Monday, 29 June 2015

Review - WD My Passport Wireless

We've been using passport hard drives during our travels since converting to digital from film in 2005. We always carry at least 2 passport drives and keep a copy of all images taken on each of them. These are used daily when travelling. We then each carry one of these with us at all times when in transit or alternatively leave one in the room or hotel safe and one in our camera bag. This way we reduce the chances of losing everything. Downloading the images in the past has been a time-consuming chore at the end of the day when you would rather be relaxing (preferably soaking your sore feet from all the walking!). We have always wondered why the manufacturers of external passport hard drives never gave customers the option to be able to download their images straight to the drive, saving them heaps of time.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Topaz Labs DeNoise

As Travel Photographers we are constantly shooting in all sorts of lighting conditions and quite often we have no alternative but to increase our ISO to get a shot especially when it is impossible to use a tripod. This is not a major problem on our Full Frame sensor camera that can handle higher ISO settings however on crop sensor cameras it becomes a problem at high ISO settings and especially if an image is underexposed. This is where Noise Reduction software comes to the rescue.

There are lots of Noise Reduction plug-ins on the market including Lightroom which also has Noise Reduction that does an average job of reducing Noise although we rarely use it. Third Party plug-ins, as far as we're concerned, always seem to have better results as the plug-in is dedicated to perfecting the results that it's been designed for. They are always far more intuitive than the features that are built into the major editing suites available and give you far more control. Please note however that we have not tested all the plug-ins that are available for Noise Reduction other than Lightroom, Nik Google Dfine and Topaz DeNoise.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Long Exposures - Using 9 & 10 stop ND Filters

Hoya ND400 2.7 (9 stops)

The Neutral Density filter is a very handy filter to have in your camera bag. Although it doesn't get used that often in our Travel Photography it certainly should be near the top of your list of "must have" creative filters.

What is an ND 2.7 & ND 3.0 Neutral Density Filter?

B+W ND110 3.0 (10 stops)
Both of these filters have the same purpose except the ND 2.7 reduces about 9 stops of light from reaching your sensor/film and the ND 3.0 reduces about 10 stops of light. To calculate the reduction of light of any Neutral Density Filter simply divide the number by 3 e.g. ND 2.7 / 3 is 9 stops. We essentially use these filters to create a smooth water effect in an image to give it mood and emotion although it also has other benefits.