black & white photography

I hit my first milestone by John Sabatier

Good morning/day/evening y’all. It’s been a great week here in Charleston. I’d like to thank all of you in helping me reach the first of many milestones. I’ve reached over a 1000 pageviews on my website. Now to some that’s not a major thing, but for someone who’s been doing this full time for only 3 months it is. And THANK YOU!!! 

This week I headed out to Folly Beach, one of Charleston’s many beaches, to capture a sunrise. Well the colors just weren’t there so I worked on my minimalist photography. That’s were ther is just one subject. I also worked on my long exposure photography as well. I then photographed one of Chalreston’s oldest icons, The Angel Oak Tree. This tree is stated to be around 1500 years old and can you imagine the stories it would tell?  

Well this week we celebrate Amaerica’s birthday, July 4th. So I’ve got a few tips for y’all who are going to shoot the fireworks.  

1) Get a sturdy tripod. You’ll need it because of the long exposure times.  

2) Get a cable release, it makes photographing the fireworks much easier as you don’t need to touch the camera causing blurring images.  

3) Set your camera to Bulb Mode (B) Choose an f-stop around f 9 through f 11.

4) For focus, I’d wait for the first fireworks to go off, let the camera autofocus system lock on then set it to manual focus.  

5) As the fireworks take off, press and hold the cable release and don’t let go until after the explosion dissipates. That way you capture the trail and the explosion all in one shot.  

6) HAVE FUN!!! It’s the 4th of July so sit back and enjoy the show. As photographers we get so caught up on getting the shots that we lose focus on enjoying the moment with friends and family.  

So those are a few tips I have, for y’all who will just shot with your mobile phones, you can hold your phones up and try to anticipate when the explosion occurs as the tail takes off. I have taken a few good shots with my phone. 

Well folks I hope y’all have a great short week, I’ll be off to Greenville this weekend, I’m going there to support a local and fellow photographer who’s doing his first exhibit at a gallery and to explore the Up Country.  

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Taken at The Washout on Folly Beach  

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This will be short, I promise!!! by John Sabatier

Good evening from beautiful, hot and, humid Charleston. It feels just like Miami. Well, since last week’s blog was a bit on the long side, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Last Friday, I launch a new series on my website where you can purchase some of my images in different sizes. I will print, mat and ship them straight to you and all you have to do is put them in your favorite frame and hang them up. Simple. Click on the link: https://www.sabatierphotography.com/shopping/

Saturday, Malena and I sat around and watched some World Cup action, funny how we’re not really fútbol fans only when the World Cup is on. Oh, and by the way, Charleston has it’s own soccer club, check them out. https://www.chsbatterysc.com/ 

This morning I made the commitment to head out and shoot some sunrise photos, it’s been a long time. I was happy just to get out there and shoot, The sun wasn’t cooperating with me so I took some intimate, or minimalist photos. When you go out and shoot, don’t just shoot the grand vistas, but look around and get some isolated subjects. 

Well, that’s it from me. Told y’all it was going to be a short one.  I hope y’all have a great week!! 

Taken at The Washout here on Foley Beach 

Taken at The Washout here on Foley Beach 

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The use of leading lines drawing your eyes through the image. 

My Wyoming Chronicles, rain, wind and snow... by John Sabatier

Day 4 of my Grand Teton/Yellowstone adventure began with a 4:00 A.M. wake up and we headed to Jenny Lake for a sunrise shoot. When we got to Jenny Lake the wind was blowing a bit making the water a bit choppy and we had clear skies making for a non dramatic image. But as they say, “A bad day of photography is better than a day at work.” 

Around mid-morning we headed into Jackson Hole and walked around a bit. We walked into The Wyoming Camera Outfitters store and met with some great bunch of photographers who operate the store. These guys are very familiar with the area and told us were to go to get some great shots. If you ever find yourself in Jackson and want some photo locations or camera gear check them out. https://wyomingcameraoutfitters.com/jackson-location/

We then walked into The Bookover Gallery. If you want to see some amazing images head over to his website,  https://www.brookovergallery.com/  As I walked around his gallery I was just in awe from the images to the framing. Thanks Ben Osborne and Marta Echazarreta for showing me what to look for in good matting and framing. There are several galleries in Jackson Hole to get some inspiration. And I look forward to walking into them. 

