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Hi, gang, and greetings from a really chilly Nashville (I’m here for PPA’s Imaging USA conference & expo. Great show – lots of good energy. You can catch my show coverage over on my twitter page or watch live show floor tours on my Facebook page).

On to the contest: We’re teaming up with the folks at Lexar Memory for an Instagram architectural photography competition, with loads of Lexar prizes for the winners (and even some for the runner-up and 3 honorable mentions).

How to Enter Your Architectural Photos in the Contest: 

  1. FOLLOW: Follow @lexarmemory & @kelbyonepics on Instagram
  2. POST: Post one of your original architectural images to Instagram and include the hashtag #KelbyOneLexar. (also, tag @lexarmemory & @kelbyonepics to make sure we see your entry!)
  3. SHARE: Now that you’ve entered, you can invite your other photography friends to enter the contest — just tag 3 people in the comments on the #KelbyOneLexar Architecture Photo Contest post

That’s it — you’re entered.

Entry deadline is Feb 15th at 12:00 midnight ET.

I’ll be choosing 1 winner, 1 runner-up, and three honorable mentions (all of whom will receive awesome Lexar prizes – [since they make memory cards and card readers, but who doesn’t need more fast memory cards – am I right? Can I get a whoop whoop!].

Good luck everybody, and we’ll see you, and your images, on Instagram. :)

Other Contest News: Today’s the deadline to submit for your own gallery showing at the Gallery at KelbyOne
Last day to enter and all that. Just remember — all three of the people that have won so far, and had their own solo gallery shows (and wine and cheese receptions), all said the same thing: “I never thought I’d win.” So, if that’s what you’re thinking…you’re in good company. Here’s the link to enter.



P.S. If you’re here at Imaging USA — I’m doing a book signing for my new book, “The Flash Book” at 11:30 today at the Rocky Nook booth on the Expo Floor. They are in booth #767 (they’ll have lots of my other books for sale, too!).


Rob Foldy Is Getting Married Tomorrow!
That’s right, my buddy, Sports Photographer, KelbyOne Instructor, Miami Marlins Team Photographer, Frequent Grid Guest, and all over SupaLuva Rob Foldy is settling down with a wonderful gal, late tomorrow afternoon. The wifey and I are heading up for the wedding; Brad “Braddo” Moore will be there  and I expect his beard to be in full bloom this time of year, so it should be a spectacular wedding. Congrats to Rob and his lovely wife-to-be Amanda! Please have Spray Cheese and Chicken in a Biskit at the reception. The crowd will love it!

I’m off to the Imaging USA Conference on Sunday in Nashville
I’ll be doing a book signing at Rocky Nook (publishers of my new book, “The Flash Book”) on Monday at 11:30 am. If you’re at the show hope you’ll come on by. They are in booth #767 (they’ll have lots of my other books for sale, too!). Also, look for Erik “DCATS” Kuna with me at the show as we chat about Disney Cruises, Amazon, Tesla and Space X as we walk between meetings. ;-)  Hope I see you there!

Oh man, this interview was a blast!
I was the guest on Steve Brazill’s “Behind The Shot” Podcast this week, and he is such a great interviewer, and we had so much fun. We dissected some of my shoots and talked about all kinds of stuff. Such fun – you can check it out right here (thanks Steve for the honor of being on your show. I totally had a ball!). You can watch it / listen below.

The Deadline for Entries for your own gallery showing is this coming Monday! Ack!
KelbyOne members —  this could be your chance to have your own private gallery showing – the Deadline to enter is the 15th of this month, so make sure you enter. Go right now! (note: contest only open to current KelbyOne Pro members)

Photoshop World 2018 Registration is Now Open!
We’re in Orlando, at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Convention Center, May 31-June 2, 2018 and right now you can still reserve a room, at our special attendee discount rate, right there at the Hyatt and stay right in the heart of everything (it’s also where all our staff and instructors stay). Here’s a link to the travel page – reserve your room now, and we’ll see you in just a few months.

Coupla last minute things:

  1. Did you check out Dave William’s post here Tuesday on shooting for stock photography? You should (here’s the link).
  2. Thanks for making my book, “The Flash Book” the #1 bestselling book in the Flash Category on Amazon. You guys rock!
  3. Congrats to the University of Alabama for their big National Championship win (said the proud father of a Bama student). #rolltide!
  4. If you’re a photographer that has been wanting to learn how to shoot DSLR video, watch this short course, this weekend
  5. Awesome episode of The Grid this week with LA-based Digital Tech Clay Rasmussen. He was in town taping a KelbyOne class on CaptureOne (to be released Feb. 7th). We talked about this “hidden gig” in the photography world. Definitely worth checking out (he was a really great guest!). You can catch it over here.

