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Choosing the Right ND Filter

In Black & White, Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Polarizing Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Cole Thompson6 Comments

I assist with the occasional photo workshop (John Barclay Photo Tours) and I am seeing something that bothers me. Participants are coming with a 10-stop ND filter and wanting to do 30-second or longer exposures. There’s always disappointment when they learn this filter will only give them a few seconds. I’m not claiming that I’m an expert, but I do shoot a lot of long exposures and would like to share my thoughts on choosing the right ND filter. This …

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The Story Behind “Melting Giants”

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios, Water Features by Cole Thompson2 Comments

In 2015 I was photographing in Nova Scotia when someone told me that Newfoundland to the north had icebergs. I have always been fascinated with icebergs (I think most people are) and so I decided that my next trip would be hunting icebergs in Newfoundland. I say “hunt” because I was warned that icebergs were unpredictable and inconsistent. One year you may see many and the next year…none. You just have to go and hope that you’ll be lucky. I prepare …

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The “Five-Stop Effect”

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios, Water Features by Tom BolLeave a Comment

If you have thumbed through the pages of a photo magazine recently, chances are good you have seen the stunning effects created by ND filters. My palms start sweating when I see puffy clouds streaking across the sky. I know these clouds will look magical when I shoot at slow shutter speeds from 1-4 minutes using my 10- and 15-stop Singh-Ray Mor-Slo ND filters. Honestly, I look at clouds differently now knowing what transformative effects I can create using these filters. …

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Working with a polarizer in Namibia

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, Polarizing Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Jay DickmanLeave a Comment

Light isn’t always light. We often have those times when the light is pouring through the particulate matter of an urban landscape, the “stuff” in the air warping the air molecules into a huge “soft box.” Those early and late “golden hour” moments provide that magical light all photographers love to find – and use. Sometimes however, the light provided is less than perfect, or the sky hovering over the landscape is too “blown out” (too bright to be able …

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Is there a perfect aperture for landscape photography?

In Landscapes, Scenes & Scenarios by Don Smith1 Comment

The sun sets into Pacific Ocean fog as seen from Fremont Peak State Park, elevation 3,169 feet, Gabilan Mountain Range, California. Sony a7RII, Canon 11-24mm, f/16, 1/4th, 100 ISO. How often do you think about your aperture choice? There is an old saying amongst photojournalists: F/8 and be there! Many amateur landscape photographers seem to think f/16 is the popular choice. If one thinks about maximizing depth-of-field, then their thinking is correct. But when should one use f/22? Is that …

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Tips For Better Wildflower Images – Part 2

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, Polarizing Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Don SmithLeave a Comment

Lupine and Balsamroot against setting sun, Columbia State Park, Dalles Mountain Ranch, Washington. Sony a7R, Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm, f/22, 1/8th, Auto ISO @ 640. Tip #6 – Auto ISO Most new digital cameras are now offering Auto ISO. I find, when photographing wildflowers and fighting a relentless breeze, that this feature can save the day and really allow me to concentrate on my composition. I first tried this feature last March in the hills of southern Washington. I was working on …

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Tips For Better Wildflower Images – Part 1

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, Polarizing Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Don SmithLeave a Comment

Editor’s note: It’s flower time in many parts of the world now, so we thought these tips from Don Smith might be helpful – here is part one. Don’s essential tools for shooting wildflowers include his Singh-Ray warming and neutral polarizers. Many photographers also choose our ColorCombo polarizer for flowers. One way or the other, a polarizer is a must-have creative tool for this type of photography. Sunset and spring hills, Southern Santa Clara Valley, Diablo Mountains, California, Sony a7R …

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Capturing the image you envision

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Michael KishLeave a Comment

Photographers now have more powerful tools available to them than ever before. Exciting new sensor technologies already up to 50+ megapixels. Lenses that can resolve the finest detail. Huge advances in the digital darkroom, such as the ability to easily blend multiple images using luminosity masks. With all these advances, where do filters fit in? In my photo tours and workshops I often hear “I can do that later in Photoshop.” Photoshop is certainly a powerful tool, but it can’t …

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For stronger foregrounds, try taking a bug’s eye view!

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Don SmithLeave a Comment

Editor’s note: Don’s technique for capturing and processing this image is also a great way to solve the challenge of combining a very long exposure for one element of a scene with the need for a faster exposure to avoid motion in another part of the scene.  Sony a7RII, Sony/Zeiss FE 16-35mm, f/16, 8.5 minute exposure (separate exposure on foreground – explained below), 100 ISO, Singh-Ray 15-stop Mor-Slo solid neutral density filter.  Back in my college days at San Jose …

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“All in camera, old school photography” with digital, part two

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Randall J. HodgesLeave a Comment

This is the second article in my “All in Camera” series for the Singh-Ray blog. Today, I’d like to highlight the need to control white balance during image capture and discuss a valuable in-camera tool you might not currently be using that can help you with this – what I call the “Digital Rolls of Film” settings available in most DSLR cameras (“Picture Control” in the menu of Nikon DSLRs and “Picture Style” in Canon DSLRs). Let’s start with this …