Posts By David Williams

Are you a little like me in that you’ve lost track of what day it is? Between Christmas and New Year’s it all kind of melts and mashes into one, but let me remind you what day it is today…it’s #TravelTuesday! Yes, that’s right, it’s time for a sprinkle of wisdom to be laid down from me to you, so let me tell you what it’s all about today!

If you want to make your photography contribute to your bank account, I’m going to show you some ways to do that. Happy New Year to you all, let’s make 2019 the year you make money from your images!

First of all, Instagram. Instagram is an easy way to make a little pocket money and some people even make their entire living from it. Take a look at Jeremy Jauncey, the founder of Beautiful Destinations. This account got in there in the early days of the gram and quickly rose to be one of the biggest corporate accounts. Now reviewing hotels and travel destinations the world over, this account puts food on the table for a whole bunch of influencers and employees. To get your Instagram account monetised you need just a handful of things: –

Consistency, engagement, and a trusted following. With these things set, which is fairly easy to do, you can apply to micro-influencing agencies who will either send you briefs or have open briefs which you can apply for. A good agency to start with is Takumi. If you don’t yet have the three key ingredients listed at the start of this paragraph, build on that first. Engagement leads to engagement, so if you interact with others it encourages them to interact with your account too. Consistency means a defined look, style or topic. And the trusted following means that your followers are actual people, not bots and not paid for!

 

 

Next up is stock. Stock can, at first, make small amounts owing to the proportion of the sale retained by the agency making the sale for you. You may get something as little as 20% of the sale, however, look at it like this: – if you get 20% of $1000 you are still making a decent whack, and in any case, 20% of something is way better than 0% of nothing.

 

 

To get involved in stock photography the key is, generally, having a library of images which are retouched in a realistic way, and having a lot of them! Get yourself on Adobe Stock, Getty Images, iStock, ShutterStock, or any of the big stock vendors by registering for an account and uploading a test submission. Take note of the submission guidelines and make sure you adhere to the rules, and once you’re in make sure you upload as frequently as possible, taking into account market trends, and bear in mind that if you offer images exclusively to one vendor it’s likely to make you more money than offering the same image across multiple libraries.

 

 

Next up is to approach publications that match your genre. Writing to editors of magazines or blogs to pitch your photography is a great way to have people license your images directly, offering exclusivity to someone in need of images like yours. This method is going to result in rejection more often than not, so make sure you’re ready for that. When you do get through to someone interested in your work, it’s worth all the hard work!

Ladies and Gents, make 2019 your year in photography! If you need any extra advice, you can always reach out to me, Dave Williams, or get involved in the discussion in the KelbyOne community.

Much love

Happy New Year!

Dave

We’re nearly out of #TravelTuesday’s for the year! How sad! I wonder what the 2019 #TravelTuesday situation will be. The Tuesdays of the future will probably be shinier and more streamlined, but for now I have one of the last 2018 #TravelTuesdays for you. I’m Dave Williams, and as usual I’m here for you, laying down what I’ve learned on my journey as a travel photographer. I hope you’re picking up what I’m putting down! Let’s go!

So, today is all about halves. The half rule, in particular. This is something that will always stick with me since I heard about it, and something that is up there with the most valuable pieces of retouching advice I have heard and can offer back to you.

Firstly, the disclaimer. Very rarely will you see a photographer’s unprocessed RAW file. You’re about to see one of mine. No judging, please!

 

 

So that’s Iceland. More specifically, if you were wondering, it’s up on the hill above the church in Vik at the southern tip of Iceland, facing east. The image is of course quite flat and unsaturated, among other things, that being the very nature of a RAW file. The retouching process comes next as part of every photographers flow, and it’s this to which the half rule applies. Let’s go to work: –

 

 

Here’s the result of my labour. The image has been processed, the sliders have been slid, and the image coming out the other end has far more dynamic range, far more saturation, far more clarity, etc etc. This aesthetically driven approach is how we all work, shifting the sliders around and judging the image by eye. The thing that happens and that we need to be mindful of is that the difference between the flat looking original versus the saturated looking result is actually quite stark but, albeit quickly, that difference is the result of a relatively gradual process whereby we see all the changes occurring along the way. What we perceive at this moment to be a great image may actually be overdone. and that’s not something we want. The half rule is applied now.

By taking the position of all the sliders to the half way points between the neutral and the resulting positions we of course apply half of the adjustment, however that half is often actually enough to have a great looking image without it being ‘overcooked.’ Take a look: –

 

 

The sliders here compared to the last version are more or less half way, with little tweaks here and there as necessary. It’s better than the original, it’s more natural looking than the second shot, and it’s done! The half rule can make a huge difference in keeping our slider-happy tendencies in check!

 

 

I’d love to know how this works for you, feel free to get in touch on my social media – you’ll fine me everywhere as @capturewithdave

Much love

Dave

It’s that time of the week again! I’m back! I’m Dave Williams and this week for #TravelTuesday, on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, I’m going to pick on a subject that seems to always be looming, but never fully addressed. It’s a topic that is absolutely not helping to lift any negative reputation on photographers.

