Tag Archives dave williams

#TravelTuesday with Dave sure comes around quick, doesn’t it! I’m back!

From time to time we may need to remind ourselves about why we work so hard at photography and don’t seem to get anywhere, be it for any number of reasons ranging from being stuck in a rut or for trying to achieve something time after time that fails. Like me, trying to get a shot of a lighthouse in front of a huge chalk cliff and failing several times in my efforts before finally getting the shot!

It took me three attempts to get that shot, and I even got capsized in my kayak in the process. But anyway, the point is this: –

  1. Make your big goals more manageable by breaking them into smaller tasks. 
  2. Remind yourself why you’re doing it.
  3. Remember the good feelings.
  4. Use your strengths.
  5. Decide to take action.

That’s it, that’s the list!

Okay, I’ll explain. If we have a big goal, it’s harder to achieve it. If we have a setback, it’s likely to put us off altogether if our goal is big. Whereas, if we break up our big goal into smaller, more manageable tasks we’re far more likely to succeed because those small tasks are accomplishments that together lead to achieving our big goal. If we fail at one of the small tasks, we’re far more likely to keep trying to overcome the problem because of number three—the good feelings.

The good feelings we get when we achieve something stick with us, but in moments where we feel that perhaps we aren’t hitting our targets or realising our goals, taking a moment to remind ourselves of the good feelings will help to spur us on even further. Taking that feeling and reminding ourselves why we’re doing something is valuable. That reminder as to why can often be enough to pick us up when we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere, and perhaps it’s that one occasion when we remind ourselves that we suddenly make progress where we weren’t before.

Pushing to number four (because this is obviously in order from the above list), we need to use our strengths, and in order for that to happen effectively, we need to recognise them—and our weaknesses! Knowing comprehensibly what our strengths are will help us to achieve goals, but knowing what our weaknesses are will help as well.

And, finally, take action! There are a lot of people out there doing nothing much aside from telling other people how they should be doing things. Don’t be that person—the person who says it can’t be done is usually interrupted by the person doing it.

So, if you have a shot in mind that’s particularly challenging, don’t give up on it! Persist, come up with a game plan, and keep trying. Pick yourself up when you fail, dust yourself off, and get it done.

The thing that motivated me to write this is the shot above. I was researching shots of Beachy Head Light in the UK and noticed they’re all very much alike. I wanted to be different. I knew the topography of the area was such that the enormous white, chalk cliff was essentially a hill, tapering off on either side of the lighthouse, and I wanted to feature that in my shot. I tried three times to get the shot, capsizing in a kayak and sliding all the way down the hill on my behind, but I didn’t let these things put me off and I got my shot.

Don’t give up. If something fails, try something else. And, then something else. Remind yourself why you did it, identify which of your strengths will help you, break down the task, remember the good feelings, and take action.

Much love

Dave

P.S. My Sunrise Challenge has just one week left – get your entries in for a chance to win big!

#TravelTuesday with Dave has come around again, you lucky, lucky people!

I’ve just returned home from a trip to Valensole in Provence, France, where I’ve been shooting lavender, sunflowers, mountains, and all manner of French fancies. I hope you were following along on my usual Instagram Story but if you weren’t, here’s a little glimpse at what I was doing: –

I have a tiny, itsy-bitsy secret…. The lavender season was pretty much over and there were just a few fields of lavender left un-harvested! What this means for you isn’t much, but what it means for me is a fair amount of Photoshop action.

In other news, my Sunrise Challenge starts today! I’ve teamed up with KelbyOne, Drobo, Platypod, Litra, and BlackRapid, and they’ve very kindly donated some amazing prizes which are up for grabs to you lucky people! In fact, the total prize haul is worth in excess of $1,000!!!!

For your chance to win check out the full details right here, but basically I want you to set your alarm clock bright and early and go shoot a sunrise. Here’s why: –

Sunrise and sunset are the best times of day to go and make photos. There’s a golden hour while the sun’s up, and a blue hour while the sun’s below the horizon. Take a look around and notice how many of the awesome landscape photos you see in everyday life are taken at sunrise and sunset. The thing is though, sunrise totally beats sunset! Sunrise is a magical time of day where the world around you is just waking up. The summer sky is generally filled with haze, however at sunrise this haze tends to be absent. Sunset has colour scattered across the sky, whereas sunrise tends to focus the colour around the sun itself.

