Posts By Scott Kelby

Yesterday I got the opportunity to fly up to Atlanta to photograph the Falcon’s incredible new stadium with Michael Benford and the wonderful Falcons photo crew (this was the debut regular season home game for the Falcons in their new stadium, and the Falcon whooped the Packers, so it was quite a night!).

The shot you see above, which shows the light streaming into from the retractable roof in the center of the dome, was actually taken with my iPhone using Portrait mode (thanks for the tip, Kalebra). The lens used in the shot you see on the back of my Canon 5D Mark IV was an 8-15mm fisheye lens at 15mm. Such an amazing stadium – can’t wait to share more with you.

I had truly planned to do a post with all the images and stories using Adobe’s Spark Page (the photo storytelling site/app that is absolutely ideal for this type of thing), and oh yes, there are plenty of stories, but by the time I got out of the stadium and got to Terry White’s house (Terry lives in Atlanta, and was kind enough to let me stay in his awesome guest suite), well…it’s no literally 2:48 am as I write this, and I have a flight back home to Tampa in the morning, and blah, blah, blah, it ain’t happening tonight.

Check back later today ’cause it’s entirely possible (Hey, anything’s possible) I have the Spark Page story up with photos, stories, and other stuff. Lots to share so I hope you’ll check back (and I am hitting the sack).

Hope you all have a rockin’ Monday!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m in Denver on Friday with my Lightroom seminar. If you’re out that way, I hope you’ll come spend the day with me. It’s only $99 for the full day, and it’s 100% money-back guarateed if it doesn’t totally rock (dont’ worry — it will totally rock!). 

I’m happy to announce that we are now accepting entries to have your own solo gallery showing at The Gallery at KelbyOne, in Tampa, Florida. Our last winner, Melanie Kern Favilla is an engineer on the Long Island Railroad. Our first winner, Mark Wegner was an art director. Our next winner could be you. If you’re thinking there’s no way you could win, that’s exactly what Melanie and Mark both said. The only way you don’t have a chance is if you don’t enter.

If you’re thinking there’s no way you could win, that’s exactly what Melanie and Mark both said. The only way you don’t have a chance is if you don’t enter.

Here’s a quick one-minute video with the details:

Here’s how to enter: 

  1. Here’s where you submit a link to your portfolio, or Facebook album, or Flickr page, or online gallery – (we’re looking for a body of work – at least 20 images) Note: this competition is only open to KelbyOne members.
  2. From the submissions, we will choose a single winner. It could be you. If it is, we’ll  fly you and a guest (from anywhere in the world) to the gallery in Tampa, Florida for a solo gallery showcasing your work, where we’ll feature approximately 18 of your images, beautifully printed and displayed by Bay Photo Lab using their amazing Xpozer system.
  3. The evening of the opening, you will welcome the crowd to a wine and cheese reception held in your honor that evening in the gallery where they can see your work, and get a chance to chat with you in person.
  4. Following the reception, we’ll move to our theater for an interview with you about your work, your life, your inspirations, and well…you. It will be streamed live around the world (along with behind-the-scenes images of the opening, and photos of your work).
  5. When it’s all over, you will receive all the prints from the exhibition (courtesy of Bay Photo Lab), and one of your images will be added our permanent collection, so future visitors can get see what your gallery images.

Note: The deadline for submissions is: September 30, 2017, at 11:59 PM EDT.

Have questions?
Here’s the link to an earlier post with a detailed Q&A on how this all works.

Hope we’ll be welcoming you to your own gallery show very soon! Good luck everybody!

One more thing…
We’ll wrap up with some photos from the opening of the gallery earlier this year:

Have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

Above: me traveling light in Italy’s Dolomites – minimum gear packed into a minimum sized rental car. 

Recently I’ve had a flood of emails, texts, Facebook comments, direct messages — you name it — about which is the best lens to use for travel photography and so I thought I’d tackle that here today.

