October 24, 2014, 06:04:53 AM

Author Topic: Landscape Filters  (Read 4137 times)

jrista

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 10:56:02 PM »
LEE is notorious sold out here in germany.
i heard the LEE ND-GRAD filters are polished on the thighs of virgins .... and there is a shortage of virgins.  ;)

LOL! Well, I guess that's why I have such a hard time finding LEE Grads for sale. :P

I bought into the Lee Filter System a while ago, maybe almost five years ago now. While I will say that it was difficult to buy in, as Lee is perpetually behind on producing enough supply for their demand, their filters are definitely worth it. I've tried other filters, and while quality seems to be improving these days, five years ago it wasn't uncommon to see a marked reduction in IQ when using off-brand filters vs. Lee's filters. They really are a step above the rest in most cases.

I still find that there are filter shortages, Lee filters almost always seem to be sold out, however I now have most of the filters I need, so it's pretty rare that I need another (one case recently would be my broken polarizer...I haven't replaced it yet, it's been out of stock on the relatively rare occasions I look for it.)

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 10:56:02 PM »

Hillsilly

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2014, 02:33:44 AM »

and last but not least... most serious landscape photo competitions will disqualify you for doing such editings. for a good reason.

What reason? It's the exact same thing as using a grad ND.

Just google "Lindisfarne Boats".  A great photo, but outside the rules and ultimately disqualified.

Every competition is free to have its own rules, but many landscape competitions apply FIAP "nature" type rules, in which "No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged or combined.  No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening and restoration of the original color of the scene."  Under these rules, using a neutral grad (or applying a similar effect in PhotoShop) is fine.  Replacing whole skies isn't.

But there are many other competition categories where anything goes and extreme photo manipulation is often expected. 

Back to the OP, my everyday kit consists of: -

Hoya NDx400 (a 9 stop filter and a viable alternative to the Lee filter for those who prefer screw in lenses)
3 stop ND
Polarizer
R72 Infra Red

When shooting B&W film, I also include Red and Orange.  When shooting colour, I'll typically throw an 81B on. 
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winglet

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2014, 04:57:55 AM »
I've been patiently building my Lee filter collection over the past few years and now have pretty much everything I want, 1 & 2 stop ND's (can stack for 3 stops), circular polarizer and Bigstopper. The latter is sort of like hunting down the Yeti, Lee's productions issues are well-known. But part of the reason is they are all completely hand-made, and I don't think Lee anticipated multi-stop filters becoming trendy over the last years, like off-camera flash. Another issue is finding all the bits and pieces, holders, adapter rings etc. I think I've sourced parts from about six different suppliers to get what I wanted.

I don't have any grad ND though. Not when the same effect can be achieved in post so easily, with far more control. As pointed out, very few landscapes perfectly delineate between ground and sky, in a straight line. But a polarizer and the ND's, are for effects that can't be replicated in PS. Sometimes I just want to lose a couple stops so I can still use flash in daylight with a large aperture. Pretty hard to do that after the image has been taken. And I think the window reflection pics posted earlier speak for themselves about polarization...

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mackguyver

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2014, 09:52:48 AM »
...Bigstopper. The latter is sort of like hunting down the Yeti,..
LOL, so true!  Congrats on getting a decent set of Lee filters and the abominable filter ;)

thedman

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #34 on: May 06, 2014, 01:22:17 PM »

and last but not least... most serious landscape photo competitions will disqualify you for doing such editings. for a good reason.

What reason? It's the exact same thing as using a grad ND.

Just google "Lindisfarne Boats".  A great photo, but outside the rules and ultimately disqualified.

That doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about here. You do realize I'm referring to two exposures at the same time, combined with a gradient mask, right?


Tanispyre

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2014, 03:16:07 PM »
Don't bother. GNDs are tacky and you'll outgrow them fast. Same with polarizers.

i wonder how you do that.. bothering with comping two images in PS?
or waiting for a canon with the DR of 20 stops?

and polarizer?
how do you remove, for example, reflections in postproduction?
niks polarization or kolors neutralhazer plugins are crap compared with the real deal.

i guess some of todays best landscape photographers would be interested to know your secrets. :D

I agree that the polarizer is indispensable, but I can comp two images in post quicker than I can get out a grad ND and attach it.

I have no problems compositing images, however, probably as a throwback of my old slide film days, I get a lot more satisfaction out of capturing an image perfectly in one shot in camera, than building an image in photoshop.  For me it is not as satisfying doing it after the fact.  Still, I always BLH
so I usually have the images to photoshop afterward if I need it.

mackguyver

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 03:37:54 PM »
I have no problems compositing images, however, probably as a throwback of my old slide film days, I get a lot more satisfaction out of capturing an image perfectly in one shot in camera, than building an image in photoshop.  For me it is not as satisfying doing it after the fact.  Still, I always BLH
so I usually have the images to photoshop afterward if I need it.
I bracket as well and find that in most cases (95%+), I'm able to pull everything I want out of a single RAW file, mainly because I try to shoot in the best light whenever possible.  Sometime ago, I remember Adobe saying that they recommended working with a single capture vs. HDR and as someone who isn't a huge fan of the HDR look, I try to stick with one RAW file as much as possible.  For my commercial work, mostly buildings, I often have to mask & blend multiple exposures, especially for interiors, but alas, this is a discussion of landscape filters :)

