ND Filter vs. Exposure Comp

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Mitch1640, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Mitch1640

    Mitch1640 TPF Noob!

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    im going to GA in a few days and i plan on taking some pictures of waterfalls. i do not have a ND filter to fit my new wide angle lens nor do i have money for one, why could i remedy this with exposure compensation?
     
  2. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    i dont see why it wouldnt work...close up that ap...compensate...
    idk...im curious to see your results.
     
  3. smadab

    smadab TPF Noob!

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    ND filters reduce the intensity of the light reaching the sensor/film by, in some cases, several stops. This allows you to increase exposure without overexposing. Exposure compensation will simply increase or decrease the exposure by the chosen stop or fraction-of-a-stop. It will not affect the intensity of the light and will simply over- or under-expose your images.

    What you can do to reduce the intensity of the light (without a ND filter) is shoot at dawn or dusk and, as SrBiscuit suggests, stop down your lens.
     
  4. Mitch1640

    Mitch1640 TPF Noob!

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    thanks for the responses guys
     
  5. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Use your lowest ISO and, stop it all the way down. You may or may not get good effect depending on the ambient light. Overcast would help you alot.
     
  6. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    You won't be able to stop down enough to get the effect you want if it's really bright out. I was shooting at around f/22 and it wasn't enough awhile back....now that I have the 3 stop ND it should be easier next time.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    I've used my lowest ISO and smallest aperture and the slowest I can get without overexposing is usually around 1 second or so. ND filter gets it much slower. That's why. ;)
     
  8. Moglex

    Moglex TPF Noob!

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    If you are processing RAW you can afford to overexpose a couple of stops and compensate when you 'develop' the RAW image without ill effect.

    Since that can make the difference between one and four seconds it's well worth trying.

    As others have said you can't pull the same trick with JPEG shots.
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is another trick you can do. Just bracket the exposures. Hand held is fine. Get into photoshop layer the bright one over the dark one. If you go +/- 2 you can make a ND4 filter. Then:

    - Change blending mode to "difference" on the top layer
    - Move the layer around till you see no more outline affectively aligning both layers
    - Change the belndingmode back to normal.
    - Add a layer mask.
    - Apply a black to white gradient where you want it. volah instantly adjustable ND grad filter.

    This is the method I use since I don't have an ND filter. however it doesn't work if at the are of the blend there are moving objects, as you'd effectively end up with a bright set of ghost legs, and a darker torso a short distance away. However since most of the blending areas will be around sky anyway this often isn't too much of a shortcoming.
     
  10. travelerb

    travelerb TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure specifically which waterfalls in Georgia you had in mind, but many (if not most) are in the woods under a fairly dense canopy of trees and rhododendron. Even in the middle of the day, the light is somewhat muted at the waterfalls, and often there isn't any direct sunlight on the falls themselves. In many of those circumstances, you can get long exposures just with the available light.

    Here's an example of one I took at about 10:30 in the morning, and had a 30s exposure (at f/22):

    [​IMG]
     

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