At sunset our eyes are tired from the brightness of the day, but at sunrise we are adapted to the dark and notice the colours and brightness so much more vividly. With these factoids in mind, there’s one further thing that steps sunrise up a gear over sunset – the change in view! Sunset shots are far more common than sunrise, so if we shoot sunrise we’re able to get a more unique perspective by changing our focus in the opposite direction to the more commonly seen angles of famous subjects.

On the whole we, as a species, don’t like to be up early enough to shoot sunrise. Not regularly, anyway! While it’s more ‘normal’ for us to sleep in a little and spend our energy shooting throughout the day and into sunset, the rewards of shooting a sunrise range from being set up to an awesome day ahead, through to potentially capturing the best photos we’ve ever gotten. Oh, and if you’re not so much of a people-person, their absence in at sunrise will be great for you!

Moving away from the photography, and with absolutely nothing to back this up, I swear that breathing the morning air is good for your health! Just as an added extra!

Moving back to Provence, if you ever get the opportunity to visit, take that opportunity! The vibe across most of rural France is pretty good. There’s a rustic charm and a generally laid back mood, but the past few days I’ve been exploring whilst making the launch image for the Sunrise Challenge have genuinely been amazing. I found myself racing across the countryside trying to capture as many views as possible at golden hour. To my surprise, having been immersed in views of the famous lavender fields of Valensole for the past month or so, there were barely any photographers taking advantage of the beautiful light. All day whilst driving around there were hordes of people shooting in the harsh, direct sunlight, but at dawn and dusk I found myself completely alone as if the whole plateau had been abandoned. During the days there were tourists walking the fields, but there were also couples and small groups with changes of clothing doing their ‘Instagram shoots’ in totally the wrong light. I felt like telling them to relax and come back later, but there were just too many people!

As for Valensole, there’ll be more on the story over on my blog in the next few days, but for now I urge you to get out and shoot that sunrise!

Much love

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday with Dave! I’m Dave Williams and I’m here every Tuesday with something for you from the world of Photoshop, Photography, Travel, or life, and today was never going to be the exception! This past Saturday I had the pleasure of hooking up with The Kelby’s in my home town, London, England. Scott and his son, Jordan, were over in Europe on a trip and we went on a little jaunt to Greenwich in South East London, and this is the inspiration for today’s post.

Travel photography doesn’t actually require travel! Big news, right? Well here’s why: – the whole point behind travel photography is to make the viewer want to be there, in the photo, seeing the sights, smelling the smells, and feeling the feels. It doesn’t mean you, the photographer, have to be in another country, rather it means the viewer needs to be seeing a place with which they aren’t familiar or where they want to go. Whatever the underlying style, be it landscape, architecture, lifestyle, portraits, so long as the image makes the viewer want to be in the place depicted you’re succeeding as a travel photographer.

From this we know that travel photography can be a little closer to home for us, so that’s exactly what I did with Scott and Jordan. We went to Greenwich to shoot travel – architecture in this instance, but travel nonetheless. The location is just down the road from me, thousands of miles from Scott and Jordan, but regardless of distance it’s travel in that we wanted to show the location in its best light and, from our photos, make people want to be there. Well, Scott and I did. Jordan maybe not so much, but it seemed he was having a good time learning that the paint on the walls is probably older than the USA!

As Scott explained here yesterday, he was here to be a tourist. He wanted to get some shots checked off the list. For me the little exploration mission was travel photography, but it wasn’t travel. I hadn’t actually gone anywhere. It hit the point home that travel photography isn’t necessarily about the photographer travelling, rather it’s about everything else I’ve mentioned. We had a good look around at Greenwich before heading back to central London: –

What a pleasure it was to take Scott and Jordan on tour in London, and next week I’ll be writing from KelbyOne where I’ll be recording some classes. Show me your travel photography and keep up with mine on Instagram!

