ND Filters and brighter conditions

puyjapin

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I have tried using my ND filter for water movement but only on dullish days, like the photo in my avatar. Is it possible to use a strong filter on bright days, with a slower shutter speed, for example a car moving or a train, where the likelyhood is that some of the sky will be in the frame. By this i mean without blowing the highlights.
 

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yes - if you use a stronger ND on a brighter day you can get slower shutter speeds without blowing out your exposure. You still have to take the sky into account in these cases (since all you doing is lowering the exoposure over the whole lens - so it can still end up overexposing the sky if your not carefull)
 

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If you are gong to have the sky in your photo and you don't want to blow it out you should consider a graduated ND filter, perhaps stacked with a regular ND filter to allow you to get the silky water effect and keep from blowing out the sky.
 
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puyjapin

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thats a good idea didnt think of stacking. might have to try that!
 

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just a tip but for ND graduated filters its better to get the square sort that fit into a filter holder rather than the screw in lens sort. This is because with the screw in sort the point of change in graduation is always in the dead middle of the lens - which means that your point of change (from sky to land for example) also has to be in the middle of the frame - very limiting when working in the real world and not ideal for composition.
The sort that fit into filter holders allow you to move the filter up and down in the holder to get the point of change where you want it in a shot. Remember that all the ND grad filters have the point of change as a fixed line though the frame - that means that you idealy need to have a flat line in your shot at the point of change as well - large trees or buildings rising up into the sky are going to get hit by the NDgrad and that might cause them to look odd when processed - in these cases (where possible) its better to take a series of different shots exposed for different points in the scene (say one shot exposed for land and one exposed for sky) and then produce a tonemapped/HDR image from the two (or more) photos
 

Samanax

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I think puyjapin uses the Cokin filter system.
 
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puyjapin

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yes i use cokin, is nd8 quite dark, mine is a n154 at present, 4 stops i assume?
sorry not got round to HDR etc yet or even RAW
 

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Using NDs on bright days or in snow is a great way to put "sunglasses" on your lens. Depending on your purpose, a polarizer may be just as good -- a slight decrease in light, plus the effects of glare reduction and saturation.
 

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