To Get Better Landscape Photography, Neutral Density Filters Should Be Included by Your Camera Gear!
Now's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. This is another piece of camera equipment that should be in your bag at all times to get better landscape photography! It is 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 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 actually stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice that was blocking the Niagara River? Picture a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We know that to get the image that is sharp, we want a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we desire a slow one.
Another good reason to set your camera on manual! You will never get award winning shots on automatic! They'll look like everyone else's.
What if we need a really slow shutter speed, but it's a bright day? Only a certain amount of light can be let in for a good exposure, as you know - it'll ruin the photo, if you let in too much.
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So we begin closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? What if we're at the lowest aperture setting - and we still have too much light.
Our next choice 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, noise free shots... but there are restrictions.
The simple fix is to obstruct 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 made to obstruct a certain amount of light. That is 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 simply less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot at waterfall that is cotton sweet, 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 can put a three stop neutral density filter along with a five stop collectively for eight full stops! (That is a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have tons of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo suggestion post, I'll go into even more cool things you can certainly do to improve your landscape photography with these camera gear accessories that are indispensable.