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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back! I write to you from under an Aurora filled sky. Well actually, the Aurora is taking a break. It will be back in 20 minutes so I’m making the most of the opportunity to sit in the warmth of the van rather than stand outside in -3f (-19c) temperatures, plus wind!

Today I want to touch on filters. Filters can make a huge difference when we apply them in the right circumstances. Think of them as a linear gradient, but attached to your camera ;)

Whether they have a gradient or are solid, a Neutral Density filter will essentially allow less light to enter our lens, blocking it out like sun shades either across the entire frame or a part of it. Learning how and when to apply a filter can give us a huge aid in our long exposure photography.

There are arguments that we can do the same thing in Adobe Photoshop, however although this is true in a lot of cases we simply can’t recreate the streaks of flowing water in the same way as if we do it optically, in the camera, using a filter.

If you don’t use filters I implore you to make it your goal this week to learn a little more about them and consider their application in your photography.

Writing from Finland, with images from Iceland, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Much love

Dave

I’m very excited about this collaboration with the creative team at On1 (maker’s of awesome plug-ins for Lightroom and Photoshop), and they are doing a 50% off deal right now on my signature collection (just in time for Christmas, and it’s an instant download, so no waiting on shipping).

Here’s how they describe my new collection (and it’s more than just presets):

“ON1 has partnered with world-renowned photographer Scott Kelby to bring you his new Signature Bundle! It’s an ON1-exclusive featuring over 70 of his best ON1 presets, 20 beautiful textures, and 20 high-resolution skies along with his most popular video course “10 Essential Tips Every Landscape Photographer Should Know.”

Whether you’re using ON1 Photo RAW 2022 or Effects 2022, this creative collection is an essential addition to your ON1 editing toolkit.”

I know a lot of you already have one or more of On1’s awesome plug-ins, and if you do, I think you’ll super-dig this bundle (especially when it’s on sale like this). I hope you’ll check it out. :)

Here’s the link to get the 50% off deal.

Have a great Holiday week (technically, I’m on vacation this week, but I wanted to share this today since it just came out).

Merry Christmas, everybody! :)

-Scott

It wasn’t until this week. I have two Drobos – one at home and one at work, and I keep them synced, and I haven’t had any issues at all. In fact, I was bragging last week about how the one at home alerted me that one of my drives was getting full and that I’d need to replace it soon. That was before I received this email (below):

Dear Mr. Kelby: I’m writing to ask for your advice regarding Drobo. – My Drobo died in November of 2019 just before the pandemic hit. For nearly 2 years now I’ve been unable to make contact with anyone from Drobo in either email or by phone. The website says “sold out” on all models.  My question is: what would you do in this situation? I’m dead in the water as far as access to my files and not getting any younger.  Any assistance would be appreciated.”  

That doesn’t sound good.

I wrote back to him to let him know I hadn’t heard anything in the news about Drobo (though they were bought by another company a few years back), but I’d start doing some research on it, and I’d contact them myself and see if I could get him some help.

Their website’s on, but nobody’s home

He’s right – every single product on their website shows “sold out” and it appears it’s been that way since at least August of 2020, and I don’t know why they’ve been “sold out,” for 18 or so months (chip shortage, supply chain issues, etc.), and there’s nothing on their site to explain why everything’s out of stock. No banner up top, or notice on the pages, etc., but I do know this – companies that make their living selling products but don’t have any for 18-months and don’t give a reason why don’t generally have a particularly bright future.

So, I called them. I pressed the appropriate number to be connected to Sales to ask when new units would be available and how to get service. It sent me to voicemail where it said, “No one is here to take your call. Leave a message.”

I thought I’d try again another day, and I got the same “No one is here to take your call. Leave a message.” So I left a message this time as the editor of Photoshop User magazine, calling to ask the company’s status for an article I would be writing in the magazine about Drobo. It’s been four days. No callback. No response whatsoever.

Nobody is there to take our calls. Yikes.

I checked their social media accounts. There’s only one Tweet on their account in the past six months, saying that they haven’t found any compatibility issues with Mac OS Monterey, and prior to that, the last tweets were from August. Pretty much the same across all their social. All not great signs. And of course, the gentlemen who sent me the original email hasn’t gotten any help from them, or from my efforts, and that’s not awesome.

