Cre­ative ex­po­sures

Ex­tend ex­po­sure times for cre­ative blur ef­fects that take the viewer be­yond the lim­i­ta­tions of hu­man per­cep­tion

Amateur Photographer - - Technique -

NEU­TRAL den­sity fil­ters, or NDs, are fil­ters that re­duce the amount of light en­ter­ing the lens al­low­ing you to shoot with slower shut­ter speeds or wider aper­tures than you could with­out. This is ideal if you would like to blur move­ment, such as clouds or wa­ter, in the scene or to shoot with a wider aper­ture for a shal­low depth-of-field.

As the name sug­gests NDs are neu­tral, so in the ma­jor­ity of cases they won’t add a colour cast to im­ages. Qual­ity plays a role, so cheaper non-branded NDs may pro­duce colour casts. Stan­dard NDs are avail­able in light-re­duc­ing den­si­ties of 1, 2, 3 and 4 stops. Ex­treme NDs are avail­able in 6, 10 and 15 stops, but these will typ­i­cally al­ter colour in im­ages which will need to be cor­rected in post-pro­cess­ing.

Shoot­ing with ND fil­ters that are up to 4 stops in den­sity re­quires no change in tech­nique – sim­ply at­tach them to the lens and shoot as nor­mal. With a DSLR the viewfinder will look darker than usual, so you may find that us­ing the LCD screen makes com­pos­ing eas­ier. With mir­ror­less cam­eras, how­ever, you’ll be able to see the im­age in the elec­tronic viewfinder as clearly as nor­mal.

Things be­gin to change when you’re shoot­ing with a 6-, 10- or 15-stop ND filter. Since these fil­ters ap­pear opaque to the hu­man eye be­cause of how much light they block, when you at­tach them to your lens you can’t see an im­age through the viewfinder or on the LCD with some cam­eras. With oth­ers you can, and in most cases you can shoot nor­mally, but if your cam­era can’t ‘see’ through these ex­treme NDs, my guide here will help. Even if you do have a cam­era that can see through these fil­ters, the guide shows you how to ob­tain a per­fect ex­po­sure every time.

ND fil­ters are a great way to blur move­ment for cre­ative ef­fect

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.