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Old 10-04-2012, 04:15 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 36,723
Hi all

An update after my first sunrise shoot after receiving my Lee filters.

1. I took off the UV filter.
2. The lens hood doesn't fit with the filter holder so can't use the 'use the lens hood to protect the lens' line
3. Using filters is harder than I thought!

I did order my own Lee WA adapter ring, fundamentals kit (the holder) and a 0.6 standard ND, and Troy was kind enough to loan me his Lee filters so I could test out the soft grad vs hard grad.

It was a very clear morning yesterday, not a cloud in the sky and I was out at the beach so it was the usual very trying/difficult conditions trying to get the exposure right with a darker foreground and sky that gets light very quickly around a 'dome' where the sun is going to rise.

I tried the combination of 0.6 SND and 0.9 HND, and the HND (and even the 0.9) are much harder to use than the Soft.

When the light can change within minutes, it can be frustrating trying to 'see' where to put the HND on the horizon - too high and it's ruined, too low and it can look weird.

I also sometimes found myself composing the shot to take effect of the HND instead of the other way around. The 0.9 was also quite difficult to get the exposure right at times.

The 0.6 soft was a lot easier, as it wasn't as essential where it was placed. But it also didn't have as big as an effect - and in those pre-dawn conditions sometimes the 0.6 SND wasn't enough.

I tried both of them at once too and seemed to work ok but once I process the photos will probably find the sky is too dark and unnatural looking when the Sun was just over the horizon.

So, conclusions:
1. SND is easier, but may not have enough of the desired effect at times
2. 0.9 is harder than 0.6
3. I can see why 'hand holding' and 'dithering' may be useful - would allow you to concentrate on composing the shot and not get distracted by where the HND is sitting.
4. More practise is needed!!

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