Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Two Essential Filters for Outdoor Photographers

Photograph © Rick Sammon
Two filters are essential for outdoor photography.

A polarizing filter reduces reflections on water, glass and ice. It can even make your pictures look sharper because it reduces reflections on atmospheric haze.

Polarizing filter tip: Don't over-polarize a scene. If you "dial in" too much of the polarizing effect, you may get a large dark spot in the center of your frame.

Photograph © Rick Sammon

A variable neutral density (ND) filter reduces the amount of light entering your lens, allowing you to shoot at slower shutter speeds to blur water on bright, sunny days.

ND filter tip: Experiment with different shutter speeds to get just the right degree of water movement.  

These filters are a must for those participating in my Oregon Coast workshop with Alex Morley.

Explore the light,


Bob Decker said...

Thanks for sharing this, Rick. You inspired me last year to get the 17-40mm f4L lens for HDR. This sounds like something I need to check into in the near future. Happy New Year!

Thorstein Berg said...

I agree with the polarizer and ND-standars, but why have you left out the good old ND-grad filters. Yes I know we can go HDR, but that requiers that the elements within the captured frame to be as still as possible or one ends up with ghosting. And yes, I know one can both apply a digital grad through Lightroom, Nik Software Color Efx Pro or through Photoshop via layers, but a blown sky is hard to recover.