Tag Archives dave williams

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)

The inspirational cloud I’m sitting up high on right now is mind-blowing! A big thanks to Scott and the whole team behind Photoshop World for putting on the world’s most incredible conference!

 

 

I’m Dave Williams and as with every #TravelTuesday, I’m right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share something from my world. As someone who is involved with KelbyOne, but only involved in Photoshop World as an attendee, it seems appropriate that this week I share some of the little nuggets of gold from the hub of inspiration, education, and networking that the Hyatt Regency Orlando became!

I’ll focus on what I take as the most important element of Photoshop World, but this is from my perspective and not from everybody’s: the networking.

 

 

You see how many awesome people are in this picture?  Conference Technical Chair of Photoshop World, Scott Kelby; the host with the most, podcaster, broadcaster, and so much more, Larry Becker; former assistant to Joe McNally and Scott, now ruling concert photography, Brad Moore; the 2018 Photoshop Guru Award winner for Best in Show, Kirk Marsh; the 2017 Photoshop Guru Award winner for Photography, now owning underwater photography, Dalton Hamm; Photoshop World dog photography instructor, Kaylee Greer; the other half of Dog Breath Photography, and a totally lit portrait photographer, Sam Haddix; Photoshop wizard and Guru Award-winning Mark RodriguezPhotoshop User magazine contributor, photographer, and “down to the very last pixel” creator of mind-meltingly magic photos, Gilmar Smith; portrait and real estate photography king of L.A., J.R. Maddox; capturer of magic and sparkles, park photographer, and videographer, Doug Young; and wedding and event photographer, with an eye for detail and a 2018 Couples’ Choice Award to prove it, Matt Divine. Even I’m lucky enough to be in this shot! You get my point, right?

 

What I’m saying here is that Photoshop World is the best place in the industry to make and maintain connections, bar none. It’s funny because when you learn to write for editorial there are a whole bunch of rules, one of which is that when you want to emphasise something you put it in italics—you don’t make it bold and underline it, but I just can’t make that point strongly enough! Take this example: the photo floating above this paragraph is me with Chris Main, Managing Editor of Photoshop User magazine and Lightroom Magazine. I’m standing with him on the expo floor, proudly showing some of my articles and tutorials on the screens. What’s particularly nice about this is being able to spend time with Chris in person rather than just via e-mail. Similarly, in the photo below I’m with (L-R) Noah, Larry, and Mina, who are the entire Platypod team. Seeing them pop up so frequently in KelbyOne productions might make you think that it’s a huge corporation, massively financially backed with a huge marketing budget, etc., etc. In fact, it’s Larry who invented the Platypod, and it’s plugged so frequently because it’s simply a great product! Being able to spend some time with them, too, rather than limit all exchanges to e-mail was really special.

 

 

The sheer power of connecting with the people you see at Photoshop World is phenomenal. It’s literally a career builder. It’s inspiring to talk to like-minded individuals in a setting where you absolutely know you can say almost anything to almost anyone and both be on the same page. It’s a place where, not only can you learn, but you can also take a lunch break or an evening meal and still carry on learning and building connections. Even over breakfast, you can have a meeting or a conversation steered towards photography, Photoshop, creativity, business, anything! I’m the kind of person who uses coffee for fuel, and man I couldn’t get my coffee quick enough at this breakfast (below).

 

So, in summary, my point is this:

You should never underestimate the power of networking provided by Photoshop World, as well as the learning, inspiration, motivation, and everything else on offer! You never know who you might be talking to and everyone there is your friend.

British pro tip: take the time to experience the local culture and cuisine, like I did with Mike “Hollywood” Kubeisy and J.R. Maddox. ;)

 

 

Much love

Dave

Hello, hello, HELLO! Happy #TravelTuesday one and all, from right here at the prep for Photoshop World in Orlando, Florida!

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of being invited to join Scott on The Grid when I visited the KelbyOne offices (a long way away from my hometown of London, UK) for super-secret meetings and super-awesome burgers! It was (technically) my third Grid appearance, but the first where I had actually been on set, and it was flippin’ sweet! So here’s the thing…the topic was all things travel photography. Where to shoot, when to shoot, what to bring, all that lovely stuff. But, the thing is, we had a whole load of awesome questions coming in and not enough time to answer them all! So, here’s what I’ve decided to do today:  I’m going to expand on an answer I provided to one of those great questions, and that question is right under this epic photo!

