Canon 7D

Ready, Steady - Shoot

Check out this fun video. Educational, too!

Juan Pons and I shot these segments during the making of our DVD on the how to shoot HD videos with the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D (due out early next year).

We have fun in the videos, but we give some serious HD video - and sound – shooting tips!

Yes, the "backin' up" effect was inspired by the Gregory bothers popular video, "The Backin' Up" song on YouTube.

Explore the light,


P.S. Click here to see the DSLR video gear I use and recommend.

DVD in the Making - Day IV: Shooting HD Videos with the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D

Juan Pons and I are almost done shooting our DVD on how to make great HD videos with the Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.

We've been here in Croton-on-Hudson, NY for four days, shooting non-stop from dawn to dusk. Included in the DVD will be clips from Juan's travels and my travels to: Laos, Maui, California, Texas, Yellowstone, North Carolina and New York.

Stay tuned!

Explore the light,

P.S. The all-important segment on sound is about 20 minutes.

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 35/101: Expose for the Highlights. Please!

This is tip #35 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Expose for the Highlights. Please!

"Expose for the highlights." That's one of the chants on my workshops & photo tours, as well as in my seminars.

Sure, in Adobe Camera RAW, Lightroom, Aperture, Canon Digital Photo Professional, etc., we can rescue a little over a stop of overexposed areas of an image. But if the highlights are more than one stop overexposed, we are usually sunk. In most cases, they are lost and gone forever.

That's why it's important to check your camera's histogram. That's another chant on my workshops. :-)

Make sure you don't have a spike on the right of your histogram. Also check your camera's overexposure warning. With these two in-camera features, there is no reason, whatsoever, to blow out important highlights.

I exposed for the highlights when taking the opening picture for this post. Below I simulated what happens when you don't follow this most-important rule. Yuch.

Sure! Rules are meant to be broken. Below I intentionally overexposed the highlights in the background to blur out some of the detail in the background.

So, follow the "expose for the highlights" rule – and break it when it makes sense, but only when it makes sense.

For more info on getting a good exposure, see my book: Rick Sammon's Exploring the Light.

Explore the light,

P.S. Shadows/highlights is a good adjustment for rescuing overexposed highlights, as well as blocked up shadows. Keep in mind, however, that you can only do so much with an incorrectly exposed image.

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 34/101: Focus Carefully

This is tip #34 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Focus Carefully

Just because you have an auto focus camera, even if it has a 45 auto focus point system, that does not mean that the camera always knows where to focus.

Use the AF focus points in your camera carefully and make sure that the most important part of the scene is in focus.

When it comes to a person (or an animal) the main focus point is usually the eyes.

Don’t overlook the importance of the Focus Lock feature on your camera, which lets you lock in the focus on a particular part of the scene, after which you can recompose the scene and take the picture. Setting individual focus points can be advantageous, too.

Careful focus is especially important when photographing people (and animals) with telephoto lenses set at wide apertures and when there are foreground elements in the scene - as illustrated by this photograph I took of a Huli Wigman in Papua New Guinea.

Explore the light,


P.S. The catch light in the man's eyes were created by our guide holding a reflector. When possible and appropriate, I try to add catch light to a subject's eyes. You can also add catch light with a flash, or by having the subject look toward the direction of light.

Can't Wait for Photoshop World in Orlando!

Hey, I know it's a long way off, but I am getting ready for my lighting sessions at Photoshop World in Orlando next year. (They need the book material next month!)

Here is a link to my lighting sessions. Stop by if you want to master your flash.

I'll be shooting inside. But you can use a flash to enhance your outdoor pictures, too. Click here.

Explore the light,