Monthly Archives January 2021

Creating Landscape Composites: Advanced Techniques with Bret Malley

Go beyond what your landscape images are, and imagine what they could be! Join Bret Malley in the follow-up to his Creating Landscape Composites class with a more advanced look at new features, cool effects, and fun techniques that allow you to unleash whatever you can imagine. From starting with a good foundation to incorporating a range of new elements to replacing the sky and making it all look like a coherent piece, Bret will pique your interest in playing with your landscape images in new and exciting ways using Photoshop.

In Case You Missed It: Creating Landscape Composites with Bret Malley

Anything you can imagine you can make happen with landscape composites! Join Bret Malley as he takes you on a journey of creativity while teaching you the techniques and concepts you’ll need to use to create eye catching composites of outdoor scenes. You’ll learn the importance of key blending modes, how to replace skies, multiple techniques for blending graphic elements into a scene, how to use selections and masks, tips for fine tuning your creations, and how to add atmosphere and final touches. This is a great way to learn powerful Photoshop techniques while breathing new life into your landscape photographs.

Hi all! Greetings from the land down under. Thanks to Scott and Brad for inviting me to share some of my work and background info with you. I hope you’re staying safe and well. It’s been terrible to see the devastating financial impact Covid had on areas of our industry. May the sun keep rising and world keep turning – and lets hope brighter days are ahead for not just photography, but the planet as a whole. 


My lifelong love of animals began during my formative years in outback Australia where my father was a sheep shearer and wool valuer. As an only child, my constant companions were my dogs, guinea pigs, horses, rabbits and bottle-fed lambs. My family had a great regard for Australian wildlife and I often helped my mother rescue and care for a wide array of injured kangaroo joeys, birds and other creatures until they could be released back into their natural habitat.

At age 11 I moved with my family to the Pilbara, an area in northern Western Australia, and a place that was the ideal environment to grow up in. I spent much of my spare time there exploring the surrounding desert with my Rottweiler, Ally.

Driven by a desire to contribute to society, I joined the Western Australian Police Service at age 19 and served for 14 years as a police officer and crime analyst. In 2005 I was burnt out from the stresses of the job, and I transferred to the Australian Federal Government, where I worked for five years as a Senior Transport Security Inspector, auditing city and regional airports and airlines for their counter-terrorist security measures. I travelled a lot during this time, often doing up to 200 flights a year. And I hate flying, but that’s a whole other story!


Photography became a serious passion in 2006. On occasion I’d used a point-and-shoot camera and film camera until then, but when a friend showed me the scope of digital photography I was hooked. Never one to do things by halves, I spent every spare moment studying photographic literature, and practicing the craft on my own pets, those of friends and family, as well as farm animals and wildlife. I tried a few other genres such as landscapes and people, but animals enthralled me more than any other subject. Within a short period of time, I knew animals would be the focus of my lens.


What a start to 2021! Most of the world is in some sort of lockdown, quarantine, or isolation, and travel is certainly not on the table for a little while. #TravelTuesday today is focussed on inspiration and I hope the ways I stay inspired are just as useful for you as they are for me. I’m Dave Williams, let’s do this.

1. Take a Walk

Getting exercise when we can’t really go anywhere is essential for our physical and mental well-being. Taking the camera with us helps to keep our pixel game strong, too. Even if we just have our smartphone, we have a camera. Setting ourselves the challenge of capturing a few moments from our daily exercise is a great way to force us to look for compositions and forces us to look at the world around us in a new light to get these images and to see things we wouldn’t otherwise pay attention to.

2. Learn Something New

Picking up a new skill in photography helps us to develop our skills in many ways. The key point, in my opinion, is that anything we learn will contain transferrable skills that we can take back to our usual genre, stimulating our mind, refreshing our creativity, and boosting our skillset. Photography books, blogs, and tutorials are a great way to do this.

3. Watch Videos

There are so many awesome YouTube channels focussed on photography where ideas and techniques are openly shared and discussed. Taking inspiration from others, and perhaps even living vicariously through the lives and experiences of others, is a great escape from the walls we find ourselves contained within.

4. Gear Overhaul

You can take this one however you want to. Whether a gear overhaul to you means buying new toys or simply refreshing what you already have, that’s up to you. If you want to get something new, take advantage of this time of limited shooting to put some work in and research new gear, read reviews, and make any investment as wise as possible. If new gear isn’t an option, take the time to properly clean and refresh everything, taking stock as well of what you have that you use the most or what you don’t use at all.

5. Remember Why You Started

Taking yourself back to the foundations of your photography journey and remembering why you do it, how exciting it is, how much it makes you smile, and how it unlocks the creativity within you is so fun. Reconnecting with the origins of your passion and bringing all that into the present, along with all the ups and downs experienced along the way (and all the selfies) is one of the most important ways to keep our minds engaged and our sanity in-check while we wait for life to resume.

Whatever you do with your photography, don’t lose sight of the end of this predicament and the moment we can pick up our normal lives and get back on track with the goals we perhaps set before the world went a bit weird!

Much love

I had to do this for a project I was working on recently, and it’s so simple (yet so effective) that I thought I’d share it in a quick two-minute video here today. It’s how to add a realistic drop shadow under your product in no time (so easy and quick). Check out the video below:

Hope you found that helpful. :)

Have a great Monday — stay healthy and happy, and check back tomorrow for “Travel Tuesdays with Dave.”


The conference itself is Wednesday and Thursday of next week, but it kicks off a day early on Tuesday with a special pre-conference session I’m teaching called “What makes a great travel photo?” I’ve got such a great session put together for this pre-con — I can’t wait to share it with the folks who’ve signed up.

Give the trailer above a quick look (it’s only like 2 minutes or so), and then go sign up right now — it’s going to be an amazing few days with an incredible team of instructors from all over, and you’ll learn a ton (there are a number of sessions on Lightroom and Photoshop for travel photography, including a session I’m doing on “Travel Photography Special Effects.”

Here’s the link to sign up, and we’ll see you next week!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and healthy, and we’ll catch ya back here next week. :)


The Grid: Why Capturing Memories Is Important Now & In Future with Fernando Santos – Episode 456

Do you have a list of photography plans that you’ll do ‘someday?’ Check out the latest episode of The Grid, where Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna are joined by Fernando “Chicky Nando” Santos, to talk about why RIGHT NOW is just as important!

New KelbyOne Course: Photographing Wildlife in Winter with Moose Peterson

Learn how to take care of yourself and your gear in a cold climate with Moose Peterson! Join Moose as he breaks down all the components you need to understand to be comfortable and prepared for photographing wildlife in winter.

Moose covers all that’s important for you to know so that you can have a great time viewing and photographing birds and mammals in their winter environments. All of the core photographic principles still apply, but this class gives you the fundamental tools for putting them into practice in cold and snowy conditions.