Monthly Archives February 2021

Photographing My First Super Bowl

When I started freelancing full time in 2013 I had certain goals I wanted to accomplish – certain clients I desperately wanted to work for and events I was hungry to cover – the Super Bowl was one of those, and this year I was able to cover my first one.

Jumping back to 2019, I got a call from the Director of Photography with the NFL asking if I’d be interested in joining their photo team and help cover Texas and a few of the surrounding states for the 2019-2020 NFL season. I quickly said I’d love to and over the next two seasons I covered around 60 games across the country for the league. A few months ago I flew back to Dallas from a game in Philadelphia, and when I landed I had a missed call from my boss and an email with some Super Bowl paperwork. I freaked out on the plane for a minute, texted my wife then responded to the email to make sure my boss didn’t send it to me by mistake.

Fast forward through the end of the season, several zoom calls and Covid-19 tests… on Friday, February 5th, I flew out to Tampa to join our team for the Super Bowl. We had a team meeting on Saturday to go over logistics, shooting positions, important storylines for the game and some general plans for how we were going to attack our coverage.

This season was obviously different than previous years – the NFL instituted an Operational Zone for a limited number of working photographers and videographers which was the front row of the stands in every stadium around the league. No photographer or videographer outside of those working with the teams were allowed on the field the entire season and that was the case for the Super Bowl, aside from my good friend and boss, Ben Liebenberg, who was on the field for the NFL.

With Ben on the field, we had 5 photographers in the Operational Zone, one in each corner and one roaming the sideline, plus a 6th photographer working from an elevated position. We all had ethernet drops at our positions so we could tether our cameras in and send photos directly to our editors in Los Angeles as well as a handful of runners and photo editors onsite in Tampa.

I may be a little biased, but I feel like we produced the most comprehensive coverage of the game out of any newspaper, wire agency or magazine there and am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

Gear for the big game:

  • Sony a9ii w/ 600mm f4.0 w/ 1.4x teleconverter for an 840mm f5.6 lens
  • Sony a9ii w/ 400mm f2.8
  • Sony a9 w/ 70-200mm f2.8
  • Sony a9 w/ 16-35mm f2.8

You can see more from Cooper at CooperNeill.com, and keep up with him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

#TravelTuesday has come around again and I, Dave Williams, am back here again on ScottKelby.com as always with a little tidbit from the world of travel, photography, and Photoshop. Today it’s all about the latter but it applies across the board. Let’s not waste time with the intro, here goes!

When we take photos in RAW we see a preview on the back of the screen which is a JPEG representation of the RAW image. This means it has been ‘filtered’ somewhat and looks slightly different to how the RAW image will look. One of the differences will be the saturation, and we often move the saturation slider in Adobe Photoshop when we’re back in post to get the image back to looking how it looked on the preview screen when we took the photo. The image right there with it, Vibrance, does something visually similar, but do you know the difference between them? If not, you aren’t alone!

What I’ll do today is go over the differences by splitting Saturation and Vibrance and explaining each of them, giving you an understanding of what those sliders are doing.

Saturation

The Saturation slider is so fiercely debated it could probably start a war. The Saturation slider adjusts the colours in the image. All of them! When we slide the Saturation slider to the left we gradually remove colour from the image (and at this time I’ll take the opportunity to point out the spelling of colour – I’m British – deal with it.) 

Note my choice of words there – ‘all of them.’ The saturation slider adjusts all the pixels in the image. In a practical sense, this means each pixel, regardless of the saturation it already has (high or low) which in turn means that if we slide the slider too far we’ll end up blowing out the pixels that already have high saturation.

Note my choice of words there – ‘all of them.’ The saturation slider adjusts all the pixels in the image. In a practical sense, this means each pixel, regardless of the saturation it already has (high or low) which in turn means that if we slide the slider too far we’ll end up blowing out the pixels that already have high saturation.

Vibrance

Now we know the Saturation gives the same, indiscriminate treatment to every pixel in our image, let’s see what the difference is with Vibrance. The Vibrance slider only applies a change to the least saturated colours in the image. This means it’s less likely to blow out pixels because it only focuses on the least saturated pixels and leaves the more saturated ones.

When we apply Vibrance we achieve a result that’s less surreal in comparison to using the Saturation slider. The result also appears to have more contrast, which can often be a nice touch.

Have a go at comparing the extreme ends of the Vibrance and Saturation sliders to see the difference between the two now you know this and I’m sure you’ll turn out far better images. Just remember, as always, to use the half rule for retouching: Once you’ve moved your sliders, put them to half the value and see if the result is more realistic ;)

Much love
Dave

It’s just a little over a month from now, and it’s two days, all online, and everyone’s invited to spend a few days with learning, laughing, and making new connections.

