Jenny Cameron

Professional Landscape Photographer known for her unique, creative and evocative style based in the northern Scottish Highlands.

Posts by Jenny Cameron

My interview with 1X.com Featured

One of the proudest achievements of my photography career. It’s not every day 1X asks to interview you. In my opinion, it’s the most highly regarded photography website in the business. Never in a zillion years did I think I’d ever reach this point. Anyways, if you have a few minutes spare please take a read & let me know what you think of my “make it up as you go along approach” rather than stressing about technicalities & what others may think of you.

To begin, please introduce yourself shortly and tell us more about you, your origins, your hobbies or other projects you are involved in!

Born and raised in the north of England but always felt something missing deep in my heart. Aged seventeen, I met my husband a passionate mountaineer who introduced me to the Scottish mountains. We spent as much spare time traveling from England to our favorite place in Scotland called Glencoe. This opened a whole new world to me and instantly became my heart and soul. I was falling in love with of course my Husband but also this new land. Each time we left it became harder to leave, our hearts were yearning to return but work commitments took precedence in England. However, in 2007 we escaped the rat race, followed our hearts, and moved to Scotland never looking back. We now live on a horse farm within a private Highland estate in the far north. Even now whilst driving around this beautiful area I call home for mundane daily chores I pinch myself in disbelieve that I actually live here & think how wonderful it would be if my eyes were a camera.

Wilderness

What would be the most important experience so far that has influenced your steps in photography?

Without a shadow of a doubt in 2018, when I faced the biggest fight of my life. My world came crashing down when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer aged 45. My Consultant told me I’d be out of action for over a year with surgery and treatments. A few weeks after diagnosis a Fine Art Gallery in Glasgow approached me to display some of my work. This provided mental balance, something positive to focus on and true hope. It took a few weeks after surgery to get back to doing some post-processing, only able to use one hand. Sadly, I wasn’t able to hold my camera as I was so weak and sore. Cancer might have put my life on hold but there was no way it was controlling my love of photography. Within this time I wrote a full post-processing tutorial of one of my images from start to finish for Photography Masterclass magazine and also had a selection of my work published in a hardback coffee table style book that same year. Eventually, I got through surgery, five months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and albeit a little battered and bruised, I survived! It’s the old cliché that you often hear after a life-changing diagnosis “The world looks different now”. It’s so true! Before my diagnosis, I would shy away from certain opportunities but now I want to grab life and live it to the fullest. I received many messages of support from fellow photographers who told me their stories of how cancer had touched their families. It gave me the confidence to hold my head up high, I was alive!

As the saying goes “Every cloud has a silver lining”. I had just started chemotherapy, my biggest fear when six horses came to stay at our farm. I’d never had much experience but always loved their sheer grace & beauty. They gave me a purpose to carry on each day & not throw the towel in. A two-year-old rescue filly named Winter had liver disease, the odds were stacked against her, it was like we were in the fight together. It took a lot of effort for me to visit her as I was weak but she gave me the mental strength to face each day and hopefully I did the same for her. Winter went on to make a full recovery & is now living on the north coast expecting her first foal next spring. Another rescue horse named Twinkle was also not too well. However, blood tests revealed she was pregnant! Her beautiful foal Ashara was born a few months later here on the farm. Twinkle became my best friend, she would stand at the side of me resting her head on my shoulder, her sense of calmness soothed my soul & still does to this very day. There is now a herd of thirteen horses who I love very dearly, each & everyone has a special place in my heart. This is why Equine photography is so important & meaningful to me.

Winter
Twinkle

My relationship with photography?

For me, my camera is like being with a joyous old friend. Photography instantly takes me to my happy place where I can reflect on my own thoughts, shut out the reality of the noisy outside world. It’s my savior and still continues to help rebuild “me”. No matter what life throws at me, my escape is always art, it allows me to bury my head in my own little world where truly anything is possible.

How do you maintain and grow your passion for photography?

I believe the way I flick between Landscape & Equine prevents the rot from setting in. Oftentimes, I reach a point with say Landscape that I lose inspiration, almost like a factory worker on a production line doing the same-old job day in day out. When this happens I throw myself into Equine, then I reach another brick wall so I swop to Landscape. It really helps to keep my internal creative fires burning & enrich personal development.

Luie

In my opinion, colour is very important in your photographs. Your use of colours really put a personal stamp on your work. Your style is at once recognizable and wearing your signature?

Yes, color work is extremely important to me and the most painstaking job spent in post-processing. It comes mostly from spending time in the great outdoors, you soon learn which colors work best, you can’t beat nature’s own color wheel which heavily influences me. On the flip side, some images speak louder in monochrome, although they really do need a strong personality for this treatment, meaning an impactful composition &/or mood. There is a game I like to play in Photoshop with the color picker tool, by creating a Hue/Sat adjustment layer I test myself to see what color it actually is as sometimes colors can take on color from another juxtaposed, it really is quite surprising & a fun way to learn color.

Can you please describe in a few words your photographer philosophy and mission?

Firstly, be true to yourself, do what makes “you” happy, and don’t worry what others may think. Don’t follow the crowds or chase the followers it will become stressful and dull your creativity. Take inspiration from others but don’t copy. Try to find your own unique style which in return will give you more abundance. Never compare yourself to others, it’s a slippery slope of despair. Social media can of course be inspirational, however, at the same time can leave you with a feeling of lackluster, loneliness and can quickly lead to unhelpful comparisons. If this happens take some time away even if just a couple of hours and do something completely different as it can suck the life from your creative flow. And finally, practice, practice, and more practice, it’s the only way. Oh… and don’t be too hard on yourself –  it’s about having fun!

Don’t make photography complicated. Once you strip down an image to its bare bones it reveals more emotion. Almost by making the image naked, you see the truth rather than dressing it up with hair/ make-up & clothes. Strike a balance, offer something new when photographing a famous location/building/structure. Try to stand out, otherwise, it’s just another Dunnottar Castle that we’ve all seen a zillion times online & quite frankly boring. Make it your own, try to bring something else to the table that will stop the scrollers in their tracks & look at it properly. Make it shine! Planning is great, however, spontaneity works a treat, living for the moment. You are the magician, in your world anything is possible. Self believe is paramount. The secret is believing.

How would you describe your work? What is it you want to achieve?

I’m not sure how to describe my work as I really do not see what other people see. I’m very much a perfectionist and OCD with my images. My heart & soul is in each & every image, they become almost like my babies with their own personalities. I procrastinate far too much, some images will sit part processed on my hard drive for months, even years have been know. I truly wish I had a set workflow but I don’t, I simply follow my heart and let it develop as I go along. Achieving perfection is my ultimate goal but not sure if it exists.

Etive

What do you think are the challenges of this activity, especially in these days of coronavirus pandemic?

The pandemic has changed everything for me. I had workshops booked in 2020 which had to be canceled. Most photographers have returned to their workshops but sadly my cancer diagnosis in 2018 left me with no lymph nodes in my arm which leaves me more vulnerable. This has made me more of a recluse & quite honestly I’m nervous of being in close contact with my students. So for the time being & especially now as new cases are rising in Scotland, I’m taking a back seat from workshops and seeing what happens over the next few years. The past few years have taught me good health & family/friends are more important than money. I can still enjoy my photography within these parameters.

