Category Archives Photography

It’s that time of the week again! I’m back! I’m Dave Williams and this week for #TravelTuesday, on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, I’m going to pick on a subject that seems to always be looming, but never fully addressed. It’s a topic that is absolutely not helping to lift any negative reputation on photographers.

With news this week floating across the internet that photographer Andreas Hvid was caught atop the Great Pyramid in Egypt, the question again has popped up: –

“What are the limits?”

I wrote before about how Russia has popularised the selfie sensation to the extent that they had to restrict certain areas and locations, owing to the risk of death and serious injury following ridiculous photographic exploits. Similarly, there has been news of people free climbing monuments and buildings for the thrill and the selfie from the top, and the whole train track thing is so ridiculous it’s basically unfathomable why people would do it. I mean, I take risks in making my photos, but the risk is calculated and manageable.

Andreas hit the headlines in Egypt having snuck around the Giza plateau and climbed to the summit of the Great Pyramid, with what he has called a “friend,” and taken a series of photographs. The images show the pair nude and in sexual poses, which quite rightly owing to the importance and sensitivity of the location, has caused fury and upset to the Egyptians.

So, what about all the other headlines that have cropped up recently? The one of the engaged couple, who died after falling from a cliff edge into a canyon, springs to mind, as do the tributes paid to a photographer who fell to his death from the top of a building. These things, as I said, are very damaging and quite rightly cause us to be looked at with a great caution when we do the not so dangerous things. The term “photographer” is also brought into question with this subject; what is a photographer? What does it mean to be a photographer? It seems that in cases like these it’s used to describe anyone who takes a photo, rather than anyone who makes a living from photography or who is known for their photography. The use of the term is damaging to those of us who do make a living this way, and it effectively brings us into disrepute. To that end, my personal message to Hvid and anyone else who discredits photographers by climbing national monuments, scaling tall buildings, cranes, posing on train tracks, or overhanging cliff edges, is this: –

You are not a photographer, you are not acting as a photographer, and you are damaging the industry in which I make my living. Your acts of clowning and fooling around are damaging my reputation and my livelihood, and your behaviour is immature and utterly ridiculous. 

To take a risk that is calculated, manageable, and in the interests of art is one thing, but to push that risk beyond any control and literally put your life on the line is quite another.

Respect the industry and know the limits.

Much love

Dave

Back in October, I got the chance to revisit one of my favorite cities — beautiful Rome, Italy. This time I was there to teach a travel photography workshop with my friend and colleague Mimo Meidany. I finally (finally!) got around to picking my favorites and today I’m sharing them on an Adobe Spark page.

Here’s the link to my images as seen through an Adobe Spark photo story (with behind-the-scenes stuff, too) if you’ve got a sec: https://spark.adobe.com/page/PkZ4PRL9DDXSE/

Thanks for giving them a quick look. :)

Have a great weekend everybody — I’m off to shoot the Dolphins game this weekend, and then on Monday I’m doing my last seminar for the year — it’s my “Photoshop for Lightroom Users” full-day seminar – this time in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Hope you can come out and spend the day with me. Tickets and info here.

Best,

-Scott

Hello, and welcome! It’s #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, which of course means that I, Dave Williams, am here, in your face, loud and proud with some industry nuggets of gold to share with you!

First off, news time:

Workshop – If you’re up for a workshop in Iceland, I’ll be running one this summer alongside my brother from another mother, Peter Treadway. Keep your eyes peeled over on my social media (@capturewithdave) for more info!

Webinar – On January 5th, on the amazing Photoshop and Photography Facebook Group, I’ll be hosting a webinar all about drones and drone photography. It’ll go live at 9 p.m. UK time, 4 p.m. EST, and 1 p.m. PST.

Photowalks – Following the awesome time we all had in London on our recent photowalk, it is my intention to run more! The good folks at BlackRapid thought this was a brilliant idea, and they’ve thrown a whole bunch of straps my way to give away at future photowalks. So, if you’re in London (or willing to get there), watch my social for more walks!

