Monthly Archives March 2019

Simple Light Portraits at Night with Sam Haddix

Learn how to make simple night portraits with Sam Haddix! Join Sam and a group of his friends as they walk around Ybor City at night looking for locations to create interesting portraits. Sam takes you through his gear, camera settings, and lighting setups at each location. With the right mindset you can create amazing photos with a minimal amount of gear and a short amount of time. After the shoot, Sam returns to the studio where he demonstrates his process for making selects, and then works through his typical Lightroom to Photoshop workflow for finishing his portrait edits.

In Case You Missed It

Join Lindsay Adler in studio for a class all about the extremes of lighting! From low key to high key setups, Lindsay starts you at the beginning where your shoot’s purpose determines the type of lighting you will use and all the choices you make from that point onward. In the first half of the class Lindsay focuses on low key setups, with a look at the characteristics of low key photographs, to the modifiers you can use, to examples of her favorite setups. In the second half of the class Lindsay builds on what you’ve learned about low key lighting to morph into a variety of high key setups. All throughout the class Lindsay shares her perspectives on why and when she uses a particular set up, the gear she uses, the positions of the lights, and so much more. Get ready to have a whole new repertoire of lighting setups to add to your studio offerings. This class is perfect for an intermediate or experienced photographer looking to experiment with extreme light.

It’s a great honor for me to be invited here as a guest blogger. In my early years learning photography, well over ten years ago, the first photography books I purchased were from Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography series.  

My love for landscape photography began while I was living on the Southern Oregon Coast for many years. It’s there that I developed my skills as a landscape photographer, on the local beaches and throughout the forests in the Pacific Northwest. Spending time in nature has always been a part of my life since my early childhood years. For these reasons I’m passionate about photographing nature.  

During the last four years I’ve been traveling full-time in an RV with my husband. My goal has been to photograph places I’ve never been before in the western states. I’ve spent a lot of time photographing deserts and mountains, but my heart always comes back to the Pacific Northwest where my favorite landscape scenes are. 

To get this shot of Elowah Falls in Oregon, I needed to wade into the stream and get up on a boulder to get this composition.

Spring is right around the corner, so I thought I would write about one of my favorite things in nature to photograph, waterfalls. In this post, I’ll share with you some tips on photographing flowing water during the springtime. The water run off can be pretty intense in the spring so hopefully these ideas will help you get the best images while out in the field. 

Don’t Let Bad Weather Stop You

Being from the Pacific Northwest, I’m not afraid of the rain. I love going out to photograph waterfalls on a cloudy, drizzly day. For me, I feel these are the best conditions for photographing flowing water. The foliage around waterfalls most likely will be moist and lush looking. The moss and forest floor will pop with color.  

Springtime can also bring foggy conditions. When mixed with a little bit of light, this can create some magical moments.

Misty Metlako – Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Be prepared for any kind of conditions by wearing layers, preferably non-cotton. This will work best in moist and still cool conditions. The proper footwear is important too. Bring boots, waders, or neoprene socks for under your boots for getting into the water. When it’s safe to do so, you’ll get much more interesting photos if you are willing to get into the water. 

A sturdy tripod is important for getting the sharpest images and slowing down the shutter speed to get some nice long exposure images. 

Bring along plenty of lens cloths to wipe away the spray from your lens. Invest in a good camera sleeve to protect your gear from water damage.  

Getting down low to capture Lower Kentucky Falls in the Oregon Coast Range.

Photographing Waterfalls In Iconic Places

Springtime in State or National Parks can be a busy time with lots of tourists. It can make it hard to get the shot you want without people. Sometimes because of my travel schedule, I can’t avoid the crowds because I might have limited time to visit the area. I have found it best to avoid the weekends and definitely holidays. Be patient and allow people their opportunity to take their picture. I try not to take too much time photographing when there are people waiting to get their shot in the same position. 

Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite using a telephoto lens during mid day.

