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It’s #TravelTuesday again, so right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, that means only one thing…I’m back! I’m Dave Williams, and I’m here to lay down some wisdom! Well, today, I’ve decided the subject of friendship wins, rather than photography or Photoshop. Hear me out!

So, you probably noticed, if you follow any single one of us on social media, Team Epic has reunited!

 

 

That’s right! What a fantastic collection of photographers from around the world! Let’s run through the team:

Representing the United States, none other than Scott Kelby, who you may be familiar with, along with Erik “Rocket Man” Kuna, KelbyOne’s Vice President, and thunderbolt and lightning themselves, Jeff Kelby and Mike McCaskey.

Straight outta Dublin is Cathy Baitson, a wedding and newborn photographer with some sick shooting skills and an acute nose for tracking down a good Guinness.

All the way from Iran (and Italy, and Canada) is Mimo Meidany, a gifted long exposure black-and-white photographer, who instructs for KelbyOne and leads workshops sharing his skills. This man is worth knowing, so long as you can figure out what he’s saying!

KelbyOne community leader Fernando “Chicky Nando” Fernando hails from sunny Lisbon, Portugal where he works on photography projects and shoots an epic portrait. Nando is the kind of guy who has the rare talent of being able to get you out of about as much trouble as he gets you into!

We all know the legend that is Roberto “Pisco” Pisconti from Padova, Italy, who spends his time shooting pretty much anything he can, and he does it well! He’s also a bit handsy…if you know what I mean!

And finally, from London, UK, there’s me, Dave Williams, and Peter Treadway. Peter is an international wedding photographer extraordinaire and is honing a talent for long exposure and architecture photography. If you can’t find him, look for Cathy and you’ll find him on the next barstool!

 

 

So, here’s point #1: Friendship is about finding people who are your kind of crazy! Having good people in your life, who see things in a similar way to you, who fuel your passion, and who light up your soul, they’re worth keeping around! This is certainly true of Team Epic, and each one of us can always rely on the rest at any time in a way that you’d expect from a family. Spread across multiple cities, in multiple time zones, I know that whoever I called for some advice would answer and give it. This squad gives strength to one another and makes each other believe in themselves. It’s truly awesome.

 

 

So, onto point #2! And, I know this one is going to hit a nerve here and there, but bear with me. In the world of photography, you have very little real and direct competition! You know what that means? It means stop keeping secrets, start sharing, and start making friendships in the industry! What I mean by that, to interpret it into a real-world example, is this: If you’re a wedding photographer in London or a real estate photographer in New York, there are going to be a lot of other photographers there around you shooting the same thing, so it’s easy to see that as competition and make it negative. But, those other photographers aren’t really the competition at all. The other wedding photographers in London are shooting at different price ranges, with different specialities, with different styles, and with different personalities. When Peter and I ran a wedding photography business together we quickly noticed at consultations that the clients weren’t buying into our work anywhere near as much as they were buying into the two of us as people. Similarly, the real estate photographer in New York is surrounded by a whole bunch of other real estate photographers, but they also are shooting differently with different styles, at different prices, and they, too, have different personalities. Taking that into consideration, the true competition we have as photographers is slim to none, and there are plenty of other photographers out there who we could be making friends with and learning with.

 

 

This terrible selfie is another example to help make my point. So, a couple of days ago, Team Epic descended upon Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. The team lined up to shoot the castle from Marienbrucke, which is the spot everybody goes to if they want to capture the back end of the castle. That itself is a problem for me as a travel photographer, so in my previous visits to the castle, I went off the beaten track to find another vantage point which would enable me to get a shot that didn’t look like everybody else’s. I took Peter and Mimo through the forest to this spot, as well, knowing that although they, too, would capture the same view as me, they’d do it totally differently and it wouldn’t impact in the slightest on my sales of shots from this location, but would enhance our friendships and afford them a unique perspective, too. Making sense? Here’s the shot I got from there, and I guarantee it’s different to anything else you’ve seen of Neuschwanstein, but it’s a secret that was worth sharing!

 

 

Let’s bring ourselves together as photographers and build friendships the likes of Team Epic, putting the fear of losing out to one side and helping each other to grow instead. The Worldwide Photo Walk, just a few days ago, is the perfect opportunity to kick things off, and if any other little Team Epics pop up, I’d love to see them!

