To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Equipment Should Contain Neutral Density Filters!
Now's photo tip concerns the neutral density filter. This is another piece of camera gear that should be in your bag at all times to get better landscape photography! It is 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 resembles a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, are you aware that Niagara Falls truly ceased 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 point...
We realize that to get the sharp image, we are in need of a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we need a slow one.
Another great reason to put your camera on manual! You'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
Imagine if we desire an extremely slow shutter speed, but it is a brilliant day? Just a certain amount of light can be let in for a good exposure, as you know - should you let in too much, it will destroy the picture.
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So we first begin closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? What will happen 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 will give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are limits.
The simple fix is to block some of that light since our difficulty is that too much light is entering the lens.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that is designed to obstruct a certain amount of light. That is all! It does not alter the light in any manner - it is neutral. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there's only less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot at that sleek, cotton candy waterfall - on a bright 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 can put a three stop neutral density filter and a five stop collectively for eight full stops! (That is a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have lots of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo trick post, I Will go into even more cool things you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these camera gear accessories that are crucial.