digital photo workshops

10 Countries, 10 Days, 10 Tips: Day 10 - Cambodia

It's Day 10 (last day) of my travel series here on my blog. Thanks for following along. If you missed a day or two, scroll down.

Location: Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

Tip: Get on site early to photograph this archeological wonderland from the path that runs along the reflecting pond near the entrance. If you are lucky, you'll get a nice sunrise.  Because you'll be shooting into the sun, shoot HDR.

You can't miss the path, and neither can dozens of other photographers, some with tripods! That's why you want to get there early. Bring a flashlight so you can see where you are going and what you're doing.

Inside the temple, shoot wide and shoot HDR. You especially need HDR when your photograph has both sky and shadows in the frame. I photographed this scene with my Canon 14mm lens. I converted it to B&W using Nik Silver Efex Pro. All the plug-ins I use are on my Save on Creative Plug-ins Page.

Of course, photograph the buddhist monks. I found them ready, willing and able for a photo session.

My #1 people photography tip: The camera looks both ways; in picturing the subject we are also picturing a part of ourselves.

My #2 photo tip: light the eyes.

You'll find more people photography tips in my app, Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet.

I hope to see you on one of my workshops, in the US or abroad.

Explore the light,

Death Valley Photography Workshop: Day 1 - Sand Dunes

© Rick Sammon
It's day one of my workshop with The Digital Photo Workshops here in Death Valley.

We had a blast this morning photographing the sand dunes.

A basic tip: You snooze you lose. You gotta get up early and stay out late to capture the beautiful shadows created by a rising or setting sun.

Remember: Light reveals, shadows define.

Also, envision the end-result and crop creatively. Here I cropped out the top and bottom of the frame to draw attention to the beautiful sand dunes in the center of the frame.

More images to come.

Explore the light,

P.S. For all my workshops, click here.

See You At the California Photo Fest - I Hope!

© Rick Sammon
I leave one week from today for the California Photo Fest - one of the coolest photo events of the year. The main reason for the coolness is that there are tons of photo opportunities, such as horses running on the beach. (What could be cooler?)

There is still time to sign up for the photo fun (non stop) and learning (with more than a dozen instructors) and dozens and dozens of programs (Lightroom, photography, lighting, and so on).

I hope to see you there - on the beach and in the classroom . . . and in the fantastic restaurants!

Explore the light,

Thank You Croton Creative Workshop Photographers

Just a quick "thank you" to all the talented photographers who participated in my fall 2011 Croton Creative Workshop (one hour from NYC). You all did an amazing job. What's more, we had a blast!

Above is our group shot, taken at one of my favorite shooting locations, a nearby Buddhist temple. Below is a cool shot (taken by John Dutsar) of the Buddhist temple.

I also want to thank the Croton Fire Department for letting my group shoot in one of the firehouses. I took the photograph below to illustrate the technique: the closer you are to a subject, the more intimate the picture becomes. Here I used my Canon 15mm lens on my Canon 7D.

And below is our group shot with Tom "Tex" Dinkler, who helped coordinate our shoot at the firehouse. Thanks, Text!

During my Croton workshops, I make a BIG print of a student's image that I really like. Below: John Virgolino and I are holding a 24 x 53-inch print of the Buddhist temple that I made for him on my Canon IPF 6350 printer. Nice work, John . . . stitching together 21 images for this super pano!

Below is my own favorite shot from yesterday. Yes! We do studio work, too! Click here to read about it.

Below: Nice shots Ned (left) and Bryon (right)!

I hope to see you soon on another workshop. Croton Creative Students: If you have a web gallery, post it in the Comments here on my blog. I would love to see more of your pictures!

I am currently setting the dates for two 2012 Croton Creative Workshops.

To get on my mailing list, click here.

Explore the light,


Of course we shoot at the New Croton Dam! Above is a wonderful image by Don Smith. I like the depth of this image. Below is a nice pano from Bernie Perry.

One Light Speedlite Wonders

Today was the last day of my Croton Creative Workshop. We did it all during the past three days: indoors, outdoors, HDR, speedlites, reflectors/diffusers Lightroom, Photograph, people, etc.

This afternoon we focused on speedlite photography - using only one one light and one reflector. The main purpose of this session was to demonstrate different lighting techniques. Had this been a serious studio shoot, I would have ironed the background.

Above is one of my favorites shots. It illustrates that you can indeed get cool lighting with one light.

Above is a behind-the-scenes shots taken by workshop student Danel Hernendez.

Notice that the soft box is not pointed directly at the subject. Rather, it's pointed in front of the subject. In doing so, the light falling on the subject is soft and flattering. This is called feathering the light.

Also note: the larger the light, the softer the light; the closer the light, the softer the light.

The cool painted background was provided by Westcott.

The softbox on the left is a Westcott Apollo soft box.

The gold reflector on the right is from the Westcott 6-in-1 reflector diffuser kit.

I am shooting with my Canon 7D and 24-105mm lens.

The Canon 580EX II in the softbox is fired from the Canon ST-E2 mounted in the hot-shoe of my camera.

Here are the links to some of the gear:

Canon 580EX II Speedlite

Westcott 6-1 Kit
Westcott 1032 6-in-1 Reflector Kit 42in.

One of the cool things about my studio workshops is that the students can see the results of their work during the shooting sessions.

To get on the mailing list for my workshops, including my Croton Creative Workshops, click here.

Explore the light,

P.S. See more lighting techniques on my October creativeLive class.