Category Archives Photography

Greeting from a train somewhere in the countryside between Bergen, Norway, and Oslo. We’re close to wrapping up 9-days vacation here (with my wife and daughter), and we’ve been having just a wonderful time (our first time here in Norway — incredibly beautiful place!). 

As you might imagine, we’re taking lots of photos (and Kalebra is shooting absolutely lights-out with her iPhone — check out her images on her Instagram account. She somehow managed to take control of all the seagulls in Norway, and they fly into position on her command. It’s eerie to see in person, but it makes for a great photo). ;-)

Anyway, with all this water I wound up pulling out my 10-stop ND filter quite a bit (though not as much as I should have), but it got me to wondering — why, after all this time, do we still have “Bulb Mode?” (The mode where you can keep your shutter open as long as you want by holding down the shutter button). 

On my Canon 5D Mark IV, normally the maximum my shutter can stay open is 30-seconds
…unless until I switch to bulb mode, and then I can leave it open all day long (well, for as long as I hold the shutter button down, or in my case, as long as I leave the button on my cable release locked). Since the main reason, you need bulb mode is for long exposures, why not just let us automatically be in an optional type of bulb mode once I choose an exposure beyond 30-seconds?

For example, yesterday I was doing a series of 2-min, 20-second long exposures. Why can’t I just set my shutter speed to 2:20 seconds? Why do we need to change modes? Beyond that, why don’t they just do away with us having to have a cable release in the first place — why not have an option to turn on so if you go beyond a 30-second exposure, pressing the shutter button waits for 5-seconds before opening the shutter to let any vibration from pressing the shutter dissipate. That does away with Bulb mode and the need for a cable release all in one. 

Now, there may already be some cameras out there that already have this exact feature (I don’t think it’s a Canon or Nikon, maybe an Olympus or Pentax), but this seems like one of those, “that’s the way we’ve always done it…’ type of things that have kept the “big boys” from doing, but perhaps there’s some technical reason why we need to have a separate bulb mode for long exposures that I don’t know, and if there is, I’m hoping somebody here will let me know. 

Anyway, this is the kind of thing you think of when you’re standing on the rocks shooting a long exposure waiting patiently for 2-minutes and 20-seconds to pass. ;-)

Here’s to a great week (and smooth flights home, wherever you may be). :)

All my best, 

-Scott

P.S. This Friday I’ll be giving the keynote at the Out of Chicago Conference, and I’m pretty psyched about it. Heard so many great things about the conference, and I’m delighted they asked me to speak there this week. Looking forward to meeting some of you there. If you’re not going – you can still go! :)

I’m happy to announce that we are now accepting entries to have your own solo gallery showing at The Gallery at KelbyOne, in Tampa, Florida.

Our last winner, Ian Munro, works for the police dept. in the UK. Our winner before Ian, Stephen Wallace is an Anesthesiologist. Our next winner could be you. If you’re thinking there’s no way you could win, that’s exactly what all over previous winners said. The only way you don’t have a chance is if you don’t enter.

Here’s a quick one-minute video with some details:

Here’s how to enter: 

  1. Here’s where you submit a link to your portfolio, or Facebook album, or Flickr page, or online gallery – (we’re looking for a body of work – at least 20 images) Note: this competition is only open to KelbyOne Pro members.
  2. From the submissions, we will choose a single winner. It could be you. If it is, we’ll fly you and a guest (from anywhere in the world) to the gallery in Tampa, Florida for a solo gallery showcasing your work, where we’ll feature approximately 18 of your images, beautifully printed and displayed by Bay Photo Lab using their amazing Xpozer system.
  3. The evening of the opening, you will welcome the crowd to a wine and cheese reception held in your honor that evening in the gallery where they can see your work, and get a chance to chat with you in person.
  4. Following the reception, we’ll move to our theater for an interview with you about your work, your life, your inspirations, and well…you. It will be streamed live around the world (along with behind-the-scenes images of the opening, and photos of your work).
  5. When it’s all over, you will receive all the prints from the exhibition (courtesy of Bay Photo Lab), and one of your images will be added our permanent collection, so future visitors can get see one of your winning gallery images.
  6. The deadline for submissions is: June 24, 2018, at 11:59 PM EDT.

