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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

“I’ll Light Ya For It….”

Oct 5

In Seminars & Workshops, Videos at 8:55am

So this Kelby guy walks into the locker room, see. He’s got a burger and fries. I’m in the middle of a shoot, but I’m hungry. Next thing you know…..

Had a blast at PhotoShop World. One cool thing…the world’s largest tattoo convention was right next door. Needless to say, it attracted a bit of a different audience than PSW. Drew and I did some quick Iphone scouting pix for future subjects. Amazing stuff..


I kept telling Moose Peterson he should go over and get a set of antlers done:-) No luck though…..More tk…..

Mad Water Buffalo and Englishmen….

May 29

In Friends, Lighting, Videos at 6:52am

That’s how it goes, right? Or is it mad badgers and Englishmen? Mad dogs? Can’t remember, but that’s okay, cause Drew Gardner reminds us in his lighting video. Lessee, this video is about location selection, apparently dead fashion models, trees, tractors, Elinchrom Rangers, booms, C-stands, makeup artists, live badgers, animal trainers, fences, lighting theory and diagrams, water buffalo with naked women atop them, smoke machines, smoke wafting, backlighting, sidelighting, mood lighting, post production, and of course, the ring master who can control the action in all three rings of the bigtop of his brain, the aforementioned mad Englishman, Drew Gardner. Check out this teaser. Drew keeps his clothes on (thank you!), the model gets a bit naked.

Drew is a piece of work, as anyone who has encountered him knows. He’s got one of those singularly crazy sensibilities behind the camera that always pushes the envelope of what is possible. Thing is, he has always got a destination in mind, which is great, especially for somebody who likes a story line. He links these pix into a narrative. An admittedly hazy, madcap narrative, but a narrative nevertheless. Witness his epic fashion shoots with fashion models in 6 inch stilettos impossibly outrunning heavily armed Russian special forces troops. There’s a bunch of these. Makes me wonder what eventually happens? Stay tuned! Are they caught and brought back to a nasty prison for the outrageously overdressed? Do the SWAT guys propose marriage on the spot? Or do the young ladies turn on their pursuers and start wielding their Manolo Blahnicks as fearsome, unusual weapons, ala Go Go Yubari and her chain mace ball of death in Kill Bill, Part I? I want to know! Drew, next installment please!

This installment is a load of fun and information, and pushes Drew further down the road of his ongoing forest adventures, which are already notable, and involve, as always, fairies, nymphs, real animals, animals from story books, exquisite staging and styling, a Phase One back and a smoke machine.

Ahh, the smoke machine. Drew has not got your garden variety, take it out of the closet every Halloween and see if it works type smoker you can buy at Partytime for $19.99. No, no. He has got a state of the art, industrial strength, planet Dagobah type smoker. Think LA on a bad day, and you’ve roughly got what the forest looks like after Drew gets done with it.

Check out the video, and Drew’s website. Quite mad, indeed. More tk…..


Dec 10

In Books, Friends, Travels, Videos at 12:16am

Its small, airplane friendly, easy to use and very light so even photographers of, well, a certain age can lift it. Bob Krist demonstrated his lighting kit in the new Nikon SB900 video…..

And people are going nuts about it, emailing him, wanting to know about every bit and piece. He showed the kit during the video, pulling out all the stuff, but not a couple of the crucial items, such as the heating pad and the flask of Geritol.

He’s one tough sonofagun, though I tell ya. Check out the fight we had on the set…..

Actually, it was a pleasure to knock out this instructional video with Bob, who is one of my dear friends. When you are still carrying cameras and shooting great stuff at his age, there are several things that are true. You are a complete gentleman and a pro. You know your stuff and learned a long time ago that this business is all about what comes around going around, again and again. Bob, who considering his career as a Geographic shooter and peerless travel photographer and writer, could easily have let Mr. Ego out for a healthy, career long romp, has never done that. He checks the self important bullshit at the door, rolls up his sleeves, and gets to work. He is one of those rare commodities; a good shooter who is also a good teacher. He communicates well, and his avuncular “Sit back and Bob’s gonna explain it all for you” style puts people at ease and lets them learn in a zone where they are comfortable making mistakes and asking questions, which is the real key to any teaching environment.

Bob and I are the same age, by the way.

Take a look at a couple of his pix…He has, as he says, over time, covered the waterfront.

He has a new book out…..


This tome is a must if you want to dive into the competitive world of travel photography, either as a pro, or as traveler who simply wants good pictures to show at the end of the experience. He talks composition, lighting and flash, photographing people, using color, you name it. He shows you work flow and what to do with all those gigabytes when you come home. And he talks turkey about how to survive out there, right from when you get on the airplane, to getting to the hotel and then up and down the river at dawn or dusk. In a word, its complete. The whole nine or even ten yards. Right from when you pack your bag till when you get home and unpack that same bag. (If you read this book, there might even be a good chance that when you unpack, you’ll still have the same stuff you packed:-)

One of the things Bob has learned over the years, is to travel light. So, here you go…..

The Bob Krist Lighting Kit, As Seen on TV!

Bracket:   Morris MTH-202

Smallballhead:   Giotto MH-1004 Mini Ballhead

Cold shoe on ballhead: Stroboframe General Purpose shoe

Compact lightstand: Bogen Manfrotto Retractable
Collapsible Umbrella: Westcott 43″ Collapsible Umbrella with Removable Cover

Grids, Snoots, Speedstraps, Colored Gels.

