ND Grad filters?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Garbz, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok so I've been reading up on landscape photography recently since it's something I really like, and the problem of narrow dynamic range of film compared to eyes was mentioned. Since then I've looked at some Cokin ND Grad filters, the flat plate ones with an adapter ring to hold it infront of the lens. But I need a bit more information.

    From what I've gathered i'm looking for a Smooth gradient filter, not one with a sharp transition. But there's still several different densitites. As I only have enough money initially for a single ND Grad filter can someone recomend how dense a filter I need?

    I'll mainly be using it for Dusk photos (but not direct sunset photos where the idea is usually to get the incredible silhouettes) and photos on Overcast days where the extreme white sky often blows out when trying to capture foreground detail.

    Oh and any further advice and examples on using these filters is more then welcome since it'll save me asking stupid questions later :)
     
  2. westman

    westman TPF Noob!

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    -a gradual ND +4 should be enough
    it reduces 2 stops , it can balance the sky and the land at most siturations

    -i would like to share another techniqe, actually , you can take two pictures with different exposures , and then combine them in PS. I really think this is the best way for digital cameras. if u use film , black card or ND would be the best
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Film. I actually came upon this while reading an article which showed this in photoshop.

    Is there any easy way to metre with a GradND filter? My camera uses a 60% centre weighted metre so I guess the best option would be to metre the area I want with the filter adjusted, and then frame the shot and readjust the filter for the picture?
     
  4. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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    Your best bet is to meter without the filter in place - The way I work is to take a meter reading from the foreground or main subject (find a nice mid-tone... some grass, or green foliage for example) by tilting the camera down, to exclude the sky. Then take a meter reading from the sky, by tilting the camera up slightly.

    By working out the difference between these two values, you can tell what filter to use (1/2 a second on the foreground, and 1/8 on the sky, for example, will require a 2 stop ND grad). Then it's just a case of setting your exposure to the foreground value, and fitting the filter to cute the right amount of light from the sky.
     

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