Posts By David Williams

Be honest, and I know you will, we’ve all been in a place where we’ve felt stuck in our creative journey. Whether it’s professionally or as amateurs, there’s always been a time we’ve hit a block or a feeling of routine – a lack of progress perhaps. 

 

 

There are times when we live and breathe photography, but then there are others when we feel like we’re taking the same shots time and time again, or perhaps don’t even feel like picking up the camera. The enthusiasm fluctuates, and that’s normal. There are so many resources available to learn new techniques and so many ways to pull inspiration into your creative flow and get back on track. Let’s explore some here today. 

  1. Start (and finish) a personal project

It’s great to pull an income from photography, but that tends to focus heavily on consistency. That very consistency, albeit positive to your economic growth, may hinder your creative growth. The worst thing to feel is a drain on creativity, and knowing it can be caused by the lack of a challenge is inspiration enough to give yourself one. Personal projects can last for anything from one single shoot to a series across a number of years. They are a way to relight the fire and challenge yourself to launch that passion and learn new tricks. Choose a personal project that is stimulating and achievable, and then get on with it!

  1. Learn something new

Perhaps there’s a style of photography that doesn’t fit with what you’re currently doing but you’d like to learn it. Maybe you never need to use a flash but you’d like to give it a go. Having a goal and striving for it will spark that creative mind you have and translate over to your day to day photography. Make sure you set aside a little time to reach your goal and have a game plan in place that you can stick to. There are tons of resources out there to learn from, and the amazing line up of KelbyOne instructors is a great place to quench your thirst for knowledge from the best in the industry. 

  1. Go rogue

Sometimes a change of scenery helps. We all know, across all walks of life, that change is refreshing and tends to make positive impact, so bring that into your photography. Do something you don’t normally do. If you’re a portrait photographer, go shoot some landscapes. If you’re a wedding photographer, find some wildlife to shoot. If you shoot on a DSLR all the time, pick up your iPhone and shoot something with that. Don’t think about it, just go rogue and do something different for a change. Enjoy photography without any external or undue pressure. 

 

 

With a little thought and by maximising on the opportunities, resources, and inspiration out there, anybody can be motivated and take a fresh look at their creativity in photography. The art of capturing light is a beautiful way to harness your creativity – keep yourself inspired and keep challenging yourself to grow!

Much love

Dave

Well, hello there!

It’s #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider and I’ve just completed a mission and a half! Let me tell you about it!

I’m currently running a challenge and I want you to get involved. It’s a sunrise challenge!

Until July 15th, I want to see your sunrise photos. Just upload them to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, use the hashtag #SunriseWithDave, and you can win a KelbyOne membership and a Platypod Ultra!!! That’s definitely worthy of all three of those exclamation marks!

So, here’s how I started it: –

Last night, I shot the sunset at Land’s End, the western-most point in England.

 

 

I quickly retouched the shot, uploaded it, and then I got on my motorcycle and headed east. This morning—450 miles later and with 5 minutes to spare—I arrived at Ness Point, the eastern-most point in England. The race against the sun was to kick off the sunrise challenge, but unfortunately, Mother Nature gave me a typical British sunrise: –

 

 

But, never mind, the point of the challenge and the contest is to encourage as many people as possible to shoot sunrise. I can’t wait to see the images you make this week!

Check out all of the details here.

 

 

For me, I’m finishing my coffee and headed home to think up the next stupid idea!

Much love

Dave

Hey there! Happy #TravelTuesday one and all! Since it’s nearly July 4th in the States, it’s just been Canada Day, it’s not raining (for once) here in London, and, hopefully, the rest of the world is loving life, too, and everyone is taking the time to unwind a little, I’ve decided to lighten things up a bit today and give you some easy reading!

So, here’s the thing: There are many, many different personalities within photography. Everyone is unique, but everyone still fits somewhere. By and large, photographers fit a category, and I’m not talking about “portraiture” or “architecture.” Oh no, I’m talking about something else altogether! I’ve seen many different types of photographers out in the wild whilst on my travel photography missions, and I’ll try my best to categorise them today. Which one of these are you?

