Nicholas Atkin Fine Art Photography

Polariser Dilemma - Another One Bites The Dust

Nicholas Atkin - Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am a big supporter of Lee Filters as they are an essential part of any photographers kit.

In the days of film, enthusiasts would stock up on filters and use them for adding effects to their images, but with the move to the digital era, the tendency is shoot without them and then use Photoshop to deal with the resulting problems later on.

Personally I think its better to correct the light at the photon level rather than at the pixel level in Photoshop.  Photoshop is an amazing tool that all photographers use, but supplying Photoshop with a already balanced image makes your life much easier during post production.

My kit contains the following Lee filters:

ND Filters

0.6 ND
0.9 ND
0.3 ND Grad Soft
0.6 ND Grad Soft
0.9 ND Grad Soft
0.3 ND Grad Hard
0.6 ND Grad Hard
0.9 ND Grad Hard


Linear Polariser x 2

This brings us to the title of this blog, "Another One Bites The Dust".  I have an expensive habit of breaking my polarisers.  While out shooting at Wilson's Promontory in Victoria I removed my Polariser from the filter kit, and for some reason it slipped from my hands and shattered on the floor at my feet.  This wouldn't be too tragic, but you know something is wrong when you always carry a spare one just in case you break one.  Hence that's why my kit has 2 x Linear Polariser included.

I think this must be the third one I have broken in the last year, an expensive little habit.  Mr Lee Filters, could you please create a frequent points program for these...

If you would like to know some more about Lee Filters, then I would highly recommend looking to David Noton in the UK for further advice.  He is a great supporter of Lee Filter and even has his own Chasing the Light filter kit supplied by Lee Filters.  I can also highly recommend his books and DVDs for anyone looking to improve their skills photographing landscapes.

New Toy - Sony NEX5

Nicholas Atkin - Thursday, September 23, 2010

During our interlude in Spokane we ventured out in search of a camera store.  We were looking to replace couple of lens caps that we had misplaced in a canyon somewhere in the Montana region.

We were successful in our acquisitions, and walked out with a heck of a lot more than just the lens caps.

My pocket camera for the last couple of years has been a Panasonic DMC-LX3.  It has produced great images for a point and shoot, and the wide angle lens is invaluable for scouting for the panoramic work.

After talking to the salesman in the store and discussing our panoramic work, he introduced me to a little camera that he thought might interest me, the Sony NEX 5.  Once he had demonstrated the in camera panoramic stitching and given us a play, Angie made the decision to take it.  15 minutes later we walked from the shop with the camera, the 18-55mm and the wide angle pancake 16mm lenses.

The sensor in this little beauty is the same sensor as the Nikon D300 although it boasts a slightly higher pixel count at 14.2.  I won't go into a full blown review as I am sure there are a multitude out there already but I will say, the images that this camera creates are great.  I don't think its going to replace any of my Pro gear, but its great for pulling shots out when you need something very lightweight and portable.

While we were at Proxy Falls in Oregon, Angie snapped this image while I was shooting with the Fuji's.

Textures of Yellowstone

Nicholas Atkin - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The primary focus of this trip to the USA was to visit Yellowstone National Park. 

September is a great time to visit the park, the crowds have thinned, the weather is getting cooler and the animals are very active with their final preparations before winter set in.

The geological elements of the park attract visitors but during our stay, most of the photographers were focused on the wildlife.  This left us with plenty of space to set ourselves up to photograph the many geological features of the park.

The textural images below were taken with a Nikon DSLR whilst scouting for locations.

Some of the panoramic images from Yellowstone can be found in the Photography section of this site.