View Full Version : Stop filter versus PP
28th of March 2009 (Sat), 13:14
Much like in hifi systems (and I am showing my age now), it was far better to spend as much as you could on a record deck and have lower priced amp and speakers. The reasoning was that if the "sound" is not there to start with, making a bad "sound" better is not good.
So, does the same go for using a stop, or ND filter rather than doing it all in Elements/CS, etc. Both filters and PP are taking something that is not there and reproducing it, but is one method going to produce a better result than the other in most cases?
From what I have seen it is the bit of glass before the lens rather than the CPU which makes for a better result. Of course having a good scene to start with and the experience of how to master the camera also helps a great deal ... if not more.
28th of March 2009 (Sat), 13:27
Do you mean a GND or a regualr ND filter. The effect of an ND filter is just about impossible to replicate in PP.
If you mean GND's, I personally much prefer using them than doing the post work. I hate post work and I find that you have to take a very long time to get great results that way.
28th of March 2009 (Sat), 18:13
You ask two people their opinion, you can bet money that they are going to disagree, as I do here.
I'm more of a PP fan with LR and CS4.
29th of March 2009 (Sun), 06:58
I think that you'll get much better results with an actual filter. I don't use Lightroom (yet)...I'm still on CS3 since it does everything that I need to do. I just find that the gradients in PS just don't look 'natural' and require additional PP after you do the initial PP to set the gradient.
Just look at some of the 'classic' iconic landscape shots that have been taken in the pre-digital age...all done with filters. Plus, with an actual filter, you'll develop a keener sense of initial composition, exposure, etc. Software can't do everything... Just my opinion.
EDIT: Of course, I'm referring to graduated filters (GND). As Derek has already mentioned, you can't duplicate the effects of an ND in Photoshop.
30th of March 2009 (Mon), 18:06
I prefer to use filters. Granted, you can do it all in PS, but it just doesn't look the same to me. Plus, I hate spending time PPing when I could be out in the field shooting.
1st of April 2009 (Wed), 18:32
It seems to me the purpose of both plain ND filter and graduated ND filters it reel in too much scenery brightness so that you can get detail in the shadowed foreground without blowing out the highlights, or to allow a wider aperture than would otherwise be possible because of bright conditions. I don't know how either of those needs could be met using Photoshop.
That said, I do think the graduated ND filter look can be overdone, and when you do it with the filter it's no less difficult to undo it in PP. Using a graduated filter requires a firm grasp on your visualization.
I would revise your thesis a bit: There's no sense in amplifying the noise produced by a poor-quality source. In this case, if the information gathered by the sensor is blown out or so far in the depths that bringing them up causes posterization, then using PP to accomplish that is indeed amplifying faults.
Rick "whose visualization usually doesn't include the GND look" Denney
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