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.

Tuesday
Aug
2012
21

Something’s Missing From My New MacBook Pro….

by Scott Kelby  |  174 Comments

(Above: My new Retina MacBook Pro, shot with my iPhone, but there’s something missing that should be there).

It’s Game Day!
When you shoot an event for a sports wire service, they need the images from the game as soon as possible, and so during halftime I upload half-a-dozen images, and then immediately after the game, from the photographer’s work room at the stadium, I transmit (as it’s called) another 25 or so final images. They have free wireless in the workroom (and now, in the entire stadium for fans as I noticed on Friday), and there are power plugs and a counter to work on.

(Above: Another iPhone shot, this one of the Photographer’s Work Room at Raymond James Stadiums. Ahhhh, the glamorous life of a sports photographer. They really go all out for us. LOL!!! There are two rooms like this, side by side. Note the laptops throughout the room, all used for transmitting images during and after the game). 

Prepping Before You Leave For The Stadium
I’m going to have to properly identify each player (correct spelling of their name, team, position, and jersey number) for every photo I upload, and describe the action in the shot. To make things easier there’s a service you can subscribe to called “CodeReplacements.com” and it’s for photographers who use the program Photo Mechanic (which used by all pro sports photographers, myself included) and you import this generated team roster into the program and then you just type in the player’s number and it fills in everything for you. It’s amazing and saves a ton of time (totally worth the inexpensive subscription).

So, before the game I go and generate one of those rosters and load it into Photo Mechanic. Then I set up a metadata template in PM with all the details of the game (who is playing home, where it’s played, the date, copyright info, other stuff), and lastly I set up the FTP server to upload my files to the wire service. It’s takes a few minutes, but you’re better off to do it beforehand than rushing to do it at the stadium at game time.

Here’s where my problems began
I’ve got everything all ready to go, and I’m packing up to literally walk out the door. I’m excited to be taking my new thinner, lighter and much faster MacBook Pro to do my transmitting, and I grab the essential Kensington Security Cable and lock (you use this to physically lock your MacBook Pro to the table, so while you’re on the field, another photographer, or staffer, or passerby, doesn’t slip your shiny new laptop in their bag and it’s gone forever. Hey, it happens enough that every photographer locks down their stuff, just like you would at Starbucks when you have to go to the restroom).

It was at that moment that I freaked out, because when I looked at the side of my new top-of-the-line MacBook Pro I noticed that the tiny security slot that Apple puts in ALL MacBook Pros just for this purpose, is missing. It’s just not there (see the photo at the top).

There is no way I’m going to leave my new MacBook Pro unattended
I’m searching everywhere for that security slot (it’s about 1/16 of an inch by 1/32 of an inch, if that) but it is just not there. Now, what do I do! I go find my old MacBook Pro, which thankfully I hadn’t erased yet, and I frantically download a new CodeReplacement roster, and reconfigure the metadata, and I have to change card readers and now I’m running late, and sure enough I get to the stadium a half hour later than I wanted, and I literally just made it to the field before the team came out. Whew!

(Above: Here’s my old MacBook Pro so you can see the tiny slot for the Kensington Security Cable lock —- this is a really close up shot so it looks bigger than it is. Taken with my iPhone which does not need a security slot but should probably have one because mine slipped out of my jacket pocket in a taxi and it was gone forever). 

It gets worse
At halftime, I go to start the process of finding, editing, tagging and transmitting my files, only to realize that I don’t have the user name and password for the FTP upload to my wire service, and I don’t have time to get it (halftime is only 12 minutes for preseason games), so I download my images from my two cameras into the laptop so at least that’ll save me some time after the game.

After the game, I rush into the work room (we all do), while two cards are downloading, I’m going through my images and finding my “Picks” (shots that might make the final cut to be transmitted), and then I find them, launch Photoshop only to realize that I had deactivated Photoshop on that laptop when I got my new MacBook Pro (so I could activate it there).