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2014, 03:37:54 PM »

jeffa4444

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2014, 01:44:37 PM »
Firstly cards on the table Im connected to Lee Filters. The shortages were very real even 12 months ago but that is not the case now. Every single Lee Filter is tested and has strict quality control that is why Lee products are generally more expensive than the competition.
As for you can do everything in Photoshop etc. if that was the case then why do professional landscape photographers such as Joe Cornish, Jeremy Walker, Mark Denton, David Ward, Charlie Waite, David Noton, John Gravett, Tom Mackie, David Clapp (he has made videos for Canon on the 6d) etc. carry them in their kit bags adding weight & bulk?. I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.

Lee use both glass and the highest quality optical resin the type used in the most expensive prescription glasses with a clarity that matches optical glass. The process is tightly controlled AND relies on the skill of the operative to ensure the best hard or soft edge graduations which are individually checked to a spectrometer to produce neutral grey. Its a facinating process and one the staff take very seriously demand grew but we didnt want to compromise quality so it took time for production to catch-up.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 01:47:18 PM by jeffa4444 »
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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2014, 02:36:50 PM »
....... I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.....
Wasn't real easy to find. For anyone else interested, here's a linky thingy to Xposure.
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jrista

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2014, 04:33:01 PM »
As for you can do everything in Photoshop etc. if that was the case then why do professional landscape photographers such as Joe Cornish, Jeremy Walker, Mark Denton, David Ward, Charlie Waite, David Noton, John Gravett, Tom Mackie, David Clapp (he has made videos for Canon on the 6d) etc. carry them in their kit bags adding weight & bulk?. I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.

The reason you cannot simulate what a solid ND does in post is because it allows you to expose over a duration of time within which motion is occurring. You can take a photo of water, but if you take it with a high shutter speed, your not going to be able to replicate the effect that flowing water produces over a longer duration with an ND filter. Same goes for clouds, or anything else with motion. ND filters reduce the rate of light entering the lens, and therefor allow longer exposure times. There is no way to simulate a longer exposure time in post.

The reason you cannot simulate what a GND filter does in post is because it reduces the dynamic range OF THE SCENE. If you are actually clipping your highlights without a GND, then those pixels are pure white. There is no recovery, and there is no simulating a GND filter...all you could do is make those pixels gray, you could not actually recover the detail that was lost by not using a GND filter. With GND filters, you pull down highlights in ANALOG space, before the light ever even reaches the sensor, thereby reducing the dynamic range of the world around you AS it enters the lens.

These are real-world physical effects. They cannot be simulated. Hence the reason photographers who know what they are doing invest the money on a good multi-filter holder (like the Lee Filter system) and a bunch of good 4x6" filters. Because they are quite literally ESSENTIAL to achieve the effects they support.

ScubaX

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #40 on: May 12, 2014, 04:48:11 PM »
As for you can do everything in Photoshop etc. if that was the case then why do professional landscape photographers such as Joe Cornish, Jeremy Walker, Mark Denton, David Ward, Charlie Waite, David Noton, John Gravett, Tom Mackie, David Clapp (he has made videos for Canon on the 6d) etc. carry them in their kit bags adding weight & bulk?. I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.

The reason you cannot simulate what a solid ND does in post is because it allows you to expose over a duration of time within which motion is occurring. You can take a photo of water, but if you take it with a high shutter speed, your not going to be able to replicate the effect that flowing water produces over a longer duration with an ND filter. Same goes for clouds, or anything else with motion. ND filters reduce the rate of light entering the lens, and therefor allow longer exposure times. There is no way to simulate a longer exposure time in post.

The reason you cannot simulate what a GND filter does in post is because it reduces the dynamic range OF THE SCENE. If you are actually clipping your highlights without a GND, then those pixels are pure white. There is no recovery, and there is no simulating a GND filter...all you could do is make those pixels gray, you could not actually recover the detail that was lost by not using a GND filter. With GND filters, you pull down highlights in ANALOG space, before the light ever even reaches the sensor, thereby reducing the dynamic range of the world around you AS it enters the lens.

These are real-world physical effects. They cannot be simulated. Hence the reason photographers who know what they are doing invest the money on a good multi-filter holder (like the Lee Filter system) and a bunch of good 4x6" filters. Because they are quite literally ESSENTIAL to achieve the effects they support.

I agree with most of what you said, but I think there are situations where GND can be simulated in post. Just like using a filter, it takes some forethought by taking multiple exposures of that scene and then in post compositing and masking. As long as it doesn't include motion such as clouds or water it will be a pretty good substitution for a GND filter.

I have a pretty complete set of Lee filters and bought them because I want longer exposures, particularly of water scenes. And even for landscapes that don't include motion, I would prefer to get it right in the camera.

