Last Friday, 11 March 2016, I went up to my favored Irish local location; Islandbridge Junction. This is a handy place for me.
This is great place to catch a freight train exiting Dublin’s Phoenix Park Tunnel on a bright clear day, yet can be visually problematic on a dull day.
On this day, I thought it would be a good place to experiment with a Lee graduated neutral density filter as a means of controlling contrast and allowing for a more effective overall exposure.
The filter I use offers subtle 2/3s of a stop gradation. This is adjustable both up/down and rotationally left/right.
I made a few test photos with and without the filter to gauge my exposure before the IWT arrived with Irish Rail 088 in the lead.
A similar effect can be accomplished digitally, yet the digital effect doesn’t add information to the RAW file, but only makes a visual adjustment in the final image.
In other words to apply the filter digital may be viewed as a ‘correction’ rather than an in-camera technique. Yet, it is often easier to apply a filter in post-processing than in the field.
I’ve used both methods depending on the circumstance.
Below are some results.
This gives a nice overall of my experiment, but in the middle of all this I got a little greedy. Using my zoom lens on the FujiFilm X-T1, I made a tight view of the IWT (with the filter).
As is often the case with last second changes, I didn’t get my exposure quite right. My feeling was that the RAW file was about 1/3 of a stop too dark.
As with most of my photography, I consider this a work in progress. In all likelihood, before long I’ll be back at Islandbridge Junction to further refine my experiment.