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August 24, 2005

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Sam Meldrum

You can just turn a standard graduated neutral density filter upside down and then only insert it to the horizon point - what is the difference between that and this special filter?

When doing this, I sometimes use another lighter neutral density filter the right way up inserted all the way to the bottom so that the break at the horizon is not too harsh.

Alternatively, take several exposures with at different shutter speeds - on a tripod - and use photoshop to merge the images to get the perfect exposure across the image.

By the way - the second image doesn't seem to be displaying properly.

tony sweet

Hi Sam and you are right. There are several ways to accomplish the same task. The advantage to using the reverse grad is that it's a soft edge filter and the darkest part is at the center graduating up to being clear at the top. That enables me to have a clear foreground without an edge line, while holding back the brightness at the horizon line. I find it difficult to avoid the hard edge created by the edge of the filter itself in such situations. You can also, as you say, take several exposures and merge in PS. Also, using the two filters, with one inverted may also work. It depends on how one wants to spend his or her time. Personally, I enjoy making the image as completely as possible when taking the picture and moving on. Thanks for your comment and I'm sure that many people will find them useful!

Sam Meldrum

Thanks for the clarification. I have also struggled to get rid of the hard edge when turning a normal graduated filter around. I'll have to look out for one of these.

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