I spent this past Thursday at Scott Kelby’s Shoot Like a Pro photography seminar. I have some arguably negative things to say about the seminar, but on the whole, if you fall into the target audience, this seminar is well-worth the money.
Here’s my detailed follow-up…
|Prerequisites||First, Scott’s web site doesn’t include any kind of a prerequisites list or target audience description. Since this seminar isn’t targeted at the beginner, let me fill some gaps…As fairly hard requirements, before attending this seminar, you should be able to:
Though these are not hard requirements, before attending this seminar you should be able to:
|Target Audience||This seminar is intended for the hobbyist, the advanced hobbyist, and the semi-pro, where the sweet spot is the advanced hobbyist.Beginners and Pros may find this seminar to be helpful, but the bang-for-the-buck factor is definitely smaller at these ends of the spectrum than at the middle.|
|Covered Topics||The agenda listed at http://kelbyone.com/live/tours/scott-kelbys-shoot-like-a-pro-tour/ does a pretty good job listing the various covered topics.Personally, of particular interest were:
|Two Days||This should be a 2-day seminar that starts at 9:00am rather than at 10:00am. Two marginally longer days would allow for both in-depth demonstrations and for audience interaction.|
|On Minimum Shutter Speed||Scott indicates at one point in his lecture that your minimum shutter speed shouldn’t fall below 1/60th of a second. Unfortunately, at least for our seminar, that’s about the entirety of the treatment he gave it – and, unfortunately, it’s not as neat and tidy as that.Sharp images as impacted by shutter speed come down to managing 2 things:
|On Noise||Scott told us to stop using noise reduction because it ruins detail and sharpness. This topic isn’t treated in the seminar materials (Scott said it was because he didn’t want to go on record on the matter), and I don’t know if it’s something that Scott discusses at all of his seminars or it was just something on his mind when he was talking to us – but there it was: Stop applying noise reduction to our images.
And though he wasn’t wrong – noise reduction can absolutely reduce the quality of an image – he didn’t go nearly far enough on the matter.
A better statement would probably have been, “Test your camera to find your noise threshold. Only apply noise reduction if the image was shot at an ISO above that threshold.”
The trick is that sensors are not created equal. Neither are in-camera NR algorithms for those who shoot JPG rather than RAW, and neither are NR algorithms offered by any of a number of post-processing software vendors.With my Canon 70D, the threshold is about ISO 3200:
Your camera will need to be tested; my camera clearly out-performs my step-father’s Nikon D5100 and sample images from the new Sony a7S appear to be comparable at double rates (i.e., the 6400 ISO Sony images look similar to what I get from my 70Ds at ISO 3200).
|Conclusion||If you fall into the target audience and if you are willing to bring along a notebook and a pen, this seminar is well worth the money.|