The lenses I’m going to recommend (it’s really just one lens, but you need a variation of it depending on whether you’re using a Full Frame body or Crop Sensor body) I came to fall in love with the hard way — by traveling with WAY too much gear. So much gear that for a few years it tended to kinda ruin either a part of most of the trip due to taking so much unnecessary gear.

My goal is to travel with just one lens that does it all — that covers such an awesome range that:

(a) I don’t have to carry a 2nd lens at all

(b) Which means I don’t have to carry a camera bag with me either (it stays in my hotel room, mostly empty) and I don’t’ have to worry about someone snatching my camera bag because I don’t have one with me.

(c) I can still enjoy my vacation, which is really important.

Today, I’m just covering Full Frame (so this isn’t the longest post in history – Crop Sensor picks next week). 


Nikon Shooters: Get the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G  VR Lens ($946 at B&H Photo). This is a very lightweight, super-sharp, freakin’ awesome lens. Jay Maisel uses it and swears by it. Enough said. It was one of my favorite lenses back when I shot Nikon.

Canon Shooters (like me): Get the Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD Lens for Canon (it’s $599 at B&H Photo. A steal!). Full disclosure – Tamron is one of the sponsors of my weekly show “The Grid” but I had this lens long before then. Other disclosure: It’s not the sharpest lens in the world, but it’s plenty sharp enough, and it only weighs 190z. I take this puppy all over the world, and I love that I never have to change lenses.

NOTE: Why don’t I use the Canon 28-300mm, which is sharp as a tack? It’s because it’s not a compact lens, and really wouldn’t work for travel. It’s heavy as anything (nearly 4lbs), expensive as anything (around $2,400), and it so old it’s a “push/pull” zoom – you don’t rotate the barrel to zoom in/out – you tug it in/out manually. Not for travel. Every time I’m at Canon HQ I whine like a baby to them about not making an updated, lightweight, inexpensive 28-300mm. It’ll happen one day, just not this day. Fingers crossed it’s while I’m still young(ish). 

Sony Shooters: Sony has the Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS Lens (around $900 at B&H), which isn’t as long as I’d like (300mm) but is wider than either the Canon or Tamron by 4mm, and you’d think 4mm doesn’t make that much difference, and at the long end it wouldn’t, but on that wide end it actually does. So, it’s a pretty nice range, and it’s fairly light at just 1-3/4 lbs. Now, if you don’t want to spend that much, and you really want that 300mm on the long end, Tamron makes a version of that 28-300mm lens I mentioned for Canon, in a Sony mount version for $599 at B&H. Worth considering.

Warning! Don’t fall into this trap!
With any one of these lenses, you won’t have to change lenses during the entire trip. If you take even one extra lens, you’ll experience a phenomenon called the “two-lens two step” where you take a shot, take two steps and then you’ll realize you need the other lens, so you switch lenses. Then you take two more steps, “Rats! I need that other lens again…” and this will continue your entire trip. Don’t fall into this trap.

Next up, Crop Sensor picks (but not today — this post is already too long).

Hope you found that helpful.

If you’re anywhere in Irma’s path…
(like we are here in Florida), here’s hoping you stay high and dry. Thanks to everyone who has reached out on social, via email, texts or calls with good thoughts and concern. We so appreciate your good words and prayers. We hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. :)

Hope your weekend is much better than expected. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re looking for something really great to watch this weekend, we just released three killer classes in past few weeks. Take a look at Tracy Sweeney’s “Newborn Photography Master Class” and Viktor Fejes’s “Advanced Photoshop: The Psychology and Science behind Color Grading” and Serge Ramelli’s “Using Photoshop and Lightroom to Create Amazing Cityscapes.” You’ll love what you’ll learn. 

It’s one of the most long-awaiting books of its kind, and we’re so excited it’s finally here (and in bookstores right now), it’s Moose Peterson’s ‘Takeoff: The Alpha to Zulu of Aviation Photography’ — an incredible book designed from cover to cover to help you create amazing photographs of airplanes, on ground or in the air, and tell the amazing stories surrounding them through your pictures.

First, check out the book’s official trailer (below), from Moose himself:

Here’s the book’s description from the back cover (but if you can’t wait any longer, here’s a link to order yours now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or direct from the publisher at Peachpit Press).

