Posts By Brad Moore

Portrait Photography: Mastering Hard Light with Frank Doorhof

Master hard light in the studio! Join Frank Doorhof in his studio to learn what you can do with smaller light sources to create dynamic photographs with stunning shadows that are the hallmark of hard light. In this class you’ll learn how to use reflectors, grids, flags, projectors, gobos, and more to light your subjects as creatively as your imagination allows. Frank wraps up the class with some retouching examples to demonstrate his approach to enhancing his photos to finalize his original vision.

In Case You Missed It: How to Shoot Portraits in Any Location with Frank Doorhof

Join Frank Dorhoof on his home turf in The Netherlands to learn how to shoot portraits in any location! Learn how to create amazing looking photographs in your own backyard or wherever your travels take you. Using just a single strobe and one light modifier, Frank takes you through a series of location shoots around his home town of Emmeloord. From open country roads to the banks of a canal to the wall of a building across the street, Frank takes you through each of his lighting set ups, posing techniques, and framing to show how to create photos with drama, emotion, and interest regardless of where you are located. Frank wraps up the class with a series of lessons highlighting aspects of his post processing workflow to create the final looks he was after.

Editor’s Note: Originally published in 2018.

How I Became a Pro

Never in a million years did I think I would become a professional photographer and shoot for brands like Sony Electronics, 1800 Tequila, Pei Wei and Toyota. Being a first-generation immigrant from China, I was always told to play piano or violin, or I would be beaten mercilessly with bamboo reeds. In 1985, my parents left a country where they didn’t have much and moved here with nothing but a dream. Even though they had no formal education, they were entrepreneurs and always believed they would succeed in America. These principals have always stood with me and guided me when I most needed it.

My foray into photography is a story that will make most photographers cringe. When our daughter was born, we wanted professional pictures taken. At the time, I didn’t realize how much photographers charged and thought they were wildly overpriced. So the next day I decided I’d just do it myself, and went out and purchased my first DSLR. The irony of this is, of course, that I entered photography as the epitome of everything a photographer despises – someone who undervalues the art and thinks they can do an equally good job on their own.

Thankfully, my ability and appreciation of photography steadily grew from that point. At first I used it as a stress reliever from the everyday trials of the corporate world until I realized I had a true passion for it. I would head out on my lunch break and after work and just shoot whatever I could find. I worked on my compositions and shot everything from landscapes and cityscapes to portraits and street photography. I just loved learning about photography and would spend countless hours on the internet watching YouTube tutorials and reading forums for tips and tricks.


Ask Your Photography Gear Questions with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 532

If there’s one topic that photographers can discuss until they’re blue in the face, it’s gear! This week on The Grid, Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna take viewer questions about photography gear including tripods, lenses, accessories, and more! Tune in and see if the question you’ve been wondering about is discussed.

New KelbyOne Course: Getting Up To Speed Fast On The New Stuff In Lightroom & Photoshop 2023 with Scott Kelby

Adobe MAX has begun and that means new versions and new features for Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, Camera Raw, and Photoshop. With even more powerful ways to create masks, better retouching tools, and so much more. Join Scott Kelby as he gets you up to speed fast with the key features that are sure to take your workflow to the next level!

Elia, Fujiyoshida, Japan 2013 | Photo Credit: Naomi Locardi

Editor’s Note: With the Travel Photography Conference coming up soon, I wanted to re-share this 2014 post from instructor Elia Locardi! You can get more info about the conference and register at

Each new year brings with it an opportunity to reflect on days gone by and look forward to the promise of the year ahead. If we’re lucky, life leads us in positive new directions we may not have expected and things unfold in ways we could never anticipate.

Since 2009, with a unique blend of inspiration, passion, caffeine and a touch of insomnia, my wife and I have visited more than 40 countries and flown over 1 million air miles. In March of 2012, we surrendered our apartment in central Florida (and most of our possessions with it) taking to the road full-time and becoming completely “Location Independent.” Our vision for our life is continually changing and evolving as our experiences, and the people we meet along the way, inspire us to visit new places and seek out new and richer experiences.

