Category Archives Fun

You know it’s a holiday, when I’m posting on a Monday at 10:50 am. As you might have guessed from the headline, I’m taking this week and next week off to enjoy some time with my family, watch lots of football, play Call of Duty Warzone and record some songs in the studio. Might even take a picture or two. :)

Here’s wishing you and your family, all the joys of the season — I hope you got lots of awesome Christmas Presents (and that there’s a mirrorless under the tree or a really great lens), and here’s wishing you a far better 2021 than we shared in 2020.

Brighter days are ahead, and I hope you enjoy great health, prosperity, and happiness in the New Year. It’s going to be a great one!

With much love and thanks,

-Scott
The Holiday Break guy

So, we had my official 15th Gonzo Holiday Gear Guide, and then last Friday I had a few more ideas, and yet here we are with three more awesome gift ideas for photographers. Let’s go!

Camera Body skins for Sony Users

If there’s a Sony Shooter on your Holiday Gift List, take a look at this: this company (called CamSkins) creates perfect fit cover skins for Sony camera bodies of all kinds, and they look really slick (that’s the red body skin shown above).

They’ve got different colors (the white skin looks really cool) and they fit various Sony models, and…I just wish they made them for Canon bodies. They’re around $54, and they would make a really cool, colorful, and practical gift. Here’s the link.

If They Shoot With a Flash, This Is For Them

The Crown Prince of Flash, the Duke of Diffusion, the wizard of wireless, Joe McNally, has his own signature line of really smartly designed flash modifiers and accessories made by the folks at Lastolite, and the flash user on your holiday list would be thrilled to get any of these. Really fantastic stuff (I have their pop-up softbox myself)! Here’s the link.

A fantastic book from Photographer Rick Sammon

Here’s how Rick describes it: “In today’s crazy times, photography is providing a much-needed outlet/release for our feelings – and a way to creatively express those feelings. It’s also a private escape into a world in which we can create our own reality (in camera and with Photoshop/Lightroom/plug-ins) – privately and publicly.

It’s such a great book (and Rick is such a great writer and photographer), and thought there’s not a single photo inside the book, they will love this book from cover to cover. Here’s the link (in print and for Kindle).

Happy Shopping Everybody!

-Scott

P.S. You know what would make a freakin’ amazing Christmas gift for the photographer on your Holiday Gift List? A KelbyOne Pro Membership. They would flippin’ lose their minds! They would learn so much! Here’s the link, ya know, just in case. :)

Stop snickering about the ‘glorious’ part — I’m trying to make the best of this funky, funky year. Anyway, lots going here — here’s what’s up.

One of my all-time favorite ballheads is on sale for $20 off

This Oben BE-117T is one bada@# little ballhead (and plenty big enough to hold my Canon 5D Mark IV or my EOS R, even with a 70-200mm attached. Holds up to 17.5 lbs. I believe), and right now B&H Photo has it on sale for $20 off (just $69.95 which is just insane for this quality a rig). Also, a perfect match if you use a Platypod Ultra. Here’s the link.

Go vote for Tim Wallace’s Awesome Images

My all-time hero of automotive photography, UK-based photographer Tim Wallace, has had 2 pieces of his work shortlisted by the judges of the British Photography Awards. Public voting is now open and if you dig his shots like I do, please give one of his images a vote at https://t.co/8lXjXLDuks?amp=1

This has nothing to do with photography, but you’ll thank me…

These frozen White Castle sliders you get at the grocery store are pure magic, and so much better than you’d ever imagine (if you follow my careful instructions below). Plus, they are super quick to make, and I don’t know how they do it because they’re frozen, but once you heat ’em up, the bread somehow tastes soft like they’re fresh like out of the oven.

OK, here’s all you do: After 60-seconds in the micro, take off the top bun: add regular ol’ French’s mustard, and just two dill pickle chips, then reheat for 15-seconds. Don’t add ketchup. Don’t add extra cheese. Don’t add anything else. Shockingly yummy and fresh-tasting. If you deviate from these instructions, they will be totally average, and you don’t need average sliders. They are super sliders (like you went to White Castle in person).

NOTE: Just eat two sliders (they’re more filling that you’d think, and if you just stick to two, they’re not too high in anything. Eat four and well…things get out of hand fast). I promise, you will love these!

Want a perfect Holiday Gift Idea for the Photographer on your list?