Please, just for a moment, imagine the look on my face. It’s my first gig for this new wire service, I missed the upload during halftime (thank goodness this was a preseason game), and now I’m going to have to leave the stadium, drive 30 minutes home, and do my editing and transmitting from home. I’m really cranked, embarrassed, frustrated, and most of all…

…I just can’t understand how Apple didn’t include this tiny, tiny 1/32 of a inch slot we so desperately need!
This isn’t just a problem for sports photographers — it’s for schools that have MacBook’s in their labs, and at work, and anywhere we need to have our laptops secured (Starbucks) and now we have to find some other solution (and I’m looking at a few), but I would dearly LOVE to hear why Apple decided NOT to include this tiny slot. While they’re at it, I’d love to know why in Mountain Lion Apple decided to do away with the menubar Display menu, which is another thing that makes me shake my head, but don’t get me started.

There are other solutions (none of which I like so far, and the only one I like isn’t shipping until next month at the earliest), so there is an option or two, but now at least you know. I wonder what I’m going to do this Friday. My old MacBook Pro will need to go to someone else in my company (I think Brad) pretty shortly, so what’s my backup plan for securing my laptop this week.

Now, you’re about to learn exactly what an “Apple Apologist” is
I love Apple products. I have an iPad, an iPhone, an iMac, and two MacBook Pros. I’ve been an Apple customer since 1986; I’ve written books about the Mac (my first book ever), and the iPod and the iPhone (I have a book out on the iPhone 4s currently), and I’ve even written about Apple itself (my book, Macintosh: The Naked Truth, published 10 or so years ago became a cult hit), so I’m a pretty pro-Apple guy. I love their products, how they’re designed, and that they “just work.” However, when anyone (and I mean anyone) says something negative about Apple or an Apple product (as I have here), you will read people commenting on this post that:

(a) It’s not Apple’s fault they removed the security slot. Apple doesn’t make bad decisions. They are a perfect company.
(b) It’s somehow my fault for working in situations that require me to leave my laptop unattended.
(c) That steel cable and lock was no real deterrent, and could easily be defeated by a real criminal.

On that last point — that Kensington lock has saved many-a-MacBook Pro and you do have to be a real criminal, bringing wire cutters or having the intent to steal a laptop coming into the stadium to make away with one, and of course you still run the risk of getting caught. In the end, it’s far better than nothing, even if not “unbeatable.”

How dare we!!!
In 2009 Terry White wrote on his blog that he thought the USB ports were too close to each other on the old MacBook Pros (link), because half the time you couldn’t plug-in two USB devices at once. I totally agreed, and I had this happen to me all the time. Apple apologists lined up on Terry’s blog to tell him that it’s not a design flaw — the manufacturers just need to make their USB plugs thinner.

Or back when Apple first added the rotation gesture to the MacBooks and I complained that I kept rotating my canvas in Photoshop and InDesign by accident on my trackpad. I mentioned that I would love it if there was a way to turn off that gesture in the Mac OS, and Apple Apologists lined up to tell me that I was literally stupid for using Photoshop with a trackpad, and that “nobody uses Photoshop with a trackpad.” I guess nobody uses Photoshop on a flight.

The flip side
Because I mentioned Apple, it will also bring out the haters. There will be the requiste “You should be using a PC” and “That’s because Mac’s suck” and the whole “You’re locked into a closed environment and that’s what you get” stupidity, because mentioning Apple is like mentioning HDR, Nikon vs. Canon, iOS vs. Android, Sony or Bose — it just brings out the worst in everyone. If you own a Mac, or a PC. Nikon or Canon. You shoot HDR or not, you DO NOT have to defend your choice by attacking everyone elses. It’s OK to use the products (or techniques) that appeal to you. Grow up.

So why did I open this can of worms?
Because I want anyone to know who is thinking of buying a MacBook Pro with the Retina display, that something’s missing. It doesn’t have a Security Slot, and for some people (like me) that’s a real problem (and one I’m now going to have to deal with somehow). So, that’s it. A heads up, and here’s hoping that Apple adds them back in future models, and that someone comes up with as elegant a security option as Kensington did (who obviously teamed up with Apple on that slot). Hey, we can always dream. :)

 

 

 

Monday
Aug
2012
20

I Guess It Went Better Than I Had Expected….

by Scott Kelby  |  36 Comments

…especially being rusty (regular season football has been over for nearly eight months), and for making some stupid mistakes (coming up in a moment), so you can totally understand why I did a BIG happy dance when I saw one of my shots from Friday’s Bucs vs. Titans NFL Football game (above) on the front page of SportsIllustrated.com’s NFL home page.

