Posts By Scott Kelby

Last Friday I got a chance to go on location and try out my new Profoto B1x in a fashion shoot on location at the Rialto Theatre in Tampa. Kalebra was the Creative Director for the shoot and she came up with a really fun, intriguing story for us to create (we have such a blast on these shoots). Anyway, our video crew was there and put together this short behind-the-scenes video (below) so you can see what it was like.

After the video, please check out my Adobe Spark with the full story, more BTS images, and finals (link below the video).

The shoot as told on Adobe Spark
If you’ve got a sec, I hope you’ll check out the finals and story over on Adobe Spark Page.

Here’s the link. 

I always do a course on whatever gear I’m using (software or hardware), and in a little, over two weeks I’ll be doing a class on how I use the Profoto B1x’s for location shoots. We’ll start in the studio by going over all the gear, and then we’ll out in the field for the shoot. Can’t wait to share it with you as soon as it’s ready for release.

Here’s wishing you all an awesome, restful, fun, battery-recharging, creative weekend. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Check back here Monday for some really fun news! :)

This is one from “The Vault” here on the blog, but I still get this question fairly often today, so I thought I’d kick this new week off by sharing something I think can help a lot of folks.

To answer this question of “How many keeps do I get from a shoot?” I can tell you straight out — it’s not as many as I’d like, that’s for sure. When I posted some of my favorites from a Bucs/Eagles shoot a good while back on my Facebook page, I got a number of questions along these lines, so I thought I’d cover it here:

Q. So, how many shots did you take at the game?
A. Exactly 1,873

Q. That seems like a lot
A. I know, but I’ve been told I under-shoot by quite a bit. I talked to another shooter at a game a couple of weeks before and he had taken over 4,000 shots that game, and he chuckled that I only had taken around 1,600.

Q. So what ratio would you like to have of keepers to ones you delete?
A. When I go to a game I don’t have any ratio like that in mind whatsoever, but since you’re asking, ideally I’d like it to be around 95% keepers. Unfortunately, in reality, it’s more like 5%. In fact, for this shoot, it was almost exactly 5%. I had around 92 shots that were “contenders” to send to the sports wire I shoot for.

Q. So, how many did you actually send?
A. 46.

Q. So, you cover an entire NFL game and you only get 46 publishable images?
A. Uh huh.

Q. Is it because you’re covering the Bucs and they were 0-5 that season?
A. Yes.

Q. Really?
A. No.

Q. OK, why so few keepers?
A. Well, there are a number of reasons (and this might take a minute), so let’s look at a few:

One reason is that we take LOTS of shots that aren’t publishable because they’re simply not interesting. For example, look at the series of shots I took above. I wanted a clean shot of Eagle’s Quarterback Nick Foles, but once the ball was hiked, two players moved right into my frame, but I stayed on the QB until they moved out of the frame a second later. Out of this series, the first two frames are “unusable.” maybe the 3rd frame would be OK, but I felt the fourth frame looked best (and it’s the one I submitted), but the rest just look awkward or aren’t very compelling (well, at least I didn’t think so). This is a short series — just seven shots — often it’s 10 or 12 and we’re lucky if there’s a good one in there at all, but either way, you’re only “keeping” one from this series at best.

Q. OK, what else?
A. You cover a running back, and you’re dead on with your focus and you’re tracking his every move, but it’s just a “messy scene” — there’s just too many players and you can’t clearly see him or what’s going on (see above). There were 13 shots in this series, and I couldn’t use any of them. This happens quite a bit during a typical game.

Then there’s these (above). Plenty of ’em. Every game. However, this only happens after you’ve been tracking a player who breaks out for a big run and you’re waiting to capture that moment of peak action — of course, the refs sense this and race to get right in your field of view.

