Hi, gang — greetings from Washington DC. I’m up here for my seminar today, and looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of you!

Today, I’m officially announcing my new book‚ “How Do I Do That in Lightroom Classic, 2nd Edition,” which (according to Amazon) the print edition should be in stock and ready to ship today (Well, that’s what their Website said, anyway). Here’s what the book is all about:

I hope you’ll give it a read — I think you’ll really find it useful.

Here’s a link to order your copy at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 

Have a great weekend, everybody. I’ll have some shots to share from my shoot at the Library of Congress and the National Cathedral, next week.

Best,

-Scott

 

Jaw-Dropping, Heart-Stopping, Eye-Popping Photoshop Effects with Unmesh Dinda
Join Unmesh Dinda and take your Photoshop skills to the next level! This class is jam-packed with tricks and techniques that will make your jaw drop. You’ll learn how to retouch any surface without damaging texture, how to selectively apply blur for dramatic effect, how to scale a photo without damaging the main subject, how to automate actions to work faster, how to gain unlimited filters through the Gradient Map, and so much more. Unmesh has a great knack for making complicated techniques simple and approachable, and he even provides files for you to download and practice with as you learn. By this end of the class these lessons will serve as a go-to reference to come back to anytime you need a refresher.

In Case You Missed It
Get ready to take your compositing skills to the next level! Join Corey Barker as steps you through the creation of a fantasy composite image, from extracting the subject though the final touches. Whether you are using an older version of Photoshop or the latest, you’ll learn how to cleanly extract your subject from the source image, how to build a background environment around your subject, and how to blend all of the elements together using lighting and atmospheric effects to create a believable composite image with impact. Corey will show you ways to use Photoshop that you’ve never thought of before, and he wraps up the class with cool tips for adding text and blending non-human objects into your composite.

Don’t Let Your Love of Photography DIE!

As someone who has been working as a photographer and videographer in the wedding industry for over 20 years, I’ve been able to witness a lot of the exciting changes the industry has gone through in the last 2 decades. As the digital age has emerged, it has brought with it a myriad of possibilities that were previously unthinkable, and democratized the camera as a tool for everyday use by the common person.

Motion picture quality videos are now commonplace in the video realm, new software has made it easier for us to easily stylize our photos in similar ways to a professional retoucher, other automation breakthroughs have made handling client interactions more efficient, and designing books and ordering prints have never been easier.

However, despite the reality of these exciting possibilities, many professionals who have been part of the game for a while sometimes experience the weight of an inexplicable loss of love for the craft. What can be done to keep the love of creativity alive?

When my wife and I got married in 1998, a wedding photographer was one of a few magical individuals who knew how to operate a mysterious box with a lot of confusing dials and buttons called a camera – something that 99% of the population couldn’t do with any consistency. If you were looking for one and happened to find a good one, you had essentially found a unicorn in a field of four leaf clovers.

Knowing this, I rewarded the photographers who shot our wedding handsomely for their work, and have never regretted it for a single day. The photos taken and the memories captured that day are among some of the most valuable possessions I have ever owned.  I have always loved the idea of being a creative, and to make a living doing so. I thought I could make a go of it as a photographer, and took my first steps in my photography journey then.

Fast forward 20 years, and I find myself in the industry as a full-time wedding photographer! It wasn’t instantaneous, but I did manage to create a successful and sustainable business, and have had the pleasure of creating wedding imagery and preserving the memories for people all over the world. Though the years I’ve also had my own experiences with burnout, boredom, and disinterest in photography, even as the photography business was running on all cylinders.

As I reflected, I soon remembered the reason I got into all of this in the first place – I love photography!  I just needed to make sure that I could continue to feel that way for the long haul.

If you think you’re falling out of love with photography, or at least your photography business, here are a few things that I think might help you keep your inner photography child alive!  Apply each with the supervision of an adult:

Don’t Look At Photography Similar To Your Own For Inspiration!
Looking at your friends’ and competitors’ work is not going to be as helpful as inspiring as you think. You’ll probably either end up being jealous, or even worse, you might copy them! I might suggest exploring in other places: Photojournalism, Landscape, Fashion, Commercial, Nature, even Cosplay! Let other genres of photography inject your work with new ideas and inspiration!

Expose Yourself To Other Genres Of Art
I love movies, and I am constantly in awe of the craftsmen who help put the images onscreen. Why not take your visual inspiration from one of your favorite filmmakers? Some of my favorites: Terry Gilliam, Christopher Nolan, Wong Kar Wai, Cinematographer Roger Deakins, AMC’s Mad Men, Film Noir, Stanley Kubrick, etc. Not into film? Check out your local museum and spend the day there amongst the paintings.

