Monthly Archives December 2018

We’re nearly out of #TravelTuesday’s for the year! How sad! I wonder what the 2019 #TravelTuesday situation will be. The Tuesdays of the future will probably be shinier and more streamlined, but for now I have one of the last 2018 #TravelTuesdays for you. I’m Dave Williams, and as usual I’m here for you, laying down what I’ve learned on my journey as a travel photographer. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down! Let’s go!

So, today is all about halves. The half rule, in particular. This is something that will always stick with me since I heard about it, and something that is up there with the most valuable pieces of retouching advice I have heard and can offer back to you.

Firstly, the disclaimer. Very rarely will you see a photographer’s unprocessed RAW file. You’re about to see one of mine. No judging, please!

 

 

So that’s Iceland. More specifically, if you were wondering, it’s up on the hill above the church in Vik at the southern tip of Iceland, facing east. The image is of course quite flat and unsaturated, among other things, that being the very nature of a RAW file. The retouching process comes next as part of every photographers flow, and it’s this to which the half rule applies. Let’s go to work: –

 

 

Here’s the result of my labour. The image has been processed, the sliders have been slid, and the image coming out the other end has far more dynamic range, far more saturation, far more clarity, etc etc. This aesthetically driven approach is how we all work, shifting the sliders around and judging the image by eye. The thing that happens and that we need to be mindful of is that the difference between the flat looking original versus the saturated looking result is actually quite stark but, albeit quickly, that difference is the result of a relatively gradual process whereby we see all the changes occurring along the way. What we perceive at this moment to be a great image may actually be overdone. and that’s not something we want. The half rule is applied now.

By taking the position of all the sliders to the half way points between the neutral and the resulting positions we of course apply half of the adjustment, however that half is often actually enough to have a great looking image without it being ‘overcooked.’ Take a look: –

 

 

The sliders here compared to the last version are more or less half way, with little tweaks here and there as necessary. It’s better than the original, it’s more natural looking than the second shot, and it’s done! The half rule can make a huge difference in keeping our slider-happy tendencies in check!

 

 

I’d love to know how this works for you, feel free to get in touch on my social media – you’ll fine me everywhere as @capturewithdave

Much love

Dave

There have been many cheers that in the most-recent Photoshop CC update, you no longer have to hold the Shift key to keeps things proportional when using Free Transform to resize an object or type. You can just grab a corner and drag. We’ve been waiting for this for 20+ years, and it’s finally here (Photoshop is one of the only applications on the planet that requires you to hold Shift to resize an object proportionally — in fact, it’s just about InDesign and Illustrator left on earth that still make you do that, but they too are scheduled to lose the extra key needed to resize proportionally).

This seems like it would be good news — but there are some folks out there who are mightily pi$›%#!

So, Adobe has released a way for those folks to create a simple one-line script; which you place in Photoshop’s scripts folder, and it makes you hold the Shift key again to resize proportionally.

Now, it would have been awesome if Adobe simply had added a preference setting with a checkbox for “Use legacy Free Transform proportional resize shortcut” (or some other hard-t0-decipher Adobe-like phase), but this is, at least, the next best thing — you get your shift key back without a lot of hassle.

Here’s how to “go back in time” and add the Shift Key back into your workflow (these are the official steps, according to Adobe):

Use Notepad (Windows) or a text editor on Mac OS to create a plain text file (.txt).

Type the text below in the text file:

TransformProportionalScale 0

Save the file as “PSUserConfig.txt” to your Photoshop settings folder:

Windows: [Installation Drive]:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019\Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings\

macOS: //Users/[User Name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop CC 2019 Settings/

OK, that’s all there is to it, and your Shift-key holding days are back. :)

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Best,

-Scott

As our way of saying thanks to our KelbyOne Pro members, each year we grow their KelbyOne Creative Toolkit with more goodies — awesome freebies, Lightroom presets, books, and more, and today is “Day 2” (it kicked off yesterday, but I was up in a snowy NYC).

It’s a new gift revealed every day for the next 12 days!
KelbyOne Pro members — you can find your daily gift in the “Toolkit” tab on the left sidebar of your dashboard (make sure to follow us on social to uncover the new gift each day).

Our Day One gift was a set of Snow Overlays created by KelbyOne Instructor, natural light portrait photographer Irene Rudnyk. With these simple overlays you can take any winter photo and within seconds transform it into a mesmerizing snowy winter wonderland. The overlay is so easy to apply it will have you wanting to add it to every winter photo you have!

Our Day Two gift is a special set of snowflake brushes creating by Photoshop guru (and Photoshop World instructor) Mark Heaps. 

