Tag Archives dave williams

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

Hello there! It’s #TravelTuesday again so it’s that time of the week that I, Dave Williams, jump in right here on Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share something that will hopefully fill in a gap somewhere in your creative flow! Today, as I head off on a mission to Iceland, I want to tell you about something that I’ve found valuable in the field of drone photography and videography. I want to tell you how to pull a still from a video so that you can retouch it as if it were a photo in Adobe Photoshop – something I do when I shoot with my drone quite regularly.

First up, load the video you want to pull a frame from in Adobe Premiere Pro. In this example I’m using Premiere Pro CC 2018.

Now move the Playhead to the position within the video from which you want to pull the still image.

 

 

In this example I’m taking a still from a video I made at Kilt Rock during my trip to the Isle of Skye in Scotland last week. Gushing over the cliff at Kilt Rock is Mealt Falls landing straight into the sea. I caught a composition of the two on video and I want to make something of it, so I’ve set my Playhead to the right point and I’m ready to pull out the still.

Next up, hit the Export Frame button. When you do this you’re presented with a dialogue box which gives you a couple of options.

 

 

First up is the File Name. We can change this name to whatever suits. Further underneath that is the Path option, the destination of which we can change using the Browse button. The option that’s rather more important to us here is the Format field. Once we change this it remains selected as that format each time we do this until we change it. There are a few options here, one of which as a photographer we may not be so familiar with, and that one is DPX. This stands for Digital Picture Exchange and it’s the format used when scanning film which records colour density and in fact records a lot of data relating to the frame. The more common formats we’ll see here are TIFF and PNG. Personally I choose PNG, however it all comes down to your preference and your intentions.

 

 

Once we’ve hit OK after selecting the format and destination of the file we can go ahead and take it from our folder straight into Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to make the adjustments we’d make to any other photo. It’s that simple, yet surprisingly often overlooked.

 

 

I hope that little nugget was useful for you! As always, do let me know how you get on, and you can show myself or KelbyOne on Instagram if you want, we love to see! You can keep track of my Iceland adventure right on my Instagram too!

Much love

Dave

Hello, internets! It’s #TravelTuesday again, so I’m here to impart some kind of wisdom onto you, and today it’s all about tweaking colour with Camera Raw’s Hue sliders. But first!

I’m writing this post from a Starbucks just outside of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park in Scotland, fresh from an overnight stop before I head farther north towards the Isle of Skye. I’m shooting a couple of little projects involving drone photography and Platypod tripods. You can keep up with what I’m doing on this trip by following me on social media (look for @capturewithdave) and by watching the @kelbyonepics Instagram story!

On with the blog!

The HSL  (Hue/Saturation/Luminance) Adjustments panel in Adobe Camera Raw is very useful, but perhaps most confusing are the Hue options. While the Saturation and Luminance sliders enhance the colours, the Hue sliders actually change them. There are some pretty powerful things you can do with the Hue sliders—you can even change the seasons in post if you tweak the colours the right way.

What’s actually happening when you adjust a colour slider in the Hue tab is that you’re moving its position on a colour wheel. In terms of its practical application, I’ll use the Hue sliders to adjust this photo and make the grass greener, whilst maintaining the other colours.

 

 

In this shot, the tones up in the sky are beautiful—the sun lowering in the sky (it’s 9pm) is casting a fabulous orange glow—but I feel like the grass should be just a little bit greener. We can take advantage of the Hue sliders and make this adjustment easily right in Camera Raw.

 

 

Using the Hue sliders to shift the colours within sections of the colour wheel, if we move the Yellows slider (the colour of the grass in this case) towards the green end, and compensate with the Oranges and Greens sliders to maintain the actual green and retain that orange in the sky by moving those sliders away from the yellow ends, we’ve easily achieved our goal! It’s as easy as that!

 

 

 

That grass is now greener, which to me is more realistic and more pleasing, and all it took was an understanding of what’s going on with the Hue tab’s sliders.

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)

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

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