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Rick and Susan Sammon with their new book, Oregon Coast Photo Road Trip – How to Eat, Stay, Play And Shoot Like A Pro

Hey Scott! Thank you for having us here on your awesome blog. It’s always an honor. And thanks Brad Moore for putting this all together! You Rock, too – especially with your rock and roll photographs.

In this post Susan and I will share some of the photo tips (many more in the book) from our most recent book: Oregon Coast Photo Road Trip – How to eat, stay, play and shoot like a pro.

As the title implies, it more than just a photo book. It’s travel guide to one of the most beautiful places in the United States, if not on the planet.

We’ll start with a few of Rick’s tips, for digital SLR and mirrorless shooters (he uses a Canon 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS R), followed by Susan’s tips for smart phone (she uses an iPhone) photographers. We’ll add the locations, too!

Here we go!

From Rick:

Horse Silhouette at Sunset on Bandon Beach
Location: Bandon Beach

Silhouettes Are Sweet

Silhouettes are fun and creative to shoot, because they have a sense of mystery and wonder. To prevent overexposed highlights, which is easy to do at sunset and sunrise, set your exposure compensation to -1 . . .  for starters.

Mother Seal and Pup at Strawberry Hill
Location: Strawberry Hill

Pack A Telephoto Lens

In addition to offering breathtaking scenic opportunities, which you’ll capture with your wide-angle lens (I recommend a 16-35mm lens), the Oregon Coast also offers wonderful wildlife photo opportunities. For close-ups of the animals, you’ll need a telephoto lens. This photograph of a mother seal and pup was taken with my Canon 100-400mm lens, which is my favorite wildlife photography lens. You’ll need that 400mm focal length because in many cases, you can’t get close to the animals.

Sea Stars on Mussel-Covered Rock at Strawberry Hill
Location: Strawberry Hill

When You Think You Are Close, Get Closer

I used my Canon 15mm fish-eye lens to capture all the sea stars on this huge, mussel-covered rock. The image has impact for two main reasons: interesting and colorful subjects and because I was photographing very close, maybe about two feet from rock. The concept of getting closer does not always work, because “negative space” can be nice, too. But give it a try and see if your image looks more dramatic with a closer perspective.

Devil's Punchbowl
Location: Devil’s Punchbowl

Explore HDR

High Dynamic Range photography is needed to capture the entire brightness range of a scene with very high contrast. Basically, you take a series of pictures at different exposures at, over and under the recommended exposure setting, and then use an HDR program to merge the images together into one dramatically exposed image.

Long Exposure Black and White Photo with Silky Water at Coquille River Lighthouse
Location: Coquille River Lighthouse

Slow It Down

For creative seascape photographs with silky-looking water, you need two essential accessories: a neutral density filter (ND filter) or set of ND filters, and a sturdy tripod.

ND filters reduce the amount of light entering your camera, allowing you to use slow shutter speeds – from ¼ of a second to several seconds or even minutes – even on bright days.  You need a sturdy tripod to steady your camera during long exposures.

Variable ND filters let you “dial in” the light-reducing effect, usually from 8 to 10 f/stops. Fixed ND filters come in different grads, 3, 6, 10 and 20 f/stops. I use only fixed ND filters. Why? Because variable ND filters can produce a dark band or circle in the image when using a wide-angle lens. Sure, a set of fixed ND filters is more expensive than a variable ND filter, but the quality and results are worth it.

And Now From Susan:

Before and After: Adding Lens Flare to Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
Location: Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Spice It Up with Lens Flare

Here is a before-and-after pair of images that illustrates how apps can enhance a scene. Here I used the LensFlare app to transform a shot with flat lighting and color into a dramatic black-and-white image with cool blue light beams radiating from the light.

Wave Crashing into Spouting Horn, near Thor’s Well in Yachats
Location: Spouting Horn, near Thor’s Well in Yachats

Make Beautiful Black and White Images

Converting color photos to black-and-white images can make them look more dramatic. The app Dramatic Black & White gives you lots of options including regular Black & White, Dramatic Black & White and Infrared. The day I took this photo of Spouting Horn, near Thor’s Well in Yachats, it was very sunny and everything was evenly lit. I selected one of the Dramatic Black & White presets to increase contrast and make the splashing water look more powerful against the rocks.

