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!
After the shoot Tracy takes a deep dive into her post processing workflow using Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Sharing her techniques for bringing out the beauty, light, and color in the photos from her sunset shoot will reveal how you can apply that to your own photography. Tracy wraps up the class with a demonstration of how to breathe life and color into photos that were taken in less than ideal natural light.
In Case You Missed It… Family Photography: Sibling Shots
From the importance of managing expectations and planning a session to capturing the final images, Tracy teaches you what she’s learned from years of experience. You’ll even get to watch Tracy work her magic during several on-location shoots. By the end of the class you’ll be on the road to developing an effective workflow that’s guaranteed to give you confidence and wow those family clients.
A few weeks back I was on Instagram and saw that Frank Ockenfels was selling a print of his for $100 and it made my head spin! I love Frank’s work and I also have a continually growing print collection on the walls of my home and studio so I jumped at the chance! That’s when I saw that Frank and many other artists were a part of a campaign created by Tim Tadder called “Art for Assistants” aimed at raising money for photo assistants out of work due to COVID-19.
I think I speak for all the photographers in Nashville when I say our assistants are family and an essential part of our teams. With that in mind, I wanted to find a way to join in and help our crews. After speaking with a few Nashville photographers and then with Tim Tadder, we ended up joining forces and put together AFA- Nashville.
AFA-Nashville is a local branch of “Art For Assistants” out of Nashville,TN featuring 13 of the city’s top image makers.
We will be offering 100 limited edition, 11×14″ prints (per photographer) from thirteen of Nashville’s top photographers. Prints are $100 each, but of course, donations of any size are welcomed.
I’m so thankful for the Nashville photographers that joined in on this effort, and for Tim Tadder for creating this and putting so much effort behind the initiative!
Here is a look at the Nashville images that are currently up for sale.
Eric Ryan Anderson
Questlove: This contact sheet comes from a cover story shot for Brooklyn Magazine. Questlove and our small crew took a stroll through Central Park, just like old friends. Quest was one of the kindest, most engaged subjects I’ve ever worked with. Purchase Print
The Valley of Elah: This is a photo I took of IDF soldiers walking through the Valley of Elah; which, according to the Bible, is where the battle between David and Goliath took place. Purchase Print
Imogen Heap: This image of Imogen Heap was shot in the very beginning of my career in 2006 and has since been an all-time favorite image. It was also the first time I really experimented with a portrait in post-production, using mixed media. Purchase Print
Billy F. Gibbons: Photographed in Nashville, TN a few days after meeting him and the rest of ZZ Top at the Ryman Auditorium. Shot on a Rolleiflex camera on Tri-X 400 film. Purchase Print
Scott Kelby begins with a look at all of the new features added to Lightroom Classic, then moves on to the desktop version of the Lightroom cloud app, before wrapping up the class with a look at what’s new in the Lightroom for mobile app. This is a huge class that will absolutely get you up to speed with everything you need to know about what is new across the entire Lightroom ecosystem.
In Case You Missed It: Mastering Metadata in Lightroom Classic
Learn how to become a master of metadata in Lightroom Classic! Join Terry White as he takes a deep dive into all of the ways you can add, edit, and utilize information about your photographs in your workflow. Metadata is simply information about your photos, and can include information applied during capture by your camera as well as information you add within Lightroom Classic.
In this class Terry teaches you how to create and apply metadata templates, how to manually enter IPTC information, the value of keywording, how name people using facial recognition, how to apply location information, and how to manage that metadata during export. The more information you apply to your photographs the better able you’ll be to organize and find them over time.
It’s 5:30pm on a sunny afternoon in West London in May 2014, and my beloved Northampton Saints are trying win the first piece of major English silverware in their history. They are playing Saracens in the final of the Aviva Premiership. All they need is 3 points to level scores. They will win the match because they have scored more tries in the game than their opposition.
But no, this team wants to win this match outright.
Suddenly after wave, after wave of attacks, the Saints players start to celebrate, pointing at the pile of prone players on the try line. The referee, JP Doyle stops play and goes to the video referee, Geoff Hughes. History is hanging on the word of a man in a truck in a car park, looking at TV replays. Minutes pass and suddenly, all hell breaks loose as JP raises his arm to award the try. And what did I get of that winning moment – the photo below says it all. It’s a sports tog’s life sometimes.
But I really couldn’t complain too much because I had already won my moments several times over that season. Two weeks earlier at Saints’ home ground, Franklin’s Gardens, what is regarded by many as the greatest club match in history had happened. The biggest rivalry in the English game had produced a classic. And I managed to be in just the right spot to capture Tom Wood, scoring the winning try in the dying seconds of the game. And then a week later, Saints won a European trophy when they beat Bath Rugby in the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Before I get too far into my story I want to say thank you to Scott. I have read Scott’s work for years, and, last year, I had a chance to meet him. I had a great time and learned so much in Paris on one of his courses (with the fabulous Mimo Meidany). Scott also came up to my neck of the woods to shoot the Ship of the Fens (our local name for Ely Cathedral) which was just a blast. Thanks Scott – I’m still learning!
Rugby union is not a big sport in comparison to soccer. It doesn’t pull the crowds of an NFL game or even a college football game (although over 80,000 people witnessed Saints lift the Premiership trophy that lovely day in May 2014). Franklin’s Gardens has been the home of the Saints almost since the club was founded in 1880 – it holds just over 15,000 people. But when full, the 15,000 can make a fantastic noise.