Jenny Cameron

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

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 10 stop Evaluation Featured

Introduction

Welcome to my test review- Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0 ( 10 stop). Testing for sharpness, magnetic attraction strength, ergonomics, vignette, colour cast and practicalities. A very useful and popular choice for landscape photographers & videographers.

Location

The wild & untamed Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom.

Equipment used for testing

Canon 5d mark (iv), Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (iii) lens, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens, Gitzo tripod and off-set ball head and Adobe Creative Cloud software.


Magnetic Adapter Ring

Construction

The magnetic adapter ring is made exclusively from aluminium for strength & light-weight.

Design & practicalities

It screws onto the lens very easy & smoothly. The super slim design helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles. This can be conveniently left on permanently if you have the Haida magnetic lens cap which I discuss further on.

Sizes available

52, 55, 58, 62, 67, 72, 77 & 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 (iii) lens and also a 77-82mm Step-up ring for my Canon 70-200mm F2.8 lens.


What is a ND 3.0 ?

In simple terms, neutral density filters are a piece of darkened glass placed in front of the lens to block light from reaching the image sensor. It’s used to darken the whole image evenly from top to bottom allowing you to use a wider aperture or slower shutter speed than you would without the filter.

Creative “in-camera” effects

Resulting in some lovely artistic effects such as silky smooth water and streaky clouds.

Tips & tricks

Just remember whilst shooting long exposures that any other moving elements in your scene other than sky and water such as tree branches, foliages & people may also be moving and not stay sharp. So, what I recommend is to take one long exposed image for the sky and/or water then remove the filter and take another photo with a fast shutter speed for example trees/foliage, as they will most likely be moving in the wind. Then blend together in post-processing achieving the best of both worlds in your final image.

Buy cheap- buy twice!

The downside of long exposures can be compromised image quality, for example- heavy vignettes, unwanted noise & strange colour casts. Therefore, having the best optical glass possible is crucial. No point in spending thousands of pounds on a Canon L glass lens then throwing a cheap filter in front of it. I cannot stress the importance of investing in a great set of filters to make all your images shine.

Design & practicalities

The innovative design of the magnetic attraction has been a real game-changer for me, in fact, I rarely use others these days. These last few months I’ve been testing this filter, I solely used Haida NanoPro magnetic filters, something I’ve never done before. It allowed me to go super lightweight instead of lugging around a bulky filter holder and all the other heavier filters.

Ergonomics

Two words spring to mind- “speed & convenience“. Being able to swap/add filters quickly can make or break a potentially great image, as your not wasting time screwing on the adapter ring then the filter holder followed by filters, it really is time-consuming. Whereas with magnetic filters you can literally add or remove a filter in one second, then if you change your mind & want to try a different one it’s extremely fast & easy.

What is NanoPro?

NanoPro is a waterproof multi-coating on the filter glass, which helps prevent dirt and smudges from adhering to the glass & reduces reflection. Applied to both sides of the filter and helps prevent colour cast while maintaining excellent image sharpness. Highly scratch-resistant, durable, can be used underwater and super easy cleaning.

Construction

The frame part is made from Industrial Aluminium making it super strong & extremely lightweight. The glass part is made from high-quality K9 optical glass for clarity and colour fidelity with a double-sided NanoPro coating.

Stackable

It’s possible to stack up to four filters with this system including other brand magnetic filters. So far, I haven’t felt the need to stack more than three filters but that is purely personal taste. I found a nice combination of adding a Haida NanoPro Magnetic Polariser as it really helps the sky/clouds pop if the sun is sitting at the correct angle.

Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0 with Haida NanoPro Magnetic CPL stacked behind.

Whats in the box?

A see-through plastic case with an internal shaped foam insert to keep your filter protected and one Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0 (10 stop).

Actual filter out of the box. Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND3.0 (10 stop).

One Haida Magnetic Adapter ring.


Likes

  • Well built, feels sturdy & the glass part doesn’t rattle.
  • No color cast worries.
  • A big plus- zero light leakage thanks to the design.
  • Clear texted eteched onto the outside edge of the filter making it easy to read & select.
  • Super lightweight.
  • Incredible tonality, contrast & sharpness corner to corner.
  • Ultra-easy & fast to attach and remove without any disturbance to the composition.
  • Conviently placed grips on the outer circumference of the filter making it easy to swap/remove.

Dislikes

  • Easy to get fingerprint marks on the glass, allthough quickly rectrified with a soft micro-fibre cloth thanks to the NanoPro coating.
  • Some light vignetting at 16mm although soon disapears at 18mm & upwards.

Images- Without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND3.0 (10 stop)

Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 70-200mm (iii) Lens). Without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0.

