My Sammonisms App is Here!

First there were the Sammonisms, then there was the Sammonisms t-shirt. Now . . . there's the iPhone and iPad app: Sammonisms.

My photo workshop participants are familiar with my "Sammonisms" - my one-liners that drive home an important photo technique.

My Sammonisms app, developed my Dr. Dave Wilson, features these sayings – and more: each tip/guideline/rule is described by a page of text with example photos. I share 50 photographs that illustrate the tips and techniques, and for each photograph I share the camera settings I used (the "EXIF" info). Dr. Dave also developed my Photo Buffet and iHDR apps (see my iPhone and iPad Apps page).

Click here to check out the intro movie for the app.

Here is a Sammonism from the app: Light Illuminates, Shadows Define

light1 copy.jpg

Every picture you have ever taken has one main element: light. Break down light and you have two sub elements: highlights and shadows. As photographers, we need to learn how to see the light - the highlights and shadows in a scene. We need to realize that light illuminates, shadows define. Without shadows, pictures look flat, which actually could be the goal is some photographs.

The sand dunes in the Death Valley photograph (above) have good definition due to strong shadows.

The sand dunes in this photograph have little definition due to soft shadows.

The combination of shadows and highlights in this photograph of Herbie Hancock are the result of very careful lighting. That lighting produced nice shadows that added to the mood of the scene.


Above is how the EXIF info is displayed for each photo.

Quick Tip: You can control shadows and highlights quickly and easily in Photoshop and Lightroom with the Highlights/Shadows slider.

Here are all my Sammonisms (for now):
- The name of the game is to fill the frame.
- Dead center is deadly.
- When you think you are close, get closer.
- The camera looks both ways. (Adapted from Freeman Patterson's "The Camera Points Both Ways.")
- Expose for the highlights.
- Use your camera like a spaceship. (A Dick Zakia philosophy.)
- Light illuminates, shadows define.
- Backlight = shoot tight.
- Make pictures, just don't take pictures.
-  See eye to eye - shoot eye to eye.
- Take the darn flash off the camera.

All my apps are listed in iPhone & iPad Apps page.

Explore the light,