 

Have questions?
Here’s the link to an earlier post with a detailed Q&A on how this all works.

Hope we’ll be welcoming you to your own gallery show very soon. Good luck everybody!

One more thing…
We’ll wrap up with some photos from earlier gallery contest winner’s gallery openings:

Have a great weekend!

Best,

-Scott

Hello, hello, HELLO! Happy #TravelTuesday one and all, from right here at the prep for Photoshop World in Orlando, Florida!

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of being invited to join Scott on The Grid when I visited the KelbyOne offices (a long way away from my hometown of London, UK) for super-secret meetings and super-awesome burgers! It was (technically) my third Grid appearance, but the first where I had actually been on set, and it was flippin’ sweet! So here’s the thing…the topic was all things travel photography. Where to shoot, when to shoot, what to bring, all that lovely stuff. But, the thing is, we had a whole load of awesome questions coming in and not enough time to answer them all! So, here’s what I’ve decided to do today:  I’m going to expand on an answer I provided to one of those great questions, and that question is right under this epic photo!

 

 

“How do you make your photos tell a story?”

 

In my answer, I related to a trip to Paris. You can go to Paris and shoot the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysée, but when you only have those three photos you don’t have a story, you just have those three photos. What makes your trip a story is the things which happen before, during, and after the point at which you stood in front of the Eiffel Tower and shot it. Just like this: –

Before you shoot your all-encompassing story it’s a good idea to know what the story will be. If you want to capture the hustle and bustle of a city or the tranquility of the countryside, those are very different things which are caught in different ways, but both, equally, are stories worth telling and which can be told. Having anything between a rough idea to a storyboard for your story idea will help you when you’re on location so that you know exactly what you want to shoot, how you want to shoot it, and how you want to portray it as an element within your story. It’s this little bit of homework beforehand (which, I think, we in the business call “research”) that helps get you as prepared as you can be to make your story epic!

 

 

Next up, what is it that makes the “story shots” different from those Eiffel Tower shots? Well, it’s the element and feeling of belonging. As I already answered, it’s the things like the restaurant frontage, the car parked out front, the chefs and waiters, the Parisienne taxi, all of these other details which make up a scene when they’re put together, or which could potentially be anywhere. But, again, they paint the picture and tell the story of Paris when they’re put together.

 

 

Think of it like this: Way, way, way back, our ancestors sat around a fire telling stories. The stories were there in place of Facebook, Instagram, TV; they were handed down and told through the generations. They were twisted a little and evolved like a Chinese Whisper, but they essentially stayed the same and their morals certainly sat solidly within the story. The story is essentially timeless. Its narration was integral to our lives and cultures, and that has evolved into reportage or photojournalism, which has become practically synonymous with wedding photography and can and should be translated to travel photography.

 

 

The bottom line is that it’s more about the series of photos than just the one photo. It’s the combination of recognisable landmarks with details, close up crops, people, and things nearby. It’s the things which poke and evoke the other senses and perceptions. One way to practice, if you’re so inclined, is to make a few stories on Instagram Stories or Facebook Stories and ask your friends and followers for feedback.

Let me know how you get on, and show me by finding @capturewithdave on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

Much love

(come find me at PSW!)

Dave

Good day, hey hey, happy #TravelTuesday one and all! Today this post goes live as I sit at 35,000 ft high, at a steady cruise of around 560 MPH, heading from London to Orlando in preparation for Photoshop World! It’s the creative event of the year and everyone who’s anyone will be there. You’ll see more on that elsewhere though so, for now, let’s hit a subject we can maybe learn a little something from, which today is the basics of a histogram.

So, my intention here is to explain what exactly a histogram is showing you and how to make use of it to improve your photography both in-camera and in post. It’s no masterclass, but I reckon it’ll be useful.

Why have I chosen to write about such an exciting subject? Well, it has come to my attention that there are a lot of people out there who just ignore the histogram. Sometimes it’s ignored out of ignorance and sometimes out of a lack of understanding, but its very prevalence should be sending a message that perhaps it’s quite an important tool.

A histogram is telling you all about the quantity of light in your shot, and here’s how: –

The x-axis of the histogram is showing the frequency—on the left, the darker areas and on the right, the lighter areas. The y-axis shows the quantity of these frequencies. If there are more shadows, there will be more spikes on the left. If there are more highlights, there will be more spikes on the right.

