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Posts tagged ‘filters’

UfD: Neutral Density Filters

Back in the days of film there were so many filters. It would do your head in working out which ones you needed, why you needed them and when you needed to use them. There were red filters, blue filters, yellow filters, diffuse filters, soft focusing filters, polarizing and neutral density filters. There was a wide choice and they were all used for different things.

beaumaris-bay-pier-sunrise-melbourne

Taken with the ND Grad Reverse Filter

Thankfully in these new cameras your white balance looks after the need for many of those filters and we don’t need to have any where near as many.

There are still filters that we use and I’m sure will continue using for a very long time. The following are a group that seem to be gaining in popularity, though it could just be because I am noticing them more.

Neutral Density Filters

I really wanted to talk to you today about Neutral Density Filters or ND Filters, as they are more commonly known by. I am fairly new to using them, but I’m learning fast and the possibilities of when and how to use them seem endless.

ND filters are designed to block light entering your lens and camera. It is meant to be a neutral colour and not affect the colour of your images, but they all seem to have some sort of colour cast, though the good brands only do it slightly.

These filters can either be screw into the end of your lenses or you can buy square or rectangle filters that will fit into a holder that you attach to the end of your lens. I’ve always used the latter type, I like that you only have to buy different adaptor rings for different lenses, rather than new filters. All the images in this post are done with those.

ND Standard Filters

ndstandard

These are filters that are completely greyed out, you can see from the image above, and the darker they are the more light they block out.

You use these filters when you are somewhere and you want to get a slightly slower shutter speed. It might be early or late and you are losing the light, but you still can’t get a slow enough shutter speed to get the smooth water look. Maybe you are at a waterfall and it is fairly protected, and not well lit, but you can’t quite get that marshmallow effect, if you use one of these it could turn a Shutter Speed of 1/3 of a second to three or four seconds.  That could be all you need to get the image you are after.

Another thing you can do with these filters is stack them. You can use more than one together and it will give you more time, however you need to be careful because if the filters have any colour cast it will be exaggerated when you do this.

ND Graduated Hard Filters

ndgradhard

I am very new to using these and have recently just got my own set from Formatt Hitech.  I’ve used them a couple of times now, and not for how they are meant to be used.

The filter is a ND graduated filter hard, which means the neutral density part is on half or a little more than half, and the rest is clear.  The hard means it is an abrupt change from the clear to the grey.  You can see this in the image of the filters above.

You would use them when you are trying to take photos of something where part of the image is too bright, for example you want to photography a landscape, but the sky is very bright, even though there are clouds in it. You would use a ND graduated filter with the clear bit at the bottom and the neutral bit at the top.  This will help darken the sky and bring out the clouds and get a good exposure for the foreground.

The hard filters are good where there is a definite line,  like a horizon line , for the hard filter line and change between the neutral density and the clear filter.

ND Graduated Soft Filters

ndgradsoft

The soft ND graduated filters are similar to the hard, except the different between the clear and the neutral part is more gradual, so the change is more subtle.  It can be harder to see it through the camera.

You would use these filters when there aren’t any clear definitions between the bright areas and the dark areas.  I would use one of these if I were somewhere like a waterfall and the fall is down a gully or something, but there is bright light at the top, but it is coming through a crevice, so the hard filter won’t work, but the soft will help block some of that light, but not give you a hard line definition between the filter and clear part.

ND Graduated Reverse Filters

ndgradreverse

This is a fairly new filter to me. I only heard about it very recently when I was looking at the Formatt Hitech website.  This is very similar to the other graduated filters, except this time instead of it being darker at the top it is darker in the middle.  It is a good filter for doing sunsets and sunrises.  You can put the darker part where the sunrise is, it will mean that you will get a more even exposure over the whole image. We have all had trouble getting sunrises or sunsets where the colours get washed out.

This filter helps you get a much better exposure. I like it a lot.  I got the 0.6 filter, and I think I should have gotten the 0.9 one. It will be one of my next ones.

Long Exposure ND Filter

firecrest16

This is a very new filter for me, but one I love a great deal.  They are very dark and it is almost impossible to see through them.  They all come in different stops, and you can get different filters that do different stops.  I have a 9 stop, a 10 stop and my latest the Firecrest 16 is a 16 stops filter.

