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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)

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

Hey hey! It’s me again! I’m Dave Williams, and every #TravelTuesday I’m right here at Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider to share some of my bountiful wisdom from the worlds of photography, Photoshop, travel, and life. Well, today it’s the last two—travel and life! I’m writing this post today from aboard the SuperSpeed ferry from Kristiansand, Norway to Hirtshals, Denmark, and I’ll try to explain my wanderlust.

So, if you’ve been following along on the KelbyOne Instagram story, you’ll know that I’m currently on a mission where I’m riding across Europe from my hometown of London. The purpose of the trip is twofold: (1) to have a little adventure, and (2) to shoot and write for three projects for companies who are involved in my trip—namely Platypod, Triumph, and Sim Imaging. It’s point number 1, though, that I will be exploring with you here.

My wanderlust, my thirst for travel and adventure, is strong and deeply rooted. A little-known fact about me is that I lived in South Africa for eight months, in a little place named Franskraal, just outside Gansbaai which sits between Cape Town and Cape Aghulas. I lived in this tiny little village on the coast, spending my days exploring the countryside and seeking out wildlife, and I spent my evenings dining on fresh, local fish and meat whilst watching the sun go down over the South Atlantic Ocean as the whales leapt and waved their fins at me. Before this, I’d been to a handful of countries whilst growing up—Spain, Greece, France, Barbados, Germany, and the U.S. (Disney World in Florida). It’s this experience that kick-started my desire to travel and see the world. But, then there’s another factor that comes into play: the camera.

I remember being given a camera by my parents on my 14th birthday—a Nikon F40, I think. I’d looked at photography and I wanted to be able to do it, too. I wanted to be able to make great images. To show the world as I see it. Through my eyes. I spent quite some time coming to grips with how it all worked. I wasn’t reading much, but I was experimenting. I was getting used to what happened to my photos when I changed various settings. I was learning about composition. I fancied myself as a bit of a ‘”proper photographer” and kept learning through doing.

Fast forward a number of years and combine the two, and now I was in a place where I’d returned home from South Africa after a few fails. I knew that one thing I wanted to really push harder with was my photography and another was my desire to see more of the world. I got my first DSLR, a Sony Alpha. I was now able to make more photos and spend less money doing it! I was coming to grips with Photoshop too, starting with the cheesy things we all hate like selective colouring, but also the essential things to learn how it all worked!

So, pushing on a bit more, my first “big” solo trip was to Iceland. I fell in love with it, and in fact, with what I can only describe as difference. I like to compare the world with my world. See how other people live. See what’s good about other cultures. It’s true to say that you only appreciate what you have when it’s gone. And, this relates here because it’s only when you go deep into another culture or another place that you really see what you have at home and appreciate it more, while also bringing back positive influences and ideas from the places you visit. Take the Danish concept of Hygge, for example. This mindset, which apparently makes the Danes the worlds happiest people, can give us so much in our lives and it’s only through exploring this idea and this culture, then comparing it with our own, that we can really benefit from it. The Icelandic have a phrase that I absolutely love, and it’s only through coming into difficulty while in Iceland that I know about it. I was in the Westfjords at the Arctic Fox Centre shooting a pair of awesome fox cubs. My camera broke, it was a very expensive one, and it had sustained water damage from a waterfall. I was able to borrow a camera for the rest of my trip, so the few days remaining weren’t wasted, and I was told at the time, “thetta reddast.” My expression must’ve reflected the ultimate confusion when it was uttered to me, but when I asked what it meant it made perfect sense. The explanation I was given from Midge, who’d said it to me, is this:

“Thetta reddast. It means everything will turn out fine. Things happen, you have no control over them, and whatever is happening just know that it’ll all work out and everything will be alright.”

Well, that nailed it! It’s hard to understand sometimes, of course, but everything will be fine. Everything will work itself out. So, it’s little things like this, little bits of learning from across the world and the feeling of accomplishment and knowledge when I go visit another part of the world, along with seeing new landscapes and the amazing things we have on our planet, that drives me to see as much as I can. It’s only been a few years that I’ve been traveling hard, and in that time my goal was to get the number of countries I’ve visited higher than my age. I’m happy to say that I’ve achieved that and I fully intend to keep it that way for as long as I possibly can!

I love to travel and to see the world and all the amazing things it has to offer, and I love to share the images I make, too. I ran this quote past Scott and he laughed at its weirdness, but I’ll put it out there:

“Lend me your eyes and I’ll show you what I see.”

I will. Let me show you what I see, and let me inspire you to please see as much of this world as you can. You only get one shot, after all. Don’t let things pass you by, grab opportunities and, indeed, make them, too. Wanderlust is real.

Much love

Dave

Winter is coming people!

It’s that time again, I’m back to share my weekly dose of photographic wisdom under the lovingly crafted hashtag – #HybridDaveTuesdays

This week it’s something I feel I have a good standing to talk about due to my love of cold places. I’m going to tell you about shooting in the cold in the form of a list. If the internet has taught me only one thing it’s that everybody loves a list, right? By the way, I realise that winter is only approaching in the northern hemisphere and I’m kinda excluding half of the population of the entire world, but I’m finding peace from that with the knowledge that you southerners are about to have your Christmas BBQ’s fired up!

