Monthly Archives September 2018

We’re just over a week away for the Worldwide Photo Walk (It’s Saturday, October 6th). It’s all coming together, and thanks to our friends from Canon USA (official sponsor of the 11th annual Photo Walk) we have some quick video tips today from Canon Explorer of Light, Rick Sammon on how to get some great shots during the Photo Walk.

Note: If you haven’t signed on to a photo walk near you (they are in over 900 cities around the world), head over to the official Photo Walk site and sign up to walk with us a week from tomorrow (it’s free and open to everybody!).

Thanks, Rick!!! :) :) :)

Make sure you follow Rick on Twitter and Instagram – he has a really fun account (especially if you’re a photographer who loves music).

I’ll be back on Monday, and my plan is to share some of my photos from my Travel Photography workshop in Rome, which wrapped up on Tuesday this week.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Best,

-Scott

Classic Text Effects in Photoshop CC with Dave Clayton
Join graphic designer extraordinaire, Dave Clayton, for a deep dive into some stunning text effects inspired by classic designs from the ’50s, ’70s, and ’80s. Have some fun reverse engineering TV and movie text effects from shows like Stranger Things and Ready Player One to retro looks from the ’50s. If you’re a typography fan or just wanting to learn some new tricks for designing text then this class is for you!

In Case You Missed It
Take inspiration from good design and make it your own. Join Dave Clayton as he takes you into Photoshop and demonstrates how you can start with an existing design and build on top of it to make something completely unique as a tool to help you learn and improve your craft. When you learn an instrument you play other people’s music, when you learn to cook you use other people’s recipes, and it is no different when you are learning design. In this class, you’ll learn how to find inspiration, extract from PDFs, add vector images, incorporate stock photos into your design, work with templates, as well as tips and techniques for adding all the final touches needed to create a complete design.

Growing up I was never told to dream, that I could achieve anything I wanted, or that there was literally a whole world of opportunity out there just waiting for me to come and get it! I was born and raised in the north of England, in a typical mill village, in a typical post-industrial city. There is a saying in England which goes, ‘It’s grim up north,’ and to a certain extent it was and still is, but maybe in more metaphorical terms these days.

Dreams were shot down like pheasants in hunting season. All that was left in the dissipating smoke was the harsh reality of those times. You leave school, you work in a factory, you reach retirement, you die! This had been the circle of life for so many generations before me it had been ingrained into the mental fabric of society. No one had big dreams, and if you did, they were laughed at. You couldn’t openly be creative, or you would be ridiculed.

When I was younger, the cool kids were the bad ones, the ones that didn’t do their homework, missed school and sat on the playing fields smoking their parents’ cigarettes that they pinched that same morning before leaving the house. This lifestyle can only lead to one type of negative, fixed mindset and outlook. So when the awesome folks at KelbyOne asked me to write a guest blog, I discarded the usual thoughts of the usual Photoshop tips and techniques (we’ve read them a million times). Instead I thought I would share with you the biggest revelation in my life. That if you change your mindset, you change your life!

Technique and decent images will get you going in the correct direction, but it will only take you so far! To push yourself beyond that, you have to change your mindset! Below are the ramblings, advice, and hopefully some helpful tips from my own experiences, mishaps, and adventures whilst changing my own mindset.

BUILDING A GOOD FOUNDATION FOR CHANGE
To change your mindset, you have to first build a good foundation from the bottom up, on which you can build the new mindset. This will mean changing your old beliefs, discarding your old bad habits and creating new ones. The best way to to do this is through discipline. When I say discipline I am not talking about the kind of discipline an angry teacher gives out to a naughty school child, but the kind that teaches you how to train yourself in a controlled and habitual way.

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Hi all! Apologies for posting a little late today. I’m having some connection issues while I’m on the road, so I’m actually having to write this on my phone—should be interesting to see what autocorrect makes of it! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m a travel photographer and writer from the U.K., but you knew that already, right? I’ve been sharing my current mission over on the KelbyOne Instagram Story, so thanks to those who are keeping up. I’m currently sitting in a petrol station in Kongsvika, way up in the Lofoten area of Norway and about 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle. It’s situations like this that have inspired what I’m going to share with you today, which has, in fact, been in my head for a few days.

You know the sayings, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and “You only live once”? Well, these are the best matches for what I want to share today.

This trip of mine has been in the plans for months. I wanted to get to the Lofoten Islands before the snow hit, but after summer. I wanted to catch autumnal scenes, awesome sunsets, and feel the start of the cold. Well, that was the idea. What actually happened has turned out to be starkly different. That hurricane that hit the Carolinas left a depression hanging over the mid-Atlantic which, in being left behind, got picked up by the jet stream. It carried all the way up through the top of France, through the U.K., and up the coastline of Norway. The problem with that is that when it hit the colder air up here, it dumped somewhere around a metric fudge-ton of water in the form of rain, sleet, and snow. Occasionally, all three, and sideways!

