Category Archives Travel Photography

#TravelTuesday has come around again, and I’m right here as always to impart some of the bountiful wisdom filed amongst the mayhem in my mind! It really has been mayhem, too. I moved home this past week, heading out of the big smoke that is London and landing nice and gently in the Great British countryside. It’s fabulous to be able to see the stars again, but I’ve hit a brick wall with my internet provider – Vodafone, if you’re wondering. The connection date was exactly one week ago and I still have no internet. I’m resorting to coffee shops to hop on Wi-Fi in order to do all that I need to do online, which is slowing me down a lot, so my apologies for any glitches in regular service! Anyway, I’m Dave Williams, and I’m going to share some travel photography insider secrets with you today! Let’s do this!

Now, in the world of travel photography, the shooter has many skills but fits them all into one job – to make the viewer want to be in the picture! There are tips and tricks within the trade to help create an image which achieves that result and sells, and today eight of those insider secrets from my years of shooting travel are yours, gratis!

1 – Turn around!

There’s almost always a great view in the opposite direction. It’s very, very common to turn up somewhere at a tourist location and see everyone facing one way, usually at a spot labelled “sunset point” or “scenic vista” on Google Maps. These places aren’t wrong – they tend to afford an incredible viewpoint over whichever location you’re in and going hand-in-hand with them there’s usually a snack shop, souvenir stall, car park, and ease of access for all. One thing I’ve seen taken to some extremes and which is 99% true is that there’s also a nice view where people aren’t looking. Go against the grain, pull out your rebellious side, and see what’s behind the crowd. Don’t be the sheep – take a step away from the average tourist and get the shot people aren’t getting!

2 – Avoid touristy shots

On a par with number one, and a piece of advice I’ve given time and time again in blog posts, articles, and face to face, is this one: don’t shoot tourist shots! If you shoot what everyone else is shooting, it’s really, really, really difficult to make that image captivating. It’s really difficult to have it stand out amongst the crowd in a portfolio or in a stock catalogue. Here’s the background: the starting point of moving away from the tourist shot is to think like a tourist in order to stop thinking like a tourist! A tourist takes out a camera, faces forward, brings the camera up to eye level, and shoots with the subject centre frame. Think about that. ;)

 

 

3 – Put people there

Now, don’t tell her, but this is something I often to and fro with, with Stephanie Richer. She firmly believes that putting a person in the frame is what should be done and she’s absolutely right. (But, don’t tell her I said that!) It’s probably the easiest way to make your shot unique, and side by side with that it can help to convey emotion, scale, and a story. Further to that, the pose or activity the person is doing can change the story altogether. For example, putting a person running in the image will give it so much more energy, or putting a couple in the photo can show a harmonious solitude.

4 – Check before you leave

There have been far too many times that I’ve been somewhere cool and have come back to find I screwed up the focus or didn’t compose quite how I intended to because I didn’t check the frame after I shot it. Having spent time and hard cash getting to the location, its the last thing you want. It can all come to light when you submit to a stock agency and have it rejected because of a technical or creative error, so check your shot every time to make sure you nailed it!

 

 

5 – Close in

One thing I’ve heard Scott say time and again is this: “Get tighter!” He’s absolutely on the money, and if you think that your shot isn’t good enough, try it out. Just get closer. Crop in on something within the frame, or on the subject you’re already on and notice the difference. It’s more detailed, more intimate, and just better.

6 – Lose the embarrassment

One thing common among photographers is an embarrassment or shyness. It’s weird, but it’s true. Don’t be afraid to get in there, shoot people, stand out from the crowd, and get something unique and personal. Sometimes, when it comes to shooting people, it’s a very good idea to ask. You’ll usually get a positive response and getting used to asking strangers for a photo will make it easier the next time, and the next time.

 

 

7 – Shoot blue

Blue sells! Have you noticed? Next time you’re in WH Smiths or Barnes and Noble, take a look at the covers of the travel magazines and travel guidebooks. There’s a very common theme running through the majority of them and it’s the colour blue. Photography magazines with landscapes will have dark, deep tones and moody skies, whereas travel magazines will have blue skies and blue water. Blue sells in travel.

8 – Right place, right time

This can’t always be pre-planned, and often the best shots are the ones you didn’t intend to take, however, it’s important to be in the right place at the right time as far as you can. Know when the sun is rising and setting, know which direction it’ll be in, and put yourself in the right place by planning properly. The rest will all fall into place!

