To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Gear Should Include Neutral Density Filters!
The neutral density filter is concerned by today's photo hint. This is just another piece of camera equipment which should be in your bag at all times, to get better landscape photography! It's another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It has to be in the camera.
I am certain you've seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
It's possible for you to shoot it so that every drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can shoot it so that it looks like a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, were you aware that Niagara Falls actually ceased flowing in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice that was obstructing the Niagara River? Imagine a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We all know that to get the sharp image, we to get the cotton candy blur we need a slow one and are in need of a quick shutter speed.
Another good reason to put your camera on manual! You'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They'll look like everyone else's.
What if we want a really slow shutter speed, but it is a bright day? Just a particular amount of light can be let in for a good exposure as you know - it'll ruin the picture, if you let in too much.
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So we start closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? What if we are at the smallest aperture setting - and we still have too much light.
Our next choice would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That is fine, it is going to give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are limits.
The simple fix is to block some of that light since our difficulty is that too much light is entering the lens.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that is designed to block a a predetermined amount of light. That's all! It does not alter the light in any manner - it's inert. The light entering the lens has all the same properties; there is only less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot that glossy, waterfall that is cotton sweet - on a bright sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in various strengths. It's possible for you to block one stop of light, three, five, and so forth. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You can put a five stop along with a three stop neutral density filter together for eight full stops! (That's a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have lots of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo tip post, I'll go into even more cool things you certainly can do to enhance your landscape photography with these crucial camera gear accessories.