Gradual ND filters and Margaritas

Read this post only if you are interested in photography.

Making a technically good photograph during the sunset or sunrise is difficult due to one factor - the sky is usually much brighter than the land. Which makes either the land very dark and without detail, or the sky badly overexposed.

 

That's exactly a liter. Costs 12 bucks, if you need to know. Lamai beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

That's exactly a liter. Costs 12 bucks, if you need to know. Lamai beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

One possible solution is making two photographs. The composition should be identical, exposure in first case adjusted to sky, in second case - the land. Merging the correctly exposed parts of photographs afterwards.
This technique won't work if the subject is moving though.

Another option is using a gradual ND filter, which is much easier.
I've been looking for such thing during the whole trip. No retailer had it in any of 10 countries that we've travelled to, except of a shop in Kathmandu, where the price was quite steep.

Ended up with buying a monstrously inconvenient Cokin system.

Some of the first test results are quite satisfactory. First photo taken without the filter, the second - with. No flash used in any case.

 

Pincher of frozen Margarita cocktail, Lamai beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

Pincher of frozen Margarita cocktail, Lamai beach, Koh Samui, Thailand

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This filter(P-series) is on

This filter(P-series) is on my "to buy" list for years. Hopefully in HK will be more affordable prices.

Marius's picture

Managing filters

The functionality of the filter is rather ok, but there are a few negative things as well:

- Screwing on the adapter ring, putting on the frame and inserting the plastic takes horrendous amount of time if there's some good shot to be taken. Therefore it's only suitable for slow and relaxed landscape photography.

- The whole set is too bulky

- The difference in exposure between the dark and light parts of the filter is too small for sunrises and sunsets. Will have to get something around 6 stops difference.