Last week on my live video podcast ‘The Grid,’ I had the honor of clicking the ‘Launch’ button to start the kickstarter campaign on one of the most innovative ballheads ever‚ the “Platyball.” Best of all it’s from Larry T. and the team behind the beloved Platypod who are just some of the best folks out there.

Their goal was to raise $18,000 to fund the launch and initial run of Platyball. Within just a few days, they’ve already raised over $232,000. It. is. on. fire! Larry and his family put their heart and soul into this project and I couldn’t be happier for them. I love it when the good guys win.

Check out their launch video below.

Here’s the link if you want to get in on their kickstarter, and get yours in the first batch that ships.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of interviews over the years, but this one with Roger and Joey from from the Lensrentals Podcast was one of my very favorites ever. It was just so much fun. Check out this comment below from when I shared the podcast this weekend on my Facebook page:

When I first started reading that comment, I was sweating it, but I’m glad it had a better ending. :)

I’m putting the link below — let it run in the background while you’re retouching, and let me know what you think. It’s definitely not you’re average interview. LOL! :)

Here’s the link: http://lensrentals.lensrentals.libsynpro.com/how-to-do-everything-with-scott-kelby

Hope you can give it a listen (and thanks to Roger and Joey for being such cool guys!

No Photoshop needed for this trick — it’s nuthin’ but Lightroom!

I got a lot of great feedback on this technique I shared last week over on our sister-site LightroomKillerTips.com and I think what’s surprising is that the entire technique is done right inside Lightroom, and it’s super quick and easy.

Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

Those four cities are my next stops for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” full-day seminar. San Diego on Feb 12, Phoenix the next day on Feb. 13th. Then I’m in Houston on the 23rd and on to LA on the 25th. Come on out and spend the day with me – it’s 100% money-back guaranteed — you’ve got nuthin’ to lose and everything to gain. Here’s the link. See you there!

Here’s wishing you a great week ahead, everybody! :)

-Scott

P.S. I got a chance to spend the past few days at the NAMM (Music Gear) show out in Anaheim, California and I’ve never felt more at comfortable or more at home anywhere. Why? Because almost EVERYBODY there was wearing a black t-shirt with a logo and jeans. It was like “Planet Scott.” LOL!!! I had such a blast, and yet, I didn’t buy anything (well, I bought some new t-shirts), but much to Kalebra’s chagrin, I did come home with a shopping list, which does include a guitar. :)

I wish I had written this post that I’m going to point you to today with time-lapse images showing different locations and how they look before dawn right through sunrise, and how the colors change so dramatically over such a short period of time.

I want to highlight this great post from photographer and tech author Jefferson Graham for two reasons:

The earlier shot, with the city lights on and more interesting color, makes for a more interesting shot overall (photos by Jefferson Graham)

(1) I’ve been working on an update to one of my books this week and I was writing about one of the benefits from shooting in a city before dawn is that the city lights are still on (see Jeff’s perfect example above), and that alone makes a big difference in the shot, not to mention the better light and color you get before dawn.

(2) Erik Kuna and I were talking about this on a Grid episode recently and how so many photographers show up at sunrise — right after the light starts to turn ugly and the first tourists appear. They basically just missed the great light and the tourist-free scenes.

Here’s the link to Jefferson’s post.

If you’re not following him on social, you oughta — he posts a lot of cool stuff, and in particular videos of photo walks in various locations where he gives you really interesting ideas of places and things to shoot. Here’s a link to this Twitter feed and his Photo walks YouTube channel. Give him a follow.

Here’s to making the most out of this week!

-Scott

The Science of Wildlife Photography with Moose Peterson

Take your wildlife photography game to the next level! Join Moose Peterson as he shares the wisdom he’s earned from 30 years in the field photographing critters. By understanding the biology of your subject and its environment you’ll do a better job of creating photographs that make a difference.

In this class Moose shares how he got started and the early lessons he learned, the importance of using the gear you already have, why dressing in the field for comfort in function is key, how to become a wildlife detective, why you need to get your camera settings nailed down so you can focus on what’s in front of the camera, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll be itching to do your homework as you plan your next wildlife photography adventure!

In Case You Missed It: A Beginner’s Guide to Wildlife Photography

Join professional photographer Moose Peterson in this Beginner’s Guide to Wildlife Photography. Moose walks through the gear you’ll need and offers tips and techniques to put it all together to get the shots you want, right in your own backyard.

By starting out in your own backyard, you have the greatest access to your subjects, the best opportunity to influence your environment, and the most amount of time to put your knowledge into practice.

The skills and techniques you develop in your own personal wildlife studio can be applied to any other destination you choose in pursuit of all types of wildlife. This class is perfect for a beginner interested in wildlife photography.

