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#TravelTuesday with Dave is here again! Mostly because it’s Tuesday….

I have recently switched things up a little (after what I’m going to label as occasional passive-aggressive pressure from Mr Kelby) and I just thought I’d offer an explanation. I was using the handle @capturewithdave but made the switch to @idavewilliams. Let me tell you why.

Every week I interrupt proceedings on ScottKelby.com to give you something inspirational from the world of Photography, Photoshop, Travel or Life, and this week is no exception.

Firstly, I’ll point out that I’m losing some link-backs here and there because of this in that there are lots of blogs and what-not out there with my name shown as @capturewithdave so it was hard for me to actually make this move (and if anyone operating any of these blogs wants to retroactively switch my handle, I’m ok with that!) because of losing those links, but I reckon the pros outweigh the cons. Here’s why: –

It’s important that we have a uniform approach wherever possible on social media, which means having the same handle with the same identifiable profile photo (more on that shortly) because we need to be sure that people recognise us when switching from one place to another. When they see us in the Twitter ecosystem for example, they should be able to easily recognise and find us in the Facebook ecosystem. I hope you appreciate my use of the term ‘ecosystem’ there, and of course it applies across all platforms and to our blog/website. Bottom line – it should have our name in it! Along with this we must also be clear about what it is that we do. If we’re a wedding photographer, we must make it clear in the profile that we’re a wedding photographer. Ultimately, we’re looking to get attention so we can sell ourselves as photographers, and often this is right where it all starts and the traction can build.

My ‘set selfie’
My ‘hold on, this might be important’
whats wrong with my other profile picture?’

So, the profile photo. Again, Scott put a little pressure. Apparently I looked a little moody in my last one so last time I was over at the KelbyOne studios I was cornered and told I was getting a new shot done. I complied, offering little resistance in the Florida heat after a day recording on set, and was looking straight down the barrel of Scotts lens. It took a while – I’m not used to having my photo taken – I’m a role model, not a fashion icon, after all. We went through the usual – you know, shabang and all that – and following a little bit of me fooling around we ended up with a shot that made me kinda look like I know what I’m talking about and that, at the end of the day, is what we need for a profile photo. We need to convey the message to our prospective clients that we are the one they need to hire and a profile photo for a photographer is actually kind-of a big deal. Think about it, is a photographer with a poor profile shot likely to get hired? No, because how can a good photographer possibly have a bad headshot?! 

So, take a minute and assess your tag and your headshot. Please.

Much love

Dave

Images Copyright Scott Kelby 2k19 ;)

By the way… I wrote a book all about the Northern Lights. It’s called ‘The Complete Aurora Guide for Travellers and Photographers’ and it’s out now. If you’re heading to the cold, dark north, this is the book that will help you find and shoot the Aurora, complete with Eskimo stories and everything :)

Hello world! It’s me, Dave Williams, and it’s #TravelTuesday so I’m back, right here on ScottKelby.com, just for you!

This post comes live from Iceland where I’m about to board a plane back home to London. Sad times! But this trip has been epic so I can’t grumble! The purpose of this mission was to shoot the northern lights, and out of the four nights I’ve been here they came of for three of them! There’s been a little bit of a geomagnetic storm on, so combined with the cloud-free skies it’s been awesome! I’ll be posting some of the shots on my Instagram when I get them finished so keep an eye on that. Also, just for the record, I’ve switched my social media handle from capturewithdave to idavewilliams. It’s not because a new operating system came out, but in short it’s because I needed to get my whole name in there somehow, and I was limited with options.

Anyway, let’s get to the point! Photowalk leaders, this ones for you (and Photowalk attendees, keep an eye on them!)

Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk is just around the corner. Having led a fair few photowalks in my time, I’m in a reasonable position to lay down some tips and tricks for the walk leaders.

First, and probably most important, everything takes longer than you think it will. You can be so stringent when it comes to planning your timings, but the group will always have stragglers who will be stopping to take more photos when it’s time to move on, or walk slowly having a chat at the back. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the way it is. Just be aware of this if you have something planned with strict timings.

Next, the word ‘leader’ comes with responsibilities and expectations. You will be asked questions, and you will be expected to know answers. The Worldwide Photowalk is not an educational experience, rather it’s a social one, so work out your stock answer for questions you can’t field.

Breaks – personal breaks, refreshment breaks, you need breaks. Having plans for your route which includes restrooms, coffee, water, all these food things, will make your walkers so much happier. Plan a good route taking these things into consideration.

Enjoy yourself! There are pressures that come alongside being a walk leader, but make sure you take the time to chat to people, make new friends, and enjoy yourself! You deserve it – in planning and leading a Photowalk you’re doing a wonderful thing. You’re amazing, well done!

Much love

Dave

#TravelTuesday sure does come round quick! That means I, Dave Williams, am here to impart a little nugget for you right here on ScottKelby.com and today I want to touch on something worth considering – Which camera settings really matter?

