Professional Landscape Photographer

Posts tagged ‘fineart’

Clear Night filter by Haida

Introduction

I’ve been curious for some time now – If I’m being honest slightly sceptical – about whether the Clear Night filter actually worked and wanted to find out for myself if this filter really did what it claimed. Initially, I questioned why can’t you simply change the white balance in post production, what’s all the fuss about? Let me walk you through my honest, hand-on-heart evaluation of the Haida M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter.
Firstly, I’ll start by explaining a bit about the Haida M10 round “drop-in” filters which are dedicated to only the Haida M10 filter holder and released in January 2019. They come in a wide range of sizes to fit most popular lenses in sizes 49, 52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 and 82mm. Boasting a choice of Neutral Density filters ( 3, 6, 10 and 15 stops), Circular Polariser, Clear Night, Graduated Neutral Density filters (3 and 4 stops) and ND + CPL combi ( 3 and 6 stops). Inserting the filter into the M10 filter holder couldn’t be easier, it simply drops between the holder and lens, creating a perfect seal from any stray light with its inbuilt light barrier. If you’d like to learn more about the Haida M10 filter holder please feel free to read my in depth test review and video click here. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you, so effortless – once you hear the click it’s locked in place.

If you don’t have the M10 filter holder but would like to try the Haida Clear Night filter, you can purchase the Haida Nano Pro 100 series Clear Night filter 100mm x 100mm, 2 mm in thickness, compatible with many of the most popular 100mm filter holders, including the Haida 100-Pro Filter Holder, and the Lee FK Foundation Kit Filter Holder.

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Location and Equipment

This test review was based on a couple of locations in the Scottish Highlands – Using my Canon 5d mark iv ( full frame camera), Canon 16-35mm F2.8 USM L lens, Gitzo tripod, Gitzo ball head and remote trigger. Although I was in a remote area with class one bortel for my seascape image there were still farms and houses dotted around which caused slight light pollution. The second image of the Church had extreme light pollution at the side of a busy main road and class four bortel.

How the Haida Clear- night filter affected my image.

My main goal in testing any filter will always be for neutrality and sharpness. I want it to replicate what my eyes saw without any strange colour cast which has been an issue for me in the past with a couple of other filter brands. I was experimenting with different exposure times without a filter to achieve the best focus and placement of stars to begin with but never completely happy. However, as soon as I popped on the Haida Clear Night filter everything changed and I was smiling from ear to ear. Instant clarity, almost like a polarising effect which replicated what I was actually viewing, incredible true to life colours and rid of the horrible warm tones which you can easily see in the raw files below. The sky appears clearer and stars intensify with the filter on. It significantly improved the optical clarity, contrast, colour and quality throughout the whole image not to mention unbelievable sharpness and no vignetting which made me feel elated. This was great and super easy to use combined with the Haida M10 filter holder which is a dream to use.

The Haida M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter made terrific improvements blocking the yellow sodium-vapor light which is the horrible yellow/orange coloured casts often generated from light pollution in the night sky resulting in a lovely cool tone which is something I prefer to portray on a cold dark night. This also made my post processing super easy and fast.

Design and construction

I particularly liked the design of the plastic holder that the round glass sits in, making it ultra easy to drop in and remove from the filter holder without any disturbance to the composition even with clumsy gloves on and numb fingers. Constructed from high quality optical glass providing the best ever clarity. Each filter has ten layers of anti-reflective coatings of ultra thin Nano coatings on both sides. Waterproof, meaning any built up condensation from the cold literally rolls off like beads with a quick wipe of a soft microfiber lens cloth, no ugly smears and also scratch-proof. Most importantly for me, preserves image sharpness, which let me tell you is second to none. As with all of the M10 filter range it has a built-in light gasket which seals to the M10 Holder and prevents any unwanted light leakage.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm -With-without-M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter. No post processing on either. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness and made the stars pop straight off the night sky with a stunning cool tone.

without-filter-for-review-(Tiff)

Without filter ISO 2500, F2.8, 20 seconds . With M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter ISO 2500, F2.8, 22 seconds.

