Category Archives Travel Photography

Hello, and welcome! It’s #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, which of course means that I, Dave Williams, am here, in your face, loud and proud with some industry nuggets of gold to share with you!

First off, news time:

Workshop – If you’re up for a workshop in Iceland, I’ll be running one this summer alongside my brother from another mother, Peter Treadway. Keep your eyes peeled over on my social media (@capturewithdave) for more info!

Webinar – On January 5th, on the amazing Photoshop and Photography Facebook Group, I’ll be hosting a webinar all about drones and drone photography. It’ll go live at 9 p.m. UK time, 4 p.m. EST, and 1 p.m. PST.

Photowalks – Following the awesome time we all had in London on our recent photowalk, it is my intention to run more! The good folks at BlackRapid thought this was a brilliant idea, and they’ve thrown a whole bunch of straps my way to give away at future photowalks. So, if you’re in London (or willing to get there), watch my social for more walks!

Seminar – Sorry to those of you in the USA and the rest of the world, but here’s another UK one: – In the new year, I’ll be hosting a seminar at the Sim Imaging gallery in Hatfield, Herts, and it’d be great to have you there! Again, details will go live over on my social.

So, the blog!

There are Christmas markets dotted throughout the world right now and they bring an amazing atmosphere, beautiful decorations, and sparkly lights.

The best time to take Christmas photos is during the hours of darkness when the decorations and displays are enticing and almost magical. I highly recommend that you get out and find a Christmas market or two, and get some awesome shots yourself!

Now, you and I know that rules are meant to be broken, so I’ll start with a rule-breaking example from Riga, Latvia. Christmas photos may be best at night, but that doesn’t mean they must be taken at night. Take a look: –

 

 

 

But, when we are shooting the Christmas markets and decorations at night, we need to consider the light and the action, as well as the detail.

 

 

Capturing those actions is a great opportunity to play with long exposures. With this giant Ferris wheel, I’ve taken an exposure of a few seconds to capture the movement in a very slight trail of light. It’s only possible to do this with a solid base, such as a tripod or Platypod, but carrying that extra piece of kit with you is totally worth it when you see the results.

 

 

This shot is inside the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, Germany. When shooting a location at Christmas it’s worth incorporating the location to give the viewer a sense of place. In this image, I’ve got that hint of Christmas from the tree in view, just slightly tucked away, adding a little festivity to an otherwise ordinary scene.

 

 

At the other extreme, you can go full-on Christmas mode! In this shot, I’ve filled the entire frame with two trees, one foreground and one background element, giving the viewer an overwhelming yet beautiful feel for the season.

 

 

Going back to the sense of place, this time the situation is reversed in that the place becomes part of the Christmas scene, rather than the other way around. Christmas has clearly taken over here and overcome its surroundings, but highlighting those surroundings in amongst the action makes for a winning shot.

So, now that the Christmas holiday season has landed, spreading joy, peace on earth, and goodwill to all men, etc., etc., get out there with your camera and capture it!

Much love

Dave

I’m Dave Williams, and I’m back again, right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider for my weekly #TravelTuesday post—straight from across the pond in (not so) sunny England. Today, I’m going to lay down some tips for shooting wide, which have come from my realisation that I’ve been carrying around a 14–24mm, 24–70mm, and 70–200mm lens almost everywhere I go, but haven’t actually used the 24–70mm for a very, very long time! Instead, I’ve opted for the 14–24mm to take in a much wider scene.

 

 

The most important points to note when shooting with such a wide lens are these:

It will make big things seem smaller! This can mean that our point of interest can be lost amongst the larger scene and we really do need to consider this when we’re composing the scene.

It needs a foreground element to work well. This is because there’s so much in the frame that if we didn’t have a foreground, we’d risk creating a confusing mess of a photo, with the viewer’s eye wandering around a large scene and getting lost without anything, in particular, drawing their attention around the edges. When setting up and composing our shot with a wide angle lens, just the smallest movement can make a huge difference to the foreground element. Whatever foreground element we choose, be it a road or some other leading line, or perhaps something like water to support the atmosphere of our composition, it must support and direct to the background to work just right. Because the foreground is so much more emphasised with a wide angle lens it really must be carefully considered and composed.

