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Artistic Landscape Panoramas with Steve Hansen
Journey to Point Reyes National Seashore with Steve Hansen to master the artistic landscape panorama. From sunrise to sunset, Steve demonstrates the techniques he uses to create stunning high resolution panoramic photos. In this class you’ll learn what gear is required, how to seek out good panoramic subject matter, techniques for shooting two-image vertical panoramas, how to capture HDR panoramas, how to shoot for focus stacking, how to overcome stitching errors, how to post process various types of panoramic photos, and so much more! By the end of the class you’ll have all the expertise needed to head out into all kinds of light to start practicing the technical aspects of landscape panoramic photography.

In Case You Missed It
Explore along with professional photographer Moose Peterson during his first visit to Monument Valley. Moose walks through his camera gear and shooting strategies to set up for a successful shot. He walks through post-production for editing images and the entire workflow of setting up a time-lapse video. Follow Moose as he photographs one of the most impressive landscapes in America. This class is perfect for anyone interested in editing landscape photography and learning time-lapse.

Love and awe.

Two of my favorite concepts in all of art and Life itself.

Oh, also pithy. I freakin’ love that word. It means: “a language or style that is concise and forcefully expressive.” Yeah, pithy is cool. And fun to say!

Scott Kelby… thank you for providing a place for all three of my favorite things to thrive in uncountable ways. And I don’t just mean for me – I mean for everyone who loves photography and learning. You are indeed a force of nature for Good.

BTW… I still get such positive comments about this episode of “The Chat” (a show I self-produced a few years ago, just for fun), from all the way back in 2014, I wanted to re-share it here. It was a revelation…

Which brings us in perfect full-circle manner back to Love and Awe; two of the most powerful creative forces in the universe.

Photography is Love Made Visible.
That’s a statement, isn’t it? I could also say that “Art” is love made visible. Or creativity, period – if it results in something that is actually visible.

In my opinion, if you want to take a beautiful, defining image that speaks from your soul, you have to fall in love with it. Madly, truly, deeply in love.

A picture is a poem without words.
-Horace

People sometimes think I’m a little “woo-woo” about all this. They (mistakenly) think I don’t focus on the technical aspects of photography.

Mais non!

At a certain point in my life, I got busy and focused so MUCH on the technical aspects of my photography that it simply doesn’t lead the show anymore. Sufficiently internalized, technique becomes like muscle memory in photography, just as it does in sports. It’s just there, like a car with a full tank of gas, engine humming, waiting to see where to next. Which, in turn, frees you to focus upon the feeling, vision or the message of your art. I call it: Technique in Service of Vision.

Of course,  if a new technique were to present itself that I really wanted to master, then I’d get busy! I’d practice it, repeat it, over and over, till it was embedded into my nervous system, so that I could speak fluently in its language without thinking about it. Only then could I spontaneously create with it.

Mastering technique so you can go do cool stuff with it was basic to every sport and artistic discipline I’ve done to a high level, whether it was acting, singing, figure skating, equestrian sports, downhill skiing, voiceovers. I’m a great believer in “technique will set you free” in most disciplines. But only if it’s set into its proper place; which is “in service of” performing said discipline in a signature fashion – and not as an end unto itself.

Here’s how I see it…  (more…)

#TravelTuesday at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider means one thing: I’m here! I’m Dave Williams, a travel photographer and writer from the UK. I like long walks, I can spin a pen around my thumb, I can partially dislocate my jaw to fit more food in my face, and I have a disturbingly good memory for anything I’m told except for your name! Enough about me, though. Let’s talk about self-promotion online!

There’s a fine line in the creative industry when it comes to self-promotion, particularly with respect to social media. It kind of relates to giving away too much, such as with pricing. A lot of people who find us on social media and online searches will be looking for prices because projects are more often than not determined by budget rather than the actual content. It’s from this, of course, that the photographer, in particular, wants to respond to the question, “How much is it?” with, “What’s your budget?

 

 

Here’s the thing, though: even with a budget-driven approach, that content and its quality is usually the first thing noticed in either case. It’s important, therefore, to focus properly on marketing, social media, and the larger umbrella of “shameless self-promotion.”