So what do they all mean, let’s see if I can explain, if we set the camera up so we had an aperture of f11, a shutter speed of 1/250th and an ISO of 100 then you would get the following times.

  • 9 stop – 2 seconds
  • 10 stop – 4 seconds
  • 13 stop – 30 seconds
  • 16 stop – 4 minutes and 22 seconds

I used an app on my phone to work out the times.  If you want to get those photos where the clouds are all blurred, then you really need to have one of these. Any of these will get you that effect, it is all up to price and how much you want to pay.  I have three of them, and would like to add the Firecrest 13 to my kit at some point as well.  I have used them mainly for the clouds and the water effect, but I have some plans for experimenting more with them, but you will have to wait to see those.

In the End

They are great to have in your kit.  I would recommend going out and buying them all, but that would be quite expensive.  I started with a ND standard filter, it was a ND8 and I had it for a while before I start seeing work done with the other filters that gave you more of a longer exposure.

When it comes to brands there are a few that I would recommend, Formatt Hitech definitely and I have quite a few of them, and love them.  Lee filters are also good and my 10 stop is the Lee Big Stopper.  I have some Cokin filters too which I also think are quite good, my ND Soft grads are Cokin and I have a ND8, which is one of the standard ones that I use a lot.  I’ve heard many people talk about Singh-Ray filters, I don’t have any, and you can’t buy them in Australia I believe.  I’ve looked at getting some, but with our exchange rate they are really way too expensive for me.

I am going to put a gallery together for you now, I think I have photos taken with most of the filters above, I will add captions so you can see, oh I don’t really have any taken with the ND grad hard yet, I haven’t had them long enough.

I would also like to thank Formatt Hitech for allowing me to use the images of their filters from their website.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Getting Organized

It has been manic around here, and perhaps I’ve been a naughty girl by going out so many times to take photos. It has been nice, but it means not enough time at home on the computer.  Things are going to have to change.

The Book

The time I was given to do my book as stipulated by the grant is half way over, so I need to start working on it. To remind you about the book it is to be about the local wetlands, Banyule Flats. We are all sitting on the edges of our sccreswick-hpm5666bseats as we wait to hear if it is going to be destroyed by a freeway going through it.

As time is running out I really need to start getting on top of it.  I have made an appointment with someone to talk to them about putting the book together.  I made the decision that I should get help with the design of it and where I will get it published.  Hopefully it won’t be too hard. I have taken hundreds of photos from down there, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

I am also going to talk to the publishers about the magazine and see if they can help or make some suggestions.

Getting Organized

It is time to get serious, I have to stop going out and taking photos all the time and start spending more time at home sccreswick-hpm5743working on other projects.  I have articles to write, books to organize, photos to process, and magazines to put together.

I am starting to see that the only way I can do all that is if I have days at home specifically for those things.  So the plan is to start having days that I can’t go out and take photos on.  From now on I will have to have at least 3 days at home, or 4 would be better.  They will become my work days and I will have to be strict about it.

Formatt Hitech Filters

I got my new filters the other day.  I have now added a Firecrest 16 to my kit, plus a 0.3, 0.6 and a 0.9 ND Graduated Hard filters and finally a 0.6 ND Reverse Graduated filter.  I used a couple of the graduated ones the other day in Marysville, and they worked really well.  I’m hoping I will get to use the Firecrest tomorrow and maybe the reverse graduated, but will depend.

They look great, the only thing is the Firecrest didn’t come with any instructions, so I don’t know about exposure times. sccres-hpm5786-7 I need to work it out, hopefully tomorrow will give me a chance to do that.

Photos

Today’s photos, as usual, are from the archives and from back when I was photographing cycling.  They aren’t cycling photos but were some landscapes and building shots I took while I was photographing the racing.  It is an area I keep thinking I should go back to, but never seem to.  It is a country town, Creswick, I will go back.

Up for Discussion: Winter Photography

Recently I put out a call for people who wanted to guest blog.  I like people guest blogging, it means a day I can hand over to someone else, and it means I may learn something new too.  I received an email from John Feist, and his blog John Feist Photography saying he was interested in doing a guest blog on Winter Photography.  I have no experience with this, and if I live in Australia for the rest of my life I will never experience it, so this was an intriguing idea for me.  So today I have a post for you from John.

