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

Posts tagged ‘Lightroom’

YouPic review 2020 by Jenny Cameron

use this

Are you tired of all the usual social media platforms? Does it feel like climbing Mount Everest when all you want is to create beautiful images? 

I very much have a love hate relationship with social media & often find it mentally exhausting, although on the flip side if I stay away I have a fear of missing out. Certain sites such as Facebook & ViewBug  I do very well on but others such as Instagram & 500px are polar opposites.  Recently I’ve discovered this whole welcoming community at YouPic it no longer feels a chore, no crazy emotions, for once I’m actually enjoying the experience & quite frankly a breath of fresh air. There’s a real sense of community spirit- interaction/discussions with fellow photographers rather than worthless one word comments usually from folks feeding their own egos for personal gain.  It feels more organic, like you’re talking to another human rather than a robot. Most importantly for me as I’m not the most technically minded to say the least, the layout is user friendly & very clean interface.

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I stumbled across YouPic  several years ago, if my memory recalls someone invited me through Facebook. I joined the site but didn’t really put much time into it & quite honestly forgot about it. February this year an online article grabbed my attention which brought me back to the site. First thing I noticed was the community, everyone so friendly like they welcome newbies with open arms, none of the “if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” like some sites I won’t mention but we all know who I mean? Genuine interaction between everyone whether  beginners or advanced professionals with no judgement whatsoever in all genres including those who aren’t necessarily in the spotlights of Instagram, Facebook, & such like. And here I’ve been ever since, posting regularly, thoroughly enjoying the experience, feels like my new home, it’s opened up a whole new world & already made some lovely friends.

This platform is like no other I’ve seen, there’s so much content I’m not sure where to begin. Let me show you some screen shots from my YouPic account.

Showcase your photos in high resolution- Go ahead you pixel peepers, zoom right in those deep dark shadows & enjoy the satisfying detail.

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Academy- Explore the interactive courses available in all genres of photography including video tutorials & interviews.

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Famous names- I was happily surprised to see a few famous names on YouPic including Steve McCurryDavid YarrowJoel MeyerowitzAdam Hinton.

Albums & Collections- For those of you nerds who love nothing more than organisation. Create your very own portfolio. See image below.

albums jpeg

Shop- Sell your prints in the shop. YouPic allows you to keep all the rights to your work. “You” decided what price “you” want & get to keep any profits as YouPic has a zero % commission rate. Click here

shop

Create a website- Using the YouPic website builder, including one custom domain name for your site or add your own. A choice of different themes to chose from. If you enjoy writing, create a blog post. Also connect your social media channels.

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Workshops– Advertise your workshop or find one you may like to attend.

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Statistics- View your personal statistics enabling you to watch your growth & abilities. You even have a personal score for your best photos. Don’t worry this is for your eyes only, nobody else will be able to see it.

Awards- YouPic award your achievements for different things such as popular photos-award require you having 500 shares. You can see in below image my awards so far.

Sharing is caring- Share other peoples photos, discussion, gain followers, follow others, receive daily stars from the inspiration flow personally chosen by the YouPic team & community, in other words real human beings not robots. Receive and give detailed feedback based on composition, technical quality, creativity and content as seen below. By the way, I believe this is one great way of learning too! 

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Support each other – Learn which photos resonate with others. What you think may be your worst work is inspirational to others & vice versa.

Exif data– Show or hide the choice is all yours.

Advertising- No adverts.

Apps & Plug-ins- YouPic App for Android on Google Play and iOS at the Apple store . Enabling you to show your work wherever you go. 

For the ultimate viewing experience, see your photos on the big screen in high resolution there is now a YouPic App available for Apple TV.

Lightroom PluginDownload available connecting YouPic with Lightroom, making it possible to upload directly from Adobe Lightroom to your YouPic account.  For more in depth information click here.

Subscriptions- There are four subscription levels; Free, Enthusiast, Premium & Pro. View here to see which suits you best or simply stay with the free subscription like I did to start with where you can post one photo a day, interact & feel the love from the site.

To conclude- I find YouPic very easy to use, friendly/ inspirational community & best of all a great high resolution viewing platform. It’s free to create an account here & start connecting with others, so what are you waiting for? 

I hope you found this blog post useful & enjoyable?

If you would like to see more of my work;

YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram, My website

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Test review of Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 & Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combi

Introduction

Welcome to my test review of the Haida round “drop-in” Circular Polariser and Neutral Density 1.8 (6 stop) combination filter and Haida Red-diamond soft graduated neutral density 1.2 (4 stops).

If you enjoy landscape photography I cannot stress the importance of investing in a good quality set of filters. I’m well aware of what it feels like having a restrictive budget and fears of making the wrong decisions buying new gear. This is where I hope I can help by providing my hand on heart honest opinion. Haida is not the cheapest filters on the market but by no means the most expensive for the optical quality achieved, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck! We all strive to buy the best lenses so why scrimp on a cheap filter and ruin optical quality, it makes no sense to me.

Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 (6 stop)

When Haida offered me the opportunity to test their M10 combination-filter with built-in light barrier I was intrigued, to say the least, questioning myself what the downfalls if any would be. Whilst stacking filters can work and something I do regular, however, this practice is not optimal for a couple of reasons;

  1. Forcing light to traverse through more elements, therefore more likely to get slightly refracted, possibly resulting in softness or even chromatic aberration.
  2. Increased risk of light flares.

