Posts By David Williams

Photoshop World is coming up soon, and with two events this year it’s set to be amazing! I’ve said of Photoshop World before: –

You should never underestimate the power of networking provided by Photoshop World, as well as the learning, inspiration, motivation, and everything else on offer! You never know who you might be talking to and everyone there is your friend.

Dave, last year

It’s because of the people at KelbyOne and Photoshop World that I have gotten where I am today. I started my journey as a travel photographer a few years ago and developed my skills as a writer and instructor as well, partly due to what I’ve learned and experienced at Photoshop world.  I’m proud to be a KelbyOne instructor, a writer for Photoshop User magazine, the editor of Layers Magazine, and the dude who writes for you every Tuesday for #TravelTuesday on ScottKelby.com.


Photoshop World is the best place in the industry to make and maintain connections, bar none. It’s funny because when you learn to write for editorial there are a whole bunch of rules, one of which is that when you want to emphasise something you put it in italics—you don’t make it bold and underline it, but I just can’t make this point strongly enough! 

Photoshop World is much, much more than a conference! Aside from the fact that you can attend a ton of classes on a range of tracks led by the cream of the crop from the creative industry. Here’s the real deal, let’s go!

First off, you know all those names you see on the KelbyOne Facebook Page? The members’ images shared on the KelbyOne Instagram feed? The names you hear mentioned when the comments are read out during The Grid? The names you see commenting on your Instagram posts because you’re both members of the KelbyOne community? You get to put faces to those names!

So, what else?! I mean, surely life-long friendships alone are a pretty good reason to look forward to the other side of Photoshop World, but what else?

The Partner Pavilion’s pretty sweet. You know that there’s a huge gathering of awesome creatives showing their wares there too, right? So, the likes of B&H Photo and Platypod Tripods are joined by so many other awesome companies that we all love right in one place, waiting to meet you too! That’s a pretty “mainstream” thing about Photoshop World though, and that’s not the point of this post. It’s meant to be the other things!

And then there are all the extra-curricular activities! There is a whole load of things going on in the evenings. When you hear about a party being announced or “tickets being released tomorrow morning” or anything like that, jump on it!

So, there’s all that, there’s the t-shirt toss, there’s the shipment of the biggest pile of Krispy Kreme donuts you’ve ever seen at Midnight Madness, and I feel like I’m laying down a sales pitch now, but there’s good reason for that—Photoshop World is the creative event of all creative events!

Kirk marsh, matt divine, mark Rodriguez, brad Moore, Gilmar smith, Scott Kelby, Dave Williams, jr Maddox, Larry Becker, Doug young, Kaylee Greer, dalton Hamm, group shot selfie at photoshop world conference east Orlando

Live events, in general, provide unique learning and career building opportunities that aren’t matched anywhere else. Taking a break from your day job, particularly when in our creative and ever-evolving industry, to sharpen your skills and pick up new tips and techniques will always make us more effective and efficient. Not only is it an opportunity to meet your business idols, making connections can lead to finding your next mentor and your chances of learning are greatly improved among an actively engaged and like-minded crowd. Hands-on demos and workshops afford an opportunity to ask the questions you want to ask. Breaking out of your comfort zone, albeit in comfortable surrounds, engages different parts of our minds and that’s exactly what we sometimes need to break out of old ways of thinking and step into new ones. There are just so many reasons to attend Photoshop World, which I have personally experienced and benefited from, that I could make this list last forever, but ultimately, if you want to improve yourself, invest in yourself at Photoshop World!

Much love

Dave

Hi all! It’s #TravelTuesday and here on Scott’s blog, that means one thing: I’m here! I’m Dave Williams, normally found hiding behind the guise of Capture With Dave, and I’m offloading some know-how for you all! Today, it comes in the form of my favourite Adobe Photoshop power keyboard shortcuts!

It’s fair to say that we’re all, in every sector, looking to optimise and streamline our flows and processes. One surefire way to achieve this aim is to hit buttons on the keyboard rather than to carefully and daintily manoeuvre the mouse about the desk. So, to that end, I’d like to share some of my favourite, lesser-known keyboard shortcuts—the power shortcuts!

The Brush tool (B) is frequently used, and there are shortcuts specifically designed to speed up our flow when using it. It’s commonly known that the bracket keys ([ and ]) make the brush size decrease and increase respectively, but did you know that you can use the comma and period keys to cycle through the brush styles, or that you can switch the crosshair on/off for precision brushing using the Caps Lock key?

When it comes to viewing your project it’s important to view everything correctly. As well as hitting the Z key to select the Zoom tool and “scrubby” zooming by sliding our mouse left and right with the left mouse button held down, we can quickly move around an image, whilst still having the Zoom tool selected, by holding the Space Bar and moving the image around right in front of us. Furthermore, from wherever we are on an image, at whichever zoom level, we can quickly and easily zoom back out and fit the image into our view by pressing Command-0 (zero; PC: Ctrl-0), which quickly gives us an overview of the finer work we’re completing.

