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New Travel Photography class coming your way in July

Hi gang! I wanted to give you all a heads up on a new class we just announced. I’ll be teaching a 2-day course called “Travel Photography: The Complete Guide” on July 6-7 at CreativeLive. This is an online class that will go live from 9 am to 4 pm PST and it’s completely free to watch while it’s live! If you want to watch and re-watch the class videos at your leisure, you can purchase the course to stream or download the files.

This class will cover a subject that is near and dear to my heart: travel photography! After all, my lifestyle is such that I travel full time, whether on the road in my motor coach or at sea on a ship that I teach on. I chose this lifestyle so that I could photograph all over the country and all over the world. My photo library contains images from all 50 states and dozens of countries and I would love to teach you everything I’ve learned along the way!

Thailand-KoSamui-27Here I am shooting at the Big Buddha Temple in Ko Samui, Thailand.

Here is the class description at CreativeLive:

It takes the perfect combination of gear, exposure, and creative thinking to produce travel images that stand out from the rest. Learn the how to bring the critical ingredients together in Travel Photography: The Complete Guide with Ben Willmore.

Fresh off a seven-country, two-month international trip, Ben will share everything it takes to create exciting and memorable travel images. You’ll learn how to:

  • Deal with everyday tourists in your shots
  • Select the best lens for each situation
  • Organize the chaos of a scene into a compelling image

Ben will cover everything you want to know about selecting, packing, and protecting gear. You’ll also develop an efficient digital workflow that fits the fast-paced lifestyle of travel shooting.

Don’t go on your next travel adventure without the insights and skills you need to capture high-quality images, fast processing – join Ben Willmore for Travel Photography: The Complete Guide.

I hope you’ll join me online (or in the studio audience in Seattle) on July 6th and 7th! You can learn more about the class and register for free HERE.


Kicking off summer with new seminar & more shooting

Hi everyone! Here is a little update on what has been going on here in Ben land. We’ve been working on getting caught up and back into the swing of things after our long international trip, and we’re enjoying being land-based again. On May 29, I presented my first event of the new seminar tour, the Lightroom & Photoshop Creative Integration Tour, in San Francisco. There was a little scare with delayed flights, but I got there on time and the event went really well! We’ve got several more cities lined up, and you can see those HERE. Next up is Seattle on June 19th.

Here is the seminar description:

Ben Willmore is back with a brand new tour for 2015 that shows how best to integrate Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. He’ll show you how to take best advantage of the new features in Lightroom 6 as well as how to move beyond its limitations by taking advantage of Photoshop’s advanced image processing features. You’ll learn how to get the most out of Lightroom by utilizing many hidden features that require the intimate knowledge that only an expert can provide. He’ll share the best methods for organizing your images, show you how to push your image optimization abilities beyond what you thought was possible and then show how to best integrate Photoshop into your workflow. Ben has been using both programs since they were introduced and is known for pushing them beyond what they were originally designed for to get more out of them than what anyone else can teach you. Don’t miss your chance to learn from a digital imaging legend… you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in just one day!

Ben-SanFran-smallThe welcoming crowd at my San Francisco event on May 29. 

Back in Florida, where we’ve been hanging out these days, we’ve been doing a little exploring and shooting some more images in my yoga photography series. After seeing how popular the images have become, I’m constantly keeping my eyes open for new and unique locations to shoot more photos. One of the locations we visited was the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. This place is more that just a museum, and you could easily spend an entire day there. The grounds alone are beautiful and expansive. We really enjoyed the museum and the house tour, but the architecture was where it was at, photographically. I found lots of great locations to place Karen and ended up with seven or eight strong images from here. Here are a couple (The header image for this post was also shot there.):




We also drove out to Bok Tower and Gardens in Lake Wales, FL. This is a historic landmark featuring a large and ornate tower that houses a set of carillon bells. The grounds are also very extensive and include gardens, trails, a beautiful estate, cafe and visitor center. We took a tour of the estate and spent a good amount of time wandering the grounds. It’s a nice place to visit if you’re ever in the area.  We shot the following yoga image here:


Finally, we did a little shooting at the beach. The sunsets over Florida’s gulf coast are especially spectacular this time of year, and lend themselves to some nice silhouette images. Here is one I shot at Indian Rocks Beach:


I’ve been posting all the images in this yoga series in an album on my Facebook page, and you can see those HERE. More to come!

Recent travels spark a yoga photo series

Hi all! After two months of international travel on a ship, I’m happy to say that we’re finally land-based again. The journey was fantastic, but it’s good to be back and getting into our groove again.
The recent trip took us to Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. After about six weeks of Asia ports, we then cruised over to Alaska and down the west coast of the good old U.S. of A. When we’re on board the ship, we’re teaching a class. When we’re at port, we’re out exploring and shooting.
This was our complete route, starting in Hong Kong and ending in Los Angeles. 


