Cokin filters at the seaside by Laura Daly


Hunstanton-wide-3450 When I went up to Hunstanton, I knew one of the things I wanted to practice was using filters more to achieve some interesting effects. Now, I know a lot of people go down the route of blurring the incoming seas, but I like the effect and wanted to try it for myself!

One problem - I don't currently own a "big stopper". The darkest ND filter I own is a 1.2, so I could only reduce shutter speed to about 1/2 a second. Even so, I still got some pleasing blur of the tide.

Oh, another problem - the hitech filter was great, nice tones with little colour cast. The cokin filter however; this produced a huge magenta colour cast that had to be removed in Lightroom. So, the tint slider for this image is actually way over to the left in the greens! This is the problem with filters, and the reason I guess why so many people go for the Lee resins. Maybe one day...

[Nikon D90, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/22, 1/5 sec, ISO 200]

Rough Seas by Laura Daly

Hunstanton-mono-3427 The joy (and sometimes, frustration) of shooting outdoors is competing with the British climate!

The north Norfolk coast is almost infamous for the high winds and sudden downpours, and on Monday I experienced a bit of everything! However, this made for a more interesting backdrop to the North Sea. I felt this image was best suited to a mono conversion, with all the white horses in the sea and the clouds behind. [Nikon D90, 50 mm f/1.8 @ f/16, ISO 200, 1/80th sec]

On this trip, I also played around with my ND filters and got some interesting effects. More to come.

Lightroom 5 - power of the new process by Laura Daly

I've had Lightroom 5 for some time now, and I have been hearing and reading many comments from people commenting on the power of the updated and improved sliders. As I haven't had much time (or the right weather) to go out and shoot, I thought I'd go back through my images and try to rescue some files that on first glance looked (basically) rubbish!

Now, these images aren't necessarily fantastic, but they do show just how much Lightroom (and Adobe Camera Raw) can now deal with. I've included jpegs of the original file and the edited final image.

Lake district new process original-0285 Lake district new process-0285

In the original image (top) I had lost a lot of detail in the shadows. I had originally intended this to be part of a bracketed exposure, but it didn't look quite right. Putting it through Lightroom 5 (second image), I was able to pull back the shadows whilst keeping detail in the sky. This just went to show how forgiving Lightroom really is!

Lake district new process original-0357 Lake district new process-0357

This next file is a good example of how the software can help fix overexposure and harsh highlights. The sky was so bright that day, and I didn't have my filters with me. My camera sometimes struggles to meter properly, as the D90 has not got the best dynamic range (in my opinion!) - a lesson in why I should use manual more often.

Due to the flat sky, I decided a black and white edit was probably the most appropriate. It worked out ok, but I think a storm rolling in over the hills would make this image stand out and "pop" more.

Lake district new process original-0441 Lake district new process-0441

I chose this final image to (hopefully) demonstrate how good LR5 is at helping a flat image look more dynamic and interesting. The vibrance, saturation and clarity sliders in particular do a great job of making things look more real and full of texture. I managed to get more detail and contrast from the trees throughout the forest - which I think makes the image much stronger.

Of course, this would have been much more difficult to do if I had shot in jpeg and not RAW...