Archive for the Filter Category

The Weekly Photo – August 1, 2011

Posted in Filter, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

Here is a shot of Cataract Lake from the headwaters of the Brazeau River in Jasper National Park. This is just below Cataract Pass before humping up over the pass to get into the Whitegoat Wilderness Area (Canon Rebel T2i, Sigma 17-50mm lens, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer, f16 – 3 exposure HDR blend using Oloneo PhotoEngine).

©Darwin Wiggett

Upper Brazeau River Canyon in Jasper National Park looking back toward Nigel Pass (Canon T2i, Sigma 17-50mm lens, Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer, f11 – 3 exposure HDR blend using Oloneo PhotoEngine).

©Darwin Wiggett

Upper Cataract Creek Valley in the Whitegoat Wilderness (Canon T2i, Sigma 17-50mm lens, f11 – 3 exposure HDR blend using Oloneo PhotoEngine).

What’s in my F-Stop Bag? (a landscape photographer’s bag of goodies)

Posted in Camera Review, Filter, Good News, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Videos, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future reviews please note this blog is no longer active, please visit me over at oopoomoo.com

One of the most common questions I get is about what gear I use and why. Of course, it does not matter too much about the gear. I get the same kind of photos whether I use my Canon G11, Canon Rebel or Canon 1ds Mark III; the only difference is in the quality of the files and the ergonomics and speed of the camera; the Mark III files can be enlarged to a greater size and is the fastest camera I own.

I have numerous other cameras and I use the one that offers the controls and features that I need based on what I want to shoot. I might use a Holga for mid-day ‘arty’ snaps in the city, the Canon Rebel for backpack trips, the Mark III for action, or a camera phone for everyday happy snaps. There is no perfect camera, just as long as you have one with you!

The same thing goes for camera bags and backpacks. I have numerous bags each one designed to do a different job. I use a different bag when I am biking, hiking or car touring. But over the last month or so I have standardized my  ‘landscape’ photo system into one bag that I am loving whether I use it for car-based shooting, short hikes or overnight back-country trips. My new bag of choice if the F-Stop Sartori EXP. This bag is the big gun of the F-Stop line and is touted as their ‘expedition bag’. For me it’s not too big but definitely can handle a lot of gear from my full landscape kit’ to everything I need for a couple of nights in the back-country.

What I like best about F-Stop bags is that they are convertible and you can put as much or as little camera gear in the packs as you need simply by swapping out the ICU’s (internal camera units). I use a small ICU for backpacking and take my Rebel and one or two lenses; the rest of the pack is filled with essential back-country camping gear. For everyday use I use a large ICU in the Sartori to hold my complete landscape photography kit with room left over for essential snacks, clothes and other useful items necessary for short hikes and messing around in nature close to the road.

If you want to see more neat features and other reviews of F-Stop bags check out these links: F-Stop Bags – High and Dry and Ben Horton’s Review.

For me F-stop bags are the most comfortable and well-designed packs for the active outdoor and nature photographer. I highly recommend them. The only complaint I have about F-stop packs are that they are designed for people with average to longish backs. Most women and shorter guys (under 5’6″) may find the shoulder straps and belt system too long to sit properly on the body. Samantha found this out the hard way when she tried to steal my F-Stop bag only to discover that even for a taller woman like her (5’7″) the strap system is too long. Sam also tried out a Loka and a Tipola pack and tested it on other woman and all the F-Stop packs had the same short-coming — the torso of the bag was too long for most women.

So… F-Stop needs to make some packs in smaller versions for the torsally challenged photographer! Or, at least make a series of packs with an adjustable harness. For me I am happy because all the F-stop bags fit me perfectly (and so I got to keep all the bags Sam tried to steal!). Seriously though,  if you are short or a woman I would hesitate at his point to order an F-Stop bag. But for all you average-backed and long-backed dudes, you’ll likely love this or any of the F-stop packs. For now this a guy’s dream outdoor and nature pack (the perfect purse for the rugged boy in us all!).

Note: F-stop is one of my sponsors; I get to tell it like it is and F-stop in no way influenced this review. I love the packs, Samantha wants to love them but they just don’t fit most women.

UPDATE: Good news, I just heard back from F-Stop and the good news is they plan to release a short torso version of the Loka pack this fall! Also the F-stop packs have really filled a niche and everyone loves them so supplies are a bit short at the moment because the bags sold even more briskly than anticipated!

To learn more about the Sartori Pack and to see every piece of camera gear I use for landscape photography watch the video below:

(warning, in the video I called my cable release a ‘polarizer’ — the mind is the first thing to go — always wear a helmet, the brain is a delicate organ!)

A list of the camera gear harmed in the making of this video:

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III

Canon 24mm TS-E Mark II

Canon 17mm TS-E

Canon 45mm TS-E

Canon 90mm TS-E

Sigma 120-400mm lens

Cokin Z-Pro Filter Holder

Singh-Ray Filters

The Lee Big Stopper

F-stop bags

If you are in the USA and buy from B+H Photo you are supporting this blog with tiny bits of coffee money (I might even buy an occasional beer on special days!). If you are in Canada please buy from The Camera Store simply because they are the best store in the country!

