Monthly Archives: January 2013

Savannah Scenes: Bonaventure Cemetery



Savannah is a great City! I love taking my camera out to explore the many wonderful locations in area. I call these little snippets “Savannah Scenes”. Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the most beautiful, and popular sites in the area. Located along the river beneath a canopy of tall oak trees it is a wonderful place to visit, experience, and photograph any time of year. I really enjoy the peace and serenity that can be found while visiting historic cemeteries. Walking and exploring with my camera, often imagining what kind of person someone was by there name and the ornamentation on their  gravestone. Wondering if anyone still visits them other than an occasional tourist passing by.


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Shutter Priority Mode: Photography Tip of the Week

For the past few weeks I have been teaching a private  photography class in Bluffton S.C.. The basic idea is to get folks away from always using the program mode on their camera. You spend a lot of money to purchase a digital camera why not learn to better control how it captures images. In this blog I’m going to be sharing some of the things I teach in the class to help others learn more about photography. Today we’re going to look at Shutter Priority Mode, which is represented by an S or TV on your camera. Shutter speeds allow you to control how you show or stop motion.

Fast Shutter Speeds Stop Motion. ISO 100 Shutter Speed 1/1250 FStop 5.6

Fast Shutter Speeds Stop Motion. ISO 100 Shutter Speed 1/1250 FStop 5.6


Slow Shutter Speeds show motion. ISO 1600 Shutter Speed 1/8 FStop 9

Slow Shutter Speeds show motion. ISO 1600 Shutter Speed 1/8 FStop 9

Of course you can’t talk about shutter speeds with out considering aperture and ISO, or the Exposure Triangle.

Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed work together to create the best image.

Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed work together to create the best image.

In Shutter Priority mode you select the shutter speed and ISO (unless you have an auto ISO setting) while the camera selects the aperture. You should always be watching and aware of what the camera is choosing. On occasion your camera may blink at you to let you know that an aperture is not available for the shutter speed/ ISO combination you have selected and you will then need to make a change to either you shutter or ISO.  The faster the shutter speed the faster action it will stop but that also means that less light is getting in so you would need a wider aperture (smaller F number) or a faster ISO (larger number). The slower the shutter speed the more light so you would use a smaller aperture (larger F Number) or slower ISO (lower number).

If you are new to photography then I’m sure this is all quite confusing. The best way to learn is to practice so here are some tips and starting points for you.

  • Shutter Speeds of 1/60 or slower will show motion but if you go too slow it may also show camera shake so you might need a tripod.
  • Shutter Speeds of 1/250 and faster will stop motion but you will need more light so it might be difficult at night.

To cut down on camera shake a good rule of thumb is to choose a shutter speed that matches the focal length of your lens. If you are using an 18-55 mm lens then your shutter speed would be around 1/60. For a 200mm lens you would be around 1/250. Now most people can hand hold at much slower shutter speeds so you just need to try it out and see what you are comfortable with.


Here’s your assignment, if you choose to accept it. Go out and shoot 2 pictures

  1. That shows motion. Have either the subject or the background blurred.
  2. That stops motion.

Hint: Fountains are really easy to experiment on.

Feel free to share your results with me and I will add them to this post!

Get out and have some fun!

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Lasting Photographic Memories: Savannah Wedding & Family Photography

me and woodrow 2

Yes that’s me as a little blond haired boy enjoying my bicycle with Woodrow. Ignore the Redskins jacket I didn’t know any better.

What is the value of a photograph? Is it the fee you paid the photographer to capture the images? Is it the price of the printed image? No the true value of a photograph is much greater than fees and printing costs. Technology has drastically altered the way in which many experience photography. There was a time when the printed image was the only way you could enjoy a photograph. Today thanks to Social Media our experiences have changed. Because of this I always offer my clients their edited images on a disk and provide printing rights so they can share them however they choose.  I’m not sure how many take the time to get prints made to hang on their walls or display on their desks. Or how many just share the photos through online albums and never get any prints made. Everyone shares there photographic memories in their own way and that’s ok. Maybe I’m getting a little older (my birthday is next month..hint..hint) or perhaps I am just biased,  but I love prints. For me prints add to the experience because they are real and I can hold them in my hand feel them. When I was growing up in North Carolina we had a family friend that was a distant relative. He was like a grandfather to me and I spent many an hour with him as a child. Tomorrow, January, 26, would have been his 98th birthday. I only have a couple of photos of Woodrow and myself when I was a child.  One of the images was of me proudly sitting on my bicycle sporting a Washington Redskins jacket (Hey don’t blame me I didn’t have a say in the selection) in the other I am sitting by him on the couch. These are some of the only visual memories I have from that part of my childhood. They are faded and aged but I am happy to have them.

This one was taken on Woodrow's birthday when I was 3. Yes my family calls me "Richie".

This one was taken on Woodrow’s birthday when I was 3. Yes my family calls me “Richie”.

In honor of Woodrow’s birthday I am going to make a special offer. I will provide an 11×17 print that is suitable for framing with any Family Photo Session booked between now and the end of February. That way you will have no excuses in having a lasting visual memory displayed in your home. Also for anyone getting married in 2013 if you book me for your wedding before the end of February I will include a 16×20 Gallery wrapped canvas print with any full wedding package.

Now go take those old photo albums off the shelves and enjoy a few memories!


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