Category Archives Photography

Last week I was very fortunate to have Paris-based photographer and Photoshop/Lightroom expert Serge Ramelli as my guest on ‘The Grid’ and I have to say, he shared some real-world experience and insights about getting work by how you post your images on Social Media that was absolutely just blowing people away! I’ve had people emailing me, tweeting, etc., about this episode and how much insight they gained from what Serge shared. It’s literally money in your pocket if you’ve been trying to sell your work, or get noticed or get hired via social media. Really brilliant stuff.

I’ve embedded the episode below, but before we got into our topic, we covered lots of other industry news, including Lexar getting out of the Memory Card business; Canon’s new 6D Mark II announcement (and the standard techie whiny that accompanies any new camera announcement), and a bunch of other stuff, so all that is up front, and we really get to the meat of the topic about 1/2 way through the show, but you should still watch the whole thing because…well…ya know…ya just should. :)

Here’s the episode (below) – I really think you’ll get into what Serge has to share:

Well, there ya go. Viva le Serge! :)

BTW: Serge is recording some awesome Lightroom classes for us at KelbyOne, so be looking for those soon (I’ll let you know when they’re released).

Have a great Tuesday everybody, and we’ll catch ya back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday (it’s a good one!). :)

Best,

-Scott

Each year, on the Fourth of July we celebrate Independence Day. It’s a day where Americans from all walks of life gather together to enjoy massive fireworks displays as our way of celebrating our independence from Dave Clayton and Glyn Dewis, shown above posing with some random American male model).

We celebrate by surrounding ourselves with hot dogs, hamburgers, and mountains of potato chips before settling into a lawn chair with an ice cold beer to watch a glorious fireworks display using fireworks made in China. By the way — they’re “chips.” Not fries. Just sayin’ ;-)

Another great American tradition is the “Sharing of how to take awesome fireworks tutorial” that I do each year here on the blog, and since we’re just a few days away from the fireworks displays, we’d better start ramping up for it now. Here we go:

Here’s what you need from a Gear standpoint:

  1. Tripod: For the best results, you’ll need to shoot fireworks with your camera on a tripod, because you’re going to need a slow enough shutter speed to capture the falling light trails, which is what you’re really after.
  2. Cable Release: This is where using a cable release really pays off because you’ll need to see the rocket’s trajectory to know when to push the shutter button. If you’re looking in the viewfinder instead, it will be more of a hit or miss proposition.
  3. Zoom Lens: Use a zoom lens (ideally a 200mm or more) if you want to get in tight and capture just the fireworks themselves. If you want fireworks and the ground (like fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World, or at the beach, or a city skyline, etc.), then use a wider lens, like the 28mm lens I used in the shot above (taken with my brother’s very old Canon Rebel and an 18-200mm zoom).

Camera Settings:

I recommend shooting in full Manual mode because you just set two these settings and you’re good to go:

  1. Set the Shutter Speed to 4 seconds
  2. Set the Aperture to f/11. Fire a test shot and look at the LCD monitor on the back of your camera to see if you like the results. If it overexposes, lower the shutter speed to 3 seconds, then take another shot and check the results again.

That’s the basics.

If you want to take things up a notch (and go all ‘pro’ on me), you could also add these four things:

1. Set your focus to infinity (This isn’t critical, but if your lens can do it, why not). The fireworks are so bright you can use just regular ol’ autofocus for the most part, but if you have a lens that has a distance scale window on the top of your lens barrel; first turn off your auto focus (right on the lens –  switch it to off), then rotate the focus ring on your lens until you see the Infinity symbol [it looks like the number 8 lying on its side], then turn it back just a smidge, so you’re almost right on the infinity symbol. Again, you don’t have to do this, but it might make things a bit easier.

2. A couple of years ago @SuzanMcEvoy (one of my followers over on my Twitter page) recommended also switching your White Balance to Tungsten and it works really well (Thanks Susan for the tip).

3. Lightroom (and Photoshop’s Camera Raw) Dehaze feature works wonders on the extraneous smoke in the background, so make sure you give it a try. It’s like it was made for fireworks shots.

4. This one probably goes without saying, but you’re on a tripod so use your lowest ISO setting for the cleanest shots.

TIP: If your camera has ‘Bulb mode’ (where the shutter stays open as long as you hold down the shutter release button down), this works great — hold the shutter button down when the rocket bursts, then release when the light trails start to fade. (By the way; most Canon, Nikon, and Sony DSLRs have Bulb mode). The rest is timing because now you’ve got the exposure and sharpness covered and you have a hand free to hold the adult beverage of your choice.

Hope you all have a safe, happy 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s physical distance, in miles and magnitude, from Glyn and Dave which makes it truly a day worth celebrating. ;-)

Cheers!

-Scott

We are very, very excited to once again announce the winner of our contest where one talented KelbyOne member (and a guest) will be flown to Florida for their own solo gallery showing at “The Gallery at KelbyOne.”

