Is It Better to Bracket Your Photos or Use a Graduated ND Filter?

Landscape images frequently demand extreme dynamic range, often beyond the capabilities of even the most modern sensors. There are a few ways around this issue, with exposure bracketing and graduated ND filters being two of the most common solutions, and this great video tutorial discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each. 

Coming to you from Photo Tom, this excellent video tutorial discusses whether it is better to use exposure bracketing or a graduated ND filter for landscape shots. Personally, I hate dealing with bracketed shots, so I try to avoid the process if I can (though there are certain situations where I absolutely have to use it). My personal preference aside, it is a very useful process, and it does not require any additional equipment beyond your camera. On the other hand, while the graduated ND filter allows you to get everything in one shot, it requires you to purchase and carry extra gear, and it can be tricky to use when you don't have a particularly even horizon. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

And if you want to continue to learn about landscape photography, check out "Photographing The World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi." 

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3 Comments

Marcel Rapuano's picture

I'm no expert, but in my humble opinion I would assume that if it is a static object or scenery, bracketing gives you more flexibility both in DR and in post processing flexibility (although more of a hassle). However, if there is movement (waves, leaves or clouds for example) where a single shot is required, a graduated filter seems more appropriate (little to none post-processing required later).

Marcel Rapuano's picture

Yes. It is something I perceived as well. There are some cases where the author of the article didn't even see the video beforehand before posting (not saying this is the case). But if the author do not at least post a summary of the video, with a simple conclusion, there is a big chance he did not see the video.

Robbie Keene's picture

How does posting a video and including a short blurb pass as content? This is the only thing I see you do.