Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A quick click shows the dramatic difference the LB ColorCombo can make

Fine-art nature photographer Tony Sweet leads photo workshops in Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year. "Not only is there an amazing variety of plant and animal life wherever we look," says Tony, "but there are so many remnants of the mountain homesteaders, miners, and loggers who previously occupied the land before the park was established in 1934.

"For example, here's a great place we like to visit as part of every workshop we conduct in the park. This area is best shot in diffused light or even during a slight drizzle, so that the light is soft and even. Normally, people think of using their polarizing filters to darken a blue sky, where the most dramatic effect is seen at a 90-degree angle to the sun. However, in this softly lit scene, my regular polarizer only managed to darken the water a bit, but it left the green leaves looking pretty lifeless.

"By choosing to use the Singh-Ray LB ColorCombo -- which combines an LB Warming Polarizer and a LB Color Intensifier -- I was still able to tone down the glare and reflections on the water. However, as you can see by clicking on the image and comparing it with a shot of the same scene taken with no filter, the ColorCombo also enhanced the overall color saturation of the image -- including the colors in the moving water -- and created an image with much more texture and added visual interest. To achieve enough depth of field, the lens was closed down to f/22. The shutter speed for the no-filter image was 1/2 second, but the LB ColorCombo's 2-stop filter factor enabled me the slow the shutter to 2 seconds for the final image."

Tony maintains an active teaching/speaking schedule, and is an instructor for BetterPhoto.com. He is staff writer for Nikon World magazine, the author of four books, and has produced three instructional DVD programss. Visit his website to learn more and check out his often-updated blog.

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