                       Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

©Jenny Cameron 2019

Location- County of Argyll & Bute, Scotland.

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Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @16mm -With-without-M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter. No post processing on either and the same white balance on both.

without-filter-tiff

Without filter ISO 3200, F2.8, 15 seconds . With M10 round “drop-in” Clear Night filter ISO 3200, F2.8, 15 seconds.

                    Finally post processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

©Jenny Cameron 2019

Location – West coast of Scotland.

Where are the filters assembled

All Haida filters are assembled in their own optical workshop located in the beautiful Port City of Ningbo, China.

Where can I purchase this filter from

All the Haida equipment I’ve mentioned above can be purchased direct from Haida’s European distributor Haida Germany shop  for excellent service.

Conclusion

Overall this will remain in my filter case and used in absolutely every night sky I shoot. Im super impressed the way it added a further dimension to my night photography and would highly recommend to a friend. The M10 round “drop-in” Clear night filter is the perfect companion for night skies, don’t leave home without it. Thank you Haida for saving the day yet again for me.

I hope this provides you some useful information. Please feel free to ask me any questions. More info and my test reviews on Haida’s website.

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“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2019.

Rituals

Interview with Ole Henrik Skjelstad

I’ve known Ole Henrik a few years now, he needs no introduction to anyone in the Landscape Photography world. If you haven’t seen his work, seriously …do look him up. One of my biggest landscape photography inspirations and a genuine human being.

“Jenny’s story is a compelling read about dedication, hardships and overcoming obstacles. She is a true artist whose images stand out as unique, creative and evocative”.

Have a wee read & please let me know.

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Tell us a little about yourself.

Born and raised in the north of England, moved to the Scottish Highlands in my mid 30s with husband and two dogs following our dream to escape the rat race. We live on a farm within a private highland estate in the far north –  I really have never lived anywhere so beautiful in all my life. Always been a bit of a dolly daydreamer. My senior school was set in a rural location with views down a pretty valley and my step father once told a teacher that I’d never get any work done for staring out of the classroom window in my own little world. He was not wrong! I’m a very competitive person but only with myself, I am my own biggest critic, never happy with my images.

 What made you start out with landscape photography?

I’ve always had a passion for the great outdoors and travel, and most of our holidays and free time were either spent long distance backpacking, hiking, climbing or skiing. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a rare bone disease aged 35 which put an end to our adventures and I spiralled into a dark place. A few years later I found solace taking photos whilst walking my dogs in the beautiful countryside where I was lucky enough to be living, using a basic point/ shoot camera. I finally took the plunge and purchased my first Canon DSLR in October 2015.

What do you want to communicate through your photos?

I try to communicate depth by means of interesting foreground, textures, light, different focal lengths and focus. Emotion is never far from my mind when processing, which I hope is something I manage to convey in my photographs. Oftentimes, I will use more warmer palettes to portray happiness whereas more moody cool tones can show the opposite. I never set out with a plan, I kind of go with the flow wherever my mood takes me. I truly find great pleasure inviting the viewer into the scene and the world through my eyes.

What has photography done for you?

It’s helped me with mental negative demons, and in a way it’s given me back the old part of my life in the great outdoors without debilitating hip pain. Whether I’m on location or post processing, it will take me to another world. I’m not sure if others will relate to this but it’s like I’m able to escape the chaos of life and zone out in my own little world. Not to mention the genuine friendships I’ve made through photography, the generosity I’ve encountered continually astounds me.

How would you describe your work, and how has it evolved since you started out?

As much as I’m known for a lot of post processing, I do feel over the years I’ve learnt to tone it down a wee bit. In the early days I thought saturation and heavy vignettes were the best thing ever, whereas these days I try to be more selective and use it to lead the eye into key areas. Studying light has been a game changer for me, knowing where your light source is and where the light / shadows will fall is a must. I’ve learnt a lot just by spending time in nature – you soon learn what colours work best … you can’t beat nature’s own colour wheel. Also I give myself more time these day on composition, searching for patterns and leading lines, whereas I never use to give it much thought.

I suppose most of us have periods when we seem to lose the fun of photography. Have you developed any strategies to keep the fire burning?

