Filters for outdoor portrait photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BJB Productions, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    I've got some Christmas money to use...and I'm thinking about getting some more filters for my Nikon D90. I'm an amateur photographer for Highschool senior photos mainly. I shoot outdoors, and I'm wondering if there are any filters that you would recommend to help enhance my photos?

    What I have in terms of filters right now is pretty basic:
    UV filters (to protect lenses)
    ND stop .3
    Circular Polarizer

    I also use Adobe Lightroom 3 to post-process just FYI.

    Thanks! :)
     
  2. FMJPhoto.com macrumors member

    FMJPhoto.com

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #2
    Can't say that I recommend any "filters" for portraits, other than a circular polarizing filter. On a gloomy day it can help bring back color.

    Honestly, for outdoor portrait work, your best investment would be an off camera flash.

    On the cheap: Vivitar 285HV -$89
    Light stand- $20
    Umbrella bracket- $15
    Umbrella- $20
    Wireless triggers- $40
    +batteries

    So for about $160.00 you could open up a WORLD of possibilities with your light setups.

    If you wanted to go even cheaper, a big foldable reflector will do wonders for outdoor portraiture. Bring a friend to assist you and hold it and voila, a $50 (or less) solution.

    Just some ideas, hope it helps.
     
  3. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #3
  4. FMJPhoto.com macrumors member

    FMJPhoto.com

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #4
    I have two of those. I love the SB-600's for indoor and some outdoor work. I also have two Vivitar 285HV's, which are more powerful...but less adjustable.

    For strobist work, manual settings, the SB-600's are FAR easier to use and control the power output, which is why they're my most used flashguns.

    I think you'd be doing well to get one of those.
     
  5. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #5
    Thanks. That's probably what I'll get then, because now that you brought that up..yeah I really should have a decent flash.
     
  6. Joem48 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    #6
    You have most of the filters you will use for digital cameras - one more would include the Graduated Neutral Density filter from density to clear. That way clouds in the upper part of frame get the effect and people on the ground none.

    You also should have a portrait lens from 70-200mm, or at least a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

    joe
     
  7. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #7
    Wonderful point you brought up- I knew that filter existed but never really knew what it would be used for.

    As for lenses, I would love to invest in nicer ones eventually, at the moment I have:
    Nikon 18-105mm VR Lens
    AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens

    They work great for what I'm doing right now.
     
  8. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #8
    Personally I just do that in LR or photoshop - stopped using filters for that stuff a long time ago because of flexibility. If you've got a circular polarizer and a ND filter (which I rarely use) and UV, then you don't need anything else for portraits.
     
  9. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #9
    When you need an ND grad, it's because the difference in exposure is too great to PS without multiple exposures. Given that clouds often move, it's handy to have one or two, especially if you can't pick the time of the day you're shooting, or if you shoot in locations that make great senior portraits but include both sky and dark foregrounds. Personally, I use ND grads more often than CPLs and I've got about 13.7 stops of dynamic range to work with.

    Paul
     

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