Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Gold-N-Blue Polarizer puts the City of Philadelphia in a much better light

As three-time "Travel Photographer of the Year," globe-trotting Bob Krist is as skilled in shooting impressive cityscapes as he is landscapes. Here's his account of a very recent assignment just a few miles from his hometown of New Hope, PA. when, as he says, "my trusty Gold-N-Blue Polarizer saved me again.

"As soon as Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, which is the tourist board of Philadelphia, heard that cable giant Comcast was building the newest and tallest building in their city, they knew they’d need some new skyline pictures for their files and advertising.

Photo A (above): with Gold-N-Blue, Photo B (below): regular polarizer
"The new building was to be finished in January, 2008. And I was contracted to do aerials and skylines, which I was expecting to do in the clear, crisp, low humidity days of late winter and early spring, when I could get the greatest clarity and color saturation.

"Of course, the building wasn’t actually finished until a few weeks ago in late July... right in the heart of the city's hot, hazy, days of mid-Atlantic summer. And of course, my client couldn’t wait another second for the updated shots. Normally, I’d like to wait for ideal conditions, such as when a cold front moves through with a big storm that clears the air. The day after such storms is the ideal time for shooting aerials and skylines.

"I still had to wait a bit for a relatively low-humidity clear day to shoot these images, but I couldn’t really wait for a major cold front. So there was still a bit of haze in the air when I began shooting. So I knew it was time to use my Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer to minimize the haze and make the most of the less-than-ideal conditions.

Photo C (above): with Gold-N-Blue, Photo D (below): no filter
"My job was to shoot images both from the ground and from the air, and you can see in these “before and after” shots how nicely the Gold-N-Blue helped me punch up the color.

"In order get some strong sunlight, I had to shoot later in morning and earlier in the afternoon than I ordinarily would because the sun would “haze out” as it neared the horizon. But the Gold-N-Blue put back some of the warmth in the scenes -- without compromising the blues -- and made the overall light look 'sweeter.' The polarization also helped cut through the haze.

"Shooting with two camera bodies in a helicopter for some of the aerials, I had the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer mounted on one body (Photo A) while, on the other body, I had the same focal length lens fitted with a regular polarizer (Photo B). You can see in Photo A how the Gold-N-Blue made the city look sweeter and punchier.

"You can also see the same difference between these two twilight shots taken from a rooftop a few days earlier. In Photo C, I used my Gold-N-Blue Polarizer and for Photo D I used my 16-85mm DX Nikkor AF VR without any filter. It's clear that the colors in Photo C produced an image that was warmer and popped nicely. And it all happened without me doing a lot of post processing.

"Finally, for this shot taken of the 'new' Philadelphia skyline from the waterfront of nearby Camden, New Jersey, the Gold-N-Blue made the reds in the sunset sky really pop. For many who are 'in the business' of photography, the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer is an essential tool when we can't afford to wait for the ideal light. It seems like the busier I am, the more I appreciate having my Gold-N-Blue close at hand. On any assignment, it adds a lot more possibilities."

Continually on the move, Bob's new book is for the Lark Publications "Digital Masters" series. The book is called Digital Travel Photography: Documenting the World's People and Places and will be out this fall, and is available for pre-order now.

Bob will also be doing a series of seminars this fall and early winter for Outdoor Photographer and National Geographic Traveler magazines. Visit his website, www.bobkrist.com and look under the heading "Teach and Talk" to get all the details.


ken Mann said...

I have always been inspired by the work of Bob Krist and now I know that I will be pulling out my Gold n' Blue much more. Was Bob using d300's for these?

Bob Krist said...

Hi Ken: Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I was using the D300 for all the skyline shots. It's my main machine although I think the D90 will bump it, due to the smaller size.