You travel a lot I guess, and you get to know many known photographers, thus having access to different cultures and photographic visions. How does this influence your work?

It’s not about how far you travel but how you see it. I don’t travel so much and never photographed outside of the UK as I won’t leave my dog. Scottish mountains are my friends, I talk to them all time, genuinely miss them whilst am away. I have to make the most of what I have & how I view it. In all honesty, I dont know many photographers on a personal level, sure I have many on social media which is great but that’s not the same.

Loch Assynt, Scotland

Many are of the opinion that the gear is not very important when the passion for photography is strong. However, can you please share with us what gear do you use (camera, lenses, tripod,etc.)?

I’ve always been a Canon girl right from the beginning. Currently, I use a Canon 5d mark iv body, Canon 16-35mm (ii) L lens, Canon 70-200mm (ii) L Lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod & Ball-head, selection of Haida filters and Haida Anti-fog belt for Astrophotography.

I don’t have a ton of gear but have learned over the years that it helps to have the best you can afford. Again, the perfectionist in me use to get terribly upset when I first started using a lesser quality tripod, nearby roads caused vibration, admittedly only very slight, you had to pixel peep to see it but that wasn’t good enough for me & something I had to remedy. I bit the bullet and invested in my beloved Gitzo tripod, the best piece of kit I own. The same thing with lenses & filters, I started out buying third-party lenses & cheap filters, again this did not work & almost put me off photography as I struggled a lot. As soon as I invested my work improved & I was able to stop blaming myself ” a bad workman blames his tools”. I know a lot of photographers would disagree with me for saying this but this is my experience & how I upped my game. We are all different & would be boring being all the same.

What would be your favourite photo from the last years? Please tell us the story behind it.

Elysian

The story behind my image “Elysian” instantly springs to mind & literally there is part of my heart within. After a morning of heavy rain and patiently waiting in my car with a flask of peppermint tea I really thought I’d have to turn around and go home. You know when the kid in you wants to stamp your feet and throw a tantrum? Thankfully, only thirty minutes from home but my heart was sinking. Then suddenly, something switched inside me, almost determination sticking two fingers up to the world! It’s only rain I won’t shrink! I gathered my waterproofs, rucksack and went for it. Sat at the top of a peak with all my gear set up under a large golf umbrella and generally feeling rather sorry for myself, black mascara running down my face to complete the look! Then suddenly out of nowhere the clouds opened like they were saying hello and welcoming me. The beautiful sunlight peeped out, I was scrambling for the remote and Haida filters in a real fluster with cold/wet hands. Finally pressed the remote, let the camera/filters do their job whilst I sat back & let the light flood in. Such a beautiful moment, it seemed to last forever but in actual fact only 152 seconds of exposure.  I drove home in more rain with the biggest smile ever on my face. Scottish weather isn’t the most predictable, but it sure gives a great mood.  

Solace

Who are your favourite photographers or mentors whose works have influenced you and your photography?

My favorite photographers are Ryan Dyer & Marc Adamus. Both their work totally blows me away & a huge inspiration. In my early days, I would have loved the luxury of a mentor, someone to hold my hand & show me the ropes would have been amazing! I made many mistakes & believe it took me much longer to learn my craft. I hadn’t met or knew anyone who was a photographer, it was all a whole new language to me. In many ways, I was afraid to meet one encase I said the wrong terminology or they thought I was ridiculous with my dipsy to make it up as you go along the approach. I’ve never attended a workshop as I literally couldn’t afford it, plus I am a slow learner & would most probably have struggled in a group, however, I do think it’s a worthwhile fast-track path for most.

We almost reach the end of this interview and I would kindly ask you to share with us your future plans or photographic projects you would like to be involved in.

I would really love to do more writing, how it can be a creative outlet for photographers. I thoroughly enjoyed writing my first book Earth, Wind & Fire last year with the help of an Italian publishing house and the satisfying feeling of seeing it in print. Again the perfectionist in me wasn’t 100% happy so I would love to tweak things slightly & maybe self-publish this time.

Are you working on any personal projects right now?

Actually, yes! I have a trip planned to the Outer Hebrides next month where I want to concentrate on intimate scenes using only one lens. I aim to avoid grand vista’s typical with a foreground interest, some form of water, followed by mountains & sky. Whilst I’m there I will be doing some test reviews for my sponsors at Haida with their new Magnetic ND filters. The Hebrides are such a special place to me where the light is quite unique, I call it “sparkly -light”, it looks so dramatic against the dark brooding sky. On my Equine side I’m documenting a rescued foal from Wales who came to the farm this summer with his Mom aged two weeks old named Boyo, he is now four months old & such a super friendly character.

Boyo

Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?

Firstly, a huge heart-felt thank you for giving me this opportunity, it truly means the world to me on a personal level & something I never thought I’d ever achieve on this highly regarded & incredibly talented photography platform. I often visited the site in total awe seeing other photographer’s work get published, something I only ever dreamt of. I enjoying the indulgence of viewing the stunning work of others, I love noting more than pixel peeing shadow detail. I cannot understand for the life in me the whole Instagram craze, the restrictions of a square format is not for me. I have an account but rarely visit the site, kind of feel pressurised to keep up with fellow photographer’s, almost like its a duty to post. Whereas 1X feels organic, with no BOTS or favouritism, I genuinely look forward to uploading with a sense of excitement.

Eternity
Labyrinth

Launch of Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) Featured

Introduction

Introducing the latest filter holder from Haida- M10 mark (ii). I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am getting my hands on this beauty. Hot off the shelves from Haida! Right now as I type it’s not even been launched which is something I’m very proud of.

Three months of testing in the Scottish Highlands 2021-Haida M10 mark (ii) filter holder by Jenny Cameron.

Location Various areas in the Scottish Highlands, UK- during the summer of 2021.

Equipment used for testing – Canon 5d mark (iv), Canon 16-35mm F2.8(ii) lens, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens, Gitzo tripod and ball head, various Haida filters ( Red-diamond, M10 and NanoPro) and Adobe Creative Cloud software.

As we all know the original Haida M10 filter holder mark (i) was first launched three years ago back in October 2018 at the Photokina show in Germany- Proving a huge success over the years for many photographers and a signature innovative design of Haida.

When Haida first told me about a mark (ii) design- If I’m honest it shocked me a little! I didn’t expect a new filter holder so soon! “If it ain’t broke why fix it?” -A bit like redesigning the wheel! However, now I’ve used it for four months. I can hand on heart assure you I no longer use the old one. Let me walk you through my honest thoughts and experiences of use in the field.

What’s in the box?

One Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii), one adapter ring ( various sizes available), one Light-barrier, and one M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser mark (ii). Pre-installed with two pairs of plastic filter slots. An extra pair of filter holder slots to provide a third slot on the front of the holder which I’ve left on permanently. Plus a handy lens cap so you can leave the adapter ring on your lens permanently for a more convenient and faster set-up. Housed in a smart black Eco-leather zipped storage case with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod, rucksack, or trouser belt for ease of access. Internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a useful net pocket for storage.

Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) included in the kit.
Haida M10 filter holder Eco-leather zipped storage case.

M10 Adapter ring

This is the foundation for the M10 filter holder-It’s a bit like building a house without a solid foundation there’s no point installing the windows. Works solely with the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii). Made from aluminum for strength and lightweight. Designed to be slim for a reason- in my experience, it helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles- Usually anything from around 20mm and wider. Some filter holders I’ve used in the past can create unwanted vignettes, therefore keeping the adapter ring as close as possible to the lens is crucial- However, strength is imperative, hence why aluminum is a popular choice for also our tripods, we need them mighty strong but lightweight. The adapter ring simply screws onto the front of your lens. Check the end of your lens to determine which size adapter ring you need to fit your lens. 

Adaptor rings screw onto your lens to accommodate the filter holder. Once the ring is in place the holder clips into place using a smooth, quick-release spring-loaded mechanism.

Available to fit most popular lenses in sizes; 49,52,55,58,62,72 and 82mm. Step-up rings are also available.

77mm adapter ring screwed on the lens.

Construction and Ergonomics of the Haida M10 filter holder (ii)

The first thing you’ll notice is its build quality. Made from Aviation-grade aluminum and PC materials for super strength and light-weight.

The aesthetics of the Haida M10 mark (ii) filter holder design has broadly stayed the same keeping the ever-popular modular drop-in system- Enabling rapid set-up and simple to use on- location. Allowing you to continue using your Haida M10 “round” drop-in filters, Red-diamonds, and NanoPro filters together or singular. Designed to take up to three filters ( 100 x 100mm or 100 x 150mm @ 2mm thickness) on the front of the holder and one filter slot at the rear closest to your camera lens where you can use one M10 “round drop-in filter or a Light-barrier. Also compatible with other brands of the same size. If you don’t wish to use any of the “round” drop-in filters you must therefore use the light barrier (included in the kit). Basically, a sealing ring to prevent any light leakage- In total it’s possible to use four filters all together in the Haida M10 filter holder (ii). Oftentimes, in the past, usually whilst doing long exposures I’ve struggled with the issue of light leakage and had to resort to putting hats or cloths over the gap between filter and lens, not an ideal situation.

Once fitted to the adapter ring the ingenious designed Haida M10 filter holder (ii) can be independently rotated a whole 360 degrees and securely held in place at any angle which enables the photographer to quickly balance the exposure at ease with rapidly changing light conditions using the right filter. Not forgetting to mention super fast to switch filters.

When the side-light is too strong. Use the Haida Red-diamond GND filter angled to create a more balanced exposure.

As great as the previous design was, there’s always been one major caveat. If you wanted to rotate/angle a neutral density graduated filter ( I use the really lovely high-end Haida Red-diamond range) if the sidelight gets too strong there was nothing to prevent the filter from slipping/moving or if you annoyingly accidentally knocked it you’d have to keep putting it back in place. As we all know light moves super fast so the last thing you need is equipment failing, it soon becomes stressful. This is where the new design really steps up to the plate and takes away any stress with a really neat locking feature which allows you to securely lock a filter/filters in place at whatever angle suits best- Making this an extremely secure and solid connection-much more than its predecessor which didn’t have this feature! I particularly love the new chunkier bright red push-and-release (spring clip) locking lever.

New feature! locking device close-up.

New feature! Locked securely in place.

New feature! Improved ergonomics.

New feature! Convenient lens cap.

What’s the difference between the M10 mark (i) and mark (ii) filter holder.

  • Lens cap included in the kit- You can leave the adapter ring on the lens permanently in your bag.
  • Weight- Mark (i) = 76g and Mark (ii) = 59g– significantly lighter even with new extra features.
  • Feels more sturdy and durable.
  • Ergonomically easier/faster set up. The holder can be taken-off by one hand directly.
  • Brilliant new locking feature with the use of Chinese traditional mortise and tenon joint structure.

Let’s take a closer look at the M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser (CPL) (ii)- included in the kit.

The image above was taken with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) in the Haida M10 filter holder (ii) -Post-processed in Adobe Photoshop. ISO 100, F16, 1/60 @16mm on a full-frame camera.

Inserting the Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) into the M10 filter holder (ii) is super fast and very convenient. Simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you -Once you hear the click it’s locked in place. There is a three gear linkage design on the mount which smoothly rotates independently. Once you start turning the adjustable black dial centrally placed on the top of the filter, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensify on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate 360 degrees first to check the availability of contrast, saturation, and reflection. The strongest effect takes place at an angle of 90 degrees from the sun, i.e. make sure your line of sight is perpendicular to the direction of the sun. The filter is easily removed or exchanged by gently squeezing the red plastic tabs on the top and lifting it out without disturbing your composition. Such a great Polariser that has never let me down, providing excellent sharpness from corner to corner and the absence of color casts. Its sleek design allows the use of wide-angle lenses such as a 16mm on a full-frame camera with no evidence of unwanted vignettes. The frame part has been upgraded from plastic to a more durable Aluminium.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera @30mm with no filter and with Haida M10 (ii) filter holder and M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness. The results speak for themselves.

Without/with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) in the M10 filter holder (ii). Without= ISO 100, F11, 1/30 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/8 @30mm.
Post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Construction and design

  • High-quality optical glass.
  • Upgraded frame-now in Aluminium instead of plastic.
  • Anti-reflective coatings.
  • Scratch-proof.
  • Ultra-thin NanoPro coating.
  • Waterproof, meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears.
  • The dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.
  • Most importantly for me it preserves image sharpness which let me tell you is second to none.
  • Colour fidelity.
  • Absolutely no vignette even at my widest 16mm.
  • M10 Adapter ring, M10 Drop-in Filters (i & ii) are universal to the M10 Holder (i & ii).

Rearview of Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL mark (ii) in the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) . Sits at the rear of the holder.

Front view of Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) with M10 “round” drop-in CPL mark (ii) which sits at the rear closest to the lens.

Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- @165mm with no filter and with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom.

Without filter= ISO 100, F11, 1/75 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/30 @165mm.

Without/with Haida M10 CPL (ii)
Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- @16mm with no filter and with M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness.

Without filter= ISO 100, F16, 0/5 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/5 @16mm on a full-frame camera.
Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud
Video showing the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) in a smart black Eco-leather zipped storage case with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod, rucksack or trouser belt for ease of access. Internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a useful net pocket for storage.

Overall conclusion

The Haida M10 filter holder (ii) modular and durable design offers good protection for the filters. Feels strong, rigid/sturdy, and has a well-thought-out system for the most demanding of outdoor photographers especially those like me who enjoy long exposure photography. The quick-release clip is fantastic for getting the holder on and off so you can easily switch it between multiple cameras with different filter configurations. Overall lovely quality without compromise as we have all come to expect from Haida. The upgraded M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser (ii) feels sturdier and more durable due to the upgraded aluminum frame. However, I found from my findings that optically the sharpness remains the same as its predecessor.

