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Hello one and all! It’s #TravelTuesday with me, Dave Williams, here at ScottKelby.com where Scott gets the day off and I jump in to lay down something from the world of photography, Photoshop, travel, and life! Today, it’s all about photography with a little bit of travel – I want to show you something awesome I found recently in Montenegro.

Arizona has Horseshoe Bend at the edge of the Grand Canyon, but it turns out Montenegro has its own, green version. Pavlova Strana is a viewpoint way above the horseshoe bend of the Rijeka Crnojevica River, meandering through to Lake Skadar. Last week, I had a little road trip shooting around Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro and this viewpoint was one of my stops.

Now, there’s a whole load of people out there telling us that we should be shooting at sunrise and sunset, but if we do it right, we can get some great images in the bright, midday sun as well. Don’t believe me? Well, one method we can employ is the sunny 16 rule. What this means, in short, is that we should set up a balanced exposure with an aperture of f/16 and we will have a well-exposed image.

With our aperture set at f/16, we simply need a shutter speed that is the inverse of the ISO. If we are at ISO 100, we need a shutter speed of 1/100th. If we’re at ISO 200, we need to shoot a shutter speed of 1/200th. It’s as simple as that!

The thing is, as with all the rules, the rules are there as a guideline. If we break away from golden hour, be it because we simply cannot be at a certain location then or for any other reason, we can switch to the sunny 16 rule to effectively capture good images in bright sunshine. The sunny 16 rule tricks your camera, which is in fact falling for a trick in the first place. Here’s the secret: your camera is being tricked into metering reflected light which, in bright sunlight, causes it to read the scene incorrectly because of harsh highlights and shadows. This means it reads the scene as being brighter or darker than it actually is. We’re bypassing that system with the sunny 16 rule, balancing the scene much better than relying on metering at smaller apertures in such lighting conditions.

If we learn to use the sunny 16 rule, creating balanced images in bright, midday sunlight can be so much easier. I’m glad to have helped!

Much love

Dave

I’ve been gone for 10-days on a family vacation with the kids to Tokyo. Incredible trip! Had an absolute ball, and the kids loved it probably more than any family trip ever. I didn’t take a lot of photos, but I got a few here and there. I haven’t had a chance to process them all, and get a SparkPage up for them yet, but hopefully soon, and I’ll post a link here.

I saw where Canon officially announced a new Canon 24-240mm RF mount lens for their new mirrorless line of cameras — B&H is taking pre-orders and I’m ordering mine this week. After lugging a 70-200mm around Tokyo for 10 days, I’m ready for one lens that does it all for travel. The price is right, too! (Supposed to be around $899). Link to it at B&H.

Who do I get a text from who is also in Tokyo at the same time? Peter Hurley! Small world, right? He was there for a sailing event, but he was arriving just as we were heading out so we didn’t get a chance to meet up. I can’t imagine what a hoot it would have been for our families to meet up for Karaoke. Next time for sure.

I’m off to Chicago and the Detroit area this week with my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” seminar, and I saw where we’ve got over 600 photographers already signed up to come on out. Wednesday is Chicago, Thursday we’re in Livonia, Michigan — it’s not too late to come spend the day with me. Ticket and details here. Next month I’m coming to Phildelphia and Boston. Come on out.

Ya know what happens when you pack your camera gear in a rush? You wind up forgetting stuff (in my case, my 10-stop ND filter), so I wound up taking a trip to a camera store in Tokyo, only to find out later (after I bought an ND), that I didn’t forget it after all — I just misplaced it, and as it turned out I didn’t wind up using an ND the whole trip anyway. So…I guess now I have yet another back-up 10-stop ND filter for no reason. Lesson learned.

I’m two episodes behind on ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ so don’t tell me what happened on last night’s episode. Or the week before, or the Sunday before that. Same with Handmaid’s Tale.

Photoshop World Las Vegas this August is really shaping up to be a great show. I’m excited to announce a special after-hours event called “An Evening with Joe McNally” that I know is going to be the talk of the conference. What an incredible opportunity to learn from, and meet, a living legend in our industry. Also, lots of your favorite instructors are back in for Vegas — everybody from Moose Peterson to Matt Kloskowski, Dave Cross to Serge Ramelli, Robert Valenzuela to Joel Grimes, Frank Doorhof, and more. Tickets and details right here.

From another living legend: Jay Maisel:“Stephen Wilkes’ film, Jay Myself, is opening at the Film Forum in NYC on July 31. Stephen & Jay will do a Q&A at the following shows:

  • Wednesday, July 31, 7:45 show
  • Thursday, August 1, 7:45 show
  • Friday, August 2, 7:45 show
  • Saturday, August 3, 6:00 show 
  • Sunday, August 4, 4:10 show 
  • Sunday, August 4, 6:00 show

The link to buy tickets at Film Forum is right here. Please tell, or bring, your friends and family. We hope to see you there. Here’s the official trailer:

Los Angeles Opening: The film will be opening in LA at the Laemmle Royal theater beginning August 16. Stephen and Bette will be there through the 18th to do Q&A. Here’s the link to buy tickets at the Royal:

I’m still a bit jet-lagged, so I’m gonna bounce, but thanks for stopping by today, and don’t forget to catch “Travel Tuesday with Dave” here tomorrow. He’s always got some great stuff. It’s good to be back home, and back at work. We missed the doggos a lot, too. :)

Cheers,

-Scott


Advanced Color Grading to Create Mood & Drama with Unmesh Dinda

Master the art of color grading your photos with Unmesh Dinda! In this class you’ll learn practical steps you can apply to your photographs in a variety of ways and to achieve dramatic and moody results. You’ll learn how to color grade using gradient maps, curves, selective color adjustments, look up tables, and more. Unmesh even teaches you techniques for incorporating film-like grain, overlays, light flares, and spot light effects to take your creativity and color grading to new heights.



