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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Blog, Landscapes

Staring at the sea

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Shot on Bexhill beach on yet another bland sky morning.

I had some of ups and downs this morning as I encountered some issues when using My Cokin Z Pro filter system, which has potentially ruined some good shots. More on this next post but it has to do with the writing on the adapter ring being reflected back onto the filter when shooting into the sun. Luckily some of the shots taken before the sun popped up where fine and I managed to clone out the offending reflection on a couple of shots taken as the sun broke the horizon.

Cokin ND8 filter. Processed in Lightroom 5.7.

Blog, Landscapes, Mono

Just another cliche

Just another cliche...

One of the domes at the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill.

For those who are unfamiliar, this is one the most recognised buildings along England’s south east coast and as such it has become one of the most photographed as well. I’ve heard many a groan at camera clubs as yet another shot of this place is projected onto the screen.  Familiarity breeds contempt as the saying goes but love it or hate it, it is still a very photogenic landmark. However, due to its’ popularity with photographers it is becoming more and more difficult to find new angles to shoot it from. The shot I’ve put up today is a very popular composition and for good reason, the design of the structures just lend themselves naturally to the rule of thirds and all that good stuff.

If you happen to be walking past on a day with great light and shadow, I bet you’d find it hard to resist taking a shot or two.

This shot may be a cliche, but I don’t care.

You can read some history about the De La Warr here.

Processed in Lightroom 5.3 only for a change.

Thanks for stopping by.

Blog, Landscapes

A new day

A new day

Bexhill beach. East Sussex, UK.

My friend Dan and I were both busy composing our shots when we noticed a couple of people out walking their dog. All we had to do was wait for the right moment to trip the shutter as they moved across the frame. I’m quite pleased with the position and spacing of the figures in this picture.

ND4 grey grad used, processed in Lightroom 5.3

Blog, Mono

Curt

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Meet Curt, a cool local chap who’s never stopped doing what he loves. Skateboarding. Still going strong at the age of 50, he’s an inspiration to us all.

My friend Dan and I came across Curt while making our way back to our cars after a photowalk around Bexhill town. We asked politely if he minded us taking a few pics and he was more than happy for us to do so. I’m not entirely happy with what I ended up with but it’s definitely not the sort of thing I usually photograph, so a bit more practice needed I think.

If you every happen to be walking along Bexhill promenade one sunny day, you may well bump into him.

All pics processed in Topaz B&W Effects 2 and Lightroom 5.3

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