Photowalks & Exercising Photo Skills w/ Jefferson Graham | The Grid Ep. 469
This week, Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined on The Grid by photowalk expert and former USA Today tech columnist Jefferson Graham to talk about photowalks and putting those photography skills to work to keep them in shape!
New KelbyOne Course: Travel Photography: A Photographer’s Guide to LA with Jefferson Graham
Learn how to photograph LA like a pro! Join Jefferson Graham as he takes you on a tour of the most iconic spots in and around Los Angeles to photograph. You’ll find out how to get to the best spots for epic travel and street photography, where to shoot the Hollywood sign, where to go downtown, insights to photographing the most iconic buildings and landmarks, and even a look at surf photography. There’s no shortage of subjects and locations, and Jefferson helps you avoid the most common mistakes and leaves you brimming with ideas for your next trip to the city that launched the movie industry.
Hey there, I’m Meika, a content marketer by day and a photographer by night (and during any other time that I can free up). I specialize in portraits, food, and lifestyle photography. I’m a lover of studio settings, but I found my visual voice while exploring the concrete jungle that is downtown Philadelphia. There’s so much sauce there.
I started this photography journey by capturing landscapes. Finding interesting buildings that stood out to me because of their composition or their color. I also found beauty in odd shadows, shapes and combinations of natural and manmade objects. I told myself that there was beauty in everything. Some people who saw my work agreed, others scratched their heads.
Looking back, I think starting there was important. Vital, really. Starting from ground zero, not knowing anything about photography or why I thought certain things were breathtaking, was and is a gift. I didn’t know anything about the rule of thirds, s-curves or composition. Now that I’ve been taking my photography more seriously, studying terminology and conducting my own research, I’ve come to realize all of that beauty I was seeing was what people like to call “My Eye.”
“Girl you’ve got an eye!” “Wow, there’s no way I would have stopped to take that picture, you make it look so beautiful.”
You know, that stuff.
Did you know that having “the eye” can be taught? The fundamentals, the maneuvering, the structure of an image, the composition, it can all be taught. Brilliant artists have been writing about it for ages. One thing they may not teach you in some of those books is the sauce.
What’s The Sauce, You Ask?
It’s the vibe, the funk, the freshness, the dopeness, the sway, the love, the heart of an image. The reason you stop dead in your tracks to glare for a second longer. It’s the tilt in your head and the squint in your brow. You can’t find that in those books.
I know when I’ve got the sauce when everything aligns both in front of the lens and behind the lens. When the sun is kissing my subjects’ forehead with such grace, and the lines from the architecture behind them sit so nice that it makes me pull back from my viewfinder and scream “THIS RIGHT HERE!”
When the shadows feel right, when the wind picks up a piece of hair and carries it across the subjects’ face, when the posing isn’t forced or directed, when the eyes of my subject aren’t calculating anything, but instead, just existing. That’s when I know.
Remember that saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” Well, think about that in relation to photography. Having the sauce isn’t a scientific measurement or statistical calculation, (remember art is subjective). It’s a feeling. When pairing down my images with clients, I’ll express my love for images that sometimes they dismiss. What you find saucy, others may consider bland and vice versa. What I found that works for me is creating a set of images for my clients, and sometimes selecting a separate set of images I can display on my website.
Making Your Own Sauce
The best way to make your own sauce is to get out and shoot until you start hearing yourself say “THIS RIGHT HERE” when looking at your RAWs. Take to social media to find your favorite artists and figure out what makes them your favorite. Sit with that. Take those thoughts as inspiration and develop your own sauce. You can grab your angle inspiration from one place, your color theory inspiration from another, and your posing inspiration from a third and combine them all to make your individual magic. The sauce.
Hi all! #TravelTuesday is here again, and the return of travel is looking more and more promising with each passing day. I can’t wait to hit the road again and dedicate more time to travel photography, entailing more travel for myself, but for now, it’s all about planning and preparation (which is a very important aspect of travel photography). I’m Dave Williams, and this week for ScottKelby.com, I want to share some pro tips to up-and-coming photographers in all fields. Let’s do this!