When we are out and about with our cameras, Karen and I usually find it pretty easy to “get into the zone,” so to speak, in our shooting endeavors. This trip, however, was a little different. We’re not sure why, but despite our engaging surroundings, we had a hard time getting into shooting mode. This isn’t an uncommon thing to happen to photographers, and it can be hard to figure out how to get out of a photographic funk. So how did we do it? By starting a photo series.
One of our early ports was in Keelung, Taiwan. We had been exploring for a while when we came across this shrine. It was pretty quiet there and we were sitting on an elevated platform when Karen asked me to take a quick iPhone shot of her. She’s a yogi and wanted to do a yoga pose in front of the unique building. I took the photo and then edited it in the Snapseed app while we sat there. I ended up liking it so much that we did another shot at that shrine with my “real” camera. I ended up liking this even more. We both decided that this would make a great collaborative series and that we could seek out interesting backdrops all over the world.
   The first iPhone shot that sparked our photo series. Tree pose in Keelung, Taiwan.
This was the second shot we did at that same shrine. These red doors were begging for a photo! Wheel pose in Keelung, Taiwan.


Having a series that you’re working on changes the way you approach shooting, especially when traveling to new and unfamiliar places. Instead of simply wandering about looking for interesting shots, you’re exploring with a purpose. We would still take our normal travel photos, but we would constantly keep our eyes open for interesting locations to make a yoga image. We found that the spots that worked best were ones that were fairly simple and that incorporated shapes, colors or textures. The shape aspect is especially critical because it would have to complement whatever pose Karen is doing. Over the course of about two months, we would try to take at least one (sometimes more) yoga shot in each location. It has evolved into a fantastic collection that we’re both really proud of.


The challenges: Aside from the challenge of actually finding the locations, there are lots of other variables/challenges that go into creating these images. First of all, there’s the communication. I’m not a yogi, so Karen has to show me what the pose is going to look like and then teach me what to look for and how to correct her if necessary. I also need to convey to her what needs to be tweaked or moved so that she is perfectly placed within the chosen environment. After all, she can’t see what I’m seeing and often times, just moving her an inch or two will line things up in the way I want. There are also times where she has completely rejected an image that I thought looked pretty good. That’s because there was something about her form that wasn’t ideal. The other challenge is the crowds. It turns out that when she strips down to a tank top and bare feet and then contorts in some crazy and beautiful way, people want to watch. Most people are very considerate in that they don’t walk in front of the camera, but it can be disconcerting for her when there is an audience and she can hear the mobile phone cameras going off behind me. It’s totally expected, and we’re not bothered by it, but it does add another factor when creating these shots.


As I said before, we’re really proud of what this series has become, and it’s something we plan to continue. We’re not sure if we’ll use the images for anything in particular in the future, but it’s definitely a possibility. (Lots of folks have said that they would like to see this turn into a book.)


I am keeping an updated gallery of these images on my Facebook Page, and have included a few more below. Enjoy!


I love that she appears to be diving into the water in this image. This was in Kodiak, Alaska and Karen’s palms were numb from the cold! The pose is called Peacock and she said it’s one of the most physically challenging poses in the series (so far.)
Yoga-Updog-Aomori_smThis pose is called Upward Facing Dog, and we took a taxi to this museum because we knew this sculpture was there. This is the art museum in Aomori, Japan.
Yoga-BusyTokyo-smHere is an instance where we WANTED the crowds! This is the busiest intersection in Tokyo, Japan. We found the spot for her to stand and as soon as the traffic lights turned red, she would get out there and hold this. I had to use a really slow shutter in order to blur out the people, and she had to hold very still. We stayed here for several traffic light cycles, taking lots of shots in order to get different variations on the blurred crowd.
You can see the rest of this series HERE.

The Photoshop & Lightroom Creative Integration Tour

Hi gang! I know I’ve been away from the blog world for a while, and that’s because I’ve been on an extended international trip with VERY limited internet (more on that later). I did, however, want to pop in to share a bit of news.


I’m excited to announce the launch of a brand new seminar tour that will be kicking off later this month. It’s called the Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Integration Tour, hosted by the fine folks at KelbyOne. This will be a full-day seminar that teaches you how to best integrate Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.


