To Get Better Landscape Photography, Neutral Density Filters Should Be Included by Your Camera Gear!
Now's photo tip concerns the neutral density filter. This is another piece of camera equipment which should be in your bag at all times, to get better landscape photography! It's another filter effect that can not be duplicated after the fact. It must be in the camera.
I am sure you have seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
It's possible for you to 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 huge string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
Incidentally, did you know that Niagara Falls truly stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice which was blocking the Niagara River? Picture a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We all know that to get the sharp image, we desire a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we need a slow one.
Another good reason to set your camera on manual! You will never get award winning shots on automatic! They're going to look like everyone else's.
Imagine if we need a really slow shutter speed, but it's a brilliant day? As you understand, just a certain amount of light can be let in for a good exposure - if you let in too much, it will destroy the shot.
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So we begin closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? What if we're at the lowest 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 is certainly fine, it is going to give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are constraints.
Since our problem is that too much light is entering the lens, the simple fix is to obstruct some of that light.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that is designed to block a certain amount of light. That's all! It does not alter the light in any manner - it is inert. The light entering the lens has all the same properties; there is simply less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot at waterfall that is cotton candy, that silky - on a bright 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 could place a three stop neutral density filter and a five stop 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 that you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these indispensable camera gear accessories.