Friday, December 30, 2011

To convey total peace and solitude, Floris van Breugal calms the sea and sky with his Vari-ND

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, award-winning fine art nature photographer Floris van Breugal is now based out of the Pacific Northwest in Seattle, Washington, where he is also a full-time graduate student studying insect flight dynamics. He sends this dramatic reminder that filters work best when we bring them with us.

"Since nature photography is never, ever, predictable, I have learned to never leave home without my Singh-Ray Polarizer and Vari-ND filters. Even in the age of digital blending and fine tuning in post processing, these filters offer something you simply cannot accomplish on the computer. This past weekend, while out backpacking on the rugged coast of Washington's Olympic National Park, I was glad I brought them with me. The sunrise was incredibly beautiful - not that over saturated kind of red and pink, but a perfect mix of color and atmosphere. I couldn't have hoped for better conditions to photograph my new favorite tree, a lonely conifer sitting atop an imposing sea stack.

"After reviewing one of my test images, I realized there was too much commotion in the scene to give the feeling of quiet and peaceful solitude that I wanted to accompany that tree. That's when I reached into my bag and pulled out my Singh-Ray Vari-ND. Now I would be able to smooth out the wave action and cloud movement to achieve the atmosphere I wanted. With a fixed neutral density filter, it's impossible to choose exactly the length of the exposure you want, and invariably you end up with something too long or too short. With the Vari-ND, I was able to dial in just enough density to yield a 20-second exposure, which was long enough to smooth out the cloud and wave movement, but short enough to give some structure in the clouds."

To see more of Floris' nature photography and follow his trails through the Pacific Northwest, you'll want to visit his website and blog, and check out his Flickr galleries, too.