Thursday, January 11, 2018

I Am a Formatt-Hitech Ambassador!


In July 2017 I was offered a position as an "Ambassador" for Formatt-Hitech filters. I was, to say the least, quite honored to have been chosen as a representative. I have held off announcing this until now in order to give Formatt-Hitech a chance to put up the webpage - click here. The page contains the names, locations, brief bio, photo and link to ambassadors around the world. The list is in alphabetical order by last name so you have to scroll a bit to get to my listing. I am one of three currently representing the United States.

Who is Formatt-Hitech

Formatt-Hitech is a filter manufacturer headquartered in the UK, with a US office in California. They have a line of screw-in filters, as well as a filter systems. I currently own the 85mm Aluminum Filter system (for more information about my system, see "My System" below.) The filter holder will accommodate three (3) filters. For a more detailed description and information about the filters, check out their Product Knowledge page - here.

Why Formatt-Hitech

Buying a quality filter system can be quite an investment and so I did a lot of homework before choosing Formatt-Hitech. One of my main concerns was color cast - I had read quite a bit about other systems having a magenta cast to them (mainly magenta, anyway) and I didn't want to have to deal with color-correctly every image I shot with the filters. The other concern was, of course, cost. The "perfect" filter system doesn't do you any good if you have to mortgage your home to buy it! The reviews I read for Formatt-Hitech had no mention of color cast and the system was within my budget so I took the plunge.

My System

I spent a lot of time debating before choosing the 85mm filter system. My initial thought was to go with the 100mm system but because I am shooting a crop-sensor and maximum wide angle of 18mm (28.8 with crop factor), I wasn't concerned about vignetting so I decided to save a few dollars and put that towards filters. I went with the 85mm Aluminum Holder, two (2) adapter rings and eight (8) filters, as shown below.
  • .3 solid & soft-grad (1-stop)
  • .6 solid & soft-grad (2-stop)
  • .9 solid & soft-grad (3-stop)
  • 1.2 solid & soft-grad (4-stop)
The .3 thru .9 filters were part of a set that came with a nice, velvet case; the 1.2 filters were purchased separately. I am planning to add a circular polarizer and a 10-stop ND this year, maybe a 13- or 16-stop.

My Experience

I have to admit, as anxious as I was to get a set of neutral density (ND) filters, I haven't used them all that much. I have been so busy shooting foliage and trying to get other things done. The few times that I have used them, I was quite happy. The two (2) images included here where taken on two separate occasions using a combination of filters. The system is easy to use and I had no problem with vignetting, despite shooting some at 18mm. I will be writing a full review, as-well-as a video review, in the coming weeks. I will also be doing a lot more work with them, shooting sunrise, sunset, waterfalls, etc.... Stay tuned!

My Offer to You

As an Abassador, I am authorized to offer to you a 10% discount on any purchase made from the Formatt-Hitech website (either International or US). All you need to do to redeem the offer is to enter the code JOE10 at checkout. That's it! You get high-quality filters and keep some money in your pocket to put towards your next photo excursion. It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you check out my listing on the Ambassador page - leave a comment below and let me know what you think. I also hope you consider Formatt-Hitech for your filter needs and take advantage of the discount. If you have used their filters, please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Until next time - go out and enjoy the wonders of nature!

All photos are copyright Joseph S. Valencia All Rights Reserved They may not be used in any way without express written permission of the photographer. If you wish to use any of the photos you may contact the photographer at

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hello, 2018!

Happy New Year!

I hope the new year finds you healthy, happy and ready for anything life throws at you! I know that I am excited about 2018 and what lies ahead.

I decided to start the year off on the right foot (it was probably the left foot but....) and went for a hike on New Year's Day. The image here is my first of 2018; it was shot and edited with my smartphone. The temperature was 16°F when I started with a wind chill of 0°F but there isn't a whole lot of wind in the woods. You can see that I wasn't the only one to have been thru this trail since the snow fell but it was a long time before I came across another soul on the trail - just the way I like it!

I took a few more shots with my phone along the way but never took my camera out of the backpack - I was just enjoying the hike. I did shoot a brief video that will be going up on YouTube this week so head over to my channel and subscribe if you haven't already. There is a link in the header of my blog or you can click here.

I have a lot planned for 2018 and look forward to sharing the ride with you! If you would like to collaborate on a project, leave a comment below or send me an email and let me know what you have in mind. While most of my work is done when I am alone, I do enjoy shooting with others from time-to-time and always find it to be a learning experience.

Best wishes for 2018!

All photos are copyright Joseph S. Valencia All Rights Reserved They may not be used in any way without express written permission of the photographer. If you wish to use any of the photos you may contact the photographer at