Monthly Archives July 2019

It’s #TravelTuesday again! I’m Dave Williams and I’m here every week at ScottKelby.com, at your service!

Today I’m very tired! I’ve just returned from a tip to Norway where I travelled some 1,600 miles in just a few days, exploring the landscape and shooting some awesome sights. I was taking over the KelbyOne Instagram account while I was there and showing the lovely KelbyOne community what I was up to every step of the way. It’s from this that I’m taking inspiration for today’s post.

There’s an American photographer born 1898 in Germany, shooting and documenting World War II before becoming a staff photographer for Life Magazine. The reason I’m telling you this is because he once came out with a cracker of a line: –

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”

So, when I was in Norway one of the locations on my bucket list was Kannasteinen, sometimes referred to by us English speakers as the mushroom rock, which appears to be a precariously balanced boulder atop a thin shaft on the coastline of Maløy. I had driven a very, very long way to get to this spot and get this shot: –

But it’s more about the experience I had whilst I was there that I laid down that quote. I wasn’t the only photographer at this incredibly remote location. I bumped into Espen who, like me, had just bought a Nikon Z6, and we got chatting (with his perfect English rather than my terrible Norwegian) and in the Instagram takeover I included a short video of the two of us chatting, explain the importance of making friends and the power of local knowledge in your research of photographing locations.

As well as discussing our cameras we swapped lenses to get more variety of shots, we talked about techniques and traded secrets, and we discussed other locations to shoot. Espen is from the Lofoten Islands way up in the north, which is an absolutely beautiful part of Norway, and he’d dragged his caravan all the way down some 400 miles to this rock. If there are any geologists reading this, by the way, I have some questions for you!

Well here’s the point: – When you’re researching and planning, it continues well into the trip until the point you actually leave. Plans need to be dynamic enough to adapt to the unexpected, but also they can be flexible enough that when you meet a local person (or any person for that matter) you can make a new friend and learn from one another, like Espen and I did while we waited for sunset at Kannesteinen.

There are ways to learn from one another in the KelbyOne community, both from the instructors and from other members, and plenty more ways to network and share our skills and experiences as well. To learn more about this, check out my new class on KelbyOne.com – How to Prepare For Your Travel Photography Adventure.

This week I’m off to France, so next week I’ll have more stories to share with you, and as always you can follow along on my social media.

Much love

Dave

I finally got some downtime this weekend to work on my shots from my trip to Tokyo last week, and I shared some of my favorites at this link:

https://spark.adobe.com/page/M4znKiiuD5z8m/

Hope you’ve got a sec to check them out. I have the back story, a few behind-the-scenes shot, and lots of pics.

Here’s a $100 Off Code for Vegas Photoshop World (but it’s only good today)

Our Early-Bird $100-off special ended last night, but I’ve got a special code for $100 off, so you get the same deal, but it’s only good for today!

Check out this video below to get you hyped, then head over to this link right here for tickets to the biggest, baddest, most awesome Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom even on the planet! It’s next month — August 21-23, 2019 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino right in the heart of the Vegas strip.

For more info, the full conference schedule, and travel info, visit photoshopworld.com

OK, you’ve always wanted to go, and now it’s in Vegas, and you’ve got a special code — don’t miss it again — this is your chance. See you in Vegas!

Here’s wishing you a rockin’ week!

-Scott

How To Prepare For Your Travel Photography Adventure with Dave Williams

Prepare for your next travel photography adventure with Dave Williams! In this class Dave teaches you how to identify locations that are on trend, what sights are popular and iconic, and then how to identify the gaps and opportunities that you can leverage at each destination. Dave also shares his perspective on gear, his techniques for minimizing crowds in photographs, how to avoid the status quo, and the importance of continually investing in yourself. By the end of the class, you’ll be well armed with the knowledge you need to capture new perspectives of wherever your adventures take you.

In Case You Missed It: The Photographer’s Guide to Traveling Right: What Gear to Take, How to Pack it, and Killer Accessories for Travel

Whether you are going on a big photo safari or a vacation with family, join Scott Kelby and Larry Becker as they share their killer tips for how to travel right. In this class Scott covers everything from choosing the right bag for your gear, tips for ensuring you are within size and weight restrictions, what accessories can make your experience more successful, what to consider about tripods, strategies for backing up on the road, what to do when you get back home, and so much more. All through the class Scott and Larry share their experiences and advice to help you decide what gear to bring, how to get it there, and how to bring it all home with you. Safe travels!

Photo by Justin Bettman

Times will change, let the waves take you.

It’s been a couple years since my last guest blog post, and a couple hundred thousand miles’ traveled in between now and then. 

Since speaking last, I’ve traveled the world with musicians, produced over 3,500 videos, produced, directed, and shot a couple documentaries, picked up a full time gig and moved to the city of dreams, New York City.

Sounds like the dream right? Every dream comes with its sacrifice, but it’s all about perspective.

While I may hold a steady full time gig, I will never forget what got me here. I’d attribute my position now to living like I’m scraping for pennies and hustling just as hard as I was when I didn’t know how I’d pay for my next meal. Freelance life gives you a lifestyle of freedom, but a full time gig gives you both a lifestyle of freedom and financial freedom if you look at it from the right perspective.

Dan Newman filming for Levo Wine

Opportunity exists for everyone; you just need to be willing to put yourself out there. It most likely won’t be smooth, won’t be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it if you look at everything as an opportunity for growth rather than accepting ‘no’ as defeat and making that your identity.

I’ll give you a brief look into my story since we last spoke and we can pick up where we left off….

I’ll start with the idea that I’ve always lived by as long as I’ve been doing this thing called art.

Calculated risk.

In order to succeed, you need to approach freelance business with a calculated risk mentality.

Look at things as opportunities to grow, rather than a quick buck or freebie. Be safe, be logical, and play life like a game of chess. Set yourself up for success if you see the window for it.

During the summer of 2016, I was producing a few small projects for musicians and some small businesses (music videos, commercials, tutorials, etc.). These projects weren’t necessarily risks, more of safe plays that paid decently and got me through my next month of expenses. 

The first most specific instance of taking a risk came via the world of music. 

At the time I was holding down a full time position at a TV station in Tampa, Florida and felt like I wasn’t doing anything truly creative or challenging. So during my time outside of the office – I volunteered myself and my services to a band that had only played a single show.

I put myself on their radar months prior when they reached out to me about sharing a photo that I took. Conversations bloomed and an opportunity arose. I wanted to create and collaborate. All I wanted to do was let my creative juices flow, invest in the music scene that I loved, and support the community around me, with zero expectations of getting anything in return. My mindset at the time was, ‘If it worked, it worked – if not, it would have been a fun experience regardless, so let’s make the most of it.’

CARROLLHOOD // ORLANDO // 8.19.16

This band was ‘connected’ in a few different unique ways, but that never mattered – I just wanted to create, just as they wanted to perform. I offered to drive my car from Tampa to Orlando, Orlando to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Nashville, and back to Tampa (so I could make it back to my full time job on that Monday morning) to capture their first tour all for a grand total of NOTHING.

I spent nearly $300 on travel expenses plus an additional $300 on camera equipment rentals to film and produce the content I wanted to make. We didn’t have a set agreement, just my word and their gift of access to a life behind the scenes of a small touring band. With this given opportunity, I wanted to do everything possible to shine and let them know I was there to do work and share their story.

I proceeded to produce daily recaps of each of the shows, videos that would be shared on their social channels the morning/day after each performance. Along with those videos, I produced a 13-minute behind the scenes mini-doc.

the hood lives // Carrollhood – Fall 2016 (mini-doc)

Following the first show, one of the band members approached me with the idea of touring with his other band, Underoath, that following March. He proposed the idea to the rest of the band, shared what I was capturing and creating, and gave me the chance to prove myself with a small social campaign for the band later that fall. I hit the ground running. 

030717///REHEARSAL

The opportunity with Underoath developed into something special and a lot of other opportunities stemmed from that. Every risk you take comes with the opportunity to prove yourself and position yourself for further success; you can take it or leave it. You can just do the job to get it done or you can go the extra mile, exceed expectations, and do far more than what was asked of you in the first place. The biggest opportunity of my career at that point came when Underoath asked me produce, direct, and shoot their in-studio documentary for an album that no one knew they were making.

(more…)

Hello one and all! It’s #TravelTuesday with me, Dave Williams, here at ScottKelby.com where Scott gets the day off and I jump in to lay down something from the world of photography, Photoshop, travel, and life! Today, it’s all about photography with a little bit of travel – I want to show you something awesome I found recently in Montenegro.

Arizona has Horseshoe Bend at the edge of the Grand Canyon, but it turns out Montenegro has its own, green version. Pavlova Strana is a viewpoint way above the horseshoe bend of the Rijeka Crnojevica River, meandering through to Lake Skadar. Last week, I had a little road trip shooting around Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro and this viewpoint was one of my stops.

Now, there’s a whole load of people out there telling us that we should be shooting at sunrise and sunset, but if we do it right, we can get some great images in the bright, midday sun as well. Don’t believe me? Well, one method we can employ is the sunny 16 rule. What this means, in short, is that we should set up a balanced exposure with an aperture of f/16 and we will have a well-exposed image.

With our aperture set at f/16, we simply need a shutter speed that is the inverse of the ISO. If we are at ISO 100, we need a shutter speed of 1/100th. If we’re at ISO 200, we need to shoot a shutter speed of 1/200th. It’s as simple as that!

The thing is, as with all the rules, the rules are there as a guideline. If we break away from golden hour, be it because we simply cannot be at a certain location then or for any other reason, we can switch to the sunny 16 rule to effectively capture good images in bright sunshine. The sunny 16 rule tricks your camera, which is in fact falling for a trick in the first place. Here’s the secret: your camera is being tricked into metering reflected light which, in bright sunlight, causes it to read the scene incorrectly because of harsh highlights and shadows. This means it reads the scene as being brighter or darker than it actually is. We’re bypassing that system with the sunny 16 rule, balancing the scene much better than relying on metering at smaller apertures in such lighting conditions.

If we learn to use the sunny 16 rule, creating balanced images in bright, midday sunlight can be so much easier. I’m glad to have helped!

Much love

Dave

I’ve been gone for 10-days on a family vacation with the kids to Tokyo. Incredible trip! Had an absolute ball, and the kids loved it probably more than any family trip ever. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but I got a few here and there. I haven’t had a chance to process them all, and get a SparkPage up for them yet, but hopefully soon, and I’ll post a link here.

I saw where Canon officially announced a new Canon 24-240mm RF mount lens for their new mirrorless line of cameras — B&H is taking pre-orders and I’m ordering mine this week. After lugging a 70-200mm around Tokyo for 10 days, I’m ready for one lens that does it all for travel. The price is right, too! (Supposed to be around $899). Link to it at B&H.

Who do I get a text from who is also in Tokyo at the same time? Peter Hurley! Small world, right? He was there for a sailing event, but he was arriving just as we were heading out so we didn’t get a chance to meet up. I can’t imagine what a hoot it would have been for our families to meet up for Karaoke. Next time for sure.

I’m off to Chicago and the Detroit area this week with my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” seminar, and I saw where we’ve got over 600 photographers already signed up to come on out. Wednesday is Chicago, Thursday we’re in Livonia, Michigan — it’s not too late to come spend the day with me. Ticket and details here. Next month I’m coming to Phildelphia and Boston. Come on out.

Ya know what happens when you pack your camera gear in a rush? You wind up forgetting stuff (in my case, my 10-stop ND filter), so I wound up taking a trip to a camera store in Tokyo, only to find out later (after I bought an ND), that I didn’t forget it after all — I just misplaced it, and as it turned out I didn’t wind up using an ND the whole trip anyway. So…I guess now I have yet another back-up 10-stop ND filter for no reason. Lesson learned.

I’m two episodes behind on ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ so don’t tell me what happened on last night’s episode. Or the week before, or the Sunday before that. Same with Handmaid’s Tale.

Photoshop World Las Vegas this August is really shaping up to be a great show. I’m excited to announce a special after-hours event called “An Evening with Joe McNally” that I know is going to be the talk of the conference. What an incredible opportunity to learn from, and meet, a living legend in our industry. Also, lots of your favorite instructors are back in for Vegas — everybody from Moose Peterson to Matt Kloskowski, Dave Cross to Serge Ramelli, Robert Valenzuela to Joel Grimes, Frank Doorhof, and more. Tickets and details right here.

From another living legend: Jay Maisel:“Stephen Wilkes’ film, Jay Myself, is opening at the Film Forum in NYC on July 31. Stephen & Jay will do a Q&A at the following shows:

  • Wednesday, July 31, 7:45 show
  • Thursday, August 1, 7:45 show
  • Friday, August 2, 7:45 show
  • Saturday, August 3, 6:00 show 
  • Sunday, August 4, 4:10 show 
  • Sunday, August 4, 6:00 show

The link to buy tickets at Film Forum is right here. Please tell, or bring, your friends and family. We hope to see you there. Here’s the official trailer:

Los Angeles Opening: The film will be opening in LA at the Laemmle Royal theater beginning August 16. Stephen and Bette will be there through the 18th to do Q&A. Here’s the link to buy tickets at the Royal:

I’m still a bit jet-lagged, so I’m gonna bounce, but thanks for stopping by today, and don’t forget to catch “Travel Tuesday with Dave” here tomorrow. He’s always got some great stuff. It’s good to be back home, and back at work. We missed the doggos a lot, too. :)

Cheers,

-Scott

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