Get ’em a signed edition of Moose Peterson’s groundbreaking book “Takeoff” which teaches you how to take incredible aviation photos. This is a genre people are still shooting a lot these days at outdoor airshows and they will love for you getting them this awesome book. Here’s a link to pick up that autographed copy directly from Moose. Order your copy right now!

I wish I had included this one in my Holiday Gear Guide

…but I didn’t know about it until Wednesday, when Terry White showed the “Pocket Tripod” — an incredibly small (business card size), brilliantly designed tripod for your iPhone (or whatever phone). It’s really just so clever, and so useful, and…if you missed Part 2 of my Holiday Gear Guide on The Grid, we posted it here on the blog yesterday so make sure you see it in person — it is just too cool. Here’s the link.

There ya go. Hope you have a fantastic weekend; a safe, happy, healthy one. :)

-Scott

OK, guys — today, Cyber Monday, is your last chance to get our absolute best price of the year on KelbyOne Pro annual membership:

This makes an amazing holiday gift, too!

I’ll bet you know someone who would get so much out of a KelbyOne membership — this is the year to do it. They will love you for it!

Here’s the link to get our incredible CyberMonday offer!

PROGRAMMING NOTE:

Today, starting at 10:00 am ET and running until 5:00 pm at the top of every hour we’re doing another LIVE screamin’ deal Webcast where we convinced one of our partners to offer an insane discount but just for one-hour (and ONLY1-hour) but you’ve got to watch to get the Discount code.

Here are the details:

Who: Join Larry Becker LIVE from our studios
What: Unbelievable Cyber Monday deals that only last 1-hour TOTAL!
Where: Here’s the link
When: Today starting at 10:00 am and at the top of every hour until 5 pm ET.
Why: Cause we always do something cool on Cyber Monday!

Of course, our KelbyOne Pro Membership deal is running all day today, too, so for goodness sake don’t forget about that mega-deal!

OK, that’s the Cyber Monday scoop! The deals are here, but only for today!

Happy Shopping! :)

-Scott

Today is a big holiday in the US. It’s a day where we take time off to celebrate all the things we’re thankful for. We get together with family (in our case this year, immediate family); we over-eat a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal, and then we watch a football game which this year is between two teams that are horrible, but nevertheless, we watch them anyway and snack relentlessly until we pass out. It’s just about a perfect day.

I am so grateful for the many blessings in my life, and for the last couple of year I’ve written a post listing some of the many things I’m thankful for.

Last year I did a post called The Top 200 Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving Day” and this year I wanted to follow up with another 100 things. I know 2020 has been a pretty much been a dumpster fire wrapped in a hot mess, stuffed inside some roadkill, but I’m still so thankful and grateful for the many blessings this year still held, and yet holds, and today I’m thankful I get to share another 100 of them with you.

Here they are, (in no particular order):

I’m thankful….