Travel
Unless you’re an Instagram star or a millennial with a rich father, I wouldn’t gut your entire savings on a trip around the world, but getting outside your area of familiarity and taking your camera out for some exercise is good the soul (and the body).

Attend A Workshop!
You certainly don’t know everything, so taking class from someone who is good might help you ‘see’ from a new perspective. You’re never too old or too good to learn something new!

Shoot Your Loved Ones
Our images of our families, special events, family and friends long gone – they are amongst our most precious possessions! Help yourself or someone you care about capture their important moments – you’ll never ask yourself why you’re a photographer again.

Don’t let your love grow cold! Always be looking for new ways and new methods to nurturing that relationship with your camera and the craft of photography, and she will love you back!

You can see more of Tauran’s work at Tauran.com, and keep up with him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

#TravelTuesday has come around again, and I’m right here as always to impart some of the bountiful wisdom filed amongst the mayhem in my mind! It really has been mayhem, too. I moved home this past week, heading out of the big smoke that is London and landing nice and gently in the Great British countryside. It’s fabulous to be able to see the stars again, but I’ve hit a brick wall with my internet provider – Vodafone, if you’re wondering. The connection date was exactly one week ago and I still have no internet. I’m resorting to coffee shops to hop on Wi-Fi in order to do all that I need to do online, which is slowing me down a lot, so my apologies for any glitches in regular service! Anyway, I’m Dave Williams, and I’m going to share some travel photography insider secrets with you today! Let’s do this!

Now, in the world of travel photography, the shooter has many skills but fits them all into one job – to make the viewer want to be in the picture! There are tips and tricks within the trade to help create an image which achieves that result and sells, and today eight of those insider secrets from my years of shooting travel are yours, gratis!

1 – Turn around!

There’s almost always a great view in the opposite direction. It’s very, very common to turn up somewhere at a tourist location and see everyone facing one way, usually at a spot labelled “sunset point” or “scenic vista” on Google Maps. These places aren’t wrong – they tend to afford an incredible viewpoint over whichever location you’re in and going hand-in-hand with them there’s usually a snack shop, souvenir stall, car park, and ease of access for all. One thing I’ve seen taken to some extremes and which is 99% true is that there’s also a nice view where people aren’t looking. Go against the grain, pull out your rebellious side, and see what’s behind the crowd. Don’t be the sheep – take a step away from the average tourist and get the shot people aren’t getting!

2 – Avoid touristy shots

On a par with number one, and a piece of advice I’ve given time and time again in blog posts, articles, and face to face, is this one: don’t shoot tourist shots! If you shoot what everyone else is shooting, it’s really, really, really difficult to make that image captivating. It’s really difficult to have it stand out amongst the crowd in a portfolio or in a stock catalogue. Here’s the background: the starting point of moving away from the tourist shot is to think like a tourist in order to stop thinking like a tourist! A tourist takes out a camera, faces forward, brings the camera up to eye level, and shoots with the subject centre frame. Think about that. ;)

 

 

3 – Put people there

Now, don’t tell her, but this is something I often to and fro with, with Stephanie Richer. She firmly believes that putting a person in the frame is what should be done and she’s absolutely right. (But, don’t tell her I said that!) It’s probably the easiest way to make your shot unique, and side by side with that it can help to convey emotion, scale, and a story. Further to that, the pose or activity the person is doing can change the story altogether. For example, putting a person running in the image will give it so much more energy, or putting a couple in the photo can show a harmonious solitude.

4 – Check before you leave

There have been far too many times that I’ve been somewhere cool and have come back to find I screwed up the focus or didn’t compose quite how I intended to because I didn’t check the frame after I shot it. Having spent time and hard cash getting to the location, its the last thing you want. It can all come to light when you submit to a stock agency and have it rejected because of a technical or creative error, so check your shot every time to make sure you nailed it!

 

 

5 – Close in

One thing I’ve heard Scott say time and again is this: “Get tighter!” He’s absolutely on the money, and if you think that your shot isn’t good enough, try it out. Just get closer. Crop in on something within the frame, or on the subject you’re already on and notice the difference. It’s more detailed, more intimate, and just better.

6 – Lose the embarrassment

One thing common among photographers is an embarrassment or shyness. It’s weird, but it’s true. Don’t be afraid to get in there, shoot people, stand out from the crowd, and get something unique and personal. Sometimes, when it comes to shooting people, it’s a very good idea to ask. You’ll usually get a positive response and getting used to asking strangers for a photo will make it easier the next time, and the next time.

 

 

7 – Shoot blue

Blue sells! Have you noticed? Next time you’re in WH Smiths or Barnes and Noble, take a look at the covers of the travel magazines and travel guidebooks. There’s a very common theme running through the majority of them and it’s the colour blue. Photography magazines with landscapes will have dark, deep tones and moody skies, whereas travel magazines will have blue skies and blue water. Blue sells in travel.