Without filter- ISO 100, F11, 1/30 @70mm- With Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0- ISO 100, F11, 25 seconds @70mm.

Without/ with filter

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Behind the scenes


Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- (Canon 5d mark iv and Canon 16-35mm (iii) Lens). Without/with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0.

Without filter- ISO 100, F8, 1/40 @16mm- With Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0- ISO 100, F8, 29 seconds @16mm.

Without/ with filter

Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud.

Location – Remote Loch in the Scottish Highlands.

Behind the scenes


Haida Magnetic Lens cap

What I particularly love about this is- If you leave the Magnetic adapter ring on your lens you can simply pop on the Magnetic lens cap and pack it away conveniently in your bag- knowing it won’t get misplaced, lost, everything is secured and less time-consuming for your next shoot.

Please note, these are sold separately.

Haida magnetic zipped filter case

  • Holds up to 5 filters.
  • External dimensions- 121x121x47mm (LxWxH).
  • Materials- PU Leather and Polyester.
  • Filter size- 82mm.
  • Weight- 98.9g.
  • Conveniently clips onto your trousers or belt loop.
Filter case is sold separately

Images taken with Haida NanoPro Magnetic ND 3.0 (10 stop)

The image above Exif- ISO 200, F7, 1/2 @35mm. Post-processed in Adobe Photoshop.
The image above Exif- ISO 100, F9, 1/4 @18mm. Post-processed in Adobe Photoshop.

Conclusion

All in all, the quality of this filter is equal to all my other Haida filters including the Haida M10 range & the older style NanoPro’s- However, the beauty of the magnetics is they are an absolute pleasure to work with & so much easier.

After spending the past year testing a selection of Haida Magnetic filters I’m absolutely sold on the whole system. So much so, the majority of the times I’m on a shoot these days whether it’s for landscape or equine the only filters I take with me are magnetic.

I will most definitely be recommending them to my photography friends & workshop students.

There’s no going back for me, Haida magnetics all the way.

If you would like to read my test review of my recent Haida NanoPro Magnetic GND 0.9 (3 stop) click here.

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.

If you would like to see more of my work; Follow me on Facebook Instagram & 1X

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Launch of Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) Featured

Introduction

Introducing the latest filter holder from Haida- M10 mark (ii). I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am getting my hands on this beauty. Hot off the shelves from Haida! Right now as I type it’s not even been launched which is something I’m very proud of.

Three months of testing in the Scottish Highlands 2021-Haida M10 mark (ii) filter holder by Jenny Cameron.

Location Various areas in the Scottish Highlands, UK- during the summer of 2021.

Equipment used for testing – Canon 5d mark (iv), Canon 16-35mm F2.8(ii) lens, Canon 70-200mm F2.8 (ii) lens, Gitzo tripod and ball head, various Haida filters ( Red-diamond, M10 and NanoPro) and Adobe Creative Cloud software.

As we all know the original Haida M10 filter holder mark (i) was first launched three years ago back in October 2018 at the Photokina show in Germany- Proving a huge success over the years for many photographers and a signature innovative design of Haida.

When Haida first told me about a mark (ii) design- If I’m honest it shocked me a little! I didn’t expect a new filter holder so soon! “If it ain’t broke why fix it?” -A bit like redesigning the wheel! However, now I’ve used it for four months. I can hand on heart assure you I no longer use the old one. Let me walk you through my honest thoughts and experiences of use in the field.

What’s in the box?

One Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii), one adapter ring ( various sizes available), one Light-barrier, and one M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser mark (ii). Pre-installed with two pairs of plastic filter slots. An extra pair of filter holder slots to provide a third slot on the front of the holder which I’ve left on permanently. Plus a handy lens cap so you can leave the adapter ring on your lens permanently for a more convenient and faster set-up. Housed in a smart black Eco-leather zipped storage case with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod, rucksack, or trouser belt for ease of access. Internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a useful net pocket for storage.

Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) included in the kit.
Haida M10 filter holder Eco-leather zipped storage case.

M10 Adapter ring

This is the foundation for the M10 filter holder-It’s a bit like building a house without a solid foundation there’s no point installing the windows. Works solely with the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii). Made from aluminum for strength and lightweight. Designed to be slim for a reason- in my experience, it helps with any unnecessary vignettes when shooting at wide angles- Usually anything from around 20mm and wider. Some filter holders I’ve used in the past can create unwanted vignettes, therefore keeping the adapter ring as close as possible to the lens is crucial- However, strength is imperative, hence why aluminum is a popular choice for also our tripods, we need them mighty strong but lightweight. The adapter ring simply screws onto the front of your lens. Check the end of your lens to determine which size adapter ring you need to fit your lens. 