Have a fantastic weekend everybody. Hope I see you at Rob’s Wedding, or in Nashville Sunday or Monday, or back on the Grid on Wednesday. :)



P.S. Here’s the trailer for how shoot DSLR video for beginners (it’s got a wedding photography angle, because that’s one of the biggest uses, but the techniques are the same no matter what you’re shooting. You’ll learn a lot). 

How To Bring Your Still Images To Life Using Plotaverse with Trey Ratcliff
Join Trey Ratcliff as he teaches you how to add animation to your still photographs with Plotaverse. These dynamic images exist somewhere between a still photo and a movie and are just mesmerizing to watch. Throughout the class Trey teaches you the ins and outs of using the software, inspires you with mind blowing examples, and walks through ideas of where and how to use Plotaverse to get the most impact in your portfolio. This class is perfect for any photographer looking to start using Plotaverse or wants to add dynamic impact to their portfolio.

In Case You Missed It
Join Trey Ratcliff as he teaches you how to get the most out of Aurora HDR 2018. Well known for his distinctive HDR style, Trey has been working with Aurora’s developers for several years, and knows the program inside and out. In this class, designed for beginners and beyond, you’ll become familiar with what’s possible in Aurora HDR as Trey processes photos that demonstrate its awesome capabilities for almost any situation. From processing a single raw photo to bracketed exposures, you’ll discover the power and simplicity for making beautiful images that match your own artistic style. Are you interested in Aurora HDR 2018? Follow this link for your free trial and purchase of Aurora HDR 2018.

Indian Summer was officially over. Snow was in the forecast and 3 to 5 inches were expected in the Philadelphia area with game time temperatures hovering around 30 degrees. The 118th meeting of Army vs Navy @ Lincoln Financial Field would be vastly different this year.

Inclement weather has never been an issue for me. I’ve been a skier since the age of two and have developed my own rules of engagement with mother nature. On top of the list, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Okay, a little trite, but true for the most part. The North East has four distinct seasons and this includes winter. It’s a great time of year. Bundle up and wear good quality clothing.

Staying warm & dry is imperative to capturing a few good frames. It’s hard to focus on imagery, when you’re too busy dealing with the elements.

That being said, I’m not sure electronic devices share my enthusiasm… Most camera bodies seem to be labeled as water sealed, weatherproof, or water resistant these days. I’ve never been exactly sure what this means or how far I should push my luck. Safe to say, I don’t want to find out! Let’s just say, they are not waterproof. Protect your valuable assets by any means possible.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed sports. Everything from baseball to skiing was on the calendar. If I wasn’t actively participating, I was photographing the action from the sidelines. It all started with a Nikon FM and has since transitioned to Canon, Sony, iPhone 7 Plus and more recently a Holga plastic camera ($39) to get back to basics! You might say, I’m camera agnostic these days and simply use whatever works for the given situation.

I believe sports photography has two layers… action & art. On the surface, you’re looking to capture a moment in time to tell a story. Ideally, it’s the key play of a game or a pivotal moment. Many photographers will be bumping elbows at center court of a tennis match and thus have the same perspective as one another. Similar images often result with split nano second differences due to motor drive speeds.

The photojournalist will usually freeze the moment with a high shutter speed. When working in a news capacity, this is often expected. They’re capturing the essence of the game and that particular moment. It makes for good print (or internet use).

However, the photographer’s artistic interpretation is often what separates imagery. The creative goggles come out and new ideas enter the frame. A big picture approach or ‘Scene Setter’ image as it’s often called, is one such example. Step away from the action and capture a fan’s perspective. Change the typical presentation and allow your personal interpretation to shine. This may include a different angle. Or, perhaps a panned image. You get the idea; put your own signature or spin on the scene in front of you. Life is too short to look at repetitive sports photos!

Personally, the images I consider to be classics often have strong graphical elements in the composition. As subtle as they may be, everything from color, lines, texture, patterns, shadows & shapes add tremendous value and keep the viewer engaged. The more elements, the better!

I’ll admit, it can sometimes be hard to control graphical elements at a sporting event. You’re working within the confines of the venue and you have to take what you’re dealt. However, be observant. Take notice of backgrounds. Clean with no distractions is ideal. Look for the quality & direction of the light. Is it overhead or creating long shadows?

Also, you may wish to avoid the spray & prey approach when it comes to capturing the action. We’ve all been here. Slow things down. A few quality frames are better than 1,000 average images. The digital era allows us to easily delete unwanted images at no expense. But, it’s time consuming. Be selective and fire away accordingly.

