Now Available: Master Landscape and Seascape Photography

My latest on-line class - Master Landscape and Seascape Photography - is here!

Click here to see a free preview (Black-and-white photography).

Introductory offer for blog readers! Use this  code - landscapes - to save $10 on the $29.99 class.

The one-hour seminar (like taking a private lesson from me in your home) is a narrated keynote slide presentation that includes more than 225 images and tons of tips gained from my travel to almost 100 countries.

The seminar is actually two seminars in one: a landscape/seascape/coastal photography seminar and a travelog. You'll learn how to photographs from dawn to dusk - and you'll get some ideas on where you can make some awesome landscape and seascape images.

It's a learn-at-your-own-pace seminar that you can stream or download and view again and again.

Got questions? Everyone who attends/views one of my seminars is a student for life. That means seminar attendees can email me questions for the rest of my life.

If you are new to my teaching style, here are some videos - on-line lessons that will help you with your landscape photography:
Composition - the strongest way of seeing.
Having fun with filters.
Lenses for landscape photography.
My camera settings vs. your creative vision.

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Here is the timeline for the class:
00:00 Introduction
01:50 Mood & Feeling 
02:43 Why We Photograph – Types of Images
05:56 Basic Concept: Get Everything in Focus
07:50 Basic Concept: Get a Good Exposure
10:05 Basic Concept: Separation
11:58 Basic Concept: Image Enhancements
14:21 Black-and-White Photography
19:14 Time of Day – See The Light
24:03 What If You've Only Got One Shot?
26:15 HDR
30:58 Storytelling With Lenses
33:36 The One-Lens Shoot
36:21 Close Ups
38:56 Stay in Shape
39:37 Blurring Water
41:31 Panoramas
45:54 Composition
49:41 Cropping
51:05 Filters
51.50 Sunrise and Sunset
53.46 Reflections
54.35 Thank you!

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During the class  you will explore the following locations: Iceland, Holland, Death Valley, North Wales, Mt. Rainier, Goblin Valley State Park, Oregon Coast, Mono Lake, Antarctica, Alaska, Laos, Slot Canyons, Monument Valley and Bryce Canyon.

This is not just a slide show of pretty photographs. For each photograph I give a photography, location or digital enhancement tip.

 I hope you enjoy the class - and please don't be shy about emailing me questions.

Click here to order the class.

Explore the light,

P.S. For more tips on composition, see my KelbyOne class, Composition - the strongest way of seeing. For more tips on exposure, see my KelbyOne class, Light - the mail element in every photograph.

1 Landscape Photograph: 10 Tips

Here's a photograph from my brand new Master Landscape and Seascape Photography on-line class. Save $10 on the class by using this code: landscapes.

In looking at this image, I thought I'd try to give as many tips as possible. Here goes.

1) Use a slow shutter speed to blur the water. 1/4 sec. used here.
2) Expose for the highlights - always shoot with your histogram and highlight alert activated.
3) Get max depth-of-field. Use a wide-angle lens, small aperture and focus 1/3 into the scene.
4) Crop creatively, and know that cropping gives us a second chance at composition.
5) Use a foreground element to add a sense of depth to an image.
6) Keep a micro-fiber cloth handy to clean your lens around waterfalls.
7) Keep your camera dry by using a rain cover.
8) Use a sturdy tripod to steady your camera during long exposures.
9)  Process creatively to create a mood - the more important element in a photograph.
10) Work with a good guide who can offer suggestions on where to make good images.

Explore the light,



I was going to title this blog post, "With a Little Help From My Friends," the title of another Beatles song, but then I remembered something that my brother Bob once told me: One-word sentences can be effective. Very. :-) Thanks, Bob.

Beatles song titles will run throughout this post. I will use them to share a story (business lesson) about a fellow pro – a pro (who I had helped a few times) opted not to help me with a small request. I think, but I could be wrong, that the pro thought I was competition.

"With a Little Help From My Friend." - I've had a lot of help over the years. Some of the help came from photographers you've never heard of, and some of the help was from world-famous photographers. The pros who helped me were happy to help. They did not see me as a competitor, and I feel the same way about them. Here's why.

I enjoy helping my fellow pros. More than a few have been Guest Bloggers here on my site, and I have interviewed more than a few for the Digital Photo Experience podcast, which I co-host with my friend Juan Pons. Juan has also helped many pros with his interviews.

Many pros offer the same services (workshops) and products (books, on-line classes, etc.) that I do. It's friendly competition . . . in my book anyway.

The path to greatness is along with others.

The path to greatness is along with others.

"All Together Now" - True professionals feel as though we are all in this together, and that by helping others, we are helping ourselves. They follow the "All Together Now" philosophy.

That philosophy is summed up in this quote: "The path to greatness is along with others." - Baltasar Gracion, Spanish Priest

That, my friend, is the message of this post.

"Don't Let Me Down" - The pro, who I thought was a friend, let me down. At first I was upset, I felt as though the pro was "Bad to Me." I started to write an emotional email, because I thought the pro was my friend, and because I had helped the pro. But I did not click Send.

"Let It Be." - I figured it was best just to let it be, because, as someone who helped me once said, "Never let your emotions influence your business decisions."

