Monday
Aug
2012
27

I Switched My Portfolio Over to SmugMug

by Scott Kelby  |  93 Comments

OK, here’s why I wanted to switch:
(1) I wanted to maintain my portfolio myself
In the past, I’ve been lucky enough to have my buddy RC design and maintain my port, but if I want to delete, add, or rearrange my portfolio, I had to contact RC and ask him to do it. RC is incredibly gracious about things like this, but I always felt bad about having to bug him every time I wanted a little tweak, so I wound up not updating and tweaking it very often out of sheer guilt.

(2) Smugmug is designed so you can sell your work
Although I don’t have any prints for sale yet, I get asked about it all the time, and I have a good reason to sell prints (raising money for the Springs of Hope Orphanage).

What Got Me To Pull The Trigger
I’ve been wanting to make the switch for a while now, and I was on some Web site a few weeks back where I saw a SmugMug banner add where they had a free 14-day trial offer, so I thought, “What the heck” and I signed up. That same night I uploaded  my first gallery and it was a breeze, and shortly thereafter I  went from 14-day trial guy to Pro Account guy.

Once I created different galleries (Sports, Football, Fashion, Travel, People, and Landscapes) then I had one of their designers set-up a custom layout for me (they use a network of freelance designers who work directly with you to create your Smugmug layout — I worked with Charles Chung of CreativeSoda and he was absolutely fantastic. Very responsive, easy to work with, and he made the whole process a breeze. If anybody from Smugmug reads this — Charles is awesome!!! Give him a raise/bonus/lexus, etc.).

What I Was Looking For:
A year or so ago, I had a portfolio layout I really liked — one where you can scroll horizontally through the images. The reason I like this layout is that horizontal and vertical images get the same amount of attention (whereas usually only horizontal images get any “juice” in an online port because of their width, and the tall images get lost). The layout let you scroll through the images at the speed you wanted, but the problem was — it was flash-based so if you looked at it on an iPad, it switched to an html version which….well…it wasn’t as elegant (ahem) as the flash one. Then, when they updated my WordPress Blog, for some reason it broke that plug-in RC was using and they had to change it to a layout I didn’t like nearly as much (thought it did kinda scroll).

It works on Tablets, too!
I wanted a portfolio that looked decent on a tablet, and the new SmugMug works really well there (although it does lose the scroll-ability — you have to tap the screen for it to move to the next image) at least you can see it pretty much like it does on a desktop.

What I like best, is…..
The fact that the back-end of my SmugMug site looks like a regular ol’ smugmug default account (see below), but when I add a photo or change the order, it updates the custom layout without me having to tweak stuff I don’t even want to know about (HTML, CSS, STP, ADD, LSD, or any of that stuff).

So, give it a whirl
If you click on the Portfolio link at the top right of this blog, you can take it for a spin. I know the right-scrolling this isn’t for everyone, but after looking at lots of their templates (and other sites), it’s the one I like best, so that’s what I’m going with (also, if you resize the browser it resizes the images).

Thanks to Charles (and Creativesoda) and to the folks at Smugmug for giving me control of my port. Right now I’m gathering shots of cats, people on railroad tracks, and flowers shot in a harsh direct light for uploading. ;-)

P.S. One of the guys that turned me on to SmugMug in the first place was my photo assistant Brad Moore — check out his site, which they customized for him (he’s a kick-butt pro concert photographer). Here’s the link. 

Monday
Aug
2012
27

Come Spend The Day With Me Wednesday in Denver

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

I’m in Denver Wednesday for my “Photoshop for Photographers” full-day live seminar (well, as long as that hurricane stays away, and it looks like it’s staying away from Tampa), and if you want to come out for a day that is likely to curve your spine, you can join me by clicking this link.

