filter for sunsets

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pezuzaine, May 13, 2010.

  1. pezuzaine

    pezuzaine TPF Noob!

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    i want to try and take sunrise/set shots but i wanted to know if a filter was necessary to add some nice colors to it. i've seen a lot of good shots of sunsets that have a very nice orange, pink, purple, blue or red color in it. do i have to have a filter to get this kind of effect if the sky itself aren't these colors? if so what kind of filter is recommended? i know i can always just photo shop my photos but i kinda wanted to stay away from that.

    - p
     
  2. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some of the largest factors have nothing to do with your gear/filters. A lot of it is dumb luck.

    The first factor is timing. You need to be there after the sun is below the horizon, because the best light/colors come within 30 minutes after sunset. If you can see the sun, it's too early to start snapping.

    Another factor is clouds. It doesn't matter how spectacular the sun is that night, without clouds to hold the color it will just be a bland washed out image with zero color to it.

    Now that you are there at the perfect time, and it's an evening with plenty of clouds (patchy clouds, not full storm coverage) you will want to look into either a polarizer or a graduated neutral density filter. The holders for the GND filters can be pricey, so most people just buy the filter itself (which is a rectangular piece rather than a circular filter/lens) and hold it in front of the lens while they take the shot. You can always get the adapter for your lens if you don't want to hold it.
     
  3. santacruz

    santacruz TPF Noob!

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    I used to use ND8 and get good result. Just make sure you open enough shutter when using ND filter.

    -Santacruz
     
  4. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    graduated or polarized filter
     
  5. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    I should point out that a lot of beginners forget that MORE than just the sky in the photo is necessary for an effective, artistic picture. A sunset is a great background, but the result is a very FLAT image unless you have a foreground and middle ground with one or more "verticals" in it.

    skieur
     
  6. pezuzaine

    pezuzaine TPF Noob!

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    that was really helpful. thanks guys!
     

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