 

 

Much love

Dave

(and Scott, Jeff, Mike, Erik, Cathy, Mimo, Pisco, Peter, and Chicky Nando)

Happy #TravelTuesday to you all, from me, Dave Williams. Today I want to pull inspiration from a legend, Mr Dave Clayton, in a little tip post. More on that shortly, though. First on the agenda is this: –

Mimo Meiday, Scott Kelby, Rome! Come on! Thats some serious education and banter right there!

Next up – the Worldwide Photowalk! It’s October 6th, and it’s everywhere! Get yourself signed up to the world’s largest social photography event!

And third, linking in with today’s subject matter, there’s a brand new class on KelbyOne by Dave Clayton! It’s Dave’s Top 25 Photoshop Tips For Designers. Go check that out!

So, here’s the real deal – the whole point of today’s post – lines!

The reason behind this topic today is that Dave Clayton has it all absolutely bang on the mark. Whether you’re a photographer (shoots) or a designer (draws) you’re a visual artist. All of us visual artists have one common goal. We want to create an image and give it impact. The difference, perhaps, is the canvas. Where a photographer starts with a full canvas, which is the scene ahead, and has to decide how to make a composition from that and what parts of that scene stay and what goes, the designer generally starts way over at the opposite end with a blank canvas and constructs their ‘scene’ from nothing. In either case, from either starting point, the two roles will meet at the end point.

The graphic designer will create their own vectors and arrange their own composition, but the job of the photographer is to use what you’ve got already in place and position it (and position yourself) to create the scene. We bring order out of chaos. We arrange elements in front of us. We evaluate the scene and generally, perhaps without even realising, we utilise rules and elements of design to create the image.

Once you realise what the common elements of design are and you begin to actively look for them, you may be surprised at how often you’ll see them in the world around you! It’s one of those which I want to talk to you about today…

Lines

Lines are the Billy Basic, the rule numero uno, the fundamental. Lines are what direct us in real life, and what direct us in imagery. They give our viewer a path to follow across the image we’ve made, and understanding the sheer power of lines in both graphic design and photography will give you an edge in your photography.

Different lines have different uses and effects.

Leading lines are the ones we hear about time and time again. Leading lines can come from almost anywhere and they lead our viewers eye to the focus point or the main subject of our image.

Vertical lines portray strength and grandeur. They’re tall trees, towering skyscrapers, mighty waterfalls, and they give our image a sense of power!

Horizontal lines are our horizons and they’re calming. They exude a sense of peace.

Diagonal lines often represent movement and energy. They’re roads, train lines, and they’re fast!

Curved lines are the (excuse me) curve ball! They’re bridges, arches, spirals, and they take the viewers eye on a journey through the image.

Ladies and Gents, lines in our imagery have power in photography just as they do in graphic design, and I implore you to learn more about graphic design and translate those skills into your photography. You’ll thank me, and you’ll certainly thank Dave Clayton when your image is more impactive than you ever thought it could be!

For now, that’s that

Much love

Dave

How’s that for a title? Absolute hooker, right? Here I am again, Dave Williams, on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider for your weekly dose of #TravelTuesday wisdom—let’s get this show on the road!

First up, a little introduction for anyone who hasn’t landed on this site before: I’m Dave, and I’m a travel photographer. My job is to make you want to go somewhere, which means I have to use a range of skills and techniques on location and in post, and it’s one of those post-processing skills I want to share with you here today.

The success of your image can be pretty much determined from the moment you open the file. It all boils down to the first things you do, really. When you open up your RAW file in Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw and make those first few adjustments, you’re either setting yourself up for awesome success or for an epic fail. Here’s why:

There’s a common saying in everyday life: “less is more.”

This little saying is used to express the fact that, in artistic and aesthetic matters, a minimalistic approach is more effective. There is value in simplicity, and often more can be accomplished with less. Synonymously, the saying “don’t overdo it” is thrown about a lot, but the thing with us photographers is that there’s never usually an end.

