Category Archives Travel Photography

Hi all! Dave Williams here again for another #TravelTuesday on Scott’s blog, and today, I’ll push myself to inspire you a little with summer right around the corner. As we approach the summer, here are some awesome ideas for things to photograph: –

It goes without saying that at the top of my list is sunrises. After all, it is my absolute favourite time to shoot. Sunrise totally beats sunset, as I’ve said countless times before. That said, sunset is also a great time to shoot. With the restrictions imposed owing to COVID being gradually lifted around the world, we can now begin to carefully and responsibly travel again, so shooting a sunrise or sunset with a gorgeous summer tone is now back on the table. Making the most of golden hour in the summer months can result in us getting some excellent images for our portfolio, or even just for practice. In the summer months, the glare of the daytime sun can be overwhelming and our images will feature a lot more contrast than in winter or in the shoulder seasons, so on some days the start and end of the day can be the only time to shoot a decent photo.

Still with COVID in mind, we can step things up a gear by introducing a model to the scene. Taking steps to keep everyone safe and compliant with local regulations, adding a model, and shooting a portrait at golden hour can add an element of humanity to our images. Perhaps this may even be the first time many of us have photographed a person in over a year, so it would be well worth doing. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if we use a TFP model, it may well be their first shoot in just as long. Any additions to experience or portfolios are always worth the effort for all concerned.

After such a long time with the world restricted by so many rules and regulations, particularly restricting us with regard to travel photography and meeting people, it looks as though this summer may be the time for us to start resuming to a state of normality. 

I, for one, will be heading out as often as I can to get back in gear, and with regard to the easing of international travel to and from my base here in the UK, I’ve made plans to get some trips under my belt to rack up my mileage. 

Much love

Dave

I’m Dave Williams, and #TravelTuesday has come round again. Let’s get straight into it!

The most Instagrammable bird has been announced. It’s big news, I can assure you. There are some keen bird photographers among the KelbyOne community, so this may be no shock to some, but let’s flip things on their head and begin with the least Instagrammable bird. 

Vultures have scored high on the list of least Instagrammable birds. Maybe it’s their bald heads from the neck up, often covered in entrails, or maybe it’s the dreariness associated with their scavenger lifestyle, but the vulture doesn’t tend to feature alongside other beautiful wildlife.

Topping the list is the Frogmouth owl. This bird was once designated the world’s most unfortunate-looking bird, but it’s the bird you may recognise from social media posts showing it seamlessly blending into its forest surroundings. What may make it even more special in terms of an ornithology model is the fact that it’s quite rare, so each sighting and each awesome image attracts attention and likes, along with its huge, inviting eyes and unusual facial features adding to the attraction.

What is it that makes a good bird photo in general?

In general, it’s a tight crop, exposing the details, such as an attractive plumage or a detailed activity like fishing or building a nest. A long lens is a fairly important piece of gear to get close in on the small subjects. Composition, which we rely on so much in most fields of photography, takes a bit of a back seat in bird photography owing to their less-than predictable movements, so long as the surroundings have been considered. Above all, those wishing to get into bird photography should get out there and into position to get as much experience and practice as possible.

Much love

Dave

Hi all! #TravelTuesday is here again, and the return of travel is looking more and more promising with each passing day. I can’t wait to hit the road again and dedicate more time to travel photography, entailing more travel for myself, but for now, it’s all about planning and preparation (which is a very important aspect of travel photography). I’m Dave Williams, and this week for ScottKelby.com, I want to share some pro tips to up-and-coming photographers in all fields. Let’s do this!

Number one on the list – megapixels

The whole thing about megapixels is actually a bit of a non-issue. It’s something that has continued from the inception of digital photography where there was a megapixel race involving far fewer digits than we’re used to now. That megapixel race led the consumer to choose a camera based on the number of megapixels it shot as one of the primary criteria. We’re now seeing cameras on the market that feature a megapixel capability far in excess of what we need as consumers and only actually useful if we’re producing billboard-sized masterpieces, so please don’t base your decisions on megapixels when choosing a camera.

It’s actually about the glass

Now that megapixels are out of the way, let’s talk about what you should be investing in: – glass! Our hardware is something we tend to collect as photographers. We’re all fairly hooked on our kit list, our gear, whatever else you want to label it – we’re hooked on “stuff.” When we choose our primary setup, it’s far more important to consider glass than it is the camera itself. So long as we have a reasonable, functioning camera, we can turn out a decent photo with a careful investment in a good, fast lens. Our lens makes so much more of a difference than our camera does in terms of creativity, from the size and shape of the bokeh produced, through to the capacity to let more light in and knock a background out of focus to focus attention on the subject of our images. To this end, and to reiterate, it’s more about the glass than it is the camera.

Also, tripods

A good, solid tripod is worth an investment, too. Think about it: We balance all our expensive gear on top of a tripod. That tripod needs to be rated to carry that weight, robust enough to keep it there, and rated enough that nothing will go wrong. A good tripod or a Platypod is well worth the investment for the sake of keeping our camera and lens safe when we’re taking rock-steady shots.

And, straps

Straps are exactly the same, but different. Rather than balancing our gear on top, like a tripod, it hangs down from our strap, and as such, the strap needs to be up to the task. Using a low-quality strap is a risk that’s just not worth taking. When our gear is on that strap it needs to stay there, safe from falling off.

Essentially, when it comes to gear, it’s worth some research and some wise investment. It isn’t the gear that takes the photo, it’s the photographer. The gear is what makes it easier at times and, therefore, is worth that extra bit of consideration.

Much love

Dave

Dave Williams here for #TravelTuesday, as always, on ScottKelby.com. This week, I want to touch on the best camera out there – the one in your pocket.

Almost every one of us has a phone in our pocket. These phones are now capable of helping us to create awesome images, alongside the mobile editing apps available to us, such as Adobe Photoshop. The performance of mobile phone cameras has grown massively in recent years, affording us the ability to shoot in a way similar to when we’re shooting on our “proper camera”. Noise performance in low light, dynamic range, shutter speed, and other features have been added to camera phones, which give us so much more freedom to be truly creative with them.

When we’re out and about, not necessarily with our camera in tow, it’s more true now than ever that the best camera we have is the one in our pocket. This is so true, in fact, that Scott has released a book detailing all the reasons why and how to make the most of these amazing pieces of kit.

I’ve often found myself “caught short,” so to say, and have resorted to using my iPhone to take a photo. That said, I’ve also used my iPhone in place of my camera, or in addition to using my camera. Sometimes when working on a tripod, or when taking a long exposure and having the camera unavailable at any given moment, our phone takes its place and allows us to carry on shooting, particularly in moments where the opportunity may pass.

This is a selfie taken right after I delivered the last line to camera for my latest KelbyOne class. It’s an iPhone shot, edited in my phone using Adobe Photoshop and LD (Lens Distortions).

Here’s my 3LeggedThing in Reine, Norway. As is obvious, my camera is in the photo – I took this with my iPhone as a long exposure and edited it in the phone with Snapseed.

This iPhone shot, from the Italian Dolomites, demonstrates the dynamic range on offer to us, right in our pockets.

This iPhone shot from Iceland shows the artificial broken we can have on our images by utilising a phone camera with more than one lens, combining images right in the phone to separate a subject (me, of course) from the background.

And this is me, with walking legend, Mark Heaps, at Byron Burger in London…because that’s also what our phones are for!

I’ll reiterate something I’ve already said, but only because it makes so much sense: The camera on our phone is more powerful than ever, and the best camera we have is the one we have in our pocket.

Use your phone camera as often as you can. Get to grips with all it can do, so you can take advantage of it to create some great photos. You won’t regret it.

Much love

Dave

I’m Dave Williams and today it’s #TravelTuesday, which means I’m here again. I’m knee-deep in my latest project and it got me thinking about skills transferable to and from photography. This particular project is a van build—if you’re following my social media, you’ll know a little about what I’m up to already. If you don’t, here’s a peek: –

That’s the insulated interior of the van, ready for walls, flooring, and a ceiling to cover it up. But, what transferable skills help us in photography?

Attention to detail

In fixing up this van and getting it ready for furniture to go in, I’ve had to pay a lot of attention to detail. It’s strange, though, because it’s things that nobody else will notice. I’ve had to deal with small patches of rust to stop them from spreading, for example. But, these small patches, after having been treated, were covered up with paint, then insulation, then more insulation, meaning only I know that they’re there. The same thing happens in photography in that we pay very close attention to details that are likely not even noticed, or we hope aren’t noticed, in the final image. Darkening an area that’s not particularly interesting in the hope that people don’t pay it any attention, or cloning an area to change its makeup are translatable, and they’re both things we do as photographers to improve our photos, but that we don’t want people to ever see.

Repetition

We often repeat ourselves. We often repeat ourselves. Learning a new skill or art involves repetition. They say, “practice makes perfect.” I don’t know who “they” are, but it’s true. Learning how to build a van involves picking up a lot of new skills, which in turn, means a lot of practice and subsequent repetition. Once a new skill pops up and needs to be utilised, a lot of learning through repetition helps to make it easy and eventually put us on autopilot.

Reflection

After we do almost anything in life, we reflect. We wonder if we could have done it better, or perhaps just differently so that we can consider our approach the next time. It’s all part of our own personal development and, as photographers, it’s also part of our professional development. By our very nature, we are critical, and being critical of ourselves forms a part of this.

Whatever we’re doing in our life, we can transfer thoughts, ideas, and even processes in and out of our photography. It’s all part of our journey, and it will always help us to grow. For now, I have to get back to building this van.

Until next week…

Much love

Dave

Dave Williams here, and it’s #TravelTuesday again! I’m working hard on a project right now (clues on my Instagram), and it’s occupying a lot of my thoughts, but in between those thoughts are dreams of the adventures I’ll have once the ‘rona situation is over. One of my favourite kinds of places to have adventure is among mountains, so today I want to share some hot photo tips for shooting in the mountains.

First off, a mountain photo doesn’t have to show the entire mountain. Cropping in on a feature of the mountain, like this awesome waterfall in Norway with the light dispersing into a rainbow through the mist, is a way to show off a part of the mountain without showing the whole thing.

Next up is scale. Mountains are huge by their very nature. Showing the sheer, gargantuan size of these behemoths by including a recognisable feature, such as a person, a building, or a vehicle, really shows off their size.

Sunrise and sunset in the mountains are different. I’m not just talking about how it’s awesome, but it actually is different. The horizon is displaced somewhat, so the sun doesn’t breach the horizon as it does on a flat earth. If there’s a mountain to the east, sunrise will be slightly delayed. If there’s a mountain to the west, the sunset will be earlier. We can play on this by shooting the light hitting the opposing face, or the rays soaring over the mountains, but we need to bear it in mind so we can be in the right place at the right time.

Silhouettes can really show off the shape of a mountain and using compositional methods we already know, such as the rule of thirds, diagonal lines, and others, we can turn out some great shots of entire mountain ranges silhouetted against a nice sky.

And to wrap up this week’s post, my top tip for mountain photography is to get on top of it! Climbing mountains, whether they’re enormous alpine wonders or simple, gentle lumps of granite, is a great achievement and gives us a great feeling, as well as some great photographs.

With that, I’m going back to my project and I’ll catch you all again next week.

Much love

Dave

Close