Filters (or, dealing with bright sky)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JClishe, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. JClishe
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    JClishe New Member

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    I've been taking a lot of outdoor shots lately when it's been bright out and getting a lot of blown-out, white looking sky. When I speed the shutter up to get nice blue skies, then my subject becomes underexposed (and vice versa).

    Is this the scenario that neutral-density filters are designed to assist with? If so, can anyone recommend a good NC filter?
  2. dxqcanada
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    dxqcanada Well-Known Member

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  3. Moglex
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    Moglex New Member

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    This rather depends on how much of 'not sky' intrudes into the sky!

    If the sky is largely separate from the rest of the photograph then a graduated ND filter can help. Unfortunately for subjects such as a tree or building with a background of sky these aren't much help as you will tend to darken the top of the subject as well.

    If the sky is clear than you can get some help from a polarising filter which will darken the sky without affecting most subjects (and any effect it has on the main subject is likely to be beneficial).
  4. JClishe
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    JClishe New Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I read the post that dxqcanada linked to, that was extremely helpful.

    In my case, this situation usually arises when shooting buildings (usually tall), so flashes and other artifical lighting techniques aren't possible. So are you saying that a GND won't help much either when shooting tall buildings on a bright day?
  5. Arkanjel Imaging
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    Arkanjel Imaging New Member

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    Circ. polarzer will help in many situations. Can enhance or cut down on reflections on glass buildings too. Single most useful filter avail IMO.
  6. Moglex
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    Moglex New Member

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    Well, you can imagine.

    Either the part of the building that is backed by the sky will be darkened compared to the rest of the building or there will be a band of sky that isn't darkened.

    BTW, screw in GND filters are not much use as they are too inflexible.

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