Photographer Model Release

Below are the instructions for signing my Model Release.

It should take less than 5 minutes of your time, and I appreciate very much you doing that for me, as some of my photo agencies require that I have model releases for using my photos.

1) Print this Model Release Form (also available in other languages here). If you have no access to a printer, let me know, and I will snail you the form together with a stamped return envelop.

2) Fill-up your information in the Model Information section (ignore the top part "Attach Visual Reference"). If privacy is an issue, you can provide a work address or a friend's address.

3) Ask someone you know (aged 18 or older) to fill-up the Witness section

4) Send me back the signed form with one of the following ways:

**** Thanks!!! ****

Contact - Tristan Savatier


+1 415 763 7636 (US West Coast Time-zone)

Model Release Form

Loupiote on Facebook

How do you add the watermarks on your photos?

Several people have asked me that question: What do you use to make the watermarks on your photos?

To create the semi-transparent watermarks on my photos, I use Photoshop and ImageMagick (a server-side image manipulation program that can be scripted).

With Photoshop, I created custom "actions" and "droplets" (i.e. scripts that automate a series of commands) to add various layers with the watermark, using appropriate blending modes to give the semi-transparent effect. With ImageMagick, I wrote various server-side scripts to dynamically add some watermarking, e.g. when my images are shared with social networks like facebook, twitter, tumblr etc.

But creating those scripts this is quite complicated and require a very good knowledge of layers, blending modes and scripting, so I do not recommend this approach unless you are very good with Photoshop or know how to program scripts that use ImageMagick.

The good news is that there are web services that can add watermarks on your photos for free, like https://www.watermark-image.com or . Those probably work pretty well in most cases, so you should try them. I am sure there are other services like those, just google "watermark online" or "online watermarking".

Online Prints of Burning Man Photos: Is that commercial exploitation of the Artists's work?

I received an e-mail from a well known artist who showcased many large art installations at Burning Man, and who was concerned that selling individual prints online of photos of his art taken at Burning Man was infringing on the copyright he own over his art and any photos of it.

Shared Copyright: I am fully aware that all photos taken at the Burning Man Festival have a copyright that is shared between the Burning Man Organization, the photographer, and possibly the artists who's arts are represented on the photo. I do mention the artist name in all my photos descriptions (when it is known), and not only that, but i give a direct, clickable link to their website (when i know it), which most other photographers don't do. The copyright watermarks on my photos are generated automatically, and it's not very practical to create different watermarks for the photos of each different arts, but i am fully aware that my copyright is not the only one that governs the use of my Burning Man photos.

Why this ugly watermark? The reason for the ugly copyright watermarks on my photos on Smugmug (the service I use for printing) is that my hi-resolutions images can be accessed on Smugmug, so they need to be protected. I use Smugmug only for the printing process, not for showcasing my photos. My photos are best viewed using the "Slideshow feature" from Flickr.

On Smugmug there is currently no text description for any of my photos - I am working on that - but people arrive to Smugmug from my other sites only when they want to order a print, and the Smugmug galleries with Burning Man photos are password-protected.

Why I let people order prints of my photos online: In the past many people have asked me for prints of Burning Man photos, and I would always send them the hi-res file, and tell them to burn a CD-ROM or DVD (or copy the file on a memory card) and bring it to a store to make the prints themselves. I do not have the time anymore to do that, and when I do that, it actually costs more to those people in time and efforts to obtain the prints, compared to ordering them on-line. This is why I now let people buy prints on-line from Smugmug. I make no profit from that, since the cost of the Smugmug hosting service is on my bill ($150/year), and the small markup (on the prints) will probably never offset that cost.

Of course I still send the hi-res files to the artists (and models) who ask for them, and to the Burning Man Organization, but if they want to get prints, it is generally cheaper and faster for them to order them on-line rather than to print them from the hi-res files.

It is very difficult for me to get paid for the time and effort that I spend with making Burning Man photos (and photography is also a form of art). I spend about one month working on them every year, and make virtually no money with them. Actually last year, the revenues I got from Burning Man photos licensed to magazines was about $200). That does not pay the bills, it does not pay for my time, and it is not an incentive to continue making this kind of photos (even with all the rave revues i get from Burning Man lovers).

My point in allowing people to order prints of my Burning Man photos on-line is not to make a profit or to exploit someone else's art, but to provide something that many people ask me, and do it in a more efficient, cheaper (for me and the people who want photos) and faster way that before.

To support the artists, we encourage you to contact them directly and ask them if they sell other photos of their arts.

