Your Camera Equipment Should Contain Neutral Density Filters, to Get Better Landscape Photography!
Today's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is another piece of camera gear 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'm sure you've seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that every drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can shoot it so that it looks like a massive string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, are you aware that Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice that was obstructing the Niagara River? Envision a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We all know that to get the sharp image, we want a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we want a slow one.
Another good reason to place your camera on guide! You won't ever get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
Imagine if we desire a really slow shutter speed, but it is a bright daytime? Only a particular amount of light can be let in for a great exposure, as you know - if you let in too much, it's going to destroy the shot.
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So we begin closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? What will happen if we are 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 will give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are limitations.
The simple fix would be to obstruct a number of that light, since our problem is 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's all! It does not change the light in any way - it's neutral. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there's just less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot at cotton candy waterfall, that silky - on a bright sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in various strengths. It's possible for you to block one stop of light, three, five, and so on. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You could put a five stop along with a three stop neutral density filter 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 suggestion post, I Will go into even more cool things you can do to enhance your landscape photography with these camera gear accessories that are indispensable.