Category Archives Travel Photography

Amid lockdown and isolation, #TravelTuesday just isn’t the same right now. Regardless, I’m full of optimism and hope that this will be over soon, and I’ll be able to get moving around the planet once again. I’m Dave Williams, here every Tuesday on ScottKelby.com, from the UK to all of you.

This week, my post is inspired by the seemingly endless reminder that I’ve had three trips cancelled or postponed, along with two conferences. I can’t wait to be back to normal and get out on some photographic missions, and I know I’m not the only one.

What I want to do today is show you where I most want to go back to, and ask you where you most want to go.

Monument Valley, summer of 2019, as seen at sunrise from the balcony of my hotel. Monument Valley is a strange place. It has a feel to it. It feels naturally peaceful and powerful. This Colorado plateau is packed with tales of lore from the Navajo Nation, and from every angle, at every time of day, there’s something incredible to cast our eyes on. These buttes have featured in many movies, including Forrest Gump and many movies by director John Ford, and when you see them, you’ll understand why. Taking the 17-mile dirt road through the park is worth every last moment, with such enchanting names for the features as Hunts Mesa, Artist’s Point, and Mystery Valley.

A Rocky Mountain sunrise, like this one in the Canadian Rockies just outside Jasper, Alberta, is simply incredible. The vast expanse of nothing but wilderness in all directions, save for a small town here and there, really puts nature and life in perspective. Approaching the Rockies from the plains of Alberta is stunning in itself, with these gargantuan mountains rising suddenly out of nothing, and the range itself has so many inaccessible valleys and unchartered peaks that there really could be anything going on there and we’d be none the wiser. If I were isolating here, rather than at home, there’d be no shortage of inspiration.

Zermatt, Switzerland, is the picturesque and iconic inspiration behind the Toblerone logo. Or rather the Matterhorn is. The pointed, angled mountain rises above the skiing town of Zermatt, which in turn lies at the end of the road (and train tracks) and is a force for green efficiency. The only vehicles allowed in the town are electric, and this has resulted in an unrivaled peacefulness nestled in the Swiss Alps. The view over the town towards the epochal mountain is a nice easy walk away from the cafes and chocolate shops of the middle of town.

The Bean, or Cloud Gate, in Chicago, IL, is something you can see all alone, but right now, I wonder how many fewer people are seeing it than usual. Inspired by liquid mercury, the design reflects the city skyline and distorts it to focus the attention to the sculpture, whilst simultaneously merging it with its surroundings. To see this all alone requires a very early alarm call, and the hope that yours was the only one.

Plitvice Lakes in Croatia—normally heaving with tourists, both local and international—is one of the major draws to the country, alongside the Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik and Split. An isolated experience in Plitvice is rare but well worth hunting down for the serenity of the peaceful, running water and the azure blue hues of the lakes as they cascade into one another.

When I visited Estonia I wasn’t anticipating the remoteness of the farmland outside of Tallinn. The wintry scenes were akin to something straight outta Lapland.

If you want next-level remote, the Faroe Islands is where you’ll find it. The population of sheep outnumbers the human population, and the only airport (with both of its gates) is at the exact opposite end of the country to Tórhavn, the capital. The chances of bumping into somebody on even the most popular hiking trails are slim to none. It has a feeling which combines Scotland and Iceland, with extraordinary, dramatic scenery.

Speaking of Iceland, sparsity is easy to find here. The power of nature is demonstrated with every turn through this rugged, young landscape. Geothermal activity is evident throughout the whole country, divided diagonally with a rift separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. It’s no surprise that tourism here has skyrocketed, with tourists significantly outnumbering residents at quite a rate. I know I go on about Iceland a lot, but there’s a reason!

Brazil has been hard-hit by the Coronavirus, so hopefully, their recovery will be good, but here’s a view of the beach at Copacabana with just one person walking with his display of sunglasses to sell to the unprepared tourists. The bustle of this contemporary city is shown in relative calm here.

In stark contrast, Venice is a place I can’t wait to see filled with guests again. This region of Italy has been hit hard by the virus and Venice is basically a ghost town. The local economy, like many others, is highly-dependant on tourism to survive, so when all this is over I can’t wait to revisit some of my favourite places on this planet to show my support and do my little bit to bring everything back to life.

