PhotoChat: China with Rick Sammon
April 19, 2001
|Pro photographer and world traveler Rick Sammon discusses the approaches he takes to capture the essence of a place through photography. View timeless photos of the people and places of China while you gain valuable photographic insights.
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Good evening. . Pro photographer Rick Sammon is on hand to show us some great pictures and share his thoughts on ways that you can capture the feeling of a place like China in your photos!
So, ask your questions, have fun, look at some great shots and lets all welcome Rick!
Hey everybody, you have to go to China. GREAT photo opportunities!
Were the people in China apprehensive about having their picture taken?
No. Most of the people were very friendly, and actually wanted to be photographed, which made the picture taking process fun for me. What really made it fun for the people was me having my digital camera. The LCD screen on the Kodak DC4800 gave my subjects instant feedback, which helped me get great shots.
How did you get started into photography business?
It's a long story. But, summing up, I just, every idea that came into my head, I sent to a magazine, every picture that was good I sent to a magazine, and although I got a million rejections, I did get some positive encouragement. And now many years later I have twenty books, and thousands of articles, so the message is, never give up.
Who inspired you to do what you do today?
The National Geographic photographers inspired me to really focus on people photography. And I feel people photography is my specialty. So I recommend, to anyone who wants to be a travel photographer, subscribe to National Geographic and study the pictures.
Do you need special permissions to travel into China?
You need a visa you can get from the Chinese consulate, which is very easy to do.
Any tip can you give to get the best expression out of your subject?
There's an old expression, the camera looks both ways. It is picturing the subject; you are also picturing a part of yourself. So, the reaction you want to get from the subject is the action you want to present, because you are basically a mirror to the subject.
Did you have any trouble with access or taking pictures?
No. I was with an expert guide who got us into the Forbidden City and all the other places of interest. So gaining access was no problem at all.
What was the most memorable part of this trip for you?
Standing on the Great Wall of China, at sunset, basically all alone. It was an incredible experience. I think that was the most memorable point of the trip.
What was the most surprising thing you found in China while photographing?
Four star hotels! I did not expect such luxurious accommodations in mainland China. It was a real treat.
How difficult is it to get photography equipment in China?
At just about every corner I saw signs, and this is no joke, "Kodak Film Sold Here." There are camera stores EVERYWHERE in China. The people there love photography, and the people who go there love photography. So there are one-hour labs, and big professional camera stores in major cities. In fact, when I was there with a popular photography group, we had one-hour processing every other day.
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