Tag Archives: grad
Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 2
Sunday (the second round), I got to the Rock pools at Cronulla 10 minutes before sunrise and claimed my spot, this time only 2 other photographers were there.
The environmental conditions were much better today than yesterday, however there was a long stretch of cloud off to the horizon that covered and delayed the sunrise shot by around 10 minutes. I wasn’t using a chart or app to calculate exposure times with the Big Stopper so this gave me plenty of time to compose the shot and get a feel for how long to expose each shot for. To get a properly exposed pre-dawn shot using the Big Stopper, I exposed for 160 seconds, using f/11 and ISO 100.
When the sun was half way up the clouds, the exposure was dropped to 61 seconds (using the same setting as above image), and once the sun was just above the clouds, I exposed for 39 seconds, using the Big Stopper and the 0.9 (3 stops) soft gradient neutral density filters to reduce the glare and brightness of the sun.
I felt more comfortable now with the Lee filters, knowing beforehand which ones I wanted to use helped me focus more on composition.
Next time I will implement the use of an exposure calculator so speed up my process of capturing these seascapes.
Lee filters test shoot and product review – Day 1
OK, by the time I was finished with my 1 hour yoga session at 6:20 a.m. I didn’t really have much time to look for a spot, compose the scene, setup the camera and test which Lee filters would give the best results. Plus, there were 6 other photographers already there, taking the prime spots!
By 6:45 a.m. the sun had risen above the horizon, we got about 5 mins of sun before it was covered by the clouds, luckily I managed to capture the shots I wanted.
But in saying that, the Lee filter system did take some time to setup and get used to. The first test shots were with the 0.9 Soft Grad filter on it’s own, I was rushing so I actually forced it into the mount crossing the first and second slots, which I found was easy to do, fortunately it didn’t damage the mount. A couple minutes later I tried the Big Stopper filter and achieved the nice looking effects I wanted. But noticed that the sun was flaring up a bit in the shot so I added the 0.9 (3- stops) Soft Grad ND filter and this seemed to control the harsh light in the horizon better.
I tried the polariser on it’s own and it didn’t make too much difference to the quality of the shot, just darkened the image and perhaps saturated the clouds a bit more, I should also note that and at 11mm on my wide-angle lens (actually 17.6mm on cropped sensor), there was some harsh vignetting occurring at the corners but not too much. Anyways, I used the Big stopper with it to get a decent shot, just crop off the vignette at the top and bottom to make the panoramic style shot.
It was another learning experience and I will keep going back for more!
Also spotted Women’s Health & Fitness Magazine’s glamour girl and former Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood snapping pics, enjoying the sunrise and going for a swim… boy does she have a fit and strong body!
Got the Lee Filters! They will make great additions to my photographic arsenal helping me expand my creative potential. Especially for landscape and architectural shots.
- Lee Big Stopper filter (reduces incoming light by 10 stops).
- Lee Circular Polarizer filer (To cut through the glare or hazy sky and add colour saturation to the images).
- Lee Neutral Density Soft Graduation filter set – (1,2,3 stops darker)
- …and the necessary Lee mounting kits for the polariser (polarizer) and other filters.
I will review these to let you know my thoughts as soon as I get some decent experience with them. Going to test them out this weekend.