After some discussion and weather observing, we decide what to go around the Tetons over to Taghee National Forrest and to the Grand Taghee Resort which overlooks the west side of the Tetons. After an hour drive in pouring rain, we made it to the top of Grand Taghee Resort only to see that the rain was still coming down and there was fresh white powder on the ground. Unfortunately the sunset was a wash, no pun intended, but it was a great scout outing. So we hope to be back for a sunset shot. The weekend is upon us and that means that the park will be packed with tourists with their selfie sticks. So  I’m not sure what we’re going do so stick around and find out.  

Sunrise at Jenny Lake I used a 10 stop ND filter to smooth out the water and a circular polarizer to make the water clear.   

Sunrise at Jenny Lake I used a 10 stop ND filter to smooth out the water and a circular polarizer to make the water clear.   

Jason Eldridge of Nature Photography setting up a shot.  

Jason Eldridge of Nature Photography setting up a shot.  

The sunset that didn’t happen. Somewhere behind those grey skies is The Gran Teton. We’ll be back when there is better light.  

The sunset that didn’t happen. Somewhere behind those grey skies is The Gran Teton. We’ll be back when there is better light.  

This Week from Wyoming Bears and Mountains by John Sabatier

So, I said a few days ago that I’ll be blogging on a daily basis, well I missed yesterday due to a really long day. That day started at 2:00 A.M. with an astrophotography shot of one of the Moulton Barns with the Milky Way in the background. What an amazing night sky. I’ve been out and seen stars but that morning the sky was littered with them! After the clouds decided to move in, we took a quick power nap in the car. For sunrise, we headed over to the other Moulton Barn with the Tetons in the background. What an amazing sight to see when the sun came over the horizon an lit the barn and mountains. 

Once we came back the the apartment, it was time for some much needed sleep. After some food in the tank we headed out to Jackson and Jenny Lake to scout out future sunrise spots. It’s funny how the body works, I could feel something was wrong and I remember what altitude sickness was and thought I should get some rest. So we headed back to the apartment and I was out by 8:00 P.M.   

This morning we headed out to shoot a sunrise, after a few minutes wondering if we should go to Jenny Lake or go to Snake River Overlook. Well with the fog rolling in it was an easy decision to go to Snake River Overlook. WOW!! I got to stand in the same area as Ansel Adams did when he took his famous Snake River photograph. Last year I photographed Yosemite National Park and now I got to photograph Grand Teton, same as Ansel. I would describe the weather this morning as epic. Rain, wind and cold temperatures made these images look like they came right out of something from Lord of the Rings movie.  

This evening we went out looking for some wildlife, bears in particular. While driving we saw two juvenile moose hanging around. Then we headed out to Pilgrim Creek to see one of the world’s famous bears, Grizzly Bear 399. She’s as famous that she has her own Facebook page,  https://www.facebook.com/Grizzly-Bear-399-278005992220778/  While driving we notice a few cars parked along the side of the road and we knew what that meant, a bear jam. She was there with her two cubs looking for food and just being bears.  We were glad to have found these bears because we were worried we couldn’t find any in the park. I think from here on out it should be good. 

Tomorrow will be another sunrise in either Jackson or Jenny Lake, then a sunset on the other side of the Tetons. Hopefully I can do a quick blog with those images. Until then enjoy these below. 

Milky Way over Moulton Barn with a few shooting stars. 

Milky Way over Moulton Barn with a few shooting stars. 

The other Moulton Barn with the Tetons in the background. 

The other Moulton Barn with the Tetons in the background. 