Getting that right is tricky. It brings to mind a little nugget of wisdom I was told by Glyn Dewis a few years ago. He said to me, “Don’t take yourself too seriously, but take what you do seriously.” It makes me think of being at school and being told that nobody likes a show-off!

Striking a balance between what is productive and what is destructive is the trick. It’s certainly true that engagement leads to reciprocated engagement, but you have to give people something to engage with if that’s the aim. It’s also true to say that you don’t always need to post something positive to get that engagement. In fact, being overly positive can potentially lead to destructive consequences and criticism. The thing is, people like to feel like they know something. If you feed information, it can be positive and be shared, which means you yourself are being shared.  Also worth noting is that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes. Leading on from people liking to feel like they know something if you make a simple mistake, the swathe of people wanting to point it out and correct it will, itself, drive engagement to the post.

There are some pretty stubborn people out there using their social media to observe rather than promote, and to those people, I say this: There is always going to be someone out there working harder than you and there is always going to be someone out there better than you. If you’re the one standing out from the crowd on social media or blogs, you’re the one who’s going to get the next gig because you’ve made yourself noticed. The risk of being told something you don’t like isn’t something worth considering. If you stand out, you face being criticised as a result of having yourself and your work examined by an army of keyboard warriors, but that risk is negligible against the potential gains. In this industry, we face challenges and this is just one of them. Marketing yourself effectively and efficiently is an art. Your knowledge, art, brand, experience, and YOU are things you should be marketing to grab that next client or agency, and with a little practice and a little commitment this shameless self-promotion will pay off.

Some ideas: 

  • Team up on Instagram and provide content for larger accounts—paid or unpaid, it leads to engagement, which leads to cold, hard, cash! I’ve done Instagram takeovers and projects with KelbyOne, Platypod, Lonely Planet, Extreme Iceland, and a few others. It ALWAYS generates something.
  • Show people behind the scenes. It gives away some of the secrets, and people absolutely love that!
  • Write for blogs to get your name spread further. There are plenty of blogs, particularly those of the products you use, who are willing to feature a good story if you just dig around a little and find the right person to send it to.
  • Tag accounts relevant to a social media post. For example, tag a product you used to take the shot or the location in which you made the image. Get their attention!

 

 

A behind the scenes shot can be anything from a complex look at a studio setup explaining the whats, wheres, and whys, or it can simply be a selfie with an albino kangaroo you’d been shooting just outside of Melbourne, Australia! People love to talk about themselves, and other people love to hear about it! There’s a reason selfies are such a big deal!

You may be the world’s best photographer, but you won’t be getting work if nobody can see just how amazing you are. Generally, we create our work out of a passion for our art rather than a thirst for profit, and that is sometimes what hinders this selfless self-promotion we need to be getting involved with. Work out which platforms you want to be using, be it Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, 500px, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google+, whichever, and start being consistent with it. Work out when your followers are more likely to engage, and give them something to engage with. Put your marketing hat on and sell yourself. Show people behind the scenes. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll thank me. ;)

Much love

Dave

  • Amecameca, Mexico
  • Quchan, Iran
  • Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, USA
  • Naga, Bicol, Philippines
  • Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  • Kanpur, UP, India
  • Cebu City, Philippines
  • Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province, Iran
  • Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • Muratpasa, Antalya, Turkey
  • Ruston, Washington, USA

These are all cities that recently added photo walks as part of my 11th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk (sponsored by the awesome folks at Canon USA).

We are just 19-days away from the walk on Saturday, October 6th
Whoo hoo, it’s gettin’ close! We have already approved leaders in over 1,000 walks in cities around the world, and nearly 800 of them are already online for you to join a walk near you!

To find out if there’s a walk near you, click here. 

Lots of fun, and new friends, and new photos await. The photo walk is free, and you might win some amazing prizes if you want to submit an image to the photo contest (totally optional, but entry is free, too). Grab a group of your friends and sign up to be a part of the walk, today! :)

I’m off to Rome, Italy for my travel photography workshop…
But I’ll be thinking about you all (not really). ;-)

Have a great week, and enjoy that amazing pasta (oh, s0rry — me again). ;-)

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Even though I’m not here this week, we recorded a special episode of The Grid on Friday that will air on Wednesday at its normal time. Our topic is “How to not get suckered when picking out your next camera.” 

