“With the advent of digital, I found myself asking who needs filters anymore — especially with Photoshop? Like many other things I’ve done over the years, if I wait long enough, I’ll prove myself wrong. Turns out that my filters are often the difference between success and frustration.
“The reality is that I now actively and exclusively use what I feel are the best filters available: Singh-Ray. My relationship with Singh-Ray goes back to 1974 when I purchased my first filter to correct my underwater housing, and it worked very well. I’ve found Singh-Ray filters to be expertly crafted, and all their designs are definitely outside-the-box. Each one has a specific application. You may not need them all. For that matter, I may not need them all, but there are several I find absolutely essential. TheLB Color Intensifier is number one. Another is the Singh-Ray Gold-N-Blue Polarizer. Since the arrival of DSLR video, the Gold-N-Blue is drop-dead great. Anybody who follows my work knows that I like long exposures, very long exposures. So, the next favorite filter in my camera bag is the Vari-NDvariable neutral density filter. And I’ve also got to mention my trusty LB Polarizer.
“This Hobie Catamaran photograph above was done with a Singh-Ray polarizing filter — and Kodachrome 25 film — a few years before the ‘lighter, brighter’ version came out. The polarizer really helped me cut glare to get all the color that Kodachrome was famous for. It was taken from the top mast on a Hobie 16. Living on the sea afforded me a window of Northport Harbor. Watching the boats pass by was like a ballet of color and contrast. I made friends with one of the captains and photographed from one boat to another, but I was soon looking for a different perspective. I tried to talk one of the catamaran captains into modifying his boat for my photo. He was interested in seeing the photograph, but had no interest at all in modifying his boat. So to solve my problem, I went out and bought a brand new Hobie 16, drilled a hole in the top of the mast and mounted my camera to the mast and used a radio control tripping device. To tell the truth, John Zimmerman from Life Magazine did a photograph of a docked sailboat from the Bosen’s chair, which I always admired. His image intrigued me but I wanted to add color and motion to my version. In the final analysis, we have to thank all great photographers for the inspiration they provide us to make our own images.
“I used my ColorCombo for this image of my puppy, Ace. He’s also a big fan of my filters — he likes to lick them… although I’m pretty sure that’s not the recommended cleaning method.”
Although Joe and his partner JoAnne Kalish are based in New York and the Upper Delaware Valley, they travel the globe on various photo projects and assignments as well as operate the DiMaggio/Kalish Learning Center. To learn more about their many workshops and special events, you can visit their website.