#TravelTuesday with Dave has come round again, and this week I want to jump into learning photography. I’ve been asked time and again about when I got into photography and where I learned, most recently on the Drobo blog.
I’ve told the story of my first camera many times over: – my parents got me a Nikon F40 for my birthday when I was a teenager. That’s the very short version of the story! If I were starting now, I reckon it’d be a lot quicker to make progress versus back then when I was shooting on film rather than with a screen on the back of the camera. In fact, I recently took hold of a film SLR and it was very strange that there wasn’t a screen back there!
The way I learned to shoot initially was simply by picking up the camera and shooting anything and everything—flowers, my pet dog, landscapes, people, literally anything that happened to get in my way! It was so frustrating, though, because I wasn’t immediately seeing results. Oftentimes, I couldn’t quite remember what I had done when I’d gotten things right and wrong. It was all about making mistakes, then subsequently remembering what the mistakes were!
When I moved to South Africa I had another camera, as well as my Nikon F40—I had a little digital point-and-shoot. I was learning from both together, taking the “pure photography” skills from what I was doing with the SLR and taking note of composition and colour and various other things from the digital camera, and kind of mangling and intertwining the two to form a bigger picture in my head of what was happening in photography.
It was a few years after my return to the UK that I started to take it much more seriously, investing in a digital SLR and really taking note of what an aperture really was, how shutter speed affects things, and getting my head around ISO. I discovered that I really did love photography as much as I’d thought and I stepped it up a gear again, scouring the internet for all the information that was available and investing in all manner of books for my shelf.
The truth is, moving on from then to now, that I’m still learning and I’m positive that if you ask Scott whether he’s still learning, he’ll give you that same positive answer. And, Scott is someone who I’ve learned so much from with KelbyOne and his amazing books and from shooting together.
The community of photographers incorporates all of us at every skill level, and it’s a great community. It’s one which we should treasure and respect because of its value to us all because, ultimately, wherever and however you learn about photography, you’re learning from a photographer.
Speaking of learning, Photoshop World West is right around the corner, and if you’re there I’d love to meet you!
#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: –
Make your big goals more manageable by breaking them into smaller tasks.
Remind yourself why you’re doing it.
Remember the good feelings.
Use your strengths.
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.
P.S. My Sunrise Challengehas 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!
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. :)
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
Well, someone found a new way to rip off photographers
I don’t know if there’s any solid way to protect yourself against this type of scam which hits folks who are selling camera gear (or honestly, selling anything). I saw this on Petapixel.com earlier this week — it’s a new scam where the legit seller gets ripped off in a new, and sadly clever way. You need to read post this as a heads up, but I’m not sure even how to adequately protect against it (though the person it happened to does give one solution, it’s not an easy one). Here’s the link.
A new account to follow on Instagram
Wonderful Australian fashion photographer Stephan Bollinger ditched his old Instagram account (and 17,000+ followers) and is starting over from scratch with a new account and new focus. Stephan is a great photographer and teacher, and I hope you’ll give his new Bollinger.photo account a follow. Here’s the link.
“Mastering The Model Shoot” On Tour
Incredible learning opportunity here folks as fashion light master Frank Doorhof is bringing his famous “Mastering The Model Shoot” workshop to New York City on September 1, 2019. Get this — you can join Frank and learn straight from the guy who wrote the book for only $299, which is just an insanely low cost. Insane! There are a few spots left, and if you want to jump ahead fast in lighting, styling, posing and shooting, this is your chance. Here’s the link — do not miss out — Frank is awesome! (I’ve learned so much from him myself; can’t recommend him enough).
7 Little-Known Lightroom Shortcuts
If you’re into Lightroom, I’ve got seven of those little-known, but oh-so-handy Lightroom shortcuts over at LightroomKillerTips.com – some juicy ones in there for ya. Link. (plus, an eighth one today – one I didn’t even know – I learned it from one of my readers).
When did Card Slots become the big thing?
When I saw Sony’s announcement of their new A7R IV Mirrorless camera earlier this week, I had to chuckle when I saw this official promo photo (above) on so many sites which clearly shows, “Yes, it has two card slots.” When did having two card slots become such an “it” thing that it becomes the thing a major camera manufacturer highlights when launching a new camera. It’s a weird time, folks.
