Death Valley

Rick's List: Death Valley Photo Gear

rick sammon death valley.jpg

I'm planning for my Death Valley Workshop  (Feb 22 -24) with pros Randy Van Duinen and Jeff Leimbach, the dudes who run the digital photo workshops. How cool . . . and how hot! We still have a few spots open on the workshop. Hope to see you there.

We will be getting up early and staying out late to catch the light. We'll also have plenty of time or downloading and working/playing in Photoshop/Lightroom - and group slide show.

Fun dinners and happy hours? You bet!

Here's my gear list – Rick's List - for the workshop. You can also use this gear list for most landscape photography.

If you have any questions about the workshops, shoot me an email.

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Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 15mm lens (my lens) or Canon 8-15mm lens (getting it soon) - for fun fish-eye shots.
Canon 14mm lens
- for an extremely wide view.
Canon 17-40mm
lens - my basic landscape lens.
Canon 24-105mm len
s - for closer views in landscape photography.
Canon 70-200mm f/4 len
s - to isolate elements in a landscape.
Canon battery chargers - so I have power.
Arctic Butterfly
- for cleaning my sensor.
Tiffen Polarizing filter
- to darken the sky and to whiten clouds.
Lexar 16GB cards - for recording your memories.

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Induro CT 214 tripod
Induro BHD1 ball head

loaded with Photoshop, Lightroom and all my plug-ins.
Head-mounted flashlight
and hand-held flashlights - for seeing in the dark.
Lexar card reader - for fast downloading.
Lacie 500GB portable hard drive
- for storing my images.

Explore the light,

P.S. For in-the-field and on-location learning, check out my apps.


Photo Workshops vs. Photo Tours

I took the photographs in this post on my 2012 Death Valley Workshops with The Digital Photo Workshops. We hope you can join us for our 2013 workshop.

• • • 

Because I lead many workshops around the world, photographers often ask via email: "What's the difference between a photography tour and a photography workshop?"

Before I get going here, photo tours are great . . . for those who want to go on sightseeing tours. Workshops, like the ones I lead, are designed for photographers who want to grow and expand their creative vision.

My response:

Workshops: Designed to get you the very best shots from dawn to dusk. Getting up at 3 AM is no prob.
Photo Tours: Leave at 9 and set your day around meals.

Workshops: If you are driving and see something good, stop and shoot.
Photo Tours: Keep on driving.

Workshops: Usually cars or 4W drive vehicles.
Photo Tours: Bus tours.

Workshops: Hands-on training - daily - by the instructor or instructors.
Photo Tours: You are on your own.

Workshops: Photo reviews almost daily.
Photo Tours: No reviews.

Workshops: Photoshop and Lightroom advice and help.
Photo Tours: Computers are not even required.

Workshops: Group slide show.
Photo Tours: Only show is to show up for dinner.

Workshops: Leave on-time for sunrise.
Photo Tours: Who cares if you are late?

Workshops: Briefing on each location as to lenses, settings, etc.
Photo Tours: Very little suggestions by leaders.

Workshops: Instructors ask you how you are doing.
Photo Tours: Leaders are there only as tour guides.

Workshops: If you find something really cool to photograph, the groups changes plans so all can get great pictures.
Photo Tours: Get to the next stop.

Workshops: Instructors share their shots on their camera's LCD monitors so others can see and learn.
Photo Tours: Instructors are often fist on the spot.

I hope to see you on one of my workshops someday. See this facebook page to see the work of some of my recent students.

If you plan on shooting in Death Valley, here's my gear reco list.

Explore the light,

Death Valley Photography Workshop: Dunes Part Duex

© Rick Sammon
Today is the last day of the Death Valley workshop organized by The Digital Photo Workshops.

Following a basic composition technique, compose with an "S" curve in the scene, we all made a beautiful image from atop one of the sand dunes.

I enhanced the image with Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro.

For more on composition, see my latest Kelby Training class: Composition, the strongest way of seeing.

Scroll down for more posts from the workshop.

Explore the light,

Death Valley Workshop Day 2 - Perfecting Panos

© Rick Sammon
Today we shot panos. Here's a five-shot, hand-help pano I took with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 17-40mm lens. I stitched the image in Photoshop's Photomerge.

I added the color in Nik's Color Efex Pro with the a Graduated filer and a Film Nostalgic filter.

When it comes to color, think like an artist.... make your own color.

Click here to learn more about Nik and the other plug-ins I use.

Below is my original pano minus the color I added.

© Rick Sammon
Explore the light,

Death Valley Workshop Day 1 - Telling the Story

© Rick Sammon
As always, my advice to my workshop students is to "tell the whole story" of a location.

One story-telling technique is to shoot both wide-angle and close-ups views.

© Rick Sammon
Try story-telling on your next photo trip. You'll like it.

Click here to see the gear I am using to tell the story here in Death Valley on the workshop run by Randy and Jeff who head up The Digital Photo Workshops.

Scroll down for more Death Valley posts.

Explore the light,