Category Archives Photography

I’ve seen that phrase all over the place, but what does it really mean?

I’m Dave Williams and it’s #TravelTuesday, which means here on ScottKelby.com I’m back with you to lay down a post which, today, is all about memories.

What I mean by memories is, of course, photographs! So, the title: – “collect moments, not things.” I’m sure we’ve all seen this a million times plastered on social media as some kind of wisdom-nugget, imploring us to make memories rather than collect souvenirs. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the other popular saying, “leave nothing but footprints” in that we’re not creating waste, but that’s off the point.

The importance of these memories doesn’t land just with us because those memories or moments we collect in our photography can be handed down or passed around for others to remember and enjoy. Put it this way: – When our grandparents were married they had an album made of their wedding photographs, and probably have an invitation in there as well. That album is the thing that gets pulled out of the attic and dusted off every now and then for the family to look at because those photographs are the things that evoke the memories of those present, and instigate the emotional response of those not present at the time the images were made.

This is important because in this digital age we still need to be making memories, collecting moments, and having something tangible to hand down and pass around, especially with the gift we have as photographers and creatives of being able to make something extra-special. At the risk of getting a little too deep here, collecting moments rather than things is certainly something that gives value to our lives and experiences. Making sure we soak it all up and make the most of it is so, so important, but having the skill and ability to capture and share those moments, immortalising them and sharing them, is basically a superpower!

Sticking with the “digital age” remark, taking it back an era and transforming our memory into something tangible makes the best of both situations. The power of print is phenomenal, it really is, and it’s worth creating the things that are going to be pulled from the attic and dusted off in generations to come when everything around us is different and new, bringing back the nostalgia and all the memories that go with it.

Print, people! Print! Just a little thought provocation and a gentle reminder for your Tuesday. ;)

Much love
Dave

I wish I had written this post that I’m going to point you to today with time-lapse images showing different locations and how they look before dawn right through sunrise, and how the colors change so dramatically over such a short period of time.

I want to highlight this great post from photographer and tech author Jefferson Graham for two reasons:

The earlier shot, with the city lights on and more interesting color, makes for a more interesting shot overall (photos by Jefferson Graham)

(1) I’ve been working on an update to one of my books this week and I was writing about one of the benefits from shooting in a city before dawn is that the city lights are still on (see Jeff’s perfect example above), and that alone makes a big difference in the shot, not to mention the better light and color you get before dawn.

(2) Erik Kuna and I were talking about this on a Grid episode recently and how so many photographers show up at sunrise — right after the light starts to turn ugly and the first tourists appear. They basically just missed the great light and the tourist-free scenes.

Here’s the link to Jefferson’s post.

If you’re not following him on social, you oughta — he posts a lot of cool stuff, and in particular videos of photo walks in various locations where he gives you really interesting ideas of places and things to shoot. Here’s a link to this Twitter feed and his Photo walks YouTube channel. Give him a follow.

Here’s to making the most out of this week!

-Scott

Last week on my live video podcast ‘The Grid,’ I had the honor of clicking the ‘Launch’ button to start the kickstarter campaign on one of the most innovative ballheads ever‚ the “Platyball.” Best of all it’s from Larry T. and the team behind the beloved Platypod who are just some of the best folks out there.

Their goal was to raise $18,000 to fund the launch and initial run of Platyball. Within just a few days, they’ve already raised over $232,000. It. is. on. fire! Larry and his family put their heart and soul into this project and I couldn’t be happier for them. I love it when the good guys win.

Check out their launch video below.

Here’s the link if you want to get in on their kickstarter, and get yours in the first batch that ships.

I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of interviews over the years, but this one with Roger and Joey from from the Lensrentals Podcast was one of my very favorites ever. It was just so much fun. Check out this comment below from when I shared the podcast this weekend on my Facebook page:

When I first started reading that comment, I was sweating it, but I’m glad it had a better ending. :)

I’m putting the link below — let it run in the background while you’re retouching, and let me know what you think. It’s definitely not you’re average interview. LOL! :)

Here’s the link: http://lensrentals.lensrentals.libsynpro.com/how-to-do-everything-with-scott-kelby

Hope you can give it a listen (and thanks to Roger and Joey for being such cool guys!

No Photoshop needed for this trick — it’s nuthin’ but Lightroom!

I got a lot of great feedback on this technique I shared last week over on our sister-site LightroomKillerTips.com and I think what’s surprising is that the entire technique is done right inside Lightroom, and it’s super quick and easy.

Here’s the link if you’ve got a sec.

Those four cities are my next stops for my “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” full-day seminar. San Diego on Feb 12, Phoenix the next day on Feb. 13th. Then I’m in Houston on the 23rd and on to LA on the 25th. Come on out and spend the day with me – it’s 100% money-back guaranteed — you’ve got nuthin’ to lose and everything to gain. Here’s the link. See you there!

