Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Graduated ND Filters make life easier for Marc Adamus

Upon seeing his dramatic landscapes in a number of publications, we invited outdoor photographer Marc Adamus to send along a few examples of his success with Singh-Ray ND Grads. While these images and captions clearly speak for themselves, we found it noteworthy that Marc regards his graduated ND filters as a way to "make my life easier.

"I enjoy working in the field as much as possible," says Marc, "instead of spending costly hours blending multiple images in Photoshop. More often than not, I use Singh-Ray Graduated ND filters to control each exposure in the field—striving to create a balanced exposure and natural look in the original image. I am often required to control the exposure during a very few fleeting seconds of light that I'm trying to capture."

Ocean's Fury:
One night a few years back, I made this image of waves crashing along the headlands of Oregon's central coast. As the sun set, it cast a warm light on the huge waves impacting the rocky shore. The challenge was to control a very bright horizon to my right while maintaining detail in the rocks on my left. The solution was to place a Singh-Ray 2-stop soft-step ND grad diagonally across my lens with the darkest portion covering the western horizon. In addition to being time consuming, attempting to blend multiple exposures in Photoshop would not have worked well in this case because of the rapidly changing action of the crashing waves. The Singh-Ray grad preserved all the color and detail throughout the image. (Canon EOS 3 with Tamron 24-135 lens, Velvia 50)

Magic Mountain:
This past summer, I visited one of my favorite locations in Rainier National Park overlooking the White River. When I arrived an hour before dawn, the sky was mostly cloudy and fog rolled in and out. I was about to pack it up when I noticed a small clearing developing in the east and, before I knew it, the first light was hitting the face of the peak with striking intensity. Almost everything else in the landscape was still in deep shadow. I knew the enormous exposure range would be difficult to capture accurately, but fortunately I had my Singh-Ray grads to work with. I hand-held both a Galen Rowell 2-stop, hard-step and a 2-stop, soft-step grad—sandwiched together—and moved them over the illuminated peak and then up and down slightly in front of my lens during a four-second exposure. I was able to retain a natural exposure with very little computer work required. (Canon 5D with 17-40 f-4L lens)

Crater Lake:
Two winters ago, I made a five-day trek on snowshoes around the rim of Oregon's Crater Lake following a massive storm cycle that dumped over 100 inches of new snow. I was scouting for an image that would capture the vastness of this magnificent landscape. I came upon this scene and set up my campsite nearby, knowing that the best light would likely come at dawn. Next morning, in frigid temperatures, I made my way to the rim at first light where I was greeted by a fantastic sunrise. I wanted to retain all the details of the landscape in the shadowed slopes facing me and the beautiful pastel luminescence in the immediate foreground, while also controlling the highlights. I chose a Singh-Ray 2-top reverse graduated ND grad that allowed me to keep the highlights in check while accurately recording the lower light levels on the slopes just below. (Canon 5D with 17-40 f-4L lens)

Look for more of Marc's work on his website, www.marcadamus.com

1 comment:

Ethan Meleg said...

Marc, your lanscape photos are among the best on the continent. Very inspiring work!