Winter Photography

by John Feist

Picture_1

Shooting in winter conditions poses a number of challenges that the other seasons do not. Some are physical and others technical. It also creates some beautiful and unique opportunities. The key elements of classic winter shots include harshness, cold, contrast and lack of color.

In winter the photographer needs to understand how to dress in order to stay warm and still be able to move about to capture good images. Remember, snow is water and it can melt into your clothing. Being wet in the cold is no fun. If you are not familiar with being out for extended periods during the winter, read up on it before you go.

Another temperature related concern is your equipment’s operating temperature range. In most cases, temperature is not a concern. However, if you will be working in temperatures below 0F (or -18C) some equipment may run into issues as well. Check your gear’s documentation for details.

Snow is one of the elements we want to photograph. Remember that it covers everything. This means if you don’t know the area where you will be shooting, you need to be aware that the snow may be covering thin ice on streams, lakes, depressions and many other hazards.

When it comes to actually making images, all of the rules for good photography apply. There are some “gotchas” that need special attention. The biggest concern is white balance. Shooting in the snow throws the sensors off because there is so much white. Snow is also very bright compared to most of the rest of your shot. Normally the white balance needs to be well into the blue (cool) end of the range, rarely over 6,000. Try a couple of test shots to get your white balance. It’s a lot easier to have the camera capture good white than to have to remove blue from your snow in post processing.

Consider applying a couple of stops of exposure compensation as well. This also helps to offset the preponderance of shades of white in the snow. Again, a couple of test shots can save a lot of post processing time.

Shooting in bright sunshine in the middle of the day is always a challenge. In the snow it is even worse. If you’re going to be out in those conditions, have good sunglasses for both yourself and your camera! In bright sun use the lowest ISO setting you can. Obviously, you will be working with fast shutter speeds and probably smaller apertures. This is a good time to use your neutral density and polaroid filters. They allow you to get longer exposures and give you the flexibility to change your depth of field as needed.

It is better to under expose than over expose. You can bring out details from the underexposed areas, but those areas where everything is burned out are lost. By contrast, gold and blue light in winter can be spectacular. The image at the top of this post was taken about half way through golden light.

Winter is also a great time for some other techniques. With all the differing textures in the snow, long exposures can yield stunning results… another good use for your neutral density and polaroid filters! Be sure your tripod is on a steady base and that you are not dealing with wind that can shake your camera or even knock it over!

Picture_2

Winter, at least in my experience, tends to have lots of overcast days. That means lots of flat light that yields soft images. This can either be challenging when it comes to the sky, or result in some interesting skies with subtle shading and transitions.

Picture_3

Outside of gold and blue light, winter shots tend to have a limited amount of color. Taking your images into black and white is a great way to convey the stark harshness of the winter scene.

Snow gets blown around pretty easily, and can settle into some unexpected and unusual patterns. As with all photography, it is essential to keep an eye out for these. Remember, even here, the angles make a big difference.

Snow has an interesting cousin. Ice is another component of winter photography that produces beautiful images. Ice can extend your view, create interesting patterns and reflections as well as help to convey the cold environment in which you made the image.

I know a lot of people who think of winter and wildlife as mutually incompatible. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Yes many animals hibernate or migrate with the seasons. Those that remain have a variety of survival mechanisms and techniques that make them wonderful subjects. You will need a long lens and some kind of “hiding place” to get good shots as there isn’t as much natural cover available.

The bottom line on winter photography is that it has its challenges, but with a little understanding and preparation, it can yield truly beautiful images.

I live in central New Jersey (U.S.A.). This year, we’ve been “blessed” with great conditions for winter photography. I’ve been shooting for most of my life, starting back in the film days. I got serious a about my photography a few years ago. My go to camera is a Nikon D7000 with a Nikor FX 28-300 lens. For longer shots I use a Sigma 150-500. The camera sits on a 3 Legged Thing which is light enough to carry around all day, sturdy and flexible enough to shoot in a wide variety of conditions.

You can see more of my work on my website, http://JohnFeistPhotography.com. I also have a Facebook page and blog of the same name. love hearing from other photographers. Just drop me a note to info@JohnFeistPhotography.com.

When I’m not working to support my photography or doing things photographic, I also teach yoga and make some of the best oatmeal cookies around.

Finally, I want to thank Leanne for allowing me to be a guest on her blog. One of America’s iconic artists, Norman Rockwell, used to tell people that he painted winter pictures in the summer and summer pictures in the winter. His rationale being that this way he felt cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I suspect Leanne had a similar reaction when I proposed this subject!