Here’s wishing you a great week ahead, everybody! :)

-Scott

P.S. I got a chance to spend the past few days at the NAMM (Music Gear) show out in Anaheim, California and I’ve never felt more at comfortable or more at home anywhere. Why? Because almost EVERYBODY there was wearing a black t-shirt with a logo and jeans. It was like “Planet Scott.” LOL!!! I had such a blast, and yet, I didn’t buy anything (well, I bought some new t-shirts), but much to Kalebra’s chagrin, I did come home with a shopping list, which does include a guitar. :)

For #TravelTuesday this week I, Dave Williams, want to give you a quick twilight tip. It’s only for those of you with patience, mind!

I just visited Zermatt, Switzerland, which is made entirely of chocolate! Okay, maybe it’s not made of chocolate, but it’s on that same league of fantasy. The town itself is a beautiful, Alpine skiing paradise, and it’s car-free which makes it all the more exciting. Everywhere you go requires walking unless you want to take an electric taxi (think more golf buggy) or ride a bike. It meant I had to walk up the slopes to the edge of the village to get this selfie: –

And it’s this selfie which inspired me to get this shot: –

But here’s the thing—and if you were watching my Instagram story you’ll know already—this isn’t one shot.

The key to this scene is that the upper half was taken during golden hour, and the lower half was taken during blue hour. It’s a simple process but it involves patience! I found my spot, got my composition sorted, and from that point on I couldn’t move my camera one bit.

I found a fence post, which was sturdy and out of the way, so if any tourists appeared (which they did) I wouldn’t have to move out of their way. I needed my frames to line up exactly and if there was the slightest deviation it would ruin the entire process. I stuck my Platypod Max on the post, securely holding my Nikon D810 and Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8.

The process from here on is simple. First, I took a shot for the sky, using a 10-stop filter to smooth out the clouds (though they were barely moving), and when I had the shot I wanted I simply had to twiddle my thumbs for a little while and wait for the darkness to fall and the lights of the village to come on, then get my second shot without the filter. The removal of the filter was a little tense; I was so scared of moving the camera! But when it was done I was left with these two images: –

All that was left to do was open them in Adobe Photoshop, place one image on top of the other on separate layers, and then use a layer mask to select the components I wanted from each image. Following this, I used the adjustment brush to paint some highlights onto the Matterhorn and the Toblerone mountain in the background, and then straightened everything up using the church spire as my guide for this.

Simple! Taking separate shots at twilight to combine golden hour and blue hour works wonders on an urban scene, and I strongly recommend working on your patience and trying it yourself.

Much love
Dave

That was our topic yesterday on our podcast ‘The Grid” and our guest was photographer and author Marc Silber. Lots of really great info (sadly, I didn’t bring much to the table on this one, but Marc, Erik and our viewers added a lot and make it a great, really helpful episode. I embedded it below in case you’re looking for something to listen to tonight that will help move you forward photographically this coming year.

Hope, you can give it a look (a listen)? :)

Have a great weekend everybody, and here’s to a more creative 2020!

-Scott

#TravelTuesday is going to be bigger and better in 2020—mark my words! And here I am, Dave Williams, on ScottKelby.com as always, with something from the world of travel, photography, Photoshop, and life. Today, it’s all about travel photography with minimal gear, as the title suggests, so let’s get to it!

We photographers are a special kind of people. We have something that a lot of people don’t have. Let me explain: Most people are either technically minded or artistically minded, but rarely are they both at the same time. Photographers are, generally, both. We are the combination of creativity and science—the left and the right brain together.

We create art with science, and we tend to be proud of a collection of the gear we use to do that, but it’s not always necessary. I used to travel the world with everything I owned just in case I needed it, but then I realised that it’s far better to save the weight and take only what I need based on some proper planning. Here’s a shot of the gear I took with me to Paris last year: –

Yes, that’s it. I shot the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier, the Saint Chapelle, and plenty more architecture up and down the Seine at all times of day and night. One camera, my Nikon D810, along with a Tamron 24–70mm f/2.8, a Nikkor 14–24mm f/2.8, and a Platypod Ultra with a 3 Legged Thing Airhed, and then a BlackRapid Sport. The thing is, you see, this trip to Paris is a perfect example of how you don’t necessarily need to carry around a whole cache of gear in order to effectively shoot a location—you just need to be smart and considerate about what gear you actually need in order to get the job done.

Another thing we photographers can feel the effects of is gear envy. Developing the skills to showcase to the world that you don’t need all the various bits and pieces the person next to you has, but can still attain an amazing shot is a skill, which in itself, creates envy and one which develops technical discipline in our workflow. When we are able to work effectively with minimal gear we are not only saving ourselves from future back problems, but also beginning on a road where we’ll end up giving careful consideration to any purchases likely to end up in our camera bag.

Rather than needlessly buying gear, employing a practice of minimalism will allow us to focus our energy and attention on practice and training, so we can enhance our skills in the raw skill of photography rather than leaning on gear to get the job done. In addition, it helps us to decide on our shot faster, making us more productive photographers.

With a new year, “new you” mentality, take the time to assess your pile of gear and decide what the core setup is so you can get on the road to minimalism, higher productivity, and skill development.

Much love
Dave

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