Professional Landscape Photographer

Posts tagged ‘milkyway’

Social Anxiety & how the Hebrides helped me.

A conversation with my inner self about my recent photography adventures and how I needed to disconnect with the world.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 aged 44 hit me very hard, it’s left me battered and bruised physically and mentally. Id go as far to say the mental scars have been the most difficult. It wasn’t until after my radiotherapy that I was able to go on holiday. It’s taken the whole of 2019 to build up my strength to travel, visit my fav wild areas. My hair has started growing back after losing my long locks from the red devil himself AKA doxorubicin (a chemotherapy ingredient). Still very conscious about my hair, preferring to wear a hat if I can get away with it. Hair envy is deffinatly a thing!
Didn’t matter what I looked like on the outside or what my Husband assured me, it was all about how I felt on the inside, almost like what I felt on the inside is what I looked like on the outside if that makes sense?

We planned an extended road trip from our home in the far north of Scotland to the southern tip of England in the county of Cornwall. Spent an enjoyable week in the Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Mountains will always be part of me the world over, however it was too busy from what I’m use to. Having to share my personal space with others, something I prefer not, although the photographers I met were extremely friendly and I enjoyed the bannter. 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We’d planned on visiting south Wales, Devon and Cornwall for photography and meeting friends/family. However, only made it to middle England, hundreds of miles from Cornwall. The busier the traffic and population increased my anxiety matched it. I was feeling lost, didn’t recognise myself, felt a freak, afraid, stressed, claustrophobic, panic, the need to escape and runaway. Everyone was staring at me or at least in my head. Really needed the “hell outta this place”. But what about my friends and family I was suppose to visit? Something I’ve been looking forward to. How could I do a runner, how rude? I reminisce on the past twenty months, the biggest lesson was “do what makes you happy “. That was it, decision made, returning north. I felt the need to cut myself off from the world for a while. I craved the feeling of being lost in the landscape being so far away from it all that nothing else matters, not a care in the world, no worries or stress. A place to reflect my own thoughts. This crazy world we all live in gets too noisy, we need
time out just being quiet, calm your senses.

20191116_195654

Image taken on Isle of Arran Ferry looking back at Ardrossan (mainland). Camera – Samsung Galaxy S9 +

Caught the night ferry to Brodick on the lovely Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. I was actually able to lower my shoulders and breathe. We toured the island for a few days but still didn’t feel myself and quite guarded. It was time to move on, caught another ferry to a different part of mainland Scotland on the Kintyre peninsula. From there we travelled north to my beloved Glencoe. Now, I was really starting to relax, the weather gods were on my side and such a great time of year having the place virtually to ourselves. Glen Etive in all its magnificent glory, stags roaming down the middle of the road. From there we headed further north through the mountains of Kintail to the Isle of Skye. The weather did not disappoint, managed to get a few milky ways, such amazing compositions and sky quality. I know this island like the back of my hand, having spent the past thirty years visiting at least once a year. However, I felt the need to take it one step further.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Ok, so what happens next? Yup another ferry, almost 2 hrs west to a group of islands called the Outer Hebrides. As soon as the ferry set sail from Uig I felt the darkness within vacate. One thing which hit me on arrival was the amazing huge sky. No interruptions, miles and miles of beautiful warm coloured skies. Instead of feeling dark I would go chase some light which gave me mental freedom and a sense of calmness. A place I could truly get a away from society, off the beaten tracks. Literally pressing the pause button and breathe for a few minutes, it will never fail to fill your heart. Wandering on the white powder beaches with my looney dogs racing in and out of the cold aquamarine sea. Island life set me free, allowed me to feel the wind in my hair, gave me time to reconnect with nature, almost like I became part of the landscape itself, emotions straight from the heart. The weather is bracing which gave me good reason to wear my hat and I didn’t look out of place. It felt raw, real, free spirited and extremely inspiring from the land, sky and sea. Free as a bird, I was now starting to channel my personal feelings through my camera, either mobile phone or DSLR. Island life is slow, takes a few days to adjust and learn to love this new lifestyle. One of the reasons you can’t help but fall in love with these new lands. People have time for each other, driving along the locals will wave to you, be sure to wave back. This year I’ve spent eight weeks in the Outer Hebrides, it’s been my absolute sanctuary and a huge role in my recovery.

Other days were spent watching waves crashing over my camera, was an endless job of shoot and wipe…Great fun though and certainly put my Haida filters through their paces which never failed to let me down with the ultra thin nano pro coating it was very easy to wipe. Having spent time on several Caribbean islands often twice a year in a different life many years ago where I escaped the madness from my crazy mixed up life, where I would go to rebalance.. I found the Hebrides very similar emotions from the beaches and lifestyle.. Freedom to be whoever you want, not a care in the world, feeling the sea breeze on your face providing the ability to mentally set you free. Not being judged, no stares or looking you up and down as if judging what designer label your wearing or rather not. How well groomed you look. No makeup, simply me being me.The sea washed over the sand leaving it all pristine and clean, like it did for my unbalanced head and emotions.. Cleaned my soul and black thoughts. I was falling in love with this wild corner of Scotland with its energetic seascapes and remote mountains. Literally making me feel alive. Sat in the sea with camera and tripod in December doesn’t sound too appealing but I have to tell you how empowering it feels. Photography is an extremely powerful tool to heal and express yourself. Open your eyes. Discover the solitude and silence it brings, nature will soothe your soul. Don’t make any plans, go with the flow and let the universe lead you as more times out of ten plans never work out. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the moment.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All images taken with Samsung Galaxy 9 plus.

If you would like to see more of my work;
500pxFacebookViewbugInstagram

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

…………………………………………………

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.

If you would like to see more of my work;
500pxFacebookViewbugInstagram

logo[5875]

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2019.

%d bloggers like this: