No worries. Yes, I do use filters. For this shot I used a circular polarizer and 3-stop hard-edge Singh-Ray gradual neutral density filter, if my memory serves me well.
Essential filters I use for most of all my shots are 2 or 3-stop soft and hard-edge GNDs and a circular polarizer. Sometimes specific filters like a screw-in variable ND filter comes in handy for long exposures and shots in bright day light (which I rarely do) to soften water, etc. but GNDs and polarizers are the most used filters in my bag.
Thanks for the info, im fairly new to photography and I love it! ive had problems shooting awesome colors in the sky and still being able to have my foreground and middle ground exposed correctly, filters are what i need correct? thanks for any input. andrew
Yes, a gradual neutral density filter will help you balance the light between bright sky and dark foreground in your shots. A good start is 3-stop soft and 2-stop hard-edge... at least you can handle most situations very well with just those two. There is always the option of shooting two exposures with different shutter speeds though and to blend them in PS later but I like to see the result as close as possible on the back of the camera. It somehow helps me to connect with the scene even more and also helps to visualize possible compositional flaws. Plus, less time in front of a screen means more possibilities to catch some good light; even though I enjoy working with PS.
I might be doing a tutorial on how to align your filters and how to choose the right filter for different kinds of light and situations but time is very limited, so no promises at this point.
I would love to see a tutorial! I agree i love the instant gratification on my lcd, i want to stay away from blending if i can although i have never played with PS. Do you have a recommendation for brands on the filters?
Depends on your budget. Really, the only advice I can give is to keep your hands off Cokin filters. Those will introduce a magenta pink color cast that is hard to control, even with PS.
Lee and Singh-Ray are considered to be the top manufacturers, with Lee probably being the best bang for the buck. HiTech (produced by Formatt) is pretty good too and affordable compared to Singh-Ray. I still have one or two of them and can't complain about being much worse than Lee or Singh-Ray.
It all boils down to personal preference then and how much you can/want to spend on a 4x6 piece of resin.