To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Equipment Should Contain Neutral Density Filters!
Today's photo tip concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is another piece of camera gear which should be at all times in your bag! It's another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It must be in the camera.
I'm certain you've seen landscape photography of a waterfall.
You can shoot it so that each drop of water is in sharp relief... or you can shoot it so that it looks like a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, did you know that Niagara Falls really stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice that was obstructing the Niagara River? Visualize a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our point...
We know that to get the image that is sharp, we want a quick shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we need a slow one.
Another great reason to set your camera on guide! You'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They will look like everyone else's.
Imagine if we want an extremely slow shutter speed, but it's a brilliant day? As you understand, only a particular amount of light can be let in for an excellent exposure - should you let in too much, it'll ruin the picture.
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So we first begin closing down the aperture. What if that's not enough? What if we're at the smallest aperture setting - and we still have an excessive amount of light.
Our next option would be to go with the slowest film or ISO setting we can. That is fine, it will give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are limitations.
The simple fix is to obstruct some of that light, since our difficulty is the fact that too much light is entering the lens.
Enter the 'Neutral Density Filter'.
The neutral density filter is a filter that's designed to block a certain amount of light. That's all! It doesn't change the light in any manner - it is inert. The light going into the lens has all the same properties; there is just less of it.
Voilla! You're now able to shoot cotton sweet waterfall, that sleek - 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 on. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You may 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 tons of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo hint post, I'll go into even more cool things that you can certainly do to enhance your landscape photography with these vital camera equipment accessories.