Monthly Archives July 2020

The Art of Black and White Photography with Serge Ramelli

Ready for a master class in fine art B&W photography? Join Serge Ramelli as he takes you through his workflow for capturing and preparing photos to be included in fine art photo books. The beginning of the class takes a very detailed look at some of his favorite photos from his book on Paris. From there, Serge moves on to a behind the scenes look at some of his top photos from New York.

As Serge steps through his post processing workflow using Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Aurora HDR, he shares the decisions he made at the time of capture, his approach to basic processing, HDR merging, panorama stitching, noise reduction, and of course, black and white conversions. Be sure to download the practice photos to follow along!

In Case You Missed It… Unlocking the Secrets of the Black and White Masters: Classic Techniques for Creating Black and White Images

Learn how to create amazing and dramatic black and white photos in Lightroom! Join Serge Ramelli as he pays homage to the masters of B&W photography by teaching you his tips and tricks for creating compelling B&W photos.

Serge shares his techniques for dodging and burning, working with high key B&W, creative uses for panoramic merging, converting high ISO images, creating and applying presets to save time, and so much more. Serge shares some of his own Lightroom presets to get you started.

Secrets to Amazing Photo Composition from the Masters with Marc Silber

Improve your ability to tell stories with your photographs by learning new compositional tools and secrets from the masters! Join Marc Silber as he demonstrates and explains over 80 different composition techniques that you can mix and combine in your own photography.

Marc uses a series of live shooting examples, diagrams, and examinations of photographs to illustrate each tool and technique. You’re sure to come away with a new perspective on composing photographs, and an expanded visual vocabulary for communicating with your images.

In Case You Missed It: The 20 Time Proven Rules of Composition with Rick Sammon

Don’t just take pictures, make pictures! Join Rick Sammon as he dives deep into his 20 time proven rules of composition. It’s up to you to tell your story with creative composition, and in this class Rick provides you with new ways of seeing when you are holding your camera in hand.

Whether you call them rules or recommended guidelines, Rick shares over 250 visual examples to help you understand how to use these tools to make great shots instead of snapshots. In the end you’ll be a better photographer for not only knowing the rules, but knowing when to break them, and have fun while doing it.

If you follow my work, you know I am passionate about bringing my kids’ imagination to life, and since most of us are getting to spend more time with our kids at home, I want to share some of my favorite tricks with you so you can create the most amazing memories with your family too!

My approach when it comes to working with kids is a little different from other photographers I know. When I work with kids, I step down and let the kids take the Creative Director role (with a little guidance of course). So how do I do that? EASY! The magic of storytelling!

It all starts with, “Once upon a time,” a pencil, and paper.

I’m sure by now, you have heard about the elements of storytelling—the setting, characters, plot, theme, symbolism, and emotion.

I use all of these as prompts when I do storytelling sessions with kids. You can ask questions such as: where does this story take place? Was it day or night? What were you doing? Who else is in the story? Etc.

Then make a little sketch about the story. The sketch will serve as a visual prompt when it is time to posing, and it will also serve as a reference if you are making a composite image.

So, Gilmar, why don’t you just take a picture and that’s it? Why complicating things?

Because I want these pictures to be a representation of these kids’ imagination and their sense of wonder, I want to validate their ideas and feel empowered by them. Lastly, I want to cultivate and nurture their creativity. All of that translates to the final images.

Once you have a story and a rough sketch, it is time for the photoshoot! Believe it or not, photoshoots are super fast if you used the techniques I mentioned above. There is no awkwardness because your little subject will know exactly what to do, and if he or she is a bit confused, you can show them the sketch. It always works like a charm!

Another great way to keep kids engaged in a photo shoot is by giving them props. I found this trick works great with adults too! In the images below, my daughter picked lots of sailing props and played around with them as I was taking her pictures.

Let them get into character. My daughter has been worried about getting older, to the point she said she didn’t want to grow up (she is only 5!) so to face her fears I dressed her up as an old lady, and let me tell you, she was the most adorable old lady I’ve ever seen!

