Posts By Scott Kelby

I am super excited to be one of the speakers again at the 8th Annual B&H Photo OPTIC conference (called OPTIC 2022 – It’s a conference for outdoor, wildlife, travel photography, and post-processing), and after a couple of years of doing it virtually, this year they are doing a hybrid event where it’s your choice – you can go and be there live in person as it happens at the New Yorker Hotel up in Manhattan, or you can catch the conference virtually, but here’s the best part – all you have to do is RSVP and tell ’em you’re coming (and, of course, choose in person or online) Registration is free. That’s it. You’re in. Boom. Done.

I’m teaching sessions on travel photography, on post processing your travel photos, and I’m co-hosted a dinner cruise (well, that’s for the folks who come in person of course), along with B&H Photo’s on rockstar David Brommer, and I really want you to be there, so RSVP right now at this link.

Besides me (and awesome instructors like Joe McNally, Deb Sandidge, and Matt Kloskowski among many others), plus there’s an Industry Trade Show, Panels, Portfolio Reviews, Webinars, that Sunset Cruise I mentioned earlier, a Print Competition, and OPTIC Signature Photo Walks around the city. All you have to do is RSVP at http://www.bhoptic.com, and you’re in. You should RSVP right now and I’ll see you, one way or the other, up in New York City, June 12-15, 2002 – it’s going to be incredible – I hope you can go. :)

Anyway, as you can tell, I’m super psyched to speaking in front of an in-person audience; I’m delighted B&H Photo asked me back again, and I’m honored to be sharing the stage with so many amazing photographers. I just. Can’t. Wait!

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, everybody, and we’ll catch ya next week. :)

-Scott

Above: that’s me Saturday night singing (I sing lead on a few songs and backup on the rest). Dig my Royal British Airforce insignia t-shirt. I had a cool jacket I was going to wear, but it was out in my car, and it started raining, and old guys don’t do well running in the rain, so…

When I was just 16, I played in my first rock band. The band was named “Phoenix,” and I was the drummer. The singer (James Aparo) and I were the two young guys in the band (we were just high school juniors, while Tim the bass player, Tayloe the keyboard player, and Tony the Lead Guitar player were all Seniors). They were also very accomplished musicians for their age, which meant James and I received a constant flow of disdain commensurate with the fact they had to put up with us two uncool lowly juniors in the band, which I have to imagine was unbearable for them (LOL!). 

Above: that’s Joe (our singer, and really cool guy), me (looking rather serious), Tony our lead guitar player, and Tim the bass player on the far right. Photo by the wonderful (and super gracious for coming out and taking photos), Larry Becker.

Anyway, every five years, we all reunite to play our high school reunion, minus our singer James for the past few – he’s a star in his own right, still playing concerts, and he wrote Faith Hill’s Grammy-winning mega hit “Cry” – his stage name is Angie Aparo. Still, back in school, he was just “James” to us or “hey kid” to the seniors). Well, this Saturday night was our 45th reunion, and we got to play again for the big Saturday night party (it was a huge Senior class from a vast high school).

From L to R: Tayloe Harding on keyboards, “Big Dog,” on percussion, Joe Mathien on vocals, Me, Tony McMahon on lead guitar, Tim Colton on bass, and Dean Erskine on Rhythm guitar and banjo.
Above: I look like I’m angry at my mic, but in reality, I just want those damn kids off my lawn!

It’s “Not My Reunion”

When I tell my wife it’s time again to play this gig; she quickly reminds me that it’s actually NOT my reunion – it’s really the other guys in the band’s reunion. I graduated the following year (remember, I was just a junior), so my wife refers to it, lovingly, mind you, as the “Not My Reunion” gig. However, at this past Saturday night’s reunion, I realized that I am now officially old (that’s me below, on Saturday night between sets, not looking quite as old as I’m about to realize that I am).

Above: The calm before the storm. Taken right after our first set. Hardly sweating at all, because I was mostly napping.

