Category Archives Photography

Well, I was at the Outback Bowl, and I did shoot some football, but that wasn’t my main gig.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out my images and the full story behind how I wound up shooting at the Outback Bowl, by clicking this link. 

Hey, it’s certainly a different way for me to start off the new year, but it turned out to be a really fun one! Here’s to trying new things in 2018!

Hope you had a Happy New Year, and let’s make 2018 totally kick butt! :)

Best,

-Scott

 

 

Good Tuesday, one and all! This week for #HybridDaveTuesdays, on #TravelTuesday here at ScottKelby.com, I’ll share a little bolt on to a previous post about shooting in the cold from a couple of weeks ago. It’s something particularly useful if you’re planning a shoot in the high Arctic areas of Norway, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, or Iceland, so if any of these places are on your list during the winter, make sure to pay attention and tell all your friends!

There is a lot said about golden hour and blue hour in our world. You’ll struggle, in fact, to get through a photography tutorial without hearing one of those phrases. The reason for this post is to share with you my experiences in losing the ‘hour’ from these terms during the Arctic winters I’ve experienced and arming those of you who are planning to visit the far north (or south) with the knowledge you’ll need for planning your time.

The Arctic winter is a funny thing. Right now, everything from 66 degrees north and up has no sunrise – they said goodbye to the sun a short time ago and look forward to seeing it again sometime in January.

 

Jökulsárlon, Iceland at 1pm and zero degrees

 

The absence of a sunriseliterally changes everything we know of blue hour and golden hour, and that means, we have to change the way we think. Daylight hours are much shorter, affording us drastically less time to get any bright daylight shots. Everything is darker, but that’s just the start of it!

What happens to the sun during an arctic summer is pretty strange – it just bobs up and down in the sky, never setting for weeks. Arctic winters are the polar opposite – the sun bobs up and down BELOW the horizon, never really rising, but still providing some light depending on how far into the cycle you are. At the beginning and end of winter, the sun pokes above the horizon, and as you get toward the middle of winter, it gets further and further below the horizon.

What this makes us notice is that twilight sort of period – the bit right between golden hour and blue hour – hangs around for longer. A lot longer, in fact. The whole day, at times, can be akin to a sunrise or sunset, casting an ambient glow across the landscape for hours with virtually no direct light.

Solheimasandur, Iceland at 11:30am and -4 degrees

 

It really is important as a photographer to be aware of the sunrise and sunset times when visiting the Arctic, particularly the high Arctic, and plan properly around it – especially when you consider that you could potentially lose light earlier during snowstorms!

The bonus, on top of having this tranquil sunset-esque light all day, is having awesome colours and tones alongside noticeably less harsh shadows. Of course, I couldn’t give you a bonus without bringing you back down with a thud, so I’ll also tell you about it being a lot darker. Our eyes, the wonderful things that they are, adjust appropriately to the lack of light, but trust me – when you start sorting your camera settings, you’ll notice from the ISO and shutter speeds that you’ll have to select that it’s a lot darker than you think!

When the sky looks blue, but you can see all the stars, is just when you realise this, and it’s great that blue hour hangs on in there for longer!

 

3pm and -12 degrees in Finnish Lapland

 

My advice to consider, if you’re travelling to the higher or lower latitudes on a photography mission, is to pay very close attention to sunrise and sunset times and plan your days carefully around them. Make back up plans, scout locations, and take advantage of anything that presents itself to you…here’s why:-

I’d visited Strokkur before and captured a sequence of shots showing its aquatic eruption. I’d made the shot some time ago, so I wanted to get back and improve on it. Here’s the shot I’m talking about:-

Problem is that when I got there, I was fighting through a blizzard, unable to feel my nose, and was struggling to get a clean shot. Here’s me with my buddy John Parry to give you a feel:-

The situation had ruined my plan, but making the most of the change in conditions and lessening daylight hours, I caught a scene which has become one of my favourite shots ever:-

 

The extreme north can be so beautiful, but simultaneously so harsh and unexpected. Be forearmed and expect the unexpected – you can really maximise on it and capture its awesomeness!