Get Creative With Composition 

When I’m out photographing waterfalls, I will usually start with taking both horizontal and vertical shots with my wide-angle lens. Once I am satisfied that I have the images I want, I enjoy wandering around to scout for other possible compositions. Take your time. To me, the exploration is the most enjoyable part of landscape photography. Just being outside and experiencing the sights and sounds of nature has such a calming effect on me. 

Change out that wide-angle lens with a telephoto to capture intimate or abstract scenes. Experiment with black and white. The creative possibilities are endless. 

For this intimate scene I zoomed in to capture a portion of a waterfall.

Bring Your Filters

Filters are a must for me. I bring my circular polarizing filter and a neutral density filter. The circular polarizing filter will help reduce the glare in the water and on the rocks. Along with your camera settings, the neutral density filter will help to slow down the shutter speed so you can get that beautiful silky look to the flowing water if that is your style and preference. 

Experiment with the look you like when using your filters. I often just use the circular polarizing filter for reducing glare and bringing out the colors more. I may even stack both the circular and neutral density filters depending on the situation. My goal in some cases may be just to freeze the motion of the water to show the power of nature. In that case, I might remove the filters.  

Close up of ripples in the creek below the waterfall.

Enjoy The Adventure

I hope you get a chance to get out this spring and photograph waterfalls. As mentioned, the most enjoyable part of photographing flowing water is getting out in nature. Hiking trails to get to the waterfall and the exploration makes the whole experience even better. Be safe out there and have fun!  

Lower Kentucky Falls in the Oregon Coast Range.

You can see more of Patricia’s work at, and keep up with her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

Hello, hello, and happy #TravelTuesday to you all, as always! I’m Dave Williams and this post is a quick roundup of what’s been going on over here in the UK at The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

First of all, I’m here with Platypod, whilst they get a foothold in the UK and Europe, and it’s been a great show. Having a Platypod stand here at The Photography Show for the first time has opened up the UK’s eyes to what the USA already sees as a fantastic piece of kit. So, I’m proud to be involved in it all as an ambassador for this awesome company, along with Cathy Baitson, who has worked hard on the stand showing the capabilities of this great product.

A big shout-out to my brother from another mother, Team Epic member Peter Treadway who, along with Dave Clayton, is playing a key role in running the live stages here at the show. Speakers who were up included KelbyOne instructors Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Glyn Dewis, Lindsay Adler, and making an impact on the UK was Gilmar Smith, who nailed her live stage appearances with a live shoot and retouching session.

Gilmar did an amazing job capturing the minds of the audience, with even the standing room at the back crammed with people. She asked me before the show whether I’d mind jumping up on stage with her to be the model for a live shoot. But, little did I know, I’d be dressing up as a clown and stretching my face through a dynamic range of expressions in order to catch just the right moment. I can honestly say I can’t wait to see what it is she’ll do to that shoot to get the final image!

Elsewhere around the show, it has been great to see some great brands and great people represented. Whilst Gilmar is over here in the UK, she is also running a workshop at Amersham Studios, and at the time of writing this, there are only tw spots left open if you want in! Getting her over here from sunny Orlando was 3 Legged Thing, and I was lucky enough to have caught this moment of Gilmar with 3 Legged Thing’s Danny Lenihan. I don’t shoot photo reportage, but if I did!

What’s always great to see is the brands such as 3 Legged Thing and, as seen here, Rocky Nook who, much like Platypod and KelbyOne, have a genuine passion for the art of photography and the photographers behind lens. I chanced upon a moment of calm over at the Rocky Nook stand, whilst Lindsay Adler was there doing signings and proudly grabbed some pin badges of the cover art of Dave Clayton’s and Glyn Dewis‘ newest books to plug onto my show lanyard.

The show is getting bigger and better every year, and I’m so glad to be a part of it. With the addition of The Video Show this year, and another bar set, I’m sure 2020 will be another great year. But, for now, with one more day ahead, it’s time to get a coffee and get back to work!

And, with that, thanks to Peter Treadway and Brigitte Gathercole-Day for some of these photos of the show, and right here next week, I’ll be back with more education and wisdom from the world of photography and Photoshop!