As I often mention- Haida never stops searching for new solutions to help photographers.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. For more information please visit their website , Facebook  or Instagram.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions. Contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Step-up rings simply explained without techy jargon

What is a Step-up Ring?

A Step-up ring is basically a thin metal or plastic ring which increases the lens diameter. Simply screws directly onto your lens then the adapter ring for your chosen filter screws on top. This allows you to attach a larger filter size so you don’t have to buy or carry multiple filters for each of your different sized lenses.

It doesn’t have to break the bank balance?

Have you been put off going down the filter route for fear of it being too costly as you have different sized lenses and don’t wish to break the bank buying separate filters for each? How about if I told you there is a way you can use one filter on multiple lenses? Simply find your largest thread size and purchase a Step-up ring/s for the rest.

How to measure your lens for the correct filter size.

It may seem obvious, however for newbies just starting out this can be very confusing. So, for the avoidance of doubt- Lens diameter is not the same as focal length. Lens diameter is a physical measurement on the front part of your lens. On my Canon lens the diameter is etched on the inside of the front of the lens ( image example below). Identifiable by a circle with a line right through the middle with a number at the side, this is the measurement needed to select the correct filter size- Alternatively, you could go old school and get your ruler out to measure the diameter in millimetres.

What to buy?

When buying Step-up ring/s, the goal is to find the thinnest and strongest compound if you want the best optical quality in the final image. If the ring is too thick it makes the gap between lens and filter too wide which causes all types of issues from vignette, sharpness is compromised, possibility of light leaking. The Haida ones I use are Aluminium and I’ve never had any problems. One more tip, to avoid vignetting, make sure the filter size is larger than the lens size.

Is it possible to stack Step-up rings?

Yes, it is possible to stack Step-up rings on top of each other, however this is something I highly do not recommend as it increases the distance between filter and lens which can cause vignetting and/or ghosting. All in all bad practice!

To conclude

Step-up rings are probably the cheapest photography accessory I own and the most useful. Well worth investing in and will save you some pennies but make sure it’s good quality, don’t go for the cheapest.

If you would like to view my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope you found this helpful and simple to understand. Any further questions/advice I’m more than happy to help.

Haida Anti-fog belt

Haida Anti-Fog belt- Perfect solution for astrophotography & extreme temperature photography. @jennycameron 2021.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021.

Haida Picture Appreciation | September Featured

Each month Haida support their Ambassador’s by promoting photographer’s work in what they call Haida Picture Appreciation. This month they kindly chose my recent image named “Summer-nights”. If you would like to view others on their website please follow this link.

“Summer-nights”~ I’m going to go all British on you now and talk about the weather, it’s our favourite topic, we are never happy, it’s either too hot or too cold, moaning is our second favourite topic. Have to say this year has probably been the driest and hottest summer I’ve known in a long time, that’s saying something for Scotland. There’s a reason we have so much “greenery”! I This image is a new gem of a location close to my home, a big area with waterfalls and woodland. Imagine the Aurora &/or Milkyway placed over here.

Techy information

Canon 5D Mark IV 

Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) USM

16mm | 1/5s | f11 | ISO 100

Haida M10 Filter Holder + Drop-in CPL

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website , Facebook  or Instagram.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope you enjoyed this? Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 & NanoPro Magnetic Polariser test review Featured

Introduction

Welcome to my test review– Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 (6 stops) and a Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser (CPL). Testing for sharpness, magnetic attraction strength, ergonomics, vignette, colour cast and practicalities.

As a landscape photographer– Over the years I’ve learnt the importance of investing in a good quality filter set if you truly want to hone in on your in-camera creativity. I`d go as far to say neutral density filters are almost as necessary as having a decent tripod. It’s something you can buy a bit at a time to build a collection to suit your needs. However, choosing the correct not only brand but these days the correct family (magnetic, round, square, rear-lens etc…) can be the tricky part. Hopefully, I can offer a little help.

Location

I planned a few days photography trip in the far north western mountains here in Scotland with a couple of friends and thought it would be an ideal opportunity to put these beauties through their paces. After testing Haida’s Interchangeable Magnetic VND filters earlier this year- which I fell head over heels in love with for their practicalities and super sharp imagery, I wanted to see if the bar was set as high with the rest of the Magnetic ND family.

Equipment used– Canon 5d mark iv body, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod and ball-head. Haida filters. Software- Adobe Creative Cloud.

Meet the Magnetic family

Magnetic Adapter Ring

Constructed entirely from aluminium for strength and light-weight. I have to commend Haida on the super slim design- From my experience, this helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles. It screws really smoothly and with ease onto your lens. What I really love about this design is the ability to be able to leave it on your lens permanently so it won’t get misplaced or lost. Once this is in place you’re ready to start adding filters which is done in seconds. It takes longer to get a filter out of your bag than it does putting it on.

Sizes available= 52- 82mm. Step-up rings are also available in sizes 67-77mm and 77-82mm. I’m using an 82mm on my Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens.

Magnetic Adapter ring

Magnetic lens cap

What I love about this is- If you leave the magnetic adapter ring on your lens you can simply pop on the magnetic lens cap and pack it away conveniently in your bag- knowing everything is secured and less time-consuming for your next shoot. These are sold separately and not included with a single filter -However, it is included in the kit.


Haida NanoPro Magnetic neutral density (ND) 1.8

Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8 (6 stops) stacked on top of Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL.

We will start by looking at the ND 1.8 which is a 6 stop, meaning the light will be reduced by 6 stops of light- Essentially sunglasses for your lens and come in different strengths. For me personally, as a landscape photographer this is my go-to filter for anything moving- For example- Wispy clouds, to smooth down fast-flowing water or waterfalls, creating a dreamy effect. It’s used to darken the whole image evenly from top to bottom and that allows you to use a wider aperture or slower shutter speed than you would without the filter. This achieves very pleasing results as you have more creative control with depth of field and convey movement in a beautiful motion. Typically used for long exposure photography. Also, very useful for a cinematic look in video making which I spoke about in my previous blog post and video if you’d like to learn more.

Once you start going past a 2 stop ND filter on a wide-angle lens you start getting into obvious unwanted vignettes’ and strange colour cast territories’. I can happily confirm from my findings- No vignette, consistent tonality/ contrast with no colour shift (neutrality) and no loss of sharpness from corner to corner in the final raw files which speak for themselves in the images below.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 1.8. No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness. Without filter- ISO 100, F8, 1/30 With 6 stop ND filter- ISO 100, F8, 2 seconds.

Without/with filter

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Specifications

Sizes– Available in sizes 52- 82mm.

ConstructionThe frame part is constructed from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight. The glass is made from high quality K9 optical glass for clarity and colour fidelity with a NanoPro coating.

Weight– 18g based on 82mm filter.