The Junkie
The junkie thrives on social media—Instagram is their portfolio, Facebook is their life, and Twitter is their playground. This is the person who goes on a #walk in the #mountains with their #BFF and finds such #inspiration in a #tuft of #grass next to a #rock that they must #post #about #it #now!

Their brand is their life, and you’ll often find them in the wild, posing nonchalantly with a jacket strewn across their shoulder, arm outstretched to emphasize the brand of watch you’re never heard of before, and often not wearing any socks. They prowl in packs, all photographing one another in every piece of available light they find in a mutually reciprocal manner, checking their phone every few seconds for the latest comments and emails about which trainers are hot right now.

The Bokehnator
This photographer shoots one way and one way only—wide open! Every shot must bokeh the c*§p out of the last and, with their surplus of prime lenses, they’re often heard uttering phrases like, “zoom with your feet” or “look at the onion-shaped bokeh I’ve got here.” A personal favourite is the single term, “bokehlicious,” which seems to be a standard response in a lot of comment sections online.

The Bokehnator will generally be found at twilight in the city, contorting themselves into all manners of positions, whilst firing off shots and turning to their model (which is actually quite often an inanimate object) and saying, “ooh, that’s so silky.”

The Collector
This is the photographer who tends to go over the top. Their collection of gear is impressively unnecessary and far outweighs the circumstances. Their collection of lenses is bigger than their collection of photos, and in the wild this photographer can be easily found because they stand out from the crowd with one camera affixed to a tripod, another slung, a huge bag of gear, and quite often a raincoat and hiking trousers and shoes on even on the hottest day.

This is the person who asks, “What settings are you using?” and follows your answer with a gurned face and a slow intake of breath before staring intently at the back of their camera, slowly nodding but looking somewhat confused.

The HDR-er
This is someone who cannot simply take one photo, but rather they will take a series of at least five, sometimes even nine bracketed shots. It’s not acceptable in their world to take a single shot and use the single exposure to emphasise tones, to create an image of highlights and shadows. They’re often heard talking about stops, and back home they own at least three different software packages designed to create different HDR looks, passing each image through each one in a conveyor belt process until their image looks nothing like the scene they were standing in front of in the wild.

The Judger
This photographer is usually not all that good of a photographer, and colloquially referred to as a “troll.” We’ve all had experiences with this one. You’ve never seen a photo of theirs, however, they seem to always have an opinion on what’s wrong with yours. You don’t tend to see them in the wild, as they prefer to blend in and only reveal themselves online where their disguise affords them security and protection from reprisals.

Their specialty is popping up and offering their expertise when you least expect it because they took a photo of a butterfly on their iPhone that one time that their friends thought was super cool and, therefore, they are the leading authority on photo critique. There’s one potential defence against this strange breed, and that is to say “No CC” nice and clearly. This tends to get them to leave you alone, but it’s no guarantee!

The Filterer
This person cannot take a photo without something on the front of their lens. It generally takes them longer to set up than to take the shot, and that’s saying something because their exposure time tends to be way up there in the minutes. This person tends to be filled with talent and is capable of making incredible images. If only you had their patience!

The iPhoner
You know this person. You’ve been practicing your art for years and this person comes along, having never defined themselves as a photographer, and blows you away with something they shot on their iPhone. They appear out of nowhere, whip out their iPhone, and somehow their snapshot is perfectly composed with beautiful framing, perfect exposure, and mesmerizing content. This person has a natural gift for creating captivating masterpieces capable of leaving jaws on the floor the world over.

The iPadographer

I don’t need to go into much detail on this one. You’ve seen them, I’m sure. They were probably standing right in front of your lens when you saw them! You know, when you’re standing with your rig taking a shot and step, perhaps, a little to your left, then out of nowhere, the space you were standing in is immediately occupied by somebody who was watching what you were shooting? That’s them.

