As stated in the beginning of this thread I was fascinated looking at the Lee Filters book. To see grads used in city scapes where the grad is over some of the buildings. Didn't even enter into my mind that they could be effectively used this way without creating a dark line across the picture.
Please explain to me why photographers just hoard knowledge!
If someone wants to find out about composition, for example, there are loads of books out there. Why never detailed instructional use of grads?
I'm not really going to try to answer your comments but...
- the answer to a lot of questions that start with: 'Why don't they...?' is 'money'. (that's a quote from someone) Publishing is time consuming and expensive - the www is changing this a bit though.
- I reckon photographers are pretty generous with knowledge; this forum for example. But photography is about making images, not writing, so maybe that's a factor.
- I think you kind of hit the nub of it when you said: 'Didn't even enter into my mind that they could be effectively used this way...' When it comes to image-making there are a zillion ways to get a good result. Show a room full of people how to make a 'correctly' exposed pic and at least one person is sure to come back with something blown out by three of four stops that looks fantastic, but not 'correct'.
In part I think you are asking about why you are finding it difficult to do research by reading, at some point in this field the most efficient research is experimental–practice and play (creativity).
At lot of the elements of photography have been developed by observation and experimentation. With composition for example, it's possible to know the 'rule of thirds' and 'the golden mean' and still not make an effective photograph. The 'rules' are really just guidelines to give a starting point for further subjective refinement.
But hey! I'll give the Grad (Graduated Filter) Manual a go:
-Grads vary the brightness (and possibly colour) across an image
-Grads can be positioned over any part of a lens, image plane or light source.
-Grads can positioned at any angle.
-More than one grad can be used at a time.
-The density of the the grad effect can be varied using different grads, stacking grads, or positioning the grad partly over the lens.
-The graduated transition is more defined with shorter focal length lenses, and small apertures (larger f numbers), and the grad positioned further from the lens.
-Grads on a lens can reduce optical quality.
-Most grad effects can be simulated in Photoshop (with the exception of single exposure luminance range modulation)
-Choosing the type, position and orientation of grad(s) is subjective.