Sleeping Giants – Mount Bromo, Indonesia 2013

The Evolution of My Photography Style

Throughout my career in the post production and visual effects industry I always strived to bring something new and fresh to the table, something that would break the standard mold. I had the opportunity to work on many talented creative teams and bring unique visions for client projects to life. While that experience was invaluable, the accumulative stress of working long hours, under harsh deadlines, drove me to the brink. I knew that I wanted my life to go in a new direction – one fueled by passion and inspiration, focusing more on life experience, so I completely reassessed what was important. With a mix of anxiety and anticipation, I left my job as an Art Director and a decade long career in the industry along with it.

In 2009, when I decided that Professional Travel Photography would be my new career path, I knew that to be successful in such a competitive market I would have to attack the task of creating my portfolio with that same drive to create something new and fresh. I would need to find ways to raise the bar and make my photography stand out.

I was driven (my wife might say obsessed) to create a new look by experimenting with different post-processing techniques. With more than a decade of working experience in Adobe Photoshop, and a past rooted so heavily in software based production, I was able to completely reverse engineer my photography by implementing this accumulated technical knowledge.

Going Home – London, England 2010
The Future is Now – Dubai, UAE 2012

In the very beginning my photography was 100% experimental. Primarily composed of my joyous exploration of the world around me, as I’d capture and catalogue subjects that I found most interesting and inspiring. Rapidly, I realized that I wanted to transmit my sincere feelings of awe and wonder to the audience viewing my work. Beyond that, I also wanted to create a “wow factor” a moment of meaningful impact that I could share with the viewer.

Belly of the Beast – Stockholm, Sweden 2011

Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 531

It’s time for another viewer-favorite Blind Photo Critiques episode of The Grid! Tune in as Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna review viewer submitted photos and give their feedback on how they could be improved. Watch and see what tips you can apply to your work!

New KelbyOne Course: The Ultimate Guide to Photographing Kids with Gilmar Smith

Photographing kids can be challenging on many levels. Join Gilmar Smith on set for a series of child-themed photoshoots as she shares her techniques and tricks for making connections and capturing each subject’s personality. Gilmar’s ultimate goal is incorporating a sense of wonder into her photographs to preserve that magical time of childhood. From working one-on-one with kids of various ages to a wild group photo shoot Gilmar walks you through each step of the shoot. At the end of the class Gilmar reviews her favorite photos from each shoot and demonstrates some of her post processing techniques.

Editor’s Note: With the Travel Photography Conference coming up soon, I wanted to re-share this 2020 post from instructor Serge Ramelli! You can get more info about the conference and register at

15 Years Of Retouching and My “Over Retouching” Story

When I started photography 15 years ago, what attracted me to it at first was the post-processing process. I remember seeing some super strong HDR photos that I was in complete admiration of, hoping that one day I would be able to pull that off.

So I started photography using Photomatix and doing lots of HDR. I felt like a kid that was given a toy. And like any kid, I played with the latest toys until I got bored with it

A panorama  of the opera with a bit of illustrative look
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One of my first HDR image of the Eiffel Tower that became an official post card sold at the Eiffel Tower :-)

I loved doing this kind of photography. But there was just one thing that bothered me. The first reaction I was always got was, “Did you use Photoshop?” All  because I used a post processing software. It sort of meant to me that I was not any more a legit photographer, but more like a graphic designer.

At first this did not bother me. But after years and years of getting this reaction, I started getting a little tired of it.

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Another HDR image of La defense, the business area of Paris

In 2010 I went to Photoshop World for the first time in Las Vegas and discovered the work of Peter Lik. I was absolutely in admiration of his photography and the size of the gallery in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. I did some research on him and discovered that he had several galleries on his own. Since then, I visited the one in Soho New York and Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles (which is now closed). I spent hour observing the reactions of the public in the gallery.

What surprised me the most is that the public usually reacted with, “Wow! What a beautiful beach, what a great city,” etc… there was no mention of Photoshop.

It was clear to me that there was some serious post processing done on his photos. But it was good processing. Processing that made the photos very dramatic but with a natural flair.

I then realized that there were several issues in my photos.