Taken with an LB warming polarizer and 2-stop hard-edge grad
I seldom use filters but this scene was shot with my favorite warming polarizer and 2-stop hard edge grad. It really makes the scene sing don’t you think.
Below is the shot without $600 worth of filters in front of the camera which by the way is a EOS-1D Mark III with my trusty EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM and my Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 Carbon Pro Tripod with 808RC4 STANDARD 3-WAY HEAD.
It’s important for you to know that each of these items was an essential element in the creation of this landscape. Brands and brand name recognition is very important to the novice photographer. Try and duplicate this scene with an Olympus or Pentax or without my favorite Singh-Ray filters and you’d fail miserably.
Below is what how the scene looked when shot with another camera.
For anyone who has read this blog before you know what I am saying above is with a heap of sarcasm. It’s 100% unadulterated baloney.
Photographers, bloggers, anyone and everyone who pounds you over the head with product name dropping over and over again is either getting money, free products or is really stupid for inferring that a piece of hardware is essential to you getting an image like theirs.
I didn’t use any filters for the top shot. I do have them. They have an extremely limited usefulness in the field. The top and bottom photos are the same image. The top has five minutes of Photoshopping done to it. The bottom is almost exactly as it came out of the camera.
To become a successful landscape photographer above all else, you need to be able to visualize. When you become dependent upon your special filters or lenses you lose the visualization and become more reliant on gimmickry to make your shots.
Desperate to bring home a shot tonight but the light isn’t right? Slap on your LB warming polarizer, cause it’s guaranteed to warm the colors up and your 2 stop hard edge grad because it is also guaranteed to make a bad sky look, well, different. Voila! Masterpiece. These gadgets are like watching a magician doing the same trick over and over again. After about the hundredth time of seeing the same trick the novelty wears off.
Maybe that’s why I am so cynical with these filters that darken the skies and pop up the colors because the photos and photographers all start looking like the same old magician who got stuck in a rut and could not advance his craft. That’s happening in photography too. If you haven’t seen the cliched look before or haven’t taken it, it does look new. To me, it’s looking like bell bottom pants, Beatle haircuts and polka dot shirts. Been there. Done it and don’t want to live it again.