Then of course there is HDR and long exposures combining both filters and masking in post. I haven't tried this yet, but I've been giving it some thought and want to find the right situation to give it a try.
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jrista

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #41 on: May 12, 2014, 05:00:21 PM »
As for you can do everything in Photoshop etc. if that was the case then why do professional landscape photographers such as Joe Cornish, Jeremy Walker, Mark Denton, David Ward, Charlie Waite, David Noton, John Gravett, Tom Mackie, David Clapp (he has made videos for Canon on the 6d) etc. carry them in their kit bags adding weight & bulk?. I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.

The reason you cannot simulate what a solid ND does in post is because it allows you to expose over a duration of time within which motion is occurring. You can take a photo of water, but if you take it with a high shutter speed, your not going to be able to replicate the effect that flowing water produces over a longer duration with an ND filter. Same goes for clouds, or anything else with motion. ND filters reduce the rate of light entering the lens, and therefor allow longer exposure times. There is no way to simulate a longer exposure time in post.

The reason you cannot simulate what a GND filter does in post is because it reduces the dynamic range OF THE SCENE. If you are actually clipping your highlights without a GND, then those pixels are pure white. There is no recovery, and there is no simulating a GND filter...all you could do is make those pixels gray, you could not actually recover the detail that was lost by not using a GND filter. With GND filters, you pull down highlights in ANALOG space, before the light ever even reaches the sensor, thereby reducing the dynamic range of the world around you AS it enters the lens.

These are real-world physical effects. They cannot be simulated. Hence the reason photographers who know what they are doing invest the money on a good multi-filter holder (like the Lee Filter system) and a bunch of good 4x6" filters. Because they are quite literally ESSENTIAL to achieve the effects they support.

I agree with most of what you said, but I think there are situations where GND can be simulated in post. Just like using a filter, it takes some forethought by taking multiple exposures of that scene and then in post compositing and masking. As long as it doesn't include motion such as clouds or water it will be a pretty good substitution for a GND filter.

The whole entire point of GND filters is to AVOID having to take multiple shots, which is where you get into HDR. HDR is really a misnomer...doesn't matter if you do an HDR blend and convert down to 16-bit, use Enfuse, or manually tonemapp, all three approaches achieve the same thing, and all three require more than one shot. HDR is certainly a viable option, however HDR is different than using a GND and it's not the same as single-shot photography. The purpose of a GND is to balance contrast and reduce dynamic range so you can take one single shot of your scene and not have to worry about clipped highlights.

ScubaX

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2014, 05:15:18 PM »
As for you can do everything in Photoshop etc. if that was the case then why do professional landscape photographers such as Joe Cornish, Jeremy Walker, Mark Denton, David Ward, Charlie Waite, David Noton, John Gravett, Tom Mackie, David Clapp (he has made videos for Canon on the 6d) etc. carry them in their kit bags adding weight & bulk?. I would suggest looking at Xposure the free new download magazine on the Lee Filters web-site this highlights professional  photographers using filters in many situations and why.

The reason you cannot simulate what a solid ND does in post is because it allows you to expose over a duration of time within which motion is occurring. You can take a photo of water, but if you take it with a high shutter speed, your not going to be able to replicate the effect that flowing water produces over a longer duration with an ND filter. Same goes for clouds, or anything else with motion. ND filters reduce the rate of light entering the lens, and therefor allow longer exposure times. There is no way to simulate a longer exposure time in post.

The reason you cannot simulate what a GND filter does in post is because it reduces the dynamic range OF THE SCENE. If you are actually clipping your highlights without a GND, then those pixels are pure white. There is no recovery, and there is no simulating a GND filter...all you could do is make those pixels gray, you could not actually recover the detail that was lost by not using a GND filter. With GND filters, you pull down highlights in ANALOG space, before the light ever even reaches the sensor, thereby reducing the dynamic range of the world around you AS it enters the lens.

These are real-world physical effects. They cannot be simulated. Hence the reason photographers who know what they are doing invest the money on a good multi-filter holder (like the Lee Filter system) and a bunch of good 4x6" filters. Because they are quite literally ESSENTIAL to achieve the effects they support.

I agree with most of what you said, but I think there are situations where GND can be simulated in post. Just like using a filter, it takes some forethought by taking multiple exposures of that scene and then in post compositing and masking. As long as it doesn't include motion such as clouds or water it will be a pretty good substitution for a GND filter.

The whole entire point of GND filters is to AVOID having to take multiple shots, which is where you get into HDR. HDR is really a misnomer...doesn't matter if you do an HDR blend and convert down to 16-bit, use Enfuse, or manually tonemapp, all three approaches achieve the same thing, and all three require more than one shot. HDR is certainly a viable option, however HDR is different than using a GND and it's not the same as single-shot photography. The purpose of a GND is to balance contrast and reduce dynamic range so you can take one single shot of your scene and not have to worry about clipped highlights.

I agree 100%, but that doesn't mean there are not photographers that would prefer using multiple exposures to obtain the same effect as GND in some instances. They save on the cost and don't have to carry the equipment. My preference is to use the filter and skip the post process of doing the same thing. But since I also prefer shooting movement, that is only done with a filter or in very low light.

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Re: Landscape Filters
« Reply #42 on: May 12, 2014, 05:15:18 PM »