Dave Williams

Dave Williams

Dave is a travel photographer and social media influencer, writer, educator, and blogger. His work has been featured worldwide in renowned publications and campaigns including Time, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, The Times, Shell, Marie Claire, Photoshop User Magazine, Scott's blog, and more. His passion is to see the world and share his view of it, both in photography and writing.

No, there aren’t any typos in the title above. This article is all about the benefits of editing in black-and-white to give you a result with great light and color. I’ll begin with explaining the concept, and then we’ll get down to business.  Photography is the art of recording light. The word “photography” is a combination of Greek words that I’m sure you’ve all seen explained in countless photography books, so I won’t belabor the point, but it’s important to remember that light is the most important element of photography. When we’re out shooting, we’re thinking about color, compositio...

EDITING IN BLACK & WHITE FOR BETTER LIGHT AND COLOR close

No, there aren’t any typos in the title above. This article is all about the benefits of editing in black-and-white to give you a result with great light and color. I’ll begin with explaining the concept, and then we’ll get down to business.  Photography is the art of recording light. The word “photography” is a combination of Greek words that I’m sure you’ve all seen explained in countless photography books, so I won’t belabor the point, but it’s important to remember that light is the most important element of photography. When we’re out shooting, we’re thinking about color, compositio...

Pick your target! That’s the first key to creating a killer top-down drone shot. We’ll come back to that, but I wanted to make that point straight off the bat, and here’s why: Drones are becoming far more accessible and, as a result, drone photographs are now more common than ever. The shots are no longer a novelty; however, the drone itself can be a novelty to the consumer.  As drone pilots, we need to realize that our drone is a camera just like the one held in our hands, but we can position it almost anywhere around us in 3D space. It’s common for a new drone pilot to take photos of f...

TUNE YOUR TOP-DOWN DRONE SHOTS WITH ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS close

Pick your target! That’s the first key to creating a killer top-down drone shot. We’ll come back to that, but I wanted to make that point straight off the bat, and here’s why: Drones are becoming far more accessible and, as a result, drone photographs are now more common than ever. The shots are no longer a novelty; however, the drone itself can be a novelty to the consumer.  As drone pilots, we need to realize that our drone is a camera just like the one held in our hands, but we can position it almost anywhere around us in 3D space. It’s common for a new drone pilot to take photos of f...

Virtual Tours and 360° Images

with Dave Williams

The world has changed a lot recently. A large portion of the global population has been unable to travel to see the things and places that fill their bucket list. On top of this, the announcement of the metaverse as just one of a number of immersive, virtual environments that we, as photographers and creatives, are in an ideal position to fill with content. In this article we’ll explore one of these many possibilities, an immersive 360° virtual tour. We’ll create the images, edit them, and then take them to another piece of software to create the tour. (Interestingly, the word “panorama” co...

Virtual Tours and 360° Images close

The world has changed a lot recently. A large portion of the global population has been unable to travel to see the things and places that fill their bucket list. On top of this, the announcement of the metaverse as just one of a number of immersive, virtual environments that we, as photographers and creatives, are in an ideal position to fill with content. In this article we’ll explore one of these many possibilities, an immersive 360° virtual tour. We’ll create the images, edit them, and then take them to another piece of software to create the tour. (Interestingly, the word “panorama” co...

When retouching your images, Adobe Camera Raw can be considered the “starting block” of your journey into Adobe Photoshop. When you’re particularly excited about retouching certain images, you can subconsciously fall into habits when using the sliders in Camera Raw. While going into autopilot mode can sometimes be productive, it’s important that you give full consideration to all the sliders, using both global and targeted adjustments. When you use Camera Raw effectively, you can save yourself time by not having to refine things in Photoshop, as well as preventing the need to return to C...

Texture and Clarity in Adobe Camera Raw close

When retouching your images, Adobe Camera Raw can be considered the “starting block” of your journey into Adobe Photoshop. When you’re particularly excited about retouching certain images, you can subconsciously fall into habits when using the sliders in Camera Raw. While going into autopilot mode can sometimes be productive, it’s important that you give full consideration to all the sliders, using both global and targeted adjustments. When you use Camera Raw effectively, you can save yourself time by not having to refine things in Photoshop, as well as preventing the need to return to C...

