5 Days of 5D Mark III Shots: Day 1

All this week on my blog: Canon 5D Mark III photographs from my Light workshop in Alaska with Hal "Bull" Schmitt aboard the Northern Song.

Simply put: The workshop/cruise was one of the most productive trips I've ever taken, and the images are among my favorites - in subject matter/diversity and in image quality.

All the shots in this series of post were hand-held. All the shots were cropped . . . and still look great, even when enlarged, thanks to the image quality of the camera's sensor. (Those who know me know that I am a nut about cropping.)

Bald eagle photography tips:
- Set a goal. Rather than taking pictures in one session of the eagles against the sky, the water, the trees, etc., shoot for just one type of shot. This  technique will reduce the number of variables - especially when it comes to getting a good exposure.
- Use AI Servo focus to get sharp shots of fast-flying eagles.
- If the eye is not in focus and well lit, you've missed the shot.
- Make sure the white feathers are not overexposed. This is a must. Make sure your highlight alert is on. Use exposure composition to fine-tune your exposures.
- Check your histogram to make sure you don't have a spike on the right.
- When framing, leave some space into which the eagle can fly.
- Use one focus point and place that point on the eagle. 
- Practice photographing birds in your backyard before you go on a trip.
- Shoot with both eyes open so you can see what's happening outside the viewfinder.

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 70-200mm IS f/4
Click here for Light's Alaska workshops. I don't know which one I'll be on in 2013, but I will know soon!

Click here to get on the list for my 2013 Light Alaska workshop with Bull - and for all my workshops.

Click here to see my gear recos for our Alaska trip.

Hal and I hope to see you in Alaska aboard the Norther Song, whose master and commander is Captain Dennis Rogers. The best of the best.

Above: Speaking of bald eagles and the Northern Song, workshop participant Mike Cullivan got this great shot of both . . . pre a "Beer Pick Me Up."

Above: Beer pick-me-ups are a tradition on our Alaska workshop.

Explore the light,

iStuff Sunday #4: Snap

iStuff Sunday is a regular feature that I'll link to here on my blog. It's written by my friend David "The iMan" Leveen, who shot all the videos for our Light It! iPad and iPhone apps.

Click here to see all my apps.

Each week David will cover some cool techniques and fun stuff for your iPad and iPhone - and maybe even for iLife and iWork users.

If you want to suggest a topic, let us know in the Comments section here.

Also let us know if you'd be interested in an iPhone workshop by the iMan.
This week: Snap!

Explore the light,

Master Your Flash in Croton-on-Hudson, New York

What's the key camera accessory? A flash, of course. And taking full advantage of your flash is the key to making good flash people pictures.

My next Master Your Flash one-day workshop will be on June 10, 2012 from 9 to 6 PM.

© Rick Sammon
Where: Croton-on-Hudson, NY (one hour north of NYC).
When: June 10, 2012
Times: 9 AM to 6 PM
Cost: $250 (includes model fee)
Group: Limited to 10

We'll try to cover:
• Working with models
• Indoor and outdoor flash photography. (Outdoors only weather permitting)
• Daylight fill-in flash.
• Using gels and grids.
• Backgrounds
• Creative lighting with your flash on camera. Yes, that is possible!
• Taking the darn flash off the camera for even more creative lighting.
• Using reflectors and diffusers for flash photography.
• Using soft boxes.
• Using wireless transmitters.
• Portrait and environmental portraits.
• Processing your best pictures and group slide show.

We'll have lighting gear but you can bring some of your own.

Definitely bring your Canon Speedlite.

I have Canon Pocket Wizards. If you have another brand of camera/speedlite, you must know how to fire the flash remotely. I'll show you the techniques, but it's up to you to know your camera and speedlite.

You also need to know how to shoot on Manual Exposure.

Included with the workshop is an autographed copy of my book, Exploring the Light.

Shoot me an email for info. Space is limited - but the speedlite fun will be unlimited.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you can't make the workshop, check out my Light It! app and 24/7 Photo Buffet app. Click here.

Camera Awesome is Awesome

I'm in Seattle for my Canon Explorer of Light presentation tomorrow for Glazers Camera.

I'm also doing a photo walk later today with my several local photographers and my friends from Galzers Camera. On the walk, I will be using my favorite lens: Canon 24-105mm IS lens. My camera: new Canon 5D Mark III.

Tune in Monday for 5 days of 5D Mark III shots.

I took this shot this morning during my personal photo walk. I awesomized it using SmugMug's cool app, Camera Awesome. Then I used Shadows/Highlights in Photoshop CS6 to fine-tune the image.

You still have a few days to enter the Camera Awesome contest. Click here for info.

When I shoot, I look for creative composition. As Edward Weston said: Composition is the strongest way of seeing.

Quick composition tips:
- Name of the game, fill the frame.
- Try to create a balance in your photograph.
- Compose with depth-of-field in mind.
- Envision the end result.
- Always look up, down and back.

Click here to learn more about creative composition.

Explore the light,

Starting Monday: 5 Days of Canon EOS 5D Mark III Photographs and Tips

Starting Monday here on my blog,  I'll be sharing my favorite Canon 5D Mark III photographs - along with tips - from my recent workshop for Light with Hal "Bull" Schmitt. I'd start sharing now, but I just got off the boat, the Northern Song. Then it's off to Seattle for photo walk and seminar for Canon and Glazers.

For now: the auto focus system on the 5D Mark III is simply amazing.

Stay tuned.

Click here to see my Alsaka gear list.

Click here to get on my workshop list.

See you here on my blog Monday.

Both of these photos illustrate good composition. Top: Separation between subjects. Bottom: Name of the game is to fill the frame. To learn more about composition, check out my class on Kelby Training: Composition, the strongest way of seeing.

Explore the light,