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Author Topic: Gray card/filter question  (Read 6774 times)

pedscw

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Gray card/filter question
« on: May 15, 2007, 02:09:24 PM »

I am going to purchase a gray card for outdoor use.  There is a large variety of sizes, materials and styles available.  Would somebody please make a recommendation for someone who does a lot of ground-pounding? (Oops!! just found discussion of gray card options in another thread that I missed when I searched the first time. Apologies)

Also, I am going to Charleston in a couple of weeks.  Last year, I had problems metering out of doors when the sky was very bright, white haze.  If I metered on the subject, the sky was blown.  If I metered off of the sky, the subject was too dark.  Is it better to use something like a polarizing, or gradient density filter, or take two shots metered off subject and sky and combine them in CS?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 08:08:21 PM by pedscw »
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pedscw

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Gray card/filter question
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 11:12:53 AM »

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Multiple exposures stacked in photoshop would work well if there is no motion (waves etc) Possibly shooting RAW would extract more info in the highlights
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorial...exposures.shtml
Marc
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Thanks for the link.  Want to get the most out of this trip.
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MarkH5D

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Gray card/filter question
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 02:59:32 PM »

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If I metered on the subject, the sky was blown. If I metered off of the sky, the subject was too dark. Is it better to use something like a polarizing, or gradient density filter, or take two shots metered off subject and sky and combine them in CS?

There are a few solutions to this (common) problem.

1) Buy a set of graduated neutral density filters that can be used to reduce the exposure difference between sky and ground. This is generally the simple and preferred option.

or

2) Shoot in RAW, which will give you greater felexibility to recover highlights without destroying shadow areas if the dynamic range is not too great.

or

3) Take 2 images, one exposed for the sky, the other exposed for the subject (the camera must be mounted on a tripod for this and not moved between exposures). Use the HDR facility in Photoshop (File, Automate, Merge to HDR) to merge the two images. This will merge the properly exposed sky and the properly exposed subject together.

or

4) Take 1 image using RAW. Adjust one such that the sky is properly exposed and save/convert/export it to a TIFF. Take the source image and adjust it again such that subject is properly exposed. Combine the two images in Photoshop using HDR (as above). Just to make things more complicated, you need to remove the EXIF data from one of the files (just select the image in Photoshop and cut and paste into a new canvas) otherwise Photoshop will read the EXIF data in the two images and tell you (helpfully!) that the two images are two similar to merge using HDR.

As I'm sure you can gather, the neutral density filters are the easiest (if not the cheapest) solution and often the most effective.

I hope it helps

Mark
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pedscw

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Gray card/filter question
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2007, 11:24:16 PM »

Quote
There are a few solutions to this (common) problem.

1) Buy a set of graduated neutral density filters that can be used to reduce the exposure difference between sky and ground. This is generally the simple and preferred option.

or

2) Shoot in RAW, which will give you greater felexibility to recover highlights without destroying shadow areas if the dynamic range is not too great.

or

3) Take 2 images, one exposed for the sky, the other exposed for the subject (the camera must be mounted on a tripod for this and not moved between exposures). Use the HDR facility in Photoshop (File, Automate, Merge to HDR) to merge the two images. This will merge the properly exposed sky and the properly exposed subject together.

or

4) Take 1 image using RAW. Adjust one such that the sky is properly exposed and save/convert/export it to a TIFF. Take the source image and adjust it again such that subject is properly exposed. Combine the two images in Photoshop using HDR (as above). Just to make things more complicated, you need to remove the EXIF data from one of the files (just select the image in Photoshop and cut and paste into a new canvas) otherwise Photoshop will read the EXIF data in the two images and tell you (helpfully!) that the two images are two similar to merge using HDR.

As I'm sure you can gather, the neutral density filters are the easiest (if not the cheapest) solution and often the most effective.

I hope it helps

Mark
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Great, thanks for the info.  That gives me several things I can try!
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