Adaptor rings screw onto your lens to accommodate the filter holder. Once the ring is in place the holder clips into place using a smooth, quick-release spring-loaded mechanism.

Available to fit most popular lenses in sizes; 49,52,55,58,62,72 and 82mm. Step-up rings are also available.

77mm adapter ring screwed on the lens.

Construction and Ergonomics of the Haida M10 filter holder (ii)

The first thing you’ll notice is its build quality. Made from Aviation-grade aluminum and PC materials for super strength and light-weight.

The aesthetics of the Haida M10 mark (ii) filter holder design has broadly stayed the same keeping the ever-popular modular drop-in system- Enabling rapid set-up and simple to use on- location. Allowing you to continue using your Haida M10 “round” drop-in filters, Red-diamonds, and NanoPro filters together or singular. Designed to take up to three filters ( 100 x 100mm or 100 x 150mm @ 2mm thickness) on the front of the holder and one filter slot at the rear closest to your camera lens where you can use one M10 “round drop-in filter or a Light-barrier. Also compatible with other brands of the same size. If you don’t wish to use any of the “round” drop-in filters you must therefore use the light barrier (included in the kit). Basically, a sealing ring to prevent any light leakage- In total it’s possible to use four filters all together in the Haida M10 filter holder (ii). Oftentimes, in the past, usually whilst doing long exposures 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.

Once fitted to the adapter ring the ingenious designed Haida M10 filter holder (ii) can be independently rotated a whole 360 degrees and securely held in place at any angle which enables the photographer to quickly balance the exposure at ease with rapidly changing light conditions using the right filter. Not forgetting to mention super fast to switch filters.

When the side-light is too strong. Use the Haida Red-diamond GND filter angled to create a more balanced exposure.

As great as the previous design was, there’s always been one major caveat. If you wanted to rotate/angle a neutral density graduated filter ( I use the really lovely high-end Haida Red-diamond range) if the sidelight gets too strong there was nothing to prevent the filter from slipping/moving or if you annoyingly accidentally knocked it you’d have to keep putting it back in place. As we all know light moves super fast so the last thing you need is equipment failing, it soon becomes stressful. This is where the new design really steps up to the plate and takes away any stress with a really neat locking feature which allows you to securely lock a filter/filters in place at whatever angle suits best- Making this an extremely secure and solid connection-much more than its predecessor which didn’t have this feature! I particularly love the new chunkier bright red push-and-release (spring clip) locking lever.

New feature! locking device close-up.

New feature! Locked securely in place.

New feature! Improved ergonomics.

New feature! Convenient lens cap.

What’s the difference between the M10 mark (i) and mark (ii) filter holder.

  • Lens cap included in the kit- You can leave the adapter ring on the lens permanently in your bag.
  • Weight- Mark (i) = 76g and Mark (ii) = 59g– significantly lighter even with new extra features.
  • Feels more sturdy and durable.
  • Ergonomically easier/faster set up. The holder can be taken-off by one hand directly.
  • Brilliant new locking feature with the use of Chinese traditional mortise and tenon joint structure.

Let’s take a closer look at the M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser (CPL) (ii)- included in the kit.

The image above was taken with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) in the Haida M10 filter holder (ii) -Post-processed in Adobe Photoshop. ISO 100, F16, 1/60 @16mm on a full-frame camera.

Inserting the Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) into the M10 filter holder (ii) is super fast and very convenient. Simply drops between the holder and lens creating a perfect seal from any stray light. It’s almost like gravity does the work for you -Once you hear the click it’s locked in place. There is a three gear linkage design on the mount which smoothly rotates independently. Once you start turning the adjustable black dial centrally placed on the top of the filter, you’ll instantly see the polarisation intensify on your live view screen. I tend to always rotate 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, i.e. 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. Such a great Polariser that has never let me down, providing excellent sharpness from corner to corner and the absence of color casts. Its sleek design allows the use of wide-angle lenses such as a 16mm on a full-frame camera with no evidence of unwanted vignettes. The frame part has been upgraded from plastic to a more durable Aluminium.

Images below-showing straight-out-of-camera @30mm with no filter and with Haida M10 (ii) filter holder and M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom. Demonstrating how the filter has retained every bit of sharpness. The results speak for themselves.

Without/with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii) in the M10 filter holder (ii). Without= ISO 100, F11, 1/30 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/8 @30mm.
Post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Construction and design

  • High-quality optical glass.
  • Upgraded frame-now in Aluminium instead of plastic.
  • Anti-reflective coatings.
  • Scratch-proof.
  • Ultra-thin NanoPro coating.
  • Waterproof, meaning any droplets of water literally roll off like beads, no ugly smears.
  • The dreaded fingerprints wipe off easily with a soft microfibre cloth.
  • Most importantly for me it preserves image sharpness which let me tell you is second to none.
  • Colour fidelity.
  • Absolutely no vignette even at my widest 16mm.
  • M10 Adapter ring, M10 Drop-in Filters (i & ii) are universal to the M10 Holder (i & ii).