Much love

Dave

Hello, hello, hello, and welcome! It’s #TravelTuesday here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider so I, Dave Williams, am here for you! Yes, that’s right, for you! Every week, right here, I try to either get your cogs turning or share something to make your life a little easier or a little better. (And, it’s no easy task, let me tell you!) But, first off, I have a little story to share with you about an encounter I had with a fox, during which I learned exactly what is and what isn’t covered by the warranty offered by BlackRapid—you can read that here. Moving on, however, let me tell you what I came here to tell you!

The punchy title, above, doesn’t give a lot away really, does it? I tend to do that. I’m not going to say ‘clickbait,’ but yeah, you know. Here’s exactly what I’m going to show you:

Using Adobe Spark Post, it’s really simple to bring one of your iPhone Live Photos to life as a video to easily share anywhere. It’s so easy it’s actually going to make for a really, really short post (so I may have to drag it out somewhat ;-).

Here’s what I’ll show you how to do (I’ve helpfully embedded the file here, as well as provided a link to it separately, just in case you have a disastrous browser situation because I’m nice like that. Anyway, what was I saying about padding this out a little?):

 

 

First up, we need to launch the Adobe Spark Post app on an iPhone. Within the app, get a new project up and running.

Next, let’s add a photo. By selecting a photo already present in the post, or by using the Add Image option, select Photo Library from the list and find the Live Photo in your Gallery.

 

When adding the photo you’ll get the option seen here to select either the Photo or the Live Photo. Let’s choose Live Photo.

 

 

When the entire post is complete, hit Share in the upper-right corner, then select Video rather than Image.

 

 

This will output the post as a short video made up from the sequence of shots captured when you shot your Live Photo on your iPhone, and it’s a great way to share it easily. The file I shared with you is 3.9mb and is in MP4 format. :)

I hope you enjoy trying this method!

Adobe Spark Post is available in the Adobe CC Photography Plan and there’s a bunch of information about the Adobe Spark suite on KelbyOne.com.

Much love,

Dave

It’s #TravelTuesday again! Doesn’t it come around quick? It seems like only a week since the last one! Well, here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider that means the reigns are passed on to me, Dave Williams, to share something about Photoshop, photography, travel, and life. Today, I’m going to tackle a thing that us photographers are faced with over and over and over again. It’s “that question,” which comes at you constantly from all angles. You know the one:

“What camera shall I get?”

Well, basically, there is no right answer! There’s that old adage thrown around pretty much daily: the best camera you can have is the one in your pocket. If anyone asks you which camera to get, feel free to direct them right here!

The best advice, really, is this: buy the camera that you can afford!

Getting a new camera for yourself or as a gift for a loved one getting into photography is quite an overwhelming and potentially daunting experience. Every camera out there claims, in one way or another, to be the best one. Every shop wants you to buy from them. Every salesperson seems to know best and wants to upsell whatever they have in stock. It can all be a bit too much, particularly when you don’t know what you’re looking for. Well, here’s what you’re looking for!

  •  Manual mode – This allows you to take complete control of the camera. It isn’t something a beginner will necessarily want to do from the outset, but it absolutely is something to work up to. And, having that feature there will mean you won’t have to splash out on another camera when you get to it.
  • ISO – The ISO is the sensitivity to light. Look for a camera that performs well at about ISO 1600 so that you can produce clean images in low light.
  • Autofocus – A decent, fast autofocus system can make the difference between getting the shot or not, particulary in fast-paced situations.
  • Megapixels – It’s not all about the megapixels, but the more the merrier, right? If you want to print your shots, which I suggest you do, the megapixels matter. The more megapixels, the bigger you can print.
  • RAW – A camera that shoots in RAW format will make for a far better experience in editing the photos in Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom because every bit of data that makes the image is stored in detail rather than being compressed in the JPEG format.
  • Ergonomics – Obviously, this is an important factor. The look and feel of a camera can be just as important as your clothing style. If it doesn’t suit you, will you be encouraged to use it? Similarly, the size and weight will be a consideration for how often it gets used, too.

