Happy #TravelTuesday everybody! It’s me, Dave Williams, taking over for the day as I do every Tuesday here on Scott Kelby’s blog. Let’s be honest, Scott deserves a break with Photoshop World East coming up soon, and I’m pretty excited to get over there and hope to see some of you!
Let’s start by addressing a little myth that’s circulating social media right now, and that’s the myth that Adobe has scrapped their £/$/9.99 Photography Plan. The answer is: – they haven’t! Go take a look at Adobe’s subscription plans if you don’t believe me, and if you’re quick, you’ll catch a flash sale they have, too.
Okay, onto the main event! Today, I want to address something rather important in photography. Can a photographer be “good” because they have good gear? Well, my immediate answer to that question on absolute face value is “no.” I think it’s much more important to work on your eye first, and here’s why: –
The most important thing a photographer can do is understand why. Whatever gear you’re using, if you’re just starting out or an old hand to the game, the most important thing really is to understand why. Why does a certain lens perform in a certain way? Why does a certain camera’s sensor give a particular look to the colour? Why does composition lend itself to conveying a particular message? Why does f/16 generally work in bright sunlight? Why does the exposure triangle make sense? Why does light soften as the source and subject get closer?
If you want to be a better photographer, you must understand why. The belief that a new camera makes you better, for example, is not true unless you understand why. Understanding why you want that new camera is crucial because if you don’t, you don’t know if it’s the right one. There’s the old adage, if you’re new to photography, that a pro photographer can do better with any camera than a rookie can do with a top of the range prosumer camera, and it’s true. You know why? It’s because the pro knows why. Having spent the time to understand not only what happens when they press the shutter, adjust the light, set the aperture, etc., the pro knows why these things happen. We all want to improve ourselves and our photography—it’s our human nature—but often the problem is that we can be mistaken that better gear makes us better photographers. It’s certainly true that the bokeh on a shiny new f/1.4 lens can be phenomenal, but without a good understanding of light and composition that can all be wasted. Perhaps, if you’re looking to spend money to improve your photography, consider spending it on training or on gaining experience and you’re on the fast track to understanding the answer to that all-important question: why?
When I started out in photography I thought I needed shiny new toys, loads of different lenses, and tons of megapixels. I quickly learned that what I, in fact, needed was answers and no amount of money spent on gear would substitute training and experience. The most important thing a photographer can do is understand why. Know why a camera or a piece of kit does what it does, and you’ll know which one best suits your purpose.
I hope that means something and makes a difference to your progression, no matter what stage you’re at. There is one exception, however: – buy a Platypod. ;)
I’m off to Paris today, so I wish you all a great #TravelTuesday and you can follow along with me at @capturewithdave if you like. I’d love to meet you in the comments!
When I was in Minneapolis for my new seminar and I had the day off before my seminar, so I went shooting with my buddy Jay Grammond who lives up there. I’m always on the lookout for classic old interiors and he came up with some really great ones.
We got to four locations in all (including some real gems), and I put together an Adobe Spark page with the story, behind the scenes shots, camera settings, and my favorite shots from the day of shooting in the Twin Cities.
Just 10-days to the East Coast Photoshop World Conference
It’s not too late to come and join us in Orlando. If you can’t make Orlando this month, we’re doing a West Coast Photoshop World Conference in Las Vegas at the Mirage Resort & Casino on August 21-23, 2019 and it’s going to be epic. Tickets and info on both conferences at photoshopworld.com
I did it — I went mirrorless this week when I bought the new Canon EOS R Mirrorless body and I’m super-psyched. I mentioned this on “The Grid” this week and I had a flood of questions, so I thought today I answer some of the most common questions I’ve been getting about the switch. Here goes:
Q. Why did you wait so long?
A. Mostly because of all the rumors about Canon coming out with a pro-level mirrorless camera later this year, but my fear is the pro-level one when it comes out, will be more than I need (more megapixels, a lot more money, heavier, etc.). Plus, I have my Paris Workshop coming up next month, and while I could rent one from LensProToGo.com, I already know I really like the EOS R, and when I saw a great deal on it on B&H Photo, I finally pulled the plug and bought it.
