Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gold-N-Blue Polarizer helps photographer discover the scenic wonders of Ruby Beach

After living in Washington state for 30 years, Ron Southworth continues to be amazed at all the beautiful places in the state he's not yet been able to explore. "I've been a hobbyist photographer most of my life," says Ron. "Then several years ago, I decided to make it a serious hobby, and just recently I've entered the professional arena, complete with a new website. I have a growing list of places I want to photograph, and fortunately I don't need to board a plane to shoot some of my favorite subjects -- Puget Sound, the Cascades, Mount Rainier -- they’re all easily accessible. And now -- after my visit to nearby Ruby Beach a few weeks ago -- I realize that Washington's Olympic Coast should be on that list, too.

"In August my wife and I decided to do a photo trip to the 
Olympic Coast. Over the past 30 
years, we have only been out to the Olympic Peninsula a couple of times. Just before we left, my new Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer arrived at our door, which proved to be perfect timing. Early on the day that I shot these photos, I had left my wife snuggled in her 
sleeping bag and quietly (sort of) slipped out of the tent and drove over to Ruby 
Beach. As soon as I arrived, the new Gold-N-Blue was placed on my Nikon 24-70mm lens, where it would stay for the rest of the day. I was soon thrilled with a most spectacular sunrise bursting through the treetops (see image above).  The morning 
light was magical in its color, and how beautifully it played with the 

"As you can see in this image, there was a low minus-tide that morning, so the rocks which are usually covered by the ocean were fully exposed to the morning light. The starfish were fascinating and their abundant show of sea life made the rocks appear to be jewel encrusted treasures.

"For this next image -- as you can see by the camera position -- I had to wade out into the incoming tide and waves with tripod in hand for this most special moment. I truly felt privileged to capture this spectacular beauty as the rest of the world slept. Having chosen a camera position approximately 18 inches off the ground to get up-close to the starfish, my depth of field was critical in achieving focus throughout the image. The image was shot at a focal length of 24mm (Nikon 24-70) at f/20 with a shutter speed of 4 seconds.

"As I followed the setting sun, I kept waiting for the mist to burn off in the background to expose the distant sea stacks, but I had to abandon that idea as the incoming tide kept rising and each new wave was coming up higher and higher on my legs and my tripod. I used a 4-stop Solid ND filter to slow the exposure to 4 seconds to help soften the waves and give a feeling of movement to the water. I also used a 3-stop, hard-step ND Grad to balance the bright sky with the foreground. And, once again, I used the Gold-N-Blue Polarizer to add the most wonderful colors to the image. I must say, I was so impressed with the images that I was getting with that filter; I had a hard time taking it off the lens. 

"I use my Singh-Ray filters for both artistic and technical reasons. The technical reasons, which include controlling light, color and exposure, are important. Even more important, however, are the artistic reasons to use Singh-Ray Filters to influence how the subject is viewed and the emotions it creates. In the end, it is the viewers who judge whether our images truly engage their minds and emotions."

Ron's images are featured in a variety of galleries on his website.

Tip: The Gold-N-Blue Polarizer is a creative tool. Its potential can range from natural to more dramatic by adjusting the camera's white balance setting in the field, or when processing RAW images.

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