Friday
Nov
2012
09

Some Shots From the Falcons/Cowboys Game Last Sunday

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

I love shooting the Atlanta Falcons. First, I get to shoot with the awesome Falcons Photo Crew — Jimmy Cribbs, Matt Lange, Lynn Bass and Michael Benford are just some of the most fun, most gracious, and most talented guys around and I have so much fun shooting with them. I always wind up learning new stuff from these guys.

Secondly, because I’m shooting for the team, they let me do stuff like set up remote cameras in insane places to get shots like the one you see above, taken during the team introductions before kickoff.

Above: Here’s where I set up the remote camera. You have to get permission from the Pyrotechnics crew to place your gear in this area, but just like everybody I’ve met that has anything to do with the Falcons, the guy was incredibly friendly and helpful. In the third quarter he even found me on the sidelines and said, “Next time you’re up here, get with me early and we’ll find a really cool place to put it!” and I about fell over (and I’m going to take him up on his offer, because I’ve got an idea where I’d like to try next time and it will definitely need approval and help from him).

Above: Here’s a close-up (these two are a little blurry — shot with my iPhone). I tried out a new mounting rig this time and I love it. It’s called an fplate from fplate.net and compared to other remote mounts it’s a steal at just $55. It’s very well made, and it’s designed to have you mount a bullhead on it (it comes with different size tripod screws). I had a small challenge with my “Really Right Stuff” ballhead because the knob is so large that it hits the bottom of the plate when you try and tighten it, so next time I’m going to use a Gitzo ballhead I have that has a round tightening knob and that should do the trick.

Above: Here’s a screen cap from their Website so you can see the plate a bit better. Lightweight but solid as anything. I might have to pick up their plate that lets you mount 2 remotes on one plate. Mmmmm. Two remotes. :)

Above: Once I set the remote in place, I stand in the spot where I think the players will pause when they come out, and I fire a few shots so the Auto Focus kicks in, and then I walk back to the remote; check the focus on the LCD, and then I switch the focus to Manual mode so it doesn’t change again. I also got photographer Phil Williams (very nice guy) to help me out by acting as my “focus model” for a few frames, too! You can see me holding the Pocket Wizard remote in my hand which triggers the remote camera. Over my shoulder is my other camera, with a 15mm Sigma Fisheye lens, mounted on the end of my monopod so I can shoot up high farther down the field as the players come out. When I fire the Pocket Wizard in my hand, it fires both cameras simultaneously.

By the way: The bright green vest means tells the security guards that you’re with the team so you get extra access, like being on field during the warm-ups and stuff like that. Green means GO!

Setting up a Remote Camera
If you want to see how easy it is to set up a wireless remote camera, watch the video above from our new photography tips weekly show, “Photography Tips & Tricks” (Photo TNT for short), and my remote tutorial starts at around 7:49 seconds into the show.

One problem that burned me at another game was when I think either the camera or the remote went into “Sleep” mode on me, so I was careful to test the camera and fire a burst of shots every couple of minutes to make sure everything. Right before the introduced the players, Lynn was kind enough to lean down and listen to see if he could hear my remote camera burst off a round of shots in High-Speed Continuous mode. He gave me a thumbs up after hearing it go off (and seeing the little red light on the remote) and we were good to go.

I’ve got a number of solid shots from them coming out, but they all look pretty much like the one you see at the top (which is my favorite of the bunch).

Above: I got to take my fisheye/monopod rig out for the coin toss at center field to start the game. This is the ref announcing who won the toss (Cowboys) and you can still see the coin on the field behind him. I shot the actual toss but since I was shooting kind of blind (remember, the camera is out at the end of my monopod) in those shots I cut the head off the refs (which should only be reserved for replacement refs), so I (ahem) won’t be showing off those (cough).

Why all the focus on the remote shots?
For every game I shoot, well after the game I look at my images and do an honest assessment on how I did, what I did right, what I did wrong, and how I can improve next time. The most important word there is “honest.” I’m especially hard on myself when it comes to my photography, but I think it’s helped me to improve. Going in to this game, I felt like I was really getting in the groove so I was excited to be shooting such a dynamic team in such an important game, but as I looked at my images, I confirmed what I had felt during the game. I had an off night. It happens.

It was one of those games where I was in the wrong position at the wrong time; I missed some key plays, my timing and focus was less than stellar, and I had a setting wrong that had a lot of my fisheye shots looking kind of soft, so overall I was disappointed with everything but my remote work above, but I’ll share a few that came out OK below.

I also made a rookie mistake — I didn’t double-check my settings before the game and I shot nearly half of the first quarter with the settings Brad had used the night before at a concert. I figured he changed them back to my sports settings, and he hadn’t. It’s not Brad’s fault — it’s mine. I should have checked. It wasn’t until I saw some blurry shots I realized I was shooting at 1/320 of a second in Auto ISO. I can tell you — if it’s below 1/1000 of a second (even 1/800th), the shots aren’t going to be tack sharp. Totally 100% my fault. That won’t happen again.

Above: This one makes me laugh ’cause it kind of tells the story of how the Cowboy’s played that night.

Camera Settings
My settings are pretty much the same for most games in a dome — high ISO because of the low lighting (I know what you’re thinking, “Low lighting!!!???” I had to shoot at 5,000 ISO on my 2nd body because my 24-120mm lens is an f/4 and at f/4 with the Georgia Dome’s lighting, I have to shoot at least 4,000 if not 5,000 ISO to reach 1/1000 of a second. This is why I love day games. :)

Above: Michael Turner scores the only touchdown of the entire game to set up the Falcon’s big win. 

On my main body, with the 400mm f/2.8, I leave it at f/2.8 all night (I shoot in Aperture Priority mode) and I’m usually between 1,600 and 2,000 ISO in a dome or at night like this. My focus is set to Continuous at 9 points.

Above: A totally spontaneous, non-posed, completely natural shot of my buddy Matt Lange, a totally spontaneous, non-posed kind of guy showing off with his 600mm lens. 

The Falcons are now 8 – 0, but…
…the Falcon’s crew of photographers (led by the amazing Jimmy Cribbs) are always #1!!! It’s a real honor to get to shoot for them and alongside Mike, Matt and Lynn, and I’m thrilled for the year their team is having. OK guys, now go beat the Saints — I’ll be shooting the Bucs/Chargers game on Sunday (in glorious 100 ISO daylight shooting conditions). Whoo Hoo!!!

Trying Something New
On Sunday’s game I’m going to be trying out my new modified sports post-processing workflow with tweaks suggested by  my buddy Rob Foldy after I outlined my bottleneck a few weeks ago (link), and I’m very psyched to give it a try. If I pull it off, I’ll have more details next week. :)

And make sure you check out my other post for today for a killer “This Weekend Only Deal” from Image Wizards!

Friday
Nov
2012
09

“This Weekend Only Deal” on AluminArte Metal Prints from Image Wizards!

by Scott Kelby  |  1 Comments

These are the prints on metal (aluminum) from ImageWizards (I’ve talked about their prints quite a bit before—here’s the link). Even though I’ve seen other prints on metal, I’ve never seen metal prints like theirs (don’t confuse these with printing on metallic paper—this isn’t printing on paper at all—your image is printed on Aluminum [they call it AluminArte]. The detail is insane!!!).

Since the detail is insane, we asked them for some insane deals. Here they are:

Today through Sunday, November 11, ImageWizards is offering a couple of special deals:

20% off any size up to 24×36 for either Framed To Edge or Float Mount prints, plus FREE shipping*

OR

20% off anything over 24×36 for Framed to Edge prints

Just go to ImageWizards.net and enter the promo code SKB20FS in the Comments box during checkout to get your discount!

Limit of 4 AluminArte metal prints per client

*Standard UPS ground in the contiguous US on final productions in New Corrugated packaging only

Thursday
Nov
2012
08

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  74 Comments

Photoshop for Digital Photographers in Washington DC
On November 15, Scott Kelby will be bringing his Photoshop for Digital Photographers seminar to the nation’s capital, Washington DC! Check out the video above for all the details, and head over to KelbyTraining.com to register now.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free ticket!

Kelby Training Sales
Don’t forget, you can still get 15% off all books and DVDs at the Kelby Training Store! All you have to do is use the promo code 15KTB for books or 15KTD for DVDs when you check out. And if you’re buying a book/DVD bundle, either code will work.

Plus, our apps are still on sale! For a limited time, you can grab Kelby Training Apps for 50% off. That’s a full class from one of your favorite instructors for just $4.99!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a free book and DVD.

Help-Portrait
We’re just a month away from this year’s Help-Portrait event! On December 8, all around the world there will be groups of people gathering to give those in need the gift of a photograph. Head over to Help-Portrait.com for more info on how you can be part of this movement.

The Grid with Pete & Brad
With Scott, Matt, and RC all out of town yesterday, Pete Collins and myself took over on The Grid! We talked about our experiences in photography, and shared tips on being an assistant and working with other photographers, plus told what we’re thankful for. You can check out this special “C-List” episode right here ;-)

That’s it for today. Have a great Thursday!
Wednesday
Nov
2012
07

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Seth Resnick!

by Brad Moore  |  33 Comments


Photo by Nancy Leigh

Thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity to be guest blogger. Once given the platform to blog, my issue became what I should blog about because I wear many hats. I am co-founder of D65  and we conduct Lightroom workflow workshops around the US and have a new book on Lightroom 4 called D’65’s Lightroom Workbook, Workflow, Not Workslow in Lightroom 4.  Additionally, I am a partner in Digital Photo Destinations with John Paul Caponigro and we conduct workshops in exotic locations like Antarctica, Iceland, Chile and any location presenting amazing photo opportunities. Of course I am a photographer as well and could easily write about being a cryophiliac “love of Ice.” My passion is color but my muse is ice, hence “cryophiliac”.

After contemplating all the possibilities I decided to blog about one of my anal habits. KEYWORDING and for continuity decided to write about Keywording in Lightroom.

KEYWORDING IN THE LIBRARY MODULE
I have been called the King of Keywording. The best way of using any DAM (Data Asset Management) software is to take advantage of the application’s ability to find specific images. Proper keywording is not only advantageous, but essentially the only way of finding specific images in a very large collection. It is one thing to scroll through a few hundred images to find the one you want. It is an entirely different matter to scroll through 50,000 images to find the image you want. With proper keywording one can find any image in a click.

THE KEYWORD LIST PANEL
A keyword tag or “keyword” is metadata that categorizes and describes the key elements of a photo. According to one study, it may take more than 400 keywords to accurately describe an image without actually looking at the thumbnail. Building a Keyword Hierarchy can be a tedious and painful task, but it is essential to digital asset management.

Keywords help in identifying and searching for images in a catalog. Keyword tags are stored either in the image files or in XMP sidecar files or in Lightroom Catalog. The XMP can be read by any application that supports XMP metadata.

Keywording Images
To keyword your images, think globally first and then go for local. Think of keywording the same way you would classify an animal. A Spider Monkey would first be a Mammal then an Ape, then a monkey and finally a spider monkey. For example, to classify Palm Beach Gardens (where I live), you would… Continue reading

Tuesday
Nov
2012
06

More Images Honored From My Worldwide Photo Walk

by Scott Kelby  |  21 Comments

Yesterday I announced the Grand Prize Winner and the 10 finalists, but today I’m going to share my personal favorites in a bunch of different categories. Although these didn’t make the final cut, all of these were in the running at one point or another, and I felt they were so great that they deserved some recognition as well.

I think these images, and the one’s you saw yesterday, are actually even better than they first appear because:

  • The photographers weren’t able to choose the location (it was chosen for them).
  • Or the time of day (also chosen for them).
  • They had to shoot in whatever lighting conditions at that time
  • They couldn’t go back later (or earlier) to shoot in better light.
  • They were only able to shoot for two hours.

Compare that to most any other photo competition, where the photographers can choose any photo from your photo library, or any photo taken in the past year, etc., but in this case, the photographers hands were really tied. Yet they came away with images that are totally inspiring and very creative. Two hours. That’s it. And look what they came up with! To me, that makes these images all the more amazing.

Popular Themes for Photo Walkers This Year
Also interesting to note:  We had a LOT of these particular types of photos:

  • Shots of Leaves
  • Kids jumping or doing flips
  • Macro shots
  • Dogs
  • Reflections in puddles
  • Kids
  • Kids on bikes
  • Shots of other photo walkers taking shots
  • Fire Escape Stairs
  • People kissing
  • Church Interiors
  • Chairs
  • Motion (slow shutter speed)
  • Bridges
  • Birds
  • Church Exteriors
  • Sunsets
  • Graffiti

You and I could both make the case that any of these shots could have been one of the top 10 finalists or even the Grand Prize winner which is what made the final picks so incredibly hard once again this year, but at the end of the day, I had to make a decision, and I did, but it’s harder than it looks. Thanks to everybody who supported my decisions this year. You all have been incredibly gracious and it is much appreciated.

The images that follow are my other favorites (known this year as my Honorable Mentions) that didn’t make their way into a prize category, but are nonetheless deserving of recognition:

 

Best Use of Shadows and Form
Photo By: Dioger Rodriguez (Richmond, VA USA)

Best Landscape with a Tilted Horizon Line
Photo By: Ayman Fouad Khamis (Al Mandarah Bahri, Alexandria Egypt)

Best Abandoned Town Shot 
Photo By: David Mullin (Sacramento, California USA) 

Best Shot of a Guy Who Doesn’t Look Like He Wanted His Picture Taken
Photo By: Luis Vigil (Oviedo, Spain)

Best Shot of Fungi
Photo By: Matthew Vanecek (Huntsville, Alabama USA)

Best Shot of a kid hearing what must be his very favorite song
Photo By: Gary Jackson (Over The Rhine, Ohio USA)

Best Shot of Fire Containment Tools
Photo By: Steve Blough (Rockville, Maryland USA)

Best Shot From My Local Walk in Paris
Photo By: Said Boudhane (Paris, France)

