Neutral Density Filters Should Be Included by Your Camera Gear to Get Better Landscape Photography!
Now's photo tip 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's another filter effect that can not 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'll be able to shoot it so that it looks like a huge string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, do you realize that Niagara Falls truly stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice which was obstructing the Niagara River? Picture a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our point...
We realize that to get the image that is sharp, we need a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we desire a slow one.
Another good reason to put your camera on manual! You will never get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
What if we desire an extremely slow shutter speed, but it is a bright daytime? Just a particular amount of light can be let in for a great exposure, as you understand - it will destroy the photo, should you let in too much.
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So we start closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? Imagine if we are at the smallest aperture setting - and we still have too much light.
Our next option would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That is certainly nice, it's going to give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are restrictions.
Since our problem is that too much light is entering the lens, the simple fix is to block a number of that light.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that's made to block a a predetermined amount of light. That's all! It does not alter the light in any way - it is neutral. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there is only less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot waterfall that is cotton candy, that sleek - on a brilliant 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 may place a three stop neutral density filter and also a five stop together for eight full stops! (That is a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have lots of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo hint post, I'll go into even more cool things you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these indispensable camera equipment accessories.