Monday
Feb
2013
25

How to Set up a Remote Camera, Step-by-Step (it’s easier than you’d think)

by Scott Kelby  |  28 Comments

Hi gang: I thought I’d do a quick video (above) for you all here on the blog that takes you through the step-by-step process of setting up a wireless remote camera — ideal for sports, for weddings, or anywhere where you can’t get a camera, or can’t be at two places at once.

If you have any questions that I didn’t cover in the short video above, just post ‘em here and I’ll do my best to answer them, once I’m awake and have a cup of coffee or three. Cheers, and hope you have a great kick-off to your week.

– Scott

Friday
Feb
2013
22

Today I’m Announcing What is Probably The Coolest Hands-on Workshop I’ve Ever Done

by Scott Kelby  |  57 Comments

You’ve got to watch the video above — it explains the whole thing, but I’ve got to tell you — we are incredibly excited about this. We put a lot of work into making something really unique and really special, but  it’s only for 20 very cool, very lucky photographers, and I hope you’re one of them. I hope you can join me (and Scott — watch the video) for one of the coolest workshops ever! I am not kidding! :)

Here’s the link to sign up - http://kelbytraining.com/hockey

P.S. Scott and I will be answering your questions here on the blog, but give me a chance to wake up and at least have a cup of coffee or two! ;-)  This is going to be (wait for it….wait for it….) edit. No, epic! 

Thursday
Feb
2013
21

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  21 Comments

Blind Critiques with Zack Arias on The Grid
On yesterday’s episode of The Grid, Scott was joined by Zack Arias for a special episode of blind critiques (special because we just did blind critiques last week, and because Zack had some great insight for viewers)! If you missed the live airing, you can watch the video above, and head over to KelbyTV.com to leave comments (the episode will be posted there later today) and enter for your chance to win one of the prizes.

Stay Where The Instructors Stay at Photoshop World
If you’re coming to Photoshop World Orlando from April 17-19, make sure you book your room at the Rosen Centre Hotel and stay where the instructors stay! Ride the elevators with author and entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, bump into WPPI Director Jason Groupp in the lobby, high five former Disney illustrator Aaron Blaise as you’re checking in, and slip a fiver to the concierge and see if they’ll “accidentally” give you Photoshop Guy Pete Collins’ room key (okay, don’t really do that).

Seriously though, don’t wait for long to book your stay, because once rooms at the hotel that’s most conveniently located to the convention center are gone, they’re gone!

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 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!

Character Composite with Glyn Dewis

You’ve been seeing this teaser on Kelby TV for over a month now, and have been waiting patiently for it’s arrival. Well, it’s finally here! Head over to KelbyTraining.com to check out Character Composite with Glyn Dewis and start creating your own character composite now!

What Feature Does Scott Want Added To Photoshop?
Check out this episode of the Photofocus Podcast where Scott Kelby joins Scott Bourne and Richard Harrington to talk about what he’d like to see added to Photoshop, how to pass the Adobe Certified Expert exam, the newest toys and gear Scott’s digging, and more!

Winners
Erik Valind Class Rental
- Justin Roush

Kelby Training Live Seminar
- Kathy Winter

The Digital Photo Workshop with Dave Black
- Sage

Teri Campbell’s Food & Photography Lighting Book
- Suzanne Offner

Congratulations, and we’ll be in touch soon with info on getting your prizes. For everyone else, have a great Thursday!

Wednesday
Feb
2013
20

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Bill Frakes!

by Brad Moore  |  8 Comments

We came to Norway chasing the night light. Laura and I have been planning this trip for months. This was more than an assignment, this was a quest. We wanted to make a time-lapse video showing the Aurora Borealis–the Northern Lights.

We thought the light we sought would be green and dancing, and there was some of that. Mystical, almost spiritual waifs.

There is science behind the swirling bands of green. During large solar explosions huge quantities of particles are thrown from the surface of the sun into deep space. When the particles hit the Earth’s magnetic field they are drawn to an area around the magnetic North Pole creating the celestial green streaks of light.

But the real beauty to me was watching the bright full moon travel across the sky illuminating the mountains and fjords.

The night sky above the arctic circle is different. Rich and blue. Dark clouds racing across the night. Peaceful, tranquil, calm, and then the next minute massive amounts of snow and wind pelting us and the gear.

In Northern Norway this time of year the nights are long and the days are short. The sun is up for at most 4 hours a day, but you can only see it shining brightly for 10-15 minutes, if you’re lucky. It’s always night.