Featuring

  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Lightweight.
  • No light leakages.
  • Low profile filtration.
  • Quick to install and switch filters.
  • NanoPro coating, helps prevent dirt/smudges from adhering to the glass, reduced reflections, scratch resistant, waterproof, fingerprint, oil-proof and cleaning efficiency.
  • Fully compatible and interchangeable with magnetic filters from other brands.
  • Magnetic metal lens cap.

Ergonomics’- The downsides of glass filters are they are more prone to scratches and finger print smudges. On location before starting the video for this evaluation, without thinking I stupidly sprayed midge repellent on my hands then picked up a filter- Leaving a thin coat of oil all over! Thankfully with a soft microfibre cloth it was easy to wipe off thanks to the NanoPro coating on the filter. The magnetic strip around the edges acts like a light seal meaning no light leakage whatsoever- It’s a win win innovation. Speed of use and convenience is high on my list, watch my video to see how easy installation is. The ability to add/swop filters fast can make or break a potentially great image as you’re not wasting time screwing on the adapter ring then filter holder, followed by filters, it can be time consuming and often frustrating when the light is moving fast-its that rabbit in the headlights feeling. No more struggling to screw on filters in the winter with numb hands. You can stack up to 4 magnetic filters with this system including other brand magnetic filters. Making stacking filters the easiest we’ve ever had. When you’re finished shooting and ready to pack away you can leave the adapter ring on and put the magnetic lens cap over the top, making life even more convenient for your next composition.


Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser

What is a Circular Polariser and how does it work?

My favourite of all the filters has always been the Polariser, often referred to as a CPL ( Circular Polariser/Linear). A vital piece of kit every photographer should have and something which cannot be mimicked with digital tricks no matter how good you are. I really cannot stress enough the importance for the majority of photography genres. All in all you really cannot go wrong investing in a good quality polariser.

I’m no light Scientist and Physics was my worst subject at school- Therefore I won`t attempt a full technical breakdown of how it works, in my mind it’s pure magic! Sorry, in all seriousness it really is science- The basic job of a polariser is to help block out reflective light.

Polarisers tend to get labelled to landscape photography- However, it is not the case and a misconception. They are perfect for nature photographers to cut out some water reflection so you can often see right through to the river bed. Ideal for Macro on insects with shiny bodies &/or water droplets. Wildlife for showing convoluted detail/textures and vibrant colours. Portraiture-on someone’s sweaty brow or wearing glasses. Architecture- reflections from windows. Great if you’re ever shooting a subject through your car window or at the Zoo/Aquarium behind glass, a polariser will be your best friend. Overall, saturation is beautifully increased, cuts through haze, produces amazing contrast, darkens blue skies, especially great with the greens on wet foliage, misty rainbows are made more vivid. My favourite of all is on animal fur, white/light coloured in particular- Basically any reflective surface other than metal a Polariser will give an instant pop to any image.

However, there are some caveats, they only work at certain angles ( told you its magic!). When the sun is positioned either directly in front of or behind the lens the polariser will not work- So, you have to look 90 degrees to your side so the sun is perpendicular to your lens then start rotating the filter and you’ll instantly see the polarising effect.

A common problem of polarisers on wide angle lenses is they don’t give the full effect over the entire image, so for example you would have the effect on say the left side but not the right side and vice versa or other random areas. This is not something I’ve ever experienced with any Haida filters, it tends to be more on the budget brands but it’s something I keep in mind and always test for with new filters.

Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL on top of Magnetic adapter ring

Always remember with any filter – it brings into the equation a fourth dimension to the exposure triangle. With a Polariser you will generally lose between 1-2 stops of light. As you can see in the comparison EXIF data below, I have lost around 1.5 stops.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL filter. No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness and controlled highlights. Without filter- ISO 100, F11, 1/15 With CPL filter- ISO 100, F11, 1/6.

Without/ with Haida NanoPro Magnetic Circular Polariser

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Specifications

Sizes– Available in sizes 52- 82mm. I’m using the 82mm as my lens is a Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii). -Step-up rings also available in sizes 67-77mm and 77-82mm.

Construction-The frame part is constructed from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight. The glass is made from high quality K9 optical glass for clarity and colour fidelity with a NanoPro coating.

Weight- 23g based on a 82mm filter.

ErgonomicsI have to say how solid it feels in my hand for the size with a good textured grip round the circumference with no harsh edges and smooth as butter rotation on the polariser, such a lovely sleek design. I found the practicalities continue with my Equine work where I often work off tripod I was able to achieve a fast enough shutter speed with the polariser on. By leaving on the magnetic adapter ring and using the magnetic lens cap ( as demonstrated in the video below)-It gave me the ability to quickly pop on the polariser if the light was causing me to loose crucial fur detail in the highlights. Initially, I did feel slightly paranoid that the magnetics may not be strong enough with me moving around in many directions following the horses over rough terrain- However, I’m delighted to confirm they were 100% secured. Speed of use, couldn’t be easier compared to older Polarisers’ which were very fiddly to set up and some even involved using a screwdriver to my horror! Clearly labelled text etched onto the aluminium part of the polariser- Making it easy to read/ identify what type of filter it is.

Features

  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Lightweight.
  • Low profile filtration.
  • Quick to install, switch and stack up to 4 magnetic filters together.
  • Stackable filters without vignette.
  • NanoPro coating, helps prevent dirt/smudges from adhering to the glass, reduced reflections, scratch resistant, waterproof, fingerprint, oil-proof & cleaning efficiency.
  • Fully compatible and interchangeable with magnetic filters from other brands.
  • Magnetic lens cap.

Demonstration video on a Private Highland Estate

Images below taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL

“Luie” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 320, F4, 1/4000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.
“Torin” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 640, F2.8, 1/6000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.
“Sandy” -Image taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL- ISO 1000, F4.5, 1/4000 @200mm. Post processed in Photoshop.

Haida Magnetic zipped filter case

  • Holds up to 5 filters.
  • External dimensions- 121x121x47mm (LxWxH).
  • Filter size- 82mm demonstrated in my YouTube Video.
  • Materials- PU Leather and Polyester.
  • Weight- 98.9g.

Overall conclusion for both magnetic filters

To answer my question at the start of this evaluation- “I wanted to see if the bar was set as high with the rest of the Magnetic ND family“-The answer simply is YES! Exceptional quality throughout regarding even tonality-sharpness-contrast-no colour shift and absolutely no vignette on both filters.

The main attraction if you pardon the pun is the convenience compared to traditional systems which can be extremely fiddly and time consuming, especially if you’re unsure of what filter to use so your swapping and exchanging filters frequently. I’m 100% sold with this system and really do love everything about it. As you can see from my video footage the quality is also top notch for professional videographers out there. Let me assure you in no uncertain terms- This Magnetic family have it all! I will most definitely be recommending to my photography friends &/or students. Quite honestly its a breath of fresh air!

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website , Facebook  or Instagram.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Haida Anti-fog belt

An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography.
Close up- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing heat control with three different settings- Haida Anti-Fog belt.
Showing Haida Anti-Fog belt attached to a spare Drone battery which I used as a power bank.
Haida Anti-Fog belt set up with lovely soft grey bag-Included with purchase.

