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  1. #1
    shutterboy's Avatar
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    Metering question again, this time with GND

    This question has 2 parts. Lets say, I am trying to photograph a sunset over a lake with very rich colours in the background as well as textures of stone and water over the foreground. Ideally, I should use a GND (or so I understand) with a hard edge (not that I HAVE to use a hard edge, but lets say I use one). How do I decide on which filter I use (0.6, 0.9), which brings me to the second question.

    With my understanding of metering, I should be spot metering the shadows, (probably the rocks) and probably do a negative shift (pardon the term, what I mean is, move the darkest shadows to zone 2) of 3 stops. Am I thinking this straight?

    For the record, let's say I am shooting this on Velvia 50 (just making this more difficult with slide, so I *have* to nail the exposure).

    As most of the recents know by now, I have a reputation for asking stupid questions, so please feel free to flame me, call me names, but also correct me please, if you think I blew your fuse.
    Last edited by shutterboy; 09-04-2014 at 11:23 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    This message has no signature. :)

  2. #2

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    I would suggest using 3,4,6, or even 8,9 shots, even a whole roll ( of different combinations, of course). Make careful notes of spot metering, exposure, and filter used. then Process, and review. This experience will help you, be patient. Your own mistakes, or worth more than ANY book, or books. or whatever dribble you may find, here, there, or everywhere! What you WANT, May not be, what I am offering> think about that. there are a million ways to "interpret" a scene, and only you, know "the way" you want it! Keep your chin up, the path is forming, when it forms > follow it.

  3. #3
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    "Ideally"??
    Dont' use any ND filter. Competent spot metering will sort out the scene as you describe it without introducing the travesty of ND filters.
    Meter the darkest (but not pure black) tone; meter the lightest (but not pure white tone), then find a mid-tone. You can meter from both the foreground and background, wherever you wish detail to be held. Average the readings. No rocket science involved with this, just straightforward technique, clear thinking and doing away with unnecessary trinkets/filters.


  4. #4
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Buy a Singh-Ray, Galen Rowell,ND grad filter. It comes with a reprint of the article from Outdoor Photographer where he gave instructions how to use it.

    Here's some highlights...

    The range of usable detail on fine-grain slide film is about a stop and a half exposure in either direction.

    So meter your entire scene and find out how many stops your scene exceeds 3.

    Use an ND grad with that many stops (the difference)...

    Although the edge you see when you hold the filter up is on the light side, the edge you see on your film is near the dark side.

    If you can only get two, get a soft 2 stop and a hard 3 stop.

  5. #5

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    Hi

    Sunsets are real difficult The simplest technique was to shoot a cassette of Kchrome 25 at half stop settings. But not using a Leica or other fabric shutter camera...

    Best to wait until nearly dark for reduced contrast.

    But pick an easier subject is best advice...

    Noel
    Last edited by Xmas; 09-05-2014 at 03:56 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spennun

  6. #6
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    Some horse shit advice, some good advice.
    I meter the foreground and decide where I want it, then meter the brightest area in the sky. Pick a filter that puts that spot 2.5-3 stops over, yes 3. Slide the filter in with a black card attached which lines up with the gradation line (makes it easier to see). I do this with the lens stopped down to shooting aperture. The results show detail in all areas and my drum scanner can handle it. Not using a filter is just ludicrous if you want professional results on velvia.
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  7. #7
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    First suggestion shutterboy, when asking questions skip abbreviations unless you define them for us. GND may seem obvious but it is used for a variety of things in this big world, saying GND filter or graduated ND filter helps us get on the same page.

    Break the problem down, you essentially have two competing exposures to make.

    Meter each situation as you would as if the other situation didn't exist and decide what camera settings you would want. These are your reference camera settings.

    A graduated neutral density filter is used to make those reference settings match, well at least get closer. Apply the filter factor to the bright portion reading.

    If the setting still don't match decide how you want to compromise.

    Set the camera and shoot. When you see the final slide think about what you did and go from there.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #8
    Trail Images's Avatar
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    I shoot a lot of Velvia 50 and use ND and Reverse ND filters when needed. Shooting directly into sunrise and sunset I find the Reverse ND better suited for the exposure issues. However, I may also stack both types if necessary. I've never found a silver bullet but can get it close enough to work out in post processing......usually. There can be lens flare issues as well not always seen in the field but in the post processing to deal with. I meter all the items required and make the best shot at it I can work out.
    You might go to the Singh Ray site and read the info there on both types of ND style filters.
    "Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care"

    - Theodore Roosevelt -

  9. #9
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    1. Meter the darkest shadow in which you still want discernible, important detail. This is Zone III.
    2. Meter the lightest part of the scene in which you still want detail, just to make sure the light parts won't get blown out.
    3. Open up two stops from Zone III to get Zone V.
    4. If using filters, open up further the required stops to compensate.
    The final exposure will be your proper exposure for the scene.

  10. #10
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Christian View Post
    2. Meter the lightest part of the scene in which you still want detail, just to make sure the light parts won't get blown out.
    And do what if it's too high?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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