Posts By David Williams

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here again! This week I write from northern Norway where the northern lights are dancing over me as I type and I hear the sound of reindeer outside among the trees. I’ll show my view on my YouTube channel on Sunday if you want to see.

This week I want to share a rather peculiar trick to help you to see light when shooting, if it’s something you’re trying to learn. I’ve written before about how to read a Histogram, which apparently I wrote while on an airplane flying to Orlando one day, and it’s a key skill we should have as photographers. Interpreting a chart on a screen versus seeing light for real are two different things, though. So here’s the strange trick: –

First off, before you do anything, known that to do this effectively you must be shooting raw! That way you can properly adjust in post. You’ll see why in a second…

Here’s a hairy highland cow. You’ll (hopefully) immediately know that the colour is totally wrong. Well, that’s the trick! When we shoot outside we’ll usually have a warm White Balance. Keep that info in your mind while I also say this: When we look at our preview screen we often look at composition and colour first and while we’re learning to see light, we may not notice it.

If we shoot in a peculiar White Balance, such as Tungsten or Fluorescent when outside or Sunny when inside, we’ll knock the colour out and start to see the difference in tones rather than the tones themselves. We’ll see the light and shadow far easier because we’ve eliminated something in the shot – the correct colour. We can fix the White Balance in post because we shot raw, just like this: –

This is literally the strangest photo tip I’ve ever written, but please trust me, it works! It will help you to see light on the preview screen when shooting if you’re still learning to do so.

I’m going to get back to shooting the aurora now.

From Norway, much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. This week I write to you from Lofoten in northern Norway. I’m on a mission to capture the northern lights while I’m here, amongst other things, and so far it’s going pretty well. I had to bunker down for a couple of days because a polar storm rolled in, but just as it cleared I got a solar storm. Perfect timing!

This week I want to evoke your mind and get you thinking about why you love photography. I know that many of you will have photo-centric New Years’ resolutions, so hopefully, this will help a little.

Here’s a shot of me and Erik ‘the rocketman’ Kuna in Germany getting our waterfall shots on point. We’re both in pretty much the same spot but ended up with different images, and this leads to the point of today’s post.

For me, photography is many things. One of those things, and perhaps the most important, is that I really enjoy showing the world in the way I see it. I was talking to Scott about this some years ago and I said to him that one thing that resonates with me is the phrase, ‘lend me your eyes and I’ll show you what I see.’ He said it made him think of literally plucking someone’s eyes out, and I get that, but the subtext remains the same. It’s the amazing power to convey my vision through photography. I can rock up at a location and put my own spin on it, capturing a moment in time and a place in space and, from the capture through to the edit, I can put my spin on it. It’s a combination of reportage and art.

So what is it for you? What do you enjoy about photography? There’s something to think about today as 2022 starts. With the knowledge of what it is about photography that you like, build some goals and get out there and achieve them!

Much love

Dave

I’m not talking about pixels… I’m talking about life resolutions!

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as usual. Today I write to you from Lofoten, Norway, where the weather is a little warmer than it was last week in Lapland but still below freezing. The problem with the weather being slightly warmer is that the northern lights get hidden by the clouds. Still, there are some epic views to be had, just like this one from last week.

I’ll be posting more shots from my Due North adventure on Instagram periodically, but today isn’t about self promotion so let’s get back on track.

At the end of every year the subject of New Years Resolutions comes up. It’s a time for reflection as well as for forward planning. We can apply everything we would for a life-centric resolution to our photography, so let’s look at making plans that stick with our photography.

More than half of all New Years Resolutions fail, according to multiple sources. For this very important reason, we have to make sure we pick the right resolution that we will be able to uphold and adhere to. Think of it as setting an achievable goal rather than as a resolution and hopefully that’ll keep you on track. It must be specific because if we elect a to set a resolution that’s too vague it’s hard to see when we have it in our sights and when we don’t. In my past life there was an annoying acronym that is transferrable to this situation, and that acronym is ‘SMART.’ Our goals, or resolutions, should be: –

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time-bound

If we set ourselves a New Years Resolution that fits within this framework we are statistically far more likely to achieve it.