From here in Birmingham,

Much love


Every week we release a new online class, and last week’s class was one of mine — it was a “by request” class on lighting location portraits.

The idea to do this course came comments in the KelbyOne Community forum from folks who had watched my course on using the Profoto B1x’s on location released a couple of months ago. At the end of the course, I did a Safari-themed fashion shoot, and they said they really liked the live shoot part, and wanted to see more live shoots. So, I went ahead an did an entire course of nothing but live shoots using lighting on location (nothing really about the strobes themselves — just setting up different scenarios and such from scratch. The whole course is seven different location shoots in around 45 minutes photographing a male and female subject).

After this week’s class, a gentleman asked this question:

“Any tips on finding a good outdoor location for portraits?”

I replied:

“I would recommend watching both of Jeremy Cowart’s courses on taking any location and making it work here on KelbyOne. When you watch his courses, it will change the way you think of finding locations. Highly recommended. One is in Venice Beach, CA and the other in Miami South Beach. Let me know what you think of them.”

He came back the next day with this reply:

“Scott, everything you said about Jeremy Cowart’s courses is true. THANK YOU! They’re amazing.”

It reminded me of how much I learned just by co-hosting the two classes with Jeremy (I was just there as kind of moderator — asking questions during the shoots). Anyway, Jeremy is an absolute master at turning the most mundane locations into perfect portrait backgrounds, and today I wanted to point you to both of them — they are that good. If you’re not already a KelbyOne member, it would be worth joining for a month ($20) just to watch them, even if you watched nothing else.

Here’s a clip (below) from his course shot on location in Miami — it’s just a 3 minute or so clip, but in this short time, you’ll pick up some great tips.

Here’s a link to Jeremy’s full class:

Below is the official trailer for Jeremy’s class shot on location in Venice Beach, California. As he says in the video, he shows you how to make maximum use of a very simple location, and he only uses one light throughout.

Here’s the link to that full course.

I hope you’ll check out these courses — if you shoot portraits on location, they will change the way you think about finding locations, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do this just one light. Really great stuff — he is the real deal. Here’s the link to KelbyOne in case you want to join (and I hope you do).

Thanks everybody, and here’s to a rockin’ Spring Break kinda week! :)


This one is on where to focus for portraits for really sharp shots.

Actually, every Friday is quick tip Friday if you follow KelbyOne on our Facebook page, or our YouTube page, because we put out a new one every Friday, and they’re all from our awesome KelbyOne instructors. Plus they’re short and sweet, just like that one above. Hey, here’s another one:

These are cool, right? OK, one more just for fun (this one’s a Photoshop tip from Photoshop wizard Bret Malley):

If you dig these, follow us (KelbyOne) on Facebook, or YouTube, or better yet, go sign up for our FREE KelbyOne membership plan, and start watching some real full-length courses this weekend, like my ‘Crush The Composition’ course (it’s been viewed more than a quarter-million times!).

Have a great weekend, everybody, and here’s to an awesome Photo Tip Friday!


Lighting Portraits On Location with Scott Kelby

Take your location lighting to the next level with Scott Kelby! In this KelbyOne Community inspired class, Scott gives you more of what you have been asking for, which is demonstrating a variety of lighting setups you can use on location. Whether you are shooting with strobes or speedlights, you’ll be able to learn the camera settings and lighting placement needed to recreate these awesome looks. Scott starts off the class with a discussion of gear and settings, and then he’s off doing shoot after shoot in a variety of locations with both male and female subjects. By the end of the class you’ll be ready to light your next portrait session in new ways.

In Case You Missed It

Join Scott Kelby for the conclusion to his Mastering the Natural Light Portrait class, as he works through his process for editing the photos from that shoot. In this class you’ll learn the core types of edits you will apply to all of your natural light portraits. In this class you’ll learn different techniques for reducing distractions and making the face the most eye-catching part of the photo. From soft northern exposure light to dappled light, Scott teaches you how to analyze the photo, plan your approach, and get the most out of what Lightroom and Photoshop have to offer. This class is perfect for anyone looking for tips on post processing or editing natural light photos.