10 more days of gifts to go! It’s cool to see our member’s Creative Toolkit growing each year. :)

Thanks to our KelbyOne Pro members for another great year, and Happy Holidays!

Best,

-Scott

P.S. If you’ve been waiting to “go pro” with a KelbyOne Pro membership, this might be your chance – we have a special holiday sale on right now (for a limited time) with $30.00 off a KelbyOne Pro annual membership. Here’s the link with more details or to sign up. 

Making Great Location Portraits with the Profoto B1 X with Scott Kelby
Learn how to use the Profoto B1 X to make great portraits on location! Join Scott Kelby as he takes you through the Profoto B1 X from top to bottom, covering the basic controls, the modeling light, the battery, the speed ring, the Air Remote, and all the advanced features this unit is capable of achieving. This class is designed so you can jump in at any point that interests you or watch it from start to finish. Scott wraps up the class with an on location fashion shoot, followed by a quick start lesson to get you up and running in the field fast.

In Case You Missed It
Jet away to South Beach, Miami, Florida to meet up with Scott Kelby for the next segment of our On Location Photography with Jeremy Cowart series. Jeremy Cowart has an amazing ability to clear away clutter, eliminate distractions, and make his subject the primary focus in just about any setting you can throw his way. You’ll be amazed at what can be accomplished with minimal gear and a creative mindset that will surely change the way you view new locations.

LIVING THE DREAM – MAKING MONEY ON THE ROAD

When I thought of a subject to write about for my first ever guest-blog for Scott Kelby (totally honored, btw!) I wanted it to be something extremely useful, yet brutally honest. Perfect, I’ll answer the number one email I receive in my inbox: “Hi, I’m a photographer and want to do what you’re doing. How do you make money?”

If you’ve never heard of me, here’s the rundown on who I am and How I Became a Nomad: Normal girl goes to school and loves taking pictures. Graduates college, moves to China and back. Gets married, starts a career in a camera store, and quickly falls into the 9-5 suburban lifestyle. Becomes depressed, gets divorced, life turns into work. Sees the sunrise over the mountains and has a life-changing epiphany. Quits job, gives away material possessions, moves into a tiny teardrop trailer chasing her dream of being a professional landscape photographer.

Whew! Sounds like a dream, right? Just giving it all up and moving to the open road? In a sense, yes, it is “the dream.” But I’d like to shed a little light on the reality of this lifestyle and what it takes to be successful.

As of this very moment I have officially been “on the road” for 907 days. In the beginning I made next to nothing, but it has grown into a healthy career which I can now live and thrive from. The truth is, there is no one answer to “how to be successful on the road.” It is going to vary with each person. That being said, there are some general tips that I have learned over the last few years and would like to share with you now.

Follow Your Passion
First and foremost, whatever you dedicate yourself to in this life should be something that you have a true passion for. Something that brings you happiness and makes the world a better place. If you consider the percentage of our lives that we spend “working,” it seems appropriate to make that something we are passionate about.

Without passion, we have no purpose. Remember when we learned about “mission statements” back in high school? That’s a real thing! The first goal I accomplished when I moved to the road was to define my purpose. That gave me something to work towards and kept me from treading water for months until I sunk.

My mission statement:

“Show people things they wouldn’t normally see, to inspire people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.”

Work Hard
I have met a lot of “full-timers” on the road, and most of them last anywhere from 6-12 months before running out of money and giving up. They made the biggest mistake of all; romanticizing road-life by thinking it is akin to a long vacation with a bit of work tucked in between adventures.

Yes, traveling is fun – but I guarantee that the moment I began working for myself, I turned my 9-5 job into a 24/7 job. I work harder now than I ever worked for any company… but you know what? That’s okay! All of the hours you put into your own business only serve to grow YOU – so why limit your own growth?

The best advice I can give someone who is about to go full-time is don’t give yourself a plan B. Have plan A and work your bum off until it works! DO NOT go onto the road with any more than 3-months savings. If you live too long on savings, you begin to rely on it. With 3 or less months you are forced to find another means of survival.

Don’t be disillusioned that life on the road will be easy. You will do yourself the biggest favor of all if you remember: You are your own best and worst employee. You do everything. It’s going to be a lot of hard work.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
In this day and age, there are many corporate positions that allow you to work remotely with benefits and job security. If you have one of these jobs, congrats! But let’s be honest, most of the people reading this blog are photographers or other creatives working on their own solo ventures. This puts us at the disadvantage of job insecurity, but alternatively it gives us the independence to do the things we are passionate about.

