I still use filters in my photography. I find them indispensable for achieving success in the field and getting the shot as good as possible in camera. That’s my goal, to get the shot as good as I possibly can in camera before I approach the digital darkroom. A better quality file at capture means a better quality end result. And, there are just some things that cannot be “fixed” or compensated for in post-processing…namely glare from the water. Living in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a ton, a circular polarizer is a mandatory piece always in my bag. It removes the glaring light from the leaves and surface of the water, letting the true colors shine through. Plus, it can be used to darken skies, but hey, in the PNW it’s already dark enough 🙂
When I started out a long time ago, I started using filters from Lee. They were OK for me, but I soon started to detect a color cast as a result when using them. I made the switch to Singh-Ray fairly quickly after I discovered that. Bob Singh had created some fantastic filters over the years and I was super pleased with the results. His filters were created using optical grade polymers and were very good optically on the front of my camera. The polymers are strong and lightweight and were very easy to use. Over time though, I started noticing micro-scratches and I just couldn’t get them as clean after a shoot as I wanted. Once Bob passed away, I’m sorry to say that his namesake company hasn’t kept up as high of standards as it once had. Still they are really good filters for the money, but I was looking for something new.
Through my friends in the photo industry, I learned of a new company called Breakthrough Photography. A US based company that was looking to re-write the filter game. They had recruited some of the leaders in the photo world to use their products and the reviews came back extremely positive. So, I decided to check them out.
I bought a set of graduated neutral density filters, 2-stop and 3-stop in the 4″ x 6″ size as well as a filter holder. As soon as they arrived, I was blown away by the execution of what they’ve done!
The filters are made using optical quality glass. Yes, you heard that right, glass. Not just any glass though, a brand called Schott. You may have seen this name on top quality screen protectors for camera LCDs and phones. This stuff is super strong and resilient, You can drop these and no harm will come to them (within reason) And, being glass, the optics when shooting through the filter are superb!!!!
Each filter is hand inspected and packed carefully in it’s beautiful package. Upon arrival, open the “apple-like” packaging and unwrap the filter from it’s protective tissue wrap. Each filter comes with its’ own color coded padded case and cleaning cloth. The filter holder is milled from aluminum with anodized control knobs and it feels like something that belongs in space it is so cool looking and feeling.
I can’t recommend these filters enough! The quality of construction and the quality of images when shooting through these is truly the finest in the industry right now.
I did a short video introducing them and you can watch it HERE
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!!!
I am a landscape and nature photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. I conduct group and individual photography workshops throughout the year as well as am available for remote instruction via Skype. If you would like more information, please visit my website www.johnpedersenphoto.com