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#TravelTuesday with Dave sure comes around quick, doesn’t it! I’m back!

From time to time we may need to remind ourselves about why we work so hard at photography and don’t seem to get anywhere, be it for any number of reasons ranging from being stuck in a rut or for trying to achieve something time after time that fails. Like me, trying to get a shot of a lighthouse in front of a huge chalk cliff and failing several times in my efforts before finally getting the shot!

It took me three attempts to get that shot, and I even got capsized in my kayak in the process. But anyway, the point is this: –

  1. Make your big goals more manageable by breaking them into smaller tasks. 
  2. Remind yourself why you’re doing it.
  3. Remember the good feelings.
  4. Use your strengths.
  5. Decide to take action.

That’s it, that’s the list!

Okay, I’ll explain. If we have a big goal, it’s harder to achieve it. If we have a setback, it’s likely to put us off altogether if our goal is big. Whereas, if we break up our big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks we’re far more likely to succeed because those small tasks are accomplishments that together lead to achieving our big goal. If we fail at one of the small tasks, we’re far more likely to keep trying to overcome the problem because of number three—the good feelings.

The good feelings we get when we achieve something stick with us, but in moments where we feel that perhaps we aren’t hitting our targets or realising our goals, taking a moment to remind ourselves of the good feelings will help to spur us on even further. Taking that feeling and reminding ourselves why we’re doing something is valuable. That reminder as to why can often be enough to pick us up when we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere, and perhaps it’s that one occasion when we remind ourselves that we suddenly make progress where we weren’t before.

Pushing to number four (because this is obviously in order from the above list), we need to use our strengths, and in order for that to happen effectively, we need to recognise them—and our weaknesses! Knowing comprehensibly what our strengths are will help us to achieve goals, but knowing what our weaknesses are will help as well.

And, finally, take action! There are a lot of people out there doing nothing much aside from telling other people how they should be doing things. Don’t be that person—the person who says it can’t be done is usually interrupted by the person doing it.

So, if you have a shot in mind that’s particularly challenging, don’t give up on it! Persist, come up with a game plan, and keep trying. Pick yourself up when you fail, dust yourself off, and get it done.

The thing that motivated me to write this is the shot above. I was researching shots of Beachy Head Light in the UK and noticed they’re all very much alike. I wanted to be different. I knew the topography of the area was such that the enormous white, chalk cliff was essentially a hill, tapering off on either side of the lighthouse, and I wanted to feature that in my shot. I tried three times to get the shot, capsizing in a kayak and sliding all the way down the hill on my behind, but I didn’t let these things put me off and I got my shot.

Don’t give up. If something fails, try something else. And, then something else. Remind yourself why you did it, identify which of your strengths will help you, break down the task, remember the good feelings, and take action.

Much love

Dave

P.S. My Sunrise Challenge has just one week left – get your entries in for a chance to win big!

Hi, gang. I’m writing this from The Faroe Islands — a place that’s been on my travel wishlist for years now and I’m thrilled to be able to see and photograph this amazing place for a few days. Unlike Iceland (which is actually my next stop in just a couple of days), it’s not over-run by tourists or throngs of photographers (yet), and there’s something amazing around every corner. Absolutely beautiful islands.

I Skype’d into The Grid from onboard the ship I’m on traveling on this past week, and one of the questions was about my travel photography backup strategy, so I thought I’d go through it with you here today on the blog. It’s actually incredibly simple, but very effective.

BACKUP ONE: I don’t erase my memory cards the entire trip
That means bringing lots of cards, but SD cards (which is what my Canon EOS R uses) are dirt cheap right now. This two-pack of Lexar 64-Gig SD cards is just $18.99 at B&H Photo (link). When a card gets full, I just put it in my in-room safe until it’s time to return home.

BACKUP TWO: I Backup to a Hard Drive each night
Even if I’m really tired, at the end of the day each day I back-up all the new images on my card to a Samsung Portable SSD Drive. You can get the 500GB super-fast, super small, super lightweight drive for $89.95. I love this drive, and it’s with me all the time. (link)

BACKUP THREE: I send finals or picks to The Cloud
If I do any final images, or if I’ve made Picks of my best shots, I upload those to the cloud (either Dropbox or iCloud on my Mac) for safe-keeping. That way, if anything were to happen to my gear (it gets damaged or stolen), I still have my best shots backed up. I don’t back up all my shots — usually the upload speeds on hotel or a ship’s Internet are pretty bad, so I only upload the Picks or JPEG finals.

