Hey, it’s Photoshop World week, and to celebrate, today I thought I’d share some shots from a recent bridal shoot I did for a project I’m working on.

The shoot took place at Casa Bella – a beautiful 9,000 sq ft. luxury home/venue for weddings and events in our area. I teamed up with my awesome wife Kalebra who did all the styling and art direction for the shoot (she’s just a blast to be on a shoot with — she brings an energy, and fun to the shoot that’s contagious. Also, seeing how she sees things, and how she works with our subjects is really something to see — she should do a class on it).

Above: Here’s the behind-the-scenes shot (photo by Juan Alfonso) of me taking the image at the top of the page. I’m sitting on an Apple box (see below) so I’m not quite on the floor (maybe 6″ up from it) but I put my camera (a Canon 5D Mark III)  directly on the ground in front of me, tilted up at the bride, using a Canon 14mm super wide-angle lens. You can see I’m pretty close to where the bride is standing, but look how much farther away she looks in the image up top.

Above: These Matthews Apple Boxes come in really handy. This is a half box (just 4″ high), but in a lot of cases, it’s a whole lot better than sitting on the ground. They are sturdy as anything, and you can stack ’em, too! We have them in different sizes, and use them mostly in the studio, either to get a higher angle or a much lower one. 

Two things that super wide angle does:
(1) When you put it on the floor like this, it makes the entire scene have more of an epic sprawling look — even in small spaces like this.

(2) Putting it on the floor like this, makes the floor appear MUCH more reflective than it really is, and you get a shine and reflection that you won’t get standing up, or even shooting on your knees. I can’t tell you exactly why it works like that…but it sure does.

Above: Shooting w inith our bride the same spot— I just stood up, backed way up, and used my 70-200mm f/2.8 zoomed in to 140mm.

Camera Settings:
I’m at 200 ISO at 1/400 of a second at f/2.8. I shot at f/2.8 for two reasons: (1) To get the background behind her a bit soft and out of focus, and because believe it or not, even though she was standing in front of a door with glass panes, the door is inset from the front of the house by quite a bit (there’s a large covered entryway), so the light wasn’t that bright. That’s also why I had to increase my ISO to 200 — there’s not as much light there, at that time of day, then you’d think.

Above: A third look with her in the exact same spot — I just walked closer, and then zoomed into 142mm. 

Lighting
When we first walked in, I asked Kathy (who was assisting me on the shoot), to rig up a flash with a Westcott 26″ Rapid box octa mounted to the end of a monopod, but as it turned out — we were able to just go with natural light the entire 4-hour shoot, and we never used it once. That’s pretty rare, but the lighting throughout was pretty good, even though a few times I had to raise my ISO to 200 or 400 here and there.

Above: More of an editorial look for this shot taken in the bride’s dressing suite, just using the light from the windows. f/2.8 at 1/80 of a second at 200 ISO. Again, not as much light as you’d think, which is why I had a slower shutter speed and higher ISO, even at f/2.8.

I converted the image to black and white in Lightroom CC, and added the duotone effect using Lightroom’s Split Toning panel (shown here).To get the duotone look, I boosting the Saturation amount and moved the Hue slider to a brownish hue in the Shadows only (no adjustments to the Highlights split toning at all). TIP: When you’re setting the Hue and your Saturation amount is low like it is here, it’s sometimes hard to see exactly which hue you’re choosing, so hold the Option Key as you drag it, and it acts as though the Saturation amount is set to 100 which helps a lot.

Above: This is one of my favorites from the shoot, taken in the bridal suite. I switched to the 70-200mm for this one, and I’m at 70mm (I would have liked to have gotten back farther and shoot at 150mm or so, but my back was against the wall, so I couldn’t go back any farther, and didn’t want to switch to a wide angle — I wanted the look that the 70-200mm gives. I’m at f/2.8 at 1/250 of a second shutter at ISO 200).

She’s far enough away from the window that the lighting is very soft and subtle, which I really like.

Above: The “dream-like” quality is provided with a soft glow in post. While you can get a glow effect in Lightroom, it’s not awesome, so I usually use a plug-in. I’ve been using Luminar a lot more lately (a plug-in from Macphun that’s gotten really popular in the past few months), and they have a great built-in glow effect. I also have a bunch of presets that I made (that MacPhun is giving way with a promotion they’re doing), but in this case, I’m not using one of my presets — just the Soft Glow filter.

Above: I loved this hallway, and since our bride had been in ballet, she was cool with doing some dramatic poses. All natural light coming in from a nearby door.

Above: That’s me, sitting on a 1/2 height Apple box again, with the camera directly in front of me, right on the tile floor, with the 14mm lens aiming up. Once again, note the reflection on the floor.

Above: Finally, a shot with lots of light — I let the windows totally blow out again, and I intentionally overexposed the whole image for a bright, airy look. I had to go down to 1/30 of a second shutter speed to let this much light in, at f/2.8 at 200 ISO and I’m at 85mm on my 70-200mm. Again, my back is up against another wall. Would have liked to have gotten back further, and zoomed in tighter, but it’s still one of my favorites from the shoot.

Above: Taking advantage of our subject having been a ballerina, Kalebra had her strike this pose, with her positioned in front of one of the French Doors in the estate. We pulled the sheers to cover the window and somewhat control the light, but we wanted that blown out, over-exposed look — we just wanted it soft.

Hope you found any/some/part of that helpful. Can’t wait to share the whole project with you when it’s done. :)

A big thanks and shoutout to Kalebra for the styling and art direction, and for being my partner in this production from the start, and to Jen Coffin for helping with the production side big time. Thanks to Kathy Porupski for assisting on the gig, keeping things moving, and helping all the way around, and to our bride Julianna for being so patient, and easy to work with. :)

Have a great start to your week, and see ya back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

It’s finally here, and I’m so excited (well, technically it starts Wednesday with the pre-conference workshop, and then the opening Keynote (streamed live, featuring Adobe), kicks off the conference on Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET, but ya know — it’s Photoshop World week! Whoo Hoo! :)

If you’ll be there…
Two things you definitely want to do:

(1) Go to the free Orientation class 
If this is your first time at Photoshop World, we have a special crash course just for you. Hosted by Larry Becker, this orientation is designed to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Free and open to all attendees on Wednesday (the day before the full conference kicks off).

(2) Download the App 
We have an awesome conference app (for IOS and Android) that you will find invaluable during the conference. The full schedule is in there; directions; events times and locations, and a whole bunch more. Find it on the App Store for iPhones, or on Google Play for Android.

If you can’t go this year…
Then make sure you tune in Thursday morning at 10:00 AM ET (I’ll put a link here on the blog on Thursday morning, and on all our social media) so you can watch the opening keynote LIVE. It’s going to be (wait for it…wait for it…) epic!

Hope you have a great Monday (and safe travels if you’re heading to Orlando to join us for the big event!). :)

-Scott

P.S. Tomorrow I’m sharing some finals, and BTS shots, along with camera info from a recent location shoot I did – hope you’ll stop back by then. 

Hi gang – sorry for the late post today – with the Photoshop World Conference coming next week, it’s hard to work on anything else (really exciting, but busy as heck!). Anyway, I thought I’d share a few courses for you to watch this weekend that are just getting tons of love from our members — these are classes that people are just raving about, so if you’re looking for some learning this Holiday Weekend, I hope you’ll give these a look:

Larry nailed it in this class, and people are writing in that even though they thought they really knew about focus, they learned some seriously helpful things from this class. Here’s the link. 

Tracy Sweeney is becoming a sensation – plain and simple. She shares exactly how she does it, and her images, and her style of teaching, are on the money. People are raving about her class (some are calling it the best class on all of KelbyOne). Here’s the link.

Terry has always been awesome (and one of the best guys on the planet), but this class is giving him “cult hero status.” If you read them comments, they are filled with people signing up and selling their images already online. It’s crazy, but Terry’s class is literally that good. It’s opening people’s eyes to things they either had never considered, or had turned away from. You will love this! Here’s the direct link. 

KelbyOne members so love Stella, for her straight talk, her no-nonse style, and for sharing insights you simply won’t find anywhere else. Her whole career has been about hiring photographers, and she tells you things that will change the way you market and sell yourself, and your work, forever. If you’re thinking of going pro (now, or in the future), this is a must-watch! Here’s the link. 

These classes have HUGE buzz with our KelbyOne members, and I hope you’ll check them out this weekend.

Here’s wishing everybody a happy, healthy Easter (hope you get lots of chocolate eggs, and maybe a Cadbury or two), and we’ll catch you back here next week for Photoshop World Week. :)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. I’m sharing a location bridal shoot on Tuesday that Kalebra and I worked on. Behind the scenes shot, lighting, post processing – the works, so don’t forget to stop by here on Tuesday. 

Everything Else in Lightroom, Part One with Scott Kelby
Time to learn everything else there is to know in Lightroom! Join Scott Kelby in this class designed to teach you a wide range of specific topics every Lightroom users needs to know. You can jump in on any topic that interests you and get up to speed on that aspect of Lightroom, and use this class as a go-to resource any time you need to expand your skill set even further. Maybe you need to know how to transfer a collection of photos from one computer to another, how to get the most out of the powerful Before and After options when editing, how to find any missing photos, or finally master Lightroom’s search feature. All these topics and more have been bundled into this first part of a multi-part series of classes, so pick the topic that interest you the most and dive right in!

In Case You Missed It
Photoshop is an invaluable tool for all Lightroom users, and in this class Scott Kelby teaches you the most important Photoshop techniques you’ll need to know to get the most out of it. Starting off with the basics of moving between Lightroom and Photoshop, Scott moves on to covering the fundamentals of working with selections and layers, and then builds up from there using various projects to demonstrate how it all comes together. Through the class you’ll learn how to remove distractions, how to blend layers with layer masks, how to work with high contrast images, the fundamentals of portrait retouching, how to get started with compositing, and how to deal with all kinds of problems you might encounter in your photographs. By the end of the class you’ll realize that Photoshop is not that hard when you focus on just the techniques you can’t do inside of Lightroom.

Photo by Daniel Stark

Three Years of Shotkit | Photographers & Their Camera Gear

Hey guys, this is Mark here from a site you may have heard of called Shotkit. Thanks for having me here on ScottKelby.com – it’s truly an honour.

I started Shotkit back in 2014 to scratch my own itch of wanting to know what my favourite photographers carried in their camera bags.

Everyone knows that a good camera does not a good photographer make, but most of us in the industry are still very passionate about the photography equipment we use… and whilst few like to admit it, we’re all a little curious about the camera gear used by others!

What photographer wouldn’t be curious as to what on earth this wedding photographer takes with him on shoots?!
Photo by Emin Kuliyev for Shotkit

Since 2014, Shotkit has morphed into a popular blog for all things photography and gear related, but the raison d’être of the site is still a place for nosey photographers to have a snoop at the gear of their peers.

To celebrate Shotkit’s third birthday, I put together a one-minute slide show of the hundreds of successful submissions I’ve received over the years. Keep your eyes peeled for Scott Kelby’s own gear load-out… or I should say, one of his many!

After receiving so many submissions from photographers from around the world, I’ve been given a unique insight into the most popular photography equipment in use by professionals today.

As perhaps no surprise to many of you, wedding photographers outnumber all other genres of submission to Shotkit. It’s also unsurprising that the wedding photography gear in use around the world is by and large, very similar across the board.

The effort that photographers go into with their Shotkit submissions is very impressive. Being creative with how we lay out and photograph even our gear is often just an extension of the creativity used each day in our jobs, after all.
Photo by Neville Black for Shotkit

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see how other camera formats continue to disrupt the industry, with photographers of all genres slowly switching to the best mirrorless cameras available, mostly from the likes of Sony, Fuji and Panasonic.

