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.

Casper "Old West" Photo Workshop Roundup: We made "not specializing" our "specialty"

Howdy Pardners,

I'm just back from my Old West Photo Workshop in Casper, Wyoming – organized by my friends at Wyoming Camera Outfitters. What fun we had making pictures, processing our images and making new friends. That's the way we do it on all my workshops.

Here's my roundup – photographs and tips – from the workshop. As you will see, I taught several different photo specialties: working with models (and horses), indoor lighting, composition, HDR imaging, action shooting, creative composition and landscape photography. We also covered image processing in Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as working with plug-ins.

As I told the workshop participants, "My specialty is not specializing. Try it, you'll like it!" Yes, they took my advice and all did a great job!

Okay, let's check out some images and tips.

Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens. I used fast lenses in the Wonder Bar because I was shooting in relatively low light. Lighting: Three Westcott Spiderlites in soft boxes (diffusion panels removed for maximum illumination). Tip: Light the eyes and focus on the eyes, even when taking wide-angle shots. As a general rule, if the eyes are not well lit and in focus, you've missed the shot . . . unless you are looking to create a sense of mystery in the photograph, in which case the eyes can be hidden or closed.

Above: That's me shooting. We positioned the Westcoot Spiderlites, left and right, for fairly even lighting. A third Spiderlite was positioned off camera at the rear of the bar to partially illuminate the background. Photo: Carol Vipperman.

Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28mm f/1.8 lens. Same Westcott lighting set-up as in the previous behind-the-scenes image. Tip: Look for separation when you compose an image. Notice how all the models – and the horse – are separated.

Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Same Westcott lighting set-up that was used for the opening image in this post. Tip: Remove some of the reality from a scene by removing the color. When you remove the reality, an image can look more creative and artistic.

Above: Behind-the-scenes shot showing the lighting for the previous photograph. Tip: Set up your lights and leave them be. Then, move different subjects into basically the same position. That technique cuts down on the number of variables in making a photograph. Photo: Susan Sammon.

Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III,  35mm f/1.4 lens. Natural light. Tip: See eye-to-eye and shot eye-to eye – so that the person looking at your photograph relates to the subject.

Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens. Natural light and Westcott Flex daylight-blanced LED Light Panel. Tip: Balance natural light with added light to make a shot look like a natural light shot.

Above: This behind-the-scenes shot shows the making of my "Cowgirl with Guitar" photograph. The Westcott Flex daylight-blanced LED Light Panel was positioned to illuminate the subject's face. Photo: Susan Sammon.

Above: Fort Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Lighting: Rick Sammon Light Controller and Tote (which features a reflector and diffuser) by Westcott. Tip 1 (left): Use a reflector and/or diffuser to compress the brightness range of a scene. Tip 2 (right): Get the subjects involved in the shoot - and the fun.

Above: That's Canon's Cal Ellis (left) helping me control the light for the workshop students. Photo: Susan Sammon.

Above: Fort Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Tip: Pay attention to shadows. Shadows are the soul of the photograph.

Above: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. ISO 10,000. Tip 1: Shoot for the peak of action. Tip 2: Don't be afraid to boost your ISO. It's much better to get a sharp shot with a bit of noise than a blurry shot with little noise. One of the reasons I use the Canon 5D Mark III is the relatively low noise at ISO settings. When I have noise, I reduce it with Topaz DeNoise, listed on my Save on Plug-ins page.

Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Seven-stop, hand-held HDR image processed in Photomatix. Tip 1: Want to master HDR? Learn how to shoot from inside to outside - where the contrast range is extreme. Tip 2: Process your HDR images in Photomatix. Click here to get a discount on Photomatix. 

Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Seven-stop, hand-held HDR image processed in Photomatix. Tip: Have fun with HDR!

Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Detail shots help to tell the story of a location.

Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Before you set up multiple lights, see what you can do with one light. The photograph above is a one-light photograph. To soften the image, I applied the Duplex filter in Nik Color Efex Pro.

Above: One of the advantages of using a constant light is that you can see where the shadows fall before you shoot. Tip: If you want an interesting portrait, don' light the entire subject.

Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip 1: When using mirrors, the background can make or break a shot. Tip 2: Focus carefully. Here I focused on the model's reflection in the mirror.

Above: Our simple lighting set-up for the previous photograph. I positioned the light for maximum illumination of the subject's face.

Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: When it comes to composition, try this technique: The name of the game is to fill the frame. Of course, dead/negative space works, too. Learn more about composition in my KelbyOne class, Composition, the strongest way of seeing.

Above: That's my friend Dinty Miller, owner of Wyoming Camera Outfitters, assisting with the lighting. Like all the model shots taken at the Backwards Distilling Company, we used only one light to illuminate the subject.

Above: HDR at the Trailside. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Tip: Make sure you capture the entire dynamic range of the scene when shooting HDR sequences. I needed seven exposures (three stops over and three stops under the average setting, in addition to the average setting) to capture the entire dynamic range of this high-contrast scene. Note the bright sky in the left of the frame. This image was also processed in Photomatix.

Above: Sunset on the range. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: When the sky is interesting, place the horizon line at the bottom of the frame, and vice versa.

Above: Late afternoon landscape. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. Tip: Use foreground elements to draw the viewer into the scene. For more landscape photography tips, check out my on-line class: Master Landscape and Seascape Photography.

Above: Range rider. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Tip: Use AI servo focus (focus tracking) when photographing fast-moving subjects.

Above: Freemont Canyon. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens This is one of my favorite reflection images from our Freemont Canyon shoot. Tip: When it comes to reflections, it's OK to place the horizon line in the middle of the frame.

Above: Freemont Canyon. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Shoot close-ups of reflections, too. They make interesting abstracts.

Speaking of reflections . . . It's fun reflecting on the comprehensive (and intensive) workshop. It was not only a rewarding photographic experience, but a wonderful personal experience. I feel as though I have made new friends, for life. I will miss them all – until we ride again.

I hope to see you someday on a workshop

Shoot me an email if you are interested in my 2016 Caper workshop.

Explore the light,
Rick

What’s New?

My 36th book: Creative Visualization for Photographers.

... and

My on-line learning center, where you can download my e-books, including, Get Motivated and Stay Inspired.

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