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

Sports Photography: Make Your Pee Wees Look Like Pros
Photograph your kids sports like a pro! Join Rob Foldy, professional sports photographer, as he teaches you the basic photographic principles that will make your subjects proud. This is not a class on gear, but Rob does show you how to use what you have, and how to configure your camera for the best results. You’ll also learn the importance of storytelling and how being prepared before you go to the game will help you take your photographs to the next level. Rob brings it all together by working with three parents while they photograph their kids’ soccer game, providing them tips for shooting with everything from a mobile phone to a DSLR.

In Case You Missed It
In Action Sports Flash Photography, Dave Black uses his Nikon Speedlights and DSLR to create the kind of stylized sports portraits that you normally see in feature articles, programs and magazine covers – and he shows you how to do it too. In this class, you’ll learn how to capture action sports, in varying degrees of action from track and field to motocross, with high-speed sync and fast action shutter speeds. You’ll also learn what equipment and settings work best for each progressive action sports situation; but most of all, you’ll learn that while you may not have the exact same kind of equipment Dave does, it won’t matter half as much as you think as long as you share his exuberance and desire to take an amazing picture.

We are photographers, we photograph a lot. That is our job, and it can lead to problems if you do not properly take care of yourself. Even if you are just a photographer that shoots occasionally, you can build up wrist problems/issues/pain. Let’s call it, photographer wrist? Is that a thing…? Let’s make it one. My goal is to help educate you so that you can take steps to prevent this photographer wrist. Too often people wait for something to go wrong, then address it – and it can really detrimental to your job and more importantly your everyday life. If you are already injured, I have a few tips for you. But keep in mind I am not a doctor and I am going to simply share what worked for me through experience. This does not mean it will work for you, but it will hopefully give you some ideas and send you in the correct direction.

I didn’t know wrist issues were even an issue when mine began. About four years ago I was on The House Party Tour – a four band tour where I photographed everyone sound checking and hanging out during the day. Then at night for about four consecutive hours I would shoot each band’s set. It was a lot of work, but I loved it. About halfway through I ended up having to put my left wrist in a brace cause it was hurting so bad, and a few days later I had to do my right one as well. I was in bad shape. By the time I got home a few weeks later, my whole left arm from the elbow down was frozen. I literally couldn’t bend my wrist more than 5 degrees in any direction and the pain was a bit much. I had no idea what to do. It just didn’t make sense to take showers a few times a day just to try and warm up my arm – this is also incorrect, don’t do this.

Not fun

Through internet research I eventually found a massage master by the name of Joel in Orlando, Florida that specialized in rehabilitating clients with chronic pain. You can check him out at Orlando-Massage.com. (Don’t forget the “-” or you are redirected to a not so safe for work website.) I had no idea what I was in for, but it seemed like a step in the right direction. The session was two hours long and it consisted of a lot of painful, very calculated and precise work on my wrists, armpits, back, shoulder etc. He works with professional violinists, tennis players etc. I’m not kidding you…. same day results. My wrist worked again. Not entirely, but I was on my way.  It was a deep breath of fresh air; I could have kissed the ground I was so grateful. It was one of the most painful things I have ever done, though the rewards made it all worth it. Little bit of pain now for a lot of relief later. I went to him a few more times, but I don’t live in Florida so I had to find someone else to go to back home in San Diego.

I tried Chiropractor, Acupuncture, and various stretches. They all kind of worked; they were baby steps in the right direction or a combination of them would provide temporary relief. But I wasn’t progressing like I did with Florida. For a good three years I had weak wrists after that. I couldn’t really jump up ledges and hoist myself up. I did my pushups with fists and I had to be careful to not jab them. I had to be constantly aware of my wrists, and I still am. A year ago I emailed the Florida guy. I am not sure why I waited so long, but he pointed me in the direction of who to go with and I am 100% healed now thanks to another similar professional in San Diego. If you are trying to find someone in your area, you want to look for someone who does Rolfing® Structural Integration.

In addition to this I also workout regularly, stretch well before I shoot, and also changed the way I carry my gear and such. I also have back balls and this back massager. Also the more well known back roller. All life changing.

Photographer wrist protection pack

Long story short – the problems I acquired from shooting were mostly because of the harness I was wearing while I was shooting for such long hours. The harness was great, it’s a money maker – I absolutely love it and still use it, however I would advise against using it for long periods of time in combination with with very heavy gear. I used it to hold a Camera with a 70-200mm lens on my left side while I shot with the camera from my right. If there is one thing you take from this blog I want to to be that it is never a good idea to have heavy weight on your shoulders while they are up in shoot mode.

