Canon 5D Mark III

HDR and Motocross Fun in Florida


Here's a post from awhile ago. I'm reposting because I am doing an Action Photography Workshop (motocross, horses and dancers) in the Tampa area Feb 15 -17 next year. Shoot me an email to get on the info list.

• • • • • 

I had a ton of fun yesterday here in Florida - the day after recording my new class for Kelby Training - Light, the main element in every photograph

The class is a follow up to my class, Composition, the strongest way of seeing.

In the AM, my friend Randy Van Duinen took me to the nearby Air Stream Ranch for some HDR photography. The shot above is an untouched HDR image produced by the in-camera HDR system in the Canon 5D Mark III. Kinda amazing when you think about it.


Above: Randy's HDR pano. Quite cool!

Read about the HDR plug-ins that I use on my Creative Plug-ins page.

Here's a movie with some quick HDR tips.


In the PM, my friend Kathy Porupski set up a motocross shoot for me at Dade City Motocross. Kathy, a few of her Strobist pals and I had a blast shooting for about two hours.

Kathy and I are doing an Action photography workshop in February. Shoot me an email if you are interested. 

I took all the shots with my Canon 5D Mark III. The new AF system is amazing. I used my Canon 24-105mm, Canon 17-40mm lens and Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. All my gear is listed on my Gear Page.


The shot above is actually a pano, stitched together with Photomerge in Photoshop CS6. I was not sure if the technique would work, but I gave it a try. Try it, you'll like it. I got the idea from my friend Ted Maddux, who successfully used this technique when photographing bald eagles in Alaska.


And here's what the pano looks like with a bit of Photoshop work. I cut and pasted sections of other files into the pano.


Above: a screen grab of my original files for the pano.


Here's a tip: Get up close and personal with your subject . . . but not too close.


Above: My friend Jim Sykes took this shot of me getting down and dirty (very) to get the shot above this one.


Another tip: crop creatively.


Another tip: Subject, background, lighting and position are the keys to a good photograph.


Another tip (for riders): Be careful. PLease!


Above:  Another behind-the-scenes shot by my friend Jim Sykes. Thanks Jim for the fun shots.

As alway, you'll find photo how-to info in my apps.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. We ended the day with chocolate martinis at City Fish, my favorite restaurant in Oldsmar, FL.

Cowboy Portraits at the Black Hills Photo Shootout


This morning at the Black Hills Photo Shootout: Cowboy - and cowgirl - portraits.

Les Voorhis took the group to a cool ranch where we encouraged the workshop participants to see the light and to compose carefully. After all, combine a good subject with good composition and a good exposure, and you have the making of good image.

And talk about great subjects, we had the best!

The opening picture for this post is a hand-held Canon 5D Mark III in-camera HDR image. I boosted the ISO to 4000 and still got a clean shot in the dimly-lit barn. That says a lot about the image sensor in the camera.

If you are new to HDR, check out my article, HDR Must Know Info.


We arrived on site early to catch the light, and Les knew exactly where to position the subjects so we had great light. For the shot above, I underexposed the scene a bit for more saturation in the sky. I shot at f/22 to create the starburst effect. Directing the cowboy to interact with the horse helped make the photograph . . . and as those who attend my workshops know, there is a big difference between taking a photo and making a photograph.


In my keynote talk last night, I talked about the importance of seeing the light. The beautiful side-lighting here created a flattering effect on our cowgirl model. I toned my color file with the Paper Toner filter in Nik Color Efex Pro. See all the plug-ins I use, and get a discount, on my Plug-ins page.

Les and I will be doing a workshop here in 2013. Shoot me an email to get on the info list. We hope to see you in the Black Hills, pardner.

Explore the light,
Rick

My First Shoot at the Black Hills Photo Shootout


I arrived yesterday here in Spearfish, South Dakota for the Black Hills Photo Shootout, where I am the keynote speaker tonight. 

Early this morning, Les Voorhis and Jason Hahan, organizers of the event and two of the talented instructors on the shootout, took me to Spearfish Canyon for quickie photo shoot. Hey, they don't call me the "shoot and scoot" photographer for nothing!

Les and I are doing a waterfalls, HDR and cowboy photography workshop next year. Shoot me an email for info.


