Such a great, practial, and often overlooked tip from KelbyOne instructor Jeff Leimbach. Check it out:
I’m up at Oshkosh
It’s the biggest airshow in the US, and I’ve always wanted to go and well…I’m here (Well, I’m here with my buddy Paul and the crew from the ISAP (International Society of Aviation Photography), and I’m super excited about shooting an airshow (especially one where my R6 doesn’t shut off during the shoot — it better not after I updated the firmware). Anyway, lots to more to share, but it’s just my first day, so haven’t taken any shots yet.
Have a great weekend, everybody. Lots to share next week!
Is It Time to Get Rid of Your Old Gear? with Fredrick Van Johnson | The Grid Ep. 479
Have a bunch of old photo gear that you haven’t used in years? Are you hanging on to it “just in case?” Check out this week’s episode of The Grid, where Erik Kuna is joined by Frederick Van Johnson of TWiP to discuss when to get rid of your old photo gear!
New KelbyOne Course: Copyright and Copyright Registration with Jack Reznicki and Ed Greenberg
Join Jack Reznicki & Edward Greenberg, a photographer and a lawyer, to learn the key facts you need to know about copyright. Copyright can be one of the most confusing aspects of photography, but it is absolutely critical for all photographers to understand. In this class Jack and Ed give you the history of how copyright law came into existence, your rights under copyright law, a step-by-step walk through of how to register your copyright, an examination of fair use, the role of watermarks, and much more! By the end of the class you’ll know exactly what you need to do to protect your own copyright and the steps you can take.
When I started getting into photographing concerts and artists, it wasn’t long after that when everything shut down due to the pandemic. I ended up going to Arkansas and staying with family for a while. I had no idea what life was going look like after coming back to Nashville. Everyone of course was wondering about the unknowns. I just did what I could with in each day.
One morning, I received a DM on Instagram and it was Chandler Moore’s manager. She told me she and Chandler were looking to do an album photoshoot in Nashville and wanted to know if I would be available. Just to give you some background: Chandler is part of the Maverick City Music family based in Atlanta. He’s done many collaborations with talented singer-songwriters within the worship realm. This year he performed on Justin Bieber’s Easter EP ‘Freedom.’
I didn’t know who Chandler was, I had never heard his name. I just quickly said ‘yes!’ Sydne, his manager, shared specific examples of what they had in mind and as I was looking through them, I thought “Okay, we could totally do this in my house.” After they agreed to this idea, I thought to myself “Why on earth did I suggest that we shoot in my home? Okay, I can do this.” I turned my house into a studio space and planned where we could start from room to room just using certain spots as references points based from their ideas. I didn’t have any special equipment setup; I just depended on the natural light and shadows.
On the day of our shoot, they arrived at my place and they of course were cordial and just really down to earth. We talked for a bit and then we went straight to work. In one of their photo examples, the model was sitting where the sunlight came through these window blinds and the shadows from the blinds were cast across the model’s face. I wanted to emulate this setting.
So, we began in one bedroom where I knew the lighting was going to be great for the first few shots and hopped around from one point to the other. I photographed several angles and poses and in between shots I would show Chandler what I was seeing and he was happy. We were going for really mood affects. Thankfully, I felt a steady momentum as we were working. Honestly, it was probably from the 2 1/2 cups of coffee I had prior to meeting them. It was a fun dynamic.
At one point, I had Chandler stand in front of this wall and as I was adjusting my camera settings, he started singing; just being himself and just chilling. It was a great time! I felt comfortable and I didn’t feel awkward or shy posing him.
When we made it into the last room which was my bedroom, I had him sit in a chair and then on my bed and I grabbed some final shots. As we were wrapping things up, I had one last idea come over me. I asked him to relax and place his hands over his face. This had nothing to do with their original vision. I was a little nervous but I just went for it anyway. It was one click and then we were done. I didn’t know what photo Chandler was going to use for his cover. I just remember sending their edits to them and then I moved on.
A few months later, on the album release day, I saw that he ended up using the very last photo I took of him hiding his face in his hands. Of course my heart expanded so big when I saw this.
