Here's my roundup – photographs and tips – from the workshop. As you will see, I taught several different photo specialties: working with models (and horses), indoor lighting, composition, HDR imaging, action shooting, creative composition and landscape photography. We also covered image processing in Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as working with plug-ins.
As I told the workshop participants, "My specialty is not specializing. Try it, you'll like it!" Yes, they took my advice and all did a great job!
Okay, let's check out some images and tips.
Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens. I used fast lenses in the Wonder Bar because I was shooting in relatively low light. Lighting: Three Westcott Spiderlites in soft boxes (diffusion panels removed for maximum illumination). Tip: Light the eyes and focus on the eyes, even when taking wide-angle shots. As a general rule, if the eyes are not well lit and in focus, you've missed the shot . . . unless you are looking to create a sense of mystery in the photograph, in which case the eyes can be hidden or closed.
Above: That's me shooting. We positioned the Westcoot Spiderlites, left and right, for fairly even lighting. A third Spiderlite was positioned off camera at the rear of the bar to partially illuminate the background. Photo: Carol Vipperman.
Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 28mm f/1.8 lens. Same Westcott lighting set-up as in the previous behind-the-scenes image. Tip: Look for separation when you compose an image. Notice how all the models – and the horse – are separated.
Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Same Westcott lighting set-up that was used for the opening image in this post. Tip: Remove some of the reality from a scene by removing the color. When you remove the reality, an image can look more creative and artistic.
Above: Behind-the-scenes shot showing the lighting for the previous photograph. Tip: Set up your lights and leave them be. Then, move different subjects into basically the same position. That technique cuts down on the number of variables in making a photograph. Photo: Susan Sammon.
Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, 35mm f/1.4 lens. Natural light. Tip: See eye-to-eye and shot eye-to eye – so that the person looking at your photograph relates to the subject.
Above: Wonder Bar. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 35mm f/1.4 lens. Natural light and Westcott Flex daylight-blanced LED Light Panel. Tip: Balance natural light with added light to make a shot look like a natural light shot.
Above: This behind-the-scenes shot shows the making of my "Cowgirl with Guitar" photograph. The Westcott Flex daylight-blanced LED Light Panel was positioned to illuminate the subject's face. Photo: Susan Sammon.
Above: Fort Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Lighting: Rick Sammon Light Controller and Tote (which features a reflector and diffuser) by Westcott. Tip 1 (left): Use a reflector and/or diffuser to compress the brightness range of a scene. Tip 2 (right): Get the subjects involved in the shoot - and the fun.
Above: That's Canon's Cal Ellis (left) helping me control the light for the workshop students. Photo: Susan Sammon.
Above: Fort Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Tip: Pay attention to shadows. Shadows are the soul of the photograph.
Above: Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. ISO 10,000. Tip 1: Shoot for the peak of action. Tip 2: Don't be afraid to boost your ISO. It's much better to get a sharp shot with a bit of noise than a blurry shot with little noise. One of the reasons I use the Canon 5D Mark III is the relatively low noise at ISO settings. When I have noise, I reduce it with Topaz DeNoise, listed on my Save on Plug-ins page.
Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Seven-stop, hand-held HDR image processed in Photomatix. Tip 1: Want to master HDR? Learn how to shoot from inside to outside - where the contrast range is extreme. Tip 2: Process your HDR images in Photomatix. Click here to get a discount on Photomatix.
Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Seven-stop, hand-held HDR image processed in Photomatix. Tip: Have fun with HDR!
Above: Junkyard outside of Casper. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Detail shots help to tell the story of a location.
Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Before you set up multiple lights, see what you can do with one light. The photograph above is a one-light photograph. To soften the image, I applied the Duplex filter in Nik Color Efex Pro.
Above: One of the advantages of using a constant light is that you can see where the shadows fall before you shoot. Tip: If you want an interesting portrait, don' light the entire subject.
Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip 1: When using mirrors, the background can make or break a shot. Tip 2: Focus carefully. Here I focused on the model's reflection in the mirror.
Above: Our simple lighting set-up for the previous photograph. I positioned the light for maximum illumination of the subject's face.
Above: Backwards Distilling Company. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: When it comes to composition, try this technique: The name of the game is to fill the frame. Of course, dead/negative space works, too. Learn more about composition in my KelbyOne class, Composition, the strongest way of seeing.
Above: That's my friend Dinty Miller, owner of Wyoming Camera Outfitters, assisting with the lighting. Like all the model shots taken at the Backwards Distilling Company, we used only one light to illuminate the subject.
Above: HDR at the Trailside. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 14mm lens. Tip: Make sure you capture the entire dynamic range of the scene when shooting HDR sequences. I needed seven exposures (three stops over and three stops under the average setting, in addition to the average setting) to capture the entire dynamic range of this high-contrast scene. Note the bright sky in the left of the frame. This image was also processed in Photomatix.
Above: Sunset on the range. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: When the sky is interesting, place the horizon line at the bottom of the frame, and vice versa.
Above: Late afternoon landscape. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 17-40mm lens. Tip: Use foreground elements to draw the viewer into the scene. For more landscape photography tips, check out my on-line class: Master Landscape and Seascape Photography.
Above: Range rider. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens. Tip: Use AI servo focus (focus tracking) when photographing fast-moving subjects.
Above: Freemont Canyon. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens This is one of my favorite reflection images from our Freemont Canyon shoot. Tip: When it comes to reflections, it's OK to place the horizon line in the middle of the frame.
Above: Freemont Canyon. Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24-105mm IS lens. Tip: Shoot close-ups of reflections, too. They make interesting abstracts.
Speaking of reflections . . . It's fun reflecting on the comprehensive (and intensive) workshop. It was not only a rewarding photographic experience, but a wonderful personal experience. I feel as though I have made new friends, for life. I will miss them all – until we ride again.
I hope to see you someday on a workshop!
Shoot me an email if you are interested in my 2016 Caper workshop.
Explore the light,