It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. this week I write from Reykjavík, Iceland, where I’m currently engaged in a plan B!
Over the past couple of years the volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula has picked up following 800 years of silence. There have been two volcanic eruptions in as many years and guess what – I missed both of them! For the first one I was heavily engaged with other projects and for this second one I was commissioned by Russell Preston Brown of Adobe to shoot red hot magma for his Viking series for Adobe MAX, but the eruption stopped the day before I arrived in the country! I had to enact plan B and shoot elsewhere in Iceland, finding Viking-worthy backgrounds.
With everything we do in photography, more-so when it involves nature and the great outdoors, we should have a plan B to fall back on.
I wasted no time in hitting some spots I’d scoped out for drone photography as well as exploring some magical locations close to the highlands. Having a plan B already in my mind meant no time was wasted and I was still able to be productive in spite of the primary mission being a failure.
I highly recommend building a plan B into all your photography plans, especially if they’re in Iceland!
Those of you attending Photoshop World today, I hope you have an amazing time and learn a lot from the awesome line-up of instructors.
The pre-conference Photoshop World sessions start today, and if you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late. In short; it’s three days (plus today’s pre-conference workshops), and three tracks, all online, with the whole conference archived for an entire year so you can catch any classes you missed or rewatch any of your favorites. It’s all taught by an incredible team of the best-known Photoshop gurus, Lightroom experts, and photographers in our industry.
Plus, we have a special after-hours event – “A evening with Moose Peterson” that will truly be something special, and something folks will be talking about long after the event.
I saw Digital Photography World’s article about both Nikon and Panasonic officially announcing they will no longer be developing compact point-and-shoot cameras, and my initial reaction was, “Someone still makes point-and-shoot cameras?” (apparently Canon and Sony do), along with, “Everybody is already carrying a great point-and-shoot camera – one that will do things even the most expensive point and shoots can’t (like make a phone call), and if the rumors are even in the ballpark, in about a week or so, they’re about to get way, way better. Here’s a link to the article – worth a read.
Next week is the Photoshop World 2022 Conference
First, check out the trailer (Below);
It’s not too late to sign up for the greatest Photoshop, Lightroom, and Photography conference on the planet.
Just like always, you can watch any session in any of the tracks, and we archive the entire conference for a full year so you can catch any sessions you missed or re-watch any sessions you want to see again.
Check out this amazing lineup of instructors:
Tickets and more info at photoshopworld.com – go sign up right now, and we’ll see you next week!
A quick look at how the Platypod gear is being used in the field
The folks at Platypod just released this 1-minute video (it’s really well done), which shows all the different ways their stuff is being used in photography and video, and it’s pretty cool (it’s also neat to see how far they’ve come from their founding back in 2014. They’re good people). Give it a quick look (below):
I’ve Got One Spot Left For My Travel Photography Workshop in Tuscany, Italy
Will you be the one to grab that last spot? It’s going to be an incredible learning, laughing, eating Italian food, shooting, post-processing, and speaking in bad Italian accents kinda-workshop with me and the brilliant Mimo Meidany. Fly into Florence and come join us this October. Details and the magic ticket are right here.
Today’s the last day to upload your best image from the Worldwide Photo Walk to the official Photo Competition
How to submit your image into the contest:
Edit your favorite photo, making sure the final file size is less than 5MB.
Blind Photo Critiques with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 526
They’re back and ready to critique some photos! Join Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna for the latest episode of The Grid, where they critique a variety of viewer submitted photos. They’re also joined by Greg Rostami from Topaz Labs, and he shows off some of the features and capabilities of Sharpen AI!
New KelbyOne Course: Crafting Better Portraits in Photoshop with Kirk Nelson
Create a magical storybook image! Join Kirk Nelson as he takes you from a blank canvas to a stunning final composition with the approach of a traditional artist. Using photo elements from a portrait session, additional visual elements, and some special Photoshop sauce, you can use the practice files to follow along or practice on your own after the class.
