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I was shooting with a shutter speed of 1/4000, f/7, ISO 800, using a 70-300mm telephoto lens. I have been shooting through the windshield of my SUV. Is there a filter I can use to help me get better shots in this kind of bright light?

washed out moutian

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    Flat midday light is flat midday light. A polariser might help a little, but you're probably better off simply waiting for good light. – ElendilTheTall Apr 24 '16 at 19:56
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    Also : why 800 ISO ? – Olivier Apr 24 '16 at 20:39
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    And of course, shooting through glass in front of the lens is difficult on any camera. It's very easy to fool the autofocus system, and car windshield glass isn't of photographic quality so tend to lead to some degredation of quality in any case. If you can open a window and shoot through the opening, instead of shooting through the glass, that may very well help some. – a CVn Apr 24 '16 at 20:40
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    @motoDrizzt, that is my guess too, but 1/4000 still seems a lot for such a shot. 1/1000 should probably be enough, unless the picture has been taken on a bumpy road, at high speed or at 300mm. Either way, I guess the windshield is probably not the only problem of the OP if he is looking for better shots. – Olivier Apr 24 '16 at 21:36
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    I'm don't know what I'm doing I just figured out how to shoot manual last week. – Kyle Sponable Apr 24 '16 at 22:43
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Judging by the dead trees in the bottom right, it's simply focused on those trees, and not what you're hoping for. Also, that long focal length means your depth of field is less, so it's harder to get more things in focus. http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

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    Yes, it appears the camera was set to "Auto" focus point selection mode. The camera will almost always try to focus on the nearest object with enough contrast to focus. – Michael C Apr 24 '16 at 22:07
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Sometime you have to make do with what you have. That said:

  1. Avoid shooting through the car windshield glass. It lower the details and usually can fools the AF system.

  2. Use a polarizer filter. Good for the mist in the air, should help with those mountains in the background

  3. Shoot in raw.

  4. Shoot in raw.

  5. Shoot in raw.

If you shoot in raw the camera doesn't throw away a tons of useful information that can later be used to improve the photo; you can apply a few filter to this photo to improve the sharpness and the colors (hey, there are good colors here to work on), but if you have only the jpg to work on then it's an already lost battle :-\

  • You can shoot raw (but please, don't shoot in the raw) all you want, but that isn't going to fix the fact that the center of focus was on the extreme foreground. – Michael C Apr 24 '16 at 22:09
  • @MichaelClark: I know. But you can cut the photo to 16:9 to remove the in-focus branches in the lower part, apply an un-sharp mask to get some detail, then just be creative. And even working on the demosaicing of the raw can work miracles. In any case having the raw can help at many levels with an out of focus picture. – motoDrizzt Apr 24 '16 at 22:13
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    Shooting raw can help with many things (I shoot raw 100% of the time and that has saved me many times when the camera picked wrong exposure settings), but I don't see how it can possibly bring out detail that optically simply isn't there. JPEG has generation loss, yes, but that becomes a significant factor only if you have many esave cycles. (The specific value of "many" depends on many factors, not the least of which being the quality settings used. At low quality, it may be in the single-digits; at high quality, it may be large enough that it can be ignored in most hobbyist workflows.) – a CVn Apr 25 '16 at 9:09
  • We are entering in personal opinions realm and I don't want to sell anything to anyone, just point out a small thing that it's usually lot underestimated: a RAW file tipically contains 262400 more information for single pixel than a bmp, and even more if we take into account the jpeg compression, and even more if we consider that RAW stores optical data and not single pixels. So, I'm not saying in any way that the RAW contains details that optically are not there: I'm saying that the RAW contains a huge quantity of information that can be helpful for softwares to help recovery an image. – motoDrizzt Apr 25 '16 at 9:38
  • None of what that raw file contains is more discrete than a single pixel. In fact it is less, since the raw monochromatic luminance values have to be demosaiced to provide color information. In practice that works out to roughly total pixels divided by the square root of 2. – Michael C Apr 27 '16 at 2:31

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