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What when & How.

Discussion in 'Photography & Camera Basics Forum' started by swiftflo, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. swiftflo

    swiftflo Old Hand Premium Member

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    Looking on You Tube I very often see photographers saying I am going to use .3 or.6 or.9 ND Grad for this shot. My question is is it just experience or what how they know which filter ti use , they also seem to know how long the exposure is so where do they get that info from
     
  2. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    On the most part it starts with trial and error and using the camera to measure exposure initially and then tweaking with either exposure compensation or manual exposure adjustments. Because the camera is metering through the filter it will sort out the expisure as accurately as normal.

    If you get into really long exposures with 10 stop filters then the camera's metering becomes useless once the filter is fitted so again it's trial and error until you get to a stage where you can guess exposure times within a stop or so and then make adjustments after the first expisure to fine tune.
     
  3. Ramble Vision

    Ramble Vision Mountain Climber Super Moderator

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    you get a feel for it. if I expose for the land then check my histo, that gives fairly good approximation of how over exposed the sky is, so I add the filter suite. usually works out about right

    you can use in camera metering. just crank up the ISO until the meter reports the exposure is correct. the work out how many stops of iso you added. put it back to ISO100 and double 30 secs as many time as the stops you added. This will get you close enough to try a shot and have another tweak.

    anything below 30 secs will meter OK as well of course.
     
  4. SeanNeedham

    SeanNeedham Ol' Sparky Honorary Life Member

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    Way I do for grads it is to take one meter reading for the sky, then another from the ground and then sum the difference of stops then select which is the closest filter combination I've got to cover that differential.
     
  5. Minor Problem

    Minor Problem Always on Premium Member

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    I've often tried the big stopper at wide apertures first to get the camera to work out an exposure before stopping down and I've even shot a few sub 30 second exposures wide open to test but always found them hopelessly underexposed even with the viewfinder shutter closed. Must be that the D800 light metering isn't very good at such low ev values.

    I'll have to stick with guesswork and eyeballing the results or a 10 stop program (which still isn't very accurate as very few 10 stop filters are exactly 10 stops).
     
  6. SeanNeedham

    SeanNeedham Ol' Sparky Honorary Life Member

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    Nor do they take in to account sunrise or sunset, where depending what part of the day it is I'll either add or subtract 10% of the exposure time just to compensate for the light changes.
     
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  7. swiftflo

    swiftflo Old Hand Premium Member

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  8. MikeB

    MikeB Always on Premium Member

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    Experience plays a large part, however the filter notation relates specifically to the amount of light (number of stops) that the filter blocks.

    Unfortunately, different manufacturers use different notation. Here's a table from Wikipedia that shows the different notations and their effect blocking light. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral-density_filter)

    ND Notation.JPG

    If the light is two stops too bright for the setting your image demands than you may choose a filter that blocks 2 stops of light or an ND 0.6 filter
     
    DonS and swiftflo like this.
  9. swiftflo

    swiftflo Old Hand Premium Member

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  10. photodiva

    photodiva Here a lot

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    You can get an app on your phone to work out exposure times ...
     

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