With news this week floating across the internet that photographer Andreas Hvid was caught atop the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the question again has popped up: –

“What are the limits?”

I wrote before about how Russia has popularised the selfie sensation to the extent that they had to restrict certain areas and locations, owing to the risk of death and serious injury following ridiculous photographic exploits. Similarly, there has been news of people free climbing monuments and buildings for the thrill and the selfie from the top, and the whole train track thing is so ridiculous it’s basically unfathomable why people would do it. I mean, I take risks in making my photos, but the risk is calculated and manageable.

Andreas hit the headlines in Egypt having snuck around the Giza plateau and climbed to the summit of the Great Pyramid, with what he has called a “friend,” and taken a series of photographs. The images show the pair nude and in sexual poses, which quite rightly owing to the importance and sensitivity of the location, has caused fury and upset to the Egyptians.

So, what about all the other headlines that have cropped up recently? The one of the engaged couple, who died after falling from a cliff edge into a canyon, springs to mind, as do the tributes paid to a photographer who fell to his death from the top of a building. These things, as I said, are very damaging and quite rightly cause us to be looked at with a great caution when we do the not so dangerous things. The term “photographer” is also brought into question with this subject; what is a photographer? What does it mean to be a photographer? It seems that in cases like these it’s used to describe anyone who takes a photo, rather than anyone who makes a living from photography or who is known for their photography. The use of the term is damaging to those of us who do make a living this way, and it effectively brings us into disrepute. To that end, my personal message to Hvid and anyone else who discredits photographers by climbing national monuments, scaling tall buildings, cranes, posing on train tracks, or overhanging cliff edges, is this: –

You are not a photographer, you are not acting as a photographer, and you are damaging the industry in which I make my living. Your acts of clowning and fooling around are damaging my reputation and my livelihood, and your behaviour is immature and utterly ridiculous. 

To take a risk that is calculated, manageable, and in the interests of art is one thing, but to push that risk beyond any control and literally put your life on the line is quite another.

Respect the industry and know the limits.

Much love

Dave

Hello, and welcome! It’s #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, which of course means that I, Dave Williams, am here, in your face, loud and proud with some industry nuggets of gold to share with you!

First off, news time:

Workshop – If you’re up for a workshop in Iceland, I’ll be running one this summer alongside my brother from another mother, Peter Treadway. Keep your eyes peeled over on my social media (@capturewithdave) for more info!

Webinar – On January 5th, on the amazing Photoshop and Photography Facebook Group, I’ll be hosting a webinar all about drones and drone photography. It’ll go live at 9 p.m. UK time, 4 p.m. EST, and 1 p.m. PST.

Photowalks – Following the awesome time we all had in London on our recent photowalk, it is my intention to run more! The good folks at BlackRapid thought this was a brilliant idea, and they’ve thrown a whole bunch of straps my way to give away at future photowalks. So, if you’re in London (or willing to get there), watch my social for more walks!

Seminar – Sorry to those of you in the USA and the rest of the world, but here’s another UK one: – In the new year, I’ll be hosting a seminar at the Sim Imaging gallery in Hatfield, Herts, and it’d be great to have you there! Again, details will go live over on my social.

So, the blog!

There are Christmas markets dotted throughout the world right now and they bring an amazing atmosphere, beautiful decorations, and sparkly lights.

The best time to take Christmas photos is during the hours of darkness when the decorations and displays are enticing and almost magical. I highly recommend that you get out and find a Christmas market or two, and get some awesome shots yourself!

Now, you and I know that rules are meant to be broken, so I’ll start with a rule-breaking example from Riga, Latvia. Christmas photos may be best at night, but that doesn’t mean they must be taken at night. Take a look: –

 

 

 

But, when we are shooting the Christmas markets and decorations at night, we need to consider the light and the action, as well as the detail.

 

 

Capturing those actions is a great opportunity to play with long exposures. With this giant Ferris wheel, I’ve taken an exposure of a few seconds to capture the movement in a very slight trail of light. It’s only possible to do this with a solid base, such as a tripod or Platypod, but carrying that extra piece of kit with you is totally worth it when you see the results.

 

 

This shot is inside the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, Germany. When shooting a location at Christmas it’s worth incorporating the location to give the viewer a sense of place. In this image, I’ve got that hint of Christmas from the tree in view, just slightly tucked away, adding a little festivity to an otherwise ordinary scene.

 

 

At the other extreme, you can go full-on Christmas mode! In this shot, I’ve filled the entire frame with two trees, one foreground and one background element, giving the viewer an overwhelming yet beautiful feel for the season.

 

 

Going back to the sense of place, this time the situation is reversed in that the place becomes part of the Christmas scene, rather than the other way around. Christmas has clearly taken over here and overcome its surroundings, but highlighting those surroundings in amongst the action makes for a winning shot.

