canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 12:44:21 AM

Title: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 12:44:21 AM
So, I ended up working pretty late last night and heading home I could tell I was going to be in for a treat with the sunrise.  I took tons of photos and when I got back, what did I see?  Blownout sky and no detail in the beach rocks (I'll post a picture later once I get the time).  Now, not all was lost, and some of the pictures I seemed to even recover pretty well in Lightroom.  However, I'd rather just get the lighting right so as much detail as possible is available in the image.

I already knew I needed a good tripod and ballhead (Manfrotto 055 and Markins Q3 on order).  However, I also realized that I need is a good graduated ND filter and circular polarizer.  And so, after the $500 tripod order, and I now spend another $250 on nice filters (had cheap filter before, now I only get B+W).

Oh the lessons we learn.  I'll report back after I use the new equipment, and hopefully with some nice pictures.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: faccray on November 24, 2012, 01:17:26 AM
...and dont forget a good remote shutter release for long exposures....
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Eli on November 24, 2012, 01:51:28 AM
If you come across that instance again without any of the new gear you've bought just take 2 exposures, one for the sky and one for the rocks and merge them through layer masking in Photoshop.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Eli on November 24, 2012, 02:00:38 AM
Not quite sure about screw in GND filters either, I think you'd be better off saving up for a Cokin or LEE filter system if you're serious about your landscape photography.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: jhanken on November 24, 2012, 02:05:03 AM
Cokin holder, graduated ND, 3 stops, hard transition.  Do it now, believe me later.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 02:16:47 AM
Cokin holder, graduated ND, 3 stops, hard transition.  Do it now, believe me later.

I read about these in an article.  Help me out with some links on what to buy, I obviously don't know what that should be.
http://www.amazon.com/Cokin-H250-P-Series-Grad-Kit/dp/B000A40M22/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y (http://www.amazon.com/Cokin-H250-P-Series-Grad-Kit/dp/B000A40M22/ref=pd_bxgy_p_text_y)
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Eli on November 24, 2012, 02:23:32 AM
What camera and lens do you use?
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 02:26:12 AM
T2i, 17-55 f2.8 and getting 10-22.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: chief on November 24, 2012, 02:38:05 AM
You should check the camera's histogram to see if any parts of the picture are over or underexposed right after you take the picture.  Also you don't necessarily need a remote shutter release.  The timer on the camera can be used instead.  If you really want a better dynamic range consider Nikon cameras.  Some have 3 stops more DR than your T2i.  But graduated ND filters can also be used as mentioned to work with the limitations of your camera.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 02:55:19 AM
If you really want a better dynamic range consider Nikon cameras.  Some have 3 stops more DR than your T2i.  But graduated ND filters can also be used as mentioned to work with the limitations of your camera.

Right now I want to work on technique and getting the composition right the first time.  Based on my current progress, it will be quite awhile before my camera is the limiting factor.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Eli on November 24, 2012, 03:00:58 AM
T2i, 17-55 f2.8 and getting 10-22.

The reason I ask is if you plan on getting a 10-22 then I'd suggest going for the larger sized Cokin Z Pro holder as using the Cokin P system on an ultra wide will cause vignetting.

What to buy.

You can either go with the cheaper Cokin Z Pro system, which does pretty much the same thing, or the more expensive LEE system, which is arguably slightly better but way more expensive.

Firstly you need the Cokin Z-Pro filter HOLDER, this is where you slot the filters in to, (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/387303-REG/Cokin_CBZ100_Z_PRO_Filter_Holder_Requires.htm (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/387303-REG/Cokin_CBZ100_Z_PRO_Filter_Holder_Requires.htm) )

As well as an adaptor ring according to your lens filter thread size, so for your 17-55mm it's a 77mm sized adaptor ring (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/387404-REG/Cokin_CZ477_77mm_Z_PRO_Adapter_Ring.html (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/387404-REG/Cokin_CZ477_77mm_Z_PRO_Adapter_Ring.html))

And then you need to buy the actual filters. (http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera-directory#neutral-density-hard-grads (http://www.leefilters.com/index.php/camera-directory#neutral-density-hard-grads))
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Promature on November 24, 2012, 03:25:24 AM
Wow, definately gives you a lot of flexibility.  I obviously have a lot to learn.  Thank you for the help.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Kernuak on November 24, 2012, 04:50:44 AM
If you go for th Cokin holder, I would avoid the Cokin filters, as they are widely regarded not to be neutral, giving a pink colour cast. Instead, try the Hi-Tech grad filters, not much more in price and more neutral in colour. They aren't in the same league as Lee or Singh-Ray though.
I still haven't got around to adding photos, but I wrote this blog article some time ago.

http://avalonlightphotoart.wordpress.com/photographic-and-nature-articles/the-use-of-filters-in-photography/ (http://avalonlightphotoart.wordpress.com/photographic-and-nature-articles/the-use-of-filters-in-photography/)
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: m on November 24, 2012, 06:43:26 AM
Cokin holder, graduated ND, 3 stops, hard transition.  Do it now, believe me later.