Rolling case: Stormcase iM2500

You can get most of this stuff from Jeff Snyder at Adorama (jsnyder@adorama.com) and if you ping him, he will be able to put the whole damn thing together for you.

Trust me, if Bob can pull and haul it, so can you:-)

More tk…..

Kelby Video Training— #1 With a Bullet

Aug 31

In Videos at 7:48am

Been out in Santa Fe, shooting a new segment of the Kelby Online Video Training sessions. This one’s devoted to the update in the Nikon CLS flash system, the SB900. Above is my friend Thomas Wingate, who runs Eaves Movie Ranch, which is just a fun place to shoot pictures. I’ve been out there many times, and keep finding different stuff. Thomas, as always, is a natural in front of the camera. One of the all time great American faces. Mt. Rushmore comes to mind.

This was done in an old warehouse in downtown SF. I rummaged through the garage, which I have mentioned is an archive of old props from shoots gone by, and pulled this American flag. It is somewhere around 25′x 15′. I had it made back in ’96 for a project I shot for LIFE, which involved asking the ’96 Olympic team to take their clothes off. Used it a few times since, such as this shot of heavyweight lifter Shane Hamman, of the 2000 US team. This was for a Geographic story on the limits of the human body. He is leaping from a standing position, and he’s over 350 lbs.

For Thomas, we backlit the flag with 4 SB900 units, each banged into a wall behind the flag. There’s a slit in the flag I can stick a camera through, and Thomas just stands in the wash of light. Needed the big flag, cause those sunglasses are like frikkin’ TV monitors. The light hits me, too, so you can see my shadow behind the flag, which I toned down a bit in Photoshop. (Hey Moose, I used Photoshop!)

The videos have been fun to make and I always learn stuff as I go. Work with Jason Scrivner, “The Scriv,” the shooter from the Kelby Crew. Surprised he still puts up with me. This time around, he had to wade waist deep into a lake with his sticks and very expensive video rig. We both went in to photograph beautiful sea creature Deidre Dean, who is one of the most expressive and daring models I have ever worked with. She’s always up for a photographic adventure, and actually takes me seriously when I say, “How about you get made up like a a wild ass mermaid and take a dip in a cold lake? I’ll be in there with you, with a whole bunch of expensive electronic equipment. What could go wrong?”

Shot with one SB900, and a Lastolite all in one umbrella, used as a shoot through, and shaped with a whole bunch of black gaffer tape. We had just about the whole umbrella covered, except for a small opening, maybe 10 by 20 inches. That’s a pretty good way of controlling the light, so you light her, and not the water. No law of nature says that once you put an umbrella up, ya gotta use all of it.

The umbrella’s on a c-stand extension arm, being held by the intrepid Norah Levine, a terrific Santa Fe based shooter. She has teamed up with Karen Lenz to help me out here. (How much help do I need? As Jim said to Sherriff Bart in Blazing Saddles, “Oh, all I can get.”) They’ve been a terrific team, keeping things moving, getting everybody to location on time, and making sure I don’t swear too much on tape.

In Santa Fe for a couple more days, which is a great place, home of the Santa Fe Workshops, and a whole bunch of nice people. I mean, you gotta love a place where the community college offers courses in “Animal Tracking” and “Concealed Carry Training.” Take ‘em both, and it must mean you can sneak right up on an animal and they won’t be alarmed cause they don’t immediately know that you have a gun.

In a couple days, Vegas-Baby-Vegas, for PhotoShop World. I tell ya, it’d be tough to measure the tremendous and positive impact Scott Kelby has on the field of visual communications. Between PSW, his books, lectures, blog, and the online training series, he raises his voice, and it echoes for a long time. I mean, via his blog, he got just about the whole world walking of late to shoot some pictures and share skills and enjoy themselves. If one of those powerful bastions of my photographic youth, say, Time magazine, had announced a walkabout for taking pictures, about oh, 3 or 4 people would have hit the streets. More tk.

“Clicks” Cover Shot Explained & Vertical Grip

Mar 11

In Lighting, On Location, Tips & Tricks, Videos at 1:56pm

A reader wrote in and said they enjoyed the book, but was disappointed I didn’t discuss how I did the cover. So here goes.

Cover Image new cover sketch

The model is holding the jagged mirror in her left hand, and the camera is basically perched on her right shoulder. Shot with a D2Xs, with a 17-55, my favorite DX format lens. The camera sees the sky, and her reflection (tweaked the mirror just about where I wanted it). Then, off to camera right, is an SB-R200, the baby close-up brother to the SB800. It is about 2′ from the model’s face, just off the field of view, and controlled wirelessly from the SU 800 on the camera. As I recall, the sky is pulled down about a stop via minus one EV, and the flash is pumped up just a touch to compensate.

Da Grip….update….Couple of folks wrote about vertical grip on the camera. Here’s the thing. The grip I’m talking about really is mostly applicable to left eyed shooters of motor driven cameras. But that doesn’t mean elements of it–the boxer’s stance, the elbows tucked, center of gravity positioned properly, exhaling, etc. can’t be stripped out of this and applied on a selective basis. Some folks asked about shooting verticals. Without a vertical release, holding and firing the camera in the vertical position is plain and simple just tougher than holding it horizontally. (I have asked art directors for more money to shoot a vertical picture as opposed to a horizontal one, just on the basis that it is harder to turn the camera vertically. Haven’t gotten it yet. I’m only kidding, but if someone offered me the dough I would take it!)

Also, for those interested, here’s the video version of Da Grip and an outtake featuring Nigel, my wife Annie’s cat, who joined us on the set for a bit.