Open Q&A w/Erik Kuna, Christina Sauer & Jason Stevens | The Grid Ep. 522
Join Erik Kuna, Christina Sauer, and Jason Stevens of KelbyOne as they answer viewer questions and share stories from past productions on this week’s episode of The Grid!
New KelbyOne Course – Travel Photography: Photographer’s Guide to Prague with Scott Kelby
Take a photographic tour of one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe! Join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as they walk you through all of the locations a travel photographer would want to visit in the photogenic city of Prague. Scott shares his recommendations for the gear to bring, how to plan ahead for the photo locations you’ll want to include, and then gives you the inside scoop for how to create the best photographs of each of these iconic locations. Scott even prepared a PDF of all his top locations you can download and take with you!
Editor’s Note: This post originally ran in 2011, but the wisdom Dave shares is still applicable today! Be sure to catch Dave and many other great instructors at this year’s Photoshop World Conference, happening August 30 – September 1.
A Game Plan for Improvement
Hi, and welcome to Scott’s blog. Let me first say what a privilege it is to be asked to write an article this week. Well, as many of you know, Scott and I share a common passion and subject interest, sports photography. So it seemed natural for me to write about a sports related topic.
I’ve been on the road a lot lately and Friday was a rare afternoon at home. As I sat down to write this article I had the TV tuned to the Golf Channel’s coverage of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational. I happened to catch the interview with Tiger recapping his poor 2nd round performance. A reporter asked him if he was going to “set a lower goal seeing that he was coming back from an injury and all that has happened.” Tiger instantly answered, “No. Never have. Why show up at a tournament if you’re not there to win.”
You think Tiger has a game plan for a few more green jackets? Ya think? I have always walked into each photographic project with a game plan for improvement. It is this mindset that fuels my passion for whatever I am photographing. Passion can only motivate a person so far before improvement and encouragement is needed to continue on. During my 30 plus years of photographing Professional and Olympic sports I have applied several guidelines that have helped me improve my image making at each event I covered. Let me add that these guidelines can apply to any photographer no matter what subject they shoot. So even if you photograph weddings, portraits, wild life, landscapes or whatever, grab your seat in the front row, buy a hotdog, and enjoy the play-by-play.
Know Your Subject
I began my sports photography career as the team photographer for the men’s and women’s USA Gymnastics teams in 1980. I grew up in the sport and competed at both the High School and NCAA College level. I even coached for several years before stepping into the photography position for the US team. I knew only what I had learned in a single semester B&W photography class in college, but I knew everything about gymnastics. This in-depth knowledge of my subject, gymnastics, gave me a distinct advantage over even the best photographers in the sports magazine industry. I knew the athletes, their routines, their new skills, and all the best angles to capture the action from. It was as if I had seen a video of the competition the day before. I always seemed to be more than 1 step ahead of the photographers from Sports Illustrated, Time, and Newsweek.
So, when Mary Lou Retton landed this vault scoring a perfect 10.0 and won the Olympic gold medal she became the biggest story of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. The sport became very popular and I then became the go-to guy for Gymnastics images. This led to other major sports event coverage both Professional and Olympic, and the rest, as they say, is history. Anyone can improve their images just by knowing something about their subject. The great wildlife photographers know the habits and best season to photograph specific animals. A great wedding photographer knows the layout of the church in advance so they can move quickly into position for key moments. And the portrait photographer makes conversation and builds relationship with their subject so as to capture the mood and personality of the individual. If you want your pictures to improve, Know Your Subject, whether it’s an athlete, a bride, a moose, or the environment.
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always – this week writing from the French Alps in the shadow of Mont Blanc.
Today I want to touch on something very important to creating photos that draw in viewers, and that thing is depth. What I’m talking about specifically is layers of depth in our images as a result of incorporating a foreground, middle ground and background.
I visited Menton, France, with a view to creating a photo that’s different to the usual shots of palm trees and blue skies in the beautiful, old town. Moving away from the blue skies was easy, but everything else required a little thought and consideration to my composition.
Here’s what I ended up with: –
In using the rocks to lead in to the scene, creating a distinct foreground and background and using the golden spiral composition leading to the church tower, I was able to create a photo of Menton that stands out from the crowd.
Offering three dimensions to a two dimensional representation of the location we’re shooting is a great way to create images that are different from all the others. Shooting familiar things in a new light is sometimes a challenge but using depth is one of many techniques we can use to overcome the Eiffel Tower Effect – that being the overwhelming amount of photos of popular locations or subjects. Incorporating depth into our images adds another layer to our compositional skills and leaves our viewers more intrigued as they explore our photo, helping us defeat the influencers.
Practice adding depth to your images with foreground and background elements and I promise you’ll notice a difference.
We are back, and I am so excited to be walking in person with a group once again (I’ll be leading a walk in Edinburgh, Scotland – sign-ups will be open for my walk by tonight). :)
However, we need to get all our photo walk leaders on board and cities selected for walks – check out the video below for all the details, planning, etc., and how to lead a walk in your city. (If you’ve led one of our photo walks in the past, check your email for your invite to lead another walk this year in person).
The official walk is only a month away, so let’s get to get work, lock down those cities, and we’ll talk more shortly about the walk itself, prizes, all that stuff, but the big news is – it’s back, and it’s going to be a blast! Hope you can lead a walk near you (here’s the link to apply to be a walk leader).
Have a great Monday, everybody!
P.S.Thanks to the NECCC for putting together such an outstanding photography conference this past weekend and to everyone who came out to one of my classes. I had a fantastic time, made some new friends, got to spend time with some old friends, and had a wonderful experience all the way around. What a very special event they’re created – hope it lives on for many years to come.
There is No Such Thing as “Straight Out of the Camera” w/Scott Kelby & Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 521
Ever see a photo post with #SOOC? That’s Straight Out Of Camera, and some photographers are proud of the fact that their photos aren’t “edited.” But does that really even exist? Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna discuss this topic and share their thoughts on this week’s episode of The Grid!
New KelbyOne Course: Designing a Kick Butt Photo Workstation with Terry White
Choosing lenses can be confusing with so many things to take into consideration… Focal length, maximum aperture, weight, price, prime vs. zoom, etc. I’m going to try and break things down as best I can and hopefully give you a better understanding of all this so you can make a more informed decision on what to purchase.
What Do All Those Numbers Mean? When looking at lenses, you’re going to see lots of different numbers. The first ones are going to be followed by mm. So, 24-70mm or 70-200mm or 16-35mm or whatever. This is the focal length. The smaller the number, the “wider” the lens, so these are called wide angle lenses. The bigger the number, the “longer” the lens, and these are called telephoto lenses once they’re 70mm or more. After these numbers, you’ll see some that start with f/. So, f/2.8, f/4, f/3.5-5.6, etc. This is the maximum f-stop or aperture (the terms are relatively interchangeable). The lower the number, the “faster” the lens, aka glass. The bigger the number, the “slower” the lens/glass. Let’s dig into these two sets of numbers a little deeper…