Snake River made famous by Ansel Adams

Snake River made famous by Ansel Adams

The famous Grizzly 399 and her two cubs. Looks like one needs his back scratched. 

The famous Grizzly 399 and her two cubs. Looks like one needs his back scratched. 

This Week in my Charleston Chronicles 05/07 by John Sabatier

Yet another week has come and gone. This week, well let’s just say it went to the toilet. Started out pretty good with editing some photos of the Blessing of the Fleet, then worked on my pricing sheet for the potential real estate clients. Then Wednesday rolled around and I join a few other retirees for lunch. I guess they add me just to keep the average age of the group below 80. No, they’re a great bunch of guys, some are native Charlestonians. Yes, that’s a word y’all.  That evening Malena and I hit up one of our favorite pizza joints. Then a few hours later... Disaster. I felt horrible for the next two days. I guess it was either a stomach bug or something I ate but man did I feel horrible. All I did was watch tv and suffer for the next two days. Friday was May 4th and for all us Star Wars geeks a day we live for, but not this year! I celebrated it right in front of the tv watching Rogue One. Malena nursed me back to health with her chicken soup and TLC. Thanks babe. 

Saturday was Cinco de Mayo, an American celebration of a Mexican victory over Spain in some battle. I guess we need an excuse to party. Our neighbors invited us to go with them over to some friend’s house and celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby. What a beautiful home they have, right on the banks of the Ashley River looking at the Ravenel Bridge off in the distance. Pretty cool place to watch a horse race. The weekend finished off with meeting a few more potential business clients and a documentary movie on the history of Freeriding mountain biking at a local brewery. 

Next week is what I call the holy day of obligation and looking forward to another year with friends and family. Malena and I will be down in Miami for the weekend to spend it with our mother’s. Then on Wednesday, I fly out to Wyoming. I’ll be there for the next ten days photographing The Grand Teton and the famous Yellowstone National Park. So today I started to pack all my camera gear. Lots of gear and other gear I rented that should be there when I arrive. I’ll post a picture of my gear. Well until next week, make it prosperous and have fun.  

Here’s my photo gear that will be traveling with me. I use Canon gear but there’s a Sony in the mix as well.  6dm1, 16-35mm f4, 28-75mm f2.8, 70-300L, Samyang 14mm 2.8, 28mm f1.8 a 10 stop ND filter, 2 circular polarizers, a Sony a6000 with a Rokinon 12mm f2.8, a few cable releases and that little orange box is a MIOPS controller. It does a little bit of everything, it’s my lightning trigger, intervelometer, cable release. It’s controlled all via Bluetooth to my phone. And my rocket blower to clean out the sensors. All that plus a 15” laptop computer fit into that backpack. 

Here’s my photo gear that will be traveling with me. I use Canon gear but there’s a Sony in the mix as well.  6dm1, 16-35mm f4, 28-75mm f2.8, 70-300L, Samyang 14mm 2.8, 28mm f1.8 a 10 stop ND filter, 2 circular polarizers, a Sony a6000 with a Rokinon 12mm f2.8, a few cable releases and that little orange box is a MIOPS controller. It does a little bit of everything, it’s my lightning trigger, intervelometer, cable release. It’s controlled all via Bluetooth to my phone. And my rocket blower to clean out the sensors. All that plus a 15” laptop computer fit into that backpack. 

Here it is all packed up and ready to go. I guess I’ll make my appointment with the chiropractor when I get back.   

Here it is all packed up and ready to go. I guess I’ll make my appointment with the chiropractor when I get back.   

This week in my Charleston Chronicles by John Sabatier

Well another week has come and gone. We are closing on April and coming up on May. At this rate the holidays will be here in no time. I had a very productive week, met with my SCORE mentor, this is a free  service that South Carolina offers small business owners in order to help them be successful. Took in a great amount of business information from him. Did a bit of exploring and photographing in downtown. Thinking of a few personal projects while walking around, more to come on that later on. I had my first business meeting on Thursday and it went well, let’s see if I can start drumming up some business. 

