Posts By David Williams

On behalf of Team Epic I, Dave Williams, would like to tell the world that the Epic Photography Podcast has officially become a ‘thing’ and we’re geared up to fire a whole pile of epic content at you from a lineup of rotating hosts with a wealth of experience in photography and the creative industry.

The hosts are: –

Cathy Baitson, Dave Williams, Erik Kuna, Fernando Santos, Gilmar Smith, Mimo Meidany, Peter Treadway, Roberto Pisconti, Scott Kelby, Sian Elizabeth, and Stephanie Richer

Epic Guests

This is the second podcast I’ve hosted and I’d love to share what goes on behind the scenes of a podcast for today’s guest post. I’ll begin by explaining that our podcast is one of a kind in that I don’t know of any other show out there that features such a large cast of hosts on rotation. This is an amazing thing for the variety and quality of the content we can deliver, in that there is unlikely to be any ‘staleness’ when it comes to the topics and opinions we cover.

I feel like tackling the risk of stale, boring content is huge to ensure the success of this venture. As a team our aim is to give our readers a decent dose of educational and informative information in each episode, mixed in amongst inspirational and entertaining discussion.

Organising and scheduling a weekly podcast with different combinations of hosts, each with their own life and business spread throughout various time zones is a huge challenge. Perhaps much larger than we anticipated when we first broached the idea of a podcast. Through those challenges we are persevering and our aim remains as it was from the start: to educate and inspire. We carefully plan each episode based on the value each host provides, as well as their collective value as a small group. The amazing thing about this podcast is that we can put together these valuable little teams from the larger, encompassing Team Epic.

If we were to talk about portraits, for instance, we can put Gilmar and Sian together for an amazing discussion. For long exposures, Peter and Mimo are an absolute mine of information. Stephanie and Cathy can lay down more information about wedding photography than you even thought existed, whilst Scott and I can give our audience a ton of knowledge about travel photography. Put that with Pisco’s boudoir knowledge, Erik’s nightscape knowledge, Nando’s inside-out understanding of Adobe Lightroom, there’s guaranteed to be a lot to learn from Team Epic. By the way, I know I singled out just one subject for each host, but rest-assured that each of us has knowledge and experience far beyond our ‘key’ subject.

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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always! I’ll get onto today’s subject very shortly, but first, I have big news!

Instagram has restored the chronological feed it lost when it was acquired by Facebook, but the algorithm-driven feed remains by default. To get your chronological feed, click here.

Now, let’s get back to the main event: “When it clicks.” I want to explain that persevering in photography can bring great rewards.

At some point in our journey as a photographer, things start to click. The idea and the dream of taking on photography as a hobby can all come crashing down fairly quickly when we switch the dial to M and realise that the exposure triad is a whole puzzle we need to wrap our heads around. Just like the exposure triad, light is something we need to learn to see and read, as well as understanding composition, depth, and a whole plethora of other things.

Each of us learns these things in our own way and at our own pace. Understanding what our pace is, along with our individual methods of learning, will help us, but eventually, it will click. There will be times when you will feel like throwing in the towel, and that’s fine. But, please don’t. Please stick with it.

My dream was to have an image featured in National Geographic, and I see myself as being halfway there. National Geographic bought one of my images for their magazine, but my goal has shifted sideways, and now I want to write a feature. It’s a big dream, I know, but life would be fairly boring if we didn’t aim high. Having these kinds of dreams is often the reason people pick up a camera for the first time.

There’s often an overwhelming element of seriousness to photography, and it can honestly feel like all the pros we aspire to shoot like are so serious and professional when shooting. Well, let me show you what it really looks like at times: –

If you’ve ventured out on the path to becoming a photographer (rather than a camera owner) and you feel like it’s all a bit complicated, just stick at it and remember this one little piece of advice: –

Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

Photography can become a heavy subject and there are a lot of things we need to wrap our heads around when we first start out, but there isn’t a photographer out there who just picked up a camera and naturally knew what to do with it. Persevere, learn the theory, get out and practice, and eventually, it will all click into place. I promise.

