Tag Archives: filters

A Homemade Solar Filter

The sun, photographed with my Nikon D500 and 200-500mm VR Nikkor lens.

I’m not a total die-hard when it comes to solar photography, but I’m going to be close enough to the 2017 solar eclipse event that I figured I’d at least try to get some photos. But first, I had to construct a solar filter. Here’s how I made mine for about $45.

First, decide on which lens you want to use for photographing the sun. I chose my Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 VR lens, because it’s versatile and I can shoot it hand-held if I want to. I also chose this lens because it has a front filter thread, which will allow me to easily mount the solar filter to it. Continue reading A Homemade Solar Filter

Tested: Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm Filter

Steam Shovel Nikon D810 with Singh-Ray I-Ray 590 filter.
Steam Shovel
Nikon D810 with Singh-Ray I-Ray 700 filter.

A while back, my friends at Singh-Ray filters asked me if I’d be willing to test a new infrared filter. Late last week, I got a sample copy of the new Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm filter to test and review. Here are my findings.

Why should you choose an infrared filter?

First, let me start by asking why one would want to use an infrared filter instead of converting a digital camera to infrared. There are several reasons why you might want an infrared filter:

  • You don’t have an extra camera lying around to convert to IR
  • You don’t want to spend $275-$400 to convert a camera
  • Filters are easy to pack when traveling, and work with all your cameras
  • You have a full-spectrum or dual-spectrum camera which requires filters

Continue reading Tested: Singh-Ray I-Ray 700nm Filter

Sensor Plane Podcast #13: Photographing Fall Colors

Photographing fall foliage is one of my favorite things to do.
Photographing fall foliage is one of my favorite things to do.

It’s time again to think about photographing fall foliage! In this episode of The Sensor Plane podcast, I’ll go over some tips and tricks for getting fall colors that really pop. Specifically, I’ll talk about some of the filters I use when photographing fall colors, including the Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo.

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I pack all my filters into the Mindshift Gear Filter Hive.

Download an audio-only (MP3) version of this episode here

Shop for filters at B&H Photo and support The Sensor Plane Podcast.

eBooks and tutorials by Jason Odell

Creative Photography: Going Long

A 10-stop solid neutral density filter allowed me to capture this image with a 30-second exposure.

I recently purchased a Lee “Big Stopper” filter. This is a 4×4″ solid neutral density glass filter that delivers 10 stops of light reduction power. In other words, it’s like putting a piece of welder’s glass in front of your camera. Solid ND filters are used to permit long exposures in otherwise bright conditions. Why would you want to do this?

In the right conditions, long exposures deliver a creative look that can make your images stand out. This technique can be a creative boost when you’re photographing popular places. In order for long exposures to work, you need both good equipment and the right conditions. Continue reading Creative Photography: Going Long

Color Efex Pro 4: Vignette Effects

I used the Vignette filter in Color Efex Pro 4 to darken the corners in this image.

A vignette, or corner-shading effect, is an age-old technique used to draw attention away from the corners of the frame and towards the center. In standard photography, vignetting could be created in one of several ways:

  • Light fall-off: A natural optical phenomenon where light at the edge of the frame is less intense than in the center of the frame, causing darkening. You’ll often see light fall-off when using your lenses at their widest aperture.
  • Vignetting: Caused when a filter or other object on the front of the lens protrudes into the frame. This is especially true when placing filters on super-wide lenses.
  • Dodging/Burning: In the darkroom, a standard technique was to either darken (burn) or lighten (dodge) the corners of the frame to accentuate the subject.

Continue reading Color Efex Pro 4: Vignette Effects