The Grid: Blind Photo Critiques | Ep. 475

These critiques may be blind, but they should also be eye opening! Join Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna for another round of photo critiques to help sharpen your camera and processing skills.

New KelbyOne Course: What to Shoot When There is Nothing to Shoot Part 2 with Jeff Leimbach

There’s always something to photograph when you’re with Jeff Leimbach! Following up from his first class on this topic, Jeff shares even more ideas for what to shoot, new tips to help you have fun while you improve your photography, creative ways to use your camera, more places to consider photographing, and wraps up with ways to get motivated and keep shooting, even when there’s nothing to shoot.

Hello, my name is Kristi Odom. I am a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, who is often on the road photographing in remote locations or teaching workshops photographing bears, sharks or some exotic animal. I have always felt I had to go far to photograph wildlife. My camera would often stay in my closet until a big trip, sometimes it would just live in my Think Tank airport roller bag waiting for the next adventure.

I had a dream to have one of my stories published in National Geographic, so every chance I got, I was on a plane traveling to far off lands to photograph exotic animals.

Up until the end of last year I lived in the DC area, so photographing wildlife around home was challenging, or so I thought. In 2018, in a series of fortunate events (which I may not have felt so fortunate about it at the time), I needed some wildlife photos in a short period of time. My schedule was too crazy to go on the road, so I had to shift my mindset and look for photos I could take of wildlife close to home. I randomly got an email, on the right day, at the right time, about an insect survey group that was going out to count butterflies and dragonflies. I had no idea the can of worms that this would open (pun totally intended there).  

Passion is contagious, and this quirky group of insect enthusiasts, at first had me scratching my head and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into… but soon had me excited and curious. From the patterns in a dragonflies back to the question marks on a butterflies wings, there was exploration and discovery all around. Every time I was in town on a Friday (they meet every Friday and have been doing so for 27 years to count bugs), I would grab my camera and head down to the local parks.

I found myself in the middle of a big story about such little critters. With climate change, use of pesticide and land management, there have been all sorts of changes in insect populations that this group’s data had keys to understanding. They also had records of the depth of biodiversity, endangered species, first arrivals of the seasons….their data helped preserve lands and create awareness. This group, who I now consider my close friends, quickly became my heroes. They were making change while connecting with nature.

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I’m Dave Williams and I’m back, which means it must be #TravelTuesday! Good morning to you all from the sunny UK! This morning I got up at 03:45 to walk up a hill and shoot a castle at sunrise, but this post is not about that. Here’s what it’s actually about (right after the scene-setting selfie): –

Whilst I was busy doing nothing, sitting on the side of the hill waiting for the light to be right when I heard a little noise from the bush beside me. From inside the bush, out crept two beautiful fox cubs. Sharp as a tack, I was ready with my iPhone camera. I always have my iPhone camera ready when I’m shooting because it’s great to have a second camera primed and ready for anything that quickly develops, just like this. In this instance, the photo wasn’t going to be ‘art’, more like proof that a thing happened. I slowly pivoted around to point the iPhone at the fox cubs but they’d spotted me, clearly having been absolutely oblivious to my presence before because I hadn’t been moving! Here’s what I caught: –

It sucks! The cubs had started to run back into their den by the time I hit the shutter button so all I got was a blur of panicked foxes. Keen to not disturb them and to get my castle shots I remained still and kept half an eye on the rest of the bush waiting to see if they emerge again, still primed and ready, but I wondered whether I’d be able to save the shot I’d gotten. I managed to get a frame with one of the foxes looking right at me, and here’s how: –

Because I’d taken the shot with Live Mode active I could check through the sequence of frames that had been captured. We know we’re shooting in Live Mode because the symbol on our camera app that resembles a target is yellow. By finding this image in my camera roll and hitting ‘Edit’ in the top right corner, a range of options opened up to me. The one I was interested in was on the bottom row to the left – that same ‘Live Mode’ symbol. Here’s what we get when we tap it: –

The grey circle is the shot the iPhone has determined will be our ‘Key Frame’ but by tapping through the frames ourselves we can select the key frame we want instead, which is exactly what I did, resulting in this: –

I now had the frame of the fox cub looking at me, and although it wasn’t a great shot it’s a good example of what we can use Live Mode for on our iPhone if we think we’ve messed up a dynamic shot.

Just for some viewing pleasure, here’s a shot of the fox cub from my camera this morning as well :)

This is one of many features of our iPhone camera that we can take advantage of, and there are plenty more to learn in the upcoming iPhone Photography Conference. I hope to see you there!

Much love

Dave

Happy Monday, everybody! The Print module in Lightroom Classic lets you create these really cool multi-photo layouts, and best of all —  you don’t have to just print them — you can save these layouts as JPEGs and share them on social, email them, whatever. Check out the video below (you’ll be surprised at how easy this is).

Hope you found that helpful (and if you have any questions about these multi-photo layouts, drop them in the comments section below).

This is going to be a great week — let’s make the most of it! 

-Scott

This one is from wonderful portrait and fashion photographer, Mary Bel. Check it out:

Thanks, Mary Bel! :) (and that’s something I’ve been preaching for years — it can all the difference, because “less is more.”

Here’s the official trailer from Mary Bel’s KelbyOne Online Class where she shows you how to take everyday objects, and how to work on a super tight DIY budget to create some really creative portraits.

Here’s the link to watch her class right now (you will love it!).

Disney’s Cruella is a Must-See!!!

OK, a bunch of us who are all vaccinated (close friends and family members) rented an entire AMC movie theater for a private screening of Cruella (it was only $240 for the whole huge theater [we all split the cost], and we could have up to 20 guests, and it was even a Saturday night), so we chose Disney’s new Cruella (as in Cruella Devlle of the 101 Dalmatians) as our show and it was OUTSTANDING!!!

First, just the fact that we were in a movie theater again was awesome on its own, not to mention the whole private screening (and being able to talk at regular volume during the movie), but the movie itself was just so good — way better than I was expecting, with some great storytelling about how a sweet young girl wound up becoming Cruella. Emma Stone was fantastic in the role, and her co-star Emma Thompson was brilliant. If nothing else, they will take the Oscar for Best Costume Design (and the soundtrack is awesome!). Anyway, check it out if you have a chance (I put the trailer below).

OK, I’ve gotta get back to work — today is the deadline for the current book I’m finishing up, and well…not sure I’ll have it done today. I might need another day. Or two. But I’m really close. Anyway, back to work for me. Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend! Go see Cruella and watch Mary Bel’s new class. :)

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget — at the end of this month it’s the iPhone Photography Conference. Two full days, two training tracks, and lots to learn from some incredible instructors. Here’s the link for tickets and more info.

Securing Your Gear On Shoots with Jefferson Graham | The Grid Ep. 473

How often have you been on location for photography and you can’t focus on doing the thing you’re there to do, take photos, because you’re constantly worrying about your camera bag and all the gear in it? Join Scott Kelby, Erik Kuna, and their guest Jefferson Graham as the discuss securing photo gear on location!

New KelbyOne Course: Introduction to Toy Photography with Dave DeBaeremaeker

Unlock story telling with toy photography! Join Dave DeBaeremaeker to learn how to get started photographing toys indoors and out, using the gear you already have, to bring concepts from your imagination to life. Dave takes you through the gear he uses, considerations for choosing toys as subjects, tips on posing, and demonstrates his workflow from shooting the scene through post processing to creating the final image. By the end of the class you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and start telling your stories.

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