Here are the key points: –

– If you have a single floor-to-ceiling bar at the left, your shadows are clipped. Similarly, if you have one on the right, it’s your highlights that are clipped. This is causing a loss of detail in each of those respective areas.

– If your histogram is split into channels of red, green, and blue, you’ll be shown gray to indicate that all three channels are overlapping. If it’s two channels, you’ll get a different colour: yellow, cyan, or magenta. This helps to show us which channels are behaving in which way.

– A correctly exposed image gives us a histogram which is a central peak, whereas something underexposed peaks on the left and something overexposed peaks to the right.

– A histogram can help us understand the overall exposure state of an image. A histogram is, however, scientific. Science and creativity sometimes work together, but not always. This considered, remember that as well as reading a “good” or a “bad” histogram to determine correct exposure, it’s still good practice to use the histogram as a tool to help rather than as the ultimate decider.

So, what lesson is there to take from this today? Well, perhaps make it a habit to keep an eye on the histogram both in camera and in post. Learn the basics and once you have, there’s nothing wrong with staying right there. Having that base knowledge to help keep details in images and expose correctly can be a lifesaver, and although learning all the fine details of a histogram may or may not make you more of a pro, it’s certainly a good foundation in either case to grasp the fundamentals. The histogram is not optional. ;)

So for now, until next week….

Much love

Dave

If you are, I think I can help you come back with some of the best images you’ve ever taken. Check these out these courses this weekend:

> If you’re heading to Europe, check out one of my “Photographer’s travel guides” on where to shoot in:

I hear from photographers all the time who tell me how helpful these were to them, and what a difference it made in the images they brought back from their trip.

>> If you’re heading to New York City this summer, next week we’re releasing my “Photographer’s Guide to New York City” and it’s not the same ol’ places you’re used to (well, it’s a few of them, but lots of interesting and fun places you might not have known about). Should be out next Thursday. Can’t wait to share this one with you.

> If you just want to learn about Travel Photography in general, check out my Travel Photography course on KelbyOne — it’s a two-part course: Part one is on the shooting, and Part 2 on the post-processing, and it’s filmed on location in Paris.

> Rick Sammon has a great travel photography course that’s a great compliment to the one I did in Paris. He has lots of great insights — totally worth checking out. Here’s the link. 

> Another great online course — this one from Colby Brown — it’s on How to Make a Living as a Travel Photographer. Here’s the link — really great info. 

> We also have some awesome members-only Webinar you can watch, streamed on-demand, including my “A Walk in Lisbon” travel photography Webinar, and “A Walk in Venice” and another — From Prague to Budapest” – plus join Rick Sammon and me for a members-only Travel Photography Webinar.

> A while back I did a talk on my trip to Cuba, and it had lots of tips and locations, so if Cuba is on your travel list, you can watch this one right on YouTube. Here’s that link. 

Whew! That’s a lot! Hope those help you to get your very best travel images yet! :)

Have a great weekend everybody — it’s a perfect one to start prepping for those summer photo trips.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Just 12-days until the annual Photoshop World Conference in Orlando. People are signing up every day (a bunch signed up just this week). You can still sign up and join in. Detail/Tickets right here.Hope you can make it.

I want to help new photographers really have a breakthrough in their photography, and I think I can – today at 2:00 PM EDT. If you have a friend, co-worker, or family member that is new to photography, and you want to see them make a real leap to where they’re making much better images right away, have them watch this one minute video below about my free Webinar today – I think I can really help (and it’s really 100% free).

Here’s where you register(free) for my 2:00 PM ET live “Beginner’s Breakthrough” workshop.

I’m going to share some things I believe can really make a difference in their photography right away. It’s free and open to everyone, so I encourage you to invite your friends (just send them a link to this post).

Thanks for sharing this with your new photography friends. :)

Here’s wishing you an awesome Thursday, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Best,

-Scott

P.S. Don’t forget to scroll down to the next post for our regularly scheduled “New Class Thursday” post so you can check out our new course – it’s Terry White’s class on using Adobe Spark to get more attention on social media.  Just released today at KelbyOne (we release a new full-length course every week). 

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