As photographers, we need to give our images the best chance to be seen, and when we put our work in front of a larger audience, we stand a better chance of being booked. When it comes to social media, and Instagram in particular, we’re essentially displacing our portfolio and presenting our images in a different location, but the views that we get on Instagram may be the thing we can convert to revenue, so we need to be able to maximize those chances.  When we process our images for print or even for the web, we follow specific processes. For Instagram, there’s a particular export proce...

Beating the Instagram Algorithm close

As photographers, we need to give our images the best chance to be seen, and when we put our work in front of a larger audience, we stand a better chance of being booked. When it comes to social media, and Instagram in particular, we’re essentially displacing our portfolio and presenting our images in a different location, but the views that we get on Instagram may be the thing we can convert to revenue, so we need to be able to maximize those chances.  When we process our images for print or even for the web, we follow specific processes. For Instagram, there’s a particular export proce...

If you’re thinking about how to earn side income from your photography then this class is for you! Join Dave Williams as he shares his experiences, insights, techniques, and wisdom learned from taking his photography from a side hustle to his full time income. In this class Dave discusses what it means to freelance, how to examine the fears that hold you back and use them to your advantage, the importance of your web and social media presence, as well as exploring the potential revenue streams found in stock photography, event photography, travel photography, and more. As Dave says, if he can do it, so can you!

Turning Your Photography into a Side Hustle close

If you’re thinking about how to earn side income from your photography then this class is for you! Join Dave Williams as he shares his experiences, insights, techniques, and wisdom learned from taking his photography from a side hustle to his full time income. In this class Dave discusses what it means to freelance, how to examine the fears that hold you back and use them to your advantage, the importance of your web and social media presence, as well as exploring the potential revenue streams found in stock photography, event photography, travel photography, and more. As Dave says, if he can do it, so can you!

Long-exposure photography is used to achieve a variety of results, including capturing sharp images in low-light conditions. One of the most common, creative applications of long exposures is to create silky smooth water and streaked clouds. When we’re out in the wild with our cameras and we want to create a long-exposure image, it’s best to rely on additional gear such as a tripod or Platypod and optical filters. But sometimes we don’t have all our gear on us or perhaps we’re under time constraints, so then we can call on Photoshop to come to the rescue.  STREAKY CLOUDS  A true outdo...

Long-Exposure Hacks: Streaky Clouds And Silky Water close

Long-exposure photography is used to achieve a variety of results, including capturing sharp images in low-light conditions. One of the most common, creative applications of long exposures is to create silky smooth water and streaked clouds. When we’re out in the wild with our cameras and we want to create a long-exposure image, it’s best to rely on additional gear such as a tripod or Platypod and optical filters. But sometimes we don’t have all our gear on us or perhaps we’re under time constraints, so then we can call on Photoshop to come to the rescue.  STREAKY CLOUDS  A true outdo...

Composition is a huge consideration when we shoot, and once we get an image out of the camera and into our digital darkroom, we’re often limited in what we can do to edit its composition and control the path our viewer’s eye takes across the photograph. There are other things, however, that we can do in post to grab the attention of the viewer but with a bit more control and flexibility. One such thing that takes an equally high standing to composition is light.  Light and its quality can have a great effect on an image. We all know that our eyes are drawn to the brightest part of an ima...

Attract Attention By Manipulating the Light close

Composition is a huge consideration when we shoot, and once we get an image out of the camera and into our digital darkroom, we’re often limited in what we can do to edit its composition and control the path our viewer’s eye takes across the photograph. There are other things, however, that we can do in post to grab the attention of the viewer but with a bit more control and flexibility. One such thing that takes an equally high standing to composition is light.  Light and its quality can have a great effect on an image. We all know that our eyes are drawn to the brightest part of an ima...

