To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Gear Should Include Neutral Density Filters!
The neutral density filter concerns. To get better landscape photography, this is just another piece of camera equipment that should be in your bag at all times! It's another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It has to be in the camera.
I am sure you've seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that each drop of water is in sharp relief... or you'll be able to shoot it so that it resembles a massive string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, did you know that Niagara Falls truly stopped flowing in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice that was obstructing the Niagara River? Picture a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We are aware 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'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They're going to look like everyone else's.
What if we want an extremely slow shutter speed, but it is a bright daytime? Only a specific amount of light can be let in for a good exposure, as you know - it is going to ruin the picture, should you let in too much.
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So we begin closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? Imagine if we're at the smallest aperture setting - and we still have too much light.
Our next alternative would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That is certainly fine, it'll give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are limitations.
Since our problem is that too much light is entering the lens, the simple fix is to obstruct a few of that light.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that is designed to block a a predetermined amount of light. That is all! It does not change the light in any manner - it's inert. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there is just less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot that glossy, cotton sweet waterfall - on a brilliant sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in several 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 may place a five stop and also 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 can do to improve your landscape photography with these indispensable camera gear accessories.