Posts By Scott Kelby

Hey, it’s Photoshop World week, and to celebrate, today I thought I’d share some shots from a recent bridal shoot I did for a project I’m working on.

The shoot took place at Casa Bella – a beautiful 9,000 sq ft. luxury home/venue for weddings and events in our area. I teamed up with my awesome wife Kalebra who did all the styling and art direction for the shoot (she’s just a blast to be on a shoot with — she brings an energy, and fun to the shoot that’s contagious. Also, seeing how she sees things, and how she works with our subjects is really something to see — she should do a class on it).

Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot (photo by Juan Alfonso) of me taking the image at the top of the page. I’m sitting on an Apple box (see below) so I’m not quite on the floor (maybe 6″ up from it) but I put my camera (a Canon 5D Mark III)  directly on the ground in front of me, tilted up at the bride, using a Canon 14mm super wide-angle lens. You can see I’m pretty close to where the bride is standing, but look how much farther away she looks in the image up top.

Above: These Matthews Apple Boxes come in really handy. This is a half box (just 4″ high), but in a lot of cases, it’s a whole lot better than sitting on the ground. They are sturdy as anything, and you can stack ’em, too! We have them in different sizes, and use them mostly in the studio, either to get a higher angle or a much lower one. 

Two things that super wide angle does:
(1) When you put it on the floor like this, it makes the entire scene have more of an epic sprawling look — even in small spaces like this.

(2) Putting it on the floor like this, makes the floor appear MUCH more reflective than it really is, and you get a shine and reflection that you won’t get standing up, or even shooting on your knees. I can’t tell you exactly why it works like that…but it sure does.

Above: Shooting w inith our bride the same spot— I just stood up, backed way up, and used my 70-200mm f/2.8 zoomed in to 140mm.

Camera Settings:
I’m at 200 ISO at 1/400 of a second at f/2.8. I shot at f/2.8 for two reasons: (1) To get the background behind her a bit soft and out of focus, and because believe it or not, even though she was standing in front of a door with glass panes, the door is inset from the front of the house by quite a bit (there’s a large covered entryway), so the light wasn’t that bright. That’s also why I had to increase my ISO to 200 — there’s not as much light there, at that time of day, then you’d think.

Above: A third look with her in the exact same spot — I just walked closer, and then zoomed into 142mm. 

Lighting
When we first walked in, I asked Kathy (who was assisting me on the shoot), to rig up a flash with a Westcott 26″ Rapid box octa mounted to the end of a monopod, but as it turned out — we were able to just go with natural light the entire 4-hour shoot, and we never used it once. That’s pretty rare, but the lighting throughout was pretty good, even though a few times I had to raise my ISO to 200 or 400 here and there.

Above: More of an editorial look for this shot taken in the bride’s dressing suite, just using the light from the windows. f/2.8 at 1/80 of a second at 200 ISO. Again, not as much light as you’d think, which is why I had a slower shutter speed and higher ISO, even at f/2.8.

I converted the image to black and white in Lightroom CC, and added the duotone effect using Lightroom’s Split Toning panel (shown here).To get the duotone look, I boosting the Saturation amount and moved the Hue slider to a brownish hue in the Shadows only (no adjustments to the Highlights split toning at all). TIP: When you’re setting the Hue and your Saturation amount is low like it is here, it’s sometimes hard to see exactly which hue you’re choosing, so hold the Option Key as you drag it, and it acts as though the Saturation amount is set to 100 which helps a lot.

Above: This is one of my favorites from the shoot, taken in the bridal suite. I switched to the 70-200mm for this one, and I’m at 70mm (I would have liked to have gotten back farther and shoot at 150mm or so, but my back was against the wall, so I couldn’t go back any farther, and didn’t want to switch to a wide angle — I wanted the look that the 70-200mm gives. I’m at f/2.8 at 1/250 of a second shutter at ISO 200).

She’s far enough away from the window that the lighting is very soft and subtle, which I really like.

Above: The “dream-like” quality is provided with a soft glow in post. While you can get a glow effect in Lightroom, it’s not awesome, so I usually use a plug-in. I’ve been using Luminar a lot more lately (a plug-in from Macphun that’s gotten really popular in the past few months), and they have a great built-in glow effect. I also have a bunch of presets that I made (that MacPhun is giving way with a promotion they’re doing), but in this case, I’m not using one of my presets — just the Soft Glow filter.

Above: I loved this hallway, and since our bride had been in ballet, she was cool with doing some dramatic poses. All natural light coming in from a nearby door.

Above: That’s me, sitting on a 1/2 height Apple box again, with the camera directly in front of me, right on the tile floor, with the 14mm lens aiming up. Once again, note the reflection on the floor.

Above: Finally, a shot with lots of light — I let the windows totally blow out again, and I intentionally overexposed the whole image for a bright, airy look. I had to go down to 1/30 of a second shutter speed to let this much light in, at f/2.8 at 200 ISO and I’m at 85mm on my 70-200mm. Again, my back is up against another wall. Would have liked to have gotten back further, and zoomed in tighter, but it’s still one of my favorites from the shoot.

