Book Review: The Digital Photography Book Part 4 by Scott Kelby (@scottkelby)

Hi Folks,
I thought for today I’d post a quick review of a great new addition to my virtual bookcase: The Digital Photography Book Part 4 by Scott Kelby.

Following on from the three 3 previous books in this series initial thoughts are that Part 4 has stepped up a gear when it comes to content and skill level.

What do I mean?
I guess the best way to describe what I mean here would be to say that this new book builds on the previous 3 by assuming that by you, the reader, know a thing or two about photography at this stage and now you want to push things and start learning more advanced skills and techniques. Well if that’s what you’re looking for then you won’t be disappointed as Part 4’s 240 pages are packed full of hints, tips & techniques not previously covered and again written in such a way as if the author (Scott Kelby) is there by your side helping you on the shoot to get great results and fast! “Use these settings, try using this lens, shoot from here and so on…”

Ok so if you have the previous 3 books in the series should you get this one? Absolutely! This is a whole new book: new images, new tips and new techniques that will definitely increase your knowledge and once you get out and put what you read into practice you’ll be adding heaps more to your growing skill base.

Chapter 1: Shooting People Like a Pro
Chapter 2: Using Hot Shoe Flash Like a Pro, Part 3 (Picking up where the last book left off)
Chapter 3: More Tips on Using Your Studio Like a Pro (In volume 3 we took it up a notch. Now, let’s do it again!
Chapter 4: More Tips on Lenses (Going way beyond which Lens to use)
Chapter 5: Pro Tips for Shooting in Natural Light (How to take advantage of the most beautiful light on earth)
Chapter 6: Shooting Landscape Photos Like a Pro (Yet even more tips for creating stunning scenic images)
Chapter 7: Pro Tips for Shooting Travel Photos (How to come back with images you’re really proud of)
Chapter 8: Shooting Sports Like a Pro (How to get professional results form your next sports shoot)

Chapter 9: Shooting HDR Like a Pro (How to shoot and process HDR images)
Chapter 10: Pro Tips for Shooting DSLR Video (How to get the most out of your built-in video capabilities)

Chapter 11: Pro Tips for Getting Better Photos (More tricks of the trade for making your shots look better)
Chapter 12: Yet Even More Photo Recipes to Help You “Get the Shot”

What I particularly like about this book is that it doesn’t focus on one particular style of photography. I consider myself pretty competent in what I do but I’m always on the hunt to learn more and more but that’s generally to improve what I already do. However, each area of photography requires different skills so for example Chapter 7: Pro Tips for Shooting Travel Photos, would have been enough for me to part with my cash because of what I’ve picked up from it already and that will come in handy when away on holiday. In addition to that though Chapter 9: Pro Tips for Shooting DSLR Video made it an no brainer. This year I’m putting more video out there so the hints, tips and techniques here too will prove invaluable!

This book most definitely is for everyone regardless of skill level. If you’re just starting out then it would make sense to have worked through the previous 3 books in the series as Part 4 will continue you on that learning curve. This book isn’t just for newbies and it’s not just for seasoned photographers…it’s a book for anyone and everyone regardless of skill level that is always looking to learn and improve.

The way I see it, this book will teach you a heck of alot not just because it’s Scott Kelby that’s written it, but it’s because of where the tips, tricks, hint and techniques originate from ie Scott Kelby and all the incredible photographers he too has learned from over the years and continues to do so: Joe McNally, Moose Peterson, Cliff Mautner, Frank Doorhoff and Jay Maisel to name but a few!

Highly Recommended!

The Digital Photography Book Part 4
Amazon UK Price (Paperback): £12.74
Amazon Kindle: £9.95

240 Pages
ISBN-10:
 0321773020
ISBN-13: 978-0321773029

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Back from Sunny Devon

Hey Folks,
How’s things?

This past weekend we decided to head off for a couple of days for some time out down to our fave part of the Country and to stay with our great friends Keith & Bridget Trayling at the wonderful Spillers Farm

Although neither Anne or myself are from Devon it’s one of those places that when we go there we feel completely relaxed so we’ll head down as often as we can, and with it being just under 3 hours away it is quite often:)

After heading off quite early we couldn’t resist popping into the River Cottage Canteen & Deli in Axminster for a scrummy breakfast when we arrived. Talking of River Cottage, although we’d have both spent time in Devon as kids with our respective families it was the River Cottage movement and Hugh Fernley Whittingstall that initially drew us down there as adults.

The weekend was a mix of eating great food, helping out on the farm, taking in some sea air down on the coast at Lyme Regis and generally spending quality time with each other and very dear friends; can’t wait for the near future to become the present when we no longer have to do the 3 hour drive and can call Devon our home.

