5D Mk III, EF24-70 f/2.8, Lee Big Stopper. F/11 at 21 sec.
Neutral density and polarizing filters are about the only filters really needed any more for landscape photography, there are a few exceptions, but currently these filters dont really have an option that can be done in camera or in post.
ND filters allow you to control the amount of light hitting your sensor, along with aperture control, you can allow the right amount of light to do exactly what you want in most lighting conditions.
This allows us to shoot in bright light and get the feeling of motion in our images, there are many uses for this; smoothing of water, motion of a running animal or person, motion in vehicle traffic, abstract images and more. I arrive at a shoot long before the golden hour, its nice to be able to start my process before the light dims enough for normal shooting and allows for far more abstract images than with out an ND filter.
Frequently I cant shoot slow enough when at an ocean front shoot, with ND filters I can shoot at 30 seconds on a bright day, allowing me to get in more shooting time as the evening progresses, I can maintain long shutter speeds or change to a different filter to speed up my shutter. Varying the aperture and the filter density allows me to select the exact speed for the effect I'm looking for.
Shot mid day with the Lee Big Stopper, 10 stop neutral density filter. I was hoping for faster moving clouds to achieve the look I wanted, but this was a decent start. I will try some more in San Francisco in the next few weeks.
Its pretty cool to be able to shoot so slow on such a bright afternoon, it opens new doors and gives one a chance to try some new technique's.
Shooting the San Francisco Icon. After living in the area for nearly six months now, I decided it was finally time to capture some images of the Golden Gate Bridge. My research showed the 4 best angles to shoot the bridge from, without using a boat or helicopter that is. Baker beach, Marin headlands or Battery Spencer, Fort Point and Horseshoe Bay.
Now I need to finish all four locations and decide what I personally like the best, the crowds of tourists have kept me away from the Marin side, that seems to be where most people flock to. Baker beach and the Presidio are so far my choice due to light and foreground interest. Kirby Cove from the Marin side looks worth a hike down to the beach also.
I will also try walking out on to the bridge at dusk and shooting up the towers with a telephoto lens, I have not seen much done that way. Also a tower shot with the city in the background would be nice to compliment my Bay Bridge Shot, incidentally I like shooting the Bay Bridge better.
A recently leaked on line image shows my dream lens, the EF 11-24mm f4L USM, yes thats f/4 constant aperture, why? size mostly, but with a super wide its main purpose in life is wide angle landscape and architecture so f/2.8 is not really needed and by keeping it at f/4 it can have an even wider field, hence the 11mm, while keeping size and weight down.
I absolutely love the Nikon 14-24, but this one will be way better for my purpose's. I hope this is true, I will run right out and get it. Will be tough to swallow the rumored price of $2800, but it will pay itself off quickly.
Two shot panorama of Seattle at dusk. Processed in Lightroom and CS6. I like to shoot a city scape just after sunset at dusk, the city lights are visible and the sky has not yet turned black. Seattle is still my favorite city to shoot, there are many locations that offer excellent views like the classic one above, Kerry Park on Highland Ave.
Image: 5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II, 24mm, f/11 at 1/60 sec.
Perspective correction is something we come up against whenever architectural elements are the subject matter of a photograph. This image of the lighthouse in Mukilteo is a good example. Looking at this image subjectively some will say the image should be fully corrected and some will say it would look un-natural that way. I believe a certain amount of distortion is acceptable and appears more natural.
Other issues with correction are reduced resolution due to crop and sharpness loss from the correction itself, for these reasons I always try to minimize distortion correction, the original size of the image was 5760 x 3840 and the fully corrected image is 5399 x 3712, not a huge change. One last thing to keep in mind is your field of view, the fully corrected image lost a lot of foreground detail (flowers, pathway).
Lightroom5 lens correction panel - for fully corrected image
This is the camera that looks most interesting at Photokina this year, it is a well specked compact camera, a 4/3rds sensor with a fixed 24-75 mm(equivalent) f/1.7 to f/2.8 lens. Could very well be the first 4/3rds camera I get to test, well 2nd after the GM1, anyway it should be a great little camera.
Not cheap at around $900 but probably well worth it, we'll see what the gang at DPreview have to say, I look forward to it. 4K video is pretty cool too, I want that in my next camera.
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