Grad ND / Filters vs Photoshop

Started Apr 7, 2011 | Discussions thread
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bigpigbig
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Grad ND / Filters vs Photoshop
Apr 7, 2011

I am considering buying some Lee Grad filters but can't pull the trigger.

Here is my thinking:

Only HQ (i.e. Lee) filters will do. Cheaper options in front of expensive glass seems a waste.

It seems the biggest use for filters would be landscapes. I suppose one might shoot outdoor sports with one as well. So, most of the time I'd be on a tripod anyway. With a quick +-1 stop and / or +-2 stop bracket, I would have infinite possibilities for strength, position, angle and softness of the gradient in PP with a Photoshop layer mask.

What am I missing?

SECONDLY: Are colored filters dead? Are there any advantages to color filters over PP in Photoshop (or Lightroom)? Shooting in RAW the options are limitless.

I see the absolute usefulness of an ND filter for slowing down the shutter speed, but I don't have one as the shoots always seem kind of gimmicky to me. Don't get me wrong, they can be beautiful, but most look like someone chose to make the shot because they wanted to use the filter. Do any fine art photographers use them occasionally?

Lastly, the most valuable (impossible to replicate in PP) filter seems to be a polarizer. Would anyone disagree?

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