We had members enter from all over the world, and I’m excited to announce that our winner is KelbyOne member:

Melanie Kern-Favilla

Her gorgeously quiet, breathtaking images of flowers and close up shots of nature absolutely captivated the judges, and we can’t wait to see her images hanging on the walls of the gallery (printed beautifully by Bay Photo Lab using the ‘Xpozer’ system).

Her gallery show opening is at 7:00 pm on Friday, July 21st and we’ll be broadcasting a live 1-hour interview (hosted by Larry Becker) with the artist at 8:00 pm that evening from our live events theatre (the live stream on Facebook from the opening and interview are both open to everyone). More details and a link as we get closer.

Congratulations Melanie – we can’t wait to share your wonderful work with the world. :)

Have a great weekend everybody, and see ya next week!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’re like “What’s this whole gallery thing?” check out this quick Q&A. 

Above: My iPhone shot of Ann Wilson (lead singer of Heart) at the Capitol Theater on Saturday night.

So, last Saturday night my big brother Jeff and his girlfriend Dee treated the wifey and me to a concert by Ann Wilson, lead singer of the classic rock band Heart. Ann was great — she can belt it out like a boss, and she’s freakin’ 66-years-old. She did some Heart songs of course, (not as many as I hoped), but she did some incredible covers, including songs by Yes and The Who that people went crazy for — she seriously nailed those songs. Great concert overall, and an intimate 750-seat venue to enjoy her in — really fun night.

Anyway, I posted the pic above from the show on my Facebook page, (proving once again that Kalebra clearly is the iPhone photographer in our family), but there’s another story here — an inspirational and awesome one, and I wanted to share that with you.  It came in the form of a comment on my Facebook page, under that photo, from a woman named, Monica Fraioli Cole and it underscores what I always say about the power of creating photo books. Here’s what Monica wrote: 

How is this for a photography story? I am an Elementary Ed. teacher and amateur photographer. I married my love for photography with Ann Wilson – took a Sony RX100 to two back to back special solo concerts she gave in 2015 at City Winery in NYC. Shot from two different audience seats during each show and came up with some interesting shots.

I did not like the way they were editing in color, so I chose to go with black and white. Made a sequence order photo book documenting both shows and sent it to Ann. She loved it, I edited further and it is now being sold as a commemorative photo book at her current shows and online. Great feeling and experience for me :)

p.s The show you saw is Ann Wilson of Heart…not a full Heart show….she is focusing on doing songs she loves…that is why Magic Man and Even it Up were not on the setlist. Hope you enjoyed her song choices. Awesome singer for almost 67! Here is my photo book – just screenshots, but you will get the idea. https://mocophoto.zenfolio.com/p845003400

Seriously! How cool is that?! Shot from the audience with a Sony RX100! Of course, a ton of people take shots from the audience at concerts these days, with their phones and even DSLRs, but by Monica taking that one step and going further — making a photo book — and sending it to Ann — look where she wound up. I’ve heard stories like this again and again, and it always does my heart good to hear about someone having success like this.

Thanks Monica for sharing your story, and the link to your photo book screen shots. I think you totally rocked it!

Hope to see you back here for Guest Blog Wednesday, and on The Grid tomorrow at 4 pm ET when my guests will be LA-based commercial photographer Ian Spanier and the man behind the Platypod himself, Larry Tiefenbrunn — it’s going to (wait for it…wait for it…) epic! :)

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. My full-day Lightroom seminar is coming to Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle in August. Get a seat now before I make you stand the whole time. ;-)  Here’s the link. 

Happy Friday everybody! We were fortunate enough to have our dear friend and colleague, the one and only Moose Peterson in town this week at KelbyOne HQ (he was taping two online classes for our members), but we were also able to get him on “The Grid” (my weekly show for photographers), and our topic was:

“How to get really get sharp images.”

Here’s a link to  the episode:

Moose also did a private members-only Webcast with an open Q&A on Wildlife Photography, and we had some many great questions! (and Moose gave so many great, very specific, answers). If you’re a member, you can watch it at this link.

If you’re looking to learn from Moose this weekend, may I recommend these awesome classes? (the official trailers are below – some of these are really cute!).

Here’s a link to Moose’s Air-to-Air Photography Class.

Here’s a link to Moose’s class on Photographing Wild Animals on Safari

Here’s a link to Moose’s ‘Aviation Photography: War Birds and the men who flew them” class.

Here’s a link to Moose’s class for Beginner’s on Wildlife Photography.

Here’s a link to Moose’s three-part class on ‘Romancing the Landscape, Part 1’

Hope you take some time to watch The Grid episode, catch the Webcast, and check out some of Moose’s amazing, inspirational classes. :)

Have a great weekend!

-Scott

If you have a friend, co-worker, or family member that is new to photography, and you want to see them make a real leap to where they’re making much better images right away, have them watch this one minute video below – I think I can help (and it’s 100% free).

I’m going to share some things I believe can really make a difference in their photography right away. It’s free and open to everyone, so I encourage you to invite your friends (just send them a link to this post).

Here’s the link to register for the Webinar.

Thanks for sharing this with your new photography friends. :)

Here’s wishing you a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday. :)

Best,

-Scott

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