It will put more of the scene in focus. The depth of focus from a wide angle lens is so much greater than other, longer lenses and, therefore, it’s easier to catch a lot more of the image in focus. What we can potentially lose in distortion, which we can, of course, deal with in post, we are going to gain in overall sharpness throughout the scene.

 

 

Having a wide angle lens in the arsenal is a fantastic thing for many genres of photography, but in particular for landscapes. When it’s used carefully and properly it can help us create some truly powerful and dramatic images, so use it right and step your photography up a gear!

Much love

Dave

Happy #TravelTuesday one and all, from freezing-cold Iceland! (Selfie attached as proof. ;) I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here, as always, to lay down a little light on something photographic! If you’d like to see what I’m up to in Iceland as well, take a look at the KelbyOne Instagram Story, while I take over this week.

 

 

Our photographs are sometimes like evidence of a place, or a time, or a situation. In fact, they’re more than that. Photos can speak to our heart and soul; that’s why we get that warm, fuzzy feeling when we see a photo we really love and can’t take our eyes away from it. There are so many photographers out there sharing their work for all the right reasons, and it’s often an overwhelmingly large arena, what with Instagram, 500PX, and Flickr, not to mention Facebook, Twitter, and blogs all hosting an enormous array of emotive, purposeful images that people want the world to see. It’s often true to say that we communicate through our images, and those images can be seen by a whole world of people not known to us.

It’s not only a way of sharing our passion, though. Another thing I’ve noticed a lot is how much it invokes creativity, and I often receive messages from people asking how to take similar photos—it’s because sharing creativity inspires further creativity, not only to others but also in ourselves. When we figure out how to take a certain type of photo, we feel a sense of achievement and pride and it makes us feel good. It makes us want to do it again. Our attention grabbed, our emotions prodded, these photos really can move us. Photography is a powerful language, and it shows the world how we see things.

Another thing that’s both important and powerful in photography is the memory and legacy involved. When I shot weddings, I always used to explain to clients that it is important to have a printed album because in years to come, when children and grandchildren are looking at the photos, there’s that moment when they’re taken from the attic, the dust is blown off, and the photos are felt. They’re tangible. It’s a physical memory, as well as a pictorial reference. It’s the old printed photos of our history and our family history that we look at now, and it’ll still be those printed photos that we look at for generations to come. Those frozen moments of our lives are significant and special and are another part of photography.

 

 

One final piece of this intricately simple explanation of why photography is so important is because—and this may blow your mind—they tell us what is important. The ones we value represent the things that are important to us, and are important in our lives. What we shoot means something to us; what we keep out of what we shoot means even more.

Much love

Dave

Hello, and a warm and glorious #TravelTuesday to you all! I’m Dave Williams, I’m here every Tuesday, and today I have some notices for you to begin:

My new class is out on KelbyOne! If you want to create a cinematic look for your drone photography, go check it out right here!

I’m delivering a Photoshop Masterclass on November 14th in Hatfield, UK. Bag your ticket right here.

And, I’m hosting a webinar all about travel photography with the Facebook group, Photography and Photoshop this Saturday. Full details are here.

Finally, being unable to run a Photowalk this year for Scott’s WWPW, I’m teaming up with my brother from another mother, Peter Treadway, to run a walk in London on November 18th. There are prizes on offer from KelbyOne, Platypod, and BlackRapid. Full details are here.

Now, on with the show! The title here is “Photo Police” because, recently, I had an experience with Peter whereby we were chased down. I still get a little emotional, to be honest, so bear with me while I recall this traumatic experience.

We were in Gatwick Airport in the UK and Peter was making a video. He had his DSLR attached with a Joby Gorillapod to the top handle of his roller case and was basically just shooting our journey through the airport, which he would then speed up in post and use as B-roll footage to a wider, much more epic video. Whilst we were walking through the duty-free shop, we heard a very nervous “excuse me” coming from behind us, but proceeded on our route and thought nothing of it. The “excuse me” became louder and louder, and nobody else was stopping to react, so perhaps it was intended for us. I say us; I mean Peter.