Much love
Dave

#TravelTuesday is still based at home! I’m Dave Williams, here again on ScottKelby.com to bring some motivation and inspiration, and this week, I’ve reached out to see what the photographic community is doing. Specifically, I asked to see people’s “work from home” setups. During these challenging times, creativity is amazing for mindfulness because it gives us a mental release from the physical confines of lockdown. Here in the UK, it’s a government-mandated lockdown, but I realize that a lot of you may be on a self-imposed lockdown instead. Whichever it is, I hope you’re all safe and sound, and keeping yourselves busy and productive until this is all over.

Let’s dive in to take a look at each other’s work-from-home situations, and please feel free to post your own (don’t forget to tag @idavewilliams and @kelbyonepics on Instagram so we can see!).

Here’s Victoria Pavlov’s situation…

This is my office/studio. In here, I work on my digital art, recording tutorials and streaming live.

Chris White’s setup…

It’s a very simple setup with 15” MacBook Pro and Magic Mouse. If I could add one item it would definitely be a Wacom tablet.

Stephen Brkich working from home…

I am working on some bird Images from a walk in a local park last Sunday. A few friends from our local Photo Club and I just had to get out of the house and do something. Yes, we social distanced. My dream item would be a better printer. I have the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000.

Tim Wallace’s new setup…

Still using my cheese grater and NEC Spectraview monitors, wouldn’t be without them. Every camera I’ve ever shot on and still do, and a decent amount of desk space. Being creative needs the right space and this is what works for me. Light when I want it to be, flick the blinds and it’s dark, or anywhere in between, and all the lamps can have their Kelvin colour temperature adjusted for what I’m doing. My wife and I designed the white wall unit, and we had that built bespoke for the use and the space. I wouldn’t add anything if I’m honest. It’s a recent refurb and the timing was an epic good choice given the current situation. I hate clutter, and yes, I’m neat but that’s because I have CDO, which is like OCD but the letters are better organised. I’m a creative, which means OCD comes with the territory as do the highs and lows we all get. A good space is a good investment.

Abe Curland’s B&H setup…

I have a Dell XPS. A Dell monitor and a BenQ monitor. I have a Brother laser printer, Samsung T5 2TB, 5TB G-drive, and 3 TB Seagate. My dream item? Not sure. Maybe a RAID system. Or a comfortable chair!

Rosie Kerin’s situation…

Terry White has some excellent training videos, though it’s a bit too tech for me. I’ll get a tech geek to help. Perhaps adding some lighting and another mic. Unfortunately, we are on lockdown so I cannot go out to chat with the experts. I brought another screen and set it up about two weeks ago. It’s a second-hand screen. I guess I”d like a brand new one someday. However, the computer came first.

Speaking of Terry White…

You can find out all about this set up here.

Now, Stephanie Richer…

My workspace is my digital darkroom, as well as a place to escape. The only limit is my imagination. I have my PC and my Wacom tablet. There are also some other items I keep there for sentimental value. From left to right: an empty Celebrations candy tin I use to hold odds and ends, left at my house by Cathy Baitson; my “St. Whitney Houston” candle given to me by my wedding photography partner, Ryan Martin (private joke involving the song “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” when they play it at weddings we shoot); a statuette of a wee nun, Sr. Bokehlaureate, holding a camera; an ever-present coffee mug from the WWII Museum in one of my favorite cities, New Orleans, and in honor of my Dad who lived through three invasions during that war; a birthday plant from my beloved husband that I have managed to keep alive, so far; and a postcard from another photographer and travel partner, Tammy Lee. Even the pen on the pad has significance—I always use a Pilot G-2 blue ink pen, because it was the pen that passed numerous tests when I was trying to decide which to use when I took the California bar examination back in the day (and as a lawyer, I always had signatures on legal documents in blue ink, so as to be able to distinguish original documents from copies). My dream item for this setup would have to be a full list of scheduled weddings and portrait sessions so I can work! And right now, I am working to make that happen as soon as this COVID cr*p ends!