The never-righter
This person is close to a purist. Rather than spend a few seconds in post moving a slider, they want to nail it in camera. The light will change the most minute amount, and they’ll take another shot. They’re never happy and always want one more shot. One more shot. Just one more shot. Okay, I’m nearly done, just one more shot.

You
There’s one photographer who doesn’t fit these boxes. Never out of line, using the right gear at the right time, and balanced with the correct amount of selfies and appropriate use of social media. You. And me. And all of us. ;)

There are, of course, other breeds of photographer out there. Tell us which I’ve missed off in the comments here, or over on Twitter.

While I’ve got you, it’s only a week until my (really stupid) Sunrise Challenge where I’m challenging you all to get out early and shoot a sunrise! You can win prizes from KelbyOne and Platypod, and everyone gets 10% off a Drobo using the code ‘DAVEWILLIAMS’ at checkout! Find out all about it right here

Much love

Dave

Hello there! It’s #TravelTuesday again so it’s that time of the week that I, Dave Williams, jump in right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share something that will hopefully fill in a gap somewhere in your creative flow! Today, as I head off on a mission to Iceland, I want to tell you about something that I’ve found valuable in the field of drone photography and videography. I want to tell you how to pull a still from a video so that you can retouch it as if it were a photo in Adobe Photoshop – something I do when I shoot with my drone quite regularly.

First up, load the video you want to pull a frame from in Adobe Premiere Pro. In this example I’m using Premiere Pro CC 2018.

Now move the Playhead to the position within the video from which you want to pull the still image.

 

 

In this example I’m taking a still from a video I made at Kilt Rock during my trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland last week. Gushing over the cliff at Kilt Rock is Mealt Falls landing straight into the sea. I caught a composition of the two on video and I want to make something of it, so I’ve set my Playhead to the right point and I’m ready to pull out the still.

Next up, hit the Export Frame button. When you do this you’re presented with a dialogue box which gives you a couple of options.

 

 

First up is the File Name. We can change this name to whatever suits. Further underneath that is the Path option, the destination of which we can change using the Browse button. The option that’s rather more important to us here is the Format field. Once we change this it remains selected as that format each time we do this until we change it. There are a few options here, one of which as a photographer we may not be so familiar with, and that one is DPX. This stands for Digital Picture Exchange and it’s the format used when scanning film which records colour density and in fact records a lot of data relating to the frame. The more common formats we’ll see here are TIFF and PNG. Personally I choose PNG, however it all comes down to your preference and your intentions.

 

 

Once we’ve hit OK after selecting the format and destination of the file we can go ahead and take it from our folder straight into Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to make the adjustments we’d make to any other photo. It’s that simple, yet surprisingly often overlooked.

 

 

I hope that little nugget was useful for you! As always, do let me know how you get on, and you can show myself or KelbyOne on Instagram if you want, we love to see! You can keep track of my Iceland adventure right on my Instagram too!

Much love

Dave

Hello, internets! It’s #TravelTuesday again, so I’m here to impart some kind of wisdom onto you, and today it’s all about tweaking colour with Camera Raw’s Hue sliders. But first!

I’m writing this post from a Starbucks just outside of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in Scotland, fresh from an overnight stop before I head farther north towards the Isle of Skye. I’m shooting a couple of little projects involving drone photography and Platypod tripods. You can keep up with what I’m doing on this trip by following me on social media (look for @capturewithdave) and by watching the @kelbyonepics Instagram story!

On with the blog!

The HSL  (Hue/Saturation/Luminance) Adjustments panel in Adobe Camera Raw is very useful, but perhaps most confusing are the Hue options. While the Saturation and Luminance sliders enhance the colours, the Hue sliders actually change them. There are some pretty powerful things you can do with the Hue sliders—you can even change the seasons in post if you tweak the colours the right way.

What’s actually happening when you adjust a colour slider in the Hue tab is that you’re moving its position on a colour wheel. In terms of its practical application, I’ll use the Hue sliders to adjust this photo and make the grass greener, whilst maintaining the other colours.

