The Joys of Lee Filters and Saving Lives

The verdant Cuckmere Valley looked quite lovely on Tuesday afternoon. The presence of cumulus clouds provided an opportunity to use my new LEE neutral density graduated filters. Although they are expensive, LEE ND grad filters are worth every penny, for they help the landscape photographer achieve correct exposure across the frame without leaving colour casts.

For this particular photograph, I stacked two 0.6 hard and soft grads together. I had to hold the filters in place by hand, since Warehouse Express don't yet have the LEE Universal Hood and Filter Holder in stock. The only telephoto lens currently at my disposal is the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro, because my new Canon EF 100-400mm lens is being fixed under warranty courtesy of MPD Photographic. The lens has a serious hunting problem and cannot achieve focus at middle distances between 300-400mm, making the lens useless for wildlife photography.

On the matter of serious hunting problems, I earlier noticed a professional marksman down in the valley, using a high powered air rifle to shoot crows. I felt quite nauseous as he crept towards a gate and took aim. Although I love the countryside, I cannot stand all the killing. In the past, I've used a 130 decibel Suzy Lamplugh alarm to scare off deer about to be shot dead by marksmen. Luckily, the moderate south-westerly breeze caused both his shots to miss and the fortunate crow escaped. I clapped my hands all the way to Cuckmere Haven, causing potential avian targets to fly away to safety.  And I took great delight in watching the rotund gnome return to the car park without a single kill!

Bucolic Valley


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