Seminar – Sorry to those of you in the USA and the rest of the world, but here’s another UK one: – In the new year, I’ll be hosting a seminar at the Sim Imaging gallery in Hatfield, Herts, and it’d be great to have you there! Again, details will go live over on my social.

So, the blog!

There are Christmas markets dotted throughout the world right now and they bring an amazing atmosphere, beautiful decorations, and sparkly lights.

The best time to take Christmas photos is during the hours of darkness when the decorations and displays are enticing and almost magical. I highly recommend that you get out and find a Christmas market or two, and get some awesome shots yourself!

Now, you and I know that rules are meant to be broken, so I’ll start with a rule-breaking example from Riga, Latvia. Christmas photos may be best at night, but that doesn’t mean they must be taken at night. Take a look: –

 

 

 

But, when we are shooting the Christmas markets and decorations at night, we need to consider the light and the action, as well as the detail.

 

 

Capturing those actions is a great opportunity to play with long exposures. With this giant Ferris wheel, I’ve taken an exposure of a few seconds to capture the movement in a very slight trail of light. It’s only possible to do this with a solid base, such as a tripod or Platypod, but carrying that extra piece of kit with you is totally worth it when you see the results.

 

 

This shot is inside the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, Germany. When shooting a location at Christmas it’s worth incorporating the location to give the viewer a sense of place. In this image, I’ve got that hint of Christmas from the tree in view, just slightly tucked away, adding a little festivity to an otherwise ordinary scene.

 

 

At the other extreme, you can go full-on Christmas mode! In this shot, I’ve filled the entire frame with two trees, one foreground and one background element, giving the viewer an overwhelming yet beautiful feel for the season.

 

 

Going back to the sense of place, this time the situation is reversed in that the place becomes part of the Christmas scene, rather than the other way around. Christmas has clearly taken over here and overcome its surroundings, but highlighting those surroundings in amongst the action makes for a winning shot.

So, now that the Christmas holiday season has landed, spreading joy, peace on earth, and goodwill to all men, etc., etc., get out there with your camera and capture it!

Much love

Dave

Last week, one of my favorite photography sites, PetaPixel, ran a really intriguing article by Allen Murabayashi titled, “Social Media is Ruining Photography.” In the article, the author pointed out a few of the good things social media has brought to the world of photography, but obviously the title lets you know that’s not the crux of the article, and he goes on to examine all the says social ways has, in his opinion made the craft, and even the enjoyment of photography much worse. He’s not alone in his assertions, and I agree with a number of his points, and you probably would find a few in there that would strike a chord with you, too (here’s a link if you’ve got a sec — it’s a good read; very well written and illustrated).

However, I thought there was something he overlooked on the positive side that I feel is one of the best, most important, and truly awesome things that social media has brought to photography. It has helped us to cultivate friendships with people all over the world through our photography. People we would never have had the chance to meet, or become close with, were it not for social media. It has brought photographers together from all walks of life and backgrounds, and it has created meaningful friendships between photographers that start online but often grow way beyond it.

I have visited these new friends in different countries and spent days shooting with them, sharing stories and images, sharing meals and laughing together — experiences I would never have had without social media; without them, or myself, sharing an image and starting a conversation. I get advice and input from friends I met first through social, and some of these folks have become some of my closest, dearest friends. It’s made the many miles between us, and our countries, and our differences, that much smaller, and I’m so grateful for that, and for them.

(That’s some of them above; all meeting together just to hang out as friends and take pictures together — from the US, Italy, Iran, Portugal, England, Romania, Ireland, and Canada —photo by group selfie-master Dave Williams).

It’s not the pictures. It’s not the platform. It’s the people.
The images we share online draw us together and connect us in a very special way through our shared love of the still image, and I love that’s there’s a place where I can look at beautiful images, and make new friends through our shared commonality. I love that about social media.

Here’s wishing you great new friends, new experiences, and a Thanksgiving week where you take the type of images you’ve always dreamed of. :)

All my best,

-Scott

I’m Dave Williams, and I’m back again, right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider for my weekly #TravelTuesday post—straight from across the pond in (not so) sunny England. Today, I’m going to lay down some tips for shooting wide, which have come from my realisation that I’ve been carrying around a 14–24mm, 24–70mm, and 70–200mm lens almost everywhere I go, but haven’t actually used the 24–70mm for a very, very long time! Instead, I’ve opted for the 14–24mm to take in a much wider scene.