Q. Really?
A. No. But it sure feels that way.

Q. OK, I’m with ya. What else?
A. After big plays, you have to stay on the player who made the big play because capturing the “jube” (short for jubilation) is huge. These are some of the most marketable shots (provided the guy’s team actually wins the game, because there’s virtually no market for shots of a guy on the losing team celebrating), so you definitely want to “stay on” the player after the play. In this case, Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper had a big catch and run for a 44-yard gain and so I stayed on him just in case, and sure enough, he was pumped up and made a big gesture (I don’t know what else to call it) and I was right on him to capture it when the play was over (shown above).

Q. So, what’s wrong with that?
A. Nothing, it just took 19 frames to get that one frame — the other 18 frames are worthless. I had to stay with him from the moment he was down, until a while after because you don’t know if other players are coming over to celebrate with him, or a coach on the sidelines, or if there is a penalty and the play gets called back and you get a secondary reaction when he learns that it was all for naught. Either way, that’s 19 frames after the play is over on the chance that you might get a reaction shot. You do this a dozen times or more during a game and a lot of times it yields absolutely nothing (the player doesn’t celebrate, or refs or other players walk into your frame).

Q. I notice you didn’t post any shots of Darrelle Revis’ fumble recovery for a Buc’s touchdown. How come?
A. Oh, I was right on him, from the moment LeSean McCoy coughed up the ball until Revis was celebrating in the end zone — 79 shots in all. Only one problem. It was called back. The runner was down by contact, so while the Bucs did get the turnover, the touchdown was called back, so that part of the play never happened, so those 79 shots of him recovering the fumble, running to the end zone, and celebrating with teammates, are all worthless.  That’s nearly 4% of the shots I took that day all gone in an instant. Darn refs. Silly rules. 

Q. Anything else?
A. Well, I took 110 shots of the team and individual player intros before the game (one sample is shown above).

Q. Did you submit any of those?
A. Not a one. I try a different shooting position for the player-intros each game, and this was just not a particularly interesting one, so I didn’t submit any. Next game, I’ll shoot from an entirely different position, and maybe I’ll get one or two keepers as they jump through the smoke. It’s hard to get a straight on shot of them coming through the smoke because I’d have to be standing in the Visitor’s bench area, and they’re generally not too keen on that, so I have to shoot at a weird angle, and so far I haven’t gotten anything too cool this season.

Q. What is that?!
A. These are my specialty — shots taken by accident, usually as my second camera hits my leg as I’m running down the sideline. I’ve taken so many of these over the years that I considered making a photo book of them and selling it with the proceeds going to the Springs of Hope Orphanage. I am not making this up.

Q. What about out-of-focus shots?
A. I’d like to say I have a few, but I’ve actually got plenty where I didn’t have my focus point on the right spot (as seen above). A lot of time you swing from one player to another (like from the QB to a receiver or tight end) and you just miss it. I’d like to blame it on the camera, but the Auto Focus system on the Canon 1Dx is absolutely insane — it was made for this stuff, but as good as it is, it won’t make up for my mistakes.

Above — that’s a shot of the Buc’s ex-running back Doug Martin, but I don’t stay on Doug at the end of a play after a big run because he never, ever, celebrates. No emotion. No “first down” signal. No trash talking. He just gets up, tosses the ball to the ref, and gets back to the huddle. He’s a nice guy, but after the play, he doesn’t give you any reason to stay with him for the “jube.”

Q. OK, now I’m surprised you actually came away with 92 keepers.
A. It does kind of put things in perspective, but still, it’s not as many as I would like. I’ve had more on certain games, and less on some, but I’d say one hundred or so is about average, and from there I narrow it down to the best. My goal is always to have more to choose from, and more to upload to the sports wire.

Q. How many do you upload at halftime?
A. I always think I’m going to limit it to 8-photos max at halftime, but I usually wind up sending 10 or 12. For that Sunday’s game, I sent 14, which made me miss the start of the 3rd quarter.

