Friday
Jun
2014
13

If You Missed my Travel Photography Webinar Yesterday…Here’s The Replay

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

We really had a wonderful time last night at my “Prague to Budapest” Travel Photography Webinar (hosted by RC, who was awesome!).

Photographers from all over the world had tuned in and we had lots of great questions, plus we had our partners jumping in left and right offering prizes for us to giveaway during the event (the free replay is posted above).

Here’s what we wound up giving away live last night during Webinar:

  • 2 Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Size Tablets
  • 2 $150 B&H Photo Gift Cards
  • 5 copies each of these books (courtesy of our friends at Peachpit Press): My “Photoshop for Lightroom Users” book; my “Lightroom 5 for Digital Photographers” book; RC’s “The HDR Book” and 5 copies of my “Photoshop for Digital Photographers” Book
  • The Complete Nik Collection of Photoshop/Lightroom plug-ins from Google
  • A Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens
  • A Canon Pixma Pro-1 Printer (this alone sells for $999)

Of course, we had to pay the bills, so we also had deals on KelbyOne and a bundle of Photoshop World Vegas with a 1-year KelbyOne membership. Besides all the prizes, we really had a lot of fun throughout (and lots of laughs) and the response from the thousands of comments, and flood of tweets, was just fantastic. I posted the entire Webinar above, and I hope you get a chance to watch soon.

Thanks to everybody who watched the live feed last night, and to all our partners who were so generous with their giveaways. Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott 

 

Thursday
Jun
2014
12

From Prague To Budapest: Travel Photography Tips & Tricks

by Brad Moore  |  15 Comments

Join Scott Kelby and RC Concepcion tonight at 7pm ET for a live webcast where they’ll be discussing Scott’s recent trip to Europe. RC will be chatting with Scott about his experiences in various cities along the Danube River, and Scott will also be sharing some of the shooting and post-processing tricks he used along the way. You can register for the webcast right here so you can chime in on the live chat to ask questions and share your own experiences, and we’ll also be giving away some great prizes!

And if you’re a gear head (you know who you are), here’s a list of the gear Scott took with him:
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3
- Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
- BlackRapid RS-7 RapidStrap
- Tiffen 82mm 10-Stop ND Filter
- Vello Shutterboss Remote
- Hoodman Compact Loupe
- Lexar Secure Digital & Compact Flash Cards
- Gitzo GT1542T Traveler Tripod
- Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head
- Really Right Stuff L-Plate for 5D Mark III
- Gaffer Tape
- LensPen MicroKlear Microfiber Cloth

And it was all packed in a ThinkTank Airport AirStream camera bag. See you tonight!

Thursday
Jun
2014
12

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  15 Comments

KelbyOne Father’s Day Special
Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, and we here at KelbyOne want to give you a chance to give the gift of online training for $50 off our normal price. Give Dad the opportunity to learn photography from the best people in the industry! Just use the discount code Kelbyone50 at the checkout to get the discount.

Commercial Product Photography and Post Processing Techniques with Alex Koloskov
Join Alex Koloskov as he walks you through every step in his workflow over the course of three different product shoots, and then finishes each project in Photoshop. Creating stunning product photography requires a unique set of skills in the studio and in post-production. Each product was chosen to expose you to a variety of techniques to help you build a repertoire of skills that will aid you in shooting a range of commercial products. In this class you will learn that attention to detail during your studio time can save you hours in post-production, you will see different ways of using lighting modifiers to enhance the shape and detail in your subjects, and you will learn to how to develop an efficient workflow that takes you all the way from the studio to final output.

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

KelbyOne Live
Want to spend a day with Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, or Corey Barker? Check out these seminar tours!

Shoot Like A Pro with Scott Kelby
June 17 – Nashville, TN
Aug 26 – St. Louis, MO
Aug 28 – Kansas City, MO

One Flash, Two Flash with Joe McNally
June 19 – San Jose, CA
June 27 – Seattle, WA
July 24 – Milwaukee, WI
July 28 – Boston, MA

Photoshop Down & Dirty Master FX with Corey Barker
June 25 – New Orleans, LA
Aug 1 – Miami, FL
Aug 13 – Austin, TX

You can check out the full schedule for seminars through August, and we’ll be updating it with more dates soon! Leave a comment for your chance to win a ticket to one of these events!

