Light The Main Element in Every Photograph, with Rick Sammon

No matter what kind of photography you are into, from black and white and wildlife to working in the studio, it's all about the light.

No matter what kind of photography you are into, from black and white and wildlife to working in the studio, it’s all about the light. Join Rick Sammon, a Canon Explorer of Light, and learn just how important light is to every photograph. You’ll learn about the importance of envisioning the end result, how the camera and lens work together to capture the light, different ways you can control the light, and so much more. See the light and play with the light!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 01:57)

Join Rick for a brief introduction to the subjects covered in this class.

Lesson 2: An Overview of Light (Duration 21:55)

General discussion about light, shadows, and highlights.

Lesson 3: Our Eyes vs. Our Cameras (Duration 05:30)

Lean how we see way more than our cameras see, and how an exposure is like a slice of pizza.

Lesson 4: Contrast Range of Light (Duration 29:26)

The contrast range of the light, whether high or low, is an important ingredient of a creative exposure.

Lesson 5: How Digital Cameras Record Light (Duration 02:21)

How digital cameras turn light into voltage.

Lesson 6: What Lenses Do to Light (Duration 02:48)

How lenses see light and what they do to light.

Lesson 7: Thoughts on the Histogram (Duration 05:05)

The histogram can be considered your in-camera light meter.

Lesson 8: Controlling Light (Duration 21:23)

Learn how a reflector, diffuser, and a flash can be used to reduce the contrast range of the scene.

Lesson 9: Speedlites/Lighting (Duration 12:47)

This lesson looks at how to get cool shots with just one or two lights.

Lesson 10: Working and Playing with Light in Lightroom and Photoshop (Duration 07:18)

You can use software like Photoshop and Lightroom to help you awaken the artist within.

Lesson 11: High Dynamic Range Photography (Duration 08:38)

High dynamic range (HDR) photography allows you to capture a scene closer to the way it looks to your eyes.

Lesson 12: Painting with Light (Duration 02:46)

A brief introduction to painting with light.

Meet Your Instructor: Rick Sammon

Rick Sammon, a Canon Explorer of Light, has published 36 paper books, including Secrets of HDR Photography, Exploring the Light, and Digital Photography Secrets. Rick also has three apps on…


  1. I love Rick Sammon and the course is great. However, I work in television and the one thing that is driving me crazy is the blue tint on the monitor that Mr. Sammon has his slides. The difference between the full image and on the monitor is distracting to someone like me. I talked not long ago with one of our engineers and we were talking about color temperatures of the monitors in the studio and how the cameras are much more sensitive to the blue spectrum of light. We have the blue channel of our studio monitors turned down to help balance the graphics to what the camera sees. You guys do a wonderful job teaching and I hope to pass on something I've learned to you. ---- No, I'd keep it between us

    • Thanks for the "great." Sorry about the blue.... sometimes happens in training like this. Speaking of TV... my dad directed Person to Person.....

  2. I like Rick Sammon's photographs and I enjoyed his talk (the first time I saw it), but I have seen this same presentation under various titles half a dozen times before. This time he's thrown in some diagrams (which are probably someone else's copyrighted work) and vaguely referred to them in between the same shots he always shows. If I hadn't seen his other lectures/presentations I'd probably love this one, but I have and I can now recite his jokes and stories off by heart. So if he ever gets sick give me a call! By the way I notice you never post non-positive feedback. Does the lecturer/teacher ever see it?

    • Hey.... I have lots of new jokes.... and have been to Myanmar, Iceland, Provence, and lots of other places in the US since the course. Hope to see you again....

  3. I find that this course is more of an introduction to almost everything in the world of photography, its great for astute beginners as the information is really packed and fast paced. Thats not to say the more experienced won't get something out of it, in my case it was a trip down memory lane as I recounted some of the basics I learnt over the years. Great presentation and amazing pictures to boot. One gripe which is unrelated to the content is the glitch in the website, it seems the videos don't work properly in the photoshop/lightroom and flash segments. Can someone please sort this out as its quite annoying when the video skips to the next chapter when you're watching something interesting, and it keeps on doing it every minute throughout the chapter.

  4. Rick's teaching style and enthusiasm kept me focused on his course. I really liked his advice to "remove the reality" and " think like a painter". That kind of encouragement is liberating to me at my stage of development. I will watch his other courses as soon as I can.

  5. Enjoyed the class, there was one major distraction, the abrupt changes in color when the image was 1st viewed on the monitor behind Rick and then when it went to closeup. Probably occurred during the recording when moving from the monitor or to the monitor. Aside from that small technical glitch, VERY informative. Thank you

  6. I like Rick's classes because he is throwing out tons of information all the time. This is good and bad, but it points me in the direction where I know I need to do more research or need to form some experiments of my own. Rick provides some very quick technical rundowns too. He provides just enough information to not be too technical about it, but it's enough to allow you to be more creative with the technology.

  7. Loved this course. Info came at me so fast I didn't have time for my attention to wander. Will need to watch it more than once to absorb it all. Looking forward to checking out his composition course.

  8. I love everything on offer at KelbyTraining (except for the Rick Sammons stuff.... I realize that there must be plenty of people who do like him, as he seems to always have a presence at industry-related events, but I just for the life of me don't understand why. Aside from that, EVERYTHING ELSE is awesome. Especially ANYTHING from Joe McNally (the master) and BILL FORTNEY. I absolutely LOVE Bill Fortney and his style of teaching. I have watched and rewatched everything you have from both Bill and Joe and I am hungry for more. Kelby training subscription dollars are the single greatest educational investment photographers can make, bar none. For $0.75 per day, anyone can have access to a comprehensive library of high-quality photography-related training videos from real industry professionals. Kelby Training is brilliant.

  9. This is the first time I've left a comment about one of your courses. This is the best series of videos that I have seen by far when it comes to photography. You keep putting up courses like this and I'll have to make sure my subscription never runs out :)

  10. Rick might be the best teaching photographer out there. This was a fantastic course and I love Rick's honesty and that he reveals info about his shots to keep it real.

  11. Great course. Really brought some insight on how to use the light and work around it. I would recommend this to anyone. Especially beginner photographers like myself.

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