Finally a break in the weather

We had a respite this morning from the two weeks of gray, cloudy skies.

Clouds can be great for broad, wide open landscapes. As long as you pay attention to the direction of the light, it is there, you really need to look carefully to see where the light is coming from, there are photos to be had.

Unfortunately with extremely heavy skies and an old snow, I didn’t think the opportunities would be there for the kind of shots I like to take, so I stayed indoors and plowed through the mountain of images to send away for stock.

When I got up early Saturday morning, I could at least see a few stars in the sky. The winds were light so I thought there might be a chance of fog. My favorite kind of weather to shoot in.

It wasn’t a great morning as photo shoots go. It was nice to get outdoors even if the photos didn’t turn out as I had hoped.

This is the first of the few I took that morning. Above is the final version, without filters. It’s at times like this when it’s -20C that the last thing I want to fumble with is any equipment that I don’t absolutely have to.

Below is the before shot.

The shot as you see it is pretty much how it came out of the camera with only minor corrections for density.

I could have used any of the graduated neutral density or graduated color filters that were in my camera bag in the Rav. They were sitting there. Paid for and taking up space however, I didn’t.

I think that there is too much of a reliance on gadgetry in photography today. The mantra of the modern day photo blogger seems to emphasize equipment rather than seeing or technique.

Shooting with filters would limit what I could have done with this image when I got home. Having the raw, unfiltered image for me anyway is much better creatively.

With a few minutes using the “color matching” feature in Photoshop, I got the colors I wanted with more control and choice than had I shot with a filter.

The only filter the digital landscape photographer needs in his camera bag is a regular circular polarizer. Everything else is superfluous to getting the kind of shots you want. Too many photographers today still believe that it’s the equipment that gets them their shot. It’s not. It’s you.

Save your money on useless filters that with a little Photoshop knowledge you can get better and higher quality effects with.

Gadgets won’t make your pictures better. Don’t believe people when they try to tell you they do.

Happy shooting,


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~ by Dan Jurak on February 7, 2010.

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