When we first get a new camera, be it as a newbie or a pro, there are settings abound which we try to work out from the get go and often we can be overwhelmed with what’s really worth giving most of our attention to. It’s worth learning how to properly set up your camera, both in the first instance and when setting up individual shots. That way you’ll be more likely to get the shots you want.

One of the best ways to learn about how camera settings affect your photo is to switch into any other mode than Auto. In Auto mode your camera is making all the decisions for you, which means you aren’t likely to be learning anything. What we need to understand at this level is how Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Learn how to quickly change these settings as well as how they relate and intertwine with each other both technically and creatively, and you’re off to a great start.

There are some great resources out there to learn about ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture, including from KelbyOne, but as well as that it’s important to understand and learn how to quickly control Metering and Exposure. Experiment with these as well by trying the focussing modes and metering modes, learning what works best in a variety of situations so that when you’re in a situation of elevated intensity it can become second nature to change to the right settings.

Having a good understanding of what results come from changing various settings, and being able to change those settings without looking really are two very important things in photography, particularly in fields which are fast-paced such as wedding or pet photography. If you don’t have these two things nailed, make it your priority!

I’m here for any questions as always, and you can find me on Facebook and Instagram if you want to get in touch.

Much love

Dave

#TravelTuesday and ScottKelby.com combine means one thing – I’m here! I’m Dave Williams and each week I step in to give Scott a little break and offer you something from the world off Photoshop, Photography, Travel or Life. Today it’s about life, and I want to share three little quirky incidents from the past couple of weeks while I was in Utah, Arizona and Nevada following an epic Photoshop World Conference.

Story #1 – the Area 51 thing

Milky Way over Zion national park

So, towards the end of the trip I was in Hurricane, UT, not far from Zion National Park, and throughout the entire trip I was with Siân Elizabeth. We were in the car at about 11:30pm and driving west towards our classy hotel, the Days Inn, and something strange happened. Straight in front of us, high up in the sky, a bright, white light moved from way high on the left, straight down to the Earth on the bottom right. We both saw it and a moment of silence in the car was broken by us both saying, “did you see that?!”

The strange light in the sky was too slow and long for a shooting star, too fast for a plane, and too coincidentally directly above Area 51 (some 150 miles straight in front of us) to be anything other than Paul. That’s right, I made a movie reference to an alien – because it must have been, right?

If you’ve seen the incredible work of Erik Kuna you’ll know that space is humungous and personally I don’t think there’s any where we’re alone here. This was cool, but it put me on edge a little, wondering if it had seen me see it, and I watched my back for a few days!

Story #2 – for the gram

So, back-track a few days and we were in Monument Valley. The place is phenomenal – a truly exquisite work of art by Mother Nature. I’d seen Monument Valley by night but now, having spent a couple of days exploring, I can honestly say it is a magical place that captivated my pants off. One evening whilst on the Monument Valley Loop Drive shooting the area at sunset and into twilight and beyond we came across a pull-out with a rather large rock in the middle of it, roughly the size of an ambulance and perhaps a little bit taller.

As we approached the rock there was a car parked tight up against it and a little flashing light from a cell phone atop it. Wondering whether I was about to be lured into a trap (then remembering where I was, so likely not) I tentatively pulled up close by and rolled down the window and shouted out to see if all was ok. Turns out all was not ok and a young girl was stranded on top of the rock with her mother in the car beside it and they’d been there a good few hours because the girl wanted to get up on top to shoot a little video ‘for the gram.’ The video, I’m sure, went really well and she probably got lots of likes, but she was now stuck!

Being the gentleman that I am I was now in a position where I had to rescue the poor girl. I had her sit down and shimmy down the side of the rock until her feet landed on my shoulders before dramatically swooping her to the safety of terra firma, then exchanged a quick few pleasantries before getting back on with shooting the dramatic landscape, not quite sure what had just happened. All in a days work for a travel photographer, right?

Story #3 – the growler

This one shook me, I’ll be honest.

Siân and I were shooting the Red Reef Trail of Red Cliffs Recreation Area in Utah, also known as Cottonwood Canyon, when we came up against a little hurdle. It was all going really well – I’d found a cool cave to shoot out of for great framing, but unfortunately it was so hot that the river had dried up and there were just a few puddles left where the waterfalls had previously cascaded. The tier system of the canyon was cool to shoot anyway so we trekked further and further up the gorge. We reached a section which had a rope attached to the canyon walls so that people could climb up to the next stage and I went up there, with Siân instead electing to stay down at the previous stage and shoot the little frogs around the water.

I was up safely and walking along the canyon about 1/4 mile from where I’d left Siân and reached a fork. The left section stretched off into the distance, and the right section quickly turned a corner and out of sight. At the fork there was a cool depression in the ground containing the driftwood that had been carried down the now dry river, so I got myself all set-up to shoot it as the foreground of what would’ve undoubtedly turned into an awesome composition. I’ll never know what that photo turned out to look like however, as when I was bent over getting my camera ready I heard a few thuds on the slope up the canyon walls immediately to my left where the canyon was shallower and covered in boulders and bushes.

