photo tours

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,
Rick

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


Out of Africa - and into Texas

I may be doing a May 2015 photo workshop at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

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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.

Shoot me an email to get on the info list.

See some of my Africa photo safari images here.

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.

Now 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.

Learn Landscape Photography with Me – Anytime and Anywhere

Sunrise on the Mara.

Sunrise on the Mara.

If you like landscape photography, I offer several options for improving your images – anytime and anywhere.

On my workshops.  In 2015 I am offering workshops that include landscape photography: Death Valley, Provence and Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. 

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. 

On my workshops we shoot and process, and have a ton of fun doing both! All are welcome.

After sunrise on the Oregon Coast. 

After sunrise on the Oregon Coast. 

On-line. I have a new on-line class on landscape photography with Craftsy: Landscape Photography in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It includes five HD video lessons and a virtual classroom - where you can share your shots and get my feedback. Very cool! Right now, you can get a 50% discount!

All my KelbyOne on-line courses are listed here.

Sunrise on the dunes in Death Valley.

Sunrise on the dunes in Death Valley.

On-the-go. My iPad and iPhone apps provide on-the-go learning. For landscape photographers: iHDR, 24/7 Photo Buffet and 50+ Tips for Nik Color Efex Pro.

On YouTube and Vimeo.  Scroll down to the bottom of my On-Line Classes/Video page and you'll find several videos that I shot in Iceland and on the Oregon Coast that focus on landscape photography.

That's me speaking for Canon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

That's me speaking for Canon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

At my seminars.  I share my favorite landscape photographs - and tips, tricks and techniques - at my seminars. I give more than a dozen seminars each year, and love each and every one. What's more, most are free – thanks to Canon sponsorship.

Mono Lake before the crack of dawn. 

Mono Lake before the crack of dawn

Well my friends, I hope to see you . . . somewhere!

Sunrise on Route 66. 

Sunrise on Route 66. 

To help you find the best light for your landscape photographers, my friend Craig Ellis and I developed Photo Sundial. This all-in-one app gives you the sun, the stars, the moon - and much more. Never miss another sunrise or sunset again.

The app is great for on-site shooting, as well as for trip planning. Twenty-five photo tips, too!

Hey, if you find a better priced and more fully-featured sun-finder app, please let me know. 

Explore the light,
Rick

10 Tips for Photographing Running Horses

Provence, France.

Provence, France.

This post originally ran before my first Provence workshop. Click here to see my Camarge horses images.

Photographing running horses is something we do on many of my workshops

As a prelude to my June 2015 Provence workshop (contact me for info) I thought I'd share some tips for photographing running horses. If you come to Provence, you'll have the opportunity to make pictures like the first two images in this post. Thank you Patrice for sharing.

Provence, France.

Provence, France.

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. Set the goal of getting a shot of a horse with all the hooves off the ground. To do that, you'll need to take a lot of pictures.

3 - If the 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 - When the sun is in your frame at sunrise and sunset, check your histogram and highlight alert warming on your camera. Try not to overexpose the area around the sun.

Spearfish, South Dakota.

Spearfish, South Dakota.

Los Osos, California.

Los Osos, California.

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

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

Mongolia.

Mongolia.

7 - Use a shutter speed of at least 1/1000th of a second to freeze the action, but try slow shutter speeds, too. I used a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second to blur the action the photograph below.

Los Osos, California.

Los Osos, California.

8 - Try panning, as illustrated below. 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.

Costa Rica.

Costa Rica.

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

10 - Have fun. Don't get so focusing on getting great shots that you miss the fun of photographing the action.

Double JJ Ranch, Michigan.

Double JJ Ranch, Michigan.

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

Here's another tip: Join one of my workshops. I'll show you how to make great images, including action panos like the one below.

If you can't make a workshop, or if you want to learn about light and composition before the workshops, check out my Kelby Training classes on light and composition.

Spearfish, South Dakota.

Spearfish, South Dakota.

Explore the light,
Rick