Travel Photography

Some Photo Tips for Our Death Valley Workshop

I am very much looking forward to my February 2015 Death Valley Photo Workshop with Hal Schmitt - and the workshop participants who have signed up for this awesome workshop.

Here are some quick tips for shooting on and in the dunes, just one of our locations:

• Work with shadows and highlights to create dynamic images.
• Expose for the highlights.
• Think HDR in high contrast situations
• We need to get up early to get on site before the dunes are filled with fresh footprints and other photographers. We'll car pool from the ranch.
• Yes, we will be on the dunes before sunrise, but the light will be very flat. As soon as the sun comes up, the contrast, light and colors are awesome. You may not want to lug a tripod into the dunes, which are about a  20-minute or longer walk from the road. If you do bring a tripod, be very careful not to get the joints packed with fine sand. I've been to the dunes for sunrise three times and have not used a tripod . . . but it's up to you.
• Bring your head-mounted flashlights (and extra batteries) on our sunrise shoots.
• It can get windy on the dunes. Bring plastic bags or camera covers to protect your gear.
• Bring water! Don't forget your water bottle.
• Be very, very careful when changing lenses on the dunes. Sand is your enemy.
• Travel light on the dunes. Maybe just bring a wide-angle and tele-zoom. Fish-eye, too.
• If you put your backpack down in the sand, be very careful about . . . that's right - the sand!
• Plan to shoot panos. The long image above is a four-shot, hand-held pano.
• Pack your polarizing filter.
• Be ready to have your hiking boots and shoes filled with fine sand.
• Wear a hat and sunsceen.
* Getting to the top of some of the sand dunes is not easy. You need to run up fast in the sand. Hal and I will be there to help. But to get to the top of the dunes, you need to be in good shape.

For tips on sand dune shooting, see my on-line class that was shot in the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Above: We will have an awesome model for our early morning and late afternoon shoots.

Above: Hal and I will teach HDR. If you are new to HDR, download Photomatix from my Play & Save on Plug-ins page.

Here is my gear reco list for the workshop:

Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 15mm lens (my lens) or Canon 8-15mm lens (getting it soon) - for fun fish-eye shots.
Canon 14mm lens - for an extremely wide view.
Canon 17-40mm lens - my basic landscape lens.
Canon 24-105mm lens - for closer views in landscape photography.
Canon 70-200mm f/4 lens - to isolate elements in a landscape.
Canon battery chargers - so I have power.
Arctic Butterfly - for cleaning my sensor.
Tiffen Polarizing filter - to darken the sky and to whiten clouds.
Lexar 16GB cards - for recording your memories.

Induro CT 214 tripod
Induro BHD1 ball head
MacbookPro loaded with Photoshop, Lightroom and all my plug-ins.
Head-mounted flashlight and hand-held flashlights - for seeing in the dark.
Lexar card reader - for fast downloading.
Lacie 500GB portable hard drive - for storing my images.

rick sammon 3.jpg

Above: We'll shoot this cool, old and colorful car in HDR, too!

rick sammon 9.jpg

Above: There are good photo ops at Badwater. We'll shoot sunset there.

Above: Hal and I will also talk about light and composition during our sunset shoot at Artists Palette. As a preview, check out my KelbyOne on-line classes.

We hope to see you in Death Valley!

Explore the light,

Learn Landscape Photography with Me – Anytime and Anywhere

Sunrise on the Mara.

Sunrise on the Mara.

If you like landscape photography, I offer several options for improving your images – anytime and anywhere.

On my workshops.  In 2015 I am offering workshops that include landscape photography: Death Valley, Provence and Croton-on-Hudson, NY.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. 

Sunrise at Angkor Wat. 

On my workshops we shoot and process, and have a ton of fun doing both! All are welcome.

After sunrise on the Oregon Coast. 

After sunrise on the Oregon Coast. 

On-line. I have a new on-line class on landscape photography with Craftsy: Landscape Photography in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It includes five HD video lessons and a virtual classroom - where you can share your shots and get my feedback. Very cool! Right now, you can get a 50% discount!

All my KelbyOne on-line courses are listed here.

Sunrise on the dunes in Death Valley.

Sunrise on the dunes in Death Valley.

On-the-go. My iPad and iPhone apps provide on-the-go learning. For landscape photographers: iHDR, 24/7 Photo Buffet and 50+ Tips for Nik Color Efex Pro.

On YouTube and Vimeo.  Scroll down to the bottom of my On-Line Classes/Video page and you'll find several videos that I shot in Iceland and on the Oregon Coast that focus on landscape photography.

That's me speaking for Canon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

That's me speaking for Canon at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. 

At my seminars.  I share my favorite landscape photographs - and tips, tricks and techniques - at my seminars. I give more than a dozen seminars each year, and love each and every one. What's more, most are free – thanks to Canon sponsorship.

Mono Lake before the crack of dawn . 

Mono Lake before the crack of dawn

Well my friends, I hope to see you . . . somewhere!

Sunrise on Route 66. 

Sunrise on Route 66. 

To help you find the best light for your landscape photographers, my friend Craig Ellis and I developed Photo Sundial. This all-in-one app gives you the sun, the stars, the moon - and much more. Never miss another sunrise or sunset again.

The app is great for on-site shooting, as well as for trip planning. Twenty-five photo tips, too!

Hey, if you find a better priced and more fully-featured sun-finder app, please let me know. 

Explore the light,

Provence Workshop in the Planning Stage

I am planning a June 2015 Provence, France digital photography workshop. Shoot me an email to get on the info list.

See more of my Carmarge horse photographs in my Camargue Horse Gallery.

In addition to photographing the horses, we'll photograph the beautiful countryside. We will also have Lightroom and Photoshop sessions.

Here's an article I wrote after my previous Provence trip that you may like.

Hope to see you in Provence. If you come, here are some tips on photographing horses that you will find helpful.

Explore the light,