Darwin at the Columbia Icefield with an F-Stop Sartori EXP pack

Lee Holder vs Cokin Z-Pro Holder

Posted in Filter, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, Videos, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future reviews please note this blog is no longer active, please visit me over at oopoomoo.com

If you have a full frame camera and plan to use and combine filters for your photography then you’ll likely want a filter holder. The two primary options are:

The Lee Holder – available in the USA at B+H photo and in Canada from The Camera Store

The Cokin Z-Pro Holder – available in the USA at B+H photo and in Canada from The Camera Store

To learn which holder I think is more practical watch this video:

Now the only problem is that the future of Cokin filters is up in the air – there may or may not be new product made, so buy your Cokin holders while you can just in case… and even if you don’t use them someone out there will want to buy your filter holders.

For more on filters see these links:

Essential Filters for Digital Nature Photography

Advanced Filters for Digital Nature Photography

©Darwin Wiggett - no filters

©Darwin Wiggett - Singh-Ray LB Warming Poalrizer and Singh-Ray 2-stop hard-edge grad filter

Photo of the Week – June 19, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Filter, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog, Weekly Photo on June 20, 2011 by Darwin

This image is from the recent spring photo tour in the Canadian Rockies. We we lucky to get great light one morning at Upper Waterfowl Lake in Banff National Park. Here I used my Canon 24mm TS-E lens tilted so the plane of focus gave maximum sharpness. I used a Singh-Ray 2-stop hard-edge grad to hold back the brightness in the upper part of the scene. As well, I used a Lee Big Stopper 10-stop ND filter to give a long 233-second exposure at f9 to show motion in the clouds. To see a larger version click on the photo.

 

©Darwin Wiggett

Why I’ll Never Be an Actor

Posted in eBooks, Filter, Good News, Humor, Instruction, Photography Gear, Techniques, Videos, VWBlog with tags , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future reviews please note this blog is no longer active, please visit us over at oopoomoo.com

Some of you may have seen the goofy video that Samantha and I made called “Six Silly Uses of the UV Filter“.  That video is below if you haven’t  suffered through it yet. You wouldn’t believe hard hard it was for me to make that video (or if you know me, you might not be surprised at all). It seems I just couldn’t and still can’t memorize lines. So much for my acting career…. Oh well, check out the blooper video below and watch me stumble over and over and over again. I may not be able to act but at least I am having fun – I think. Be aware there is a bit of cursing involved (I seem to remember how to say those words perfectly well!). And of course Samantha was flawless (well almost).

New eBook – Advanced Filters for Digital Nature Photography

Posted in Art of Photography, eBooks, Filter, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future ebook releases, please visit us over at oopoomoo.com

Samantha and I have just released our latest eBook on Advanced Filters for Digital Nature Photography.

This eBook continues where our last eBook, Essential Filters for Digital Nature Photography, left off and introduces photographers to advanced filter techniques that lead to creative imagery often impossible to replicate in software.

Learn how to use in-camera filters to create unique and desirable effects. Darwin and Samantha cover the Gold-N-Blue and Blue/Yellow polarizing filters, the 1.5 stop hard-edge grad filter for reflection photos, the Daryl Benson reverse ND grad filter, and specialty ND filters like Lee’s Big Stopper and Singh-Rays trio of Vari-ND filters.

Learn how to correct colour casts caused by filtration in post-production, see why a 1.5 stop ND grad is the solution for perfect reflection photos, discover why the Daryl Benson reverse ND grad is an essential filter for prairie and desert photography, and be creative by using ND and Vari-ND filters to ‘paint with time’. Finally, Darwin and Samantha show you the creative power of combining two or more of these filters for expressive and creative photography. The eBook costs $10, is 49 pages long and is available here.

Weekly Photo – December 10

Posted in Filter, Inspirations, Photography Gear, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by Darwin

Over the last two weeks I have posted results from participants in the November Fire and Ice Photo Tour. I have also posted three of my own photos from the tour on November 19, November 26 and December 3. Theses three previous posts along with the six images below are my favorite keepers from the tour. If anyone is interested in signing up for the 2011 or 2012 Fire and Ice Tour click here.

©Darwin Wiggett

Abraham Lake at Preacher’s Point, Kootenay Plains, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 17mm 1 second at f11, ISO 100

©Darwin Wiggett

Athabasca River at Old Fort Point, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 24mm 1 second at f8, ISO 100, Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-stop grad filter

©Darwin Wiggett

Athabasca River and Gargoyle Mountain, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 24mm, 20 seconds at f16, ISO 100, Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-stop grad filter and Lee 4-stop solid ND filter

©Darwin Wiggett

Snowbird Glacier, Mount Patterson, Banff National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Sigma 120-400mm lens, 1/50th at f8, ISO 100

©Darwin Wiggett

Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Sigma 24-70mm f2.8, 1/5th at f8

©Darwin Wiggett

Mount Chephren, Banff National Park, Alberta

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, TS-E 17mm 1/80th second at f5.6, ISO 100, two image stitch using shift