Best Architectural Shot
Photo By: Dave Yuriar (Los Angeles, CA USA)

Best Shot of Rain
Photo By: David Fox (Buffalo, NY)

Best Shot of  Lonely Sandals
Photo By: Vicente Ruelos Jr. (Cebu City, Central Visayas Philippines)

Best Shot of Fire Escapes 
Photo By: Marianne Fletcher (Cincinnati, OH USA)

Best Shot That Makes Something Common Look Interesting
Photo By: Stephen Stalcup (Santa Cruz, California USA)

Best Shot With an Intentionally Blown Out Look
Photo By: Robert Rath (Adelaide, SA Australia)

Best Shot of Dancers
Photo By: Jan Feliciano (Auckland, New Zealand)

Best Use of Atmosphere
Photo By: Jeremy Sandel (Baliuag, Bulacan Philippines)

Best Landscape Shot
Photo By: Rob Habisreitinger (New Orleans, Louisanna USA)

Best Thoughtful Composition
Photo By: Stephen Jones (Alton, Illinois USA)

Best Detail Shot of Hands With Really Nice Post Processing
Photo By: John Ruth (Kansas City, Missouri USA)

Best Shot of a Concerned-Looking Squirrel (or it could be an apprehensive chipmunk)
Photo By: Anton Moisey (Cape Town, South Africa)

Best Modern Architecture
Photo By: Alejandro Bañuls Blat (Valencia, Spain)

 

Best Church Interior in HDR
Photo By: Gary Ward (St. Ives, United Kingdom)

Best Expression in Natural Light
Photo By: Vesna Djurica (Belgrade, Central Serbia)

Best Little Cottage in the Woods
Photo By: Nitish Bhardwaj (London, Ontario Canada)

Best Shot Through a Window
Photo By: Miles Smith (Charlotte, North Carolina USA)

Best Really Sharp Shot of Chicken
Photo By: Nilesh Bhange (Indore, MP India)

Best Shot of Where I’m Not Sure What I’m Looking At
Photo By: Joerg Piechotka (Mainz, RP Germany)

Best Use of a Tint Effect on an Interesting Photo
Photo By: Francis Armand Aguja (Naga City, Bicol Philippines)

Best Car Shot
Photo By: Madeleine Punde (Calgary, Alberta Canada)

Best Non-Typical Shot of Leaves
Photo By: Jason Down (Waterloo, Ontario Canada)

Best Shot of a Headless Woman
Photo By: Danuta Witkowska (Legionowo, Mazowieckie Poland)

Best Shot of a Sweet little Girl
Photo By: Sara Saper (El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Egypt)

Best Shot Where the Sun is the Subject (or the Sun is a prop)
Photo By: Ahmed Hamdy (El-Gamaleya, Cairo Egypt)

Best Use of Shadows in a Portrait
Photo By: Spring Reilly (Port Perry, ON Canada)

Best Simple Composition
Photo By: Alvin Reyes (Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)

Best Shot of Something That Looks Look it Would Hurt
Photo By: Jordan Hooper (Vernon, British Columbia Canada)

Best Shot That Could Use a Lens Correction But It’s Still A Great Shot
Photo By: Shoukat Ibrahim (Lahore, Punjab Pakistan)

Best Outdoor Flash at Sunset Shot
Photo By:  Subodh Shetty (Sharjah, United Arab Emirates)

Best Close Up Shot of a Tailless Amphibian 
Photo By: Peter Lapin (Christmas, Florida USA)

Best Shot of Levitation
Photo By: Alexandra Tsatsou (Patras, Greece)

Best Shot of a Product That’s Not a Product Shot
Photo By: Cristina Delgado (Córdoba, AL Spain)

Best Shot of That Would Have Been a Finalist if Not For That Stuff on the Far Left
Photo By: Laurie Bruce (Oakville, Ontario Canada)

Best use of Intersecting Lines
Photo By: Rodney Boles (Durham, North Carolina USA)

Best Shot From Above
Photo By: Vincent Montefrio (Singapore, Singapore)

Best Use of Scale For Emphasis
Photo By: Mauricio Reyes (Las Vegas, NV USA)

Best Shot Where the Shadow Reveals More Of The Subject
Photo By: Adam Zacharek (Szczecin, Poland)

Best Shot Taken After Closing Time
Photo By: Marc Forget (Ottawa, Ontario Canada)

Best Shot of Someone Taking a Shot
Photo By: Carlos Limão (Guarda, Portugal)

Best Retro Shot
Photo By: Will Anderson (Farmington, North Carolina USA)

My sincere congratulations to every one who entered the contest (it does take guts), and especially to all these fantastic photographers whose work I really felt deserved some extra recognition. Cheers. :)

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