Here’s the official description:

Ben Willmore is back with a brand new tour for 2015 that shows how best to integrate Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. He’ll show you how to take best advantage of the new features in Lightroom 6 as well as how to move beyond its limitations by taking advantage of Photoshop’s advanced image processing features. You’ll learn how to get the most out of Lightroom by utilizing many hidden features that require the intimate knowledge that only an expert can provide. He’ll share the best methods for organizing your images, show you how to push your image optimization abilities beyond what you thought was possible and then show how to best integrate Photoshop into your workflow. Ben has been using both programs since they were introduced and is known for pushing them beyond what they were originally designed for to get more out of them than what anyone else can teach you. Don’t miss your chance to learn from a digital imaging legend… you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in just one day!

So far, here are the cities we currently have on the schedule:

  • May 29 – South San Francisco, CA
  • June 19 – Seattle, WA
  • August 4 – Kansas City, MO
  • August 6 – St Louis, MO
  • October 19 – Houston, TX
  • October 21 – Colorado Springs, CO
  • October 26 – Los Angeles, CA
  • December 9 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • December 14 – San Diego, CA

I’m really excited to get back on the road again with KelbyOne, and am even more excited to bring you this fun and exciting new content! I hope to see many of you at one of the upcoming shows.

Click here to learn more and find out where to register.

More to come!


Shooting the West 2015

Hi gang! We recently returned from Shooting the West, a photography symposium that takes place in Winnemucca, Nevada. While this was my first time speaking at this event, Shooting the West has been taking place annually for 27 years! Many of the attendees have been coming year after year, and some of them have attended all 27 years in a row. We could tell that this was one big family, and we were honored to be welcomed into it this time around.


I was this year’s keynote speaker, and I taught several classes and workshops as well. The workshops were fun because they gave us an opportunity to take students out into the field and do some shooting. For being a small town about 2.5 hours east of Reno, Winnemucca has a lot to offer photographically. The historic buildings and unique signs in town gave us some good subject matter for the HDR class, and the surrounding mountains (which were snow-capped during our time there) provided beautiful landscapes for my workshop on panoramas. We were also given access to a local farm that was just overflowing with antique cars, tractors and other vehicles that were great for practicing HDR. On the last day, the nearby airport held an open house where lots of small, vintage planes were on display in front of a sweeping, mountainous landscape. I love that this event incorporates a lot of shooting opportunities like this. Not only does it give me time to provide hands-on instruction to make sure everyone is getting the shot, but it’s fun to get outside, explore and join the students in the field.

HumboltMuseum-105Here, I’m shooting with some of the attendees during my panorama workshop. 

HumboltMuseum-111One of our shooting locations was the Humboldt Museum, which is home to some historic buildings and overlooks the beautiful mountain landscape.

WinnemuccaMountain-35During the panorama workshop, we drove to the top of Winnemucca Mountain to photograph at sunset.

While the classes and shooting opportunities were great, the thing we enjoyed the most about Shooting the West was the people. The event organizers, the attendees and my fellow speakers were all just fantastic. Everyone was warm, welcoming and willing to go above and beyond to make sure the event was a success. We enjoyed working with everyone so much that, and the end of the day, we usually ended up going to dinner with many of them as well. This really gave us a better opportunity to get to know everyone and goof off a bit during the down time. (And if you’ve ever spent time with us at all, know know we’re professional goofs!)

If you’d ever consider attending Shooting the West (and I highly recommend it), here’s a little breakdown of the kinds of events/sessions available to you there. There are three full days of workshop sessions. These are longer, more in-depth classes that are generally hands-on and include in-the-field work. I mentioned before that I did a full-day workshop on HDR and another on panoramas, as well as a full classroom day on post-processing. The incredible Tom Bol taught some workshops on light painting, speedlights and portrait photography. There was a 3-day workshop on time-lapse photography, taught by Grant Kaye and a full-day workshop on composition with M.D. Welch. The list goes on an on.

The conference part of the event officially starts after the workshop days. This begins with the keynote presentation, which is followed by many shorter sessions that range from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. In addition to all this, there are portfolio reviews, a photography competition and after-hours events that include food, wine and lots of good company. The 2015 schedule is still up on the site if you’d like to check it out: http://shootingthewest.org/schedule/.

So where do we go from here? Well, Karen and I are getting ready to embark on our 2015 international journey, which will include Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Alaska. We’ll be guest instructors on board the beautiful Crystal Symphony cruise ship (the same ship we were on last year). Stay tuned for lots of images from Asia and beyond!

More to come…


A panolage that Karen shot during the panorama workshop at Shooting the West.

WinnemuccaAirport-81We got to photograph lots of vintage planes during the airport open house.

WinnemuccaAirport-95Here, I’m giving some pointers to one of the Shooting the West attendees at the airport open house.

BenJeff-smallHere I am with Jeff Ross, in his Reno studio. Jeff is an incredible photographer who also spoke at Shooting the West, and I was happy to be able to connect with him afterwards. 

Upcoming Photoshop & Photography Events

Hi gang! I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on some great training events that will be happening over the next month. We’ve got a mix of Photoshop and photography as well as a mix of online and in the field.

Photoshop Week

Pretty soon, I’ll be heading back to the CreativeLive studio in Seattle to teach several classes during Photoshop Week. Over the course of six days, 13 instructors will present a total of 48 classes, all related to Photoshop, and as with all CreativeLive classes, they’re free to watch while their live. Here is CreativeLive’s description of the event:

One of the biggest events in photography is coming back to CreativeLive – get ready to learn from the industry’s best during Photoshop Week 2015!

Photoshop helps you transform the average image you have into the jaw-dropping image you want! Photoshop Week is your opportunity to learn the tools, techniques, and shortcuts you need to bring your unique creative vision to life.

For six days, the world’s most inspiring photographers and retouchers will show you how they work their magic in Photoshop and Lightroom. You’ll learn exciting new ways to transform your work and create images that stand out from the masses.

This action-packed line-up has classes for photographers working at every level. You’ll learn exciting new approaches to enhancing your images from professionals working in every genre of photography.

My classes at Photoshop Week:

  • Quick Selection Tips
  • Complex Selections
  • Getting the Most out of Smart Objects
  • Understanding Layer Masks
  • Texturizing Images
  • Filters & Creative Effects in Photoshop

Click here for more info on my Photoshop Week classes

Click here for more info about the event and to register for free


Shooting the West

Ever want to join me both in the classroom AND in the field? On March 3-8, I will be teaching at the annual Shooting the West event, in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Shooting the West is a photography symposium with distinguished presenters in many different photographic fields. Throw in workshops, participant shows, juried contests, vendors like Manfrotto and Canon, portfolio reviews, great Basque food and lots of Winnemucca style fun… and you have a pretty good idea what it’s all about.

Im excited to be the keynote speaker at this week-long event, and to work with the Shooting the West team for the first time! It’s going to be a really immersive week, as I’ll be teaching full-day classes that include shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique. Here’s what I’ve got in store for participants:

  • HDR Photography: All day class that includes shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique
  • Panoramas: All day class that includes shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique
  • Post-processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers: All day class, in the classroom
  • Think Like a Photographer: 90-minute session
  • Image Ambulance: 90-minute session

Those are just the workshops and seminars that I’m teaching. Click here to learn more about the event and see the full schedule. 


International travels

Shortly after we wrap up Shooting the West, I’ll be flying to Hong Kong, where I will begin a 2-month, multi-country journey aboard the beautiful Crystal Symphony. Karen and I present the Digital Filmmaking course to our fellow guests and it’s always an incredible experience. We get to meet loads of interesting people, and visit interesting places. Below is our itinerary.


Catching up with a year-end update

Hi gang! I know things have been pretty quiet over here on the blog lately. That’s because things have been pretty quiet in general. I’ve been spending the past several weeks working, planning and setting goals for the upcoming year. As you may know, I usually live on the road, traveling around in a motor coach and photographing the U.S. of A. I’m usually not in one place for more than a few days. Well, for nearly a year now, my lifestyle has been a little different (for me) in that I’ve been hunkered down in the Tampa area of Florida, meaning I’ve been in one place for a LONG time! The reason for this is that I’m between motor coaches. Over the past few years, I’ve been working on restoring a vintage bus that Karen and I will eventually call home. As this project is nearing completion, I sold my original bus a few months ago. That leaves us in an interesting state of limbo, but considering the rest of the country is pretty darn cold right now, we’re pretty content with staying in Florida for a while.

Staying in one place for a while has been interesting for us. I guess you could say that it’s given us an idea of what it’s like to be “a local.” We have found our favorite hang outs (and become regulars at some), we get to go to the same gym (yoga studio for Karen) and grocery store, and have had more time to focus on learning new things. In 2015, we will be traveling abroad for two months and should move into the vintage bus when we return. Then, life will go back to “normal” and we can continue exploring this beautiful country.

Since 2014 is coming to a close, here’s a little visual reflection of our year. Here’s to 2015 being just as great!

Happy New Year everyone!

AirstreamLightpaintI did some light painting at the Tin Can Tourists Winter Rally

KarKangaroo2We visited the wildlife park in Kuranda Village, outside of Cairns, Australia.

Bali-417Visiting a temple in Bali.

