Mt. Rainier surrounded by...

Mt. Rainier surrounded by clouds. Near Longmire.


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mpbro - Oct 19, 2002 10:38 pm - Hasn't voted

Great shot!

Hopefully it'll get "photo of the week" some week.

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Oct 20, 2002 1:47 am - Hasn't voted

Artificial colours

This shot looks great, but it is too artificial. The author coloured the bottom part green and to me it looks unnatural.


JScoles - Oct 24, 2002 3:04 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

No he did not add colour. What he did was use a split filter (as he says). Basically it is a filter that covers only 1/2 the lens and in this case it is a filter that lets in less light on the top (3 stops) so you can take a pic ot the sky and the ground with out overexposing one or the other.

This makes it look more realistic but our eyes are so use to seeing photos of either the sky washed out or ground darkned it is what we expect and hence all the somments about surreal and fakery. We are not use to seeing such photos.

Perfect use of this sort of filter.

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Oct 24, 2002 4:42 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

For me it's the same thing if you put a filter on your camera or retouche picture later on your computer. Our eyes never see the mountain like this, so it is too artificial. I still haven't cast my vote.

William Marler

William Marler - Oct 24, 2002 7:18 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

This is a great image whatever the way it was done. The fact the photographer thought enough about the exposure in advance is a good thing. The use of filters in Mountain photography is a must unless you want only snapshots. Good job. Cheers William


JScoles - Oct 25, 2002 3:14 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Actually this pic is much closer to what our eyes see than a none filtered photograh.

Remember that our brains asemble pictures in our heads from quick shots from our eyes. The brain automatically compensates for light and contrast level differences in a landsacape. So using a ND filter captures something closer to what our eyes see than a "normal" photo. This is why the picture stands out because it does not look flat like a regular "photo".


darinchadwick - Oct 25, 2002 8:17 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Actually, I've seen Mt. Rainier and other volcanic peaks in the Pacific NW in the same kind of light conditions, though I have never been able to capture it so well on film. The trees are really that green, and often the low clouds part to reveal glimpses of the enormous mountain above. The fact is, Mt. Rainier is so big that it's hard to comprehend. Those who crawl around in the crap weather below Mt. Rainier deserve to get such shots. Well done!

gotlight - Oct 25, 2002 12:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Maybe some clarification on what the filter does is in order. As other posters pointed out, a split ND filter is half dark, half clear. The dark half is "neutral density" which means it doesn't impart color to the shot. Rather, it uniformly darkens that portion of the film (in this case 3 full stops of light). Our eyes perceive a range of brightness of about 2000 to 1, wherease slide film has a brightness range of about 8 to 1. Anything outside that range either falls into black, or blows out to white...certainly not the way our eyes see the landscape. Using a 3 stop filter here allowed me to increase the range of the slide to about 64 to 1. Still a long way from the ability our eyes possess, but a bit better (better enough to allow more detail in areas that would otherwise be either fully black or fully white).

The sky, and mountain (snow being white) was about 2 1/2 stops brighter than the trees on the left, and a bit over 3 stops brighter than the foreground trees. Exposing for the foreground, I can get detail in the trees. Normall this would blow the sky out to featureless white. By darkening the sky by 3 stops using the ND filter, I get detail in the foreground, and preserve detail in the mountain top.

I personally don't agree with the idea of using colored filters when taking photos. A neutral density filter is designed to compensate for the shortcomings of film, not to create colors that weren't there. For an example of what this type of filtration means to photography, visit and browse the fine art galleries. The bulk of those sunrise/sunset shots of mountains use some level of neutral density filtration to allow a greater dynamic range of brightness and color on the film, not to alter the existing colors in the landscape.


GuitarWIzard - Oct 25, 2002 10:34 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Gotta love ND filters.....a must-have for scenes with very contrasting lighting. Velvia is some of my all-time favorite film...

Mathias Zehring

Mathias Zehring - Oct 26, 2002 4:31 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

very good explanation! Thank you. I will also think about buying such a filter. I know about professional mountain photographers who use it and who would never add colours to the picture. So there is no "cheating" in the picture.

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Oct 26, 2002 8:39 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Thank you for this explanation!


gordonye - Oct 30, 2002 11:56 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

I do think the 3 stop difference in the neutral density filter is too much. The sky looks much darker than the ground, so it is underexposed. A 2 stop may look more real.

gotlight - Nov 1, 2002 12:28 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Artificial colours

Consider where the light is coming from, and the fact that it's coming through clouds.

The snow on the peak is white, implying that part is correctly exposed. The sun is coming from somewhere behind and to the right of the shot, and is only making it through the clouds in patches, lighting up some areas in the middle ground on the left of the shot more than other areas. The dark blue of the sky primarily due to use of a circular polarizer.

You're right that a 2 stop could just as well have been used, but I don't think a 3 stop means an incorrect exposure...aesthetically, what end result do you personally want? That's what the "correct" exposure is going to be.


gotlight - Oct 20, 2002 9:06 am - Hasn't voted

not retouched

Thanks for the comments. It was shot on Fuji Velvia (tends to saturate your colors). A 3 stop split ND filter was used on the mountain, and the shot is slightly underexposed to get the moody colors.



RichardD - Oct 25, 2002 12:19 am - Hasn't voted

Re: not retouched

Really Beatifull picture, remember Bob Ross ?! ;o)


marcminish - Oct 23, 2002 11:46 am - Hasn't voted


Really cool pic!


Artoirius - Oct 23, 2002 2:17 pm - Hasn't voted

Magnificient picture

This is almost surrealistic! very nice


kilimanjaro1 - Oct 25, 2002 8:52 am - Hasn't voted

Great Job

Knowing what film, shutter speed, apeture, and filters to use is what makes photography fun. Being able to create a beautiful image by skillful use of the camera is what makes photography an artform. Anybody can make a snapshot, but it takes skill to know how to photograph a scene to give the desired results. There is a big difference between skillful creation and computer manipulation. Using filters to create a great image is just part of photography, manipulating the image on a computer is a different story. Kudos on a great shot. A definite 4 star.


vesnad - Oct 25, 2002 2:15 pm - Hasn't voted

Awesome photo

Smart use of photo equipment, but hats off for a good eye. The equipment is of no use if one doesn't have the ability to SEE the beauty - the rest is just training. Really great photo!

Fred Spicker

Fred Spicker - Oct 26, 2002 5:12 am - Hasn't voted

This is a great photo, and......

Let's face it, ALL photos are manipulated in some way - either when they are taken - with the use of filters and even the choice of film, when they are developed - color balance adjustments, brghtness & contrast, cropping, etc. in the darkroom, or if they are digital - on the computer - color level adjustments, brithtness & contrast, cropping, etc. etc.

Good photography and presentation is an ART - enjoy it!

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