LEE Filters – LEE100 System – with David Noton
LEE Filters – LEE100 System – with David Noton


I’m out and about for a few days; shooting
on my own home patch of Wessex, in a variety of conditions and locations using my LEE100
filter system. First up is a dawn start at Portland Bill. Here we are at Portland Bill at dawn. There’s
this beautiful twilight filtering through the scene. There’s a wonderful balance of
cool blue light between the top and bottom of the scene. I’m anxious to make the most
of it before I loose the reflections of the lighthouse in the water. Looking at the scene, I think I’m going
to need a 0.6 neutral density grad filter (2 stops), to balance out the top and bottom
of the frame. I’m thinking a medium grad, so let’s put the holder on now. Looking
at the angle of the headland, I’m going to need to angle the grad slightly and then
lock the filter holder. It’s really useful being able to do that. I tend to prefer to position the grad looking
through the eyepiece, but some people prefer to use live view. I’m now just going to
fine tune the angle of the grad slightly. I’m really pleased with this picture; I
love the green in the foreground and the balance of the light. The grad has balanced the exposure
between the sky and the water perfectly and you can’t see the grad line at all. It’s early evening at Pulpit Rock on the
Isle of Portland. There’s a wonderful clarity to the evening light that is getting steadily
warmer and more enticing as the sun dips to the west. Waves are crashing onto the rocks
below and to cap it all there’s drama in the sky above. Here’s the scene with no filtration, but
it’s just the start. What I’d like to do is slow down the exposure, hold back the
sky and saturate the colours. My first decision is which filter am I going to need to prolong
the exposure? When shooting seascapes like this, I like to retain energy and texture
in the surface of the water, but at the same time record some motion blur. A shutter speed
of around one second will be about right and on this occasion a 1.2 ProGlass IRND filter
(4 stop) will be the one to use. That’s worked well, but the next thing to
address is the detail in the sky. I want the sky to have drama and mood, so I think a 0.6
ND soft grad filter (2 stops) will help me hold back the exposure of the sky. I’m using
a soft ND grad, because I don’t want the effect of the graduation to be seen on the
top of Pulpit Rock. The next thing to address is the colour saturation; a polariser will
really help me with that. One of the big advantages of the LEE100 system is how easy it is to
attach the polariser. Here’s the final picture and it’s an image
I’m really pleased with. The angle of the lighting is just right, with the side lighting
revealing all the texture in the scene. I love the movement on the water and there’s
interest in the sky. I’m on Corton Denham Beacon, looking towards
the ancient hill fort of Cadbury Castle. It’s a beautiful evening and I really like the
dappled light down in the valley. I’ve framed up a picture using a tight composition with
a long lens, but I think I’m also going to need a polariser. I’ve just done a shot
without, so I’m now going to put the polariser on and you’ll see the difference. The effect
of the polariser will be to really saturate the green. So, I lock the holder on and then
rotate the polariser. When I get the angle right it really deepens the greens, saturates
the colour and cuts down the haze. What beautiful light, and what a radical difference the polariser
has made. What a successful couple of days. I’ve been
lucky with the weather and had some great lighting conditions. I have to say, I’ve
been really impressed with the flexibility of the LEE100 system. I can tell it’s been
designed by photographers. It’s so easy to use, quick and adaptable and an essential
tool for landscape photography.

5 thoughts on “LEE Filters – LEE100 System – with David Noton”

  1. Bas Meelker says:

    Great to see the master in action! Cheers David!

  2. Julian says:

    The polarizer is the next piece in the collection I'm going to buy. Such a great improvement to the photos.

  3. austin Kania says:

    Nice system, but I do not like the open space between the polarizer and the lens

  4. Amedia Official says:

    I love lee filter ….

  5. Paul Barr says:

    How can Lee Filters justify charging just under £50 for a filter adapter!! That’s absolutely absurd for a £1 piece of machined metal..

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