# 3 nd filter ?

chasingshadowschasingshadows Posts: 8Member
edited July 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras

was out shooting some pics for the local bike club, sun was low casting lots of shadows in trees. this was a interesting shot for me take, challenging to say the least. had three chances to get it somewhat right , this pic is from the second attempt. rider was blacked out in the first shot, but the trees an trail looked great. here he's nicely lit but the the lower right corner is sorta blown out. if i remember correctly the settings were , 2500 f3.5 iso 320. d610 70-200 2.8.
the third shot i got what i was after . but still little blown out in that area.

have been thinking of getting some nd filters to play with. would they help me in this situation, or am i barking up the wrong tree ?

my thoughts are a #3 might allow me t shoot with a faster shutter speed, lower f-stop, an same iso. in bright sunny senerios.
Post edited by Golf007sd on


  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,493Member
    edited July 2014
    An ND filter wouldn't really help here, all it would do is lower the overall exposure of the entire frame. In a situation like this you need to decide what is more important, the exposure of the rider/bike or the foreground.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I would probably use center weighted metering off the rider if it was me. If there is a fairly straight line seperating two high contrast areas (a bright and dark) a graduated ND filter could be useful.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2014
    @chasingshadows: PB_PM is right, and ND filter will not help at all in this situation. If I understand you correctly you would like to get more light on the subject in action. There are only two ways this comes to my mind. 1) Off camera flash and/or 2) Fill flash.

    1) Option one would be to have a flash placed at a location where you would like to take the shot. The remote flash would be mounted on a trigger (i.e PocketWizard) and then activated by a trigger mounted on your body. The only thing you have to be careful of is that the flash does not interfere with the subject, hence you do not want to blind the subject from their activity.

    2) Option two is via a Better Beamer for your flash. Many photographer use this for BIF but I have a feeling this will also work very nicely for your fast moving objects.

    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • chasingshadowschasingshadows Posts: 8Member

    i thought about the using a flash. there are 2 reasons that stopped me, the first always does.
    i ride an have been shot in the face with a flash or two, is something i in return can never do to a rider. a shot isn't worth a bad crash. so i only use it when the riders back is to me. also in case the rider was already dealing with a variety of lighting which in it self can be blinding.
    the other is, in some situations use of a flash in sports can almost make the shot look fake or staged to other riders in the sport, the affect we were after was more natural show it for what it is. i pictured the flash hitting from the side but would kill any shadows from the rider in trail or have them in different angles to one on the ground from trees, etc.

    i know situations will arise up the mtns in winter where a nd filter might come in handy, i wasn't sure for situations like the one mentioned if it would apply or not. thx you all for the advice an answers

  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 215Member
    I would agree with not using a flash due to the nature of the event. The split ND filter might work but I would most likely try to crop to eliminate the over exposed portion of the picture if you do not have a longer lens. I understand that is probably not the look you were wanting though.
  • chasingshadowschasingshadows Posts: 8Member
    but would the filter allow me to shot the d610 at a higher shutter speed, say 4000 f2.8 around the same ISO?
    lens range wasn't a issue, lighting was tricky but fun an challenging. i have had my d800 set with that lens can get up to 6400 easily which is fast enough to me shot at 2.8, trying to get similar effect outta the d610.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2014
    Just to clarify, the purpose of using an ND filter is to allow a photographer to shoot wide open (1.4-2.8) when the light...in most cases natural light in outdoor venues, is so much that the photographer cannot get a shutter speed fast enough (hence 1/8000 is still not fast enough) to get proper exposure, while trying to isolate a subject. On the other hand, CPL will help reduce glare.

    Chasingshadows, I fully understand not wanting to use flash; hence safety issue. In fact, I hinted at that in my original post. Getting proper light on a subject in motion will always be challenging. I think it would be best for you to study the trail or the setting where a race will be taking place and finding a spot that will allow you to get good action shots with proper lighting.

    Good luck and looking forward in seeing some of your action shots on PAD.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • chasingshadowschasingshadows Posts: 8Member
    edited July 2014
    i ride these trails everyday, can tell you when the sun is gonna hit quarter in the middle of main street here.
    i under stand that the primary use of a nd grade filter is cut down on the amount of light aloud to pass threw the lens to the sensor, creating a leaching affect where light is pulled threw over periods of time, higher the grade the more time needed to allow light to pass.

    have been pondering for awhile if i might be able to use this to shoot wide open, so i asked. never hurts, only hurts not to ask
    Post edited by chasingshadows on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Any subject in harsh lighting is a difficult shoot. By finding a different angle so as to have a uniform background might be to your advantage. Without a fill light there is really no way to capture detail in this huge dynamic range. And, as has been pointed out, flash in the face of a racer is not appropriate.
    So, different angle, using the background which is more uniform, the expose with center spot or center weighted metering, and capture your subject, work on background in post production if needed.
    Why the 1/2500 sec? You may find the image nicer at a slower shutter speed, panning, blurring the background. Maybe 1/250 or 1/500, even 1/1/1000. Try different shooting methods.
    Msmoto, mod
  • chasingshadowschasingshadows Posts: 8Member
    i was after the higher speed for overall crispness of the photo. theres a lot going around in the background that i wanted pulled out, other angles weren't feasible, is a lake reflection threw the trees, an dust from the rider in sun showing distance an length of the feature. when i get notification of what pics they are going use ill put one up from the sequence that worked out well. i have no post production tools to work with, an do my best never to. i treat taking an learning photos like sledding, biking, surfing etc, if i crash i get up an try again till i learn to i learn the trick or line. an becomes second habit. bad shots don't bug me. not understand why a bad shot happens does.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,324Member
    edited July 2014
    I'm inclined to go with WestEndBoy and Msmoto; zoom in (a lot) tighter and use center-weighted or spot metering in the rider. Push the ISO to get the shutter speed you want. ND filters and faster shutter speeds are both going to do the same thing - reduce the amount of light received on the sensor; not what you want to do if the goal is a clear shot of the bike with good exposure. Using the ND filter to go for longer shutter speeds to blur the rider shooting through the gap could provide some interesting effects, as Msmoto suggests.

    Bummer that post production isn't an option for you. I'm thinking that the right shot, maybe with a rider's helmet and parts of the body and bike wheel well lit, and then crank the blacks and shadows up (make them darker, to obscure detail) to go for a sort of partial silhouette effect, maybe straight B&W, could make for a cool image. Just spitballin' off the top of my head ...

    edit: This is kinda what I was trying to refer to. Compare to color version on PAD or my flickr page.
    Fishing by kayak 2 bwext
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,536Moderator
    Under the circumstances you found yourself in, the only way to minimise the contrast between the left and right sides of your picture is to expose to the right (get the highlights as bright as you can without having your 'blinkies' flash on your rear screen) - which you appear to have done - then use the brush in Lightroom to tone down the right side and another to bring up the left. There are no magic screw-on accessories to cure your problem.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited July 2014
    Do you shoot jpeg or RAW ?
    with RAW you should be able to "pull up" the shadows and or reduce the highlights, in Lightroom.
    An ND filter would make things worst, as you have to use a higher ISO value, which would reduce the dynamic range
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    How about a composite.
    Expose one photo for the Scenery
    Expose the rest for the bike shots

    (I'm not talking about HDR here)

    Merge them in photoshop

    Otherwise ETTR (exposing to the right) might help as well.
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