We had this well sorted out. We are on the road most years around 300 days and so we are fairly well organized, and certainly accustomed to packing for all kinds of contingencies. But seldom have we had to be concerned with keeping cameras and fingers warm enough to work in temperatures that can quickly drop to 20 below. Did I mention that we are from Florida?

We brought 5 tripods, 7 Nikon bodies, 9 lenses and a bunch of hand warmers. 6 extra batteries per camera. Rain covers to protect the bodies and lenses against the blowing snow. We learned after the first day that snow storms come quickly, sometimes when you are least expecting it.

The bag guys at Kata made some special cold weather pouches for us to protect bodes and more importantly batteries–I’m not sure if the bags made the difference or if the Nikon batteries just function perfectly in the temperatures, but I do know this: we didn’t have any issues with camera power. Even during 5 hour time-lapse captures.

Our buddy Andy Hancock was with us. Being a Texan he always does things a little, different, than we do. We were making most of our exposures for between 2 and 4 seconds, at f 2.8, ISO 1600. Andy decided to try 30 seconds, at f 16, ISO 1600. His images resonated with me–they had a blurred feeling that just worked. Since we had so many cameras running we had plenty of room, and time to experiment. We switched two of ours to 20 and 30 second exposures and loved the results for the time-lapse. As independent still images they are too soft for my use.

We fought the weather the first few nights. Dense clouds dropping heavy snow made it very tough to see the green lights we  came to find.

It would have been easy to be frustrated and depressed. It’s not easy to get to Tromso–we traveled for almost 24 hours, and we had been planning this shoot for months. But it didn’t go that way. The calm, serene beauty and the light from the moon was enchanting. We had the best time, and made gorgeous images.

It’s what makes this job so difficult and so rewarding at the same time. When you are dependent on mother nature to produce, you are subject to her whims. It just reinforces what I have always said, you never know when the muse will strike, and when the stars will align to produce the best images in the toughest conditions.

Our next trip out to nature will be in March when we travel to Nebraska to host a workshop photographing the sand hill crane migration. We are excited to see what the weather has in store. Rain, shine, warm or cold, we are sure to be amazed and humbled.

You can see more of Bill’s work at BillFrakes.com and StrawHatVisuals.com, and follow him on Twitter

Tuesday
Feb
2013
19

3 Quick Things: New Issue of Light it; Stay with Me; Feel Some Grid Love.

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

The new issue of “Light It” magazine is here!
We publish a magazine for the iPad for people into hot shoe flash and/or studio lighting and the latest issue is now available for download from the App Store (that’s the cover above, with a cover shot by yours truly — it’s from my regular column called “Lighting Recipes” where I show the final image, and then the behind-the-scenes images, camera set-up, lighting set-up and the whole ball of wax so you can not only see how it’s done, you can do it yourself. Lots of awesome stuff in this issue, so I hope you’ll check it out.

Stay with me at the Rosen Centre Hotel
If you’re joining us in Orlando in April for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, stay where me and all the instructors are staying — the Rosen Centre Hotel (a very nice hotel right directly across the street from the convention center). They’ve got a special room rate just for our convention attendees ((rooms are only $159 per night + tax if you grab one now), but when those rooms are gone… they’re gone… so if you want to stay with me at the Rosen, here’s the link with the discount codes and all that stuff.

“5 Incredible Online Communities to Get Genuine Feedback on Your Photography” list
A big shout-out to the LightStalking blog (and Tiffany Mueller) for giving our free weekly show for photographers “The Grid” some love about our monthly “Blind Photo Critiques” episodes by including us in their list of ““5 Incredible Online Communities to Get Genuine Feedback on Your Photography.” By the way, we had a great episode this past week with Wedding photographer Cliff Mautner as our in-studio guest. If you’ve got a sec —  here’s the link to LightStalking’s full list of 5 incredible online communities for genuine feedback. (our humble thanks to LightStalking.com for including us. We were pretty psyched when we saw our name on that list!).

Lastly, check out our “Seven Conferences in One” concept for this year’s Photoshop World (above).
It’s an exciting new concept for us, and people are totally digging it (the short video above explains it). I don’t want to spoil it, so just watch the really short video where I explain it.

Oh yeah, more one thing
I have a cool announcement set for Thursday here on the blog that I hope will only marginally interrupt our regularly scheduled “Free Stuff Thursday.” We’re doing something I haven’t seen anyone do  —-  ever (I gotta tell ya — it’s not for everybody, but the people that go “Oh man — that is for me!” are going to lose their minds!) so make sure you mark on your calendars to check back with me here on Thursday. PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE: Ken Toney, don’t send me a private email asking me to tell you what the secret is — it’s “too secret” even for you! LOL!

