Filter for glacier photography in Patagonia

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by rob_gruber, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. Going to Patagonia next month with my Mamyia 6 and planning on shooting mostly black
    and white, probably something like Ilford FP 4 as I look the look of it. What type of filter (if
    any) would I need for this type of photography? I generally shoot without filters and since
    the system is relatively new to me, haven't bought any for it yet. Would I want to pick up a
    UV filter, polarizer, ND?
     
  2. For B&W, an orange filter would have a pretty dramatic effect, significantly darkening the blue sky and the bluish shadows on ice. A medium yellow would produce a more subtle effect.If I could onlt take one filter it'd be an orange one.
     
  3. #12 dark yellow for glacier photography in Alaska; I suspect it should also work for Patagonia
     
  4. You mentioned Ilford FP4... A word to the wise. FP4 is more sensitive to the blue spectrum of light, it doesn't take much filter to get a pretty spectacular result compared to something like Tri-x which is very red sensitive. Your subject matter is very bright also, be aware that your meter can give false readings when dealing with bright subjects. I photographed glaciers in Alaska a decade ago and found (by using Polaroid type 52 to test) that the light was quite bright in that part of the world, perhaps it's the altitude or latitude. I ended up reducing exposure about 1/2 stop to compensate. Good luck with your project.
     
  5. If there is snow, I would also try #25 red, to achieve a very drammatic effect on the sky.
     
  6. Just to clarify, I'm not really looking to dramatize the scenery, it should be quite
    spectacular on it's own. I just want to cut any glare or other effects of so much snow, ice
    and water that would take away from rendering the scene as I see it.
     
  7. A circular polarizer will cut down on glare and any reflections off of water.
     
  8. A circular polarizer will cut down on glare and any reflections off of water.
    So will a linear polarizer, and will be even more effective and less expensive. RF's aren't a natural at this but with a little care you can get the angle right. Just remember that the filter factor is variable with a polarizer (but hey, FP4+ is pretty forgiving).
     
  9. Rob,

    If you want to literally "render...the scene as [you] see it" you should probably shoot in color :)

    If you want B&W tones to be a reasonable interpretation of what you subjectively saw a contrast filter, yellow, orange (my choice) or red can be very helpful.
     
  10. Point well taken about the black and white not being natural. I guess I just don't like
    photos that look too filtered and find that I don't really need the enhancements they give
    under most circumstances however this is a bit of an uncommon type of light reflecting all
    over the place.

    Regarding circular vs. linear polarizers, which would be easier to work with using a
    rangefinder? Do you just sorta turn the thing in front of the view finder and note the angle
    and screw it on the lense at the same angle to get the same effect? I read something about
    a Mamiya 7 viewfinder being polarized itself and linear filters completely blacking them
    out. Not sure if this is the case with the Mamiya 6.
     
  11. Not from experience but from what I have read. Don't go overboard with your filters. The sky at altitude will already be darker! Perhaps use a 'light' yellow as apposed to a medium yellow. The polariser seems like a good choice too.It sounds like a 'one shot' photo opportunity. Do more research.
     
  12. Both types of polarizers would be equally effective. linear ones are less expensive.No need to put it in front of the viewfinder--just rotate the filter while holding it in front of your eye.
     

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