Thank you

I would also like to say thanks to John for preparing this post for us.  I don’t know if I will ever use this information, as I rarely see snow, but I am sure many of you will get a lot out of it.  I am amazed at how difficult it seems to shoot in the snow, quite incredible. John also sent extra photos, so I thought I would put the above ones and the extras in a gallery for you now.  John is also going to answer questions, and comments, which is lucky, I wouldn’t know how to help anyone.  Thanks again John.

Don’t forget if you are interested in doing a guest post send me an email, leanne@leannecole.com.au

Weekend Wanderings: Early Morning Trip to Point Lonsdale

This past Tuesday Christine Wilson and I headed out again to take photos. This time we decided to go to Point Lonsdale, she hadn’t been there before, but I had on a few occasions. Then we thought, hey let’s get there before sunrise, which for right now meant getting up at 3am to be out of the house by 4am. I’m not the type of person who likes to rush, I like to have time to get ready, to make sure I have everything.  So when 4am came around off I left. I met Chris just over the Westgate Bridge and then we took my car to Point Lonsdale, stopping for a coffee along the way.

point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-100

We knew as we were getting closer that we weren’t going to get much of sunrise, you could tell, there just weren’t enough clouds and really not enough colour.  As we were arriving a massive ship was going through the heads to Port Melbourne.  I love seeing the big ships going in and out.  We saw three the time we were there.

point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-102

There was some colour but the main reason we were there were to do some long exposures.  I got a Lee Big Stopper and was experimenting with it.  It seemed to work fine, but it doesn’t really fit the Cokin Filter holder properly, so I might have to get a proper Lee Holder, am searching for that now.  I’ve been getting stuff from the B&H, but it can take such a long time to get here, just over 3 weeks.  You can get stuff from the UK in a week, but from the US 5 weeks is nothing.  I might have to do some internet searching.  The Cokin one would be fine if the little nodules it has at the bottom could be pressed in so the front of the filter was flat, but you can only put filters in a certain distance and they get stuck.

point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-107

The early morning light is so lovely to work with.  I love how it hits everything, and we are almost at the time of year where a nice early morning will give some beautiful golden light here.  I think it happens around Autumn.  There was some on this morning, but not much.

I had to take photos of the lighthouse too.  It is something I really enjoy about Point Lonsdale is that there are a few things to photograph, you can do the pier, the lighthouse and then there are lots of rocks as well.

point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-116

I have been here a few times to take photos, but never when the tide was so far out.  It was incredible what was revealed when it went out.  Rocks everywhere.  I switched to my wide angle and tried getting some shots from different angles.  It really was getting too late in the day here, the sun was bright and the light was really bright, but it was fun.  We got there at 6am, left at around 1pm, though we did go into town for breakfast for an hour and half, so you can see there is a lot there to photograph.

point-lonsdale-pier-lighthouse-ocean-115

My long exposures were disappointing, I found out too late that my lens was dirty, I got some horrible light marks on my images and so had to convert to black and white.  I was kicking myself, especially after that post on mistakes we make, well, here is one for me, I must remember to clean my gear more often.  I was so particular about keeping the filters clean, I didn’t even think to check my camera.

For those that don’t know where Point Lonsdale is, here is a map for you.

We had a great morning, the weather was gorgeous, the only real problem we had were other people.  There were lots of people around, which was natural considering what a gorgeous summer day it was.  People were swimming, but I think it was too cold for that, still, it was sunny.  The clouds weren’t really moving enough for long exposures, still, we both know what is there, and I’m sure we will go back.  Maybe next time spend the night, so it is easier to get up early.

I have a gallery of the images, I hope you can see what a beautiful day it was. I hope you have plans for the weekend.  I have Social Snappers tomorrow, we are doing one end of Bourke Street to the other, which should be quite interesting, lots of architecture.

 

Up for Discussion – Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

Recently I was lent some Cokin Z Pro Series filters with the filter kit and I’ve been trying them, and talking about them here.  I know lots of people are bit confused about filters and how to use them and I was thinking of doing  a post on it myself when Adrian. , made a comment and I asked if he would be interested in writing something for us here.  He doesn’t use the Cokin filter systems, so I want to add that the filters I’ve been using have been great, however, no matter what brand of filters you are using much of what Adrian has to say is relevant to you. If you don’t don’t have any, this will help you realise why you need some.  

Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters

There are a few essentials that no landscape photographer should be without. There’s the camera of course and almost as importantly, there’s the tripod. Third on the list of landscape photography essentials is a set of Graduated Neutral Density Filters. Neutral Density filters are also useful although not essential so I’ll be mainly talking about ND Grads in this article suffice to say, neutral density and graduated neutral density filters are your camera’s equivalent of a pair of sunglasses. They cut down the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor and whenever you cut down the amount of light reaching your camera’s sensor, whether it’s by stopping down the aperture or using a filter, exposure time is affected.

Trebarwith Strand

Neutral density filters cover the whole of your lens and therefore cut down the light hitting the whole of the sensor.  These are useful in extending exposure times allowing you to achieve that lovely silky water effect in rivers and waterfalls.  These come in a variety of strengths right up to the now very popular 10 stop Neutral Density Filters.  These allow just a tiny fraction of available light to enter the camera allowing you extend exposure times significantly allowing you flatten and smooth the ocean or achieve the silky, smoky water effect even in bright sunshine.  These 10 stop filters are so dark it’s not possible to see through them so it’s necessary to compose your shot and focus before attaching the filter.  Ten stop filters are often used by architectural photographers to simply make people disappear from busy buildings.  All the time people are moving, they will not show up in a long exposure.  There is a lot more I could say about using filters like the Lee Big Stopper but I’ll perhaps save that for another article and get back to my favourite filters of all, the Graduated Neutral Density Filter or ND Grad.

Early MIst After

ND Grads are used to balance exposures. The sunglass effect is graduated such that skies are darkened leaving foregrounds unaffected. One sure fire thing that will let your photographs down from a technical standpoint is blown highlights and lost detail in shadows. These are very basic faults and the easiest ways to avoid them is to pack a set of ND Grads. If you have a bright sky and darker foreground, some of it in shadow, without filters you have two options, expose for the sky and you’re going to lose details in shadows; expose for the foreground and there is a good chance you are going to blow out the highlights in the sky. Strictly speaking you have a third option and that is to use exposure compensation and bracket a series of shots but I’ll get to that.

Camera plus Filter

Once highlights are blown there is nothing in post processing that will allow you to bring them back.  Conversely, modern sensors are very good at garnering every ounce of detail from any scene you are shooting but if your shadows are just too dark, attempts to recover them in post will give you blotchy unattractive results.  You can’t make detail appear that just isn’t there and believe me I’ve tried.  Attempts to do so look very messy indeed.

Lee Hard ND Grads

ND filters normally come in sets of 3.  The filters are labelled differently depending on manufacturer but a set will usually allow for a 1, 2 or 3 stop exposure compensation.  The table below relates to both ND and ND graduated filters.

table

It’s important to note I think at this point that it’s worth spending a few pounds on these filters and avoiding the cheaper options you see on websites like Amazon. You can easily find a set of ND Grads for under a tenner if you look but anything you put in front of your lens will degrade your image. Why spend hundreds of pounds on a decent lens and then put a cheap piece of glass or worse, plastic, in front of it. These filters will last a lifetime if treated well so it’s worth saving a little before taking the plunge and buying a set.

number 10

I use Lee filters because I think they are arguably the best and I have no affiliation with Lee. Hitech filters are right up there however and I’m hoping to put that to the test. Both of these companies offer 100mm filters with holder systems. When using my Nikkor 14-24mm lens, I use the Lee Super Wide system and 150mm filters. The bigger sizes really come into their own if you’re using wide angle lenses. Cokin Z-Pro filters are also 100mm I believe but I have no experience or knowledge of those. The first set of filters I had were of the smaller Cokin variety and I used to have to crop my wide angled shots rather defeating the object This was because the edge of the filters were picked up by my Nikkor 24–70mm lens at 24mm but if you’re on a budget, these are an ideal choice, certainly to get you started.

Another point to be made in favour of spending a few pounds or dollars is that Neutral Density Filters and ND Grads are so called because they have a neutral impact on the colour of your images, or at least they are supposed to. Not all ND and ND grad filters are created equally. Colour cast can be a real issue with cheaper filters and even with the more expensive ones when you get up to 10 stops. It can be corrected, using colour balance tools, but it’s best to try and keep things truly neutral from the start.

