Posts By Scott Kelby

Start your week off right by doing something really important. Go Back Up Your Photos, right now.

I get an email or Facebook message on a regular basis with another heartbreaking story from a photographer who didn’t have a back-up of their photos, and they lost every photo they had taken in the last few years, including photos of their family — everything — gone forever.

Stop whatever you’re doing and right this very minute, and take a few minutes to protect the visual history of your life, and back up your images. Just drag them from your computer onto an external hard drive. It takes so much less effort than you’d think.

If you don’t have one: here’s a link to one of the portable drives I use —  it’s a WD 4-terabyte portable USB 3.0 drive for just $89 at B&H Photo. $89! That is incredibly inexpensive, (and it works like a champ).

My Backup and Lightroom Organization Strategy

If you’re a KelbyOne Pro, I have an entire course on backing up and organizing your images on your back-up drive and then in Lightroom. It’s called my 2019 “Simplified Lightroom Image Management System” (or SLIM System for short) and folks have told me so many times how helpful it has been to them and you might find it helpful, too — here’s the link.

Anyway, this is just your friendly reminder that this is, officially, “Back Up Your Photos Monday.” :)

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Houston & LA – I’m Headed Your Way!

The next stops for my full-day “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” seminar are Houston on Monday, March 23, and then Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 25th. Hope you can come out and join me for the day. Tickets and info right here.

Have a good one!

Scott

I want one!

I don’t even know all the specs yet, but between the features that Canon has announced, and the ones that reliable sources have leaked, I’m thinking it’s time for a new body! (Note: Don’t tell my wife. This is just between us. It’s a secret. Etc.).

Now, I don’t know what it costs (if Canon said how much they’re charging, I missed it), so there’s still a big question mark out there, but I’m hoping it’s priced right (so, basically not in the 1Dx III price range).

You had me at two card slots!

Not really (gotcha!). Seriously not a big deal to me whatsoever (I thought all the hand-wringing about the EOS R not having two slots was really overblown), so if it has two slots. great. I’ll probably leave one empty, and I don’t even know what type of cards it supports yet anyway). And the 8K video? I don’t shoot video, so it doesn’t help me one way or the other, but it seems a lot of people are really psyched about that.

What I do like is the very fast frames-per-second rate; the higher megapixels; the good possibility of a sensor with improved dynamic range, the IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization), and there are still more features yet to be announced. OK, I’m in. Ya know, in theory — still doesn’t know what it costs.

Shout to out San Diego and Phoenix

Great turnouts in both cities (thank you guys), with almost 550 photographers coming out for the two days. I met a ton of great folks; really had a lot of fun, had a great dinner with a buddy in San Diego’s Little Italy section, and got to see some more friends in Phoenix. Thanks to everybody that came out spend the day with me. Next stops: Houston then Los Angeles next month. I am having so much fun on this tour — I can’t wait!

Well, that’s it from here in the Delta Sky Club at Phoenix Airport’s Terminal #3. Got a red-eye home tonight at 11:25 am. Zzzzzzzz!

Have a happy Valentine’s Day (don’t forget your sweetie), and a great weekend. :)

-Scott

Last week I did a tutorial over at my Lightroom blog (LightroomKillerTips.com) and it was on how to create a 6-up layout in the print module (six tall images on one page). In that tutorial I showed how to use the Identify Plate so you can add text below your image. Even as I was writing the tutorial, I couldn’t help but think, “This is just a mess.”

It was Adobe that first brought professional type to computing — it’s in their DNA — heck a ton of our fonts have Adobe in the title, but when it came to Lightroom, it’s like Adobe got amnesia. Lightroom has the most limited type features of any program you have today on your computer. Any of them. Even Apple’s free TextEdit app runs rings about Lightroom’s type features…with one exception and that’s what this post is about.

Take a look at the Type panel from Lightroom Classic’s Book module (below):

Tracking, Leading, Kerning, Baseline Shift…actual real type controls and even text style presets. Real type controls, and this is already in Lightroom Classic inside the Book module.

Dear Adobe: Please copy this panel over to the Print Module and the Slideshow module.

You’ve already created it. It’s got a UI. It’s already a panel inside of Lightroom. It’s already there, just one module over. Please make type in Lightroom at least decent.

I know this might not be on the top of your Lightroom wish list, but this is already there. It’s not like we’re asking for a new feature — just take one that’s already there and copy it to where it will do more good. It’s low-hanging fruit. Pick it!

Thanks for listening. :)

-Scott

P.S. I’m off to San Diego tomorrow for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” seminar on Wed, and then in Phoenix on Thursday. Nearly 500 photographers are coming out – if you’re not signed up, it’s not too late. Here’s the link for tickets and more info.

That was our topic Wednesday on “The Grid” in response to a Petapixel.com article titled: “Adobe, This is Why Photographers Are Hating On You.”

I’ve embedded the episode (below); Not a lot of visuals, so you can just let it play in the background if you like. The feedback on this episode has been great, and we covered a lot of interesting angles and viewpoints. Hope you’ll give it a listen. :)

Here’s wishing you a great ‘no hater’s allowed’ weekend. :)

I look forward to seeing a whole bunch of you next week in San Diego on Wednesday and Phoenix on Thursday for my full-day seminar (not too late to come out and spend the day with me if you want. Tickets and info here.

Cheers,

-Scott 

For the past couple of years, Adobe’s own Benjamin Warde had been creating a wonderful series of short, to-the-point Lightroom how-to videos called “Lightroom Coffee Break” (they were about a minute long each), and every Tuesday I shared his latest video over at my daily Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com. When Benjamin wrapped up his series last June, I wanted to pick up where he left off, and so every Tuesday I’ve been publishing my own free, super-quick tip video tutorial series called “Lightroom in 60-Seconds.”

