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New KelbyOne Course: Mastering Black and White Photography in Photoshop

Learn how to create stunning B&W photos in Photoshop with Serge Ramelli! As a compliment to his Mastering Black and White Photography in Lightroom class, Serge is back to teach you a variety of new techniques and tips for gaining mastery of your B&W photography using Photoshop.

This class will take you step-by-step through eight different photo projects, and each project highlights different approaches, challenges, and skills for creating eye-catching B&W photos. From the basics of B&W to challenging HDR scenes to completely replacing a sky, Serge demonstrates his workflow for creating some of his most famous photographs.

In Case You Missed It: Mastering Black and White Photography in Lightroom

Take your B&W photo processing using Lightroom Classic to the next level with Serge Ramelli! In this class Serge goes through 9 color to B&W processing projects designed to teach you a variety of tips and techniques for mastering black & white photography. By the end of the class you’ll know Serge’s complete workflow for making fine art black & white photographs that can be applied to landscape and portrait images.

Kelby people, long time no talk. Long time no see, actually I haven’t seen anyone for a long period of time, I am sure you can relate. Kind of a bummer, but hey – it could be worse. Anyway I am (was?) a Music Photographer. Meaning I spent the majority of my time on the road photographing musicians. Here are some of my most recent favorite photographs.

When Corona restrictions hit LA I was left feeling uninspired, lonely – I couldn’t see my friends at concerts. I couldn’t hear the music I am an addict for. I couldn’t create the art I had been creating for over half my life. You know – all that considered my life isn’t that bad. I actually thought to myself – alright if this is really all you are dealing with – surely you can do something with your time. After all I was fortunate enough to be able to pay my rent and buy food to eat. That is more than enough for me.

It still took me a few months to wrap my head around the situation I was in, but after the sensor dust had settled it was time to get to work. I don’t know about you guys but I need to be creating, I want to put my time towards concepts I care about – I want projects I can obsess over.  I called my friend/ business partner/ more hair on his head buddy named Thomas Falcone and we got scheming.

Thomas Falcone and Adam Elmakias

What can we do that involves the Music Photographer community, brings them closer together – and gives back in some way or form.

… In real life gatherings – not happening.

… Another A Music Photography Magazine with all of our friends (issue 2 ft. your very own Brad Moore) – good idea, but too many moving parts.

… Online A Music Photography Magazine PDF – eh, kinda boring.

… Online A Music Photography Magazine…. Gallery.. Virtual Gallery?

Alright now that’s what I’m talking about baby.

This checked all the boxes. We could make a VR gallery with all of our friends, ask for donations, and treat it like an IRL event. It would be ticketed, have a launch date, and then run its course. You could invite your friends, your family etc. My general rule of thumb is that if it genuinely excites me, it’ll probably at least tweak a few folks interest. 

So that is what we did. We started hitting up every music photographer we knew while at the same time accepting submissions for this project from any music photographer that wanted to submit. The goal was to include all of our professional friends while the same time including the parts of the community we hadn’t yet connected with. The quantity of submissions we got was close to 1000 and churning through them was nothing short of a pleasure. So much talent in our community. 

Going into it we thought it would be about a single month of work. In the past I had done the magazine alone, and it was 50 photographers. Now we have two people and we are going for about 90 photographers – how much harder can it be? Turns out, a lot. It ended up taking us about five months.  

We asked everyone. We got a lot of yeses – and an equal amount of nos. Tell you what I am good at now – being told no. I mean I was pretty good before. I’ve had my fair share of creative ideas that probably deserved all the nos they got. This one felt special though – it was for a good cause and we were doing it together. 

That being said – when people told me yes – it made my heart warm. There is nothing better than coming up with a creative project, pouring your heart and soul into it – and then having people join you in your mission. Some of the photographers that agreed in this project were people I have looked up to for most of my life. Danny Clinch, Jeremy Cowart. Additional a lot of my peers I respect and value their friendship joined in – Lindsey Byrnes, Pooneh Ghana, Rob Loud, Matty Vogel, Ashley Osborn.

After confirming all the people that would be involved we had them each dig down into their hard drives and find images that meant a lot to them. The only other rule that we had was it had to be music related. We wanted the gallery to be full of moments people held close to their heart.

Anyway I am not sure what else to say. I am pumped. Come to our gallery, enjoy it like you would an in real life event. BYOB. Each photograph has an audio caption that goes along with it that tells a bit more about the photograph – straight from the photographers mouth. 

Here are a few quotes from their captions:

The gallery opens tomorrow, November 26th.

You can buy your tickets here (it is free, optional donation).

All the proceeds got to NIVA, the National Independent Venue Association.

You can see the full list of photographers below. 

You can see the virtual gallery starting tomorrow, November 26 at Find more work from Adam at, and keep up with him on Instagram and Twitter.

Dave here for another #TravelTuesday post, and I’m glad to see this week’s news of progress with vaccines because I’m so over this now!

Let’s begin with an update from my world: –

This is far from the first cancellation I’ve had this year as those who follow me are aware, but this is the fourth attempt at one particular trip and it’s a rather time-sensitive one. I’m off to record a new class in northern Norway and if I can’t get it done really soon, the arctic will plunge into Polar Night and I simply won’t be able to do it. I watched a movie last night, which had a song in it with the following lyrics: –

Where the northern lights burst out in colors
And the magic nights surpass all others
Það eina sem ég þrái er, að vera
[All I want is to be]

The movie was Eurovision, and it just made me want to be back on the road again. For now, I can’t do anything about it aside from hope my fourth rescheduled flight to Norway is not cancelled and I can get there to shoot in isolation. Fingers crossed!

