HDR

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,
Rick

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.

The Making of My "Devil's Punch Bowl" Image

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I received several emails about the making of my Devil's Punch Bowl image, posted on social media a few day ago. For those who wrote, here ya go!

The image is one of more than 225 images in my new on-line class, Master Landscape & Seascape Photography.(Save $10 by using this code: landscapes.)

The image, taken on my Oregon Coast Photo Caravan Workshop, started out as a seven-stop HDR bracketed sequence. HDR was needed due to the extreme contrast range. The key was to take a sequence that captured the entire dynamic range of the scene.

I used my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon 17-40mm lens @ 21mm.

To get the entire scene in focus, I used my wide-angle lens, small aperture and focused 1/3 into the scene - a basic practice for getting max depth-of-field.

As usual, I processed my HDR sequence in Photomatix, the #1 program I recommend for HDR imaging. My goal: I did not want my HDR image to look like an over-cooked  HDR image.

HDR negatives can look a bit flat. To add contrast to my image, I used the Tonal Contrast filter in Nik Color Efex Pro.

I also "burned" the sky in the window in the distance. I also spent some time cloning out bootprints in the sand in the foreground.

To learn more about landscape photography, check out my on-line class, Master Landscape & Seascape Photography. Save $10 by using this code: landscapes.

I teach all this stuff on my photo workshops.

Explore the light,
Rick

 

Get My HDR Book For Free - and Get a Discount on Photomatix

Much to my surprise, and talk about big surprises, one of my 36 books, Rick Sammon's HDR Photography Secrets for Digital Photographers is free on this site.

Be that as it may . . . if you are new to HDR photography, or if you are looking for an awesome HDR image processing program, you can get a 15% discount on Photomatix, the HDR program I used to process almost all of the images in my book, including the cover, on my Play & Save on Plug-ins page.

Need a quick getting started lesson on Photomatix? Check out my video on YouTube.

Want even more HDR info? Check my iHDR app over on My Apps and Books page.

I also teach HDR on my workshops.

Explore the light,
Rick

Why I Enjoy Teaching Digital Photography Workshops

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Above: My talented and dedicated Summer Arts students in action.

This post originally ran in June 2013. For new followers, I am running it again.

I'm just back from teaching a digital photography workshop at the Summer Arts Program in Monterey, CA. The event, organized by California State University and produced by my friend Professor Mark Larson, brings together students of all ages and from all backgrounds - and at all different stages of learning.

I was one of several instructors at the event, and I was honored to be included.

You can see from the picture above just how much fun the students and I had on the workshop. That's probably the #1 reason why I do workshops: we all have fun!

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Above: Getting ready to teach Photoshop and Lightroom in the classroom.

During the three-day session we covered: travel, people, HDR, flash and landscape photography. In the classroom I shared Photoshop and Lightroom techniques, as well as tips on social media marketing.

This workshop, as do all my workshops, emphasized why I enjoy teaching digital photography from start to finish. Sure, I get to impart some ideas and techniques to the students, but I also see how each photographer pictures the world in his or own unique way.

I also get to meet awesome individuals, many of whom have incredible talent. I learn, too - and we all learn from each other.

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Above: That's Mark on the left and me on the right.

What could be more fun? Well, I'll tell ya. At the end of my workshops I go around the room and ask the students, "What does your photography mean to you?" This is a good question that you may want to ask yourself. It may help you define your photography.

During my "What does your photography mean to you?" sessions I ask the students to give a short answer, which I break down to one word. We put that one word on a white board. New for me to hear this session: Loving, Confidence, Blessing, Celebration and Heart. Always something new.

I hope to see you on one of my 2014 workshops. We learn a lot and have non-stop fun.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. If you can make a live workshops, you can take a virtual workshop with me on-line. Check out my Kelby Training classes here

Self-Assignment/Photo Challenge: Shoot into the Sun

From time to time I will post self-assignments/photo challenges here on my blog. Self-assignments are a good way to learn and grow as a photographer. Try 'em by yourself or with a friend.

If you take the challenge, you can post your photos on my Rick Sammon's Photo Challenges Google+ page.

FYI: This Photo Challenge is one of the several photo challenges in my forthcoming Focal Press book (Spring 2015) on visualizing and developing your eye. Shoot me an email to get on the book announcement list.

Assignment: Shoot Into the Sun

Concept: Use HDR to capture the entire dynamic range of a scene when shooting into the sun. Have the sun just peak out from behind an object. Use an aperture of f/22 to get the starburst effect.

The starburst effect is enhanced with wide-angle lenses, so the wider the lens the better. Here I used my Canon 15mm full-frame fisheye (but I now have the 8-15mm lens) on my Canon 5D Mark III full-frame image sensor camera. When a true fish-eye lens is used on a cropped image sensor camera, you don’t get the fish-eye effect.

Make sure your lens is very, very clean, as just one speck of dust can look like a big blob in your image. Take enough photographs over and under the average exposure setting to capture the shadow detail (over exposed images) and highlight areas (underexposed images).

If a person is your HDR sequence, have him or her very, very still while you are taking several exposures. That is the direction I gave my friend Mike “Spike” Ince when I made this HDR image.

As you can see in the above image, the contrast range was too great for all the detail in the scene to be captured in a singe photograph.

By the way, this is a hand-held HDR image. Wide-angle lenses and rapid frame advance make hand-held HDR images possible.

Processing Suggestions: Use Photomatix to create your HDR negative, and then process your HDR file in Photoshop or Lightroom. You can get a discount on Photomatix on my Play and Save on Plug-ins page.

Remember that HDR images tend to look a bit flat, because you are compressing the brightness range of a scene. Therefore, you need to add a bit of contrast if you want your image to pop.

If you like HDR, I teach that technique on many of my workshops.

Location: Junkyard near Bosque del Apache, New Mexico

Explore the light,
Rick