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Thread: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

  1. #1

    Unhappy Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    I was trying to take pictures of the sun today with my D80 and my cokin filter system. I was using a gradual filter(121M, so its something like GD4 or something). I have two issues to ask about.

    Firstly, with the GD filter, it didn't seem to have the intended effect that i wanted. The pictures i took still turned out as if there was no filter attached, that is either the foreground was too dark and the sky with the sun just nice, or the foreground ok but the sky over exposed. Is it because my GD is not strong enough? I took the exposure readings in the clear area of the filter by the way.

    Next, i cant seem to be able to get the reddish sky color that i see no matter how i try to change the settings. If i use the customize color temp. thing, changing to warmer colors only makes the sky more orange-gy, but i am still not able to get the red color.

    Would appreciate any help and advice..thanks

    will try to post pictures tml, by the way my settings were f8-f11, shutter around 1/100.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    first, you need to take the metering and fix your setting FIRST, than attach the gradual ND filter.

    Second, find a mid tone area as your metering reference, use a spot metering, matrix or center weighted are fine too if you able to zoom in and not include the sun and dark shadows areas.

    Third, the is no correct WB setting for sunrise or sunset, is up to your own taste.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    first, you need to take the metering and fix your setting FIRST, than attach the gradual ND filter.

    Second, find a mid tone area as your metering reference, use a spot metering, matrix or center weighted are fine too if you able to zoom in and not include the sun and dark shadows areas.

    Third, the is no correct WB setting for sunrise or sunset, is up to your own taste.
    Take my metering and fix my setting first meaning aperture and shutter speed right?yup that's what i did.and i did do the mid tone metering thing, without including the sun and dark shadow areas..maybe i am doing it wrong..

    so by right..the red colour should come out nicely right..?as in it is not impossible to get..

  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    so, you are using manual mode and not on A, S or P mode?

    if you set at sunny, it should show at it is
    at shade, it will be more warmer
    at tungsten, it will be more cooler.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    you must be shooting right at the sun... GND4 ain't enough in this kind of case unless the sun is close to setting down. (near horizon)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    you must be shooting right at the sun... GND4 ain't enough in this kind of case unless the sun is close to setting down. (near horizon)
    ar!this is what i wanted to find out too..would GND8 be enough..(or what should i get..?)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    so, you are using manual mode and not on A, S or P mode?

    if you set at sunny, it should show at it is
    at shade, it will be more warmer
    at tungsten, it will be more cooler.
    yes, i use manual mode.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    ar!this is what i wanted to find out too..would GND8 be enough..(or what should i get..?)
    There is no magical Grad-ND to use, it depends on the sun and foreground brightness... theoretically as the sun sets, you will need a range of different filters to do what you want the camera to do.

    Why not two separate shots and then photoshop them together. Or you can search for other posts that teaches you how to post-process for high dynamic range.

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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80


  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    ar!this is what i wanted to find out too..would GND8 be enough..(or what should i get..?)
    if the sun is still high up eg, take another 10mis to reach the horizon, a GND8 will no help.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Show us the shot. It will tell us a thousand words.
    See my Photo Gallery at the Clubsnap

  12. #12

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    okie i know i said i would do it earlier, but the pictures are in my gf's house(the files..) so it will take me a while to do it. anyway just curious..is it possible to get decent looking sunset/rise pictures straight out of the camera or do all the nice ones come from post-processing?

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    okie i know i said i would do it earlier, but the pictures are in my gf's house(the files..) so it will take me a while to do it. anyway just curious..is it possible to get decent looking sunset/rise pictures straight out of the camera or do all the nice ones come from post-processing?
    possible, just at the right time, right place and the right setting.

    pic #3 is straight out of the camera, except downsize, USM and add text.

    this one is add a little curve to increase contrast, pano crop, downsize, USM and add text.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80



    here is one of the pics...as you can see the foreground is very dark

  15. #15
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    simple way, take two shots with different exposure and merge together in PS.

    or wait till lights up and do a long exposure shot.

    anyway, a Grad-ND will not darken the area you wanted in this pix,
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    simple way, take two shots with different exposure and merge together in PS.

    or wait till lights up and do a long exposure shot.

    anyway, a Grad-ND will not darken the area you wanted in this pix,
    when u said will not darken the area(ie.the sky..) why is that so? my understanding was..take reading for the foreground, so that the foreground will be decently exposed, and with the grey part of the filter covering the sky, it will not be over exposed(that is correct right?)

  17. #17
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Problems taking sunset pictures with my D80

    Quote Originally Posted by tanjonhan View Post
    when u said will not darken the area(ie.the sky..) why is that so? my understanding was..take reading for the foreground, so that the foreground will be decently exposed, and with the grey part of the filter covering the sky, it will not be over exposed(that is correct right?)
    you use a spot metering mode to read the exposure of the sky, and spot metering the exposure of the foreground, calculate how many stops different, so you may know how many times factor Grad-ND filter you need, or how many pieces of filters you need.
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