Monthly Archives May 2020

It’s an online class I did called “Beginner’s Start Here” and if you’re new to photography, I think it could really help you move you further down the road on your journey. It’s short, sweet, and you can watch it this weekend.

I do something in this class that you won’t see very often — I tell you which f/stops to use, which lenses to you, which settings to use, and I lay it all out in plain English. Check out the short trailer below so you get an idea of what the class is like.

Best of all, the entire course is free (really free – no credit card required or any of that stuff). Here’s the direct link to the course.

Just sign up for a KelbyOne Free-Level Membership and you’ll have access to not only this class, but some other classes from me as well like this one (below – that’s the trailer) that teaches Lightroom users how to use the most important stuff in Photoshop (without having to learn all of Photoshop, which is a lot ’cause…well…it’s Photoshop).

Here’s the link to that course (it’s free, too) .

Anyway, I hope you’ll check one, both or all of the free courses out. If course, if you want to accelerate your learning, you can join our Pro Membership plan and you’ll have unlimited 24/7 access to nearly 800 online courses on photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. We’ve got a special deal running right now because so many folks are still stuck at home, and this will help you make the most of this down time.

There ya have it — hope you found those courses helpful, and here’s wishing you a safe and happy weekend. :)

-Scott

Digital Classroom Videos: Lessons in Lighting with Bob Davis

From the fundamentals to the advanced, this digital classroom on lighting covers everything you need to know to start creating beautiful photographs in all kinds of lighting environments. Bob Davis begins the class by discussing the qualities of light, and then explains all of the various light modifiers you can employ in your photography. Building on the previous lessons, Bob demonstrates how to judge an accurate exposure, use an incident light meter, and then works through a series of scenarios on location with a subject putting everything you’ve learned into practice.

You’ll explore on camera light, off camera light, window light, studio strobes, controlling multiple lights, and getting creative results with speedlights in a variety of outdoor settings. By the end of the class you’ll have a whole new set of tools for adding that sparkle to your photographs through your masterful use of light.

In Case You Missed It: Shooting Dreamy Wedding Photos

Let’s go on a lighting journey with Bob Davis! Join Bob as he walks you through his process for lighting and shooting and entire wedding day. From the morning details through the ceremony to the reception and the final image of the night, Bob shares his tips and techniques for creating beautiful photographs that will become timeless keepsakes for his clients.

A funny thing happened on the way to publishing my book… 

A pandemic. It sure has changed things for everybody. Everywhere in the world. No exceptions. And in business, most of us have made big adjustments to deal with new restrictions and regulations. 

I don’t have a crystal ball so I had no idea that this was coming, but a book I already wrote and had in the publishing pipeline, launched mid April, in the middle of stay-at-home orders. So while just about everybody, in practically every industry, was thrown into video meetings, my book Great On Camera came out.

On top of that, I decided to do some tips and tricks videos so people could quickly learn some best practices for Zoom and Skype meetings. I posted those on Facebook and YouTube (with a little book promo at the end of course). Well, USA Today saw it and ran a feature story on me. That publicity got me even more publicity from radio and TV stations and the Washington Post.

Since this is Scott’s blog, and since most of his followers are photographers, I pulled some things together just for still shooters. And since video is exponentially more important today than ever before! Here are 7 important things you need to know.

Thing 1. You can/should easily master being GREAT on Skype and Zoom:

If nothing else, you need to realize that looking good, sounding good, and communicating well on live video meetings with clients and prospects is the 2020 version of professional business attire. Look better, more confident, and sound good, and you’ll get more clients and keep more customers. This isn’t a photographer thing. It’s an every business thing. And most people still look really bad on video meetings.

Thing 2. If you do headshots, locked-down video should be on your list:

As a photographer, you already have better gear than most people, and practically every recent DLSR and mirrorless camera can capture great looking video. I’m not going to push you toward indy filmmaking. But if headshots are any part of your business, you should learn how to capture video headshots so you can help your business clients.