If you have any more travel photography tips, I’d love to hear them! You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook :)

Much love

Dave

This is your invitation to come to beautiful Rome, Italy and join me and Italian photographer, long exposure expert, and KelbyOne Instructor Mimo Meidany for an unforgettable four-day travel photography workshop — “The Classic Beauty of Rome” in one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. First, watch this short video:

Get ready for an unforgettable hands-on travel photography workshop in one of the most historical and photogenic cities in the world, — beautiful Rome, Italy. The city of statues, fountains, and piazzas will be your home for four delightful days of creating captivating images, learning important camera techniques, composition, long exposure photography, and the latest post-processing techniques. All this while enjoying wonderful meals, remarkable views, and making new friends.

What: The Classic Beauty of Rome Travel Photography Workshop
Instructors: Scott Kelby and Mimo Meidany
When: Sept 21-24, 2018 (with an informal get-together on the night of the 20th)
Where: Exe International Palace, Rome (terrific location)
Price: $3,950 Per Person (includes accommodations, and breakfast each day – see below)
Tickets: More details and tickets here (limited to 12 participants maximum)

Your home for the workshop is the wonderful Exe International Palace; a charming, modern boutique style hotel (with excellent wi-fi) located in the heart of Rome, and in walking distance to many of Rome’s most iconic shooting locations, with lots of great shopping and restaurants nearby (and not far from my all-time favorite restaurant, Mimi e coco).

We’ll be shooting each day on location
Then heading back to the hotel for post-processing our images where we’ll learning new techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop; learn new camera techniques; have time for critiques before we head back out to make more gorgeous images. Lots of learning, lots of laughing, amidst the incredible views and scrumptious food of this culinary paradise. After sunset each day you’ll be free to explore the city on your own, and its charming restaurants and cafes.

It will be an extraordinary experience — one that will inspire, inform, stretch you, and challenge you to try new techniques, new ways of thinking, and do things photographically you never thought you could. You’ll come home with lots of stunning images, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Mimo and I look forward to welcoming you to Rome and getting to know you as we spend a few days together making images, learning new techniques, and uncovering The Classic Beauty of Rome.

NOTE: This workshop is limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

You can hold your spot at the workshop for a Deposit of $1,000 US. If you have to cancel the workshop, the $1,000 deposit is non-refundable unless we are able to fill your spot: After Sept 10, 2018 refunds will not be available.

What’s Included:
Workshop fee includes four nights accommodations at the Exe International Palace hotel, double-occupancy, including four breakfasts at the hotel. Additional meals are on your own. (If you prefer more privacy, single rooms are available for an up-charge. See the sign-up page for details).

Activity Level: Light to Moderate
Rome is walking city so we’ll be doing a good bit on foot, and our hotel is situated in a great location with lots of shooting opportunities nearby, but we’ll also be taking local transport for some of our shoots. Workshop Participants should be in good health; wear comfortable shoes and clothing, and be ready for lots of walking and standing for extended periods of time.

Dress:
The weather in Rome in October is beautiful — it’s not too hot with highs in the low 70s F°, but it can get a little chilly at night getting down as low as 53°, so bring at least a light jacket or coat. As with any outdoor event, the weather is somewhat unpredictable, so also be prepared if it rains.

FAQs

What do I need to bring to the workshop?
A DSLR or Mirrorless Camera; a sturdy tripod with ballhead; wireless remote or cable release; a wide-angle lens (24mm or wider); a telephoto lens; a neutral density filter (10-stops, and or a 2nd 3 or 5 stop) for the long exposure techniques. You’ll need a laptop with either Lightroom or Photoshop (or both) for the post-processing segments. If you need to rent gear, we recommend http://www.lensprotogo.com

What level of experience is required?
All levels of experience are welcome, but participants should be familiar with their camera and lens and have some experience in either Lightroom or Photoshop.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
The hotel offers Airport Shuttle to/from for an additional fee.

Are there other expenses will I need to cover?
As mentioned earlier, lunch and dinner are on your own. Also, if our shooting location is not within walking distance (as will be the case some days), you’ll have to pick up a bus/subway pass. Outside of those minor costs, we don’t’ anticipate any additional costs.

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
You can post a comment below, or you can email me directly. 

What’s the refund policy?
If you have to cancel the workshop, as long as you cancel before Sept 10, 2018, you will receive a 100% refund, minus a $300 cancellation fee. After Sept 10, 2018 refunds will not be available.

Where do I sign up?
Right here (you’ll be taken to the sign-up page).

Reserve your space now — and we’ll see you soon in beautiful Rome.

Have a great weekend!

Ciao!

-Scott

P.S. See how I worked that Italian word in there? While my Italian language skills are, shall we say, somewhat limited (ahem), my fake Italian accent is worth the trip alone. Ask anybody who was at our Venice workshop. ;-)

Hello there! It’s #TravelTuesday again so it’s that time of the week that I, Dave Williams, jump in right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share something that will hopefully fill in a gap somewhere in your creative flow! Today, as I head off on a mission to Iceland, I want to tell you about something that I’ve found valuable in the field of drone photography and videography. I want to tell you how to pull a still from a video so that you can retouch it as if it were a photo in Adobe Photoshop – something I do when I shoot with my drone quite regularly.

First up, load the video you want to pull a frame from in Adobe Premiere Pro. In this example I’m using Premiere Pro CC 2018.

Now move the Playhead to the position within the video from which you want to pull the still image.

 

 

In this example I’m taking a still from a video I made at Kilt Rock during my trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland last week. Gushing over the cliff at Kilt Rock is Mealt Falls landing straight into the sea. I caught a composition of the two on video and I want to make something of it, so I’ve set my Playhead to the right point and I’m ready to pull out the still.

Next up, hit the Export Frame button. When you do this you’re presented with a dialogue box which gives you a couple of options.

 

 

First up is the File Name. We can change this name to whatever suits. Further underneath that is the Path option, the destination of which we can change using the Browse button. The option that’s rather more important to us here is the Format field. Once we change this it remains selected as that format each time we do this until we change it. There are a few options here, one of which as a photographer we may not be so familiar with, and that one is DPX. This stands for Digital Picture Exchange and it’s the format used when scanning film which records colour density and in fact records a lot of data relating to the frame. The more common formats we’ll see here are TIFF and PNG. Personally I choose PNG, however it all comes down to your preference and your intentions.

 

 

Once we’ve hit OK after selecting the format and destination of the file we can go ahead and take it from our folder straight into Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to make the adjustments we’d make to any other photo. It’s that simple, yet surprisingly often overlooked.

 

 

I hope that little nugget was useful for you! As always, do let me know how you get on, and you can show myself or KelbyOne on Instagram if you want, we love to see! You can keep track of my Iceland adventure right on my Instagram too!

Much love

Dave

Hello, internets! It’s #TravelTuesday again, so I’m here to impart some kind of wisdom onto you, and today it’s all about tweaking colour with Camera Raw’s Hue sliders. But first!

I’m writing this post from a Starbucks just outside of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in Scotland, fresh from an overnight stop before I head farther north towards the Isle of Skye. I’m shooting a couple of little projects involving drone photography and Platypod tripods. You can keep up with what I’m doing on this trip by following me on social media (look for @capturewithdave) and by watching the @kelbyonepics Instagram story!

On with the blog!

The HSL  (Hue/Saturation/Luminance) Adjustments panel in Adobe Camera Raw is very useful, but perhaps most confusing are the Hue options. While the Saturation and Luminance sliders enhance the colours, the Hue sliders actually change them. There are some pretty powerful things you can do with the Hue sliders—you can even change the seasons in post if you tweak the colours the right way.

What’s actually happening when you adjust a colour slider in the Hue tab is that you’re moving its position on a colour wheel. In terms of its practical application, I’ll use the Hue sliders to adjust this photo and make the grass greener, whilst maintaining the other colours.

 

 

In this shot, the tones up in the sky are beautiful—the sun lowering in the sky (it’s 9pm) is casting a fabulous orange glow—but I feel like the grass should be just a little bit greener. We can take advantage of the Hue sliders and make this adjustment easily right in Camera Raw.

 

 

Using the Hue sliders to shift the colours within sections of the colour wheel, if we move the Yellows slider (the colour of the grass in this case) towards the green end, and compensate with the Oranges and Greens sliders to maintain the actual green and retain that orange in the sky by moving those sliders away from the yellow ends, we’ve easily achieved our goal! It’s as easy as that!

 

 

 

That grass is now greener, which to me is more realistic and more pleasing, and all it took was an understanding of what’s going on with the Hue tab’s sliders.

Much love

Dave

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

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.

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