A tripod and a shutter remote are generally accessories most people would have when starting out landscape photography. ND Filters are just as important as a tripod when it comes to producing amazing landscape photos. This article will outline the types of filters Georges’ recommends for landscape photography.
What is a ND Filter ?
A Neutral Density (ND) filter is a unique filter that reduces the amount of light that passes through the lens. They are commonly measured in stops for eg. 3 stop, 10 stop. In the context of ND filters, every increment of 1 stop halves the amount of light. In simpler terms the higher the stop the more light it cuts out.
By cutting the amount of light, you’re able to shoot longer exposures than normal. In situations where it’s too bright to shoot a long exposure, it is now achievable with the right ND filter.
Graduated Neutral Density Filter (GND)
A Graduated Neutral Density filter is an ND filter with a variable light transmission. As shown above, GNDs are generally split into two with a ND at the top, and ND-less at the bottom. GND filters are popular with landscape/seascape photographers. GND filters allow them to either darken the sky or water, and properly expose the subject. Furthermore GNDs can be paired up with NDs to allow for longer exposures. There are multiple types of GND. Soft GNDs which have a gradual transition, hard GNDs for dramatic separation, reverse is where the ND is placed in the centre.
Variable ND Filter
Variable ND filters contains multiple NDs allowing you to cycle through a stop range. These are a convenient way of stopping down light without carrying multiple ND filters. In addition can be beneficial for video users who want to shoot a shallower depth of fields, or need an ND to balance exposure. However due to it’s multiple element structure creates strange cross polarisation effects. We recommend the NiSi Variable ND as these are the highest performing variable NDs we’ve tested to date.