In Case You Missed It: Jaw-Dropping, Heart-Stopping, Eye-Popping Photoshop Effects

Join Unmesh Dinda and take your Photoshop skills to the next level! This class is jam-packed with tricks and techniques that will make your jaw drop. You’ll learn how to retouch any surface without damaging texture, how to selectively apply blur for dramatic effect, how to scale a photo without damaging the main subject, how to automate actions to work faster, how to gain unlimited filters through the Gradient Map, and so much more. Unmesh has a great knack for making complicated techniques simple and approachable, and he even provides files for you to download and practice with as you learn. By this end of the class these lessons will serve as a go-to reference to come back to anytime you need a refresher.

Roberto Valenzuela will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see him in person!

Behind The Shot: A Look Into My Process

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from international workshops, along with the stories and techniques behind them. I’m also including the EXIF data of each photo so you can see my settings. Enjoy!

Behind the Shot: Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam: Roberto Valenzuela

Female model, Yen, posing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Roberto Valenzuela.
Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 50 mm | Exposure: 1/100; f/3.5; ISO 400 | Flash: 2 Profoto B10 flashes used

During the shoot with model Yen, it began to rain. We were stuck in a little neighborhood in the middle of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. While we waited for the rain to recede, I was inspired by the old world look of the neighborhood in front of me. To add to the nostalgia of the scene, I used a technique I created called “Flash Flare,” where a flash is inches from the lens pointed right at the lens to hit the sensor.

BTS Video by: Tyler Austin

Because I wanted to add to the old world feel of this place, I added a ½ CTO filter to the light to give it an “In Camera” vintage look. I posed the model as if she was taking a stroll around her neighborhood. Another flash was used to illuminate the model.  The officer on the motorcycle to the right, contributes beautifully to the cinematic old world feel of the scene.

Behind the Shot: Hanoi Vietnam

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 24-105mm F4 L USM |
Focal Length: 24 mm | Exposure: 1/50; f/3.5; ISO 800 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used

This photograph was created with quite a bit of luck. The model Thuy was actually the MC for the Canon EOS R event in Vietnam. I asked her if I could take some quick photos of her in the old district. With her beautiful red dress, I thought it would go nicely with the old vintage feel of the old district in Hanoi.

Behind the scenes shot of the setting.

Once there, to my surprise, we ran into these two soldiers dressed in uniform on the street playing a game. I politely asked, with the help of my translator, if we could include them in the photograph. Not only did they say yes, but they were excited about it. To bring visual attention to our model Thuy, I used a Profoto B10 with a beauty dish to illuminate her.

Behind the Shot: Hong Kong

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 28 mm | Exposure: 1/400; f/6.3; ISO 1600 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used

This photo was taken in a very odd place. As we explored our surroundings in Hong Kong, I noticed a tiny little island on the Google Maps app on my phone. This island is called Magazine Island. Even though it was a long shot, I asked our boat driver if it was possible for us to go to that island. She laughed, but she did it.

Once we got there, we hiked to the top to take advantage of the interesting rock formations. So I asked the model Fanny to lay on the floor and frame her face with her arms. We used a Profoto B10 very close to her face to create this flattering illumination on Fanny’s face.

Behind the Shot: Singapore

Camera: Canon EOS R | Lens: RF 28-70mm F2 L USM |
Focal Length: 28 mm | Exposure: 1/800; f/3.5; ISO 100 | Flash: 1 Profoto B10 flash used
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Happy #TravelTuesday one and all! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here today (and every Tuesday) with some photography wisdom for you. This week, I’m in Croatia! I arrived a couple of days ago and, so far, I’ve also hopped some borders and checked out Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro. If you were wondering—they’re beautiful!

I caught sunrise in Mostar, Bosnia, and framed up a lovely series of shots down the Neretva River of the town’s famous bridge. Now, I arrived before sunrise and caught the sun coming up over the bridge, then I drove half an hour down the road to Blagaj Tekija, a monastery on a beautiful pool next to a cliff edge, built by Dervish monks in the 16th Century. The reason I’m telling you this is to point out something that photographers don’t necessarily always consider when shooting sunrise and sunset situations, and that thing is this: –

The sunrise and sunset times will vary if you’re in mountains! Yes, simple, right? My pro tip for you if you don’t know the actual sunset time is to hold your clenched fist out, thumb up, to the horizon. Because of the beautiful piece of nature that is the golden equation, the God number, the divine proportion, whatever else you want to call it, the sun will sink approximately the distance your fist occupies every hour. Therefore if the sun is one fist’s height above the mountain next to you, you have about an hour until sunset!

(That’s a top-secret pro tip, don’t tell anyone!)

So, although it may seem simple, it may not actually be considered. Mountains and other such high terrain affect the sunrise and sunset, which is something I took full advantage of in Bosnia and Herzegovina by having two sunrises!

If you were wondering, sunrise totally beats sunset! That time of day is calm, relaxed, the rest of the world hasn’t woken up yet, there’s no traffic to get where you’re going, when you get there you can always find a place to park, and the light is amazing. It’s just all-around better!

Much love

Dave

Hi Gang: Here’s a post I did a while back on “How to Shoot Awesome Fireworks shots!”  and today it’s how to Edit them in Photoshop (that way you’re prepared for the editing, now, too!). The video includes a really simple trick for creating your own custom “Fireworks Show Finale!” So cool you’ll drop your hot dog. That sounds bad but you know what I mean.

Check out the video I made for you below:

Pretty fun stuff. Hope you get some awesome shots!

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Best,

-Scott

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