photo tours

Seven Reasons to Attend My South Beach Speed Learning Photo Workshop

Each year, for the past four years, I've run photo workshops in Miami's famed South Beach in January. This year I am doing something a bit different: I am offering a small group speed learning class from January 15  to 17.

If you have never been to South Beach, and want to learn a ton – and have a ton of fun – in a short time, here are seven reasons to join the workshop. Another idea: give the workshop, or any of my workshops, as a gift.

1) Above: You will shoot at night and learn about long exposures - and how to get the very best in-camera exposure.

2) Above: You will learn about seeing the light, composition and creative visualization, the key to getting a good photograph.

3) Above and Below: I will show you how to enhanced your images in Photoshop and in Lightroom.

3a) Did I mention that l like to make learning fun? :-)

4) Above: You'll learn about HDR. I recommend downloading Photomatix for your HDR image processing. Learn about HDR in advance with my iHDR app.

I will also teach creative plug-ins, which you can download here.

5) Above: We'll shoot at sunrise, and work on our images during our download session.

6) Above: We'll photograph sun worshipers, and learn how to work with people, reflectors and diffusers. You will also master daylight fill-in flash - I promise you. So bring your speedlite.

7) Above and Below: At the end of the workshop you'll reflect on how much you learned and how much fun you had.

If you can't make South Beach, my other workshops are listed here.

If you like to learn at home, I also offer on-line training,

Explore the light,

P.S. The image below illustrates a good reason for snowbirds to register for the workshop. :-)

Out of Africa - and into Texas - Photo Workshop

I running two 2015 photo workshops at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas – where I took all the photographs in this post.

April 29 to May 1
May 27 to 29 (This is a Canon Destination Workshop. Shoot me an email for info.)

We booked the entire camp - and we have special photo tours.

Tip: You can stay in the Lodge, but the tents give you a real safari experience. About the tents: they have hot and cold running water, a shower, a hair dryer and AC – same as the lodge.

Small group, big fun! First come, first serve. Register here.

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I've been there five times (once teaching a photo workshop where I took these images) and still enjoy the experience - and that is after going on safari in Kenya four times.

See some of my Africa photo safari images here.

If you are planning a photo safari, check out my KelbyOne Wild Safari class.

All my 2015 workshops are listed here.

Here is a Fossil Rim video of a younger Rick Sammon discussing daylight fill-in flash. And here is a Fossil Rim video on composition.

One more video: A Quick Look at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.

Now you can see how long I have been going there. :-)

Explore the light,

P.S. Yes! We will have plenty of time for digital darkroom work, too.

On Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III. Day 5: The Main Event

Today is the last day in my photo safari series here on my blog. Scroll down to see earlier posts.

All the photographs were taken while we were on a photo safari with our good friends Jonathan and Angela Scott – known and respected around the world as "The Big Cat People."

Today is Day 5: The Main Event

The main event during our stay on the Masai Mara was photographing the migration of the zebra and wildebeest. One morning we saw more than 5,000 animals on the move. The animals follow the rain so they always have something to eat.

In this post I'll share some, only some, my favorite migration photographs, along with some photo tips. I'll be sharing all my Masai Mara photographs at my upcoming seminars.

The photographs were taken on three different days at three different locations.

Opening Image: Compose carefully. Notice the nice "S" curve in this photography. Learn more about composition in my KelbyOne class: Composition - the strongest way of seeing. Lens: Canon 24-105mm IS.

Above: Check your aperture to make sure you have the desired depth of field. Lens: Canon 24-105mm IS.

Above: Use foreground elements to add a sense of scale and depth to a photograph. Lens: Canon 70-300mm IS.

Above: Use slow shutter speeds to add a sense of movement to fast-moving subjects. Another tip: Use plug-ins to remove some of the reality from a scene. Lens: Canon 70-300mm IS.

Above: Take close-ups to tell the whole story. The story here: two crocks are eating a wildebeest that did not make it across the water. We talk about storytelling on my workshops. Lens: Canon 200-400mm IS.

Above: Wildlife photography requires patience. One morning we waited more than three hours for the animals to cross the Mara River. Here I am deep in thought - planning the next trip! :-) Lens: Canon 15mm, but I recommend the Canon 8-15mm lens. Oh yeah, they never crossed.

