Thursday, March 30, 2006

Golden Glow

Like the famous photographer Ken Rockwell I'm a big fan of filters. A good filter can really add some snap and punch to a photo. The trick with filters is knowing which ones to use and when.

Lately I have bought some new ones for use in situations like the one below. It was a really beautiful day here today in Dunedin. Autumn has arrived but it was still warm and sunny enough to remind me of our recent summer.

I typically use a Circular Polarizer and/or a UV Haze filter when outdoors because of New Zealands very strong sunlight. The only downside is that they can sometimes make a scene look cold when the desired effect is a nice warm glow.

This evening I started out using an 81A warming filter but the effect wasn't strong enough. The light was quickley disappearing and I wanted to accentuate the dominate colour of the sunset. I then tried a Cokin graduated tobacco T1. Perfect.

Someone asked me today why use filters at all. Why not just use computer software? A fair question in this technological age.

Its all about the light. Basically a good filter, used appropriately, allows you to capture the light you want at the time of the exposure. That reason alone means filters are an essential part of the photographers equipment. Oh, and they also save time later on in front of the computer. Post processing dozens of pictures can become a chore otherwise!

Although we may use a digital camera it is still important to know how to take a well exposed photograph just like in the days of film. Filters can aid that process by balancing the amount of light we need. Remember the camera has a limited dynamic range of about 5 stops so photography is still about artistry not technology.

The photo was taken at about 6:30 pm in late March. Camera: Sony F828 Settings: 0.6s, f8.0, ISO64, focal length 40mm, 0 ev
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