Monthly Archives April 2021

Mornin’, everybody! I have an update for you in the on-going chicken wars (important, since it is a proven fact that many photographers and Photoshop user consume chicken sandwiches). Since my last post, I wanted to re-test some of the top-tier chicken sandwiches in the battle and see if after a few weeks I still felt the same way (especially about Zaxby’s being the winner, being at least as good if not better than Popeyes). Briefly, here’s how it went down:

Burger King

I’m moving this one up a spot in my rankings, perhaps even over KFC’s excellent new chicken sandwich, but primarily for one reason: Burger King’s sauce is better. KFC’s is more like just mayo, where Burger King went more the route of what Popeyes (and Zaxby’s) is using. It’s a very large, very crunchy chicken, and I’m thinking this has moved into the #2-ish spot (behind Popeyes and Zaxbys who are tied are very close to tied. More on this in a sec).

Above: Look at the size and texture difference between the two (and yes, Burger King’s is really huge like that), and for both of McDonald’s Chicken Sandwiches I tried, the patty looked significantly smaller what you see above right.

McDonalds

I just retried this one yesterday and it was actually pretty tasty overall, but it’s losing the war here for two reasons: (1) The chicken patty itself is really small. The whole sandwich is small in comparison to the other. My sister-in-law nailed it when she said “It looks like it should be on the value menu.” It’s similar in size to a McDonald’s cheeseburger (not a Quarter Pounder, a regular cheeseburger). And (2) it’s called the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and it’s well-named. It’s just a bit crispy. It’s not crunchy like Burger King’s, Popeye’s and Zaxby’s. So, while it’s fairly tasty, it’s not “big and crunchy” which kind of takes it out of the running in the Chicken Wars. However, I read an article yesterday about how much people are liking the new chicken sandwich and how it’s helped McDonald’s sales, so it is definitely an improvement overall, which is a good thing.

Popeyes

I revisited a local Popeyes and it’s still really great any way you look at it (and they’re the reason the war started in the first place). I still do think it’s their bun. They’re something magical about it. They could put their bun on the menu by itself and people would probably order it. Their side dishes are kind of ‘meh’ but their sandwich is still pretty incredible.

Zaxby’s

There are over 400 locations out there, but sadly mostly East Coast and Midwest, and there’s a few in Utah for some reason, and that’s about it, which is a shame because I gone back (a few times now) and I’m telling you — if I had to pick one, even over Popeyes, it would be Zaxby’s. They have it all, and they are taking the Chicken Wars VERY serious (their staff uniforms are camouflage. I am not making this up). Their sauce is the boss — their bun is great. It’s big and very crunchy, and all these restaurants were lined up beside each other so I could choose any one, including Popeye’s, I would still go to Zaxbys — double and triple re-confirmed as the winner.

KFC

This one moved down a notch swapping spots with Burger King (who moved up). Their chicken is top notch — the bun is great — the pickle sublime — it’s big and crunchy, but their sauce is (as I mentioned earlier) kinda boring. Still, a great choice (even with the boring mayo-like sauce, because their chicken and bun are top notch, and size and crunchiness are on point). If they offered a different sauce choice, I think they could win it all. Plus, KFC’s sales of these new chicken sandwiches are reportedly up big-time, so people are super digging them!

So, that’s a quick update. I get lots of emails and comments (and people telling me, “You need to try that particular one again…” so I made another pass, and there was only one change — Burger King is on the rise, which is not easy for this Non-Burger King fan to say, but they have a great sandwich and there’s a Burger King fairly close to my house, which is not a great thing because it’s a tad too-convenient.

Wendys

This is only sandwich I did not re-try. I had tried two already — I bought a 2nd one because I thought there must have been a mistake with the order on the first one and they gave me their old chicken sandwich. When I bought the 2nd one, I kid you not — I took two bites and threw it away. It’s awful. I don’t know what in the heck you have to do to a chicken sandwich to make it awful, but Wendys (whom I otherwise love), somehow found a way. Yeeech!

Here’s two music videos of the same great song

Kalebra and I love Bruno Mars — his music, his dancing, his lyrics, and his joy while he’s performing. He’s just incredibly talented (I surprised Kalebra a few years back with a birthday trip to Vegas to see him perform live, and he was just fantastic!) Well, he teamed up with Anderson Paak to create the group “Silk Sonic” and their single (which has been out a few months now), called “Leave the door open” is just awesome! It’s like an old 1970s Chi-Lites song (Have you seen her?) or the Spinner’s “Could it be I’m falling in love” or the Manhattan’s songs (like, Let’s just Kiss and Say Goodbye), kind of in that genre but with today’s recording technology.