When we’re out shooting, there’s always that one last shot, and then another last shot, and then just one more. Before we know it, it’s been an hour since that last shot and we’re still going. When it comes to the post-process, it’s not dissimilar; we all too often will retouch and retouch, and retouch some more. It’s hard to draw that line in creativity. It’s hard to say when it’s done.

So, on that note, now aware that my little spiel is drifting away and making this look like clickbait, here’s the BEST advice that I promised you: Go back to that first point, back to when you open up that RAW file. That’s what I said above, and that’s what I’ll explain right now.

We all have our own methodology when it comes to those sliders, ranging from those who just hit Auto through to the minuscule adjustments made using a Loupedeck, and everything in between. But, once we make some adjustments, it’s sometimes hard to know when to stop. Whilst stumbling over my thoughts, trying to come up with a simile, this sprang to mind:

You know how if you lose weight you don’t really notice because to you it’s been gradual, but then someone you haven’t seen for a while says, “Hey, you’ve lost weight!”? Yeah, that. You’ve seen the gradual changes to the image, not just the before and after. The changes you’re making when you push those sliders around look one way to you as you’re doing it, but potentially quite another relative to the initial image.

That’s where the best piece of advice falls in. Right there, in between the initial image and the “where I am right now” version, there is probably something better. Nine times out of ten it’s better, in fact. There’s a place where the adjustments are more realistic, more minimalistic, more “less is more,” and thereby more pleasing. That place is about half way, so here’s what you do:

Whatever slider adjustments you’ve made, make them half. If you’ve pushed clarity to +20, move it to +10, and then take a look at the difference it makes. Take a look at whether the image you now have achieves what you want it to in a more realistic way, rather than running the risk of being over-processed by our creative desire to please, which results in our photos never quite being done.

Have a go, and let me know what you think. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, and on Facebook.

Much love

Dave

Be honest, and I know you will, we’ve all been in a place where we’ve felt stuck in our creative journey. Whether it’s professionally or as amateurs, there’s always been a time we’ve hit a block or a feeling of routine – a lack of progress perhaps. 

 

 

There are times when we live and breathe photography, but then there are others when we feel like we’re taking the same shots time and time again, or perhaps don’t even feel like picking up the camera. The enthusiasm fluctuates, and that’s normal. There are so many resources available to learn new techniques and so many ways to pull inspiration into your creative flow and get back on track. Let’s explore some here today. 

  1. Start (and finish) a personal project

It’s great to pull an income from photography, but that tends to focus heavily on consistency. That very consistency, albeit positive to your economic growth, may hinder your creative growth. The worst thing to feel is a drain on creativity, and knowing it can be caused by the lack of a challenge is inspiration enough to give yourself one. Personal projects can last for anything from one single shoot to a series across a number of years. They are a way to relight the fire and challenge yourself to launch that passion and learn new tricks. Choose a personal project that is stimulating and achievable, and then get on with it!

  1. Learn something new

Perhaps there’s a style of photography that doesn’t fit with what you’re currently doing but you’d like to learn it. Maybe you never need to use a flash but you’d like to give it a go. Having a goal and striving for it will spark that creative mind you have and translate over to your day to day photography. Make sure you set aside a little time to reach your goal and have a game plan in place that you can stick to. There are tons of resources out there to learn from, and the amazing line up of KelbyOne instructors is a great place to quench your thirst for knowledge from the best in the industry. 

  1. Go rogue

Sometimes a change of scenery helps. We all know, across all walks of life, that change is refreshing and tends to make positive impact, so bring that into your photography. Do something you don’t normally do. If you’re a portrait photographer, go shoot some landscapes. If you’re a wedding photographer, find some wildlife to shoot. If you shoot on a DSLR all the time, pick up your iPhone and shoot something with that. Don’t think about it, just go rogue and do something different for a change. Enjoy photography without any external or undue pressure. 

 

 

With a little thought and by maximising on the opportunities, resources, and inspiration out there, anybody can be motivated and take a fresh look at their creativity in photography. The art of capturing light is a beautiful way to harness your creativity – keep yourself inspired and keep challenging yourself to grow!

Much love

Dave

Well, hello there!

It’s #TravelTuesday here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider and I’ve just completed a mission and a half! Let me tell you about it!

I’m currently running a challenge and I want you to get involved. It’s a sunrise challenge!