As for today’s insight into what I find important in photography, however, I want to talk about eyes. The heading suggests something about shooting RAW, and what I want to do is touch on comparisons between these two things.

I’m lost for sources right now, but I specifically recall hearing that our eyes see 13 stops of light, which is an incredible range. When we talk about light in photography we often talk about “dynamic range.” The range-of-light levels perceptible in our image is what we’re interested in. The “dynamic” element to this is how the level moves up and down a scale of light levels. Having the ability to absorb light from a broader range of this spectrum allows us far more creative control in post-process, as well as having richer tones in our image. Our eye is the ultimate tool for this, but camera sensors have developed in their abilities from being able to only see one stop of light, through to artificially seeing perhaps two or three, all the way to the incredible tech that is now packed into our sensors affording us a far greater range.

I was blown away recently with my Nikon sensor being able to capture the moonless night sky and unlit background, the faint, dancing aurora, and the insanely stark contrast of the light of civilisation all in one frame with no clipping (that being the loss of detail in highlights or shadows), and it serves as a reminder that we should always shoot in RAW.

Each camera brand gives the RAW file format a different name. In Nikon, it’s NEF, in Canon it’s CRW, in Sony it’s ARW, with plenty of other names to boot. But here’s the point: –

If we shoot in RAW, we are able to manipulate that information far better than if we shoot in JPEG. Where a JPEG compresses our file to save space it also lacks the detail we need in order to make comprehensive adjustments. A RAW file doesn’t compress our image and, as such, each individual pixel is a true representation of the colour and tone of the photon that passed through our lens and hit our sensor the moment we pressed the shutter button. With that information available, we are given far greater control when it comes to making adjustments because Adobe can look at the pixel and know exactly what to do with it, rather than looking at a comparable JPEG file and making a guess. It’s a no brainer. For those who post on Facebook groups asking about shooting RAW and those who simply aren’t able to make their mind up, I can tell you this with confidence. Of the world’s professional photographers, it’s fair to say that 99.9% of those who shoot outside of sports and journalism, that being those who don’t retouch their images and simply upload them and wire them to a news agency, are shooting RAW.

Shot raw

If you aren’t shooting RAW, I offer you the following piece of life-changing advice: – Shoot RAW!

Much love

Thanks to everybody who came to the Flash Photography Conference

We had such a great crowd — really enthusiastic, totally into learning more about flash, and just an awful lot of fun to preset to. Joe was, as you might imagine, just phenomenal on every level. People were raving about his talks and classes the whole time.

Joe is a living legend, and it was such an honor to have shared the stage with him. Also, I want to thank my team at KelbyOne who worked so hard to make this happen, with a special shout out to Christina, Erik, Juan, Mike, Rachel, Margie, Angela, Julio and Kathy, plus Ron and Jason who traveled up to Joe’s Studio in Connecticut and brought us the live action from up there.

Thanks to everyone who came and made it such an incredible event. I’m very grateful for the wonderful turnout, and all great folks to spend a few days with. :)

Here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy, and fun weekend. :)


New KelbyOne Course: Color Grading in Photoshop and Lightroom with Gilmar Smith

Learn all about color! Join Gilmar Smith as she teaches you how to use color to evoke emotion, set the mood of a scene, bring together a composite, and so much more. Using Lightroom Classic and Photoshop, Gilmar provides a foundation in the elements of storytelling before demonstrating the wide variety of tools at your disposal for enhancing, tweaking, changing, and harmonizing color in your photographs.

In Case You Missed It: Creative Portraits at Home

There’s no place like home! Join the KelbyOne crew as they drop in on the amazing Gilmar Smith to learn how she produces the most creative portraits from the comfort of home.

In this class Gilmar shares her favorite tips and tricks for making small spaces look their best, demonstrates how she uses colored lights for making the ordinary look extraordinary, puts her family to work in front of the camera in a series of fun photo shoots in different rooms, and then walks through her post processing workflow to bring her concepts to life. You’ll learn how to conduct a creative portrait shoot without even setting foot outside your door, and while making the most of the gear and space that you have.

To start off – THANK YOU to Scott and Brad for letting me write a guest post! As they say in radio I’m a, “long time listener, first time caller.” I’ve been fortunate to attend a handful of KelbyOne Live events and virtual conferences and have been a big fan for a long time. To share even a tiny bit of space with the likes of Scott, Rick Sammon, Joe McNally and the dozens of photographers who have been a part of this space is really cool!


My photography journey began almost 40 years ago when I inherited my grandmother’s Minolta HiMatic7. My dad had been an avid amateur and he encouraged me to explore photography but I had never had my own camera before. The next year I spent an entire summer buying my first used camera five dollars at a time. I edited my high school yearbook and shot frat parties in college for extra cash.

I got into the photo retail world when a Photo 101 class was killing me financially and I needed the employee discount to go through 5-8 rolls of film a week. I still work in a brick and mortar camera store, as well as teach and shoot a good bit in my adopted hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

In short – in some form or another, photography is just about everything in my world. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked with a number great mentors over the years and that’s what I’m writing about today – the value of teaching, mentoring and helping out the next generation of photographers. 


I find a lot of photographers who share their time, talent, insight, and technique and appreciate all that they do. Over time I’ve given a hand up to aspiring professionals and watched them grow (some have become far more successful than me). As I’ve gotten older and more secure in my space, I find more and more that I enjoy the teaching part of what I do far more than the shooting. Mentoring and coaching rookies is so fun and rewarding, and its not unusual for me to learn something from them, too. It’s true: old dogs CAN learn new tricks! <using the whisper voice> Most days I actually prefer teaching and coaching over shooting and editing.