Beside and musicianship and incredible vocals, but lyrics are kind of hilarious (in a good way), as is their performance (it doesn’t come off as silly, it’s cute) and their personalities really come through in both videos.

First, here’s the official music video (note: it already has 176-million views!).

But after you watch that, watch this performance from the recent Grammy Award’s show where they totally nail the Temptations style choreography and overall 1970s TV show performance vibe, look and feel. You’ll dig it (and you get to hear a really great song again).

There’s only 11 copies left in stock of my book, “It’s a Jesus Thing”

I wrote a book about Jesus a while back (video above), and Amazon does have the print version in stock, but there are only 11-copies left in stock, so if you know someone who might get a lot from a book like this (a book for “Wanna-believers”), or you think you might want a copy for yourself, here’s the link (of course, you can always get a Kindle version since they are always in stock). If you watch the video above, one of the bonuses is you get to see what I look like with more hair and an Ibanez guitar t-shirt that somehow I lost, and now I’m kinda wondering what happened to it, and now that’s opened a whole can of worms and I won’t be able to sleep tonight wondering what happened to that shirt.

Have a really great weekend, everybody! Here’s wishing you good heath and happiness (and some great tunes to take you into the weekend). :)

-Scott

Photowalks & Exercising Photo Skills w/ Jefferson Graham | The Grid Ep. 469

This week, Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined on The Grid by photowalk expert and former USA Today tech columnist Jefferson Graham to talk about photowalks and putting those photography skills to work to keep them in shape!

New KelbyOne Course: Travel Photography: A Photographer’s Guide to LA with Jefferson Graham

Learn how to photograph LA like a pro! Join Jefferson Graham as he takes you on a tour of the most iconic spots in and around Los Angeles to photograph. You’ll find out how to get to the best spots for epic travel and street photography, where to shoot the Hollywood sign, where to go downtown, insights to photographing the most iconic buildings and landmarks, and even a look at surf photography. There’s no shortage of subjects and locations, and Jefferson helps you avoid the most common mistakes and leaves you brimming with ideas for your next trip to the city that launched the movie industry.

Hey there, I’m Meika, a content marketer by day and a photographer by night (and during any other time that I can free up). I specialize in portraits, food, and lifestyle photography. I’m a lover of studio settings, but I found my visual voice while exploring the concrete jungle that is downtown Philadelphia. There’s so much sauce there.


The Ingredients 

I started this photography journey by capturing landscapes. Finding interesting buildings that stood out to me because of their composition or their color. I also found beauty in odd shadows, shapes and combinations of natural and manmade objects. I told myself that there was beauty in everything. Some people who saw my work agreed, others scratched their heads.

Looking back, I think starting there was important. Vital, really. Starting from ground zero, not knowing anything about photography or why I thought certain things were breathtaking, was and is a gift. I didn’t know anything about the rule of thirds, s-curves or composition. Now that I’ve been taking my photography more seriously, studying terminology and conducting my own research, I’ve come to realize all of that beauty I was seeing was what people like to call “My Eye.”

“Girl you’ve got an eye!”
“Wow, there’s no way I would have stopped to take that picture, you make it look so beautiful.”

You know, that stuff.

Did you know that having “the eye” can be taught? The fundamentals, the maneuvering, the structure of an image, the composition, it can all be taught. Brilliant artists have been writing about it for ages. One thing they may not teach you in some of those books is the sauce.


What’s The Sauce, You Ask?

It’s the vibe, the funk, the freshness, the dopeness, the sway, the love, the heart of an image. The reason you stop dead in your tracks to glare for a second longer. It’s the tilt in your head and the squint in your brow. You can’t find that in those books.

I know when I’ve got the sauce when everything aligns both in front of the lens and behind the lens. When the sun is kissing my subjects’ forehead with such grace, and the lines from the architecture behind them sit so nice that it makes me pull back from my viewfinder and scream “THIS RIGHT HERE!”

When the shadows feel right, when the wind picks up a piece of hair and carries it across the subjects’ face, when the posing isn’t forced or directed, when the eyes of my subject aren’t calculating anything, but instead, just existing. That’s when I know.


Subjective Sauciness 

Remember that saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Well, think about that in relation to photography. Having the sauce isn’t a scientific measurement or statistical calculation, (remember art is subjective). It’s a feeling. When pairing down my images with clients, I’ll express my love for images that sometimes they dismiss. What you find saucy, others may consider bland and vice versa. What I found that works for me is creating a set of images for my clients, and sometimes selecting a separate set of images I can display on my website. 


