Jenny Cameron

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

Posts from the ‘On Location’ category

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- If you leave the magnetic adapter ring on your lens you can simply pop on the magnetic lens cap and pack 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 sun glasses for your lens and comes in different strengths. For me personally, as a landscape photographer this is my go-to filter for anything moving- 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

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

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

Haida Picture Appreciation

Winter sunrises are some of the most impressive in my favourite Scottish mountain range right in the heart of the British outdoor capital called Glencoe~ Known for its history, haunting mood & unpredictable weather.

This particular area of the river is locally called the Cauldron as it swirls around in many directions. On arrival, it was still relatively dark but from experience, I knew the sun hits the side of the mountain & often the rewards are fruitful with a lovely alpenglow, this morning did not disappoint. As the light came up I instantly knew it was something special & an unforgettable moment captured in time. It only lasted about five minutes & thankfully I was prepared.

The motto of this story is knowing your location, planning the composition & patience.

Filters used.

  • Haida M10 filter holder system.
  • M10 CPL for the water
  • Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 (4 stop) to darken the sky slightly & increase the saturation of the sunrise.

Techy jargon

F11, 0.6s, ISO 100 @17mm

Equipment used.

Canon 5D mark IV. Canon 16-35mm f2.8. Gitzo tripod & ball head.

Post Processing.

Adobe Creative Cloud.

Reach out to me

Please feel free to ask me any questions or 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

Evaluation- 82mm Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter on wide- angle lens. Featured

Watch how fast

Super fast & ease

Introduction.

Testing for optimal sharpness, tonality, vignette, bokeh, X-pattern issues, design, functionality, accuracy of stops & colour shifts. Including in-camera video and real time experience from my home in the north of Scotland.

What comes in the box?

One cardboard box with two separate plastic boxes each with internal moulded foam insert to keep your filters protected ..Box (1) One adapter ring and one Magnetic Variable ND 2-5 stop filter. Box (2) One Magnetic Variable ND 6-9 stop filter & one spring loaded Filter cap.

Lets take a closer look. Join me on a Private Highland Estate (non-public access).

What is a Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter & how does it work?

Basically a Variable ND filter works by using two pieces of polarised glass that darken as they oppose each other, creating the lovely ND filter effect. As you rotate the filter the density is increased or decreased affecting the amount of light that falls through the lens and onto the camera sensor.

Sizes; 

Available in various sizes; 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 82mm. I’m using is the 82mm as my lens is a Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii). Step up rings also available.

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 lenses 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.

Why are Neutral Density filters important for video?

In videography theres 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- your shutter speed should be double your frame rate for smooth motion blur, produces a more natural and professional looking footage- rather than harsh/ jittering/robotic. This is especially commonly seen on fence lines which I’ve experienced myself whilst flying a drone. (By the way as a side note, I’m currently reviewing Haida’s ND filters for DJI Mavic 2-Pro which will be published soon). So, for instance if shooting at 25 frames per second on a DSLR you need to move your shutter speed to 1/50. This is where the Haida Nano-Pro Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND 2-5 stop filter in particular solves this issue perfectly. Theres a reason why Cinematic cameras are expensive- they have built in ND filters.

Construction.

Both filters are constructed the same, the frame part from Aerospace Aluminium making it super strong and extremely light weight, in fact its 9g lighter than previous Haida Variable NDs. The glass part is made from high quality K9 optical glass with Nano-Pro coatings on both sides.

NanoPro.

Featuring a waterproof NanoPro multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass, reduce reflections, scratch and water proof. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent colour cast while maintaining excellent image sharpness. Highly scratch-resistant, durable, can be used under water and super easy cleaning.

X-pattern.

With the filter being on a wide angle lens I did wonder if the dreaded X-pattern (produces hatched areas on the actual image) would be more pronounced especially on the 6-9 stop, but thankfully its not appeared at any focal lengths tested from 16-35mm at approximately 2mm increments. I really did try to push it through its paces as curiosity got the better of me secretly wanting to see what it actually looked like in real life so to speak. Sure I’ve seen it on-line with other filter brands but nothing beats reality. I think what really helps with this particular issue is the way Haida have thoughtfully placed accurate hard stops at each end making it impossible to push the ND effect too far past the weakest or strongest points.

Positive features.

The innovative design of the magnetic attraction provides not only ease of use and speed but also the added bonus of no light leakage whatsoever, which often-times is problematic with strong NDs, usually from 6 stops upwards. No vignette from two stops right up to six inclusive.

Absolutely loved the ability to control shutter speed in ever changing light conditions without stress of fumbling in my filter bag trying to select what I thought would be best then discovering a different strength would have been better. Now, I could simply rotate from 6-9 or remove in literally one second & replace the 2-5 stop ND which I kept handy in my pocket neatly wrapped in a lens cloth for add protection.