Warming Up Winter

with Dave Williams

Winter photos are cold by their very nature, but there’s something we can do to help our winter photos stand out: warm them up a little. Using the color wheel, we know that blue and orange are complementary; that’s why sunset photos at the beach are so attractive. We can apply that very same principle to our photos of winter scenes to achieve the same result by adding the warmth of the sun to the coolness of the water, snow, or ice.  One of the simplest ways to achieve this is in highlights, because if we consider realistic ways for our winter scene to exude warmth, it’s in the lighting....

Warming Up Winter close

Winter photos are cold by their very nature, but there’s something we can do to help our winter photos stand out: warm them up a little. Using the color wheel, we know that blue and orange are complementary; that’s why sunset photos at the beach are so attractive. We can apply that very same principle to our photos of winter scenes to achieve the same result by adding the warmth of the sun to the coolness of the water, snow, or ice.  One of the simplest ways to achieve this is in highlights, because if we consider realistic ways for our winter scene to exude warmth, it’s in the lighting....

Learn how to get the best photos possible in a hostile environment! Join Dave Williams in arctic Norway as he shares his tips and techniques for planning, preparing, and keeping himself (and his gear) safe in extreme conditions. You may head above the arctic circle with the goal of photographing the aurora, but Dave explains how to be prepared for shooting the wildlife, water features, snowy scenes, and not so snowy scenes you may encounter along the way. Dave wraps up the class with lessons on knowing how to find, prepare for, and shoot the northern lights.

Photographing the Arctic and the Aurora close

Learn how to get the best photos possible in a hostile environment! Join Dave Williams in arctic Norway as he shares his tips and techniques for planning, preparing, and keeping himself (and his gear) safe in extreme conditions. You may head above the arctic circle with the goal of photographing the aurora, but Dave explains how to be prepared for shooting the wildlife, water features, snowy scenes, and not so snowy scenes you may encounter along the way. Dave wraps up the class with lessons on knowing how to find, prepare for, and shoot the northern lights.

Make It Sharp

with Dave Williams

Image quality is made up of several factors: brightness, tonality, dynamic range, contrast, and sharpness. Out of this list, taking sharp photos is a high priority for all photographers. Achieving what has come to be known as “tack-sharp” photos involves using quality gear and doing lots of small things to the best of our ability. Tack sharp describes a photo that’s clean and crisp, with the main subject clearly in focus and no blurring. Some of these “small things” will apply to certain situations and some won’t, but the more of them we use, the sharper our images will be.   Lenses  ...

Make It Sharp close

Image quality is made up of several factors: brightness, tonality, dynamic range, contrast, and sharpness. Out of this list, taking sharp photos is a high priority for all photographers. Achieving what has come to be known as “tack-sharp” photos involves using quality gear and doing lots of small things to the best of our ability. Tack sharp describes a photo that’s clean and crisp, with the main subject clearly in focus and no blurring. Some of these “small things” will apply to certain situations and some won’t, but the more of them we use, the sharper our images will be.   Lenses  ...

Make Your Own LUT

with Dave Williams

Just how many ads have you seen for presets on social media lately? They’re usually full of buzzwords telling you just how FAST and EASY it is to edit your photos with them, and they have exotic names like the “Bahamas Pack” or the “Fall Forest Look.” I’ve even seen some advertised with celebrity names this past week. The thing is that you actually have three options when it comes to these presets: You can buy them, find them for free, or make them.  A look-up table (LUT) is essentially a preset; the difference being that a preset makes adjustments to a wide range of parameters in your i...

Make Your Own LUT close

Just how many ads have you seen for presets on social media lately? They’re usually full of buzzwords telling you just how FAST and EASY it is to edit your photos with them, and they have exotic names like the “Bahamas Pack” or the “Fall Forest Look.” I’ve even seen some advertised with celebrity names this past week. The thing is that you actually have three options when it comes to these presets: You can buy them, find them for free, or make them.  A look-up table (LUT) is essentially a preset; the difference being that a preset makes adjustments to a wide range of parameters in your i...

