Set Your Sights on Setting Workshop Goals

©rickammon DV2.jpg

I just returned from my Death Valley Workshops with the Digital Photo Workshops, where the workshop participants all made wonderful images. Some of the participants' photographs are posted on my Workshop/Photo Walks page.

On Day 1 of the workshop I suggested to the participants that they set a goal. For example, rather than simply wanting to get great pictures of the locations on our "photo hit list," I suggested choosing one the following possible goals:
- shoot with black-and-white images in mind;
- improve composition techniques;
- work with shadows;
- master HDR;
- perfect panoramas;
- see what you can do with only one lens;
- tell the whole story of the trip;
- think more about cropping.

© Rick Sammon SD.jpg

The purpose of setting a goal - on workshop or when you are out shooting on your own -  is that you narrow your photo focus, so to speak. You're not just shooting all over the place. You are slowing down and thinking more about the end result. What's more, at the end of the day you can ask yourself, "Am I reaching my goal?" If the answer is no, then you know you need to work harder. If the answer is yes, then you'll feel good about your efforts.

© ricksammon 4 DV.jpg

You've seen some of the images in the post in my posts from last week. I'm posting these favorite images again so they are all in one place on the web. Eventually, I'll add them to my Scenics Gallery here on my Squarespace site. (Use one-click to get started with your own awesome Squarespace site)

@rick sammon DV1.jpg

My personal goal was to make only black-white-images, using Nik's Silver Efex Pro, which is listed on my Save on Plug-ins page.

When it comes to black-and-white images, I suggested to the students that if a photographer wants to get good at black-white-photography, her or she needs to learn how to "see in black-and-white,"  to see tones and shades of grey, and not to be enamored with color.

I also suggested that photographers need to understand how color filters affect an image, and how contrast plays an even more important role than it does with color photography.

©rickammon 3DV.jpg

When it comes to black-and-white photography, when you remove the color from an image, you remove some of the reality. When you remove some of the reality from a scene, your picture can look more artistic and creative.

rick sammon old car 1.jpg

I stuck to my personal goal . . . well almost. The picture above of an old car just screamed color. I tried to make a cool black-and-white, but I was not happy with the image. Moral of the story: my old car shot is not in my Death Valley black-and-white portfolio. :-)

rick sammon 2.jpg

My next landscape photography workshop is my Southwest Photo Caravan. Our locations:

Arches National Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Bryce Canyon

Cool Junkyard

Zion National Park.

I just might go for cool color on that workshop!

I hope to see you on one of my workshops  - where I can help you achieve your goals, including making  black-and-white images.

Until then, check out my Composition and Lighting classes on Kelby Training.

My gear my Death Valley images:

Canon 5D Mark III

Canon 17-40mm lens

Canon 14mm lens (opening image for this post).

All my gear is listed on My Gear page - where you can find great prices on great gear.

Explore the light,


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