We both turned and saw that, indeed, the “excuse me” had been intended for us and it was coming from a whole medley of staff wearing different uniforms, one of whom was a manager and another was security. We were told that we weren’t allowed to film in this area, so being the polite and understanding chaps that we are, we agreed to stop immediately without question. But, what happened next was strange—we were asked to delete the footage. We both took a brief glance at each other and in sync, we shook our heads and said, “No.” I explained that, albeit we were on private property, an airport here in the UK is treated as a public place owing to its right of access, and there were no signs visible as a condition of entry, stating that we were not allowed to take photographs or make video. After all, there are hundreds of people taking selfies and making videos in the airport all day, every day, and we weren’t making the video for anything other than personal use.

Wanting to avoid confrontation, we started to walk away but were told, again, to delete the footage. Once again we refused, but this time we were told that they were going to get the police involved. Both of us clearly thinking, “yeah, sure” we walked away again, but this time committed. You’ll never guess what happened next…

So, we were in Starbucks, where I was fuelling up and getting my caffeine fix, when out of nowhere two officers approached us, asked us about our video, and to whom we gave a detailed and frank explanation. The two of them had no problem whatsoever with the explanation we gave, were quite understanding, and tried to spin the reason for stopping us from a public safety point of view. I mean, I understand that there are, of course, safety implications, but realistically they wouldn’t come from the two of us quite overtly filming with a big rig whilst each hauling what was clearly camera bags.

The point is this: the “Photo Police” is a thing, and we see it all too often with tripods, so where do we draw the line? At what point does a sign expressing that no drones are to be used, for example, become enforceable? At what point does it need to be obeyed, and at what point does it need to be merely considered. Recently, in Halstatt, Austria, there were “no drone” signs all over the place, but upon checking the airspace in the area, it was clear that these signs were effectively meaningless and they had just been put up by the locals. Similarly, the manager in that duty-free store simply didn’t like the fact that we were filming—it wasn’t anything other than that. He didn’t have a firm understanding on what his position was, nor on what our rights were, not only as photographers but as “members of society” when he insisted we delete the footage, and subsequently got the police involved in his incorrect actions.

I guess it’s all something we need to accept as photographers, and to that end, it’s important that if other people don’t understand the rules then we need to make sure we do. We need to know the laws, rules, and regulations for where we live and wherever we’re visiting so that we can properly and effectively deal with these kinds of situations.

And, in that endeavour, I wish you luck!

Much love

Dave

I’m Dave Williams, and it’s time for another dose of knowledge to land here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider for #TravelTuesday. This week, that knowledge ties in with the first of my 10 tips that appear in the recent “19th Annual 100 Photoshop Hot Tips” issue of Photoshop User magazine!

Coming in at tip number 91 of 100 is “Blue Sells So Emphasise It!” There’s a lot to back up with this wild claim, so let me tell you all about it:

Take a look around at the clear attraction to the colour blue and its association with loyalty, faith, and trust. It also represents strength and dependability. It’s the colour of the sky on a nice day, and even for that reason alone, it’s a colour we love. There are so many global brands who use this colour for these very reasons, such as Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Flickr, NASA, AmEx, and even WordPress, which I’m using right now.

 

 

Research has been done by gender on favourite colours, and in a study it was noted that blue was the majority’s favourite colour, taking the lead at 57% of the vote amongst men and 35% amongst women.

It is, therefore, important to give serious consideration to the use of the colour blue in your photography because, as I claimed in that Photoshop User Hot Tip, blue sells! It’s obvious when you think about it—if the majority favour blue, then, of course, people will tend to spend more time looking at something blue and associating it to good things in their minds. But, how else can we work with the colour blue to make our work stand out?