So, all that considered, how about brands? Well, if you ask a photographer which camera to buy, you’ll likely get a response encouraging you to buy their brand. #TeamNikon right here will push you towards a Nikon, whereas if you ask Scott you’ll probably be told all about #TeamCanon, or Glyn Dewis may persuade you to join #TeamSony. Photographers are aggressively true to their brand, on the whole. The reason is quite practical in that if you start off using a brand, you are stuck with that brand’s glass and accessories, which is a very expensive thing to switch from. It’s all masked by a fued of commitment and alliegance to the brand! Right now the top three brands are Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

So, what about the type of camera? 

  • DSLR – This means Digital Single Lens Reflex. Which translates to “it has moving parts and you can look through it.” The image from the lens is reflected on a mirror to the viewfinder, and when you hit the shutter release button, the mirror quickly flips out of the way and the shutter curtain shoots across the sensor to let the light create an image. They’re generally big, heavy, and pretty delicate. They are also the best option in terms of accessories and lenses because they’ve been around for so long and are essentially the grandchildren of film cameras.
  • Mirrorless – These cameras are becoming very popular because they also have interchangeable lenses, but they’re smaller and have far fewer moving parts. They perform differently and they mostly have cropped sensors, meaning smaller images.
  • Point and shoot – These are far smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more or less completely automatic. It might be what you need, though!

Where shall I buy it?

The best place is a proper camera store like B&H in New York or London Camera Exchange in London. You’ll find a good variety of kits, and some pretty sound advice because the people who work in camera stores tend to love photography and know what they’re talking about. Amazon comes in next, but mostly because there’s so much on offer at good prices.

Does that answer the question? Probably not, because there isn’t really an answer, but hopefully it’s enough to steer you in the right direction.

Much love

Dave

Yes, it’s me again! Dave Williams, the #TravelTuesday blogger here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider, and freshly appointed editor at LayersMagazine.com. I’ve kicked off a new series of #MondayMotivation posts over there and I’d love for you to go check out the first one by Gilmar Smith!

I’m fresh back from a mission to Turkey where I predominantly shot the hot air balloons over Göreme in Kapadokya. It’s home to the densest hot air balloon airspace in the world, with the dawn skies filled with them.

The town is unique in that the buildings are carved and tunnelled into the rocky landscape. I’ll share more about it over on my blog, capturewithdave.com, another day, but today, right here, is all about this shot from the trip: –

 

 

Here’s the caveat, and it’s very important you aren’t disappointed by this: So, you know how this blog is entitled, “Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider,” right? The clue’s in the name.

 

 

This is a composite of two images: one of the cave interior and one of the balloons in the sky. Now, I’ll say at this point, anticipating any comments about how I shouldn’t be faking this, that actually it is a view that is attainable at this location. I just wasn’t in the caves at the right time of day to see it! I was limited by time and didn’t know my way around to find the right spots in the dark before dawn. Anyway, here’s the tip: –

We’ll use a different pair of images, which you can download the PSD file here to try it yourself.

When compositing images, it’s obviously very important to make the result look convincing! As well as good cut-outs and realistic placement of elements, matching the tone is very important. What I’m going to show you is a very quick, very easy, and very good way to match those tones.

First off, get everything cut out and in position.

 

 

The layers are set out in no fancy way for this technique; they’re simply stacked in order. On top, create a new layer and fill it with 50% gray.

 

 

Now, change that new layer’s blend mode to Luminosity. The colours will change, revealing the differences going on in your image. To see them more clearly, add a Saturation layer to this and boost the saturation right up. What we’ve done here is create a representation of the colour in the image.

 

 

From here, add a Selective Colour adjustment mask. When faced with the Properties panel, select the Neutrals from the Colours option, which actually contains most of the colour information. Adjust the sliders to balance out your image and match the colours – it’s hard to explain it because it varies wildly on an image-by-image basis, however when you do it and see it yourself it’ll make sense, I promise!

 

 

The Layers panel should look something like this one below. And, to finish off the image, we just need to remove the Hue/Saturation layer and the gray layer.

 

 

This leaves us with an image which has balanced tones, leaving it looking realistic.

 

 

It’s a simple and fast way to balance tones in a composite, and I’d love to see how it works for you!

Now, this experience is called a “once in a lifetime” thing, and that played on my mind when I was out in Turkey. I wrote a little piece about that, which I’d love for you to read over on my blog.

So, for now,

Much love

Dave

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