The conference itself is Tuesday, and Wednesday, but we kick the conference off a day early on Monday with a special pre-conference session from non other than Moose Peterson himself, called “What makes a great wildlife photo?” This is such an important, and eye-opening topic to kick things off, and we can’t wait to share it, and 20-more classes in two simultaneous tracks, with you next month.

Plus, you get access to the entire event to stream live on-demand for an entire year!

We’ve put together an absolutely top-notch team of instructors — some of the most passionate, gifted communicators, that are there for one reason — to help you take your wildlife photography up a big notch. I’m teaching post processing and Lightroom organizational techniques at the conference, and I’ve got some super helpful techniques to share.

Photographers from all over the world have already signed up for the conference, and you can save big time by signing up right now. It’s just $149 for the entire event, and access to the full year of on-demand re-streaming of the classes (so you can watch any you missed, or rewatch any you want), and here’s the link to sign up.

Also, thanks in advance for sharing this news with any photographers you know that are interested in wildlife photographer. We’re putting together something really special, and they’ll thank you for it.

Here’s wishing you a great, happy, healthy week, and don’t forget to drop back by tomorrow for “Travel Tuesdays with Dave.” :)

-Scott

I’ll bet you know someone who loves shooting on their iPhone, and they take it pretty seriously and take tons of photos with it, but you know they’re not going to go out and buy a heavy, expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera and a bunch of lenses. I wrote this book for them. It’s called “The iPhone Photography Book” and it’s about how they can get professional-looking images from the camera they’re already carrying around with them.

What I did in this book is take all the same principles and techniques I’ve been teaching to serious DSLR and mirrorless photographers about lighting, about landscapes, about travel and portrait photography, and composition, and all the stuff that really matters, but everything is done from the perspective of using the iPhone as your only camera (and all the examples and photos in the book are all taken with an iPhone).

Here’s a list of the chapters:

Chapter One: iPhone Camera Essentials

Chapter Two: How to Compose Like a Pro

Chapter Three: Photographing People

Chapter Four: Posing People To Look Their Very Best

Chapter Five: Travel & Landscape Photography with the iPhone

Chapter Six: How to Shoot Other Cool Stuff

Chapter Seven: iPhone Camera Tips & Tricks

Chapter Eight: Organizing Your Photo Library

Chapter Nine: Editing Your Images

Chapter 10: Incredible Apps To Take Your Photos To The Next Level

Chapter 11: Awesome iPhone Accessories

Chapter 12: iPhone Photo Recipes

As you’ve heard me say countless times on The Grid, the quality of shots you can take with today’s iPhone is just stunning, and writing this book proved the point to me again in a very real way —  for most folks, this is the future of photography, and the things Apple is doing (and working on), are just jaw-dropping. I am still shocked at what you can create on an iPhone once you know how, and I’m sharing it all in this book.

The book is already on fire!

It just came out (available right now on Kindle from Amazon.com where it’s the #1 Hot New Release in photography), or get it for any device direct from the publisher Rocky Nook (they’re offering 35% off right now when you apply this code at checkout: SKiPhone35), but the print version is coming in just a few weeks (printing takes longer than…well…just about anything).

Order a copy right now on Kindle, or pre-order and get the print version in just a few weeks, and remember – you’ll be a hero to the friend or loved one you get this for. They will thank you for helping them along on their photographic journey. (Hey, ya know, Valentine’s Day is this weekend. Just sayin’.)

Have a great weekend, everybody. Pull out that iPhone and make some great images! :)

-Scott

P.S. We announced the official instructor roster for the upcoming Wildlife Photography Conference. What an incredible team of teachers! Here’s the link.

The Grid: Website Critiques – Episode 459

On the latest episode of The Grid, Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna do critiques of photography websites! This time they aren’t critiquing the images on each site, but instead are taking a critical look at the design, usability and layout of each site. Check it out to see what changes you might be able to apply to your own site!

New KelbyOne Course: Creating Magical Child Portraits On Your iPhone with Tracy Sweeney

Learn how to create the best portraits of your kids with your iPhone! Join Tracy Sweeney as she dives deep into all of the key and hidden settings to help you make the most of the built-in camera app that’s found on every iPhone.

In this class you’ll learn all the different ways to trigger the shutter, lock focus, dial in exposure settings, use grid lines, capture fast moving kids, and take advantage of Live Photos and Portrait Mode. If you’ve got an iPhone there’s a good chance it is always within arm’s reach, so learn how to use it to its fullest as a camera for documenting the life of your family.

Keeping Creative During COVID

As photographers how do we stay motivated to keep taking pictures when we’re living under lockdowns and restrictions because of COVID-19?

In this video I’ll show you how I, as a Portrait Photographer, am doing everything I can (except take portraits) to help keep me ‘in the creative zone’… I hope in some way this helps.

Keep well,
Glyn


You can see more from Glyn at GlynDewis.com, and keep up with him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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