A "photo journal" from the seat of my wheelchair

Photography

Disappointed in UV Filter

I was doing a little research on photography, ‘helpful tips’, accessories, things every photographer should have, etc., and one thing that I found recommended more than anything else was a good Ultra Violet (UV) filter.

The recommendations made by professional and amateur photographers alike seemed to be based, first and foremost, on the idea that an UV filter kept on the camera would protect the camera’s lens should it fall. The UV filter would break and could be replaced much more cost effectively than the camera’s lens. The second most common reason given was that an UV filter reduced ‘haze’ in photographs and reduced or prevented ‘vignetting’ (the fading or softening toward the edges of a photographic image).

I thought this made sense, so since I had previously purchased a 67mm Polarizer Filter (67mm was the only size I could find, at the time, specifically labeled for use on my particular camera – requiring an adapter ring, or course), I found a 67mm Multi-Coated UV Filter and purchased it.

I’m more than a little disappointed. My camera has a zoom capacity of 24mm-840mm. I purchased this particular camera because it could get me closer to my subjects than I’m physically able to get because of the limitations of my disability, so being able to maximize the use of the camera’s full potential is essential to me being able to enjoy photography as a hobby.

The UV filter seems to distort the focus of the camera, particularly when using greater zoom. I had great difficulty with ‘ghosting’ around birds or anything that might be moving, ever so slightly, regardless of what settings I used.

I did further research related specifically to my camera and found users had mixed reviews. Some folks found it useful, while others reported what I’d experienced and indicated that any additional ‘glass’ affixed to the lens should be expected to ‘distort’ the image quality of this camera and they thought using a lens hood to protect the lens and prevent aberrant light from negatively impacting their shots was a much better solution.

The two pictures of the purple Iris are of the same flower, taken from slightly different angles on two different days. I think I lost some clarity, definition with the UV lens, though the colors appear deeper. I’m not sure I want to accept such a ‘trade off’. I lost some ‘crispness’ in landscape shots as well.

Any thoughts on UV filters?

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Trying Something New ~ Watermark

When I first began to post photographs online a number of people cautioned me that my images could be stolen, used without my consent and that I was foolish if I didn’t put some sort of mark on them to protect my work.

When I started this page, I just had the warning in ‘red’ type (certainly enough of a deterrent for ‘wrong-doers’, after all red is a scary, sort of threatening color… right?) in the sidebar. I thought that sufficient, but then a friend explained to me that there are folks who sell photographs online to be used as ‘computer wallpaper’ and they could copy any of my photographs and use them for this purpose.

I scoffed at first, who would want any of my photographs for wallpaper? But then someone told me that one of my pictures was being used on a website, some sort of ‘group’ page, without acknowledgment. That kind of brought the whole issue a little more into focus.

While the realization that someone might want one of my photographs, liking it enough to use it on their web page, was flattering and made me feel good about what I’ve been doing, it was also a bit disconcerting, this ‘hobby’ has deep meaning for me, each of the pictures I post is somewhat ‘personal’, if that makes sense to anyone besides me.

I started looking at other photography blogs and saw that people were using several techniques to ‘protect’ their work. Some folks put a ‘copyright’ symbol and their name on their page, implying everything on the page is their property, some put a ‘copyright’ and/or their web address as a ‘tag’ directly on their pictures.

I started adding a ‘tag’ “Rolling Lens Photography” to one of the four corners of every photograph I shared. I was quite happy with this, until recently, when another friend pointed out the obvious, “someone could still crop the photograph and remove that ‘tag’ if they wanted to use it.”

I noticed that a friend, here on wordpress, who posts their work uses a ‘watermark’ over the center of, or tiled over, the entire photograph as a means to protect their work.

Being a photography novice and not having any software like PhotoShop at my disposal I started searching for open source programs that would allow me to place a watermark on my photographs. They all had image size restrictions and I couldn’t upload any of my photographs taken with my Canon.

Yesterday, my email inbox contained an ‘update’ from PhotoBucket. They have merged with Pixlr (from what I understand) and after locating a tutorial on ‘watermarking photographs using pixlr’ I was watermarking my photographs with ease.

I am wondering what other photographers (whether photography is your livelihood or a hobby) think about ‘watermarking’ or protecting their photographs in general when sharing them online?

I’d really appreciate it if we could get a discussion going, if others would share their thoughts, offer advice, review whatever program they are using, etc.

Thanks, in advance, fellow ‘shutterbugs’!


Polarizer Filter

I just purchased my first filter for my Canon Powershot SX40 HS, a Zeikos ZE-CPL67 67mm Multi-Coated Circular Polarizer Filter. I read that this filter would cut down on glare, deepen the blue of the sky, brighten foliage, make white clouds pop and eliminate reflection on glass. I attached it, via the adapter ring I also purchased and decided to take a couple of test photos. I was amazed! What an incredible difference it makes, revealing details and enriching colors.


Without filter


With filter

Can’t wait to give it a try at the Creek with all the reflection and glare from the sun on the water.