To Get Better Landscape Photography, Your Camera Gear Should Include Neutral Density Filters!
Today's photo hint concerns the neutral density filter. To get better landscape photography, this is just another piece of camera gear that should be at all times in your bag! It is another filter effect that can't be duplicated after the fact. It must 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 looks like a gigantic string of cotton candy! And everything in between!
By the way, are you aware that Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing in 1848 for about 20 hours because there was ice that was blocking the Niagara River? Envision a before and after shot of THAT!
Anyway, back to our tip...
We are aware that to get the sharp image, we want a fast shutter speed and to get the cotton candy blur we want a slow one.
Another good reason to place your camera on manual! 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 bright daytime? Just 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 first begin closing down the aperture. What if that isn't enough? What will happen if we are at the smallest 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 is going to give us nicely saturated, sound free shots... but there are limitations.
The simple fix would be to block a number of that light since our problem 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 block a certain amount of light. That's all! It doesn't change the light in any manner - it's inert. 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 cotton candies waterfall, that glossy - on a brilliant sunny day!
Neutral density filters come in various strengths. It's possible for you to block one stop of light, three, five, and so forth. Plus various densities can be 'stacked' for even more light blockage. You may set 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 suggestion post, I'll go into even more cool things that you can do to improve your landscape photography with these vital camera gear accessories.