Hook Head, Co .Wexford

On a brief trip to Hook Head, the oldest intact operational light house in the world, I decided to try out some ND grad filters. It was a sunny day so the ND grad filters would have controlled the light in areas of the photo which are too bright, such as the sky and clouds. I also had an extra ND filter, an ND-3 to try slow the water but in the strong sun and with no tripod (as it wasn’t an organised shoot), it was never going to work the way I wished.

The ND filters I had with me were not the expensive glass ones, they were plastic and I was simply trying the filters out. As you can see from the results, you pay for what you get.

Hook Head, Co. Wexford - Colour Photo

The image above may look nice but on closer observation the clouds have taken on a slight purple hue. This is caused by the colour cast of the cheap plastic ND filters. The more expensive glass filters will be neutral – and although the ‘N’ in ND is neutral, as you can see here it is anything but.

By converting it to a black and white version you can overcome any colour cast – so all is not lost.

Hook Head, Co. Wexford - Black and White Photo

If you have cheap ND filters, don’t throw them away – you can always use them for black and white photography.

The shots are not 100% exactly what I was after, but in the absence of a tripod (it was a very casual shoot) and little setup time I will definitely revisit this spot … possibly later in the day when the light is deeper and warmer.