Should be a fairly quick post this one.
I was shooting some footage to compare scene files, and I was out in full sun shooting a bunch of flowers in the garden. Now these large sensor cameras are fantastic in low light, but shooting shallow depth of field with a 50mm f1.4 lens was impossible in the bright sun of a spring afternoon.
I had a few choices,
- Change my aperture – stop down but I’ll lose my shallow depth of field
- Increase my shutter spec. But I wanted any motion to remain filmic so I stuck to 180 degrees on the shutter
- Turn the ISO down, but I was already on the lowest setting.
- Increase the neutral density filter setting. But it was already on 4 – the highest.
I don’t own a neutral density 4×4 filter for my matte box, but I do own an ND grad and a Polariser.
I’d forgotten that the polariser can take a stop or two of light out of your scene, so with this added, I was able to get the exposure I wanted.
An exercise in exposure control in direct sunlight with the Panasonic AF101 and a Sigma 50mm f1.4 lens.
A note on polarising filters
If you don’t know, a polarising filter filters out the polarising component of skylight. Reducing reflections and increasing contrast.
For the science, take a look on Wikipedia here Polarising Filters
You can see it working on the reflections in these pictures:
More eye candy for you here:
With the Polarising filter and the ND Grad combined, you can turn a typical boring sky shot into something a little less boring. These two pictures are straight out of the camera and haven’t been colour corrected. I tweaked the white balance a bit on the lower shot though.
I hope this is useful in some way. For a lot of people, it may be kind of basic, but hopefully there may be people out there that find it helpful.
If that’s you, then please comment or tweet this link – that’ll be fab!
Thanks – until next time. Scene files…