A Bamburgh sunrise with Progrey USA filters….

So this morning I took an impromptu trip over to Bamburgh for sunrise.  This meant leaving home at 1.30am to get there an hour before sunrise, as I always like to be on location by then to capture some blue hour images.  I didn’t intend to head out this weekend, but I woke up around midnight and thought I may as well.  That, and the fact I had some new Progrey USA filters >> CLICK HERE << to try out which I was quite excited about doing, and it would be my second time out with the new camera, so extra incentive to leave at stupid o’clock I guess!

As usual I set off in great anticipation of a wonderful sunrise, but more importantly, I was just excited to be heading out with my camera.  The 2 hour journey passed by quite quickly this morning which is nice when that happens, and I pulled up at Bamburgh, Northumberland, ready to shoot what mother nature provided.

I set up on the rocks with the incoming tide rising all the time.  This was the first time I’d attached the Progrey filter holder to the lens.  The adaptor ring is a great design allowing a circular polariser to be fitted in behind your grads, with windows in the adaptor ring to adjust the CPL is you wanted to use one.  The holder itself is very well made, constructed in aluminium making it lightweight but very durable, and comes with three different sets of clips to allow 1, 2 and 3 filters to be used at once.

I set up at first using just the Progrey USA >> CLICK HERE << 0.9 reverse ND graduated filter.  In the past most reverse grad filters I’ve used have cast a horrible colour, but I was really happy with this Progrey filter, with zero colour cast.  The graduated filters are resin rather than glass, and don’t have any fancy reflective coatings like others on the market which I personally found reflected the lens back into the image.  A nice, simple approach in the same way market leaders Lee Filters work.  The filters all come in their own leather or material pouches and they just scream quality from the off.

Anyhow, I think I’ll let the images from this morning do the rest of the talking…..

The first image I made this morning using my Sony a7rii camera with Sony Zeiss FE 16-35 F4 lens, with Progrey USA 0.9 reverse graduated filter.

Then once the sun broke over the horizon, with the tide getting a bit higher over the rocks, I added the Progrey USA 0.6 hard edge ND graduated filter to the holder along with the 0.6 reverse grad filter to control the brightness of the sky now the sun was above the horizon, and done what a lot of landscape photographers tell people not to do, and shot right into the sun.  I really wanted to test the filters to see if they would reflect the lens back into the shot, and they passed with flying colours….

I also got hold of the Progrey USA 7 stop ND filter, which allows you to leave the shutter open for longer by reducing the amount of light that hits the camera sensor by 7 stops, allowing you to take longer exposures, which smooths out water, makes clouds smooth and streak as it records the movement.  These filter from other manufacturers are liable to colour cast, even from the Lee Filter range of ND filters you get a cold, blue colour cast, so I was looking forward to trying this one out, and boy was I pleased with the results!  Absolutely zero colour cast!

I shot the wee lighthouse sitting above Stag Rocks at Bamburgh to test this one with it being white, it would really show up any cast issues.  I shot the image on an auto white balance, and this has had no colour tweaks to the image at all, and the results speak for themselves.  Perfect colour reproduction.

That was the last of the great light as the sun went up behind some heavy cloud, so I decided to pack up and head for home, but took the coastal route ‘just incase’ and as I rounded the a corner near the village of Beadnell, these three trees beside a field of barley just jumped out at me, with some nice light breaking through onto the field, with a dark, wet, moody sky behind, I just had to stop and shoot this scene!  I’ve processed the image in both colour and black and white, so will post both for you to choose which you prefer.

All in all, a great, productive trip out this morning, the light making the 1.30am set off time from home worth it, the new filters performing beyond expectation, and I even bumped into a good friend for a catch up down on the beach.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my wee blog, a bit more than just the photos this time, with a wee review of the new filters, but it gives you more of an insight into how I start to produce my images.

Thanks for reading if you got this far 😉


4 Comments on "A Bamburgh sunrise with Progrey USA filters…."

  1. Andy Keeble

    Excellent post Martin, the images are also bloody good too (I prefer the colour version of the Rape field fyi).

    I have seen a couple of videos relating to the Progrey filters and was impressed with what I saw but it’s always better when someone you know and trust completes a review (I am trusting you, can you believe that!!! Just kidding!). Had I not invested so heavily into the Lee system (I nearly choked when I did a rough tot up ?) I may well have tried the Progrey system instead. What were you using prior to Progrey and what made you change if you don’t mind me asking?

    I hope you’re keeping well mate.

    Take care. ??


    1. martin_steele_photo

      Hey Andy, thanks for the kind words!

      I got the chance to try out the Progrey filters after a friend put them in touch with me and I got offered a few bits of kit to try out, and hence the short review here. I’ve been using Lee Filters for years now mate, but I will be switching to Progrey completely. So there’ll be a Lee Filter sale coming your way soon 😉


  2. Sandra Marie Cockayne

    Hi Martin!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog, and admired your lovely early morning images of Bamburgh and beach. You must have been thrilled to bits seeing that lovely blue hour, and subsequent sunrise! I know I would have been.
    Great review on the new filter system, and although I have just invested in the starter Lee filter kit, these ones look like I just might invest in them myself! Particularly when you say there’s no colour cast!
    Good, informative read, and I look forward to your next one!

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