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It’s #TravelTuesday again and I, Dave Williams, am here! You didn’t think I’d skip the world’s favourite photography blog just because I’m full-time on the road now, did you? On that note, I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone that tuned in to the premiere episode of Due North on YouTube on Sunday. I promise my videos will improve – I’ve just picked up Premiere Pro and the Adobe magicians have pointed me in the right direction.

I am now officially heading north and my first proper night was spent at the Scottish border. I woke up to a beautiful purple and pink sky, and all the vibes I needed to put my mind in the right place were there. Exploring and simultaneously sharing is what I absolutely love to do. Everything else that comes with it could be considered a by-product. After I captured a few shots of my sleeping spot, I headed towards Kielder Forest because there’s one shot I wanted to get. It’s that shot that I’m here to tell you all about.

In Kielder Forest, there are several art installations. This particular one is called the Nick Shelter, at Blakehope Nick on Forest Drive in Kielder Forest, UK. The reason I wanted to shoot it is all down to having seen a friend’s shot taken there.

Rita the Ranger

I wanted the shot. It hit the list the moment I saw it and I wanted it. In photography, we’re concerned about copyright and other infringements, but we learn a lot by copying. It’s all summed up quite nicely in Glyn Dewis’ book, Shoot Like a Thief, which is a great resource for learning methods, along with the rest of his books.

I knew I’d learn something and I knew it would be worth my while in going and shooting this location with Kofifernweh in the centre of the frame, so I banked the image my friend took and didn’t look at it again. I headed out to Kielder Forest and found the sculpture, lined the van up, and took my shot. Here’s what I ended up with: –

It’s not perfect, but it’s mine. I love the concentric pattern of the pentagonal slats that form this sculpture, and the handy little parking spot across the road at the end is almost asking to be used for photos.

So there it is. My advice to you all this week is to find a photo you love and copy it! Add your own style, your own ideas, your own signature moves, but take inspiration from the work of others and use it to better yourself.

Thank you Duncan for allowing me to show your image of Rita the Ranger!

Much love
Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here once more with something from the world of travel photography. This week is all about gear but first of all, I hope you all enjoyed last nights Facebook outage! I had a wonderful time on Twitter.

Let’s talk tech. I want to preface this blog by highlighting this Facebook post: –

I’ve anonymised it and I haven’t included the image, which was a lovely shot of a USAF F-15 from RAF Lakenheath. But here’s my problem. Imagine the post looked like this instead: –

Dave: That’s a lovely stir fry! What wok do you use?

Scott: Many thank. It’s an older Calphalon Signature 12-inch.

You see my point without me having to elaborate, right? What is it about us as photographers that makes us so obsessed with gear, and when does it actually matter?

I’m trying to learn 360 photography at the moment and for that, it matters. I could use any camera and shoot in every direction from one fixed point, then load the images into Adobe Photoshop and stitch them into a sphere. Or I could use a 360 camera and just get it done in one go. That’s an example of when gear matters. It isn’t the end of the world – I could’ve worked without it – but it helped me a lot having a 360 camera.

An emerging wedding photographer looking to really blow their bokeh might be looking to get a lens with a wider aperture. It’ll cost more than other lenses, it’s a good addition to the kit bag, but ultimately that photographer could continue using a low aperture lens that they already own.

I guess it’s all about what we want versus what we need. What is going to make our life easier? What is going to make our job easier?

But let’s get back on track. The photo was taken by the camera; I’ll take the opportunity to point that out right now before anyone raises any technicalities. But who actually took the photo? Who observed the scene, gauged the light, noted the size, speed, shape of the approaching subject, ensured the correct lens was attached, dialled in the settings, panned with the motion, processed the image and uploaded it to Facebook? It wasn’t the Fuji X-Pro 2, it was ‘M’.

When adding gear to your arsenal, take a moment to consider what value it actually brings. If it makes your life easier, adds value, or it makes you look cool, go for it. But remember, the gear isn’t making the photos, you are.

Much love

Dave

It’s a tiny, nearly flat bubble level that sits right on your camera’s hot shoe mount for getting your horizon lines straight (something a lot of folks struggle with).

I got this a couple of years ago and I love it. I love that it’s so small, and such a great deal, and I can just leave in sitting right there in my hot shoe all the time (well, at least until I need to put a flash transmitter up there).

Here’s how it looks on your hot shoe (below)

Here’s a link to it at B&H Photo.

It’s a great deal for the money, and it makes a great gift. Here’s wishing you a fantastic Monday!

-Scott

P.S. We announced “The Portrait Photography Conference” last Friday, and it is taking OFF!!! Get more details and tickets right there.

We are very excited to announce a new two-day, two-training-track, all online conference November 2, 2021 with an incredible team of instructors and it’s all to help you create your best portraits yet. We just announced the conference and hundreds of photographers have already signed up, and you can can too (it’s open to everyone), and if you sign up now, you’ll save a ton with our Early Bird special ticking pricing.

Best of all – the entire conference is archived for a full year so you can catch any sessions you missed or rewatch any sessions, any time – all streamed on demand for a year That is sweet! :)

Details, the full class schedule, instructor list, and tickets are available right here. I’m super psyched, and I hope I see you at the conference!

Have a great weekend everybody! #GoBucs, and #RollTide! :)

-Scott

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back again. You lucky thing! Today I’m hiding because the fuel situation that hit the USA a short time ago has now hit us in the UK, but seemingly under a different guise. Rather than having an actual fuel shortage, we have plenty of fuel reserves, but the media are encouraging a fuel shortage by saying there is one when, in fact, there isn’t. Get it? It sucks. Rather than constantly joining lines for fuel reaching half a mile from the gas station, I decided I’ll just park up and wait.

Well, that was boring! So, what am I here for today? What have I got for you? If you own an iPhone, I have a nugget of wisdom for you. If you don’t have an iPhone, I still have a nugget of wisdom for you!

When we look at our Photos app on our iPhone, we see a grid of square images, which really isn’t helpful a lot of the time. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be familiar with the gamble of whether a photo was taken in portrait or landscape orientation. We can, however, show the actual orientation of the photos and remove the square grid, just like this:

I don’t like the square view and it helps, for so many reasons, to see the actual orientation of the images in my camera roll. To turn this on, simply tap the three dots in the top right and select ‘Aspect Ratio Grid’.

It’s as simple as that!

Here’s the thing though – you may be wondering why I don’t like seeing the square grid and why I can’t remember which orientation I took a photo in, and it’s because…

I have gotten into the habit of taking most photos in both portrait and landscape orientation. I recommend this to you, too. When we shoot tall and wide, we have all bases covered for our image uses. We may print, which we’d likely want to do with the side shot. We may want to post to social, which we’d likely want to do with the tall image to maximise onscreen real-estate. We may also change our mind after the fact and prefer the opposite orientation to that which we preferred when we took the shot. There are so many reasons to shoot both tall and wide, and if we can easily differentiate between them in our camera roll, we save ourselves the time and hassle of choosing the wrong one.

And with that, I’m going to continue hiding… until next week!

Much love

Dave

We kick off every Photoshop World Conference with a movie that runs before the opening keynote, and it sets the tone for the rest of the conference. Creating these silly Photoshop-related mini movies is a tradition of ours, and with all the recent private space launches, we decided to go with a space launch theme (it didn’t hurt having Erik Kuna on the creative team). So without further ado, I present the Oscar-worthy acting, and James Cameron style production that is…the Photoshop World Opening Keynote Movie:

Hope that helped kick off your week right (or wrong?)

Cheers,

-Scott

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