My objective is to controll contrast as when you use a Grad. ND filter, but overcome some of the problems they present. I want to capture as close to the final image on "FILM" while in the field. One that appears as close to how I see it naturally as I can. I know of the two exposure combine in photoshop technique, and they don't look natural to me, don't want to even discuss that route. So..................
I have made some test exposures using just a simple cut out of cardboard slid into a Cokin filter holder, and lined up with the horizon. I first make an exposure of the forground with this mask in place. As the forground is darker this is the longer of the two exposures. Remove the mask and espose for the sky. It works! You can preciesly controll the brightnes range recorded on film with no color cast, and you are not limited to defined stops like my current list of grads. i.e. you can adjust brightness to with in 1/3 stop or what ever you want.
Now for the real step. I would like to do this by cutting a mask to match an uneven horizon. Like say in a mountain setting. This would allow me to over come another problem with Grad ND filters, and darken only the areas I want to controll. I have tried it with uneven tree lines, and it taks time to get it right. It can be done, but very time consuming. Cut, view on GG, re-cut, view on GG, cut more, oops cut too much start over again. Yes, I am a masochist, thatís why I use LF in the first place.
Any way, has anyone tried this before and just given up to live with currently available filters? Anyone found a quick way to match the contours of the horizon preciesly using this technique? Any suggestions, welcome. Yes I am crazy.