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What filter should I use to avoid whitened images (blown highlights) caused by intense daylight? At the moment I am only using an UV Filter, but it doesn't solve the whole problem.

I am a newbie in photography, and I've recently bought a Nikon DSLR.

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maybe worth posting a link to a picture that shows the problem. –  rapscalli Aug 31 '11 at 20:17
    
If it's sky that gets white, see this question - photo.stackexchange.com/questions/15204/… –  Imre Aug 31 '11 at 20:18
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Do you mean over-exposed? If so, use +/- button. That is Exposure-Compensation and lets you make things darker by going negative.

A UV filter does nothing for brightness, usually makes things worst only. Take off and replace with polarizer that darkens the sky (sometimes, if not cloudy).

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Since he is a new photographer you may want to explain to him why you think UV filters only make things worse and a link to what a polarizing filter does and why they only work sometimes. –  Patrick Hughes Feb 16 '12 at 16:09
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If you are indeed referring to your images having too much contrast to allow for both a properly exposed subject and sky, then there are a few options.

  1. As Zak stated, you could use exposure compensation to darken the entire image (this might make the non-sky portion of the image too dark though)
  2. Use a graduated neutral density filter. This will selectively darken one part of an image while leaving the other part alone. This is the old-school method. While it typically limits the transition between the filtered and unfiltered parts to a straight line, it does allow you to fix things at the time of the shot without having to spend time tweaking it on the computer afterwards.
  3. HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography. This is the hi-tech way to do things. This requires that you take multiple shots of the same scene at different exposures and use software to combine them into one image where both the highlights and shadows are well-exposed.
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If you want longer exposure during daylight you would use a grey filter. You only need that if you want reduce the shutter speed to a lower value.

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Welcome to Photo.SE! Perhaps you should explain a bit more how would longer exposure help with avoiding overexposure in intense daylight? Maybe I'm dumb, but the connection is not quite clear to me. –  Imre Sep 1 '11 at 7:41
    
A grey filter is just grey coloured glass. There are different numbers that indicate the darkness of the filter. Imagine you have a normal exposure with F4.0 and 1/1800sec, after putting the grey filter on less light is going through the lens to the sensor and the image would be underexposed in the same settings. Thus it allows you to choose F4.0 and less shutter-speed (e.g. 1/30sec). Some very strong filters allow you exposures up to minutes during daylight without over exposure. –  Alex Sep 1 '11 at 8:06
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