I’ll always remember Midge from the Arctic Fox Centre in Sudavik, Iceland, telling me this: “You photographers have a special way of making the aurora [borealis] look amazing.” He’s right: We do, and it’s all in the retouching. The northern lights are an incredible display of the strength and beauty of nature. As a light source themselves, caused by the colliding of plasma ejected from the sun hitting particles in our upper atmosphere, we don’t need a lot of it to get a great photo. Obviously, we could get a better display with a stronger aurora, ideally with a geomagnetic storm resulting f...

Retouching the Aurora Borealis in Adobe Camera Raw close

I’ll always remember Midge from the Arctic Fox Centre in Sudavik, Iceland, telling me this: “You photographers have a special way of making the aurora [borealis] look amazing.” He’s right: We do, and it’s all in the retouching. The northern lights are an incredible display of the strength and beauty of nature. As a light source themselves, caused by the colliding of plasma ejected from the sun hitting particles in our upper atmosphere, we don’t need a lot of it to get a great photo. Obviously, we could get a better display with a stronger aurora, ideally with a geomagnetic storm resulting f...

Learn how to earn from your vacation photos with Dave Williams! As a professional travel photographer Dave shares his insider information on different ways you can turn your travel and vacation photos into an income stream. In this class you’ll learn the importance of planning before you travel, how to get into stock photography and how to caption and keyword your photos so that they can be found, how to get started as an instagram influencer, and how to network with the right people to market your work directly to the people who are looking for content. There are endless opportunities for creating images that will appeal to tourist boards, magazines, stock libraries, hotels, and others in the travel industry. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, so join Dave and get prepared for your next travel adventure!

How to Make Money With Your Travel Photos close

Learn how to earn from your vacation photos with Dave Williams! As a professional travel photographer Dave shares his insider information on different ways you can turn your travel and vacation photos into an income stream. In this class you’ll learn the importance of planning before you travel, how to get into stock photography and how to caption and keyword your photos so that they can be found, how to get started as an instagram influencer, and how to network with the right people to market your work directly to the people who are looking for content. There are endless opportunities for creating images that will appeal to tourist boards, magazines, stock libraries, hotels, and others in the travel industry. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, so join Dave and get prepared for your next travel adventure!

There are times when we can deal with cluttered shots packed full of tourists by simply arriving at a location early, before the rest of the world wakes up. But, sometimes, there are reasons why this isn’t possible and we end up unable to avoid tourists. Luckily for us, there’s a seriously smart solution offered in Adobe Photoshop that lets us remove tourists and, with only a little prep on location, we end up with a clutter-free shot. Here’s how it works: As a result of countless tests and research surveys, there are many smart algorithms at work inside Photoshop, trying to determine wh...

Removing People with Statistics close

There are times when we can deal with cluttered shots packed full of tourists by simply arriving at a location early, before the rest of the world wakes up. But, sometimes, there are reasons why this isn’t possible and we end up unable to avoid tourists. Luckily for us, there’s a seriously smart solution offered in Adobe Photoshop that lets us remove tourists and, with only a little prep on location, we end up with a clutter-free shot. Here’s how it works: As a result of countless tests and research surveys, there are many smart algorithms at work inside Photoshop, trying to determine wh...

Prepare for your next travel photography adventure with Dave Williams! In this class Dave teaches you how to identify locations that are on trend, what sights are popular and iconic, and then how to identify the gaps and opportunities that you can leverage at each destination. Dave also shares his perspective on gear, his techniques for minimizing crowds in photographs, how to avoid the status quo, and the importance of continually investing in yourself. By the end of the class you’ll be well armed with the knowledge you need to capture new perspectives of wherever your adventures take you.

How to Prepare for Your Travel Photography Adventure close

Prepare for your next travel photography adventure with Dave Williams! In this class Dave teaches you how to identify locations that are on trend, what sights are popular and iconic, and then how to identify the gaps and opportunities that you can leverage at each destination. Dave also shares his perspective on gear, his techniques for minimizing crowds in photographs, how to avoid the status quo, and the importance of continually investing in yourself. By the end of the class you’ll be well armed with the knowledge you need to capture new perspectives of wherever your adventures take you.