Until July 15th, I want to see your sunrise photos. Just upload them to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, use the hashtag #SunriseWithDave, and you can win a KelbyOne membership and a Platypod Ultra!!! That’s definitely worthy of all three of those exclamation marks!

So, here’s how I started it: –

Last night, I shot the sunset at Land’s End, the western-most point in England.

 

 

I quickly retouched the shot, uploaded it, and then I got on my motorcycle and headed east. This morning—450 miles later and with 5 minutes to spare—I arrived at Ness Point, the eastern-most point in England. The race against the sun was to kick off the sunrise challenge, but unfortunately, Mother Nature gave me a typical British sunrise: –

 

 

But, never mind, the point of the challenge and the contest is to encourage as many people as possible to shoot sunrise. I can’t wait to see the images you make this week!

Check out all of the details here.

 

 

For me, I’m finishing my coffee and headed home to think up the next stupid idea!

Much love

Dave

Hi there! It’s me, Dave Williams, coming at you again this #TravelTuesday at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider. I’ve just returned home from a Stateside mission and returned to a rather gloomy London Town, and I’m a little exhausted from the adventure and the jet lag so massive apologies for posting so late today! I have a little nugget of wisdom though, so I hope it’s worth it for you all. It’s a little tip which I’ve learned from many times on my journey as a travel photographer, and it’s the result of anticipation, climax, anticlimax, and reward! I had this experience again just a few days ago, so I’ll share it through that story to show you why I’m saying what I’m saying.

So, I was in Rhode Island and went to meet up with Kaylee Greer for an awesome adventure. I headed to Kaylee’s place and before we went out I was lucky enough to have my portrait shot by Sam Haddix, which I can’t wait to see! We were all discussing where to go and what to do, which ended up being the Cliff Walk near Newport, RI. The plan was to be there for sunset but you may have sensed already by the words I chose to use there that we weren’t! As is so often the case in the world of travel photography, things change. They may go wrong, they may be somehow cancelled, they may just not be achievable. In this case it was the latter.

Kaylee and I were in Newport having a little explore around the shops there. We had about 4 hours until sunset and everything was in sight. But then it started to go wrong. Right then I saw a postcard stand outside one of the souvenir stores and I was explaining to Kaylee: –

Whenever you go to a new place, one of the best sources of inspiration for shots is the local postcards

And right then I saw something awesome. I had been looking online for the local lighthouses during my entire trip, but right there on one of the postcards was an awesome looking lighthouse on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by azure blue water with waves breaking all around it. I had to shoot it myself! Out came Google Maps and I found the lighthouse, probably 1/4 mile offshore. The problem then became real. That lighthouse was an hour away. Things in the plan were starting to change. Determined to shoot the lighthouse and get back to the Cliff Walk for sunset, we pressed on!

 

 

That little lighthouse shoot took longer than anticipated, with a drone battery change required and a few other nice little scenes noticed and shot, which meant that getting back to the Cliff Walk was going to be tight if indeed it happened at all. Turns out it didn’t! But here’s the thing. The intention to shoot the Cliff Walk as the sunset shoot was now flipped out completely, which for me would once have ended up with me in somewhat of a sulk, stubbornly refusing to do anything else in my determination to get there despite knowing full well that I wouldn’t. The moral of the story is this: –

Whenever and wherever you get a sunset, shoot it right there!

A golden hour opportunity is often too good to waste. In this case we were totally in the wrong place according to the plan, but when the sun started to change the light of the entire sky we just stopped in the first ‘slightly nice’ place we saw, which turned out to be a little marina in Tiverton, RI. The change in light made what would likely have been a mediocre scene change into something else. Something worth shooting. Certainly something worth shooting rather than risking shooting nothing by driving on and arriving in the dark, or by stubbornly not shooting anything because the plan had changed! A sunset, wherever it may be, is often worth shooting for either the practice, or for getting a sky to switch out in another photo, or just for the experience of watching another day come to a beautiful close. Us photographers can so often be such a stubborn breed, so don’t let that get in the way of an opportunity!

 

 

Many thanks to Kaylee for putting up with me for the day and for sharing that sunset!

 

 

Much love

Dave (and Kaylee)

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