Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

Editor’s Note: This is the second part of a two-part series. If you missed it, check out the first one, Gear For Photographing Music Festivals.

As creatives, we want to focus on creating, right? But if we don’t have the technical side of things set up properly, it can hinder our ability to create on a larger level. Like, if I spend more time than absolutely necessary downloading my images and manually adding metadata every single time, it’s going to take longer for me to get back out to all of the amazing things happening that I want to photograph.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

So, by taking the time to set ourselves up for success BEFORE we arrive to a job, we are able to focus on actually creating and doing a better job at it. Here are the steps I took to do just that ahead of photographing Bonnaroo.


Camera Setup

First, I made sure the dates and times were synced up exactly between the two camera bodies. This is vital when you’re covering an event with more than one camera body, as well as when you’re working with other photographers. If things aren’t synced up correctly, it can cause your editor and others huge headaches trying to keep everything straight and in order.

Matoma performs at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

After that, I got all my settings dialed into one body, then copied those settings onto a CF card, put that card into the other camera, and loaded the settings onto that body. Then I entered in my copyright and artist info into the metadata of each body. I also used the Canon EOS Utility to input “1” or “2” into the Instructions IPTC info on each camera. More on this in a bit.

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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am coming at you from Austin, Texas. Yep, I’m still here! Honestly, though, I’m melting. It’s a far cry from the nordic winter I just experienced. With the word ‘winter’ mentioned I’m now set to let you know that today we’re going ‘off piste’. This post has nothing to do with creativity and everything to do with creativity all at the same time. Let’s go!

The roots of creativity differ with all of us. Some people need constant stimulation, while others need tranquility. There are many things that influence our creativity and I can say with absolute confidence that I know exactly what to do to kick start mine if there’s something lacking. The thing I need is a change of scenery, and it works a treat when I’m in a creative rut. I’m working on a few projects right now, including a book. Being here in Austin is perfect because not only have I changed my scenery simply by being here, I can also change my scenery within Austin when a paragraph doesn’t quite flow right and I need to give myself a boost.

That boost is currently coming to life in the form of a coffee and BBQ tour led by expert tour guide and creative guru, Mark Heaps.

There’s something to be said about how creativity inspires itself. The creativity of the city around me is inspiring the creativity inside of me and I’m getting much more done in this environment. When I feel like there’s a lull, all I have to do is go and sit somewhere else and take inspiration. As I said, the root of creativity is different for each of us. That said, I firmly believe that each of us can be inspired by a change of scenery, even if it’s just by facing the other direction or stepping outside. You can check many of my other posts for creative inspiration, too. Whatever it is that inspires you is something you should keep close to the front of your mind. Whenever you feel your creativity running downhill, pull out that card and play it.

See. Nothing and everything to do with creativity. Now, I have to get back to book writing and lesson planning. If you happen to be in the Austin area, I’ll be speaking at Precision Camera this weekend. Keep an eye on my social feed for details.

Much love
Dave

3 Pieces of Photography Gear You Can’t Live Without with Erik Kuna & Guests | The Grid Ep. 513

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New KelbyOne Course: Planning & Scouting Your Landscape Photography Adventure with Ramtin Kazemi

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Photo by Jordan Dunn

With music festival season already beginning, I thought I would share this post from my blog a few years ago, when I got the call to photograph Bonnaroo for the first time. In preparation for the event, I researched and asked other photographers what to expect. Here’s the gear I ended up bringing, why I chose it, and how I used it. If a festival is in your near future, I hope this helps!

CAMERA GEAR OVERVIEW

Here’s a breakdown of the gear I used at the festival:

Attendees enjoy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I wanted to make sure I captured the best, highest quality images I could, so I got a couple of the blazing fast 1DX Mark II bodies from Canon. These, coupled with the “lens trinity,” set me up for success in the photo pits while photographing sets and around the festival grounds capturing lifestyle images. I used the 24-70mm f/2.8 a little here and there, but for the most part I stuck to the 70-200mm f/2.8 and 11-24mm f/4.

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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here to share. This week I write from Austin, Texas, and with the Photography Gear Conference coming up, I want to first take your mind elsewhere and talk about how we can broaden our photographic minds by taking influence from other creatives.

We’ve all heard countless times about how graphic designers and photographers should work with similar things in mind. Copy space is the go-to example that I always use to highlight the importance of keeping graphic design in mind when we take photos. In that example, I point out that we should be thinking about copy (words) and leave room for titles, graphics, and everything else we see in magazines and on posters. These photos tend to perform the best on photo stock libraries like Adobe Stock and Getty Images because of their versatility when it comes to their final use. I learned a lot more than that recently at an Adobe event – Russell Brown’s Rock & Roll Reunion.

The two most important take-away points I feel were offered at the conference are the two I want to focus on today:

1 – Work happy, not harder

Mark Heaps created this tagline to best explain that we use far more time than we should in parts of the process that could be automated or simplified, leaving us with a lot of wasted time that could better be spent on something creative and therefore make us happier. Mark speaks about this concept regularly and has absolutely nailed the process. We should be looking for ways to work smarter, automating elements of our workflow and giving ourselves the time to focus on our photography and retouching. The application of this concept translates from graphic design into photography and it’s a great point that we should focus some energy on if it allows us to be more creative in the future.

2 – Create a story, and an ecosystem

When graphic design projects are undertaken they tell the story of the brand or the campaign. We should always be looking to do this in our photography. Telling the story of the scene in a single image, or across the series for multiple images, is a way to connect with our viewer that is often overlooked. We can focus on the subject, the composition, the light, or any other factors of our image, and use them to try to tell the story of what is happening in our shot to draw our viewer that little bit closer. This can help us to keep someone’s attention for longer on social media and drive our engagement, or it can be the difference we need to convert that engagement into a revenue stream. Telling stories through photography is something that Ansel Adams himself did, and something that seems to be lost here and there. The importance cannot be stressed enough and just as designers are trying to tell stories with typefaces and shapes, we should be doing just that with our photos.

Much love
Dave

“How Would I Edit Your Photo?” with Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna | The Grid Ep. 512

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