You don’t need to have any props or to be Photoshop compositing wizard. Find a cardboard box, give it to a kid, and see all the creative uses and stories a kid will make out of that box. You can turn each one of them into photos you will treasure forever!

You can see more of Gilmar’s work at, and keep up with her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Hi all, I’m here! I’m Dave Williams and this is #TravelTuesday on, and although I realise we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, I want to share some tips that will be useful where and when travel is allowed.

Today is about the mountains and all their splendour. The mountains ground us somehow—their majesty and beauty captivate us and inspire us, as well as offering us an awesome adventure. There are some awesome photos to be had of and in the mountains, and it’s well worth getting back to nature and giving the mountains (and ourselves) some attention.

Top of the list for mountain photo tips is to remember two key words: “foreground” and “composition.” These two things alone will make our mountain photography stand head and shoulders above the rest. If we can include a foreground element and employ a compositional technique that links the foreground and background together, such as the leading lines here for this Canadian Pacific train running through the Canadian Rockies, we’re set for a win.

Shooting in bad weather works with mountains because it creates drama and often mystery. The weather that we see as bad weather for walking in is usually the weather that’s great for photography in the mountains for this very reason, just like here at Vestrahorn in Iceland. Planning ahead and scoping the area, the route, and the weather will help us to be in the right place at the right time to smash an epic shot of a moody mountain.

It’s never a bad idea to include water in our mountain photos and the reason is largely twofold: First, it offers us an easy foreground element. Second, it can double our photo to have a mirror image.

Mountains are huge and we can exaggerate their size by including something for scale, such as a building, person, or animal. We need to keep our eyes open for these opportunities to arise and if we don’t find them, we can create them by getting into the scene ourselves.

The mountain doesn’t have to be the subject—including it as a feature of a photo can be just as effective, like here in Rio de Janeiro where I’ve included this mountain to break the scene. The subject here is nature and the sunset, with the mountain simply helping to draw attention to it.

Finally, we always need to ensure we have the right gear. There’s no feeling worse than making the effort to find a beautiful location and not having what we need when we get there. Sufficient batteries and memory cards, along with a tripod/Platypod, filters, remote shutter release, lens cloth, and anything else that will help us to create the shot we want is crucial to pack and to use, just like for this shot in Senja, Norway.

There’s a reason people so often say “the mountains are calling.”

Much love

The publisher of my book, ‘The Landscape Photography Book” made this excerpt available to everybody, and it the recipes behind four different landscape images, and the recipe to get similar images like it yourself. These are from the “Photo Recipes” chapter of the book. In it, I cover:

  • The Characteristics of each type of shot
  • The Ingredients to make it happen
  • The Location where each was taken
  • The Camera Settings used in each shot

Here’s the link to check them out.

Thanks to my awesome publisher, Rocky Nook, and to Ted, Scott and whole Rocky Nook crew for making this available to everybody. If you find those recipes helpful, and you want to pick up a copy of the entire book for yourself (either in print or as a eBook), you can get it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble right now.

It’s going to be a great week! Let’s stay safe, look out for each other, love your neighbor, and please stop back by tomorrow for the wonderful “Travel Tuesdays with Dave.”


You can watch this top-rated online course free this weekend: Check out the trailer below:

Best of all, the entire course is free (really free – no credit card required or any of that stuff).

Just sign up for a FREE KelbyOne Free-Level Membership and you’ll have access to not only this awesome built a home studio course from Rick Sammon, but some other courses from me as well like this one (below – that’s the trailer) that teaches Lightroom users how to use the most important stuff in Photoshop (without having to learn all of Photoshop, which is a lot ’cause…well…it’s Photoshop).

Here’s the link to that course (it’s free, too) .

Anyway, I hope you’ll check one, both or all of the free courses out. If course, if you want to accelerate your learning, you can join our Pro Membership plan and you’ll have unlimited 24/7 access to nearly 800 online courses on photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. We’ve got a special deal running right now because so many folks are still stuck at home, and this will help you make the most of this down time.

There ya have it — hope you found those courses helpful, and here’s wishing you a safe and happy weekend. :)