Aviation photography is the perfect mix of sleek, beautiful machines, blended with nature’s beautiful skies and fields, along with a fascinating collection of fearless pilots and capable crew, all wrapped in a rich, significant, and crucial part of history. Few genres combine this many elements and invoke this much passion from photographers. This one-of-a kind book from Moose Peterson, one of the world’s most recognized experts in aviation photography, not only teaches you exactly what you need to know to start making beautiful, intriguing photographs of aircraft but inspires you and pushes you creatively and technically every step of the way.

Moose takes you through all the basics for camera gear and settings, showing you what he travels with and the settings he uses to get those tack sharp images. He covers one of the most important aspects of aviation photography—light! And, he gives you a number of examples of how to take the best advantage of that light any time of the day. He shares the critical techniques you’ll need to master to create the illusion of flight, speed, and romance in a still image, including which types of prop blur you’re aiming for (and which types you want to avoid).

You’ll learn how to make the most out of air shows and fly-ins—what to shoot while you’re there, and what you might want to skip or avoid altogether (and why). You’ll learn how to photograph aircraft on the ground, from ground-to-air, and ultimately air-to-air, and how to capture one of the most important elements in aviation photography today: the fascinating pilots and crew—the people!

Moose shares many wonderful stories and adventures along the way, which illustrate how, as photographers, we’re also storytellers, and the importance of bringing out those stories in our aviation photos. Plus, you’ll gain free access to his acclaimed KelbyOne film, Warbirds and the Men Who Flew Them.

With this book, your camera, and your passion, your success in aviation photography will quickly take flight!

The book is in bookstores right now — orders yours from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from the book’s publisher, Peachpit Press.

We’re so proud of the incredible work Moose has done with this book, and how openly and honestly he shared his techniques, his images, and his stories with the readers. We were honored to get to work with him on Takeoff as his publishing partner, and my hearty congrats go to Moose and his wonderful family for creating some really unique in our industry.

Also, a big high-five to my in-house book team — Olympic Gold Medal editor Kim Doty and the world’s best book designer Jessica Maldonado, who knew how special this book would be, and worked so hard to craft a book that will have such an impact on so many photographers. You two are the best!!! Also, a very special thanks to our wonderful publisher Nancy Davis at Peachpit Press for having the vision to get behind this project from the start, and for believing in it from start to finish. Thank you, Nancy, you rock!

Well, you can see we’re very excited about this (this is a big day for us), and we hope you’ll tell your aviation-loving photographer friends about Takeoff! They are going to love it!

It’s a short week this week — let’s make it a great one! :)

Best,
-Scott

Laborday1

Today is Labor Day in the United States, and our offices are closed, so we’re taking today off here at the blog but I’ll be back on here tomorrow.

By the way: I looked up Labor Day in WikiPedia, and here are a few interesting tidbits about this American Holiday:

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties.

The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.

In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and College football seasons (#rolltide!)

Have a great Labor Day everybody, and don’t forget to rest and party! :-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re relaxing this Labor Day, why not click this link; type in the name of your city, and see if there’s a Photo Walk near you that you can join as part of my 10th annual “Worldwide Photo Walk” on Saturday, Oct. 7th :)

Terror in Scott’s Garage!!!
This morning we get back from driving our daughter to school and when I step out of the car in our garage I glance down at my guitar pedal board (I keep a small amp and my pedal board in the garage), and something catches my eye, right above my red Hall of Fame (HOF) Reverb pedal. I think it’s a leaf that blew in so I bend down to pull it out when I realize that it’s not a leaf — it’s a snake. SNAKE!!! (OK, it’s a tiny little baby snake, but I don’t know if I mentioned this, but it’s a SNAKE!!!).

I take a quick pic with my iPhone (shown above); I show Kalebra and she says, “SNAKE!!!” My first thought is to maybe get a broom and coax him/her out of our garage but it’s a SNAKE!!! Kalebra thinks it could be a venomous snake. OK, no way I’m getting near that huge 10-foot venomous lethal SNAKE!!!. Then Kalebra says (upon zooming in on the image on her phone) that she thinks there’s another bigger snake under the pedal board — the mother snake. I’m out. Out, out, out!

