To Get Better Landscape Photography, Neutral Density Filters Should Be Included by Your Camera Gear!
Today's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. This is just another piece of camera equipment that should be in your bag at all times to get better landscape photography! It is another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It must be in the camera.
I'm certain you have seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
It's possible for you to shoot it so that each drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can 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 truly ceased flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice that was obstructing the Niagara River? Visualize a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our point...
We know that to get the image that is sharp, we to get the cotton candy blur we desire a slow one and desire a quick shutter speed.
Another good reason to set your camera on manual! You will never get award winning shots on automatic! They'll look like everyone else's.
Imagine if we desire an extremely slow shutter speed, but it's a bright daytime? Only a certain amount of light can be let in for an excellent exposure as you know - should you let in too much, it will ruin the photo.
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So we first start closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? Imagine 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's going to give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are restrictions.
The simple fix is to block some of that light since our problem is the fact that too much light is entering the lens.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that is made to obstruct a a predetermined amount of light. That is all! It does not change the light in any way - it's inert. The light entering the lens has all the same properties; there is just less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot at that sleek, cotton sweet waterfall - on a bright sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in a variety of 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 could place a three stop neutral density filter and a five stop together for eight full stops! (That's 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 improve your landscape photography with these essential camera gear accessories.