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Need advice on recreating this shot - ND filter and Polarizer

keano12keano12 Member
edited March 2015 in general photography
Never used them before. Can a polarizer screw onto a ND variable filter and which goes on to the camera first? Here is the type of look.


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited March 2015

    My considered opinion would be no polariser/ND used, with that type of lighting (big-arsed light and reflector) shown, merely underexposing the ambient (background) then lighting them up from front would be easily achieved.

    What you are looking at in the 'before' shots, don't forget were shot by another photographer and entirely different settings, against background light as the general overall shot is over-exposed and the subjects under so just a quick shot to show set-up, and not a 'true' before shot as we are used to seeing.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited March 2015
    There is no ND filter used here. The DoF is quite deep. 

    A polarizer, probably. But not ND. 
    The polarizer would give that deep blue sky that goes nearly black to the edges of the frame.

    The photographer got her settings for the background and the sky, and then dumped that much flash onto the models. 

    It would be exactly this thought-process: 

  • Hi. Thanks for replies. She said in post she used a polarizer which the color looks more saturated from and she used a B+W ND shooting at ISO 200 and small aperature.

    I know that Joey L does the same thing like here and is kind of known for it.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Well that surprises me. Live and learn.
  • Only thing I can think if is she couldnt get the desired level in that sun of underexposure. How much effect does the polarizer have on color/saturstion?

    Joey L uses the ND like Neil did in a post to get great DOF so I undestand that
  • Neil, an aside: If I understand one of your comments correctly, when you said the DoF is quite deep, I think you were suggesting that as evidence that no ND filter would have been used. What does one have to do with the other? If you have enough light, you have enough light. So, if a correct exposure has f/22 with no ND, then it would be f/11 with a 2 stop ND. Both have deep DoF. What am I missing?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    ND filters are generally 3-stops. They do vary, but the most common one seems to be 3 stops.

    With Sunny 16 kind of bright light (and not under-exposing further), 
    the f/11 would've become f/5.6 
    This would've been a noticeable jump in DoF.  

    But it also depends on how much the photographer wanted to under-expose the ambient light here. 

    Maybe the ND filter was necessary to avoid softness due to diffraction from a very small aperture. 

    The photo below seems to be sharp to the horizon (as much as one can figure things out from small web-sized images.)
  • keano12keano12 Member
    Neil. I have a question if you using a strobe and shooting in HSS. Is it trail and error? You dial up your shutter speed for a wider aperature put your strobe full power which will lose power in HSS. So you will have to move the strobe closer until you are satisfied with the results right? 

    It's guess work right until you get to you know your gear?

    In your article here: correct exposure is F11 so with the ND filter 3 stops down your flash is still shooting at F11 power right?

    Lastly, I have a Tiffen Variable 77m that isn't perfect. I have done some tests and depending how bright the light is the results are never perfect. Is the B+W 0.9 pretty accurate at 3 stops. I rather have static proven stops of exposure.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    You look at the back of your speedlight to see the range of the flash in HSS ... and then slightly trial & error.
  • keano12keano12 Member
    Wouldn't a ND filter be needed though. She was shooting with a 85mm. Which only goes to F16. So if the sky is F16 I know her strobe had no HSS. She couldn't underexpose using a higher aperture.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    You're combining two questions / observations as one. 

    "if you using a strobe and shooting in HSS. Is it trail and error"

    I replied to that.

    What she is doing is apparently something else, as you noted earlier on that she had said she used a polarizer and ND filters.
    My comment doesn't relate to that. Just your question now about HSS.  

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