Over the weekend I took a matting and mounting class where I got to mat my own photograph. This will help me with several things; 1) it’ll help me distinguish myself from the rest of the local artist who just use plain white mats and 2) help reduce the cost in having someone else do it. I’m only going to do my own matting for the smaller prints, all my other pieces will be done by professionals.   

Sunday was a great day. Malena and I took part in the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”  where the local fishermen parade down the Cooper River and are blessed by the local clergy in hopes of a good and safe fishing season. After the Blessing we headed over to Water’s Edge, a local eatery on the banks of Shem Creek where you can see the fleet of shrimp boats. If you ever find yourself in Charleston, come check out Shem Creek. Let’s make this week and every week a great one! 

Another beautiful Charleston sunset. That is St. Phillip’s in the background. (Image shot for my IPhone) 

Another beautiful Charleston sunset. That is St. Phillip’s in the background. (Image shot for my IPhone) 

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Ben Osborn of Eastbound and Down Framing who taught a workshop on how to matte and mount your images. I learned quite a bit from Ben who’s a transplant from Austin, Tx. And yes, we both agree that Lewis BBQ is the closest thing to Texas BBQ in Charleston. 

A collage of images from The Blessing of the Fleet event in Mt. Pleasant. 

A collage of images from The Blessing of the Fleet event in Mt. Pleasant. 

How I took the Shot by John Sabatier

How I took this shot?

St. Michael’s Church in downtown Charleston

St. Michael’s Church in downtown Charleston

 

 

So how do you get those clouds to streak across the sky you ask? Well it’s by using a 10 stop neutral density (ND) filter. It’s like sunglasses for your camera. What a ND filter does is it slows down your shutter speed, which is the amount the aperture stays open, giving time for the clouds to move across the sensor of your camera. There are several ND filters that offer different “stops” of light. 3, 6, 10, 15 stops are the most common ones out there. They also come in round, screw in, or square. The round ones screw into the thread on the end of your lens. The square filter requires a filter holder. He’s a tip, if you do buy the round filters, go with the largest diameter of the lens you have. Then buy step down rings for the other lenses. If you’re good with math it’ll be easy to figure out, but we are in the age of technology so there’s an app for that.

 

Figuring out the right exposure

 

When trying to calculate the correct exposure with a ND filter, you have to figure out what the “proper” exposure is without the ND filter first. In the case of the image used, I got a proper exposure of 1/400th of a second at a F/Stop of f10. So if I use a 10 stop filter I would get an exposure of 2.5 seconds. Now I’ll be honest here, as an artist, I went with a longer exposure to really get those clouds moving across the sensor creating movement. I used a 30 second exposure. That’s 5 stops longer then what the filter is for. But since the day was overcast and showers were forecasted, I knew I can get away with a 30 second exposure and not “blow” out, most of the image will be overexposed,  my image.

A ND filter can also be used on smoothing water movement making it nice and silky. One other important thing; Prior to you putting on the ND Filter, make sure your subject is in focus then turn off the autofocus on your lens. This will prevent the lens from trying to focus through that dark piece of glass. 

So go out there and play around with ND filters and long exposures and let’s see what you get. As a fellow photographer says “hey, pixels are free.”

 

Location: Broad Street/ Meeting Street Charleston SC 03/30/18

Subject: St. Michael Church

Camera: Canon 6D

Focal length: 28mm Tamron 28-75 f2.8

Aperture: f/10

Exposure: 30 second time exposure

ISO: 100

10 Stop ND (neutral density)

Here I am exposing for the shot. As you can see there are a few cars, but with a long exposure those cars disappear or can add motion to the photo. 

Here I am exposing for the shot. As you can see there are a few cars, but with a long exposure those cars disappear or can add motion to the photo. 

Here’s my setup. I use square filters. I use a Colin filter holder with a Haida 10 stop ND filter. 

Here’s my setup. I use square filters. I use a Colin filter holder with a Haida 10 stop ND filter.