Lots of weight on your shoulders, be careful

It was a lot of weight at once. Also… for four hours a night? Not a good idea. You have to make sure you use your gear correctly. Remember gear is a tool, and tools have different applications. Think of shoes… You have certain shoes for running, and another type of shoes for going to a formal event. It’s the same thing. Different gear, different uses. Use it wrong, and you can hurt yourself. You wouldn’t go running in heels ya know. It just might not be so obvious or known at all when it comes to camera gear, so you need to figure it out. Here are some things I have figured out so far.

How do you hold your camera while shooting?
Posture is important – just like when you are on your computer, back straight and such, try not to hunch over while you are shooting. Engage your core!  I think strength comes into play here. You really need to make sure your upper body is toned. You don’t need to be ripped, just go to the gym a few times a week, get a strong core. It’ll help you be more stable while you shoot. Stay healthy, stay fit. The more out of shape you are, the more difficult your job will be. Every time I go to the gym I just think “this will help you become a better photographer” – and I mean it is true, it definitely isn’t going to make me worse. I want to be the best I can be, and give myself the best circumstances possible in order to push forward and grow.

I use a Spider Holster Hand Strap for my camera, it helps take the weight off my wrists and spread it out. So comfy as well…. And you can’t drop your camera. Well I guess you could, but it would mean also dropping yourself.

Spider hand strap helps spread the camera weight out
Don’t drop addicted to the shindig

If you don’t like the above option you can also wrap your camera strap around your wrist, it comes free (not really, you pay for it) with your camera. In addition if you adjust the length just right you can kind of anchor it with your body and the tension will hold it stable.

Wrap around wrist tight
Tension elbow techniques… I have no idea what to call this

How do you carry your camera while you are in between shots on a shoot?
Money maker is a good option, I think it works great for weddings or events you do not have to do everyday. It allows for the fast change of cameras at a seconds notice. Throw a 24-70mm on one camera and a 70-200mm on another and you have got a full range at your finger tips.

This is an old photo I just found on the internet, before I injured myself

I use a camera bag now. I use the ThinkTank TurnStyle series over one shoulder and diagonally around my back for when I am shooting with one extra lens. It is really easy to change gear with as well and I love this. Again not a lot of weight.

ThinkTank TurnStyle bag in action

I use a camera bag that I set down while I am shooting for any situation where I will have more than one extra lens on me. I try to not hold the bag on me so that I avoid injury and stay relatively unrestricted with my movement. I have never been a big fan of being bogged down by gear. I want to move and I want to move quick. This specific bag is the Think Tank Photo Retrospective, however there are so many different kind of bags like this. I just really love Think Tank and have had the best experience with them.

Think Tank Retrospective shoulder bag

How do you travel with your camera gear?
I think the biggest factor in this is – how are you traveling? Car? Bus? Plane? Train? Jet? All of the above? For me I always bring as little as possible and want to be as mobile as I can be at any given point. But maybe you have a lot of gear, maybe you have to do artificially lit shoots on the go – I do not know your setup. However make sure that there is intention behind each piece of gear. Even too many extra batteries weigh you down. Keep that in mind when packing. Here is what I suggest.

If you are going to use a backpack, get something with support. Anything that buckles up top and at bottom. I use the Think Tank Shapeshifter – I like that it can changes sizes and is very secure with compartments.

Support my dance

If I have to bring a big more gear, I’ll bring a bag with wheels so that there isn’t to much weight on my back. However it’s important I have a home base if I take this bag, if I am constantly on the go I try to keep it off the ground. If you have more gear, get a bigger bag. I usually suggest avoiding checking anything when you fly as it takes extra time when you land and the last thing you want to do is pay an airline to lose your bag. One time I had an airline break my pelican case… I don’t even know how they did that. I didn’t think it was possible.

Anyway. That is all I got. I wish you the best and please be safe. No matter what career you are in, you have to maintain your work tools. That means taking care of yourself. Be healthy and be smart. Don’t ignore your body. Listen to it. Feed it good food also. Like vegetables and such.

Feel free to share your own knowledge, we can all learn from each other.