Q. I thought you already had a EOS R?
A. That was just a loaner from Canon. They let me try one for 60-days when it first came out. I’ll say this. It worked — I wound up buying one. I also borrowed one from CPS (Canon Professional Services) for my Aircraft Carrier Trip last month. On that trip, I fell in love with it all over again.
Q. What does it do that your Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t do?
A. It actually takes almost an identical image, since I believe it uses an updated version of the 5D Mark IV sensor, but it has so many things that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t, like a fully articulating pop-out rear LCD touch screen. I shoot a lot down low for my style of shooting (often on a Platypod), so being able to move that screen anywhere I want was a very big thing for me (that LCD screen is a higher resolution than my 5D Mark IV’s screen, too). There are a half-dozen other things that the EOS R does, that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t (stuff like the new Eye-AF feature, 4K screen grab, an assignable touchbar, fully silent shooting modes, built-in Bluetooth, way more autofocus points, double the RAW buffer, better auto-focus in low light), and those are all more icing on the cake for me. So, my images will look about the same, but it will be a better shooting experience for me and that’s really important to me.
Q. OK, give me one more thing.
A. That’s not a question (it’s more of a bossy order), but I do a lot of long exposures, and it has a really nice feature where you use its touch screen to take the shot (no cable release necessary) and then it times your long exposure for you on the big LCD screen [with big easy-to-read numerals). Well, there’s that and it’s just easier to do long exposures on a mirrorless camera. Of course, that applies to any mirrorless, but together it’s another plus. I know you only asked for one, but one thing I love is when you turn off the camera to change lenses; a little door comes down over the sensor opening, so junk doesn’t get on your sensor. I super dig that.
Q . So, does your 5D Mark IV now become your backup camera?
A. Yup, pretty much. I sold my old 5D Mark III (which was my backup camera) and my old 16-35mm f/2.8 lens on eBay and those pretty much paid for my upgrade. Now my 5D Mark IV will be my backup camera in most cases, but I could still see me using it for studio work. I’m not sure how I feel about an Electronic Viewfinder in the studio — I’ve done it, but not enough to make a final call.
Q. Does it tether to Lightroom Classic yet?
A. It does, but only for the past few days. Tuesday’s Lightroom Classic update included the ability to tether the EOS R into Lightroom. Whew! Just in the nick of time.
Q. I always thought Canon sent you all your cameras for free?
A. I hear that a lot (saw some comments that said that same thing on The Grid this past Wed). Unfortunately for me, they do not. I have to buy them, but again, B&H Photo had it for $300 off, so I bit (thanks B&H). Really glad I did.
Q. I see from the picture up top that you bought the Control Ring Mount Adapter. What does it do, and why did you get it?
A. The Adapter part lets me use my existing Canon lenses on this new mirrorless body. The Control Ring part lets me assign a camera function to a ring that goes around the adapter. For example, I like to assign Exposure Compensation to that ring. My hand is already right there, so it’s incredibly convenient. I fell in love with that feature when I had the loaner. It’s so brilliant, I’m surprised someone else didn’t think of it first.
Q. How do you feel about the Electronic Viewfinder?
A. I’m getting used to it. It’s definitely different and it has a few nice features to it, but if given a choice I still like my regular ol‘ viewfinder. I’ll probably get used it. Well, I’m pretty sure I will, because it’s now my main camera.
Q. How much lighter is it than your old body?
A. Not enough to matter. Around 1/2 pound. It is physically a smaller camera, but for the most part, the whole “Mirrorless is lighter” thing on any platform (Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.) is pretty much negated by the fact that as soon as you put a nice f/2.8 lens on it, it’s about as heavy as your old DSLR rig. I didn’t go mirrorless for lower weight anyway (especially since it really doesn’t exist in any meaningful amount); I did it for all the other reasons (well, that and the fact that it’s pretty much the future).
