Wednesday, October 25, 2006

LB Polarizer named Editors' Choice by PCPhoto

It's always great to be named "all-around favorite filter" by anyone, but this time it comes from the editors who are tracking photography's digital revolution. We're pleased that they've recognized the dramatic advantages that Singh-Ray's "Lighter, Brighter" LB Warming Polarizer delivers to photographers. By increasing light transmission by 2/3 of an f-stop, it allows easier composition in the viewfinder, plus the choice of a faster exposure, greater depth of field, or lower ISO setting. All with no reduction in polarizing effect. You can check out the full line-up of "chosen" products in the December 2006 issue of PC Photo or download the PDF of all the Editors' Choice selections from PC Photo's website.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bringing the right ammunition to the shoot

We received the following article from noted outdoor photographer Steve Kossack and liked it so much, we wanted to share it here.

Bringing the right ammunition to the shoot

Filters are not heavy! There is no reason not to have them with you at all times, right? That's what I tell my workshop participants and that's what I believe! However there are exceptions to every rule and this exception, I think, proves the rule.

In preparation for our summer high Sierra loop in Yosemite National Park, a different criteria needed to be met. I realized that not only is a shooting vest, where my filters are kept, not practical but the number of filters that I usually have in that vest would also be impractical to carry for over 60 miles. This forced me to take a look at my filters and choose just a few to carry in my hiking shorts. This would seem at first easy but as the process progressed there came some interesting choices. I have many great creative filters and I use them all, but with weight and comfort being most important, I had to decide on only two or three.

A polarizer and a couple of graduated ND filters sure, but the one "specialized" filter that I did not want to be without was the Vari-ND. I consider this filter one of the best tools I've ever owned and one that can make a shot. Not just help one, but MAKE ONE!

About halfway into our back county hike I encountered the perfect situation for the Vari-ND. A sunset at Merced Lake saw the beautiful cross light turning the granite wall across the lake a golden glow. The reflection of the choppy lake in the foreground was great to watch but it presented an exposure nightmare and actually caused me to squint as the reflected light bounced off the surface. The focal point of my composition was in the distance and I wanted a fallen tree in the foreground to run the eye there but the lake was dark, and in the same moment with the shimmer, bright reflected light. What to do?

The Singh-Ray Vari-ND turned the chop of the lake and reflected light into a surreal glow that complemented the distant scene! The sheen created by the slow shutter speed, in my opinion, MADE the image. The filter gave me what I had first envisioned and solved all the problems.

I had carried this filter for over sixty miles for good reason!

Image made with Canon EOS 5D, Canon 24-105 f/4 IS with Singh-Ray Vari-ND. 15 sec exposure @ f/16. For more information on Steve Kossack, his workshops and DVDs, visit

Monday, October 23, 2006

Making the case...

Over on Rob Galbraith's excellent photo blog, he highlighted an article by Darwin Wiggett from the online magazine Nature Photographer's Online. Darwin's article is a clear and concise discussion of "Three camera filters all digital photographers should be using." He explains how certain visual effects are much simpler and more effective when created with a filter instead of being simulated through software. Also included are some excellent comparative example images made with Singh-Ray filters to illustrate the article. Darwin also discusses some simple techniques for getting the best results with a Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer and your digital camera. (The image shown here is one of Darwin's Gold-N-Blue shots from the article.)

Our thanks to Rob for highlighting the article, and of course, to Darwin and Nature Photographers Online Magazine for writing and publishing the story.