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  1. #11
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Regina Canada (sounds more fun than it is)
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by ROL View Post
    Placing shadows on III, I've almost never seen X in the mountains. If you're working in the "Golden Hours", contrast ranges will certainly be reduced in all but brightly lit clouds (one hopes for!), that's why those hours are golden for photography. I rarely need to contract more than one zone (N-1) at those times. You may however, have to make a choice when 7 or 8 zones are present in your composition (example), based on your comfort with contracting your film's development. Are the skies most important or the resolution of shadows?

    I've never used a GND with B&W films (or, at all for that matter). Those decisions are made in the darkroom, where burning in skies is simply the law. Most of my time under the enlarger is taken up with skies. AA had to do it in nearly every general landscape. Filters stronger than deep yellow will almost certainly wipe out your hard fought for mid tones, particularly in low sun conditions, resulting in harsh, gritty prints (insert beaten dead horse here). Frequently, blue sky will be the same zone as the clouds, and once again a yellow filter will go a ways to reducing burning times.
    Thank you for the advice and for confirming my initial thoughts. I have a book on hikes in the area which has a number of very good photographs and while he does use a neutral density filter for almost every shot, he is also using Velvia for almost everything. I might shoot a little Velvia in 120 but they don't make it in 5x7 (yes I know I could order 8x10 from Japan and cut it down but I am not independently wealthy).
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    8x10 Format
    I've photographed the mtns my entire life and never once have used a ND grad filter. And they would seem to be much more of a headache
    than an asset in anything related to black and white work. It's just so much easier to make such adjustments with VC paper in the darkroom.
    Choice of solid color filter, however, might benefit from a bit of experimentation under analogous conditions.

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