Summer newsletter 2021

WELL, THAT WAS A HORRIBLE 18 MONTHS

*All the photos on this page were taken by Beginners' Course students during the course*

As someone who works from home all the time the news of enforced lockdown in April 2020 didn’t seem to signify as many changes to me as it did to most people.

It’s true to say that for the first six months or so it didn’t make a vast amount of difference to my daily routine but then… it’s the small things you miss. Right now I’m typing this sitting in a café in Brighton and for a large part of last year that was something impossible to do. I sorely missed that.

It also meant that any teaching I might do went completely out the window. I refunded students that had already started a Beginners’ Course in 2020 and the three new day courses I was planning were abandoned, too.

Photo by: Sue Braat

BACK TO A ‘NEW’ NORMAL?

These past few months have seen a pleasant, if cautious change. I just finished my first Beginners’ Course since lockdown last week and I’ve scheduled another for late August. Normally, that would be a terrible time to try and run a course and I suspect it will be so now but post-lockdown, who knows?

The only certainty at the current time is that nothing is certain, so do what you want while you can is my recommendation.

Photo by: Tom Cummins

TEACHING AGAIN

I’ve also scheduled a 1-day ‘Improve your Landscape Photography’ session based on the fact that one of the most successful and popular parts of the main Beginners course are the three ‘in-the-field’ days of the course, where I take students to a location and advise them on how to get the best photos from what’s around them.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the opportunities that present themselves when you visit a beautiful location. It’s also difficult to know where to start when there’s so much to photograph.

You cannot learn this from being in a classroom. You have to be with your students, seeing what they see in the same conditions in which they see it to impart any useful advice.

There are several simple techniques that can help, too and they are learnt so much faster if they’re taught at the point they’re put into practice.

Photo by: Jack Man

ONLINE LESSONS

As we approached lockdown last year, I was in the middle of preparing a one-day ‘Introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop for Photographers’. When that was inevitably cancelled, I decided to do something more comprehensive and created a full online course instead.

I dislike the ‘bitty’ approach you get with tutorials for both programs on Youtube, although given the format that approach is inevitable if eventually confusing.

I also take exception to the ‘either/or’ approach to both programs: Don’t use Photoshop, Lightroom is better, or vice-versa. It’s ridiculous and designed to make you spend more money on tutorials.

Did you know, for example, that they are both designed to work with each other?

Did you also know that when you sign up to the Adobe Photography Plan for £9.98 per month you don’t choose which one you want – you get both.

So why not use the best of both? That’s what professional photographers and photo editors do and that’s how I designed my course.

I can make more money teaching you each program separately but you have both, so use both.

And don’t listen to those people who tell you that Photoshop is incredibly complicated. It is no more complicated to use than Lightroom.

It is, however, much more powerful.

Get the best from both like the pros do.

Photo by: Jack Man

WILL THIS EVER END?

Okay, I’ve warbled on longer than I should but this is the first newsletter I’ve written in ages…

I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine and hope to see you sometime in the future.

Take care,

Bill

Photo by: Tom Cummins

WELL, THAT WAS A HORRIBLE 18 MONTHS

As someone who works from home all the time the news of enforced lockdown in April 2020 didn’t seem to signify as many changes to me as it did to most people.

It’s true to say that for the first six months or so it didn’t make a vast amount of difference to my daily routine but then… it’s the small things you miss. Right now I’m typing this sitting in a café in Brighton and for a large part of last year that was something impossible to do. I sorely missed that.

It also meant that any teaching I might do went completely out the window. I refunded students that had already started a Beginners’ Course in 2020 and the three new day courses I was planning were abandoned, too.

BACK TO A ‘NEW’ NORMAL?

These past few months have seen a pleasant, if cautious change. I just finished my first Beginners’ Course since lockdown last week and I’ve scheduled another for late August. Normally, that would be a terrible time to try and run a course and I suspect it will be so now but post-lockdown, who knows?

The only certainty at the current time is that nothing is certain, so do what you want while you can is my recommendation.

TEACHING AGAIN

I’ve also scheduled a 1-day ‘Improve your Landscape Photography’ session based on the fact that one of the most successful and popular parts of the main Beginners course are the three ‘in-the-field’ days of the course, where I take students to a location and advise them on how to get the best photos from what’s around them.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the opportunities that present themselves when you visit a beautiful location. It’s also difficult to know where to start when there’s so much to photograph.

You cannot learn this from being in a classroom. You have to be with your students, seeing what they see in the same conditions in which they see it to impart any useful advice.

There are several simple techniques that can help, too and they are learnt so much faster if they’re taught at the point they’re put into practice.

ONLINE LESSONS

As we approached lockdown last year, I was in the middle of preparing a one-day ‘Introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop for Photographers’. When that was inevitably cancelled, I decided to do something more comprehensive and created a full online course instead.

I dislike the ‘bitty’ approach you get with tutorials for both programs on Youtube, although given the format that approach is inevitable if eventually confusing.

I also take exception to the ‘either/or’ approach to both programs: Don’t use Photoshop, Lightroom is better, or vice-versa. It’s ridiculous and designed to make you spend more money on tutorials.

Did you know, for example, that they are both designed to work with each other?

Did you also know that when you sign up to the Adobe Photography Plan for £9.98 per month you don’t choose which one you want – you get both.

So why not use the best of both? That’s what professional photographers and photo editors do and that’s how I designed my course.

I can make more money teaching you each program separately but you have both, so use both.

And don’t listen to those people who tell you that Photoshop is incredibly complicated. It is no more complicated to use than Lightroom.

It is, however, much more powerful.

Get the best from both like the pros do.

WILL HE EVER SHUT UP?

Okay, I’ve warbled on longer than I should but this is the first newsletter I’ve written in ages…

There’s a small section for each new course that’s coming up in the next few months below, which includes further links to even more information elsewhere on this website.

I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine and hope to see you sometime in the future.

Take care,

Bill

Skater project

Ever wondered how photographers get that ‘super wide’ look to some of their images? They cheat, of course…

Essentially, you use a fabulous tool in Photoshop called ‘Photomerge’ to stitch two or more photos together.

You can find hundreds of tutorials online showing you how to do this so I won’t do that here.

Instead, here’s one I made earlier…

This first picture is one I’ve had on the website before…

This second one was never on the site. You can see my finger in the corner. Doh!

Photoshop automatically merges them together like this…
Note how it completely removes the skater in the pit and makes the shadow seamless.

Here they are separated…

If you look closely, you can see a mismatch on the edge of the path,…

That can be fixed in just a couple of minutes with the Stamp tool and then you just crop the image…

That’s it. If you fancy, you can add a tint to give it a ‘polaroid’ feel.

There’s still a few inconsistencies in the image above but given this whole thing took less than 10 minutes, you can see how quick it is to do.

Photographers? Dastardly people…