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

Posts tagged ‘Photography’

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

Good-bye Winter

More rambles from Jenny Cameron landscape fine art photographer in Scotland during lockdown & the mental struggles.

Haida Interchangeable Magnetic Variable ND filter 77mm.

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.

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.

Land of Mermaids

Beautiful, mysterious wild & free. ~Dance in the moonlight. ~Choose imagination over fear & sea treasure in the simple things. Most importantly be who you are, embrace your inner Mermaid whether male of female it doesnt matter.

Jenny Cameron

Tell me you cant see the Mermaids?

Scotland’s best kept secret
Scotland
Island life
World-class beach, Scotland
Sanctuary in Scotland.
Power of nature in Scotland.
Land of Mermaid collection by Jenny Cameron 2020.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Morgan the midnight fairy

"Morgan" the midnight fairy.
“Morgan” ~ home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye.

Home to Morgan the Midnight Fairy. Glenbrittle, Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Please note this is a composite image. Night sky has been added in post processing. Both images have been taken by myself in the same area of the Isle of Skye.

The use of Haida filters are as follows,

Haida round “drop-in” Circular Polariser and Neutral Density 1.8 (6 stop) combination filter for the water.

M10 round Clear-night for the night sky.

Believe in the fairies who make dreams come true. Believe in the wonder, the stars & the moon. Believe in the magic from fairies above. They dance on the flowers & sing songs of love, & if you just believe & always stay true, the fairies will be there, to watch over you!

I gift a sprinkle of fairy dust for each & everyone of you.

If you would like to see more of my work;
YouPic Facebook, Viewbug, Instagram.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2020

Little Black Book

Today I received my little black book from a company called Zeno …A gorgeous hard backed memory photo book I did as a surprise present for my Husband dedicated to our two fur-kiddos Bo & Caley. I have to say how genuinely impressed I am with the quality of print & thickness of the pages, it’s almost like a child’s board book.

Personalization was straight forward to navigate even for a digibeet like me. You decide where you want each image, which photo you want for the front cover & background colour.

 Shipping to the UK took approximately a week to arrive & all in perfect condition. Such a lovely keepsake & or gift for the person who has everything. 

Here is a link to their website if you fancy a wee nosey click here.

Here’s a 40% off coupon code<ABMS40> to you. This code applies to Albums & Books. This offer expires on 2020-08-31 Pacific Time.

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

Earth Wind & Fire book by Jenny Cameron

The waiting game is over, Im bursting with excitement & super pleased. My first exclusive landscape photography book published & I couldn’t be prouder.

Stunning hard-back coffee table style book with 106 pages including my fine art landscape photos, story telling of hardships, overcoming obstacles & how art can guide you over the bumpy road.

All books are digitally signed by me & soon to be available for download on Apple books.

Previously I offered to the first 50 pre-ordered copies a personalised hand inscription/signed by me. This offer has now ended today & not available.

If you would like to purchase a book please contact me either by e-mail @ jennycameron121@gmail.com or alternatively via Facebook Messenger.

 

 

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.

Annotation 2020-06-23 094309

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.

Annotation 2020-06-22 083446

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

Annotation 2020-06-21 184617

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.

Annotation 2020-06-21 184126

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

Annotation 2020-06-21 184838

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! 

Annotation 2020-06-21 184459

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

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 Featured

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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