Azure Shores

6 May

Azure Shores

So…I think it’s time to admit something.  I’m a wide angle junkie. It’s my go-to lens for most landscape projects and a major player at events.  Sure, there is some distortion, but often, I kinda like it as an artistic choice.  Sure, sometimes I want to get a closer view and can’t walk up to the subject…but that’s a simple matter of swapping a lens.  I’d say the most notable drawback for me is filter vignetting. Now, this isn’t an in-depth review of filters, stacking, philosophies etc…(you can get a nice breakdown on the topic here though)…really, it’s more of a public service announcement.

Azure, Vignetted

Azure Shores, Vignetted

The short version, if you’re using a wide angle and filters, you run the risk of vignetting.  If you stack filters to achieve some artistic goal (and don’t mind image quality loss, or increased changes of rogue light between the extra layers of glass), then your vignettes become more pronounced.

So…what do you do about it?

Option 1: Zoom in, so you cut the vignettes out of your field of view.  Alternatively, crop in post processing.  Either way, kind of defeats the purpose of having a wide angle on. haha

Option 2: Pray for the best when it comes to software lens correction.

Option 3: The old clone stamp in PhotoShop (or its equivalent in your editing software of choice).

Option 4: Go naked and avoid the whole thing.  Uh. Filterless. (Naked will probably get you arrested)

Like so many other things in photography, knowing the effects a tool or decision will have on your final image are part of the art of photography.  In the case above, the scene called for a wide angle, and I knew I needed to cut the light down by several stops…so I used filters, even knowing the final image would take some work to remove the vignettes.  If I could do it again, and had infinite resources at my disposal, I might choose a different mount, or one filter that cut down more stops so I didn’t need to stack.  Probably both.

The reality of the situation, however, is that I didn’t have those things at hand, so I used the tools at my disposal (including an awareness of the editing nightmare that was to come) and made lemons out of lemonade!

Or…’Azure Shores’ out of lemons?  ………..Eh…you know what I’m saying.

So, in closing, ‘Knowledge is Power”.  Also, “The true method of knowledge is experiment.” And, <insert inspirational knowledge quote of your choice here>! 😉


12 Responses to “Azure Shores”

  1. Victor Rakmil May 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Well explained. Great shot!

  2. eltonas37 May 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    Nice pic.

    I usually use just one CP on my Canon, and that is enough to create physical vignetting; it really bugs me as to get the shot I want, I often have to think about where I’m going to stand i.e., further back, but if space is a premium, not an option. Either that or I shoot, like you say, nekkid 😉

    Yet to get arrested 😀

    • seeingspotsphoto May 6, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

      haha Yeah, it’s all part of the process.

      For the most part I have some wiggle room to step back and visualize my crop, but in Peru last fall I didn’t have that luxury. I stood where they told us we could stand at many of the ruins we visited. Editing those shots taught me the art of editing the vignettes out. haha

      Definitely don’t get arrested! And don’t tell them I said to go nekkid if you do! 😉

      • eltonas37 May 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        So I can’t tell the police it was your idea then? 😉

      • seeingspotsphoto May 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

        haha Preferably not. 🙂

  3. johngevans13John Evans May 6, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    I liked your article and learned something so I thank you for sharing, and visiting my site. I like wide angle as well but a problem I am having (a novice of course), is learning where to focus…it seems when I shoot wide angle the center of the shot is always out of focus. I am not real clear as to why. Metering? I don’t know enough but do not wish to trouble you. Your photos are so beautiful! Thank you for the share.

    • seeingspotsphoto May 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

      Might just be how the focusing is set up on your camera. I’m not sure what type you use, but in Canon’s there are several settings. You can read about it here, might help you figure out your own equipment.

      Another option is changing your f stop from a low number (like f/3.5 so you have a shallow depth of field) to a higher number (f/16 and up) to increase the amount of the shot that is in focus. That way, if its not precise, it may be less noticeable. 🙂

  4. dicedimagery May 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    I had managed to dodge this problem by using Cokin square acrylic filters and stepping adapter rings to fit different lenses but as I traded my way up to lenses that require bigger filters like 77mm I am having to rethink my approach.

    To start with I modified a filter holder by cutting it down so it would not appear in the edges of the image. I rarely use more than 2 filters at a time so this has not been an inconvenience. I will have to look at getting an even larger polariser though, so replacing my current set of filters with larger ones may be necessary.

    Generally I try and keep filters to a minimum but my combination of choice for landscape is polariser plus a graduated or full neutral density filter. True a lot of the effects of filters can be done in Lightroom but I like to have that in reserve rather than rely on it exclusively.

    • seeingspotsphoto May 6, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

      I agree, I’m a filters gal myself! If you can do it right in camera the first time, it will save a lot of time and effort after the fact.

  5. miltonjohns May 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    A great shot & a great article. I use a 10-22 lens a lot & do get the same issue sometimes with the filters. In this picture though I actually like the vignette thats produced. Its a brilliant shot.

    • seeingspotsphoto May 13, 2014 at 1:13 am #

      Honestly, I kind of love the vignette version too. I feel like it focuses the viewer a bit. When I removed it, I re-added a light vignette because the photo lost something without it.

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