You can see Adam’s work at AdamElmakias.com, and follow him on Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Happy Tuesday everybody, and here’s another in my series of Photoshop buried treasure — this time it’s in the form of a little-known Adjustment Layer called “Color Lookup” and what Adobe did was hire a color expert to create color “looks” based on classic films, and all you have to do is find one you like, and boom — drop the mic, you’re done! It gives you some of those Instagram old-school film looks, and cross processing looks, and a lot of those looks that are popular in fashion post-processing these days. Here’s how it works:

STEP ONE: Here’s our original image. At the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu and choose Color Lookup (as shown here).

Above: That brings up the Color Lookup options in the Properties panel. One reason this panel hasn’t taken off is — if you click once on any of those three panels, it brings up an “Open” dialog asking you to load a LUT, Abstract Profile, or DeviceLink Profile, to which our answer is, “Huh? What are those” so we hit cancel, never to return (and if that sounds like you, don’t feel bad, this has happened to right around a ba-zillion people so far).

STEP TWO: If instead you click and hold (in this case, I clicked and held on the 3D LUT menu), a pop-up menu of predesigned color looks appears (as shown above). Just choose one and you get a color look applied to your image (as I did here where I applied a Crisp.Winter.look).

Above: Here’s another one of the look — filmstock_50.3dl. What’s nice is — these appear as Adjustment Layers, so if you feel the look is too intense, you can simply lower the Opacity of that Adjustment Layer.

Above: here’s another look — this one is based on a Fuji F125 Kodak look. Another benefit of these being Adjustment Layers is that you can change the blend mode of this layer to get different looks as well. Surprisingly powerful little tool, this one.

Okey, Dokey — that’s it for today’s “Photoshop Buried Treasure” hunt.

Hey, did I mention Moose Peterson is on “The Grid” tomorrow? 
Well he is, and we’re talking about getting sharp shots, so come on by at 4 pm ET tomorrow at this link (or over on my Facebook page, where we simulstream).

Heads up KelbyOne members: Moose is doing a live Members-only Q&A Webcast, tomorrow, too!
Moose will be answering your questions on wildlife, aviation photography, and landscape photography — just for KelbyOne members at 2PM ET tomorrow. Stop by your Member’s Dashboard for a direct link.

Have a good one everybody! :)

-Scott

Hi, everybody. Sorry I missed out blogging on Friday – my wife and daughter flew up to New York City to meet me Friday morning (I was already up in NYC on business), and I got all caught up in that. We had a blast (saw two awesome shows: ‘Wicked’ and ‘School of Rock’ and took a hilarious tour of NYC called ‘The Ride’ – highly recommended).

Anyway, I’m back and of course, on Friday (as luck would have it) all hell broke loose when Google added a disclaimer to their download site for the free Nik Collection of plug-ins, that they would no longer be supporting it moving forward. If a new OS from Apple or Microsoft is released and it breaks the Nik Collection from working, they’re not going to fix it. Or, if a new version of Photoshop or Lightroom stops it from working, they’re not going to fix it. Or if a stiff wind comes along, and it breaks the Nik Collection they ain’t fixin’ it). Tip of the hat to DPReview for uncovering that.

Well, long time Nik Collection users are (me being one of them) are pretty much freaking out, so I thought I’d do a quick Q&A about it here on the blog-a-roonie:

Q. Didn’t Google pretty much say the same thing when they first released the Nik Collection for free? 
A. They did. They said, in kind of a soft-sell way, that they weren’t going to support further development of the collection.

Q. So we kind of already knew this?
A. Yeah, we pretty much did. I wrote about that in my Q&A the day they made the initial “free” announcement, back in March of 2016.

Q. So what exactly did you say in that Q&A about it?
A. Well, I answered a “Q” with an “A” (see below).

Q. Does this mean that future updates for this collection have ceased?
A.
Based on what I’ve read, I absolutely think that is the case, but I haven’t confirmed it with anyone inside Google yet.

Q. So, what if I download it today, and then there’s a major Mac OS or Windows update down the road and then it doesn’t work anymore. Will Google do an update to fix it?
A. Not as best as I can tell, so use it today and enjoy it for as long as it works.

Q. Will Google ever release a Nik Collection Version 5?
A. I would love that, but based on their post about why they are making it free, it seems fairly clear that their desktop plug-in days are over (that was my take on it anyway).

Q. So, how much longer will it still work?
A.
For some folks, it’s already too late. I’ve seen posts and gotten emails from people who have told me straight up that when they updated something and the collection stopped working. They have some sort of configuration (maybe it’s a particular graphics card with a particular OS update, of what-have-you), but it broke their Nik world. I hate to hear that (and I worry about it myself because I’ve been a Nik Collection user for years. In fact, I did an entire KelbyOne online class on how I use the Nik Collection (and released it just a few days after Google made their “Free” announcement).