If your art is represented on one of my photos and you do not want people to be able to buy prints of these photos, let me know and I will take the photos off Smugmug (where people order the on-line prints), and I will place a notice that prints are not available for these photos, upon request of the artist who's art is on the photo.

I wish I could have personally informed the 500 artists who's art are on my Burning Man photos that I intended to make prints of them more easiely available on-line, but it would be a dawnting task. I don't have a list of the phone numbers or contacts for those 500 or so artists, and gathering it would take another couple of weeks, a time that I don't have.

Feel free to post comments or contact me about this post.

Buy a Print, Canvas or Card online

You can now order high-quality prints and posters, cards, Fine Art archival prints and canvas prints of most of my photos on-line from my website (with no watermark, of course!). The prints are processed by, a San Francisco based startup and provider of professional-quality prints. They will redo or refund prints if you are not satisfied by the quality and return them within 30 days.

If a photo does not have the Buy a Print button, please email me at

To order a print, card, poster, Fine Art archival print or canvas:
  • Click "Buy a Print" under the photo on my website (
  • Select the paper size and type, number of prints then Checkout (secured payment by Paypal or Credit Card)
Of course, prints are made from the original high-resolution images and won't have any watermark!

Price depends of print size and type. Postcards / cards are the cheapest.
If you are concerned about people being able to order online prints of photos of your art, please read:

Urgrade your Browser!

If you are still using Internet Explorer 6, you should upgrade your browser!

A lot of the cool new dynamic features of the so-called "web 2.0" are not well supported by IE6 because of its limited and buggy javascript and CSS support.

You can download the latest versions of the most popular internet browsers below:

Internet Explorer (if IE8 does not work for you, try IE7)

Widget shows in real-time what pages of your website others people are watching

I have added a cool free real-time statistics widget from in the menu-bar on all my pages, including this one:

If you click on this widget (here or in the menu bar), you will see how many people are currently browsing this site, in what part of the world they are located, and what photos they are looking at (in real time!).

For the most interesting display, click this widget, then click on the "Recent" on the "readers" page to see the countries of the visitors and the page they are looking at (and you can check out those pages!).

Cleaning Sensor Dust

Cleaning Sensor Dust - CCD
Photo © Tristan Savatier - All Rights Reserved

This is a sensor test photo that i took at Burning Man 2008, with the diaphragm (aperture) closed to the maximum (i.e. maximum F-value, F32) shooting the blue sky. I have never seen as much dust on my sensor. Good thing I know how to clean a CCD sensor :)

I recommend a Giottos Rocket air blower to remove the bulk of the dust, then you can use the wet sensor swabs (with 100% pure methanol optical solution, also called methylic alcohol) to remove sticky particles that don't go with the air blower, if necessary.

Don't put more than a couple of drops of methanol on the swab, otherwise it would be too wet and leave deposit marks on the sensor. You will have to clean several times before getting a clean sensor, especially the first time. To clean, you must sweep the swab on the sensor from side to side. For best results, the width of the swab should the exact width of your sensor, so that you only need one sweep. Swabs made by Visible Dust. are excellent quality, I use those. After sweeping, put back the lens and do a test shot, then zoom on the image and check if there is still dust. usually the dust is located near the corners or near the edges. if you see dust, repeat the process.

To do a test shot, you must set the camera in A mode and close the apperture to the maximum F value (e.g. F32), and take a photo of something uniform, e.g. the sky or just a piece of paper. Set the camera to manual focus and make it completely out of focus, so if you see a dot on the test shot, it will be dust.

Sensor cleaning was painful at the beginning, it took me one hour to get all the dust OFF the first time. But now i can do it in two of three iterations, and it takes 10 min or so, and I am no the least nervous about doing it on my expensive camera.

Also, remember that if you have dust on your sensor, it will probably not show on your photos if you shoot with maximum apperture (i.e. minimum F value, e.g. F2.8 or F3.5). So if you have dust on the sensor and must continue to shoot with the dust, remember to shoot in A-mode (apperture priority) and use maximum apperture, i.e. use the minimum F value of your lens.

Dry-cleaning the sensor with rotating brushes charged with static electricity will work only with the dry, non-sticky particles on the sensor. But it will not cleanup sticky or greasy particles. Those can only be removed with a wet swab. So even if you get one of those dry cleaning brushes (e.g. Arctic Butterfly), sometimes you will still need to use the wet swabs.

NEVER ever use a spray can to blow away the dust inside the camera. The very cold gas out of the air-can would cause irreparable damage (micro-cracks) to your sensor.

There are other CCD cleaning options available, but that's what I use and it works well for me. Or you can pay a professional to do it, but it usually takes several days and it's not cheap, and this is not always possible if you travel. So you'd better learn how to do it yourself.