Your Camera Gear Should Contain Neutral Density Filters, to Get Better Landscape Photography!
Today's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is another piece of camera equipment which should be at all times in your bag! It is another filter effect that can not be duplicated after the fact. It must be in the camera.
I'm certain you have seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that every drop of water is in sharp relief... or you'll be able to shoot it so that it resembles a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, are you aware that Niagara Falls really stopped flowing in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice that was blocking the Niagara River? Picture a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We realize that to get the image that is sharp, we want a fast shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we want a slow one.
Another good reason to set your camera on guide! You won't ever get award winning shots on automatic! They'll look like everyone else's.
What if we want an extremely slow shutter speed, but it is a brilliant day? Merely a particular amount of light can be let in for an excellent exposure, as you understand - if you let in too much, it will ruin the shot.
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So we start closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? What if we're at the lowest aperture setting - and we still have an excessive amount of light.
Our next option would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That's fine, it will give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are restrictions.
The simple fix would be to obstruct a number of that light since our problem is that too much light is entering the lens.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that's made to block a certain amount of light. That's all! It does not alter the light in any manner - it's neutral. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there's only less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot at that silky, cotton candies waterfall - on a brilliant 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 set a five stop along with a three stop neutral density filter collectively for eight full stops! (That is a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have lots of uses, not only for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo trick post, I'll go into even more cool things you certainly can do to enhance your landscape photography with these vital camera gear accessories.