Above: Taking advantage of our subject having been a ballerina, Kalebra had her strike this pose, with her positioned in front of one of the French Doors in the estate. We pulled the sheers to cover the window and somewhat control the light, but we wanted that blown out, over-exposed look — we just wanted it soft.

Hope you found any/some/part of that helpful. Can’t wait to share the whole project with you when it’s done. :)

A big thanks and shoutout to Kalebra for the styling and art direction, and for being my partner in this production from the start, and to Jen Coffin for helping with the production side big time. Thanks to Kathy Porupski for assisting on the gig, keeping things moving, and helping all the way around, and to our bride Julianna for being so patient, and easy to work with. :)

Have a great start to your week, and see ya back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

It’s finally here, and I’m so excited (well, technically it starts Wednesday with the pre-conference workshop, and then the opening Keynote (streamed live, featuring Adobe), kicks off the conference on Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET, but ya know — it’s Photoshop World week! Whoo Hoo! :)

If you’ll be there…
Two things you definitely want to do:

(1) Go to the free Orientation class 
If this is your first time at Photoshop World, we have a special crash course just for you. Hosted by Larry Becker, this orientation is designed to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Free and open to all attendees on Wednesday (the day before the full conference kicks off).

(2) Download the App 
We have an awesome conference app (for IOS and Android) that you will find invaluable during the conference. The full schedule is in there; directions; events times and locations, and a whole bunch more. Find it on the App Store for iPhones, or on Google Play for Android.

If you can’t go this year…
Then make sure you tune in Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET (I’ll put a link here on the blog on Thursday morning, and on all our social media) so you can watch the opening keynote LIVE. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!

Hope you have a great Monday (and safe travels if you’re heading to Orlando to join us for the big event!). :)

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow I’m sharing some finals, and BTS shots, along with camera info from a recent location shoot I did – hope you’ll stop back by then. 

Hi gang – sorry for the late post today – with the Photoshop World Conference coming next week, it’s hard to work on anything else (really exciting, but busy as heck!). Anyway, I thought I’d share a few courses for you to watch this weekend that are just getting tons of love from our members — these are classes that people are just raving about, so if you’re looking for some learning this Holiday Weekend, I hope you’ll give these a look:

Larry nailed it in this class, and people are writing in that even though they thought they really knew about focus, they learned some seriously helpful things from this class. Here’s the link. 

Tracy Sweeney is becoming a sensation – plain and simple. She shares exactly how she does it, and her images, and her style of teaching, are on the money. People are raving about her class (some are calling it the best class on all of KelbyOne). Here’s the link.

Terry has always been awesome (and one of the best guys on the planet), but this class is giving him “cult hero status.” If you read them comments, they are filled with people signing up and selling their images already online. It’s crazy, but Terry’s class is literally that good. It’s opening people’s eyes to things they either had never considered, or had turned away from. You will love this! Here’s the direct link. 

KelbyOne members so love Stella, for her straight talk, her no-nonse style, and for sharing insights you simply won’t find anywhere else. Her whole career has been about hiring photographers, and she tells you things that will change the way you market and sell yourself, and your work, forever. If you’re thinking of going pro (now, or in the future), this is a must-watch! Here’s the link. 

These classes have HUGE buzz with our KelbyOne members, and I hope you’ll check them out this weekend.

Here’s wishing everybody a happy, healthy Easter (hope you get lots of chocolate eggs, and maybe a Cadbury or two), and we’ll catch you back here next week for Photoshop World Week. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m sharing a location bridal shoot on Tuesday that Kalebra and I worked on. Behind the scenes shot, lighting, post processing – the works, so don’t forget to stop by here on Tuesday. 

Hi folks, and greetings from the Wayne County, Michigan (I’m here for my seminar today – over 300 Detroit area photographers here today for my Lightroom seminar. Whoo hoo!). A big shout out to all the kind folks who came out and spent the day with me yesterday in Chicago. Always love being in the Chicago area – so many friendly folks – thanks for coming out. :)

Watch ‘The Grid’ on Facebook’s App for Apple TV
So, it’s Tuesday and I kinda got nuthin’ – our flight was delayed and we didn’t get in until around 1:00 am, and well, blah, blah, blah I don’t really have a post. However, while I’ve got you here – my buddy Terry White sent me the shot above of ‘The Grid” (which airs live every Wednesday), being seen on the Facebook App on his Apple TV (on a 70″ HD screen). The reason this works is—we simulcast to my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/skelby) so if you have the Facebook App for Apple TV you can watch our Facebook stream live (and you can comment right there on Facebook – we monitor all your comments there as well).

Hope you’ll join us tomorrow and try it out.

Who: Me and a guest usually
What: The Grid (our weekly photography show)
Where: http://kelbytv.com/thegrid 0r http://facebook.com/skelby
When: Wednesday at 4PM ET (New York time)
Why: ’cause for six years this is what we do on Wednesday at 4pm – we talk about photography and stuff.