The Hue tab and all its sliders in Adobe Camera Raw are easy to misunderstand and are therefore often overlooked. The power to change colors lies in these sliders, and to best understand the Hue tab, it’s important to understand color. “The degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow.” That’s hue—now you know! That definition tells us that hue describes the appearance of color. You can switch out the word “color” with “hue” in the sentence “What color is that?” without changing the meaning. So h...

Understanding Hue to Make Your Landscape Images Shine close

The Hue tab and all its sliders in Adobe Camera Raw are easy to misunderstand and are therefore often overlooked. The power to change colors lies in these sliders, and to best understand the Hue tab, it’s important to understand color. “The degree to which a stimulus can be described as similar to or different from stimuli that are described as red, green, blue, and yellow.” That’s hue—now you know! That definition tells us that hue describes the appearance of color. You can switch out the word “color” with “hue” in the sentence “What color is that?” without changing the meaning. So h...

Learn how to translate techniques from movies into your drone footage for a cinematic look with Dave Williams! Dave travels the world shooting with all types of cameras, and especially his drones. In this class Dave teaches you how to stand out from the crowd by using your drone with complete creative control to fly like a movie director and create something truly cinematic. You’ll learn how to overcome limitations, do your research ahead of time, configure your drone’s settings for optimal capture, and practice the types of movements used in movies to capture the viewer’s attention and tell your story.

How to Get the Cinematic Look from Your Drone Photography close

Learn how to translate techniques from movies into your drone footage for a cinematic look with Dave Williams! Dave travels the world shooting with all types of cameras, and especially his drones. In this class Dave teaches you how to stand out from the crowd by using your drone with complete creative control to fly like a movie director and create something truly cinematic. You’ll learn how to overcome limitations, do your research ahead of time, configure your drone’s settings for optimal capture, and practice the types of movements used in movies to capture the viewer’s attention and tell your story.

As a travel photographer, I often have to work hard to capture a lot of images in a short span of time. Working against the clock means that whatever conditions I find at each location are the conditions I have for the image, like it or lump it. The opportunity to return to a location because the weather wasn’t quite as I wanted is rare because the “conveyor-belt” method of working is pretty common in travel, generating a lot of content for commission or stock and then quickly moving on to the next project. As with many problems, there’s a solution for this issue. That’s what I want to s...

Atmospheric Changes in Photoshop close

As a travel photographer, I often have to work hard to capture a lot of images in a short span of time. Working against the clock means that whatever conditions I find at each location are the conditions I have for the image, like it or lump it. The opportunity to return to a location because the weather wasn’t quite as I wanted is rare because the “conveyor-belt” method of working is pretty common in travel, generating a lot of content for commission or stock and then quickly moving on to the next project. As with many problems, there’s a solution for this issue. That’s what I want to s...

Have you ever taken an image that would be great if it weren’t for that one little, niggling discrepancy? Let’s fix it in Photoshop and bring the image back to life! Here are some of my tips and tricks for giving your broken photos a digital breath of life. So, there are generally two schools of thought when it comes to the application of Adobe Photoshop to photography: There are the people like me who believe in the power of postproduction and, morals upstanding, will edit anything, anytime, anyhow; and then there’s a hardcore clan of camera-purists who insist that if you can’t get it r...

Fixing Photographic Mistakes in Photoshop close

Have you ever taken an image that would be great if it weren’t for that one little, niggling discrepancy? Let’s fix it in Photoshop and bring the image back to life! Here are some of my tips and tricks for giving your broken photos a digital breath of life. So, there are generally two schools of thought when it comes to the application of Adobe Photoshop to photography: There are the people like me who believe in the power of postproduction and, morals upstanding, will edit anything, anytime, anyhow; and then there’s a hardcore clan of camera-purists who insist that if you can’t get it r...

