photo workshops

Registration is Open for My Atlanta "Capture the Classics" Workshop!

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Above: Mail car, Southeastern Railway Museum. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. This is an HDR image. For HDR, I recommend Photomatix. Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.

Registration is open for my fall 2015 Canon EOS Destination Workshop: Capturing the Classics: Old Cars and Antique Trains. I can't wait to return to our two awesome locations: Old Car City and the Southeastern Railway Museum - which are 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 a speedlite when photographing a model.

My friends from Canon will be there to loan you the newest gear (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.

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

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

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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 straight shots, too.

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.

Speaking of creative vision, check out my new book, Creative Visualization for Photographers.

And speaking of plug-ins, I'll be teaching plug-ins at Photoshop World this August in Las Vegas. All my seminars are listed here.

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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 of our model Hanna 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 we had a great model. Thank you Hanna for doing such a wonderful job.

We will have another great model for the 2015 workshop.

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,

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.   

Day 2: Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips

Today is day two of Six Days of Africa Photo Safari Tips here on my blog.

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

Check out my Beauty of Botswana gallery to see 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 even at a wildlife park).

Today's tip: Go wide.

First-time Africa photo safari photographers often focus on getting super close-ups of the animals with super-telephoto lenses, and subsequently don't take wide-angle shots.

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Taking wide-angle shots on your photo safari is also important. These shots give a "sense of place" to your photographs - and for sure add interest to your slide shows. After all, you can take close-ups of lions and giraffes in a wildlife park or zoo. Right?

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Of course, you can also take "sense a place" photographs with a telephoto lens - as long as you include the surrounding area in the frame. Just shoot wide, and don't fill the frame with the subject.

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Getting back to telling the story, pictures of wild animals and beautiful landscapes are not the only pictures that tell the story of your photo safari. Behind-the-scenes shots, like the one above, do that, too.

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Behind-the-scenes pictures also bring back memories of your long safari drives and time with your guide - and how close the animals actually come your safari vehicle.

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I hope to see you in Botswana/South Africa.

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.

Explore the light,

"How to Run a Successful Photo Workshop" Workshop

We've been running successful photo workshops for more than 20 years, around the country and around the world. It's a ton of fun, but also a lot of work.

During those years we've learned a lot about running workshops - the business side, the personal side and the photography side.

In our "How to Run a Successful Photo Workshop" workshop we'll share all we know with the participates - so they, too, can run successful photo workshops . . . from start to finish. You'll leave the workshop  with an understanding of what makes a workshop work, as well as a handbook, which includes a workshop checklist.

The group is limited to 10 participants, so all your questions will be answered. The cost per person is $799 (workshop fee only) for the one-day session, held here in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, where I run my Rick's Backyard Photo Workshop.

Dates for the one-day workshop: November 7 and 8, 2015 (pick one).

Contact me for info.

Semi-private (minimum of four) sessions are also available.

Click here to learn more about my photo workshop photo philosophy.

Explore the light,

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,