First Landscapes Using Filters
First Landscapes Using Filters
Apr 29, 2012
I finally broke down and bought a set of filters to use for my landscape photography (Cokin P holder, Cokin variable blue/gold polarizer, Hitec 2.7 ND, Graduated 3 stop ND). So, today I went up into the mountains for a couple of hours to try them out.
I've got a lot to learn about filter use and different combinations, but here is my first crack at it.
All photos taken with my SMC Takumar 55mm F1.8 and Super Takumar 28mm F3.5 and my K20D
If I may:
1: The lower part of the picture needs at least the same amount of grey filtering as the bright clouds in the sky. Blown out specular lights are OK, but this is too much, for my taste anyway. I alo find the brown fltering for the lower part to be too obvious.
2: Here, your filtering is a success, maybe a bit too much. The clouds could be a bit brighter.
3: Same a 2. Lovely landscape. I personnaly would have tried to keep the clouds a bit brighter.
4: Tough case, but I think the filtering goes too low, making the mountains too dark. It also makes the foreground unnaturally bright. In such a case, I expose for the highlights, letting the shadows fall where they may, hoping to be able to salvage them by some light filling in post. Spot metering the different areas of the scene can give you the brightness range you are facing and can help you decide if it is worth it to try or not.
5: Same problem as 1, only much worse. This scene might have needed no filtering at all ot maybe for the lower part instead of the upper part. The water is completely over-exposed and I don't find the result to be pleasing.
Graduated filters are not easy to use. I have done much worse with them!
i have the same grad-ND set up. this may be hard to explain, but.. i find them easier to use on lenses with larger diameter.
a lens with 67mm filter thread is bigger round than your lenses (and the ones i typically use) so more of the filter is required to cover the front element. with lenses of this size, the graduatedness.. of the g-ND covers the lens well. at top, for instance, you have a nice darkening effect and at bottom may have no darkening effect at all.
i think your lenses have 52mm filter threads. for those and the 49mm lenses, it seems hard to darken the top (or whatever portion you wish to darken) and not have some darkening effect encroach on the far side of the field of view...
i know the Cokin P with thin holder works with the 15mm. i wonder if the A-series would work.. i had just now worked myself up to order an A and try this, but i see Hitech does not make A-sized filters. at least, B&H does not carry them. don't really want to use Cokin filters.
in case anyone proposes cutting the P-series Hitech to fit, I don't think anything would be gained. I would have tried a filter made to be smaller where the graduatedness of the filter is achieved across a shorter distance. cutting down a larger filter where the transition is already made over a greater distance would not be any different. other than smaller.
for the waterfall, a grad-ND may have hurt. if you had the dark part at top, the water/foreground would be lighter, of course, and more likely to burn. rotating the g-ND upside down might help. maybe not even completely upside down but at an angle with "top" to lower right. this will darken the rocks at lower right. vignette-type effect.. i might have used the g-ND upside down, maybe not used a lot of it, exposed for highlights as mentioned previously, and go from there.
if you used the filter upside down, ignore all that above.