A Few Grab Shots From Ghent

Ghent is only about 2.5 hours from Amsterdam. I got a few cool grab shots in this medieval canal city this afternoon, after a quick stop in Brussels.

Above: cool graffiti walls, with a touch to Topaz Adjust/Spicify. (Info on Topaz on my Cool Plug-ins page.

Below, a more traditional shot of this picturesque city.

Today's tips: Be prepared for the unexpected - and the expected!

Explore the light,

Mexico Photo Workshop and Seminar Set for June

Photograph by Juan Jose Marquez
My friend Juan Jose Marquez and I are gearing up for my June Mexico seminar and workshop. My seminar will be held in Mexico City. The workshop will be held in San Miguel de Allende - one of the most picturesque and romantic places on the planet. We hope you can join the photo fun.

Speaking of fun, Juan Jose likes to have some fish-eye fun, as illustrated by the first two pictures in this post.

Photograph by Juan Jose Marquez
I like to use a fish-eye lens, too. Below is one of my favorite fish-eye shots, taken in San Miguel de Allende.

Photograph by Rick Sammon
Yes! During the workshop we will also be using other types of lenses. :-)

Below are two more of my San Miguel images. Both are HDR.

Photograph by Rick Sammon
Photograph by Rick Sammon
We both hope to see you in Mexico.
To see more of Juna Jose's work:

Explore the light,

P.S. During my last visit to San Miguel de Allende, I rented a red VW for the morning and used it as a prop in eight different locations. Good photo fun!

Holland Day 3: Fish-eye Lens Fun at Keukenhof

Thanks to Marc Chang Sing Pang, a cool dude I met on twitter, we spent a wonderful morning at the garden at Keukenhof.

I took about 200 photographs, but many looked quite similar to the pictures I had seen on postcards. So, for a uniqe look, I used my Canon 15mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark II, held the camera at ground level, and took a few shots.

A few tips for today:
- You don't always have to be looking through the camera's viewfinder for a good shot.
- Set a small aperture for great depth of field.
- Always look up.
- Take the postcard shots, and then take creative shots.
- Have fun.

I'll be sharing more composition tips on my upcoming class on composition for Kelby training: Composition - the strongest way of seeing.

Thank you, again, Marc for being our personal tour guide - and friend.

Explore the light,

P.S. I also shot some macro pictures. Here's a favorite. 

- Tell the Story With Different Lenses.
- Shoot back-lit shots.

Holland Day 2: Studio Shoot with Frank Doorhof

I spent most of today with Dutch fashion photographer Frank Doorhof.

I had a blast shooting side-by-side with this top pro in his studio, which is about one hour outside of Amsterdam. 

Frank arrange a great model, Stephanie Popping, and set up a light or two for some cools shots. Here are just a few of my photographs from the shoot.

After the shoot, I interviewed Frank for the DPE Podcast. Soon come. In the interview, Frank and I talked about the importance of shadows in a photograph. Some tips:
- Light illuminates, shadows define.
- Shadows add depth to a photograph - and drama.
- Shadows can be your friend.

I took all of the above pictures using just one light.

Before the shoot, Frank used the Passport ColorChecker to get an accurate white balance reading. 

More on the ColorChecker:

Rick: "Frank, I love your shot!" 
Frank: "Rick, I love your shot."
Stephanie: "Thumbs up to working with these pros."

Like me, Frank always shoots tethered in the studio. His camera is hooked up to three monitors in his "cockpit." The large monitor lets Frank, his assistant and the model see the shot; the monitor on the right is calibrated to show accurate color; and the monitor on the left (behind me) is used for zooming in on important details.

Thank you Frank for a fun-filled afternoon - and a wonderful dinner. I'll return your hospitality when you come to New York.

Explore the light,

P.S Speaking of Dutch masters, check out this post I did on "The Girl With a Pearl Earring."

Holland Day 1: Working on New Images for My Creative Photographic Composition Project

As I mentioned last week here on the blog, I am starting a new project on photographic composition. The project will include more than 101 images that illustrate virtually every composition technique – including shooting down low, as illustrate in the opening HDR image for this post.

Working with shadows is another cool composition technique. :-)

Below is another new image for my composition project. Tip #1: the background is just as important as the foreground. In fact, you can't have one without the other. Tip #2: Separate (or isolate) the elements in a scene to make them stand out in your photograph.

Hey! Many artist worked here and are working here. So, feeling kinda artistic, I added an artist effect to the image above: Curly Smooth in Topaz Adjust Clean 3. For info on Topaz and other creative plug-ins, click here.

If you want to be updated on my composition project, shoot me an email.

More to come from the trip.

Explore the light,