Ideally suited for all types of photo &/or video genres including portraiture. I will definatly be using it for my animal work. All in all, I really do love and have thoroughly enjoyed this evaluation. Haida made it very easy with exceptional quality in not only the sleek design and smooth as butter rotation but followed right through from speed of use, incredible sharpness/tonality & contrast with no colour shift (neutrality) in the final raw file. What I did appreciate & use all the time now is the handy filter cap- Personally thought that a really nice final touch. It allows you to leave the filter on the lens packed away in your bag, then you’re all set up and ready for the next location.

Negative features.

I’m still undecided if I would have preferred an adjustment peg on the side to make it a bit easier to rotate from stop to stop without getting greasy fingerprints on the glass from my clumsy fingers or if it’s best without. Certainly not having it makes for a super sleek design which I really do like, not only visually but for storage & less weight. Over time I have gotten used to moving it without intensely watching where every stop is. Other than this I see no other downsides, what’s not to love? If I was being really picky there is ever so slight vignette from 7-9 stops inclusive, but certainly nothing to worry about.

For the traveller in mind.

If you’re tired of hauling around lots of different filters on your travels and need to go lightweight this could well be your answer.

Field tests.

Comparative images below at the bridge- taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F8, 1/15– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter @ 9 stops; ISO 100, F8, 30 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera). Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without filter (straight out of camera) @ 16mm. ISO 100, F8, 1/8 sec.

Comparative images below at the beach- Taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 1/4 sec– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND (2-5 stops) filter @ 5 stops; ISO 100, F14, 08 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera). Location- Sutherland, Scotland.

Without/ with filter
Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Comparative images below of the bridge- Taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F8, 1/15– With Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND (6-9 stops) filter @ 9 stops; ISO 100, F8, 30 seconds @16mm. Both raw images (straight out of camera).

Without/ with Filter
Edited in Adobe Creative Cloud

Very pleased to tell you my field test was successful in checking the stop numbers are accurately placed.

On location- Behind the scene images below

Summary.

Variable ND filters seem to be trending at the moment. Having never used one before I was quite sceptical the quality wouldn’t be as good as a traditional single stop ND filter. I was pleasantly proven wrong and really fallen in love with this option. Having the magnetic part is a total bonus, making this super fast and easy to set up. In the past there’s been times when I’ve been a bit lazy and not bothered with filters as it’s such a faff, not so much the past couple of years but certainly before it was slow going and fiddly. 

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 .

Conclusion.

The most versatile filters I’ve ever used, certainly the fastest and most practical system. The innovation and thought gone into the design/ build, coupled with the high quality optics makes this filter an incredible piece of kit and serious contender in the photography/ videography marketplace for many types of genres.

All in all this latest innovation from Haida has very much impressed me.

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

Filter case for Haida M10 100x100mm & 100x150mm filters

Test review of the Haida filter case for their M10 filter series or other branded filters of the same dimensions; either 100x100mm &/or 100x150mm. Holding up to nine filters including Haida M10 filter holder, adapter ring, cleaning cloth & memory cards.

Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm. Featured

Introduction;

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 filter 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

I will be testing for optimal sharpness, tonality, vignetting, bokeh, X-pattern issues, design, functionality, accuracy of stops & colour shifts.

What is a Variable Neutral Density (ND) Filter & how does it work?

Basically a Variable ND filter works by using two pieces of polarised glass that darken as they oppose each other, creating the lovely ND filter effect. As you rotate the filter the density is increased or decreased affecting the amount of light that falls through the lens & onto the camera sensor.

Sizes; 

Available in various sizes; 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 82mm. I’m using is the 77mm as my lens is a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii).

NanoPro;

Featuring a NanoPro multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass, reduce reflections, scratch and water proof. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent color cast while maintaining image sharpness. The Haida Nano pro filters are highly scratch-resistant, durable and super easy cleaning.

Positive features (in no particular order)

  • Filter protector cap.
  • Sleek design.
  • Accurate placed stop numbers.
  • No X pattern.
  • No colour shift ( neutrality).
  • Great contrast & tonality throughout.
  • Sharpness.
  • No vignetting.
  • Magnetic attraction.
  • Ease/speed of use.
  • Exceptional image quality.
  • Hard stops at each end which works as a bit of a fail safe. Preventing you from going past the weakest or strongest points, therefore impossible to push the ND effect too far. You simply place the marker over whatever number you want. This means you won’t suffer from entering into the infuriating X pattern (produces hatched areas on the actual image) terrority.
  • Absolutely no light leakage.
  • The ability to control your shutter speed in ever-changing lighting conditions
  • Incredibly smooth rotation in hand with enough friction enabling you to easily rotate the filter to the precise stop required.
  • Ideally suited for all types of photo &/or video genres including portraiture. I will be using it for my animal work.