 

 

In this shot, the tones up in the sky are beautiful—the sun lowering in the sky (it’s 9pm) is casting a fabulous orange glow—but I feel like the grass should be just a little bit greener. We can take advantage of the Hue sliders and make this adjustment easily right in Camera Raw.

 

 

Using the Hue sliders to shift the colours within sections of the colour wheel, if we move the Yellows slider (the colour of the grass in this case) towards the green end, and compensate with the Oranges and Greens sliders to maintain the actual green and retain that orange in the sky by moving those sliders away from the yellow ends, we’ve easily achieved our goal! It’s as easy as that!

 

 

 

That grass is now greener, which to me is more realistic and more pleasing, and all it took was an understanding of what’s going on with the Hue tab’s sliders.

Much love

Dave

Hi there! It’s me, Dave Williams, coming at you again this #TravelTuesday at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider. I’ve just returned home from a Stateside mission and returned to a rather gloomy London Town, and I’m a little exhausted from the adventure and the jet lag so massive apologies for posting so late today! I have a little nugget of wisdom though, so I hope it’s worth it for you all. It’s a little tip which I’ve learned from many times on my journey as a travel photographer, and it’s the result of anticipation, climax, anticlimax, and reward! I had this experience again just a few days ago, so I’ll share it through that story to show you why I’m saying what I’m saying.

So, I was in Rhode Island and went to meet up with Kaylee Greer for an awesome adventure. I headed to Kaylee’s place and before we went out I was lucky enough to have my portrait shot by Sam Haddix, which I can’t wait to see! We were all discussing where to go and what to do, which ended up being the Cliff Walk near Newport, RI. The plan was to be there for sunset but you may have sensed already by the words I chose to use there that we weren’t! As is so often the case in the world of travel photography, things change. They may go wrong, they may be somehow cancelled, they may just not be achievable. In this case it was the latter.

Kaylee and I were in Newport having a little explore around the shops there. We had about 4 hours until sunset and everything was in sight. But then it started to go wrong. Right then I saw a postcard stand outside one of the souvenir stores and I was explaining to Kaylee: –

Whenever you go to a new place, one of the best sources of inspiration for shots is the local postcards

And right then I saw something awesome. I had been looking online for the local lighthouses during my entire trip, but right there on one of the postcards was an awesome looking lighthouse on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by azure blue water with waves breaking all around it. I had to shoot it myself! Out came Google Maps and I found the lighthouse, probably 1/4 mile offshore. The problem then became real. That lighthouse was an hour away. Things in the plan were starting to change. Determined to shoot the lighthouse and get back to the Cliff Walk for sunset, we pressed on!

 

 

That little lighthouse shoot took longer than anticipated, with a drone battery change required and a few other nice little scenes noticed and shot, which meant that getting back to the Cliff Walk was going to be tight if indeed it happened at all. Turns out it didn’t! But here’s the thing. The intention to shoot the Cliff Walk as the sunset shoot was now flipped out completely, which for me would once have ended up with me in somewhat of a sulk, stubbornly refusing to do anything else in my determination to get there despite knowing full well that I wouldn’t. The moral of the story is this: –

Whenever and wherever you get a sunset, shoot it right there!

A golden hour opportunity is often too good to waste. In this case we were totally in the wrong place according to the plan, but when the sun started to change the light of the entire sky we just stopped in the first ‘slightly nice’ place we saw, which turned out to be a little marina in Tiverton, RI. The change in light made what would likely have been a mediocre scene change into something else. Something worth shooting. Certainly something worth shooting rather than risking shooting nothing by driving on and arriving in the dark, or by stubbornly not shooting anything because the plan had changed! A sunset, wherever it may be, is often worth shooting for either the practice, or for getting a sky to switch out in another photo, or just for the experience of watching another day come to a beautiful close. Us photographers can so often be such a stubborn breed, so don’t let that get in the way of an opportunity!

 

 

Many thanks to Kaylee for putting up with me for the day and for sharing that sunset!

 

 

Much love

Dave (and Kaylee)

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