Have a great Tuesday and we’ll see you back here tomorrow when a sports photography legend takes over for Guest Blog Wednesday. Cheers! -Scott 

 

Monday
Feb
2013
18

Shooting Detail Shots of an Aston Martin Vantage

by Scott Kelby  |  41 Comments

Last week when I posted my detail shots of exotic cars from the duPont Registery’s in-house collection, a buddy of mine Karl-Franz Marquez dropped me a line about it, and included some shots he had taken of his own car, a beautiful Aston Martin Vantage that he also shot “Tim Wallace” style (after watching some of Tim’s online classes at KelbyTraining.com).

He had some taken some beautiful shots, and I was totally digging on his car, and Karl-Franz offered to drive over for the day (around 150 miles each way) to let me shoot this British made Aston Martin, and so yesterday we did an afternoon shoot, indoors at our headquarters inside our video studios.

Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the image at the top of the page. That’s Karl-Franz holding a second flash to light the grill in the front of the bar (it’s half the size and power of the large soft box lighting the wheel and edge of the hood above). So, it’s two strobes total powered by the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger powerpack hanging from the light stand in front of me. Camera settings: ISO 100, Aperture f/22, Shutter Speed 1/200 of a second. Full power on the strobe. 

NOTE: The screen screen area behind the car is just there by coincidence — we rolled the car into that part of our video studio so we’d have room to shoot it —  it had nothing to do with our photo shoot (other than spilling green on the other side of the car so we could only shoot on one side).

Above: here’s a detail shot of the engine. I went back and watched Tim’s class and he had a segment on shooting engines so I just followed his instruction to get this shot. 

Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes shot of the engine shot you just saw. Just one light with a long strip-bank positioned opposite me. I’m shooting with a Macro zoom lens. 

Above: After watching Tim’s videos on shooting car details, there was something I missed the right time around, and it’s that he angles the wheels about 20° and it definitely does make a difference. 

Above: here’s the behind-the-scenes of the wheel shot. Not particularly glamorous — a lot of laying on the floor or shooting on your knees (fun on concrete). Just one light for this one. Same settings — shooting at f/22 (or up to f/32 in some cases) makes the light fall of fast to black. 

Here’s a few more shots from the day.

Above: Those three above are just using that one soft box with the long stripbank. All the settings are pretty much the same — f/22 to f/32 so the edges fall off quickly to solid black. I tried to fix a few mistakes I made during the duPont shoot. Luckily, Tim gave me some tips after I sent him some I was struggling with. Mostly, I think I wasn’t getting the softbox in close enough, and I wasn’t powering it high enough, and of course both of Tim’s comments were super helpful. 

Above: I don’t actually like this shot — it didn’t come out quite like I had hoped (I like my rear shot of the Ferrari last week much better lightning wise), but I’m showing it because I did pick up a great tip from Karl-Franz — and that is — he has a black license plate that he uses when shooting cars (seen here). It’s actually the flip-side of the dealer’s license plate that came with the car — how handy is that! :-)

Anyway, I liked the idea so much I ordered a blank, black custom license plate last night from Speedysigns.com (it was probably not the cheapest way of coming up with an all black license plate, but I was short on time). Anyway, hats off to Karl-Franz for the idea.

Above: Here’s our crew: that’s Karl-Franz’s girlfriend  wife Honey (her real given name); me in the center, and Karl-Franz (fake German guy who owns amazing sports cars and yet is a friend of Vanelli) on the right. 

Above: Seeing as we’re: (a) Shooting a car made in the UK, and (b) using techniques we learned from UK-based commercial automative photographer Tim Wallace, I thought I’d (c) wear my Marshall Amplification Union Jack shirt (legendary guitar amps made in the UK) to create a British “triple threat.” 

A big thinks to Karl-Franz for driving all the way over to our offices to let me shoot one of his cool cars; to Honey for being incredibly patient during the three-hour shoot; to Brad Moore for all his help and suggestions, and of course to the amazing Tim Wallace for helping Me, Karl-Franz, and thousands of other photographers by sharing his awesome automative lighting and shooting techniques.

P.S.  Good news — Tim will be back here in the States filming more classes for Kelby Training very soon (I haven’t seen the full slate of what he’s teaching, but I know I’ll be begging him to do one on lighting car interiors). :)

 

 

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