Category Archives Photography Tips & Tricks

It’s #TravelTuesday and here on ScottKelby.com, that means one thing: Dave’s here! “Travel Tuesday with Dave” is still a thing, despite the distinct lack of travel going on right now.

I’m Dave Williams, and I’m coming at you today with the down-low of going behind the scenes (BTS) in your photography. It’s actually a really important element to our marketing plan and here’s why:

We live in an age of instant gratification. Like it or not, it’s true. We have access to more information, more quickly than ever. It’s literally available on-demand, 24/7. We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and whatever else you can think of in terms of social media, supplying us with a constant insight into exactly what everyone else is up to. We can cash in on this as working photographers and take our audience BTS on our shoots.

This is a BTS shot of me last week in the Lofoten Islands where I was shooting the northern lights. What’s the point of this photo? Well, firstly, it’s a nice memory and souvenir for me, but beyond that, it serves the purpose of showing people that I am able to find and photograph the northern lights. That’s a key attribute to my skill set, considering I currently have a book out about exactly that—finding and photographing the northern lights. This photo, therefore, proves the value of that book by demonstrating that I can put my money where my mouth is.

Save for having a specific purpose for BTS shots, they simply show us being busy. Our audience appreciates seeing what we’re up to, even if it’s something as silly as snapping a selfie. It shows us in our environment, and it shows what we’re up to and, quite importantly, in our field, what we’re using to achieve our goals. This silly selfie in Iceland shows me, my clothing, my camera, lens, strap, tripod, and bag. It’s the complete ensemble—a true “photographer in the wild.” And, it’s marketing.

We all enjoy seeing what our peers are up to, but taking it a step further, we are all being watched by potential clients and partners. If they see our work and it catches their eye, the chance of working together begins to form, but it goes a step further when they see BTS, and somewhat of a personal connection is formed through their seeing us working (or playing) on the other side of our lens.

Take people behind the scenes on your website, your blog, and your social media channels. You won’t regret it.

Much love

Dave

I’m very excited to be the guest tomorrow on Terry White’s “Photography Master Class” live stream, and I’m doing a presentation called “Photo Recipes” where I share a final image, and then show how to make a similar shot, with behind-the-scenes photos and camera setting and such.

It’s free and open to everybody – we’re live from 10:55 AM to 11:55 AM ET, and you can watch it right here on the blog below (and if you miss the live stream, and can watch the archive here as well). :)

Hope you can make it (or rewatch it above if you missed the live stream).

We already have over 1,000 attendees for next week’s Landscape Photography Conference

It’s not too late to join us — it starts with a pre-conference session I’m teaching on “What makes a great landscape photo” and we also have a first-timer orientation class from Larry Becker to help you make the most of the virtual conference. Here’s the link to get your ticket — don’t miss out.

Have a great weekend everybody, and thanks to Terry for having me on his awesome show (which airs each week at this same time. Always great info).

Stay safe and sane, and we’ll catch you back here next week (well, at least that’s what I’m hoping). :)

-Scott

I know it’s Monday, but the sake of this “Photo Tip Friday” let’s just pretend it’s Friday. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Not bad, eh? Almost makes you wish it actually was Friday. Hey….wait a minute! ;-)

Hope that helps get your Monday off to a good start. Stay healthy, stay creative, and stay inside! :)

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget — Our Two-Day Lightroom Conference is Coming May 5-6th, 2020. Hundreds of photographers from all over have already signed up and you don’t want to miss you. Get the details, and tickets, over at lightroomconference.com – you are so going to want to be a part of this live-streamed Lightroom training event of the year!