 

If you shoot long exposure photography with your DSLR, this tip is for you, because one of the things you have to deal with (especially with exposures longer than 1-minute) is “light leak.” That’s light that enters your camera through your viewfinder during long exposures and it can totally mess up your shot. So, you need a way to cover that viewfinder completely, and that’s the tip — you probably didn’t realize that you already have an accessory that’s actually made for that very thing — covering your viewfinder to keep out any extraneous light. 

Now that you know you probably have this “eyepiece cover,” where do you find it? They come with most DSLRs, but if you’re a Canon user start by looking on your camera strap. See that little rubber piece attached to it that you never knew what it was for? That’s it — that’s your eyepiece cover. (well, it’s there on most Canon camera straps). You just pop off the viewfinder cover (on mine, you just press up from the bottom and it pops off), and then you take that part of your camera strap and just slide it right over your viewfinder opening (you don’t take it off the strap — this will make more sense when you try it yourself). When you’re done with the shot; pop off the rubber cover; snap the eyepiece cover back on, and you’re done. That’s it — it’s always with you, and takes just 5-seconds to use. 

Here (below) is a great youtube video from ZY Productions that shows how this cover works (and I have it set to start right where he shows how it’s done). This will help a lot.

Note: Some high-end DSLRs, like my Canon 1Dx, and the Nikon D3, D4, and so on, have an “eyepiece shutter” which is a level you engage and it literally covers the viewfinder for you. 

Nikon Users: Your accessory for covering the eyepiece on your DSLR is called the Nikon DK-5 Eyepiece Shield (shown above), and it’s probably still in the box from when you bought your camera, but if you can’t find yours, you can pick up a replacement from B&H Photo — they’re only $3.50

Sony shooters or any camera brand the doesn’t have a custom-made eyepiece cover: you can use a piece of gaffers tape (which is what I did before I learned this tip). I just wrapped a long piece of gaffer’s tape around my tripod’s leg (above where they expand and collapse), and then when I need a piece to cover my viewfinder, I would just tear a little piece from that leg, and boom — done. 

Hope you found that helpful. :)

We’re less than a month away from the Worldwide Photo Walk
There are nearly 800 walks in cities all over the world – if you haven’t signed up to join a free photo walk near you (it’s Saturday, October 6, 2018), then head over to worldwidephotowalk.com and click the “Find a Walk” button. Lots of fun, awesome prizes, and a chance to make friends and make some cool pictures. 

Have a great weekend, everybody – I’ll catch ya here on Monday. :)

Best, 

-Scott

Pro Quality Headshots Using A Simple Setup with Kristi Sherk
Learn how to create pro-level headshots with with Kristi Sherk! You may know Kristi as an amazing retoucher, but corporate headshots are a large part of her business. In the first part of this class Kristi takes you through her lighting setup, teaches you how to prepare for the shoot with the goal of saving you time in post production, how to coach your subjects, and how she reviews the shoot with the client to make the final selects. The second part of class is all about how to deal with some of the more problematic retouching situations you might encounter, such as reflections on glasses or reducing wrinkles on clothing. Kristi is all about saving you time in post production, so she wraps up the class with a look at actions and plug-ins you can leverage in your workflow.

In Case You Missed It
Join Kristina Sherk from Shark Pixel for an entire class dedicated to teaching you the best methods for retouching eyes using Photoshop. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the first things viewers connect with when looking at your photographs. Correctly retouching eyes, without going overboard, is one of the most crucial aspects of portrait retouching, and can make or break a photo. In this class you’ll learn all aspects of eye retouching, including under the eyes, opening the eyes, whitening, adding lashes, exaggerating color, improving catchlights, and more. By the end of the class you’ll have a new bundle of tools, tips, and techniques for improving your retouching skills, as well as a free set of brushes you can download and use.

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