Photoshop World Vegas Hotel Rooms 95% Sold Out
The special discount hotel room rate for folks attending the Photoshop World Conference out in Vegas next month (Aug 21-23) are almost gone (they’re now 95% booked up). If you’re thinking of joining us (and you should definitely come out and be a part of it all), these discounted rates are only available until this coming Monday, July 29th. So, this is your last chance to snag a great rate. Conference details here. Reserve your discounted room here. – See you in Vegas, baby yeah!
I found my next lens!
Already pre-ordered it from B&H (I believe it’s due to ship next month. It’s the Canon 24-240mm for my Canon EOS R Mirrorless — one lens that does it all, and I’ve been waiting for Canon to come out with a lens in this range that’s small, lightweight and inexpensive, for years. Canon’s lenses for their EOS R have been incredibly sharp, and I imagine this one will be sharp as anything, too! It’s just $899, which for a lens these days, is incredibly cheap. I love that it’s 24mm, rather than 28mm like most all-in-one lenses already out there (I can crop to get to 300mm or more, but you can’t make a lens any wider than it already is). Anyway, I’m psyched.
I’ve been waiting for Marc’s Book on creativity to ship
I got to see a pre-release copy of photographer Marc Silber’s new book Create, and it’s just so good. Marc’s book is filled with “Creative conversations from some of the world’s top photographers, filmmakers, Grammy award winners, TED presenters, actors, CEOs and more!” It’s about living a creative life, being able to visualize and unlock the creative spirit inside you that will flow through your art, your work, and your life. So well written, and if you’ve ever struggled with coming up with creative ideas and concepts, this is the book for you. Here’s the link to it on Amazon. Congratulations to Marc for creating another wonderful tool for our community.
I do not know how she does it!
Kalebra posted this shot to her Instagram and I was like, Dang! How’d she get that with her iPhone. I’m there beside her at night with my whole rig; tripod, bullhead, fancy lenses, cable release, etc., and she got a way-cooler shot that I did from there (once again). Hope you’re following her on Instagram, and if you’re into dogs, she has an awesome account just for our two crazy doggos, called “maggieandmaki” – it’s a pretty hilarious account of their daily lives, and her doggo pics are awesome (and her commentary is…well…you’ll see). 🤪🐕
Boston and Philly, I’m Headed Your Way in August
My new “Ultimate Photography Crash Course” full-day seminar is in full swing now and I am getting just over-the-top incredible feedback from the folks who have come out. I am having a ball teaching these concepts and helping photographers get real results right away — I love it! My next two cities are Boston on August 29, and Philadelphia on Aug 30th. Hope you can come out and spend the day with me. It’s 100% money-back guaranteed if it’s the single best photography seminar you’ve ever attended at any price, period! You’ve got nothing to lose! Tickets and info here. (more cities and dates coming very soon).
Spotted this deal from Bay Photo Lab – Time to make some prints!
Spotted this deal on Twitter – Bay Photo Lab’s giving 15% off anything until Monday (we use their XPosure System for displaying prints in our gallery and it is awesome – ask anyone who has seen them). Here’s the link to get their 15% off deal.
It’s Still #1 (whoo hoo!)
It came out in 2017 but it’s still the #1 bestselling lighting book on Amazon, and if you’re not absolutely in love with your flash, this $20 book will make all the difference in the world. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments from readers and they all pretty much say the same thing, which is “I finally love my flash.” As an author, there are no sweeter words — it’s why I wrote the book. I want people to love their flash, and get the type of results they bought their flash for in the first place. I think this book can honestly help. It’s $20. Whadayagottolose? Here’s the link.
Hope you all have an outstanding weekend! :)
P.S. Did any of you catch the trailer for the next season of “The Walking Dead?” The Season 10 one they released at Comic-Con last week? It has an epic almost hopeful feeling (well, at least at the end). I love the soundtrack and the shocking love-triangle thing that looks like it’s forming. Anyway, here’s a link to the 4-minute+ Comic-Con trailer if you haven’t seen it. [note: it’s pretty gory, like all Walking Dead stuff).
Hope you’ve got a sec to check them out. I have the back story, a few behind-the-scenes shot, and lots of pics.
Here’s a $100 Off Code for Vegas Photoshop World (but it’s only good today)
Our Early-Bird $100-off special ended last night, but I’ve got a special code for $100 off, so you get the same deal, but it’s only good for today!
Check out this video below to get you hyped, then head over to this link right here for tickets to the biggest, baddest, most awesome Photography, Photoshop and Lightroom even on the planet! It’s next month — August 21-23, 2019 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino right in the heart of the Vegas strip.