8 – Right place, right time

This can’t always be pre-planned, and often the best shots are the ones you didn’t intend to take, however, it’s important to be in the right place at the right time as far as you can. Know when the sun is rising and setting, know which direction it’ll be in, and put yourself in the right place by planning properly. The rest will all fall into place!

If you have any more travel photography tips, I’d love to hear them! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook :)

Much love

Dave

Above: The group shot of the local photo walk I led in Venice, Italy a couple of years ago — such a great group to walk with, which included my brother Jeff (behind me, far right), and Mimo Meidany (far left), and behind him, Italian legend of love, Roby Pisco.

Last week we announced my 11th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (once again brought to you by our friends at Canon, and produced by KelbyOne), and today I wanted to do a quick Q&A to answer some of the questions that are already pouring in.  

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A. The official date is Saturday, October 6, 2018 

Q. Scott, are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A. 
You bet!I’m leading a local photo walk in Innsbruck, Austria (I’ve already posted the details for my Innsbruck walk  — I hope if you live in the Innsbruck area, or like me, you’ve dreamed of going to Innsbruck, you can join me). Here’s a link to my walk. :)

Q. What do you do on a Photo Walk?
A. You start by meeting with up to 50 other photographers at a central meeting point. Then a Photo Walk Leader leads the group on a leisurely paced stroll through an area that is photographically interesting; you take lots pictures; you can chat with other folks (photo walkers are very friendly by nature); you laugh, you enjoy being outside with a group of like-minded folks.  Then, after around 2-hours, you wind up at a local restaurant, pub, cafe, etc. (chosen in advance by the walk leader), where you can have a meal, some drinks, and make some new friends.

It’s a social event, and it’s really a blast (and you get to make some cool pictures, which is always good).

Q. Where do I sign up to join a walk in my city?
A. Visit the official Worldwide Photo Walk Website, and click the “Find a Walk” button to see if there’s a walk set-up in a city near you. If there is, and there are spots still available, you can sign up right there for free and join that walk. If there isn’t a walk in your city, maybe you can start one and lead it yourself (more on that in a moment). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because new walks in new cities are being added every day.

Q. Why isn’t there a walk in my city?
A. We don’t choose the cities. Photo walks take a place in a city because a volunteer in that city contacts us and says they are willing to form and lead a walk. Any city can have a walk — it just takes the right person in that city to volunteer to organize a walk. They can apply to lead a walk on the official site.

Q. Is there a fee to participate?
A. There is no fee — it’s totally free.

Q. Does the walk have a social mission?
A. Absolutely. Each year we “Walk with a Purpose” to benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya. Walkers from around the world raise funds to help the orphanage feed, clothe and care for some very wonderful children who need our help. We do it from simple one-dollar donations. This is totally optional, but when you sign up for a walk, you’ll have the option of donating just $1 to the orphanage via Paypal. 100% of your donation goes directly to the orphanage, and last year we were able to raise nearly $20,000. This year we’re trying to hit $25,000, and with your help, we can do it! You cannot imagine what a difference this makes to the orphanage (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. :)

So, if you could donate just $1 when you’re on the site that would be awesome (and you’ll be helping more than you know), but again, it’s totally optional. By the way, you can give more than a buck if you’d like — some folks give a $hundred — we’ve had folks donate a $thousand, which of course, just makes our head explode with joy!

tamgr

Above: Here’s the group shot from the walk I led in 2011 in Tampa, Florida. It was fairly warm, but the people were hot (and I mean that in the nicest non-naughty way possible). Kathy and Barb were there. What could go wrong? ;-)

Q. What happens when a local walk fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Each Photo Walk is limited to a maximum of 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Click here for the explanation.

romegroupshot

Above: That’s a group shot from the walk I led in 2013 in Rome. Hey, I see Serge Ramelli next to Kalebra and me! 

Q. If I led a walk last year, can I lead a walk again this year?
A. We would love that! Check your email inbox — we sent out invitations already to last year’s leaders, so keep an eye out for it.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader) wins a prize (we’re working on just what that will be right now). From those local walk winners I will choose 10-finalists, who all get great prizes, and then I choose a single Grand Prize winner, who just gets an insane amount of stuff.

Q. I see on the site that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean the Grand Prize might include a camera and a lens?
A. I would think yes! A separate post is coming on all the awesome prizes we have lined up for this year.

Q. Do the 10 Finalists win?
A. You bet! I’ll be listing them in my upcoming post on all the prizes for the walk.

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not — it’s totally optional — you don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest).

sydneygroupshot

Above: That’s the group shot of the local photo walk I led in Sydney, Australia in 2015. We started our walk at the world famous Sydney Opera House. 

