Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online

Advanced Questions

With over 15 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions. 

I am thinking about buying a graduated split-neutral density filter for my Digital Rebel to shoot landscapes. I know that the screw-on filters will force me to position the horizon line at the center of the frame (something that I don't usually do). What can I do to get around this? Are there filter attachments available that will allow me to position the filter so that my horizon line is something other than dead center?


There are several companies that make rectangular or square filters that allow you to position the gradation wherever you like (i.e. up, down, tilted left or right etc.). These filters require a filter holder to attach them to your lens. Cokin, Tiffen, B+W, and Lee all make these types of filters. I am sure there are some others that I have forgotten, but these three will give you a good start.

I am writing from New Zealand. I have only recently found your website and enjoy reading your e-magazine. I have a Nikon 5700 (5 MP/8x zoom) and I wish to purchase a circular polarising filter. It needs to be a clip-on filter as the front of the zoom lens is not internally threaded. The internal diameter of the lens barrel is 39mm. Are you able to give me the name and email address/website of a filter manufacturer that can help? An alternative would be a clip-on/threaded step-up ring to suit a slightly larger filter diameter, though I would prefer a straight filter.


Actually your best bet for the Coolpix 5700 would be to use the 67mm Coolpix Adapter Ring. This ring would allow you to use any 67mm threaded filters or any rectangular filters with the appropriate holders. The Nikon product number for this adapter is #5597.

I use a Nikon D70 with 2-2gig memory cards (a Hitachi Micro Drive and a Sandisk CF Ultra 2) and I have a question. Should I just get more memory cards and keep my images on them when I'm out shooting, or should I back them up to a portable hard drive, or to a CD recorder and keep the 2 memory cards?


I've heard many arguments on this topic. A lot of people prefer to keep the amount of hardware they carry to a minimum. Carrying memory cards would be lighter and take up less space. Another way to look at this is based on how much more memory do you feel you would need to buy in order to cover the amount of shooting that you are planning to do. If you figure out how much the memory is going to cost you, compared to the cost of the portable hard drive you may have your answer.

I want to purchase a Lexar 512mb 40x compact flash w/write acceleration, but don't know if it will be compatible with my Nikon D100 (It has the 2.0 firmware). Ok to buy and use?


Nikon D100 cameras with the 2.0 firmware are fully compatible with the Write Accelerated cards from Lexar.

In response to this month's question on copyrights, I am wondering if you know of a good source for all copyright forms (i.e. model releases, property releases, specific photo release, etc...) I am just getting more involved. I really am only an amateur, but I am really afraid of getting my work stolen, what is the best way to safeguard myself and my photo's.

Thank you so much in advance. 

All the copyright forms are available on the Library of Congress, US Copyright Office web site. Their site also has all the instructions for registering photos as well as groups of images and other types of work.

As far as the various releases, contracts and other forms, there are several books that have samples of these forms as well as tips on when and how they should be used. A couple of these books you may want to check out are listed below. Most of them also have blank releases and forms that you can copy and use. Some of these books may also contain the copyright forms. I would also check the Library of Congress website to make sure that the forms and instructions in the books are up to date. You should be able to order these through if they're not available at a book store in your area.

Library of Congress, U.S. Copyright Office Web Site


Business and Legal Forms for Photographers by Tad Crawford; Publisher: Allworth Press; Rev Bk&Cdr edition (September 1, 1997), ASIN: 188055982X

Model Release Forms for Photographers by Amphoto; Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns; (October 1, 1981), ASIN: 0817448500

  Subscribe to Vivid Light 
Photography by email 

Tell Us What You Think

Vivid Light Photography, digital and film photography online