If you’re planning on shooting the fireworks Sunday for “the fourth” (or if you’re shooting off your own private display), check this out: A while back we did a special 4th of July episode of ‘The Grid’ all about how to take great fireworks shots. Erik (the Rocket Man) Kuna and I cover everything from the gear to the techniques to the post-processing in Photoshop and Lightroom and lots of helpful tips along the way.

We get right to it from the start (we have a lot to cover), and if you’re looking to make great fireworks shots tonight, we give the exact time-tested recipe of settings that can’t miss!

Here’s wishing and your family a happy, safe, and fun 4th of July. Hope you get some great shots! :)

-Scott

P.S. A big thanks and shout-out to the more than 1,000 photographers who attended our ‘iPhone Photography Conference.” It was a roaring success — it was so much fun — and we’re very grateful you were there to share it all with us.

New KelbyOne Course: Astrophotography for Beginners with Erik Kuna

Expand your photographic horizons with telephoto astrophotography! Join Erik Kuna with another astrophotography course with a focus on photographing nebulas, star fields, the moon, and the planets from a beginner’s perspective. You probably have all the gear you’ll need (except for a star tracker), and Erik will take you through the fundamentals to get you out shooting. In this class you’ll learn the terms and considerations for deep sky astrophotography, the importance of starting simple, how to select a star tracker, planning for the weather and moon phases, focusing for sharpness, mastering exposure, dealing with light pollution, stacking final images, and so much more!

Dave Williams here again, just like every #TravelTuesday on ScottKelby.com, and this week I want to touch on some iPhone photography tips that might be useful. Today, the iPhone Photography Conference kicks off, with the pre-con having been held yesterday with Scott and Larry Becker. iPhone photography is huge—we all have a camera in our pocket and learning to use it properly will bring out a whole range of new skills and creative ideas. So, in preparation for these big moves, let’s take a look at some top iPhone photography tips:

The absolute top-of-the-list iPhone photography tip is something we often overlook, or perhaps we wait until it presents a problem rather than preventing the problem in the first place. It’s something we do with our main camera all the time, yet we forget to do it with our iPhone camera.

1.       Clean Your Lens

Our iPhone camera’s lens gets dirty from being in our hands, our pockets, our purses, and cleaning the lens with a lens wipe, microfiber cloth, or even just using our clothing will make our photos much sharper.

2.       Use the Grid

We can activate the gridlines overlay on our image preview from within our camera settings. Use these lines to their full advantage to help create better iPhone photos, particularly for better composition and a level horizon.

3.       Level Your Flat Lays

When we take shots straight down, such as flat lay shots, two plus signs appear on our screen: one white and one yellow. We can use these two plus signs to ensure our image is taken straight down by aligning them for a level image.

4.       Zoom with Your Feet

Just like we would with a prime lens, zooming with our feet when shooting on iPhone helps preserve image quality. When we are shooting at the native focal length we use the entire capacity of the sensor, however, when we zoom we’re actually performing a digital zoom and just cropping on pixels, thus degrading the image quality.

5.       Use Portrait Mode for Depth

Portrait Mode is a great feature of the iPhone camera and it takes the view of two lenses to create a quasi-bokeh effect. By utilising bokeh, like we would normally in our photography, we afford more focus to the subject of our photos.

6.       Live Mode

Live Mode gives us a lot more creative flexibility with our iPhone shots, including the ability to create a long exposure or a Boomerang. It also helps us to save a moment if it’s missed, but still happened just either side of us pressing the shutter button, because we can select the best frame from a series of images. To make sure Live Mode is enabled, open the camera app and tap the circles in the top right-hand corner, ensuring they are yellow.

7.       Shoot Wide

The 0.5 lens is an amazing wide-angle lens built right into the iPhone. Having an adapter mounted to shoot wide-angle is a thing of the past and we can now pack a lot more into the frame with no extra hardware to buy.

8.       Vertical Panoramas Are a Thing

Sometimes it can be in our interest to shoot a vertical pano in order to squeeze a lot more into the shot. Simply activate Pano Mode as normal, then turn your iPhone sideways, tilting up or down rather than from side to side.

These eight iPhone photography tips will immediately set you on your path to taking better iPhone photos, but there’s a whole load more to learn if you want to.

Until next week, I bid you adieu.

Much love,

Dave

PROGRAMMING ALERT: The iPhone Photography Conference starts tomorrow and runs for two full days and if you want to join the 1,000+ photographers from all over the world who will be spending the next two days learn how to take seriously great photos with your iPhone, it’s not to late to join in. Here’s the link to get your tickets (it’s two full days, two separate training tracks, and it’s all online —  plus you get a full year’s access to the archives of the conference to catch any sessions you missed or want to rewatch). Today we’re doing an orientation class and then I’m doing a class on “What makes a great photograph” — again — not too late to join us even today! :)

OK, I’m back from vacation, refreshed and ready to hit the ground running!

This new book on Macro photography is special

As a guy who writes books on photography, this is one I wish I had written — it’s an incredible new book on Macro photography from Canadian photographer and Macro shooting guru, Don Komarechka.

During my week off I got to spend some time with this book and he did a really incredible job from top to bottom. It’s an educational book that almost feels like a coffee table book, because it has so many big beautiful macro images, including some really unique stuff that you’re probably not going to learn about anywhere else. It’s like the book has one foot in the classroom and the other in an art gallery.

Sharing just a few pages here does nearly do the book justice (and it’s so detailed, I just cannot imagine how long it must have taken to put this together. You can tell Don really put his heart and soul into it.

You can pick up a copy of Don’s wonderful book (it would make a great gift) right here. My congrats to Don for a job well done — from one author to another, Don you knocked this one out of the park!

Glad to be back with you – thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to catch “Travel Tuesday’s with Dave” tomorrow right here. :)

-Scott

Creativly Recharge your Photography w/Sam Haddix & Dave DeBaeremaeker | The Grid Ep. 476

This week’s episode of The Grid is helmed by Erik Kuna, who is joined by Sam Haddix and Dave DeBaermaeker! Together, they discuss creatively recharging your photography and take viewer’s comments and questions. Tune in for another great episode you won’t want to miss!

New KelbyOne Course: Introduction to Toy Photography

Unlock story telling with toy photography! Join Dave DeBaeremaeker to learn how to get started photographing toys indoors and out, using the gear you already have, to bring concepts from your imagination to life. Dave takes you through the gear he uses, considerations for choosing toys as subjects, tips on posing, and demonstrates his workflow from shooting the scene through post processing to creating the final image. By the end of the class you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and start telling your stories.

June is Pride Month, so I thought I would take this week to highlight some amazing LGBTQ+ photographers! I asked people on social media to share their favorites with me, and I loved looking through the work of these photographers to discover a lot of truly talented people. So here they are, in no particular order.

If there are others whose work you’d like to share, head to the comments and post their links!


Elizabeth Dugan

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest


Sam Eckholm

Instagram | YouTube | Twitter


Nicol Biesek

Guest Blog | Website | Instagram


Cody Stallings

Website | Instagram | Facebook


Cat Palmer

Website | Instagram | Facebook


Dav.d Daniels

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Meg McCauley

Instagram


Bryan Clavel

Website (contains nudity) | Instagram


Emily April Allen

Website | Instagram


Ryan Pfluger

Website (contains nudity) | Instagram


Holly Mason

Website | Instagram


Carsten Bruhn

Website | Instagram


Pamela Ann Berry

Website | Instagram

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