If you read this blog and you’re going to be there, make sure you come up and say “hi.” Cheers and we’ll see you in Denver soon! :)

P.S. The next stop for the tour is in Arlington, Texas on September 14th, where RC Concepcion will be the instructor, and then I’m back teaching the seminar in Los Angeles on October, 3rd, then RC is back in Minneapolis on Oct 17th, and then I’m in DC on the 29th. Hope to catch you on the road! :)

 

Friday
Aug
2012
24

Here’s what I’m teaching at the “Photoshop World Conference and Expo”

by Scott Kelby  |  16 Comments

If you’re going to Photoshop World in Vegas next month (Sept 5- 7), I hope you’ll check out one of my classes. I’m teaching three sessions in the conference track this year, and I’m doing a retouching session at Wacom’s booth on the Expo floor:

Wednesday: Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it
I start with an empty stage, set up the lighting and then light a live model to show you three different looks (from one light) and after the shoot I take those images in Lightroom and Photoshop to show the start-to-finish retouch. That way, you see the entire process from start to finish, and you learning the lighting, shooting and retouching.

Thursday: Tips & Tricks for Shooting Sports
I’ve had so many people ask me to do a class on shooting sports, and this class includes lots of tips on everything from gear to shooting techniques, insights and advice, and lots of helpful pointers from a ton of my own research and shooting in the field. If you’re into shooting sports (or you want to shoot sports), you’ll totally dig this presentation.

Friday Morning: Portrait Retouching Secrets [Wacom Booth]
In this session, taught in Wacom’s presentation theater on the expo floor, I’m going to share some of my very favorite portrait retouching techniques along with how I use a tablet in my retouching work (I could not retouch without one. Well, I’ve had to on occasion, but it’s brutal). Lots to share in this 30-minute session.

Friday: Lightroom Killer Tips
This is an updated version of my popular class on the Lightroom track, with some cool stuff for Lightroom 4. I learned a bunch of new stuff since last time, so I updated the class to add these new techniques, and this is another one of those classes that I can’t wait to teach.

Anyway, if you’re going, I’d love to see you in one of my sessions, so I hope you’ll drop by. If you haven’t planned on going, why not? Here’s the link—come and spend a few days taking your career, and your skills, up a big notch (warning: if you go even once, you’ll want to go every year. Ask anyone that’s been to one). See you in Vegas in just a few weeks!

Thursday
Aug
2012
23

It’s Free Stuff Thursday!

by Brad Moore  |  157 Comments

Photoshop World
Photoshop World Vegas is less than two weeks away! I can almost see Joe McNally’s speedlights firing, hear Alan Hess’s shutter clicking as Big Electric Cat rocks his pre-con, and hear Jay Maisel dropping f-bombs as he wows the crowd with his beautiful work and sharp sense of humor… Don’t miss this opportunity to hang out with the instructors you love!

This will be your last chance to win a full-conference pass from Free Stuff Thursdays, so leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Kelby Training Live
All three of the Kelby Training Live tours are on the road this coming week!

First up is the Lightroom 4 Live seminar with Matt Kloskowski TOMORROW, August 24 in Seattle! It’s not too late to register, which you can do right here.

Then, Joe McNally is bringing his One Light, Two Light tour to Portland on Monday, August 27.

And last but certainly not least, is Scott Kelby’s Photoshop CS6 for Photographers Tour on Wednesday, August 29 in Denver!

You can get all the details for these and upcoming dates at KelbyTrainingLive.com

KelbyTraining.com
Head over to Kelby Training to check out the latest class from Rick Sammon, LIGHT: The Main Element in Every Photograph! In this class, Rick discusses the importance of knowing light and using it to make the most impact in your photographs. He even discusses how our cameras and lenses react to and record light, then talks about controlling light in our images.

Leave a comment for your chance to win a 1-month Kelby Training subscription!

Last Week’s Winners
One Light, Two Light Seminar
- David Pino

Photoshop World Pre-Conference Workshop
- rjhoughton

Photoshop CS6 Seminar
- Gordon

We’ll be in touch soon regarding your prizes. And keep scrolling down to the next post for an announcement/guest post from Bill Fortney!

Thursday
Aug
2012
23

Bill Fortney Introduces His Light Workshops!

by Brad Moore  |  17 Comments

Having It All!

How can I have it all? Well, you must first determine what “all” is! For many of us, as photographers, we want to be successful! But then again, what is success? The first thing that comes to mind is fame and fortune; you are well known and respected as photographer, and you make boat loads of money with your images! Please allow me to pull rank on you. At 66 years of age, I’ve learned a great deal about these questions, and more importantly, the answers! Let me share some thoughts with you.

Let’s start with fame. I hate to burst your bubble, but there are no famous photographers. Now I didn’t say that some photographers are not well known, some certainly are, but mostly among other photographers. It’s what is called positional fame. If you were an auto mechanic who has been named America’s Top Mechanic three of the last four years, you certainly would be well known among mechanics, just not to the general public! It is the same for us, we may reach a measure of recognition among our peers, but the general public has no idea who we are. Elvis was famous, the Beatles are famous, Brad Pitt is famous. As photographers we can never hope to get that kind of attention, and I say great! Would you really want to wear a disguise to go out to dinner to keep from being recognized and hounded by the paparazzi? I bet you’re saying no!

O.K. so we have settled the fame business, how about fortune? Well if you find a way to become incredibly wealthy being a photographer, let me know!! Can you make a good living as a photographer? Sure, but only a handful of photographers have ever gone on to become millionaires on the strength of their work. So it would seem that both of those are goals not worthy of our time and effort. That leaves us with the task of redefining success.

Let me share with you my definition of success:
“To love and be loved, to have a purpose, goals, and aspirations that lead to a better life for those around me. To laugh a lot, smile even more, and enjoy the greatest gifts God has given me; faith, fellowship, peace, and joy!”

In the summer of 2012 I find myself smack dab in the middle of that definition. As I prepare to retire from my full time job, I’m starting another stage in my life, that of being a full time, servant of Christ! What does this have to do with photography!?

Photography is my vocation and avocation, and I love to share it. I love to teach and fellowship with others that have a love for this craft. I also have given my life completely to Jesus Christ, and my service to Him is to love others as He loves them!

I’m so excited because the rest of my life will be dedicated to sharing these two great passions with those that will allow me to be a part of their lives. Now I’ve actually been doing that for a long time, but with a new workshop company I’ve started, it will have an official home. A couple of years ago I started a company called His Light Workshops, and soon after took on a great friend, and wonderful photographer, Jim Begley as my partner in the venture. Jim is not only a world class photographer specializing in HDR, he’s also a great Christian brother with the same goals as mine, to reach out in His name.

His Light Workshops will be a place where people who want to learn how to become a better photographers, can do so, in a faith based environment. I’ve run photography workshops for many years, eleven of those years as the director and founder of the Great American Photography Workshops. I’m very proud to say that the GAPW had one of the highest approval ratings from our customers of all the workshop series of it’s time. The formula was simple, give people great instruction, from gifted leaders, in beautiful locations, have a lot of fun, and make the workshops a great value!

His Light starts where the GAPW ended, except we now have added the most important component, sharing Christ’s love!  We’ve now run workshops in a half dozen locations and the big difference is not only do we get calls and emails from our Guests thanking us for a great learning experience, we also get a lot of messages that say, “It was a life changing experience!” That has been Jim’s and my goal from the start and with each new workshop, more and more people are finding not only increased photographic skills but also a stronger, deeper, and more meaningful purpose for their lives.

We’ve been joined by such great photographers and leaders as Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and RC Concepcion. Many other wonderful photographers will be joining us in the future to share their vast knowledge and faith. Next year, Dr. Charles Stanley, well known pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, will join us for a fall workshop, and Country/Bluegrass Legend, and 14 times Grammy Winner, Ricky Skaggs will be our guest leader when we do a His Light Americana Workshop in Nashville, Tennessee! I’m so excited because we’ve met so many great people at our workshops and many have become fantastic friends, and new brothers and sisters!

For the eleven years I headed up the GAPW, I drove over 70,000 miles a year to every major national park, many, more than once per year. It has made it so easy to plan and run these great new workshops after such a wealth of experience around the national park system. What a blessing that has been!

