Had a great shoot on a more bearable winter day last week with an amazing indie musician Tom McBride. I’m trying a new more organic/natural look with my photos for 2011. You always have to shake it up! I’ve been playing with my Fader ND Mark 2 (link to more info on product) variable neutral density filter on recent sets and have noticed some positives and negatives right away.
For only about $125 it is an incredible high quality product. I show no vignette when shooting wide-angle and no color shifting issues. One issue you WILL find with most ND filters is that it is incredibly hard to check your focus while you have the ND filter mounted to your lens because things get so dark. I almost feel like I would be better off with a filter that slides on and off quickly rather than has to be screwed on and off the end of the lens in order to check focus. Although, the variable ND makes it very easy to force your camera to open its lens up to create a more shallow depth of field.
You can see the effects pretty clearly in this shoot, where I was shooting most of the photos when there was a lot of strong middle of the day ambient light. The Fader ND also came in handy when working with strobes indoors when I wanted to overpower the ambient window and room light with more powerful strobed light sources, but wanted to keep the depth of field shallow. I really am going to have to figure out how to get over this focus issue though. There must be an easy solution!
I will also try the Fader ND out in a sample video to show you how a variable neutral density works in action. Look for that post in the coming days.
Check out Tom McBride’s music here: http://www.tcmcbride.com
More photos after the break…