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Thread: Filter suggestion for Snow an Mountains

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    Member kmcgreg's Avatar
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    Filter suggestion for Snow an Mountains

    I haven't had to do much photography in snow before and will be trying to capture panoramic vistas in the Himalayas. At the later stages there will be lots of snow and extremes of light.
    Anyone have tips for filters - I will be taking Cir Pol filters and I some ND2s - any other ideas? Wish I did some practice when there was snow on Mount Wellington here in Hobart first!
    Any other general tips for shooting in such extreme light.
    Hobart Camera semi newbie


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I personally can't see the value of having the ND2 filters.

    polarisers are always one of the handiest filters to have if there's the chance of strong glare.
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    When I was shooting snow in Japan sometimes I used my ND Grads but had them dark side down as the snow was sometimes brighter than the clouds then other times I used them the normal way also.
    Another tip I found out was to expose to the right of the histogram so the white in the snow is close to being blown as silly as it sounds it makes the snow look much whiter and more realistic.
    I have attached a shot from Japan to check out.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    quite right. when shooting film it helps to overexpose snow so it doesn't come out grey. you're doing the same thing digitally.


    Quote Originally Posted by matt shepherd View Post
    Another tip I found out was to expose to the right of the histogram so the white in the snow is close to being blown as silly as it sounds it makes the snow look much whiter and more realistic.

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    Polariser, is all I use, as it brings wonderful clarity to the skies, a nice deep blue sky with contrasty clouds really adds to a snow shot.
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    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    the polariser was used for practically every mountain shot in the Himalayas I took last year
    if you're doing some hiking, do take time out to get up early and stay up for sunset though - you may be tired and cold but believe you me , it is worth every bit of discomfort to watch those mountains in the right light!
    also, filters aside, make sure you bring a longish lens too!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmcgreg View Post
    capture panoramic vistas in the Himalayas. At the later stages there will be lots of snow and extremes of light. . . Anyone have tips for filters - I will be taking Cir Pol filters and I some ND2s - any other ideas?
    A Circular Polarizing Filter would be my first choice.
    A Graduated Neutral Density (a Cokin / Singh-Ray Style) would be my second choice rather than two or three ND2 filters.
    I think an ND400 would be more useful, than a set of ND2’s or ND8’s.
    Be aware that when making “panoramic vistas”: a CPF will render bands of darks and lights which may be noticeable in a CLEAR blue sky. Expect two or three bands, at the FoV of approximately a 15mm lens on your 50D.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by kmcgreg View Post
    At the later stages there will be lots of snow and extremes of light. . . Any other general tips for shooting in such extreme light.
    I would choose a sturdy tripod, a suitable head and a remote release as my first assistants, before any filters.
    Research: HDRI (High Dynamic Range Imaging)

    WW

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    Ok thanks for the help. Dylan what are your thoughts of a longish lens? 200mm reach?
    I will take the circ pols and I have a couple of my Z-pros to hand hold. I also have some ND400s I can take.
    i am not going to take a big tripod - just too much for me. I will take my Joby Gorillapod SLR with me.

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    Be warned that you probably shouldn't a polariser on wide-angle lenses. Without getting into the technical reasons why, the polariser is effective on scenes that are perpendicular to the wavelength (light) source. For landscapes this is the sun. You get good polariser effect when photographing with the sun to your sides, but very little when shooting directly towards or away from the sun. So if you are using a wide angle lens that allows a wide cross-section of a cloudless sky into your frame, you'll get a graduated blue throughout the sky, not an even tone.

    I just realised that William said the same thing above, about the banding in the sky. Anyway, just reinforcing it here...
    Last edited by mcmahong; 17-11-2011 at 4:50pm. Reason: additional information
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmahong View Post
    . . . said the same thing above, about the banding in the sky. Anyway, just reinforcing it here...
    Just as an aside:
    I would rather be given the same worthwhile information eight times, than for everyone to assume I knew, and not tell me and thus, I miss out.

    WW

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