photo tours

No Other Old Car City Photo Workshop Offers This Much!

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Above: Old Car City. Model photography is included in my October 2015 Old Car City/Southeaster Railway Museum photo workshop. Canon 5D Mark III, 17-40mm lens.

Registration is open for my October 2015 Canon EOS Destination Workshop: Capturing the Classics: Old Cars and Antique Trains. I can't wait to return to Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum - both of which are located outside of Atlanta, GA.

I'll be teaching: composition (the strongest way of seeing), "croposition" (combining composition with cropping), storytelling,  lighting, HDR – and how to use reflectors, diffusers and speedlites when photographing a model.

My friends from Canon will be there to loan you the newest cameras and lenses (including fish-eye lenses and super-wide-angle lenses) to photograph some of the oldest cars in the country. You will also have plenty of time to process your images – for our group slide show/critique session. And, you'll even get to make a print or two on Canon printers.

No other Old Car City photo workshop offers this much. In addition to the teaching, model session, processing and printing, each workshop participant will receive an autographed copy of my three favorite books: Creative Visualization for Photographers, Exploring the Light and Travel and Nature Photography. In addition, everyone will also receive a free download code for two of my on-line classes: Master the Art and Craft of Bird Photography and Master Landscape and Seascape Photography - both available in my on-line store.

All participants will also received an SD card loaded with Perfectly Clear (see my Plug-in page) for both Lightroom and Photoshop. Thanks to my friends at Athentech for your support!

Total value of these items is over $250.

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Above: Lounge car, Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 15mm lens.

Here's a look at some of my favorite photographs from my previous trip to Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum.

The lounge car photograph (above) and the mail car photograph are HDR images, created in Photomatix. I recommend Photomatix for this workshop. You can get a discount on Photomatix on my Save on Plug-ins page.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. 

I removed some of the reality from my images in this post either by using a fish-eye lens, by altering the true color of a scene, by applying a plug-in, by shooting HDR, by selectively blurring parts of an image –  or by using a combination of all these techniques.

I can show you how to apply digital enhancements during the workshop. Of course, I'll show you how to get awesome in-camera shots, too.

Above: Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens.

About removing some of the reality from a scene: When we remove some of the reality from a photograph, the photograph can - but not always - look more artistic.

Photoshop, Lightroom and plug-ins make creating artistic images relatively easy - if you have a creative vision. 

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-70mm lens.

On my workshops I stress light and composition, the topics of my two latest classes on Kelby Training. The picture above (taken on my previous workshops) of our model Hanna (she's coming back for this workshop) illustrates the benefits of shooting on an overcast day, when contrast is low. It also illustrates creative composition: shooting at an angle creates a sense of depth in an image, the Bel Air insignia adds a sense of place to the image, and shooting at eye level helps the viewer of the photograph relate to the subject.

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Above: Old Car City. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. Effects added with Nik Color Effects Pro. Several Photoshop CS6 enhancements.

Above: Old Car City.  Like abstracts? You will find them in pealing paint and in rust at Old Car City.

Another element of photography we talk about on my workshops is the importance of cropping. In the above photograph, the extremely tight crop (I know it's extreme) emphasizes the fins and tail lights of this cool Caddy.

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Above: Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens.

Yes, the railway cars and old automobiles are awesome subjects. But hey, I especially enjoy photographing people on location. That is why I was so glad our model Hanna is returning! 

I hope to see you at Old Car City and at the Southeastern Railway Museum - where we not only make good pictures, but where we also have a ton of fun.

If you can't make that workshop, all my workshops are listed here.

Explore the light,

If you have any questions about this workshop, or any of my workshops, give me a call at 914 271-6132. Note: I'm in the Eastern Time Zone.

Day 6: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

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Today is the last day of the series here on my blog: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips.

I am running this series in preparation for my 2016 Botswana/South Africa digital photography workshop.

We will get up early for our game drives (above), so you can get great photographs of back lighted subjects (below). I'll help you with exposure.

Our expert guides will put us in the best position for our photographs (below).

When you are in the best position, you can get the best photographs (below).

That workshop is filling up fast! Here's why – from a few folks who have signed up:

Eric McCartney: There are several reasons why I’ve signed up, but the biggest factor has to be Rick Sammon, quite honestly. I’ve always wanted to go to Africa; it’s been on my radar for more than two decades. I so thoroughly enjoyed the Fossil Rim experience and I learned more about photography and in particular about photo processing in just a couple of days than in months, if not years, of practice. I can’t begin to imagine what a real African safari would be like so to have the opportunity to learn from the best, whom I also consider a friend, can only be an amazing experience. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.

Diane Eubanks: Well, as the workshop "record holder" I could say that I am just a slow learner ;-). But the truth about what keeps me coming back to Rick's workshops is his great teaching skills, his style of photography and processing, and the fact that I feel very "safe" while in his company. Susan Sammon is an incredible organizer and is always making sure everyone is taken care of and that no one is left behind. Rick and Susan make an awesome team. Africa has been on my bucket list for a long time. I can't wait to see what Rick and Susan have in store for us all!!

John and Evelyn Davis: It boiled down to knowing you and a Botswana photo workshop being on our bucket list.

Dave and Cheryl Wilson: We signed up for many reasons:
– We’ve always wanted to see the amazing animals in Africa.
– We don’t seem to be getting any younger.
– I love photography, and I'm tired of taking the same old Northern California photos.
– We need some adventure in our lives.
– I want the best photography teacher I ever met: my friend Rick Sammon.

Mark and Donna Burdette: An African safari has been on our bucket list since we created it. We are attracted to your safari in Botswana
 and South Africa because we participated with you at Fossil Rim, and found your style of teaching and encouraging participants to be very helpful. We also like the idea of this region in Africa since it seems safer than the northern and eastern regions of the continent, while still allowing the variety of animals and experience that we want. Also, we like the small group nature, and the fact that you have teamed up with Kevin who also seems to have lots of experience in this type of safari. Also, after checking the camps online, it seems like they are of the high qualify that we would want and expect. But, mostly, we wanted this one because you and Susan are going along.

Chandra and Gregg Brooks: A photo safari to Africa has long been a dream for us, but when you consider a trip like's not one where you want to come back with an average snapshot you could take at a zoo. What's that they say - go big or go home? Going to one of the premier game reserves, Mala Mala, with a reputation for incredible sightings of the Big 5 upped the ante. The chance to combine dream location, a small group size and learning from Rick with all of his talent, experience and inspirational teaching style - well, this is simply the opportunity of a lifetime.

• • • • •

Check out my Beauty of Botswana gallery to see more my favorite photographs from my two previous trips to this wildlife wonderland.

Also check out my on-line class: Capturing the Wild: Safari Photography. You can use my tips for making great pictures on a photo safari and at a wildlife park.

Today's tip: Be prepared with the right photo gear. All my gear is listed on My Gear Page.

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Two camera bodies - so you can always have a telephoto lens and a wide-angle zoom lens at the ready. Currently, I am using Canon 5D Mark III cameras.

Telephoto lenses:
• 100-400mm zoom - for distant wildlife;
• 70-200mm f/4 zoom - for closer wildlife;
• 200 - 400mm IS with 1.4x teleconverter;
• 400mm DO lens with 1.4x tele-converter - for even more distant wildlife.

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Wide-angle lenses:
• 17-40mm lens - for landscapes;
• 24-105mm IS lens - for landscapes and environmental portraits;
• 15mm fish eye – for behind-the-scenes shots.

• Tiffen polarizing filter - to darken a blue sky and to reduce reflections on water

• Two battery chargers - for fast battery charging between game drives;
• Storm Jacket - to protect your camera from rain and dust;
• Blower - to keep your sensor clean;
• Head-mounted flashlight - for hands-free shooting on early morning and night drives;
• Plenty of memory cards.

All this gear does something very important for you on your photo safari: it helps you tell the whole story of your experience - as opposed to only taking lots of close-ups photographs of the animals.

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I hope to see you in Botswana or on another one of my workshops.

If you like the composition of the photographs in this post, and if you want to learn how to make the best possible exposure, check out my Kelby Training Classes on my On-Line Classes page.

If you can't make an Africa photo safari, I offer wildlife photo safaris at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas. That's where I took the photos above. Shoot me an email for 2016 dates.

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Explore the light

This post sponsored by Adorama - great gear at great prices.   

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,

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 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,

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,

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