On a brief trip to Hook Head, the oldest intact operational light house in the world, I decided to try out some ND grad filters. It was a sunny day so the ND grad filters would have controlled the light in areas of the photo which are too bright, such as the sky and clouds. I also had an extra ND filter, an ND-3 to try slow the water but in the strong sun and with no tripod (as it wasn’t an organised shoot), it was never going to work the way I wished.
The ND filters I had with me were not the expensive glass ones, they were plastic and I was simply trying the filters out. As you can see from the results, you pay for what you get.
The image above may look nice but on closer observation the clouds have taken on a slight purple hue. This is caused by the colour cast of the cheap plastic ND filters. The more expensive glass filters will be neutral – and although the ‘N’ in ND is neutral, as you can see here it is anything but.
By converting it to a black and white version you can overcome any colour cast – so all is not lost.
If you have cheap ND filters, don’t throw them away – you can always use them for black and white photography.
The shots are not 100% exactly what I was after, but in the absence of a tripod (it was a very casual shoot) and little setup time I will definitely revisit this spot … possibly later in the day when the light is deeper and warmer.