That’s it — three easy quick steps, and you’re triple-backed up. Hope you found that helpful.

Have a great week everybody — I’m off to jump in a boat to shoot some big rock formations off the coast!

-Scott

Lightning-Fast Actions in Photoshop with Kristina Sherk

Boost your Photoshop productivity with actions! Join Kristi Sherk as she takes a deep dive into the world of Photoshop actions. In this class you’ll learn what actions are, why they are so powerful, when you should use them, how to record your own, and how they can help keep you on track as you work.

Kristi steps through the process of creating several different actions that you can start using right away. You’ll even learn how to use one action to run other actions and how to run an action on a batch of images. By the end of the class you’ll be prepared to start creating your own custom actions as well as making the most of the free actions provided by the instructor. Work smarter, not harder, with actions!



In Case You Missed It – Photoshop for Business: Pro Techniques for Working Faster, Smarter, and Maximizing your Output

Think differently about your business! Join Mark Heaps as shares tips and tricks for efficiency in Photoshop, while at the same time teaching you how to set yourself and your collaborators up for success. This class has two parts, and in the first half Mark demonstrates a number of Photoshop techniques to help you work smarter.

In the second half he delves into more strategic concerns designed to help you grow your business, help you define who your customers are, learn key phrases and terms, and so much more. By the end of the class you’ll have a strong foundation for working as a great collaborator whether you are part of a team or an independent freelancer.

Bryan O’Neil Hughes will be teaching at Photoshop World Las Vegas, taking place August 21-23, so register now to come see him in person!

Drawing Upon Past Experience

Getting to post on Scott’s blog is always a treat, thanks for having me back!

This month marks twenty years at Adobe for me! Looking back, it still feels like a dream. I first got into photography when I was seven (largely because I couldn’t draw); and when I say I got into it, I mean, I went DEEP. My passion for cameras had me doing anything and everything related to the medium – eventually processing and printing photos; repairing and selling cameras; even freelancing as a motorsports photographer.

Then, in 1996, photography introduced me to Photoshop at a Seybold seminar. I must’ve watched Adobe’s Photoshop 4.0 demo 5X over that day – it was immediately obvious to me that my future had something to do with the magic happening at Adobe.

“Obsession” is way too weak a word…within months, I’d packed-up and moved to Silicon Valley with the single-minded intent of working at Adobe.  That sounds ridiculous and it absolutely was; I didn’t even own a computer! With the naivety of youth, I never accepted any other path; an interim job handling digital retouching orders for two dozen camera stores solved my computer & Photoshop problems.

I joined Adobe in the Summer of 1999 as a Quality Engineer on the Photoshop team, the job was essentially: test and break the app – I was completely in heaven! Stepping into product management nearly 15 years ago was another impossible dream come true; the opportunity to help guide Photoshop for so many years taught me a lot about the many ways that people use the application & how software is made. While I’ve spent most of my career looking forward, it’s interesting to look back at my years on the Photoshop team and to see how much the product and the workflows have changed.

I’m often asked, “How has Photoshop endured the test of time?” Sure, there’s the fact that the Photoshop team has always charted their own course; constantly innovated; expanded platforms & services – all while maintaining a very high bar for quality & performance…but there’s more to it than that. I think that much of Photoshop’s success can be attributed to the product’s ability to adapt.

Photoshop’s plug-in architecture has always allowed developers to communicate directly with the product – whether that’s bringing in unique file formats; exporting to specialized devices, or just adding missing functionality. That same flexibility exists within the fabric of the team, whether pivoting Photoshop to the growing needs of web designers with version 5.5; welcoming the digital camera boom with version 7.0.1, or exploring entirely new verticals; there are hundreds of examples of the team addressing the needs of a new or expanding segment.

The other thing about the Photoshop team, is that they know when the solution lies beyond Photoshop itself. The example of Camera Raw is a good one; at the time, we were seeing the mass proliferation of digital cameras; suddenly photographers expected Photoshop to deal with thousands of images, not the one-at-time workflow that it was originally built for. Photoshop answered that call with the File Browser (which would later become Bridge) and Camera Raw.

