Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Shooting Sunset next week...

  1. #1

    Shooting Sunset next week...

    I'll be shooting a sunset and looking for advice. I have the Super Speed Graphic, a Nikkor-W 210mm, and a couple of packs of Provia 100 Quick-loads.

    I'm looking for a recommendation for the single best filter for a beautiful sunset on the Atlantic.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Carmel Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,043

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    There is no single best filter for all situations, or even sunsets.

    Maybe none will be needed if the clouds line up and cooperate. No filter needed is probably the best you can hope for with the setting sun or any strong backlighting. Sunrise and sunset happen to be the times of day you're most likely to include the sun in the frame, with the rays hitting the front element directly. The atmosphere already acts as a strong filter when the sun is low in the sky. However, using an additional lens filter in this situation increases the likelihood of flare caused by internal lens reflections, made even more likely by adding another couple of glass surfaces with anything other than very expensive multicoated filters (most aren't).

    If you've got more than a 5 stop difference between shadow and highlight, you're guaranteed clip one or block up the other (or both) with Provia 100. You can get some of the highlights back by using a graduated neutral density filter and exposing longer. These come in several varieties and strengths; choosing which type depends on the particular problem that the light is presenting at any particular moment. Or you can largely avoid the need for these by also carrying color neg film.

    Polarizers don't have much good effect at this time of day. Colored sunset filters are (at least to my taste) gimmicks and can cause flare.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    In general you want to avoid what Dan has done above and lose all detail and texture in the foreground (he also should look at the rules of this forum relating to posting photographs made with cameras other than large format). The usual way to accomplish that is to use a neutral density filter. I carry two, a 3 stop and a 4 stop. I also prefer the graduated type. Others differ in the details but I think that a neutral density filter(s) would most likely be your first choice for sunsets.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    Hey Brian,

    Sorry to heave offended you with my poor image taken with my illegal camera. I will go throw my little Canon away now and pull out my Scovill 11x14 field camera....with ND filter of course.


    Dan

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    1,688

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    With any transparency film (limited dynamic range) you will want to use a graduated neutral density filter to balance the luminosity levels between the sky and land. I mostly use 2 and 3 stop versions with a hard edge. Exposures tend to be long enough that if I want a soft edge I just jiggle the filter up and down during the exposure.

    I also will sometimes use a polarizer filter. The best composition isn't always pointing straight at the sun. In those occasions a polarizer can be very useful to control colors and detail in the clouds, not to mention reflections off of water or other shiny surfaces.

    Those are the only 2 filters that I use. Some people will use color, color intensifier, or sunset filters to pump up an otherwise bland sunset.

  6. #6

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    In general you want to avoid what Dan has done above and lose all detail and texture in the foreground. The usual way to accomplish that is to use a neutral density filter. I carry two, a 3 stop and a 4 stop. I also prefer the graduated type. Others differ in the details but I think that a neutral density filter(s) would most likely be your first choice for sunsets.
    Brian- I've read a Neutral Density filter will enable longer exposures and prevent clipping. Is this correct. Will this help prevent the likelihood of blown highlights? Can/should the zone system principals be applied to sunsets? Also, if I pick up a ND filter 3stop, should I meter through the filter for the exposure?

    Using Dan's image above as an example, Would it have been beneficial to say meter the wooded area and then put that on zone three or four, then meter the the brightest part of the sky. Take these two readings and determine if they are more than 5 EV's apart. If they end up being say seven EV's apart, then develop at N-2.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks everyone for their comments so far. Any more is greatly appreciated as well.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Location
    Baraboo, Wisconsin
    Posts
    7,695

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    Quote Originally Posted by Carterofmars View Post
    Brian- I've read a Neutral Density filter will enable longer exposures and prevent clipping. Is this correct. Will this help prevent the likelihood of blown highlights? Can/should the zone system principals be applied to sunsets? Also, if I pick up a ND filter 3stop, should I meter through the filter for the exposure?

    Using Dan's image above as an example, Would it have been beneficial to say meter the wooded area and then put that on zone three or four, then meter the the brightest part of the sky. Take these two readings and determine if they are more than 5 EV's apart. If they end up being say seven EV's apart, then develop at N-2.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks everyone for their comments so far. Any more is greatly appreciated as well.
    Carter - I've sent you a private message which hopefully will answer these questions. If you don't receive it let me know.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8

    Re: Shooting Sunset next week...

    Brian,

    Didn't get your PM.

Similar Threads

  1. Having a hard time taking sunset shots correctly.
    By minesix66 in forum On Photography
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2010, 13:27
  2. anybody at yellowstone this week?
    By z_photo in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 4-Jan-2009, 15:47
  3. Cruise ship shooting
    By Ed Richards in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 9-May-2008, 08:50
  4. Shooting in between candid and posed portraits with 4x5
    By pjm1289 in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 30-Mar-2008, 15:25
  5. Labor Day weekend shooting in the back yard
    By John Cook in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: 4-Sep-2005, 11:52

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •