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lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-03-2008, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a wedding to photograph. The ceramony will be in Hawaii, at 1 pm in the middle of July and on a black lave rock covered beach and the bride will be wearing white. Should I use a polorizer, or is there another filter that is recomended? I will be using my Canon 24-70 lens and my 70-200.
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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-03-2008, 04:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, use the polarizing filter. Have a strong fill flash ready.
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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-03-2008, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd use a polarizer ... just remember that polarizers work best when the sun is 90 degrees to the direction you're shooting ... in other words, when the sun is on your right or left shoulder. Expose your shots for the white dress and shoot in RAW. It will be easier to pull some detail out of the lava rocks, than fix an over exposed white dress. If you have an on-camera flash, make a snoot for it out of a styrofoam cup ... that way the flash only lights up the bride and grooms face, not the dress.

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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-03-2008, 08:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is bound to bring an argument but from experience I would suggest that you 'expose to the right'. In other words a slight overexposure of the dress. On the sensors the number of cells halfs each level of grey you go from pure white (255) to black (0). So you have the most sensors handling the higher levels than the lower levels. It's easier to pull back on the white slider in post than to try to push the black. An underexposure will bring in more 'noise' and it's damn difficult to remove it. Just watch that you don't overdo the exposure to the right because if your histogram shows most shoving up against the right end you *will* be losing a lot of info (all those pixels will be pure white).

Of course trying to judge this on the on-camera histogram will be frustrating. Best bet would also be to establish the proper exposure as you think it should be...and then add exposure bracketing to the shoot. Just remember you are in the bracketing mode as it's easy to forget and shoot 3 totally different images only to have one underexposed, one correct, and one over. Not nice to work with afterwards.

Whatever I or others suggest there's really only one TRUE sage piece of advice...practice, practice, Practice! If you have time enough before going try things out, and get used to where everything is on the camera/menus. When you get there...get to the spot the wedding is going to be...and practice even more. Shooting digitally all those practice shots can be easily nuked while you learn what works, what doesn't. I mean, you said yourself that this was a *wedding* you'll be shooting. Man, I wouldn't want to be you in this scenerio (white dress/black lava rock/blue sky/blue water/white sand), especially if you screw up.
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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-04-2008, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A polorizer is a good recomendation, but with a slight over exposure of 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop, depending on how your camera reacts, I'd recommend an A2/Warming filter or a UV filter for protection and you wouldn't get the lossof exposure stops that you would with the polorizer. The warming filter and the UV filter would offer protection that you may be looking for while shooting on the beach.

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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-04-2008, 02:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If Monday is anything like tody, I'll most likely be shooting at somehwere in the f16 range. Today is really hot, with a clear deep blue sky. If I use an A2 warming filter will I still be able to keep detail in the wedding dress without loosing some of the deep blue color of the sky and the water?
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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-04-2008, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, the polarizer is probably something you'll need altho for it to do any good you'll be slightly limited in terms of keeping the sun to one side of your frame or the other. Another accessory you might consider is a graduated neutral density filter. Unfortunately, this isn't going to be something you can screw onto your lens. it will be a (large-ish) square filter that you'll need to hold in front of your glass and move up or down to allow it to reduce the exposure of the sky. But fortunately, you'll be dealing with a flat horizon (the sea) and that will make employing the graduated ND filter a bit easier altho still cumbersome.
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Re: lens filter for outside shooting?
Old 07-04-2008, 03:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photoefx View Post
If Monday is anything like tody, I'll most likely be shooting at somehwere in the f16 range. Today is really hot, with a clear deep blue sky. If I use an A2 warming filter will I still be able to keep detail in the wedding dress without loosing some of the deep blue color of the sky and the water?
With the A2 filter, you'd also have to over-expose by about 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop, which will really bring out the detail in the dress, and enhance the sky as well. The ND filter that JimmyD brought up is a good alternative, but does take some practice if you haven't used one before.
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