More than a year ago I was chatting with a colleague who has taken some amazing landscape photos. He mentioned that rather than using the circular screw on filters, he used the glass plate filters, namely the gradual neutral grey ones. I’ve been debating about picking some up since then, but hadn’t captured many landscape photos and wasn’t sure I would use the filters enough to make it worth my while.
I was wrong.
Canon 60D | 18-135mm lens | 1/320 | f/9 | ISO 100 | Cokin Filter
Living in Utah, we have some gorgeous mountains just to the east of the Salt Lake Valley. One of those mountain tops – Lone Peak – can be seen rather clearly from my neighborhood, making it a perfect subject for some photographs. But I wanted the newer style of filters before I really felt like the photos would be what I was hoping they would be. So once I picked up a Cokin brand Gradual Neutral Grey G2 (ND8) – 0.9 the other day from Pictureline, I had to capture a few test shots.
Both shots seemed to look pretty good on the LCD screen of my Canon 60D, but the ones taken with the filter seemed to have a darker sky – which I really liked. It wasn’t until I brought a filter and non-filter image into photoshop and placed them side-by-side that I realized how much better the one with the filter looked.
The snow in the photo without the filter was almost yellow or orange (which is never a good color for snow). The crisp white color of the snowy mountain was much truer to the actual beauty of the mountain. So I think I am sold on using this type of filter for my landscape shots. Now I just need to get out to the sights of Utah and attempt to capture what the scenery has to offer.
I’ve also been toying with ideas in my head about other ways to experiment with this filter on various settings. So this will not be the last time I use this filter to capture a photo I feel is worth of sharing on my blog. Stay tuned….
Moments after learning about this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, I was in my car heading to a meeting in downtown Salt Lake City. As usual, I had my camera bag in the back seat, so once my meeting concluded, I took a short walk around Temple Square, shooting things that were green.
My initial idea was to get a great shot of a traffic light sporting some green, but I saw so many other cool shots of green, that I ended up with more than just traffic lights.
During my quick excursion, I had my 55-200mm lens hooked up so I could get close enough to objects without standing in the middle of the road. I put my camera on AV (aperture priority) so I could have better say in the depth of field.
For a couple of the shots, I tried bracketing a series of three photos so I could merge them together using Photomatix and capture a better dynamic range. Of the four photos above, can you guess which two are HDR? The traffic light, along with the white snow melting in patches to reveal the green grass below.
For the traffic light photo, I converted the three bracketed photos to a single HDR photo, converted it to Black and White using photo shop, then imported the photo in color and used that to make the green light green. I felt that offered more contrast to help the green light pop out a little better.
Green lent itself to so many options, and I still have another idea up my sleeve, which I will probably photograph later today and share tomorrow. Stay tuned for that one.
I have taken many photos in my years, but this is one of my all-time favorites.
I would start by asking a simple question: Do you know where this photo was taken? Even though I obviously know where I took the photo, I still get a sort-of European sense in how the photo looks. Maybe something from England or northern Europe? Alas, no. It was taken one very early, cold, snowy morning at the Layton, Utah, Frontrunner train station.
The commute to Salt Lake had been hampered with snow and I didn’t want to risk the delays of sitting in traffic all morning trying to get to work. So I headed to the train station and while walking down the platform, I thought this setting would make for a great photo. I was lucky to have an unsuspecting woman carrying an umbrella walk into the frame. But rather than waiting for her to pass, I snapped off a couple of photos.
Later, when I checked out the photo a little more (or at least on a bigger screen than what I saw on my Canon Digital Rebel XT), I really liked what I saw. In fact, I shared in on Popular Photography’s Facebook page and they selected it as a Photo of the Day last January. I was jumping for joy when I saw they had selected my photo.
I guess it is moments like these where carrying my camera with me wherever I go actually pays off. Ninety-five percent of the time I carry it without taking a single photo. But the 5% like this makes it all worth it – sore shoulder and all.