  1. …for Ted Lasso (the most uplifting show of 2020, in a year where we really needed a show like this)
  2. …for Sola Golden Wheat low carb hamburger buns (they are way better than you’d think)
  3. …for having such a cool wife. She’s the coolest person I’ve ever met.
  4. …that Dairy Queen makes a really tiny kid’s size cup for their Blizzards and they never check to see if I actually have a really tiny kid in the car with me when I order one.
  5. …for The Mandolorian. I have spoken.
  6. … for all the fun Smart Home stuff my buddy Terry White has turned me on to (and has me hooked on).
  7. …for the 1Password app. However, if I ever forget my password to 1Password, my life as we know it is over.
  8. …my friend Tayloe shared this music video, which brings a tear of joy to my eye every time I watch it, for so many reasons.
  9. For my Apple watch, and how it makes my life easier and more fun
  10. for “Great Low Carb Bread’s” low carb spaghetti and pastas. They helped me have great meals while losing 22 lbs. this year.
  11. For all the cool AI stuff Adobe has added to Photoshop. Less time doing boring production stuff. More time to do creative stuff.
  12. That I wake up in a really good mood almost every day
  13. For Dr. Greg Savel, and that he got both of our kids through their childhood coughs, colds, and everything else they could get into. The Crown Price of pediatricians.
  14. For Locatelli Pecorino Romano grated cheese. It’s just so. darn. good! It activates your pasta in ways that are hard to imagine or describe.
  15. for comfortable fitting masks
  16. That Tom Brady and Gronk joined the Bucs. They made Buc’s football fun again (and it’s been a while). Plus, getting to tease my Patriots-loving friends has really been the icing on the cake.
  17. That 2020 is almost over.
  18. For my buddies turning me onto Call of Duty Warzone (we a play a few (or more) rounds every night).
  19. For the laughs I get from Maxx when we’re playing games online. He totally cracks me up.
  20. For my son moving back to Florida after College. Getting to see him numerous times during the week is such a treat.
  21. that my son met such a wonderful girl — they are so good for each other, and it’s just fun to watch young love in bloom.
  22. when my daughter literally comes moonwalking past me while I’m watching TV or playing COD. It just cracks me up every time, even though I’ve seen it dozens and dozens of time.
  23. for the beautiful, fascinating, and just so well done Apple TV screen savers, and I love that that constantly release new ones.
  24. …that my kids are such thoughtful gift givers, and know us so well.
  25. …when we’re watching TV on the couch, and my wife reaches over and holds my hand.
  26. anytime the good guys win.
  27. when I hear something great happens to one of our employees.
  28. when Rick Sammon sends me a music video to watch
  29. when my buddy Paul sends me a jazz song to listen to, and I get to send him back a classic rock song to listen to (there’s a way better chance I’ve heard the jazz song than he’s heard of the rock song. When it comes to rock, he has literally been hiding under one).
  30. for Laughing cow spicy pepperjack spreadable cheese. It’s magic.
  31. that I got to see a lot of my British friends last year. Even yet, I still miss them, except of course for Dave Clayton. He’s insufferable for a Royal.
  32. for having Dave Williams on my blog every Tuesday and Rob Sylvan on Wednesdays on LightroomKillerTips.com. Their posts are the highlights of both blogs
  33. that we were able to quickly transition to hosting online photography conferences, and for all the instructors who stepped up to make them so great.
  34. for all the people who prayed for me for any reason, even for little stuff. It always makes a difference.
  35. for anyone who asked me to pray for them.
  36. for everyone who bought one of my books this year. I couldn’t keep writing them without you.
  37. for everyone who calls or texts to check on me when a storm is anywhere near Florida.
  38. for Saturday night movie night at home with my brother Jeff and Dee. I look forward to it all week.
  39. for a father who was such a man of integrity, and a mother filled with love and laughter. I miss them both so.
  40. for the way my wife supports my crazy ideas.
  41. that I get to work with Larry Becker on a pretty regular basis. He’s so talented, helpful, hard working and his “dad jokes” are the best.
  42. that my family has been able to adjust so well to the “pandemic lifestyle.” Considering we’ve been stuck inside so long, we have really enjoyed the time together so much.
  43. for Bon Jovi.
  44. for when my buddy Kelly shares another one of his shots that got published. I just love seeing that!
  45. for all the times I didn’t change lanes at exactly the wrong time.
  46. that Chilis does curbside takeout
  47. for every morning when I see my wonderful wife at the kitchen counter with her big mug of coffee, and she gives me a big morning hug.
  48. for Maki the super dog. She is the ultimate family dog, and I truly believe a gift from God for my wife. Maki brings her so much happiness, love and joy. She made me into a dog person for life.
  49. that I’ve already found and ordered the perfect Christmas gift for Kalebra (it’s on its way. Shhhhhhh!)
  50. for having coffee each morning with the tree already lit (yes, we put it up before Thanksgiving this year), and Christmas music filling the air.
  51. for every time Maki the super dog sneaks into the laundry room, grabs a pair of my socks, and brings them to me to ‘trade’ it for a treat. It literally is the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen (even though I know I’m being conned).
  52. anytime I look at the score and Alabama is ahead by more than four touchdowns.