If you’re still wondering whether you should register for Photoshop World, here are just a few more examples of what you might learn, or be inspired by, from our instructors. Below are excerpts from just a few of our favorite Photoshop World instructors’ guest blogs. Click on their names to view the full posts. And if you find inspiration in these, just imagine what’s in store for you at Photoshop World! It’s coming up on August 30 – September 1, so don’t wait to register.
Often, when styling newborns, I include seasonal elements. I think about the cyclical nature of life and documenting a baby’s entry into this world in a seasonal fashion adds interest and meaning to my images. Since I live in an area where seasons are so distinct, I am rejuvenated throughout the year with the transitional colors and textures and my images are always changing.
I do this either through natural elements, in fall for example: pine cones, leaves, pumpkins and apples, or with color: gold, brown, orange and red.
Similarly, I do this for all the seasons with various natural items or nature inspired textures.
However, remember: one set, many images. I recognize that not everyone will necessarily want a seasonally focused image, or they do not want many. So, I begin with the full set, and then detract items for a simpler look.
Tip: Do not invest a lot money in seasonal pieces as they are only used for a short amount of time and trends change quickly. Find natural items outdoors that you can incorporate (i.e. pine cones, leaves, flowers, wood, etc. Inspect everything carefully for bugs and debris prior to using. If you photograph in an urban area or prefer artificial elements, check the sale aisles after the holidays and seasons for discounts.
Smoke is generally a difficult element to work with as real smoke is dangerous. More people die from smoke inhalation than from fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Smoke is also difficult to control as it generally stems from fire and not something I like to have in my studio space!
There are products on the market that do a great job of creating smoke safely, and I’ve used smoke grenades before for some fun setups with models, engaged couples, grads, etc. But for crafting digital resources to use in compositing, I like using something a little more controllable, cheap, and easily attainable: Dry Ice. Mixing dry ice and water doesn’t produce smoke, it produces water vapor, but that looks identical to smoke and behaves in a very similar fashion. Plus, it’s completely safe to breath around! The primary difference is that smoke rises, and water vapor sinks. That just means you have to find a way to elevate the container producing the vapor, and that can be as simple as a cookie sheet on the edge of a table.
It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Today I’m getting prepared for another quick trip which you’ll see over on my Instagram Story from Friday but whilst I’ve been getting my admin and backups up to speed from the last trip, I’ve been thinking. It all came from this: –
This is Neist Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland. To my left and right while shooting were Scott, Erik, Nando, Paul Kober and Jeff Kelby. They know the truth behind this scene and when I posted it to Instagram a couple of days ago I made it clear what was real and what wasn’t with this simple phrase: –
‘Not real from the waist up’
The starry, night sky is all me. It’s nothing more than a Graduated Filter to a darker Exposure and a shift in Color Temperature toward the Blue end of the Slider, followed by a few splatters of stars using a star Brush.
In a world where AI and ML artwork is very much a reality and getting better by the day, a whole new case needs to be opened about what the limits are for photography. I often see exchanges in the comments sections in Facebook Groups about photography where it’s clear no two people can agree on where to draw the line on photography versus retouching, or reality versus interpretation. I’m reminded of this TedX Talk by Scott Kelby himself. Take a watch: –
To me, photography is my interpretation of what I saw in my minds eye when shooting a location. I use Adobe software to recreate what was happening in my mind and to enhance and hide the things I want to emphasise or remove. I’m essentially controlling what you see in my images and how much attention you give specific elements within it using composition, light, and retouching. So, do we need to draw a line? Do we need to specifiy that our images have been retouched, or should it be implied that nowadays all images have been, as is being considered here in the UK and in many other parts of the world?
Going back to basics, every image outputted by a digital camera has been retouched. A bunch of edits determined by algorithms built into the camera are applied to the JPG output, and if we shoot raw (which we should) we add edits ourselves. What do you think? Where’s the line? Do we need labels?