Thursday, July 8, 2010

One filter at a time ~ Tiffen ND8

So, now that I have started the conversation about filters, I realized that I missed SO much information! Because each filter has there own task and talents. And each one has much different results because of it. So, why not! Lets create a blog for each filter, one at a time! I wanted to start off from lightest to darkest. Mainly because the darker the better, for me any way! So, lets save the best for last. :)

Ok, on my last blog, I said that the 3 stop filter had no use! And even though I said NO use, truth is, I always knew it had some use. I just never gave it enough credit in the past. The day after posting that last blog, I found a new use for the poor little 3 stop filter.

For starters, it has a use, in the field, and thats to simply take away the bright from a very bright day. And with that in mind, depending on how bright the day really is, the Tiffen ND8, 3 stop filter, can still be hand held. No tripod required, unless you close up the aperture. For me, I still always use a tripod, my goal with the Tiffen ND8 is not to take away bright! I use it for what I always do with my filters, to slow down water! Or to freeze a nice "splash" at my favorite beach locations. The entire idea around the Tiffen ND8 is to simply slow down the shutter speed, just a bit, to get a more desired of an effect. And, can add a deeper depth of field. The great thing about adding it to my collection, is that I can use it in more ways than any of my other filters. I can use it solo and create a quarter of a second exposure, of course on a very bright day, that quarter of a second turns out to be an eighth of a second real quick! But for the most part, I can really push it to a quarter. I can stack it on top of my 6 stop filter to make 9 stops. I can stack it on top of my 10 stop to make 13 stops! This one is great for creating day time two minute exposures at an f/11! Thats fun! :)

But the newest use, fireworks! I was reading someones post on Flickr, about shooting fireworks. This guy did a little fireworks 101 post at which I was grateful to come across before the 4th because this past 4th of July was my first try at shooting fireworks! The guy suggested using an ND filter, and the moment I read that, I thought TIFFEN! I shot the first 5 or so minutes without the filter, and they turned out OK, but once I put the filter on, I had so much more control! The brighter fireworks, the whites, were not over bright! YA! :) So, I kept the filter on for the rest of the evening. And another thing I loved about the fireworks, is when I went to do the processing on the images, they were all so sharp! So sharp, that I could do just about any crop. Any zoom, anything! I like that!

So, the above image, is of this years fireworks from our little town in California. With the Tiffen ND8 filter, I was able to get a full 22 seconds on this exposure with out over exposing any one area. I was really able to PUSH the night time exposure just a little bit more so that the light trail of the fireworks would be longer and better. Which, in my book, MONEY! :)

I hope you enjoy, and feel free to add any comments or suggestions. Most of all, I hope that my blog is of use to you and any one who reads this. I just might become an instructor instead of a photographer! And feel free to visit me on Flickr any time!

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