Number one on the list – megapixels
The whole thing about megapixels is actually a bit of a non-issue. It’s something that has continued from the inception of digital photography where there was a megapixel race involving far fewer digits than we’re used to now. That megapixel race led the consumer to choose a camera based on the number of megapixels it shot as one of the primary criteria. We’re now seeing cameras on the market that feature a megapixel capability far in excess of what we need as consumers and only actually useful if we’re producing billboard-sized masterpieces, so please don’t base your decisions on megapixels when choosing a camera.
It’s actually about the glass
Now that megapixels are out of the way, let’s talk about what you should be investing in: – glass! Our hardware is something we tend to collect as photographers. We’re all fairly hooked on our kit list, our gear, whatever else you want to label it – we’re hooked on “stuff.” When we choose our primary setup, it’s far more important to consider glass than it is the camera itself. So long as we have a reasonable, functioning camera, we can turn out a decent photo with a careful investment in a good, fast lens. Our lens makes so much more of a difference than our camera does in terms of creativity, from the size and shape of the bokeh produced, through to the capacity to let more light in and knock a background out of focus to focus attention on the subject of our images. To this end, and to reiterate, it’s more about the glass than it is the camera.
A good, solid tripod is worth an investment, too. Think about it: We balance all our expensive gear on top of a tripod. That tripod needs to be rated to carry that weight, robust enough to keep it there, and rated enough that nothing will go wrong. A good tripod or a Platypod is well worth the investment for the sake of keeping our camera and lens safe when we’re taking rock-steady shots.
Straps are exactly the same, but different. Rather than balancing our gear on top, like a tripod, it hangs down from our strap, and as such, the strap needs to be up to the task. Using a low-quality strap is a risk that’s just not worth taking. When our gear is on that strap it needs to stay there, safe from falling off.
Essentially, when it comes to gear, it’s worth some research and some wise investment. It isn’t the gear that takes the photo, it’s the photographer. The gear is what makes it easier at times and, therefore, is worth that extra bit of consideration.
Well, on Friday I talked about how I had to upgrade my Canon EOS R mirrorless’ firmware (which is an upgrade to the software inside your hardware to fix problems mostly, but also sometimes to add new features). Today, we’re looking at how to do that (in this case, for Canon cameras, but most cameras use a similar method to what I’m going to show you).
STEP ONE: Pop a memory card into your camera and Format that card. Remember, this is going to erase any images you have on that card, so make sure whatever you had on that card is backed up somewhere. Once it’s formatted, go ahead and pop that memory card out of your camera.
STEP TWO: Go to the Website of the company that makes the piece of equipment you’re updating (In my case, it was Canon), and download the free firmware update right on to your computer. In this case, Canon even has a big red “Firmware Update Now Available” badge right there next to a picture of the camera, so they must really want you to update it, right? Click the gray “Drivers & Downloads” to download the firmware to your computer.
STEP THREE: Connect a memory card reader to your computer, and pop that memory card you just formatted (back in step one), into the reader so it mounts on your desktop. Now take the firmware file your downloaded to your computer (see above left), and drag it onto the memory card. Don’t put it inside a folder on your memory card. Don’t drag the whole folder over there, either. Just take that one file (in this case, the file with .FIR as it’s file extension) and drag JUST THAT ONE FILE over onto your memory card. It should be right on the root level, so don’t drag it inside anything — just leave it out there on its own. I’m over-explaining this because this is the step where people seem to mess up. “Should I drag it inside that folder?” No! Just leave it right there at the root level.
STEP FOUR: Now that your firmware update file is on the memory card, go ahead and eject it from your card reader, and pop it back in your camera again. Go to the Settings menu and find the Firmware menu (shown here, where it’s under that “wrench” menu (for lack of a better term); in the 6th set of menus (seen above).