My side of the pond, here’s Stewart Chambers’ situation…

First point: I’m very much an amateur photographer so this setup is more to facilitate home working than photography workflow. Desk – usual IKEA job Chair – out of shot but probably one of the most important things – new mesh seated one from a local supplier (support local!) rated for 8hrs+ office work. Mac Mini – new gen one running an SSD for O/S and two attached Lacie SSD for storage. Usual Apple wireless keyboard and mouse Monitor – LG 27UL650 27″ 4K UHD IPS LED Calibration – Xrite i1 Display Pro. Wacom Intuos (in drawer) for when I do dabble with Lightroom. Logitech speakers and webcam Blue Snowball mic (aiming to build up some kit for better quality video conferencing and YouTube broadcast). Brother colour printer (chosen for bulk rather than print quality as my wife is a trainee teacher so we print a lot of resources). Canon Selphy portable printer for those times when you want to get a print done for the kids’ album or for friends to take away. Dream item – currently a Magewell 32040 USB Capture HDMI Plus to connect the Fuji Xt3 up and finish the basic OBS setup. Although a Mac Pro would be the real dream item but unlikely budget would ever allow that as an amateur.

Sir Kevin Scott’s setup…

What am I’m rocking? Mostly my FT job lately, but headshots and updates to my wedding portfolio. Dream items: new MacBook Pro 16″ and a Wacom Cintiq tablet.

Duncan Ferguson at home…

HP ProBook that I got from my old job, HP hi-def monitor, fancy new camera, got myself a Canon M50 with 18-150mm lens. Tarted up my workspace with a leather pad to save the desk and popped one of my camping lights behind the screen to save my eyes. Got a hefty speaker behind there too. Ideally, want to ditch the laptop and go full iPad Pro!

Deb Uscilka is all about…

At my previous job, I taught online classes from home, so I required an extensive setup to facilitate the sessions. Fast forward to my current position at TJX (parent company to TKMaxx, TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, and more) as an Instructional Designer/Learning Architect. Up until three weeks ago, I worked in the office every day. Along comes a global virus, and here I am back at home. Fortunately, a renovation wrapped up recently, so I could reassemble my studio/office and hit the ground running.
 
As a photographer and gadget-lover, I already had some tech gear to help facilitate my switching to a home office. I love Logitech devices, so you’ll see quite a few here. I have a dual-monitor setup at my desk at work, but I just got a new Dell 4k monitor; thank goodness! One issue that I have is I have run out of room for my Wacom 5 Touch on my desk. And I really need a docking station, but I’m finding it hard to find one that is USB-C and supports dual USB-C monitors, as I may get another monitor later.

Rob Kennedy in Ireland…

Can you spot all the KelbyOne going on here? Rob says: Okay…I was going to tidy up first but I thought “feck it..life’s too short.” 🤣 I even left the JD Presentation box that fell off the edge of the top shelf!! Please don’t judge me too harshly…I’ve always been Mr.Messy. Okay…2019 27.5″ iMac 5K Retina screen, 3.7GHz 6 Core i5. 40Gb RAM with Radeon Pro 580X 8GB Video Card. 2Tb Fusion Drive. This is the one thing I had to compromise on. I just could not afford to pay Apple’s crazy price for SSD HDD’s so went for the Fusion Drive. Upgraded the memory myself from the base 8gb.
Other stuff on my desk – Wacom Intuous Pro Medium 2017 model I think. Could NOT function properly without it.
Multiple portable external drives, a couple are SSD, which I use for editing files before transferring to one of the slower drives for archiving. My dream item right now would be some kind of Raid Drive system that I could add drives to when needed. Actually, looked at them at last years Photography show, but just don’t have the budget for a decent one yet :-)

Ben and Brigitte have…

Brigitte and I are running a 2013 iMac which apart from the RAM (than can be upgraded after purchase) was maxed out when I bought it…which is why we’re still able to run a 2013 iMac.

Our main monitor is the iMac display, which isn’t as great as later models but it still does what we need it to. The secondary monitor is a BenQ and comes in handy as a place to keep either app panels, such as Premier Pro timelines, Photoshop toolbars etc., or it’s great to keep a web browser open so we can follow along with Kelby One classes.

The iPad Pro was bought to take editing away from the desktop and take advantage of the Apple Pencil. There are a bunch of great mobile editing apps out there, such as Affinity Photo, ProCreate, or Adobe Photoshop. All of which have their pros and cons. The main con is the learning curve that comes with learning new software when all you want to do is get on with editing. My day job is pretty intense so when I get home all I want to do is either chill out or create something. Time for learning new software is pretty minimal (unless there’s a global pandemic going on).