Introduction

Viewing winter scenes online may look magical but for the photographer it takes a lot of effort and skill to execute. When shooting in sub-zero temperatures it’s an endless problem with the lens fogging up and constant job keeping it clear. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to no avail, placing thermal hats, scarfs around the lens, basically anything to keep the lens warm- which isn’t ideal especially if it’s windy. If you use a tripod this will exacerbate the issue as the camera is away from any body heat. Hot and humid regions are also problematic – When leaving an air conditioned car or building then head outdoors with your camera when it’s hot. Whether it’s moving from a cold to warm environment or vice versa, the drastic change in temperature will cause your lens to fog up. In simple terms, condensation will cause your lens to fog-up, thus dramatically reducing the image quality.

Allow me to introduce to you a brand new product designed by Haida – An innovative and perfect solution for astrophotography and extreme temperature photography. It’s an Anti-fog belt – Companied with a USB port and lovely soft grey pouch so you can put it in your bag easily and conveniently. Boasting three individual heat settings – Low ( 35-45°)- Medium (45-55°)- High (55-65°) and can withstand -40℃ low temperature. Simply wraps around the outside of your camera lens ( held securely in place with Velcro) to avoid fog on your lens and plugs into a power source- (I used a drone battery as a power bank). Not to forget Haida’s signature colour-Red!

Example photo’s below when using the Haida Anti-fog belt would be advantageous.

Lets geek out on why lenses fogs up?

When the temperature of the lens or lens with filter on gets cold the water vapour in the air condenses on it, in other words creates condensation. Same principle when your bathroom mirror fogs up when having a hot shower or when you take a cold drink out of the refrigerator on a hot day. Similarly, to what we learnt in Chemistry at School- Condensation is the opposite to evaporation- rather than water molecules transforming from liquid into a gas in a process known as vaporisation, the water changes instead from a gas in the air back into a liquid form.

Your camera body will generate some heat which will prevent condensation from forming on the inside, but the lens is a different story. In particular, a build-up of condensation behind the actual lens over a period of time could result in the growth of mould. Needless to say, mould will destroy the internal workings of your lens. Or, even worse, condensation on your lens freezing up! Yes, it can actually happen! 

Top-tip from personal experience- In these extreme polar opposite conditions always remember before you retreat indoors to put your camera in a camera bag when you’ve finished photographing. If possible leave it in the bag for a good 12 hours. If you’re inpatient to view your images just remove the SD card. This allows your gear to slowly thermalize whilst avoiding condensation. 

It’s all about the Dew-point

If you’re anything like me a little OCD with preparing for a photo trip- Weather forecast Apps tend to be top of your list? Whether you’re heading to the Arctic or Maldives, both can create big problems for your camera in terms of condensation. Knowing the dew point temperature (which can also be found on most decent websites/Apps) for each location should be high up on your list too and help you prepare for what the weather may throw at you- Be it sun, wind, rain, fog/mist, snow, frost and sand-dust- This will tell you what temperature condensation is expected to form. Condensation is created when the outer casing of your lens is cooled below what is known as the ‘dew point’ of the air inside. The dew point is simply the temperature at which the air inside your lens is no longer able to hold all of the water vapour, meaning that some of it will need to be released back into its liquid form. As such, the water vapour changes back into moisture, causing beading and fogginess to appear on the inside elements of your lens without oftentimes you even realising until you later check through your images horrified with that feeling of “the end of the world”.

Screenshot of my favourite weather App Clear Outside including Dew point temperatures.

Previous experience

I clearly remember a night earlier this year when I gave up and retreated home as it was too cold not only for my hands but became an endless battle with lens fogging up, I couldn’t keep up wiping the lens with a microfibre cloth. I was not happy at all and let me assure you I’m not one to give up easily.

Materials used

Haida adopted a new technology material “Graphene” (heating material) which produces evenly heat distribution in a safe/stable manner.

Positive features

  • Fits any lens.
  • Light-weight & convenient.
  • Starts heating up in only a few seconds.

Negative features

  • Remembering to have a full charged power pack with you.
  • Careful not to knock the focusing ring whilst attaching the belt.

Unfortunately, at this moment in time it’s British summer time- Here in the far north of Scotland it’s pretty much daylight all the time and temperatures are a steady 10-20 degrees Celsius, making it impossible to replicate extreme temperatures or do any Astrophotography. However, come September Milky-way & Aurora season will begin- Followed by a few months later when temperatures start plummeting. Last winter was very cold, reaching minus 28 degrees Celsius at home. I will continue to add my thoughts to this evaluation as conditions allow. Watch this space for more updates!

Conclusion

All in all, I really do think this will be a popular and welcomed tool for many outdoor photographers. Certainly solved a common problem for myself. Hopefully, I’ll achieve more keepers in the mountains next winter and be even more enjoyable.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021


Goliath by Jenny Cameron

Goliath

One of my most favourite mountain ranges on the West coast of Scotland…. Welcome to the land of giants named Torridon. Paradise for hikers, nature lovers, climbers & geologists. These giants are incredibly old – the Torridonian sandstone that forms the bulk of all the mountains dates back 750 million years. On the west side of the estate the hilly and loch-strewn landscape is even older. Composed of Lewisian Gneiss, it’s over 2,600 million years old and it was the erosion of this land that provided the sediment, laid down in shallow seas, for the sandstone we know today.

I clearly remember the feeling of being insignificant in comparison to the sheer size, stood here all alone was the best feeling Id had in a long time. One of those moments when you have to work fast as the light is dynamic & doesnt last long. Certainly makes you feel alive!

Equipment used

  • Canon 5d mark iv
  • Gitzo Systematic series 5 Tripod
  • Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) Lens
  • Haida M10 Filter holder
  • Haida M10 CPL
  • Haida Red-diamond 0.9 GND filter

Post- processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Test review- Haida NanoPro ND filter kit for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Test review of Haida ND filters for DJI Mavic 2 Pro ~for not only photography but also videography”

by Jenny Cameron.

Introduction.

Welcome to my test review of the Haida NanoPro ND kit. Designed specifically for use with DJI Mavic 2 Pro. The pack includes four solid neutral density (ND) filters (3,4,5 & 6 stops).

DJI Mavic 2 Pro with Haida ND filter attached.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro with Haida ND filter attached.

This is all very new to me having never used a drone before and knew very little about videography. Fast forward three months, the main problem has been fighting weather, which here in Scotland is no easy fate. We get a lot of rain, wind, snow and sub-zero temperatures, all do not go hand in hand with flying a drone. On a more positive note- Two things which must be earnt and not simply paid for is “experience & perseverance “. So, overall I’ve put these filters through their paces and learnt a ton which Id like to share with you.


What made me want to buy a drone?

As a landscape photographer, I felt restricted and frustrated from many missed unique perspectives my DSLR couldn’t possibly reach, desperate for that “something” to reignite my creative fires and quite honestly I`d lost my mo-jo. Inspiration was in great need. December 2020 I had a eureka moment to get a drone as an early Christmas present. I couldn’t wait to see the bird-eye views, the whole cinematic look really excited me, this brand new world was ready to burst open in front of me during the dismal dark days of the global pandemic.

