Filters or Blending?

Twilight and low tide at the tide pools of Tabletop Reef, South Cardiff State Beach/Solana Beach, California; November 2019.

A recent Twitter conversation about the pros and cons of graduated neutral density filters (often just called GNDs) made me think about my own approach towards handling high-contrast scenes. I’m not using GNDs anymore, rarely did so in the past, and I prefer exposure blending on the computer, or even just using “software GNDs” in a single exposure. I find it far more flexible* and prefer to have “pure data” without the (unalterable) effects of the filter in my original/initial exposures.

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Working with Long Exposures

Long exposure of Flat Rock and the cliffs at Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, CA. July 2013.

I’ve recently added two post with long exposure seascapes, one from Torrey Pines State Beach (the photo below is from that set), the other from the Point Loma tidal pools (just yesterday). What astonished me was the high “yield” of keepers or rather, images I consider worth showing for the moment, in relation to the total amount of photos made during the outing.

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