When it comes to working with layers, we can utilise some handy shortcuts here for commonly used tasks, too. For example, to select the top layer, we just need to hit Option-. (period key; PC: Alt-.) or replace the period key with the comma key to get to the bottom layer. To move up and down through the layers stack, just hit Option-[ (PC: Alt-[) or Option-] (PC: Alt-]), and to move a selected layer up or down in the stack, press Command-[ (PC: Ctrl-[) or Command-] (PC: Ctrl-]). To select all the layers, it’s simply a case of hitting Command-Option-A (PC: Ctrl-Alt-A) or to merge all the visible layers, press Command-Shift-E (PC: Ctrl-Shift-E).

And, finally, if you frequently use certain blend modes, you can apply them quickly with these power shortcuts, but make sure you have the right layer selected and the Move tool (V) active: –

It’s always Option-Shift (PC: Alt-Shift) together with: –

N – Normal
I – Dissolve
K – Darken
G – Lighten
M – Multiply
O – Overlay
U – Hue
T – Saturation
Y – Luminosity

Or, cycle through the blend modes with Shift-+ (plus sign) or Shift-– (minus sign).

I hope you can make use of these power shortcuts to speed up your Photoshop flow! Until next week.

Much Love

Dave

From sunny South America, I’m Dave Williams and today is #TravelTuesday, which means I’m here on Scott’s blog with something for you on travel, photography, Photoshop, or life. Today, a little on business in photography!

I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro where, together with Lonely Planet, I’m on my never-ending quest for the world’s best coffee, and I’m hunting the best views the rainforest city has to offer. It’s all over on my social media—you can find me anywhere hiding behind the alias @capturewithdave. :)

All the times I can remember shooting, I remember the “last shot” has, in fact, never quite been the last shot. When I shot weddings, as part of a tandem outfit with my best mate and business partner Peter Treadway, we often joked that we wanted to take “just one last shot,” and we both knew that whenever the other uttered those words, we’d have at least another 15 minutes shooting. But, why was that? Why were we, on one level, keen to finish, but at the same time, carrying on with the shoot in search of that “one more shot.”

Perhaps it was something relating to confidence. Perhaps we knew there was still a shot there, which would stand out above the rest, but we didn’t quite have it yet, owing to either our ability or simply to the absence of that shot. Perhaps we already had the shot but had such competitive determination that we simply didn’t want to stop because we were chasing a shot that just wasn’t going to happen. I mean, we certainly had the tenacity to know where to start and, when it wasn’t happening, when to stop. Maybe that was why—maybe when it was happening, we wanted it to keep happening. But, maybe it was something else altogether.

Good enough isn’t good enough. 

Maybe we both knew this. Maybe we already had, in our subconscious, the knowledge that good enough wasn’t good enough and in order to stand out, we actually had to excel, not just settle. In a crowd, it’s the one who has a little something special, the one who sticks their neck out—that’s the one who gets noticed.

Sunrises get noticed.

Proper lighting gets noticed.

Personality gets noticed.

Concentrate on these things and others, which will make you get noticed, and don’t settle—good enough isn’t good enough if you really want to go far as a creative.

Much love
Dave

It’s a funny old thing, photography. There’s a bunch of photographers who are keen to share, but there’s a larger group who aren’t. But why?

It seems to me that a lot of photographers really don’t want to share their ‘secrets’ with others, as if they’ll lose out because of it. Is there actually any real chance of loss through sharing ideas and creative processes with others? Let’s tackle that first: I certainly don’t think there is, and here’s why.

When you share an idea in, say, the field of real estate photography, what would have to happen for you to lose? Basically your idea would have to be put into practice by your nearest competitor. That is to say the competitor in your town or area, attracting your clients, hunting your target market, and shooting the same style as you would have to be the person causing you a loss owing to you sharing your ‘secrets.’ The offs of that very specific set of circumstances becoming a reality is extremely slim, as I’m sure you’d agree. In sharing your idea you’re helping other photographers in your field but (noteably) out of the scope of your target market to grow and to develop their skills, knowledge, understanding, and creative abilities. I don’t see any loss there at all! So as they say, sharing is caring. 

Photography is challenging enough already as an industry with the pressures and nuances coming from the outside, with a completely unnecessary spanner sitting in the inner works that we need to lose. We need to grow as individuals in this industry, and also as a community. We all started somewhere, and we all grow from that place. In order to achieve that growth we need to take some chances, show some vulnerabilities, and from that foundation we need to move onward and upward. The vulnerable side of us in that growth is the side of us which is taking chances on releasing what is becoming a progressively better portfolio, where each image is better than the last. Retrospectively this makes the last photo worse than the current and so it shows those “bad shots” in broad daylight. This cycle never really stops – we’re always showing this vulnerability because we’re always releasing better shots and thus, through time, revealing those same shots as getting progressively worse as the next good shots come to the surface. So here’s the next thing: –

That cycle links in to the need for critique. Not heavy, harsh criticism, but creative, objective critique. It helps us to grow and it helps our community to grow. It leads us to achieve better things, better shots, and reveals new talent. We all started somewhere, as I said, and we’ve all needed guidance whether we sought it or it came unsolicited to us. It’s done from groups, communities, and from more experienced photographers. We’ve all been helped and as such we should all pay it forward. 

