Night Skyline with an FL-W Filter

Earlier this month, a friend of mine sent me a link to an Adorama Learning Center article by Bryan Peterson about shooting night/dusk shots with an FL-W filter. It looked very promising, so I picked one up (at B&H, ironically, because Adorama was out of stock) and waited for my chance to try it out.

Which takes me to this past weekend, where the weather here in Chicago was extremely gorgeous – again – and more importantly, the winds off the lake were especially calm. That meant, heading back down to the Museum Campus and getting some shots of the Chicago Skyline just after dusk and as night fell.

The After Shot

I know, you’re supposed to start with the before shot, but just check this out:

Skyline After FL-W Filter

That’s just about right out of the camera, with the Hoya 77mm FL-W multi-coated filter sitting on the front of my lens. Sure, it’s a little dark, but that’s because I kept the exposure settings the same as the before image below, as to do a straight comparison.

You can easily tell that you lose a little light with the filter, but nothing a quick exposure adjustment can’t fix.

This was a 2 sec. exposure, shot at f/11 and at ISO 200. The same can be said with the before image without the filter, seen below.

The Before Shot

Skyline Before FL-W Filter

In all fairness, the before shot without the FL-W filter doesn’t look that bad, either. With the calm winds and the 2 second exposure, the water of the lake smoothes out rather nicely, too.

Yet, the color you get from the FL-W filter when switching to a white balance of Daylight really gives you a creative option you otherwise wouldn’t have on location like that.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Although it’s seemingly a night and day comparison already, here’s a quick side-by-side look I threw together with the Diptic App on the iPad:

Cityscape FL-W Comparison
Cityscape FL-W Comparison

More Images

I’m only getting started with testing this guy out, admittedly not being able to go out and shoot scenes like this as often as I’d like. The joys of being a new parent. 🙂

I do have a few other images from the shoot over the weekend posted on Flickr, which I’ll also be featuring here on the blog in the coming days as well.

We’re also heading up to northeastern Wisconsin this weekend, and there’s at least one or two spots I’m already thinking of shooting with this guy. So stay tuned for those next week.

– Kris

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One Comment

  1. PedroStephano October 19, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    Inspiring post! I’ve got an FLW, my Canon and 8hrs in London over nightfall tomorrow to experiment. If I catch any gooduns I’ll let you know 😉

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