"Come Together." - My message for photographers, and all professionals starting out, is this: Come together. Look at your associates as friendly competitors.

"Come together right now . . . ."

"If I Needed Someone" - If you don't work together, and if you are a "Nowhere Man" working along, someday you may need some "Help!" And when you ask for help, you may get, "No Reply."

Getting back to the pro who inspired this post, I say/sing: "Ob-la-di-ob-la- da." Life goes on.

Explore the light,

What's New? Master Landscape & Seascape Photography on-line class! Save $10 with this code: landscapes.

Good Fun and Learning at My Latest Sammon Speedlite Session

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Photographers who attend my photo workshops know that I like to make learning fun while making pictures (rather than just taking pictures). I demonstrated that philosophy during my Canon/Westcott speedlite session yesterday at Adorama's New York City store.

Photo by Richard Cohen. That's me behind the lens!

Photo by Richard Cohen. That's me behind the lens!

Yes, we had a great model, Rebecca West, and great gear. But what about shooting in a relatively small space in a busy store – in front of a standing-room-only crowd on a Tuesday afternoon? A challenge, yes – but a good one. I love challenges. As I said to the crowd at the opening of my presentation, "If you can make a good speedlite portrait here, you can make one anywhere."

The opening image for this post is my favorite image from the shoot. My gear for this portriat:
• Main light (positioned above Rebecca): Westcott Rapid Box 26-inch Octo Softbox - with Canon 600EX-RT speedlite
• Fill light (positioned beneath model) Westcott Eyelighter
Canon ST-E3 Speedlite Transmitter
Canon 24-105mm IS lens (my favorite lens)
Lexar 32GB Compact Flash card.

I shot tethered into Lightroom on my MacBook Pro using a Tether Tools cable.

All of the images here were taken with my speedlites set on the ETTL mode. Hey Joe Brady - I know you love manual, but I'm an ETTL guy. I mentioned our video during the shoot.

The exposures for all the images in this post were fine tuned, quickly and easily, from my camera with the Canon ST-E3 wireless transmitter.

I converted my color file to black-and-white with Macphun's Tonality Pro. Click here to see all my plug-ins.

Photographs by Richard Cohen

Photographs by Richard Cohen

Speaking of challenges (which I often see as opportunities), I often like to give audience members the opportunity to shoot during my speedlite sessions – after I set up the lighting gear and offer some quick tips. Above are two photographs by audience member (and first-time in-studio speedlite shooter) Richard Cohen.

Left: Westcott Apollo 28-inch softbox (Canon 600EX facing toward the back of the softbox and zoomed out all the way) placed to the side and slightly behind Rebecca. Thanks Jack Reznicki for showing me this technique.

Right: Westcott Apollo 28-inch softbox placed in front of and to the side of Rebecca, and a Canon 600EX-RT held directly behind Rebecca's head.

Nice work, Richard!

Thanks to all those to attended my seminar, and thanks to Adorama for hosting the event.

For more basic lighting tips, see my iPad and iPhone app, Light It!

I hope to see you on one of my workshops. I promise you, you'll learn a lot and have a lot of fun.

Explore the light,
P.S. I also give private speedlite (and Photoshop and everything else) lessons. Shoot me an email for info.

Photograph the "Old West" on My Casper, Wyoming Photo Workshop

I am gearing up for my "Old West" photo workshop in Casper, Wyoming later this year. Can't wait, and I hope you can join the fun.

Fun? I run a lot of workshops, but this one will be a ton of fun, as illustrated in this video.

I took the opening image for this post on my previous Casper photo workshop. Yes! We got a horse in the Wonder Bar, and we'll do it again - for you!

In going though my files, I came across some of my favorite Old West images (from a shoot in Spearfish, SD) along with some captions. Enjoy.

Reflecting on the day. The most important element in a photograph is the mood, feeling or emotion. I created the mood in this photograph by “painting” the cowgirl with the light from a $5 flashlight. My goal was to create an image with dramatic shadows. Shadows are the soul of the photograph.

Lone rider. I like the feeling of  freedom that this image captures. That’s part of being a cowboy.

Looking for her. I am drawn to faces. It was the intense look on this cowboy’s face that inspired me to make this photograph. To add to the artistry of this image, I removed the color. When you remove the color from a photograph, you remove some of the reality.

Best friends. The eyes are the windows to the soul. It was this cowgirl’s beautiful eyes that first drew me to make this photograph, but then I noticed the look and “feeling” in the dog’s eyes. Both subjects seem to be having the same feeling, so I included both of them in my frame.

Daybreak on the range. I like shooting at the crack of dawn, capturing dramatic silhouettes against the rising sun. I like to challenge myself to make pictures in these high contrast situations, as the light changes very, very fast.

Good morning, pardner. The perfect silhouettes of the horses and cowboys drew me to make this photograph. Silhouettes add a sense of mystery to a photograph.

After the storm. I like the way the dark clouds create the mood in this image. Not every picture needs to be taking on a bright, sunny day.

Heading home. This cowboy was riding as fast as he could. To convey the sense of speed, I used a photographic technique called panning, which blurrs the background but keeps the rider in sharp focus.

Ride 'em cowboy (and cowgirl),