photo tours

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.

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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,

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,

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

My Classes at the California Photo Fest

I'm getting ready for my classes at the California Photo Fest next month. Can't wait!

I'll be teaching Social Media Marketing, which includes info from my Social Media Marketing for Photographers app.

I'll be leading a few photo walks, at sunrise and sunset and in between. The highlight being a photo session with horses running on the beach.

I have a speedlite class, where I will share a few one-light wonders, some of which are included in my apps.

And I have two plug-ins sessions where I'll talk about removing the reality from a scene, as I did below on my image from Coney Island.

I hope to see you at the festival. It's not only a great learning experience, but it's a ton of fun!

Explore the light,

P.S. Click here to see all my events, which includes my Alaska workshop with Hal from Light.

10 Countries, 10 Days, 10 Tips: Day 7 - Churchill, Canada

Rick Sammon photograph.
It's Day 7 of my travel series here on my blog. Thanks for joining me.

Location: Churchill, Canada.

Tip: Photograph the polar bears in winter, when there is snow and ice on the ground.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Photographers from around the world make the trek to Churchill to photograph the polar bears. Some stay in lodges, but I think you'll get a higher percentage of good pictures and have a better experience if you stay on site in a polar buggy or tundra buggy, as I did (see below).

Rick Sammon photograph.
If you do stay in a polar or tundra buggy, be sure to have toe-warmers. Even though the vehicles are heaters, your toes may get chilly . . . because it can be 35 degrees below zero outside.

Rick Sammon photograph.
When it comes to lenses, the longer the better. The polar bears come up to the vehicles, but photos taken that close look as though they were taken in a zoo.

Rick Sammon photograph.
You definitely want to photograph the animals from a distance.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Most of the time you'll be shooting through a window from the vehicle. But if it's safe, you might be able to shoot outside the vehicle. The photograph directly above illustrates a basic composition rule . . . the rule of odds. For more tips on composition, see my Composition class on Kelby Training.

When photographing white subjects, set your exposure compensation to +1 as a starting point for a good exposure. As always, check your histogram and highlight alert.

Rick Sammon photograph.
Above is a shot of our polar bear caravan. We had a vehicles for eating, sleeping, dining and partying. Good fun.

My favorite and recommended lens/accessory for this trip:

I hope to see you on one of my workshops someday.

Explore the light,

What's Your Favorite National Park - and Why?

Bryce Canyon National Park. © Rick Sammon
I'm on a National Park kick today. I was just wondering: What is your favorite National Park - and why?

Post a comment in the Comments section here on my blog. I - and other blog followers/National Park lovers - would love to hear your thoughts. What's more, if you have pictures, include a specific link. Share and share alike.

Mt. Rainier National Park. © Rick Sammon 
Explore the light - and explore the wonders and beauty of our National Parks.

Zion National Park. © Rick Sammon
Arches National Park. © Rick Sammon
If you enjoy or parks, and want to help preserve them, check out the National Parks Conservation Association.

All the photographs in the post were taken with my Canon digital SLRs and Canon lenses. See my Gear page for info. Enjoy the weekend!

P.S. If all these pictures look sharp, it's because I sharpened them with Nik Software's Sharpener Pro. You can get a 15% discount on all Nik Software if upon check out you use this code: RSAMMON.