Q. Will you be buying any new lenses for it?
A. I will. When they release a 70-200mm (which apparently they have already officially announced is coming this year), hopefully, I’ll be getting that one, because it actually is smaller and lighter. Also, the lenses I’ve tried that Canon has made for their Mirrorless line so far have been absolutely stellar. Crazy, ludicrously sharp. So, in short “I’m in.”
Q. Have you talked with other EOS R users about their experience with the camera?
A. I have, and I haven’t talked to a single one that doesn’t absolutely love it. Plus, when I did a post about this on Facebook, lots of folks who already have (or literally just got their EOS Rs) shared comments about their love for this new mirrorless.
Q. Hey, Scott, I saw a number of comments over on your Facebook page today asking “Is this a sports photography camera?” So, is this a sports photography camera?
A. I’m gonna say “not really.” Of course, it will take a picture of whatever you aim it at, and at 8 frames-per-second it’s faster than my old 5D Mark IV (at 7 fps) which I have used as my 2nd camera for some pro sporting events, but it’s really not made or, or aimed at that market.
Q. So you’re not giving up your 1Dx?
A. I am not. I bought this EOS R to replace my old 5D Mark III, not my 1Dx. By the way — a used 1Dx is a stellar deal for sports or wildlife photographers, as I think it’s one of the best cameras ever made (the only thin beating it, in my opinion, is the 1Dx Mark II). You can get a used one in good shape at BH for around $2,600. Amazing low noise and like 14 fps. You’ll see this camera at every major sporting event.
Q. But it only has one card slot. How will you possibly manage to shoot with a card with only one-card slot?
A. Somehow, I’ll manage. I have a number of bodies with two slots and rarely do I ever actually put two cards in them. Over the years I have had a memory card go bad. Thankfully not many, but it happens. Maybe once every three years or so. In every case, I’ve been able to retrieve all the images off the damaged cards, so it’s never been an issue. So, for me, the two card slots mania isn’t a big issue, but in the big picture — it should have two card slots. At least two SD-slots — heck, they’re so thin, how much could it have added to the size or weight? Anyway, I imagine when Canon releases their Pro Mirrorless, it will certainly have two card slots (or spontanious Twitter death will rain down on it from above).
Q. Anything you don’t like so far?
A. Its battery life. It’s not awful, but it ain’t great. Not nearly as good as my 5D Mark IV’s battery. I generally carry 4 extra batteries (in my awesome little Think Tank Battery Holder), so it’s not a big issue, but I do wish the batteries lasted longer. Also, although you can just tap the rear screen to set focus and move your focus point, I miss the little rocker switch dial thingy from my 5D Mark IV. The EOS could use a few extra buttons for stuff like that.
Q. When are you going to share some images from the EOS R?
… this past Saturday afternoon our son Jordan graduated with two degrees from The University of Alabama, and the whole family (and friends) went up to be there as he walked across the stage to pick up his diplomas and let me tell you, it was such a proud moment for us all. We were cheering and screaming and whoopin’ it up!!! (#rolltide!). We are so excited for him to be starting this new chapter of his life, and for the fine young man he has become. A prouder parent I could not be. :-)
That’s right — the print version of my latest book, “The Landscape Photography Book” hits the stores this week! It’s my most pre-ordered book in years, and it’s already #1 on Amazon’s photography bestseller’s list (see below), but you might win a free copy of the print edition today. Just leave a comment below, and you’re entered. We’ll draw five winners at random and ship you the book (as soon as we get our in-house copies, which should be any day). If you want to pre-order your copy now (so you get it first), here’s the link to the print version on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Good luck, everybody! (more news stuff below).