See you tomorrow:)

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Friday News and Stuff

Hey Folks,
Seeing as its Friday I thought I’d end up posting what can only best be described as “News and Stuff”

Lightroom 4
Big news this week was the release of Lightroom 4 which as expected contains yet more enhancements than expected:

With this latest release Adobe have lowered the pricing considerably:

Full Version £103
Upgrade £59

There are numerous places across the Internet to place your order but to find out what all the fuss is about be sure to check out the Lightroom 4 Launch Centre by the N.A.P.P. [Link]

Focus on Imaging
On Tuesday I headed on over to the Focus on Imaging Expo at the NEC, Birmingham along with Dave Clayton; a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends (not a reference to age I hasten to  add) and some new ones…

Managed to get some quality time with some great folks/companies who were exhibiting namely:

Helen and Matt from SnapperStuff (UK ThinkTank Distributors and more…) [Link]
Bob and Andy from OnOne Software [Link]
Ivan from Topaz Labs [Link]
and Jessie from 3 Legged Thing [Link]

Lots of exciting discussion went on over coffee so I’ll update you on that in the near future:)

The Digital Photography Book Part 4
It’s been quite a week as also we’ve seen the release of a new book from Scott Kelby: The Digital Photography Book Part 4.

Building on the incredibly successful previous 3 books in the series this latest release certainly takes things up a level; I’ll be posting a review next week.

Lighting Recipes iPad App
Also on the subject of Scott Kelby and Kelby Training, yesterday saw the release of his brand new App for the iPad: Lighting Recipes.

If you own an iPad, or have ordered the new ‘New iPad’ (hint, hint) you can check out the full scoop and download it direct from the iTunes Store right now [Link] for the incredible price of FREE:)

Uli Steiger
Last but not least is just a booster that I had earlier in the week following the post about my recent compositing workshop [Link]

German Digital Artist and Photoshop Master Uli Steiger [Link] who’s work and teaching I’ve followed for some to now dropped by and sent a message over having read the post.

“Very cool BTS coverage! I can almost feel the creative atmosphere! Thanks for this very nice and informative view behind your scenes! I think that many people just don’t know what to expect in a workshop. They have problems to judge their own knowledge and the knowledge of the trainer. I heard of so many people that went into a workshop or training and were completely disapointed about the poor impact it had. Seeing that you have a professional model, that you take the time producing a picture of all the participants explains a lot about the way people can learn from you and what to expect when booking one of your workshops! It’s important that you love what you do and I can see that you know that;-)

You know it doesn’t matter who you are or how old because to get a supportive message from someone you look up to and admire is always a boost.

On that note, when was the last time you sent words of encouragement and support to someone? Costs nothing but you know it could well make someone’s day; the power of words huh;)

Right that’s all for now so whatever you’re up to, have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch you back here in a few days,
Enjoy:)

•     •     •

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  • March 9, 2012 - 6:48 pm

    Jonathan Thompson - Another great post (Think I’ll be typing that a lot here) lots of great info and as for the encouragement, well lets just say I’ve been on the receiving end of much needed & appreciated encouragement from some of the best people in the business, it can make a huge difference & you might think it insignificant when you give it but trust me, it’s not. So look out for those opportunities to give someone a little boost in whatever they’re doing in their lives… And as Glyn says,
    “Costs nothing but you know it could well make someone’s day; the power of words huh”
    Golden words ;)

    Cheers. JT

Photoshop Speed Retouch: Psycho Surgeon

Hi Folks,
Thought I’d post this Speed Retouch that I’ve put together giving a look at the kind of editing steps that went into making my recent Psycho Surgeon picture.

Photoshop World is fast and I’m busy practicing, practicing and more practicing but when I’m back I’ll be hosting some webinars working through a series of retouches and in addition I’ll also show some of the techniques I go through in Washington. I’ll keep you posted as and when for the dates but will also be finally launching my newsletter next week which will contain that kind of information plus much more; I’ll let you know how you can sign up for that too:)

Right I’ll leave you to it but will catch up with you tomorrow for a Friday wrap up,
Enjoy:)

•     •     •

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  • March 8, 2012 - 6:46 pm

    Gunther Frans - Hey Glyn

    Awsome speed retouching, and love the music that amplifies the speedy effect ;)

    Kind regards
    Gunther

  • March 8, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    Dean - Nice job Glyn.

    Wondering why you don’t offer tutorial videos for purchase and instant digital download? You can do this easily with ejunkie.com & Paypal.

  • March 13, 2012 - 1:44 am

    Nat - That was really fun but I had a bit of trouble keeping up ;)!
    Very upset about missing your class at PSW so definitely interested in what’s coming up. Thanks for all your help :)

  • March 14, 2012 - 8:57 am

    Glyn - @Nat…Thanks for all the support ;)

How to Help your Model to Model

Hi Folks,
Today I want to touch on the subject of ‘models’…

If you’re anything like me then the majority of the time you’re photographing someone they’re not going to be professional models or someone who naturally knows how to ‘work’ the camera…if you know what I mean. So if that’s the case how can we get the most out of our photo shoot, photographing someone who doesn’t necessarily find themselves on the bullet end of a camera all that often?