My tablet is the Huion H610 Pro. I use a Wacom at work but I can’t quite justify the price tag of a Wacom especially when there are brands such as Huion who make such great alternatives for a fraction of the price. Also, I say ‘my’ tablet because as much as I try, Brigitte still won’t give tablets the chance they deserve.

My dream piece of non-Photographic or video related kit would have to be a new Mac Book Pro. Whilst the 2013 iMac has done us well, it’s nearly 7 years old and is starting to show it’s age. I’m used to 4/5k displays and TVs now so whilst the 2013 display isn’t bad, my eyes notice the difference when looking at details. I do a lot of video work too and want to do more for myself so the better CPUs and GPUs would be a huge bonus. It also can’t do a few bits that I would like it to, such as sidecar with my iPad Pro, I can’t take it anywhere (even downstairs to the sofa would be nice), and I would LOVE to be able to shoot tethered, which unless I drag a 27″ iMac around, ain’t gonna happen!

Jack Koskowsky is rocking…

So my at-home setup consists of 2 iMacs. My primary production system is a 2017 model. It has 40 GB of RAM, a 1 TB internal drive and 2 Western Digital external drives. One of the two externals is used for my photo library. The other is used for a backup. The backup is partitioned as a 3 TB & 1 TB. I use Carbon Copy Cloner to back up the photo library. I use Apple’s Time Machine to back up the internal. The second iMac is a 2010 model with a 1 TB internal drive and 8 GB of RAM. This is my former production machine. Today, I primarily use it for watching training videos. It’s great to have a KelbyOne class on that machine while I work through a class on my production system. The two dream items to add to them would be a Wacom tablet and a disk array. I’m comfortable with my present back-up solution but feel the disk array would provide me additional reliability. PS: I also use Backblaze to do regular backups of my photo library to the cloud.

Clare Jones is using…

My sports photography has stopped so I’ve decided to use my time to do a few things. Every day I am posting a photo starting with the last game I shot before the lockdown. Saints played Worcester, which just happened to be my 400th game as Saints’ tog. If you check @redhatphoto on Twitter you’ll see what I mean. The second thing I am doing is really understanding Photoshop by practicing doing things – I’m a Lightroom user who only occasionally ventures into Photoshop. The screen on the right is my first go at really working with layers. And lastly, I am learning about creating photo books because I want to create one for this season. My dream item for my study is a mounted photo of Saints winning something in 2020 taken by me. Because that would be I’m back in harness and Saints have more silverware.

Alan Hess shows his rock-star office…

Home office…or as I like to call it, my office. Main computers are a 2018 MacBook Pro with the apple keyboard. The external monitor is an old apple LED Thunderbolt Display 27”. Wacom intros pro medium. Logitech webcam. Blue Yeti microphone. (Looks like it is just flowing in there, but is attached to an arm that swings out of the way.) An OWC thunderbolt 3 dock. On the right-hand side is an older Mac mini and Apple cinema display 23″.
That machine is for backups and runs Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc., basically the noise generating machine while I work. Epson scanner, all the books I wrote or edited, Jerry Garcia bobblehead from Dave Clayton, mints, memory cards, storage under the desk for cables, camera cleaning stuff, etc. Really need a new monitor. Everything else works great and very happy working here.

Christopher Georgia shares this rig…

We all have our own shape and size, and our own needs for our situation. Having seen these setups from around the world, kindly sent in by each of the photographers, I hope you find that just as you have “dream items” missing from your office, so do all of us. We all work hard to produce awesome images from different workspaces, and it’s not all about the kit— it’s about the skill and creativity of who’s using it.

Don’t forget, I’ve made 31 of my RAW files available for you to play with. They’re available for download here.

Much love
Dave

#TravelTuesday has come around again, and the lockdown is still confining many of us to within our four walls. It’s important to maintain mental well-being, as well as social distancing, and education is a great tool for that because of the stimulus it creates. Looking at it from a photographer’s perspective, we know that we have two main elements to being creative: producing content and consuming content. We take and retouch photos to demonstrate our creativity, but we also read, watch, and learn from other sources to test our creativity and absorb ideas, opinions, and creative processes.