Horse Running on Bandon Beach
Location: Bandon Beach

Add Clouds

Sometimes a clear and cloudless blue sky is not the best background for a beach scene. To break up the uniform color and make your image more compelling, try adding a cloud effect found in the app Distressed FX. I use this app to add texture and to boost color using the Original Overlays pack. After you purchase the app, you can buy more options. Wonderful clouds are found in The Heavens pack, such as the Waving cloud effect I added to my Bandon Beach image. In this case, I was going for a realistic look.

Coquille Lighthouse in Bandon
Location: Coquille Lighthouse in Bandon

Touch Up with Textures

Nothing transforms a photo like adding texture. Make your photos look more artistic by using photo apps to add color and texture . . . just like a painter! The app Brushstroke is very easy to use. Select a photo and then test the presets in different brush stroke categories including oil, washed and natural. Keep clicking until you see something you like. I chose a Simple style brushstroke for this photo of the Coquille Lighthouse in Bandon.

Seal Rock Recreating Site
Location: Seal Rock Recreating Site

Reflect

I have two tips that have to do with reflections. One: Compose your pictures with the reflections in the foreground Two: Reflect on the beauty of the Oregon Coast, and how lucky we are to have such a beautiful and accessible natural area to explore and photograph.

Well my friends, we hope you can make it to the Oregon Coast someday. We are happy to be your virtual guides via the pages in the book. 

Learn more from Rick Sammon on KelbyOne! The dude has more than dozen classes, including his latest: Uncovering the Magic of the Rain Forest.

You can see more of Rick’s work at RickSammon.com, and keep up with him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Hi all! It’s #TravelTuesday here on Scott Kelby’s blog and that means I’m here to lay down something from the world of Photoshop, photography, travel, and life. Today is no exception! I’m Dave Williams—let me tell you a sad story.

There’s a shot I want to get so bad. It’s here in the UK and it’s dangerous! I want to get out on the water of the English Channel to shoot the Beachy Head Lighthouse from the sea. The problem, however, is that where there’s a lighthouse, there tends to be a reason! The lighthouse is accessible from land about 1.5 miles west or 2 miles east because of the high cliffs behind it. The only way is to launch from one of these two points and going via the water.

The shot will look amazing. I want to get a wide shot with the stereotypical red and white lighthouse centre-frame and have the enormous white cliffs taper off in either direction, and I want it at sunrise. I’ve tried to get this shot three times and failed. Here’s what happened: –

The first time I had an inflatable kayak. I drove through the night (it’s a 170-miles round trip) to arrive in time for sunrise. I was there on time and the twilight gave me the blue hour, so I hauled my gear—the kayak, life vest, paddle, waterproof bag with camera and drone—down a dead-steep hill to the cliffs and then down the cracks and ledges in the limestone, and was at the water’s edge about 15 minutes before dawn. The water was rough and I walked along the tide line trying to find a safe spot. The water was just too rough, though, for an inflatable kayak and there was no safe place to launch, so I had to turn myself back around and carry everything back up that insanely steep hill, back to the car, and try again another day. My legs were burning from lactic acid with all that weight on such a steep hill, and it was all for nothing.

The next time I quit halfway there, the weather report changed and it wasn’t even worth going. That’s two goes, and a couple of days ago was attempt number three. I left home before 1:00 a.m. to make it down to the coast. First light was forecast at 4:00 a.m. and sunrise at 4:46, so I had to get there with plenty of time to get in position. The first challenge I had was, with this attempt being at the other location, I needed to carry the rigid kayak I’d got down the stairs to the stone beach I’d launch from. It wasn’t light!

The next challenge was the launch. All the planning I’d put in by checking weather, wind, tides etc., was telling me there’d be a high neap tide with low wind, which tends to suggest the waves will be minimal. What I actually faced was something altogether different: –

The waves were enormous, but I pushed on. First, I put the kayak at the water’s edge and climbed in with my waterproof bag between my legs. But, before I could get the spray deck attached, the water swept over me and flooded me out. Unperturbed by this setback (as is my nature), I pulled the kayak back, turned it over to empty it out, and tried again. The second launch wasn’t all that much better though, turning me sideways and showing me the sheer power of the water. I was done in again by the sea and gathered everything back together to try again. Third time’s a charm, right? Unfortunately not. This time I’d managed to get settled and get the spray deck attached in time for the first big wave to come in and hit me, but the power of the sea was still just too much and I was fully inverted. I had to give up.

