Dreams of Burgh Castle

Today, being the last day we have off before the New Year, we were determined to go out somewhere for an adventure. Having, ashamedly,woken up at 10.30am -we decided to visit the Roman Fort at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. It’s been considered a few times before and was the only place we had considered the day before.

I found a couple of subjects that peaked my interest, but nothing that I got excited about.

© Katherine Broadbent
© Katherine Broadbent
Overall we were a little disappointed. Photographically speaking it’s a beautiful place but not very photogenic. Even Nick, who shoots Landscape felt the are was lacking good focal points for composition. Burgh Castle is a lovely place for a walk, especially if you have a dog. Added bonus of free parking and easy access to the site. Just don’t hold out too much hope for an interesting composition. I did however happen to have my Cokin Dreams 2 Filter in my bag! As I’d not previously had a chance to give it a go I thought this might be the prefect opportunity.

The Dreams filter has an arrangement of small circular lenses on it’s surface. This means the object/s within frame is/are duplicated and appear as a halo. Creating some soft in camera distortion.

Two unedited images to compare – showing the effect created.

To the left without any filter.
To the right with the Cokin Dreams 2 filter.

I can see it’s going to take a bit of practice to get this just right.

I already learnt you don’t want to go much about F11 or else the lenses on the surface of the filter can be picked up in

So after the initial experiment I put in a little more thought and effort (as well as some editing)!

 © Katherine Broadbent

I increased the contrast and dodged the highlights on the fluffy seeds. I wanted them to look as if they were glowing, adding to the dreamlike quality of the shot.

I’m going to experiment further, and have a good think about different situations this filter would suit. If you have any suggestion feel free to leave a comment.

For those not familiar with the Cokin Systems they comprise of three elements: the filter, the filter holder and the adaptor ring. This system means as long as you buy the relevant adaptor ring, you can fit the filter onto any of your lenses. They have a variety of systems; A, P (which I use), Z-Pro & X-Pro. Basically each system covers different ranges of lens diameters. There are other systems out there but as I am not a serious landscape photographer(i.e lenses are not what I would class an essential part of my kit) I didn’t want to spend the kind of money you would on, for example, LEE filters. At the end of the day Cokin met my needs within my budget. I the Cokin P System, it relatively easy to use, filter systems can be a little fiddly but as far as I can tell that’s in their nature.

You can read more about Cokin’s systems here and purchase from many different photographic retailers. I got mine from Wex Photographic. At the time Wex were running a promotion where they gave away a free filter holder with each filter purchased. I’ve found this quite useful as I’ve got three lenses that I use with filters. Having a filter holder for each saves time but is in no way essential.

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