 

 

Sitting equidistantly from blue on the colour wheel are yellow and red, which we can incorporate into our images for good contrast. Let’s take a very quick look at how that relates to real life with a sunset! We all love a sunset, and our sunset tends to match the blue sky with the red or yellow warmth of the setting sun. It’s familiar and it’s a perfect example of the use of these colours together. Taking it back to less contrast and having more complementary colours, going in either direction from blue on the colour wheel, we go towards purple and green. Using these colours together will tend to keep things much calmer and even incorporating some blue, gray, or white will complement the use of blue in our images.

And just as a final pointer, when describing colours it helps to give it a name. This is a secret pro tip for you: when describing the colour “brown,” if you use another word, such as “mocha,” you’ll get a far better response. So, when describing the colour “blue,” if you find a matching word such as “azure,” “sky,” “royal,” etc., you’ll notice a difference, and you can thank me later. ;)

Check out the rest of my Hot Tips, and the 90 others, in the latest edition of Photoshop User magazine right now on KelbyOne.com!

Much Love

Dave

 

Hi all! Apologies for posting a little late today. I’m having some connection issues while I’m on the road, so I’m actually having to write this on my phone—should be interesting to see what autocorrect makes of it! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m a travel photographer and writer from the U.K., but you knew that already, right? I’ve been sharing my current mission over on the KelbyOne Instagram Story, so thanks to those who are keeping up. I’m currently sitting in a petrol station in Kongsvika, way up in the Lofoten area of Norway and about 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle. It’s situations like this that have inspired what I’m going to share with you today, which has, in fact, been in my head for a few days.

You know the sayings, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” and “You only live once”? Well, these are the best matches for what I want to share today.

This trip of mine has been in the plans for months. I wanted to get to the Lofoten Islands before the snow hit, but after summer. I wanted to catch autumnal scenes, awesome sunsets, and feel the start of the cold. Well, that was the idea. What actually happened has turned out to be starkly different. That hurricane that hit the Carolinas left a depression hanging over the mid-Atlantic which, in being left behind, got picked up by the jet stream. It carried all the way up through the top of France, through the U.K., and up the coastline of Norway. The problem with that is that when it hit the colder air up here, it dumped somewhere around a metric fudge-ton of water in the form of rain, sleet, and snow. Occasionally, all three, and sideways!

What that did to me is have the disastrous consequence of a potentially wasted trip. Fine for a holiday, to be fair, because it’s all still here and pretty looking, but absolutely no use for photography. For these past few days, I’ve been working hard and fast in the gaps between the weather. Here’s one shot I got during a bit of drizzle on Sakrisøy:

 

 

It’s such a beautiful place, but with only a handful of shots from the entire trip, I had to consider my options. So, that’s when I decided—I’m going to Finland!

At around an 8-hour drive, it wasn’t beyond possible, and I’d checked the weather forecasts, the radars, the aurora forecast, the lot! It could work, and there was only one way to find out. So, I immediately changed my plans, being drowned out by a storm, and punched Kittilä, Finland into the GPS.

The drive took me through Sweden, and it was covered in beautiful autumn tones and a pleasure to experience. I was heading through Lapland and determined to see clear skies and, hopefully, some northern lights. Well, guess what! It didn’t happen! This is the best I got, and I’m sharing it purely as proof that it happened:

 

 

I was so full of disappointment, and to be honest, I still am. My whole trip has been a washout, owing to this terrible weather, but that’s just how things go sometimes. You’ve just got to roll with it. Me, however, I tend to tuck my knees into my chest and lean forward. That’s just how I roll. Above all, keep smiling.

 

 

Heres the thing: if you don’t try, you’ll never know. I spent 31 hours in the car, slept in it, and drove across three countries in order to see what I could get. It was a failure, but if I hadn’t done it, I’d never know. You can only fail if you try, and trying is the best you can do. The newly coined phrase “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, is basically made just for this. Although I failed, I know that I tried my best and I took the opportunity to find out what could have been. All in the quest for creating awesome images!

Right, it’s time to get out of this petrol station and head for Tromsø! (Big thanks to Kim for helping me get this post online with the lack of connection I have here!)

Much love

Dave

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