HDR photography

July Oregon Coast Photo Caravan: Pix and Tips

All this week here on my blog (among some other stuff): My favorite photographs and quick tips from my Oregon Coast Photo Caravan, which I am co-leading with my friend Alex Morley. I'll try to update daily as we move from location to location.

Here's the link to the facebook page for my workshop students.

Bandon (Day 8)

Here's my last shot from trip - taken at sunrise. Walking along the beach, I was reflecting on the workshop and the wonderful photographers with whom I sharped the experience, so I guess a reflection shot was appropriate.

Bandon (Day 7)

Today we talked about Composition - the strongest way of seeing at Minor White's wall.

We also talked about telling the whole story, with is important because photographers are storytellers.

I think this fun group photo sums up our fun group! I hope you can join one of my workshops someday. Soon.

Florence (Day 6)

Tide pool shot from this morning. Just a few yards away from where I took the picture below.

A group hug on the beach this morning at sunrise. Canon 15mm lens on Canon 5D Mark III. Built-in HDR!

Getting my starfish shot required kneeling in a tide pool, and getting my boots filled with cold water. Brrrrrr.

Florence (Day 5)

A lucky shot on the way to our sunrise shoot. Yes, dead center is deadly when it comes to composition, except when it comes to working with reflections.

When you think you are close, get closer! Here I used my Canon 15mm fisheye lens to get up-close and personal with a cool starfish!

Newport (Day 4)

Had time to shoot a quick HDR pano (hand-held) with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 14mm lens before we dashed off to the next location.

Here's another in-camera HDR Canon 5D Mark III image.

Newport (Day 3)

We had some HDR fun tonight . . . on the beach and in a cave at sunset. Good HDR fun. If you are new to HDR, this post may help.

Here's the last shot, or should I say shots, of the night. A pano created with a set of Canon 5D Mark III in-camera HDR images.

Newport (Day 2)

Here's my favorite shot from the Newport Aquarium. Tip: The name of the game is to fill the frame.

Composition is the strongest way of seeing, and Light is the main element in every photograph (my next Kelby Training class.

At Devil's Punch Bowl this morning at sunrise, we had beautiful, soft light, created by an overcast sky. Perhaps it was not the sky the group expected, but it was a nice, moody sky indeed. I composed the scene with a foreground subject, a mid-ground subject and a background subject – looking for separation between each subject. I used the Detail Extractor in Nik Color Efex Pro to pull out some of the details in the rocks.

Above: After creating my HDR image in Nik Software's HDR Effex Pro, I used the Detail Extractor in Nik's Color Efex Pro to bring out some of the detail in the rocks.

Speaking of Nik Color Efex Pro: Top, straight shot. Bottom, Nik Bicolor User Defined plus Polaroid Transfer filters. Get a discount on Nik on my Creative Plug-ins page.

Newport (Day 1)

Use a foreground element to add a sense of depth to a scene. For great depth of field, I used my Canon 14mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark III.

Shoot HDR when shooting into the sun if you want to see into the shadows. This is a 5D Mark III in-camera HDR image. With HDR make sure you capture the entire dynamic range of the image . . . in camera.

I hope to see you on one of my workshops or in my seminars.

Explore the light,

Photomatix PRO 4.1 - HDR 4 U

I am in the process of making a movie (screen/voice capture) of my workflow for Photomatix Pro 4.1 (latest version). It will be posted on YouTube in two weeks.

I will let you guys know the day it's up!

Any particular features you'd like me to highlight? Got questions? Please submit your ideas the Comments on this page - rather than on facebook, twitter or Google+. Easier for me to track :-)

New to Photomatix, the High Dynamic Range (HDR) program I used to create the above image? Well, you can save 15% when you order Photomatix by using this code: ricksammon. 

Also, to read about some of my HDR work, check out this article in the New York Times.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you have an iPad, check out my HDR app: Rick Sammon's iHDR.

Fisheye Fun on the Santa Monica Pier - and HDR Fun After

I had some fisheye fun on the Santa Monica Pier this morning - and HDR fun after.

Canon 15mm lens; Canon 5D Mark II.

A few tips:
• The name of the game is to fill the frame. Notice how the entire frame is filled with something.
• To get max depth of field, focus 1/3 into the scene, use a wide-angle lens and set a small aperture.
• Use foreground elements to frame a subject and to add a sense of depth to a scene.
• Compose for color.
• Use HDR to see into the shadows and preserve highlights.
• Learn about HDR with my iPad app: iHDR.

Explore the light,

Friday's iHDR Flicker Group Favorite: John Trautschold

Starting today, Friday, I will pick a favorite HDR image from my iHDR flickr group, which I started as a showcase for your HDR images. Hey! Join the group and post an HDR image. You might see it here on my blog, too. I am always looking for talented HDR shooters and cool HDR images.

Today's Friday Favorite is: John Trautschold. 

To see more of John's work, click here.

Above on the left is another one of John's HDR images. On the right is one of mine. The images have good depth-of-field in common. For max depth-of-field, use a wide-angle lens, shoot at a small aperture (f/16 or so) and focus 1/3 into the scene.

If you want to learn more about HDR photography and have an iPad, check out my latest app: Rick Sammon's iHDR.

Explore the light,

P.S. Here's another tip: Shoot through an arch or arches to create a sense of depth in a photograph.

Quick HDR Tip: Experiment with Creative Color Variations

Here's a quick HDR tip: Play with colors to create a different feeling of an HDR image.

My standard HDR image (below) was OK, just OK.

To make the image pop, I used the Color Blast filter in Topaz Adjust (opening picture for this post).

For a more subdued feel, I applied a Pastel Filter in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro (below).

Below is some info on the photo and the HDR process and plug-ins that I used.

Title: San Blas Resort

Location: San Blas Islands, Panama

Exposures:   0, +2, -2 EV

Processing: Nik HDR Efex Pro, Nik Software Color Efex Pro/Pastel filter, Topaz Adjust/Spicify filter.

Gear: Canon 7D, Canon 17-40mm lens, Induro Tripod and Induro ball head. 

For more info (and discounts) on HDR plug-ins and programs, click here.

Yes! I took this picture on my recent Panama photo workshop. Scroll down to see previous post about the workshop.

Explore the light,

P.S. Which image do you like best? Standard HDR, pastel or color blast? Also, would you like to see more quick tips like this? Let me know by posting a comment here.