Whatever your stance is on the great mirrorless cameras vs dSLR debate, the future of cameras which rely on cumbersome mirrors to capture images is looking admittedly bleak.

Personally, I’ll be sticking with my trusty dSLR for a few more years though, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one…

Whilst Mirrorless Cameras may be the future, the fight isn’t over just yet…

Whilst I continue to publish a new photographer and their gear every other day of the year on Shotkit, I spend the majority of my time writing content for the Shotkit Blog, the newsletter, a range of ebooks, and most recently, development of an interactive tool for Lightroom & Photoshop Shortcuts.

The topic of photographer workflows is one that I’m passionate about (I’m an avid follower of Scott’s excellent Lightroom Killer Tips), and I intend to explore the subject more in 2017.

Using keyboard shortcuts in the software we use for post production every day as professional photographers is an important step in spending less time behind a desk and more time behind a camera. I hope this shortcuts tool will be a step in the right direction in helping us all achieve this.

Save some time whilst editing and speed up your post production workflow with this handy interactive shortcuts keyboard

As for the Shotkit blog, posts such as the best cameras under $500 and the best camera bags may seem like an Amazon affiliate link carnival to some (!), but they’re actually very popular posts, especially for beginner photographers who need some advice about their first purchases… not to mention of course those of us with a dose of the dreaded G.A.S.!

I’ve tried to include a selection of links to some of the most popular blog posts published on Shotkit in this article, but the truth is, I’ve really only scratched the surface.

From photographers showing off their best work and favourite photography gadgets and gizmos, to gear reviews, business advice and creative inspiration, there’s something on Shotkit for everyone. I hope you enjoy reading Shotkit as much as I do putting it together!

My own camera equipment and travel gear which I take for destination wedding photography work.
Photo by Mark Condon for Shotkit

I’ll close this guest post off by thanking Scott, Brad and the team behind ScottKelby.com and Lightroom Killer Tips for producing such incredibly useful content for photographers like us. Sites like these are a constant inspiration for both my own photography work and my work with Shotkit.

I’m looking forward to seeing you part of the Shotkit Community and I encourage you to submit your kit!

Now, which photographers’ camera bags would you most like to take a peek into? Leave their names in the comments below…

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Sydney. He is the founder of Shotkit and author of the Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT. You can follow him on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Hi folks, and greetings from the Wayne County, Michigan (I’m here for my seminar today – over 300 Detroit area photographers here today for my Lightroom seminar. Whoo hoo!). A big shout out to all the kind folks who came out and spent the day with me yesterday in Chicago. Always love being in the Chicago area – so many friendly folks – thanks for coming out. :)

Watch ‘The Grid’ on Facebook’s App for Apple TV
So, it’s Tuesday and I kinda got nuthin’ – our flight was delayed and we didn’t get in until around 1:00 am, and well, blah, blah, blah I don’t really have a post. However, while I’ve got you here – my buddy Terry White sent me the shot above of ‘The Grid” (which airs live every Wednesday), being seen on the Facebook App on his Apple TV (on a 70″ HD screen). The reason this works is—we simulcast to my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/skelby) so if you have the Facebook App for Apple TV you can watch our Facebook stream live (and you can comment right there on Facebook – we monitor all your comments there as well).

Hope you’ll join us tomorrow and try it out.

Who: Me and a guest usually
What: The Grid (our weekly photography show)
Where: http://kelbytv.com/thegrid 0r http://facebook.com/skelby
When: Wednesday at 4PM ET (New York time)
Why: ’cause for six years this is what we do on Wednesday at 4pm – we talk about photography and stuff.

Hope you all have a stellar Tuesday, and we’ll catch you back here tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. The next stops on my nationwide seminar tour are next month in Minneapolis and Indianapolis. Hope to meet you there. 

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