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, Mono, Urbex

The Chapel

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A derelict chapel slowly crumbling lies forgotten in the woods. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Processed using Lightroom, Photoshop elements and Topaz B&W Effects.

Movember update:

Week One has gone fantastically well having raised £125 so far! I’m finding it weird having to remember to shave every day but have settled into a routine.  Below is a photo of me from earlier today so you can see my mo progress so far.

If you would like to make a donation to my MoSpace then please click on my face to take you through to the website.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dave, Movember start week 2

Blog, Landscapes

Country scene

Country scene

A bit of a departure from my usual style.

Having looked at the image (below) edited in my usual style, I decided that there was something about it that I thought might lend itself to having a more painterly look. To me, the scene had a kind of  Constable look to it and keeping this in mind I decided to apply a cross processed film look, thinking that the colour shift would help to remove some of the reality. Additionally, I thought that by using one of my old photos of an old cobweb covered window I could, perhaps, emulate the look and feel of textured paper ( see bottom image). It did mean having to go into Photoshop however, something I’ve not used in quite some time, so a quick refresher was needed. I’ve created pictures before using textures but it’s not something I do very often. Also,  I have a personal rule of only using my own work for creating the texture, rather than using one of the many texture packs available on the web.

I’ve used this particular window shot a few times before but I always change it slightly to make it less obvious. This time I added it twice, with one being flipped horizontally.

I’m quite pleased with the result, I hope you like it too.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Blog, Promo

50% off Topaz Adjust

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Hi, just a quick post to let you know that the good people over at Topaz Labs are running a new promotion offering 50% off of their Topaz Adjust plugin.

Here is what they have to say:

” Adjust is an image enhancement plug-in designed to make your photos pop.

You can create stunning images with dramatic contrast, incredible detail and vibrant color with award-winning Adjust. Preset options range from subtle, realistic enhancements to artistic HDR-like presets. In just a few clicks, it’s easy to produce a truly eye-catching look in a single image.”

The coupon code is: augadjust and is valid until the 31st August. Just follow this link to take you through to their webpage.

The photo above was processed using the Adjust plugin to give it a little more bite (sorry)!