When learning about photography I turned to books, YouTube, KelbyOne, blogs, practice, all manner of methods. One thing worth noting here is that four of those five things are attainable during lockdown and the remaining one, practice, can be done indoors or out, so it isn’t 100% ruled out. 

I have a couple of ideas to put out to you this week to help you learn and practice. Let’s start with learning: –

Reading about photography is a great insight into some of our favorite photographers’ minds, and these books are a wealth of valuable information because the time and effort that has gone into creating them to ensure their success is a huge priority for the authors and the publishers. If you haven’t read them already, some great places to start are with Scott’s The Landscape Photography Book, Glyn Dewis’ Photoshop Like a Thief, Dave Clayton’s How Do I Do That In InDesign?, and of course, I have a Northern Lights book out (and I think we may just about be back to normal in time for next season!).

When it comes to YouTube, Glyn is high on the list again, with an awesome recent video about printing. Among KelbyOne instructors, Terry White, Unmesh Dinda (PixImperfect) and Colin Smith (PhotoshopCAFE) have some great videos on Photoshop, while Larry Becker will show you some tech and how to use it.

KelbyOne classes are always a go-to for learning, but right now, as well as the plethora, née, the smorgasbord of classes, there are live streams accessible to all by Scott and the team.

In terms of blogs, you’re already on a great one, but there’s also Scott’s Lightroom Killer Tips, and I also write for DIYPhotography where there’s a load of inspiration and news.

But then, there’s the practice. If you want to practice at home, I made a terrible little eBook, which you can download here, and I have now taken it up a gear by making 31 of my RAW files from around the world available for download. So long as you only use them for personal use, you may do as you wish. I’d love to see your interpretation and retouching, so be sure to tag me – I’m @idavewilliams on every platform. Here’s what Cheeky Nando made from one of them, from the Lofoten Islands, Norway.

Have fun, stay safe!

Much love
Dave

This is from back when we were allowed to get this close.

#TravelTuesday is lacking 50% of the elements required to fulfill the name right now, but we steam ahead regardless. Today my plan is to take you to some parts of the world for an insight into what’s going on with the members of Team Epic (or QuaranTEAM Epic, for now.)

Here in the UK, we effectively went into lockdown last night, so there will be some changes here for the coming weeks.

Team Epic is a rogue band of photographers of which I am a proud member, and we have members spread throughout the northern hemisphere. Let’s check in with them right here, right now, and see what self-isolation means for them.

Peter Treadway

I returned from a two week trip to India at the end of February this year just as it seemed the world had begun to shut its borders and whole cities started to go into lockdown.

When I left the UK, there were just three reported cases of COVID-19 in the whole country but at the time of writing, there are now 5,683 confirmed cases, with London (my city) making up a disproportionately large percentage of that number. It may come as no surprise then that I am currently five days into a 14 day isolation period, due to my wife presenting with symptoms of the virus last Tuesday! (She’s fine, BTW. Luckily for her, it was a few days of fever and achiness and now a dry cough.) As such, we are currently holed up in our house, so as not to spread the disease further.

As well as currently being isolated though, all of the weddings I was due to shoot over the next few months have now been postponed until later in the year. So what does a wedding photographer with all that time on their hands do? Well, I’m actually quite looking forward to doing all those little photography admin type jobs that are constantly being put off to shoot paid work. So I’ll be updating my website, curating new portfolio galleries for prospective clients and starting to design some new marketing material. There are also personal projects that I shot ages ago but never edited, images from the most amazing photo trips with friends that have yet to see the light of day and, most excitingly for me, I now have time to start building the YouTube studio in my garage that I’ve been planning for years and (hopefully!) eventually start making some photography related video content. None of this would have been possible without this enforced break in work.

So although things may look pretty bleak right now, it does at least give us a chance to stop, catch a breath and take stock of everything we’ve achieved and what is yet to be achieved with just a little hard work (and some unexpected spare time).

So stay safe, stay well and especially important #stayhome to beat this thing!

Website / Instagram

Cathy Baitson Weatherston

Greetings from Ireland!

Right now I am self-isolating and have been doing so for the past week, except on Mother’s Day when I went to the beach to photograph sunrise and it was so quiet that social distancing was easy enough. 