Special thanks to Scott Kelby and Brad Moore for allowing me to guest blog this week. It’s quite an honor and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. Cheers!

You can see more of Mark’s work at, and follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It’s my annual tradition to kick off the New Year with a look back at the best posts of the previous year.

Today we’re honoring my picks for “Best Guest Posts of 2017”

2017 was a stellar year for Guest bloggers. I thought 2016 was incredible, but I think 2017 actually took it up a big notch, and the follow guests shared so much wisdom; so many great images; and they informed and inspired us at a level that was really something special.

Here are my picks for “The Best Guest Blog Posts of 2017” (in no particular order):

Tracy Sweeney
She answered one of her most-asked questions; which lenses does she use in her newborn, child and family photography, but she did it in such a wonderful way, with such beautiful examples, that just calling it a post about lenses does it a disservice. In short; she rocked it! Read it right here.
Steve Brazill
Steve’s an awesome concert photographer, but his post about “The Heart of Photography” is something every photographer should read. This is really good stuff. Read it here. 
Jeremy Cowart
Every year Jeremy delivers one of the best guest posts. Every year. This is no different, but his post is, and it’s a very eye-opening look into commercial photography – one I have read anywhere else. It’s funny and sad, but real and so worthwhile. Read it here. 
Matthew Simmons
His post A Loose Collection Of Thoughts From An Emerging Photographer is much more than that. Read it here.
Wayne Johns
Great insights, stunning images, and there’s inspiration and wisdom around every corner in this post. So well done. Read it here. 
Kaylee Greer
I think she had the most comments of any guest post of the year (again, and with good reason. It’s a brilliant story, packed with fantastic images wrapped in a story of how important personal projects can be, and the doors they can open. This is an awesome post! Read it here.
Justin Van Leeuwen
This is a personal project story with a twist. One that will bring a tear to your eye, and totally make your day. Great photos, and so well written. Read it here.
Rob Sylvan
Rob’s post was freakin’ awesome – it’s called “10 Years of Lightroom Help Desk Advice” and his post should go in the Lightroom training Hall of Fame (if there was such a thing, and maybe there should be, but until then, there’s this). Read it here. 
Pratik Naik
His post “The Hidden Blessing and Stigma of Failing” is another one that goes into the “a must read for every photographer.” This should be required reading in business school. Heck, it should be required reading in high school. Very well done (and of course, superbly retouched images). Read it here. 

Chip Litherland
I’ve been a fan of Chip’s work for many years, and his graphic style and strong colors always pull me in, but his post “10 Ways to Help Clients Find You” is incredibly well written, and worth its weight in gold (if it weighed a whole bunch more). So well done, and wonderful images as always. Read it here.

Dave Black
One of my all time heroes of sports photography answers viewers questions about his portfolio and Instagram images. It doesn’t get much better than that! Really good stuff! Read it here.
Gavin Hoey
His post, “Small Studio, Big Potential” has the ability to change the way you feel about having your own in-home studio. A really great, practical, fun post from top to bottom. You’ll learn a lot. Read it here. 
Austin Burke
Austin goes beyond the camera and lenses to share what’s in his “little black bag” for making professional food imagery. This is the stuff you don’t read about, but it’s the stuff that makes a big difference. This is awesome! Read it here. 
Moose Peterson
Moose is another guest who winds up in the “best of” category each year, and his post this year is truly one of the inspirational pieces of the year. Incredible images, and such good advice – advice that goes beyond just photography. Read it here. You’ll be glad you did.
There’s an incredible amount of knowledge, passion, inspiration and soul shared in these posts. I’m so grateful to all the photographers and Photoshop experts who shared their thoughts, teaching and ideas through my blog, and of course big thanks and high-five to the awesome Brad Moore for wrangling, managing and producing them all. It’s a lot of work, and he runs it all like a boss.
Hope you enjoyed this look back. On Friday we’ll be looking at the best images of the year — hope you’ll join me for that.

A Photographers Guide To Shooting Wedding Videos Like A Pro with Justin Wojtczak
Join Justin Wojtczak as he teaches you how to plan, shoot, and edit wedding video. You’ll learn about what Justin calls “the snapshot video,” which is a short video segment, containing stills, footage, and music, that highlights the key moments from a wedding. This is a great product you can add on to your existing services. Justin goes though his entire workflow, from prep to post, and demonstrates each step in his process. You can even follow along with his post-production workflow with the provided files in either Adobe Premiere or Photoshop. By the end of the class you’ll feel confident in your ability to add this new income stream to your wedding business.

In Case You Missed It
As a wedding photographer you want your clients to look and feel amazing, and in this class Jerry Ghionis will teach you how to pose the bride, the groom, and the family, while bringing out their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses.