Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Using and Choosing the Right Neutral Density Filter for Landscape Photography

Lee 3 stop graduated neutral density and 10 stop neutral density filters and holder
You can categorize all photographers today into one of three circles; the purists that say using Photoshop is cheating and devalues your photography, those that say Photoshop is the only way to get a good image, and then there are the photographers in the middle. I would definitely put myself smack dab in the middle saying that I really dislike overly processing images *cough HDR cough* but I believe in giving my images that extra little something that the camera can’t do on it’s own. That being said, you should do everything possible to get the image to look its best in-camera.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog posting by Travis Lawton, the Lawtographer—one of the most genuinely friendly photographers I know.

The Argument for Using a Filter

I know what you’re saying, “I thought this was a post about using filters. What is this guy talking about?”.
The reason for the build up is that many people think that if a filter is needed, they’ll just apply one in Photoshop after the capture. There’s a couple reasons why this isn’t the best method.
First and foremost, good luck pulling detail and color back from an overblown sky because you were exposing for the foreground (unless you planned to blend multiple exposures later on in the computer). And speaking of working in Photoshop, you’re guaranteeing more work for yourself sitting in front of the computer screen because you’ll have to “add” your filter to all your images. Also, depending on your editing methods, you may be actually hurting your images using destructive editing processes.
Have I ever used filters in post-production? Absolutely, but this is usually to enhance images that were already captured using physical filters.­

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Using and Choosing the Right Neutral Density Filter for Landscape Photography

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