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here once again! I write today from the valleys of North Wales where I intend to spend a couple of days geeking out and taking photos of low flying military aircraft (because I’m an “avgeek,” if you didn’t know) and that’s all part of my plan to reinvigorate myself by undertaking a personal project. Anyway, that’s not what I’m going to write about today. Let’s get into it.

I want to make one solid point today. As photographers, we cannot underestimate the value of constantly learning. Take a look at your favourite “all-star” photographers and you’ll find they are all constantly learning. The quest to better yourself as a photographer falls down to learning, learning, and learning. There are so many fantastic resources out there. Take a look at KelbyOne for instance and you’ll see what I can only describe as an absolute plethora of content that’s geared to providing the maximum learning opportunity to us all.

Reading books, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, reading tutorials in magazines, attending workshops and conferences, whatever method works best for you, I implore you to please do it. I mentioned that our favourite photographers are constantly striving to improve, and this is absolutely true. You’ll find Scott at workshops, and you’ll find me studying books, you’ll find Kaylee Greer diving into webcasts and literally, every KelbyOne instructor will be doing something similar because we cannot possibly teach you if we aren’t up to speed ourselves. Here are some of my favourite resources: –

I mentioned KelbyOne already, so here’s the official lowdown: KelbyOne is a collective of absolute legends in photography and retouching, and with no holds barred, they share their skills and knowledge with one aim – to help you.

YouTube channels including PixImperfect, Photoshop Training Channel, and PhotoshopCAFE are all great places to learn about how to retouch images in Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe apps. Knowing how to do this stuff after we’ve taken our photos is really valuable.

I could spend a long time telling you about books, but I’ll simply say that reading any of Scott’s many books will help with learning if old-fashioned paper is your method.

Honestly, learning is critical. Learning can be the difference between us being booked or not, or between us selling images or not. It’s the difference that’s going to help us succeed in photography, whether that’s personally or professionally, and we must never underestimate the power of learning.

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday which means I, Dave Williams, am here with something from the world of photography, and today is no different. I write today from the UK where I’m still waiting for a part to affix to my van before I head off into the sunset to create more epic content and YouTube videos.

Today I want to tell you about what are, in my opinion, the best photography podcasts. The list comes in no particular order. Let’s go!

He Shoots He Draws is up first. Presented by Dave Clayton and Alan Hess, formerly presented by Glyn Dewis, this podcast explores the viewpoints of a photographer and a graphic designer. The podcast is geared around creativity, photography, graphic design, business, and life. Readers will find straight, honest advice and opinions that come from the hosts and their guests, every week. You’ll find the podcast here.

Camera Shake Podcast is up next. Hosted by Kersten Luts and Nick Kirby, who are both photographers, videographers and musicians, this podcast brings people together and digs deep into personalities. Born out of lockdown, this podcast is aimed at two things – highlighting the hosts opinions on tech, and finding out all about famous photographers. This podcast is a great read and you can find it here.

Photography Daily is a podcast presented by Neale James who is joined by other photographers who tell their stories whilst he takes a photo walk. Neale has a broadcasting background and it’s conveyed in this high quality and entertaining podcast that also touches on tech developments and inspires photographers to get out with their camera just like Neale does while he talks to us. You can find his podcast here.

The Epic Photography Podcast is the brand new kid on the block, and it’s has a unique format. It actually launches tomorrow and I host episode one. The concept is that there are 11 hosts on rotation who bring together a wealth of experience from across the world. The hosts are Scott Kelby, Erik Kuna, Cathy Baitson, Peter Treadway, Roberto Pisconti, Fernando Santos, Sian Elizabeth, Gilmar Smith, Stephanie Richer, Mimo Meidany, and me. You can find the podcast here.