Q. So, if they already alluded to the “we’re not updating this stuff anymore” situation when they released the free version, how come everybody is freaked out now?
A. Because Google added the “we’re not updating this stuff anymore” text right to the downloads page itself, so it’s more official and scary looking. Plus, I think we all hoped that Google wouldn’t really just leave us hanging like that and that they actually would, in fact, update the software when push came to shove.

Q. Yeah, but you’re saying people are already having issues with the Nik Collection working?
A. Right. So, push has already come to shove – and apparently enough people with problems contacted Google for help that they felt they needed to put a disclaimer on their downloads Website.

Q. Maybe Google is understaffed and doesn’t have someone available that could patch the software?
A. That’s entirely possible, but at last count, Goggle had around 62,000 employees (but that’s from last year. It’s probably more by now).

Q. So they have 62,000+ employees, but they can’t spare one to simply fix this plug-in that is beloved by so many people?
A. Apparently not. If Google wanted to assign one, or even one thousand, Google certainly could and probably not even notice they were missing — but apparently, they don’t want to devote even one single engineer to fix it, or they would, right? This is a business decision for Google (no longer supporting the Nik Collection), and I get it — it doesn’t fit into their plans/strategy moving forward. I’m not happy about it, but I do understand it.

Q. But isn’t there a petition on change.org asking Google to at least to a maintenance update?
A. There sure is. Here’s where you can sign it.

Q. Did you sign it, Scott?
A. Absolutely!

Q. So, do you think if enough people sign this petition, it will convince Google to change their mind?
A. No. Not a chance. I believe that Google has no interest in the Nik Collection whatsoever. I believe the most work that has been put into the existing Nik Collection since 2012 was them putting up the notice that they’re not going to support it any longer.

Q. This reminds of when you said on “The Grid” right after Google bought Nik Software — you didn’t think Google bought Nik because they wanted to get in the business of selling plug-ins for Photoshop. I remember you saying that.
A. Yup, I did. I said I felt they bought Nik pretty much just for their Snapseed mobile app (which is awesome), and that I didn’t see them continuing to develop the Nik Collection as desktop plug-ins.

Q. And at the time, how did the Google/Nik folks react to you saying that?
A. I believe it was the catalyst for them installing a dartboard set with my photo on it.

Q. Yeah, I heard about that. Didn’t they even send two Google/Nik employees to be guests on The Grid to refute what you were saying?
A. They did, and they were masters at not answering my direct questions about will there be a Nik Collection 5. I made the joke on air that they were so skilled at not answering the question, that they should consider becoming politicians.

Q. So did they ever release that Nik Collection version 5?
A. Senator, I plead the 5th on the grounds that I don’t want to yell “I told you so!” so loudly that it knocks their dartboard set off the wall.

Q. Maybe, since Google doesn’t want it, they’ll give it to Adobe, and they could add it to Lightroom or Photoshop?
A. Ahhhhh, if only the software industry worked like that on any level. What a wonderful world it would be. It’s more likely that Google would assign 200+ engineers to update it than it would that they give it to Adobe or anyone. That’s not how multi-billion dollar software companies roll. I don’t want to whine too much – they did give us for free what was once a $499 collection of plug-ins (and they added another plug-in to it; the Analog Efex plug-in that everybody was hoping for. Stop snickering). ;-)

Q. So, all that aside, where does that leave us now?
A. We’re pretty much hosed. It is over. If your Nik Collection hasn’t stopped working yet, it’s like I said, “Enjoy it while you can” because it’s death is a-comin’.

Q. So, what’s your plan?
A. You might have already noticed that I’ve been transitioning over to using MacPhun’s Luminar plug-in. It has a lot of the same type of effects as Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 (which was their plug-in many pros I know relied upon — that and SilverEfex Pro for black and white conversions). It’s only been out since late last year, but it’s already had over 4-million downloads on the Mac alone, so it’s pretty much just taken off.

Q. Yeah and that’s why I didn’t switch to them earlier — they don’t have a Windows version.
A. Well, now they do (MacPhun announced it a week or so ago, and it’ll be shipping very soon).

Q. So, it’ll be on both Macs and PCs now?
A. Yup!

Q. Well, are you going to do a class on these as you did on the Nik Collection?
A. I’m on it. In fact, I’m in the studio taping it this week.

