Enhance Your Landscape Photography By Using Split Neutral Density (ND) Filters
You will find the sky is much brighter compared to the landscape, often when taking landscape photos. This could allow it to be almost impossible to keep detail in the sky without the landscape being overly dark, and to keep detail in the landscape without the sky being overly glowing.
One solution to this problem is the split neutral density filter. This is really a filter that may be put in front of the lens. While the other half is dark, one half of the filter is clear.
Usually, you will set the dark section of the filter over the sky to darken the sky, while the section that is clear is placed over the landscape. You can then expose correctly for the landscape and do not have to worry about the sky being overly bright.
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Split neutral density filters come in two varieties - graduated edge and hard border. Graduated edge means that there is a soft transition between the dark and soft sections of the filter. Soft edge or graduated split neutral density filters are usually chosen for landscape photography since the transition looks more natural when compared to a hard border.
Tough edge split neutral density filters are somewhat more useful when taking a photo with a well defined horizon that forms a solid line. The split line of the filter may subsequently be placed along this line. They're especially useful when the sun is on or simply over the horizon.
Both hard border and calibrated split neutral density filters are offered in a variety of strengths: ND0.3 = 1 stop
ND0.6 = 2 stops
ND0.9 = 3 stops
The bigger in difference between the brightness of the sky and the landscape, the more powerful the filter you'll want to use.
Although split neutral density filters are available as glass screw-in filters, most photographers prefer a Cokin P or similar 'slot-in' based filter system. This lets you move the filter up and down, putting the dark section of the filter exactly where you require it and to readily rotate the filter.
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The main benefit of split neutral density filters over software processes of equalizing exposure in a photo is that you could see the effect as soon as you take the photo. In addition, it saves on the work involved with applications based solutions.
The disadvantage, though, is where the horizon is clearly defined, that split neutral density filters work best. You will find the very top of the item will probably be darkened while the bottom won't, for those who have items, such as trees in your image, which are both below and over the horizon. This really is the main issue with split neutral density filters, and in events like these a software alternative to managing the exposure could be preferable.
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Most communities have some sort of historical society. In the event that you can not locate a listing for one, try contacting the local library. Once you have tracked them down, pay them a visit and request to see old photographs of the region. Locate an opportunity taken back as far as the middle 1800's, possible is perfect, and get a duplicate of the photo. Now take your gear, go to the same spot and shoot a modern day photo etc., from exactly the same vantage point Attempt to duplicate as a lot of the photo as you can... if there is a horse and buggy going down the road, comprise a car at exactly the same spot in your photo. Whether there are folks wandering down the sidewalk, put in yours too! I am sure you know what I mean! You're attempting to reproduce as much as possible. (Do not forget to shoot the shot at the same time of day!)
Print them out side by side once you are done. This job is going to teach you more than you can ever predict! It'll instruct you to look for and be observant of details, although it'll not just coach you on the best way to work with your equipment. Not only that, this project is well suited for children just starting out in photography all the way through old retired professional shooters. It all depends on you and how much detail you want to communicate.
For example... In the initial photograph with folks strolling down the pavement... does your photo show them?
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A photo by a teenaged beginner may not. It's OK. Shoot at your own amount! Are you more complex? If so the strollers are included! We may even go deeper in the event that you want to... Is it the same size family group as the original? Are they made up of the same mixture? (Guy, woman, three kids.)
In other words, you can keep it simple - no people in the slightest! Only the place. Or you'll be able to get as elaborate as you desire. This job is a surefire way to get known in your community - once people have seen your before and after pictures. Compile them into a group and donate a copy to the neighborhood historical society, library, Chamber of Commerce.
Subsequently, do it again! Before long you will have enough of them to put together a 'then and now' type of book! Chambers of Commerce adore this kind of thing!
YOU'RE going to appreciate this photo project! Not only will you have lots of fun, learn to master your gear and develop a critical photo 'eye.' You will fast become known in the community for your photography! To learn more, assess the resources box!