Much love

Dave

It’s that time of week again here at ScottKelby.com – it’s #HybridDaveTuesdays on #TravelTuesday – and this week, I’m going to answer a question I’ve been frequently asked, and then I’ll break it down a bit more!

Take a look at my posts on Instagram, and you’ll notice a theme: they’re all geotagged with the coordinates, along with a marker pin denoting the country right there at the top of the caption. It look’s a bit like this:-

 

 

The question I’m most often asked is not “How do you do it?” but “How do you remember?”

We live in a world where you can have GPS right there in your D-SLR, but mine doesn’t have that, so I have to have a system for remembering where I take photos, particularly those in the middle of nowhere or of something potentially nondescript in and of itself.

The first and primary thing I tend to do is, when using my D-SLR, I will also take the same photo with my iPhone with my geotagging turned on, thereby marking the shot on a map. It’s so simple, and it’s a really good reminder of what was where when I’ve been away on a trip taking hundreds of photos one after another. There are, of course, things which stand out in my memory, but those things which don’t can be easily tagged on a map right in my pocket.

Here’s an example, starting with the (festive, because it’s nearly Christmas) D-SLR shot:-

 

Of course, we know this is the Rockefeller Center tree, but suppose we didn’t. All we’d need to do is take a shot at the same place on the iPhone (or another brand, whichever, but preferably an iPhone!), and then go into the photo on the phone and swipe up:-

 

Right there, it’s sitting on the map, showing us the exact spot the photo was taken. It’s a GPS solution to tagging photos that we already have right there in our pockets.

My second option is simpler still: once you’ve taken a photo, have a look around and see if there’s a sign you can shoot – a street name, a tourist sign, a shop name, anything that will jog your memory later would be great for getting a praise location for your photo.

 

 

This is a Svalbard reindeer, the smallest reindeer sub-species. He’s looking down my lens from the edge of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen. The glacial water flowing off into the sea through Adventdalen is pretty familiar, so as a reminder, in this instance, here’s what I did:-

 

Easy, right? Too easy to be telling you about? Well, it’s one of those things – it’s simple when you know what to do, but if you don’t do it, you’ll end up racking your brain trying to remember the name of a place you took a photo, so you’ll thank me when you start doing this!

I hope this was useful. Remember to check in here every week to see what other wisdom I have to impart from the world of travel photography and retouching, and you can reach out if you have any questions or topics for me by searching for me, Hybrid Dave, across social media :)

 

Much love

Dave

That’s Stephen Wallace, and you probably recognize him as the KelbyOne member who was the winner of our contest for a solo show in the Gallery at KelbyOne, but he’s also a rising star, and on Saturday night his star was certainly shining bright!

Right after his interview with Larry Becker, broadcast live and viewed all over the world, I was standing in the theater when a gentleman who was in the audience came up to tell Steve how much he admired his work, and how fascinating his talk was, but he said something that really stood out. He said to Steve that what was most amazing to him was for an incredible of a photographer as Stephen is, he was so humble about it all. It made us all love him, and his work, even more.

It was a magical night
Like the openings for Mark Wegner and Melanie Kern-Favila before him — there is something so special that happens when we all come together to experience beautiful art; to share the process and learn about the person behind it; and to celebrate what is good in this world. It was a wonderful night of learning, laughter, and watching as another star is born. I’ll share some of the images from the evening here, with a few captions, but if you get a chance, watch Stephen’s talk from the gallery (it’s embedded a little farther down this page). There is so much to this artist, to his man, and he has a lot to share. He truly honored the gallery with this images, and his words.

Above: I took this shot at the end of the night, after everybody left, down low with a wide angle lens. Stephen’s images from Myanmar (formerly Burma) looked amazing on the walls.

Above: He talked a lot about why he choses to photograph so often in Southeast Asia. His answers were so insightful.

Above: His use of natural light, and his understanding of how to harness that light, was really intriguing. So simple, but so effective.

Above: I grabbed a few shots before and after the sold out crowd arrived for his opening.

Above: That’s my personal favorite of Steven’s gallery images. It’s like he’s flying.

 

Above: Some scenes from Steve’s opening. 