Absolutely! There are most definitely times when this happens, I need time away mostly from my computer and usually spend extra time on family road trips. Especially to the west coast of Scotland – famous for rain but once it stops and the sun comes out there is such amazing light playing on the land that it’s hard not to feel exhilarated and then I can’t get the camera out fast enough! It’s like an itch that needs scratching and I’m back before I know it. I’m very fortunate to have such a supportive husband, he understands when these times happen but will never let me give up when I’m throwing a tantrum (usually in post processing) – he’s always there championing me on which really does help re-igniting the flame.

Have you ever been severely criticized for your work? And in that case how did you handle it?

Oh yes ….!  It sure happens, especially in my early days and I didn’t handle it well emotionally and took it to heart. The purists often criticise my creative licence but I am not here to appease them, my art is selfishly for myself. I’ve learnt over the years to take it with a pinch of salt and move on as photography is subjective and you’ll never satisfy everyone – the world would be a boring place if we all liked the same thing. These days if I see a negative comment on social media I literally ignore it. Gone are the days where I try to reason with them and at the end of the day they are quite entitled to their opinion. After saying that categorically I can say that I’ve never criticise anyone else’s work, even if someone directly asks me for constructive criticism I still struggle, it’s not in my nature. My gran always taught me if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. 

Have you any hobbies besides photography?

Not sure if it’s a hobby but it sure takes up time! This past year I’ve thoroughly enjoyed spending time with seven horses on our farm whom I’ve become very attached to and seem to connect with on an emotional level, it’s really quite bizarre in a heartwarming and calming way. Also I enjoy reading and watching far too many films.

In which direction do you believe landscape photography is heading? 

In all honesty reflecting on the past 20 years in the mountains of Scotland I’ve witnessed huge environmental damages. I feel social media is like a virus to landscape photography. So many people travel the globe to iconic places just to post on social media to gain more likes and/or followers, it’s really very sad what’s happening to these beauty spots. Don’t get me wrong-  I accept wholeheartedly that anyone has the right to go where they wish, we’re all guilty of that up to a point. For me travel is about adventure and fun, not letting Google direct you to a location you’ve seen on Instagram. For example 20-30 years ago the famous Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye only had a few daily hill walkers, there wasn’t even a car park, not many people knew about it, people would simply park on the roadside and for the odd few cars doing this it really didn’t matter. Unlike the past 10 years where it’s snowballed to craziness on a whole new level with endless streams of tour buses all year round. It really hurts me seeing the erosion caused not only to the roads but footpaths too and literally scarring the vistas. I don’t know if people are plain selfish or just don’t realise this damage is permanent! Even if everyone stopped going from today it would take many hundreds of years to return to its former glory. I honestly don’t know where it’ll all end.

What is the most amazing place you have visited? Is it possible for you to articulate why it made such a huge impression on you?

In 1994 my husband and I rented our house out to fund a road trip for a year travelling fourteen countries in Europe and Scandinavia. There was one very special country we never wanted to leave which was Norway, it left a huge impression especially the enormity of the turquoise waterfalls and Troll Wall, such a beautiful country in so many ways. We were able to take our watches off and mostly didn’t know if it was day or night as it was summer time and never went totally dark. 

What inspires you?

It’s got to be the moody Scottish weather. Some say it’s not great due to all the rain but for me there’s nothing better than after heavy rain fall when the sun pops out often revealing great light rays. Also foggy mornings make my heart swell when the mist slowly lifts from a river or loch, it really does make for interesting photography.

You have been severely ill. How has that affected you as a person and your photography?

March 2018 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and my world came crashing down. Photography definitely inspired me to overcome my fears for the biggest fight of my life. My consultant told me I’d be out of action for a year with surgery and treatments. Luckily a few weeks after diagnosis a fine art gallery south of Glasgow approached me to display some of my work. This gave me 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, and I was only able to use one hand. Sadly I wasn’t able to hold my camera, let alone use it 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 a photography magazine and also had a selection of my work published in a hardback coffee table style book.

