Posts By David Williams

It’s #TravelTuesday again (just like every other Tuesday) and I, Dave Williams, am here as always on to bring you something from the world of travel photography. Today I’ll start by letting you know, if you didn’t already, that the CEO of Sony has predicted that our phone cameras will our-perform DSLR and mirrorless cameras by 2024. That’s quite a claim! Well, having just wrapped up at Adobe MAX in Los Angeles with Russell Brown’s Pre-Con, we decided to head out to Joshua Tree national Park to escape the city lights and see what our phones could really do. Check this out: –

This is Aaron Grimes standing beside somewhat of a Bonsai Tree and as you can clearly see, that’s the Milky Way behind him. This photo was shot on my iPhone 13 Pro max. Milky Way. iPhone. Let that sink in for a second.

Watch, I’ll do it again…

In this shot I light painted the tree with a flashlight and in Adobe Lightroom Mobile I adjusted the White Balance and Contrast of the Milky Way.


The power of the camera in our pockets is insane right now and it’s only going to get better. Here’s a pro-tip – the night mode on iPhone allows us to shoot for 10 seconds handheld, as I’m sure you will have noticed, but get that phone stable on a tripod and you can shoot for up to 30 seconds like I have here.

Starting today is the KelbyOne Travel Photography Conference and as part of that I’ll be teaching a class on mobile photography, so be sure to check that out. I also can’t wait to share my top 20 tips to avoid the Eiffel Tower Effect and create unique images that stand out from the crowd.

If you want to see a truly epic shot from this evening out at Joshua Tree National Park, stop by Russell Brown’s Instagram and see me modelling in my best light (the dark!)

Much love

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. This week I write from Los Angeles where I’m helping out with Russell Brown’s pre-con, the art of movie poster design. Yesterday up on stage was our very own design guru, Dave Clayton.

Wait, wrong photo! It’s this one: –

Dave delivered a great class on the hidden secrets of Adobe Illustrator, using and demonstrating some incredible plug-ins from Astute Graphics, and got several ‘knock-your-socks-off’ gasps from the crowd.

The theme of the whole pre-con is Vikings – namely the fictional movie ‘The Saga Of The Sword’. The projects you may have seen me involved with in the Netherlands and Iceland recently were all to do with gathering and creating content for this event. Part of the fun, and in keeping with the theme, was all about getting authentic and being Vikings ourselves.

We were helped with our tattoos and blood stains by Hollywood make-up artist Wen Zheng, who did a great job with Russell.

Adobe MAX kicks off tomorrow in person and online. Sign up here to watch for free online. If you’re attending, come and say hi!

Speaking of events, the KelbyOne Travel Photography Conference is coming up on October 25th. I’ll be delivering two classes on The Eiffel Tower Effect and Mobile Photography. There’s a great line-up of instructors ready to share a wealth of knowledge with you, so be sure to sign up!

This week’s chick-in has been fairly short and sweet, but I’ll be back on track next week with more for you. In the meantime, keep it real and remember to once in a lifetime as often as you can.

Much love

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always with something from the world of travel photography. Today I want to talk about the big picture – travel photography. More specially, what is it?

I’ll start by saying that my comrade Rick Sammon has a new KelbyOne class out that hits home, quite literally: –

Great Photography Starts in Your Own Hometown is the title of his latest class. It’s a perfect title and it leads to the point I want to make in todays blog. Travel photography doesn’t mean the photographer needs to travel. It means the person looking at the photo is compelled to travel. Travel photography is a genre unlike any other in that it isn’t a subject, it’s a feeling. It’s the feeling that the viewer gets when they see a photo. Instilling a sense of wanderlust and inspiring the viewer to want to travel to the place in the photo is what travel photography is all about. For that reason, it can be any subject. We can shoot from our own front door and as long as we inspire somebody to want to visit the location in the photo, we’re on the right track.

Coming up soon we have the latest KelbyOne Live event – The Travel Photography Conference.

This conference includes classes by myself, Rick, and Scott as part of a team of awesome travel photographers, sharing skills and experience so that you can hone your travel photography skills and learn to convey a feeling of wanderlust through your photography. This is going to be an epic conference!

One thing I’ll be teaching is how to shoot differently and overcome the Eiffel Tower Effect, finding and using your creative voice to help your photos stand out amongst the crowd, as well as a class on shooting mobile.

Travel photography really does start at home and we can always refine our skills through personal projects without the need to travel. Try to incorporate feeling into your photography, and I’ll see you soon at the travel photography conference.

Much love

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always to bring you something from the photography world. This week I want to broach a subject that pops up constantly and one that we all see in photography business groups on social media and it’s ‘exposure’.

We often find ourselves being approached by friends and family in particular, but also by companies, asking us to work for free. The question won’t be phrased in such a way but more often than not it includes the term ‘exposure’ or eludes to the fact that the customer will share our social account to their audience, implying that they’re helping us. It’s a tricky ground to be on and I’ll start with this thought.

Maybe it will benefit us.

There’s a chance that it’s in our interest to do a job for free but the decision needs to come from us, not for the customer. If we’re approached to work for ‘exposure’ it’s important that we consider whether that exposure true has any value. Value can be referral to other methods of income and other clients, or it can be something to add to our resumé or blog. A prestigious client can be valuable to add to our resumé every now and then, but ‘exposure’ certainly doesn’t pay the bills by itself. So, what do we do if we really don’t want to take on the unpaid job being proposed to us? We have a few options: –

Firstly, we can say yes but add on the payment. Our response will look something like this:

“Thanks for considering me for this opportunity. I’m more than happy to show some samples from my portfolio to ensure we’re correctly matched. I cannot take on any extra work without payment right now, but I’m happy to work together.”