Hope you all have a stellar Tuesday, and we’ll catch you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. The next stops on my nationwide seminar tour are next month in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Hope to meet you there. 

Happy Monday everybody — ready to learn about Actions? Wild cheers ensue! (Hey, it could happen). Anyway, I still get questions about Photoshop’s Action feature, so I thought I’d do a ‘quick start’ kinda post to get you up and running in five minutes.

What’s an Action?
If you’re wondering what “Actions” are, basically it’s like a tape recorder in Photoshop that records your steps and plays them back really fast, so you can automate repetitive tasks. Best of all, simple actions (yes, you can create really complex ones if you want), are really easy to create and use.

In our example, let’s say you want to resize a high-res image for posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and since you’re resizing it down pretty small, you want to sharpen it before you post it (you lose some sharpness when you size down like that, so I always apply a little sharpening to bring it back, and maybe even a bit more than I lost so it looks nice and sharp). So, rather than going through the process manually from now on, you’ll create a simple action; assign it to an F-key on your keyboard, and from now on the process becomes a 2-second, one key automated thingy.

Let’s get started:

STEP ONE: Open an image you would normally post on social, then go under the Window menu and choose Actions to bring up the Actions panel (shown here). To create your own custom action, press the ‘New Action’ button (it’s looks like the New Layer button — I’m clicking right on it in the capture above).

STEP TWO: This brings up the ‘New Action’ dialog (shown above) where you name your action (I did), assign it to a Function Key on your keyboard (I chose F11, as seen here). You’ll notice there’s no ‘OK’ or ‘Done’ button. Instead it says ‘Record’ because once you click that it is now recording your steps.

STEP THREE: Now do the things you want Photoshop to automate from here on out. In this case, we’re only doing two things, and the first is resizing the image to 1000 pixels wide (as seen here). Note: take a look over at the Actions panel on the left. See how there’s a red dot? That’s the ‘Record’ button, and it’s letting you know it’s recording your steps. Just a handy visual.

Above: After you resize your image, then go under the Filter menu, under Sharpen and choose Unsharp Mask. Input your favorite settings (I used 70, 1.0 and 10 here, which are pretty decent settings for sharpening low res 1000-pixel images like this for the Web). NOTE: Take a look over at the Actions panel and you can see it now lists the first thing we did to the photo — Image Size. The red dot tells you its still recording.

STEP FOUR: After you’ve run the Unsharp Mask filter, go ahead and Save the photo, and then close the image window. Yes, it records the ‘Save’ and the ‘Close.’ Now press the square ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the Actions panel (as shown here). That’s it — you just created your first action. At this point, I usually open a different image, and I then I click the ‘Play’ button (it looks like a triangle — just to the right of the red record dot), just to see if the action works properly (of course, you could also press F11 on your keyboard, and it will run the action). Doesn’t matter which one you use — you’re just testing it to see if it works. Now you’re ready to rock! (Guitar pun intended. I know. Groan). ;-)

Q. Hey, how many steps can an action like this record? Just two?
A. Nope — it will record for as long as you do stuff — your action can have one step, 10 -steps, 500-steps or more — I haven’t found a limit  (there may actually be one, but I haven’t found it yet). 

Next Time: Applying an Action to an entire folder of images
Where Actions get really fun is when you create an action, and then apply it to an entire folder of images at once, and you simply walk away from your computer (or switch to another program), and in the background, Photoshop just cranks away working on your behalf, totally unattended, like some autonomous robot from Skynet who will soon become self aware and take over the world. But not this year, so they’re safe to use for now. I’ll show you this ‘Batch Action’ feature on another day — for now, go and make your first action.

If you want to learn more about Actions…
And all the other automation stuff Photoshop and Lightroom can do (and there is plenty), we have a awesome course on it (here’s the link).

I’m up in Chicago today with my Lightroom seminar
So looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of photographers up here today (and tomorrow in Detroit — got a packed house!). Hope if you’re there, you’ll come up and say hi between sessions. Next month I’m in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Only 10-days ’till the Photoshop World Conference (Whoo hoo!). It’s not to late to come join us, ya know. Weather’s beautiful in Orlando this time of year.  :)

I ran across this Blend Mask tutorial on one of Adobe’s official blogs over in the UK, and it’s a great little tutorial (a little more of an advanced technique, but well worthwhile and easy to follow). It’s from Adobe’s Richard Curtis, and the post itself is from September of last year.

In the tutorial Richard shows how to make the robe of the 2nd monk (well, the 2nd from the left), perfectly match the color and luminance of the first monk. Really good stuff.

Here’s the link to Richard’s Blending Mask tutorial.

Hope you found that helpful (and thanks to Richard for sharing it). Looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of you in Chicago and in Detroit next Monday and Tuesday (respectively) with my Lightroom OnTour seminar. :)

Have a great weekend, and we’ll catch ya here on Monday.

Best,

-Scott

Close