 Photography helped to shut out the reality of the outside world, and took me to another world full of magic, with a sense of calmness and happiness. It gave me the confidence to hold my head up high, I was alive! No matter what I had to face my escape was always my art, I buried my head in my own little world where anything was possible. Eventually I got through surgery, 5 months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and albeit a little battered and bruised, I survived! It’s the old cliche 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. Photography has been my saviour and still continues to help rebuild “me”.

Do you have a piece of advice for young aspiring landscape photographers?

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 but at the same time can leave you with a feeling of lacklustre and 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 – for 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!


 

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© Jenny Cameron 2019.

 

 

Sunrise on the Bonnie Bonnie Banks

On the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond …There’s a song in there somewhere, will probably drive you mad all day singing it in your head.

Woke up to a gorgeous frosty morning at Duck Bay the light was so soft and perfect looking to me. Loch Lomond, Scotland’s first National Park, “The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park”, located off the A82, approximately two miles north of Balloch.

I felt like I was still in my bed dreaming. There was no time for breakfast, couldn’t bare the thought of losing the soft light shining on the Ben (Ben Lomond Mountain), producing an epic reflection on the Loch. I’m not normally a morning person but when you see such beauty it gives me a big kick up the ass and I can’t wait to get out there shooting. It’s a bit like the feeling you had as a kid on a Christmas morning, you never know what to expect but excited at the same time.

Light moves fast and so do you if you want “that shot”. Sometimes I panic so much that I forget things, it’s quite the adrenalin rush. Questions racing through your mind, should I place the Tripod here or there? What Focal length should I use? How should I angle my lens? Which filters if any? So many others as they flash through your thoughts, all happening in nanoseconds.

Equipment used.

Canon 5d mark iv, Canon 70- 200mm USM Lens, Gitzo Systematic 5 series Tripod, Gitzo series 5 Off Centre Ball Head, Haida ND 3.6 ( ND 12 stop) Filter,  Remote timer.

Camera settings.

 

Post production

Adobe Photoshop CC.

©Jenny Cameron 2017

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you’d like to see more of my work follow the links below;

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updated collage

About Jenny Cameron Featured

Jenny Cameron is a Fine Art Landscape Photographer living the dream in the Scottish Highlands with her Husband and two dogs. Her passion for the wilderness began from a love of travel & outdoor life. Sadly Jenny was diagnosed with a rare bone disease a few years ago in her hip called Avascular Necrosis. This put an end to her mountain adventures ( hiking, winter climbing, skiing, backpacking to name a few). She spiralled into a dark place for a short time but thankfully found her solace in landscape photography and her journey began in October 2015 never looking back.

February 2016, Exhibited her work in Power of Women Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

April 2016, Exhibited her work in Power of Women  (ii) Gallery, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

July 2016, Exhibited her work at All night Art Exhibition, Trenton, New Jersey, USA.

January 2017, her first Publication on the Front Cover of the prestigious Scottish Field Magazine.

February 2017, ten of her Scottish images Published in two different Coffee Table style Photography Books.

May 2017, Approached by Black Magazine wanting ten of her Scottish Monochrome images for Publication in their May 2017 issue.

 July 2017, one of her most popular images “Altnaharra” was chosen for an Art Exhibition in England.

January 2018,  Proudly became UK Official Photographer for Haida Filters.

March 2018, Photography Masterclass kindly invited her for an interview as their Feature Photographer of the Month.

April 2018, The Publisher WEPhoto approached her for ten of her most recent Scottish Landscape images. Published in a Hard backed Photography Book.

May 2018, Jenny was approached by an Art Gallery in Southern Scotland, where she exhibits a selection of her Landscape Portfolio.

August 2018, Landscape Photography Magazine Publication

July 2018, Photography Masterclass Magazine Published her very first Post processing Tutorial.

November 2018, Interview with Inspire-Digital or Not Fine Art Photography Magazine

January 2019, Haida Filter Instagram Take Over.

March 2019, EYE-Photo Magazine Publication 

Jenny continues  pushing the boundaries and looks forward to the future.

See more of Jennys work, ViewBug, Facebook, 500px

Contact email; jennycameron121@gmail.com

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