When I said this shot was dangerous, I meant life-threateningly so. I was cold and drenched through every layer—the sea had beaten me and I still don’t have the shot! Shame too because the sunrise was pretty cool that day.

But here’s the thing: if you have a target in your sights, don’t give up on it. I’ll be back to get that shot! (By the way, if anybody reading this has a boat in Eastbourne, please feel free to get in touch!) I’m not giving up on this shot—I’ll get it one way or another. It’s not worth giving up on something good just because it’s a bit difficult.

Don’t give up just because things are hard. I have a tattoo on my left arm which says “aut viam inveniam aut faciam” which is Latin and means either find a way or make one. If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it, because some things that are worth having don’t come easy. You are so much stronger than you think. Someday you’ll look back on all the progress you made and be glad you didn’t quit. If you fall three times, stand up four, because winners aren’t people who don’t fail—they’re people who don’t quit.

Much love

Dave

Mastering Metadata in Lightroom Classic with Terry White

Learn how to become a master of metadata in Lightroom Classic! Join Terry White as he takes a deep dive into all of the ways you can add, edit, and utilize information about your photographs in your workflow. Metadata is simply information about your photos, and can include information applied during capture by your camera as well as information you add within Lightroom Classic. In this class Terry teaches you how to create and apply metadata templates, how to manually enter IPTC information, the value of keywording, how name people using facial recognition, how to apply location information, and how to manage that metadata during export. The more information you apply to your photographs, the better able you’ll be to organize and find them over time.



In Case You Missed It: How to Get More Attention on Social Media Using Adobe Spark

Join Terry White to learn how to leverage the tools in Adobe Spark to gain more attention to your social media efforts! Adobe Spark is a free social media content creation platform from Adobe that consists of three parts: Spark Post, Spark Video, and Spark Page. Spark Post is for creating single graphic posts with text, Spark Video makes it easy to combine stills, motion, text, and audio into easy to share videos, and Spark Page is a fantastic tool for telling any story in a single scrolling web page. All three are accessible from any web browser or an iOS device. In this class Terry takes you through each Spark component, step-by-step, to show you how to create dynamic and engaging content.

The founders of Kompactfaen

Finding Your Foothold In A Saturated Industry Is A Problem Us Photographers And Videographers Face

Wedding photography and videography can be a little tricky – it’s easy to produce repeated works or get too caught up in following trends that currently work. Sometimes we wonder if we’re able to break through the cycle and create something new that has never been seen in the wedding photography and videography industry. At times, the industry is seemingly stagnant. At times, everyone struggles to find their foothold in this saturated industry. It is a problem we all face and constantly talk about.

Over the last year, Kompactfaen has been more than a business to us. It is a garden where ideas have grown and flourished. We’re blessed to have reached out to people from all over the world, from home in Singapore, to the USA. From being awarded with New York Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Star in 2018, to giving our two cents worth on a panel during the WPPI Conference this year, it made us stop in our tracks a little and start figuring out what it was that made Kompactfaen stand out.

We started thinking about our processes, our mindsets, and how works from Kompactfaen were created and showcased. How our brand of “Delving Deeper” was created. Through that, we found some keys to staying creative in this industry. We found some answers to the questions of, “How do I differentiate myself,” and, “How do I find my style?” It was eye opening for us, so we hope that these steps provide some direction to our fellow friends.

Relationships in a wedding matter a lot to us, and little moments like this touch us the most.

Understand What Matters To You

Every business needs an objective, it needs an aim.

Wedding photography and videography involve documenting an extremely intimate part of life, of humanity. It may be something many of us overlook as we naturally focus on things like composition and lighting. However, being involved in such a personal part of a marriage requires some form of concern and love for the people you’re photographing and filming. Figuring out what aspect of this moment means the most to you and focus on it as a start.

The idea of mixing up pop colours and wedding potraits appealed to us, so we decided to try it out.

New Is Never Popular

Karl Lagerfield once said, “Trendy is the last stage of being tacky.” It’s easy for trends to die. Even though trends are a good indicator of quality and it garners attention, it is never stable and you should never garner business directions based on trends.