Making Your Own Sauce

The best way to make your own sauce is to get out and shoot until you start hearing yourself say “THIS RIGHT HERE” when looking at your RAWs. Take to social media to find your favorite artists and figure out what makes them your favorite. Sit with that. Take those thoughts as inspiration and develop your own sauce. You can grab your angle inspiration from one place, your color theory inspiration from another, and your posing inspiration from a third and combine them all to make your individual magic. The sauce.


You can see more of Meika’s work at MeikaEjiasi.com, and keep up with her on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Hi all! #TravelTuesday is here again, and the return of travel is looking more and more promising with each passing day. I can’t wait to hit the road again and dedicate more time to travel photography, entailing more travel for myself, but for now, it’s all about planning and preparation (which is a very important aspect of travel photography). I’m Dave Williams, and this week for ScottKelby.com, I want to share some pro tips to up-and-coming photographers in all fields. Let’s do this!

Number one on the list – megapixels

The whole thing about megapixels is actually a bit of a non-issue. It’s something that has continued from the inception of digital photography where there was a megapixel race involving far fewer digits than we’re used to now. That megapixel race led the consumer to choose a camera based on the number of megapixels it shot as one of the primary criteria. We’re now seeing cameras on the market that feature a megapixel capability far in excess of what we need as consumers and only actually useful if we’re producing billboard-sized masterpieces, so please don’t base your decisions on megapixels when choosing a camera.

It’s actually about the glass

Now that megapixels are out of the way, let’s talk about what you should be investing in: – glass! Our hardware is something we tend to collect as photographers. We’re all fairly hooked on our kit list, our gear, whatever else you want to label it – we’re hooked on “stuff.” When we choose our primary setup, it’s far more important to consider glass than it is the camera itself. So long as we have a reasonable, functioning camera, we can turn out a decent photo with a careful investment in a good, fast lens. Our lens makes so much more of a difference than our camera does in terms of creativity, from the size and shape of the bokeh produced, through to the capacity to let more light in and knock a background out of focus to focus attention on the subject of our images. To this end, and to reiterate, it’s more about the glass than it is the camera.

Also, tripods

A good, solid tripod is worth an investment, too. Think about it: We balance all our expensive gear on top of a tripod. That tripod needs to be rated to carry that weight, robust enough to keep it there, and rated enough that nothing will go wrong. A good tripod or a Platypod is well worth the investment for the sake of keeping our camera and lens safe when we’re taking rock-steady shots.

And, straps

Straps are exactly the same, but different. Rather than balancing our gear on top, like a tripod, it hangs down from our strap, and as such, the strap needs to be up to the task. Using a low-quality strap is a risk that’s just not worth taking. When our gear is on that strap it needs to stay there, safe from falling off.

Essentially, when it comes to gear, it’s worth some research and some wise investment. It isn’t the gear that takes the photo, it’s the photographer. The gear is what makes it easier at times and, therefore, is worth that extra bit of consideration.

Much love

Dave

Well, on Friday I talked about how I had to upgrade my Canon EOS R mirrorless’ firmware (which is an upgrade to the software inside your hardware to fix problems mostly, but also sometimes to add new features). Today, we’re looking at how to do that (in this case, for Canon cameras, but most cameras use a similar method to what I’m going to show you).

STEP ONE: Pop a memory card into your camera and Format that card. Remember, this is going to erase any images you have on that card, so make sure whatever you had on that card is backed up somewhere. Once it’s formatted, go ahead and pop that memory card out of your camera.

STEP TWO: Go to the Website of the company that makes the piece of equipment you’re updating (In my case, it was Canon), and download the free firmware update right on to your computer. In this case, Canon even has a big red “Firmware Update Now Available” badge right there next to a picture of the camera, so they must really want you to update it, right? Click the gray “Drivers & Downloads” to download the firmware to your computer.

STEP THREE: Connect a memory card reader to your computer, and pop that memory card you just formatted (back in step one), into the reader so it mounts on your desktop. Now take the firmware file your downloaded to your computer (see above left), and drag it onto the memory card. Don’t put it inside a folder on your memory card. Don’t drag the whole folder over there, either. Just take that one file (in this case, the file with .FIR as it’s file extension) and drag JUST THAT ONE FILE over onto your memory card. It should be right on the root level, so don’t drag it inside anything — just leave it out there on its own. I’m over-explaining this because this is the step where people seem to mess up. “Should I drag it inside that folder?” No! Just leave it right there at the root level.