Bedruthan Steps

For most landscape shots, I like to keep my aperture constant at f/11 for maximum depth of field.  You need to choose the right ND Grad to get the right effect.  The sky is naturally brighter than the ground so you want to keep it that way.  To achieve the most natural looking result you need to choose the right ND Grad to correct exposure difference to within 1 stop.

Therefore, if I point my camera at the sky, not the sun, and take a light reading and my light meter suggests a shutter speed of 1/200sec and I then point my camera at the foreground and take another light meter reading and my light meter suggests that to properly expose the foreground I need a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. This would be two stops and I would choose my 1 stop filter which would be my 0.3.

I would of course have the option of keeping my shutter speed the same at 1/200 sec. and opening the aperture from f/11 to f/9…  This would still be two stops and I would still need my .03 filter to even the exposure.

Likewise, if my light meter suggested that to properly expose the sky at f/11, I would need a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. and to properly expose the foreground I would need a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. this would equate to three stops.  I would therefore use my 2 stop .06 filter to darken the sky enough for me to shoot at f/11 and 1/125 sec. This would ensure I wouldn’t lose any details in the shadows and highlights wouldn’t be blown out in the sky.  A balanced exposure in other words.

Wheal Coates from Chapel Porth

ND Graduated filters, as well as coming in different strengths as it were, they also come in hard and soft varieties.  The hard and soft relates to the graduation between the darker glass and the lighter.  Soft filters have a much more gradual division between the two halves.  My recommendation would be to buy a set of hard ND Grads.  It may be tempting to go for soft thinking this will allow for easier blending of the filter effect.  The problem with soft grads is that often times you end up pushing the filter so far down the filter holder it’s nearly out the other side to darken a bright horizon.  Having darkened the sky above the horizon sufficiently, because you’ve pushed the filter in so far, you end up with the area below the horizon being adversely affected by the filter.

The graduation on a hard ND Grad is not as stark as it at first might appear. You’re not going to see a hard line across your horizon unless of course, you set it too high but this is less likely because the hard edge also makes it much easier to set the filter in the right place. It’s not always easy to see through the lens, especially with the 0.3 filter, exactly where you need to set the filter. It soon becomes evident when you try and process the picture if you’ve set it in the wrong place however. A dark smudge right across your landscape does not look good. A dark sky with a bright strip just above the horizon doesn’t look good either but you’ll soon get the hang of setting the filter in the right place.

1AT_0689

I had hoped to show some ‘with filter’ and ‘without filter’ photos to demonstrate just how effective these filters are in properly balancing an exposure but we have had thick fog in Cornwall for the last five days and with no let-up in sight, I’ve run up against my deadline for this article but please, take my word for it; with a set of these filters in your kit bag, you’ll be able to tackle shots you just might not be able to manage otherwise without under or over exposing one part of the picture or other.

On this note, I’ll come back to bracketing as another way to balance awkward exposures.  Bracketing can be very effective and when weather conditions make the use of filters awkward, I use this technique myself.  But, bracketing is going to give you a whole lot of work to do in post that you just won’t have to do if you use filters.  You can use programs like Photomatrix to make light work of merging bracketed shots but in my experience, this is difficult to do without getting an HDR like effect, even when using the ‘exposure blending’ rather than the ‘HDR’ option within Photomatrix.  Filters are the best, and in terms of workflow, by far the most efficient option in my opinion.

St Michael's Mount

As well as balancing exposures, you can also use a darker ND Grad than your light meter suggests for creative effect.  I’ve peppered this article with photos I’ve taken where the use of a filter was essential in order to get a proper exposure and others where I’ve used a darker filter than was necessary to create drama or to otherwise enhance the sky.

With a decent set of filters and with these pointers in hand, the best advice I can give is to get out there, take photographs and experiment.  For the added effort of a few minutes setting up, you’ll be amply rewarded, your landscape photographs will improve enormously and you’re going to look very professional to boot.

I would like to thank Adrian/Chillbrook for writing this informative post for us.  He is also going to answer any questions you might have.  Don’t forget to go and take a look at his blog , and check out his amazing seascapes that he takes along the Cornwell coast, they are stunning.

I am going to put his wonderful images into a gallery for you now as well.

Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.

melbourne-sunset-night-river-buildings-101

Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.

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Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.

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Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.

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We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.

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Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.

 

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