 

 

The most important points to note when shooting with such a wide lens are these:

It will make big things seem smaller! This can mean that our point of interest can be lost amongst the larger scene and we really do need to consider this when we’re composing the scene.

It needs a foreground element to work well. This is because there’s so much in the frame that if we didn’t have a foreground, we’d risk creating a confusing mess of a photo, with the viewer’s eye wandering around a large scene and getting lost without anything, in particular, drawing their attention around the edges. When setting up and composing our shot with a wide angle lens, just the smallest movement can make a huge difference to the foreground element. Whatever foreground element we choose, be it a road or some other leading line, or perhaps something like water to support the atmosphere of our composition, it must support and direct to the background to work just right. Because the foreground is so much more emphasised with a wide angle lens it really must be carefully considered and composed.

It will put more of the scene in focus. The depth of focus from a wide angle lens is so much greater than other, longer lenses and, therefore, it’s easier to catch a lot more of the image in focus. What we can potentially lose in distortion, which we can, of course, deal with in post, we are going to gain in overall sharpness throughout the scene.

 

 

Having a wide angle lens in the arsenal is a fantastic thing for many genres of photography, but in particular for landscapes. When it’s used carefully and properly it can help us create some truly powerful and dramatic images, so use it right and step your photography up a gear!

Much love

Dave

The Walk Leader competition is always one of the hardest to judge
This year, especially so. There are so many great entries from so many talented leaders, and it made my job as tough as ever. Maybe the hardest yet.

Although there’s only one winner, I felt there were some images that were so good that even though they didn’t win a prize, they still deserved to be recognized, so I’m displaying my “Honorable Mentions” first, then we’ll reveal our winner.

I present our 10 Walk Leader Competition Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

Leader / Photographer: Pat Byme
Photo Walk: Meath, Ireland

Leader / Photographer: Cromwell
Photo Walk: Lapu City, Cebu, Phillipines

Leader / Photographer: Shea Williams
Photo Walk: Cordova, Tennessee

Leader / Photographer: Ramin Rah
Photo Walk: Jahrom, Fars, Iran

Leader / Photographer: Don Reid 
Photo Walk: Lohja, Finland

Leader / Photographer: Olan Valenzuela
Photo Walk: Shenzhen City, Guangdong, China

 

Leader / Photographer: Fatemeh Mardani
Photo Walk: Mashad, Iran

Leader / Photographer: Judith Barat
Photo Walk: Santa Barbara, California, USA

Leader / Photographer: Zarhang
Photo Walk: Shiraz, Iran

Leader / Photographer: Leesa Oliver
Photo Walk: Sulphur Springs, Texas, USA


Now, presenting the 2018 Official Walk Leader Competition Winner:

Leader / Photographer: Libin KP
Photo Walk: Muscat, Oman

My Comments: This image is really compelling. I love the light — the color shadows on the floor; the angle of the composition, and the post-processing. It all just comes together to create a really beautiful image — one that makes you want to see that wall of color for yourself. Really nicely done, beautifully composed, and just an awesome shot all the way around.

As Walk Leader Competition Winner, KP will receive a Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera, with an EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Kit; a Canon Pixma Pro 10 Printer; a $250 B&H Photo Gift Card; a ThinkTank Photo StreetWalker Harddrive Backpack; a $100 Westcott Gift Certificate; a Platypod Ultra with Multi Accessory Kit; 1 full year of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan; and 1 full year of KelbyOne Pro membership for winning this year’s Leader Competition.

Congratulations to all the Photo Walk Leaders Competition honorable Mentions and our Winner!

This would wrap up this year’s Worldwide Photo Walk, but we’re well short of our goal for raising money for the orphanage, so we’re going to talk about that a little more next week and see if we can’t get some last-minute donations to help the orphanage. :)

All my best,

-Scott

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