 

 

“How do you make your photos tell a story?”

 

In my answer, I related to a trip to Paris. You can go to Paris and shoot the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysée, but when you only have those three photos you don’t have a story, you just have those three photos. What makes your trip a story is the things which happen before, during, and after the point at which you stood in front of the Eiffel Tower and shot it. Just like this: –

Before you shoot your all-encompassing story it’s a good idea to know what the story will be. If you want to capture the hustle and bustle of a city or the tranquility of the countryside, those are very different things which are caught in different ways, but both, equally, are stories worth telling and which can be told. Having anything between a rough idea to a storyboard for your story idea will help you when you’re on location so that you know exactly what you want to shoot, how you want to shoot it, and how you want to portray it as an element within your story. It’s this little bit of homework beforehand (which, I think, we in the business call “research”) that helps get you as prepared as you can be to make your story epic!

 

 

Next up, what is it that makes the “story shots” different from those Eiffel Tower shots? Well, it’s the element and feeling of belonging. As I already answered, it’s the things like the restaurant frontage, the car parked out front, the chefs and waiters, the Parisienne taxi, all of these other details which make up a scene when they’re put together, or which could potentially be anywhere. But, again, they paint the picture and tell the story of Paris when they’re put together.

 

 

Think of it like this: Way, way, way back, our ancestors sat around a fire telling stories. The stories were there in place of Facebook, Instagram, TV; they were handed down and told through the generations. They were twisted a little and evolved like a Chinese Whisper, but they essentially stayed the same and their morals certainly sat solidly within the story. The story is essentially timeless. Its narration was integral to our lives and cultures, and that has evolved into reportage or photojournalism, which has become practically synonymous with wedding photography and can and should be translated to travel photography.

 

 

The bottom line is that it’s more about the series of photos than just the one photo. It’s the combination of recognisable landmarks with details, close up crops, people, and things nearby. It’s the things which poke and evoke the other senses and perceptions. One way to practice, if you’re so inclined, is to make a few stories on Instagram Stories or Facebook Stories and ask your friends and followers for feedback.

Let me know how you get on, and show me by finding @capturewithdave on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

Much love

(come find me at PSW!)

Dave

Good day, hey hey, happy #TravelTuesday one and all! Today this post goes live as I sit at 35,000 ft high, at a steady cruise of around 560 MPH, heading from London to Orlando in preparation for Photoshop World! It’s the creative event of the year and everyone who’s anyone will be there. You’ll see more on that elsewhere though so, for now, let’s hit a subject we can maybe learn a little something from, which today is the basics of a histogram.

So, my intention here is to explain what exactly a histogram is showing you and how to make use of it to improve your photography both in-camera and in post. It’s no masterclass, but I reckon it’ll be useful.

Why have I chosen to write about such an exciting subject? Well, it has come to my attention that there are a lot of people out there who just ignore the histogram. Sometimes it’s ignored out of ignorance and sometimes out of a lack of understanding, but its very prevalence should be sending a message that perhaps it’s quite an important tool.

A histogram is telling you all about the quantity of light in your shot, and here’s how: –

The x-axis of the histogram is showing the frequency—on the left, the darker areas and on the right, the lighter areas. The y-axis shows the quantity of these frequencies. If there are more shadows, there will be more spikes on the left. If there are more highlights, there will be more spikes on the right.

Here are the key points: –

– If you have a single floor-to-ceiling bar at the left, your shadows are clipped. Similarly, if you have one on the right, it’s your highlights that are clipped. This is causing a loss of detail in each of those respective areas.

– If your histogram is split into channels of red, green, and blue, you’ll be shown gray to indicate that all three channels are overlapping. If it’s two channels, you’ll get a different colour: yellow, cyan, or magenta. This helps to show us which channels are behaving in which way.

– A correctly exposed image gives us a histogram which is a central peak, whereas something underexposed peaks on the left and something overexposed peaks to the right.

– A histogram can help us understand the overall exposure state of an image. A histogram is, however, scientific. Science and creativity sometimes work together, but not always. This considered, remember that as well as reading a “good” or a “bad” histogram to determine correct exposure, it’s still good practice to use the histogram as a tool to help rather than as the ultimate decider.

