Filtering for exposure

Not long ago I mentioned how, in trying to get the exposure of a cloudy sky just right, I have to underexpose the ground by quite a lot. This is not ideal; you would like to expose the different areas differently. Metaphorically, what you need is sunglasses on the top of your lens.

What you need is a lens filter. And we have just the thing: some time ago we acquired a cockin filter kit that fits our 18-55mm kit lenses, with an Neutral Density Graduated (aka ND-Grad) filter. It takes a minute to do and the results are well worth it.

Shot 1: no filter

Not ugly, but the blue sky is too light, the clouds lack detail and the water looks dull, with no reflections anywhere. You wouldn’t look twice at such a shot.

 

Shot 2: ND-grad filter

The sky has gained a more pleasant tint, the clouds look strong and ominous and – much to my surprise, I’ll gladly admit – becomes luminous and reflective.

The difference is not like night and day, but the bottom shot looks better on every count. Next time you’re out shooting, get an ND-grad filter – you won’t regret it.

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This entry was posted by Carlos Ferreira.

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