In short, I’m worried enough that I’m now looking for a different photo storage solution

I’m a bit freaked out that if my Drobo goes down, I’m in the same situation that guy is in. Yes, I have a backup (and a cloud backup) and a Synology NAS at work, too, but I won’t sleep well if my stuff isn’t 100% solid on my desktop. The search is on, and I’ll let you guys know how it goes (and I’m open to your ideas if you’ve got a solid, fast, expandable desktop solution).

Of course, there is always the chance that everything is OK at Drobo, and they’ll have a bunch of units in stock soon, and start contacting their customers who have serious issues and get them resolved in a timely fashion. That could absolutely be the case. But, if I were a betting man…

Well, not the best news to send you into the weekend, so don’t focus on that, but instead focus on the fact that after our company KelbyOne holiday luncheon today, I’m on vacation until next week, so whoo hoo!!! Well, that’s what I’ll be focusing on this weekend. That and playing Call of Duty Warzone, ranking up some of my weapons in Vanguard, spending time recording music, hanging out with my wonderful family, and eating yummy holiday food because, as we know, holiday food does not contain calories, carbs, fat, or anything bad. It’s the magic of Christmas. True story.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

-Scott

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here! I’m gatecrashing Scott’s blog just like I do every Tuesday, and today I want to go all social media-y up in here.

With Facebook and Instagram having essentially merged some time ago, and with the emergence of Meta, the visual world on social media is going to change at a greater pace than it has been so far. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I’m simply saying that it is a ‘thing.’

These platforms are driven by algorithms, and I won’t go on about that because I’ve done so many, many times before. What I will say however, is that if the algorithms don’t already account for 360, VR, immersive style photos and video, you can bet they will soon!

This is a Norwegian forest that I shot yesterday. For those that want to know, I shot it in 360 mode on a DJI Mavic Air 2 and edited it into a Tiny Planet in the Theta+ app.

In the form of a tiny planet it isn’t strictly within the boundaries of being a 360 photo, but with Facebooks integration of a 360 viewer in the app and the rise of more affordable and effective 360 cameras, it’s certainly something to watch!

I’ll be writing a lot more about 360 photography for the February edition of Photoshop User, but for now I think it’s time to start taking 360 seriously and watch this space for its potential uses.

For the record, print is still king!

Much love

Dave

This is a great, simple, but awesome 60-second tip from photographer, and KelbyOne Instructor, Juan Pons. Check it out:

What a great tip, right? And it wasn’t about settings or gear, but equally as important. Thanks, Juan.

Here’s another tip: Juan online course, “The Biggest Mistakes Wildlife Photographers Make and How to Avoid Them” is on a 50% off sale right now (only $14.50) at this link. Such a great course (you will learn a ton).

Over on my Lightroom blog today it’s “What’s new in Lightroom on mobile” – here’s the link.

Have a great weekend, everybody. I’ve got a really busy one planned because there’s a new Call of Duty Warzone map that just dropped, and the Bucs game, and well, it’s going to be very busy. :)

-Scott

It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here once again with something from my photographic world. I’m currently in Iceland, but not for much longer! On Wednesday night, I leave to make progress towards Norway, where I’ll spend the next month, as well as crossing into Sweden and Finland. This week, I want to show you the opportunity Adobe gave me to get a different perspective of winter in Iceland.

I’ve been making a series of videos documenting my travels and I was asked if I’d like to go shoot in the sky. Russell Brown from Adobe recognised the work I was putting in to learn Premiere Pro and produce a reportage-style documentary of my adventures and, from a budget set aside to support and recognise creative talent, offered to get me into the air over this stunning country. For someone that loves Iceland and aviation that was an absolute dream, so I got everything ready to shoot and, with some assistance from the Iceland Adobe Gold reseller, I was put in touch with Haraldur.

The first time we met there was a reasonable weather forecast, but in Iceland, it’s more of a horoscope. There’s a saying here that if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes. It changes frequently, and with the sub-polar oceanic climate it has, it can turn very bad, very fast!

I had a small handful of shots from that first flight and a bit of footage so, naturally disappointed, I went back to Adobe Premiere Pro to see what it all looked like. In the video, the weather clearly comes out of nowhere so landing was definitely the right decision.

We reconvened a couple of days later and the weather was picture perfect. I was set to fly with Haraldur, but he had a surprise waiting for me. As we flew down the southwest coast, we ended up meeting with another plane flown by an equally skillful chap named Bergur, who had a plane in Icelandic colours. Here’s the result: –

Always follow your heart, and once in a lifetime as often as you can!

Much love

Dave

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