Anyone use a graduated ND filter upside down?

Discussion in 'General Gear Talk' started by 01Ryan10, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    More specifically for MW shots where there is a decent amount of light pollution city glow on the horizon?

    On my last trip to Joshua Tree, I actually held the backside of my cellphone in front of the lower third of the lens for 5-10 seconds to darken the image up a little. It does kind of give a muddy feel to the lower part of the image though.

    I'm wondering if a GND filter upside down would produce a cleaner image.
     
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  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
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    That thought has crossed my mind a time or two. I have never done it though because my thought process ended up going that it's hard enough to get enough light at night as it is, so I didn't want to do anything to restrict that light. Though the more I think about it, I think once out at Coal Mine Canyon shooting the stars I did use an ND grad to darken the sky some to let the ground get brighter. I don't remember the results, but they must not have been that great since I don't do that anymore. :)

    Jim
     
  3. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    ok, so how about for sunset and using a GND upside down to create a Reverse GND effect?

    The darker top would be upside down and sitting at the horizon line darkening the low sun. The fade would go upwards into the clear part of the filter which would be sticking way above the filter holder. With that said, would the filter edge be too noticeable at the horizon line? Essentially, half of the sensor would be shooting through the filter since it is upside down. Just wondering if people do it I stead of buying an actual reverse grad.
     
  4. BarryHamilton

    BarryHamilton Founding Member

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    I tried grads for a while. I never liked the grad line, even in the soft version. I had the best results by holding the grad and moving it up and down during exposure. Gave me more natural results. But even so, I could tell a grad had been used. For me at least, and I can often see it in posted images, the grads damage the balance of light. By that I mean they often leave the fg/water brighter than the bg/sky, which is just not what we see in nature.
    I sold them and now blend images, or double process RAWs and blend them. I've done it enough that it takes very little time. In fact, probably less than when fixing the exposures made with the grads!
    And with the newer cameras with improved dynamic range, and the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop, I don't even have to do as much blending as I used to.
    May be just me, and ymmv! :)
     
  5. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    I kind of get the feeling you're right, but for $200, i bought two Lee GNDs. I think Vieri's work pushed me to get them. I got my two grads a couple days ago, so I'll use them at Joshua Tree tomorrow when I go.
     
  6. Darcy Grizzle

    Darcy Grizzle Supporting Member

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    So since I am new & amateur....and like nature/landscape shots...should I invest in ND filters? I don't understand how after browsing the galleries, that your colors, etc are so deep & sharp! I know it has a lot to do with ISO/Fstops/ etc but damn this stuff is crisp & not over saturated....I feel amateur hahahah
     
  7. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    Based on what you've said, I'd say not to worry about filters right now. Get a better understanding of compositions and how sunrise and sunset light interact with clouds and landscapes. I think the filters will probably be the last thing you need to add to your gear/kit. Most of what you can do with filters, you can do in Post Processing.

    Filters are very good at "getting it right in camera". Some see them as a bit old school, but I found they are great when dealing with moving things in your composition. Blending ocean water or trees when it's windy is tough with multiple images, but filters, for the most part, allow you to take one image and not worry about blending multiple ones.
     
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  8. Darcy Grizzle

    Darcy Grizzle Supporting Member

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    Okay so then in all these beautiful landscape photo's, do you all bracket & then blend multiple shots and if so do you edit each one before blending...omg I have so many questions haha
     
  9. Darcy Grizzle

    Darcy Grizzle Supporting Member

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    I don't know that I should even be in this place :) (Focal World) in general. But I did join to learn so
     
  10. 01Ryan10

    01Ryan10 Founding Member

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    I don't know about others, but I bracket and blend most of my shots. I suspect many others do too. I typically do most of my "portfolio" post in Photoshop, saving the work in .PSD. I then do basic other things in LR. If I was only working with one image, then I'd do just about everything in Lightroom.
     
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