So, what lesson is there to take from this today? Well, perhaps make it a habit to keep an eye on the histogram both in camera and in post. Learn the basics and once you have, there’s nothing wrong with staying right there. Having that base knowledge to help keep details in images and expose correctly can be a lifesaver, and although learning all the fine details of a histogram may or may not make you more of a pro, it’s certainly a good foundation in either case to grasp the fundamentals. The histogram is not optional. ;)

So for now, until next week….

Much love

Dave

Well hello! It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am here as always to lay down some wisdom and stuff! So, did you know that Photoshop World is right around the corner? Of course you did! If you haven’t sorted out your ticket yet there’s still time, and even if you aren’t free to attend the whole (awesome!) conference, you can get yourself a one day ticket. I’m dying to meet as many of you as I can, so look for this guy at the bar: –

This is when Scott invited me to join him and Terry while The Grid was broadcast live from PSW in 2017. Bad move ;) I was sensible as well though!

 

This is what we in the industry refer to as ‘BTS’ ;)

 

See! Evidence that I was sensible!

 

So, let’s talk about Photoshop World today! It’s much, much more than a conference! Today, I want to share with you some of my experiences of Photoshop World, and I have all of you in mind but this is mainly geared towards the first timers out there. The legend that is Larry Becker will run an orientation for newbies right there at the conference, so take this as more of a glimpse of the things you can take away from Photoshop World—aside from the fact that you can attend a ton of classes on a range of tracks led by the cream of the crop from the creative industry. Here’s the real deal, let’s go!

First off, you know all those names you see on the KelbyOne Facebook page? The members’ images shared on the KelbyOne Instagram page? The names you hear mentioned when the comments are read out during The Grid? The names you see commenting on your Instagram posts because you’re both members of the KelbyOne community? You get to put faces to those names! Take a look: –

 

This is me with my brother from another mother, Peter Treadway, when we headed out for coffee with Gilmar Smith and Mark Rodriguez, having met them and become great friends solely because of KelbyOne and Photoshop World

 

This is me with Scott O’Neal. I’d met and chatted with him online all because of KelbyOne and it was at Photoshop World, whilst waiting to pick up my pass that I heard, “Hey, are you Dave Williams?” and we got to meet for real!

 

And again, this time in Vegas 2016, this is me with Peter and Graham Jones. Graham had flown to Vegas from the UK, and despite it being halfway across the world, it’s another one of the many examples of making and maintaining friendships through KelbyOne and Photoshop World!

 

The friendships that are made because of Photoshop World with fellow members of the amazing creative industry are a huge reason to get involved! I won’t hammer this point; I could go on about just this one thing for ages, but I’ll leave it here! Kinda clockwise from me:  Brad Moore, Dave Clayton, Jesus Ramirez, Peter Treadway, Mark Rodriguez, JR Maddox, and Cathy Baitson.

So what else?! I mean, surely life-long friendships alone is a pretty good reason to look forward to the other side of Photoshop World, but what else?

I mean, the Partner Pavilion’s pretty sweet. You know that there’s a huge gathering of awesome creatives showing their wares there too, right? So, the likes of B&H Photo Video and Platypod Tripods are joined by so many other awesome companies that we all love right in one place, waiting to meet you too! That’s a pretty “mainstream” thing about Photoshop World though, and that’s not the point of this post. It’s meant to be the other things!

 

Here’s a reason: exploration! Attending Photoshop World likely means you’re in a whole new place. So why not make the most of it and rent a Mustang and go find gators?

(Okay, my lawyer said that if you go looking for gators, it’s not my fault when you find one! Just saying!)

On the topic of exploring, this helicopter ride cost $25 and it’s right down the road from the conference ;)

 

And then there are all the extra-curricular activities! There is a whole load of things going on in the evenings. When you hear about a party being announced or “tickets being released tomorrow morning” or anything like that, jump on it!

Peter and I were lucky enough to have been sitting around a table at the Light party in Vegas with Mike Kubeisy and Meredith Holt learning what a tater tot is (I’m British, I don’t know these things!). But, it was just the coolest thing having spent a day totally broadening my creative mind to then go party the night away and make new friends.