STEP FIVE: The last step is to click on the Firmware menu and that takes you to another screen asking if you want to update the firmware, and then finally it shows you the firmware it sees on your memory card (as shown above). Choose your new firmware update from the menu; click the OK button, and in just a minute or two your firmware update will be complete. That’s it. :)
Hope you found that helpful. :)
Coming Next Month…The “Outdoor Photography Conference”
We’re less than a month away from our two-day, two track, online event for outdoor photographers, and we want you to be a part of it.
We have an absolutely incredible list of instructors, and it’s going to a very special educational event. Here’s the link for details (if you sign up early, you save a bundle!). Hope you can make it.
Here’s to a great week! A happy, healthy, and creative one at that! :)
OK, I’m still dealing with the error problem I’m getting on my new Canon EOS R6, but I think I may have a found a solution, or a culprit, or some way of moving forward (here’s the link for more on this “Err 70” problem I’m having which shuts my camera down during my shoot).
1. Could it be a compatibility issue with my new Tamron lens?
There was a compatibility issue early on with the EOS R6 camera body and certain Tamron lenses (including my new SP 150-600mm G2 lens). So, I contacted Tamron and they checked my lens’ serial number and were able to confirm it already has the firmware update that makes it compatible with the Canon EOS R6, so it’s not that. They did offer to have me send in the lens and they would inspect all the connections and such (no charge), but I don’t think that’s the issue, so unless I hit a road block and that’s the only possible solution, I won’t need to be shipping the lens to them. High-five to Tamron for the awesome customer service either way.
2. What about my Canon EOS R6’s firmware?
This is what I think the most likely culprit is. I checked my new R6’s firmware version and even though I just got the camera recently, it was still on the original 1.0 firmware. It’s now up to firmware version 1.3.1 and I found an article where it mentions the err 70 issue, and that this addresses it. I also heard from a reader who said his err 70 issue went away after he updated his firmware, so yesterday I updated the camera’s firmware to the latest (1.3.1), and I’m hoping it fixes the issue. More on this as I keep shooting with it, but I’m hopeful.
3. Another scary possibility
I also heard from a repair tech who used to work full-time as a Canon tech guy, and he said,
“ …the error you experience (error 70) is almost always due to a defective main board in the camera. The camera may work on and off but the problem will always return, often the problem correlates to a defective memory buffer or issues within the mainboard related to power (think EOS Rebel 70D). The only way to get rid of it is to send to Canon for service.”
I hope that’s not the case, but at least since he said that, I’m mentally prepared to send the unit back if need be, but I’m hoping my updating the firmware to 1.3.1 will have done the trick. I’ll let you know if it doesn’t.
Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and tried to help me figure this out. There’s not many photographers out there experiencing this issue, so while it’s not widespread, it certainly is frustrating, but I will get it figured out and get back to enjoying the R6. Outside of “Err 70” it is, hands-down, the best camera I’ve ever used by far, and I am super digging it. All the more reason why I want to get it working right. :)
Have a great weekend, everybody! Wishing you good heath and happiness. :)
Talking Aviation Photography w/Scott Kelby, Erik Kuna & Larry Grace | The Grid Episode 468
Recently, Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna went to the Sun n’ Fun Fly-In Aerospace Expo to try out some new gear! On this episode of The Grid, they are joined by US Air Force veteran and photographer Larry Grace to talk about aviation photography! This is an exciting episode you don’t want to miss.
New KelbyOne Course – Advancing Your Photography: Making Photos People Will Love with Marc Silber
Make photos that people will love! Join Marc Silber as he walks you through the same cycle of photography that past photography masters and professional photographers use today. Throughout the course Marc shares inspirational interviews, quotes, examples, tips, and his decades of experience to help you take your photography to the next level. By the end of the class you’ll have a better understanding of your camera, have stronger visualization skills, have a better understanding of composition, know how to process your images, know what to do after you’ve crafted an amazing photo, and so much more.