ND Filters - A Short Introductive Guide To Neutral Density Filters

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Know as ND, Neutral Density filters can be found in any professional photographer worth their salt. Amateurs generally stay away from these plain looking grey filters. That’s right, plain grey. Having no color or star effects, as well as not multiple image glass or gradation, this little grey filter is perfect for the landscape photographer or the professional.

This exposure reducing dull grey filter lets very little light through and this light is not affected by color. However, the brightness is affected. If the photographer is using an automatic camera, the grey filter allows the user to have a minimal amount of control over the versatility of light intake. It is also a valuable tool when taking pictures in low light with rapid film and in bright lights, where shutter speed is flashing; the ND filter allows the shooter to get the shot due to light reduction.

With the reduction of shutter speed, an unearthly, mysterious looking shot slightly blurred can be taken. When in a brightly lit area, the photographer would require a shutter speed of at least 1/15 seconds or slower but usually the speed, in a brightly lit area would be at least 1/25 seconds. The Natural Density filters can give the blurred look that will make the shot.

People movement in the architecture photography

Landmarks, architecture, and tourist attractions have human interference as a nuisance when taking the shot. The movement in the photograph will show up as blurred, this is where a ND filter goes to work and blurs the moving individuals out of the pictures. With a 4 second exposure, the moving images will completely vanish. As you can see, this simple grey filter can be very efficient.

When shooting in seriously bright surroundings, the camera aperture is usually too small and there will end up being an overabundance of subject sharpness, also known as depth-of-field, which in laymen’s terms simply means an overabundance of front to back vibrancy. An ND filter will help clean up the intensity of a background that is distracting from the subject matter. A good example will be when creating flower portraits.

When using a flash, an ND filter is a great option for reduction of light exposure from the camera. Unfortunately that is not always so with close up photographs. Using a Neutral Density filter can provide a barrier for the brightness of the flash.

How to buy ND filter

When shopping for ND filters, there are several on the market to choose from. Screw in or slot in filters come in a variety of sizes and strengths. They are simple to use, they screw on or the slots fit in to a holder on the camera. They have an exposure factor of 2x one stop, 4x two stops, 8x three stops and 64x six stops.

ND filters for beginning photographers

To understand ND filters, think of a pair of a sunglasses, simply put, they are just a reduction of the light coming into the camera. It may be necessary, on occasion to use a Neutral Density Graduated Filter, which is, exactly what it sounds like, a dark lens that graduates to a light lens, smoothly transitioned. The option for setting transition gives the photographer a greater set of options when creating the perfect composition. Neutral Density Graduated Filters are sold in a variety of interments of light reduction lenses. Experimenting with different NDG filters can help the photographer gain the experience to know which filter will work the best and get the best shot.

Beginning photographers should definitely take the plunge and start using Neutral Density Filters and Graduated Neutral Density Filters. Experience is the best teacher, and using them will help the user understand the principal behind light filters when taking photographs of landscapes and architecture. Understanding and using ND filters provides the user flexibility when taking pictures in weather conditions as well as the ability to blur and change or reduce motion.

Experienced photographers can use the lens to create unique photographs using the reduction of light and shutter speed to advantage and making photographs that are interesting and award winning.

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