Hi and welcome to this edition of Workshop at the Ranch. It is my pleasure and a real privilege to announce that I have joined the ranks of photographers at Kelby Training. Making instructional Online Training Videos for Scott Kelby is a huge step for me, and one that Scott thinks to be a perfect extension for my teaching. Too say it simply, “I’m so amped-up about this I can hardly sit still” which was clearly evident at Photoshop World in Las Vegas last month.
Hi and welcome to this edition of Workshop at the Ranch. It is my pleasure and a real privilege to announce that I have joined the ranks of photographers at KelbyOne. Making instructional Online Training Videos for Scott Kelby is a huge step for me, and one that Scott thinks to be a perfect extension for my teaching. Too say it simply, “I’m so amped-up about this I can hardly sit still” which was clearly evident at Photoshop World in Las Vegas last month.
Don’t worry, Workshop at the Ranch isn’t going away. I’ll still be writing my WATR article each and every month, but I see my new involvement with KelbyOne as a way to communicate lighting techniques, sports coverage tips, and photographic education beyond the written word.
Image #1 … KelbyOne Website … If you are not familiar with KelbyOne online here is the website: www.kelbyone.com
The KelbyOne system is an online membership form of learning. A year’s subscription is $199 or 24.95 per month. What you get is a fantastic range of online courses taught by some of the worlds most well know photographers like Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Tom Bol, David Zieser, and many more, but that’s not all. You also have a long list of experts who give courses in Photoshop and Lightroom. I must confess, since I came on board with Kelby this past Spring I have looked at well over 20 online courses so far. Not only have I picked up a few tips from some of my colleagues, but, I am now daring to try the famed Paint Bucket tool. I’m just having some fun here, but seriously, what these Photoshop experts do is amazing and if your style of image making involves post processing, just know that Kelby is the undisputed leader.
These are in-depth courses that you can replay and repeat as often as you like so that you can learn at your own pace, and here’s a cool thing, they have a Free Test Drive. The courses are set-up in chapters so it is easy to review or replay specific instructions or demonstrations until you have full comprehension of what you are trying to learn and apply to your own photography.
Well, Scott felt my first online course should be about Action Sports Flash Photography using Speedlights in High-Speed Sync mode. I couldn’t have agreed more, and off to Tampa, Florida I went with my Nikon SB900 Speedlights, FourSquare, and Radiopopper PX system.
|Image #2 … Sprinter … I asked Scott if we could have good athletes for the video so that the KelbyOne students could really experience the kind of photo shoots I do for magazines and companies in the sports industry. Next thing I know I have an Olympic athlete in top competitive form ready to blast out of the starting block for me. That folks is the Kelby way, let’s get it done right. Adam heads up the video crew for Kelby and let me say that the Kelby video crew is an award winning team, professional and very patient with me, a new comer to video production. All 3 sport locations in this video made use of combining the available ambient light with off camera flash using Speedlights. The video begins with a walk thorough of all the gear I will be using for the 3 location action shoots using Speedlights with High Speed Sync, the FourSquare, Radiopopper PX system and Michael Bass Designs splitter cables. Then we headed out to the track where our athlete, Abe was in training. I just let him work at his own pace as he practiced his explosive start and 100 meter sprints. I give great details of why I choose a specific angle, lens choice and of course exposure data and Speedlight power output. There are several of my still images inserted into the video so you can also study image by image see how the flash is illuminating the subject. This final image of the session was one of my favorites and has already gone straight into my career portfolio. This was a great afternoon of image making and a wonderful start to teaching all of you how to photograph fast action using Speedlights with High Speed Sync, FourSquare, and the Radiopopper PX system on location.
Image #3 … Evening Heat … Our second location took us to the baseball diamond and a slightly larger and faster sports action scene. This location shoot began with a short review of the gear and then moved quickly into making a High Speed Sync portrait of our athlete, Mario. How I make use of High Speed Sync and short depth of field is explained in great detail and applies to portraiture regardless of what your subject is. With the portrait complete Mario took his place on the pitching mound and we covered several angles and approaches to photographing a baseball pitcher with High Speed Sync with fast shutter speeds and using the FourSquare with Speedlights. With my still images inserted throughout the chapter, this image was a favorite of mine. It is a strong example of how to accomplish the Moody Blue Formula that I use when making stylized imagery. As always with each phase of this video, precise instructions, multiple camera angles, and the exposure settings, plus camera data and Speedlight power output information is given. We worked until sunset and illustrated a variety of off camera lighting scenarios and problem solving tips and techniques.
|Image #4 … Drive By Shooting … The title to this image will make more sense after you watch the video, but I can tell you I have received over 200 emails with comments like “Dude, you’re crazy!” and “I wouldn’t have believed it possible until I saw you do it!” Well, I guess I have my own method of madness when it comes to achieving the picture I want, but that’s why I like KelbyOne. We as photographers/educators do exactly what we would do on the job for a client, and the video crew records it. It’s not Hollywood, its reality along with detailed instruction every step of the way. With this final sport location we moved onto a huge venue and the fastest action of all. I covered several different approaches to shooting motocross using off camera flash with Speedlights in High Speed Sync mode. This image was from our inside turn Speedlight set-up where I illustrated both a ground level viewpoint and this wide-angle over the fender point of view. We also shot head-on with a longer lens to include multiple riders, and of course captured some awesome air borne action imagery all lit with Speedlights, FourSquare, Radiopopper PX system and Michael Bass IR splitter cables. What a blast!
My teaching style has been compared to that of a coach. I like to be thorough with detailed explanation in a step-by-step approach that both educates and encourages the student. First covering the basics and then building on top of those basics to accomplish more complex and dramatic images. This makes learning easy for the viewer so they can quickly transfer what they see and hear on the video to their own photo shoots. All during the video I interject helpful insights as to how I solve common lighting problems, equipment issues, and how I approach my job.
This is just the first video for me with KelbyOne and I couldn’t be happier or more satisfied with the final production. I feel that anyone who views this video will gain a wealth of knowledge and insight regarding location lighting with off camera flash using Speedlights and High Speed Sync shutter speeds, along with insights of how I work with athletes on location.
|Image #5 … First String … It’s a team effort when you work with Scott and the Kelby crew. Their guidance and encouragement was invaluable to me during the week of filming. What’s next? The fun and learning continues as my first in a series of Lightpainting videos is already recorded and “in the can.” We should see its online debut on KelbyOne in the near future, but wait, there’s more (really sounds like an advermercial now, but why not I’m all amped about this) …..are you ready for some Football? That’s right, a Football game coverage video is scheduled to start filming next month. I have covered college football and the NFL for magazines like Sports Illustrated and Newsweek for 20 years. I was very excited when Scott suggested that my second sports video should teach photographers how to approach game-day coverage from the moment the team takes the field until the clock ticks down the final seconds. Football: Action and Documentary Game Coverage, this guy reads my mind.
Well, I hope this WATR article sparks some interest and encourages some of you to check out KelbyOne and my first online class Action Sports Flash Photography. My working with Scott Kelby and his staff is already off to being a great experience and a wonderful outlet for my passion for both photography and education. The Workshop at the Ranch will still be here each and every month on my website, but for those who are looking for video training online www.kelbyone.com is the leader. Thanks for coming by the Ranch and I’ll see you here again next month.