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Hello, my name is Kristi Odom. I am a wildlife photographer and filmmaker, who is often on the road photographing in remote locations or teaching workshops photographing bears, sharks or some exotic animal. I have always felt I had to go far to photograph wildlife. My camera would often stay in my closet until a big trip, sometimes it would just live in my Think Tank airport roller bag waiting for the next adventure.

I had a dream to have one of my stories published in National Geographic, so every chance I got, I was on a plane traveling to far off lands to photograph exotic animals.

Up until the end of last year I lived in the DC area, so photographing wildlife around home was challenging, or so I thought. In 2018, in a series of fortunate events (which I may not have felt so fortunate about it at the time), I needed some wildlife photos in a short period of time. My schedule was too crazy to go on the road, so I had to shift my mindset and look for photos I could take of wildlife close to home. I randomly got an email, on the right day, at the right time, about an insect survey group that was going out to count butterflies and dragonflies. I had no idea the can of worms that this would open (pun totally intended there).  

Passion is contagious, and this quirky group of insect enthusiasts, at first had me scratching my head and wondering what in the world I had gotten myself into… but soon had me excited and curious. From the patterns in a dragonflies back to the question marks on a butterflies wings, there was exploration and discovery all around. Every time I was in town on a Friday (they meet every Friday and have been doing so for 27 years to count bugs), I would grab my camera and head down to the local parks.

I found myself in the middle of a big story about such little critters. With climate change, use of pesticide and land management, there have been all sorts of changes in insect populations that this group’s data had keys to understanding. They also had records of the depth of biodiversity, endangered species, first arrivals of the seasons….their data helped preserve lands and create awareness. This group, who I now consider my close friends, quickly became my heroes. They were making change while connecting with nature.

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Happy Monday, everybody! The Print module in Lightroom Classic lets you create these really cool multi-photo layouts, and best of all —  you don’t have to just print them — you can save these layouts as JPEGs and share them on social, email them, whatever. Check out the video below (you’ll be surprised at how easy this is).

Hope you found that helpful (and if you have any questions about these multi-photo layouts, drop them in the comments section below).

This is going to be a great week — let’s make the most of it! 

-Scott

This one is from wonderful portrait and fashion photographer, Mary Bel. Check it out:

Thanks, Mary Bel! :) (and that’s something I’ve been preaching for years — it can all the difference, because “less is more.”

Here’s the official trailer from Mary Bel’s KelbyOne Online Class where she shows you how to take everyday objects, and how to work on a super tight DIY budget to create some really creative portraits.

Here’s the link to watch her class right now (you will love it!).

Disney’s Cruella is a Must-See!!!

OK, a bunch of us who are all vaccinated (close friends and family members) rented an entire AMC movie theater for a private screening of Cruella (it was only $240 for the whole huge theater [we all split the cost], and we could have up to 20 guests, and it was even a Saturday night), so we chose Disney’s new Cruella (as in Cruella Devlle of the 101 Dalmatians) as our show and it was OUTSTANDING!!!

First, just the fact that we were in a movie theater again was awesome on its own, not to mention the whole private screening (and being able to talk at regular volume during the movie), but the movie itself was just so good — way better than I was expecting, with some great storytelling about how a sweet young girl wound up becoming Cruella. Emma Stone was fantastic in the role, and her co-star Emma Thompson was brilliant. If nothing else, they will take the Oscar for Best Costume Design (and the soundtrack is awesome!). Anyway, check it out if you have a chance (I put the trailer below).

OK, I’ve gotta get back to work — today is the deadline for the current book I’m finishing up, and well…not sure I’ll have it done today. I might need another day. Or two. But I’m really close. Anyway, back to work for me. Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend! Go see Cruella and watch Mary Bel’s new class. :)

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget — at the end of this month it’s the iPhone Photography Conference. Two full days, two training tracks, and lots to learn from some incredible instructors. Here’s the link for tickets and more info.

Securing Your Gear On Shoots with Jefferson Graham | The Grid Ep. 473

How often have you been on location for photography and you can’t focus on doing the thing you’re there to do, take photos, because you’re constantly worrying about your camera bag and all the gear in it? Join Scott Kelby, Erik Kuna, and their guest Jefferson Graham as the discuss securing photo gear on location!

New KelbyOne Course: Introduction to Toy Photography with Dave DeBaeremaeker

Unlock story telling with toy photography! Join Dave DeBaeremaeker to learn how to get started photographing toys indoors and out, using the gear you already have, to bring concepts from your imagination to life. Dave takes you through the gear he uses, considerations for choosing toys as subjects, tips on posing, and demonstrates his workflow from shooting the scene through post processing to creating the final image. By the end of the class you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and start telling your stories.

7 Tips To Optimizing Your Adventure Workshop Experience

As I prepare for my upcoming Photo Adventure Workshops to locations like Antarctica, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Yellowstone, I feel it would be helpful to create a list of suggestions on how to make the most out of attending these excursions. 