The next workshop will be in Page, Arizona and will feature RC Concepcion as our leader!  RC will teach on social media for photographers, how to create stunning websites, (he created mine!) and will also teach from his great book on HDR! He will be joined by myself, Jim Begley and our field team, John “Snake” Barrett and Chuck Barnes. We will shoot in such great locations as Lower Antelope Slot Canyon, Horseshow Bend, Toadstool Rocks,Paria Wilderness area and other great locations around the beautiful Lake Powell and  Escalante Basin. We’ll also have a dinner at the famous Paria Wilderness BBQ camp! Limited space is still available for this workshop November 7-11. It will be preceded with a optional 4 day whirlwind tour of  Monument Valley (full day with Navajo guides), Lower Antelope Slot Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park! *Very limited space still available in the tour.

So back to where we started, I’ve got it all!  God has provided a wonderful way for me to help support my family, have a blast in the company of great people, learn daily to be a better photographer, and more importantly to deepen my walk with Him!  You can have the fame and fortune,  He has made me a very wealthy man already!

Blessings,
Bill Fortney

For more information about His Light Workshops and Bill Fortney please visit BillFortney.com and HisLightWorkshops.com

Wednesday
Aug
2012
22

It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Trever Hoehne!

by Brad Moore  |  15 Comments

I’d love to start by saying thanks to Scott and Brad for the opportunity to share. Its quite an honor to be in the midst of such great people on this blog,but also a great challenge because so many great things have already been said here!

I never planned on being a photographer. I never went to school for photography and never really spent much time assisting. Its still sometimes shocking to me that this is where I ended up. I grew up with a heavy fine art background so it was not rare to see my brother and I spending time on the weekends or after school, painting, drawing or creating. In college, I majored in painting and honestly had no clue where it would lead me career wise…. but I loved it. I was obsessed with art. The culture, the history, the respect. It wasn’t until my senior year studying that I stumbled across photography.

Out of college I got a job at a great design firm in Orange County. It was a new world to say the least. I approached ‘digital art’ in a very primitive way, letting my technological skills catch up to what I saw in my head and wanted to create. It was very foreign to me but I enjoyed the challenge and the pace. I picked up photography simply to aid in my design work. Doing what most do when they begin, I shot textures, abstractions and various macro types. After my time at the design firm I was submerged in a world of art meeting commerce. I fell in love with the idea that an image could be beautiful and help attract towards something… a brand or a statement. It was powerful and at that point I knew what I wanted to spend my time creating. The rest has been a wild ride.

I’ll keep it short and sweet but I wanted to spend the few moments talking about being an artist. I figure most people reading this are in the industry or wanting to break into it, so this is geared to all of us. There is no doubt that this industry is incredibly hard to break into and if you don’t keep creating, you will disappear in a sea of heavy competition. I know for some of us its daunting to think about. What I charge you with today is to be an artist. I know that seems silly but I hear too many people jump into this industry for the wrong reasons and spend their time focusing on the wrong things. My buddy Nick Onken has always said this so well. You have to “live your passion”. As working artists or some that hope to be making a living creating, we have to be obsessed with the art. You have to find what ‘fills’ you as an artist and fight to keep that. I do this in a few ways.

Coming from a painting background, I have spent a lot of time with 3 elements: Tone, Form and Light.

These are things that painters and photographers have in common and they are worth getting obsessed about. I often get questions about post production and editing and I wish I had fancy answers for everyone, but I simply use inspiration that is out of the photography world. This is a fun exercise and I encourage you all to try it.

For example, I was shooting a recent fashion story and was so inspired by the pigments of a recent Edgar Payne exhibit, that I found myself toning my images as if they were his paintings. Did the skies need more yellow? Did the skin tones need more greens? Is my lighting carving out the shadows enough?  These questions only came about because I was inspired by those simple things: Tone, Form and Light. I spend a lot of time and energy studying art because I think it makes a difference in my work. If we aren’t fighting for that creative ‘fill’ I have a hard time believing our work will be competitive enough in this industry. It takes that obsession I was mentioning. I want to encourage you to take an art history class or a painting class. You will be surprised how it affects your photography.

The last few years have been really fun. I work primarily in fashion and advertising so its always scratching that itch I have for where art and commerce meet. I am continually trying new lighting techniques, creating new personal work and learning the business of a modern day photographer. Thanks for reading… go create.

You can see more of Trever’s work at TreverHoehne.com, keep up with him on his blog, and follow him on Twitter.

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