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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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Old 21st May 2019
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How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

Shot this last night and at the time just couldn't decide how best to expose it so I shot a few options. Here are a couple in jpg original form and then subsequently as a jpg similarly processed from the corresponding raw file in each case. I'd be very interested in your opinions on what's the best way to expose such a shot and on the quality of the final images I got in each case. I'll post my own thoughts later but I have to say I'm somewhat undecided as to which way is best.

So firstly the initial jpg shot with an exposure chosen to try and show details in both dark and light areas.


and the subsequent jpg from the corresponding raw file tweaked in Lightroom.


Second here is a jpg shot deliberately underexposed on the ground but better for the sky.


and the subsequent jpg from the corresponding raw file tweaked in Lightroom. I used the same LR settings as the shot before but then removed the graduated filter I'd added on the sky and boosted the shadows and tweaked the highlights and white clipping a bit.


Thoughts?, comments?, any critique, all welcome.
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Old 21st May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

No 2 looks good, so think its about right Phill.

The last one is a bit to sweet if you know what I mean....
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Old 21st May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

It's a nice shot either way Phill. Although I'm viewing on a phone screen so not seeing all the detail at the moment.

For one shot with no filters , my default would be to protect the highlights, and lighten the shadows afterwards. But I find this creates more noise in the shadows.

But in reality I'd use ND grad's, or bracket the exposures and blend together afterwards. In fact at the weekend on Bamford Edge even a 3 stop ND grad wasn't enough so did both! Haven't processed them yet though.
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Old 21st May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

I like #2 as well. It seems to be the right balance.
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Old 21st May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

I agree with the rest that #2 is best in this situation

which technique works best does I think depend on the situation. if I wanted the foreground I would do as the top. if I wanted silhouettes or there was more brightness in the foreground still I may use some in camera -ev and even then a graduated filter

regards
Andy
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Old 21st May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

With the sun right on the horizon a reverse graduated filter would be useful. I have a 3 stop reverse grad for such scenes. The reverse grad has the darkest part towards the bottom of the graduated part rather than at the top.
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Old 22nd May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

Hi

Are you shooting in raw or jpg as you refer to original. If you shoot in raw you have a lot more flexibility to pull highlights down and shadows up.

Personally I would use bracket exposure to get three raw images 1 stop apart and then merge together in photoshop. A graduated mask can be simulated quite nicely with a photoshop layer mask.

Gary
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Old 17th June 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
With the sun right on the horizon a reverse graduated filter would be useful. I have a 3 stop reverse grad for such scenes. The reverse grad has the darkest part towards the bottom of the graduated part rather than at the top.
I've been looking for a good reversed grad for a while but they all seem to be really expensive, do you have any recommendations?
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Old 17th June 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

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Originally Posted by snerkler View Post
I've been looking for a good reversed grad for a while but they all seem to be really expensive, do you have any recommendations?
Don't you just rotate or flip it. You did with the ones I used to do. I don't use them any more

Regards
Andy
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Old 17th June 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

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Originally Posted by shenstone View Post
Don't you just rotate or flip it. You did with the ones I used to do. I don't use them any more

Regards
Andy
No you can't do that as you'd have the edge of the filter running across your image
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

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Originally Posted by snerkler View Post
I've been looking for a good reversed grad for a while but they all seem to be really expensive, do you have any recommendations?
Yes, unfortunately reverse grads are on the expensive side. However, as sunset / sunrise is the main use a strong ND3 is the only one I carry. I don't bother with ND1 and ND2 versions so that saves some expense.

I have a Singh Ray Daryl Benson nd3 reverse grad for my full-frame camera and a Lee Sev5n version for my Olympus camera. I have the Singh Ray simply because they invented them and where the only source at the time.
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Old 17th June 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

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Originally Posted by snerkler View Post
I've been looking for a good reversed grad for a while but they all seem to be really expensive, do you have any recommendations?
I have the Formatt-Hitech resin reverse grad that works well. If I had more use for it I would probably invest in the Firecrest version.
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Old 18th June 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

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Originally Posted by IainMacD View Post
I have the Formatt-Hitech resin reverse grad that works well. If I had more use for it I would probably invest in the Firecrest version.
That's the obvious choice for me as I have the firecrest holder, however I have the 100x150mm system (as I use if for FF too) and a 3 stop reverse grad is 120, and that's just the resin version
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Old 22nd May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

Gary I shoot in raw plus jpg and was showing the comparison of the original jpg files unedited with Lightroom processed raw files which were saved as jpgs. Probably didn't explain what I did very well I'm afraid. I've never tried to merge a bracketed set of exposures in processing but wouldn't that just be like doing an HDR shot via the camera?
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Old 22nd May 2019
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Re: How best to expose a sunset without a graduated filter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
Gary I shoot in raw plus jpg and was showing the comparison of the original jpg files unedited with Lightroom processed raw files which were saved as jpgs. Probably didn't explain what I did very well I'm afraid.


I can't tell much difference between 2 and 4 - 4 is perhaps a little more natural because you haven't used a Lightroom grad on the sky.
I don't mind a slightly accentuated gradient in the sky - it may not be "real" but I find it visually appealing.

They're both great shots


Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
I've never tried to merge a bracketed set of exposures in processing but wouldn't that just be like doing an HDR shot via the camera?

I don't know which version of Lightroom you're using? In LR6 (standalone) in Develop, select both images in the strip on the bottom and right click and choose "Photo Merge>HDR"
It won't produce that horrible HDR image you may have seen and hated elsewhere

I did a few experiments with LR and Aurora HDR on this image from last December in similarly tricky lighting.
http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost...5&postcount=14
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