Finding Fine-Art Photographs Close to Home with Rick Sammon

Story by Rick Sammon - A Platypod Pro
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

Here’s the story behind Rick Sammon’s fine-art Hudson River nightscape photograph.

“Rick, I have an idea for you. How far do you live from the Tappan Zee Bridge? I think it would be cool if you and Susan go down to the bridge and take some nighttime photographs with your iPhone and the new Platypod Grip for smartphones. What do you think?"

That’s what Larry T., Platypod founder, creative photographer and dear friend of the Sammons asked Rick on a Thursday afternoon phone call.

Always looking for cool photo ideas, Rick said "sure" and thanked Larry for the idea! He realized that he and Susan had lived in Croton on Hudson for 45 years and had never taken a photo of the bridge – even though it is only 20 minutes from their home.

The following Sunday, Rick and Susan found a spot at a park in Tarrytown, New York that gave them a clear view of the bridge. It was late afternoon, but the lighting was not good for a photograph (the position of the clouds created a large white area in the scene that was about three stops overexposed in a test shot).  

So they waited… and waited.

After mounting his iPhone 14 Pro onto the Platypod Grip, which was mounted onto his tripod, Rick framed his shot. He observed movement in the clouds and decided to use the EvenLonger app for a three-minute exposure, which would not only capture the movement of the clouds, but would beautifully smooth the moving river water.

After taking a few shots (Rick is known as the “shoot and scoot photographer"), Rick and Susan headed home for more photo fun: processing the final image.

Rick used the Paper Toner filter in DXO’s Nik Color Efex Pro to create a monochromatic image – because he was looking for a fine-art photograph, not the typical colorful shot he had seen of the beautiful bridge. The digital frame was also added in Color Efex Pro using Image Borders.

Then Rick opened the image in Adobe Camera Raw and added a slight Vignette, as well as a bit of Texture and Clarity.

The moral of this story: You don’t have to travel to the other side of the world, (as Rick often does), to make fine-art photographs.

Learn more about Rick and check out his books and KelbyOne classes at:


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