Fix Your DAM Life This Year: Do As Little As Possible

Digital Asset Management is like finding the perfect backpack for most photographers. Close, but there’s always just this one problem… Well maybe this next one. We think it exists. We want it to exist. Well maybe this one, with this… Ugh.

I can’t help you find that perfect backpack, every photog knows that’s a deeply personal decision. I can however get your DAM life in order. That’s actually not a personal decision. Not as long as your idea of the perfect workflow is the one that requires the least amount of, you know…. work.

As it turns out, doing as little as possible is the best solution. Finally!

That’s because you’re the problem! Sorry, no offense, but it’s true. I am too, probably more so actually. We’re creative creatures though, and we make mistakes. Now, while we make small mistakes, computers allow us to make really big ones! But they’re consistent! That’s critical. Anyone who fixes anything for a living will tell you consistency is everything.

We’re accurate but not consistent. We’re the variable. Which folder do these images go into this time? Which keywords apply here? Is this a 3 star or 4 star image? Tomorrow… different answers. Like your alarm clock you set to be 5 minutes fast… consistency, not accuracy.

You’re also slow. Man, sorry again. Not stupid, slow. You can get to California from New York by walking but there’s a better way. Machines, automation, you get it. Much faster.

So, your DAM solution? The least amount of work possible, and the least amount of you possible, equals the fastest, most consistent workflow. I’ve yet to meet a student of mine who’s argued with me on this.

So, your DAM solution? The least amount of work possible, the least amount of YOU possible, equals the fastest, most consistent workflow. I’ve yet to meet a student of mine who’s argued with me on this.

How about 1 click fast? And an image management system that requires no decisions at all.

Let’s get started so you can move on with your DAM life. Sorry, last time.

(more…)

For #TravelTuesday this week I, Dave Williams, want to give you a quick twilight tip. It’s only for those of you with patience, mind!

I just visited Zermatt, Switzerland, which is made entirely of chocolate! Okay, maybe it’s not made of chocolate, but it’s on that same league of fantasy. The town itself is a beautiful, Alpine skiing paradise, and it’s car-free which makes it all the more exciting. Everywhere you go requires walking unless you want to take an electric taxi (think more golf buggy) or ride a bike. It meant I had to walk up the slopes to the edge of the village to get this selfie: –

And it’s this selfie which inspired me to get this shot: –

But here’s the thing—and if you were watching my Instagram story you’ll know already—this isn’t one shot.

The key to this scene is that the upper half was taken during golden hour, and the lower half was taken during blue hour. It’s a simple process but it involves patience! I found my spot, got my composition sorted, and from that point on I couldn’t move my camera one bit.

I found a fence post, which was sturdy and out of the way, so if any tourists appeared (which they did) I wouldn’t have to move out of their way. I needed my frames to line up exactly and if there was the slightest deviation it would ruin the entire process. I stuck my Platypod Max on the post, securely holding my Nikon D810 and Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8.

The process from here on is simple. First, I took a shot for the sky, using a 10-stop filter to smooth out the clouds (though they were barely moving), and when I had the shot I wanted I simply had to twiddle my thumbs for a little while and wait for the darkness to fall and the lights of the village to come on, then get my second shot without the filter. The removal of the filter was a little tense; I was so scared of moving the camera! But when it was done I was left with these two images: –

All that was left to do was open them in Adobe Photoshop, place one image on top of the other on separate layers, and then use a layer mask to select the components I wanted from each image. Following this, I used the adjustment brush to paint some highlights onto the Matterhorn and the Toblerone mountain in the background, and then straightened everything up using the church spire as my guide for this.

Simple! Taking separate shots at twilight to combine golden hour and blue hour works wonders on an urban scene, and I strongly recommend working on your patience and trying it yourself.

Much love
Dave

Lightroom Workflow on the Go with Clifford Pickett

Learn how to use Lightroom Classic and the Lightroom cloud together for a streamlined workflow that you can take with you anywhere you go! Join Clifford Pickett as he takes you through his steps for automating your import workflow into Lightroom Classic, use keywords to help you find your photos, group them into collections, and set up your Lightroom Classic catalog to sync with the cloud. From there he walks you through the steps for importing photos into the Lightroom cloud app on your mobile device when you are in the field, and how to use the mobile app for making selects, editing, and sharing your photos from where ever you are. Clifford wraps up the class with a look at how to manage your Lightroom Classic catalog and cloud storage when you return home.

In Case You Missed It: Lightroom Mobile From Start To Finish

Expand the power of Lightroom desktop to your mobile devices! Join Scott Kelby for an in-depth look at Lightroom Mobile. In this class Scott will help you get set up on the right foot, show you how to view your photos on mobile, how to add new photos from your camera roll, how to edit with the updated editing interface, how to share photos on the web, and so much more! All along the way Scott shares tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the experience. By the end of this class you’ll be able to use Lightroom anywhere you are, and on any device.

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