grey skies

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. 

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.