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04-17-2011, 08:28 AM   #1
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Sunset photography, should sunset filter or any other filters be used?

Just would like to seek opinion whether sunset filter should be used for photographing sunset scenario? I'll be going to Bali in June, a place well known for its breathtaking sunset scene.

04-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #2
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You can use a sunset filter, but I prefer using grad NDs. If you need more color in your sunsets, that can always be added in post, but you can't do anything in post about the blown highlights and extreme shadows occasioned by the dynamic range extremes of sunset shots. A grad ND can help you tame some of that and give you more to work with in post.
04-17-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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You may also want to consider some simple under-exposure. Meter off the area around the sun, and dial in about -1 ev. You'll keep the detail around the sun, and you'll get some nice colours as the sun sets. This is one of mine from a few years back. Experiment and find what you like!

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04-18-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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ND Grad's, and bracket. Works for me.

04-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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Depends on the color of the sky, clouds or not, the brightness of the sun, etc.
04-18-2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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You might want to have a look at some GND filters (Graduated Neutral Density). I use them a lot when I do my sunrise shots. Also, stick around after the sun actually sets, as there's usually some really nice colours to be had in the sky then.
04-18-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chongmic Quote
Just would like to seek opinion whether sunset filter should be used for photographing sunset scenario? I'll be going to Bali in June, a place well known for its breathtaking sunset scene.
I'm not sure what a sunset filter would contribute, since you can control colour balance and saturation yourself in postprocessing. I find the main problem is dynamic range. A setting sun which looks to the eye like a glowing ball, red or orange, often comes out as a white blown highlight when you are exposing correctly for the surrounding sky and clouds. So the best solution I have found is to use a tripod, bracket exposure like mad, and combine two images in Photoshop (layers). At least that way you can get the sun, and other local highlights in the sky, to look like what your brain remembers.
04-18-2011, 09:29 PM   #8
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How about sunrise? Same technique as sunset?

04-22-2011, 09:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by manishved Quote
Depends on the color of the sky, clouds or not, the brightness of the sun, etc.
Exactly... there's no clear cut technique but ND Grads are a safe bet.

Sometimes, you don't even have to use a filter:

04-23-2011, 08:01 AM   #10
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In some cases filter will not be necessary. However, if one is required I would go with a gradient ND filter as mentioned above.
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