Monthly Archives January 2020

Fix Your DAM Life This Year: Do As Little As Possible

Digital Asset Management is like finding the perfect backpack for most photographers. Close, but there’s always just this one problem… Well maybe this next one. We think it exists. We want it to exist. Well maybe this one, with this… Ugh.

I can’t help you find that perfect backpack, every photog knows that’s a deeply personal decision. I can however get your DAM life in order. That’s actually not a personal decision. Not as long as your idea of the perfect workflow is the one that requires the least amount of, you know…. work.

As it turns out, doing as little as possible is the best solution. Finally!

That’s because you’re the problem! Sorry, no offense, but it’s true. I am too, probably more so actually. We’re creative creatures though, and we make mistakes. Now, while we make small mistakes, computers allow us to make really big ones! But they’re consistent! That’s critical. Anyone who fixes anything for a living will tell you consistency is everything.

We’re accurate but not consistent. We’re the variable. Which folder do these images go into this time? Which keywords apply here? Is this a 3 star or 4 star image? Tomorrow… different answers. Like your alarm clock you set to be 5 minutes fast… consistency, not accuracy.

You’re also slow. Man, sorry again. Not stupid, slow. You can get to California from New York by walking but there’s a better way. Machines, automation, you get it. Much faster.

So, your DAM solution? The least amount of work possible, and the least amount of you possible, equals the fastest, most consistent workflow. I’ve yet to meet a student of mine who’s argued with me on this.

So, your DAM solution? The least amount of work possible, the least amount of YOU possible, equals the fastest, most consistent workflow. I’ve yet to meet a student of mine who’s argued with me on this.

How about 1 click fast? And an image management system that requires no decisions at all.

Let’s get started so you can move on with your DAM life. Sorry, last time.

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For #TravelTuesday this week I, Dave Williams, want to give you a quick twilight tip. It’s only for those of you with patience, mind!

I just visited Zermatt, Switzerland, which is made entirely of chocolate! Okay, maybe it’s not made of chocolate, but it’s on that same league of fantasy. The town itself is a beautiful, Alpine skiing paradise, and it’s car-free which makes it all the more exciting. Everywhere you go requires walking unless you want to take an electric taxi (think more golf buggy) or ride a bike. It meant I had to walk up the slopes to the edge of the village to get this selfie: –

And it’s this selfie which inspired me to get this shot: –

But here’s the thing—and if you were watching my Instagram story you’ll know already—this isn’t one shot.

The key to this scene is that the upper half was taken during golden hour, and the lower half was taken during blue hour. It’s a simple process but it involves patience! I found my spot, got my composition sorted, and from that point on I couldn’t move my camera one bit.

I found a fence post, which was sturdy and out of the way, so if any tourists appeared (which they did) I wouldn’t have to move out of their way. I needed my frames to line up exactly and if there was the slightest deviation it would ruin the entire process. I stuck my Platypod Max on the post, securely holding my Nikon D810 and Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8.

The process from here on is simple. First, I took a shot for the sky, using a 10-stop filter to smooth out the clouds (though they were barely moving), and when I had the shot I wanted I simply had to twiddle my thumbs for a little while and wait for the darkness to fall and the lights of the village to come on, then get my second shot without the filter. The removal of the filter was a little tense; I was so scared of moving the camera! But when it was done I was left with these two images: –

All that was left to do was open them in Adobe Photoshop, place one image on top of the other on separate layers, and then use a layer mask to select the components I wanted from each image. Following this, I used the adjustment brush to paint some highlights onto the Matterhorn and the Toblerone mountain in the background, and then straightened everything up using the church spire as my guide for this.

Simple! Taking separate shots at twilight to combine golden hour and blue hour works wonders on an urban scene, and I strongly recommend working on your patience and trying it yourself.

Much love
Dave

Lightroom Workflow on the Go with Clifford Pickett

Learn how to use Lightroom Classic and the Lightroom cloud together for a streamlined workflow that you can take with you anywhere you go! Join Clifford Pickett as he takes you through his steps for automating your import workflow into Lightroom Classic, use keywords to help you find your photos, group them into collections, and set up your Lightroom Classic catalog to sync with the cloud. From there he walks you through the steps for importing photos into the Lightroom cloud app on your mobile device when you are in the field, and how to use the mobile app for making selects, editing, and sharing your photos from where ever you are. Clifford wraps up the class with a look at how to manage your Lightroom Classic catalog and cloud storage when you return home.

In Case You Missed It: Lightroom Mobile From Start To Finish

Expand the power of Lightroom desktop to your mobile devices! Join Scott Kelby for an in-depth look at Lightroom Mobile. In this class Scott will help you get set up on the right foot, show you how to view your photos on mobile, how to add new photos from your camera roll, how to edit with the updated editing interface, how to share photos on the web, and so much more! All along the way Scott shares tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the experience. By the end of this class you’ll be able to use Lightroom anywhere you are, and on any device.

That was our topic yesterday on our podcast ‘The Grid” and our guest was photographer and author Marc Silber. Lots of really great info (sadly, I didn’t bring much to the table on this one, but Marc, Erik and our viewers added a lot and make it a great, really helpful episode. I embedded it below in case you’re looking for something to listen to tonight that will help move you forward photographically this coming year.

Hope, you can give it a look (a listen)? :)

Have a great weekend everybody, and here’s to a more creative 2020!

-Scott

Photo by Jan Schrieber

Like many of you, every weekend, and most days, I’m out with my camera exploring. Today’s post is about how those shoots are always more fun with fellow photographers by your side. That’s what a Photowalk is all about, right folks?

Photowalking And Friends

Photowalks are such a great way to get out of the car and see what the world really looks like. You just notice things when your camera eye is open that you don’t at other times. Things like big and little details, crazy signs, unusual buildings and people (hello street photographers) that seem way more interesting than when you’re soaring past them at 20 or 30 mph.

Jefferson Graham hams it up with photographer Ginger DiNunzio of Sandprints Photos on a photowalk of Morro Bay. Credit: Jefferson Graham

For instance, I have visited the city of Orange, California (5 miles from Disneyland) many times, and love the nostalgic feel, antique stores, vintage cars and old-time Grand Circle in the heart of the town. But it wasn’t until I met up with another photographer, Jan Schrieber, for our Photowalk and we started exploring together, with our cameras by our sides, that we began to realize a trend. “Everything’s orange,” Jan said, at lunch. The street signs. The fire hydrants. The chairs at local restaurants.

This neither of us had noticed in our drive-bys, and it gave us a theme to have fun with.

Anthony Quintano (left) and Jefferson Graham capture a giant airplane landing near LAX airport and the Westchester In-N-Out restaurant, popular with plane spotters, and part of the Hidden LAX Photowalk video. Photo by Anthony Quintano

And as I note in the above video, when you get other photographers with you, instead of just your two eyes, you’ve got several of them to work from. The enthusiasm is infectious and it just makes for a great day.

Plus, having that new or old friend by your side produces a way more lively lunch break.

Jefferson Graham and Joshua Kalev compare notes at a Los Angeles deli during the L.A. deli Photowalk.

For the past two years, I’ve been producing a series of travel videos for YouTube called Photowalks (inspired by my friend Scott Kelby and his amazing October event!) where I aim to bring the viewer to great places and show them around, through my eyes and others.

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#TravelTuesday is going to be bigger and better in 2020—mark my words! And here I am, Dave Williams, on ScottKelby.com as always, with something from the world of travel, photography, Photoshop, and life. Today, it’s all about travel photography with minimal gear, as the title suggests, so let’s get to it!

We photographers are a special kind of people. We have something that a lot of people don’t have. Let me explain: Most people are either technically minded or artistically minded, but rarely are they both at the same time. Photographers are, generally, both. We are the combination of creativity and science—the left and the right brain together.

We create art with science, and we tend to be proud of a collection of the gear we use to do that, but it’s not always necessary. I used to travel the world with everything I owned just in case I needed it, but then I realised that it’s far better to save the weight and take only what I need based on some proper planning. Here’s a shot of the gear I took with me to Paris last year: –

Yes, that’s it. I shot the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier, the Saint Chapelle, and plenty more architecture up and down the Seine at all times of day and night. One camera, my Nikon D810, along with a Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 14–24mm f/2.8, and a Platypod Ultra with a 3 Legged Thing Airhed, and then a BlackRapid Sport. The thing is, you see, this trip to Paris is a perfect example of how you don’t necessarily need to carry around a whole cache of gear in order to effectively shoot a location—you just need to be smart and considerate about what gear you actually need in order to get the job done.

Another thing we photographers can feel the effects of is gear envy. Developing the skills to showcase to the world that you don’t need all the various bits and pieces the person next to you has, but can still attain an amazing shot is a skill, which in itself, creates envy and one which develops technical discipline in our workflow. When we are able to work effectively with minimal gear we are not only saving ourselves from future back problems, but also beginning on a road where we’ll end up giving careful consideration to any purchases likely to end up in our camera bag.

Rather than needlessly buying gear, employing a practice of minimalism will allow us to focus our energy and attention on practice and training, so we can enhance our skills in the raw skill of photography rather than leaning on gear to get the job done. In addition, it helps us to decide on our shot faster, making us more productive photographers.

With a new year, “new you” mentality, take the time to assess your pile of gear and decide what the core setup is so you can get on the road to minimalism, higher productivity, and skill development.

Much love
Dave

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