24/24-105 Gallery Added: 24 of my favorite images taken with the Canon 24-105mm IS lens

I just added a new gallery on my site: 24/24-105.

The gallery includes 24 of my favorite images taken with the Canon 24-105mm IS lens – which I think is the most versatile lens Canon offers. It's kinda amazing what you can do with one lens!

Here's a sneak peak at just a few of my photographs.

As you will see, I use this lens to photograph landscapes, people and even wildlife.

If you are looking for an all-in-one lens, check out the Canon 24-105mm IS lens. (If you like photographing horses, check out my Provence workshop on this page: 2015 photo workshops.)

Explore the light,

That's me in Iceland with my Canon 24-105mm IS lens and Canon 5D Mark III.

Thank you Mark Hardymon for the nice photo.

Tuesday's Two-for-One Sale: Wild Horses Download

Like prints of horses - for your home or office? Know someone who would like a print as a holiday gift? You've come to the right place.

Today's two-for-one download sale: Horses of Provence (above) and Portrait in Wales (below) for $99.The images are normally $99 each. You download the files and make your own prints.

Payment is via Paypal to: ricksammon@mac.com. Sorry, no refunds.

Screen shots above show file size. You can make prints up to 11x14 inches. For  personal use only.

If you want to get your own photographs of horses, I am offering a few horse photography workshops in 2015.Click here for info.

Explore the light,

Today's Awesome Guest Blogger: Andy Smith

Thanks, Rick, for asking me to do this guest blog post.(Thanks, Andy, for another guest blog! - Rick)

I attended Rick’s most recent workshop in Iceland, and having been on a few of Rick’s workshops before, I thought I’d try to do something different for the final slideshow that always finishes out Rick’s workshops. I thought I’d see if I could bring together several things I’d been working on with my photography:
    1.    Monochrome and Black-and-White processing.
    2.    Infrared photography with a camera I recently had converted to infrared only.
    3.    My recent obsession with cinematic and panoramic composition.

The result were some images I’ll share here along with some quick processing notes.

Opening Images
Mighty Gullfoss - Clouds and Mist

I’m amazed these images turn out as well as they did – as the conditions were miserable: lots of lens cleaning was necessary between each shot due to the thick mist caused by the wind and water spray.

The Golden Circle - Trolls and Lava

These are HDR images, produced by using the Exposure Fusion option in Photomatix.  I find Exposure Fusion gives a clean, natural result, mostly without the nasty halos, etc. that people hate so much with HDR. See Rick’s  article, “I Hate HDR.” 

Also, I chose one of the longer exposures in the de-ghosting stage to get the longer, more flowing water. (Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.)

I used Lightroom for the B&W conversion. To create the look you see here, I bring down the overall exposure, then brush back in the brightness where I want it in the water.

These are all infrared photos, converted to B&W, which is why you see the green areas as white. With infrared, otherwise dark foliage becomes a light source, which is why you typically have to adjust your exposure compensation when shooting IR. 

Iceland is a great location for both infrared and Black-and-White - there is gorgeous in color, of course, but the landscape and terrain offers many opportunities for monochrome photos.

Glaciers and Lagoons – Ice and Water

These are straight photos converted to B&W in Lightroom.  The lower right, a favorite (of mine and Rick), is a testament to always looking around for a different shot.  

While everyone, including myself, were focused on that interesting rock formation on the left, stopping and looking around for a slightly different view paid off with something unique. (Note from Rick: I like this image for many reasons: lots of negative space, off-center subjects, horizon line in the center of the frame, format and black-and-white treatment.)

Infrared Icelandic Horses

Lastly, here’s a bit of fun with an infrared shot of some Icelandic horses. The upper right image shows the out-of-the camera shot. The bottom two image are red and blue channel swaps in Photoshop.

Thanks again to both Rick and Tim Vollmer for the excellent Iceland workshop.

Click here to see my full B&W gallery.

Lifepixel has great infrared photography info on its sie.

My website

Today's Awesome Guest Blogger: Sandy Gherardi

Last month I attended Nature Visions Expo 2014 in Manassas, VA, where Rick was the featured speaker. On Friday he conducted an energetic, all day seminar, “Exploring the Light”, and on Saturday he delivered a rousing keynote address to a packed auditorium at Virginia’s Hylton Performing Arts Center entitled “Cool Shots in Cold Conditions”.

Close to 1400 photographers and visitors took advantage of the presentations, which included a Nature Photography Exhibit and a Fine Art Photography Exhibit. (I’m gratified to have had four of my images featured in the exhibits.) I’m overflowing now with exciting new ideas and challenges. Rick’s humor and easy going manner made it all look so effortless. His beautiful images and photography tips were motivating and inspiring. What an amazing weekend!