Negatives

  • I’m still undecided if I would have preferred an adjustment peg on the side to make it a bit easier to rotate from stop to stop without getting greasy fingerprints on the glass from my clumsy fingers or if it’s best without. Certainly not having it makes for a super sleek design which I really do like, not only visually but for storage & less weight. Over time I have gotten used to moving it without intensely watching where every stop is.

For the traveller in mind

If you’re tired of hauling around lots of different filters on your travels & need to go lightweight this could well be your answer.

Demonstration video

In the field tests

Test shots at different focal lengths starting at 70mm to 200mm in 10mm increments at each stop on the filter to see if all stops are true & consistent.

Sunset images below taken with Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens on Gitzo tripod. Settings used; Without filter = ISO 100, F11, 1/60 – With Magnetic Variable ND filter 2-5 @ 3 stops; ISO 200, F11, 1/8 @70mm.

Without/ with filter.

Very pleased to tell you my field test was successful in checking the stop numbers are accurately placed.

Conclusion

So far the most versatile filter I’ve ever used, certainly the most enjoyable, easiest, fastest & most practical system. The innovation and thought gone into the design/ build, coupled with the high quality optics makes this filter an incredible piece of kit & serious contender in the photography/ videography marketplace for many types of genres.

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. If you’d like to visit their website &/or Facebook .

I hope this provides you with some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions or 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 2020.

Experiment with Haida Circular Polariser on Animal fur.

Since Covid-19 hit the UK in March this year and not being able to travel the same I’ve been thoroughly enjoying more animal portrait photography.

However, I’m constantly faced with issues of blown-out highlights on the animal’s fur. It recently occurred to me that it may be possible to utilise my landscape photography skills with the use of a circular polariser. For some unknown reason its something I’ve never thought about and instantly heightened my curiosity. It was now time to put my theory into practice.

To see the results take a peek at this video where I use the Haida M10 “drop-in” Circular Polariser.

 

Screen captures of raw files (straight-out-of-camera) for demonstration purposes with/without filter & final edit in Lightroom Classic.

blown out highs

Showing blown out highlights & weak histogram without a filter

Annotation 2020-08-06 185218

Histogram showing much more detail with the filter on & same camera settings as with no filter.

edited jpeg-1

Final edit in Lightroom Classic.

Techy info

Both images using Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens @70mm, ISO100, F4.5, 1/350.

To conclude-

For a more in-depth review & explanation of the Haida M10 “drop-in” CPL please take a look here . Also a video demonstration of me using the filter in the Haida M10 filter holder, watch here how easy it is..

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China. To view their official website please click here or alternately view their Facebook Page here.

I hope you found this useful & enjoyable?
If you would like to see more of my work;
YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram.

 

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

The lone tree at Llyn Padarn

©Jenny Cameron 2019

 

This image named “Elemental” was taken last November in the Snowdonia National Park, Wales.

A picture can speak a thousand words, here’s what it says to me.

Over the years I’ve visited Snowdonia national park many times mainly from my hiking & climbing days with my Husband but also my Grandmother’s family are Welsh. As a child we used to get the train from Lancaster to Crewe where we changed to Prestatyn. The family lived in a small village called Dyserth in North Wales which happens to be famous for an impressive waterfall where the family lived at the top of over a hundred years ago but sadly got washed away in floods. My Grandmother & I always stayed at Auntie Ivy’s house then the rest of the local family would come to visit. I always remember the Welsh language being spoken by Uncle Len who happened to be a great local artist but also a bit eccentric. The female family members used to tell him to speak English as it was rude in front of the guests which never failed to amuse me. 

What happened behind the camera

Having to share my personal space with others, something I prefer not, although the photographers I met were extremely friendly. One photographer with a lovely Sony A7R iv made me laugh when I really shouldn’t have, you know when you get the giggles at the wrong time? He was saying “how typical that the water was so rippled when he’s seen many images on social media of this location with silky smooth water, how annoying it’s never like that for him”. I looked at another photographer I’d been chatting to, we couldn’t keep our faces straight. We politely explained it’s down to long exposure.

Zen moment

“Make your heart like a lake with a calm, still surface and great depths of kindness.” – Lao Tzu.

Techy stuff

I cant really share my exif data as this image was;

  • Focus stacked for ultimate sharpness.
  • Focal blend of foreground, mountains & sky for my visual impact.
  • Exposure blended for the overall look I wanted to achieve.

Haida Filter M10 round drop in ND 3.0 (10 stop) to smooth the water & clouds.

Post processed in Adobe Creative CloudTopaz DeNoise AI

If you would like to see more of my work; FacebookViewbugInstagram YouPic

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020.

Haida filter video tutorial

Haida Filter tutorial from my home in the Scottish Highlands during the COVID-19 lock-down. Sharing my thoughts about filters.

Please note; If using any of the 100mm x 100mm (square) ND filters in M10 filter holder and you don’t wish to use any of the round “drop-in” filters, you must use the M10 “drop-in” light barrier which is simple and easy to use the sealing ring to prevent any light leakage (also provided in the kit).

 

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