I’ll pass you over to my best buddy Dave Clayton to explain one thing that I do and how it’s helped him go from someone who quite literally hated having his photo taken to someone who now thoroughly enjoys it and who this month is gracing the front cover of Pictures, a top German Photography Magazine; Dave, over to you…

At the back end of last year I was all ready to attend Glyn’s Character Portrait workshop when he called up and said words I never thought I’d hear or even possibly want to be asked! “Dave, would you model for me tomorrow mate?” I’m not at my most comfortable in front of the camera, and we all know the camera adds about 30lbs right (shh, don’t argue). Glyn said the theme was a Big Boss Businessman character…braces, slicked hair, cigar and glasses. In my head I’m thinking James Jameson from Spiderman as the basis for the character. Glyn’s my buddy, I can’t say no.  I didn’t and it was an absolute blast!

If Glyn had just said “Dave, would you just stand in front of the camera as yourself?” I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Having a theme, for me, was important and a great help. I can see why actors enjoy their job. Now for that first shoot the theme was pretty straight forward but I still felt I had to be ‘in character’to make it work. I told each photographer to let me know what poses they wanted and I suggested a few myself. It was so much fun and seeing the results was even better.

Having a theme makes this kind of shoot/workshop more fun, you can try things you probably never thought you would and it brings out your creative side. The other element of the fun for me was prop shopping. The second shoot we did was a ‘geek’ theme. Glyn just said “I want a geek” – that was it. He knew I’d be able to visualise what the end result would be and for me, as a designer, I was thinking about how that image would work for a movie poster or magazine cover. So I dug out my old fake teeth, got some big old glasses from a charity shop, stuck a plaster (bandaid) in the middle of them, purchased a bad tie, shirt and tanktop from another charity shop and with the addition of my old polaroid camera, a centre parting and some fake razor nicks I knew where this was going.

The brave part for Glyn was that he didn’t see any of this until I walked into the studio for the shoot. After the initial laughter died down and a couple of comments like “Dave, I thought you were going to get changed into character” there were a lot more laughs that day and it helped everyone relax and enjoy being creative. I posed like I never thought I would, my inner geek came out and once again we got some great shots from the day. It helps that both Glyn and I have the same sense of fun and humour so if we try to think of a theme we are both already on the same track.

Workshop number three comes along, this time its a compositing workshop so now its more about the theme and the background for the composite. We’ve discussed rock star, Sherlock Holmes type character and mad scientist. Again, having the theme and knowing character is needed we both start thinking along the same lines. “How about a disturbed kind of back street dodgy doctor type character, grungy old walls behind like some dark underground place where bad things happen, maybe the corridor of an old abandoned hospital?”

A bit of prop shopping (also a fun part) and we had an old lab coat, safety glasses, fake blood, a big old cleaver from the barn near where I work, black rubber gloves and an old shirt and tie. Once again Glyn just left me to my own devices and after 10 minutes of dressing into character and covering myself in blood out I walk and ready to look disturbingly sinister. All the attendees had some great ideas for their own pictures and I was willing to do what they wanted, I would say we got through 30-40 different ideas.

I’m sure a lot of photographers would prefer to shoot beautiful women all day long but for me, this is the most fun. Being creative, prop shopping, conjuring up themes and looking at the bigger picture, so to speak.

Already I am thinking of more ideas for future shoots with Glyn, either just us or for a workshop and if you want to try this all you need is about a £25 budget and some good ebaying skills and you can pull some great ideas out of the bag.

So it’s giving a theme to the photo shoot that I’m talking about; something that helps both yourself and your model to focus on what it is exactly that you’re looking to achieve. I find it also goes a long way in helping your model to ‘get into’ the shoot and relax because they’re not so self conscious because ultimately they’re not being themselves…does that make sense? Of course getting your model to play the part of a character or someone else isn’t always possible for every photo shoot you do so this is just another tool in the bag to call on as and when. I also find Moodboards a massive help when it comes to getting everyone to focus in on exactly what we’re looking to achieve and I’ve posted about how I do that in an earlier post [Link]

So what about you…what do you do to help your model to relax and for you both to get into the zone?

Right that’s all for today so have a good one and I’ll catch you back here real soon,
Enjoy:)

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  • March 8, 2012 - 8:23 am

    James Hole - Great post mate, since the first character workshop I’m always jotting down the names of film characters or any time I see an idea for a theme taking a few iPhone shots of it to come back to later!
    Cheers.

  • March 8, 2012 - 9:04 am

    David Kelly - Very informative post guys. Look forward to seeing what theme is used for the next workshop :-)

  • March 8, 2012 - 10:51 am

    Jonathan Thompson - Great post with great tips, I had a fab time at your workshop & I’m looking forward to putting Dave in that dark underground place. Narrowing down the feel of a shoot is very important. Everyones time is precious & studio time can be expensive so anything you can do to (Ahem) focus on a style & title for a picture the better. All your tips can go for a fashion model shoots to a character portrait in fact any shoot at all. It’s one of my biggest lessons I’ve learnt.

    Keep up the great work guys, will be keeping an eye out for my own Dave a little closer to home, to work with, one without the bloody cleaver ;)

  • March 8, 2012 - 1:34 pm

    Beth McNabb - I am most comfortable behind the camera too but this does make it sound like fun! Clever images.

  • June 15, 2012 - 7:17 am

    From Dave to Diva :) » Glyn Dewis - [...] How to help your Model to Model [...]