So, now that the Christmas holiday season has landed, spreading joy, peace on earth, and goodwill to all men, etc., etc., get out there with your camera and capture it!

Much love

Dave

Hello, hello, hello, and welcome! It’s #TravelTuesday here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider so I, Dave Williams, am here for you! Yes, that’s right, for you! Every week, right here, I try to either get your cogs turning or share something to make your life a little easier or a little better. (And, it’s no easy task, let me tell you!) But, first off, I have a little story to share with you about an encounter I had with a fox, during which I learned exactly what is and what isn’t covered by the warranty offered by BlackRapid—you can read that here. Moving on, however, let me tell you what I came here to tell you!

The punchy title, above, doesn’t give a lot away really, does it? I tend to do that. I’m not going to say ‘clickbait,’ but yeah, you know. Here’s exactly what I’m going to show you:

Using Adobe Spark Post, it’s really simple to bring one of your iPhone Live Photos to life as a video to easily share anywhere. It’s so easy it’s actually going to make for a really, really short post (so I may have to drag it out somewhat ;-).

Here’s what I’ll show you how to do (I’ve helpfully embedded the file here, as well as provided a link to it separately, just in case you have a disastrous browser situation because I’m nice like that. Anyway, what was I saying about padding this out a little?):

 

 

First up, we need to launch the Adobe Spark Post app on an iPhone. Within the app, get a new project up and running.

Next, let’s add a photo. By selecting a photo already present in the post, or by using the Add Image option, select Photo Library from the list and find the Live Photo in your Gallery.

 

When adding the photo you’ll get the option seen here to select either the Photo or the Live Photo. Let’s choose Live Photo.

 

 

When the entire post is complete, hit Share in the upper-right corner, then select Video rather than Image.

 

 

This will output the post as a short video made up from the sequence of shots captured when you shot your Live Photo on your iPhone, and it’s a great way to share it easily. The file I shared with you is 3.9mb and is in MP4 format. :)

I hope you enjoy trying this method!

Adobe Spark Post is available in the Adobe CC Photography Plan and there’s a bunch of information about the Adobe Spark suite on KelbyOne.com.

Much love,

Dave

#TravelTuesday has come around again, and right here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider that means one thing… Dave’s here! Aren’t you lucky, lucky people! I’m Dave Williams and I’m a travel photographer, writer and educator from the UK, and I’ve got a little idea for you to try out.

First off, better late than never, Peter Treadway and I led a photowalk in London this past Sunday. We used to run them quite frequently, and this is our very late attempt at tagging on to the Worldwide Photowalk. With thanks to KelbyOnePlatypodBlackRapid, and Lonely Planet, we gave away some awesome prizes on the day, and we had an amazing yoga model come along too, who I couldn’t help but go head to her with (literally) for a crow-off!

 

 

Thanks to everyone who came along! Peter and I had a great time, and if you’re on our side of the pond keep an eye on our social media for the next one!

But, moving on, this week I want to plant a little idea in your mind for a winter challenge. A couple of years ago I was experimenting with reversing rings and I made some photos of snowflakes. It’s so simple to do it, but so difficult getting your head around all the intricate complexities of what’s happening to your glass with this technique. Here’s on example of what you can achieve, before I tell you how to achieve it: –

 

 

This was done with a reversing ring, and the lenses involved were a 50mm prime mounted backwards in front of a 28-300mm lens. A reversing ring is an inexpensive ring which has two threads, allowing you to mount the front ends of two lenses together and basically making a magnifying glass. I won’t go into too much detail on it, but I want to share some quick tips with you if you’re willing to take on the challenge and give this a go!

Firstly, the focal plane becomes insanely narrow so finding focus is hard work. You need to be absolutely rock-steady to keep everything in focus as best as possible, perhaps by mounting your gear onto a Platypod.

Secondly, there’s a lot of glass between the sensor and the subject, with a lot of lost light! You need to shoot with a higher than normal ISO, and the reversed front lens needs to have its aperture ring fixed open to maximise on the light. An extra source of light will help you, too!

Thirdly, because everything is reversed it’ll take a minute to find your feet and figure out what action is having what affect on your image. Some things work regularly, and some things work totally counter-intuitively, so give yourself plenty of time to familiarise yourself with cause and affect of all of your movements – they’re not always going to be what you expect! I’ll leave you to figure that out ;)

And finally, if you’re shooting snowflakes like I did in this example, act fast! Those little shards of natures beauty will melt faster than you’d believe. Literally, blink and you miss it. If you’re holding the front of your lens for stabilisation the heat from your hand will potentially melt your subject. Just keep that in mind!

 

 

So, challenge accepted? I’d love to see what your imagination creates with a reversing ring, and I’d love to see how you can handle the mind-frazzling flux of everything you thought you knew about focus and light that drastically changes when you mount a lens backwards! Show me what you come up with! I’m @capturewithdave on all platforms and I can ‘t wait to see what you make.

Until next week

 

Much love

Dave

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