In­cor­rectly po­si­tion­ing ND grads

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

While ND grads are use­ful for seascapes, land­scapes and other sit­u­a­tions where there’s a clear bound­ary be­tween the sky and the fore­ground, they’re less use­ful when a fea­ture in the land­scape pro­trudes into the sky. As the fil­ter is low­ered to darken the sky, there’s a risk that the fea­ture will be­come darker too, so drawing at­ten­tion to the use of the grad.

Us­ing your cam­era’s depth of field pre­view can help you po­si­tion the fil­ter ac­cu­rately, as the aper­ture will be ‘stopped down’, mak­ing the tran­si­tion be­tween the dark and clear parts of the fil­ter more ob­vi­ous. How­ever, when you’re deal­ing with scenes that in­clude build­ings, light­houses and cliffs, ei­ther use an ND grad with a soft tran­si­tion, or do with­out the fil­ter and bracket the ex­po­sure, so you can blend the pic­tures later in Pho­to­shop.

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