On assignment in Yosemite – by David Jordan Williams
David Jordan Williams is a Professional Advertising Photographer based in Los Angeles, CA and is also a part of our Pro Team. Not afraid of experimentation, David’s innovative work can be found on album covers, music posters and in numerous print ads. With an extensive stock portfolio represented by Corbis and Getty, as well as art exhibitions across the country, Williams Studio is a force to be reckoned with.
Use your camera's presets. There was so much unfolding before me that I had to consciously keep my composure, I was literally getting giddy. I began shooting through a stand of trees at the edge of the meadows and experimented with exposure. One thing I really appreciate about working digitally is the control of the dynamic range with exposure and the ability to work with color balance so precisely. I have a tendency to dial to the cool side and to the warm side of normal temperature when shooting and I have presets on my Nikons set to help speed things along in conditions like what I was experiencing that day. 5000K being normal daylight can obviously work for most standard daylight conditions but I never see the scene in front of me as “normal”. I try to push the look in some way at all times, to shift the look somewhat towards the unusual or more dramatic. Cooler temperatures, below 5000K, somewhere around 2800K and shooting with daylight gives a strong bluish cast which can be emphasised or de-emphasised in Photoshop or Lightroom to a beautiful effect. I sometimes find myself dialing warm, up to 8600K with the camera just to see what resonates most and very often I will just go ahead and shoot the subject several ways with color balance and sort out the emotions in post production to see how best to draw out the emotional content. My Nikons have great ways of storing a broad range of color temperature settings that I can assign a name to and just dial around to on the fly. This comes very handy.
Stick with a theme. It's important to keep a theme or a set of criteria that I can present to my editors at the stock agencies, which helps them find suitable placement for the new images. Usually the theme is a spin off of something the editors are looking for to expand or fill out the collection. I’m usually notified by what Corbis and Getty Images calls a “micro brief” that marks trends in the industry for imagery and current photographic styles. When I shoot, I find that if I don’t have a set of goals written down to draw from or to spark a way of approaching a subject, I can draw a blank or get lost.
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