  53. for White Castle frozen cheeseburger sliders. Heat for 1 min in the microwave, then add yellow mustard and a couple of dill pickle chips, and man! I don’t know how they make the bread taste so fresh, because a minute ago it was totally frozen…but somehow, it doesn’t taste frozen. The calories, carbs and fat aren’t too bad either, if you eat just two. The problem is, you want four to six. The struggle is real.
  54. when my son tells me about his day.
  55. for every time my wife surprises me with sometimes super yummy for dinner (which is fairly often).
  56. for mornings when I sleep in
  57. for my wife discovering Kizik shoes (and that she got me a few pairs).
  58. anytime I find something I need in the house, but when I start searching I really have no idea where it is, but I know it’s “somewhere”
  59. that we have people that mow our lawn each week, because if it were left up to me, our yard would look like the Congo Basin.
  60. that my son can make some just incredible homemade cookies
  61. how beautiful Kalebra makes the house for the holidays
  62. when my son comes over on a Sunday and grills out hamburgers, hot dogs, and BBQ for the family.
  63. that my wife can spell any word correctly, which comes in really handy while I’m blogging late at night
  64. for having Kathy Porupski in our lives
  65. that my wife likes football now and will not only a watch a Bama game, but will even watch a Bucs game with me and enjoy it (well, if we win, anyway).
  66. for the mountain of help, advice, laughs, and insights my dear friend Terry gives me on a daily basis. I don’t know how people who aren’t friends with Terry get through their day.
  67. for everyone who voted, no matter who you voted for.
  68. for all the front line workers in hospitals and clinics who risk their lives to save people every day. These are very special people.
  69. for every time my phone rings and I see my wife’s face come up on my screen
  70. for the mute button on the TV
  71. for the incredible plug-ins people come up with that work with Logic Pro X. Those folks are geniuses.
  72. for my car insurance company, Pure — they are way better than they have to be, and they really helped me out this year when I totally trashed the front end of my car backing out of my own driveway. Probably not my finest moment.
  73. that I can fall asleep so quickly.
  74. for Maggie the Wonderdog, and all the times she runs around in really tight circles when she gets excited.
  75. for Amazon Prime 1-day shipping and for all the drivers who bust their butt getting us the stuff we needed this year.
  76. for all the folks who totally unsolicited say something nice about KelbyOne on social, or drop us an email of thanks. You don’t know how that makes my day.
  77. for every time one of my students has a big success. For a teacher, hearing their wins — that’s as good as it gets.
  78. that my daughter is able to go to school online this year.
  79. that our unofficially adopted son Maxx is graduating college next month. He has an amazing life ahead of him.
  80. that 30-something years ago when our band was out of work and needed a singer for a gig that weekend, that Wayne our guitar player said, “I know a great singer named Kalebra — her band just broke up. Let me give her a call and see if she’s available.” She joined our band, did the gig (and totally rocked it), but little did I know, that was the most important wonderful turning point in my entire life.
  81. that battery powered tire pump Terry turned me onto. That thing is a little miracle.
  82. that Juan always has my back on the set or on a shoot.
  83. to my friends for just being my friends.
  84. I can get advice for my Fantasy Football team from my son (except for the week I’m playing him)
  85. for everyone who invited me to be on their podcast or to do an interview.
  86. to everyone who donated to the Springs of Hope Orphanage this year, and helped us raise more money than last year through the Worldwide Photo Walk. You made a difference.
  87. for every hilarious meme my friends and family send me.
  88. for everyone I follow on social media who kept their personal politics out of their posts.
  89. to Jean A. for all her prayers and words of encouragement during the year.
  90. for the Apple News app, my new favorite (overtaking my beloved Google news).
  91. for all the times when my brother cuts up some apples, and some wonderful cheeses, and serves them up on a wooden cutting board. I don’t know what special thing he does, but it’s always incredibly delicious.
  92. for the many sacrifices of all the families who have a member serving in our military. I am so grateful for your, and their service.
  93. that Brad is a daddy now (and what a great dad he will be)!
  94. for the wonderful leaders in the KelbyOne online community who help members from all over the world, just because they are awesome people who want to help other people.
  95. that when my new iPhone 11 Pro hit the ground, it only shattered the glass on the back. It’s like I have a cool one-of-a kind custom pattern now.
  96. Green Mountain Breakfast Blend, first thing in the morning, with four coffee mates (yes, four. I’m thankful it’s not five).
  97. to Dave Gales for just being awesome
  98. for our doggie door. Best “been around forever” invention.
  99. I’m thankful that if it weren’t already 2:35 AM I could sit here and crank out hundreds more things I’m thankful for (I got started really late, but we won a game of Warzone Duos tonight, so we had to keep playing a for a while ’cause we were rockin’ it).
  100. for God, and His Son Jesus Christ, for leading me to the woman of my dreams, for blessing us with such amazing children, for allowing me to make a living doing something I truly love, for always being there when I need Him, for blessing me with a wonderful, fulfilling, and happy life, and such a warm, loving family to share it with.