This shoot will always live with me, because we were total strangers. We were in a pandemic. And we created something in my house. More importantly, this experience reinforced something that we as creatives ultimately encounter and that is to always listen to that quiet nudge in your gut. Yes, obviously keep in mind what the client wants but when the opportunity presents itself, grab a hold of that “aha moment” when it strikes. In my experience it always occurs at the end! The feeling is really indescribable when it happens. Sometimes it’s hard to remember this in our artistry and process, but allowing yourself to push through your own doubt should be embraced. Make some room for your own canvas. Because someone sees the art in you.
It’s #TraveTuesday and today I, Dave Williams, am back! It feels like the world is slowly opening up again and it feels like it’s time to refresh my top travel photography tips. Let’s do it!
Get up early
Sunrise is an amazing time and often has amazing light to boot, but unlike sunset photography, it tends to be far more peaceful. Light is extremely important to us as photographers and in the early morning, the soft, warm light helps us to create some spectacular images. This tip is at the top of the list for a reason – it’s very, very important and sunrise totally beats sunset.
Stay out late
Now, although sunrise is better than sunset, in my opinion, that doesn’t mean we should disregard sunset. Some shots require the angle of light we get at sunset rather than sunrise, and some people just aren’t that good at getting up at the crack of dawn. At sunset in a city, we get better results for blue hour shots than we tend to at sunrise because the city lights are illuminated in the evening, but often they aren’t in the morning.
Planning is massively important. We need to know where we want to be and when we want to be there, so doing the research beforehand on maps, social media, and any other resource we like to use, will help us to no end. If we go with a plan, we’re far more likely to achieve success than if we don’t.
When our planning is done prior to arriving at our destination it helps to continue the planning by scouting where we can. This can be beneficial in working out terrain, light, the number of people at a location, the weather conditions, and all manner of other things. Combing our initial planning with our scouting can fully arm us and give us the potential to produce some amazing travel photos.
The best photographers in the industry never stop learning. It’s not the filters or presets that make the best images, it’s our knowledge as photographers. If we practice as often as possible, so we really get to grips with how our camera works and what it can do, as well as learning techniques and spreading our wings by challenging ourselves with personal projects, we offer ourselves the best chance of success. We can become more skilled and resourceful if we take the time to learn new techniques and skills, particularly if we broaden our horizons and have a go at other genres of photography.
As travel photographers, it’s important that we give consideration to the gear we’re carrying. Most of the time, we are literally carrying our gear on our backs and everything we add to the bag adds to the weight and size we’re carrying. Packing well and making sure every item in our kit bag adds value to our shoot will make us far happier and therefore more likely to turn out some great photos.
Composition is king. Having knowledge of compositional techniques and knowing when and how to apply them will give our images the edge over all the others out in the market, so make sure to think about this when shooting and when planning. It’s often a good idea to shoot the same subject with a variety of different compositional methods to show things in their best light. We’re often likely to choose the second or third technique on our final image, so never be satisfied with just one idea.
I hope these tips are useful to you. Be sure to apply them and take your time when shooting travel photography. Make sure the viewer of your images wants to be there in the scene, and take the time to get it right rather than rushing from one location to the next and risking having a bunch of photos that aren’t useable rather than a handful of great shots. If the clouds or the light aren’t quite right, maybe it’s worth waiting to see what changes. Be patient. Take the time to create better travel images.
We actually launched the book last night with a live “Book Chat” (now kind of a tradition) where I talked about the book, how it works, and revealed the basis of “The System” through a series of tutorials, and I’m embedded the whole book chat below, in case you’ve got a chance to check it out.
These Book Chats are fun and very informal, but there’s a lot of cool Lightroom stuff, too. My publisher literally gave 50% deals on the book (in print or ebook or both), and the deals are good all week (here’s the link).
Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 478
Is that thunder? Is it hoof beats? No, it’s another round of Blind Critiques on The Grid! Join Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna as they dissect viewers’ photos and give their feedback to help them take things to the next level.
New KelbyOne Course – Travel Photography: A Photographers Guide To San Francisco
Join Jefferson Graham for this photographic exploration of San Francisco. Visit iconic locations around the city as Jefferson offers his advice on when and where to set up in order to get the best shots. He also shares some gear recommendations and suggestions on great places to eat.