 

Last year at B.B. King’s, there was an awesome live gig with Scott killing it on every instrument he touched, and I’ve heard a little rumour that this year a whole bunch of PSW instructors are getting up on stage to play! Make sure you get tickets for this one!

 

This is what happened in Vegas 2016 when Photoshop World took over a bar – no half measures, even the party had PSW all over it!

So, what about exploring the fact that even though it’s called Photoshop World, it’s not all about Photoshop…

Dave Clayton teaches InDesign, and this year he has a brand new class – Get Inspired by Graphic Design – where not only will you get to explore avenues away from photography and Photoshop but you can also come away with some great freebies!

 

Even the Keynote speakers at the start of Photoshop World are impactive. The energy created at the opening keynote will leave you on a high and give you all you need to survive a few sleepless days soaking up all the creative goodness like an Adobe sponge!

So, there’s all that, there’s the T-shirt toss, there’s the shipment of the biggest pile of Krispy Kreme donuts you’ve ever seen at Midnight Madness, and I feel like I’m laying down a sales pitch now. They’re never convincing so I opened the floor, so to speak, and asked a bunch of other KelbyOne family members their take on this. Here’s what they had to say!

Whether your mojo is lost, asleep, or a little unmotivated, it will sure be recharged after being in such a creative environment. You’ll get to network with some of the best creatives in the industry. You’ll leave the conference with a bag full of new tricks that will sure improve your business. You’ll make lifetime friendships and probably have a big hangover but it will be worth it! – Gilmar Smith, Gilmar Smith Photography, 5 PSW’s

For me, I’d say the best alternative thing is meeting the community. Those people you connect with on social media. It’s a great place to develop those relationships and go off and do your own trips or photo walks. I’ve made many friends from extra curricular trips as Photoshop World. Then there’s the vendor floor, getting to talk to the people who make the stuff you use and ask them questions. The prizes for feedback forms is always worth taking notice of for the last day! Filling in those feedback forms on the Photoshop World App is really important for the instructors . Check out the expo for extra classes and demos too! There’s a community area this year so make it the trip that you make new friends and create your own experience! Dave Clayton, KelbyOne instructor, 8 PSW’s

Where else can you get hands on and talk to the phoptpographer who wrote the books on the subject you’re reading? It’s a lot about interaction. Think of this as an investment. As a college course where you get to interact with the teachers who are leading their fields. Networking is huge in our industry and PSW is a great opportunity for you to do this.Robert Vanelli, Vanelli and Friends, lost count of PSW’s!

Come to Photoshop World Expo Pavilion. Meet industry leaders and the people behind the products. Get your hands on some amazing equipment and accessories, try before you buy, and seek out some hot deals and discounts!Larry Tiefenbrunn, CEO of Platypod, 3 PSW’s

As a UK based photographer who travels internationally for work, aside from the obvious inspiration and learning to be had, PSW is a huge networking event for me. In attending the conference, I’ve made some lifelong friendships and built up a number of fantastic working relationships that have resulted in me returning to the U.S. for more work. If you’re keen to go pro, then the opportunities to collaborate with other likeminded creatives can not be overstated. Simply put: You’d need a really good reason not to go, if full time photography is your goal.  Peter Treadway, Peter Treadway Photography, 2 PSW’s

Being in a building with hundreds of other brilliant creatives makes me pulse to life with inspiration and helps me push my dreams to even wilder heights. To meet people from all over the globe who are each chasing down their passions with individual fire is the greatest way to get reinvigorated and refocused on my own journey. That energy and that unparalleled artistic company is what makes Photoshop World so completely unique and so precious to me. – Kaylee Greer, KelbyOne instructor, 4 PSW’s

PSW has some of the best classes and instructors in the business. PSW has so many fun things set up to keep you in and part of the entire experience. The workbook is worth the trip alone. They have every single class in one book, so if you miss a class you don’t need to worry, it’s all right there in the book for you. One of my favourite reasons to go to PSW is to meet other great creatives in the industry. They are such a great wealth of knowledge but not only that, the inspiration I get is priceless! – JR Maddox, JR Maddox Photography, 6 PSW’s

Reason #1 – I’ll be there! Reason #2 – It’s the one place where you can learn your favourite Adobe Creative Cloud apps from the best instructors. Reason #3 – I’ll be there! Reason #4 – It’s Orlando. Reason #5 – It’s the one conference that combines learning and fun (mostly fun!) Reason #6 – It’s where all the cool kids go. Reason #7 – There’s no better place to learn Photoshop. – Terry White, KelbyOne Instructor and Adobe worldwide evangelist, All the PSW’s!