Above: Matt Kloskowski and his wife Diana dropped by – that’s Matt chatting with Steve before his talk.

Above: I know we talk a lot about Bay Photo Lab’s Xposure printing system, but you should see the reaction of people who visit the gallery. The images look so amazing, and the mounting is so clever. It was one of the first things Stephen looked at when he saw his images for the first time. We feel very fortunate, very blessed to have BayPhoto as our sponsor for the gallery — their printing system helps the images come alive.

Above: This is Steve’s interview from Saturday night with Larry Becker (who was as awesome as always) – it says “The Grid Live” for some reason, but that’s not what the actual video is — it’s Steve’s chat with Larry. I promise you – you’ll love it. You’ll learn a lot. You’ll laugh, too. You’ll be intrigued and engaged, and you’ll just really enjoy it. You’ll see some wonderful images, and meet a fascinating man who has lived a pretty incredible life. I hope you take the time. It’s worth it.

Above: Steve and his wonderful wife Becky. We got to spend a little time with them before and after the gallery opening, and they are just awesome people.

Are you next?
On Thursday, we’ll be announcing the next gallery competition opening dates and how you can submit your images, during a live Webcast we’re doing for KelbyOne members on how to get your work noticed in 2018. It’s just one part of our presentation, but it’s an important one.

I hope you’ll be joining some of these amazingly talented people — photographers who all thought they’d never be the one chosen. If you think you probably won’t win…you’re in good company.

A special thanks
I want to give a special thanks to our in-house team who works so hard to put together this special evening. Thanks to Merideth Duffin, our director, Steve Nicolai who leads our video team and makes sure everything works like a charm; to Juan Alfonso our camera operator and jack-of-all-trades; to Rachel Scott who wore many hats from event photographer to social media maven (her day job) to live chat moderator; to Jean A. Kendra for all her help, for being our cheese and wine expert, and for being so supportive of this idea from the very beginning. Thanks to Larry Becker (he’s just so brilliant); to Pam Suttmiller for always helping every time, and to Erik Kuna, who so loves what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, and helps in every aspect from start to finish.

It all started with Kalebra’s dream
None of this would even be possible if Kalebra hadn’t come up with the idea to take someone from our community and find a way to raise them up; to give them a bigger audience for their work; to get them the recognition they deserve. Thank you for being so awesome, and for having such a heart for others. You are just such a cool person.

My thanks for Steven and Becky for honoring our studio, and being such fun, modest, and just just awesome people. Thanks, Steve for sharing your gift with our members and with the world. It was a night none of us will soon forget.

Here’s to a great week everybody, and to new opportunities. :)

Best,

-Scott

Hello one and all, and thanks for dropping by again for #HybridDaveTuesdays on #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider. I’m Dave Williams and I’m here once a week to share something with you from the world of Photography and Retouching, and this week it’s a little note on noise in your images and using the Reduce Noise Filter. Let’s get going!

So, last week I told you all that I was in Tromsø, Norway, and despite the -12 celsius conditions and occasional blizzard I persevered and got some awesome nights of Aurora and had some stunning views before me through the fjords and snow blanketed terrain. One image in particular though, the view from my hotel, was the inspiration for this post. Here it is:-

 

The view from the Magic Mountain Lodge in Lyngseidet, Norway

This was a snapshot caught right at the start of the day before a long drive north. The light was very low, the ISO was very high, and the grain in the image is testament to that. For me the most noticeable noise is up in the snow around the mountain to the right. So sometimes it’s good to leave the noise there, it’s quite a good characteristic to have, but often in the world of commercial photography it’s just not acceptable.

