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When to use Neutral Polarizers?

In Polarizing Filters by Tom Bol7 Comments

One of my most used filters is the polarizer.  Simply put, this filter transforms flat, dull scenes into beautiful photographs.  Polarizers add contrast and saturation into landscapes.  And I love how a polarizer cuts through water glare, revealing what is beneath.   If I am headed to western Colorado to photograph fall colors, I will bring a selection of polarizers.  Brilliant stands of yellow aspen framed against a deep blue sky is one of my favorite landscapes, and a polarizer helps …

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Singh-Ray Landscape Filter Combo

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Polarizing Filters by Tom Bol6 Comments

I photograph a lot of landscapes, and many times filters will transform the shot into something special. I’ve always tried to create my work in the field, not later in post-production, camera craft is very important to me. I just returned from photographing in Sedona for a week, and filters were invaluable there.  I was teaching a workshop with my wife, we had a great group, and filter use became a popular topic in the field.  During class I mentioned …

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Colorado Fall Color Road Trip

In Equipment & Technique, ND Filters, Polarizing Filters by Tom Bol4 Comments

Fall is one of my favorite times in Colorado.  The temperature cools down, fresh snow coats the mountain peaks, and yellow stands of aspens line the mountain valleys.  Right now, I am in the middle of a fall roadtrip photographing some of my favorite locations in Colorado.  Fall color is spectacular this year.  Not only are the aspens vibrant, but the scrub oak is flaming red and orange. Whenever I head into the field, I always bring my Singh-Ray filters …

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Patagonia Bound

In Equipment & Technique by Tom Bol2 Comments

Some Landscapes Capture Your Heart and Soul “Is that what I think it is?” I ask my wife, Cree, as we paddle up to the shell midden in the remote Isla Chonos of southern Chile. “No way! How could it survive all these years just laying on the beach?” I ponder as we get closer to shore. We had been paddling for nearly two months exploring these remote fjords. I have slowly become amazed, awed and obsessed by this landscape.  …

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The “Five-Stop Effect”

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios, Water Features by Tom Bol2 Comments

If you have thumbed through the pages of a photo magazine recently, chances are good you have seen the stunning effects created by ND filters. My palms start sweating when I see puffy clouds streaking across the sky. I know these clouds will look magical when I shoot at slow shutter speeds from 1-4 minutes using my 10- and 15-stop Singh-Ray Mor-Slo ND filters. Honestly, I look at clouds differently now knowing what transformative effects I can create using these filters. …

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Trip report: bad weather is good weather!

In Equipment & Technique, Landscapes, ND Filters, Scenes & Scenarios by Tom BolLeave a Comment

Recently I was leading a workshop for American Nature Photography Workshops in Arches National Park, and once again I was reminded of a photography truth; bad weather is good weather. Sure, it’s no fun when the forecast goes south after you have been planning your photography excursion for months. But the real question is what will you do with it? I think of bad weather as a unique opportunity to create original images. Especially if you have the tools to …

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I-Ray Filter shoots serious infrared images without destroying the Nikon D-800

In Black & White, Equipment & Technique, Infrared Photography, Landscapes, Scenes & Scenarios by Tom Bol1 Comment

If you have opened a photography magazine lately, chances are you have seen an infrared (IR) image in one form or another, IR photography has seen a recent resurgence of popularity, largely because digital IR is so much easier than the notoriously tricky handling, shooting, and processing of traditional IR film. I do have to admit I like the look for certain scenes. But here is the catch. You have to convert one of your expensive digital SLRs to shoot …