2014_02_24_202533_Komodo Island_0085We got to see Komodo Dragons in the wild on Komodo Island, Indonesia.

2014_03_02_222442_Borobudur Java Indonesia_0058Borobudur, the largest Buddhist shrine in the world, located on the island of Java in Indonesia.

2014_03_23_215253_Kuala Lumpur Malaysia_0050The iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

IMG_7258Sunset in Singapore

2014_03_15_214107_Phuket Thialand_0203James Bond Island, in Phang Nga, Thailand

2014_03_18_213010_Bago Myanmar_0056We got to visit a buddhist monastery in Bago, Myanmar (Burma).

HoiAn-182The cute little town of Hoi An, Vietnam.

1972422_764062400293333_7632273469344427116_nLots of progress is made on the interior of my vintage bus.

BenKarBoatKaren took me on a sunset cruise for my birthday in Clearwater Beach, FL.

Laura and Rich's Wedding (263)Donning a suit for my sister-in-law’s wedding in New Jersey.

Ben-PSWPhotoshop World, Las Vegas

Pixelstick-garageMy new light painting tool, the Pixel Stick, arrives!

dabusI sold the bus I’d been living on since 2006.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.48.49 PMKaren made me a book that documents the progress of my Vintage Bus.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.51.49 PMA year-end visit to my vintage bus in Oregon.

Lightpainting on creativeLIVE

Hi everyone! I am currently in Seattle to teach at Photo Week at creativeLIVE. Photo Week is 6-days of non-stop training that includes everything from gear demos to master classes, and it STARTS TODAY! They will be featuring over 35 world-class instructors on three different broadcast channels and of course, as always with creativeLIVE, when you watch it live, it’s free.

I will be teaching a class on Lightpainting today, Monday, at 1:30 PST. Lightpainting is where you use a flashlight (or other light source) to paint the light onto your subject in a dark room over a long exposure. The results are always incredibly unique which makes it a great way to portray an ordinary subject and make it look extraordinary. Here’s the official class description:

Discover the unique art of light painting, and add a new dimension of light painting into your photography. Experienced light painter Ben Willmore will introduce you to the basics of light painting in this fun and informative class. You’ll learn which tools and settings to use to get your desired effect and how different light sources can be used to produce dramatically different looks.

Learn how to combine an interesting subject, inexpensive gear, and a little light painting knowledge to produce dramatic and interesting results.

Check it out or learn more HERE, and I hope to see you there!


Photoshop World, Vegas style

Hey gang! We just returned from another exciting Photoshop World Conference & Expo, held in Las Vegas. The conference is three days long, plus an additional day for pre-conference workshops. With seven learning tracks and over 40 instructors, it there truly is something for everyone. Even though it’s called Photoshop World, there are classes on Lightroom, photography, lighting, creativity and more. I taught three classes on Adobe Lightroom this time around.

The Photoshop World Tradeshow is open during the three days of the conference and I always like to make my rounds there to see what new and exciting products the software and hardware vendors have in store. The tradeshow is a great place for both learning and networking.

And of course, Photoshop World is always a great time for catching up with old friends and making new ones. Many of the other instructors are good friends of mine, and I try to schedule time to have a meal or a drink with many of them. That’s actually one of the things I look forward to the most!

Karen and I also took some time out to go and visit the Mob Museum, which is located near Freemont Street in “Old Las Vegas.” The place had good reviews and we were extremely impressed with how well-done the place is. It’s three full floors of history, artifacts, movies, stories, etc. It’s really fascinating, and much of it was interactive. We ended up spending more time than we thought we would there and would definitely recommend it if you’re ever looking for something to do during the day in Las Vegas.

Ben-PSWPhotoshop World always has a theme, and this year, it was pirates. 

Ben-PSWclassHere, I’m teaching my Lightroom Advanced Tips & Tricks class.

Ben-EpsonEpson featured some of my images at their booth in the tradeshow.

BenMobMuseumA goofy photo of me at the mob museum.

After a great couple days in Las Vegas, we flew back to the Tampa area, where we’re temporarily based. I had been pretty busy in the weeks leading up to Photoshop World and I hadn’t had a lot of time for photography. One of the things I’d been looking forward to was trying out my new Pixelstick, a light painting product that is the result of a Kickstarter campaign. It’s basically a very long rod with LED lights that change over time to create an image or pattern that you specify. When you move it around, it creates a really unique and creative effect. I started playing with it for the first time last night and got some fun results (see below). Since I’m new to both the Pixelstick and my new camera, it will take more time to get exactly what I want, and I look forward to working with it some more!

More to come…

Pixelstick-garageThe results of last night’s shoot with my new Pixelstick.