During that time, I’ve been busy catching up on editing my work from previous weeks but from next week onwards I plan to do as much as I can on my very long “to-do” list, starting with making a new website, which Roby Pisconti has kindly offered to help me with. But, for now, I can be found on Instagram. 

Also on my list is to make some digital backgrounds for my newborn photos, knit some hats and maybe an outfit for them too. I also want to learn digital painting but that might take me a bit longer than a few weeks. 

Ireland has many Instagram accounts that are giving daily photography challenges, workouts and musicians playing live to keep everyone’s spirits up. 

So whatever you do during these weeks in isolation, make the most of it, enjoy it and #staysafe. 

Instagram

Fernando Santos

This is Chicky Nando reporting from a secret bunker near Lisbon, Portugal. Well, not really secret, and certainly not a bunker. Just like everyone else, I’m stuck at home! So far, so good.

I’ve been really busy riding the coronavirus tsunami the best I can, running my IT company and trying to run my photography business. While photo walks are not possible at the moment, and neither is Lightroom training in class, being stuck at home, I have reinventing myself and I’m now working as your personal Lightroom Classic tutor, helping Lightroom users one-to-one. I’m also cooking a lot, taking care of my mom and my son, and checking on my daughter who lives in a different country. I’m also in contact with friends across the world, and that includes Team Epic, obviously! I’ve been mostly worried for my friend Roby Pisco who is in Italy: in case something bad would happen to him, he promised me his lens as long as I wouldn’t tell his family how much he paid for them! I prefer to be able to shoot with him again, even though he does have some nice gear… 😊

Soon, everything will be fine, and we will all have a blast at Photoshop World (or whatever it will be called in 2021). Stay healthy! Stay inside! And wash your hands!

Website / Instagram

Roberto Pisconti

It’s the fifteenth day of quarantine here in Padua in the Veneto region, the second Italian region most affected by Covid-19. The latest decree issued today by President Giuseppe Conte orders the closure of any unnecessary activity that adds to the closure of schools, bars, restaurants and all places of congregation. We can only leave the house if we have a proven need, such as to go shopping, go to work or provide assistance to the sick, and we must bring a self-certification with us. If we leave without reason, we are liable to a fine in case of a police check. In the evening the silence is surreal, looking out from my balcony I can’t even hear a voice in the distance. Sounds like an apocalyptic scenario, doesn’t it? Instead, it is the strength of a Country that reacts to the threat of the virus with the only weapon available – isolation. 

How do you spend day after day at home? Well, you have no idea how many things you can do when you have so much time to spend. They have already told you about books, the internet, online courses etc., but here are five things that will surely commit you and make your day productive:

1. Reorder the drawers. We all have a drawer at home where, for years, we have accumulated all sorts of things: – old photos, odds and ends, keys we don’t know what door they open.

2. Change the arrangement of furniture in a room. In addition to being rewarding, it is also excellent exercise. Once you are done you will find that it was better before but this is another story.

3. Experience new types of photography. For three years I had everything needed for the “Water Drop Photograph” in the drawer (the one in point 1), I finally used it and the results were really satisfying.

4. Learn to play the ukulele. Contrary to popular belief, the ukulele is a complete fun instrument and thanks to its small size, once the quarantine is over, you can always carry it with you and your friends will thank you very much.

5. Paperclip Game. I’ll let you find out what it is by clicking here. Just know that it is addictive.

As you can see, staying at home for many days creates a lot of opportunities. For example, I discovered that the floor of my kitchen has exactly sixty-two tiles and that to go from the bathroom to the bedroom it takes nine steps, eight if I have slippers, only eight can you believe it? Staying indoors also does not create any problem for your mental health, believe me, the pink unicorn, Goofy and the king of rock and roll Elvis who are sitting in my living room confirmed it to me two minutes ago.

To conclude seriously, I want to leave you some advice derived from my experience. Wash your hands often, avoid crowded places, stay home as much as possible, call neighbors to find out if they need anything. The period is bad and it will probably get worse but together we will be able to overcome it.

Instagram

Stephanie Richer

In my part of the world, Nashville just went into lockdown like NYC and LA, and all bars and restaurants are closed statewide, the exception being the latter can do takeout and delivery. Some people are worried because a lot of people came into the Smoky Mountains area for their Spring Break (schools are normally closed for a week this time of year). They brought tourist dollars but did they also bring COVID-19?