Above: The team that made my photographs possible.

I'm feeling a bit sad as this series comes to a close. I miss the Mara and my friends Jonathan and Angela Scott, as well as our guide Simon Sitienei. I also miss our home away from home for the safari, Governors' Camp.

The good news is that we'll be back!

Shoot me an email if you are interested in a small group or private African photo safari. Jonathan and I are making some cool plans!

Until then, check out the videos we made in the Masai Mara.

Thank you all for following along.

Rick Sammon,
Canon Explorer of Light

On a Photo Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III. Day 2: Meeting The Killing Machine

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I'm running a series of posts here on my blog: On a Photo Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III.

Today is Day 2.

Our guide, Simon, called this leopard "The Killing Machine." Why? Because he was dining on wildebeeast after wildebeeast after wildebeeast at the crossing of the Great Migration (photos to come).

After his kill, the killing machine had his "snack" up in nearby tree. Two kills are shown in the photo on the right – front and back end.

One of my favorite wildlife photography lenses is the Canon 70-300mm IS zoom, which I used to make my portraits of "The Killing Machine."

Quick tip: When shooting, try to shoot eye-to-eye. The opening photographs for this post have impact because I am shooting at eye level, as opposed to shooting above the subject, as illustrated in the photograph above.

Scroll down for more posts in this series.

Thanks to Jonathan and Aggie Scott, The Big Cat People, for making our trip a reality. Follow my friends on Google+.

If you plan on a photo safari, I have a basic class on KelbyOne that offers advice.

Jonathan and I are planning some special trips. Shoot me an email to get on the list.

Jonathan and I made a few videos during our safari. Check 'em out here.

Interested in the gear I used on safari. Here is a QUICK look. :-)

Explore the light,

P.S. Check out my Gallery/One Week On the Mara photographs over on the left - and start your Squarespace site today. Click the image below to get started.

On a Photo Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III. Day 1: Giving credit where credit is due

Canon 200-400mm IS lens.

I'm starting a series of posts here on my blog: On a Photo Safari with the Canon 5D Mark III.

Today is Day 1.

As I will be sharing my favorite photographs from my recent trip to Kenya's Masai Mara, I thought it only fair that I give credit where credit is due - because I had a lot of help in the making of my images! Here goes.

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We would not have made the trip if it had not been for my friends and Canon Ambassadors Jonathan and Angela Scott. These guys made the trip a reality, so they get part of the credit. Follow my friends on Google+.

Simon Sitienei, expert guide/driver/Tuska Time organizer.

Simon Sitienei, expert guide/driver/Tuska Time organizer.

Our guide, Simone Sitenei, found the animals for us and got me into exactly - and I mean exactly - the best position for a photograph. That's skill. Credit due!

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Jonathan loaned us his vehicle, customized for photography and videography, for the entire safari. Yes! This is one of the Big Cat Diary vehicles. My guess is that I got a much higher percentage of "keepers" thanks to having my own, awesome private vehicle.

Photograph by Jonathan Scott

Photograph by Jonathan Scott

I also gotta thank, big time, my wife/assistant Susan Sammon. Not too many "assistants" could put up with 9 days (starting in dark and ending at sunset) of "Quick, I need the 70-300, no the 200-400." Or, "Pass me the 24-105!"

Photograph by Jonathan Scott

Photograph by Jonathan Scott

I need to thank Canon for making some incredible cameras and lenses - and Canon CPS for loaning me the 200-400mm lens.

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Susan makes cool images, too. She took the above image with her Canon PowerShot S110 - the perfect compact camera for fun (and awesome) shots.

Here is the camera/lens/settings info for the opening image for this post.

If you look closely in the opening image, (click to enlarge), you'll see a black and white dot above the male lion's eyes. That's a fly. Black is its body, white areas the wings. Kinda amazing.

Stay tuned for more images. 

During our "downtime" (ha ha)  at Governors' Camp, our awesome home base for the safari, we made a few videos. You can view them on my YouTube channel.

I teach photography, Photoshop and Lightroom on all my workshops. Can't make a workshop? Check out my on-line classes.

Interested in the gear I used on safari. Here is a QUICK look. :-)

Explore the light,
Rick Sammon,
Canon Explorer of Light