What that did to me is have the disastrous consequence of a potentially wasted trip. Fine for a holiday, to be fair, because it’s all still here and pretty looking, but absolutely no use for photography. For these past few days, I’ve been working hard and fast in the gaps between the weather. Here’s one shot I got during a bit of drizzle on Sakrisøy:

 

 

It’s such a beautiful place, but with only a handful of shots from the entire trip, I had to consider my options. So, that’s when I decided—I’m going to Finland!

At around an 8-hour drive, it wasn’t beyond possible, and I’d checked the weather forecasts, the radars, the aurora forecast, the lot! It could work, and there was only one way to find out. So, I immediately changed my plans, being drowned out by a storm, and punched Kittilä, Finland into the GPS.

The drive took me through Sweden, and it was covered in beautiful autumn tones and a pleasure to experience. I was heading through Lapland and determined to see clear skies and, hopefully, some northern lights. Well, guess what! It didn’t happen! This is the best I got, and I’m sharing it purely as proof that it happened:

 

 

I was so full of disappointment, and to be honest, I still am. My whole trip has been a washout, owing to this terrible weather, but that’s just how things go sometimes. You’ve just got to roll with it. Me, however, I tend to tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward. That’s just how I roll. Above all, keep smiling.

 

 

Heres the thing: if you don’t try, you’ll never know. I spent 31 hours in the car, slept in it, and drove across three countries in order to see what I could get. It was a failure, but if I hadn’t done it, I’d never know. You can only fail if you try, and trying is the best you can do. The newly coined phrase “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, is basically made just for this. Although I failed, I know that I tried my best and I took the opportunity to find out what could have been. All in the quest for creating awesome images!

Right, it’s time to get out of this petrol station and head for Tromsø! (Big thanks to Kim for helping me get this post online with the lack of connection I have here!)

Much love

Dave

Artistic Landscape Panoramas with Steve Hansen
Journey to Point Reyes National Seashore with Steve Hansen to master the artistic landscape panorama. From sunrise to sunset, Steve demonstrates the techniques he uses to create stunning high resolution panoramic photos. In this class you’ll learn what gear is required, how to seek out good panoramic subject matter, techniques for shooting two-image vertical panoramas, how to capture HDR panoramas, how to shoot for focus stacking, how to overcome stitching errors, how to post process various types of panoramic photos, and so much more! By the end of the class you’ll have all the expertise needed to head out into all kinds of light to start practicing the technical aspects of landscape panoramic photography.

In Case You Missed It
Explore along with professional photographer Moose Peterson during his first visit to Monument Valley. Moose walks through his camera gear and shooting strategies to set up for a successful shot. He walks through post-production for editing images and the entire workflow of setting up a time-lapse video. Follow Moose as he photographs one of the most impressive landscapes in America. This class is perfect for anyone interested in editing landscape photography and learning time-lapse.

Love and awe.

Two of my favorite concepts in all of art and Life itself.

Oh, also pithy. I freakin’ love that word. It means: “a language or style that is concise and forcefully expressive.” Yeah, pithy is cool. And fun to say!

Scott Kelby… thank you for providing a place for all three of my favorite things to thrive in uncountable ways. And I don’t just mean for me – I mean for everyone who loves photography and learning. You are indeed a force of nature for Good.

BTW… I still get such positive comments about this episode of “The Chat” (a show I self-produced a few years ago, just for fun), from all the way back in 2014, I wanted to re-share it here. It was a revelation…

Which brings us in perfect full-circle manner back to Love and Awe; two of the most powerful creative forces in the universe.

Photography is Love Made Visible.
That’s a statement, isn’t it? I could also say that “Art” is love made visible. Or creativity, period – if it results in something that is actually visible.

In my opinion, if you want to take a beautiful, defining image that speaks from your soul, you have to fall in love with it. Madly, truly, deeply in love.

A picture is a poem without words.
-Horace

People sometimes think I’m a little “woo-woo” about all this. They (mistakenly) think I don’t focus on the technical aspects of photography.

Mais non!

At a certain point in my life, I got busy and focused so MUCH on the technical aspects of my photography that it simply doesn’t lead the show anymore. Sufficiently internalized, technique becomes like muscle memory in photography, just as it does in sports. It’s just there, like a car with a full tank of gas, engine humming, waiting to see where to next. Which, in turn, frees you to focus upon the feeling, vision or the message of your art. I call it: Technique in Service of Vision.

Of course,  if a new technique were to present itself that I really wanted to master, then I’d get busy! I’d practice it, repeat it, over and over, till it was embedded into my nervous system, so that I could speak fluently in its language without thinking about it. Only then could I spontaneously create with it.

Mastering technique so you can go do cool stuff with it was basic to every sport and artistic discipline I’ve done to a high level, whether it was acting, singing, figure skating, equestrian sports, downhill skiing, voiceovers. I’m a great believer in “technique will set you free” in most disciplines. But only if it’s set into its proper place; which is “in service of” performing said discipline in a signature fashion – and not as an end unto itself.

Here’s how I see it…  (more…)

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