This is interesting. I once heard about hand holding the filter to achieve a softer result.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Kernuak on November 26, 2012, 03:20:59 PM
Cokin holder, graduated ND, 3 stops, hard transition.  Do it now, believe me later.

This is interesting. I once heard about hand holding the filter to achieve a softer result.
The choice of hard or soft is down to what you are planning to shoot. For mountains, hills or other uneven "horizons", then a soft is the best bet, but for many coastal scenes (but also some mountains and hills if you can angle the filter against a single slope), where there is a true horizonm then hard grads are the way to go. Also, if you can only afford one grad to start with, then 3 stop is the best option, although it often isn't sufficient if the sun is anywhere near the image frame. It can give sufficient graduation in most cases though to be able to recover detail when shooting RAW.
Handholding can be quite awkward, expecially for hard grads, because the hard line can be very visibile if positioned wrongly. Many can handhold grads successfully though.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: jointdoc on November 26, 2012, 04:34:29 PM
Is there a need for ND filters if you bracket your exposures and use photoshop to blend in the correct exposures?  I took a course at Maine Multimedia this summer and my instructor said she quit using ND graduated filters and used photoshop with multiple exposures.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: thebowtie on November 26, 2012, 05:48:51 PM
Is there a need for ND filters if you bracket your exposures and use photoshop to blend in the correct exposures?  I took a course at Maine Multimedia this summer and my instructor said she quit using ND graduated filters and used photoshop with multiple exposures.
Good question. I have been experimenting with a 58mm Hoya graduated ND4 filter for my 50mm f/1.4 and have found that it plays havoc with the focus mechanism - of my old 50D and now my 5Dmk3. Focus is slow (partly a property of this lens) and I suspect due to using Evaluative TTL - although Center-weighted average doesn't make it noticeably better.

I have conducted some test shots recently to see if there's a better way - and like your experience, have found that I can get as-good or better using photoshop, provided I prepare a little more and do some Exposure bracketing.

What I see as the advantage of using post, is that you can make the exposure look anyway you like - whereas once you have shot it with an Grad-ND filter - there's no way back.

The IQ on the 5D3 is so much better than my old 50D, that I'm quite happy to do it in software now.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: Eli on November 26, 2012, 06:37:35 PM
Is there a need for ND filters if you bracket your exposures and use photoshop to blend in the correct exposures?  I took a course at Maine Multimedia this summer and my instructor said she quit using ND graduated filters and used photoshop with multiple exposures.

You can blend multiple exposures, it's what I do most of the time, but sometimes you just need to get it right in one exposure, especially during sunsets or sunrises when every minute counts, an example would be if you're taking a long exposure for motion blurred water and the sun is just in the right position with the light hitting perfectly where you'd like it, by the time you finish and take the second exposure the sun and light could've changed.

But yes, most of the times it is easier just taking multiple exposures and blending them together.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned - Landscape Photography Necessitities
Post by: 96Brigadier on November 26, 2012, 07:13:05 PM
Is there a need for ND filters if you bracket your exposures and use photoshop to blend in the correct exposures?  I took a course at Maine Multimedia this summer and my instructor said she quit using ND graduated filters and used photoshop with multiple exposures.

Part of the answer is what you enjoy doing.  For me I enjoy getting the exposure correct when I take the picture, for others they enjoy doing it in post processing.  I am doing more post processing than I used to do, and recently purchased Photoshop.  I suspect I'll end up doing some filter effects in Photoshop once I know how but I don't think it will end up replacing my filters since I like to do it in the field.

Personally I have the Lee system:

1x Foundation kit
1x Upgrade kit
**the above two together are equivalent to the Professional kit**
1x each of .6 / .9 Soft Edge ND
1x each of .6 / .9 Hard Edge ND
1x Big Stopper
1x Filter pouch
1x Singh Ray LB Warming Circular Polarizer (fits in the Lee holder)

Yes it is costly but I am happy with the pictures I can produce in the field.