What a location. What light. What wonderful photo ops. What nice guys.

My first thought: I need to come back here and spend some time.


Above is a quick "jump out of the car and shoot" shot.


All the images this post are 5D Mark III in-camera HDR images. The shot above is a hand-held HDR that I grabbed on the way to breakfast.

I need to give Les 75 percent of the credit for the first two photos and the photo below, because he invited me to the Shootout, took me to the locations, and loaned me his tripod. Thanks Les!

I hope to post more pictures here from the Shootout. Stay tuned.

Explore the light,
Rick


P.S. Left is the average exposure for the scene and right is the Canon 5D Mark III HDR image. Kinda amazing that technology can do for us! For more on HDR see my iHDR app on my Apps page. I also teach HDR on my photography workshops.


Junkyard Shots From My Canada Workshop


Today was day two of my photo event up here in Canada with The Photographer's Lounge, which is headed up by my friend Kevin Pepper. What fun.

We took our workshop students to a junkyard for an HDR and model shoot. Afterward, we had a quick download and review session. We were assisted throughout the day by our mutual friend Tom Baker, known for his wonderful HDR work.

We focused on making pictures, rather the just on taking pictures.

Here are a few my favorite shots, all of which were processed with a touch of Nik's Snapseed.

We'll be using Snapseed, and other Nik plug-ins, on the images we take on my Coney Island Photo Walk next month.


Morgan Oldershaw was our model for the shoot. Thanks, Morgan, for being such a good model - and sport.


Above is an in-camera HDR image I captured with my Canon 5D Mark III.


Above is another Canon 5D Mark III in-camera HDR image. Both images were hand-held.

For more in HDR, check out my app, Rick Sammon's iHDR.


At the beginning of the workshop I suggested to the workshop participants that they try to "tell the whole story" of the junkyard. Taking close-ups and focusing on details and patterns helps achieve that goal. This photograph illustrates a composition technique: rule of odds. I talk about that and other rules in my latest Kelby Training class: Composition, the strongest way of seeing.


Kevin and I hope to see you on one of our workshop. Good photo ops, good people, good image process . . . and good fun!

All my events are listed on my facebook events page.

If you were on the workshop, please share your photographs on my workshop photos page. In fact, if you have been on any of my workshop, please share your photographs on that page.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. My next Junkyard shoot is in Atlanta with my friend Glenn Taylor.

Conwy Valley, North Wales, UK Photo Walk: Day I


Great photo ops – and great fun – on day one of my photo walk here in Conwy Valley, North Wales, UK.

We had a talented group of photographers, all of whom were interested in making good pictures, including HDR pictures. We'll have a different group tomorrow, and we're going to new locations. Stay tuned for more photographs.

Here are a few of my favorite photographs from the walk, and some quick tips.


Serious about waterfall photography? A variable ND filter is a must. It lets you shoot at slow shutter speeds in bright light. Of course, a tripod is needed when shooting at slow shutter speeds, too. All my gear is listed on my gear page.


Framing a subject with a foreground object adds sense of "being there" to a photograph. It also adds a sense of depth to a scene.

I took the photographs directly above and below with my Canon 14mm lens. I never leave home without it.


In high-contrast scenes, HDR is a must. I used the Canon's 5D Mark III built-in HDR feature to create this image.


Talk about a picture-postcard scene. This is another Canon 5D Mark III in-camera HDR image.


Dolwyddelan Castle, where I took the castle pictures in this post, is situated on a hilltop in the Conway Valley. Well worth the walk in the light rain . . . even with a bit of jet lag. We only arrived yesterday.


A fun group deserved a fun photograph. Great fun here in Conwy Valley, North Wales, UK.

A special "thank you" to Anthony Woodhouse, Conway Rural Tourism Project Officer. Another "thank you" goes to local pro photographer Pierino Algieri for all his photography and logistics recommendations.

Here's the flickr page or this fun group.

Check out these videos from this photogenic area.

I am planning a fall 2013 workshop to Rural Conwy, North Wales. Shoot me an email to get on the info list.

For more intensive photo training, check out my workshops.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. We are staying at the Meadowsweet Hotel. Room, service, staff and food: A+.