So here goes!

 

Here’s some snow…… it’s authentic Finnish

 

Tip #1 – Never delete anything in camera!

Snow is a funny old thing. It tricks our cameras as well as our eyes. There WILL be shots you look at of snowy scenes on the back of your camera that look terrible, but then when you get them up in Lightroom or Camera Raw they’ll look amazing following a tweak or two.

 

Tip #2 – Keep your gear cold

When you take your gear from cold to warm (like in and out of a hotel or rental car) it puts a strain on it. Once it’s cold, keep it cold. It can short out the electrics if condensation forms inside the camera. The worst thing you can do is to actively try and warm your gear up or try to make it warm near the heat vent or under your ski jacket. Furthermore, if you see that shot and pull out your camera but it instantly fogs you’ll have nothing to show your friends! I remember shooting in Finnish Lapland where I visited the Wild Spirit Animal park and just after meeting Romeo the wooly pig and before meeting Spike the Husky I was taken into a small, round cabin with a fire burning inside for a hot drink to warm me up. I left my camera outside on a pile of wood so it stayed cold and was ready to shoot again as soon as I was back out.

 

Cold enough for an Arctic Fox

 

Tip #3 – Except your batteries. Keep them warm!

There’s some science here. I mean, I don’t know what it is, but it’s here! So basically, if your batteries are exposed to the cold they’ll lose power quicker. I’ve experienced this first hand, it definitely happens. I was shooting the northern lights in the Icelandic Westfjords up on top of a mountain. I couldn’t feel my face, it was that cold. Whatever was happening to my batteries due to the cold happened pretty quick. The power was just going. What I discovered is that if I kept my batteries in my inside pockets my body heat kept them going for longer.

 

Tip #4 – Then warm your gear back up slowly!

I learned this the hard way! Kirkjufellsfoss, shown below, is an iconic Icelandic waterfall with it’s namesake mountain right behind it. Take a look here though – I have a nice wide lens mounted on my Nikon D810 but the middle of the shot is all hazy and soft. This is a direct result of having moisture build up inside the lens. It’s virtually impossible to remove in post because it ruins a whole portion of the image. Bottom line is to consider ways to warm your gear up slowly. Put it in the boot of the rental car where it’s that little bit colder and far from the heating, and put it inside your bag (closed) when you take it indoors so that it gradually adjust to the new, warmer climate. If your camera does get moist for any reason, keep it somewhere dry and of a consistent temperature, and leave ALL of the ports wide open to give the moisture an easy escape.

 

Kirkjufellsfoss, with Kirkjufell in the background – Iceland

 

Tip #5 – Overexpose for white snow

What our eyes see as pure, white snow filling the landscape, our camera sees as overexposed and so brings your camera down a notch or two. To combat this, it’s a wise idea to shoot a little over. It’s the number one tip you’ll always see on advice for shooting snow but it’s easily overcome so just be mindful of it and shoot over – you can always bring things back down in Photoshop if you’re way too bright. On a sidetone, your Auto White Balance will often change things a little towards to blue end – another thing to bear in mind. If you’re the type to use a grey card or a light meter then fine, but I’m not and I consider it all in post.

 

Some snowy bushes in Iceland

 

Tip #6 – Don’t concentrate only on snow

There’s so much more going on and snowy scenes are in themselves very romantic, I find. This shot below is of a couple stood alone outside the beautiful House of the Roundheads in Riga and although they’re only a tiny feature of the images, they add to it just enough. As with everything you shoot, snow has a tendency to get very ‘samey’ and breaking it up with details, much like you would when shooting a wedding, you’re giving it a new perspective and engaging your audience and lifting interest.

 

House of the Roundheads – Riga, Latvia

 

Tip #7 – Shoot the fauna

Even if it’s hard to find some! There are two animals which epitomise Iceland – horses and puffins – and here’s 50% of that combo! Shooting animals helps give a sense of their hardiness to the testing climates they find themselves in and if you get it right, showing their character, it can give the viewer an intense connection!

 

An Icelandic Horse

 

Tip #8 – And the flora

Good luck finding some! Much like the animals, showing the hardiness of the plant life can create a connection between the viewer and the image. It mixes up and breaks up the images of snow scene after snow scene too!

 

Lapland

 

Tip #9 – Capture the festivities

There’s a 50% chance (hemispherically) that winter means it’s Christmas! Alongside this, there’s so much going on and it all tends to give contrast to the cold. Warm fires, hot chocolates and fairground rides – it’s all beautiful, especially when you capture it right. Going to a Christmas market with a camera can yield some awesome results.

 

One of many Christmas markets in Berlin, Germany

So there’s 9 tips for shooting in the cold, I hope you can use them! Right now I’m in Tromsø, Norway, way up in the Arctic Circle (oh the power of the internet!) and you can check my progress on my Instagram story or on Facebook to see the snow I’m seeing :)

 

Until next time!

Much love

Dave

 

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