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  1. #1

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    B&W contrast filter - using yellow all the time

    I acquired a set of B&W contrast filters and been running some tests. Here are the parameters:

    Test subject: landscape including blue sky, white cloud, trees, lawn, etc
    Film: Tmax400
    Filter in use: None, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green

    Am I crazy in thinking, for landscape shots including sky and cloud, a yellow filter can basically be left on lens as default unless there is a reason to remove it? It enhanced the definition of cloud so much that the result is very pleasing to my eyes.

    Orange had little more effect but not as much as I expected, and Red even more. I was expecting pitch black sky with red - ala Ansil Adams but I didn't see it. He must use deeper red....

    Fully knowing there is no such thing as "standard", is there such thing as "common practice?"
    Last edited by tkamiya; 08-21-2010 at 04:08 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: corrected typo
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2

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    It's what I woud do for general landscape shots.

    pentaxuser

  3. #3
    juan's Avatar
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    First - I see that you are, like me, in Florida. The atmosphere here is filled with light-scattering humidity - we will never get dark skies as Adams did, regardless of filter.

    I shoot with a 100-year old lens that is uncoated, so I use a yellow filter almost all of the time. For you, I'd say try it and see how you like it.
    juan

  4. #4

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    A red filter in conjunction with a polarizer will get you really dark/black skies.
    -Fred

  5. #5
    Rick A's Avatar
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    I usually have a yellow filter on unless I want a different effect. i also keep my handheld meter set for one stop more exposure to compensate for it.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  6. #6

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    Yellow filter it is... then. To me, rendering of blue sky looks more natural with yellow filter on, than not.

    Quite frankly, I expected more change between yellow-orange-and-red. I'm looking at the prints side-by-side. I see the difference but not as much as I thought. Is this what I should be expecting?? It almost seems having orange is a waste. I'd have to go from yellow to red to see enough difference.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    I have read that it is a good idea to leave a yellow filter on as though it was a Haze, Skylight or UV filter for black & white.

    I am considering doing that for the cameras that I only shoot black & white film. For the cameras that I switch backs between color and black & white, that might be a bit much.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #8
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    ... Am I crazy in thinking, for landscape shots including sky and cloud, a yellow filter can basically be left on lens as default unless there is a reason to remove it? It enhanced the definition of cloud so much that the result is very pleasing to my eyes. ...
    You are absolutely correct and have noticed what many photographers have noticed before. Within limits, your observations can be verified by photographic science (see attached).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails YellowFilter.jpg  
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #9
    juan's Avatar
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    Back to my comment - here in Florida, we have lots of humidity close to the ground. If you are shooting a normal landscape, the sky you are shooting is not blue. No filter is going to affect it as much as a filter will affect a clear Western sky. Look at Clyde Butcher's Florida work. He uses lenses that are the equivalent of about 120mm on 8x10. He uses an orange filter. He uses the wide lens so that he can shoot the higher portions of the sky, the portions that are blue and able to be affected by the filter.

    Otherwise, a normal yellow filter will do about all that you can do.
    juan

  10. #10

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    Juan,

    Funny you should mention Clyde Butcher's work because seeing his work at a local museum is what prompted me to play with filters..... I have few questions for you then. What do you mean the sky I am shooting is not blue? It looks blue to me. I actually picked a day that sky was blue to my eyes. I agree, our usual sky is composed of lower half being sort of hazy whitish bluish grayish part and more clear bluish top part. I am thinking when you say the light scattering effect of moisture, you are referring to the grayish, whitish, boring part.

    According to what I saw at the museum, he used orange and red most of the time. Nothing said anything about polarizers that someone else mentioned earlier. I wonder how he got his pitch black sky?? Would you have a guess?

    Ralph,
    I am "seeing" the graph... would you translate that to me as to what I should be reading from the graph??
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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