Photographic Abstract Expressionism has become my passion. While I’m always in awe of the natural world and love capturing the beauty of nature, I’m inevitably drawn to abstracting small bits of the scene. Amazing abstracts exist everywhere, both in nature and in man-made creations.

All we have to do is take the time to examine the subject to find endless images within images.

My favorite abstracts highlight bold colors and/or repetitive patterns. I usually don’t preselect a specific location or subject to photograph. Intricate patterns and reflections are everywhere... in windows, bodies of water, puddles, raindrops, metal objects, buildings....you name it. Someone recently asked me where I prefer to shoot. The question struck me as odd. My favorite place to photograph is wherever I happen to be!

And speaking of favorites, here are a few of my favorite images.

Singing the Blues
Nature Transformed

This image evolved from a Ft. Lauderdale palm frond, rotated and converted to my favorite color palate in Photoshop. The selected colors remind me of gorgeous Virgin Islands parrotfish that I’ve had the pleasure of snorkeling with in the Caribbean. They are positively magical if you spot them when intense Virgin Islands sun rays pierce the sea, splitting it into millions of sparkling diamonds.

A City Reflected
Water Reflections
I found the repetition of pattern in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor reflections fascinating. It wasn’t until I examined this image in post, however, that I realized I could actually read the names of nearby eateries like Planet Hollywood. The image garnered accolades at the Joseph Miller Center for the Photographic Arts, Fourth Annual Abstract Exhibit in May.

Window Reflections
Black Watch Plaid

My Miami hotel and other structures are reflected here in the high rise building on the opposite side of the street. I couldn’t help chuckling, as it elicited memories of my 7th grade Catholic school girl’s tartan.

Night on the Town
Architectural Abstract

I was captivated by the curved architectural elements at Villa del Palmar, Cancun. Opposing colors play an important role here, as well. The graceful flow of roughly parallel lines, which I exaggerated somewhat with a wave filter in post, attracted my attention to the subject.

Morning Glow
Rotate Your Image

It’s amazing how a simple rotation can render a subject unrecognizable. This ship’s mast started life as a vertical. Now rotated 90 degrees, it could be light trails streaking past an infinity fence. The addition of a texture filter moves it further into the realm of fantasy.

Building Blocks to Success
Architectural Abstract

Geometric repetition under the stairwell at SFMOMA drew me to this scene. With some creative cropping, boosting of contrast and conversion to black and white, the image feels even more confined and boxed in, representing a feeling many of us have experienced in the workplace all too frequently.

For Your Eyes & Ears Only

 Photographing abstracts provides a very special platform for communicating with the viewer in his/her respective language. Every photograph has a rich story to tell. I can relay what it whispers to me but every abstract will be viewed and interpreted by the individual through the unique lens of that individual’s own past.

Banish the Blues

How wonderful is it that abstracts, by their very nature, are basically one of a kind. Capturing an intriguing image that might otherwise go unnoticed and sharing that beauty with others is wonderfully rewarding. I love the fact that beautiful abstracts can be found everywhere, even in a mundane heap of trash! For me, finding them is the perfect antidote to the blues.

So here’s my little secret: The next time life seems to be getting you down, get out there and pluck abstracts from your environment, then set them out for a feast. They’re absolutely everywhere and they’re ripe for the picking!

 Sandy Gherardi
The Reverent Lens  

Dates Set for My 2015 Florida Photography/Photoshop Workshops: Small Groups, Big Learning - and big fun!

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I've set the dates for the January/February 2015 Florida Digital Photography/Photoshop Workshops. You will receive personal attention on each workshop because you'll be in a small group.

You will learn a lot and have a ton of fun - while shooting in cool locations. I will also sit side-by-side with you and help you process your images.

South Beach Creative Photo Workshop • January 15 - 17
Highlights: Night, model, sunrise and sunset photography.

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Digital Delray Photo Weekend • January 30 - February 1
Highlights: Shoot at Butterfly World, Wakodahatchee and at the beautiful Colony Hotel. Street shooting, too.

Key West Small Group Workshop • February 3 - 4
Highlights: Sunset, street, and HDR photography. Only four participants.

I am also giving private photography and Photoshop lessons while I am in the Delray Beach area: January 20 - 29. Shoot me an email for info.

I hope to see some of you in the Sunshine State.

All my 2015 digital photography/Photoshop workshops are listed here.

If you plan on mastering HDR, I recommend using Photomatix. Info on my Plug-ins page.

Can't make a live workshop? I also offer many on-line classes.

Explore the light,