The more I thought about it the more I couldn’t wait. Initially, I planned waterfalls for this particular test. Although I could see it being very useful after a midday rainstorm which happens a lot here in Scotland when the sun bursts out it’s great to slow down the exposure a wee bit and allow the filter to do the work. Rainfall hasn’t been great the past few days so I headed to the beach at sunrise instead.

Inserting the filter into the Haida M10 filter holder is incredibly fast, it simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. Oftentimes in the past, 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 unlike any of the Haida M10 round “drop-in” filters such as this combi filter which have a built-in light-barrier.

from vid 2

Inserting filter into the rear of the M10 filter holder

This is an ND 1.8 filter meaning it will lose six stops of light. But don’t forget it has the added CPL which generally lose between 1-2 stops of light, collectively this will provide a total of almost eight stops. For me personally, I like a six-stop ND for moving water as it doesn’t blur everything to oblivion like say a ten stop would. A six-stop shows slight movement which I prefer to portray. A neutral density filter should be exactly what the name suggests “neutral” in every which way and let me tell you all the Haida NDs I’ve ever tested are all neutral, no crazy coloured undertones, no vignetting and no loss of sharpness from corner to corner. What you see is what you get.

If you’re not wanting the polarising effect you can simply rotate the small dial (three gear linkage design ) on the mount independently, very smoothly to reduce or completely remove depending on the scenario of the scene. Once you start turning, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensify on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate a CPL 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, ie 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. The choice is all yours and easily very adjustable.

Image of raw file with a filter on, zoomed in 100% in Lightroom to demonstrate maximum sharpness of the rocks. It’s clear to see the quality is second to none, excellent detail even in the darkest of shadows at blue hour.

zoomed 100 percent )jpeg)

For this very demanding scene above with the bright sunrise and dark foreground, you need the best support from your gear. Let me tell you this filter made my job very easy, provided excellent control over the whole dynamic range, ultimate sharpness, no colour cast or vignette, and really made me smile. Constructed from high-quality optical glass, each filter has ten layers of anti-reflective coatings, scratch-proof, provides the best clarity, includes the famous nano multi-coating to reduce reflection, waterproof (meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears) and the dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.

The M10 round “drop-in” filters are available in a selection of: ND 0.9, 1.8 3.0, 4; CPL; Clear-night; GND-0.9 1.2; ND+CPL 0.9 and 1.8.

Images below showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @19mm -With-without-M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combi. No post-processing on either, other than lens correction in Lightroom.

raw-without-(1-of-1)

Without filter = ISO 100, F14, 0.6 sec – With Haida M10 round “drop-in” CPL+ND 1.8 combination. = ISO 100, F14, 30 seconds @19mm

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Fragil rock (jpeg for web)

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Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 (4 stops)

Earlier this year I tested the Haida Red-diamond medium 0.9 (3 stops) read review which totally stole my heart since then it’s rarely been off my lens and I can’t wait to tell everyone how thrilled I am in using it. My love affair with this series only intensified, I had to try the Red-diamond soft graduated neutral density 1.2 (GND 4 stops) filter. Packed my kit and off I went to Aberdeen for sunrise to see how the soft grad stood up to the medium and let me tell you I was not disappointed.

The main purpose of a GND filter is to balance exposure in an image that contains a bright sky and darker foreground. As you can see from the photos below this filter is rectangle in shape and sized 100mm x 150mm, providing flexibility to move the filter up or down within the filter holder for ultimate control. Providing such a beautiful soft progression from dark at the top where you would place over the sky to clear at the bottom in a neutral manner and achieving endless creative possibilities.

What makes this series stand out from its predecessor and other brand filters are listed as follows:

  • Shock resistant, low risk to any accidental damage.
  • Scratch-resistant, the perfect partner in demanding weather.
  • Zero colour cast.
  • Waterproof, oil and fingerprint-proof Nanopro coated surface.
  • Improved optical glass.
  • R5 rounded corners – make it easier to slide in and out of the filter holder, no sharp corners.
  • K9 optical glass.
  • True colour.
  • Ultra-thin nano multi-coating.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Double the strength of other glass filters whilst at the same time retaining ultimate sharpness.
  • Still retaining 2 mm in thickness making it compatible with the Haida 100-Pro filter holder and other brands the same size.
  • The Red Diamond series is double the strength of a normal glass filter. You may have seen online the Haida Red Diamond drop test video? Where it’s thrown onto a concrete floor and no sign of damage to the filter. If you are accident-prone this would be the perfect filter series for you.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm USM L Lens) @35mm with no filter and with Haida Red-diamond soft GND 1.2 (4 stops). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. As you can see the soft GND significantly transforms the quality of the image.

with-without-filter-(-gif)-May-2019-Dunnottar

Without filter = ISO 100, F10, 1/20 – With Haida Red-diamond soft GND filter 1.3 = ISO 100, F10, 0.8 seconds @35mm.

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

final edit (jpeg)

Sunrise over Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

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

Conclusion

My overall conclusion is both filters are superiorly optically and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending to anyone whether beginners or advanced and using for my own portfolio.

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

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If you would like to see more of my work;
500px, Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram
“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2019

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