Thing 3. You’re enough of an expert that you can help friends and clients be better on their own Zoom calls:

A lot of people could use your help to get them looking and sounding better on their business videos. You understand lighting. You understand camera position. You understand composition. You understand exposure. By just looking at the tips in the video about being better on Zoom meetings (linked above) I also did a quick tips video about webcam exposure and photographers will ‘get it’ right away.

Sure, most people have terrible, fully automatic webcams so you won’t be changing lenses or adjusting settings to get a better exposed image on camera. But by looking at someone’s environment, you can help them position their camera properly. Add lights in the right place. Help them simplify complicated backgrounds. Tell them that, just because they have a picturesque back yard and they’d love to have that as their video background, a camera pointed out to the back yard will make you look like a silhouette unless there’s a BUNCH of studio lighting on your face. Help them get a shirt that doesn’t make the overall image too dark or too bright and throw off the exposure for the face.

Thing 4. Simple commercial videos are easy for photographers:

Beyond video meetings between co-workers, small businesses will need to communicate with their customers and target market using videos. Now more than ever! This means they’ll be looking for pro video help. Consider adding simple video production to your mix. Even if you don’t want to edit, you can capture the video and turn it over to an editor.

Thing 5. Learn a little audio and you’re good to go:

When it comes to video, the only thing that’s really new to photographers is audio. An inexpensive wired lapel mic or a $200 wireless mic will capture great spoken audio. But just start with a 20’ wired mic and you’ll be going in the right direction.

Thing 6. Start by being on camera yourself, to create an ad and to get on-camera experience:

Photographers know that the lock-down slowed down business and with a little extra time on your hands, now’s the perfect time to create your own commercial. Jump on camera and record yourself talking about your business. You can spend 2 or 3 minutes talking to the camera and that will get you experience being on camera, so you can help your clients. Plus, it will get you a commercial for your own work.

Thing 7. Cut away from the talking head with stills or other footage that shows what’s being narrated:

And don’t worry that you need to be on camera, talking to the camera lens the whole time. You don’t. Just set up a simple scene, maybe in your studio, where you can talk to the camera and as soon as you start talking about your work and the kinds of shoots you do, keep the audio discussion going but cut away from the visual of you in the studio, and show image after image of your work. Think of it as a narrated video portfolio.

Bonus Thing. A (free) video critique:

Since you follow Scott, you know all about ‘Blind Critiques’ on The Grid. I love that stuff! Similarly I do paid video critiques where clients send me videos they’ve done and ask for advice on how to improve what they’re doing. Well, if you’ve read this far, and you have a video you’ve created, or you’re about to do a quick promo video, I’ll do a critique for free. Just go to my website (GreatOnCamera.com) and use the contact form and let me know you have a video and you read about my free offer here. I’ll tell you how to upload it to me and we’ll work out the other little details.

Of course there are a few strings attached. The video needs to be 3 minutes or less. It needs to be a business or promotional video with a spokesperson on camera (hopefully you). And I’m limiting this offer to the first 20 readers or until July 15, 2020.

Whatever you do for a living, and even if you don’t want to add video to your portfolio, I hope this helps you with meetings and your own on-camera presentations so you can be Great On Camera!

You can find more about Larry and being Great On Camera at, well, GreatOnCamera.com! Make sure you pick up his new book, Great On Camera while you’re there.

#TravelTuesday has landed again, and I’m here! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com with something from the world of travel photography for you all. Right now I have seriously itchy feet and I just keep scanning the internet for somewhere to go. Iceland is high up the list and I’ve also been looking at Patagonia, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Finland, and some sunny places, too. Anyway, the problem at the moment is quarantine – nobody is letting anybody in without quarantine, and the quarantine period is longer than the trip. But what about attracting people to the country or destination? How does that actually work and how do we play our part as photographers?