Perhaps your resolution has to do with expanding your photography business, or refining your portfolio. Maybe it’s all about education and growth, or maybe moving laterally from there, it’s about personal projects. Maybe we need a new marketing strategy, social media growth, a new website, there are countless personal and professional goals we can set ourselves.

My New Years Resolution this year is to start putting the lens cap on my lenses! It’s a simple one, but it’s a bad habit I have and I should really start doing it! Whatever yours is (or are) I wish you the best of luck, but I’ll also quickly finish by saying this. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Essentially, we create our own luck.

I hope you’re all having the best time, and I wish you a Happy New Year, and I’ll catch you again in 2022!

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back! I write to you from under an Aurora filled sky. Well actually, the Aurora is taking a break. It will be back in 20 minutes so I’m making the most of the opportunity to sit in the warmth of the van rather than stand outside in -3f (-19c) temperatures, plus wind!

Today I want to touch on filters. Filters can make a huge difference when we apply them in the right circumstances. Think of them as a linear gradient, but attached to your camera ;)

Whether they have a gradient or are solid, a Neutral Density filter will essentially allow less light to enter our lens, blocking it out like sun shades either across the entire frame or a part of it. Learning how and when to apply a filter can give us a huge aid in our long exposure photography.

There are arguments that we can do the same thing in Adobe Photoshop, however although this is true in a lot of cases we simply can’t recreate the streaks of flowing water in the same way as if we do it optically, in the camera, using a filter.

If you don’t use filters I implore you to make it your goal this week to learn a little more about them and consider their application in your photography.

Writing from Finland, with images from Iceland, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here! I’m gatecrashing Scott’s blog just like I do every Tuesday, and today I want to go all social media-y up in here.

With Facebook and Instagram having essentially merged some time ago, and with the emergence of Meta, the visual world on social media is going to change at a greater pace than it has been so far. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’m simply saying that it is a ‘thing.’

These platforms are driven by algorithms, and I won’t go on about that because I’ve done so many, many times before. What I will say however, is that if the algorithms don’t already account for 360, VR, immersive style photos and video, you can bet they will soon!

This is a Norwegian forest that I shot yesterday. For those that want to know, I shot it in 360 mode on a DJI Mavic Air 2 and edited it into a Tiny Planet in the Theta+ app.

In the form of a tiny planet it isn’t strictly within the boundaries of being a 360 photo, but with Facebooks integration of a 360 viewer in the app and the rise of more affordable and effective 360 cameras, it’s certainly something to watch!

I’ll be writing a lot more about 360 photography for the February edition of Photoshop User, but for now I think it’s time to start taking 360 seriously and watch this space for its potential uses.

For the record, print is still king!

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here once again with something from my photographic world. I’m currently in Iceland, but not for much longer! On Wednesday night, I leave to make progress towards Norway, where I’ll spend the next month, as well as crossing into Sweden and Finland. This week, I want to show you the opportunity Adobe gave me to get a different perspective of winter in Iceland.

I’ve been making a series of videos documenting my travels and I was asked if I’d like to go shoot in the sky. Russell Brown from Adobe recognised the work I was putting in to learn Premiere Pro and produce a reportage-style documentary of my adventures and, from a budget set aside to support and recognise creative talent, offered to get me into the air over this stunning country. For someone that loves Iceland and aviation that was an absolute dream, so I got everything ready to shoot and, with some assistance from the Iceland Adobe Gold reseller, I was put in touch with Haraldur.

The first time we met there was a reasonable weather forecast, but in Iceland, it’s more of a horoscope. There’s a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes. It changes frequently, and with the sub-polar oceanic climate it has, it can turn very bad, very fast!

I had a small handful of shots from that first flight and a bit of footage so, naturally disappointed, I went back to Adobe Premiere Pro to see what it all looked like. In the video, the weather clearly comes out of nowhere so landing was definitely the right decision.

We reconvened a couple of days later and the weather was picture perfect. I was set to fly with Haraldur, but he had a surprise waiting for me. As we flew down the southwest coast, we ended up meeting with another plane flown by an equally skillful chap named Bergur, who had a plane in Icelandic colours. Here’s the result: –

Always follow your heart, and once in a lifetime as often as you can!

Much love

Dave

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