Filter 1: Singh Ray Gold & Blue Polarizer, Filter 2: Hi Tech 10 stop ND, Filter 3: Singh Ray 2 stop Reverse ND
Today’s post features black and white photography of the Weisman Art Museum and the use of a Hi Tech 10 stop neutral density filter to create some motion effects at hours of the day that previously were unattainable. We had some great clouds and wind on Saint Patrick’s Day and I chose the head out and do a little shooting. More specifically, I wanted to practice technique with this new 10 stop filter; to understand its strengths and short comings, technical challenges, etc. I’ll cove the photo editing I used to complete this image.
The RAW file looked like this:
The quality of light was amazing, considering it was 1:30 in the afternoon. Over the 50 second exposure that sun would peak through, then disappear. The combination of filters resulted in a yellowish cast to the image, which I didn’t mind because I already knew I was going to black and white. You can also get a sense of where the Singh Ray 2 stop Reverse Split ND cuts through the image just above the museum. I had my doubts going into the shot about this, but as it turns out I like the way it broke and left the museum in very bright place.
1. First I did noise reduction on the RAW converted file;
2. Then I proceeded to do my black and white photography work which included a black and white adjustment layer;
3. Then I flattened the image, duplicated the background and changed the duplicate layer blending mode to “Multiply.” This process allows me to add a great deal of black point without adding too much noise (versus Levels or Curves);
4. Once my masking work was done I ran the image through PhotoKit Sharpener and masked off the sharpening to just the bridge, bluff , buildings and museum. None was applied to the sky;
Hi Tech 10 stop filter:
1. I’m pleased with the optical clarity and relatively modest color shift;
2. Getting a shutter speed that works is a bit of a guessing game. I went right to 30 seconds and started adjusting from there. Partly this was getting a good exposure, partly it was getting something that worked visually given the speed of the clouds;
3. Technical alignment of the filter with the filter holder is important. A few times it was off slighting in the holder, allow light to bleed through and creating some bright spots at the edges of the frame;
4. I wish my 24-70mm lens had a zoom or barrel lock. Adjust the filter on camera resulted in the zoom changing. I had to restart a few times for corrections to composition.
There it is. I hope you enjoy today’s image and thanks for stopping by.