Travel photography explores and shares the dream of visiting faraway places, and perhaps that has never before been so true as it is now. Social media provides a seemingly endless supply of wanderlust-inspiring content and with a click or a scroll we can see almost anywhere in the world. As a profession, travel photography is all about creating images which do the following: –

Travel photography takes landscape and light and culture, a sense of place with no sense of time, while crucially encapsulating the essence of the destination and containing, within one frame, everything required to attain and retain the attention of the viewer and working to make that viewer want to be in the photo.

Travel photography that achieves this aim is all around us because this is the point of travel photography. We can see it in magazines, on postcards, on travel websites, on tour operator social media, literally everywhere that is trying to sell us the concept of travel, because these are the images that make the sale – the ones that make us want to be there.

Take a look at @STATravel on Instagram and notice how, on this account and many like it which sell travel, there’s a huge range of images which make us want to be in these places. There’s no consistent style, no consistent theme per se, no consistent subject, and all the images vary in their style. The one thing they all have in common is the feeling or, if you like, the result. They all make us want to be there.

Moving ahead in travel photography and learning how to develop yourself as a travel photographer is therefore about two things: –

First, we need to know and understand the technical and artistic elements of photography.

Second, we need to learn how to employ all the methods we learn to convey the sense of wanting to be in the images we create to everyone who looks at them.

There are many techniques to help achieve this: good composition, enticing leading lines, a clear and engaging subject, a sense of timelessness, and many other elements – the thing is, if it’s a well-considered shot at the time of taking it, this consideration will carry forward to those viewing the image and the passion of the photographer will shine through.

Take the time to consider your shots and think about what, in each particular scene, will make people want to be there.

Something to think about! Catch you again next week!

Much Love

Dave

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, and our offices are closed as we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service to our country.

This post is dedicated each year to the memory of David Leimbach, (shown above; the brother of our dear friend and colleague Jeff Leimbach), who died 12 years ago in combat in Afghanistan.

Just a humble word of thanks to the dedicated men and women of our armed services and to all those who came before them who laid down their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day.

Here’s wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy Memorial Day.

-Scott

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Tonight at 8:00 PM ET I’m doing another of my now legendary live “Book Chats” and everybody’s invited. Tonight’s featured book is “The Flash Book” and I’ll be sharing tips from the book, answering your questions on Flash, we’ve got some cool giveaways, some killer deals on books, and some really stupid stuff I have planned. Go grab a glass of wine – a fresh can of Spray Cheese, and join me tonight at my Facebook page. OK, on to our Lightroom Q&A:

Tonight at 8:00 PM ET — come join in the fun! (fun?)

Whoo hoo!!! Here are just five of the short 60-second tips we release each Friday at KelbyOne featuring some of our awesome KelbyOne.com photography training instructors.

Bob Davis on “Wedding Details”

Dealing with long exposure Light Leaks (with Larry Becker)

Mark Heaps with a really cool color change trick in Photoshop

The always awesome “Moose Peterson” with a trip for catching that perfect prop spin in your aviation photos

And Troy Plotya with a tip on using Motion Art Overlays

If you follow KelbyOne on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll see another one of these tips every Friday, cause…well…it’s “Photo Tip Friday.”

Hey, if you’re not already a KelbyOne member, this might be a great weekend to give us a try. Head over to the site right now; check out my short video that describes what we’re all about, and then start learning right away. We’ll get you started with on a training track for whatever topic you’re interested in, from wedding photography to Photoshop, lighting to Lightroom, landscape to wildlife and everything in-between.

Here’s that link again, in case ya missed it. :)

Anyway, I’d super dig-it if you checked us out. I’m really proud of what we’ve put together for you, and we’ve got special pricing right now while we’re going through all this. Hope you’ll give it a look. Have a great weekend, everybody. Stay safe, and we’ll catch up next week. :)

-Scott

P.S. If you live on the East Coast of the US or Canada, I’m doing a live-stream of my entire full-day “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” seminar next Tuesday, May 26th. I hope you can join me for the day. It’s just $99 for the full-day (including a 153 page workbook), and it’s 100% money-back guaranteed. Tickets and info right here. 

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