Right now, most of Tennessee’s cases are in Nashville. So, what am I doing? Well, there is my book writing. But I am also thinking of how my business will recover financially. A lot of people will come back to work slowly and I think photographers have to make some adjustments to help them. I may offer different price points, as an example. But when this passes, I do think people will have a greater appreciation for what is important in life.

Expect more weddings, more celebrations – and above all, MORE BABIES!

Website / Instagram

Scott Kelby

I’m in the self-isolating crew, too, with the exception that I sometimes have to isolate myself at the office for webinars (see above), where I’m the only one on the set, so we all keep a safe social distance from each other. My co-host for The Grid, Erik Kuna, is across the room from me on a different set, and we only have one person in the broadcast booth (either Jason or Ron), and no cameraman on set — they set the cameras in place before I get there, so the set is literally empty when we broadcast, but we’re preparing for an official lockdown where Erik and I will Skype in from our homes to do The Grid and webcasts so we won’t even be in the same building.

Yesterday I did a live online full-day seminar for the photographers in Houston who signed up for my live seminar (I was supposed to actually be in Houston teaching), and tomorrow I’ll do the same thing for photographers in Los Angeles. It’s weird because when we took our lunch break, we’re all sitting 20-feet from each other, but that’s the way it has to be for now.

I’m not really doing anything shooting-wise, but I’m watching online videos and trying to learn new things, which I love, so I feel I’m still moving ahead even though I’m not actually holding a camera in my hands.

At home (we don’t go out, and haven’t for a while now), I’m working on putting together a home recording studio (for music, not webcasting), and so I’m working on some songs right now (I’m in the middle of recording all the instruments for Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” — I download the original vocal track from youtube, then I recreate all the instruments myself, playing all the guitar parts, bass guitar, and drum parts). My goal is to make it so you can’t tell the difference from the original, and that takes a lot of time and research, and of course, I have to learn to play all those parts. The whole process can take up to two weeks for one song, but if you don’t go to those lengths, it sounds like karaoke, so it’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun when it starts really coming together.

The kids are all here, so that makes it so much fun, and we play card games, and board games and playing online games together. Everybody stays indoors all day, but sometimes my daughter gets stir crazy so we take a 30-minute drive. We don’t get out of the car — just a change of scenery. Kalebra is spending time in her studio, mostly drawing and listening to smooth jazz (LOL), but she loves it in there. The doggos are having a ball with everybody here — they’re getting even more attention than usual (if that’s possible).

We’re trying to make the best of this downtime, and enjoying being together as a family, but I can’t wait until this is all behind us. I worry about my friends, like my friends in Team Epic, and I worry about our staff, and our friends and family, and our country and the economy, and the world. I worry about the photographers struggling to find work right now, and I worry about restaurant servers and staff and their situation. I guess I’m doing a lot of worrying, but I’m also doing a lot of praying for everybody, too. We could all use another prayer or two. Thanks to everybody who sent me a note that they’re saying ones for me and my family. It means more than you know. Hope you all stay safe. Brighter days are ahead.

Sian Elizabeth

As portraits of people is now a little harder due to social distancing, my aim for this time is to get some great portraits of my two rescue dogs. They are notoriously terrible models, as they never listen and I more often than not get their back ends whilst they’re walking away! (See image for example!) So I’m going to watch Kaylee’s class on KelbyOne to grab some tips for dog photography and fingers crossed, get some print-worthy shots of my fur babies! I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, so this is giving me the time to really focus on this goal! 

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Wherever you are, it seems the simplest, safest course of action right now is to #StayHome.

I put together a terrible little eBook which you can download here or in the KelbyOne member’s toolkit if you’d like to get some more ideas for photography in isolation.

Much love
Dave

#TravelTuesday doesn’t seem to involve a lot of travel right now, but nevertheless I, Dave, am here for you! I’ve got your back, people! I’ve done the whole COVID-19 topic already, and we all know what we know about that, so let’s focus on something a little happier—spring!

Spring is right around the corner and that means changing photographic opportunities. For me, it means less snow and ice, or a different kind at least. I have a trip to Iceland coming up (fingers crossed) and spring there is just beautiful, but what opportunities can springtime bring us in general? What can we focus on?

Seeing as everyone loves a list—here’s a list!