Here’s a couple (below) so you can see what they’re like:

I release a new installment every Tuesday at LightroomKillerTips.com but you can also just subscribe to my YouTube page since I post them all there as well. I’ve got a new one coming out tomorrow on Lightroom Speed Editing – I think you’ll dig it.

Anyway, I hope you’ll catch them at one place or the other. I have a lot of fun creating them, and people seem to like ’em. Hope you will, too!

I caught a fish and it was THIS big!

Feb 12th I’m in San Diego, and the 13th in Phoenix with my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course”

Come on out and spend the day with me. Tickets and details here.

Let’s make it a really great week, everybody!

-Scott

In the last chapter of all my “Digital Photography Books” (Parts 1 through 5), I do a thing I call “Photo Recipes” where I show a photo and then discuss how to take a similar shot (what lighting equipment was used, camera gear and settings and on). 

Today, in that vein, I’m doing a “Lighting Recipe.” When it comes to lighting, I’m one of those “less is more” guys, and my lighting set-ups tend to be mostly just one light, but someone two lights, and occasionally three. However, in this case, we’re actually going to use five lights—but don’t freak out—it’s really a three-light shoot because the other two lights are just “dumb lights” aiming at the background of white seamless paper to make it really white, so you can’t really count those, right? So think of it as a three-light shoot, using five lights. ;-)

Figure 1: Here’s our image (above). This edgy lighting look is usually used seen with your subject on a dark background, but you’re seeing it more and more on white seamless, so that’s what we’re setting up here. The key to this look is the strong highlights along both sides of our subject. 

The Front Light:

Notice I didn’t call this the “Main Light” because in this instance it’s the two backlights that are the Main Lights—the front light, which in our case is a strobe with a 17″ Beauty Dish, attached (it makes the light a bit more contrasty than a softbox) is just providing fill in the front, so we keep the power for this front strobe down as low as it will go.

You can see the egg crate grid on the strip bank on the other side of her.

Figure 2: You can see from this angle that the Beauty Dish (#1) in front is positioned directly in front of our subject and tilted down at her at a 45° angle, and it’s very close to her as well, which is another reason why you keep the power of the front light almost all the day down as low as it will go.

The Main Lights

The two Main Lights are actually in the rear (they’re marked as #2 below), and they’re doing most of the work for this look. The softboxes are two of my workhorse softboxes—-they’re 1’x3′ strip banks. Both strip banks have egg crate grids in front of them (more on these grids in a moment). You position these two strip banks behind your subject, on either side, up a bit high and tilted back down — aiming at your subject at around a 45° angle. 

The key to making this work:

The secret to nailing this look is to build this set-up one light at a time, starting with the strip banks and turn every other light OFF! Just turn on one (either the left or the right—doesn’t matter) and do a test shot so you can see the aiming of the light. You want it to light the sides of your subject without really spilling too much onto their face. It should be a rim light like the sun would backlight your subject. You’ll need to crank up the power on these since they’re your main lights, so I have them at three-times the power of the front beauty dish (so it’s a 3-1 power ratio).

Once you get one side in place, turn on the other side—-use the same power settings, and align the height and aim so both sides look pretty much the same (as seen in our example shown below). Once you get that all set, now you can turn on the front Beauty Dish (remember to keep its power all the way down). It will act to fill in front of her face so it’s not as dark as you see in the image above. 

This is just the two backlights on — the background lights are off and so is the beauty dish in front. These two lights as actually the main lights for this look.

The Egg Crate Grids

The beam of light that comes out of a tall-thin strip bank is already more narrow than what you’d get out of a large square softbox, but to make that beam even more focused and tighter I use two Egg Crate Grids.

Camera Settings

This image was taken using a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, at a focal length of 135mm. My ISO was 200. I shoot in the studio in Manual mode, so I can set the shutter speed at 1/125 of a second and forget it. My f/stop was f/11 (pretty typical for me in the studio), which is an ideal f/stop for situations where you want absolutely everything in focus in a portrait. I focused on the eye closest to me; held the shutter button down halfway to lock focus, and then I recomposed the image (with it still held halfway down) and took the shot. 

The Background

It’s an inexpensive roll of white seamless paper. 9 foot in width, it only costs around $56 at B&H (link). 

Lighting The Background

It’s just two more of the same strobes, but with no softbox attached—just metal reflector to push a lot of light back there. They’re on either side of the paper (they’re seen above marked as #3) —positioned down low and aiming up at the background. 

Where to position the subject

I generally position my subject 8 to 10 feet from my background so the front lights don’t affect the background. In this case, since the background is going to be bright white anyway, it wouldn’t have mattered if the light spilled over, but the way the lights are positioned, there wouldn’t be much spillover anyway—-two of the lights are aiming back toward the camera, and one is aiming down at the floor, but as a general rule I keep the subject 10 feet from the background for spillover concerns. 

Here’s a final version – I desaturated the image a bit so her skin didn’t look too warm, and it has a more modern look to it. I simply lowered the Vibrance amount in Lightroom.

There ya have it. Hope you found that helpful. :)

Come catch my seminar – coming next to these cities:

Those are my next stops for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Couse” — San Diego and Phoenix in just a couple of weeks, and then LA and Houston in March. Come out and spend the day with me — you will learn a lot (well, that’s what photographers who have come out have told me). Details and tickets here (just $99, includes a detailed workbook and some other goodies). :)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

-Scott

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