As a Haida Ambassador, my first port of call after ordering the drone was speaking to Haida as I knew they did filters for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic Air 2. They kindly sent a filter set to fit my drone. I’ve been using Haida filters for the past three years now for all my landscape portfolio work, therefore only natural I wanted the same quality for my drone imagery. Let me tell you guys the dark clouds have lifted and I’m back to the early days when I first started photography, excitingly wanting to learn everything and eager to put into practice.


What’s in the box?

Four neutral density (ND) filters in total- ND8, ND16, ND32 & ND64. In a very neat hand-sized/ convenient plastic box that easily fits in your jacket pocket. The packaging of a product can sometimes be as important as the product itself as you will most likely be using a lot switching different filters in the field.


What is a Neutral Density (ND) Filter?

ND stands for neutral density. Commonly described as expensive sunglasses for your camera. However, there’s a bit more to it than that without too much techy-talk. Basically, on the photography side, they absorb light by limiting unwanted light from reaching the camera sensor without effecting colour, hue, sharpness, contrast and clarity. And for videography, they provide smooth/softer transitions and more natural professional-looking footage. Overall, provide the user with more creative freedom and viewer more eye-candy.


What do the numbers mean?

All ND filters come in different strengths, the lower the value the lighter opacity the glass is and less light is absorbed. The higher the value the darker the glass, the more light it absorbs.

How do I know which filter to use?

ND strengthND 8 ( 3 stop)ND 16 (4 stops)ND 32 (5 stops)ND 64 (6 stops)
When to useReduces glareSunset & low light situationsBright days with direct sunExtreme sun, snow &/or water.

How to attach the filter?

First, remember to turn off your drone to avoid damaging the gimbal. Support the gimbal with one hand, remove the DJI Mavic 2 Pro lens by gently pushing down and twisting till it lifts off. Then replace with the Haida ND filter at a slight angle with your other hand and twist. You will feel it lock in place, now your filter is firmly attached to the lens, switch the drone on and you’re ready to fly.


Video below showing Haida ND8 filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro.


Long exposure photography isn’t for me therefore I don’t need any ND filters? Wrong!!

Let me explain- These days our eyes have become accustomed to a more polished aerial cinematography and photography look/feel from watching movies and such over the years. If you think back 20 years how movie standards have progressed in terms of footage quality. Even as little as 15 yrs ago, 4K stabilised footage was un-thinkable, its what we saw only at the movies, technology is moving fast! However, we all now expect far more than we did back in the day. This is achieved by something called the “180-degree shutter angle rule”- which mimics motion the same way a human eye experiences in real life. It helps reduce your shutter speed whilst maintaining proper exposure. For example- shutter speed should be double your frame rate for smooth motion blur, producing more natural and professional-looking footage- rather than harsh/ robotic movements. So, for instance, if shooting at 25 frames per second you need to move your shutter speed to 1/50- Or, 30 frames per second would be 1/60 shutter speed. Also, post-production is easier, especially with colour grading. Without ND filters you would have to increase your shutter speed to maintain exposure in your shots which will effect the footage quality in a really bad way making it over sharp and jittery. Hence why I can’t stress highly enough the importance of ND filters for a drone, it’s not about doing long exposures- Although you can still use them the same way you would on a DSLR as I will demonstrate in the images below in the Scottish Highlands.


Images below- taken with DJI Mavic 2 Pro in tripod mode. Raw format. Without/with Haida NanoPro ND8 (3 stops) filter. Same settings used for both images. Camera manual mode- ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.

Without filter. ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.
With Haida ND8 (3 stops) filter. ISO 200, F6, 1/4 sec.

Waterfall videos below showing without/with Haida NanoPro ND16 (4 stop) filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Same settings used for both videos. Manual mode, ISO 100, F4, 1/8 sec @ 24 FPS. Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter
With Haida ND16 (4 stops) filter for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Videos below showing without/with Haida NanoPro ND32 (5 stop) filter on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Same settings used for both videos. Manual mode, ISO100, F6 1/30 sec @24FPS. Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter
With Haida NanoPro ND32 (5 stop) filter

Drone footage over Ardvreck Castle including music ♬. Filter used= Haida NanoPro ND64 (6 stop) on DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Video setting- Manual mode, ISO100, F6, 1/30 @ 24 FPS ( frames per second).


Post-processed image below taken with DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Haida NanoPro-ND8 (3 stops). Camera settings- ISO 100, F4, 1/30 on tripod mode.

Post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Design & build quality

  • Glass = Unmatched Optic glass, multiple grinding for high definition images which reduces unwanted reflections without colour shifts.
  • Frame = Aerospace Aluminium.
  • Filter case = Plastic, with foam inserts to protect each individual filter for storage and transport. Easy to open.
  • Extremely light-weight, yet robust, putting no negative effect on the drone gimbal.

NanoPro

Each double-coated filter features Haida’s waterproof NanoPro multicoating which repels water and to assure HD quality without colour cast or vignette. This is extremely useful as any water or moisture on the lens during flying can seriously distort &/or ruin your imagery. You may be thinking what does it matter if they aren’t waterproof I won’t be flying underwater? Agreed, certainly not, however when flying at high altitudes the air becomes moist so the last thing you need is water seeping in-between camera lens & filter. This also helps when wiping any excess moisture off your filter, it beads up & easily removed with a microfibre cloth.


Weight -V- gimbal error

After doing some research I discovered a common error with some aftermarket filters. The weight of the filters is too heavy for the gimbal/front of the camera resulting in the camera not working. This is something I needed to be sure didn’t happen with Haida filters. I’m very pleased to confirm none of the filters were a problem & worked perfectly~ Horray!


Price

Of course, the price of a product is an important metric when considering any purchase. However, as the old saying goes- “Buy cheap buy twice”. With all things, photography/videography as I’m sure you’ve discovered doesn’t come cheap. As photographers, we know the importance of a good quality lens. Oftentimes it’s more important than the camera so why on earth would you stick a cheap filter in front of expensive glass? It makes no sense to me, a valuable lesson I’ve learnt over the years. Haida filters are by no means the most expensive on the market but not the cheapest, they sit somewhere in the middle. Available for purchase here.


Positive features (in no particular order).

  • Specially designed for DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
  • Consistence sharpness from corner to corner.
  • Easy to attach and remove. You will likely have to make changes in the field therefore you need confidence knowing the filter is securely attached and doesn’t fall off mid-flight.
  • Durable, compared to plastic alternatives.
  • Neutral colour accuracy or colour shifts.
  • No vignette at all.

Negatives

  • I think the addition of a Circular Polariser and/ or a combined ND/ CPL would be advantageous for Haida.
  • Disappointed no filter cloth and no dedicated filter pouch~ Maybe that`s the female in me.
  • Overall, Id like to see more drone accessories from Haida as I believe Videography is the future.