Rearview of Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL mark (ii) in the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) . Sits at the rear of the holder.

Front view of Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) with M10 “round” drop-in CPL mark (ii) which sits at the rear closest to the lens.

Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- @165mm with no filter and with Haida M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). No post-processing on either other than lens correction in Lightroom.

Without filter= ISO 100, F11, 1/75 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/30 @165mm.

Without/with Haida M10 CPL (ii)
Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud

Comparative images below-showing straight-out-of-camera- @16mm with no filter and with M10 “round” drop-in CPL (ii). 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, F16, 0/5 and with filter ISO 100, F11, 1/5 @16mm on a full-frame camera.
Finally post-processed in Adobe Creative Cloud
Video showing the Haida M10 filter holder mark (ii) in a smart black Eco-leather zipped storage case with a handy carabiner attached to the top which can be neatly clipped onto your tripod, rucksack or trouser belt for ease of access. Internally lined with a lovely grey velvety fabric with a useful net pocket for storage.

Overall conclusion

The Haida M10 filter holder (ii) modular and durable design offers good protection for the filters. Feels strong, rigid/sturdy, and has a well-thought-out system for the most demanding of outdoor photographers especially those like me who enjoy long exposure photography. The quick-release clip is fantastic for getting the holder on and off so you can easily switch it between multiple cameras with different filter configurations. Overall lovely quality without compromise as we have all come to expect from Haida. The upgraded M10 “round” drop-in Circular Polariser (ii) feels sturdier and more durable due to the upgraded aluminum frame. However, I found from my findings that optically the sharpness remains the same as its predecessor.

As I often mention- Haida never stops searching for new solutions to help photographers.

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”. For more information please 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. Contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021

Step-up rings simply explained without techy jargon

What is a Step-up Ring?

A Step-up ring is basically a thin metal or plastic ring which increases the lens diameter. Simply screws directly onto your lens then the adapter ring for your chosen filter screws on top. This allows you to attach a larger filter size so you don’t have to buy or carry multiple filters for each of your different sized lenses.

It doesn’t have to break the bank balance?

Have you been put off going down the filter route for fear of it being too costly as you have different sized lenses and don’t wish to break the bank buying separate filters for each? How about if I told you there is a way you can use one filter on multiple lenses? Simply find your largest thread size and purchase a Step-up ring/s for the rest.

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 lens 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.

What to buy?

When buying Step-up ring/s, the goal is to find the thinnest and strongest compound if you want the best optical quality in the final image. If the ring is too thick it makes the gap between lens and filter too wide which causes all types of issues from vignette, sharpness is compromised, possibility of light leaking. The Haida ones I use are Aluminium and I’ve never had any problems. One more tip, to avoid vignetting, make sure the filter size is larger than the lens size.

Is it possible to stack Step-up rings?

Yes, it is possible to stack Step-up rings on top of each other, however this is something I highly do not recommend as it increases the distance between filter and lens which can cause vignetting and/or ghosting. All in all bad practice!

To conclude

Step-up rings are probably the cheapest photography accessory I own and the most useful. Well worth investing in and will save you some pennies but make sure it’s good quality, don’t go for the cheapest.

If you would like to view my work; Follow me on Facebook , Instagram , Viewbug YouPic & 1X.

I hope you found this helpful and simple to understand. Any further questions/advice I’m more than happy to help.

“All rights reserved” © Jenny Cameron 2021.

Haida Picture Appreciation | September Featured

Each month Haida support their Ambassador’s by promoting photographer’s work in what they call Haida Picture Appreciation. This month they kindly chose my recent image named “Summer-nights”. If you would like to view others on their website please follow this link.

“Summer-nights”~ I’m going to go all British on you now and talk about the weather, it’s our favourite topic, we are never happy, it’s either too hot or too cold, moaning is our second favourite topic. Have to say this year has probably been the driest and hottest summer I’ve known in a long time, that’s saying something for Scotland. There’s a reason we have so much “greenery”! I This image is a new gem of a location close to my home, a big area with waterfalls and woodland. Imagine the Aurora &/or Milkyway placed over here.

Techy information

Canon 5D Mark IV 

Canon 16-35mm F2.8 (ii) USM

16mm | 1/5s | f11 | ISO 100

Haida M10 Filter Holder + Drop-in CPL

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 you enjoyed this? Please feel free to ask me any questions or contact me below or Facebook Messenger.

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 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.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


“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.

%d bloggers like this: