Chasing the Light with Light in Alaska

I'm in Alaska co-leading a photo workshop with my friend Hal "Bull" Schmitt, the director of Light Photographic Workshops, a.k.a. Light.

The workshop starts tomorrow. I'll post when I can, but I'll be on a boat in a remote area for a week, so you may not hear from me for a bit.

The light is beautiful here. I took this shot on a previous Alaska adventure.

Here's a quick tip: Use a telephoto lens for landscape photography to compress the elements in a scene. This technique works well when you want the "layered" look.

Stay tuned.

Explore the light,

Light Illuminates, Shadows Define

Light illuminates, shadows define. That's one of my favorite photo expressions.

Here's another one: Shadows can be your friend.

And another one (mine): Take the darn flash off the camera.

Today, I thought I'd play around with shadows using a cool, new accessory, the Rogue 3-in-1 Honeycomb Grid from ExpoImaging.

This cool accessory, designed for any Speedlite, gives you control over the spread of the light from the flash.Three different grid angles are available: 25°, 45°, and when the grids are stacked together, 16°.

The Rogue Grid attached to a flash with Velcro®. The grids are inserted into the collar, and as I mentioned, can be stacked.

I took the opening shot for this post with my Canon 580EX II positioned off-camera on a stand. I fired it using my Canon ST-E2 wireless transmitter.

I used Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro to create the sepia effect and to add the border. For info on Nik Software, and to get a discount, click here.

Yes, you can create a circular lighting effect with the Rogue Grid. I'm going to try that next. Right now, I'm taking a nap . . . I'm still recovering from jet lag. Just back from Amsterdam, off to Alaska tomorrow.

Explore the light,

P.S. Try making a picture in which the shadow is a main part of the image.

We Only Photograph What's Familiar

Someone once said, "We only photograph what is familiar."

Or so I thought :-)

Katrin Eismann just sent me this via twitter: Nathan Lyons said, "We only photograph that which we recognize."

Well, I was close.

I am not sure I agree 100 percent with that statement, but I do find some truth to it. For example, the heart in both of these scenes drew me to make the photographs.

What do you think? And what do you photograph? Post a comment here.

Explore the light,

Have Some App Photo Fun This Weekend

My newest how-to app for the iPad is now available: Rick Sammon's iHDR.

This app (formerly called Rick Sammon's HDR Portfolio) is packed with HDR photos (my latest from around the world), info and movies. It's a great way to learn and experience HDR.

The app has the same great content as HDR Portfolio, but with an added Favorites section. So, if you already have the app, you don't need to download this version.

It's called iHDR because the app is all about how you can create cool HDR images using your imagination – combined with HDR photography innovations.

Click here to download and to start the HDR fun.

Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet

My flagship comprehensive how-to app: Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet - iPhone and iPad.

Click here to see a serious review of the app. Click here to see a fun movie about the app.

 Rick Sammon's Light It!

Light It! and Light It Light!: My basic lighting apps – iPhone and iPad.

Click here to see the into movie to Light It! 

Cool new feature: You Light It! Photo Club. This club showcases your best photographs, along with the photographs of other talented photographers, based on the tips from this app. Simply click here to join the fun . .  and to enter the monthly photo contest. The prize for the contest:  1/2 hour portfolio review with yours truly via Skype or iChat.

Butterfly Wonders

Butterfly Wonders: Beautiful butterflies and section on close-up photography –  iPad only. Cool section on how-to take close-up pictures!

 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature

Life Lessons We Can Learn From Mother Nature: My favorite images with inspirational quotes – iPad only.

 Skip Marini Golf Lessons

In Skip Marini Golf Lessons, I become the student – learning the best golf tips from the best pro in Westchester, NY – iPad and iPhone.

Snapshot to Great Shot with Good Composition

Ya know, it's not really that hard to turn a snapshot into a great shot . . . if you use a little imagination.

Above left is a snapshot, taken only a few feet away from where I took the shot on the right. Same lens. Same exposure. Same light.

The difference: Composition.

"Composition is the strongest way of seeing." Edward Weston

Good composition is one of the key elements in a good photograph.

For more examples of creative composition, see my latest work in my latest app, iHDR. Yes, the app is about HDR photography, but composition is important is all photography - which is something I stress in all my seminars and workshops.

Explore the light,

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 14mm lens.