The photo adventures I lead are so rewarding, yet they’re not advertised as leisure vacations. These are WORKshops. They’re intended to test and improve your skills in some of the most awesome places on earth. These excursions are not only an investment of time and money, more importantly, they are an investment in yourself and in your artistic development.

By maintaining a positive outlook, fostering great group camaraderie, and by understanding your vision for the trip, you ensure a successful adventure. Based on my years of experience as a Professional Wildlife Photographer, here are 7 things for you consider to optimize your next workshop experience:

1. Start with The Right Attitude

This may seem simple, but I believe it’s the most important piece of advice I can give you. Always keep a positive outlook, a real desire to learn, and an open mind to fully benefit from your experience. Be patient and courteous to both your workshop leaders and fellow participants- you are all there for a common purpose. Immerse yourself, go with the flow, and be up for anything.

2. Be Observant

No matter what stage of photography you’re currently at, everyone has something to learn from attending a workshop. One of the fastest and most effective ways to hone your craft is by observing how others work within a scene. There is certainly much to learn from your workshop leaders, but also from fellow participants. Study how everyone is setting up their shot, and ask them about their process.

Effectively working within a group, requesting feedback, and drawing inspiration from photographers of all backgrounds can greatly enhance the workshop experience.

3. Ask Questions

First and foremost, don’t hesitate to ask questions, no matter how basic they may seem. Asking questions helps create dialogue on aspects of photography that some participants may have never known or considered. You are attending a workshop to learn, help your instructors and comrades help you!

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#TravelTuesday has come back around and I, Dave Williams, am here again with another post as always. This week here in the UK has seen summer quite obviously arrive with some scorching heat, which will no doubt shortly be replaced with dreary, grey skies, but for now, us Brits will make the most of the big orange thing in the sky. Back on topic though, The iPhone Photography Conference is coming up and I’ll be teaching two classes, so it’d be great to see you there (virtually, of course.) On that note, I want to reel off a list of my favourite iPhone apps for photography planning, because we all know that great planning often yields great results. Here goes!

Google Maps

This is by no means a photography app, so I apologise, but for photography planning it is awesome. Not only for the “on the day situations, such as getting to our location, but for much more. Most of us already have the Google Maps app and if we use its features well, it can be particularly useful for us.

When we sign into the app with our Google account we can cross over to a desktop, laptop, or tablet to work on a bigger screen for our planning if we want to and put some serious research into a travel destination. Personally, I like to research fairly hard and make a shot list of all the places I want to check off when I go somewhere. We can do that by adding labels and by saving locations, viewing them under “Your Places,” and instantly knowing where to find it and seeing what is there.

We can change the view of our map as well, switching from a satellite view to terrain mapping, to a regular plan view, and even further into a street view. On top of this, if we’re going to a location with little or no cell service, we can download chunks of Google Maps into our device, so we can see them offline. Google Maps is one of the best planning apps for travel photography.

Weather Apps

This is a kinda vague one, I know. Weather apps are very, very useful to us for the short-notice weather info, giving us critical information to help us when we’re deciding whether to commit to plan A or resort to plan B on our shot plan. So, when I say “weather apps” I mean the local weather app. The local app, serviced by the local meteorological office, will give us the best info. In the UK, it’s the Met Office weather app, in Iceland it’s Veður, in Norway it’s Yr. With a little web search, we’ll find the local weather app wherever we are (or wherever we’re going). I cannot stress how important this is in our planning.

PhotoPills

This one was bound to make the list. PhotoPills is the ultimate resource for forecasting the sun and moon, among many other things. When we want to know the angle and trajectory of the sun for a sunrise or sunset shot at any location on Earth, at any date and time, this app gives us and shows us the answer. It does so, so much more, but in terms of photography planning this is #1 for this information.

LE Calculator

Long Exposure photography is very popular, and it can sometimes require very, very long exposures. So long, in fact, that maybe we’ll lose count of how long. LE Calculator is a simple app, but very effective. The thing that sets the app apart from simply using the timer is that it gives us an alert when we need to close the shutter, but backtracking from that it actually calculates the exposure time based on our inputs of the meter reading and the aperture we’re using. It’s seriously smart and seriously useful.

Instagram, et al.

Our photo-centric social media apps are great for our photo planning. The research we put into a location by using these apps can reveal some great inside tips from people who have previously shot a location we’re planning on visiting, such as the best spots to go to or the times of day or year to visit, as well as showing us what kind of images people have already made, so we can choose to stay on track or break-free and come up with something totally original. The apps I’m mainly referring to, as well as Instagram, are 500px, Flickr, Facebook (mostly Groups) and LocationScout

So there you have it—some killer apps for photography planning ahead of the iPhone Photography Conference. I’m going to make the most of this glorious sunshine, and I’ll be back again next week, right here.

Much love

Dave

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