1 – Consider the Wider Scene

There can be a temptation to shoot narrow. The spring vibe is all about flowers, blossoms, birds, and bees. To shoot these subjects, we tend to focus on them, and them alone. We can shoot these things within a larger scene, allowing them to be a feature of the photo rather than the subject of it. I feel like I’ve said that a lot—maybe it should be my tagline! But it’s true, we can take a step back and let composition be king. Blossoming flower beds rather than an individual flower can, if shot correctly, be awesome! Take a look at this shot at Provence in France for an example to iterate my point—the building is a feature, the lavenders are a feature, and the composition makes it all come together.

2 – Early Mornings

The mornings are warming up and wildlife gets up early. So, drag yourself out of bed before the crack of dawn to make the most of the change of seasons and the reaction of the world that comes with it. Sunrise is amazing, and the world is so much more still at sunrise than sunset. The sunrises during spring and autumn/fall are so much more dramatic than in summer, so let’s take advantage. This stag in London’s Richmond Park was shot at sunrise a few springs back, and he’s clearly taking note of the season changing around him at dawn.

3 – Pick Out Some Details

Firstly, point number one still stands strong! While it can be effective to shoot wide and nail a composition, it can also be very effective to crop in tight and pick out some detail. If you want to practice macro, try following some bees around and see how you get on with this tricky style, but if not, pick a stand-out subject and shoot it as the main focus of a considered image. This image went through to the final round of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and probably because it has got a definitive subject with no distractions. Whether you have a macro lens or not, get out and try to shoot something (big or small) and make it the definitive subject of the frame.

4 – April Showers

With the rain that accompanies the spring in much of the world, plan for those April showers! Getting indoors and shooting some awesome architecture is a great way to deal with staying dry, and it’s often part of my contingency when I’m traveling. I always know what’s nearby in terms of interiors, just in case that rain falls, and it’s something you should have in your back-up arsenal, too. This is from one of my trips to Paris—the beautiful stained glass of St Chapelle.

5 – Keep Learning

Take every opportunity to learn that you can! I know for a fact that Scott and all the KelbyOne instructors will back me up on this—we must always learn in order to stay in top shape and on top of our game. When we stop learning and become complacent it shows in our photography, so as spring arrives, keep learning, keep practicing, and keep developing as a photographer!

Much Love
Dave

With everything that’s happening around us lately, we’re having all sorts of events cancelled, and these events are lost opportunities to learn and network. It’s a shame and it’s a huge loss, but what can we do? If, like me, you were due to attend an event that has been cancelled over Coronavirus issues, there are other ways to continue learning.

Practice every day. Seriously, every day, all day. Whenever you see an opportunity, take it. I find that quite often the shots that end up performing best to an audience aren’t the ones I expected to, and aren’t the ones I’d planned prior. In fact, it’s normally the photos that were completely unplanned, that were completely spontaneous, are often the ones I end up liking the most, too.

While in isolation, quarantine, or simply stuck at home rather than at one of these cancelled events, there’s a great opportunity to learn in other ways, and practicing every day is one of these ways to learn.

Number one on my list is jumping onto KelbyOne.com to watch some courses. If you aren’t already a KelbyOne member, you can sign up for a Free membership and get access to 22 courses, or 800+ courses with the Pro membership.

If you want to enhance your skills in other ways, you could pick up a podcast. I’d start with He Shoots He Draws, Picturing Success, or Behind The Shot. There are tons of creative podcasts out there, and they’re well worth a listen if you want to get the creative juices flowing.

Top of the list is practice. They do say practice makes perfect, and it’s for good reason. Take every opportunity you can to get out and take photos, or to just take photos where you happen to be. We all have a camera on us most of the time, right on our phone. Taking this camera and shooting what we see is a great learning experience. One way to set a challenge is to simply stop somewhere and find five things to take a photo of, forcing yourself to be creative and find composition and subjects. Taking this up a step, we can then use Lightroom Mobile or another app to retouch the resulting image and get used to using the correction tools to deliver a result. All this comes out of nothing.

Team, make the most of the difficulties you face and create a positive from them. We face difficulties and demanding situations, and this period seems to be one of them at various degrees depending on where in the world you are. Hang in there, make the most of it – you got this.

Much love
Dave

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