Antelope Canyon: Day to Night

with Dave Williams

While I was stateside last year for Photoshop World 2017 in Orlando, I took the opportunity, as always, to make the most of the trip. I had the pleasure of visiting Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and it was great that the guide was throwing around photographic advice to everybody, having had so much experience in the conditions of the canyons, but I wanted to make sure I got something different than everybody else. With this tutorial, I’ll show you how I used two shots from that trip to create something unique with Adobe Photoshop. Let’s walk through how I turned a midday shot of Upper Ante...

Antelope Canyon: Day to Night close

While I was stateside last year for Photoshop World 2017 in Orlando, I took the opportunity, as always, to make the most of the trip. I had the pleasure of visiting Antelope Canyon in Arizona, and it was great that the guide was throwing around photographic advice to everybody, having had so much experience in the conditions of the canyons, but I wanted to make sure I got something different than everybody else. With this tutorial, I’ll show you how I used two shots from that trip to create something unique with Adobe Photoshop. Let’s walk through how I turned a midday shot of Upper Ante...

Phone 3D Elements Tutorial

with Dave Williams

In this project, we’ll take a London city scene that features a tall object (in this case, it’s the Elizabeth Tower, or St. Stephens Tower, or Big Ben, or Jubilee Tower, depending on who you ask) and composite it with an image of a smartphone. We’ll manipulate the two images in Adobe Photoshop to create an effect where it appears that part of the building comes to life and emerges from the smartphone. Together, we’ll blend the desired elements of both images to create the composite. With this tutorial, I’ve provided you with the files you’ll need to follow along, but here’s what you need...

Phone 3D Elements Tutorial close

In this project, we’ll take a London city scene that features a tall object (in this case, it’s the Elizabeth Tower, or St. Stephens Tower, or Big Ben, or Jubilee Tower, depending on who you ask) and composite it with an image of a smartphone. We’ll manipulate the two images in Adobe Photoshop to create an effect where it appears that part of the building comes to life and emerges from the smartphone. Together, we’ll blend the desired elements of both images to create the composite. With this tutorial, I’ve provided you with the files you’ll need to follow along, but here’s what you need...

In this project, we’ll overcome an obstacle that photographers face all too often. In landscape photography, we’re told time and time again that there are only two times each day when we can successfully shoot a landscape: the golden hour (often referred to as the “magic” hour), which is early in the morning and again late in the evening. But when we’re out on the road desperately trying to cram so many awesome locations into our tight schedules, it’s not always practical, and we have to carefully choose where we are for sunrise and sunset. Our well-planned golden hour shoots can easily ...

Creating a Golden Hour Look in Adobe Camera Raw close

In this project, we’ll overcome an obstacle that photographers face all too often. In landscape photography, we’re told time and time again that there are only two times each day when we can successfully shoot a landscape: the golden hour (often referred to as the “magic” hour), which is early in the morning and again late in the evening. But when we’re out on the road desperately trying to cram so many awesome locations into our tight schedules, it’s not always practical, and we have to carefully choose where we are for sunrise and sunset. Our well-planned golden hour shoots can easily ...

In this project, we’ll blend a headshot of a model with a block of text using various layer and masking techniques to create a portrait you can see and read. It’s not dissimilar to a double exposure, which is a very hot technique right now, but rather than combining a portrait and a scene, it uses text. We’ll learn how the layers interact to create an image that can be used for promotional materials, to tell a story in a unique way, or just for fun. I once used this technique to overlay a musician’s lyrics on his portrait. Another example that went viral is a police officer with a story of ...

Wrapping Text Around a Portrait in Photoshop close

In this project, we’ll blend a headshot of a model with a block of text using various layer and masking techniques to create a portrait you can see and read. It’s not dissimilar to a double exposure, which is a very hot technique right now, but rather than combining a portrait and a scene, it uses text. We’ll learn how the layers interact to create an image that can be used for promotional materials, to tell a story in a unique way, or just for fun. I once used this technique to overlay a musician’s lyrics on his portrait. Another example that went viral is a police officer with a story of ...