That came after two of my shots had been on Zumapress.com’s Sports “Pictures of the Day” (shown below).

(Above: I’m not certain, but that just may be a “hold.” Wink).

Mistakes were made
I’ve shot in Raymond James Stadium a number of times before, so I knew in advance what settings to use for a night game (which this was), so as soon as I took my camera out of the bag, I set up my camera with those settings. [Aperture Priority mode, f/2.8, and my ISO at 1,600 which is enough to get me the 1/1000 of a second shutter speed I need to freeze the action and have sharp non-blurry shots).

So, I attached my lens and set out to shoot and about 1/3 of the way through the first quarter, I zoomed in tight on one of the images and it was blurry. I started looking at other shots and a lot were blurry. I was freaking out until it finally hit me that I had added a 1.4 tele-extender to my 400mm f/2.8 lens, and when you do that you automatically lose 1-stop of light, so it changed my f/stop to f/4 (agggghh!!!!) and so my shutter speed fell to 1/640 of a second and I had blurry shots. No need to tell me all the things and features I could have used to avoid this — it won’t happen again.

I didn’t test my 2nd body…
And sure enough, there was a problem with the dial on top and when I had to quickly switch to my 2nd body to get the touchdown catch happening right in front of me, instead of firing in High-Speed Continuous mode (burst mode) it took just one single shot……and stopped. Sure enough, he caught it. I was (for once) in the perfect position, with the ideal angle, and just one single “click” before the ball even got near him. I was really cranked. It took me 10 minutes to figure out the dial on top was sticking. Totally, my mistake (but I did have a back-up body if all were lost back in the photographer’s work room).

Luckily, I recovered
After that very rusty (and frustrating first quarter) I was able to shake the rust off a bit and focus back on the action instead of messing with my equipment, but at the end of the day, I still felt like it was my first game of the season (which it was), which is why I was so doubly-psyched to see that shot on SI.com and making Zuma’s “Photographs of the Day” especially since this was my first assignment for them.

(Above: that’s me and my buddy Donn Jones, Team Photographer for the Tennessee Titans. They give him a green vest so he’s an easier target for the defensive line. Kidding, it’s to designate that he’s with the team and he has access to areas, like the Titan’s bench, that the rest of us “khaki-vesters” can’t. Photo by George Walker).

And then, where was this….
There was also an issue with my new Apple MacBookPro with the Retina Display (unreleated to the display itself), but I’m hoping to write about that separately tomorrow), that caused a mini-nightmare, but that’s what Tuesday’s are for, right. :-)

Bring on the Patriots!
This Friday the New England Patriots are coming to play the Bucs at home and I’m excited because:

(a) It’ll be my first-time shooting the Pats, and…

(b) I’ll get another chance to shake some more of the rust off before the regular season begins in two weeks, and I know I won’t make those same mistakes again.

I am still struggling with my post-processing workflow (tagging, editing, adding metadata and uploading at the speed I would like to), but that’s yet another story. Can’t wait for Friday’s game now, but first I’m off to Sacramento to teach my Photoshop for Photographers seminar on Wednesday.

Here’s wishing you a “Big Happy Dance” Monday! :)

 

Monday
Aug
2012
20

It’s You. It’s Me. In Sacramento, this Wednesday!

by Scott Kelby  |  2 Comments

I’m going to have more than 300 photographers at my “Photoshop for Photographers” seminar on Wednesday in Sacramento, but if you haven’t signed up yet, I’ll save a seat for you. I’ve only had the opportunity to teach in Sacramento one time, back in 2008 so I’m really excited to be back, and I hope you’ll come out and join me (here’s the link).

>> It’s only $99 for the full day, or just $79 if you’re a NAPP member).

The video below tells you all about the tour and what you’ll learn. Also, if you’re closer to Denver, I’ll be there the following week, so I hope to see you at one of these two cities really soon!

 

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