Neutral Density Filters Should Be Included by Your Camera Equipment to Get Better Landscape Photography!
Today's photo suggestion concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is another piece of camera gear which should be at all times in your bag! It's another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It must be in the camera.
I am certain you've seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that every drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can shoot it so that it looks like a huge string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, are you aware that Niagara Falls truly ceased flowing in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice which was obstructing the Niagara River? Envision a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our point...
We know that to get the sharp image, we want a fast shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we desire a slow one.
Another good reason to set your camera on manual! You will never get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
What if we need a really slow shutter speed, but it is a bright day? Just a specific amount of light can be let in for an excellent exposure, as you understand - if you let in too much, it's going to destroy the shot.
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So we first begin closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? What will happen if we're at the smallest aperture setting - and we still have an excessive amount of light.
Our next choice would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That is nice, it'll give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are limits.
The simple fix would be to obstruct a few 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 designed to block a a predetermined amount of light. That is all! It doesn't change the light in any manner - it's inert. The light entering the lens has all the same properties; there's just less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot at cotton candies waterfall, that glossy - on a bright sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in various strengths. You can block one stop of light, three, five, and so on. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You could set a three stop neutral density filter along with a five stop collectively for eight full stops! (That's a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have tons of uses, not only for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo hint post, I Will go into even more cool things you can do to improve your landscape photography with these indispensable camera equipment accessories.