Blue skies?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by MenacingTourist, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    I've been venturing out of my b/w studio and shooting color. I've shot some but don't know how to get good skies. Is it filters, film or what? I really like saturated colors so info on that would be sweet as well.

    Thanks,

    Alan.
     
  2. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Polarising filters for super-saturated blue skies, other colors that "pop", and better definition to clouds. Works for me every time.

    Joe
     
  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Graduated filters always look fake to me.
    The Polarizer is the the best way to go.
     
  4. mark

    mark Member

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    Are you shooting trannies or negs? How are you metering? What subjects are you shooting?
     
  5. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    I'm shooting negs but it's not like I'm married to them :smile: Mainly shooting my kids. I had shot a roll of C-41 (iso 160 I think) and set the iso on my meter to 100. All the shots metered at f16 and 125.

    Any brands of polarizing filters recommended or do I just need to get one and start shooting?

    Thanks,

    Alan.
     
  6. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    I use polarisers and grads in my colour work. They can both look fake. They can both look good. Depends how and when you use them.

    A polariser can look pretty terrible if you over-polarise or with a wide angle lens, or ( in my opinion ) if the scene is largely dull though with a bright sky.

    A grad can look unnatural if you forget that a sky is generally about a stop brighter than its reflection in water; or if you use a grad hard enough to leave a visible line across the photograph.

    You need both in your bag and the time to look closely at the effect created to assess which if either is right. All of the usual fault modes are visible ttl. with care.
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't use filters...

    I just wait until the sky is the right colour, or I accept the colour it is:

    Like this?
     
  8. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    I should also mention that I'm shooting in Utah and I don't get up early, so the sky is gonna be hot :smile:
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    When the Sun is directly overhead, the sky is polarized all around the horizon. No need to get up before noon :smile:.
     
  10. mark

    mark Member

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    I overexpose my color neg stuff by up to 1 stop. In Utah, in the afternoon the sky is going to look washed out the closer to noon you are. If you want to saturate the colors go for the light between 4 and sundown. Since you are shooting your kids a polarizer is going to slow you down by two stops. If your kids are like mine, 2 stops lost will make you lose a few shots because the little boogers are moving too fast.

    Are your skys washed out and kind of dull? If so shooting in the later afternoon should make them look better. You could also shoot the Portra VC to punch things up.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that both grads and polarizers have the potential to look fake. A lot of people overuse polarizers, just because they are more common. I lean toward grads.

    Remember that with a very wide lens, you can't evenly polarize the whole field, so usually it's best to avoid a polarizer in such cases, unless the composition lends itself to selective polarization and it can be done so it looks natural. I might occasionally use a polarizer with a 50mm lens on 6x6, for instance, but never with a 40mm lens.
     
  12. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    My film fridge is too far away to look right now, but I seem to recall that some grades of 160 are natural color or portrait film or something along those lines. If you are using that, then a change to a "VX Vivid Expression" type of C-41 might help.

    Don't take this as gospel. I have not shot C-41 in quite a while so I may be off target.

    j
     
  13. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    As usual, great replies! Thanks for all the help everyone :smile:
     
  14. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    On 'blue sky' days, if shooting colour, I use a 100ASA colour negative film (Konica Minolta VX100 is my favourite) and a polarising filter.
    The attached photos were shot between 8.00am and 9.00am with an Olympus OM10, 50mm 1:1.8 lens and Cokin 49mm Linear Pola filter.

    Andy.


    Unfortunately a shadow spoiled the totem shot.
     
  15. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Easy answer - get hold of some Fuji Velvia 50 (not 100F) before they discontinue it. Aim at blue sky. Shoot.

    See here and here for examples. Neither were polarised. The only filter was a Hoya HMC Skylight 1B, which all my lenses wear more for protection than anything else.

    Hope this helps,

    Frank
     
  16. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    Thanks Frank. I just called the only place in Utah that might carry velvia 50 and they have over 100 rolls. I'll drive up tomorrow and get a pro pack. If you're interested, they sell online and the velvia link is here: http://www.pictureline.com/product.php?id=1602

    Have a great weekend :smile: