Monthly Archives August 2020

Well, my love of photographing spiral staircases has finally become its own Adobe Spark page, where I tell the story, share some behind-the-scenes shots, camera settings, and lots and lots of shots of beautiful spiral staircases around the world.

If you get a sec, I hope you’ll give them a look. Here’s the link:

Many thanks, and here’s wishing you a safe, happy and healthy weekend. :)


The Grid: AI Powered Plug-ins for Lightroom and Photoshop

Check out the latest episode of The Grid, where Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined by Greg Rostami of Topaz Labs to discuss the latest technology in AI-powered plug-ins for Lightroom and Photoshop!

New KelbyOne Class: Mastering The New Camera RAW Environment

Get up to speed with the new Camera Raw interface! Join Scott Kelby as he gets you fully oriented on the completely refreshed interface in Adobe Camera Raw. Scott starts off with a look back at Camera Raw’s origins to provide some context for this new look, then methodically moves through all the important aspects that you need to know to work more efficiently than ever before.

This is not a class on complete editing with Camera Raw, but Scott does provide some examples for how things work (and refers you to other classes to learn more) in this new environment. By the end of the class you’ll understand where to find all of your favorite tools, feel comfortable with the new interface, and ready to get to work.

7 Tips for Photographers

Hi there, I’m Polly. I’m a journalist, photographer, and a bunch of other labels.

This past month, I soft launched Black Women Photographers, a global community and database of Black women and non-binary photographers on July 7th, my 26th birthday. Before the launch, I kickstarted everything off with a COVID-19 relief fund — #BWPReliefFund — to help those in the community who have been hit hard by the pandemic. 

I’ve learned quite a bit in a short period of time. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m literally just getting started in my career, however, I want to share seven things I’ve learned along the way.

Tip 1: Remove The Word ‘Aspiring’ From Your Bio

Please, I’m begging you. Are you a photographer or not? If you are, say that. You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. Do you really want to waste it with filler words?

Tip 2: Do It On Your Own Terms

What do I mean by that? I’ve quickly learned that some of my favorite photographers, creative directors, writers, you name it… they all have one thing in common: they do it on their own terms.

You would think it would be easy enough, since there is no blueprint for this, but it is not. With social media being a highlight reel, it creates a false perception that your favorite creative people have it all under control. Spoiler alert: we do not. We are tweeting and Instagramming through it, too.

However, I’ve quickly learned that the more I listened to my inner voice, the more wins I’ve had. I’m doing this on my own terms. Most importantly, I’m having fun with it.

Tip 3: Remove Those Boxes


Not long after the invention of photography came the first selfie. It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always with something from the world of travel, photography, and life. Today – selfies!

The person who first sat for a selfie was Robert Cornelius who, in 1839 in Philadelphia, sat for a little over a minute in front of his camera to capture the self-portrait that followed suit of so many painters before him. So many photographers have continued this self-portraiture tradition since the painters and our faces and bodies hold incredible storytelling ability, so it makes sense to do this.

It can be surprising how many photographers are reluctant to turn the lens on themselves, knowing that some of the world’s most famous photographers specialise in self-portraiture. If you’d like inspiration, look no further than Gilmar Smith, who takes amazing portraits and self-portraits alike.

Exactly what is it about turning the lens on themselves that stimulates photographers? For many famous self-portrait photographers, their body is a canvas on which they can layer ideas and delve into their inner psyche. For others, it can be a commentary on society. This genre of photography can also be a visual expression of inner emotions or even a photographic diary. In this age of the selfie, it’s easy to think “isn’t a self-portrait the same thing as a selfie?” Not exactly. A self-portrait is more considered than an off-the-cuff snap of the situation.

Using yourself as your own model doesn’t necessarily mean a seated portrait, but is more an excuse to experiment with poses, costumes, and artistry with the only model you’ll ever have who won’t complain—yourself.

What a self-portrait does for us, whether staged, environmental, or in action, is that it serves as a reminder to us of the activity, the emotion, and the situation we were in at the time we took it. It’s a reminder, as well as a piece of art, and with that little piece of enlightenment and explanation, I hope those who have never taken a self-portrait will give it a go.

Much love

A few weeks ago Erik and I did an episode of ‘The Grid’ where we focused on just the things you really need to know on your camera. The reason we did this is with all the recent releases from Sony, Nikon and Canon, a lot of folks are getting overwhelmed with all the features, knobs, options, dials and such. So, we thought we would help you cut through all the clutter and get down to what really matters on your camera.

The feedback on this episode was just incredible with so many people finding it really helpful, that I wanted to share it with you today (it’s embedded below.

But, if you’re a gear head like me…

Then you’ll want to watch the episode below (from last week) where we did an open “Gear Q&A Day” and what really made it interesting were the questions from our viewers, like “If you could only use three lenses, what would they be?” Lots of great, intriguing questions like that. I think you’ll dig it, and you can watch (or just listen in the background) if you like. Here’s that one:

Hope those help to get your week off to a great start!

Here’s wishing you safety, sanity, good health and lots of great images. :)


P.S. Next month ‘The Landscape Conference’ kicks off, all online, and you don’t want to miss out. Hit this link for more details.

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It’s that time again. It’s been about 8-months since our last “Back-up Your Lightroom Classic Catalog” day, so you may be well overdue for a backup (if you’re not already doing it on a regular basis, and best as I can tell, most of us aren’t). Let’s wrap up this summer knowing that we backed up our Lightroom Classic catalog and we’ll all be sleeping better tonight for it.

While the process of backing up your catalog is easy, first you might want to know why you need to backup your Lightroom catalog and then how to do it, step-by-step. So, first read this below from my other blog,

After reading that, you might ask, “Where should that backup be stored?” So, read this:

OK, that’s the plan — stop what you’re doing; backup that Lightroom Classic catalog, and wrap up this summer off like a boss!

The Landscape Conference is less than one month away!

It’s an all online, two-day, two track live learning event, and it’s going to be incredible! If you haven’t heard about it, check out the video below (high-five to our own Juan Alfonso who did a brilliant job creating it and really capturing the vibe and feeling of what we’re doing). Tickets and details at this link.

Have a great backed-up feelin’ weekend, and we’ll catch ya back here on Monday (well, that’s what I’m hoping, anyway)! :)


P.S. If you’re already backing up your catalog on a regular basis, then check my post today about freeing up a bunch of space by throwing your old, outdated catalog backups away. Here’s that link.