Happy New Year, everybody! Some quick stuff to kick off the new year (I’m technically still on vacation until Monday, so don’t tell anybody I was blogging here today, and over LightroomKillerTips.com. Here’s what’s up:

My Top Nine Most-Liked Photos From 2019

Thanks to everybody who stopped, liked, or commented in 2019. Much appreciated! :) To see your own nine most-liked photos in Instagram for 2019, visit https://bestnine.net

My New New Travel Photography Course on how to Make Portraits of the Locals

For a lot of travel photographers, it’s one of the hardest, most intimidating things to do — getting photos of local people in the place you’re visiting. So much so, that many travel photographers return home and the only people in their images are other tourists. That’s why Rick Sammon and I put this new online class together — to give you proven strategies and techniques so you come home with more than just shots of monuments and tourist attractions — you’ll come home with great shots of the locals, adding an entirely different dimension to your travel photos.

We cover a wide range of tips, tricks, and real-world scenarios to change the way you capture travel images of people from this day forward. I think you’ll find it really helpful and it will make a big difference in your travel photography. Here’s the link to the course and the official trailer where Rick and I go into more detail about the class. I think you’ll find it really helpful.

Photoshop Upsizing Tip from Viktor Fejes

I’m a big Viktor Fejes fan — and his tip here for increasing the size of your image and keeping as much detail as possible is a really great one. It’s short and sweet (part of our KelbyOne “Photo Tip Friday” Series). If you’re a KelbyOne member, and you’re a bit more advanced, make sure you’re checking out Viktor’s Photoshop, color and retouching courses. They are ‘next level’ type of stuff.

Well, that’s it for my “vacation day” post. LOL!! Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll catch you back here on Monday for your regularly scheduled blogging experience. :)

-Scott

It’s now T-Xmas (read: “T-minus Christmas”), and as we’re now in the holiday season for so many people of so many faiths, it’s time to share some holiday photo tips! Before I get too far I want to apologise for laying down last week’s #TravelTuesday post on what was, as a one-off, #TravelMonday— thanks to everyone who pointed it out, and I’m firmly blaming the jet lag, having just arrived back from Canada!

So, on the whole, we want our holiday shots to be light and airy, but as always, there are exceptions to the rules, so don’t think of them as hard and fast! I’ve been aided in this post with some fabulous images by some fabulous photographers, so be sure to check out their links to see more!

I’m Dave Williams, let’s do this! Go tips, go!

Crank your ISO!

We tend to have some atmospheric light going on around the holidays, with fairy lights and candles and all kinds of contrasts going on, and it’s a good idea to bump our ISO to let the light flood the sensor, giving our images a light and airy feel. What I mean by this is knowing the ISO limitations of your camera and pushing those limits to give a nice, bright, festive photo, without causing any damaging highlights. A good benchmark on a newer, higher-level mirrorless or DSLR is pushing to 6400 ISO, and with something like a Canon Rebel or Nikon 5300, try somewhere around the 1600 ISO range.

By Cathy Baitson

Throw some props around!

Santa hats, mistletoe, that weird little elf thing, it all adds up to setting the scene and making it crystal-clear when our shot was taken, acting as a souvenir shot for us or our customer. These little props really go a long way.

By Gilmar Smith

Get creative with composites!

Beautiful starry skies, flying snowmen, steam-puffing trains, and a ton of other things lend themselves nicely to a festive composite. Throw in the odd starburst, and check out some KelbyOne courses about how to create seamless composite images to really add some punch to your holiday image.

By Stephanie Richer

Get tight!

No, I don’t mean skimping on gifts, I mean getting in close to the details! The details of all the things that come out at the festive time of year are special, and it’s often in the little details themselves where the real meanings and feelings come out. Keep your aperture low and your focus on-point to make your image really special.

Think about the light!

Off-camera flash is way cooler than on-camera flash, so make the most of all the light sources around you at this time of year (including natural light). Take advantage of beautiful, bokehlicious backgrounds by making that aperture nice and wide to knock focus out and keep the attention on your subject in all its festive glory.

By Stephanie Richer

Tell a story!

This time of year, no matter your faith or creed, is packed with awesome, meaningful stories. So, bring that to your photography and tell a story of your own, while making some awesome memories of the 2019 holiday season!

These images, in order of appearance, have kindly been provided by Cathy Baitson, Gilmar Smith, and Stephanie Richer, with thanks!

Much love

Dave

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

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