Using a ND grad filter?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by CraniumDesigns, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Hey folks,

    I just ordered a set of formatt/hitech ND grad filters (.3, .6, & .9). Now, how does one use them? I get the gist of it. You use the DoF preview button and line up/rotate your filter along the horizon.

    But what if you have stuff that pops over the horizon line, like in this pic...

    http://patricksmithphotography.com/photoslarge/070211-2361-940.jpg

    The rocks overlap the horizon line. Why aren't the rocks darker where the fitler would overlay it? He doesn't claim to use 2 exposures, so how is this accomplished without some photoshopping?
     
  2. rfosness88

    rfosness88 TPF Noob!

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    5 min in photoshop could fix that. burn/dodge tool. IDK anything about the filters, but im a photoshop pro :)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Scenes like that are why I don't like using grad/split filters. As mentioned, it's easy enough to do local adjustments with software.
     
  4. gravity0

    gravity0 TPF Noob!

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    I thought you just screw the filter on and shoot. How would one do this in say a Canon camera. where's the DoF button?? Crap, one more thing I didn't know. :grumpy:
     
  5. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Did you order ND filters or a Graduated ND filter? I guess I am confused. I have never seen a set of Graduated ND filters like that. You shouldnt have to use the DOF preview in order to see where your filter starts to take effect on your image. I am not a huge fan of the screw on type graduated ND filter though. I like the Conkin system for the Graduated ND filter. The reason being is because you can adjust the position of the graduation vertically as well.
     
  6. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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  7. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    i have a canon rebel xs, and the DoF preview button is right by the lens mount, on the left side if ur looking at the back of it. check ur manual :)
     
  8. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The example you showed is easily done... not using ND Grad filters, but just ND filters.
    In this case you do not need the grad if you can expose the shot fairly evenly.

    However, using ND Grad filters, you can 'stagger' them meaning you would insert the '3' (for example) to cover the whole image, then lower the '6' partly over the top but only so it can be seen over the very top of the image.... this will give you more control with Graduation. You can also use grads at different angles, even graduating the bottom to the center and the top to the center for example.

    Just a FYI, If your going to try and produce 'proper' images which can be used at any scale, Photoshop is not the answer here. The badly underexposed rocks may look fine lightened at small scale, but blow it up and be prepared to see badly rendered detail and probably noise.
     
  9. CraniumDesigns

    CraniumDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Well, this guy only used a 0.9 Grad ND filter for this, so I'm wondering how we accomplished it.

    Bottom of this page... http://patricksmithphotography.com/big-sur-north.html
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Also, you don't need to involve the DOF preview button when using grad (or any other) filters. Unless, of course, you want to actually preview the DOF.
     
  11. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well it was a 30 second exposure, probably in lower light, so he has done a good job with the exposure and it is quite even. I would say a longer exposure is probably (in my experience) easier to get a more even exposure, as apposed to a fast shutter on a bright day which would give you a stronger and more noticeable transition.

    It is possible of course that the filter wasn't actually used in the sky, but more the sea to produce more motion blur.

    This image is an exception tho really, i dont often have this problem with such a strong subject being in the middle of the frame as usually i'd be using thirds to compose a landscape which is easier to manage... even tho elements like the tops of tree's are often unavoidable.
     
  12. flea77

    flea77 TPF Noob!

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    I would agree that the filter was used down low, note how the rocks in the foreground get brighter as they go up even though there is no sun shining on them?

    Allan
     

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