Q. Are any cities with Photo Walks organized yet?
A. Yes! We already have walks set-up all over the world, with more being added every day! There are walks all over the world who would love to have you join them!

tarpon

Above: That’s my group shot from my Tarpon Springs Photo Walk a few years back. My wife and I made a very dear friend in that photo walk.

lond

Above: That’s a group shot from my London Photo Walk two years ago. Dave Willaims and Peter Treadway are in there somewhere. Two top men. My friend Bryan is in there. So is Brad. Mike is there, too! Looks like Cathy Baitson snuck in there as well. Lots of cool folks, and lots of great memories.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk in my area?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website — just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, so you’re familiar with keep a group of up to 50 people happy, safe and healthy, etc., you’re likely to get accepted fast to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

ybor

Above: This is the group that I led in Ybor City, Florida back in 2009. I hated these people. Of course, I’m just kidding – they were awesome – I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Worked, didn’t it? ;-)

 

paris

Above: That’s my group shot from my Paris, France photo walk. Yes, that’s is our friend (and Photoshop World instructor) Serge Ramelli standing next to my wife Kalebra. You get extra points if you recognized Serge from my Rome walk group shot as well. 

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
We have that, too! It’s our way of honoring the photographic work of our dedicated and talented leaders. The best image submitted from a leader will win an awesome prize package as well.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for Walkers & Leaders?
A. You betcha! Here’s the link. (order yours right now so you can wear it during for the walk and look all cool and everything, like the model you see in the photo above — but even cooler).

100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts go directly to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya for the feeding, medical needs, clothing, education and care for these great kids. Last year we raised nearly $5,000 just from these t-shirt sales alone (imagine how much $5,000 alone means to a small orphanage).

Here’s the link to the t-shirt store (they come in multiple styles and colors).

NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders —  we’ll be posting a link on your leader’s dashboard).

dunedin1

Above: OK, not exactly a posed group shot, but it is my group, seen here in a behind-the-scenes shot from the very FIRST Photo walk ever — back in 2008 – this one is in Dunedin, Florida.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing. Where do I go?
A. 
There’s an FAQ on the Website (here’s the link) but it’s a lot of the same stuff I have here, but there is some contact info if you need to get in touch with us directly.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. Stay up-to-date by following us on our Twitter page and Facebook Page (If you talk about the walk on social – we would love it if you would include the hashtag #wwpw2018).

Plus, I’ll be sharing some tips and techniques videos here, along with other fun stuff to get you ready for the big walk on Saturday, October 6th, 2018.

I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose” to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!

All my best,

-Scott

P.S. We want as many people to participate as possible, so anything you can do to help us spread the word about the walk would be greatly appreciated. Could you share it on forums, on social, with your camera clubs, and anywhere cool photographers hang out? Many thanks. :)

It’s here, and you’re invited to join us at my 11th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ brought to you, once again, by our friends at Canon, and produced by KelbyOne. This Photo Walk is a worldwide phenomenon, with photo walks in nearly 1,000 cities around the globe hosting walks last year. Best of all, besides all the fun and making friends, it all benefits the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya.

Above: That’s my awesome crew from the photo walk I led last year in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. 

Here are the details: 

Who: Everybody! You’re invited to join us — everyone is welcome!
What: A free photo walk in 1,000+ cities around the world (here’s the link)
When: Saturday, October 6, 2018 (walks last 2 hours and usually end up at a restaurant, cafe, or pub)
Where: In a city near you (find a city that’s hosting a walk near you right here)
Why: It’s a fun, free event for photographers that has an important social mission (plus, you might win the optional local or national photo contest)

What to do if you don’t see a photo walk organized near you:
If you don’t find a walk near you, maybe you could be the one to lead a walk in your town? Here’s where to apply to lead a walk in your city.

Lots more details to come, but for now, head over to the official Worldwide Photo Walk Site, find a walk, maybe lead a walk, and get involved. It’s all free, you might win something, you might make some new friends, you might make some really great images, you just never know, right?

I’m leading the local photo walk in Innsbruck, Austria
If you live there, or nearby, or you’re just looking for a great excuse to visit Austria, sign up to be on my free walk. 

Thanks again to Canon USA
We’re proud to have Canon as our Photo Walk sponsor again this year — they make the World Wide Photo Walk possible, and once again they’re making some amazing contest prizes available, and they’re creating free training for photo walkers on how to make your best photo walk images ever. Thank you, Canon USA!

Have a great weekend, everybody. The Photo Walk in on!!!!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. There’s only one spot left for my Rome Travel Photography Workshop next month with Mimo Meidany. Come and join us for an unforgettable 4-day workshop where you’ll shoot a lot, learn a lot about Lightroom and Photoshop, and you’ll eat more amazing pasta and real Italian Gelato than you probably should. Grab this one spot before it’s gone! Details here. 

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