It’s all been reviews here recently which isn’t what I intended the blog to be, but I struggled to find much about these filters when I was thinking of buying one, so thought it may be useful to add a few quick thoughts having now used it in the field.
If you’ve seen my last blog you’ll know I recently invested in a new 100mm filter system, so needed some filters to use with it, I’d picked up a set of Formatt Hitech grads on eBay, but a 10 stop ND filter was high on the shopping list.
I strongly believe that knowing how to edit your photos to maximise their impact is as important as knowing how to take them well in the first place. It’s not a new thing, having been very common in the film days too, it’s just become more accessible and doesn’t require specialised equipment or advanced skills to get started with.
There will always be debates on how much you should edit, my personal approach currently is not to add anything that wasn’t there, and mostly keep removals to spots/artifacts, so I do 99% of my editing in Lightroom. For this reason I always shoot RAW as it allows much greater scope for adjusting exposure, white balance, etc. and helps reduce the need for some filters like graduated neutral densities.
Macro photography is always seen as a bit of specialist subject, there’s lots of different techniques to get the level of magnification needed, from expensive dedicated lenses like the Canon MP-E 65mm, to reverse lens adapters, extension tubes, bellows… it’s a confusing market and can seem daunting to get started.
There’s also a lot of challenges, finding your subject and getting close enough, shallow depth of field, getting enough light in. No matter what equipment you use you will come across these problems.
For my first blog post I decided to cover a technique I have been using more and more recently, which is using heavy neutral density filters to create long exposure photographs, even in bright daylight conditions.