Immediately after the game, I upload as many good ones as I have right then, but of course, I haven’t really had a lot of time with them (I tag my images in camera during the game to speed the workflow up — that way the tagged photos show up first when I import them) so once I get home, I go through all the shots again and do a final upload (within 2 hours of the game ending), but most of those will just wind up being archive photos.

Q. So, what do you do with the rest of the photos?
A. I back them up to two different hard drives, just so I have them in case somebody needs an image down the road, and I might upload the rest of my keepers well after the game just for their archives, but outside of that, the rest are just backed up on my drive. You have to fully caption every single photo in detail, which takes quite a while, so it’s not as easy as just uploading a bunch of images — it’s long, tedious work, but it’s got to be done or your shots have zero chance of being seen or used. 

Q. OK, any words to wrap things up?
A. I hope that gives you some insight into how this all breaks down (well, at least for me). Your mileage may vary.  

Hope you all have a great Monday, and make sure you’re here tomorrow for “Travel Tuesday with Dave.”

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m in Washington, DC next month — Friday, August 17th — come on out and spend the day with me learning all the cool stuff in Lightroom.

I got this question last week during one of my seminars — the woman who asked the question was using her memory cards as backup, so she wouldn’t erase a card, ever. But it does bring up an interesting question, and one I’ve had many times before so I thought I’d share how I handle it (this isn’t any type of “official” way to do it — just sharing what I do and why).

  1. My general rule is: I don’t erase a card until I know I have at least two backups of the images on that card. So, when I’m traveling or shooting a game until that card gets backed up, it either sits in my camera or my card wallet.
  2. When I switch cards, and I put the full card in my card wallet, I turn them so the back of the card is facing forward. That way I know the card is full and not to put it in my camera. It also lets me know which ones still needed backing up when I get home.
  3. After I know I have at least two backups when I do erase and format the card, I only do it in-camera — not on the computer (I’ve heard sad stories from people who format their camera cards on their computer after copying the files. Save that Formatting task for your computer).
  4. Memory cards are an expensive way to backup your images — hard drives today are dramatically cheaper, so the advice I had for the woman who asked the original question was — get ’em backed up to hard drives, and/or ideally the cloud, and then get those cards back in your camera.
  5. Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to put your name and contact info on the back of your memory cards in case one does get lost along the way. That’s the only hope you’ll have of ever getting them back.

Hope you found that helpful.

I’m out on location today doing a fashion shoot — can’t wait to share the pics/bts with you — hopefully next week.

Have a great weekend!

-Scott

P.S. I’ll be in Washington DC on Friday, August 17th for my full-day Lightroom seminar. Come on out and spend the day with me learning all the cool new stuff. 

For the past few months, we’ve been quietly testing a new membership tier for aspiring photographers who have wanted to join KelbyOne’s Pro Plan but the $19.95 a month was just a little out of their reach. Well, this new lower-priced tier has been such a hit, that now we’ve made it official and we’re starting to spread the word. Here’s how it works:

This new tier is called the KelbyOne Plus Plan, and this new plan gives users on-demand 24/7 access to stream more than 300 of our most popular online courses on Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography for just $9.99 a month. There are no long-term contracts and subscribers can cancel anytime.

At just $10 a month, that averages around just .40¢ a course annually. That’s a seriously incredible value, especially when you see individual classes being sold out there for $49, $99, even $299 for just one class. Also, this new Plus Plan has a world-class instructor roster, including Peter Hurley, Joe McNally, Lindsay Adler, Moose Peterson, Jeremy Cowart, Joel Grimes, Kristina Sherk, Jay Maisel, Matt Kloskowski, Terry White, Dave Black, and Kaylee Greer, among others (of course, I have a bunch of courses in there, too).

This new plan, at just $10 a month, with no long-term contracts, and the fact you can cancel anytime, it’s going to open the doors to a lot of folks who wanted to join KelbyOne but just weren’t ready for our Pro Plan yet. We’re really excited about where this going, and to be able to welcome so many new members to this level of education. I do hope you’ll check it out.

