Your Camera Gear Should Include Neutral Density Filters, to Get Better Landscape Photography!
Now's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. This is just 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't be duplicated after the fact. It has to be in the camera.
I am 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 can shoot it so that it resembles a huge string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, do you realize that Niagara Falls truly stopped flowing for about 20 hours in 1848 because there was ice which was obstructing the Niagara River? Visualize a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our point...
We all know that to get the sharp image, we are in need of 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'll never get award winning shots on automatic! They are going to look like everyone else's.
What if we want a really slow shutter speed, but it is a brilliant daytime? Just a certain amount of light can be let in for a good exposure, as you understand - it'll destroy the photo, should 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 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's nice, it'll give us nicely saturated, noise free shots... but there are restrictions.
Since our difficulty is that too much light is entering the lens, the simple fix is to block a number 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 is all! It does not alter the light in any way - it is inert. The light entering the lens has all the same properties; there's simply less of it.
Voilla! You are now able to shoot at waterfall that is cotton candy, that glossy - on a brilliant sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in various strengths. You can block one stop of light, three, five, and so forth. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You could place a three stop neutral density filter along with a five stop together for eight full stops! (That's a LOT of light!)
Neutral density filters have tons of uses, not just for waterfalls. In tomorrows photo trick post, I Will go into even more cool things that you can do to improve your landscape photography with these camera equipment accessories that are crucial.