The Reduce Noise Filter

Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise

This tool has been hanging around in Photoshop for a while. It’s generally pretty good but it’s worth noting the name. It’s called the Reduce Noise Filter, not the Remove Noise Filter. The reason I point this out is because it’s pretty hard to remove the noise in an image without losing detail. This is because Photoshop is taking a look at an area of the image and trying to determine which pixels don’t fit, then replacing them with an average of the surrounding pixels. Make sense? So if I have a 9×9 grid with a white pixel in the centre and black pixels surrounding the edges, the noise filter will notice that the white pixel is the one which is out of place and stick a black pixel there. What this does on a larger scale is pretty catastrophic if you think about it. We invested in an awesome camera which we use to shoot RAW, capturing the precise colour and tone of each individual pixel, then we stick it through a noise reduction process which changes each one of those pixels based on it’s neighbour and spews out an average which it’s decided works better. That’s what you need to have in the back of your mind when you use noise reduction, along with this:-

“Nobody ever threw away a photo of their relative, their wedding, their partner, or their cat because it was noisy.”

-Hybrid Dave, 2017

So let’s break it down. One type of noise that the Reduce Noise Filter can deal with is Color (I think that means Colour) noise. This type of noise is red, blue and green dots scattered across your image, often in the form of splodges rather than individual pixels, but it could be either.

When using this filter it’s best to reset the sliders to zero each time to start off, thereby effectively hitting the reset button on the filter and seeing the preview with no filter applied.

Back to the Color Noise, with the slider at zero give it gentle progress to the right until the color noise starts to blend with the rest of the image. Be careful not to slide too far!

 

 

Luminance Noise is next up on the list here. Unlike Color Noise, Luminance Noise is made up of dots which are grayscale, anywhere between white and black. Here’s a closer view from the bottom right of the image showing these dots:-

 

Removing the Luminance Noise comes as a two part process, with the Preserve Details slider activating once you move the Strength slider. What happens here is you effectively smooth out the image using the Strength slider, then bring the detail back with the Preserve Details slider. With the Strength slider set to zero, slowly move it to the right until you’re happy with the effect it’s had on the Luminance Noise. Once you’re happy here, start increasing the Preserve Details slider to bring back the detail without reintroducing the noise. This is simple to understand, and easy to use once you do understand, but without that prior knowledge of what’s actually going on it can be just a random set of sliders being moved up and down. Let’s move on…

 

 

Switching the radial selection from Basic to Advanced will open up the option to apply the noise filter to single channels of colour. It’s the exact same principle as the Color filter, but applied to Red, Green, or Blue only. If you’ve noticed that only one channel needs the filter more than the others it’s a handy tool to have, and it comes with the Strength and Preserve Details sliders right there.

The last thing to look at here is the box entitled Remove JPEG Artefact. This tackles the problem caused by compression in JPEG files. Each time a JPEG is saved the quality gets worse, and it wasn’t great in the first place! This check box will do what it can to reduce the noise caused by the processes a JPEG file is put through in order to try to preserve it from the compression effects.

So that’s my breakdown for you all today on the Reduce Noise Filter right there in Adobe Photoshop. It’a a fairly simple tool, but understanding it will help you to better utilise it, and I hope I’ve helped.

As always, I’d love to see what you’ve made, and I’m on Instagram and Twitter if you want to reach out. Keep an eye on my Instagram story today and tomorrow, I’m currently in the air heading across the pond to New York City to have a little look at how they do Christmas over there!

Much love

Dave

OK, I know I’m way, way overdue for sharing these images from my trip to Lisbon, but I was on a critical book deadline, and blah, blah, blah I just didn’t get it done until now. Thanks for everybody that asked about them, and that has been so patient as well.

I shared the images, story, and behind-the-scenes shots using Adobe Spark Page. Here’s the link. 

After this few days in Lisbon, we flew to Morocco, and I’m building a separate Spark Page for those, and I’ll share those as soon as it’s done. Thanks for letting me share these images with you. :)

“The Grid” has its own commercial spot
I’m excited to have a little commercial promo spot for our weekly photography show, ‘The Grid’ and I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s put together by our own Steve Nicolai and Steve wanted to create a clip that showed the fun and personality of the show, I think he did a great job (make sure you watch all the way to the very end).

Without further ado, I present “The Grid” commercial:

I would love, love, love it if you’d share that on your social media. Here’s the link (https://youtu.be/9PFNBndox6s) to the YouTube video for sharing (and my thanks in advance).

That’s it for today – don’t forget to come on back tomorrow for Diamond Dave William’s Tuesday post. :)

Best,

-Scott

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