Help people. Show strengths rather than pointing out weakness. Encourage growth, offer solutions, and add value to work that needs improvement rather than devaluing and discouraging through focusing on negatives. We’ve been in positions in our own growth, be it in photography or otherwise, where we’ve felt like throwing in the towel, and a little skill sharing and positive contribution to steer us back on course always helps – let’s make sure it’s strong in the photographic community and remember where we started, and as I said, that we lose this fear of giving away too much. There’s actually nothing to lose. 

Much love

Dave

Last night, I sat down to write this post and I had a bit of a situation. Well, a bit of a disaster actually! I dropped my phone onto my laptop screen and everything went dark. I’ve just taken my laptop to Apple and owing to my carelessness, I now have a five-day wait and a £460 bill to pay for a new retina screen, and it’s caused a delay in publishing this post! My apologies. Let’s get cracking!

So, every #TravelTuesday, here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, I land with a little something for you from the world of Photoshop, photography, travel, and life. Today, I’m going to tell you all about something you should be using, and which Scott showed you yesterday—Adobe Spark Page.

Adobe Spark is a creative suite in itself, within the Adobe ecosystem, which allows users to create social graphics, webpages, and videos on a web or mobile platform, and it’s awesome! In fact, all my header graphics here on Scott’s blog and on my own blog at capturewithdave.com are made using Adobe Spark Post.

Scott used Adobe Spark Page to create his story yesterday about his visit on the USS Harry S. Truman, and it delivered an amazing result both in terms of its aesthetic prowess and its storytelling ability. The user interface for creators is top-notch, as is the interface for the end user.

The app allows us to quickly and easily lay out our images, videos, and words, and it encourages good design and placement. The text alignment and animation creates a user experience with apparently seamless links from one section to the next. The ability to decide on the positioning of our images in a variety of styles, and with additional copy over them, gives us the ability to customise our page and truly tell the story in the way we want it to be seen. 

As a photographer, I am of course a creative, but one friend of mine has some strong words which this app brings to life for me. Graphic Designer and KelbyOne instructor Dave Clayton says in his latest awesome class that a graphic designer is a photographer’s best friend. Knowing how to present your work in the best possible way is important for a photographer, and a graphic designer can help you to do this. It seems that this series of apps is the first step towards that goal.

Adobe Spark is part of your Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and its best comparison is that it’s basically Microsoft Publisher turned up to 11, and it’s fast!

You can take a look at one of my stories on the northern lights here and one of Terry White’s stories on Iceland here

Have a closer look at the Adobe Spark range and I think, as a photographer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what it can do for you. 

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday right here on Scott’s blog, and that means that I, Dave Williams, am here!

It has been a full-on week with lots of prep and planning for a couple of upcoming missions for me. I’ve been working through files from my most recent trip to Norway, and I’m lining up ideas for a little trip to Dorset this weekend for my birthday. It’s all go here, and to top it all off, I’m formulating ideas for an awesome project that has already started rolling: The Diary of the Traveling Platypod, which sees a Platypod Ultra travel the world to help create amazing images (#TravelingUltra)! Larry, the creator of Platypod, sent it to Gilmar Smith to begin its journey, and now I have it! You can sign up here if you want to host the Ultra on its global journey.

But, let’s get back on track and take a look at a cool Adobe Camera Raw trick that can help you create an HDR look from a single file.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) is a look that has come in and out of fashion, but the concept behind it remains very useful. With this trick, you can take a single exposure, so long as it isn’t overly clipped either way, and create an HDR look from it by ignoring every piece of advice I’ve ever given you and going to 100 on a few sliders! Watch this: –

Here’s a fairly bland shot of a Norwegian road in Senja, turning a corner along the edge of a fjord, with the rugged mountainscape background (mountainscape—definitely a real word).

You can see it’s pretty “regular” looking—more of a snapshot than a creative photograph. By opening this RAW file in Camera Raw and maxing out some sliders, we can really bring it to life.

If we first consider what HDR processing involves, we can start by replicating it. We’ll do this by bringing in the darkest elements of the brightest exposure and the brightest elements of the darkest exposure by setting the Highlights slider to –100 and the Shadows slider to +100. We can give some “punch” to the image by also setting the Contrast slider to +100 and the Clarity slider to +100, increasing the contrast across the entire dynamic range of the image.

Once this is done, we’ll likely end up with something a little bit dodgy looking, but stick with me. The last little tweak is the Exposure slider. We’ll just move this slightly in order to reduce that overly dramatic hit. In this image, I’ve moved it to 0.60, and it has done just the trick.

We now have that HDR look from a single exposure, and it was incredibly easy!

Catch you all next week and, in the meantime, please do keep in touch over at @CaptureWithDave on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Much Love

Dave

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