Our kit is in order, our creative juices are bubbling over and we’re primed to get out shooting pictures in our gardens, within our homes and even getting the kids involved for some fun home portraits.
But, do you still have that niggling feeling of knowledge gaps or things we simply could do better?
If you have extra time on your hands, now is the time to upgrade those skills – and with many training businesses, software companies and pro’s offering to share their expertise for FREE, go for it!
We touched on magazines and reading material in our previous blog – but now’s the ideal time to revisit those photography books on the shelf or support your favourite pro photographer by purchasing their publications.
Many pro photographers are finding themselves in a zero work/income situation, with commissions cancelled for the foreseeable future. Many are still selling their books though – directly or through the likes of Amazon (other book sellers are available!). Consider supporting your favourite photographers if you can – and gain a beautiful book at the same time.
Intimidated by Photoshop? Baffled by Lightroom? Always fancied taking the time to create your own presets? Need to improve your workflow? Yep, you guessed it – now is the time!
Many of the software providers are running special or free offers – changing regularly, but here are a few available at the time of writing this:
Professional Photographers of America has opened up all of its online tutorials for FREE!
For existing Creative Cloud customers it looks like you can now get 2 months free of charge.
Adobe offers 7-day free trials on all of its software – from Photoshop, Lightroom or full Creative Cloud/All App packages.
Affinity, by Serif, is a more recent competitor to Adobe. They now offer a range of options including Affinity Photo, their PhotoShop alternative.
You can trial it free of charge for 90 days and if you like it, you pay a one-off fee of £48.99 (though at the time of writing this is 50% off at just £23.99).
While you’re honing your creative skills, it may be a great time to improve your editing workflow setup too. Adding a graphics tablet will give you more flexibility when it comes to editing. With a little extra time on your hands, now is a perfect time to learn how best to use one too.
Wacom tablets start from as little as £69.99 for an entry level option such as the Wacom Intuos Small. Browse our range of Wacom editing devices and see why other photographers use them in this video:
Sell Your Images
Websites helping you to sell your photography are constantly running offers of up to 40% off (varies depending on package) for example, check out one of the most popular providers: Zenfolio. And once you’ve honed those skills, for those of you with websites, strike while the iron is hot. Do those updates now, add your best images, add new work and blog about the projects you’ve been working on. More people than ever are likely to be looking right now!
Use this time to really evolve and develop your unique style – showcase your own work and try new things.
And finally, we all need to dream during this difficult time! Planning your next trip not only gives you something to look forward to, but also gives you plenty more to do.
Whether it’s researching your next exotic location, or revisiting a place within the UK (doesn’t everything feel just that bit more precious right now?!), sit back and imagine yourself there.
Logistically there are plenty of apps available to help you plan your next trip too, including sunrise/sunset times and info, tide times, moon phases and astro related planning tools just to name a few.
For landscape photography, Baxter Bradford has been kind enough to share his go-to Apps for planning locations. Baxter has an extensive collection of stunning landscape work, also available as prints – so, if you’re spending time at home improving your interiors, check out his gallery of images!
For general weather conditions I use several, including BBC, Met Office Apps, plus two free Apps which I find really useful:
WeatherRadar, which gives forecast, but I mostly use it to track predictions on cloud cover. Saved me a few journeys, does change pretty rapidly at times if weather systems are unstable.
Also really useful is Clear Outside, you can save locations, gives detailed weather information in tabulated format, incredibly useful to see high, medium & low level cloud percentages. If fair amount if high level cloud, then colourful sunrise/sunset is coming. Also gives humidity & whether mist present. For Surf predictions I use Magic Seaweed.
I also use my iPhone compass feature to check bearings on location.”
All this planning (and a lot of time and dedication) goes into making Baxter’s awe inspiring landscape images.
For night sky fans, Wilki Ambassador Alyn Wallace gives us his recommendations for the best smartphone apps, when it comes to Astro photography. Check out this vlog where Alyn walks you through his night sky favourites.
Never before, as photographers, have we been able to enjoy such an extensive range of (mostly free) resources. So enjoy your planning, stay safety tucked up at home for now, and hopefully we will all be out in our beautiful great outdoors again very soon.
In the meantime keep an eye on our social media channels for the latest photography news and special offers.
Keep in touch:
The Wilki Team