STEP FOUR: Now that your firmware update file is on the memory card, go ahead and eject it from your card reader, and pop it back in your camera again. Go to the Settings menu and find the Firmware menu (shown here, where it’s under that “wrench” menu (for lack of a better term); in the 6th set of menus (seen above).

STEP FIVE: The last step is to click on the Firmware menu and that takes you to another screen asking if you want to update the firmware, and then finally it shows you the firmware it sees on your memory card (as shown above). Choose your new firmware update from the menu; click the OK button, and in just a minute or two your firmware update will be complete. That’s it. :)

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Coming Next Month…The “Outdoor Photography Conference”

We’re less than a month away from our two-day, two track, online event for outdoor photographers, and we want you to be a part of it.

Scott Kelby: Super cool guy just in general, so there’s that.  
Erin Babnik: Leading Photographic Artist, Specializing in Landscape
Richard Bernabe: Landscape Master, Contributor to National Geographic
Gabriel Biderman: Night Photographer 
Dave Black: Adventure Sports Photographer
Tom Bol: Adventure Sports & Travel photographer
Dalton Hamm: Underwater Photographer 
Karen Hutton: Landscape & Travel Photographer
Jackie Kramer: Natural World & Floral Photographer
Erik Kuna: AstroPhotographer
Elia Locardi: Internationally Acclaimed Professional Travel Photographer
Kristi Odom: Internationally Acclaimed Photographer
Juan Pons: Nature & Wildlife Photographer
Rick Sammon: Canon Explorer of Light & Travel Photography Expert
Deborah Sandidge: Landscape Photographer 
Tyler Stableford: Lifestyle Photographer 
Tracy Sweeney: Family & Underwater Photographer 
Terry White: Adobe’s Worldwide Photography & Photoshop Evangelist

We have an absolutely incredible list of instructors, and it’s going to a very special educational event. Here’s the link for details (if you sign up early, you save a bundle!). Hope you can make it.

Here’s to a great week! A happy, healthy, and creative one at that! :)

-Scott

OK, I’m still dealing with the error problem I’m getting on my new Canon EOS R6, but I think I may have a found a solution, or a culprit, or some way of moving forward (here’s the link for more on this “Err 70” problem I’m having which shuts my camera down during my shoot).

1. Could it be a compatibility issue with my new Tamron lens?

There was a compatibility issue early on with the EOS R6 camera body and certain Tamron lenses (including my new SP 150-600mm G2 lens). So, I contacted Tamron and they checked my lens’ serial number and were able to confirm it already has the firmware update that makes it compatible with the Canon EOS R6, so it’s not that. They did offer to have me send in the lens and they would inspect all the connections and such (no charge), but I don’t think that’s the issue, so unless I hit a road block and that’s the only possible solution, I won’t need to be shipping the lens to them. High-five to Tamron for the awesome customer service either way.

2. What about my Canon EOS R6’s firmware?

This is what I think the most likely culprit is. I checked my new R6’s firmware version and even though I just got the camera recently, it was still on the original 1.0 firmware. It’s now up to firmware version 1.3.1 and I found an article where it mentions the err 70 issue, and that this addresses it. I also heard from a reader who said his err 70 issue went away after he updated his firmware, so yesterday I updated the camera’s firmware to the latest (1.3.1), and I’m hoping it fixes the issue. More on this as I keep shooting with it, but I’m hopeful.

3. Another scary possibility

I also heard from a repair tech who used to work full-time as a Canon tech guy, and he said,

…the error you experience (error 70) is almost always due to a defective main board in the camera. The camera may work on and off but the problem will always return, often the problem correlates to a defective memory buffer or issues within the mainboard related to power (think EOS Rebel 70D). The only way to get rid of it is to send to Canon for service.”

I hope that’s not the case, but at least since he said that, I’m mentally prepared to send the unit back if need be, but I’m hoping my updating the firmware to 1.3.1 will have done the trick. I’ll let you know if it doesn’t.

Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and tried to help me figure this out. There’s not many photographers out there experiencing this issue, so while it’s not widespread, it certainly is frustrating, but I will get it figured out and get back to enjoying the R6. Outside of “Err 70” it is, hands-down, the best camera I’ve ever used by far, and I am super digging it. All the more reason why I want to get it working right. :)

Have a great weekend, everybody! Wishing you good heath and happiness. :)

-Scott

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