The Haida brand

As a landscape photographer, I know the importance of quality filters. Hand on heart, I firmly believe in the Haida brand. Yes, I am an Ambassador for them but in no way would I put my name to a brand I didn’t believe in. All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. “Haida” in English translates to “All rivers run into the sea, all rivers flow to one”. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .


Final thoughts

So, if you’ve been admiring the amazing aerial footage seen online the past few years and thought to yourself — “I would really love to have a go at this drone malarkey but it looks too technical”. -My answer to you would be- “Go for it, absolutely”. Believe me, I’m a slow learner, if I can, then so can you. Its been the best photography purchase this past couple of years and boosted my creative flow immensely. Almost like visiting a new place, as even though you still in your local area everywhere looks very different.

Or- maybe you already own a drone but frequently return home disappointed from your footage and feel you would benefit from taking it to the next level. I personally as a friend would highly recommend the investment of this Haida NanoPro ND filter pack for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

For me personally- Each one serves its own purpose. In fact, most recently I’ve tended to leave the ND8 on permanently. Not only does it improve movement in video but enables extra control of the light for still images and video. I’m certainly very happy with all of the filters, had great fun and wouldn’t like being without them.

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions- Contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook & Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Good-bye Winter

Hyperborea

Here in Scotland we’re still in lock-down~ Getting out for photography this past year hasn’t been easy with travel restrictions. I find the whole Covid thing a mental struggle the way its taken my freedom to travel, missing close family in England & photography road trips I so much enjoyed & pretty much use to take them for granted~ a huge lesson I think we`ve all recently learnt. On a more positive/happier note~ I’m very lucky living in such a beautiful remote area with mountains all around & pristine beaches close-by. This was taken a couple of weeks ago on a freezing cold morning when temperatures plummeted to minus 22 Celsius. Thankfully the majority of the snow has now gone and signs of spring on its way.

Techy info

Filters used~ Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable 6-9 stop ND filter @ 6 stop.

Post-processing software & techniques ~ Adobe Creative Cloud & Lumenzia. Focus stacked for maximum sharpness front to back & exposure blended.

Camera settings~ ISO 100, F11, 0.7 seconds @ 35mm.

Equipment used~ Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 lens. Gitzo tripod.

Video below showing raw file & final edit.

If you would like to see more of my work;
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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Popular blog posts from the past few months.

Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm.

Haida kindly invited me to evaluate their latest innovation; Interchangeable Magnetic Variable neutral density (ND) filter (2-5 stops & 6-9 stops). My test review will be in two parts, this being part 1 testing the 2-5 stop Magnetic Variable ND filter which not only is the perfect tool for photographers but also videographers. In other words, one ND ranging from 2- 5 stops and another from 6- 9 stops interchangeable in 1 second, yes I did say that correctly, one second!! Have I got you intrigued now? Let me walk you through & you show you this great innovation. Do I sound biased already? I’m sorry I am, but I will be honest & tell you some downsides.

Top 10~ Tips to help create your perfect Landscape Fine Art image. Featured

Have you ever created an image you loved so much you decided to share on every online platform possible but didnt receive the feedback you expected? You put your heart & soul into this creation but nobody understood what you were trying to convey?

How did it make you feel? Crap? Overwhelmed? Confused? Disappointed, self doubt & dare I say almost envious of others? Trust me, I’ve been there. Receiving negative critism isnt easy & can become extremely upsetting. Asking yourself~ Why do I see things different to others? You know photography is in your blood~ I’m telling you right now, never give up & keep going. Its your ultimate passion, right? And remember~ Practice makes perfect.

Here’s my top 10 tips in no particular order

  1. Lighting~ Mood & atmosphere, probably the most difficult thing to learn as its really something that comes from the heart, you have to feel it to be able to see it.
  2. Good composition ~Visual/intuitive balance & direction of flow helps grab the eye. Rule of thirds where you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines. The Fibonacci spiral also know as the Golden spiral helps to lead the viewers eye through the entire picture. Reduce the distracting elements also known as pokies such as random tree branches poking into the edge of the photo, something I personally call “edge- control police”. Although being naughty~ breaking some rules from time to time is not a bad thing & can work out creatively.
  3. Perfect Raw file ~ A photographers fundamental basic, this is the key where you need to go all OCD. Without this you have nothing, no amount of editing will rectify. A raw file is the foundation of the house, without it the whole image will collapse. Its your blank canvas which needs to be absolutely perfect in every way imaginable. Please do not shoot in jpeg, you can bring out so much more from a raw file.
  4. Editing~ clicking the shutter button is only part of what it takes to producing a great image. For me, I liken it to putting make- up on, making the best of what you have. If your shooting raw the image will be very flat & un- interesting, therefore some editing is needed to bring your image to life. You dont need to spend hours at your computer getting a headache from eye strain, oftentimes twenty minutes maximum can really give your image the va- va- voom.
  5. Camera settings~ Technical skills & knowledge of how to use your camera are needed in abundance. When trying to be creative the last thing you need is struggling to remember how to use your camera. This should be as easy as brushing your teeth & come the most natural thing for you so you dont have to give it much thought~ All you should be thinking about is your creative flair & the beauty surrounding you. I learnt my camera settings blindfolded so I knew I could photograph the night sky at ease, not have to fumble around with torches followed by yelling at my camera as I pressed the wrong button.
  6. Colour~ Colour plays a huge role, much more than most people think. Making it look natural but really its very deliberate & a highly thought out process. Colour can sometimes provide the opposite & cause more of a distraction, this is when black & white plays its role, your stripping back elements to create more of an impactful message~ This is more useful in images that portray deep powerful emotions leaving the viewer with the pure essence of the image. Learn & understand the colour wheel.
  7. Focus stacking~ This can only be done on a tripod. Where you take several images of the same scene. Focused at different points throughout the image, so for example~ Foreground, mid-ground, a distant hill & sky. Then blend together as one in Photoshop for ultimate sharpness from front to back.
  8. Exposure blending~ Similar to focus stacking but with exposures. So for example several images of the same scene taken at different exposures~ One for the shadows, one for mid-tones & another for the highlights. Again blended together in Photoshop for a perfect high dynamic range also known as HDR.
  9. Location~ Personally I think this is an important one. I struggle to accept how a photographer can go to a location never visited before & get the most of out it. For me its something I have to visit several times, different times of the day & seasons. I need an intimate familiarity with the place, feel the spirit, question what makes it special to me. Then I concentrate on that element to achieve the best out of it. All this flows continually right through to the editing process & final image.
  10. What elements & message you wish to convey? Start by what you wish to emphasis in the photo, is it a waterfall, lake, mountain or just a wow sky. Search for different patterns & textures which can convey different emotions to the viewer. This is how you begin to tell your story & how you start growing connections with your viewers, it really does become quite personal & evoke deep emotions.

“I believe photography is a message connecting someone’s spirit to reality. In this crazy world we all live in there are times we need to escape all the madness even just for a few seconds to be virtually teleported to another world”.

“Never give up on your dreams”

Jenny Cameron
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