Stack ’em up

Matt Tuf­fin re­veals the se­cret to bet­ter beach shots: layer mul­ti­ple fil­ters

NPhoto - - Contents -

Why stop at a sin­gle fil­ter, when you can com­bine them for bril­liant ef­fects?

Screw-in fil­ters are all very well, but they’re limited to a sin­gle change or ef­fect. Us­ing a slide-in fil­ter sys­tem en­ables you to stack mul­ti­ple fil­ters, so you can bal­ance bright skies, blur mov­ing wa­ter or clouds, and even po­larise re­flec­tions, all at the same time.

When shoot­ing early or late in the day, you’re of­ten pre­sented with a sky that is much brighter than the main, fore­ground land­scape. This is where an grad­u­ated ND fil­ter comes in: dark at the top and clear at the bot­tom, it dark­ens bright skies with­out af­fect­ing the exposure of the land­scape be­low –and be­cause you can slide them up and down, you can de­cide where to place the tran­si­tion from dark to clear (see Step by Step be­low).

A full ND fil­ter, mean­while, dark­ens the whole im­age. To en­sure a cor­rect exposure, you need to set a slower shut­ter speed, which ef­fec­tively en­ables you to blur mov­ing wa­ter, clouds and more, even on bright days.

Us­ing both sorts of fil­ters at the same time might sound com­pli­cated, but you just have to do things in the right or­der. Here’s how it’s done...

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