Here is the meat and potatoes of what you are here to learn, how I make money:

  • Sell Prints online: We are photographers/artists. Find the best fulfillment solution and start selling your wares!
  • Sell other products: As a photographer, I offer annual calendars and even recently published a book! What other products could your art provide?
  • Teach: A large part of my income comes from teaching photography. Can you offer unique classes teaching your skill?
  • Speak: I offer myself up to speak both educationally and as a keynote at events relating both to photography and living tiny. Value your time and knowledge.
  • Promote Products: Once you’ve established yourself as a trustworthy source of information, many companies will work both in product trade and in payment for promotion. Just remember the key here is to stay true to yourself over the dollar signs. Promote the products you truly believe in, not the ones that just want to pay.
  • Online Affiliates: There are many ways to offer advertising on your website, make money from YouTube, become an Amazon Affiliate, and even offer subscription based content through sites such as Patreon.
  • Multi-Industry Advertising: Obviously, I focus on advertising to photographers, but because of my lifestyle I am also open to the RV/Camping world, Tiny House enthusiasts, and even other full-timers. What other industries does your art cover?

Budget
Living on the road is a great way to minimize bills, but by no means does it eliminate them! Do NOT move on to the road thinking it will be a “free” way to live. I still pay nearly every bill I paid when I had a brick and mortar home. Replace the “rent bill” with the “gas bill” and everything else is pretty much the same.

That being said, living in a tiny home does put your possessions into perspective. You only own and keep what you need rather than what you think you need. The simple thought of “where will I keep this?” keeps me from buying a lot of things.

Define Your Idea Of Success
My favorite all time video blog that I have ever posted is one I created after only 5 months on the road (when I was just a road-baby!). It is titled “How to Be Successful on the Road.” Right from the start I learned one of the most valuable lessons I will probably ever learn in my whole life: if you want to be successful, redefine your idea of success.

Growing up, we are all taught that the successful “American Dream” is to go to college, have a long-term career, buy a house, get married, have kids, make money, make money, make money. If that is success, consider me a failure.

On the other hand, I have taken myself from barely being able to make it through the day without an anxiety attack – to being able to laugh at myself when I am alone. Now THAT is a feat. If I am able to die with a smile on my face, I will be more successful than any amount of money can ever bring me.

You can see more of Mandy’s work at MandyLeaPhoto.com, and keep up with her on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s that time of the week again! I’m back! I’m Dave Williams and this week for #TravelTuesday, on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, I’m going to pick on a subject that seems to always be looming, but never fully addressed. It’s a topic that is absolutely not helping to lift any negative reputation on photographers.

With news this week floating across the internet that photographer Andreas Hvid was caught atop the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the question again has popped up: –

“What are the limits?”

I wrote before about how Russia has popularised the selfie sensation to the extent that they had to restrict certain areas and locations, owing to the risk of death and serious injury following ridiculous photographic exploits. Similarly, there has been news of people free climbing monuments and buildings for the thrill and the selfie from the top, and the whole train track thing is so ridiculous it’s basically unfathomable why people would do it. I mean, I take risks in making my photos, but the risk is calculated and manageable.

Andreas hit the headlines in Egypt having snuck around the Giza plateau and climbed to the summit of the Great Pyramid, with what he has called a “friend,” and taken a series of photographs. The images show the pair nude and in sexual poses, which quite rightly owing to the importance and sensitivity of the location, has caused fury and upset to the Egyptians.

So, what about all the other headlines that have cropped up recently? The one of the engaged couple, who died after falling from a cliff edge into a canyon, springs to mind, as do the tributes paid to a photographer who fell to his death from the top of a building. These things, as I said, are very damaging and quite rightly cause us to be looked at with a great caution when we do the not so dangerous things. The term “photographer” is also brought into question with this subject; what is a photographer? What does it mean to be a photographer? It seems that in cases like these it’s used to describe anyone who takes a photo, rather than anyone who makes a living from photography or who is known for their photography. The use of the term is damaging to those of us who do make a living this way, and it effectively brings us into disrepute. To that end, my personal message to Hvid and anyone else who discredits photographers by climbing national monuments, scaling tall buildings, cranes, posing on train tracks, or overhanging cliff edges, is this: –

You are not a photographer, you are not acting as a photographer, and you are damaging the industry in which I make my living. Your acts of clowning and fooling around are damaging my reputation and my livelihood, and your behaviour is immature and utterly ridiculous. 

To take a risk that is calculated, manageable, and in the interests of art is one thing, but to push that risk beyond any control and literally put your life on the line is quite another.

Respect the industry and know the limits.

Much love

Dave

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