Friday, June 06, 2008

LB Polarizer's greater light transmission assures sharper outdoor action photos

Outdoor photographer and naturalist Ethan Meleg says, "It's been a long, cold winter here in central Ontario with far too much snow to shovel. You can imagine how energizing it is to finally see the spring migration in full swing, wildflowers carpeting the forest floor and vibrant green foliage on the trees. To take full advantage of the spring season, I spend as much time as I can shooting outdoors.

"These 'outdoor recreation' images were shot for stock licensing to various outdoor publications and ad agencies. They are the money makers in my business -- the market for them is much larger and better paying than for traditional nature photos (ie. birds, flowers). They essentially subsidize my photography so I can chase birds around!

"Camping trips are particularly productive because my friends will model for me in exchange for BBQ steaks and beer. After travelling together for years, they've become very patient and understanding, even when I need to reshoot a scene a dozen or more times. And, best of all, they wear bright red clothes that stand out against nature's greens and blues. I'm lucky to have such good friends!

"I also feel lucky to have my Singh-Ray LB Warming Polarizers on both my wide-angle and medium-telephoto lenses almost all of the time. To explain what I mean, here are some outdoor recreation photos taken this week during a camping trip with my friends to Oastler Lake Provincial Park. The park is about 2.5 hour's drive north of Toronto, conveniently located just off Highway 400/69. It's a small front-country camping park with some beautiful granite shoreline, towering pines and hemlock. When shooting potential stock images like these, I try to compose the photos primarily as dramatic natural landscape images with an added human element. This requires enough depth of field to keep both the foreground and my human subject in sharp focus. For more punchy, vibrant colors, I shoot at sunrise or sunset when the light is most dramatic. I almost always use an LB Polarizer to reduce the glare and increase color saturation.

"This use of a small lens opening along with a polarizing filter means that I usually end up exposing at somewhat slow shutter speeds. This in turn makes it a challenge to stop the movement of my subjects (despite their best efforts to not move). This is when my Singh-Ray 'lighter, brighter' LB Warming Polarizer gives me a break -- by being almost a full f-stop faster than other polarizers, it enables me to use a significantly faster shutter speed that often means the difference between a sharp photo and one I would end up deleting. For these images, the exposures fall within a range from 1/60 second @ f8 to 1/13 second @ f18 at ISO 400. All were shot with a Canon EOS 1Ds mark III and EF 24-70/2.8 L lens.

"As I said, I feel lucky when have my LB Polarizers always on the job. Over the coming summer," Ethan says, "they'll help me get a lot more keepers." Twelve pages of Ethan's photos and comments are currently featured in Outdoor Photography Canada, and you can check out his blog at to follow his tracks this summer.

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