On the contrary, things that are new will never be popular. People tend to reject things that are foreign, things that they are not used to. It’s always hard work challenging habits and norms. Drawing references from the diffusion of innovation, we see that the rate of adoption for new ideas and technology always follows a curve – the peak is never during the early stages. Meaning, setting a new trend or introducing a new style can never garner the most likes or become most sought after immediately. With this understanding, coming up with new ideas/concepts/imageries is no longer about garnering the approval for most people but to solidifying your concepts and work instead. When people seem to disapprove what you’ve created, there are lesser ill feelings but more objectivity. This helps greatly in evaluating your own works in the most balanced way possible.

We often bring gowns overseas, place ourselves in front of the camera and just shoot.

Do Impractical Stuff And Unnecessary Creations

Creativity is like muscle. It weakens with lesser usage and strengthens with consistent exercise. With every paid shoot comes expectations and criterions of others to be met. However, shoots of your own are your safe spaces to experiment and to create. Sometimes, too many restrictions and expectations cause us to recreate, whether intentional or not. When a shoot has no particular purpose tagged to it, that’s when you become daring and you are able to inject your ideas into a piece of work. It’s okay even if it doesn’t turn out to look good. We all start from and get to somewhere. This requires lot of time and effort that doesn’t seem to reap anything in the short run, but trust us that you’ll see results of this practice in the long run.

Connections are a priority in all that we do.

Pleasing Clients Is Important, But Know When To Take A Step Back To Your “Self”

To round the article up, our very last point speaks about respect for yourself, your peers, and the clients you serve. With hard work and sincerity, you have a solid foundation to stand on. In face of unreasonable requests, unfavorable comments and undesirable situations, you’ll be able to take pride in your work as you’re subconsciously certain of the amount of time and effort you’ve spent. You respect your own hard work, and that’s what you respect, both compliments and complaints. And you learn to deal with bad situations or comments respectfully and with stride.

Even though service is important, caring about your clients is also important. You stop focusing solely on pleasing people when you’re creating, but learn to create collaborative work – something that your clients love and something that you love – through deliberate communication and cooperation.

The soul of a good piece of work cannot lie.

Ultimately, the soul of a good piece of work cannot lie. 

Your style will be the core of your business – how you execute, how you care, how you communicate, and how you look. It is not something that is obvious at first glance, but it takes time for clients to explore and understand. That’s when you start speaking to people and are able to form your own identity to differentiate yourself.

You can see more of Kompactfaen’s work at Kompactfaen.com, and keep up with them on Instagram, Vimeo, and Facebook.

In case you hadn’t already figured it out from the blog title, that’s me, Dave Clayton, on the right, and the book I just wrote, How Do I Do That In InDesign?, on the left!

Celebrating 10 years with KelbyOne!!

As a graphic designer of 20+ years, and a user of InDesign for the same length of time, that is a question I get asked a lot when I talk to other designers who haven’t braved the wonders of the little “Id” icon in their tool bar. InDesign is used to create printed items such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books, and also digital items such as interactive PDFs and ebooks.

You can pre-order How Do I Do That In InDesign?

Just to give an overview of what InDesign is to the lovely readers of this blog, it’s an application that is part of the Creative Cloud. It actually celebrates its 20th birthday this year!

Back in the day, us ‘desktop publishers’ used a piece of software called Quark Xpress. This was launched around 1987 and became the industry standard. Adobe originally had a program called Pagemaker, which it purchased from Aldus, and this was the competition to Quark. From this, InDesign was created as a strong competitor and was released in 1999. It was the first native Mac OS desktop publishing application and was very quickly adopted by the design industry, especially when in Creative Suite 3, it was bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat.

So, that’s your history lesson! Why am I talking about this?

My working history with KelbyOne (formerly NAPP) celebrates 10 years this year. I started out as an official NAPP Evangelist way back in 2009 when I became a member of NAPP and offered to help get NAPP more recognised in the UK. This proved to be a successful relationship. I visited my first Photoshop World in Las Vegas to meet Scott and the Photoshop Guys. I have guested on Scott’s blog before detailing that part of my history so I won’t repeat it here.

If you want to know more about my story, I did a lovely interview with Kalebra for KelbyOne.

Here are the links to get my background:

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