 

 

See you there!

Much love

Dave

Hey there! It’s me again, Dave Williams, which means it’s my favourite day of the week – #TravelTuesday – and that means I’m here, in your face, at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider!

Now, if you were following along, you know that I jumped on my Triumph and spent nine days riding from London to the Atlantic Highway in Norway – 3,100+ miles if you’re asking. And guess what…I’m back! I’m still trawling through hours of footage to make a cool video to show you all, so keep an eye on my Facebook page to see when that lands. But, for today, I’ve seen inspiration in the amazing sunny weather we’re having here in London and I want to share with you this amazing little trick!

So, you know when you shoot into the sun and you get that cool bright spot and a little lens flare? Well, that’s what we’ll create here, so go ahead and choose a suitable shot or download mine right here. (Use my shot for the tutorial, use it to show us how you get on with the tutorial, but sell it and I’ll find you!) Let’s go!

First up, the prep: Open the shot into Adobe Photoshop and duplicate the layer with CMD + J (Windows CTRL + J), so we work non-destructively, then press D, then X to set your Foreground colour to white.

 

 

Down at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and then choose Gradient from the pop-up menu.

 

 

In the Gradient Fill dialogue, set the Style to Radial. When that’s done, you can go ahead and move the radial gradient in the image, behind the dialogue, by clicking-and-dragging it, setting it up at the spot you want it. Next up, click on the Gradient thumbnail and a new dialogue will pop up.

 

 

What we’ll do here in the Gradient Editor is create a custom gradient just like I’ve done above. It’s tricky to explain in writing, so focus! To do this, first, select the left colour stop (the square at the bottom left of the colour ramp), then click on the Color swatch and, in the Color Picker, set it to a yellow that’s almost white. Now, select the right colour stop and set its colour to a midtone gray.

So far so good. We’ve set the centre point to a very bright colour to emulate the sun and set the outer edges to a gray, which will fade out. Now, select the centre colour stop (if you don’t have one, just click below the centre of the colour ramp and one will appear). Set this one to a very light orange, then slide that colour stop towards the lower end of the colour ramp. We’ll create two more colour stops to add some realism to what’s becoming our sun glare. We create them by clicking below the ramp, and when we select the colours, we stick with slightly different tones of yellow or orange. The result we need to achieve is that the spectrum of the gradient is very bright at the centre, the left, then changes to a darker and more orange colour for the first third, then fades to more of a yellow or even peach colour throughout the next third, and fading towards the right. Make sense? Thought so!

 

 

When we’re happy with the custom gradient we’ve made, hit OK and we’ll be taken back to the Gradient Fill dialogue. Here, we can change the Angle to suit the position within our image, and we can make it larger or smaller with the Scale adjustment. I’ve pushed mine to 120% here. When you’re happy, hit OK.

 

 

Now, near the top of the Layers panel, change the blend mode to Hard Light.

So, we’ve got the sun, and the glow, but we’re missing something. We can step this up now by adding a lens flare, so let’s go ahead and do that, too!

Click on Layer 1 in the Layers panel, and then select Filter>Render>Lens Flare.

 

 

I find that the most effective Lens Type here is the 50-300mm Zoom, so that’s what I’ve used but you can choose whichever suits your image. In the preview box, click on the centre of the sun, the gradient filter, and it will become much brighter and throw the lens flare across the image. From here, we’re almost finished; we just need to adjust the Brightness to suit the image. I’ve set mine at 125%, but set yours wherever it works and hit OK.

 

 

And, we’re done! We’ve added a very dramatic, warm, and convincing glow of the sun to our image. I hope you like it! Show me how you get on by tagging @capturewithdave when you upload to Twitter or Instagram, and until next week…..

 

Much love

Dave

 

PS – Here’s a top secret Platypod tip. Don’t tell anyone!

Close