While this acknowledged a massive shift in I/O, the world was changing dramatically, digital photography wasn’t just for tech-savvy, early adopters, but for everyone and new devices required a streamlined, focused, editing solution and a digital asset manager in one…that solution would of course become Lightroom, a product I continue to be very closely involved with, both as a user and a spokesperson.

Lightroom allows me to use Photoshop for what Photoshop does best – while moving faster and shooting more. Because of Lightroom, I’m both more creative and more efficient. Lightroom and Photoshop have never been more closely integrated than they are today, thanks to Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud allows Photoshop to integrate deeply across application, surfaces and platforms – keeping Photoshop as the hub of hundreds of creative workflows. Clearly, sometimes the best solution to the problem is a brand-new product.

(more…)

A couple of months ago I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Canon EOS R mirrorless, and I do love it immensely, but it’s missing a feature that Canon introduced after it shipped on their 2nd full-frame Mirrorless — their entry-level Canon EOS RP, and that is Focus Stacking (or as they call it, “Focus Bracketing.” Essentially, the camera automatically takes a series of shots each one focused a little farther into the image. This is awesome for shooting Macro where the depth of field is so incredibly shallow, but it’s also great for landscapes, and product photography and a bunch of different scenarios because it greatly expands the amount of the photo that’s in focus.

Here’s a blurb on Canon’s site I found about the feature:

Here’s a short video that explains Focus Bracketing on the EOS RP:

I would say generally speaking that this is a feature more advanced users would be interested in (and it requires either some Photoshop post-processing after the fact to combine all the individual frames it creates into a single image, or you can do it in Canon’s own editing software), but for some reason this feature is found on Canon’s new entry-level full-frame mirrorless and not the more advanced model that cost nearly $1,000 more.

So, my plea to Canon:

I know this new mirrorless roadmap is very important to Canon — I think it’s the future of the company, which is why I’m asking today for Canon to release a free EOS R firmware update that gives us the Focus bracketing feature (a feature you’ve already developed). Canon previously released a free Firmware update that added an Eye AF feature, which is awesome (high-five Canon), but now here’s a chance to be heroes once again. Please release a Firmware update that adds the RP’s focus bracketing to the EOS R. We would love that! Easy peasy. ;-)

I know, this feature isn’t a Canon-only feature

There any a number of cameras already out there which have a built-in Focus-stacking feature already (for example, a number of Nikon cameras have this feature already built right in); so no need to post a comment here that says something along the lines of “Gee, Scott, my [insert camera brand here] has had that feature since like late 1950s.” I get it. Canon’s not first, but they’ve taken the time to develop this feature, and I’m just hoping they will share it with the folks who jumped on the bandwagon with the R.

Here’s hoping all your free firmware update dreams come true. :)

-Scott

P.S. I’m off this week to Belfast, Ireland, The Faroe Islands, and Iceland. Maybe I’ll run into your somewhere along the way. :)P


Demystifying Photo Pills with Erik Kuna

Learn how to get the most out of PhotoPills when planning your next outdoor photography adventure! Join Erik Kuna as he explains exactly what this app can do, why photographers should care about using an app like PhotoPills, and how best utilize all of the features and functions within the app.

In this class you’ll learn the basic terminology needed to use the planner, how to use the app to plan a photo shoot based around the position of the sun, the moon, or the milky way, how to discover when the next eclipse will occur at a given location, how to perform useful calculations, and so much more! Erik even breaks down all the steps he used in planning for a variety of different photographic scenarios. By the end of the class you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the ability to plan around celestial events using PhotoPills.



In Case You Missed It – Under the Milky Way: Lightpainting and Photographing Stars

Join Dave Black for some lightpainting under the stars in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town. Dave starts off with a walk through of all the gear needed for lightpainting before taking us through the importance of a site survey. Over the course of six different shoots in a variety of locations Dave shares all of the steps and settings needed to create stunning lightpainted starscapes. Each lesson is packed with tips, tricks, and lessons learned from Dave’s decades of experience. Dave is a master teacher, and his love for creating these photographs is truly infectious.

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