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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Digital Blue 'N Gold

When I switched over from film to digital, I retired my Singh-Ray Blue 'N Gold Polarizer. The results I was getting were just horrendous. I had read Darwin Wigget's article in Nature Photographers Online Magazine where he talks about the differences using the Blue 'N Gold Polarizer with digital, as opposed to film, capture and discusses shooting in RAW format while dropping the color temperature to the 2500 to 3200 K range during processing. I tried it but have to admit that I wasn't happy with the results. The filter stayed in retirement.

Recently, I came across Darwin's article reposted on the Singh-Ray blog here. It was a post with excerpts from the original article. But what got me interested was this "Editors Note" that appeared at the end of the blog post that was not contained in the original article:

Editor's note: By setting a "Custom White Balance" in the field with the Gold-N-Blue in place on the lens, virtually all digital SLR cameras can compensate for the magenta tint and display a correct image on the LCD. The color temperature and tint settings on the RAW file will be similar to what Darwin describes here, and should require minimal correction. Refer to your camera's manual for specific instructions on setting a Custom White Balance.

I decided it might just be worth a try. I took the filter with me on a local outing and used my Color-Right white balance tool.....but you can use Expo Disc or whatever custom white balance tool you have.....and took a shot with the tool in place. I was amazed to see just how intensely blue the light from the image was, and, when I used a custom white balance to make that image neutral, the subsequent shots with the filter in place came out just like in the old film days. So I guess the Blue 'N Gold will have to come out of retirement.

If you have a Blue 'N Gold filter that you have retired you might want to get it out and give this technique a try....it really works.