I ‘m in Indianapolis Today For My Seminar Tomorrow
It’s not too late to come and join me, and about 200 other Indianapolis area photographers, for my full-day seminar; “The Ultimate Photography Crash Course.” Sign up over at KelbyOneLive.com
I’m in Minneapolis This Thursday
If you want to join me there for the seminar, it’s not too late either. KelbyOneLive.com
And then there’s the Photoshop World Conference at the end of this month
Whoo Hoo!!! It’s almost here — the world’s biggest and most complete Photoshop, Lightroom and Photography conference, and it all starts on May 31st in Orlando and runs for three days — you gotta come (there’s still time to sign up and be a part of it all): PhotoshopWorld.com
Have a great day everybody! Can’t wait to meet everybody tomorrow here in Indy!
From sunny South America, I’m Dave Williams and today is #TravelTuesday, which means I’m here on Scott’s blog with something for you on travel, photography, Photoshop, or life. Today, a little on business in photography!
I’m currently in Rio de Janeiro where, together with Lonely Planet, I’m on my never-ending quest for the world’s best coffee, and I’m hunting the best views the rainforest city has to offer. It’s all over on my social media—you can find me anywhere hiding behind the alias @capturewithdave. :)
All the times I can remember shooting, I remember the “last shot” has, in fact, never quite been the last shot. When I shot weddings, as part of a tandem outfit with my best mate and business partner Peter Treadway, we often joked that we wanted to take “just one last shot,” and we both knew that whenever the other uttered those words, we’d have at least another 15 minutes shooting. But, why was that? Why were we, on one level, keen to finish, but at the same time, carrying on with the shoot in search of that “one more shot.”
Perhaps it was something relating to confidence. Perhaps we knew there was still a shot there, which would stand out above the rest, but we didn’t quite have it yet, owing to either our ability or simply to the absence of that shot. Perhaps we already had the shot but had such competitive determination that we simply didn’t want to stop because we were chasing a shot that just wasn’t going to happen. I mean, we certainly had the tenacity to know where to start and, when it wasn’t happening, when to stop. Maybe that was why—maybe when it was happening, we wanted it to keep happening. But, maybe it was something else altogether.
Good enough isn’t good enough.
Maybe we both knew this. Maybe we already had, in our subconscious, the knowledge that good enough wasn’t good enough and in order to stand out, we actually had to excel, not just settle. In a crowd, it’s the one who has a little something special, the one who sticks their neck out—that’s the one who gets noticed.
Sunrises get noticed.
Proper lighting gets noticed.
Personality gets noticed.
Concentrate on these things and others, which will make you get noticed, and don’t settle—good enough isn’t good enough if you really want to go far as a creative.
I am so, so excited about this new full-day seminar — and here’s what’s it’s based on; if I could spend just one day with a friend, and I only had that one day to give them a giant leap forward in their photography, what would I teach them that would have a real, immediate impact on their photography. What could I show them, that would change their photography from that day forward. That’s exactly what I put in this semimar.
Check out this video and you’ll totally get it.
Who should attend this new seminar?
It’s not aimed at pros (though there will be some pros there for sure); but it’s for landscape photographers, portrait photographers, travel photographers, flash shooters, natural light portrait folks, wedding photographers, and street shooters, fine art photographers, food photographers, and anyone who is just tired of struggling along, and knows there’s got to be an easier, faster, better way to make great images.
It kicks off next month in Indianapolis and Minneapolis
…and I want you to come out and spend the day with me. You have nothing to lose — it’s risk-free because it’s 100% money-back guarantee if it’s not the best photography seminar, you’ve ever attended, at any price ever. Period! Don’t spend the next five years “paying your dues” and learning everything the hard way, or not learning it at all. If you’re ready to make a big jump in your skills and start taking great images now, this is the one day that can change everything.
It’s just $99 for the full day of training and includes a detailed printed workbook (the biggest one I’ve ever written by the way) bonus videos and more goodies. It’s a kick-butt day and you’re going to learn a lot no matter where you are on your photographic journey.
Here’s the ticket info for Indy (Tuesday, May 7, and Minneapolis, (Thursday, May 9). I hope I get to meet you in person next month for a day that’s going to change everything!
Have a great Easter weekend, everybody!
P.S.More cities and dates to be announced soon, but we’re going pretty much everywhere in the US, so hopefully we’ll be in your hometown soon. :)