To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Gear Should Include Neutral Density Filters!
The neutral density filter concerns. This is just another piece of camera gear that should be in your bag at all times to get better landscape photography! 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 every drop of water is in sharp relief... or you'll be able to shoot it so that it looks like a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, were you aware that Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice which was blocking the Niagara River? Imagine a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We realize 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 put your camera on guide! You'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They are going to look like everyone else's.
What if we desire an extremely slow shutter speed, but it is a bright daytime? As you know, just a specific amount of light can be let in for a good exposure - it is going to ruin the photo if you let in too much.
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So we first begin closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? What if we are at the lowest 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's fine, it's going to give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are constraints.
Since our difficulty 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 designed to block a a predetermined amount of light. That's all! It doesn't alter the light in any way - it is inert. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there's only less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot at that sleek, waterfall that is cotton candy - on a bright sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in several 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 can place a three stop neutral density filter along with a five stop together for eight full stops! (That is a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have lots of uses, not only for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo hint post, I'll go into even more cool things that you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these crucial camera gear accessories.