The thuds, perhaps 3 or 4 of them, immediately grabbed my attention in the silence of the canyon and I stood and turned to face the direction they’d come from. I saw nothing among the terrain but a few seconds later were two more thuds, one accompanied by what I can only describe as a grunt, as if something had accidentally engaged it’s vocal chords and exhaled upon landing.

The entire time we were on the road trip there was talk of what we may see in the wilderness, from snakes and scorpions to bears and cougars. The cougar, or mountain lion, is what I saw in my mind when I heard the grunt, and I kept my eyes focussed on the slope of the canyon wall while gathering my things and walking slowly but purposefully back the way I had come from. Concerned about being followed, and more concerned about alarming Siân, I got back to her and told her it was time to leave. I obviously wasn’t very discrete while I was walking behind her and kept checking my back because she soon figured out that something was up, but we got out of there pretty sharpish!

My three little stories of strange happenings whilst in the States are all part of the experience (and fortunately I wasn’t cat meat, nor did I get probed) and part of the reason why I love travel. From travel I get so many awesome experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise get.

Some people say that I’m lucky, but in response to that I think that luck is a what happens when preparation meets opportunity. I prepare and I search for opportunities, and I strongly urge you all to do likewise because when that luck strikes it’s a fulfilling, inspiring experience that often results.

Much love

Dave

Black & White Fine Art Architectural Photography with Scott Kelby

Learn a fun technique for creating B&W fine art architectural photographs with Scott Kelby! In this class Scott goes through the essential gear you’ll need and the shooting setup to capture the starting photos, but the key to this technique is in the post processing you’ll do in Photoshop to create this dynamic look.

There are only four basic steps, and Scott gives you everything you’ll need to get started doing this right away. From converting to B&W to a variety of techniques for making selections, Scott gives you the foundational skills you need, then he wraps up the class with a start to finish project to help you see how it all comes together. He even provides practice files you can download and follow along.



In Case You Missed It – Fine Art Photography: Creating Large Format Prints

Make your fine art prints stand out from the pack! Join Steve Hansen for an in-depth look at all of the steps involved in creating a large format fine art print. In this class you’ll learn what makes a print a fine art print, how Steve takes a photo from capture to post production to print, the importance of a test print, and how to decide what type of paper, ink, and printer is best for your type of photographs.

Throughout the class Steve shares tips, tricks, and techniques for working in Lightroom, Photoshop, and with all of the materials used in creating the final print. Creating a fine art print is all about bringing your vision to life in a print, and by exploring a variety of finishing options that fit your style you can add value to your work and make it stand out from all of the rest. The second course in this series that deals with marketing your prints is coming soon!

Hello internet! It’s time again for #TravelTuesday with Dave here at ScottKelby.com and so here I am, Dave Williams, with some photographic wisdom for you, free of charge!

This past week I’ve been all over Nevada, Utah and Arizona, and I’ve explored a few slot canyons. I had such a great time in Antelope Canyon a couple of years ago that I decided to go exploring and find some more slot canyons further off the beaten path. There’s an art to shooting in slot canyons, and I want to tell you what I’ve learned about shooting them so you can have a head-start if you get to explore any yourself. Let’s do it!

First up, if you’re in a sandy slot canyon with deep orange walls, just like Antelope Canyon, you can give the colour some serious punch by setting your white balance to ‘Cloudy.’ What this does is enhance the oranges and bring out the purple tones. The colour you get in some of the slot canyons is incredible and this little tweak will really help to bring them out. 

Next up, shoot bracketed. What this means is shooting several exposures at different levels (either with different shutter speeds or different apertures depending on your camera or preference) because there can be some serious contrast on the slot canyons. They tend to occur in places where the sun shines nice and bright, and their high walls trap the shadows. If we shoot bracketed exposures we can merge a HDR shot in post to give the entire range. Don’t forget, your eye can see 13 stops of light at one time whereas your camera only sees one. Shooting bracketed is done by turning on bracketing or auto-exposure bracketing in your camera – check the manual to see how to do this. In post, using either Lightroom or Camera Raw, select the series of exposures (all you really need according to Adobe is two) and right click, then choose ‘Merge To HDR.’

And then, because we want to align our bracketed exposures as best as we can and allow for longer exposures in places, we need stability. I use my Platypod to keep my camera steady, resting it on the floor or holding it firmly on the canyon walls. Taking my Platypod rather than a tripod allows me more freedom of movement in the often cramped canyons, and in fact if you take a regular tour of Antelope Canyon you aren’t allowed to take a tripod. 

The best time to explore a slot canyon, according to many, is midday. The sun overhead offers light on the canyon walls and straight down onto the floor. Having the stability of a tripod or Platypod means that we can take advantage of the midday light, grab a handful of sand and toss it up through a beam of light, and catch a long exposure just like Peter Lik did in his famously record breaking photo, Phantom, or mine right here!

I hope that was useful, and I’ll catch you next week! For now I’m at the tail end of my USA adventure. You can check it out here. 

Much love

Dave

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