photo tours

Images of the Old West

I am gearing up for my June 2015  Casper, Wyoming Old West Photo Workshop.

In going though my files from past workshops, I came across some of my favorite photographs of the Old West, and decided to add some captions. Here ya go, pardner.

Opening image: Waiting for you. The longing eyes of this cowboy are the main subjects of this photograph. As in many of my images, I try to capture the mood and feeling of the subject – the most important element in a photograph.

Above: Riding hard, riding the herd. Cowboys don’t just ride hard, they ride herd – riding along with the cattle or horses. I feel as though this image captures that togetherness.

Above: Boot and spur. Detail shots help to tell the story, and as a photographer, I am a storyteller.

Above: Trail boss and greenhorn. To me, the ruggedness and confident posture of the cowboy in the foreground says, “trail boss.” The silhouette of a younger and thinner cowboy in the background says, “greenhorn.”

Above: Yee-ha! This cowboy’s “yee-ha” said it all!  Putting him slightly out of focus adds a sense of mystery to the image.

Above: End of the day. I actually took this picture at the end of a long day of photographing this cowboy and cowgirl. They deserved a break, alone and quite by a pond.

Above: Mystery cowboy. By including only the shadow of the off-camera cowboy in my frame I added a sense of mystery and drama to the image.  Not being able to see the cowgirl’s eyes also adds a sense of mystery to the image.

I hope to see you on my Capser Photo Workshop!

Explore the light,
Rick

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

Bosque Del Apache Photo Workshop Info

Registration is open for my December 2015 Bosque del Apache digital photo workshop

Here's the info:

Instructors: Rick Sammon and Chris Klapheke, owner of Outdoorphotogear.com and excellent bird photographer.

Hotel - Best Western, Socorro, New Mexico. (Group rate.) Socorro is about 1.5 hours from Albuquerque, NM. Group rate for Rick Sammon Photography Group.

December 12 - Welcome Dinner.

December 13 - 15 Photograph in and around Bosque del Apache, New Mexico.

December 16 - Optional sunrise shoot. It's over around 7 AM, so you could catch an afternoon flight.

Daily activities:
• Leave hotel around 5 AM so we arrive at Bosque well before the "Blast Off."
• Shoot at crane pools.
• HDR photography at awesome local junkyard. (Download Photomatix)
• Lunch break.
• Process.
• Shoot during the "golden hours" at Bosque.
• Group dinners.
• Possible night trip to the VLA (Very Large Array), pictured below on the left.
• Group slide show/critique session on December 15th.

Workshop cost - $999, and $900 for past Rick Sammon photo workshop participants.

Included in workshop costs - Photo instructions/critiques by Rick and Chris. The workshop is limited to 10 students, so you'll get personal in-the-field and in-the-classroom instructions. 

And.... free download of my on-line class, Master the Art and Craft of Bird Photography.

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Additional costs -  Air (Fly into Albuquerque, NM), car rental (but we will carpool in Bosque), all meals and hotel (about $99 a night).

 I hope to see you in Bosque!

Explore the light,
Rick

Out of Africa - and into Texas - Canon Destination Photo Workshop

Registration is open for my Canon Destination workshop at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas – where I took all the photographs in this post.

Dates:  May 27 to 29.

Register Here!

NOTE: CPS Gold and Platinum members get $100 off any Canon Destination workshops - like this workshops and my Atlanta Old Car City/South East Railway Museum workshop.

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. 

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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.

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.

As illustrated in the videos, you can see how long I have been going there. :-)

Explore the light,
Rick

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

It's Macphun Friday! Tonality Pro Can Take You Back in Time

Yesterday, I made quick visit to the Wings of Freedom tour , which was in Pompano Beach, FL. Today the tour is moving to Ft. Lauderdale. The opening image for this post is the ONE shot I envisioned before I set out for the shoot – the one image I wanted to make.

Envisioning the end result is often the key to making a good image, and it's the title of my next book, Creative Visualization for Photographers, due out in April.

Knowing in advance that I wanted to capture as much of the plane's cockpit as possible, I shot with my Canon 15mm fish-eye lens - which is discontinued and is replaced by the 8-15mm lens. I shot with my Canon 5D Mark III.

I also knew that in order to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene, I needed HDR. Above is the seven-shot bracketed sequence I used to create my HDR image. It's a hand-held sequence processed in Photomatix.

Hands down, Photomatix is the best HDR program out there. Why? Three reasons:
1) You can create realistic-looking HDR images;
2) Image alignment is awesome, even for hand-held shots;
3) The Program is easy to use.

You can get a 15% discount on Photomatix when you use this code upon checkout: ricksammon.

I liked by HDR color image, but I wanted to create an image with the feel of yesteryear - the feeling that I get when I watch old movies. To reach that goal, I used Macphun's Tonality, and selected the Great Depression filter in the Vintage Collection.

Yes, the Tonality Pro is fun, but it also offer dozens of creative options to help you awaken the artist within.

You can get a 10% discount on Tonality Pro and all the MacPhun products by using this code upon checkout: RICKSAMMON.

Click here to read another post I did on Tonality Pro.

Above is my color HDR image. I like it, too.

Check out my Save on Plug-ins page for more discounts on plug-ins and stand-alone digital imaging products.

We have fun playing with plug-ins on all my digital photography workshops. I hope you can join one someday.

Up, up and away,
Rick

7 Tips for Photographing Running Horses - which you can use on my Provence Photo Workshop

As a prelude to my June 2015 Provence workshop (my second trip to Provence), I thought I'd share some tips for photographing running horses. 

But first: Planning on a Provence workshop - any workshop? My advice: Only go with a pro who has been there. Also, compare costs. As you will find, my workshop is the best-priced workshop around.

OK! Here are my tips!

1 - When photographing groups of horses, try to get as much separation as possible between the horses.

2 - Set you camera to the fastest frame rate to capture the action. A split second can make the difference between a good shot and a great shot.

3 - If a horse is running across the frame, leave some room in front of the horse into which the horse can run. If you frame too tight, the horse will "get stuck" in the frame.

4 - Use the focus-tracking AF system in your camera - AI servo in Canon cameras. Make sure the focus point stays on your subject.

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5 - When framing your picture, leave some extra space around the subject so you don't cut off part of the tail, ear or hoof.

6 - Try panning, as illustrated above. You need to get lucky or take lots of shots to get a good pan. Try different shutter speeds, from 1/60th to 1/ 15th of a sec.

7 - Note the position of the horse's legs in your photograph. You want the legs in a position that says "action."

My lens recos for photographing running horses on my Provence workshop:
Canon 24-105mm IS lens
Canon  70-200 f/4 IS lens
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS lens

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Landscape photography is also a part of my Provence workshop. My favorite lens for landscape photography is the Canon 17-40mm lens.

I hope to see you on my Provence workshop.

My co-workshop leader, Patrice Aguilar (above right), and I will help you make great pictures - in the field and in the digital darkroom. We'll also take you to the best paella dinner you have ever had!

Finally, on the workshop you will hear me say, probably more than once: If you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. We make it fun!

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. Yes, we'll do street shooting, too!