Here’s the link with more details, and you can sign up right there, too. Hope you do, and we’ll see you in class. :)

Have a great Monday everybody, and we’ll catch you back here tomorrow for Travel Tuesday with Dave.

Best,

-Scott 

Hi, gang and greetings from the Homewood Suites here in Lansing, Michigan (here for my seminar tomorrow). First, a big shout-out to the 250+ photographers who spent the day with me yesterday in Raleigh, North Carolina — we had such a great time. Can’t wait to go back next year with my tour — thanks to all the awesome folks who came out. Incredibly friendly, fun crowd.

OK, I’m tired as heck (it’s 12:46 am here) — been working all day on two big projects, and I’m beat, but I wanted to quickly share with you a few places that I’ve been fortunate enough to visit, and I want to share some stories and photos from there, hoping to inspire you to pack your camera bag and your luggage and get out there and capture the world. Here are some places I think you’d love to visit and photograph:

Iceland
I know, everybody’s going there now. There’s a reason. So much beauty, and so easily accessible by car.
Here’s the link to the story and the images.

Lisbon
Beautiful. Clean. Safe. Inexpensive. Awesome. It will be the next big place to visit. Go before everybody does.
Here’s a link to the story and the images.

Australia and New Zealand
It’s not exactly right around the corner, but it’s so worth the effort to get there. You will love it, and its people.
Here’s the link to the story and the images.

Venice, Italy
There’s just no place like it. A photographer’s paradise, and amazing food to boot!
Here’s the link to the story and images.

Paris, France
It’s Paris! That’s all that needs to be said.
Here’s the link to the story and the images.

Valencia, Spain
There is so much to see here, old and new, classic and ultra-modern.
Here’s the link to the stories and images.

Italy’s Amalfi Coast and the French Riveria
It’s a bit more French Riveria, but they are so close, why not see both?
Here’s the link to the story and images.

Dubai
Never a better time to visit. It’s like jumping into the future.
Here’s the link to the story and images.

London
I could so live there. So much to this vibrant city.
Here’s a link to the story and the images.

Prague & Budapest
A river cruise of a lifetime. To get to see these two great cities…totally loved them both!
Here’s the link to the story and the images.

Rome, Italy
Rome is….well….it’s like the Paris of Italy. So much to see and do (and eat).
Here’s the link to the story and images.

Venice (again?)
Yup. I went twice. Plus, this trip had the Dolomites of Northern Italy. Worth a trip by themselves
Here’s a link to the story and images.

 

Marrakech, Morocco
One of the most fascinating places I’ve been to. I so want to go back.
Here’s a link to the story and images.

 

Lofoten, Norway
It feels like I was just there a couple of weeks ago. Hey…wait! ;-)
Here’s a link to the story and images

OK, now it’s 1:23 AM
I’ve got a seminar tomorrow – I’d better hit the sack.

Thanks for letting me share these wonderful places with you. I sincerely hope you get to see them all, and many more! I wish you great adventures, lots of great photos, and memories that last a lifetime.

Have a great weekend!

-Scott

 

 

 

I’m very excited to announce that a limited number of my prints are now available through Photographic Fine Art Gallery YellowKorner, both in their 75+ galleries around the world (including galleries here in the US in California, New York, Chicago and up in Canada in Toronto, too), and from their online print gallery as well.

The images are part of my “The Great Indoors” series, and you can view them and purchase them online right there.

Thanks to the folks at YellowKorner — I’m delighted to be in their gallery (I wish I had realized they had a gallery in Bergen — I would have stopped by for sure when I was there a couple of weeks ago).

Hope you all have a great week and don’t forget to catch Dave William’s travel photography column here tomorrow. :)

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. On Wednesday I’m in Raleigh and Friday in Lansing. Hope I’ll run into there. 

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