Kelby  |  0 Comments

Tomorrow, February 13 is Blind Critique day on The Grid! Matt and I will be joined by landscape, travel, and humanitarian photographer Colby Brown, so those are the types of images we’ll be choosing to critique tomorrow.

If you’d like to have your travel and landscape photos considered for tomorrow’s blind critiques (we show your images but don’t mention your name on the air), just leave us a link to your images AT THIS ADDRESS: http://kelbytv.com/thegrid/critique/

That’s the only place we’ll be picking images from, so don’t leave a comment here to submit your photos. Go there and pay close attention to the instructions at the top of the page for the best chance at being picked for critique.

We’ll pick 20 or so photographers’ work to go over on the show, and the live show is broadcast tomorrow at 4:00 pm ET. (Here’s a world time-zone calculator: http://bit.ly/JUuYUj — use New York City as our time zone). See you on The Grid!

Tuesday
Feb
2013
12

Shooting Exotic Sports Cars at the duPont Registry

by Scott Kelby  |  50 Comments

Above: A Lamborghini Gallardo shot at the duPont Registry Headquarters in Clearwater, Florida.

When I was at Photoshop World in Las Vegas last September, I ran into an old friend, Manuel Obordo (literally, the guy who taught me Photoshop —- if you’ve heard any interviews about how I got started in this business, you’ve heard me tell the story of Manuel).

Manuel is the duPont Registry magazine’s Director of Technology (the duPont Registry is a luxury car and lifestyle magazine that’s hugely popular here in the USA, and I’ve been reading it, and drooling over the cars in it, as long as I can remember). When I saw him I asked if I could come and shoot some of their collection of cars (I had heard they always have all kinds of cool, and man did they ever). So, on Friday Brad and I went and did a location scouting trip out to their headquarters, and then yesterday Brad and I shot there from 2:00 pm to around 5:30 — all with just one strobe (an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra and then when its battery finally ran out from shooting at full power the whole time, a regular ol’ Elinchrom Ranger for the last car), and just one softbox — a 5-foot stripbank. That’s it.)

Above: A detail shot of a Ferrari’s F-430′s wheel.

Above: Here’s the rear of the Ferrari, lit so just the highlights show. It didn’t hurt that the Ferrari was already black. Also, there’s this program called Photoshop that helped here a bit, too).

Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot so you can see the full rig. That’s Brad Moore with our strip bank and flash mounted on a monopod. The Ranger battery back is on the floor. If you’re wondering how the background went so solid black, it’s because I’m using the camera settings and techniques I learned from a KelbyTraining.com class from Award-winning commercial automative photographer Tim Wallace. I used an f/stop (in this case, f/22) and I got the softbox close enough to a very quick fall-off to the light. I used my Nikon D800 for this shoot so I would have loads of detail and file size.

So, while there are rows and banks of florescent lights above us, and through my view finder I can see the stacks of boxes in the background, and I can see right out the large windows, when I fire the flash, it crushes down the ambient light to nothing and only the light from the strobe lights the car. If you watch Tim’s class, you’ll totally get the technique. It doesn’t hurt to have really cool cars to use it on, though.

Above: Same light, but I had Brad move over to the left a bit and place the softbox at an angle to this view of the Ferrari and the engine compartment in the rear. Those highlights are the soft box reflecting in the car’s rear hood and glass.

Above: Here’s a close-up detail shot using a Macro lens; hand held with the same lighting set-up and settings.

Above: Here’s the set up I used for the hood shot, and for headlight detail shots.

Above: The previous five photos use the same everything; we’re just moving around the car. The cars were parked together really tightly and we couldn’t move the cars, so it made it pretty challenging some times (well, for Brad anyway).

Above: They also had a rare Corvette Sting Ray with Split Rear windows and I couldn’t help but get a few shots.

Above: Here’s one of the rear views [stop snicker -- I meant the car] — still only that one soft box — the reflections are doing double-duty.