We rehearsed on Friday over at the local college’s music building and then set up for our sound check and the gig on Saturday. It was so great to see these guys again, catch up, and a real treat to play with them (plus, they don’t treat me like a high school junior anymore, which is a big plus). We’re mainly playing the same songs we did back in the day (Doobie Brothers, Bad Company, Chicago, Lynyrd Skynrd, The Eagles, Steely Dan, Santana, ZZ Top, Grand Funk, and even a KISS song). We have a lot of laughs along the way, but we take the gig pretty seriously, and the crowd at the reunion is really great to play for. They dance, they cheer and applaud a bunch, it’s really a fun night (and yes, someone always, always yells from the crowd, “Freebird!”, and yes, we ended the night with it).

Above: Here’s a view of my drum kit before the gig (well, actually it’s my son’s kit – he let me borrow it for the gig). The rug is there in case I need a nap.

It was at this moment when it hit me…

Most of the folks attending this event are around 63 years old (so much older than me. Stop smirking), anyway, between sets, the reunion’s official MC is on the mic making various announcements and giving away some prizes, and then in a moment I’ll never forget, the MC asks the crowd (and I am not making this up):

“If you’ve had hip replacement surgery or any joints surgically replaced, come on up to the stage to be recognized.”

That. Right. There. If I ever needed proof that I am officially old, I am now playing gigs where the MC asks if you’ve had a hip or joint replacement to come up and be recognized, and it’s not even my reunion. Mine is next year. What has happened to me? It all went so fast. Anyway, sure enough, around 30 or 40 people came up to the stage, and he asked that we give them all a big round of applause. Maybe we were applauding that they could make it to the stage. I don’t know, it was all a blur at that point, and all I could think of was this was probably as solid of a sign as I’m going to get that it’s time for me to just be done with it and finally join AARP.

OK, it’s time for a five-year flash back

OK, this is me, same hall, same gig, but five years ago, and look at the massive kit I’m playing – double bass drums, loads of cymbals, two-floor toms, etc. Now look back at the photo from this year: one bass drum, one-floor tom, and a sensible amount of cymbals. Holy crap, I am getting old. Next time, I’ll probably be down to one tom, maybe a snare and a small cymbal. Or just a washboard.

Let’s go back even further

Yup – that’s me with the gloves and the bolo neck tie with strings, back in the late 80s. My wife Kalebra is in the center (we’re married 33 years this year). That Tony Llanes (from my current band on the far left – I still play with this Tony after all these years – if you’ve heard my band at Photoshop World parties, you’ve seen Tony play. On the far right, that’s Scotty, my drummer, and you probably saw him play at Photoshop World, too. Both are super talented musicians, and both are like brothers to me. Finally, that’s Jackie Green in the white jacket. One heck of a bass player and singer.

What the heck – let’s go back even further

That’s the band “Strut” from 1980 (slogan: “Shake your butt to Strut!”). Hey, five points to the photographer back then for using a fog machine. Anyway, we were pretty much a disco/funk band, and that’s me in the red shirt with the white “I’m the keyboard player” tie. Yup, that’s Tony Llanes again on the far left, who hired me to play keyboards in Strut when I was just 20 years old. Behind him (and me) is Dennis Mones (absolutely incredible drummer); to my right, that’s percussionist Nicky Noyes, vocalist Betts Johnston, and bassist Ray Villadonga. Of course, all of them were way better than me, but I learned so much from being in that band – about music, business, and life. Clearly, I learned nothing about how to dress. 

Anyway, thanks for coming on this journey of discovery that I am, now, officially old as a dinosaur. If you’re thinking of posting a comment along the lines of “You’re only as old as you feel,” just know, at that moment, I was feeling pretty darn old (but I still rocked it!). LOL!!! 

Here’s wishing you a “throw down your walker and dance” kinda Monday! :)

-Scott
Certified Old Guy/Aging Rocker

I’m back from teaching my travel photography workshop with Mimo Meidany in wonderful Prague. Incredible city – one of the most photogenic in all of Europe.

I did an Adobe Spark page (well, it’s now called “Creative Cloud Express,” but it has the same features as Spark and it’s still included as part of your Adobe subscription, so really, it’s just a new name).

