To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Equipment Should Include Neutral Density Filters!
Today's photo tip concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is just 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 has to be in the camera.
I'm certain you have seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that each drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can shoot it so that it resembles a huge string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, did you know that Niagara Falls actually 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 tip...
We all know that to get the image that is sharp, we to get the cotton candy blur we need a slow one and desire a quick shutter speed.
Another good reason to put your camera on manual! You won't ever get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
What if we want a really slow shutter speed, but it's a brilliant daytime? As you know, merely a particular amount of light can be let in for an excellent exposure - should you let in too much, it'll ruin the photo.
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So we first begin closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? suppose that we are 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's fine, it will give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are constraints.
The simple fix would be to obstruct a number 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's designed to obstruct a certain amount of light. That is all! It doesn't alter the light in any way - it's neutral. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there is simply less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot at that glossy, cotton candy waterfall - on a brilliant sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in a variety of strengths. You can 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 three stop neutral density filter and also a five stop together for eight full stops! (That's a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have tons of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo trick post, I'll go into even more cool things you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these crucial camera gear accessories.