We all know that at times we can lose our creative flow and need to do something to bring it back, which usually means inspiring ourselves. Podcasts are a great way to find this inspiration whilst simultaneously learning from the experience and opinion of others. All of the podcasts I’ve mentioned above do a great job of entertaining us whilst provoking the creativity within us and inspiring us to get out and shoot. I’d love you to listen to the Epic Photography Podcast tomorrow when it launches, and to explore the others in the list if you haven’t already.

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here again! I know you’ve been looking forward to my inner thoughts all week!

I’m cutting straight to the chase this week. I’ve discovered some really interesting stuff about Instagram, and I want to share it with you all. A few weeks back I posted a poll on my Instagram story – here’s what that looked like: –

As you can see, an overwhelming majority of people, at just over 10:1, want to see photos on their Instagram feed rather than video. I’m not going to get tied up with the metrics – this is a poll of my 37k followers, not of the entire populous, and although it’s not necessarily too accurate it certainly makes a point in itself.

The reason I posted that poll is because there’s been a lot said lately about how Instagram is focusing on Reels, which are videos of up to sixty seconds. These Reels differ from normal posts in that they feature in their own feed, as well as the normal feed. I decided to conduct an experiment, and the results are fairly loud.

I’ve been shooting short, portrait oriented video on my iPhone while I’ve been out on my photographic adventures. I took a bunch of these short videos and, along with overlaid music, I posted them to Instagram Reels. Take a look at what happened immediately afterwards: –

Yep – this is what Instagram used to look like! When I started taking Instagram seriously as a photographer and influencer, this happened every time I posted a photo. A bunch of likes, comments, and new followers. It was every time I posted, and I had so many notifications from Instagram that I had to switch the notifications off.

Since then, Facebook bought Instagram. A major part of them putting their ‘stamp’ on it and monetising it for their profits involved the algorithm. Ever since then I, and many other photographers and influencers, have seen a noticeable decline in engagement on Instagram. Posting Reels has made my notifications look like they used to look, so it’s definitely true that Instagram is focused on Reels and video content.

That’s my experiment, and that’s what I wanted to share with you today. Take from it what you will. And, until next week…

much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always. Not only is it Travel Tuesday, but it’s also that strange time of year when the weather isn’t quite sure what it’s supposed to be doing. Today I want to touch on exactly that.

Countless times we all, as photographers, have found ourselves staring through windows, willing the weather to change, but it can often be the case that bad weather makes good photos. I’m going to give you three reasons why.

Clouds create drama

Clouds can be moody and sinister, which is often a perfect backdrop to landscape and cityscape photos, both in colour and in black and white. The mystery created by clouds, in that they hide elements of a scene, is something that we can use to entice viewers into our image. Given the option of a clear, blue sky, or a dramatic sky filled with cloud, I’ll take the clouds every time.

It’s also worth shooting cloud-filled skies and collecting a bank of images to use with Adobe’s Sky Replacement feature, which will be particularly helpful to composite into images shot in weather that’s ‘too good’.

Snow is magical

Even outside of the context of a typical ‘winter wonderland’, snow is captivating and enchanting. A simply, monotone scene is interesting. The weather is terrible, but combining the snow with the previously mentioned clouds gives us something not-often seen.

Snow is something that isn’t enjoyed by all, so those who live in places where snow doesn’t fall are particularly drawn to images depicting it in various forms. Snow photos can be easily manipulated to become soft and dreamy, but they can also be made rugged and harsh. Get your snow boots on and get out!

Wet and windy wins

Doesn’t everything look awesome when it’s shiny after a rain storm? The moments right after or right before a storm, in terms of the wind creating dramatic cloud and the rain creating reflections on every surface, are ideal for photography. The colours of sunset combined with the lights of New York City, all shining on the wet streets, made this photo so much better than if it were dry.

Bad weather really does make good photography. At this time of year when things are changing, often stuck in some kind of limbo as we exit winter in the northern hemisphere, there will be many opportunities to pick up your camera and get outside.

Until next week…

Much love
Dave

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