Last Week’s Winners
Photoshop World Workshop
- Randy KashkaMitch Kloorfain

KelbyOne Rental
- Jeffrey Choi

KelbyOne Live Ticket
- Mitch Kloorfain

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

Wednesday
Jun
2014
11

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Levi Sim!

by Brad Moore  |  33 Comments

October 5th, 2011 was a Wednesday, and the Cache Valley Photographers were gathered at my studio for their weekly lunch time meeting to discuss Scott Kelby’s Guest Blog, and I remember the day well. The Guest Blogger was Jodi Cobb, who wrote about her project documenting modern slavery. Unfortunately, the group didn’t spend as much time discussing this as it deserved because it was also the day that Steve Jobs passed away.

We did discuss this iconic image made by photographer Albert Watson. Watson’s work is varied and inspiring, and this photograph of Jobs has come to define an entire generation. It’s the cover of Steve Jobs’s Biography, it was the landing page of Apple.com for an entire month, and it hung billboard-sized at Apple’s campus. Few people have not seen this photograph. I’d like to share what I’ve learned from it, how it’s changed my life, and an idea for how it may be used to change others’ lives too.

Subject as Object
We examined this picture, making suppositions about how it was lit, the lens used, etc. But no matter how much you dissect it, it’s clear that the subject is the object of the image, and that’s a lesson I’ve tried to keep in mind in all my portraiture since. This picture isn’t about Watson—an internationally renowned photographer—and his fancy lighting knowledge and camera-craft. It’s all about Steve. Viewing it, you’d never think, “Man that’s a cool lighting technique,” or, “Interesting background,” or, “I bet he used a full frame camera.” Watson masterfully removed everything from this image that might distract from Steve, including himself.

After lunch, my buddy Justin Wasden and I set out to recreate the image, and that was fun. Then someone else came into the studio, so we invited them to make a portrait, too. That evening I invited any and all to come in to make a portrait similar to Steve Jobs, and you know what? 100 people came.

You gotta understand, this was a small farming town in Northern Utah, so it was pretty cool to get so many people involved. Some people called it a tribute portrait, some didn’t like Steve but couldn’t deny his impact on the world, and several were teachers who talked about how wonderful it had been to have computers in their classrooms (I had Apples in school, and earning a few minutes to play Oregon Trail was a great incentive in my elementary school classrooms). It was fascinating to hear so many stories and perspectives on the man.

Since then, I’ve made similar portraits for hundreds of people, and every time is marvelous. I’ve shot in my studio, in businesses, at conferences, and in casinos in Vegas. When people use this portrait for their profile image, they get a big bump in traffic and attention, which helps them build their businesses. Maybe you could get good results from making similar portraits, too.

Character vs. Person
When you make these portraits, it’s essential to remember that you’re working with a person, and people are shy of being photographed. Being photographed is hard! I know many of you have said, “I bought the camera so I don’t have to be in front of it,” and if you have, you’re missing out on a great opportunity. Being photographed helps you to empathize, and that will make you a better person and a better portraitist.

On the other hand, the great thing about this picture is that it gives people a chance to be a character, like an actor. It’s as if they are freed from their self-consciousness and embarrassment. They usually open up and we have fun. “Channeling Steve” is liberating.

Still, you’ve got a responsibility to help people look their best in your portraits. How? Start by watching Peter Hurley’s guest post videos. Besides helping people hide their extra chins, you’ll also notice that Peter has his camera on par with the person’s face, not shooting from above. In this portrait, it’s important that your lens be positioned  level with your subject’s nose. This helps your viewer engage with the portrait from a respectful position. Shooting from above, as we may have been taught to do, is a mistake in this case. If you do, the viewer is now looking down on the person, and that’s the wrong relationship. We ought to present people as equals. Use Peter’s tip of pushing the forehead toward the lens. You’ve got to help people look their best. It’s not a picture of a guy with his thumb on his chin; it’s a portrait of a person.

This video demonstrates a few key tips for making these portraits, including how to work with a person. You can see my setup with a beauty dish (though I often use a 26″ Rapid Box when I travel), and a 105mm lens. I strongly recommend you shoot these portraits at a minimum of 85mm.

The Steve Jobs Portrait Project
Watson’s portrait of Steve Jobs is iconic, which means this simple portrait represents something larger and more important than the picture or the man alone. Maybe this single image recapitulates the last four decades. Maybe it represents the Baby Boomers. Maybe it represents prosperity and ingenuity and determination and capitalism and whatever else you think of when you consider one of the most influential men of the last 100 years.

