View Full Version : Filters for the humid south

Ed Richards
10-Mar-2006, 14:55
I shoot Tmax 100 and recognize that it needs less filtering to properly record the sky than does earlier films. I still find that I prefer shots done with a red 25 in most cases, and that these show much more muted filter effects than most photo books show with a 25 red. Since even a clear day here is pretty humid, and many of my shots are near water, I am assuming that I am getting a much less saturated blue sky than those mountain shots the photo book tend to show. I also assume that there is more scattered light, which tends to fill the shadows a bit and reduces the harsh shadows that usually accompany shots with a 25 red. Thoughts? What about others of you who shoot in warm, humid areas, including jungles?

Henry Ambrose
10-Mar-2006, 17:18
Its hard to do anything with hazy skies. When the color is muted filter effects are as well. When its gray you're just outa luck. Of course you already know all this!

If you're having good results with the 25 keep using it. I often feel lucky to get -something- in the sky that I can burn in much less a really "good" sky. If you're up for the extra trouble a graduated ND or even graduated red may be useful. It'll help you with the overall exposure time, so it might be worth it.

The other thing is to reset your mind to a different look. Instead of West Coast you're doing South Coast and in that school of photography the skies are different. ; >)

Doug Howk
11-Mar-2006, 13:31
I believe Clyde Butcher uses orange filter on wide angel lenses (eg, 120mm for 8X10) with T-Max & Tri-X film for his "environmental" images. When skys are grey, I look down for images.

Brian Ellis
12-Mar-2006, 02:37
I photographed in Florida for years and had the same experience as you, even with a red filter the skies didn't look all that dark. I think the reason is that if you look carefully at a Florida sky you'll see that most of the time it really isn't blue at all, it's much closer to cyan than it is to blue. At least that was the case in the Tampa area. The sky in the west, especially at high altitudes, is a much deeper, richer blue and I assume that's why a red filter has a more pronounced effect with those skies.

12-Mar-2006, 06:41
Clyde Butcher's filter is a #22, which he uses with T-Max 100 film processed in T-Max developer. I attended his open house lecture yesterday, and when asked if he uses the Zone System, he said that he has only two exposures: 1/2 second at f:45 for bright days, and 1 second at f:45 for dull days.

13-Mar-2006, 11:43
Clyde told me he uses an "orange" filter but that more of his dark skies comes from the use of his wide angle lenses. He pointed out that if one looks up, you can see the sky gets more blue and this bluer sky is more affected by the filter.

I've photographed in the humid South all my life, and I've found only one solution - photograph in the late fall when the humidity drops. In middle Georgia, this was in late September. Here in north Florida, it's usually late October. In eastern Carolina on Pamlico Sound, there was never a time that it was not hazy or worse.


Al Seyle
13-Mar-2006, 13:01
This may be a bit off the wall, but maybe one of the color intensifying filters like Sing-Ray?