Here’s wishing you a safe, happy, healthy Thanksgiving full of family, food, and gratitude for our many blessings. Also, I hope your team wins this weekend unless you’re an Auburn fan! #rolltide! 

-Scott

For those of you who have read any one of my books, you already know that the introduction I write at the beginning of each chapter seldom has anything to do with what is actually in that chapter. I put these quirky chapter intros in there as kind of a mental break between chapters, and well…I’d be the first to admit, they’re kind of whacked.

I generally write these late at night, usually, while I’m tired after a long day at work, and well that alone explains a lot. Anyway, I’m doing a major update on one of my books right now, and when I got to a chapter about Landscape Photography, and read what I had written in the previous edition, I realized…there must be something very wrong with me. To prove that point, I’m going to run that very chapter intro below, because…well…there must be something wrong with me. Here we go:

I think one of the most appealing things about being a landscape photographer is not only are you coming back with amazing photos, but you get to experience some of the best of what nature has to offer while you’re doing it. I’ll never forget this one time I was shooting in Montana’s Glacier National Park. I got up around 4:15 a.m., so I could head out early and be in position before sunrise. When I reached the lake overview, it was still pitch dark, and I remember setting up my tripod and watching it blow right over in the freezing wind that whipped off the lake. I just laughed and set it right back up, attached my camera gear to the ballhead, and realized that I’d better not let go of the rig or it, too, might blow over.

I didn’t want to give up my spot, because I had a pretty good vantage point (at least it looked like a good one in the dim moonlight). So, there I stood, out in the freezing, bitter cold, where each gust of wind was like a thousand knives jabbing right through me. I’m standing there shivering in the piercing cold, and then it started to rain. Not snow. Nope, that would have been pretty. It was rain. A driving rain that felt like an army of Lilliputians were firing their tiny arrows right into me, but I just stood there in the bone-chilling cold like a wet, frozen statue, with my cracked, frostbitten fingers barely able to grip my tripod. I silently prayed for the sweet mercy of death to come upon me and relieve me of this frigid hostile misery.

It was just then when I looked over and saw another photographer, who had just set up his tripod about 14 feet from me, slip on the ice that had formed on the overlook. I stood there and watched as he and his tripod, expensive camera and all, slid down the side of the embankment. I could hear him moaning for help, but I just couldn’t stop smiling as I looked over and saw his Tamrac camera bag on the overlook beside me. I nearly pulled a muscle as I tossed his gear-laden bag full of lenses and accessories into my rented SUV and quickly drove away, thinking to myself, “Man, this is what it’s all about.”

Well, there ya have it. I wasn’t kidding about the ‘wacked’ thing now, was I?

Yes, it’s really “a thing.”

If you’ve read this far, well…I can’t believe you hung in there, but I’m grateful you did and I totally dig you (in a non-sexual way). Now, if this “wackness’ resonated with you (so, you’re messed up, too), I actually published an entire book of nothing but my handpicked favorite chapter intro from over the years. Yup, it’s a book of nothing but Chapter Intros (without the chapters).

If you’re a KelbyOne member, you can download the eBook version absolutely free from your Creative Toolkit on the member’s Website (it’s in the ‘Perk’ category in the sidebar on the left; click on Toolkit and it’s on page 2 in the list of perks).

If you’re not a KelbyOne member, you can buy the Kindle version on Amazon for $9.99, which is incredibly overpriced, but worth every penny. Here’s the link. You’ll be a better person for buying it, and if you do, as a sidenote I could use a review on Amazon. It’s rated only 3-1/2 stars since I got a one-star review from a guy who complained there was no training in the book, which is absolutely true — and it says so right on the cover. It literally says these words right on the cover:

There are no tutorials, no learning. Just intros. I’m not kidding. Buy it anyway.

In fact, on Amazon, the title is actually slightly different (same book though) than the one on the KelbyOne Website. On Amazon the title is “

Buy This Book of Chapter Intros Even Though You Won’t Learn Anything

He bought it anyway yet was upset because he didn’t learn anything. He wrote that (wait for it…wait for it…) it had no tutorials, no learning, just intros. Sigh.

So, if you buy it, and somehow actually like the book (hey, it could happen), I would love for you to share your review on Amazon. If you hate it, you can still post a review of course, but please only because you hated my quirky stream-of-conscientiousness chapter intros, not because it had no tutorials and learning stuff, ’cause if I read another one like that, I’m going to freakin’ jump out the window. ;-)

Here’s wishing you a weekend full of wacked stuff (in a good way), and a bunch of chapter intros that have no basis in reality. :)

-Scott
Author of what may be the greatest useless book ever!

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