As photographers, our place is to make photographs that mean more than the sum of their parts. Beautiful sunsets are great, and pictures of babies are cute. The value of those pictures, though, is in the power they have to stir emotions and move people to action even when they’ve never been to that place, or met that child. Scott Bourne has named us the High Priests of Memory Protection, and that’s a serious responsibility and it requires us to act. I mentioned Jodi Cobb’s post earlier, which is just one example of powerful imagery moving people to action.

I’m trying to use this Steve Jobs Portrait Project to make photographs that mean something and move people to action. I’ve identified local organizations that do good things, and it seems that what they need most is more money to do more good things. We’re making Steve Jobs Portraits of the beneficiaries, and we’re making portraits of the benefactors who help make the good things happen. We invite people to a gallery reception (perhaps at a local business) where they may interact with the people of the organization, both the benefactors and the beneficiaries, and invite them to see how a little money can make a big impact. When we bring portraits and stories and people together, good things happen.

These portraits aren’t mine. It’s clearly a tribute to Watson’s work, and Steve Jobs used the same pose in portraits many years ago. I’m having a blast, however, affecting people’s lives with it. Maybe it’d be fun for you, too. Maybe you can even use it for something good.

One More Thing
I’ve always thought that being asked to be a guest blogger on Scott Kelby’s blog would be the biggest honor, and that only the big league players were invited. Well, I know I’m still just a newbie, but it is an honor, and I’ve realized that the big leagues are full of people who give more than their share to others, and I can’t imagine better company to be in. Thank you, Scott and Brad, for establishing a giving culture and letting me be a part.

You can see more of Levi’s work at LeviSim.com and SDesignsPhotography.com, and follow him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Tuesday
Jun
2014
10

My Images From Europe, As Told Through Exposure.co

by Scott Kelby  |  38 Comments

We saw a lot of different places, in a very short time — 10-days total, with barely a day in each city (except we had 2-days just in Prague before the 8-day cruise began).

So, we started in Prague, then headed off by river cruise boat to:

> Nuremberg, Germany
> Regensburg, Germany
> Passau, Germany
> Melk, Austria
> Vienna, Austria (just one day there — not nearly enough)
> Budapest, Hungary (just one day there, too! Ack!)

With such a quick trip, we got to see a little of a lot, but it was so worth it!

I put together my favorite images from the trip, including some of the layout spreads from my photo book, over at Exposure.co so if you’ve got a sec, I hope you’ll check them out. Here’s the link.

Making friends along the way
Before I left, I did a shout-out on my Twitter and Facebook pages that I was headed out to Prague and Budapest on summer vacation and did anybody have any ideas on where to shoot? I quickly got an invitation from newspaper photographer Lukas Biba (@bibalukas) who said he’d be happy to show me the sights, so I was set.

Then I got an email from my friend Frank Doorhof, who told me about a friend of his named Ivan Navratilova who makes his living arranging and leading photo tours for photographers in Prague. I contacted Ivan and we set up to meet the 2nd morning I was there, and he brought along his friend Tomáš Pipek, and the three of us just had a blast!

Yes, we went to lots of cool places — Prague is an amazing city, and Ivan knew all the cool shooting locations like the back of his hand (Ivan has led the Prague photo walks as part of my annual Worldwide Photo Walk), but beyond that, we laughed our way around the city. These were such really great guys (each one seriously good photographers, too!) and it really made my trip to Prague so memorable. In fact, we all decided to meet up the next morning at 4:45 am to shoot the Charles Bridge at dawn, and the laughing and shooting continued until I had to head to the bus for our four-hour drive to Nuremberg, Germany to join our cruise.

Above: The “Four Horseman of the Freshly-baked Croissant:” From L to R: Ivan, Tomas, Lukas and Tom Cruise.

Above: The “Charles Bridge Brightly Colored Tripod Crew:” Tomas, Ivan and Lukas. Notice that each of them has parts of their tripods that are neon colored. This should have been my first warning sign. ;-)

Above: Before I left on my trip, RC insisted that I visit a McDonald’s for breakfast while in Prague because he said it’s a totally different experience, and he wasn’t kidding. It was …well…it actually tasted really good. LOL!! ;-)

Above: There’s my travel gear (a 5D Mark III with a Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5 to f/6.3 lens) next to my breakfast gear (a freshly baked croissant with Nutella). It was meant to be. Thanks RC! (and you were right!). 

When I got to Vienna, Ivan was there visiting his cousin, so we got to shoot again around Vienna (after visiting a local beer garden). But we only had the afternoon, and Vienna is such an amazing city that all it made me do is want to go again when I had more time. We made the most of it, and once again, Ivan and I were laughing our way around time. Wish Tomas and Lukas could have joined us.