It’s the story of the trip told in pictures, and captions and I included lots of behind-the-scenes shots (and a few short BTS video clips), and the camera and gear info (and all the camera info is at the bottom of the page).

If you’ve got a minute, I hope you’ll give it a quick look. Here’s the link:

https://express.adobe.com/page/N8T5y8eb1vfwf/

Thanks, everybody, and here’s wishing you an awesome week.

-Scott

P.S. Today kicks off the orientation and pre-conference sessions for our 2-day, 2-track online camera conference (where you learn how to use your camera, your accessories, and all your photography gear). It’s not too late to get your ticket – here’s the link (you get the entire Photography Gear Conference archived to stream on demand for an entire year).

Hey, everybody – I’m back from nine days in Prague, and I’m ready to get back at it (I was leading a travel photography workshop, and it was epic. Epic! What a blast!). Anyway, next week we’re hosting an online conference that’s designed to help you learn your camera, your accessories, and all your photography gear. Check out this short 1-minute video I did about the conference below: 

On Monday, we kick off with a pre-conference workshop, and then the conference runs all day Tuesday and Wednesday with two simultaneous tracks. The entire conference is archived for an entire year for you to stream on demand any time so you can catch any classes you missed, or rewatch any you want to catch again. It’s going to be really awesome, and I want you to be there. 

It’s not too late to sign up for The Photography Gear Conference: here’s the link. 

Now that I’m back, I’ll be back on the Lightroom stuff on Monday, so I hope you’ll stop back by. Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch you at the conference. :) 

-Scott

P.S. I‘m still working on my images from the trip and I’ll be posting a link to my Adobe Spark page next week when it’s posted.

I’ve been shooting a lot of portraits for a project I’ve been working on, and I have to say, I’m just super impressed with how well and consistently it works. I’ve never had more in-focus portraits than I’m getting now.

Every shot is right on the money – sharp, clear, and I don’t have to do the “Focus and recompose” dance like I do (or shall I say, “did”) with my DSLR. Now I just compose my portrait the way I want it, press my shutter button halfway down, and it automatically locks right on my subject’s eye (I can see a little green focus rectangle lock right onto their eye, as seen below, without any input from me whatsoever), and I take the shot.

So, shooting portraits has gotten easier, and I’m getting every photo in focus. I am super digging this!

Here’s how to turn this feature on (well, on a Canon R6 anyway):

STEP ONE: Go to the menu on the back of your camera, tap on AF (Auto Focus), and in section number 1, for AF method (tracking), choose AF and the face icon, like you see above. So now it’s set to recognize faces, but this feature has been in cameras for like 10 years now, so go on to the next step.

STEP TWO: Tap on the next menu item down, ‘Subject to detect’, and from the list (which includes People, Animals, and None), choose People.

STEP THREE: Tap on the next menu item down, “Eye detection,” and choose “Enable” from the menu. Now you’re set – the camera will handle the portrait focusing so you can focus on composition and interacting with your subject.

If you’re not using eye autofocus yet, give it a try this week, and I think you’ll be amazed at the results. When it comes to portraits, this is a game-changer!

This is the type of stuff we’re teaching at next month’s “Photography Gear Conference.” It’s all about getting the most from your camera, lenses, and accessories. It’s not designed to sell you stuff (we’re not selling anything); it’s designed to help you learn all this stuff, so you stop worrying about the settings and the gear and focus on the stuff that really matters. We have tracks for Nikon, Sony, and Canon users. Here’s the link for tickets and more info.

Here’s wishing you a flippin’ fantastic week! :)

-Scott

If you’re looking for a way to take your understanding of photography and how your camera works, this weekend, give this 100% free course a watch. It’s called “Beginner’s Start Here.” It’s not real long, but I worked really hard to make it super useful, and the feedback I’ve gotten on it is fantastic. First, watch the short trailer below:

To watch this course, just sign up for the free level KelbyOne membership (no credit card required), and you want this course in its entirety (along with some other cool free courses from me and the gang).

Here’s the link to watch it for free.

Hope you find that super helpful, and here’s wishing you a kick-butt weekend!

-Scott

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