Alaska photo workshop

5 Days of 5D Mark III Shots: Day 2


All this week on my blog: Canon 5D Mark III photographs from my Light workshop in Alaska with Hal "Bull" Schmitt. Scroll down for previous Alaska posts.


Landscape photography tips:
- Use a telephoto lens to isolate elements in a scene. Above I used my Canon 400mm DO lens. I took this shot from a moving boat.
-  When the sky is filled with dramatic clouds, place the horizon line at the bottom of the frame.
- Envision black and white images . . . think in tones, rather than colors.
- Create dramatic black and white images with Nik Silver Efex Pro. When working in Silver Efex Pro, use a digital Red filter to darken the sky.To get a discount on all Nik plug-ins, and the other plug-ins I use, click here.
- Shoot into the sun for dramatic images and strong shadows, as illustrated above. Use Shadows/Highlights for creative control.
- Compose carefully. That was the key in the image below. For tips on creative composition, see my Composition class on Kelby Training.




Click here to get on the list for my 2013 Light Alaska workshop with Bull - and for all my workshops.

Click here to see my gear recos for our Alaska trip.

Hal and I hope to see you in Alaska aboard the Norther Song, whose master and commander is Captain Dennis Rogers. The best of the best.

Explore the light,
Rick

5 Days of 5D Mark III Shots: Day 1


All this week on my blog: Canon 5D Mark III photographs from my Light workshop in Alaska with Hal "Bull" Schmitt aboard the Northern Song.

Simply put: The workshop/cruise was one of the most productive trips I've ever taken, and the images are among my favorites - in subject matter/diversity and in image quality.

All the shots in this series of post were hand-held. All the shots were cropped . . . and still look great, even when enlarged, thanks to the image quality of the camera's sensor. (Those who know me know that I am a nut about cropping.)



Bald eagle photography tips:
- Set a goal. Rather than taking pictures in one session of the eagles against the sky, the water, the trees, etc., shoot for just one type of shot. This  technique will reduce the number of variables - especially when it comes to getting a good exposure.
- Use AI Servo focus to get sharp shots of fast-flying eagles.
- If the eye is not in focus and well lit, you've missed the shot.
- Make sure the white feathers are not overexposed. This is a must. Make sure your highlight alert is on. Use exposure composition to fine-tune your exposures.
- Check your histogram to make sure you don't have a spike on the right.
- When framing, leave some space into which the eagle can fly.
- Use one focus point and place that point on the eagle. 
- Practice photographing birds in your backyard before you go on a trip.
- Shoot with both eyes open so you can see what's happening outside the viewfinder.

Gear:
Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 70-200mm IS f/4
  
Click here for Light's Alaska workshops. I don't know which one I'll be on in 2013, but I will know soon!

Click here to get on the list for my 2013 Light Alaska workshop with Bull - and for all my workshops.

Click here to see my gear recos for our Alaska trip.

Hal and I hope to see you in Alaska aboard the Norther Song, whose master and commander is Captain Dennis Rogers. The best of the best.



Above: Speaking of bald eagles and the Northern Song, workshop participant Mike Cullivan got this great shot of both . . . pre a "Beer Pick Me Up."



Above: Beer pick-me-ups are a tradition on our Alaska workshop.

Explore the light,
Rick

Rick's List: Alaska Bald Eagle Workshop Gear

© Rick Sammon
I'm gearin' up for my April Alaska workshop with Hal "Bull" Schmitt, who is the lead instructor at Light Photographic Workshops.

The focus of the Alaska workshop will be on photographing bald eagles, but we'll also be photographing spectacular landscapes and sea scapes . . . and few whales.

Because gear is a very poplar topic here on my blog, I thought I'd put together another "Rick's List," this time discussing the gear I'm packing for Alaska - and why I'm packing it.  I'll be using the same gear for my Bosque del Apache workshop in December with Juan Pons. I updated this list/post after doing a test: 7D vs. 5D Mark III.

The pictures you see here are from my 2011 Alaska trip with Hal.


Here goes.

Canon 5D Mark III - Two: one mounted with a telephoto lens or zoom, and one mounted with a wide-angle zoom.

Canon 400mm DO lens - my main BIF lens. A relatively compact lens that I borrowed from Canon's CPS.

Canon 100-400mm IS lens - for extra shooting flexibility when the birds are zooming toward and away from the boat (our shooting platform).

Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens - great for when the birds are relatively close to the boat.

Canon 1.4X tele converter - makes my 400mm a 560mm. I don't use a 2x converter. I just crop in camera.

Canon 15mm fisheyes lens - for very wide shots of the glaciers (see below). I'll probably upgrade to the Canon 8-15mm lens soon.

© Rick Sammon
Canon 17-40mm lens - my standard landscape and seascape lens.

Canon 25-105mm IS lens - I never leave home without it. Great for people shots, on land and on a boat. A wonderful general-purpose lens, too.

Storm Jacket camera/lens protector - to keep my camera and lens dry.

Tiffen Polarizing Filter - to reduce reflections on water and ice.

Tiffen Variable ND filter - to reduce the light entering the camera so I can shoot waterfalls at slow shutter speeds in bright light.

© Rick Sammon
Lexar 16GB and 32GB cards - so I can takes lots of pictures of birds in flight without chaining cards.

Blower - to keep my sensor clean.

Head-mounted flashlight - for hands-free shooting in the dark.

Small flashlight - just in case the lights go out.

Extra camera batteries and charger - for extra power.

Plastic sandwich bags - for extra camera protection.



Believe it or not, all that gear fits snugly into my Lowepro AW 300 backpack.

Not shown: my Induro tripod and ball head . . . plus all my clothes, etc.



My computer gear includes:

MacBook Pro
Lexar Card Reader
LaCie portable hard drive (500GB).

I pack my computer gear in a Lowepro roller.

I hope to see you someday on one of my workshops, group or private. To get on the list, shoot me an email.

© Rick Sammon
Explore the light,
Rick