Friday, November 04, 2011

Adam Barker never leaves home without his LB Warming Polarizer -- it's the ONE !

Now that Adam Barker is back home in Utah after leading a number of photo workshops -- including several weeks in Asia -- he's once again emphasizing the importance of the one Singh-Ray filter he would urge every outdoor photographer to use. "I am asked repeatedly at my workshops and seminars what filter I use most, and the answer is always the same. If a dog is a man’s best friend, then Singh-Ray’s LB Warming Polarizer is a photographer’s most trusted sidekick. There are so many different shooting situations where this one filter can work wonders for our images.

"During my career as an outdoor photographer, I have been fortunate to travel to many parts of the world, photographing places, people and activities that many only dream of. I count myself one of the lucky few who gets to pursue their passion every single day. Whether I’m in the Bahamas shooting saltwater fly fishing, in Germany capturing the splendor of the Bavarian Alps, or closer to my home in Utah, the LB Warming Polarizer is one tool I never, ever leave home without. For example, the above photo of saltwater flyfishing in the Bahamas was much more effective and meaningful because it was taken with my LB Warming Polarizer. I decided to use the polarizer for this scene to deepen the sky and make the clouds pop. It was also very effective in removing the bright glare from the water and revealing the natural colors underneath.

"Fully understanding how a circular polarizer works is essential if I expect to take full advantage of the different shooting conditions I face on any given day. I have come to rely on this filter to such an extent that I will actually search out compositions that allow to me use it to its full extent. I find I'm always eager to use the polarizer to deepen the color of my skies and give clouds that extra punch!

"This next image was captured in the Bavarian alps along the spectacular Partnacht Gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Here again, I used my LB Warming Polarizer to remove the sheen from the river and wet foliage during the long exposure. The LB Warming Polarizer will be most effective when it is directed at subjects that are positioned about 90 degree to the axis of the sun. To help me figure out how and where my polarizing filter will be most effective, I wear polarized sunglasses in the field and then tilt my head side to side while studying each scene in front of me. As I tilt my head, I can observe the effect of the polarizing lenses as reflections disappear and the blue in the sky deepens. This also helps me to be more aware of when and where to use the polarizing filter. Soon enough, that super-duper polarizing 'sixth sense' will kick in, and I just know when the scene will benefit greatly from my LB Polarizer.

"The LB Warming Polarizer is also particularly effective when shooting during the fall season. Not all photographers know that foliage has just the slightest natural sheen to it. This means that unless we cut through that sheen, we aren’t really capturing the full depth of color and detail to be found in the scene. This is one of those moments when understanding how and when to use the LB Warming Polarizer can help reveal the colors in a scene more clearly than they appear to our naked eye.

"As I approached this otherwise colorful view of Warm Creek Bay on Utah's Lake Powell, it became immediately apparent that the sky was casting a significant glare on the surface of the bay. It's always a kick when I can use the Warming Polarizer to cut through such glare -- just by rotating the outer ring. It’s exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible to replicate this effect in post processing, thus the vital importance of understanding how this filter can help you in the field.

"Finally, understanding how best to use my polarizing filter gives me the confidence to keep shooting well into the late morning when other shooters have since packed up and gone home. This is especially true in the fall when the sun is lower and the seasonal color serves as a perfect complement to a deep, blue sky.

"Never leave home without that polarizer, and you, too, will soon learn why it's a photographer's best friend in the field!"

You can see Adam demonstrate a variety of his filter techniques in our recent video, "Using Singh-Ray Filters in the Field" which also features Tony Sweet and Cole Thompson. To see more examples of Adam's work, check out his blog and website. You can also follow his frequently updated Facebook page and Twitter.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Photo artist Daniel Munteanu finds the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue an inspiring creative asset

Romanian fine-art photographer Daniel Munteanu recently worked with his Canon 5D Mark II, 100mm Canon Macro Lens and Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer for three days in Romania's Retezat Mountains Nature Reserve and National Park. Although this beautiful park features more than 60 mountain peaks and 100 deep glacier lakes, Daniel concentrated on his own special project. "An important part of my work as a colorist in the field is to explore new ways to produce appealing and enhanced color schemes straight from the camera. I pursue my art both in the studio and in the field and strive for images that have a solid quality to them and don’t bother the eye by being artificial or oversaturated. We might say I'm seeking new, alternative ways through which we may see a color photograph.

"If I don’t get a photograph with good color graduation and information straight out of the camera, it takes a Photoshop expert way too much time to replicate the effects that I seek. Worse yet, it may simply turn the photograph into something else, like digital art or an excessively manipulated photo. Most photographers don’t want that, for several well founded reasons. That’s where the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer came to be used on this particular project. I have used it before on a previous project, but this time it meant going a different way.

"I took my camera and monopod and went up and down the course of the Big River and along other small streams in the Retezat Mountains area, which was still fresh and teeming with moss covered stones. I tried to get the specularity of the water to show from different positions and angles, thus producing different graduations of color with the filter -- either the golden or the blue tones, sometimes even getting that in-between violet hanging out there. I took a photograph in each color choice for every composition and decided on the final selection when I returned home.

"This filter renders the subject within a beautiful quality and light. The tones are perfect for post processing, though they look very good just straight out of the camera. I would never try to replicate the hues the Gold-N-Blue can produce by means of computer software."

You can find more images of this and other projects on Daniel's website, and you can keep up with his project via Facebook.