Q. How does it compare to the Nik Collection?
A. I think it compares closest to the Nik ColorEfex Pro 4 plug-in (well, it should be – some of the guys from MacPhun used to be “the guys from Nik Software”).  It has many of the same types of effects I went to Color Efex Pro 4 for, like: glows, detail enhancement, bi-color gradients, high-key effects, black and white conversions (not quite as good as Silver Efex Pro, but still good), Advanced Contrast, Structure, Polarizer, all that stuff (though it doesn’t have a straight-up Bleach Bypass effect, I think there’s a preset that gets close, but I will miss that effect from ColorEfex Pro 4. It doesn’t have “Tonal Contrast” by name, but it has the look (they call theirs “Structure”).

Q. Anything it does better?
A. It has lots and lots of presets (a lot that comes with it, and others that are downloadable), and the user interface is better (except for the pictures they use for the presets icons – they look very “consumerish” to me). It has a good Layers feature, so that’s pretty huge for Lightroom only users and their masking tools are really good. It’s got a spot healing tool that’s not bad (again, if you’re Lightroom only), and you can use it as a stand-alone app if you like (it doesn’t have to plug-in to Lightroom or Photoshop, but that’s how I use it exclusively).

Q. Anything worse?
A. It loads a lot slower when you first launch it. I’ve whined about it to them like a thing that whines a lot. I imagine it will get faster soon due to a bunch of whining [not just mine alone, but I can whine with the best of ’em when it comes to software], and if not, the whining will continue, (but much louder).

Q. So, if you’re telling us about which plug-in you’re switching to, I’m picking up a vibe that you feel like the Nik Collection might be ‘going away.” Am I right?
A. No. that’s not the ‘vibe’ I’m putting down. The vibe I’m putting down is the ‘death vibe.” Google said it — they are not supporting the Nik Collection any longer. It’s over.

Q. Scott, now you are starting to freak me out because maybe I’m reading between the lines here, but it sounds to me like you’re hinting that the Nik Collection may not have a very bright future.
A. That’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m saying “it has no future, and is dead now.”

Q. Maybe I’m jumping the shark here, but it kinda of sounds like you’re intimating that the Nik Collection may stop working for some people some day soon.
A. It has already stopped working for some folks now, and the reason is — it’s dead.

Q. But it sounds like you do think that Google will step in and save the day by assigning some engineers to do a maintenance update so we can keep using the Nik Collection, right?
A. No. I do not think that on any level, nor have I ever thought that, not even for a minute. I hoped it. I wished it, but that train has left the station.

Q. So, if I’m reading you right here, you just said Google is ‘training’ someone to update the Nik Collection? Is that what I’m getting from this?
A. You need to talk to someone.

Q. Are they at Google in the Nik Collection update department?
A. Sigh.

Well, folks, I don’t know what else to say. The train has left the station. The horse has left the barn. That dog don’t hunt. Fill in your own folksy phrase for “it ain’t gonna happen” here: ______________________. Hey, we still made images before the Nik Collection was even around, and we’ll be making ’em after they’re gone — we’ll just use a different set of plug-ins. Life goes on.

I hope you found this Q&A somewhat:

a) Helpful
b) Cathartic
c) Karmasutric
d) All of the above

Here’s wishing you a day where all your plug-ins work in perfect peace and harmony [insert gong sound here].

Best,

-Scott
Seat 11C, 33,000 feet
Feel free to move about the cabin, inc.

Deconstructing Design in Photoshop with Dave Clayton
Take inspiration from good design and make it your own. Join Dave Clayton as he takes you into Photoshop and demonstrates how you can start with an existing design and build on top of it to make something completely unique as a tool to help you learn and improve your craft. When you learn an instrument you play other people’s music, when you learn to cook you use other people’s recipes, and it is no different when you are learning design. In this class you’ll learn how to find inspiration, extract from PDFs, add vector images, incorporate stock photos into your design, work with templates, as well as tips and techniques for adding all the final touches needed to create a complete design.

In Case You Missed It
Join Scott Kelby and learn how to design with type. Calling all non-designers who have the need to create slideshows, photo books, watermarks, and other items that may require type. In this class Scott will share tips and tricks that will make your layout more impactful, show you some of the cool type features in Photoshop, teach you what NOT to do with type, and walk you through a series of in-depth type layouts that you can use with confidence in your projects. At the end, Scott wraps up the class with a look at some of his favorite and most useful fonts and where to find them.

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