Rick Sammon has published 33 books, including his latest, Digital Wedding Photography Secrets, and Rick Sammon’s Digital Photography Secrets. His book, Flying Flowers the Beauty of the Butterfly, won the Golden Light award, and his book, Hide and Seek Under the Sea, won the Ben Franklin award.
Rick, who has photographed in almost 100 countries around the world, gives more than two-dozen photography workshops (including private workshops) and presentations around the world each year. Obviously, Rick loves teaching and sharing his knowledge of photography. When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”
See ricksammon.com for more information.
Also check out Rick’s new plug-in site:
Rick, who has been nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame, is considered one of today’s top digital -imaging experts, cutting through lots of Photoshop “speak,” making it fun, easy, and rewarding to work and play in the digital darkroom. Rick also hosts five shows on kelbytraining.com and writes for PCPhoto magazine.
Watch Rick’s Natural Lighting Video
Books by Rick Sammon
Rick Sammon’s HDR Secrets for Digital Photographers
Studio and Location Lighting Secrets for Digital Photographers
Rick Sammon’s Digital Photography Secrets
Digital Wedding Photography Secrets
Rick Sammon’s DVD Guide to Basic Lighting and Portraiture
Rick Sammon’s DVD Guide to Using the Canon EOS Rebel XS/1000D
Rick Sammon’s DVD Guide to Using the Canon EOS Rebel XSi/450D
Rick Sammon’s Canon EOS Digital Rebel Personal Training Photo Workshop
Shooting a silhouette
In this example of a mountain biker resting on a mountaintop in Montana, we can see the subject’s profile, as well as the strong silhouette of his bike. Very careful composition (getting down very low to the ground and placing the sun directly behind the hub of the front wheel), directing the subject hold his head so I could see his profile, and underexposing the camera’s suggested automatic reading by one stop (for more vivid colors) produced a dramatic photograph in which friends of the subject can recognize him. It’s also a photograph that captures the mood of the setting. In this example, I think using daylight fill-in flash would have destroyed the mood of the breathtaking setting.
Play with plug-ins
Plug-in can expand the creative potential of Photoshop. They can also expand your photographic horizons. They work with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture.
For this image, which “pops” with color and detail, I used a plug-in called Topaz Adjust. For more information, see www.pluginexperience.com—and the let the fun begin!
By eliminating or erasing fences at zoos and wildlife parks, we can make our pictures look as though they were taken in the wild. This portrait of the two cheetahs looks as though it could have been taken in the wild, perhaps on the plains of Botswana. That’s because I used my 100-400mm lens set at 400mm, held the lens right up to the fence and placed the lens directly in the center of one of the openings of the fence. I then selected a wide aperture (f/5.6). The telephoto setting of 400mm combined with the f/5.6 aperture put the fence so out of focus that it became invisible in the picture.
Know the subject.
In other sections of this book I talk about how knowing something about your subject makes the photographic process much more enjoyable. Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
Take a look at the left wing of the Atlas Moth on the left. Do you see anything that may deter a bird from swooping down and eating this moth? Look closely. The moth’s outer wing looks like a snake, which frightens birds. During evolution, this moth has developed this coloring and pattern to help it out of the mouth of a hungry bird. I learned that from my friend and butterfly expert, Alan Chin-Lee. You might be able to see the snakes more clearly in the previous picture.
Set Goals—In photography, as well as in life, it’s important to set goals.
Before I got on-site at a Mongolian festival, I set a goal to get the one shot that every professional horse photographer (I am not one of them), wants to get: a shot of a horse with all four hoofs off the ground. So, I kept my eyes open for that opportunity, and, following the tips I offered above for capturing fast-paced action, got the shot.
As an aside, here’s a “setting goals” story: On one of my workshops, I asked one of the participant what ‘s your goal. He said, “I want to take 700 pictures a day.” My reply, “I want to take three good pictures a day.” My point: Think carefully about what you want to shoot and how you need to shoot, and just don’t shoot haphazardly.”