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Video thumbnail for youtube video How to Use Macro Close Up Filters - The Phoblographer

If you don’t own a Macro lens, one option that is often more affordable and can do somewhat of the same job are Macro Close Up Filters. What these filters do is act like a magnifying glass while working in conjunction with your lens and sensor. Years ago, they weren’t such great quality but over the years they’ve become better and better. To use them, you simply take the filters and screw them onto the front of your lens. The cool part is that they come in different magnifications and can be stacked one on top of the other for an even closer zooming effect. It will take a whole lot of them to get into a 1:1 ratio with many lenses, but the filters are also meant to be a more affordable alternative to a macro lens.

Photographer Mike Brown demonstrates this and how they’re used in his video after the jump. Mike shows us just how close in one can get when trying to focus on a very small and detailed subject. When he stacks of the filters on top of one another, he finds that he can’t even see the subject that he purposely placed in back of his main subject.

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All photos taken by and used with permission from Darren Moore.

The beauty of Darren Moore‘s photographs is not in the capturing of fleeting moments, like with many others. It’s in the slow churning, the deliberate painting of light, in the patient waiting until the scenery is completely drawn and mirrored, with even the slightest of movements captured like ghosts floating across land or water.

This Surrey photographer’s haunting and transcending long exposures, as staggering as they are, only hint at the meticulous process behind their creation however. Aside from finding the perfect location and subject (which could be anything from old rotting wooden columns to castles to shipwrecks), getting the framing right, and determining the right exposure, according to Moore, who is as much a painter as he is a photographer, he also needs to set up his camera to take in less light since he mostly shoots in the daytime.

“Primarily working in Black & White, I specialise in a technique called ‘Daytime Long Exposure’ using Neutral Density (ND) filters attached to the lens. ND filters cut out the amount of light coming into the lens allowing the shutter to be left open for much longer than normal, capturing movement with an ethereal aesthetic.”

To top it off, he spends anywhere from 30 seconds to more than 15 minutes to shoot just a single image.

It’s these slow exposures that lend the unearthly quality to his photographs, such that when you look at them, it’s almost as if you’re walking into a parallel world, a mirror dimension where everything moves at the slowest pace imaginable and it’s just a little quieter and lonelier.

You can see more of Moore’s amazing work on his Flickr page but you can preview some of them here right after the jump.
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Image by Reddit User TheSirRichard, whose real name is John Angelone. Used with permission.

With today’s news of the Sony A7 and A7r suffering from light leaks, we decided to answer the question about what exactly they are without totally confusing everyone. First off, light leaks are little white tinges that you see on an image which was significantly more common when photography was primarily done by shooting film. What they often look like is just like what you see above. Photographer John Angelone said that this happened when he was shooting with his Fuji GW690III + Fuji Pro 160S film. Typically, light leaks were often seen to be unacceptable and that they tainted image quality until it started to happen in such a way that it appeared beautiful to some artists.

Today, we often think about it being associated with Hipster trends. But for what it’s worth neither VSCO, Instagram or Hisptamatic give you light leaks as a filter or modification option. The only way to actually accomplish them though post-production is through Photoshop Touch. But you can still get them through the camera.

Light leaks occur when seals on the lens or between the lens and camera body aren’t properly closed. This is a bigger problem due to the construction of digital sensors but it wasn’t as horrifying when it came to shooting film. When a camera takes a picture, it only sees the light that comes in from its eye: which is essentially the sensor. Everyone’s eyes have a lens, which is represented by the lens of a camera. When the lens isn’t working correctly, it starts to get blurry and sometimes the world may be too bright in certain areas–this is a common complaint amongst many folks who suffer from extreme astigmatisms.

What I also found out later on while using film is that sometimes, light leaks can occur when the back of the camera isn’t closing correctly too. This is far more rare and more than often the images just end up completely washed out, but it’s still an interesting problem to have. This won’t happen with digital cameras at all.

Samyang SFH 14 filter holder

Samyang (otherwise known as Rokinon or Bower) has just announced an accessory filter holder for its 14mm f2.8 ultra-wide angle lens. Due to the strongly curved front lens element, the 14mm f2.8 comes without a built-in filter thread. This is the case with many ultra-wide angle lenses, and it can be annoying for photographers that are used to shooting with filters such as polarizers or ND filters.

For users of the Samyang 14mm f2.8 there is now the SFH-14 filter adapter, which attaches to the front of the lens and takes rectangular filter plates with a size of 161×139 mm and a thickness of 3 mm. The SFH-14 can take up two filters at a time, and can be rotated so that graduated filters can be used both horizontally and vertically.

Three filters that fit the SFH-14 will be manufactured by Cokin: the model 154 ND8, which is an ND8 neutral density filter, the model 121M ND4, which is a split ND4 neutral density filter, and the model 123S, which is a split blue filter. There’s no word yet on whether additional filter types–such as a polarizer filter–will be available in the future.

So far, it appears the SFH-14 filter holder has only been announced for Europe, where it will retail for € 32, which is approx. US-$ 44 at current exchange rates. The Cokin filters have retail prices of € 63 for the 154 ND8 model, and of € 68 for the other two models.

Via Photo Rumors

Images taken without and with an ND filter

Images taken without and with an ND filter

Tiffen has just announced the Tiffen ND 3.0, a new 10-stop neutral density filter, which will be shown off at the company’s booth C9143 at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. The Tiffen ND 3.0 will block ten stops of light from entering the lens, making the use of wide apertures as well as long exposures possible even in bright light. In the press release, Tiffen claims that with this filter, no color changes will occur.

The Tiffen ND 3.0 will be available in sizes ranging from 52mm to 82mm. Pricing and availability have not been announced thus far.


When Google acquired Nik Software in late 2012, I was among those photographers who wondered what this would mean for the future of the software suite of plug-ins. Silver Efex Pro II, Color Efex Pro, Sharpener and the other plugins had become an integral part of my workflow. So, I not only wondered whether the plugins would continue to be updated but also would there be any new plug-ins in the future?

Well, it seems that both questions have been answered with the latest addition of Analog Efex Pro to the Google Nik Collection which gathers together 7 plugins  for$149.00.

The new plugin that simulates a variety of cameras, films and lenses is not a revolutionary introduction. There are other plugins on the market  that have covered similar territory. However, Analog Efex Pro provides a unique editing experience that complements the other apps found in the collection.

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