I’m calling a Wildlife Removal Service!
It’s called a “wuss tax” — noun. def: the amount of money you pay when you’re too big a wuss to remove a baby snake from your guitar pedal board.

Crisis Averted!
As you can see here, that was clearly a killer snake! Those aren’t my hands by the way — that’s the hands of a highly trained snake wrangler. One that saved my family’s life which was clearly in some kind of major danger from what thankfully turned out to be what the snake wrangler folks called a harmless “Juvenile Black Racer” which to me basically means a “12-foot deadly cobra ready to strike!”  They released the snake outside so it can go terrorize some other poor family. Whew! I’m glad that’s over.

Safely inside my house…a new practice amp
The bigger on, on the left. Just got it (thanks everybody for those Amazon gift cards for my birthday!). It’s the new Boss Katana amp with a 12″ speaker. I’m super digging it (might have to raffle off that Blackstar to raise money for the orphanage). Hey, what’s that orange pedal? A boss distortion pedal. You can never have enough distortion when you play like I do.

A lot of cool stuff going on in this photo
First, up top — that’s my buddy Matt Kloskowski who was my guest on The Grid this week (he was awesome as always — it was six years ago that Matt and I first launched the Grid). More on the Grid in a sec. The Vans shoes I’m holding are a gift from the great folks at Rocky Nook, the publishers of my latest book — it’s called “The Flash Book” (link) which is coming out shortly (we’re wrapping it up next week and off to press it goes), and they took the cover of the book and make a pair of custom Vans shoes with the cover. How cool is that! :)

“Why do so many pro photographers choose Macs over PCs?”
That was the question a photographer asked me this week on Facebook, so we made that the topic of the Grid episode with Matt. The topic was NOT“Why Macs are better than PCs.” We had to keep reminding people of that and repeating the actual topic because non-Mac users kept wanting “Why Macs are better than PCs.” to BE the topic so they could use the same ol’ tired defenses for a question we weren’t even addressing. We didn’t want to do a show like that — we wanted to answer the question that was posed — Why do so many pro photographers choose Macs over PCs?” and that’s what we did — even though some people watching didn’t like the answer. There is a reason, and we covered it in detail. If you missed it, you can watch it below.

 

We got a TON of great feedback from that episode, from people who totally “get it” and even some from people who now actually do. :)

See this shot? I took it with my iPhone
I have to say, its “Portrait Mode” (where it puts the background out of focus) is pretty amazing. I learned how to use it from Kalebra. I know, big surprise. LOL! :)  I took this last week when I was shooting a spiral staircase in San Francisco with my buddy Ted. That orange L-bracket (it lets you switch from shooting horizontal to vertical in five seconds) is the QR-11 from 3leggedthing and what’s remarkable about it (besides the color — but it also comes in gray) is that it doesn’t cost $200. It’s $49 (mind-blown!). Here’s the link with details.

This gets my vote for cool t-shirt of the year!
I love this guy! He’s showing off his KelbyOne swag (he came to one of my West Coast seminars last week). If you’re a KelbyOne member, here’s where you can get KelbyOne t-shirt swag and other cool K1 stuff.

There’s some serious Photoshop learnin’ in there!
The new issue of Photoshop User magazine is here, and I have to say, the magazine just keeps getting better and better. I want to take credit for it, but I can’t — it’s the writers and some absolutely kick-butt tutorials, and the new clean layout (Yay Jessica!), the KelbyOne Mags app (free on iOS or Android), and what Chris Main, the Managing Editor has been doing with the magazine. They are crushing it (and I couldn’t be prouder of our team). Check it out in the app or on the member’s site — there’s some serious Photoshop learning in there!

OK, I gotta run!
Here’s wishing you a great Labor Day Weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday (Monday is a national holiday here in the US, and our offices are closed for the holiday).

Best,

-Scott

 

 

 

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