Or, if we want to step it up a gear, perhaps our response will look like this:

“Thank you for considering me for this project. Unfortunately, I’m unable to take on unpaid projects at the moment. If that changes in the future, I will get in touch with you.”

If we want to send out a hard ‘no’ in a polite and professional way, we can go with something like this:

“Thanks for thinking of me for this project, but I have too much on my plate right now”.

There are situations where you feel like a client is expecting you to work for free but they haven’t actually said that, in which case this may be a good response:

“That sounds like a great project! I’d love to discuss your specific needs in detail so I can send you a quote for it.”

Sometimes a client may have already paid for a particular service but they ask for more, and we can deal with it like this:

“Yes, I can help you with that. However, it is out of our original contract’s scope. I can do that for you within ‘X’ consulting hours at the same hourly rate as our original contract. Let me know if that works for you so I can put together the contract addendum.”

It’s always possible to politely and professionally respond to any request, no matter how outrageous, and it’s very important that we think carefully about any unpaid work we take on. As I mentioned, it can benefit us, but if it doesn’t benefit us it will merely burn us out and stand in the way of paid gigs. Ultimately, it’s ok to say “no”, and we have to consider everything when someone asks us to work for free. I hope that’s been a little useful to you!

Much love

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always bringing you a dose of my world. This week is no different and in fact, there’s a familiar face to include – Vanelli!

You may or may not know that Vanelli is the Director of Education over at Skylum and we caught up at The Photography Show last week, having not seen each other for a few years. The usual antics occurred – I tried to sneak up on him with my super-stealthy skills but was thwarted by his super-human strength whenever I got too close, however I was able to steal the keys to the Vanelli-mobile and take it for a spin of the show floor at the NEC! I’m taking that as a small win. But let’s stay on track – today I want to tell you a little about Luminar Neo. If you’re a reader of Photoshop User you’ll see a more in-depth review soon, but here’s what I have for today: –

There are several companies on the scene giving us Adobe Photoshop plug-ins (and more) right now, and each has their own merits. I have all the main players’ software for use and review so I’m in a position to point out the benefits and downfalls of each of them, and I have to say that I’m particularly impressed with Luminar Neo. You’ll have noticed, I’m sure, that it’s all about Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, and this is even reflected within Photoshop’s Neural Filters. Luminar Neo has taken the input of millions of images to kick out some killer image processing abilities, with more coming soon. There’s Sky AI, Relight AI, Atmosphere AI, Face AI, Skin AI, Structure AI, the list goes on and on. Each of these tools is on-point.

Some photographers are extremely averse to the AI tech we’re seeing introduced all around us but let me tell you, it isn’t going away. We have to find the tech that will help us and improve our photography and creative processes, and embrace it as part of our workflow. Software like this is here to help us so it’s important that we give it a try (which I mean quite literally – they all offer a free trial.)

The funny thing is that all the tricks we’ve learned in Photoshop for our edits are now simplified into ‘one-click’ actions, which kind of makes all our previous learning obsolete in places but also makes our lives that much easier moving forward. The thing is, if it’s going to make our lives easier it really shouldn’t require any real effort or further learning, which is why I place Luminar Neo above its competitors. Each of the pieces of software out there looks and feels different, but Luminar Neo is intuitive and easy. Every tool is where you’d expect it to be and it’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the UX and UI. Having such an effective and intuitive aesthetic within the software and combining it with such powerful tools driven by AI is a game-changer for us as photographers and creatives.

Much love

(PS – I got hold of an extra copy to give away to one of you! To win, check my Facebook)

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always and this week I write from the NEC in Birmingham, UK, where I’m at The Photography Show. This is a huge event that takes place every year here in the UK. Up on the main stage this year is the worlds greatest dog photographer, the original, the one and only Kaylee Greer. Also speaking were Dave Clayton, Tony Harmer, and Sian Elizabeth, among others.

Today I want to talk about something I saw presented by Ian Sayers from XenceLabs which can be summed up as this: –

You need a graphics tablet!

I have always had a graphics tablet available throughout my photography career and it’s been incredibly useful to use such a precise tool when editing in Adobe Photoshop rather than the clumsy ‘hit or miss’ nature of using a trackpad or a mouse. It’s fair to say that sometimes it’s tricky to be able to use a graphics tablet when working out of the office and I often found this to be a hurdle that was sometimes impassable, but since my recent trip to Austin, TX, to hang out with Mark Heaps I have found the solution.

Ian was presenting several talks at The Photography Show, as was Tony Harmer, and I can also say that Dave Clayton also knows the solution – here it is: XenceLabs.

XenceLabs is a company made of people who have extensive knowledge of the inner workings of graphic tablets and they’ve come together to create a truly exceptional product. I’m trying hard to think about how to present this blog as a recommendation rather than have it appear to be a sales pitch, and it genuinely is a recommendation – I believe this tablet truly rocks. The Quick Keys are fantastic and are fully programmable, giving access to 8 buttons along with a dial (which has a ninth button itself) but the tablet itself along with the stylus just feel great. The XenceLabs tablets connect with bluetooth 5.0 which means the connection is secure and smooth unlike other tablets, and the 3,000 mAh battery lasts up to 15 hours. My favourite thing about these tablets is the way that using them feels good. It’s hard to explain, but the ergonomics are on point.

Using a graphics tablet as a photographer or graphic designer (or even a video editor) makes our lives so much easier and gives us a lot more creative control. My personal opinion is that XenceLabs have come up with the optimum solution, and with that….

Have a great Tuesday!

Much love