Above: This is Lukas. Little children would see him coming and run away screaming. Same thing with women and squirrels. Anyone that has a “fold-up” bike is simply not to be trusted. ;-)

On to Budapest, Hungary
When I got to Budapest on the final day of my trip, I got to meet up with another photographer I met through Twitter, Budapest-based fashion photographer Viktor Fejes (shown below). I wish he could have been with Ivan, Tomas and Lukas in Prague because he would have fit right in. He was just terrific and we had lots of fun, lots of laughs, nearly got in trouble a couple of times (as you’ll read in my Exposure.co post), and he couldn’t have been more gracious, patient or fun. Just a really great guy all the way around, and we spent the whole day shooting around the city and riding the Metros for me to get Metro station shots (you’ll see them on my Exposure.co post). 

Above: My buddy in Budapest — fashion photographer Viktor Fejes, pictured in his downtown studio, shot with available light. 

We got to stop by his studio for a quick visit, and he’s got just a great set-up, in an incredible location, at an amazingly affordable price. So jealous! Plus, Budapest is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to, so he’s doubly set. And the icing on the cake is — he’s a kick-butt photographer, and based on what I saw of his work, he’s going to be somebody we’re going to be hearing a lot about very soon. A real talent despite the fact that he almost got us arrested. Since he does lead my Worldwide Photo Walk in Budapest, I’ll let him off the hook. ;-)

This is what I love about photography
I really enjoy travel photography — I love seeing new places and I love trying to bring some of the experiences home in my images, but I have to say one of my favorite parts of it all is making new photography friends along the way, and this past week I really felt like I made some great new friends. This is one of the things I truly love about photography — the social aspect. I think it’s one of the big reasons why Photo Walks in general are such an amazing experience — they’re ALL about the social part of it, and when photographers get together in person, it’s always a lot of fun, sharing, laughing and learning and I feel very fortune I got to spend some time with Ivan, Tomas (seen below), Lukas and Viktor.

Above: After just two beers Tomáš jumped up and started dancing wildly and we couldn’t get him to stop until we promise to buy him another beer. By the way, that’s not actually a camera in his hands. That a camera-shaped beer flask / hash pipe. True story. ;-) 

As much as I enjoyed the trip (the Viking Cruise Line experience was really wonderful), it’s also great to be home.
On every trip, I learn a lot about shooting, about the post processing, and about shooting on a time crunch from a city tour bus. I have lots to share, and hopefully I’ll have a live Webcast coming up soon (like a did covering my trips to Rome and Cuba) to talk about some of these camera techniques, the post processing, and the challenges you face during this type of shooting. I’ll let you know the time and date as soon as we get something set up.

Above: Ivan told me to bring my camera into the restroom to see something I would never see in the USA. I gotta tell ya, I didn’t exactly rush right in there, but once I got inside, and saw the wall — I just had to crack up (and I got this one quick shot, which was kind of bad timing for Lukas).

Thanks to my buddy Frank Doorhof for bringing Ivan and I together, and thanks to Ivan for bringing Tomas along. Also, thanks to Lukas and Viktor to reaching out to me on Twitter and giving so freely of your time and talents. Thanks to you all for reading all of this, and I hope you get a chance to check out the images, and the story behind the shots, over on Exposure.co

Best,

-Scott

Monday
Jun
2014
09

I’m Back from 12-days in Europe

by Scott Kelby  |  20 Comments

Hi gang — if you were wondering why I pretty much ducked out of sight on social media in the past week or so, it’s because the wifey and I, our friends Jim and Jean, and Kalebra’s mom and dad all snuck off for a vacation that we’ve planning for over a year to celebrate Kalebra’s mom’s 73rd birthday.

Her mom had always dreamed of cruising down the Danube river in a “flatboat” so that’s exactly what we did. We started out in Prague for 2-1/2 days, then made our way to Nuremberg, Germany to catch the boat that took us to some very charming towns along the Danube (like Passau and Rugnesberg), with overnight stops in Vienna Austria and ending up in Budapest for a day in the city and then the next day our flight home.

Anyway, I have lots to share, and lots of photos of course, but I’ve been flying for 17 hours so I’m going to do the full post tomorrow, so I hope you’ll check back here then. Again, sorry for dropping out of sight on social like that, but I’m back in the saddle and ready to rock. Well, at least I hope to be tomorrow. ;-)

Cheers and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for the full trip report.

Best,

-Scott

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