Above: Here’s a Behind-the scenes shot, and Brad is wearing the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger battery pack over his shoulder on the right. This was our first time with the new Lithium Ion battery and we couldn’t believe how light that battery pack was with it. Brad was super-diggin’ it.

Above: They also had a brand new Fisker Karma (first time I’d see one in person up close), so I wanted to shoot it as well. It’s hard shooting a white car, so we warmed up on this car. I only got a handful of shots I liked but at the end of the shoot I got this one I liked.

Above: To get the perspective you saw in the last shot I needed to lay down on the ground, and Brad mounted the softbox on a boom stand and put it just a little bit in front of the car, as seen here. I’m shooting tethered directly into Lightroom for most of the day, but later we were “runnin’ and gunnin’ so I shot directly to the card in my camera. This gives you an idea of how tight the quarters were to get side shots of the cars.

I took a lot more images, including images of a Harley Davidson Sportster and that 1937 Lincoln Zephyr on the left of the Karma I’m shoot, but I’m running out of space here.

My thanks to Tim Wallace — a brilliant teacher, amazing photographer, and terrific guy because I wouldn’t’ be shooting this stuff without learning his techniques first, so if any of them look OK, Tim deserves the credit.

Above: That’s me with Manuel “Manny” Obordo at Photoshop World last year. He’s usually much more smiley than he appears here. He’s a totally cool guy, smart as anything, and you don’t want to play him in golf  – especially for money. 

Also, a big thanks to Tom duPont, all the patient crew at the duPont Registry magazine, and especially my buddy Manuel Obordo (shown with me above) who not only made this shoot happen, but 20-something years ago taught me how to use the Pen tool, which I always felt was the biggest breakthrough I had in learning Photoshop, and the whole Photoshop thing has worked out pretty well for me so far, so although thanks isn’t nearly enough Manny…thanks!

Monday
Feb
2013
11

Join Me Wednesday Night for 90-minutes of the Coolest Photoshop Tips and Tricks Yet! (and it’s free!)

by Scott Kelby  |  9 Comments

Do you totally love Photoshop tips & tricks? Me too!
That’s probably why our NAPP-a-Thon a few months ago broke records. So much so, that we’re going it again, but this time it’s a “Photoshop World-a-Thon” where we’ll be sharing a ton Photoshop tips LIVE from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM ET this Wednesday night.

It’s 90-minutes of cool Photoshop tricks to give folks an idea of what it’s like to be at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo (coming up in Orlando on April 17-19 at the Orange County Convention Center).

PLUS, we’re giving away a Full Conference Pass to someone watching live EVERY 10 MINUTES!!!!

BUT, it’s getting crazier than that! We’re giving away everything from hotel room nights in Orlando during the conference to Walt Disney World tickets, to lots of cool stuff from the exhibitors that will be on our Expo Floor.

ALSO: We’ll be running some sweet deals on full conference passes, too so you don’t want to miss any of it!

It’s going to be a blast, so join me and the gang this WEDNESDAY night!

Who: Matt, RC, Corey, Pete, and Me (“The Photoshop Guys”)
What: A 90-minute love-fest of our favorite cool Photoshop tips
Where:  RSVP right here: http://photoshopworld.com/webcasts/ 
When: This Wednesday (two days from now) at 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm ET
(Here’s a world time-zone calculator: http://bit.ly/JUuYUj – use New York City as our time zone).
Why: We hope that when you learn all this cool stuff, and get a preview of what it’s like at Photoshop World (we’re each going to preview some stuff from the classes we’re teaching), that you’ll say, “Yeah, this is the year….I’m going!” If you already want to go to Photoshop World — awesome — here’s where you can sign up now (and save $100 with an Early Bird discount on your Full Conference Pass).

Hope you’ll join us there on Wednesday! We’re gonna get tipsy! (wah, wah, wahhhh).

Thanks,

-Scott

P.S. Can you please invite your friends? Everyone’s welcome and we want to get as many people to tune in as possible. Many thanks in advance. 

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