Blog, Landscapes

It came from outer space

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‘It came from outer space’

I took our broken dishwasher to the tip, then headed off to pick up tickets to see Eddie Izzard from the De LA Warr Pavilion box office.

Whilst there, I took a quick look around their current exhibition ‘In the realm of Others’. Definitely take some time to have a look.

Obviously they enforce a no photography policy within the exhibition but I was taken with the view outside, looking through the blinds. No harm in taking a picture within the exhibition hall but not of the exhibits I thought.

What you see here is the concrete bandstand with one of the iconic domes behind.

Looks a bit like a futuristic spacecraft.

Blog, Landscapes, Mono

Alignment

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‘Alignment’

My second post from Bexhill beach.

The thing that initially drew me to this composition was the arrangement of the rocks in the water but when I looked at the sky, that too seemed to almost mimic the shape below.

I usually like to get down low for my shots but for this one, I moved my tripod right into the water so that just the head and camera could be seen above the water line. It was only a shallow pool however, so easy for me to stand in with my wellies on. Alas, the water did pour over the top of my right boot near the end of the shoot though!

A pair of chest waders will be my next photographic purchase.

To achieve this shot and to get the smooth appearance on the water, I used my new ND8 filter coupled with an ND4 graduated filter to help balance the land and sky.

I do love how the smooth appearance on the water helps to give a sense of calm.

Blog, Landscapes, review, Tips

The Cokin Z Pro reflection issue

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Aargh! What’s that at the bottom of my image?!

I should start off by saying that this will only happen when shooting directly towards the sun.

So I left home this morning (Sunday) to photograph the sunrise at Bexhill beach as the weather and tide looked quite favourable. Armed with my new Cokin Z Pro filter system I quickly checked the light levels and decided to put on the ND8 graduated grey filter to balance the light between sky and land. The sun hadn’t reached the horizon yet (but I had the camera pointing directly where it would soon appear) so with camera set, I started to happily shoot away. Now, I do look at the LCD screen to check exposure using the histogram often but I don’t constantly chimp the camera to look at the image itself, I just get on with the job of composing and shooting. It wasn’t until I stopped for a brief moment to review my composition that I noticed something across the bottom of my image. What was it? I hadn’t seen it through the viewfinder though it must have been there, perhaps it was just too faint for me to see. However, zooming in on the screen revealed it to be the writing on the adapter ring being reflected back onto the filter. A closer look reveals that the edge of the ring itself is also visible due to the shiny black finish. A huge f-up in the design process that I thought Cokin would have foreseen.

 The only way of getting around this problem would be to shoot the scene unfiltered. Unfortunately in this instance filtration was essential and the two shots I took unfiltered proved this to me. Yes, I could have bracketed to merge later in something like Photomatix but I’ve gone off using this method for my landscape photography and leave it just for my urbex work. Somewhat annoyed and rather cold I packed everything up and headed back home.

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As a person who shoots a lot of landscapes, I believe that having a good filter system is essential to help balance light. So, I have two suggestions on how the folks at Cokin could improve upon their adapter ring design. First would be removing the print from the front of the ring and to print it on the back, or have no print at all. Second would be to use a matte black finish to help cut down light reflection. I’m sure these ideas are not beyond the realms of possibility but until then its off to the hobby shop to buy some matte black enamel paint to sort it myself.

Just so I don’t finish off on a grumpy note, here’s a shot I manged to rescue using the clone tool in Photoshop Elements.

Thanks for reading.

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